Tag Archives: book review

Review: Harmony Black by Craig Schaefer

I mentioned in my post at the beginning of the year that I was looking forward to getting back into reading, especially by branching out and trying new authors and genres I generally wouldn’t think to try. I’m about to feel like a commercial and I apologize for that, but with Amazon Prime I get one free Kindle book a month through their Kindle First program. For the longest time I’ve been awesome at picking one out each month and downloading it… but that’s as far as I’ve gotten with all but one of them (a romance novel that helped me discover a new novelist to read for fun; that’s probably a great post for another time).

So for January, I decided to try one of the most recent ones I’d picked out and read it as my book for the month. I maybe missed doing it in January because time is going by too quickly, but I did finally pick it up this week, and I’m really glad I did.

harmony black

Harmony Black by Craig Schaefer has all the great workings of a modern mystery novel; Harmony Black is an FBI agent working for a Special Ops branch who usually works alone, but gets pulled out of her first vacation in years by an unusual string of infant kidnappings. She’s thrust into working with a motley crew of FBI agents and associates, and the mystery takes them back to her hometown, to the unsolved mystery of her sister’s mysterious kidnapping, which happened thirty years ago… and yet by all accounts the same scenario is repeating itself. Oh, and did I mention that Harmony Black is a witch and the branch of the FBI she works for targets magical and demonic criminals in very underground, off the books ways, and the case they’re trying to solve involves the Bogeyman?

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Book Review – Among Others by Jo Walton

“I do not miss my toys. I wouldn’t play with them anyway. I am fifteen. I miss my childhood.”

-Jo Walton, Among Others, p.160

So I (finally) finished reading Among Others by Jo Walton. This novel won the Hugo Award and the Nebula Award for Best Novel, and the British Fantasy Award. This is what got it on my radar, for sure, and might be where you’ve heard of it. After all, that’s a lot of the big awards, and it’s rare for one book to run away with all of them.

So there must be something for everyone in this book, right? A relatable character, a known world or a well-actualized fictional one. Right? Oh, and it’s about fairies and magic. So the fairies must be well defined, and the magic must have a solid system and explanation.

Or… none of those things.

I don’t know if I can place what makes this story so good. Or why I liked it so very, very much. But I am going to try. So to do that, let me tell you what the book is about. I suppose what follows could be considered spoilers, but only in a basic sense that I tell you about the book, and better yet, let the book tell you about itself.

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Book Review: The Child Thief

Cover of Child Thief by Brom

It took me longer than I expected, but I finally finished The Child Thief by Brom. Just because it took me a while does not mean I did not enjoy the story – because I did, but some of it was finding the time to read, and the other piece was that it took a while to get a grip on what the story was trying to tell. When I did start to see the full picture I definitely wanted to keep reading because I needed to know what would happen.

The biggest thing to remember is this is not the Peter Pan of your childhood. This story is one that takes us to a much darker place where Peter is not just simply a boy and the dreaded Captain is something else entirely.

Part of the reason that Child Thief is so intriguing is due to the fact that it actually combines a couple of different stories that we know and love. One is obviously Peter Pan, which is the most prominent of the stories as Peter is the main protagonist. The other is a little surprising at first and is probably only subtly connected, but it is the Arthurian legends. I will explain more a little bit later, but Brom did a brilliant job of combining these two stories. The other piece is the way they mix the storytelling from Peter to one of the boys that Peter ends up “stealing” away named Nick. We get both of their perspectives, to give us the contrasting viewpoints. This helps give us a connection to someone from the real world that we can understand to help us see what this new world is supposed to be like. Continue reading