Category > Fantasy fiction

Dead Ever After

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Dead Ever After: A True Blood Novel, Charlaine Harris, book reviewIt’s finally here: the last novel in Charlaine Harris’s Sookie Stackhouse series, also known as True Blood. Dead Ever After is book number thirteen, and we finally learn whether Sookie gets her own happily ever after – and who with.

The story so far is almost impossible to summarise. so I’ll just mention recent events. In book number twelve, Deadlocked, Sookie and her vampire love Eric were having some problems due to a situation created by Eric’s maker, the now permanently deceased Appius Livius Ocella. Someone had tried to frame Eric, Sookie and friends for a murder. Deadlocked ended with a showdown which revealed who was behind everything, and led to Sookie using her cluviel dor, the fairy love token which gave her one wish.


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The String Diaries

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The String Diaries, Stephen Lloyd Jones, book reviewAbout three weeks ago, I collected a package from my local Post Office. Upon opening it, I found inside a proof copy of a paperback book, curiously tied up with string. The only other item inside the package was a sheet of paper. I opened the sheet, expecting it to be a standard press release, but instead found a letter written by an editor at Headline publishers, describing how the book had started a buzz at the publishing offices, how he couldn’t get through the plot fast enough – but telling me nothing about the story itself. I dismissed this as a trendy marketing gimmick and left the book in its packaging until a few days ago, when I undid the string to reveal Stephen Lloyd Jones’ debut novel, The String Diaries. I read the first chapter, got hooked, and then devoured the rest of the 670 pages over the past few evenings. However gimmicky the presentation had been, that editor was not wrong.


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The Good Fairies of New York

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 The Good Fairies of New York, Martin Millar, book reviewMartin Millar’s The Good Fairies of New York is not a new novel. First published in the UK in 1992, it went out of print for some time before eventually being released in the US in 2006 and making it back onto the British market shortly afterwards. I have never read any of Millar’s work before, but with my edition (Piatkus 2011) coming with a glowing foreword by none other than Neil Gaiman (“read it now, and then make your friends buy their own copies. You’ll thank me one day”) it very quickly moved to the top of my “to read” pile. I followed Gaiman’s advice to read it now, but whether I will be encouraging any of my friends to buy copies is something that I am still making my mind up about.


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Hidden

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Hidden, P. C. Cast,  Kristin Cast, book reviewThe popular House of Night series has now reached double figures, with the recent publication of book number ten, Hidden. Written by mother and daughter team, P.C. and Kristen Cast, the series began with 16 year old Zoey Redbird being Marked to become a vampyre. Zoey’s marks were more advanced than usual, and she had extra powers. Now, in Hidden, Zoey continues the struggle against the evil Neferet, having suffered losses but also gained some unexpected allies. Fortunately for Zoey, the truth about Neferet has been exposed, and she has been cast out from the House of Night and shunned by the vampyre High Council, but of course little details like that aren’t going to sway her from her path to world domination…


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Wake

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Wake, Amanda Hocking, book reviewWake is the first novel in Amanda Hocking’s latest series, Watersong. Since I discovered Hocking’s wonderful My Blood Approves series and her Trylle trilogy, she has signed with a publisher, meaning her novels are available in print as well as in Kindle ebook format. I assumed that her writing would be as enjoyable as ever, but there was a thought in the back of my mind wondering whether Wake would measure up to her earlier novels.

Hocking’s stories tend to be about fantasy characters set in our world, and Wake is no different.


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Interview with the Vampire: Claudia’s Story

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Interview with the Vampire: Claudia's Story, Anne Rice, book reviewOrphan, daughter, victim, monster.
She was the vampire who never should have been ……her very existence an abomination among the creatures of the night. A predator’s lust imprisoned in the body of a child, she moves through the shadows of a world forever beyond her reach.
This is Claudia’s story.

Anne Rice’s ever-popular novel Interview With The Vampire was first published way back in 1976, and spawned a big budget film adaption in 1994 which served to massively increase the popularity of the books (and vampire stories in general for that matter). While the book is still widely known and read, it left me wondering why it has taken until now for this new perspective on the story to be published.

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Days of Blood and Starlight

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Days of Blood and Starlight, Laini Taylor, book reviewAbout a year ago, I read a book which was simply stunning in its style, story and imagination. Since then I have been eagerly awaiting the sequel, and so it was with a lot of anticipation that I began reading Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor, the second novel in the trilogy begun by the superb Daughter of Smoke and Bone.

The first novel introduced us to Karou, and the double life she lived in the human world and the world of the chimaera, creatures of many different forms who are traditionally demons. Then she met an angel, and her world turned upside down and fell to pieces. Daughter of Smoke and Bone ended with some major revelations, and left the reader desperate to find out what would happen to Karou and Akiva, her angel, and all the other characters, chimaera, angels and humans.


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Rivers of London

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Rivers of London, Ben Aaronovitch, book reviewRivers of London is the first novel in Ben Aaronovitch’s PC Grant series. Set rather unsurprisingly in London, we are introduced to Police Constable Peter Grant who at the start of the novel is assigned to Charing Cross police station, and is waiting to find out what section of the Met he will be posted to. Then he meets a ghost…and finds himself the apprentice of Detective Constable Thomas Nightingale, a wizard and sole member of the Met’s supernatural division.

Within the first few pages of Rivers of London, I was sure that this was going to be an enjoyable novel. The story was already shaping up to be interesting and exciting, but even before it really gets going the style and characters are very appealing.


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A Storm of Swords

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A Storm of Swords, George R. R. Martin, book reviewThe third novel in George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire, A Storm of Swords continues where A Clash of Kings left off. The saga is set in the medieval world of Westeros, and following the death of King Robert Baratheon in the first novel, the Seven Kingdoms have been at war, with four kings declaring themselves the true king.

The main characters of the series are the Stark family. Robb Stark, the eldest son of Catelyn and Ned, has declared himself King in the North following the execution of his father by Joffrey, Robert’s heir. His brothers and sisters are scattered throughout the Seven Kingdoms, each in danger and fighting their own war.


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Kiss The Dead

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Kiss the Dead, Laurell K. Hamilton, book reviewAnita Blake has a complicated life. Born a necromancer and endowed with all manner of strange supernatural powers, she lives in a St Louis where Federal law has made it legal for vampires and all manner of were-animals (leopards, tigers, lions and well as wolves) to co-exist with humans – as long as they don’t break the humans’ laws. Her powers make Anita an ideal candidate for policing the non-humans that share the city, and so she works as a US Marshal for the RPIT (regional preternatural investigative team). Effectively, she is a legalised vampire hunter (and executioner when the need arises). In Kiss The Dead, Anita is hunting down a group of vampires that have kidnapped a teenage girl and are willing to turn her into a vampire against her will – something that is most definitely illegal, and earns an instant execution order for any vampire involved – and finds a host of young masterless vampires who are willing to die for their idea of freedom.


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Until I Die

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Until I Die (Die for ME) by Amy Plum, book reviewUntil I Die is the second novel in Amy Plum’s Die For Me series. In the first novel, Die For Me, we were introduced to Kate, our heroine, an American who moves to Paris with her sister Georgia to live with their grandparents following the death of their parents. Kate meets Vincent, and is soon drawn into the world of the revenants, of which Vincent is one – undead beings who die over and over again saving human lives, always coming back to life at the age at which they originally died when human.

Until I Die continues the story. Kate has been accepted by the revenant community, but things aren’t easy for her and Vincent. With her unable to bear the thought of living through his death again and again after what happened to her parents, he has promised to resist the compulsion to die, something which causes him suffering.


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Deadlocked

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Deadlocked, Charlaine Harris, book reviewDeadlocked is the twelfth novel in the Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris, also known as the True Blood series after its television adaptation. Sookie is a waitress in Bon Temps, Louisiana, and she is telepathic. After meeting vampire Bill Compton at the start of the series, she has been drawn further and further into the supernatural world, which of course presents plenty of dangers to her.

In Deadlocked, Sookie is still in a relationship with the local vampire sheriff, Eric, in fact in the eyes of the vampire community they are married. But all is not well for them, especially when Sookie finds Eric drinking from another human woman.


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