Monthly Archives: February 2013

A Madness of Angels, Kate Griffen, 2010

I liked it.  If I were one to give stars – I’d give it a 3.5 or a 4 of 5.

A Madness of Angels is good urban fantasy, set in London.  The hero, Matthew, is a very competent urban sorcerer who is very surprised to wake up in his bedroom – because he is sure he is dead, murdered 2 years ago.  But, it turns out Resurrection has also fused him with a magical entity ripped from the phone lines called the Blue Electric Angels.  The hows and whys of his murder and Resurrection are a mystery, and Matthew sets out for answers and revenge.

madness of angels

I feel that Griffen’s setting and magical theory is complete and well thought-out, with an extensive magical community living among the regular folk in a big city. In Matthew’s case, he has a natural ability to draw power from the patterns and rhythms of the city and has a particular way with electricity (as a result of his merging with the angels). Other members of the magical community can bend space to travel great distances very quickly, or shapeshift or cast spells, demons can be summoned,  zombies can be created and controlled.

I only take stars off my score for the writing style. For me, it is very dense and overly descriptive. In a couple of spots, I actually jumped ahead a couple of pages. Griffen uses the first person voice quite effectively, but I  found it hard to connect with Matthew.  

However, I very much like the fact that this book came to a satisfying end, and didn’t leave me hanging off a cliff.  Cliffhangers drive me crazy, as I usually can’t get my hands on the next book right away.

I’ll certainly look for the next book in this series.  I expect some of Matthew’s internal conflict will have abated and we will be able to see more confident power from him and see more of this magical world. 




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Posted by on February 26, 2013 in Fantasy


A Working Theory of Love, Scott Hutchins

working theory of love

I was bored by this one and didn’t finish.  Around 100 pages in I was eyeing another book in my pile. A sign I should move on.

Here is a link to the book’s summary on,,9781594205057,00.html

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Posted by on February 17, 2013 in Uncategorized



The Silvered, Tanya Huff, 2012

I’ve read a couple of Tanya Huff novels, mostly from the Blood Price series.   Now, that series would not normally be a top pick for me, since it falls too much into the Vampire Romance category, but it is set in Toronto.  I love it when books are set in Toronto.

The Silvered is very different, and I liked it.  The setting is more typical of epic fantasy, but made much more interesting with some unexpected technology thrown in.  The main characters are either wolf-man shapeshifters or female mages with specific abilities.  The wolf pack works with mages to protect (or rule?) the citizens of Aydori.

the silvered

The insane ruler of the rival Empire invades Aydori as a cover for kidnapping several powerful female mages.  Most of the wolves are wiped out in the invasion.  An injured young wolf and a young mage set out to rescue the kidnapped mages.  The female mage belives her magical abilities are limited, but it soon becomes clear she is actually very powerful.

It is not stated on the cover, but I have to think this is the start of a series.  It has promise, as long as it doesn’t become primarily a romance.

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Posted by on February 17, 2013 in Fantasy


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Newsflesh Trilogy, Mira Grant, 2012

The 3 books:  Feed (2010), Deadline (2011), Blackout (2012).

I read Feed at least a year ago, and came across Deadline and Blackout both on the shelf at the same time in the library recently, so I picked them up.

feedblackout deadline

I liked the series very much, but I can’t say I loved it.

The series is set in a post-apocalyptic USA circa 2040.  Society has changed a lot after a virus unleashed a zombie plague across the world.  Now, everyone carries the virus, inactive, within them. A bite from a zombie activates the virus and turns you within a few minutes. Avoiding zombies would be easy if not for the 2% of the population who can turn into a zombie spontaneously. An outbreak can occur at any time, and large gatherings are particularly dangerous.  People live isolated in gated communities and communicate via the Internet.    Strangers are potential zombies and not to be trusted; there is no sense of community.

The main characters are journalists.  News in 2040 is delivered by blog; journalists travel where others won’t, and are heavily armed at all times as they expect to encounter zombies.  The risk of infection is a thrill.

The plot starts when the journalists are given a pass to follow a presidential candidate on the campaign trail.  Soon a sweeping government conspiracy is uncovered, and the journalists are in danger.  Society’s fear gives the government its power.

I feel the concept and setting are complete, interesting, and well defined.  I felt that Feed was the most unique of the 3 books, and Deadline and Blackout were more formulaic but easier to read.  I liked the technique of inserting blog posts to add personality to the characters. I also liked that main characters died as it added an element of instability. But I did feel the ending was abrupt.

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Posted by on February 5, 2013 in Horror


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What is Ann Watching?

Musings on TV and Movies