August 4th, 2012

_Shadows Before the Sun_, Kelly Gay (kindle)

I think this is book 4 in the Charlie Madigan series.

Published by Pocket Books/Simon & Schuster, I discovered this series completely by accident while reading this:

http://www.jimchines.com/2012/01/striking-a-pose/

In which fantasy author Jim Hines recreates some book cover poses to great effect, both critical and humorous. He included one of the earlier entries in this series as an example of a believable pose that depicted a strong heroine.

I consumed the first three in rapid succession and then made an effort to remember to keep an eye out for further entries in the series. As usual, don't start here. Like Ilona Andrews, Gay is writing in a near future/alternative Atlanta, in this case after a scientist opens portals to two other worlds, one which served as the model for "Heaven" and you can guess the rest (so shades of Wen Spencer here, too).

Charlie Madigan is a Detective, only she's been subjected to a series of experiments and such like so that now she's not quite human herself. Her partner, Hank, isn't human at all. And at the beginning of this book, he's been taken back to the Elysian city of Fallion, which he escaped from only with great difficulty and high cost to himself (and, it turns out, his family). There, he has supposedly been executed, but Charlie and a companion go anyway because they don't think he's really Dead Dead. Also, Charlie and Hank haven't had sex yet.

The jinn Rex in Charlie's ex-husband's body continues to amuse in a low-key way, as do Emma and the hellhound Brim. Pen, the Druid King, has a marginally larger role, but it's mostly Charlie and her traveling companion, Hank/Nierian and the Evil Three. Charlie continues to be, er, haunted by Death, but that storyline is actually resolved (altho the First One still hasn't risen, and it turns out if she does there's going to be trouble).

An enjoyable outing with a satisfactory ending, however, I anticipate future entries and look forward to them.

Recommendations I Could Use

I have a substance abuse problem. With books. I know this. I engage in some mitigation, notably, I really try hard not to buy pbooks any more so I don't have to expend so much time and energy getting rid of books to make space for new ones. I don't actually intend to stop reading (or even significantly reduce the amount of reading I do), altho I will note that over the last few years I've been substituting with match-3 games. It's not clear this is an improvement.

Anyway. I alternate (not strictly, just roughly) between non-fiction and trashy fiction. I'm morally opposed to Literature and avoid it whenever possible. The trashy fiction mostly consists of series, so as to reduce the amount of effort to find more trashy fiction when I want it/reduce the got-the-right-kind-of-trash problem. Every few weeks, I'm off to Amazon to review my kindle archive and see what is out new from the people I have bought in the past.

This is incredibly ridiculous. My recommendations on Amazon rarely include The Next Entry in the serieses (<-- that can't possibly be a word) I am already reading. Why not? Hacking a separate feature to recommendations to add this (here are _new_ entries in series you have already bought at least 3 of, say) would make this so much easier. Amazon started life with a feature to notify you when authors you were tracking released something. That was borderline useless, but I'd _love_ a new-series-entry-available e-mail/message/wtf. Or maybe make it available through subscribe-and-save ...