The Qwillery | category: Kelly Armstrong


The Qwillery

A blog about books and other things speculative

Melanie's Week in Review - February 19, 2017

Melanie's Week in Review - February 19, 2017

I'm back! This is my first WIR since last January. Did you miss me? I have been reading debuts and they get full reviews and I have been a bit slow at reading other books. Although I am back now with the books I have read in between debuts. Let's get to it. What did I read?

Melanie's Week in Review - February 19, 2017
I received Kelley Armstrong's novella Lost Souls from the publisher via NetGalley a few weeks go. This story is set in the world of the author's Cainsville series with Gabriel on the case to debunk a popular urban legend of a girl in a white dress hitchhiking on a quiet back road. Gabriel is a lawyer and wants to solve the case but his investigator (and love interest?) Olivia is out of town. Determined the solve the mystery Gabriel has to face his past in order to find the clues that leads him to the woman in white.

I haven't read any of the book from the Cainsville series but I still enjoyed this novella. The story was told through POVs from two of series' characters - Gabriel and the supernatural Patrick. Through their inner dialogue we get to learn both about the opposite character but also about the background characters such as Olivia and her boyfriend Ricky. I really enjoyed how the urban legend played out and thought it had just the right amount of creepy....just like a good urban legend. Fans of this series need to check out Lost Souls.

Melanie's Week in Review - February 19, 2017
Another book I received from NetGalley was The Turn by Kim Harrison. This is the prequel to The Hollows series and set in the late 60's. Trisk is a woman and dark elf trying to make a name for herself in a male, light elf dominated world. When her genetically modified tomato gets hacked and becomes the carrier for a virus that kills off hundreds of thousand humans Trisk is left on the run in order to save herself, her race and humanity.

I really liked The Hollows series with Rachel, Ivy and the caustically funny fairy Jenks. I am not sure what I was expected with The Turn but I really struggled to finish it. Many of the characters were back as their younger selves but almost unrecognisable. Trent was particularly loathsome. I kept trying to find out if it was the same Trent from the original series as I couldn't believe how horrid he was and wondered how he could actually become Rachel's love interest 30-40 years later. I think that Harrison spent too much time building up the conditions to have the virus released via tomatoes and could have spent more time after the tomato induced apocalypse. For big fans of the Hollows series I wouldn't be in a rush to read this one. If you haven't read any of the series then maybe start with The Turn which will make the other books all that much better.

That is it for me this week. Fingers crossed with more for me to tell you about next week.

Lost Souls
A Cainsville Novella
Subterranean Press, December 15, 2016
       eBook, 192 pages
Subterranean Press,  March 31, 2017
       Hardcover, 192 pages
Cover by Xaviere Daumarie

Melanie's Week in Review - February 19, 2017
The disappearing hitchhiker is one of the hoariest urban legends, and no one knows that better than Gabriel Walsh, a lawyer who grew up on folklore and myth. When author of books on the supernatural Patrick brings Gabriel a case of a hitchhiking woman in white who vanished on a country road after accepting a ride from a businessman, Gabriel knows the Cainsville elder is just trying to wheedle into his good graces. But Gabriel is a man in need of a mystery, one that will get him back into someone else’s good graces. His investigator, Olivia Taylor-Jones, has blown town supposedly on a simple vacation. But when she left there was a rift between them and…he misses her.

Gabriel is well aware the only thing Olivia loves more than a good mystery is a weird one, and this hitchhiker case more than fits the bill. As Gabriel digs into the story, he’s forced to face ghosts of his own and admit that the woman in white isn’t the only one who has lost her way.

With Lost Souls, New York Times bestselling author Kelley Armstrong weaves an unmissable novella-length tale connected to her fan-favorite Cainsville series.

The Turn
  The Hollows Begins with Death
Gallery Books, February 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 448 pages

Melanie's Week in Review - February 19, 2017
#1 New York Times bestselling author Kim Harrison returns to her beloved Hollows series with The Turn, the official prequel to the series that will introduce you to a whole new side of Rachel Morgan's world as they've never seen it before!

Can science save us when all else fails?

Trisk and her hated rival, Kal, have the same goal: save their species from extinction.

But death comes in the guise of hope when a genetically modified tomato created to feed the world combines with the government's new tactical virus, giving it an unexpected host and a mode of transport. Plague rises, giving the paranormal species the choice to stay hidden and allow humanity to die, or to show themselves in a bid to save them.

Under accusations of scientific misconduct, Trisk and Kal flee across a plague-torn United States to convince leaders of the major paranormal species to save their supposedly weaker kin, but not everyone thinks humanity should be saved, and Trisk fights the prejudices of two societies to prove that not only does humanity have something to offer, but that long-accepted beliefs against women, dark magic, and humanity itself can turn to understanding; that when people are at their worst that the best show their true strength, and that love can hold the world together as a new balance is found.

Review: Four Summoner’s Tales by Kelley Armstrong, Christopher Golden, David Liss, and Jonathan Maberry

Four Summoner’s Tales
Authors:  Kelley Armstrong, Christopher Golden, David Liss, and Jonathon Maberry
Publisher:  Gallery Books, September 17, 2013
Format:  Trade Paperback and eBook, 336 pages
List Price:  $16.00 U.S.
ISBN:  9781451696684
Review Copy:  Provided by the Publisher

Review: Four Summoner’s Tales by Kelley Armstrong, Christopher Golden, David Liss, and Jonathan Maberry
Four bestselling authors. One hellraising premise.
What if the dead could be summoned from their graves—for a price? What if a quartet of distinctive storytellers took a stab at this deceptively simple idea—on a dare? The answers lie here, in Four Summoner’s Tales, as these acclaimed writers accept the challenge and rise to the occasion—in four brilliantly chilling ways. It’s all in the execution. . .

“SUFFER THE CHILDREN” BY KELLEY ARMSTRONG, #1 New York Times bestselling author
A preacher and his adopted daughter must solve the mystery of the newcomers to their isolated 19th century village—men who are preying on residents' overwhelming grief with promises to bring the stricken back to life.

“PIPERS” BY CHRISTOPHER GOLDEN, New York Times bestselling author
Twenty-three people have already lost their lives to the ruthless cartel terrorizing their small Texas border town. But one man has a plan for revenge, if the town’s survivors will let him use their loved ones—to raise an army of the undead.

“A BAD SEASON FOR NECROMANCY” BY DAVID LISS, National bestselling author
In merry old England, a rascally con man stumbles upon a book for raising the dead. But instead of using it to make money by reviving relatives for the rich, he'll do just the opposite. Because some family skeletons need to stay buried.

“ALIVE DAY” BY JONATHAN MABERRY, New York Times bestselling author
In war-torn Afghanistan, a U.S. military operative and his team face off against an ancient horror during a harrowing off-the-books search-and-rescue mission.

Doreen’s Thoughts

What a great premise – four different authors take on the same concept, raising the dead for a price! Even though the stories were basically the same, as the tagline said, “It’s all in the execution. . .”

Kelley Armstrong’s ‘Suffer the Children’ takes place in the backwoods of Canada during the late 19th Century. In it, Addie is a young fosterling being raised by Preacher and his wife, Sophia. After a tragic epidemic killed most of the children in the village, a peddler and his old assistant come into town offering to raise the children – for a price. What follows next is a sad tale as parents are asked the question – what are you willing to pay to bring back your loved one? Armstrong does a terrific job as she shifts her perspective back and forth between Addie and Preacher in telling the tale.

Christopher Golden’s story, ‘Pipers,’ raises an army of the dead to face the cartel that has been terrorizing their small Texas border town and riffs on the story of ‘The Pied Piper.” Golden’s main character, Zeke Prater, loses his daughter during a massive cartel drive-by attack and then takes up an offer to get revenge for her murder. Along with 22 other “proxies” - family members willing to raise the dead, Prater uses a bone pipe and blood magic to raise the girl. When the group of avengers is double-crossed, things go south quickly. Out of all of the stories, I liked the ending to this one the least. But Golden does a great job describing how the dead are healed as they come back to life, and the ending definitely was in keeping with the overall premise of the four stories.

David Liss uses medieval England as the setting for his “A Bad Season for Necromancy.” His con man, Reginald January, takes on the persona of a gentleman of leisure so that he might secure for himself a wealthy bride. But when he discovers a book for raising the dead, he uses it as a threat against a group of Four Widows and their entourage who have acquired their wealth through the deaths of relatives. When they refuse to pay his blackmail, he raises a dead husband in revenge and, at that point, loses control of his own power. He winds up raising his own father to get him out of his dilemma. This story was very interesting as its use of language mimicked stories from that time period.

Lastly, Jonathan Maberry sets his character, Captain Joe Ledger, in the middle of a war zone in Afghanistan with three other military team members in an effort to rescue another lost team. While I don’t typically enjoy militaristic stories, the addition of an elder demon/deity was a nice touch. The story itself flashes back to the past, focusing on the first team’s efforts and how their mission went wrong, before jumping to the present, where the second team tries to recreate the story and find the lost team members. The story is dark and graphically violent, with what seem to be flesh-eating zombies in thrall to the demon/deity.

Overall, the stories were basically the same – what happens when someone offers to bring back the dead, but the delivery of each author was distinct and unique. As mentioned before, the premise bring up many questions – what would you be willing to give to have your loved one restored to life? Are you willing to pay the ultimate sacrifice, a life for a life? If you do pay, what will you bring back? Four Summoner’s Tales was an experiment that delivered well on its premise.

Melanie's Week in Review - February 19, 2017Review: Four Summoner’s Tales by Kelley Armstrong, Christopher Golden, David Liss, and Jonathan Maberry

Report "The Qwillery"

Are you sure you want to report this post for ?