Thursday, October 18, 2012

And now back to broke girls who can afford leather outfits.

Finished Fated a few days ago, now reserving the rest of the series.

And moved into Shadow Walker by Allyson James (who helpfully includes excerpts of books she writes under a pen name at the end), third in her Walker series. Also set in New Mexico (up by Taos), like Darynda Jones's Grave series (set in Albuquerque).

This series started with Storm Walker, wherein we met Janet Begay, a half Navajo woman  who's mother was actually one of the major evil goddesses of beneath. (Quick, someone load up Cher's "Halfbreed"!) She's opening a hotel in the area of the magickal vortexes that actually are paths to the beneath. (Having not particularly studied Pueblo/Navajo mythology, I can't speak as the the veracity of the presentation of the cosmology here. However, given another series I read has gone into the worlds beneath, I kind of imagine there is a basis in those myth cycles.) She has a boyfriend who's a dragon, a magic mirror that's more or less referred to as a "drag queen" (Given the mirror has no gender, but talks in a masculine voice while making comments that would make RuPaul blush, I get where they're coming from. But still... I long for the days of Phaedra Weldon's Ghost series, where there were actual developed gay characters. Mind you, they were the ghosts of the previous owners of the house the main character lived in, but at least they didn't play into stereotypes older than my grandmother.)

Anyway, there's a heck of a lot of romance and magick through the first two books that leads us to the third book. In this one, Janet is dealing with several disasters. Her dragon boyfriend, Mick, is currently being enslaved by an evil witch. Her hotel seems to have an odd curse that's destroying plumbing and wiring, making the county building inspector want to close her down and claim the land under eminent domain. Oh, and her Navajo grandmother just moved in to the hotel.

The series is mostly readable, and is fairly good on the pacing. I still question how someone "scraping by" can afford half the toys she uses in the books, let alone the clothing...

And as an added ace, one supporting character keeps showing up and stealing scenes. That would by Coyote, the trickster god. Given this is the second series he's showed up in and generally having the same effect on the narrative (the first being Kevin Hearne's Iron Druid Chronicles), I'm beginning to wonder if the furry trickster might not just be making semi bad fiction fully readable to achieve his own ends.

I will also add that besides the Walker and Iron Druid Chronicles (which oddly enough incorporates a few other mythology cycles besides Celtic as it goes on),  Kelly McCullough wrote an absolutely fabulous pentad involving the Greek Mythos in the modern world that also delved into the Norse pantheon for a book.  Since that series is finished, I can highly recommend it.

The Walker series starts with Storm Walker.

The Ghost series starts with Wraith.

The Iron Druid Chronicles start with Hounded.

The MythOS series starts with WebMage.

All four are good reads, although the last three listed are probably among the best out there.