Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Really Short Reviews: Kate SeRine and Bec McMaster

I have been known to read as many as 8 books in a single week. I will never be known for writing 8 reviews in a single week though. So I'm trying something new and putting together some mini-reviews of some of the books I've read recently. Let us know in the comments what you think of the format. Should we make it a regular feature?

Along Came a Spider (Transplanted Tales #3) by Kate SeRine
Release: August 1, 2013 Source: purchased
Links: Goodreads Amazon
My Really Short Review: If Once Upon a Time aired on HBO it might be something like the Transplanted Tales series. Prince Charming is in prison for racketeering. Snow White and the seven dwarves run a brothel. The three little pigs are shady contractors who know how to hide a body. And Little Miss Muffet, our heroine, swears like a sailor and kicks ass like Buffy.

Trish Muffet works as a CSI for the Fairytale Management Agency or FMA, their version of the FBI. She teams up with long time crush, Nicky "Little Boy" Blue to solve a series of murders that seem to be tied to Dracula, but no one has seen the vampire in years. The human authorities are also investigating the crime and seem to have some ulterior motives. It looked like there was going to be another one of those supernatural stories where the humans were collecting the supes to dissect them, which I've seen a lot in the last few years (and give me the creeps.) I was dreading that revelation the whole time I was reading, but it didn't turn out exactly like I thought it would.  I really enjoyed Trish and Nicky's story and all the characters they met as they tried to solve the crimes. And I loved Trish's snarky voice and her badass attitude.

  4 stars

Ever After (Transplanted Tales #4) by Kate SeRine
Release: August 21, 2014 Source: ARC provided by publisher
Links: Goodreads Amazon
My Really Short Review: Ever After is sort of a mash-up of the Robin Hood and King Arthur stories with some fairies thrown in. Gideon, bodyguard and security chief to the king of the fairies, was called Little John for a time while he lived in Sherwood Forest. He fell in love with a girl who was called Robin Hood and then he watched her die. 500 years later in the Here and Now, he finds her again, alive and in danger.

I didn't like this one as much as the previous book. I think maybe I wasn't as interested in these slightly more grown up myths and fairytales. I figured out who was the real villain was pretty early on, so the mystery plot moved a little slowly for me. I did really enjoy seeing the couples from the other books come to Gideon's aid for once. He only ever seemed to show up in their stories when someone needed help. Fans of the series have been eagerly awaiting Gideon's story and won't want to miss this one.

The Curious Case of the Clockwork Menace (London Steampunk #3.5) by Bec McMaster
Release: August 19, 2014 Source: free on Smashwords
My Really Short Review: I read this novella after Forged by Desire, but I would recommend reading it first since it's the beginning of Perry and Garrett's story. The blurb calls it a pre-romance, not a prequel. To me it feels like an extended prologue. This is the case that made them realize they had feelings for each other. It just took them two more years to get to the events in Forged by Desire that led them to act on those feelings. (It actually takes place before My Lady Quicksilver as well, so if you're behind in the series you could read it then.)
A lot of what goes through the character's heads is the same as it is in Forged by Desire. They're both thinking about their pasts, contemplating their partnership, and trying to suppress their love. They also refer to events from this story in the book. I think that's why I'm finding it really hard to view this as a separate book for the purposes of rating and reviewing it -- it just seems like part of the same story. I can say, though, that I wish they had spent more time with "the clockwork menace." He was a really interesting character and just didn't get developed much. I also felt like solving the case, one about an actress's disappearance, became something of an afterthought once the characters started dealing with their feelings. But it's definitely worth picking up before Forged by Desire releases next week to get some more Perry and Garrett. And it's free at all e-book vendors right now. (The price will eventually go back to $2.99.)
3 1/2 stars
Forged By Desire (London Steampunk #4) by Bec McMaster
Release: September 2, 2014 Source: ARC provided by publisher
My Really Short Review: Forged by Desire is a friends to lovers story featuring Garrett, the new head of the Nighthawks, and Perry, his long time partner. He was seriously injured in the previous book and she maintained a vigil at his bedside. Since his recovery, though, he's been keeping his distance. Now he sends Perry to investigate a grisly murder that brings back nightmares from her past. Perry fears that the life she fled years ago is coming to reclaim her and has to decide whether to stay and fight or run to protect the one she loves.

The first part of the book was full of instances of the characters almost getting together. There were so many near misses it got kind of frustrating, for me and the characters both. I was surprised by Perry's backstory but I wished we got to the meat of it sooner. I really enjoyed the political intrigue and the chance to see the couples from the previous books, who come to Perry's aid, but again wish we got to it sooner. It seemed that all of the action was in the last quarter of the book.

 4 stars

1 comment:

  1. Love it Gretl! Personally I think this should be a regular feature...but I'm biased! :)


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