The Source

The Source follows a nuclear accident that manages to blow a hole in between our reality and the homeworld (more accurately home universe, since Harry cannot Moebius his way there) of the Vampires.

It’s interesting watching this series progress from espionage mixed with urban fantasy and horror in the first book to a more historical urban fantasy (if that makes sense) to this one which veers a bit more into almost science fiction. We have a parallel universe, a tidally locked planet, and some really weird vampire biology. The world building around vampires continues to be the strongest part of this series (which is amusing, given that I find the Moebius Continuum and the various ESP powers to be among the weakest).

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Necroscope II: Vamphyri!

So that’s how the series will continue.

Basically, we get a bit more of Harry who is now sharing bodies with his infant son (it’s about that weird) and communicating with the now dead main characters from the first book.

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Vamphyri!

So that’s how the series will continue.

Basically, we get a bit more of Harry who is now sharing bodies with his infant son (it’s about that weird) and communicating with the now dead main characters from the first book.

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Necroscope

I don’t know if I’ve ever read anything in quite this genre before. It’s basically urban fantasy, except set during the Cold War (which makes some sense, given this book was released in 1986) and with an extra helping of espionage (ESPionage) thrown in. It’s an interesting change and the two styles complement one another.

I don’t know if I’ve read many books where the first two chapters go quite so strongly back and forth between this is cool and that’s gross. It evened out a bit over the course of the book, but there was still a good amount of each.

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Zoo City

Basically, if you kill someone (is that the only way?) you end up with a literal animal manifestation of your guilt. On the plus side, they come with free magical abilities (like the main character’s ability to find lost things). On the down side, people know how you got your animal (your zoo) and discrimination is rampant.

It’s a really interesting concept; something that I haven’t quite seen anywhere else (The Golden Compass is vaguely similar, at least in the animal companions). And the world is just gritty and dark enough that it felt like a dark echo of what our world could be / have been. Unfortunately, a lot of details are left unclear. What exactly is the Undertow? How do people get which animals? What did the main character actually do to get her Sloth? How different are the animals from their wild brethren?

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The Golem and the Jinni

The Golem and the Jinni follows two parallel stories: that of a Golem and a Jinni (of course), each finding their way from fall flung shores to circa 1900 New York City.

It’s a relatively complex narrative structure, jumping from the Golem to the Jinni and even to a few minor characters within the space of a chapter. Even in one viewpoint, there are multiple timelines, showing how events a thousand years apart all fit together. Yet despite all of this, I never got lost, never couldn’t figure out where I was in the story. It took a while for the story lines to start coming together (for a while, it felt like reading two books), but once they do things just keep pushing towards the conclusion.

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The Autumn Republic

A solid conclusion. Basically, The Autumn Republic builds on the world of the first two books, without really needing to introduce much in the way of new characters (with a few relatively minor exceptions) or new world building, instead taking everything to a final conclusion.

So far as the characters go, I really found myself rooting for the good guys and hoping they would save the day, even when they did some not entirely unobjectionable things. In particular, I’m glad that Adamat’s story at least didn’t get any worse and that he managed to survive (spoilers) all the crap that the Marked and Privileged put him through.

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The Crimson Campaign

I think the main reason that I had some problems following all of the different storylines in the first Powder Mage book was that I was reading one chapter per day and discussion as I went. Reading straight through the second book helped keep everything together. It also helps that there are few to no new major characters.

Overall, this was very much the second book in a trilogy. It picks up where the first left off and sets up the third. It probably wouldn’t stand particularly well alone, but then again it doesn’t have to. It’s pretty much action all of the way through, tying up various plot lines just to ramp things up even more.

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Vortex

After the strong opening in Spin and the someone meh followup with Axis, I wasn’t expecting particularly much from Vortex. Consider me pleasantly surprised.

Getting back to the huge events and big timespans of Spin, Vortex takes place ten thousand years after Axis, after the Temporal Arch discovered towards the end of that book ends its next cycle. Two of Axis’ main characters (Turn and Isaac) are dumped out / recreated and picked up by a island sized ship that has been floating through arch after arch through the Eight Worlds (apparently the arches connecting Earth to Equatoria connect through several other worlds and finally end at Mars, which is a neat concept).

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Axis

Unfortunately, many of the other reviewers here are on point. In Spin, we followed the lives of a small groups of characters while big ideas happened around them, spanning either decades or billions of years, depending on your perspective. In Axis, the ideas are not nearly as big, the timespan isn’t quite so vast, and the cast of characters has changed to ones I don’t find myself caring about as much.

There is a bit of an interesting follow up here to the last chapter of Spin: what’s on the other side of the arch and just what are the Hypotheticals. I think the first could make an interesting story all of itself, just following a series of explorers further and further through the worlds, but that’s not what Axis is. And so far as the second–we don’t really learn anything new. There are hints of something bigger (which is saying something, given something on a scale with the entire galaxy) and a few smaller neat ideas, but nothing quite comes together.

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