Edi Nari just wants to be left to her own devices and continue her studies at the mage’s academy. But when her friends are brutally slain in front of her, she’s thrust into a mission to save her nation from the mad lich’s intent on unleashing the undead and destroying everyone, all at the behest of something far more powerful than the lich she works for, and those she has to face. “The Lich’s Thrall” is a dark fantasy adventure story that focuses on Edi’s journey from ostracized student, to a strong-willed sorceress that is capable of standing up for herself against all odds, and finally is given the answers to secrets her family has held on to for decades. Watching Edi go up against countless gruesome undead was exciting, namely for the uniqueness of the creatures she faced. I also appreciated that, come the end of the book, I didn’t feel like there were any questions left unanswered, even if I would have liked more of a character arc for Edi and some of the people she goes on her quest with.
What happens to the world when only three of the four horsemen ride? “Misericorde” looks at that in great detail. Set in the future when all horsemen of the apocalypse—except Death—ride, the author presents a world that has fallen back into the Middle Ages. All technology is gone, there is no electricity, and people go back to living in castles in the few places where basic resources can still be found. There is a ruling class that lives in luxury, while all their servants are barely surviving. You never really meet this ruling class though, instead the reader is introduced to a servant, Lourdes, the brutal soldiers she’s tasked with serving, and an Archangel that is determined to find any human still capable of mercy in such a brutal world. This book has “Angelfall” vibes but written with literary prose full of feeling, with well crafted characters, but maybe just a tad too much description.
I am a big fan of fantasy, a big fan of crime and mystery novels, and a big fan of sarcastically dry characters. “Storm Front”, on the surface, absolutely ticks all those boxes. We’ve got a sarcastically dry wizard who consults with the Chicago police department when murders don’t make sense in the traditional manner. I absolutely love, love that premise! And I did go in knowing that Harry, as an MC, is written to be chauvinistic, and have been assured that he, as a character, gets better in that regard, so I tried to not let that bother me as I was reading. So why did a book that ticks so many of my boxes end up being kind of… meh for me?
What do you get when your cross the concept of Jurassic Park with a B horror movie? You get the fast-paced “Monsterland”, that’s what. “Monsterland” is pretty much exactly what it sounds like: a theme park full of real-life monsters, namely zombies, vampires, and werewolves. The premise being that vampires and werewolves have always lived amongst us, just hidden, until a plague that created zombies sweeps the planet and now a billionaire mogul, Vincent Konrad, decides to make a theme park housing all these monsters for “study”, and profit obviously because why make a theme park out of it if you didn’t want to make cash? Wyatt, one of our many MC’s (but the main, main one) idolizes Vincent and wants nothing more than to go to the park opening night. He gets his wish, but of course everything changes and this supposedly “safe” park is anything but. Things escalate FAST once Wyatt and his friends are in the park, perhaps too fast to really get a feel for, well, anything. Hence the B movie vibe…
I had to take my time with this review so it wouldn’t devolve into a jumble of screeching and excited gurgles. But trust me when I say that this book is like riding a roller coaster while tripping. But, you know, in the most masterful way possible. Muir is easily, and quickly, becoming one of my favorite authors; not only can she craft such a gothic and macabre, gory and intensely beautiful world, but she successfully uses ALL THREE types of POV’s in this book in order to build the most amazing mystery and the best pay out for said mystery that I’ve read in a long, long time. Which makes writing a review for this book so, so hard… I don’t want to say anything for fear it mat spoil something, which would ruin everything. But let’s give it a try, shall we?
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