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Movie Trailer: Show White and the Huntsman

2 May

Have you read: Lucy Snyder?

16 Mar

A few years ago I picked up my first Lucy Snyder book: Spellbent. It just so happened to be the first book in the Jessie Shimmer series. The heroine (Jessie Shimmer, duh) starts out as your everyday college dropout packed into a  cute body, but quickly transforms into a determined woman. She is far from perfect and remains so throughout the first three books of the series. How imperfect? Well in the first book her eye is burned out leaving her face disfigured and her hand is bitten off. There is a cure for the disfigurements if they are addressed immediately. Jessie’s are not. What does that mean? She attacks problems without the aid of a human eye or hand. She is a disabled, urban fantasy heroine whom many of the characters still find sexy and attractive.

The Jessie Shimmer series is not a romance or for lack of better word “soft” urban fantasy. The book is hardcore. There are moments while I read each book that I wanted to scrub my mind with bleach. Even now–days after finishing book three–I still picture a gruesome image as the villain makes good on her promise to the heroine. It is violent and disgusting goodness that I couldn’t set down. (I haven’t watched the Saw movies, but that type of graphic horror.) It is NOT for the weak stomached or those who will dissect it looking for the hidden message. It is entertainment.

I haven’t read many posts about Lucy Snyder, which surprises me. Maybe it shouldn’t since I read Spellbent when it was released and didn’t pick up Shotgun Sorceress or Switchblade Goddess until a week or so ago. In a way I’m glad I waited. (Y’all know I have a problem with waiting for books to be released.) However, I’m slightly confused at the lack of blog posts about this series. Are readers put off by the down and dirty secrets and scenes? What do readers think about the heroine’s limitations?

Snyder has a gift for creating disturbing scenarios and setting them in an urban fantasy world. She has created a woman who has grown so much and paired her with a man who has slowly grown on me. In book one, I thought he was rather self-centered; not that we got much time with him. By the end of book two, I found him to be damaged but salvageable. At the end of Switchblade Goddess I knew he was the perfect man for Jessie. He is far from perfect, but he recognized his faults and the things he had done wrong in his relationship with Jessie, told her about them without her pointing them out to him first and promised to do better. I believe him. While their relationship is never front and center as the main issue, it does burn slowly on the back burner almost to the point where I wanted to scream at Jessie to do something.

Snyder’s Jessie Shimmer series is not a feel good series. I never put down any of the books happy. I put them down grossed out and haunted by the vivid imagery of torturous scenes, but I never considered setting the books down and walking away. I wish I could wash away many of the images, so I could stop thinking about the books as “the book where this guy did this” or “the book with the electric drill.” Gosh, I’m grossing myself out thinking about it. The series is urban fantasy meet horror, featuring a heroine who often got lucky by not dying. What I’d really like to know is if you’ve read any of Lucy Snyder’s books and what you think about them.

Shout out to Dan Dos Santos! The cover art is excellent. I’ve bought all three of the books in paper form strictly to have access to the gorgeous covers.


Review: Skeleton Crew by Cameron Haley

10 May

Skeleton Crew by Cameron Haley
Harlequin/LUNA (April 28, 2011)
Trade: $14.95; e-book: $8.79
ISBN: 9780373803262

Favorite Lines: “Everyone has an irrational fear. For some people it’s spiders, for others it’s snakes, or maybe clowns. I have a big fucking problem with zombies. I can deal with ghosts–even the really creepy ones. Hell, I share my condo with a spook, an old woman named Mrs. Dawson. I can also deal with dead bodies–as long as they stay down. If they get up and try to eat me, that’s just too fucking much.” (p. 15) Continue reading

Coming Soon: Shady Lady by Ann Aguirre

23 Oct

I’d spent my whole life settling, trying not to attract attention, and generally doing whatever it took to keep other people happy. I didn’t want to do that again. Not when I was finally comfortable in my own skin. Sure, there were certain challenges, like a drug lord who wanted me dead, and the fact that I owed a demon a debt that he could call due at any moment. But everybody’s got problems, right?

Whenever Corine Solomon touches an object, she immediately knows its history. But her own future concerns her more and more. Now back in Mexico, she’s running her pawnshop and trying to get a handle on her strange new powers, for she might need them. And soon.

Then former ally Kel Ferguson walks through her door. Heavily muscled and tattooed, Kel looks like a convict but calls himself a holy warrior. This time, he carries a warning for Corine: the Montoya cartel is coming for her—but they don’t just pack automatic weapons. The Montoyas use warlocks, shamans, voodoo priests—anything to terminate trouble. And Corine has become enemy number one…  Ann Aguirre’s website

Review: Mob Rules by Cameron Haley

6 Oct

Mob Rules by Cameron Haley
Trade: $9.99
Luna (September 2010)
ISBN: 978-0373803200

Favorite Lines: “Once the fire was blazing, I stripped off my clothes and started dancing naked around the fire. It was a little pagan, more than a little ridiculous, and not the way I usually roll, but sometimes the oldest magic requires the oldest methods.” (p. 55)

Domino Riley is an enforcer for the Shanar Rashan gang. She is the person who handles problems so Shanar doesn’t have to. It seems like an unnecessary position, but hey who is she to knock it. Things have been peaceful, but gangs are rarely associated with peace. The peace ends with someone killing seemingly random, low-rank gangsters in a gruesome manner. They are skinned alive; stripped of all magic. Domino’s job is simple: find out who has started the occult war and stop it.

Cameron Haley is one of the newest authors to hit the urban fantasy scene. Bypassing the vampires and werewolf heavy story lines, he focuses on the fae and magic users in his introductory book Mob Rules. I don’t normally read books written by men, but I didn’t know a man wrote this book until after I read it.

One problem I usually find while reading male written stories, told in the first person voice of a female, is the false tone. I am pleased to say I didn’t have that problem with Mob Rules. But I raise my eyebrows at the idea of any woman joining a basketball game and stripping off her shirt to play on the ‘skins’ team.

Domino is a rough woman who is comfortable in her own skin. She is a talented sorceress, trained by the head of the scariest mob organization in Los Angeles, Shanar Rashan. Secure in her sexuality, she finds herself attracted to her boss’s son despite his younger age and inability to perform magic. It is through him that her inner moral battle is shown.

Dom doesn’t want to be a ‘monster’ but as the head enforcer she can’t adopt a kumbaya mentality. People’s lives depend upon her protecting the gang’s territory and that means making hard, life or death decisions. She is another one of the “guys.” But being another one of the guys living in an urban sitting means the use of slang. The use of racial slurs is explained as the norm, but made me extremely uncomfortable to the verge of being angry. When it appeared, it was too much.

Overall, I wasn’t impressed with the story. I loved the idea and the way modern technology is mixed with magic, but in the end it wasn’t enough to draw me into the series. I’ll read Dom’s introduction to gang life in the Harvest Moon anthology, but how I feel when I put Dom’s short story down will determine if I buy the next full length novel in the series.

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