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Archive for January 3rd, 2019

The Hidden Cities

Mind the Gap
The Hidden Cities Book 1
by Christopher Golden & Tim Lebbon
Genre: Dark Urban Fantasy Thriller
“The super-fast pacing and creepy touches give this teen adventure plenty
of character.”—
Publishers Weekly
Returning to her home in London, teen Jasmine Towne realizes just how long
she’s been training for the moment she would be on her own. Her
paranoid mother’s last words, scrawled in her own blood, demand her
action: JAZZ HIDE FOREVER. In this moment, the strange men who have
always hung around her family’s life—whom her mother called the
Uncles—become starkly sinister. And they’re on her trail.
Seeking cover in the Underground, Jazz slips through a mysterious gate, down
tunnels, and seemingly through time. Inside an abandoned city of bomb
shelters and forgotten Tube stations, she finds temporary refuge with
a gang of petty thieves. Flashes of the past, spectral and haunting,
share the tunnels…with no regard for the living. For how long can
Jazz hide from the terrors of both her worlds?

My Review

4 Stars

Jasmine Towne, Jazz has lived her life with her mother and been looked after and terrorized by those she calls her “Uncles”. This life has left her mother paranoid and had her raise Jazz to look out for things that didn’t fit. This saves her life one day as she returns from school to find the Uncles had murdered her mother and are looking for her.

Jazz runs and finds herself in the Tube. There she finds a group of kids that call themselves United Kingdom. Jazz lives with the rest pick pocketing and robbing to survive as they live in a maze of old tubes, tunnels, and fallout shelters. But Jazz has a special ability; she can see what others can’t. This is why the Uncles and others are after her.

This was an interesting start to a series. I was instantly drawn in to Jazz, I wanted to know more about the Uncles and why they were after her. Then there are some areas in United Kingdom, The Hour of Screams, and such that I wanted more explanation. But the ending had me. It was an interesting ending and left me wanting to know more about this series.

I think Mind the Gap is a good start to the Hidden Cities series. I can’t wait to see what happens in the next book.

The Map of Moments
The Hidden Cities Book 2
To what lengths would you go to undo the pain of the past?
“Golden and Lebbon have far outstripped their past efforts with this
wonderfully creepy thriller of a ghost story.”
Publishers Weekly starred review
“Golden and Lebbon vividly evoke the rich, enduring character of New Orleans,
as well as spinning a compelling fantasy yarn that builds momentum as
Max works his way through the city’s history.” —
Booklist
Max Corbett has returned to New Orleans for the funeral of his former
girlfriend, Gabrielle Doucette, but between the destruction wrought
by Hurricane Katrina and the devastation of his ruined relationship,
the city feels alien.
At Gabrielle’s graveside, Max meets Ray. Over a bottle of bourbon in a
dive bar, the two discuss Gabrielle’s unique connection to the city.
Ray suggests that this connection might mean her tragic death is not
truly her end. And he happens to know a real magic practitioner—not
some Bourbon Street phony—who could open a window to the past and
send a warning to Gabrielle. Maybe Max can even deliver the warning
in person? Ray offers him a cheap map and says the process is simple.
Follow the charted moments to build up a little bit of magical clout
and then find the man with the gift.
Surging with liquid courage, Max takes the ludicrous tourist map and sets
off. But it turns out this quest is not so easy. When Max enters the
First Moment, he is drawn into the fabric of history to witness dark
and violent periods, and with each passing step, a grim conspiracy is
revealed. Suddenly in too deep, there is nowhere for Max to go but
through. But when you trudge through a swamp, you’re going to get muddy.

My Review

4 Stars

Max Corbett is a history professor at Tulane University in New Orleans. There he meets a beautiful young girl and falls passionately in love with her until he catches her with another man. He leave New Orleans to return to Boston just before hurricane Katrina strikes. After that, Corinne, Gabrielle’s cousin contacts Max to come back for Gabys funeral.

Just after the funeral Max is approached by a man that offers him a map of New Orleans magical moments. If Max follows the map he will find himself at a monument that will let him change a moment in his past. But as he travels the map he attracts the attention of some powerful people. He also learns that changing the past comes with a high price to pay.

This is a great sequel to Mind the Gap. Although it is a different character and city, the tension and magic are the same. I kinds felt bad for Max but at the same time I could see Gabys betrayal and following course to change time coming like a freight train. But I loved the different moments Max found himself in. Of course the bad guys are close behind and wanting to claim the prize for themselves.

I really enjoyed this book and think it’s a great addition to the Hidden Cities series. I can’t wait to see what city is explored next.

The Chamber of Ten
The Hidden Cities Book 3
Archaeologist Dr. Geena Hodge is on the precipice of success: her team has found an
entrance to an underground chamber while searching for the Petrarch’s
lost library. A documentarian is joining her team for the descent
into the long-hidden structure and may be the key to extensive
funding. Best of all, she is able to share the excitement of this
momentous occasion with her assistant-slash-lover, Nico, whose
psychic presence resonates in her own mind.
Within a strikingly preserved room—unlike any Venetian excavation—the
team finds only one artifact: a small vessel that immediately
mesmerizes Nico. While the team investigates a slab of granite inlaid
in the floor, Nico becomes transfixed by the object, and before he
can be stopped, he has the urn in his hands. Then, it is broken open
on the ground. And with that, the impossibly withheld groundwater
begins to fill the chamber…
In the clamor to escape the rapidly flooding room and save the found
texts, the team is sent in all directions. And Nico’s mind, always
attuned to Geena’s, seems to go quiet. His actions in the days
after the incident feel unlike him, and his consciousness seems to
dissolve beneath the weight of his experience with the artifact. What
insidious force was within? And what can satisfy its restless will?

My Review

3 Stars

Geena Hodge is an archeologist working in Venice. While working her team finds what is thought to be the lost library of Petrarch. As exploring the room they find another room that is hidden and way below the water level. It is a complete mystery as to why both rooms are still dry until Nico, Geena’s boyfriend, breaks an urn. At that moment the rooms flood then Nico starts acting strange. It seems that Nico has become possessed by a powerful magician from hundreds of years ago.

What follows is a story from present time and the battle of the Group of Ten in the 15 and 16 century. I loved the history and the back and forth in the story. I felt for Nico as he tried to fight for control of his mind with the magician. I really liked this mystery and though this was a great story.

But I have to say that Geena seemed to push my buttons and acted like a silly school girl with a crush instead of the professional archeologist with a BBC documentary being filmed of her. Her behavior really drew the story down. Although it is still good I am sad to admit that I didn’t like it as much as the first two books in the series. I really hope The Shadow Men is better.

The Shadow Men
The Hidden Cities Book 4
From Beacon Hill to Southie, historic Boston is a town of vibrant
neighborhoods knit into a seamless whole. But as Jim Banks and Trix
Newcomb learn in a terrifying instant, it is also a city
divided—split into three separate versions of itself by a mad
magician once tasked with its protection.
Jim is happily married to Jenny, with whom he has a young daughter,
Holly. Trix is Jenny’s best friend, practically a member of the
family—although she has secretly been in love with Jenny for years.
Then Jenny and Holly inexplicably disappear—and leave behind a
Boston in which they never existed. Only Jim and Trix remember them.
Only Jim and Trix can bring them back.
With the help of Boston’s Oracle, an elderly woman with magical powers,
Jim and Trix travel between the fractured cities, for that is where
Jenny and Holly have gone. But more is at stake than one family’s
happiness. If Jim and Trix should fail, the spell holding the
separate Bostons apart will fail too, and the cities will reintegrate
in a cataclysmic implosion. Someone, it seems, wants just that.
Someone with deadly shadow men at their disposal.

My Review

3 stars

Jim Banks lives in Boston with his wife Jenny and daughter Holly. But one day when he wakes from a nap Jenny and Holly are gone. I don’t mean Jenny left him gone. I mean every trace of them is gone, like they never existed. Then Jim finds Trix Newcomb, she is Jenny’s best friend but has discovered that she can’t find anyone that remembers her.

Together Jim and Trix travel to the Oracle of Boston to figure out what is going on. They learn a prior Oracle made a mess of thing and created three versions of Boston that have grown differently. This is where Jenny and Holly are at. It is up to Jim and Trix to save them and put Boston back together. If the city doesn’t get combined it will explode shortly.

This story has a pretty good concept as Jim and Trix try to find jenny and Holly while uniting the three versions of Boston. There is a lot of history and an interesting reason for why the city was split up. I like the different versions of Boston not being too far off and the doppelgangers being interesting.

Now, having said that, I did feel that the book fell a little flat. I wasn’t all that invested into Jim, Jenny, and Holly. There was a race against time yet I wasn’t fully invested in the story so I didn’t really care. Although the book has potential, I’m sorry to say that for me I was just happy to be done with it in the end.

I received a complimentary copy of these books. I voluntarily chose to read and post honest reviews.

CHRISTOPHER GOLDEN
is the New York Times bestselling author of such novels as Ararat,
Snowblind, Tin Men, The Myth Hunters, Wildwood Road, The Boys Are
Back in Town, The Ferryman, Strangewood, and Of Saints and Shadows.
He has also written books for teens and young adults, including
Poison Ink, Soulless, and the thriller series Body of Evidence,
honored by the New York Public Library and chosen as one of YALSA’s
Best Books for Young Readers.
Goldenco-created (with Mike Mignola) two cult favorite comic book series,
Baltimore and Joe Golem: Occult Detective. As an editor, he has
worked on the short story anthologies Seize the Night, The New Dead,
and Dark Cities, among others, and has also written and co-written
comic books, video games, screenplays, a BBC radio play, the online
animated series Ghosts of Albion (with Amber Benson), and a network
television pilot. A frequent speaker at conferences, schools, and
libraries, Golden is also co-host of the podcasts Three Guys with
Beards and Defenders Dialogue, and the founder of the Merrimack
Valley Halloween Book Festival.

 

Golden was born and raised in Massachusetts, where he still lives with his
family. His original novels have been published in more than fourteen
languages in countries around the world.
TIM LEBBON
has been published for over twenty years and have written over forty
horror, dark fantasy and tie-in novels, including The Silence,
Relics, Coldbrook, The Cabin in the Woods, the Noreela series of
fantasy books (Dusk, Dawn, Fallen and The Island), the NY Times
Bestselling novelisation of the movie 30 Days of Night, Alien: Out of
the Shadows, Star Wars: Dawn of the Jedi – Into the Void, and several
books with Christopher Golden, including Blood of the Four, The Map
of Moments and The Secret Journeys of Jack London. He’s also written
hundreds of novellas and novels and have won several prestigious awards.
The movie of The Silence, starring Stanley Tucci and Kiernan Shipka, is
out summer 2018. Pay the Ghost, starring Nicolas Cage, was released
in 2016. More of his work is currently in development for the big screen.
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