Book Review: Dusk or Dark or Dawn or Day

Dusk or Dark or Dawn or Day
By Seanan McGuire

My Edition:
Paperback, 182 pages
2017, Tor
ISBN: 9780765391421

Jenna blames herself for her sister Patty’s death. She blames herself for her own death too. Now she works in New York City as a suicide prevention hotline rep, trying to help the living hold on to life a bit longer. Jenna is serving out her time, waiting for her haunting to end, when the ghosts of New York begin to disappear. She must tame up with a witch, despite the risks, and figure out who or what is behind her missing friends.

I bought this book with exactly zero idea of what it was about. Seriously. It was on Book Outlet and it had Seanan’s name on it, so I added it to my cart without even reading the blurb. I’m not the least bit disappointed.

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Book Review: Strange Practice

Strange Practice
By Vivian Shaw

My Edition:
Paperback, 357 pages
2017, Orbit
ISBN: 9780316434607

Dr. Greta Helsing has inherited her father’s practice and its paranormal patients. Amidst treating ghouls, mummies, werefolk and other creatures that remain hidden from the average eye, Greta finds herself caught up investigating a string of strange murders after a friend of a vampire friend is attacked.

I had the chance to buddy read this book with Ekho (their blog and Instagram), if you call the two of us finishing it in a span of two and four days, respectively, a buddy read. I’m pleased to be able to bring you our buddy review too!

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Book Review: Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge

Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge
By Paul Krueger

My Edition:
Paperback, 281 pages
2016, Quirk Books
ISBN: 9781594747595
Expected Publication Date: June 7, 2016

I received this book for free from Quirk Books in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. All opinions in this post are my own.

Bailey Chen has graduated college and, like many typical graduates, has ended up moving back in with her parents, with no money and no job. An old friend, Zane, offers her a position as a bar back at his Uncle’s Chicago bar, Bailey jumps at the chance. When she decides to sneak a drink on the job and it starts glowing, Bailey finds there’s more to the bartending job than she ever imagined. Turns out there are magical types of alcohol that the local bartenders are consuming to help them battle the nightmare demons that literally drink the life from unsuspecting patrons.

This book was clever and funnier than I expected. Krueger’s infusion of urban fantasy with bartending lore made for a unique read. I liked Bailey’s character – she was a relatable college grad, a bit down on her luck and her smarts and degree underutilized, yet she kept a positive attitude and was determined to make the best of her new job – especially after she learned it involved fighting monsters. I also like that she stuck to her beliefs and fought for what she felt was right, even when it seemed like she was fighting alone.

Bailey, Zane and Vincent were the most fleshed out characters. I feel like the other secondary characters were a little flat and I would have liked to know more about how they came to be part of the elite realm of demon-slaying bartenders. Krueger has put a lot of thought into this world, giving different types of liquor their own base powers and each cocktail its own magical effect (for example a martini will make you invisible) to help the drinker fight the powers of darkness. He even created a Cupbearers Court that rules over those who mix magical cocktails.

The book also contains real recipes from The Devil’s Water Dictionary (a mystical bartender’s bible), that regular old folks like you and me can use to mix our own drinks (magic not included) and witty “historical” commentary about each recipe and the origin of its elements.

This was a refreshing (pun?!) urban fantasy and I certainly hope there’s a sequel because I deeply enjoyed the effortless and humorous way Kruger told his tale. If you’re looking for something funky, funny, and alcohol based, check out Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge.

Book Review: The Strange Adventures of Rangergirl

The Strange Adventures of Rangergirl
By Tim Pratt

My Edition:
Paperback, 399 pages
2005, Bantam
ISBN: 0553383388

What if characters from a comic you wrote suddenly began creeping their way into your life and were less than friendly? Would you take a stand against them or call a shrink? Marzi finds herself facing The Outlaw, a nemesis she created for her gun-toting, badass alter ego, Rangergirl, in her wild west themed comics. As The Outlaw and his minions force their way into her life and threaten to destroy her town she must face them and defend her home. 

If you enjoy urban fantasy mixed with a healthy dose of western adventure, this is the book for you.

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