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Bookburners: Anywhere but Here by Brian Francis Slattery

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Bookburners: Anywhere but Here by Brian Francis Slattery Bookburners: Anywhere But Here by Brian Francis Slattery
Series: Bookburners #1.2
Published by Serial Box Publishing on September 16, 2015
Source: Purchased
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 47
Format: eBook
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Sal Brooks, newest member of Team Three of the Societas Librium Occultorum, is settling into her job and apartment in Rome. In this episode we meet the rest of the team and get a tour of the Black Archives (pro tip: don’t touch anything), before being whisked off on Sal’s first mission: investigate a magical disturbance in the heart of Madrid, Spain. There they find a breathing apartment door, little girls being held hostage, and some furniture that is far too alive for good taste. First days on the job are never easy…

So far, Bookburners reminds me of The Librarians tv show – which is a good thing, but it doesn’t have the math/literary/science references The Librarians. What it does have is a group of non-magical people very good at what they do who go around the world collecting magical artifacts – like books and bringing them back to a place where they are all collected and safeguarded. Each episode of Bookburners is just that, a self-contained story that forms a part of the overall storyline.

“Anywhere but Here” is Sal’s first official case. The team heads to Madrid, where another man has opened another book and bad things are happening. Not downright evil – just wrong, and weird, and cool. The descriptions were awesome, and if the storyline itself is not terribly original, I think this particular danger was pretty doggone cool.

Sal is fitting in pretty well. I like how she manages to find the parts where this new job is similar to traditional police work, although I think her solution to this “hostage situation” worked a little too easily.

I will probably pick up another episode when I want a quick read, but I’m not sure I care enough for $20 to read the whole first season. $2 for a 40+ page episode seems a bit high too, but more doable somehow.

About Brian Francis Slattery

Brian Francis Slattery is the author of Spaceman Blues, Liberation, Lost Everything, and The Family Hightower. Lost Everything won the Philip K. Dick Award in 2012. He’s the arts and culture editor for the New Haven Independent, an editor for the New Haven Review, and a freelance editor for a few not-so-secret public policy think tanks. He also plays music constantly with a few different groups in a bunch of different genres. He has settled with his family just outside of New Haven and admits that elevation above sea level was one of the factors he took into account. For one week out of every year, he enjoys living completely without electricity.

Bookburners: Badge, Book, and Candle by Max Gladstone

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Bookburners: Badge, Book, and Candle by Max Gladstone Bookburners: Badge, Book, and Candle by Max Gladstone
Series: Bookburners #1.1
Published by Serial Box Publishing on September 15, 2015
Source: Purchased
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 44
Format: eBook
Buy on Amazon or Audible
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NYPD Detective Sal Brooks is no rookie—but even the most hardened cop would think twice when they see their brother open a book and become…well…something entirely not their brother. When her attempts to solve the case cross paths with a mysterious team led by a priest, she starts to realize that the world is far more than what is seems, and, just maybe, magic is real—and hungry.

“Badge, Book, and Candle” is the first episode in the Bookburners serial. I picked it up mostly because I enjoyed The Witch who Came in from the Cold and wanted to try another. We’ve got a basic urban fantasy set up – demons trying to break into our world, a main character who just learned magic exists. It’s quick-paced, mostly action and little character building but it is the intro to the series. We get right into the action,but I’m sure we’ll learn more about the characters as the story continues.

Sal is a great character. She’s intelligent and loves her brother, faults and all – and that’s what draws her into this world. You have to give her credit though, she’s tough.

I like the serial set up. It’s a short read, it kind of wraps up but leaves you wanting to see what happens in the next one. I will say that the descriptions and analogies are well done. It’s an enjoyable read. I don’t know that it’s terribly original, but it’s fun.

About Max Gladstone

Max Gladstone has been thrown from a horse in Mongolia, drank almond milk with monks on Wudang Shan, and wrecked a bicycle in Angkor Wat. Max is also the author of the Craft Sequence of books about undead gods and skeletal law wizards—Full Fathom Five, Three Parts Dead, Two Serpents Rise, and Last First Snow. Max fools everyone by actually writing novels in the coffee shops of Davis Square in Somerville, MA. His dreams are much nicer than you’d expect.

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