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Old 01-08-2009, 01:58 AM
Sakutian Sakutian is offline
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Default Mean Streets *Possible Spoilers*

I finally got my copy of Mean Streets earlier today and thought it would be a good topic for discussion here, especially since all of the novellas within fall under the urban fantasy idea as far as I know.

The first, and only, story I've read from it so far was the Harper Blaine one "The Third Death of the Little Clay Dog". As of this moment and time it is also my favorite one and I'm sure it will remain one of my favorites for quite a long time.

I was really glad Fish managed to make an actual appearance in this story, he was a really interesting character in Underground and I liked him. If this is his last Greywalker role than it was a good one for him but I'm going to keep hoping the badger will come back again.

I really like Iko, he's cute and I'm a sucker animals so that should be no surprise to anyone. For some odd reason I always picture him as a pug though, I know he isn't but that's just the image my mind conjures up.

As far as the story line goes I really appreciate two things about it, it's actually good and seems like a Haprer Blaine story not something tossed together, and it's paced nice and evenly. Short stories and the like sometimes sacrifice pacing to make up for having fewer pages and I find myself lost or just not too interested in them because it's over before I'm even invested. So applause for Kat Richardson.

This is sort of a reference to Vanished but it really works for this story too, I've been wondering how Harper would adapt to new environments since her character has always been pretty firmly rooted in Seattle up to now. The way it worked here was interesting and I authentically enjoyed seeing her take on a new stage. Plus Richardson's Mexico feels real if that makes any sort of sense, not like a watered down post card version. I have to assume a great deal of research or visiting went into creating it. She managed to make the day of the dead come alive.

I wish I knew more spanish and mexican culture though, every so often I'd just kind of get pulled away because I don't know even basic words. It was interesting to see how different the grey makeup and the ghosts of a different culture which has very different views on death and the after life were though.

Overall it's a great addition to the Greywalker universe and a great addition to any reading list, thanks to the author for putting in the time and effort to make a great story.

Oh and Harper is much more patient than me because I would have ditched Mickey as suggested.
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Old 01-08-2009, 10:27 PM
Sakutian Sakutian is offline
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I finished Jim Butcher's "The Warrior" and Thomas E. Sniegoski's "Noah's Orphans" a few hours ago and have very favorable opinions of both novellas.

I've always enjoyed the Dresden Files which included Michael Carpenter and his family, they're interesting characters that lend a family tie to Harry we don't see very often so it was very nice to see them featured center stage for this story. Also it's nice to see how Butcher dealt with Micheal's gunshot injuries and recovery following the events of his last book. Butcher shakes up more than one long held standard and relationship in this piece, it isn't fluff or anything close to it, it's a serious stroke through his universe that will more than likely be sending tremors out for some time. The story ends on an interesting note which makes Harry and everyone question the nature of magic and good, that's all I'll say for now to avoid spoiling it for anyone else.

"Noah's Orphans" was my first exposure to Remy Chandler and Thomas E. Sniegoski's work, I enjoyed both enough to add them to my reading list for the future. I admit I was hesitant when I realized the story revolves around fallen angels and the like, Preacher has made me angel shy, but this was a very nice surprise. Sniegoski's writing is crisp and easy to follow even for newcomers and Remy offers an interesting perspective to his own story. His dog Marlowe injects a light fun sense of humor into the story and manages to balance out the serious plot nicely. The only thing I can say for certain is that this story seems to pick up on a low in Remy's life and I'm hoping the next time I cross paths with the character he'll be in somewhat better spirits.

There's an interesting trend with many of the stories of "Mean Streets", following the last books of The Dresden Files and The Greywalker Novels both seem to be at crossroads or turning points. I can't be certain since I'm new to Remy's stories but I'd imagine the same could be said for him. All three characters are dealing with loss of one sort or another and the start of the next phase in their lives, it's interesting to see how these three very different people do that. It really plays to the uniquer talents and style of each writer, they're all writing urban fantasy but they still manage to remain entirely unique.
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