Tag Archives: urban fantasy

Emma Maree Reviews: Blood and Feathers

Today, for their Road Trip Wednesday question for bloggers, YA Highway asked: What’s the best book you’ve read this August?

Well, read on to find out all about it…

 

Book: Blood and Feathers by Lou Morgan

Series: Blood and Feathers , Book 1

Genre: Fiction/Adult/Urban Fantasy (IMO, it’s perfectly suitable as YA crossover fiction too)

Alice isn’t having the best of days. She was late for work, she missed her bus, and now she’s getting rained on. What she doesn’t know is that her day’s about to get worse: the epic, grand-scale kind of worse that comes from the arrival of two angels who claim everything about her life is a lie.

The war between the angels and the Fallen is escalating; the age-old balance is tipping, and innocent civilians are getting caught in the cross-fire. If the balance is to be restored, the angels must act – or risk the Fallen taking control. Forever.

That’s where Alice comes in. Hunted by the Fallen and guided by Mallory – a disgraced angel with a drinking problem and a whole load of secrets – Alice will learn the truth about her own history… and why the angels want to send her to hell.

What do the Fallen want from her? How does Mallory know so much about her past? What is it the angels are hiding – and can she trust either side?

If you’re familiar with my novel Rebel Against Heaven you might guess that this story is very, very up my street. And you’d be  very, very right.

I preordered this book on the spot after reading that description, waited impatiently for it to arrive, then brought it with me from Nairn, to Inverness, to Stornoway and all the way back beforepassing it on to my dad.

The hierarchy laid out in Lou Morgan’s universe is gloriously detailed, with angels split into choirs under each Archangel with powers related to their choir. As a lady who’s spent far too much time with her nose in books about angelic mythology, the amount of effort put into Blood & Feather’s worldbuilding was great to see.

I had trouble empathising with the leading lady, Alice. She seemed to make a lot of decisions without even hinting at her motivations beforehand, leaving me to follow behind her in the dark without a clue what she was up to. But the other characters more than made up for this. The flawed angels are a world apart from their biblical counterparts, with kind-hearted but battle-hardened alcoholic Mallory, a disgraced angel, being the closest to human while cold, aloof angel Gwyn is his apathetic opposite.  The conversations between Alice and the angels were sharp and witty, keeping the story going at a great pace.

I loved the world created here, and I’m excited to see where else Lou Morgan takes this story in the sequel.

Emma Maree Reviews: Blackbirds

Book: Blackbirds by Chuck Wendig

Series: Miriam Black, Book 1

Genre: Fiction/Adult/Urban Fantasy

Miriam Black knows when you will die. She’s foreseen hundreds of car crashes, heart attacks, strokes, and suicides.

But when Miriam hitches a ride with Louis Darling and shakes his hand, she sees that in thirty days Louis will be murdered while he calls her name. Louis will die because he met her, and she will be the next victim.

No matter what she does she can’t save Louis. But if she wants to stay alive, she’ll have to try.

I absolutely adored this book, and here are a few reasons why:

  • A likeable, vivid lady protagonist with a foul mouth and a brutally honest tongue. If anyone’s a fan of Chuck Wendig’s brilliant TerribleMinds blog and his ‘dubious writing advice’, you’ll feel right at home: they’re different people, but they hold a lot of common ground when it comes to creative swearing.
  • Really well-done present tense and timelines. The story moves between two timelines with short, snappy scenes without getting confusing, and the present tense keeps us right there for every moment of the action.
  • I haven’t read adult fiction in a while, since my main reading focus is YA, and there was something refreshing about the gritty no-holds-barred violence and sex in this story. But it’s not for everyone, of course: I know some of you aren’t a fan of (very gratuitous) gore or profanity, so this might not be the book for you.
  • Balanced, likeable characters. Everyone has a strong visual design (Louis looks like Frankenstein’s monster, and Miriam describes herself as “like something blown in off a dusty highway”) and glimpses of backstory that make even the cruel villain’s sympathetic.
  • That cover! You have to admit, that if some fiiiine, eye-catching artwork.

I’ve embedded the first few pages of the story below, which should give you a good feel for the story:

 

A review copy of the novel was provided by NetGalley/Angry Robot.