Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean –
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down –
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?
– Mary Oliver
I don’t normally read paranormal tales of Shifters and Elves and assorted folk who populate some Other-World. The story has to have a promising premise for me to even read a few pages. There have been a few that I couldn’t possibly turn away from. My last piece is evidence of that. But now, another novel filled with Other-Worlds has crossed my path and I wanted to tell you about it.
“The Grimoire of Kensington Market” by Lauren B. Davis
It tells the story of an otherworldly drug crisis wherein the city becomes consumed by demand for elysium, a new drug that lets users literally transport to another world.
Bookstore owner Maggie is one of the few holdouts to the drug, which has a nasty tendency to turn deadly. Unfortunately, her brother Kyle isn’t so lucky and Maggie finds herself on a dangerous mission to rescue him from the so-called Silver World. A dark fairy tale for Toronto (based on Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Snow Queen”)
I’m a sucker for tales set in Toronto, having spent a good deal of my formative youth there. Throw in damaged and all-too-human characters and I’m willing to give it another look. And for that book’s author to have such a seemingly keen understanding of the timelessness of fairy tales to include this comment by C.S. Lewis, “Someday you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again”, promises me something a little different. A glimpse at the author’s blog gives me a good idea of the woman behind the novel, and that just set the hook, so to speak.
So I’m in. I’ll be picking up this book just as soon as I can.
What are you reading these days? You are reading, right?
I loved this book even more than I loved #1, ‘Shadows In The Water’. It was fast paced, had a great human element, and did I mention Jabbers becomes a little more likable? Kory layers even more of Louie’s motivation and backstory into this novel, as well as her current…alliance (?) with Konstantine. There is action here, and a lot of it. There is justice, vengeance and near-perfect justice. This book, this series, is unlike anything else I have ever read. And in my 50 years of life, I’ve read a lot more than I’ve listed on Goodreads.
This series is listed as paranormal because of Louie’s gift. It is listed as action (or should be) because of Louie’s brand of justice. It should be considered a classic because of Kory’s ability to suck her readers in and not let go until the very end. To say her characters are realistic and well-drawn isn’t the whole truth. They are so real you feel like you could sit down and have coffee with them. Well…maybe not Louie. She’s not the type to sit down and swap gossip over a cup. You’d be best not to get her angry at you. Each important character in the Louie-verse, as I call it, has so much depth and so many nuances that you can’t help but form some sort of connection with them. Even Konstantine.
This book, this series, is multi-faceted, unforgettable and exquisite in its grip.
If you enjoy paranormal, YOU SHOULD READ THIS SERIES!
You can find it wherever you buy books, either in electronic form or the dead-tree kind.
Did you know I’ve recently released the December issue of my newsletter? It’s true!
Have you signed up to get every issue as it comes out? Subscribers get cool surprises that casual readers of the blog don’t. Things like reader extras (maps, character interviews, travel guides to new worlds), advance notice of new fiction, special sales and all sorts of good stuff! From time to time I’ll share glimpses of my world, other authors who have caught my attention and much more. If you’d like to see the latest issue, you can find it here.
If you’d like to sign up to receive the Words & Worlds newsletter, you can find the link to do that at the top of the screen, underneath that awesome universe graphic.
There are so many things to say about this book, I’ve actually been pondering this review for hours.
First off, it is a sequel. This is not a stand-alone book, and I wish I had known this before starting to read. I picked up on this early in the first pages when events were referenced and I had no idea what the characters were talking about. So I went back to Bold Strokes Books and bought the first book, ‘Calling The Dead’. Without going into that book’s review here, let me tell you the two books and their titles are as inter-woven and necessary to each other as a right shoe is to the left.
So, I’m going to assume that you’ve read ‘Calling The Dead’ and trust me when I say, you want to. Really. Now you’re wondering if this book is any good. It is not just good, it is a gut-grabbing, hair-curling, roller-coaster of twists and turns all wrapped in a murder mystery. This is not your grandmother’s mystery! There is blood and guts here, and lots of it. There are sick and twisted bad-guys with sick and demented goals. There are good guys and gals too, lots of them, who want to see the depravity stop and people protected. Chivalry, high emotion and love abounds here as well. The story is paced well and the characters, and there are many, are so well crafted, that you’ll swear they aren’t made-up. Both main families feel so real that you think that you could just call them up. There is only one question I was left with, but it makes no difference to the story.
Why is Sept’s hair white?
So in closing, first, get yourself a copy of ‘Calling The Dead’, then get yourself a copy of this book, ‘Answering The Call’. Prepare to lose yourself in a world of Ali Vali’s making. Leave the dishes unwashed, and let the dog out before you start reading because you won’t want to be disturbed afterward. Oh yeah, and enjoy Mike too.
Fabulously creepy cover, a wonderfully gripping story…what are you still doing here? Go get your own copy!
This book was a pleasant read. Not dark and twisty as I expected. The characters are memorable, even the one I wanted to slap for being spineless most of the time. She eventually breaks out of that pattern and grows, so don’t give up on her. The rest of the cast is so memorable, I was still thinking about some of them days later.
I’d like to see if these characters turn up anywhere else in the author’s imaginary universe. They’re the kind of people I could have Sunday brunch with. Wonder how I can get an invitation?
I was honored with an ARC from Bold Strokes Books and NetGalley. This book is due out December 11th.