Malin’s #CBR5 Review #128: Dark Currents by Jacqueline Carey

Daisy Johanssen grew up in the town of Pemkowet in the Midwest. Her mother lives in a trailer and works as a seamstress, her father is an incubus accidentally summoned during an ill-advised Ouija board session when her mother was a teenager. Of course, you’d think being half-demon would make Daisy unusual in town, but there’s all manner of supernatural beings in Pemkowet, and tourists travel from all over the country to see fairies and trolls and naiads and the like. Hel, the Norse goddess of the underworld keeps the supernatural element in check, and Daisy is her agent in the mortal world, as well as acting as supernatural liaison with the local police department.

When a young, wealthy college kid drowns and everything suggests supernatural involvement, the tourist trade could be seriously affected. The local police are under a lot of pressure, and Hel isn’t all that happy with the situation either. Daisy has to work the case with Cody Fairfax, trying to hide the massive crush on him she’s nurtured since high school. She also has to keep a lid on her volatile temper, as giving into the temptations from her demonic dad could set in motion Armageddon.

Full review on my blog.

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Malin’s #CBR5 Review #125: The Native Star by M.K Hobson

In an alternate Civil War America where magic not only exists, but is changing the world. Warlocks train as elite enforcers for the government, and there are all manner of glorious new inventions helped along by magic. Miss Emily Edwards is a witch living in rural Sierra Nevada, trying to compete against the shiny promises of mail order patent magics. Her adopted father, who taught her everything she knows, is now blind, and they’re facing starvation and possibly worse unless Emily comes up with something clever soon. In her desperation, she casts a love spell on the most prosperous settler in town, but it backfires badly, and when she finds herself with a magical stone embedded in her hand, she’s forced to leave town quickly before she’s driven out.

Reluctantly accepting the aid of the pompous and and condescending college-trained New York warlock Dreadnought Stanton (who was sent to Emily’s little town for unknown reasons), Emily finds herself pursued by several different factions of warlocks, all wanting the magical artifact she carries. They travel from San Francisco across the country, with their straits becoming more and more dire and their enemies more ruthless the closer they get to New York.

Full review on my blog.

Malin’s #CBR5 Review #110: Assassins in Love by Kris DeLake

3.5 stars

In an exciting sci-fi future, on an interstellar cruise ship, rogue assassin Rikki (I seriously can’t remember her surname, it’s not important) is trying to dump a body. While assassination is legal if you have a license and a contract, Rikki’s not a member of the Assassin’s Guild, and generally feels that she doesn’t need anyone controlling her or regulating how she does things. A very attractive man helps her get rid of the body, and then escape the security guards on the ship. One thing leads to another, and the next morning, Rikki discovers that the hot guy, Misha, is the one who actually hired her to perform the hit – trying to observe her technique. He’s the licensed assassin who’s recently been blamed for most of her hits in the region, and he wants her to either join the Assassin’s Guild and start observing the set guidelines, or he’s planning to stop her.

August 2013’s theme for Vaginal Fantasy Hangout (the online book club run by Felicia Day and three of her friends) was space assassins. Having nearly burned myself out reading in July, I figured light-hearted romance was just the thing the doctor ordered. So despite my misgivings, having considered both the spectacularly awful cover (even in a genre which features a lot of bad cover art) and the dumb title, picked, I’m assuming from some sort of generic name generator.

More on my blog.