13 October 2008

Book Review: Armed and Magical by Lisa Shearin

Woohoo! 1 down, 156 to go :D

Quick Stats
Genre - Urban fantasy, with a street detective-esque bent
Length - about 300 pages
Author - Lisa Shearin

Overview
This is book 2 in the Raine Benares series. Raine has arrived at the Isle of Mid, and the Saghred has been placed in the Guardians' most secure containment rooms - only they're not terribly containing, not for the Saghred with its seemingly limitless power. But that's not Raine's real problem. The real problem is that there are about a bazillion different factions on the Isle, and they all want a piece of her - or her in pieces. Some of them aren't fussy.

First Impressions
Fun! Oh yes, this stands up to my expectations well :) Just like Magic Lost, Trouble Found, the action starts right on page one, setting in place a chain of events that's exciting, dangerous, and above all, fun. I love Raine and her snarky, street-smart attitude :D

High Points
The general snarkiness of Raine, and the awesome, action-filled plot! She has a truly loveable cast of characters, from the rogue pirate Phealan to the sweet and not-quote-so-innocent-anymore Piaras, to the dreamy Guardian Michael, steamy badboy Tam... Ya know. The works B-)

And the plot just never stops; the pace is relentless from page one, and you're never quite sure what's going to blow up next. Lovely. Just the way things should be.

Low Points
The only minor qualm I have with this series of books is that, essentially, they are 'fluff'. I love and adore these books, and they have had a huge impact on my own writing - but they are ultimately there for entertainment. There isn't really any 'deeper meaning' behind them, and thus far in the two books I've read, there isn't a whole lot of character growth in Raine.

Some days, though, you just gotta have something that's entertaining, and easy on the brain... So there's nothing quintessentially wrong with fluff :)

Rating
So, because five stars, or marks-out-of-ten, or whatever, are boring, I'm going to rate my squillions of TBR books by where they're most suitable to read. I know, I'm a little odd, but work with me here...

So, this one has quite literally been my bathroom book for the last week %-) (Just fyi, my bathroom includes the bath, the toilet, the sink and the shower). I haven't really had time to read, but I started it in the bath last week and couldn't bear putting it away until I had time to finish it. So I've been reading it in snatches every time I'm in the bathroom.

It's a pretty good bathroom book, because it's so action-packed you can get a great deal of entertainment out of each chapter, while the plot is linear enough that you don't forget what was happening between times. The strong voice helps to keep the story fresh in your memory, too. The single only problem with it being a bathroom book is the carried-away factor, where someone bashes on the door and you realise you've been there for fifteen minutes O:)

And I confess, as I got to the climax, the book became a never-leave-my-side book until I finished it :D

10 comments:

marieconley3 said...

It sounds like an awesome book!

Inkblot said...

It's great! I love it :D

Lady Glamis said...

I don't read fantasy, so this doesn't capture my fancy at all. But I'm glad you enjoyed it!

I will forward your blog address to some die-hard fantasy-reading friends of mine - one being in Australia, like you.

I'm sure they'll love to read your review!

Inkblot said...

Thank, Lady Glamis!

And I'm not sure if you made it over here before I redesigned the blog, but the TBR pile is huuuuuuuge, and there a LOT of different genres in there. So hopefully at least one will catch your eye ;)

Just_Me said...

You get crazier every day, did you know that?

I figure my handwriting says I'm not stabbing people, because it's in black, not blood, and that's as good as we're going to get for now.

Glass Dragon said...

Hi there! Lady Glamis's friend in Australia here. Thanks to you for reviewing the book, and thanks to Lady Glamis for sending me the link! :D

I've never heard of this author or series, but your description put me in mind of the Harry Dresden novels by Jim Butcher (I think!). Sounds like fun! I'll have to see if I can find them at the library, since the Australian booksellers seem to be trying to encourage illiteracy by charging arms, legs, and firstborn children for paperbacks and hardcovers alike. I blame England! :P

Inkblot said...

Liana, darling, did you perhaps intend to post that comment on the /other/ book review? :D

Glass Dragon, welcome! Nice to have you here :)

Dresden Files - I've read the few freely-available-on-his-website chapters, and had it greatly recommended to me, but have not been able to get my hands on a copy to read. The wait list at the library is months long :S

I'm not sure if you /can/ get this series in Aus yet (erk, totally agree about prices, *groan, whinge, stab*), but there's always amazon (argh, evil!) or barnes and nobles or some such.

Whereabouts in the Land of Oz are you from?

:)

Atun said...

ARMED AND MAGICAL is the much anticipated Raine Benares Adventure sequel to MAGIC LOST, TROUBLE FOUND. I read it in a day. I could not stop. It rolled from one engrossing, hooky scene to the next.
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Selleys

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Lisa Shearin said...

Thank you so much for reviewing Armed & Magical! : ) In December, I'll be posting the first three chapters of The Trouble with Demons (the next book in the series).

I simply adore Jim Butcher's Dresden Files books, and highly recommend them. Two other authors whose books I've become addicted to are Ilona Andrews and Rob Thurman. I believe they have sample chapters on their websites if you'd like to check them out. I also have the first few chapters of Magic Lost, Trouble Found and Armed & Magical on my site www.lisashearin.com.

Thank you again for the great review!
Lisa

Inkblot said...

:D You're welcome! Thanks for stopping by :)

I actually have one of Ilona's books waiting to be read, and I'm on the horrendously long queue for the Dresden files at the library. Can't wait :D

Yay for sample chapters of TTWD!

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