The Dresden Files: Storm Front


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First off, let me say that I was regarding this book with a huge amount of skepticism. Looking at the cover the man reminded me of people I knew in High School, people I did not at all like [I mean like specific people here lol not a generalization though I mean to be fair I hate everyone equally].

But it was for a book club, it was short, and it was a Wizard Private Investigator. I mean…you all know by now. MYSTERY IS MY WEAKNESS [And Sci-fi!]

So I rounded up my rating to four stars on GoodReads but it is a 3.5 in my books, a solid fun read, but had its issues.

Note: This is the first of The Dresden Files

Pros:
– Mystery and Fantasy a bit of a modern-day sprinkling of noir as far as it goes the office with the creaky fan with the mysterious woman client.
– We are getting a really awesome urban fantasy world.
– The author could really make me chuckle with some of the things he had our dear Wizard say
– It leaves you wanting to know more, what about this kind of mysterious White Council, when do we get to know more about Mac the Pub owner, how will his friendship with Murphy go after this?
– It’s fun and easy, it’s not there to make you think, but it’s not a bore either.
– Talking Skull ❤  Bob is literally the best part of this
– The reverence fairies have for pizza, I connected with them on a spiritual level
– The fact that Harry couldn’t really interact with technology, it was pretty amusing most of the time
– Deborah Chester was a Professor of his, I love her, she wrote my absolutely favorite Sci-Fi trilogy [*coughs and unashamedly links you back to the Sci-Fi picks post*]
– I want to go to Mac’s Pub, and I want a steak sandwich. Now please and thank you.
– A nice easy way of world building [gets a little too explanatory as Harry’s narrating it to you, but, overall enjoyable!]

Cons:
– I hated Harry most of the time. I hate how he saw the female characters but I could respect that this was done from his point of view so we don’t really know how the women are, only how he sees them [for the love of all that is good, please someone tell me he gets less horrible with this] I mean he basically is a chauvinist
– How are women attracted to him? I’m sorry but if my husband didn’t shower for a week, I would not be like -tosses bedroom eyes- [And I would hope he would throw my ass in the shower if the roles were reversed] But more to the point of it,
– At one point I wanted to take Murphy and shake the living crap out of her, she got so annoying and it seemed to really contradict the fact that they were supposed to have had trust in the first place, it didn’t feel like they did, to begin with in my opinion.
– So, someone brought up a good point that had been nagging me at the back of my mind in their Goodreads review; WHY DOES HE CONTINUOUSLY NOT HAVE HIS STAFF? THERE IS NOT ENOUGH WIZARDY THINGS FROM THE WIZARD
– Don’t read this for strong female characters, you’ll be filled with cliches, and, that works with some, like Mac, but not for the others
– Harry wears a duster and boots with sweatpants at one point, I was already annoyed that he wore the duster. This pushed me too far, I nearly screeched and flipped a table over
– This is no literary masterpiece, and a lot of times Butcher’s writing will get awkward and clunky but he always smooths it out at the end. But, don’t read this to be filled with meaningful insight.

A quick fun read I’ll be reading more Dresden Files, but, if the lack of depth to the female characters and Harry’s wardrobe continues, I may have to rate down more.

February Wrap-Up

Ugh, February is only a few days shorter than the other months but it feels like it just sped by in two weeks, amiright?

So I’ll put what books I read, include the links to their Goodreads if you’re interested, that way that saves this post from being HUGE. Anything with () Means I don’t have a blog review/it isn’t up yet, but the rest do and you’re welcome to click on my reviews page to go scope them out!

I’ll also talk about my February book haul and my March aspirations, I’m finishing a book tonight so I’ll reserve the review for that until March 1!

What Did I Read This Month:

Stalking Jack the Ripper


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Boneseeker: Here Walk the Dead


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Hashtag Authentic


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Betty Church and the Suffolk Vampire


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Eden Chip


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The Spitfire Girls


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The Hound of Death


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In Search of a Witch’s Soul


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Bloom: A Monster Love Novella


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Dead Man’s Blues


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The Parlor Girl’s Guide (To Hell, apparently)


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Serving the Servant: Remembering Kurt Cobain


(Review to come in mid to late March)
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Infinite Dark Volume 1


(No Review, thriller comic, good, but not much to it)
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Seraphin


(Very whimsical children’s story/Children’s Picture Book, apparently someone else thought this had some Pedophile message…I didn’t really get that, but like they were just friends?? And also they never say that anyone is a kid?? Idk, maybe I’m misreading! It was just a man and his friend who built his house and a musical instrument and had tea together by the fire…..so…maybe I’m missing subtext, idk again. )
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Star Collector Volume 1


(Western Manga, love manga but this one was missing some depth to the characters)
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Book of Dust: La Belle Sauvage


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Storm Front


(Review to come tomorrow!)
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February Book Haul

 

Favorite Read this Month?

A tie between La Belle Sauvage and Serving the Servant!

Also, The Priory of the Orange Tree showed up as I was belatedly writing this!

Highlights:

-I did my first Bookstagram Challenge! Posting my final picture after this! [#Februarylibrary19]
– I’ve hit nearly 150 followers on my blog!
– This is my 50th Post
– I’ve signed up for my first Blogtour(s) (Coming to you April-May)
– I found out I’ll be receiving my first physical review copy all thanks to Kal @ Reader Voracious spreading the word about an amazing book, Anna Undreaming!
– I got my first blog tag(s)! THANK YOU GUYS!
– I’ve started my spreadsheets and a new notebook to keep things tidier this week (you’ll notice Kal’s blog is linked right to those amazing spreadsheets as she is spreadsheet Queen)
– This month was a nice easy ride compared to next month!

Dead Man’s Blues


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First off! I was scared when I saw this book was longer than the first and I remembered the pacing issue I had with it at times.

Bottom line on pacing? I had nothing to worry about.

I also was a bit timid, wondering if this was going to be very formulaic in the end, and of course, there should be something consistent in mysteries/crime, but I pretty much had nothing to worry about. I would say this work was the perfecting of his first book in this quartet and I CANNOT wait to read the third one now.

I was on the edge of my seat the last 75 pages or so, and I was actually super mad and was going to give a piece of my mind over something that crushed my soul that happened in the book [no spoilers so you’ll have to read and guess what part it was] but he just did right by the readers and everything fell into place and instead of getting mad I was doing some odd jazz hands because I was too tired to let out a fangirl squeal.

Pros:
– Pacing is so much better, that the 475 pages did not feel sluggish or unnecessary
– We get to grow closer to Ida as readers, you really start rooting for her even more as the first novel was more like root for Michael (and Ida).
– Louis Armstrong returns though not as much, BUT, when he does appear it doesn’t feel like he was detracting from the story at all
– Al Capone is in this
– Cute scrappy Doggo
– Celestin has found his groove and this novel is better than Axeman’s Jazz not only in pacing but in the investigative bits, the first novel felt like maybe he was taking too long to set up, this time he hit the ground running and you weren’t waiting around for something to happen.
– The minor characters served a much greater purpose and tied in with the main characters brilliantly

Cons:
– If you don’t like the ‘gimmick’ of having Louis Armstrong or Al Capone in a book, you’ll hate this lol
– There’s less Michael and he seems to fade into the background a little
– It was intense at times
– He takes a few small liberties with history but he does correctly tell you the layout of events at the back of the book, which didn’t bother me, but could bother some (nothing crazily drastic mind you)
– He trips your heart out, stuffs it in a bag with some rocks and throws it over the Hoover Dam

I can’t really find too many faults with this one, I’ve given it five stars on GoodReads and added it to my favorites shelf, I thought he fixed every problem I had with The Axeman’s Jazz and I can’t wait until my library gets the third book of the City Blues Quartet; The Mobster’s Lament, coming out March 21 in the UK, it’s set in New York this time and we’ll be dealing with Castello and having Ida and Michael continue on as the two main protagonists. (The 3rd Skull in the featured image is the one that will be on the cover of The Mobster’s Lament)

In Search of a Witch’s Soul

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Human, private detective Anna Caill isn’t keen on the prohibition of magic enacted by the 18th Amendment, but she won’t deny it’s good for business. The coppers couldn’t care less about the witches’ problems, giving her any number of clients to choose from.

When mysterious witch Jesse Hunt saunters into her office, he and his case will test her limits. While a killer stalks the magical underworld, Anna is hired to find Jesse’s friend, the high priest of an ancient coven.

As her case unravels, Anna is forced to confront her addiction to a dark spell in this urban fantasy noir.

1920s, prohibition exists but not as we know it, it’s a prohibition on magic. Anna Caill a flapper girl and private eye who helps Witches (which are both men and women) who come to her with cases. Not to mention she goes against the 18th amendment to use the Living Memory spell whenever she can to help ease the pain she’s been in from losing a loved one.

Jesse Hunt comes in with what seems a pretty straight forward missing person’s case with a person not really missing, just run away, but why is she so drawn to Jesse Hunt? And is this case as straight forward as she thought?

[Trigger Warning: Character death(s), some steamy love scenes in general if that’s a thing that may be a no for you or a trigger]

Pros:
-Guys…GUYS. It’s prohibition era, NOIR urban fantasy! IT IS A MYSTERY WITH FANTASY [I am freaking out!]
-Quick, fast-paced read
-Such a great integration of magic into the 1920s setting
-1920s slang even used throughout the narration not just when characters talk
-Jesse Hunt is pretty cool
-Jack is very cool
-Small twist in the epilogue that I hope means we get to see more of Caill!!!
-Caill is an awesome flapper who solves freakin’ mysteries and helps out witches.

Cons:
-More erotic than I thought? Which isn’t necessarily a con but it really just goes wham bam and you’re peering around you wondering if anyone can see you blushing.
-1920s slang may seem trite to some instead of immersive
-Jesse Hunt may be eye-roll inducing for the first 60% bahaha
– You may find it too predictable [In Lieber’s defense I would imagine that she meant it to be predictable to us, it was supposed to be a surprise for Caill, not us lol]
-May have tropes you hate that I don’t want to give away too much and give out spoilers, but some usual romance tropes, a bit of a love triangle.

This isn’t my usual thing as far as reading something with steamy scenes but I loved it and just read it in like a handful of hours between two sittings last night and this morning. I think Lieber has a fantastic voice and I really hope there’s more to this! IF NOT I GOT SOME WORDS FOR HER!

[I received an eARC copy of this in exchange for my honest review via NetGalley, here is the GoodReads Link]