Another day, another set of quick mini-reviews written while I work up the energy to shower my sick-sweat off. If you missed my reviews of books three and four in Kelley Armstrong’s Women of the Otherworld series you can find them here. Below are books seven and eight, because they’re the next ones I decided to read and I’m reading (and reviewing) at least a book a week this year. More details can be found here, a list to the books I’ve read (and reviewed) this year can be found here. Now on to the reviews!
I’m not a huge fan of this cover, the pendant doesn’t really tie in and it looks far more risqué than the book actually is. I also don’t like the weird photo shopped in moon in the bottom left-why?
No Humans Involved
I enjoyed this book. Jaime’s job and personality make for a fun story, and it was good to see both Jaime and Jeremy from a more personal perspective. Jeremy’s family life gets hinted at a little, but I haven’t read any of the Pack Otherworld books recently enough to remember his backstory in any detail. Nevertheless, the idea of evolving supernatural talents is an interesting one, I haven’t read Stolen (book 2) in a while, but I imagine if I’d done a quick re-read even more nods would have become apparent.
The setting for this book is not a classic ‘closed in’ mystery, but it maintains the tension because of that feel. The larger-than-life characters prevalent in tv and spiritualism made for a fun cast in this book, though I think a more drawn out storyline featuring Jaime and television producer shenanigans wouldn’t have been half so entertaining.
Savannah has grown into a formidable lady, which is great to see. I’d forgotten how much of a character Eve becomes in the series, but I felt like her inclusion in this book was a little bit awkward. It felt like she was kept out of the way so that things couldn’t get cleared up too quickly, and in general the plot in No Humans Involved got solved in a pretty roundabout, more-luck-than-skill kinda way. I may as well keep up the warnings, and mention that this book mentions ritualistic killings, child murder and animal abuse. If you’d prefer to avoid reading about that, I don’t blame you, but you should probably skip this book.
Overall, though, (heavy warnings aside) No Humans Involved is a funny, light read with an interesting mystery, dashing heroes and dastardly villains. What more do you need?
I don’t like this cover either, what mask is that? It looks like a Goosebumps book and I don’t like it. The tagline is good though, I approve of the tagline
Hope and Karl are some of my favourites, this book (while a little Hollywood in plot), is plain fun to read. Guy’s gang allows for an exploration of youthful rebellion, and the consequences of living without a support system as a part of a minority.
Hope’s struggle with herself and her identity, as well as her personal relationships, make for some surprisingly poignant sub-plots, and I loved the way she interacted with Karl and insisted on being treated as an equal. Kelley Armstrong is good at writing feminist characters, allowing for feminist themes even if the plot doesn’t revolve around traditionally feminist issues—equal pay, access to birth control etc.
My favourite part of the book, though, (in case you hadn’t guessed by the books in this series I chose to re-read) revolved around Lucas’s continued angst over his family, and his involvement in his father’s business. The scene towards the end, when Lucas chose denial over facing the truth (I’m trying to avoid spoilers, here) was amazing. I loved it. I’m a sucker for character development, and that scene, for Benicio and Lucas alike (not to mention the ramifications for Lucas and Paige) was fantastic.
There were a lot of interesting moral dilemmas thrown up by the continuation of Lucas’s family drama, and I loved having his take on things at last!
Both Lucas and Hope’s storylines explored the idea of accepting yourself while not reducing yourself to any less-than-admirable qualities, and that idea is a powerful one. The continued ‘ends vs means’ moralistic debate eternally twisted up with organised crime is also a great one, that explores an interesting dilemma not explored in much depth in urban fantasy—the cost of being a member of a secret society, and the likely price of that secrecy.
What this (not-so-mini) review basically boils down to is: Personal Demonis good. If you like banter and magic with your ethical dilemmas, the Women of the Otherworld series could be for you. I didn’t include any comparable books/series with the other mini-reviews, but in general I think this series would appeal to fans of Kim Harrison’s The Hollows series, Molly Harper’s Half-Moon Hollow, CE Murphy’s Walker Papers or Jeaniene Frost’s Night Huntress books.