Review: The Aeronaut’s Windlass by Jim Butcher

The Aeronaut's Windlass (The Cinder Spires, #1)The Aeronaut’s Windlass by Jim Butcher
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Since time immemorial, the Spires have sheltered humanity, towering for miles over the mist-shrouded surface of the world. Within their halls, aristocratic houses have ruled for generations, developing scientific marvels, fostering trade alliances, and building fleets of airships to keep the peace.

Captain Grimm commands the merchant ship, Predator. Fiercely loyal to Spire Albion, he has taken their side in the cold war with Spire Aurora, disrupting the enemy’s shipping lines by attacking their cargo vessels. But when the Predator is severely damaged in combat, leaving captain and crew grounded, Grimm is offered a proposition from the Spirearch of Albion—to join a team of agents on a vital mission in exchange for fully restoring Predator to its fighting glory.

And even as Grimm undertakes this dangerous task, he will learn that the conflict between the Spires is merely a premonition of things to come. Humanity’s ancient enemy, silent for more than ten thousand years, has begun to stir once more. And death will follow in its wake…

Truly wonderfully fantastic.

I like Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files. Quite a lot. But I ADORE this book.

I can’t gush enough. I was recommended this book by a friend and didn’t take the recommendation seriously enough.

The raw creativity of this world, the complexity of the plot, and the perfection of the characters.

Just, read it. There are cats.

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Review: Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout (Lux, #1)

Obsidian (Lux, #1)Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Published May 8th 2012 by Entangled Publishing, LLC (first published November 23rd 2011)
ISBN 162061006X

When seventeen-year-old Katy Swartz moved to West Virginia right before her senior year, she’d pretty much resigned herself to thick accents, dodgy internet access, and a whole lot of boring, but then she spotted her hot neighbor, with his looming height and eerie green eyes. Things were looking up…until he opened his mouth. Daemon Black is infuriating. Arrogant. Stab-worthy. It’s hate at first sight, but when a stranger attacks her and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, well, something…unexpected happens. The hot guy next door? Well, he’s an alien. Turns out that Daemon and his sister have a galaxy of enemies wanting to steal their abilities and Katy is caught in the crosshairs. Daemon’s touch has lit her up like the Vegas Strip and the only way she’s getting out of this alive is by sticking close to him until her alien mojo fades. That is if she doesn’t kill him first.

You know how sometimes a book is just exactly what you needed and is so particularly good at what it is that you just…

You just read it until 3am.

That’s how good this book is. What it does, it does perfectly. I’m so blown away by how excellently the twisty, embarrassing, infuriating feelings of adolescence are crystallized in this book.

And there are also aliens. Come onnnnn this is too good.

Katy is so likeable, and very real. She has insecurities, but they aren’t crippling or overdone. She’s beautifully admirable in her courage. She’s so many things I was at her age but she manages to overcome them.

Let’s not even get me started on the chemistry. Hnng. Hnnnnnnnng.

Can I just say I’m glad I was a hopelessly abstinent loser in high school because if I had a boy like Daemon living next door, taunting me like that, I would have spent all of my spare time scratching at his bedroom window. Hooo lawdy.

Jennifer Armentrout does rocky, awkward, embarrassing, douchey relationships well. She does action and mysterious backgrounds well. Action, check. Banter, check. Mean teenagers, check check.

Just…read this book so we can fangirl over it together.

And yes, before anyone asks, I AM jealous that fictional, seventeen year old Katy’s book blog is more popular than mine.

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Alex who? Kate Daniels has my heart.

Remember last week when I kept going on and on about how much I missed reading Alex Craft novels and I was soooo desolate and just, generally inconsolable? Me neither.

Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1)First Grave on the Right (Charley Davidson, #1)I had a couple of candidates for placeholders until August. One was Darynda Jones’ First Grave on the Right, which I reviewed here. I can be counted on to mostly only review books I don’t really like. I need to work on this.

Another was/is Sarah J. Mass’ series beginning with Throne of Glass. I think I am like 20% through that. That’s enough for me. I doubt I will finish it. It is quite terrible.

But but BUT, I did try out Ilona Andrews’ Magic Bites. Kate Daniels is my kind of protagonist. She is requisitely Buffy/kickass, but she has flaws too. Like, she makes mistakes. And sometimes apologizes for them. HALLELUJAH.

But really, these books are pretty freaking good. I’d recommend them to anyone, whether they like urban fantasy or not (I scoff quite disdainfully at those who do not).

The series is written by husband-and-wife team Gordon and Ilona Andrews. Ilona is from Russia, so one can be reasonably certain the Russian language and folklore mentioned in the books is accurate, and Gordon is ex-Army. It’s kind of weirdly comforting to think how accurate some of the weapons/tactical information in the series must be. A lot of authors do staggering amounts of research (and some, like Laurell K. Hamilton+ are actually real life semi-gun-nuts), so I suspend very little disbelief about weapons. However, I doubt any of these well researched people have had the occasion to shoot a person while researching firearms. Maybe Gordon hasn’t either. WHO KNOWS REALLY. Maybe I should email him and ask? Would that be rude? I would like, work up to it, obviously. But he’s a busy man, I’m sure, and it’s not like there is ever a good segue into “Hey, by-the-by, have you ever killed anyone?”

ANYWAY. So I like this Kate Daniels series. I read all the way through to Magic Slays. The next book in the series is called Magic Rises. Guess when it comes out?

July 30th. Sir, I do not shit you. I can’t catch a break, can I? Oh well. YOU WIN, PUBLISHERS. I will wait patiently. And beg for ARCs the whole time.

+ For some inexplicable reason I mention Laurell K. Hamilton a lot when I talk about books, and writing. And like, guns. And vampires? I don’t even know how it works. She just comes up a lot. I mean, I like her writing. I follow her on twitter. Sometimes I read her blog. But I am not particularly fanatical about her? Seriously though, just look through my reviews. It’s uncanny. Let’s just call it the LKH Phenomenon.