Tuesday, October 31, 2006

The Runelords, by David Farland

I picked up The Runelords because it was a special $3.99 edition. It was certainly well worth the $4. While it isn't a great book, I do think it's a pretty good book.

The basic premise is that a person can give some of their own strengths to another through the use of runes. For instance, if you give someone your wit, you become a drooling moron and their memory becomes enhanced. If you give metabolism, you go into a coma and they become the Flash.

This is a part that was kind of confusing. The names of the attributes don't make all that much sense. I mean wit and memory aren't the same thing, and neither are metabolism and speed. Farland should have just called them memory and speed and things would have been a heck of a lot less confusing. Also, these endowments can only be given willingly (at least that's the impression I get from the scenes where it happens), but the villain is reputed to steal them from people he conquers. It doesn't make a lot of sense to me.

There's a second kind of magic in the book too. A sort of generic elemental magic. Much like in The Dragon Quartet book I read a few weeks ago, earth, water, and presumable air (we don't see any air magic) are good and fire is evil. the hero becomes the Earth King, which gives him some magical powers. This one makes more sense than the rune business.

While I thought the story dragged a bit in places, it wasn't bad. I think it shows a lot of promise for the series as a whole. I'm certainly going to look for Brotherhood of the Wolf, the second book in the series. Anyway, I give The Runelords four yo-yos, because I think the series has promise.

Sunday, October 29, 2006


I occasionally like to play the game Magic the Gathering, especially the online version. The latest Magic set, Time Spiral, goes on sale online tomorrow, and I thought that since I'm a bit behind on my reading, I'd review some cards from the set. Specifically my favorite little tribe: the Slivers. I'll pick one from each color and tell you what I think of it.

Don't get me wrong, I'm by no means a tourney level player. So just because I like a card doesn't mean it's a good card to use. Basically, I suck at Magic. Anyway, lets start with this:

I like this one a lot. Really, if your playing a sliver deck you're going to be using a lot of different colors, maybe even all five. This one will help you generate the mana you need.

This is my favorite blue sliver. Sure, If you don't have something to increase your slivers' toughness or to give them protection from blue, this guy will probably cause them to self destruct. Still, I can think of a quite a few neat little combos I could use this guy in. For instance, if you have this one a Sliver Queen, and the next guy I'll review (and something to give slivers haste) that's an instant win (unless your opponent can break the cycle anyway).

See, you tap a sliver to deal damage. Then while the ability's on the stack, sacrifice it for the BB. Then use the BB so Sliver Queen can pump out a new sliver and start over again. Just don't sacrifice Psionic Sliver or Basalt sliver this way.

I know this one is red and black, but I'm using him for my red slot anyway, because he makes an easy slivery way to give your slivers hast and pull off that combo I mentioned. I know it's not that great a combo, but like I said, I kind of suck at this game.

Putting any slivers that die back on top of your life deck is a good thing as far as I can see. Flying is nice too.

I love Slivers. All in all, I give them 5 yo-yos, just because I can.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Conrad's Fate, by Diana Wynne Jones

I like Diana Wynne Jones books, especially the Chrestomanci ones. So, when I saw Conrad's Fate, I said "Ooh a Chrestomanci book," and I bought it. Sure, they are written for kids, but their still pretty darn good books even if you're an adult.

the only thing I didn't like about this book was that Conrad, the title character, was kind of stupid. Sure, he's just a kid, but even a twelve year old should have enough sense not to swallow all the crap Conrad's uncle feeds him. Would you believe you had bad karma requiring you to kill somebody? I know I wouldn't. I'd think that anybody bet a total moron would smell a setup. Conrad doesn't.

Other than that, it's a good book. Even I had a hard time figuring out what was going on before I read it. Usually, I can see the plot twists coming a mile away. I also like the characters Christopher Chant and Millie, who were in previous books.

If you like kid's fantasy, or just fantasy in general, you'll probably like this book. I give Conrad's Fate four and a half yo-yos.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Hosts, by F. Paul Wilson

The premise behind Hosts is that there's this virus, called Unity, that turns people into a sort of hive mind thing that wants to take over the world. It's not exactly an original idea. It kind of reminded me of the Doctor Who episode The Invisible Enemy, only the virus doesn't make people look like chipmunks. I also thought of the Borg, only they used nanites and turned into cyborgs. There are probably a bunch of other places that use the same idea, but that doesn't mean this one sucks.

This one has Repairman Jack--and his sister Kate. Kate's lesbian lover is infected with the virus and Kate is worried about her. So Jack steps in to help. Turns out Jack's immune to the virus due to his encounter with the Rakoshi back in The Tomb. Anyway, the day is saved and unfortunately Kate dies tragically. I already knew that she would though, because it was mentioned in Infernal.

The idea behind the story wasn't a particularly original one, but then very few are. This is actually a very good book. The Repairman Jack books are always exciting. The only thing I regret about reading this one is that now I only have three more Repairman Jack novels to read (not counting Nightworld). I'm not counting Nightworld, because I don't plan on reading until I can get my hands on a revised edition--the older version was written before the Repairman Jack books 2+, and from what I hear the continuity no longer makes sense--and unfortunately, as far as I can tell the revised Nightworld is currently only available in a $60 limited edition version, and that's a little out of my price range.

To get back on track, Hosts is a darn good book. I love these Repairman Jack books, and I don't hesitate to give this one a full five yo-yos.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Brother to Dragons, Companion to Owls

I like Jane Lindskold's books. Her Child of a Rainless Year contained a preview of Brother to Dragons, Companion to Owls, one of her early works which has just been reprinted. I liked the excerpt so much I decided to pick it up.

It's kind of a strange story. It's about a girl named Sarah who is released from a mental hospital after some budget cuts. She can't talk except through quotations, but she does have a mysterious power; she can talk to inanimate objects. Sure I can talk to inanimate objects too, but she can understand what the objects are saying.

After her release Sarah joins a sort of street gang based on the wolf pack from The Jungle Books. Then an evil organization starts looking for her. It turns out they were responsible for creating her, and now they want her back.

I thought this was a really cool book with some great ideas behind it. I really liked the characters, too--especially Sarah. There's adventure and mystery. There are some nasty villains. There's a two-headed dragon. Really, I don't see how I could not like this book. I have to give Brother to Dragons, Companion to Owls five yo-yos.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006


I have no officially read the first three volumes of F. Paul Wilson's Adversary Cycle--The Keep, The Tomb, and now The Touch. The only thing is, without reading the final three books in the series--Reborn, Reprisal, and Nightworld--I don't have a clue how this one fits in with the others. From the book descriptions I know that Rasalom, from The Keep, is the main enemy of the series and that Repairman Jack shows up in the last book, but I don't have a clue as to how this one fits in.

Anyway, The Touch is about a doctor who gets a mysterious healing power. Unfortunately for him, that power comes with a terrible price. The story is mainly about how Dr. Bulmer, and those around him react to his strange power. He gets mobbed by sick people, his wife leaves him, and his colleagues all think that he's either insane or a quack. It isn't a particularly scary book, though it does get a bit gruesome near the end.

Still, this a good, gripping book. I read it in less than a day. Unfortunately, even though The Keep and The Tomb have been recently reprinted in inexpensive paperbacks, The Touch is out of print. Still, you can currently get a nice used hardcover copy from Amazon for about $10 (for some odd reason the used paperbacks are more expensive). I like this book, and you should try it if you can find it. I give The Touch four and a half yo-yos.

Sunday, October 22, 2006


Have you ever seen the movie K-PAX? I remember seeing part of it once and thinking it was OK. I picked up Gene Brewer's novel K-Pax, which the movie is based on, because it was only $6.99.

It was certainly a very good purchase. This is a very different and interesting book. For one thing, there are no definite science fiction elements. Sure, the main character, called prot, claims to be an alien, but seeing as how he's a mental patient, he might just be insane. While prot does show remarkable insight and abilities--some superhuman or based on information that no human could possess--we can never say for certain whether he's an alien or a madman. His strange abilities and inhuman knowledge of astronomy point to his being an alien, but his world, K-PAX, seems to conform with the supposed insanity of Robert, the human he is believed to be. I just love the ambiguity.

I also like the way the novel was set up. Instead of using a standard chapter based format, Gene Brewer tells the story in a series of sixteen sessions between prot and his psychiatrist, Dr. Brewer. Yes, the author is a character in his own story. I told you' it's a bit different.

Prot is a very different sort of alien, too. He looks human, but inside he's not. The sort of things that humans value--love, family, religion, sex, etc.--are all foreign to his nature. I don't know that I personally would like to go to his K-PAX, but it sounds like an interesting place.

This book is one that I can't recommend enough. I give K-PAX five yo-yos.

Friday, October 20, 2006

We're Off To See A Wizard...

I've finally started reading Jim Butcher's Dresden Files books, mainly so I can complain about how SciFi butchered it when their TV version premiers :) Anyway, I got an omnibus edition called Wizard for Hire from Zooba. It contains the first three books.

These books tell the story of Harry Dresden, Chicago's only practicing wizard. He tends to get into trouble with the white council, wizardry's ruling body. He helps the police solve supernatural crime. He has a nosy reporter for a girlfriend. What's not to like?

I'm glad I finally read them, because these are some good novels. My favorite in the omnibus is Grave Peril, which is book number three. There, we meet Michael, a knight, and we get to see Harry kick some major vampiric butt. Oh yeah, and there's a killer ghost too.

Volumes one and two, Storm Front and Fool Moon, were pretty good too. I didn't enjoy Storm Front quite as much as the others, because I found Morgan, Harry's wizardly parole officer, to be so annoyingly stupid. It was still a good novel.

Really, if you haven't read these books yet, do it now. I give Wizard For Hire five yo-yos.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Waif, Strays, and Stories I've Read Before

I've just finished reading Charles de Lint's Waifs and Strays. It's a collection of his short stories featuring teen aged protagonists. Over all, it's a good book, and I am a fan of his work, but I do have one problem.

Several of the stories in this collection are also in other collections of his. Of the sixteen stories, four of them are in other books I have. "Merlin Dreams in Mondream Wood" was in one of the Tansom House books. Three of the Newford stories--"But for the Grace Go I," "Ghosts of Wind and Shadow," and the titular "Waifs and Strays"--are collected in various Newford collections. They're all good stories, but I would have much rather seen their places filled by short stories that weren't included in other de Lint books.

The only story I didn't really like a lot was "Sisters," which is a bout a vampire who wants to turn her sister into a vampire so they can be together forever. I loved the last story in the collection, "Somewhere in My Mind There Is a Painting Box." "A Wish Named Arnold" was another good one.

I liked this book a lot. If it wasn't for the fact that four of the stories in it were in other de Lint collections, I'd have given it a five. As it is, it gets four yo-yos.

Monday, October 16, 2006

If Repairman Jack Is Out To Get You Is It Still Paranoia

Well, I have now finished reading Conspiracies, the third Repairman Jack novel. I love the Repairman Jack books.

In this volume, Jack enters the world of conspiracy theories to find a missing woman. He has his first encounter with Rasalom, the evil entity from The Keep who is the Otherness's servant on Earth. This is also the first mention of the Otherness in the Repairman Jack books.

It's a very exciting story, but I thought it started a little slowly. The real action doesn't start until Jack gets to the conspiracy convention, about 100 pages into the book. This is because Wilson spends a lot of time introducing Jack (and his readers) to the ideas of conspiracy theories. I think this is a little unnecessary. These days, conspiracy theories have become pretty mainstream. Just about everybody knows that there are people who believe that Oswald didn't kill JFK, the moon landing was a hoax, and that Al Qaeda wasn't responsible for 9/11. Or maybe that's just me. It might be that being a regular reader of Fortean Times has made me more aware of that sort of thing.

Anyway, this is a great book in any case. It's got lots of action and weirdness. I give it four and a half yo-yos.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

For Once, I Have Something Nice To Say About A Horror Movie

It's very rare that I rent or buy a horror movie and actually end up liking it. Revenge of the Rats has proven to be the exception. It's foreign, German in fact, and some of the dubbing is a bit odd, but it's not bad. Really the only thing I didn't like was the utterly predictable part with the dog; a little girl loses her dog in a tunnel full of killer rats, and the damn thing miraculously turns up alive at the end of the movie.

The movie is set in Frankfurt, where there has been a garbage strike during a record heat wave. The city has become infested with rats. Not just ordinary rats, either. These rats carry a mutant strain of meningitis and become vicious whenever anyone tries to clean the city. I liked this a lot. It's actually worth more than the $5 I paid for it.

If for some reason you wanted to look this movie up in the IMDB, it's listed under its German title, Ratten - sie werden dich kriegen! I'm not sure why it isn't listed under it's English title as well, but it isn't. Anyway, I liked this move a lot. I give it four and a half yos.

Repairman Jack Wears Amazon Shorts

I decided to shell out 49¢ for a short story from amazon. It seemed like a pretty good idea, especially since I started out with F. Paul Wilson's The Long Way Home: A Repairman Jack Story. I was slightly wary, because it did get some pretty mixed ratings.

They aren't totally undeserved either. As just about every review on Amazon pointed out, their are some continuity problems; Jack is somehow simultaneously wearing "work boots" and "sneakers." I know the story first appeared in a book called Dark At Heart, but I have no idea if these errors were in that volume too, or if they cropped up as the story was transferred to digital form.

The story is pretty interesting. We see Jack as the very moral man he is. He risks his life, and possibly his freedom, to what's right and help a wounded police officer. We also get to see what happens when Jack finally gets arrested. This is a way cool story. I give it four yo-yos, and I'd have given it five if it wasn't for that whole work boots/sneakers thing--and confusing bawling (crying) and balling (having sex with) at one point.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Dun, Dun, Dun..sany

I finished reading Lord Dunsany's The Sword of Welleran and Other Stories yesterday. Dunsany was one of the great fantasy writers of the early twentieth century. I've been a fan of his since I first read his stuff.

This collection of twelve of Dunsany's short stories was originally published in 1908. This is a Dover reprint edition, which contains the complete text and illustrations from the original edition. My only complaint is that since it's so short--only 100 pages--and it's out of copyright, it's too darn expensive. $6.95 is a lot for a short, old book that the author doesn't get a cut of.

The stories are excellent. Dunsany is a master of descriptive prose. Sometimes he's a little too descriptive, like in "The Fall of Babbulkund," where I thought he spent way too much time describing this city of wonders. Still it is a good story, even so. All, the stories are imaginative and a pleasure to read. Anybody who likes fantasy should read Lord Dunsany's books.

I give The Sword of Welleran four and a half yo-yos. The only reason I didn't give it more, is because I thought it was a bit overpriced for such a small book.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Samurai (Repairman) Jack

I've finally read Repairman Jack #2, Legacies (Repairman Jack Novels (Paperback)). It's a damn good book.

This one takes place shortly after The Tomb, and well before Jack begins to be constantly involved with the Otherness. The plot of this one actually kept me guessing until very close to the end. A woman has been willed a house, and there's some sort of mystery inside. I didn't figure out what the mystery was until just before the characters figured it out, which is pretty rare for me. This might be because, based on the other Repairman Jack books, I expected a supernatural secret, but it was in fact super science.

Anyway, the Repairman Jack books are great. This is no exception. I give Legacies five yo-yos. If you wondered about the Samurai Jack reference in the title, it's because Jack is referred to as a ronin a couple of times in this book.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

A Confusing Mishmash

I like horror movies. I like old horror movies. I thought that a movie that uses clips from old horror movies edited with modern footage to make a new film sounded like a good idea. Unfortunately, if Terror in Tropics is any indication, it is a very bad idea.

I know that many old horror movies have plots that make almost no sense. This one goes one better (or maybe worse) and has a plot that makes absolutely no sense. There are mad scientists, murders, gorillas, deformed henchmen, dinosaurs, and spunky reporters. A guy dies and leaves all his money to twelve strangers, but they have to go to his private island to claim it. Meanwhile, some thieves have stolen the map that shows the true location of Skull Island (from King Kong). Everybody gets on an ocean liner. Then they find a survivor from the expedition to Skull Island. Then Several people are murdered. Then they all arrive on Fog Island for the reading of the will. Several other people are murdered. The reporters are locked in a closet. Then somehow everything turns out alright.

Besides a nonsensical plot, the acting sucks. I've seen high school plays with better acting. And, the old and new scenes don't mesh well. They go through the trouble to make the new film look like old film, but it doesn't look quite like actual old film, and the modern sound doesn't have the same quality as the old sound.

I picked this one up for about $4. It was too expensive at that price. Really, the only reason I gave this thing as good a rating as I did is because I liked the one extra: Gregory Mank's discussion of "Poverty Row" films. This gets it two and a half yo-yos.

Dragons x4

I actually did manage to finish Marjorie Kellogg's The Dragon Quartet: Volume 1. It is an omnibus edition containing The Book of Earth and The Book of Water. While I do think Earth was slow to start, once it got going it kept me hooked, and Water had me hooked throughout.

Dragons are common as mud in fantasy, but these aren't exactly typical dragons. They are cosmic forces that helped create the Earth. They've been slumbering for millenia, and now they're waking up. They've been summoned by an unknown person for some important task. They don't know exactly what it is, though.

My only real complaint with this volume is the slow opening. In Earth, we meet Erde, a young noblewoman. We learn that her father is a weakling and probably a closet perv. then an evil priest shows up and starts burning witches left and right. Erde is forced to flee and meets up with the dragon Earth. Until the girl and the dragon meet up, I thought it was very boring. Afterwards, it was exciting.

This is a good volume. I'd definitely recommend this, and I'll be looking for volume 2 in the near future. I give The Dragon Quartet: Volume 1 four yo-yos.

Monday, October 09, 2006

A Decent Zombie Movie

I was at my local K-Mart earlier today and I picked up a couple of cheap horror movies. I've actually managed to watch one so far. It's a zombie movie called The Ghouls. According to the box, this was an "Official Selection [at the] Amsterdam Fantastic Film Festival," an "Official Selection [of] Rue Morgue's Indie Terror Fest," and the "Winner [for] Best Film [at] Saints and Sinners IV." These guys must have way lower standards than me.

Don't get me wrong; this wasn't a terrible movie. I think I can safely say that this is the best independently produced zombie movie I've seen. Of course, that's not saying very much. Here are my gripes:

1. The hero is a dick. He's a stringer (a kind of reporter). He's the sort of reporter who'd rather film somebody dieing than lift a finger to try and save that person's life. Seriously, his girlfriend dumps him because she knows he filmed some children being burned alive and ignored their cries for help.

2. It's so slow to start. We see our "hero" filming a serial killer, filming a high-speed car chase, selling a story, getting dumped, getting drunk, getting high, having weird flashbacks, and generally being a dick before we see even one zombie.

3. The zombies are stupid even for zombies. All of their victims are either killed or severely mutilated before being dragged off to the zombie larder: except for the "hero." Him they don't touch, so he can escape and kill them all on his way out.

The one thing I did like about this movie was that some effort obviously went into it in areas other than makeup and gore effects. The acting is actually good. Other than the plot hole at the end, the writing is pretty good. While the lighting almost universally dark, this seems to be intentional as opposed the more usual "to cheap to hire somebody" mentality I think lies behind a lot of these movies.

This really isn't a bad film. I don't think it's all that great either, though. If you like zombie movies, you might like this one. I give The Ghouls three and a half yo-yos.

Sunday, October 08, 2006


I'm reading Marjorie B. Kellogg's The Dragon Quartet: Volume One, but I'm going very slowly. It'll probably take another couple of days for me finish. That's assuming I don't get my most recent Amazon shipment first. Once I get that, I'll have Repairman Jack volumes 1 & 2, a Charles de Lint, and another book that I can't remember. I'll almost certainly switch when they arrive. It's not that I don't like the book I'm reading, it's just that it's moving way too slowly for my temperament right now.

Anyway, since I don't like go more than two days without writing some kind of review, I'll do an Internet one again. Instead of a web comic, I'll do something else. I'm sure anyone reading this has probably seen it (unless you've been living under a rock or something), but I figure I'll try reviewing Homestar Runner.

Homestar Runner is an animation website, featuring the adventures of Homestar Runner and his friends. By far the coolest character is Strong Bad, a strange, masked wrestle man who answers email. He's just so darn funny and mean and cool. I wish he'd answer one of my emails some day.

Homestar Runner also has games. Some of them are kind of fun. I especially like Peasant's Quest. This is just one of the coolest sites around. I just can't think of anything else to say about it, except: five yo-yos.

Friday, October 06, 2006

A Special Message from the Yoyogod

Since I've switched to the beta Blogger, I can now add tags to my post. I've decided that for the sake of uniformity, I'm going to go back and add tags to my old posts. While I'm at it, I'll also update the reviews with the newer yo-yo rating system.

I've divided the labels into five categories: media (the format), genre, series, rating, and other. Here are all the current ones:




science fiction
short stories


Series Of Unfortunate Events
Harry Potter
Repairman Jack
Dirk Gently
Book of Years
Adversary Cycle
Black Magician
Thlassa Mey
Wheel Of Time
Exiles of Boq'urain
Soldier Son
Tears Of Artamon
Night Watch
Age Of The Five
Dragon Quartet
Dresden Files




special--any non-review
mockery--a non-review where I mock something
ratings--What the ratings mean
labels--this page

In Soviet Russia, Night Watches You!

I decided to try reading a little foreign fantasy, namely Sergei Lukyanenko's Night Watch. The first time I heard of this book was when I saw a copy of the DVD of the movie adaptation and saw it listed as "based on the international bestseller" (or whatever). My first thought was, "Wow, I didn't know they were making a movie based on a Dicworld novel!" Then I read the back and realized it wasn't. Sigh!

A lot of people seem to like this book. All the reviews on Amazon were four or five stars. Reviewing is largely a matter of personal opinion, and in this case my personal opinion is that the book ain't all that great. There are several reasons why I didn't like the book. First off, there are major differences between Russian and American culture, which makes it a bit difficult for an uniformed American, like myself, to follow the action.

Then there's the names. Everyone one seems to be referred to by at least two of them. It's not hard to figure out that Olga and Olya are the same person, but how in the heck am I supposed to know that Gesar and Boris Ignavich are the same person?

I also didn't like the tone. It might just be that I've been in kind of a bad mood these past few days, but this book seemed depressing as Hell. From what I understand (and remember that I don't normally read Russian novels), Russian novels are usually depressing.

The book isn't all bad though. The plots, though a bit confusing, is very interesting. It's all about the light wizards of Night Watch trying to maintain the balance with the dark wizards of Day Watch. The characters, especially the protagonist, are very convincing and interesting. If you like Russian novels and fantasy, you should probably read this one.

If you like Russian novels or fantasy--but not both--you still might want to read this one. I didn't like it, but I didn't really think it's terrible. Actually, I think it's a bit above average. That's why I give Night Watch three and a half yo-yos.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006


I had another quick read yesterday: a. Lee Martinez's Gil's All Fright Diner. It's a strange little books with a vampire, a werewolf, some ghosts, some ghouls, some zombies, the Necronomicon, and a horny teenager.

It's a pretty darn good book. There were several places where I actually laughed out loud while reading it--usually that only happens with Wodehouse, Pratchett, and Adams. I thought having the villain be a teenage witch who manipulates people with sex appeal as much as magic was a very good (and funny) idea. The two main characters, Duke (the werewolf) and Earl (the vampire), are very interesting characters, though I find their almost constant bickering somewhat grating. Also, I think that use of the Necronomicon, even in a comedy like this, is getting way too cliched. Still, this is a very good book.

While I don't think this is quite as good as say Terry Pratchett's Discworld, it's pretty damn good. If you like comic fantasy (or horror, you should read this. I give Gil's All Fright Diner four yo-yos.

Jumping Jacks

It's repairman Jack time again. This time I've read Crisscross, which is the eight novel in the series.

You might wonder why I'm skipping around so much in the series. I mean, I read #1 years ago, then I read #9 last month, then #4, and now #8. It's simple; My local Borders sucks. They don't have #2-3 of the series in stock, so since I can't read them in order, I just decided to skip around. That's pretty much the same reason why I haven't read Lumley's Vampire World trilogy yet--all they have is volumes two and three.

Anyway, the book itself is great. There's a blackmailed nun. There's a sinister cult. There's the Otherness. There's Jack. There's lots of action and a very fast pace. It has everything needed for a great Repairman jack adventure. As usual for F. Paul Wilson's stuff, I give this one a hight rating: five yo-yos.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Rain Rain Go Away

The first book of Jane Lindskold's I remember reading was When the Gods Are Silent. A few years later I discovered her Firekeeper series, which I really loved (well the first three anyway). I read her book The Buried Pyramid and thought it was pretty good. Now, I've read Child of a Rainless Year.

This book is very different than the others. All of the others were more action oriented, and all of them, except Pyramid, were set in imaginary worlds. Child of a Rainless Year is more of a character-driven urban fantasy.

It's all about a woman named Mira. After her adoptive parents die, she discovers that's she's the owner of Phineas House, a mysterious building in Las Vegas, New Mexico. Phineas House belonged to Mira's birth mother, who disappeared when Mira was only nine. There is something strange about the place.

Even though Mira hasn't seen her birth mother in more than forty years, she still thinks of herself as little more than a pale reflection of her mother. This has caused her to shy away from her love of colors, though not too far away as she became an art teacher. As she stays in Phineas House she feels her true self awaken.

The characters in this book are admirably done. I really liked them. The magic is very mysterious, which is always a good thing in urban fantasy. About the only bad thing I can think to say is that the pace is a little slow. Still, It's a very good book and I give it four and a half yo-yos.