When skeptical Josette Landry is hired to do camerawork for a paranormal reality TV show, she's forced to reassess her idea of reality.
Jo has spent her life following the rules, but it hasn't done much for her: Divorcing her cheating husband wiped out her savings, she just lost her job, and her house is in foreclosure. So when her beloved but batty cousin offers her a job filming a haunted New Orleans mansion, she jumps at the chance. Jo knows all her family’s supernatural craziness is ridiculous. Apparently, though, not believing in the paranormal doesn’t make it untrue, since Jo doesn’t even have time to set up her equipment before she’s sucked into a gloomy otherworld where creepy malevolent creatures attack her. Convinced she’s met her doom, she's stunned when a medieval Welsh knight comes to her rescue, fighting off the monsters then whisking her off to his oddly cozy lair in the otherwise eerie realm. Cadegan has been trapped in a preternatural prison for a thousand years, betrayed by the one person he thought he could trust and banished from human connection. Still, when Jo falls into his cursed domain, he will do everything he can to keep her safe and send her back home, even if it means an eternity of misery. When Jo refuses to leave without him, he begins to hope for a bright future, if he can bring himself to trust the woman he’s falling for and who could destroy him forever. Paranormal romance novelist Kenyon continues her Dark-Hunters series, pairing Jo, a courageous modern woman, with Cadegan, an ancient wounded warrior. Engaging and creative, the story unfolds through Kenyon’s fast-paced narration and quirky characters, though it's handled with a light gloss that might disappoint readers looking for more depth.
A diverting paranormal romance that's less edgy than it seems to want to be.
The Broken Eye (Lightbringer Series #3) by Brent Weeks
The third Lightbringers epic installment (after The Blinding Knife) primarily acts as a bridge between the two other volumes. Gavin Guile, the former Prism, is now color-blind and enslaved aboard a pirate galley. Old hurts and grim prophecy loom over the machinations to name his successor. His recently acknowledged son, Kip, struggles to find a place in the military, while Guile’s rejuvenated father, Andross, runs the Chromeria, a council of wizards who work in solidified colors of light. As son and grandfather clash over missing artifacts, a religious heretic continues his conquest of the capital’s outer districts, and a legendary sect of assassins infiltrates the city. Weeks is fond of complicated schemes, and his plot feels like an orchestrated chess match between genius grandmasters, but he also leavens the logic with humor. His characters are charming even as they are threatened with being swept off the chessboard. Fans of George R.R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire will find the family dynamics of the Guiles quite familiar.
Is The Bone Clocks the most ambitious novel ever written, or just the most Mitchell-esque? We begin in the punk years with a teenage Talking Heads–obsessed runaway from Gravesend, England, named Holly Sykes. She becomes a pawn in a spiritual war between the mysterious "Radio People" and the benevolent Horologists, led by the body-shifting immortal Marinus. Many more characters and places soon find themselves worked into Marinus's "Script" across the book's six sections: there's Hugo Lamb, a cunning, amoral Cambridge student spending Christmas 1991 in Switzerland, where he encounters an older Holly tending bar; then it's the height of the Bush/Blair years, and our narrator is Holly's husband, Edmund Brubeck, a war reporter dispatched to Baghdad. Another flash-forward lands us in the present day, where the middling novelist Crispin Hershey weathers a succession of literary feuds, becomes confidante of a New Agey Holly and her daughter, then has his own unsettling encounter with the Radio People. In the penultimate section, Marinus reveals the nature of the Script—the secret conflict lurking just beneath mortal affairs—and how Holly may be the key to a resolution whose repercussions won't be known until 2043, when the aged Holly rides out a curiously sedate end-time in rural Ireland. From gritty realism to far-out fantasy, each section has its own charm and surprises. With its wayward thoughts, chance meetings, and attention to detail, Mitchell's (The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet) novel is a thing of beauty.
This epic conclusion to Harrison’s long-running Rachel Morgan series (after The Undead Pool) brings Rachel and her allies together for one final world-saving adventure. Rachel has found a way to reunite Cincinnati’s undead vampires with their souls, but that creates a schism between those who want their souls back and those convinced it’s a bad idea. With her best friend’s life at stake, Rachel pursues a desperate gambit that soon escalates into a war to decide the fate of the everafter and the futures of the demons, vampires, and elves. Harrison pulls together many threads established in previous installments, including Rachel’s long-simmering love/hate relationship with former enemy Trent Kalamack. The magical escapades are plentiful and profound, as Harrison goes for one final shake-up of the status quo, and they lead to a satisfying ending for almost everyone involved. A Rowlingesque peek into the future offers some last-minute surprises, and should be enough to satisfy any fan who’s followed Rachel’s journey from its beginning.