Sunday, 24 April 2016

Boston Metaphysical Society PRELUDE: Top-notch Steampunk!

Boston Metaphysical Society: PRELUDE is a collection of short stories that have very important links to the Boston Metaphysical Society web comics. Written by Madeleine Holly-Rosing, Prelude is a cross between an origin story and a supplementary reading that makes the Boston Metaphysical Society universe far more intriguing.

The alternate history of Boston Metaphysical Society is every bit entertaining. Ghosts, demons, supernatural beings and prominent Families that vie for ultimate economic and political control – what’s not to like?

It's a rarity to like every story in a collection, but I love them all - all seven of them. While it’s not really a requirement to read the web comics series, I would have to say that the impact of the short stories would be more pronounced if the reader has read the Boston Metaphysical Society comics. The secrets and revelations in the stories have a greater impact if one is familiar with the alternate world so cleverly created. 

While this is primarily a steampunk collection, it crosses genres that make the whole of Boston Metaphysical Society greater than the sum of its parts.   ★★★ 5/5

Friday, 1 April 2016

10 Reasons Why You Should Read “The Girl Who Walked in the Shadows"

Third book in the series. Tough to review but early reviewers have already raved about it here, here, here, and here

Not that you need more convincing, but instead of a review, I'm giving you my Top 10 reasons why you should read "The Girl Who Walked in the Shadows" by Marnie Riches.

1.   Confident writing. So confident it can be brutal. You know, the in-your-face kind of brutal that leaves a black eye in the morning. Get some ice.

2.   Bursting at the seams with fascinating and flawed characters:  from the morally ambiguous to the sordidly immoral to the sexually fluid to the emotionally crippled. (The author could be talking about my family, but I digress.)

3.  Unrelenting suspense. So tense that you might find your heart fibrillating. Okay, that may be a tad too much, but it can happen, yes?

4.   Reading it is like assembling the most difficult jigsaw puzzle while playing “Where’s Wally”. (And since this is an international crime thriller, that would be “Waldo” in the US, “Charlie” in France, “Walter” in Germany, “Willy” in Norway…)

5.   Icicle of death. A very handy murder weapon during an arctic freeze. Cold, cruel, and best of all, untraceable. Plausible? Well, if Roald Dahl can use a big frozen leg of lamb to bludgeon someone in his short story, why can’t Marnie Riches use deadly sharp icicles in her crime fiction?

6.   Funny bits are really funny. Sure, the book is dark and gritty 90% of the time, but the author delivers funny lines when you need them the most.

7.   Moral and ethical dilemmas. There’s plenty of that in the book. It challenges you. It makes you question your own moral sensibilities.

8.   Extremely cunning criminals. It makes you genuinely worry for George’s safety and everyone else involved with her.

9. The George-Paul Dynamics. One minute tender, the next minute combustible. Problems seem to resolve themselves between the sheets. Not that I’m complaining.

10.       An ending you won’t see coming.  

*Review copy provided by the publisher through NetGalley.