Sunday, March 06, 2016

Melanie's Week in Review - March 6, 2016

Welcome to March. Spring is just around the corner as the daffodils in my garden are out in full display. We haven't had that much of a winter in the UK this year but I am still glad to see the first sights of spring especially as I almost turned into a human popsicle last weekend. Weather report over. So what did I read?

I have saved the best for last with Rod Duncan's The Custodian of Marvels which is the final instalment of The Fall of the Gas-Lit Empire. In my last two WIRs I reviewed books 1 and 2 (here and here). I thoroughly enjoyed this series and this final book was no different. Thank you to publisher for approving this request via NetGalley. I would never had discovered this fantastic series otherwise.

Again, Duncan mixes it up and teams Elizabeth with her one time enemy from the circus performers in book 1. They have teamed up to do the impossible - to break into the impenetrable Patent Court to steal a weapon. Elizabeth however, has an ulterior motive for agreeing to this heist. She wants to find evidence that the Duke has done the same thing to other families as he did to hers and she is certain it is hidden in the bowels of the Patent Office. While the plotting and planning of the heist was great to read it is what Elizabeth discovers while inside that is the real start of the plot. Duncan has a great imagination and ability to build tension as craftily as he develops his characters. This was a excellent conclusion to Elizabeth's story and has put Duncan right up there with one of my new favourite authors.

Despite being a big fan of the Kate Daniels series I only just bought and read Magic Shifts. I generally refuse to pay more than £6 for a Kindle book and when it was listed at £9.99 I decided to wait. Boy did I get that wrong. As the release of the paperback approached the price increased to £13.99. I was then stuck and ended up buying the paperback.. One of my fellow reviewers Doreen has already reviewed Magic Shifts so check it out. I thought it was OK. I wasn't wowed but didn't dislike it either. What I have a problem with...and this doesn't just relate to this that I get bored when the heroine almost dies every book. I got very disillusioned with Patricia Brigg's Mercy Thompson series for the very same reason. I feel that the Kate Daniels series are falling too much into a formulae in recent books - Big Baddy fights with Kate, Kate moons over Curran, friends or family are in danger, gets beaten up, super battle, almost dies, survives surmountable odds, lives to thwart her father another day. I hope the next book mixes it up a bit.

That is it for me this week. I hope you find something enjoyable to read. Fingers crossed I have more to tell you about next week but until then Happy Reading.

The Custodian of Marvels
The Fall of the Gas-Lit Empire 3
Angry Robot Books, February 2, 2016
     Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 368 pages
Angry Robot Books, February 11, 2016 (UK Print)

You’d have to be mad to steal from the feared International Patent Office. But that’s what Elizabeth Barnabus is about to try. A one-time enemy from the circus has persuaded her to attempt a heist that will be the ultimate conjuring trick.

Hidden in the vaults of the Patent Court in London lie secrets that could shake the very pillars of the Gas-Lit Empire. All that stands in Elizabeth’s way are the agents of the Patent Office, a Duke’s private army and the mysterious Custodian of Marvels.

Rod Duncan returns with the climactic volume of The Fall of the Gas-Lit Empire, the breathtaking alternate history series that began with the Philip K. Dick Award-nominated The Bullet-Catcher’s Daughter.

File Under: Fantasy [ Time Runs Out | The Duke’s Enemy | Open the Vault | A Union ]

Magic Shifts
Kate Daniels 8
Ace, February 23, 2016
Mass Market Paperback, 384 pages
Hardcover and eBook, August 4, 2015

The eighth Kate Daniels novel from the #1 New York Times bestselling author who “defines urban fantasy” (Fresh Fiction).

Magic is coming and going in waves in post-Shift Atlanta—and each crest leaves danger in its wake…

After breaking from life with the Pack, mercenary Kate Daniels and her mate—former Beast Lord Curran Lennart—are adjusting to a very different pace. While they’re thrilled to escape all the infighting, Kate and Curran know that separating from the Pack completely is a process that will take time.

But when they learn that their friend Eduardo has gone missing, Kate and Curran shift their focus to investigate his disappearance. As they dig further into the merc’s business, they discover that the Mercenary Guild has gone to hell and that Eduardo’s recent assignments are connected in the most sinister way…

An ancient enemy has arisen, and Kate and Curran are the only ones who can stop it—before it takes their city apart piece by piece.

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