Synopsis: Al MacBharrais is both blessed and cursed. He is blessed with an extraordinary white moustache, an appreciation for craft cocktails—and a most unique magical talent. He can cast spells with magically enchanted ink and he uses his gifts to protect our world from rogue minions of various pantheons, especially the Fae.
But he is also cursed. Anyone who hears his voice will begin to feel an inexplicable hatred for Al, so he can only communicate through the written word or speech apps. And his apprentices keep dying in peculiar freak accidents. As his personal life crumbles around him, he devotes his life to his work, all the while trying to crack the secret of his curse.
But when his latest apprentice, Gordie, turns up dead in his Glasgow flat, Al discovers evidence that Gordie was living a secret life of crime. Now Al is forced to play detective—while avoiding actual detectives who are wondering why death seems to always follow Al. Investigating his apprentice’s death will take him through Scotland’s magical underworld, and he’ll need the help of a mischievous hobgoblin if he’s to survive.
Review: As a fan of the Iron Druid series, I jumped at the chance to read this new story. It’s set in the same world, yet follows Al, a man who creates magic via sigils (symbols written in special ink on paper). And he happens to have a unique curse that prevents him from speaking aloud to anyone that he doesn’t want to eventually hate him. Plus, all of his apprentices have died in seemingly accidental ways.
Ink & Sigil is the first in a new and exciting, spin-off, fantasy series. It’s action-packed, funny, irreverent, and thrilling. With colorful characters and an intriguing plot, this mystery was thoroughly enjoyable. The highlights for me were the wise-cracking and mischievous hobgoblin and the suspenseful and complex plot involving the trafficking of Fae creatures. The novel was written with a lot of Scottish dialect/spelling, but that only added to the richness of the story. I look forward to the next in this fantastic new series.
Synopsis: After her mother dies in an accident, sixteen-year-old Bree Matthews wants nothing to do with her family memories or childhood home. A residential program for bright high schoolers at UNC–Chapel Hill seems like the perfect escape—until Bree witnesses a magical attack her very first night on campus.
A flying demon feeding on human energies.
A secret society of so called “Legendborn” students that hunt the creatures down.
And a mysterious teenage mage who calls himself a “Merlin” and who attempts—and fails—to wipe Bree’s memory of everything she saw.
The mage’s failure unlocks Bree’s own unique magic and a buried memory with a hidden connection: the night her mother died, another Merlin was at the hospital. Now that Bree knows there’s more to her mother’s death than what’s on the police report, she’ll do whatever it takes to find out the truth, even if that means infiltrating the Legendborn as one of their initiates.
She recruits Nick, a self-exiled Legendborn with his own grudge against the group, and their reluctant partnership pulls them deeper into the society’s secrets—and closer to each other. But when the Legendborn reveal themselves as the descendants of King Arthur’s knights and explain that a magical war is coming, Bree has to decide how far she’ll go for the truth and whether she should use her magic to take the society down—or join the fight.
Review: Bree is one of my favorite female characters in a YA novel. She’s smart and sassy. And she doesn’t let anyone push her around. It’s really refreshing to have a young woman who doesn’t find her self-worth in how others see her. She’s strong and knows it. And the important men in her life see it and respect her for it as well.
Legendborn is a fresh and inspired first installment in a new YA fantasy series. It’s an enthralling story, with a unique mix of magical lore. The pacing never slows, with plenty of action, intrigue, danger, and drama. And the characters are engaging and believable. Just when I thought I had some of the mysteries figured out, plot twists came along proved me wrong – which I love. It’s not predictable. I thoroughly enjoyed this exciting upcoming release. And I can’t wait for more.
Synopsis: What would you do if you orphaned a girl?
Cooper Reyes and Lee Nevada run their own business hunting things no one else wants to hunt—ghosts, vampires, werewolves, and other dark entities. Before taking a job, they have clients sign a “hunters not responsible for damage or collateral” contract. They do a job, and they leave.
Then one night, in a hunt gone wrong, they orphan a teenage girl with a speech impediment. To Lee’s shock, Cooper won’t leave her to social services, as he doesn’t think she could survive the foster system. This could shatter their “no collateral” policy . . . and possibly their partnership.
They bring her to their log house in the forests of Quinault, Washington, and try to figure out how all of this is going to work. Though still damaged, she begins trying to fit into their life and home, determined to prove her worth. When it turns out she may have gifts and secrets of her own, Cooper and Lee have to face even harder decisions.
Taking in a stray is never simple.
Review: Cooper and Lee are supernatural hunters for hire. They like their quiet and solitary life. They are both stoic and rigid and seem like the last men to take in an orphaned teenager. However, she’s not only emotionally scarred, but psychically gifted.
The Hunters’ Girl is the first installment in a new urban fantasy series. At only 212 pages, this is a shorter story than I’m used to, as I don’t read many novellas. But it just left me wanting more. It’s fast-paced and fun, with several supernatural mysteries that we get to experience. And I’m looking forward to seeing these characters evolve in future installments. I enjoyed every bit of this exciting new book. It feels like Ghost Hunters meets Supernatural. I can’t wait for the sequel.