Breaking New Ground challenge, I began Moon Called and found a fast paced and enjoyable Urban Fantasy book with well drawn characters and a generally quietly believable approach to world building. Though Briggs has yet to show herself exceptional in any way, Moon Called is still an enjoyable novel that promises better things ahead.
Hard Man, Savage Night is crime so bleak and brutal it's impossible to react to with anything but a terrified, strangled laugh. Guthrie reacts to the borders of sanity and general taste like most of us view finish lines, and his characters are slammed together so hard and fast that the gruesome mess that's left is likely to leave you as sick as you are satisfied. This is a roller coaster ride of cleverness and tension, but, like all the best four hundred foot drops, it's best to brace yourself before going in.
The Ammonite Violin & Others, weaved nightmarish and erotic tapestries out of lush language and surreal descriptions. The Red Tree mesmerizes the audience in a way as different as can be. Here, Kiernan's speech is unadorned and honest, crude and raw and vulnerable. And the image that she paints is both vivid and disorientating, at once horrific and run through with desire.
Banquet for the Damned and Apartment 16 a fair bit. I even interviewed the man here. After all that, I went into The Ritual with damn high expectations – and the book's first half blew even those away. Here Nevill displays excellence in atmosphere and character, creating a taut and terrifying adventure that rivaled anything in Nevill's first two books. And then, alas, the book's second section began, and the characters were gone, and the pacing was gone, and the atmosphere was gone. Review coming.