Saturday, September 20, 2008

Review: _Stealing the Elf-King’s Roses_ by Diane Duane

Elves are immortal. They are beautiful perfection too, making humans envy them. Humans resent and hate them for this emotion. Someone murders an elf and that sets off the mystery in this book. Stealing the Elf-King’s Roses by Diane Duane is an entertaining Fantasy that keeps readers intrigued with mystery and action. Setting, characters and plot combine to provide an engrossing book.

To begin, the setting gives the book a strong sense of place to get readers into the story quickly. The setting is a set of seven alternate universes where science and magic exist side by side. Different beings travel between the universes through gates run by fairy gold. There different versions of cultures in each universe. Earth and Lose Angeles is where the main characters live. Magic works in this world and justice manifests as a real force. Alfheim is the home universe of the elves, which is protected jealously by the elves, remaining mysterious to humans. Ms. Duane presents a vivid setting that draws readers into the book.

Next, the characters are interesting and likable for readers to want to follow. Lee Enfield is a forensic lanthanomancer dedicated to Lady Justice. She uses her power of Sight to see the truth and visions of crimes to give information to the DA’s office. Lee is conflicted by a recent break up, making her unsure of her ability as she is drawn into a dangerous situation. Her partner is Gelert, a madra or large white intelligent talking dog. He is extremely smart and loyal to his friend. These two main characters are made likable by the author through dialogue and plot.

Finally, the plot has plenty of action to keep readers going with the book. An elf is murdered on night. Lee and Gelert are called in by the DA to get visions of the crime. She sees a second killer present who is an elf too. This is curious because elves do not kill their people. While continuing the investigation, Lee receives a phone call from a stranger telling her to search for the elf king’s roses. This mystery draws Lee and Gelert into events that could destroy all of the universes.

Stealing the Elf-King’s Roses by Diane Duane keeps readers intrigued with mystery and action. The book remains entertaining by being engrossing through setting, characters and plot. Ms. Duane is a great writer that creates interesting books with appealing, thought provoking stories.Readers picking up any of her books will not be disappointed.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Review: _Cry Wolf_ by Patricia Briggs

Fantasy author Patricia Briggs has done it again. She has added a new offshoot to her Urban Fantasy books with the beginning of the “Alpha and Omega” series. Set in the same world as her Mercy Thompson books, Cry Wolf by Patricia Briggs is an entertaining beginning due to the point of view, characters and the plot.

The author begins this new series by providing a different point of view. In the Mercy books, readers learn about the werewolves from an outsider’s view. This book lets readers see the werewolves from inside the pack. Readers get an inside look into pack dynamics from their viewpoints, helping make the book a strong, interesting start for the new series. Ms. Briggs brings the book to life with this shift of point view. The new viewpoint strengthens the characters too.

The characters make the book entertaining by having interesting lives. Anna Latham has been a werewolf for three years. Her life is in upheaval by finding herself in a new place with a new mate. She must deal with learning to be an Omega wolf and trying to overcome victimization from her previous life. Charles, Anna’s mate, is a dominant wolf. He is the son of the pack leader Bran and considered the wolf who cleans up messes. His Native American heritage gives him an edge with some magic ability. Having a new mate changes him throughout the book. Ms. Briggs creates realistic characters with understandable problem for werewolves.

Finally, the suspenseful plot makes the book a good beginning to the new series. The book starts with Anna arriving in Montana with Charles. She attends a funeral and gets confronted by pack members. Her discomfort increases with her many doubts of fitting into the new pack. Charles is sent after a rogue werewolf near the pack’s territory. Anna goes along to get to know her mate better. Another pack member has a problem with a witch, adding more complications to the situation. Exciting events happen that lead to a satisfying ending thanks to the author’s deft weaving of the plot.

Cry Wolf by Patricia Briggs is an entertaining beginning to the “Alpha and Omega” series. A different point of view, interesting characters and suspenseful plot brings the lives of werewolves in this Urban Fantasy to life. The book stars with Anna And Charles in Montana, but another first story can be found in On the Prowl. This story tells how Anna met Charles. Ms. Briggs delivers another thrilling Fantasy for readers.