Blood Rites and Dead Beat, Jim Butcher

I’m going to review these two together quickly: everything you’d expect from Jim Butcher and Harry Dresden is here and in abundance. Sixth and seventh entries into the Dresden Files, following the exploits of Chicago’s only professional wizard, if you’ve been reading up to this point, you know what you’re getting into!  Blood Rites for me…

Grave Peril, Jim Butcher

It’s a Dresden File. It’s Harry Dresden; it’s Jim Butcher. Even after reading only the previous two novels, I already know what to expect. It’s also a step up from the previous two novels in the series: the prose is still very, well, prosaic; Dresden is still a wise cracking hard boiled detective with magic;…

My Swordhand is Singing, Marcus Sedgwick

 Sedgwick has been on my radar for a few years now, creeping into the shortlists for the Carnegie Medal regularly. I’d previously read his White Crow, and Midwinterblood. The first of those I had thoroughly enjoyed, bouncing between time zones; the second was breathtaking, tracing echoes of a story back through generations and encompassing wartime…

The Bloody Red Baron, Kim Newman

After reading a couple of extremely well-written, moving but rather serious books, picking up The Bloody Red Baron was intended to be a welcome piece of light relief: a bit of fun vampiric horror. Kim Newman takes up the reigns of his alternate history some thirty years after the events in the previous Anno Dracula. Having fled from England…

Moon Over Soho, Ben Aaronovitch

Jazz is cool. It’s undeniable; it’s super cool. As a genre of music, it lurks in the back of the iPod in a smoke filled subterranean playlist. Jazz does not wear sunglasses; jazz is born with dark tinted irises. In a politically correct world, jazz sensuously drinks and smokes itself to a hospital bed where…

Anno Dracula, Kim Newman

I have a confession. I love Dracula. Both the character and Stoker’s novel. And I love vampires. Not the sparkly, fairy, effete version populating Meyer’s asinine attempts at fiction (“Dear Dracula, do you remember that one night seventeen years ago? Well, we need to talk. Sincerely, Tinkerbell”) but full blown raging bloodlust sensual sexual visceral…