Saturday, November 24, 2018

The bartered brides by Mercedes Lackey

The bartered brides is the thirteenth book in the Elemental masters series and while it can be read as a stand alone novel it is best enjoyed when you read the series in order - or if you at least read A study in sable and A scandal in Battersea first.

Life is never boring for friends Nan Killian and Sarah Lyon-White as their connections to the world of elemental magicians means there is always some sort of adventure around the corner that needs their skills.  Having Suki join their little family has lead to some semblance of a comfortable and settled life, but that is shattered with the news that their friend and associate, the great Sherlock Holmes himself, is dead.  The only consolation is that he took Professor Moriarty down with him, but that still leaves some of Moriarty's associates loose in the world intent on revenge against the friends of Sherlock Holmes.

When someone makes a bold move again their small family Nan and Sarah make the difficult decision to send Suki off to the safety of the School - a smart move as they soon find themselves tangled up in a very strange case.  The body of a young woman has washed up wearing a white dress and missing her head, and she is soon followed by another.  As Sarah, Nan and the Watson's dig deeper into the case they realise that a very dark and dangerous power is growing on the streets of London - a Necromancer who has power of the dead.  It will be a race against time to stop the Necromancer before they can complete their task, because they are planning the unthinkable and don't care how many lives they spend to do it.

This is an interesting addition to the Elemental Masters universe as unlike most of the other books in the series there is no clear traditional tale that provides a framework for the story - other than the inclusion yet again of Sherlock Holmes and John and Mary Watson.  Despite that departure from what has become a tradition for the series this was a very welcome addition, not in the least because it provides more information about some of the characters and lays the foundations for future storylines.  Lots of fun to read and I can't wait to see where the series goes next.

If you like this book then try:

Reviewed by Brilla

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Aftermath by Kelley Armstrong

Three years ago Skye Gilchrist got the devastating news that her older brother Luka was killed during a school shooting, and that he was one of the shooters and not one of the victims.  That simple fact shattered Skye's world and sent her family scrambling from the small town they lived in, hoping to escape the stigma and the pain.  They should have known better, no matter where they moved to people eventually figured it out - and once they did Skye usually bore the brunt of their disgust and anger.  Now Skye is about to face her worst nightmare - she has to return home because her mother and grandmother are no longer able to look after her.  

Moving in with her Aunt Mae has it's challenges, the least of which is that she never seems to be home because of her long work schedule.  Moving back to her home town means seeing people she hasn't seen in three years, people who look at her and see what her brother did.  The one silver lining is that her former bestfriend Jesse doesn't go to her new high school, he goes to another school which means she shouldn't have to face the fact her brother killed his brother and he hates her for it.  She plans to just fly under the radar, but that changes when she discovers that Jesse is at her new school - something that seems to be a shock for both of them.  To make matters worse little things keep happening that make Skye look like she is a liar, or worse, crazy.  If she can't get to the bottom of the mystery she may have no future.

Aftermath is one of those books that you connect with straight away because of the characters and how well they are written.  Straight away you feel what Skye went through, the bright bursts of happiness and the gut wrenching lose.  The flipside of the coin in Jesse, and it is just as easy to connect with him, even though at first you may not want to because of how strongly your view is painted by how Skye feels about him.  The strength of the characters is supported by a mystery that slowly unravels, keeping you hooked from the first line to the last.  At first you think that Skye might be crazy (and who would blame her for going crazy), but over time you come to realise there might actually be more to the story.

I loved Missing by Kelley Armstrong and was hoping that Aftermath would be equally good and I was not disappointed.  This is a solidly written thriller that may be aimed at teenagers but was equally good being read as an adult thriller - there is a lot to like and nothing to hate.  Hopefully Armstrong continues to write teen thrillers as she does them very very well.

If you like this book then try:
Reviewed by Brilla