cornerofmadness (cornerofmadness) wrote in 50bookchallenge,

Book 19 & 20

Lime Gelatin and Other Monsters (Offbeat Crimes, #1)Lime Gelatin and Other Monsters by Angel Martinez

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was such a fun story I’m ready to find the next right away. It had just the right amount of snark and weird for me. Kyle Monroe works as a detective in Philly’s 77th precinct, a division made up of oddball cops with super powers. He can absorb other abilities with bad results mostly leaving him a bit isolated even on a team of odd people. He finds himself partnered with the nearly zen newcomer, Vikash Soren whose power seems safe from Kyle.

They are tasked to find out who is killing people along the banks of the Schulykill River along with their teammates which include a lizard man, a wolf made human and a vampire. We have suspects that include a sentient floating leather jacket. In the middle of this Kyle finds himself increasing attracted to his new partner even though he knows this is a bad idea.

I had a lot of fun with this. My only quibble is that it was a bit rushed both mystery and romance wise but not too badly. It is on the short side (more long novella than novel). I liked that there wasn’t really an explanation for all the weird powers. I don’t need a half baked explanation. I’m content that there are powers. The series title is ‘offbeat crimes’ and offbeat is the perfect term for this. Looking forward to the next one.

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The Thunderbolt AffairThe Thunderbolt Affair by Geoffrey Mandragora

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I picked this one up from the author at the Steampunk Spectacle in Cincinnati last year though this is much more alternative history than steampunk but that’s okay. I was a bit out of my element with this one though as it’s alternative military history and the beginning was a bit slow for me. At the end of the day it was a 3.5 read for me but I rounded up to four because it managed to keep me reading in spite of being a military story.

At the opening we find Ian Rollins at the bottom of a bottle waiting for his Navy career to come to an ignoble end. He acted against orders on his last ship and saved a lot of lives but lost the ship. The captain there in is out to blame him for everything. Worse Ian lost a hand and an eye in the incident.

Ian is summoned. To his surprise not only was he not court-martialed he was recruited to be commander on the British Navy’s newest endeavor: getting a functional submarine, the Holland Ram. The first part of the book is all about getting Ian up and running on the Ram and getting the Ram ready for action. What interested me here was Danjella Tesla, Nikola Tesla’s cousin. She gives the story a strong female character (about the only one given this is Edwardian England and women didn’t exactly have a lot of agency) She sets out to help give Ian back a semi-functional hand as well as working with her cousin to get the submarine functional.

Naturally there’s going to be a romantic subplot and far more interesting to me is the espionage element. We have England’s spy Cooper-Smythe who is a great character. We also have a Pinkerton from America along with Teddy Roosevelt. For me this really made the book, all the attempts to sabotage the project. It was a lot of fun.

Mine also had a short story at the end that was fun too and I’m sure there has to be more stories planned. I wouldn’t mind dropping back in on Ian and Danjella.

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ETA - I was off on my numbering some how.
Tags: alternate history, glbt, mystery, urban fantasy

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