Review: Heirs of Grace by Tim Pratt

Heirs of GraceHeirs of Grace by Tim Pratt
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Recent art school graduate Bekah thought she’d hit the jackpot: an unknown relative died, and she inherited a small fortune and a huge house in the mountains of North Carolina.

Trey Howard, the lawyer who handled the estate, is a handsome man in his twenties and they hit it off right away-and soon become more than friends. Bekah expected a pleasant year to get her head together and have a romantic fling. Problem is, the house is full of junk…and siblings she didn’t know she had are willing to kill her for it.

More important, the junk in her new house is magical, she’s surrounded by monsters, and her life seems to be in mortal peril every time she ventures into a new room. As Bekah discovers more about her mysterious benefactor and the magical world he inhabited, she’s realizes that as tough and resourceful as she is, she might just be in over her head…

Heirs of Grace is a tale of family and magic, action and wonder, blending the strong heroine, cheeky humor, and dark fantasy that have become the hallmarks of Tim Pratt’s writing.

Sound the alarms, I’ve found a new author to obsess over! Tim Pratt did such an amazing job with this book, I really can’t emphasize that enough.

Such a good book! It combines all of the elements of a book I’d love to read into a perfectly executed mélange of I-want-to-read-this: The South, big old magical inherited houses, cool objects of power, female protagonists that are kick ass, etc.

Tim Pratt writes like Ilona Andrews and Diana Wynne Jones had a beautiful, witty, male, also-writerly baby. Bekah, the protagonist, is so refreshing. It’s strange to say that I loved a female character written by a man so much more than any female characters I’ve read written by anyone else, recently, but I really did. Granted, men have been writing good female characters for the entirety of human history. It’s just rare, like most excellent things.

Also, the setting of the story being in and around Boone, North Carolina was just funny, because one of my best friends in Denver lived there and talks about it every now and again, so I feel like I know it.

Also, I had a fun exchange after the laugh I got on the second page:


The old woman gestured vaguely at me. She was wearing white gloves, which fit her general level of dress, but seemed better suited to high tea or church than general sitting around. She clarified: “Are you [so]me kind of Mexican?” That was a new one. Sometimes on forms I check “Other” and sometimes I check “Pacific Islander” and often other people mark me down as “Black” (which my adoptive parents are, and almost certainly some of my biological ancestors, too), but I’d never been self- or other-identified as “some kind of Mexican.” Welcome to the South, I guess. I hadn’t spent much time in this part of the country, and the first person I spoke to in my temporary new home wasn’t making me look forward to future human interactions. “Sure,” I said. “Some kind of Mexican.
Buenos días and vete a la chingada.”  

I laughed so hard I had to call my coworker Val over to laugh with me.
Me: “Wouldn’t it be ‘va te a la chingada?'”
Val: “I don’t know, I don’t really write in Spanish.”
Me: “Well how would you tell someone to go fuck themselves?”
Val (with a completely straight face): “Go fuck yourself. You gotta say it so they understand.”

Val is great. Anyway, you should read this book. It probably won’t change your life but you will probably like it and laugh at least once. I almost never laugh at books. I think Ilona Andrews, Jim Butcher and JK Rowling are the only other writers who have ever made me laugh. Pratt has a series about a woman named Marla Mason which I intend to start reading immediately. Well, immediately after the 37 other books I have waiting in the wings. We will see which priority wins out.

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.

View all my reviews

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.

View all my reviews | Buy Obsidian on Amazon.com

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.