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Goats, gripes, and grasping for greatness
Books: Stormwalker 
27th-Jan-2012 09:12 pm
Summer
Stormwalker, by Allyson James. Urban Fantasy, 330 pages. Paperback, first in the series.

The cover says "a fresh new take on paranormal romance!" Um, no, not really. Either it was a lousy romance, or I didn't get the nuance.

Our heroine, Janet Begay, is a Navajo "stormwalker" (the title, duh!) who gains explosive power from storms that pass nearby. She has figured out that her mother is basically a demon, and is trying to possess her, and has decided to finally fight mommy dearest about this little issue. The chief of police hired her to investigate the disappearance of the chief's daughter, not-so-coincidentially in the same town as the vortex through which demon-mom is planning to erupt. To make matters even more explosive, the heroine's love interest is a "firewalker" (and we find out what that means) who is desperate to protect her from all of the big bad evils.

The characters came straight off of the Urban Fantasy bingo card. They include Janet-the-Navajo heroine, Maya-the-Latina chip-on-her-shoulder electrician, Fremont the wannabe wizard plumber, Nash the Unbeliever sherrif (who is missing his perfect, blonde, girl-next-door fiancee), and of course sexy Mick-the-mysterious and powerful boyfriend. We also get walk-on cameos by Barry the shotgun-toting bartender, Coyote the god, a magic mirror, a shapeshifting mountain lion, a shapeshifting crow, two biker gangs, and a zillion skinwalker-esque demons.

The book was pretty good for intellectual bubble gum, but nothing with staying power. The various magics was interesting, the characters were tons of fun, but the plot was... rather predictable in places. Suffice to say, I won't be going on with the series.

I recommend it to people who don't mind sex in their magic, who don't mind trope-bingo, and are looking for a different set of magics.

Why I picked it: I picked this one up because of the characters as described in the short story in Hexed. I still enjoyed the characters in the full-length feature film, but the plot didn't ever win me over.

New-to-me Books for 2012

January
House of the Star by Caitlin Brennan, YA fantasy. 282 pages; hardback; stand-alone. 3/5 stars on Goodreads (3 = "liked it"), 4/5 stars on Amazon (4 = "liked it"); straight into the giveawaybox
Gwenhwyfar by Mercedes Lackey, Fantasy. 404 pages; hardback; stand-alone. 2/5 stars on Goodreads (2 = "it was OK"), 3/5 stars on Amazon (3 = "it was OK"); straight into the giveawaybox
Blood Engines by T.A. Pratt, Urban fantasy. 336 pages; paperback; first in the series. 3/5 stars on Goodreads (3 = "liked it"), 4/5 stars on Amazon (4 = "liked it"); going to keep it around and loan it to friends
Hexed edited by uncredited, listed under the first author, Ilona Andrews. Urban Fantasy, 326 pages. Paperback; anthology of four novellas. 3/5 stars on Goodreads, 4/5 stars on Amazon; going to loan it to friends who like Kate Daniels, then likely give it away.
Paranormalcy, by Kiersten White. YA Fantasy, 335 pages. Hardback; first in the series. Giveawaybox.
Stormwalker, by Allyson James. Urban Fantasy, 330 pages. Paperback; first in the series. Giveawaybox.

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