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Strange Practice by Vivian Shaw

Strange Practice by Vivian Shaw

Strange Practice by Vivian Shaw features Dr. Greta Helsing, a descendent of monster hunters. Instead of hunting monsters she now practices medicine for monsters. The nature of her practice, based in modern-day London, must remain secret so her patients can remain safe. That balance is threatened when a group of monks starts targeting supernatural creatures, as well as the good doctor herself. It’s up to Greta and her friends to stop the group before London falls to its knees.

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Posted by on September 12, 2017 in Author: Vivian Shaw, Fantasy

 

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Wyrd Sisters: A Discworld Novel by Terry Pratchett

Wyrd Sisters is one of Terry Pratchett’s earlier Discworld novels, focusing on his cast of witches: Granny Weatherwax, Nanny Ogg, and Magrat Garlick. The three, at Magrat’s prodding, have formed something of a coven, and meet every so often to do what Magrat considers are witchy things (like chanting over a cauldron).

Witches in the Discworld universe are generally solitary (except for when they are apprentices to a more experienced witch), and shirk structure, unlike the wizards at Unseen University. Overall, Pratchett’s witches tend to lead quiet lives and don’t have a designated leader.

Among them, Granny Weatherwax was “the most highly-regarded of the leaders they didn’t have.” She’s also disinclined to admit when she’s wrong, bears a grudge like a cat (although she hates cats), and has a habit for shelling peas at inopportune times. Nanny, on the other hand, has had five husbands, more children than she can count, and an inclination for getting hammered and singing inappropriate songs about hedgehogs and wizards’ staffs. Magrat, plain and unworldly, wants only to be a proper witch, with all the occult accoutrement that comes with it, whether her fellow witches like it or not.

If it weren’t for events outside of their control, Granny, Nanny, and Magrat would likely have continued along quietly, with the occasional arguments about whose turn it was to make the tea. When they find themselves unwittingly responsible for Lancre’s infant heir to the throne, Granny realizes that fate has aimed its beady eye at them. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on April 14, 2012 in Author: Terry Pratchett, Fantasy

 

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Wee-Views: The Ring of Solomon and The Merlin Conspiracy

The to-read pile continues to grow (and I have yet to pick up this book club’s selection, A Discovery of Witches, probably because some of the reviews make me feel slightly frightened) and I have an ever growing pile of books that need to be reviewed. So I make some headway and so I feel at least slightly accomplished, I’m writing Wee-Views of some of these books. I’m going to skip all the plot summaries (you can read those on Amazon.com or any other online book site) and cut right to my opinions. I’ll also rate these on a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being exceptionally good). Read the rest of this entry »

 

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Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke

Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell has been sitting on my bookshelf, in all its hardcover glory, since 2004, when it was first released. I bought it without having read any extracts, on the strength of its reviews alone (as well as Neil Gaiman’s flattering blurb). I did not, however, have the physical strength to hold up this 800-page doorstop long enough to read it and not concuss myself, so it’s languished and collected dust, ever since. Until, of course, I decided to download the Kindle sample and read a few lines, and was annoyed that I hadn’t gotten around to reading it sooner in the first place. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on February 13, 2011 in Author: Susanna Clarke, Fantasy, Literature

 

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Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons

I was perusing Amazon one day (actually I was looking for The Tower, The Zoo, and The Tortoise, and wondering whether it was worth buying) when I came across the Kindle edition of Cold Comfort Farm, Stella Gibbons’ hilarious and quotable satire of old fashioned (and angst-ridden) British rural novels.

I don’t know how I managed to miss reading this novel all these years (or even the multiple films based on it), but I am now lusting after the talented Ms. Gibbon’s woefully out-of-print backlist. Publishers, if you’re one of my five readers, for the love of all that is good and holy–put them back in print. Electronic, dead tree book, smoke signal–it doesn’t matter. Good books want to be read. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on January 12, 2011 in Author: Stella Gibbons, Literature

 

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Carmilla by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu

I read Carmilla one Sunday night after going on a Gothic fiction binge at Project Gutenberg. This novella pre-dates Dracula by about 25 years and lays the foundation for the modern vampire novel. I can’t say that I love this story–I had issues with the story’s pacing and plausibility (in the sense that NO ONE seemed to be able to figure out what was going on right under their noses, even though the author hit us all hard with the foreshadowing hammer at the very beginning of the story). Read the rest of this entry »

 
 

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Year of the Griffin by Diana Wynne Jones

Year of the Griffin is the sequel to Dark Lord of Derkholm, and takes place 8 years after Mr. Chesney’s tours have ended. Wizard Derk’s youngest daughter, Elda, is now at the Wizard’s University and finding her talons full of magical mayhem. The university itself is in dire financial straits. Now that the tours have stopped, along with Mr. Chesney’s payments, the university has considerably less money than it is used to, and turns to its students’ parents for aid. Unfortunately, these aren’t typical students with proud parents, and a number are on the run from their families. When the letters reach their homes, the students find themselves battling trained assassins and pirates, to say nothing of ineffable grading curves, incompetent professors, inedible refectory food, heartbreak, and renegade griffins. Read the rest of this entry »

 

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