Linkity wishes the Chaos Kitty a happy 11th birthday on Sunday

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Reading Update
London Falling (Shadow Police #1) by Paul Cornell. Very good urban fantasy about three police officers and an analyst who find themselves able to see the unseen as they pursue something murderous throughout London. It took me a couple of chapters to get drawn into this, in part because it starts so mundanely and with a lot of names to suddenly remember. After that, I was immersed – so immersed that I didn’t even realize it was written in third-person omniscient until well past halfway.
The Severed Streets (Shadow Police #2) by Paul Cornell. Pretty good urban fantasy, but not nearly as good as the first book – this was definitely a sophomore effort, suffering some times from self-consciousness and at others from trying too hard. While I enjoyed Neil Gaiman’s initial brief appearance in the book as a clever cameo, I found his reappearing and having a significant part to play in the narrative much less enjoyable. It felt as if a line was crossed, if that makes any sense.
Thicker than Water (Felix Castor #4) by Mike Carey. Good installment of the series in which Felix finds out altogether more about demons than he really bargained for. Very intense read, this. Definitely reading the fifth and presumably last book (since it was written five years ago) immediately.
The Naming of the Beasts (Felix Castor #5) by Mike Carey. I believe this is the final Felix Castor book, unless the author decides to begin a new story arc in the future. Felix ends up roughly where the series began, trying to fix what he broke three years ago. Many of the faces will be familiar from the previous books, as everything swirls down to a final confrontation.
Hard Spell (Occult Crimes Unit Investigation #1) by Justin Gustainis. Ok urban fantasy from the point of view of a cop in the Scranton, New Jersey, Police Department’s paranormal division.
Evil Dark (Occult Crimes Unit Investigation #2) by Justin Gustainis. Ok addition to this series about a cop who investigates paranormal crime in New Jersey. These are an enjoyable enough distraction, but not exactly involving or compelling reads.


“…zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…” -Chaos

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Linkity regrets to inform you that it’s Talk Like a Pirate Day



Congrats to Yvette, who won Love Comes Around (Senses #4) by Andrew GreyLove Comes Around is being released today by Dreamspinner Press.

Congrats to Loren, who won With Wings (The Dark Angels #1) (2nd ed) by Z Allora!



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Reading Update
The Grendel Affair (SPI Files #1) by Lisa Shearin. Ok paranormal romance about a seer who works for a secret non-government agency devoted to keeping the existence of the magical world secret. Since I never got invested in the POV character, I don’t believe I’ll be reading more of this series.
Stray Souls (Magicals Anonymous #1) by Kate Griffin. Good urban fantasy about a London barista who discovers she’s a shaman and somehow has to rescue the missing spirit of the city. I enjoyed the unusual premise, but struggled a bit with the style – although that got better as I became more used to it. Plus I think this could’ve been trimmed down a bit, as bits of the middle seemed to drag.
The Devil You Know (Felix Castor #1) by Mike Carey. Good London-based urban fantasy about an exorcist who’s been on hiatus but takes an innocuous sounding job because he desperately needs money. I tried reading this 18 months ago and quit at 1/3 because I couldn’t get into it – no such problem this time!
Vicious Circle (Felix Castor #2) by Mike Carey. Good continuation of this urban fantasy series as Felix tries to do right, but things get terribly screwed up in the process.
Dead Men’s Boots (Felix Castor #3) by Mike Carey. Good continuation of this series in which Felix finds himself helping the widow of another exorcist, who killed himself. Of course, nothing’s as it seems and everything gets much more complicated. I did catch a couple of continuity errors, which I always find distracting.


“…zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…” -Chaos & Mayhem

This picture requires a bit of explanation. :) Mayhem’s side is in the foreground – you can kind of see one of her ears to the left of Chaos’ head, between his head and his tail. She’s sleeping with the top of her head smooshed up against Chaos. He started to hiss at her (I think she was making happy paws on his throat), but fell asleep mid-hiss.

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Don’t forget to enter the contest for With Wings (The Dark Angels #1) (2nd ed) by Z Allora! Closes  7 pm CDT, Friday, September 19.


Congrats to Neene, who won A Matter of When by Eden WintersA Matter of When will be released September 15 by Dreamspinner Press.



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  • Probably you should brace yourselves for today’s reading update… I took a reading vacation (ie, a vacation to hang out and read) and added some things to my usual hockey fic reading diet.
  • Alas, the latest version of WordPress made putting nice blank lines between each Linkity bullet point something that requires a lot of time-consuming manual coding. It ain’t happening. Sorry.

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Reading Update
Life & Spectrum: A Revealing Look at High Functioning Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome by CG Meloy. So-so collection of first-person vignettes about how one man experiences his life with high-functioning autism.While I could definitely relate to some parts of the book, a lot of his experiences didn’t particularly relate to me. At the end, I was thinking mostly about skimming through Aspergirls: Empowering Females with Asperger Syndrome again, because Life & Spectrum reminded me how different the male and female experiences of autism can be.
I Am Special: A Workbook to Help Children, Teens and Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders to Understand Their Diagnosis, Gain Confidence and Thrive by Peter Vermeulen. I read the first several chapters, then skimmed the rest of the book. The workbook format didn’t really work for me – the whole thing (probably unsurprisingly) felt rather distant and academic.
Midnight Riot (Rivers of London #1) by Ben Aaronovitch. Very good urban fantasy mystery set in London about a young police constable who becomes the apprentice of the one-man magical department and is caught up in a swirl of ghosts, theater, murder, and revenge. It took me a bit to get immersed in the first-person Britishness, but once I did I was hooked.
Moon Over Soho (Rivers of London #2) by Ben Aaronovitch. Very good second installment in the Rivers of London series as Peter continues his magical training and things go awry, as per usual.
Whispers Under Ground (Rivers of London #3) by Ben Aaronovitch. Very good continuation of the Rivers of London series as Peter is joined by a second apprentice. I really can’t put these darn books down – they’re very compelling and immersive.
Broken Homes (Rivers of London #4) by Ben Aaronovitch. Very good urban fantasy thriller continuing the story of Peter Grant, apprentice wizard and London constable. I couldn’t put this down and was completely unprepared for the plot twist. I need the next book NOW. At least there’s no chance of me forgetting what happened in this book before the next book is released…
Crimes Against Magic (The Hellequin Chronicles #1) by Steve McHugh. Immersive dark urban fantasy about a thief who woke up tabula rasa ten years ago. As he takes jobs that are not at all what they seem, his memory begins to return… but it might not return fast enough to save him and those he must protect.
Fated (Alex Verus #1) by Benedict Jacka. Good urban fantasy about a London mage whose power is divination. He’d be perfectly content to be left to quietly run his magic shop, but things never work out that way.
Cursed (Alex Verus #2) by Benedict Jacka. Good continuation of the series in which things get complicated as Alex tries to handle an enchantress, a monkey’s paw, and mages who are never up front about what they actually want. I’m enjoying these, but they’re pretty standard UF fare.
Taken (Alex Verus #3) by Benedict Jacka. Good addition to the series in which Alex tries to figure out why apprentices are disappearing. The series is growing on me, bit by bit – I mostly kept reading the first one just to be reading something, but each new book is drawing me in more.
Chosen (Alex Verus #4) by Benedict Jacka. Another good addition to the series. This time Alex has to face parts of his past he’d rather not remember as he’s hunted by someone who wants vengeance. Bit of a niggle at the very end – not a cliffie, really, but it was a deliberate tease for the next book. I’m not fond of those.
Where Countries Come to Play: Celebrating the World of Olympic Hockey and the Triple Gold Club by Andrew Podnieks. Ok nonfiction book that first summarizes the careers of the 26 Triple Gold Club winners (meaning hockey players or coaches who’ve won the Stanley Cup, plus gold in the World Championships and Olympics), then summarizes each of the Winter Olympics through 2010. Perhaps the most surprising thing I learned is that Great Britain has won a gold and a bronze Olympic medal for ice hockey.
Beautifully Unique Sparkleponies: On Myths, Morons, Free Speech, Football, and Other Absurdities by Chris Kluwe. Kluwe is a smart guy. Unfortunately, this book feels as if he spends most of his writing time flexing his vocabulary so we don’t forget that he’s a smart guy. DNF at 14%.


“…zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…” -Mayhem

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Congrats to Gina G, who won The Luckiest (Lucky Moon #2) (2nd ed) by Piper Vaughn and M.J. O’SheaThe Luckiest will be released by Dreamspinner Press on September 8.



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Reading Update (brace yourselves for actual non-hockey related reviewettes!)
Welcome to Bordertown (Borderland #5), edited by Holly Black, Ellen Kushner, and Terri Windling. ebook. For me, urban fantasy is fantasy set in, duh, urban areas, in cities. Frequently the location is as much a character as it a setting. The stories are infused with hints of faerie and myth, both European and Native American, and when you finish reading, you can almost glimpse the fantastical out of the corner of your eye. The Borderland anthologies were among the earliest urban fantasy, about the mythical Bordertown that existed on the cusp of this world and the Faerie Realm. Revisiting Bordertown in this anthology after so much time (the most recent anthology was published in 1998) was a delightful trip, the chance to check in on old friends and make new ones. The list of contributors is impressive and includes Charles de Lint, Neil Gaiman, Jane Yolen, Patricia A. McKillip, Emma Bull, and Cory Doctorow. (You can see the full list of contributors and read a few of the stories here.) Highly recommended.
Weezie Bat (Weezie Bat #1) by Francesca Lia Block. ebook. I don’t even know how to review this odd YA novel about Weezie Bat and her guy, and her best friend Dirk and his guy, living together in a cottage in LA. It had elements of urban fantasy and magical realism and the repetitively simple sentence structure drove me crazy, yet I read the whole thing.
Seven Wild Sisters: A Modern Fairy Tale by Charles de Lint, illustrated by Charles Vess. ebook. Very good ya illustrated contemporary fantasy about seven red-haired sisters living with their mother in the hills, most likely somewhere in the Ozarks. Things get a little messy when the middle sister manages to run afoul of the fairy folk. I originally read this in Tapping the Dream Tree many years ago.


*purple sun stupor* -Chaos

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Linkity for a surprisingly pleasant (so far) early August

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The neighbors across the hall recently had a baby, so I knit some bibs for a baby gift.

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Reading Update
The Kid: A Season with Sidney Crosby and the New NHL by Shawna Richer. Very good account of Sidney Crosby’s rookie season with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2005-2006. I’m pretty sure that any use of the phrase “beestung lips” is too many – this book used it three times! As a Pens’ fan, it was fascinating to discover the origin of the much-repeated taunt about Crosby diving (blame the Flyers) and disheartening to realize that several of the things Crosby knew he needed to work on during his rookie season (such as letting rival teams get him wound up to put him off his game) remain problems for him today.


Ok, it wasn’t that long ago that I took this picture, but I can’t tell exactly how much of Mayhem is there on the right. You can see one of her back paws sticking straight up in the middle, but anything to the right of that… (Sorry, Cheryl.) Anyway! It’s possible they wouldn’t feel quite so done in by the (moderate) heat if they weren’t on a fleecy blanket…

Knitting
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