Tag Archives: urban fantasy

The Silver Thread by Emigh Cannaday

The Silver Thread by Emigh Cannaday

 The Silver Thread
by Emigh Cannaday

Talvi Marinossian has slain maenads and fought off vampire attacks, but nothing has prepared him for getting involved with one of these forbidden ‘Modern Girls’. When he finally tracks down Annika it’s obvious that she’s changed since her recent adventure in his homeland. It’s also clear that she’s not ready to embrace the next chapter in her life. He tries to persuade her to open up to him, but she finds it difficult since he won’t even explain how he earns a living, why he has a secret cell phone, or the reason he keeps another woman’s handkerchief in his pocket. Instead of relying on Talvi to help her adjust, Annika delves into her music and her job, and it isn’t long before the new lovers find themselves completely out of sync with one another. Just when they start to find their rhythm, Talvi is called away on business and whisks Annika off to Paris for what is supposed to be a working vacation. But one bad decision leads to another, and the chaos that ensues may cost someone their life.

Annika Brisby Series #2

Rated: ★★★★
Publisher: Silver Poplar Press
Publication: December 1, 2012
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Romance, New Adult
I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this title.

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The Silver Thread by Emigh Cannaday

A year and a half ago, I was invited by the author to review the first book in the Annika Brisby series, (WHICH is still FREE on Kindle). I loved it and was lucky enough to get a copy of the second book in the series, The Silver Thread by Emigh Cannaday. It took me ages to finally get around to reading, but I decided to make it my first book of 2018 and BOY AM I HAPPY! I absolutely could not put it down and finished it within the day, absolutely devouring every word. It was just so utterly fantastic and everything I didn’t know I wanted.

When last we saw, Talvi and Annika were separated. Married after only a few months of knowing each other, Annika was thrust back to the modern world, unwillingly leaving Talvi behind. I was worried the majority of the book would be Talvi trying to find his way back, but surprisingly, he reaches Annika within the first ten percentish of the book. Then, things got so good. Cannaday just absolutely gave me everything I’ve ever wanted with these whirlwind romances: reality. Yes, Talvi and Annika love each other. But, they also came together suddenly, quickly, and in the midst of a dangerous quest. How do you continue a romance when it’s time to settle into the routine of romance and daily life? Especially when you know nothing about your partner’s tiny habits, such as how they take their tea or coffee. Seeing Talvi and Annika struggle to maintain their independence, while also keeping together this relationship was so realistic and just a joy to behold.

Apart from the relationship, the story itself was really interesting! Trying to find out what Talvi’s occupation is/was, what he was hiding from Annika, and then the ending!! That ending had me instantly running to amazon to buy and download the third book in the series. Seriously, if you’ve picked up the first book in the series and are the type of person (like myself) that wonders how these larger than life situations and romance can be maintained when things go “back to normal,” pick up The Silver Thread by Emigh Cannaday. Continues to be one of my favorite urban fantasy, new adult romances!

The Goblins of Bellwater by Molly Ringle

The Goblins of Bellwater by Molly Ringle

 

The Goblins of Bellwater
by Molly Ringle

Most people have no idea goblins live in the woods around the small town of Bellwater, Washington. But some are about to find out.

Skye, a young barista and artist, falls victim to a goblin curse in the forest one winter night, rendering her depressed and silenced, unable to speak of what happened. Her older sister, Livy, is at wit’s end trying to understand what’s wrong with her. Local mechanic Kit would know, but he doesn’t talk of such things: he’s the human liaison for the goblin tribe, a job he keeps secret and never wanted, thrust on him by an ancient family contract.

Unaware of what’s happened to Skye, Kit starts dating Livy, trying to keep it casual to protect her from the attention of the goblins. Meanwhile, unbeknownst to Kit, Skye draws his cousin Grady into the spell through an enchanted kiss in the woods, dooming Grady and Skye both to become goblins and disappear from humankind forever.

It’s a midwinter night’s enchantment as Livy, the only one untainted by a spell, sets out to save them on a dangerous magical path of her own.

Rated: ★★
Publication: October 1, 2017
Genre: NA, Urban Fantasy
I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this title.

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The Goblins of Bellwater by Molly Ringle

A beautiful cover, a story inspired by Rossetti’s Goblin Market, and set in the PNW, I was all about The Goblins of Bellwater by Molly Ringle. Yet, I don’t really know how I feel about it now that I’ve finished it, other than saying it’s a true and solid three star book. The story was solid, but the pacing a little odd. Character development was good, but then weird. And the resolution we received at the end fell flat for me.

The setting and descriptions were fairly spot on. Having been to the PNW and hiking in Oregon, it felt real and authentic. I could almost smell the crisp air and feel the river and ocean mist. Ringle excelled at making this feel like a real place, but simultaneously feeling other. Perhaps it’s because these places, these peaceful out of the way woodland areas already lend themselves to your imagination, but either way, Ringle really brought out the excitement and wonder of running into fae creatures in your backyard as it were.

Character development was a bit odd. I say that only because it makes sense that it would be odd. When you have half of the 4 main characters under a spell, it’s hard to see much of a change in them. The change we see almost fades into the background with them. They exist, things happen, we’re supposed to care, but in the end, don’t really. However, when we get to the non-glamoured half, they really take off. We see how Kit is a good guy in a bad situation. We see him grow from being a loner to making all of these connections and wanting more out of life. With Livy, we see the same. From her devotion to her sister, to finally focusing on her own life, her own future. It was really great and those two were really strong characters that I would have loved to have seen more about.

Which leads me to my biggest issue with The Goblins of Bellwater: the pacing. It just didn’t click for me. There is this huge build-up at a slow and steady pace. Things are happening, slowly growing in intensity, but then suddenly, poof! Everything is fixed in a quick fifteen minute read. It felt like the set-up was more than half the story, and then the journey and resolution combined made only a quarter. I would have preferred the journey to resolving the problem to be as long as the set-up. But instead, we get a journey that happens in the blink of an eye, a resolution that happens even quicker, and then a nicely wrapped up ending. It should have taken longer.

Finally, for mentioned Rossetti’s Goblin Market, I’d feel like there’d be more to it other than hey, we’re goblins and we force people to eat fruit. I expected the tie-in to be greater or more significant. Possibly for the story to go deeper into the symbolism of the poem. For all my complaints though, The Goblins of Bellwater by Molly Ringle was an enjoyable story. I enjoyed the premise, the setting, and characters and really, only wish it was longer to more fully delve into everything.

The Corner Store Witch by HD Lynn

The Corner Store Witch by HD Lynn

 The Corner Store Witch
by HD Lynn

The Chronicles of Narnia but with more swearing, more katanas, and less allegory. It’s nerdy, anime inspired fun for the whole family.

Leone owns Pulp Magic (Comics, Books, Games, & More). Angry customers are her biggest concern-until a man from another world literally drops into her shop. And oni have followed him. Leone defends herself with a magical staff, which marks her with powerful runes. Her supernatural tattoo sleeves make her desperately thirsty, yet practically allergic to water-and oh, they foretell the fate of the realms of demons, gods, and men.

With her four friends and inter-dimensional guide, Leone travels to the realm of the gods, searching for magical cosmetic surgery. She doesn’t want to carry the fate of the world literally on her arms. But the truth she finds-of a war raging between worlds-changes her, challenges her.

What’s a nerd to do with the fate of all worlds at stake? Ah yes, kick some demon ass.

Rated: 
Publisher: Throw This Book at Me
Publication: September 20, 2016
Genre:
I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this title.

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The Corner Store Witch by HD Lynn

 

I have no idea what to make of The Corner Store Witch by HD Lynn. If this should be taken seriously or as a parody or both. I do know that the title and cover, both of which make this sound fantastic, were completely misleading. There is no witch, only a girl who gets tangled up in some mystical mess, and she certainly doesn’t seem as well-versed or confident in her abilities as the girl on the cover. I cringed as ‘nerd’ pop culture mentions littered the first few pages and then again at the reactions of the girls at a random man landing in the shop.

The entire book seemed to be a parody of urban fantasy tropes and geek culture, and if it was, then I could understand it a bit better. Having girls at the center, especially non-white girls that were smart and educated, thrust in a medieval-esque adventure seems to be a twist on everything. Especially when the demon oni seem to be surprised and disgusted? at seeing a dark skinned girl. Considering they’re demons and from a different realm, it doesn’t make sense UNLESS it is a parody of the fact that racists like to say people of color can’t play certain fantasy characters because they are “obviously white” or whatever other nonsense they spout.

But then, it takes itself seriously at other times and I wonder, is this for real? Am I supposed to take this seriously, as an actual urban fantasy novel? It’s just too much, too over the top. Though it was under 200 pages, I honestly struggled to finish it. The only reason it got two stars was because I was a) able to finish it and b) it might work as parody.

Sorry to say but I think The Corner Store Witch by HD Lynn is going to have to be a pass from me.

The Glass Republic by Tom Pollock

The Glass Republic by Tom Pollock

 The Glass Republic
by Tom Pollock

Pen’s life is all about secrets: the secret of the city’s spirits, deities and monsters her best friend Beth discovered, living just beyond the notice of modern Londoners; the secret of how she got the intricate scars that disfigure her so cruelly – and the most closely guarded secret of all: Parva, her mirror-sister, forged from her reflections in a school bathroom mirror. Pen’s reflected twin is the only girl who really understands her.

Then Parva is abducted and Pen makes a terrible bargain for the means to track her down. In London-Under-Glass looks are currency, and Pen’s scars make her a rare and valuable commodity. But some in the reflected city will do anything to keep Pen from the secret of what happened to the sister who shared her face.

Book 2 of the Skyscraper Throne series.

Rated: ★★★½
Publisher: Jo Fletcher Books
Publication: 10/4/16 (re-release)
Genre: Young Adult, Urban Fantasy

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this title.
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The Glass Republic by Tom Pollock

I previously read the first book of this series, The City’s Son, back in April and I really enjoyed it. It reminded me of a YA version of Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere. So, when I was approached to review the sequel, I was extremely excited! I wanted to know how the story continued for Beth without Fil, and how Pen was able to piece her life back together. Let me tell you, The Glass Republic by Tom Pollock completely BLOWS the first book out of the water. It was such an exciting read that really added so much depth to a character that wasn’t really looked into that much in the first book of the trilogy. We get to look at a new facet of this amazing world Pollock has created and the story itself is wonderful!

When we ended The City’s Son, Fil had been reborn as a pavement priest with no memory of his past life, or of Beth, who had seemingly taken his place as the child of Mater Viae. Beth’s best friend Pen, meanwhile, was recovering from her horrific barbed wire and brainwashing attack, as well as her sexual assault. In The Glass Republic by Tom Pollock, the story switches its focus away from the recently fought war, and away from Beth (mostly), to focus on Pen. This was such a brave act by Pollock as having to go write about Pen’s PTSD is something extremely difficult, yet he managed to do so quite well. Her reaction to what she endured seemed real, and her desire to cling to her mirror-sister Parva, while at the same time keeping her best friend Beth at arm’s length, all make perfect sense for someone who endured what she did. So, when Pen decides to travel to London-Under-Glass on her own to investigate her mirror-sister’s disappearance, it comes as no surprise. She needs to prove to herself she can do it on her own. And mostly, she does. What I especially loved was that my hunch on her sexual preferences from the first novel were seemingly confirmed here in the second (yay!)

The pacing, which was an issue in the first novel, was flawless in this novel. It read quickly, and every single chapter and passage held purpose. Pollock continued to build upon the world he created in the first novel, but does it through the story this time, which worked extremely well. Beth’s tiny side story is great and leaves me excited for the final story of the trilogy, Our Lady of the Streets. The ending this time was well deserved and yet, still had me frustrated because I WANTED IT TO CONTINUE! I didn’t want to stop reading, which is a great thing to say of a book.

If you’ve read The City’s Son and enjoyed it, then you definitely need to pick up The Glass Republic by Tom Pollock. It takes what was introduced in the first novel and just builds so beautifully upon it without breaking pace or story. Cannot wait for the last book of the trilogy!

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

 Six of Crows
by Leigh Bardugo

Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone…

A convict with a thirst for revenge.

A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager.

A runaway with a privileged past.

A spy known as the Wraith.

A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums.

A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.

Kaz’s crew are the only ones who might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first.

Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Publication: Sept 29, 2015
Genre: YA, heist, urban fantasy
Personally purchased title
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Rated: ★★½

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

So Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo was a book I had heard A LOT about; all of it good things. So when it came to deciding what the first book for the Roadside Reads Bookcast would be, I was not in the least surprised this won the vote to be the inaugural buddy read. Now, whether it was the fact that I read this book spread out over the course of a month, or the fact that it had been so hyped up for me before even starting it, I don’t know, but I do know that it didn’t seem to wow me for an absolute five stars. There were problems with pacing, especially when it came to character development, and certain tropes were just too well-known where Bardugo did little to break from them or extend them.

Before I get to what I didn’t like, and what knocked the book down to 3 and a half stars while my bookcast co-hosts gave it 4 and 4.5 stars, let me tell you about what I LOVED about Six of Crows. I absolutely loved the characters and how each of them were so uniquely different from one another and completely their own person. For those that heard the bookcast, you obviously know that Jesper was my favourite. The sharpshooting gambler with the heart of gold that is riddled with addiction and anxiety. Seriously, bless him. Then of course Inej, the quiet one who does what she does because she needs to survive and get out of where she’s at. I could go on and on about them all. They’re all different, which is exactly what you’d expect out of a heist book, but still refreshing in how they are different. Another fantastic thing about them was how physically different they all were as well. It wasn’t just a group of sixteen year old white kids They all seemed to have different ethnicities, colours, sexualities, and cultures and it worked well, both as a ploy to create tension, but also to showcase diversity in literature.

What was also fantastic to see was that despite all they’ve been through and their maturity, they were still teens and it showed. It showed in the way that Kaz mostly trusted the word of an adult authoritarian figure, even when he knows all adults lie. It showed in the way Nina and Mathias bickered with one another, having the exact same feelings but refusing to be the first to admit to them. Even in the way Jesper’s insecurities about who he is and what that means. It was refreshing to see characters that can be masterminds and so smart and clever, still be naive when it comes to the ways of the world.

Now, what did bring Six of Crows down for me was the pacing. It just seemed to frenetic. Not because of the changing character chapters, but because of random plots and parts of stories that would be introduced without warning and then as a single aside. One of the major ones was Jesper’s sudden flirting. It literally came out of nowhere later in the novel and seemed like it was simply done because everyone else had already been paired up, so now Bardugo figured it was time to introduce the Jesper/Wylan romance possibility. Jesper hadn’t flirted at all before and then suddenly boom, all the flirting with all the people. Mathias hated everything Grisha and considered it unnatural, only to suddenly change his thoughts abruptly and realise he was wrong when he saw what they truly did with the grisha after their trials. It was too many abrupt changes brought in when it felt like it could have been weaved better throughout the entirety of the story.

Then, there were the tropes Bardugo heavily relied on but did nothing to extend or morph them. The war orphans, the scorned hero, the broody Machiavellian character, the one-dimensional evil villain. It just fell flat to me. Like I said, perhaps it was just that I expected more, or the fact that the bookcast spent a month discussing this novel. I’ll be excited to see if her Grisha series differs when I read it for personal pleasure away from doing a bookcast.

While a solid YA heist book, Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo isn’t the best heist book out there. If you’re looking for angst and fun, with lots of twists and turns, then definitely pick this up. If you’re looking for something more steady with a greater emphases on the team and the heist itself, perhaps something like Patrick Weekes’ The Palace Job might be better.

Quotes & Excerpts

Besides, old women must know something, or they wouldn’t live to gather wrinkles and yell from their front steps.
2 – Inej

The heart is an arrow. It demands aim to land true. […] You have to know where you want to go before you get there.
10 – Inej

She had to laugh at herself. She wouldn’t wish love on anyone. It was the guest you welcomed and then couldn’t be rid of.
14 – Nina

“Yes. Like a hive of bees in your dressed draw.”
Jesper barked a laugh. “Just like that.”
“So what are we doing here?”
Jesper turned back to the sea, feeling his cheeks heat.
“Hoping for honey, I guess. And praying not to get stung.”
17 – Jesper

Chasing Embers by James Bennett

Chasing Embers by James Bennett

 Chasing Embers
by James Bennett

Behind every myth, there’s a spark of truth…

There’s nothing special about Ben Garston. He’s just a guy with an attitude in a beat-up leather jacket, drowning his sorrows in a downtown bar. Or so he’d have you believe.

What Ben Garston can’t let you know is that he was once known as Red Ben. That the world of myth and legend isn’t just a fantasy, as we’ve been led to believe. And he certainly can’t let you know the secret of what’s hiding just beneath his skin…

But not even Ben knows what kind of hell is about to break loose. A centuries-old rivalry has just resurfaced, and the delicate balance between his world and ours is about to be shattered.

Book 1 of the Ben Garston Series

Publisher: Orbit Books
Publication: September 6, 2016
Genre: Urban Fantasy
I received this title for free in exchange for an honest review
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Rated: ★★

@Benjurigan

Chasing Embers by James Bennett

Dragons? Who doesn’t love dragons? Then, you add in dragons in the modern world? I couldn’t get my hands on this fast enough! Sadly, Chasing Embers by James Bennett didn’t live up to the hype I had built up in my head. It’s good, definitely worth three stars, but not as exciting or fun as I expected. It took perhaps a good 50% before it got to the point where I was like okay, I need to know what happens next and cannot put it down!

One of the biggest flaws I had with Chasing Embers, was also one of the things that I came to really enjoy: Ben’s constant introspection. His narration is one filled with self pity, and it’s understandable with everything he has had to endure in his life. It is also one of the easiest ways to get information out to the readers. But, it’s still so droll having it go on for pages instead of simply seeing action happen. I understand he doesn’t want to take action, but a story needs action to compel the plot forward and I think this one had a bit too slow of a pace for the casual reader. As I said earlier, it wasn’t until I was nearly halfway through the novel that the pacing finally picked up and I was sucked in. Most readers will not have that same patience, I’m afraid.

However, thanks to the introspective narrative, Bennett gives us incredible details about how this modern world works alongside the world of myths. He has a strong world built and it’s one I’d love to explore further. I think since this was the first book in the series, that is the reason for the absolute complete influx of overwhelming information that makes the narrative dull at the start. He needs to get his world built and make the reader feel as though they have their feet firmly planted in it. Hopefully, book two of the series will bypass the need to give all this extreme backstory and be much more active.

Something I absolutely LOVED though, was Rose. She was the shining star and character of this entire novel, which is a shame because we hardly see her. I desperately hope we get more of her in the second novel in the series. It was so incredibly refreshing to see a female love interest actually stand up for herself and essentially say f**k you to the hero. To walk away because she deserves better and won’t accept someone who cannot be honest with them, who hurts them on purpose. She was amazing and I wish more authors would write women like Rose.

Chasing Embers by James Bennett had a slow start but definitely laid down strong foundations for a compelling series. With the heavy world building out of the way in book one, the next one is sure to offer a better paced story that will be able to focus more on the already interesting characters introduced in book one.

Quotes & Excerpts

Technicolor pixelated death. Immunised by the ceaseless barrage of doom-laden media […]
One

The inside of the house was a tasteful tomb. Loneliness by IKEA.
Four

Arthur’s last breath signalled a crack in history, a final surrender of magic and myth, an end to its reign on these shores. If the Fay had devised this paragon, this Golden Example, in the hope of abiding peace, then they had failed. Where history and legend had intertwined, fate now wrenched them apart. Human lust and treachery had proved, at least to some, that the two worlds could never be one. They Fay had turned their backs in disgust and strode off into the endless nether, the outer dark that surrounded Creation, taking their golden age with them. An era of beauty and glory was done, and things would never be the same.
Four

Progress for some, it seemed, always meant decline for others.
Seven

Somewhere in the spectrum, the revolving door of accident, healing, disease and decline, there lay a central truth: humans are fragile and all humans die.
Eight

“The thing with myths is they never really die. […] Even when the memory of them fades, a seed always remains, spinning in the cosmic void. The Long Sleep was there long before the Guild called it that, imposing their makeshift medieval Lore on the fabled and numinous. The Long Sleep is simply a human term for a universal fact. All myths have their season, and in their time, pass. Dreams, monsters, ghosts, gods…”
Thirteen

A Dream of Ashes by Orlando A Sanchez

 A Dream of Ashes
by Orlando A Sanchez

Mystics.Magic.Murder.
A Fire Mystic.A Ruthless Killer. A Dark Secret.

Ava James is a fire mystic with the Mystic Investigative Division. As a branch of the Enclave, a worldwide mystic organization, the MID is feared, respected and reviled.

When the half-charred body of a Mystic is found, the Enclave sends her to investigate the strange death. Ava finds that all the clues point to the killer being a fire mystic, one of her own. Accused by the Enclave of working with the killer she must solve the case before a secret buried in her past is revealed and destroys her world.

Can she save herself? Will she find the murderer?

Chronicles of the Modern Mystics Book 1

Publisher: OM Publishing
Publication: April 27, 2016
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal
I received this title for free in exchange for an honest review
Purchase: amazon | b&n | book depo
Rated: ★★

A Dream of Ashes by Orlando A Sanchez

Kick ass heroines racing to exonerate themselves is much beloved trope/genre for me. I mean, I’ve loved reading all about Anita Blake’s antics (before it all went to hell in a harem), as well as Sookie Stackhouse’s adventures. So, when I was approached to review A Dream of Ashes by Orlando A Sanchez, I was really excited! Not only was I getting the kick ass heroine, but also a book written by a local author! The novel was certainly fast-paced, sometimes a bit too much so, but the characters were engaging, and the world was interesting, if a bit lacking.

For such a short novel, just shy of 300 pages, the plot moved quickly. There was never a dull point in the story and everything that happened was for a reason that quickly propelled the story. This was great, but did have its downfall, mainly being that there wasn’t enough time for the reader to catch their breath. So much happened in so little time that everything seemed to blur together with information not having enough time to sink in.

This small issue bleeds into the larger issue of world building. It’s certain that author Orlando Sanchez knows this world he’s creating. It feels solid. But as a reader, I felt lost. I didn’t know what the enclaves were, what the mystics were, what those special sticks were about. If the action and plot were slowed down just a little to offer some world building explanations, the book would have been tremendously improved.

Character-wise, however, Sanchez was right on point. Ava was strong, but still had her weaknesses and moments of vulnerability. She wasn’t a super-woman, and I loved this. Ghost and his daughter were mysterious and I’d love to know more about them. I’d love to know more about warders and mystics in general, which goes back to slowing the book down a little just go give more world information.

A Dream of Ashes by Orlando A Sanchez is a good first book in a series. The action seems real and well thought out, and the characters are relateable and well developed. The pacing is fast, but hopefully subsequent books in the series will slow it down a little to help readers get a firmer grasp of the world Sanchez has created because it looks to be a good one!

White Rabbit Society Brendan Detzner

White Rabbit Society by Brendan Detzner

 White Rabbit Society
by Brendan Detzner

Andrew is fifteen years old. He’s been sent to stay with his grandmother for the summer while his parents finish their divorce, but the summer’s up and he’s still stuck up in Wisconsin. And his best and only friend is a monster.

Shadow lives under a gazebo in the park. She has a body made of spare parts, she seems to be omnipotent, and she likes to play chess. Andrew doesn’t tell anybody about Shadow. Nobody listens to him anyway.

Andrew’s Uncle Paul comes to town. Andrew didn’t know he had an Uncle Paul. Paul knows about Shadow. Paul knows lots of things. Some of them are things he shouldn’t know; some of them are things no one should know. And he’s interested in teaching.

Unfortunately, Paul isn’t stopping by just to say hello. He’s being pursued, by people interested in his secrets. People interested in Shadow. And soon, people interested in Andrew.

Publisher: Attack Rabbit Press
Publication: July 15, 2016
Genre: Magic realism, Urban fantasy, Paranormal
I received this title for free in exchange for an honest review
Purchase: amazon | b&n | book depo
Rated: ★★★

White Rabbit Society by Brendan Detzner

White Rabbit Society by Brendan Detzner was such an interesting and great read, I’m so happy Mr. Detzner asked me to review his novel! It was extremely well written and reminded me a bit of the magic realism from The Dresden Files, but also seemed bit like The Seer by Grant Palmquist  in that it revolved around a pair of teens trying to understand the weirdness of the world around them. What made this an extra fun book, however, was the extra element of a club/mafia/mob involvement. If I haven’t mentioned it before, I absolutely LOVE heist and mafia/organized crime type books, so that was such a pleasant addition to find.

After being abandoned at his grandmother’s house, Andrew is bored and lonely, which surprise, surprise, leads to his discovery of Shadow, an ephemeral creature that lives beneath a gazebo at the park. He gives Shadow a name and befriends her. She, in turn, struggles to understand what she is, as well as what is the world she is a part of. Detzner does a great job in portraying not only Shadow’s innocence, but also her and Andrew’s naivete.This culminates towards the books ending, which shows just how Shadow chooses to evolve and the actions she takes.

Then, we have the adults in the story, Paul playing a major part. This is where the mafia/heist elements come into play, as well as family secrets. Paul and his flashbacks are simultaneously one of the best and most informative parts of the book, but also what brought this book down a star. The way he entered into the knowledge of magic, forced his way into the White Rabbit Society, even his birth and upbringing, are all so intriguing and interesting, yet we only see brief instances of these events. Detzner cuts through the present day story with bits of the past, as well as bits of the present with other characters, and it simply doesn’t work as effectively as it could. Were it only cuts between Paul’s past and Andrew’s present, it would make White Rabbit Society much more effective. However, cutting between Paul’s past, Andrew’s present, and then various other side characters from the Society, it just gets too jumbled and confusing. I lost track of who some characters were and how they fit into the story or with each other.

If you’re into urban paranormal/magic realism stories a la Dresden Files, but with a stronger human touch, I wholeheartedly recommend you pick up White Rabbit Society by Brendan Detzner. It is solidly written, well developed, and has a strong plot that really makes me want to check out more his writing.

About the Author

Brendan Detzner writes in a big messy pile of different genres and formats. His work is sometimes funny, sometimes scary, and usually very strange. He lives in Forest Park, IL and runs the Bad Grammar Theater reading series in Chicago. He can be contacted at brendandetzner@yahoo.com.

– via his official website.

You can also support Brendan via his Patreon page