Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Loved So Much I Had to Get a Copy for My Personal Library

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, featuring a different top 10 theme each week. This week’s topic is Books I Loved So Much I Had to Get a Copy for My Personal Library.

This does happen for me quite a bit! Sometimes it’ll be an audiobook I’ve listened to that I need to own in print, or maybe I’ll have read either an ARC or e-book or library book and fallen for it so hard that I needed my own copy!

Here are my top ten:

1 . The Emily Starr trilogy by L. M. Montgomery

2. The Good Neighbors (graphic novel trilogy) by Holly Black

3. If It Bleeds by Stephen King

4. Newsflesh trilogy (boxed set) by Mira Grant

5. The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune

6. The Beautiful Ones by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

7. Wonderstruck, The Marvels, and The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick

8. Watch Over Me by Nina LaCour

9. Plain Bad Heroines by emily m. danforth

10. Mythos by Stephen Fry


What books made your list this week?

If you wrote a TTT post this week, please share your link!

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Book Review: Be the Serpent (October Daye, #16) by Seanan McGuire

Title: Be the Serpent
Series: October Daye, #16
Author: Seanan McGuire
Publisher: DAW
Publication date: August 30, 2022
Print length: 384 pages
Genre: Urban fantasy
Source: Purchased
Rating:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

October Daye is finally something she never expected to be: married. All the trials and turmoils and terrors of a hero’s life have done very little to prepare her for the expectation that she will actually share her life with someone else, the good parts and the bad ones alike, not just allow them to dabble around the edges in the things she wants to share. But with an official break from hero duties from the Queen in the Mists, and her family wholly on board with this new version of “normal,” she’s doing her best to adjust.

It isn’t always easy, but she’s a hero, right? She’s done harder.
Until an old friend and ally turns out to have been an enemy in disguise for this entire time, and October’s brief respite turns into a battle for her life, her community, and everything she has ever believed to be true.

The debts of the Broken Ride are coming due, and whether she incurred them or not, she’s going to be the one who has to pay.

Includes an all-new bonus novella! 

Some long-term ongoing fantasy series overstay their welcome. And then there’s October Daye, a series that 100% proves that there’s no such thing as too much or too long, so long as the writing and the plot make it worthwhile.

And in the name of Oberon himself, I’m here to declare that the 16th October Daye book blew me away, caught me in its spell, and will haunt me for the coming year (until #17 comes along).

In Be the Serpent, we pick up two months after the events of the previous book, When Sorrows Come. That book brought the long-awaited wedding of Toby and Tybalt — and being a book about October Daye, hero of the realm and a total bad-ass knight, it also brought plenty of bloodshed, mayhem, attempted overthrow of a kingdom, and an assortment of awful bad guys.

But hey, it ended with happiness! Toby and Tybalt are married — and in book #16, Be the Serpent, they’re living together in wedded bliss. I’m a little peeved that we didn’t actually get to see them enjoying their Disneyland honeymoon (I’d pay good money to see Tybalt on the Dumbo ride), but they had fun, and that’s what counts.

Happiness doesn’t last long, however. As the story opens, a hearing in the Kingdom of the Mists is just concluding when the children of Toby’s closest childhood friend begin to scream as if in dire pain. Rushing to their family home, Toby discovers a scene of blood and heartbreak. It’s almost too much to bear, and how can Toby share such terrible news with her dearest friend?

As the plot unfolds, true terror is revealed. And I really can’t say much more about the plot than that, because it’s a doozy and it took my breath away. What I will say is that events occur that upend Faerie as we know it, and that tie together storylines that go all the way back to the first book in the series.

The ending is a total gutpunch as well, and I can’t think of another book in the series that ended without our heroes being (at least temporarily) in a fairly good or at least safe place. The ending here is upsetting and nightmare-inducing, and I think I’m going to spend the next year really mad at Seanan McGuire for leaving me in such an upset state!

The book includes a bonus novella, Such Dangerous Seas, which is also deeply dark and sorrowful. (As opposed to the novella at the end of When Sorrows Come, which was basically a fun romp through Toby and Tybalt’s wedding reception — which now feels like a brief shining moment of joy before the horrors of Faerie came crashing back down). Such Dangerous Seas features the sea witch, the Luidaeg, one of my favorite characters — but it’s a terribly sad story about her earlier years and the awful things that happened to her.

Be the Serpent is shocking, heart-breaking, and scary as hell. It’s also yet another brilliant showcase for our hero Toby and her chosen family, who band together no matter what. Whatever happens to these characters, they love one another unreservedly, and their family ties, commitment, and loyalty are big pieces of what makes this series so special.

Having to wait a year for the next book is going to be terrible for my well-being! And I guess that’s a pretty clear indication of just how great Be the Serpent is. If you’re an October Daye fan, you’re probably already reading it!

And I’ll say, yet again, that if you haven’t read the October Daye series yet, you’re missing out on something special. Start from the beginning (Rosemary and Rue) — you won’t be able to stop!

Top Ten Tuesday: Completed Series I Wish Had More Books

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, featuring a different top 10 theme each week. This week’s topic is Completed Series I Wish Had More Books.

So… last week, my topic was first books in favorite series that were published over 10 years ago, and I definitely did not look ahead to see what this week’s topic would be. As a result, there’s going to be a lot of books/series in common between last week’s and this week’s lists, but that’s okay!

These are all books and series that I love, and I never mind featuring them in a post.

Ten series that are already done, but which I wish had more books:


The Glamourist Histories by Mary Robinette Kowal

This five-book series has been described as “Jane Austen but magic”, which is okay at a basic level, but just doesn’t convey how absolutely wonderful the characters and world are.


The Expanse by James S. A. Corey

My heart hurt by the time I read the (amazing) conclusion to this 9-book series. Yes, the story is done… but really, I’d happily read more about any of the characters or the worlds of this series.


Newsflesh by Mira Grant

The Newsflesh trilogy blew me away! Who knew zombie books could make me cry? There’s a 4th book that retells certain events from other characters’ perspectives, plus a bunch of spin-off stories, but really and truly, I just want to read more novels about the main characters!


The Parasol Protectorate (and the Parasol-verse at large) by Gail Carriger

I don’t know if it’s really true to say that this series is complete, because the lovely author continues to publish related stories and novellas… but after the five books of the original series, the four books of the Finishing School series, and the four Custard Protocol books, I am highly attached to these characters and would LOVE to see more full-length novels (or another series??) set in this world.


Codex Alera by Jim Butcher

This was such a good series! Six books, great world-building, great story progression — I’d definitely read more!


The Kopp Sisters by Amy Stewart

The seven volumes of this terrific historical fiction series showcase the real-life Kopp sisters as they solve crimes and go off to war in the early 1900s. The author has said that she’s not writing any more Kopp Sisters books any time soon… which could mean never, but since she doesn’t actually say never, I’ll continue to hope for more!


The Mure series by Jenny Colgan

The 5th book in this charming series just came out in June, and comments by the author seem to suggest that the series is now done… but wait! I still have questions! Yes, most characters got a beautifully happy ending, but there are still some loose threads and (I’m sure) plenty more stories to tell. Please, Jenny Colgan????


The Rajes by Sonali Dev

This series of interconnected stories about a large Indian-American family consists of four books retelling Jane Austen classics… But – there are six Jane Austen novels! I’ve read that the Rajes series is now done, but I think I’ll feel incomplete until there are Mansfield Park and Northanger Abbey volumes too!


The Extraordinaries by TJ Klune

This sweet, huggable YA superheroes love story trilogy has everything, and it had a very definitive ending — but can I help it if I love these characters so much that I want to see the rest of their lives too?


Bridgertons by Julia Quinn

I mean, yes, the Netflix version will keep me busy for years to come (I hope), and there are always other Julia Quinn books to read — but I felt a bit misty when I finished the books in the series and had to say good-bye to this incredibly entertaining family!


What series do you wish had more books? Do we have any in common?

If you wrote a TTT post this week, please share your link!

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Book Review: Soul Taken (Mercy Thompson, #13) by Patricia Briggs

Title: Soul Taken (Mercy Thompson, #13)
Author: Patricia Briggs
Publisher: Ace
Publication date: August 23, 2022
Length: 352 pages
Genre: Urban fantasy
Source: Purchased
Rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Mercy Thompson, car mechanic and shapeshifter, must face her greatest fears in this chilling entry in the #1 New York Times bestselling series.

The vampire Wulfe is missing. Since he’s deadly, possibly insane, and his current idea of “fun” is stalking me, some may see it as no great loss. But, warned that his disappearance might bring down the carefully constructed alliances that keep our pack safe, my mate and I must find Wulfe—and hope he’s still alive. As alive as a vampire can be, anyway.

But Wulfe isn’t the only one who has disappeared. And now there are bodies, too. Has the Harvester returned to the Tri-Cities, reaping souls with his cursed sickle? Or is he just a character from a B horror movie and our enemy is someone else?

The farther I follow Wulfe’s trail, the more twisted—and darker—the path becomes. I need to figure out what’s going on before the next body on the ground is mine.

The Mercy Thompson series is one of my very favorites, and Mercy herself is one of my all-time favorite characters! As you can imagine, waiting 2 1/2 years for a new release felt like torture. But never fear, our long wait is over — a new Mercy book is here, and it was very much worth the wait.

Mercy is brave, strong, and fiercely devoted to her mate Adam, to their werewolf pack, and to anyone she sees as under her protection… which, as of several books ago, now extends to anyone (human or supernatural) living in the Tri-Cities area of Washington.

The pack has a sometimes smooth, sometimes uneasy pact with the local vampire seethe, and when their most dangerous vampire goes missing, it’s a sign that great evil is potentially at play. The fact that this vampire also has an unhealthy obsession with Mercy just makes it that much more important that he be found before very bad things start to happen to the people Mercy loves.

As in the rest of the series, there’s plenty of action and danger, and of course, Mercy and Adam end up with their lives in peril… repeatedly. The specifics of this book’s plot won’t make a ton of sense to someone who hasn’t read the rest of the series, so let’s just say that high points include a big reveal about a secret identity, some questioning about the trustworthiness of an old ally, and the reappearance of a deadly foe.

I love Mercy, always, and I especially love her in her quieter moments with Adam, when we see the depth of their connection. I also love every opportunity to see the pack spending time together, whether in battle or playing silly video games (and we get both in this book).

There’s also a brief mention of a continuing plot point from the Mercy-verse’s other series (Alpha & Omega), because these two series take place in the same world and there are characters who appear in both. (Just FYI, if you’re wondering why it’s been 2.5 years since the last Mercy book, it’s because there was an A&O book released in between). It’s only a small scene, one that doesn’t impact this book’s plot significantly, but it’s tantalizing enough to make me eager to see that story pick up again too.

A new Mercy book is always a treat, and Soul Taken made me incredibly happy, except for the moments when I was quaking with fear when a beloved character was at risk (which, let’s face it, is on and off throughout the entire book).

The plot was perhaps a little slighter and/or more opaque than some of the others in the series, but it does move certain characters and situations into interesting new positions for whatever comes next… and whatever comes next, I am absolutely here for it!

And now, it’s back to waiting for the next new release, hopefully in no more than a year… and meanwhile, I can always go back and re-read my favorite moments from the rest of the series!

PS – As always, a note of love for the awesome cover art by Daniel Dos Santos, whose work is just always so beautiful!

Top Ten Tuesday: 10 favorite series starters from over 10 years ago

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, featuring a different top 10 theme each week. This week’s topic is Books I Love That Were Written Over Ten Years Ago.

I know I have a tendency to mention the same favorite books over and over and over again (*cough* Outlander *cough*), so I thought I’d narrow the focus a bit this time around. My list this week highlights books published 10 or more years ago that are the first books in series that I love. Some of these series are still ongoing, some are done — all are amazing!

Note: I’m listing here whether the series are complete, and how many books they include. For some, there are other published works (such as short stories) that fit within the larger stories, but to keep things simple, I’m just listing the number of primary works (novels) per series.

Without further ado, my top ten are:

Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal

Series: The Glamourist Histories
Published: 2010

Completed series – 5 books


Old Man’s War by John Scalzi

Series: Old Man’s War
Published: 2005

Completed series – 6 books


Leviathan Wakes by James S. A. Corey

Series: The Expanse
Published: 2011

Completed series – 9 books


Tempest Rising by Nicole Peeler

Series: Jane True
Published: 2009

Completed series – 6 books


Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire

Series: October Daye
Published: 2009

Ongoing series – 15 currently available; #16 to be released September 2022


A Cold Day for Murder by Dana Stabenow

Series: Kate Shugak
Published: 1992

Ongoing series – 22 currently available; #23 to be released April 2023


Feed by Mira Grant

Series: Newsflesh
Published: 2010

Completed series – 4 books


The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley

Series: Slains / The Scottish Series
Published: 2008

Not exactly a series — 3 interconnected books; all work as stand-alones as well


Kin by Holly Black

Series: The Good Neighbors
Published: 2008

Completed series – 3 graphic novels


The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman

Series: His Dark Materials
Published: 1995

Completed series – 3 books


Do you have any favorite series, either completed or ongoing, that started more than 10 years ago? And back to the official TTT prompt, what are your favorite books from before 2012?

If you wrote a TTT post this week, please share your link!

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Book Review: An Impossible Impostor (Veronica Speedwell, #7) by Deanna Raybourn

Title: An Impossible Impostor
Series: Veronica Speedwell, #7
Author: Deanna Raybourn
Publisher: Berkley
Publication date: February 15, 2022
Length: 336 pages
Genre: Historical fiction
Source: Review copy courtesy of the publisher via NetGalley
Rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

While investigating a man claiming to be the long-lost heir to a noble family, Veronica Speedwell gets the surprise of her life in this new adventure from the New York Times bestselling and Edgar Award-nominated author Deanna Raybourn.

London, 1889. Veronica Speedwell and her natural historian beau Stoker are summoned by Sir Hugo Montgomerie, head of Special Branch. He has a personal request on behalf of his goddaughter, Euphemia Hathaway. After years of traveling the world, her eldest brother, Jonathan, heir to Hathaway Hall, was believed to have been killed in the catastrophic eruption of Krakatoa a few years before.

But now a man matching Jonathan’s description and carrying his possessions has arrived at Hathaway Hall with no memory of his identity or where he has been. Could this man truly be Jonathan, back from the dead? Or is he a devious impostor, determined to gain ownership over the family’s most valuable possessions–a legendary parure of priceless Rajasthani jewels? It’s a delicate situation, and Veronica is Sir Hugo’s only hope.

Veronica and Stoker agree to go to Hathaway Hall to covertly investigate the mysterious amnesiac. Veronica is soon shocked to find herself face-to-face with a ghost from her past. To help Sir Hugo discover the truth, she must open doors to her own history that she long believed to be shut for good.

A new installment in the deliciously smart Veronica Speedwell series is always cause for delight, and book #7 is no exception.

Veronica and Stoker are a well-established couple at this point, but they’ve lost none of their spark or chemistry. Their passion continues to simmer, and they’re fulfilled by their work together on the natural history collection of Lord Rosemorran. But when Sir Hugo Montgomerie of Scotland Yard asks a favor, he’s awfully hard to ignore, and their peaceful moments are interrupted by a call to adventure.

Our fearless duo sets off to the Hathaway estate to discover whether the long-presumed dead eldest son has miraculously returned — which would have enormous ramifications for his surviving siblings, especially the brother who has legally inherited in his stead.

Veronica and Stoker discover a situation much more complicated than expected, further muddled by Veronica’s own distant past which included an acquaintance with the missing Hathaway son. While uncovering the truth, Veronica and Stoker once again end up in mortal peril, fighting for their lives, solving multiple mysteries, and using their wits to find solutions.

It’s all very charming, and the adventure itself is fun even while taking a while to build up stakes. Once our favorite couple are themselves in danger, of course it all escalates and becomes much more dramatic — but even then, the banter and sexy glances and innuendo continue.

I had a few qualms about a certain plot complication which the romantic in me found upsetting, but never fear, it’s more or less resolved by book’s end. The mystery is tied up nicely, although Veronica and Stoker are left in a status that’s less settled than in previous books… so can I have #8 now please???? (Sadly, no — I expect it’ll be another year’s wait for the next one).

As in all the books in this series, the humor is silly and fun, and Veronica is a treat — a fierce, intelligent woman of science who’s not afraid to follow her own path, including becoming romantically and physically involved with a man who’s very much her partner and equal.

And really, when else would we get to read a book that includes such delightful words and phrases as “fritillary”, “amatory arts”, “passamenterie”, “osculatory”, and “inanition”? Not to mention a quick little aside in which a character educates us on the origins of the bandanna?

An Impossible Impostor is just a super fun adventure. Each book in the series goes by too quickly, and I always tell myself to slow down and savor them… but I never do. An Impossible Impostor could potentially work as a stand-alone mystery. The key players and background are explained well enough to be able to follow along. But, I don’t really recommend this approach — you’d be missing out on all the delicious history of Veronica and Stoker’s relationship, as well as their individual backstories, and truly, those are too good to miss!

If you want to get to know Veronica Speedwell, I’d say start with book #1, A Curious Beginning. I’m pretty sure you’ll be hooked! And isn’t it nice to know that there are already another six books to enjoy after that one?

This series has become one of my favorites. Check it out!

Top Ten Tuesday: Freebie — Series that I haven’t kept up with or finished

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, featuring a different top 10 theme each week. This week’s topic is a freebie, meaning we all pick whatever topic we feel like writing about.

I’m going to focus on series that I’ve at least started, or read a few books from, but haven’t finished. Some of these I intend to get back to, and some I likely never will. If you’ve read any of these and think I should commit to moving forward, please let me know!

My top 10 are:

The Expanse series by James S. A. Corey

Books I’ve read: #1 – 5
Books remaining: 4
Will I continue? Absolutely. I love these books — but they’re so big and involved that I need time in between volumes.

The Witcher series by Andrzej Sapkowski

Books I’ve read: I’ve gotten through 4
Books remaining: 4 more
Will I continue? Maybe. I’ve lost a little steam, and I’m kind of far ahead of the Netflix series. I’ll probably hold off for a while and then see if I feel like getting back into the books.

Cormoran Strike books by Robert Galbraith (JK Rowling)

Books I’ve read: #1 – 4
Books remaining: One more so far
Will I continue? I’d say no. I’m so turned off by JKR at this point that I no longer want to buy new books or support her. (Although as a die-hard Harry Potter fan, I can’t say I won’t be spending money on her works at all… inconsistent, I know, but there you have it.)

Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Books I’ve read: #1 – 3
Books remaining: 3
Will I continue? Probably not. I really enjoyed the first three books, but there was a satisfying ending to the original trilogy, and I haven’t felt the need to continue. But feel free to try to convince me otherwise!

Discworld by Terry Pratchett

Books I’ve read: #1 – 4
Books remaining: Thousands. (Actually, depending how you count, I think it’s 37, but it’s hard to say how many books are in the main series vs related spin-offs. I think.)
Will I continue? Maybe… ??? I started with the grand idea of reading one book per month, in release order, but only stuck with it for 4 months. People warned me not to go chronologically, but did I listen? I may dip back into the Discworld books, but not any time soon.

All Souls series by Deborah Harkness

Books I’ve read: #1 – 3
Books remaining: One (so far)
Will I continue? Yes. I loved the original trilogy, and I have a copy of the 4th book, Time’s Convert. The only reason I haven’t read it yet is that I think I’d need a major refresher on the original books before I read it. Maybe once the TV series airs its 3rd season, I’ll feel more prepared.

Paper Girls by Brian K. Vaughan

Books I’ve read: #1 – 4
Books remaining: 2
Will I continue? It’s possible — but I’d have to start over again at the beginning if I were going to have any hope of following the story. I did like the volumes I read, so maybe eventually.

The Murderbot Diaries by Martha Wells

Books I’ve read: #1 – 4
Books remaining: 1 novel and 1 novella, so far, more to follow
Will I continue? Yes. I really do want to read more Murderbot! Just haven’t made time yet.

Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear

Books I’ve read: #1 – 2
Books remaining: 14 so far
Will I continue? Unlikely. I enjoyed the first book, wasn’t as gripped by the second, and don’t feel much of a need to continue.

The Poldark Saga by Winston Graham

Books I’ve read: #1 – 7
Books remaining: 5
Will I continue? Possibly. I enjoyed them all so far, but in conjunction with watching the TV series. Now that the show has wrapped up, I have less incentive to keep going with the books, which move beyond the events covered by the show.

Have you read any of these series? And if so, which do you think I should make a priority to continue?

What TTT topic did you choose this week? Please share your links!

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Book Review: When Sorrows Come (October Daye, #15) by Seanan McGuire

Title: When Sorrows Come (October Daye, #15)
Author: Seanan McGuire
Publisher: DAW
Publication date: September 14, 2021
Print length: 384 pages
Genre: Urban fantasy
Source: Purchased
Rating:

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Toby’s getting married! Now in hardcover, the fifteenth novel of the Hugo-nominated, New York Times-bestselling October Daye urban fantasy series.

It’s hard to be a hero. There’s always something needing October “Toby” Daye’s attention, and her own desires tend to fall by the wayside in favor of solving the Kingdom’s problems. That includes the desire to marry her long-time suitor and current fiancé, Tybalt, San Francisco’s King of Cats. She doesn’t mean to keep delaying the wedding, it just sort of…happens. And that’s why her closest friends have taken the choice out of her hands, ambushing her with a court wedding at the High Court in Toronto. Once the High King gets involved, there’s not much even Toby can do to delay things…

…except for getting involved in stopping a plot to overthrow the High Throne itself, destabilizing the Westlands entirely, and keeping her from getting married through nothing more than the sheer volume of chaos it would cause. Can Toby save the Westlands and make it to her own wedding on time? Or is she going to have to choose one over the other?

Includes an all-new bonus novella! 

I’m willing to put a stake in the ground and state definitely that all October Daye books deserve at least 4 stars. (Well, maybe not quite books 2 & 3, but the series was still finding its footing at that point, so we’ll just pretend those were growing pains.)

15 books in, I’m at that difficult point in a series where I love the characters so, so much that I just want them all to be perfectly happy all the time. But where’s the excitement in that? So naturally, even though this book is very much about our lead character’s wedding, knowing October Daye, it absolutely can’t go off without a hitch. And lots of blood.

In When Sorrows Come, Toby and Tybalt are finally almost at their wedding day. Toby very much wants to marry Tybalt, but also very much does not want anything to do with wedding planning. Just tell her when to show up, basically. And so, the whole gang is off to Toronto, to the demesne of the High King, to celebrate the couple’s big day.

And of course, they stumble right into a nefarious plot to overthrow the High King, complete with Doppelgangers, assassination attempts, and a household thrown into chaos. What’s Toby to do but wade into the thick of things, figure out the deadly plot, and still make it to her wedding in one piece?

The story is action-packed, but also leaves time for Toby to reflect on how her relationship with Tybalt has grown over time, her relationships with the other members of her found family, and what might come next in the tangled world of Faerie.

All the favorite characters are here, Toby has some lovely reunions with long-lost connections, and there are some teary-eyed sentimental beats that left me feeling swept away. Plus, as I mentioned, buckets of blood.

When Sorrows Come includes the humor and wit that feature in all Seanan McGuire books. I adore the writing! Some choice selections from minor moments:

One entire wall was ovens and stoves and open holes leading to oceans of flame that probably had some reasonable name like “pizza ovens” or “big fucking baking place,” but looked to me a lot more like gateways into the human concept of Hell.

… and …

Maybe the knowe understood that we really weren’t civilized people and was just trying to save us the embarrassment of me forgetting which fork was supposed to go in my salad versus which fork was supposed to go in the person I was trying to kill.

… and …

If everyone got to stab someone on my wedding day except for me, I was going to be even more annoyed than I already was.

… and …

Being fae doesn’t make you immune to being a massive nerd. It just gives you more time to really plumb the depths of your potential nerdery.

You get the idea.

I gave this book 4.5 stars instead of 5, mainly because the sedition plotline really is a way to prolong the lead-up to the wedding, and the more it stretched on, the more annoyed I got at the delay. Just let Toby and Tybalt get married already!

Needless to say, the book ends with the wedding, and includes a bonus novella at the end, “And With Reveling”, set at the wedding reception, that adds a nice little finish filled with humor and love.

It’s often a fear that in an ongoing series, once the wedding happens, the story is basically done. But clearly, Toby and Tybalt getting married doesn’t equate to a Happily-Ever-After, The End, Nothing More to Say. There are many challenges and adventures ahead of them, and I can’t wait to see what happens next.

After their Land of Disney honeymoon.

In case it isn’t perfectly clear, this is my favorite urban fantasy series, and I recommend it to one and all. Start at the beginning with Rosemary and Rue (which I just re-read via audio this week), and keep going. It gets better and better, and you’ll love the characters as much as I do.

**********

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Cover reveal: Soul Taken (Mercy Thompson, #13) by Patricia Briggs

Hot off the social media feeds! It’s the cover reveal for the next Mercy Thompson book by Patricia Briggs! Soul Taken will be released in March 2022. As always, the absolutely gorgeous cover art is by Daniel Dos Santos, who is such an incredibly talented artist.

So beautiful!

Here’s the blurb for the plot:

Mercy Thompson, car mechanic and shapeshifter, must face her greatest fears in this chilling entry in the #1 New York Times bestselling series.

The vampire Wulfe is missing. Since he’s deadly, possibly insane, and his current idea of “fun” is stalking Mercy, some may see it as no great loss. But when he disappears, the Tri-Cities pack is blamed. The mistress of the vampire seethe informs Mercy that the pack must produce Wulfe to prove their innocence, or the loose alliance between the local vampires and werewolves is over.

So Mercy goes out to find her stalker—and discovers more than just Wulfe have disappeared. Someone is taking people from locked rooms, from the aisles of stores, and even from crowded parties. And these are not just ordinary people but supernatural beings. Until Wulfe vanished, all of them were powerless loners, many of whom quietly moved to the Tri-Cities in the hope that the safety promised by Mercy and Adam’s pack would extend to them as well.

Who is taking them? As Mercy investigates, she learns of the legend of the Harvester, who travels by less-trodden paths and reaps the souls that are ripe with a great black scythe. . . . 

My preorder has been placed. Let the waiting begin!

Preorder at Amazon: https://amzn.to/2U8ei7A

Check out the artist’s work: https://www.dandossantos.com/

Book Review: Wild Sign (Alpha & Omega, #6) by Patricia Briggs

Title: Wild Sign (Alpha & Omega, #6)
Author: Patricia Briggs
Publisher: Ace
Publication date: March 16, 2021
Length: 368 pages
Genre: Urban fantasy
Source: Purchased
Rating:

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Mated werewolves Charles Cornick and Anna Latham must discover what could make an entire community disappear — before it’s too late — in this thrilling entry in the #1 New York Times bestselling Alpha and Omega series.

In the wilds of the Northern California mountains, all the inhabitants of a small town have gone missing. It’s as if the people picked up and left everything they owned behind. Fearing something supernatural might be going on, the FBI taps a source they’ve consulted in the past: the werewolves Charles Cornick and Anna Latham. But Charles and Anna soon find a deserted town is the least of the mysteries they face.

Death sings in the forest, and when it calls, Charles and Anna must answer. Something has awakened in the heart of the California mountains, something old and dangerous — and it has met werewolves before. 

March is such a wonderful time of year — because every March, there’s a new Patricia Briggs book! This year’s new release is book #6 in her Alpha & Omega series, while last year gave us a new Mercy Thompson book. Both series are amazing (and are connected), and I love them to pieces. So, three cheers for March and the release of Wild Sign!

In Wild Sign, we start with a moment of domestic joy for Charles and Anna, two fierce werewolves who are mated, married, and madly in love. I will never get tired of seeing them together and enjoying their undeniable chemistry.

Their sweet time together is interrupted by a knock on the door — it’s two FBI agents, unexpectedly showing up on pack territory, presenting them with a mystery that they need help with, as well as proposing an ongoing alliance between them and the werewolves.

The mystery is relevant to the pack because it occurred on land owned by the pack: In an off-the-grid settlement in the wilds of a California wilderness, a small town of people has completely disappeared without a trace. There’s no evidence that the residence have resettled elsewhere — no one has heard from any of them in months, and no sign of them can be found. Something otherworldly may be at play, and since the land is pack-owned, that makes it pack business.

Accompanied by dangerous (but funny) pack member Tag, Charles and Anna set off to investigate what happened to the people of Wild Sign, what lurks in the mountains there, and how to stop the evil forces that seem to be at play.

The adventure is immediate, as is the danger, and there were moments that really and truly set me on edge, particularly as Anna seems to be at risk and the threat to her is huge. The story behind what happened at Wild Sign is creepy, and Patricia Briggs masterfully unfolds the horror in a way that lets it build slowly until a terrifying picture emerges.

There’s a surprise twist in the epilogue that apparently has the fan community all a-buzz, but I actually thought it was a pretty cool development that will certainly have repercussions in both the Alpha & Omega and Mercy books down the line. I won’t say more about it, but it’s definitely a lot to think about!

I love Charles and Anna so much as characters, and love the rest of their pack too. Wild Sign also gives us some long-withheld backstory on key characters Bran and Leah, which I found fascinating, and I can wait to see what happens next for all of them.

The Alpha & Omega series is absolutely wonderful, and I just can’t get enough. The first book in the series is actually a novella, and it’s one of my favorite pieces of urban fantasy writing of all time. If you haven’t had the pleasure of reading these books yet, I highly recommend picking up a copy of Alpha and Omega!

For readers who are already fans of the series, of course you’ll want to read Wild Sign. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed! Another fantastic read in a fantastic series. My only complaint is having to wait another year for the next book in this world!