The four books I read this time are all interesting, and from just two publishers.

K. E. Mills' The Accidental Sorcerer is a fantasy, set in a world that has an early electric age feel with a lot of magic. Gerald Dunwoody is our title character who has all the good fortune of a plague victim without the blessed death at the end. We start off the book with him in the middle of a magic wand factory that is about to explode. Politicians and bureaucrats being the same everywhere he is blamed for it despite evidence to the contrary. This job was of course his last shot at success and the explosion yet another disaster in an life that could be the highlight reel from I Love Lucy. A fun book overall with a some interesting insights hidden amongst the litter of fantasy tropes.
Three Urban Fantasy's also got onto the list, and all three are written by people from different areas of the nation. Each has recognizable regional quirks that make their work distinct.

Anton Strout's Dead To Me features a thief gone straight who has decided to use his ability to read objects for something other than lining his pockets. As part of proving that there's no saint like a reformed sinner he's joined a pseudo government agency. Strout's Big Apple is replete with scenes that demonstrate all the shades of gray that color scale life in any large group. Some of Simon's superiors are not as nice as even Simon's low opinion of them, some are not as pure as he'd believe, it's a mantra we see more than once to good effect. The quips about New York life, and various denziens of the city are a hoot.

Jennifer Rardin;s Once Bitten Twice Shy is the first UF i've read from Orbit, and the first book by the author. Jaz Parks is like the author from the Midwest, although i doubt the authors boss is a vampire. Jaz, is a CIA assasin, and she's good at her job, aside from wrecking cars and her boss's nerves. Jaz has a personality that utterly fits her battle scarred experiences to her her pragmatic midwest roots.

Mark Del Francos Unshapely Things is quite the tour of Boston, and his imagination with a well concealed smattering of New England common sense. Connor Grey is medically, or at least magically retired Druid who has to eek out a living working as a private investigator with the shreds of his once formidable power. Connor's Boston is one where Elves, Fairies and other creatures of legend have come to live. Unfortunatly someone is making ritual killings in his neck of the woods. Connor Grey is not the type to stand around and let things like this happen, especially when he can do something and irritate the powers that be at the same time.

A fun, and contrasting four books.

edited since i conflated the real and pen names of the first author.


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