Monday, 11 March 2013

Review: Frost Burned

Frost Burned
Frost Burned by Patricia Briggs

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I enjoyed the last Patricia Briggs I read so much that I broke my "no ebook is worth more than $8" rule for this one. I'm glad I did. It's fully up to the standard of the previous entries in the series.

I like Patricia Briggs' heroines because they're protagonists. They have goals, they take action, they're intelligent and tough and determined to do the right thing. If they get rescued by men, it's not because they've done something incredibly headstrong and stupid, and they're just as likely to rescue a man as to be rescued by one. They're feisty. Anyone who tries to screw with them or theirs is in a whole heap of trouble, and they will not be bossed around.

They do often choose violence as the solution to their problems, but they can also talk and reason and make friends and allies. They're not just oddly-shaped, rather small men who think firing big guns is the way to solve everything, like some urban fantasy "heroines" I could mention.

All of these strengths are on view here. The language flows smoothly, the editing is without error (and hence doesn't distract or detract), the plot is exciting and free of gaping holes, the stakes are personal, the setting is believable.

Briggs is one of a small number of very good urban fantasy writers that I keep reading because they consistently produce quality books. The others are Carrie Vaughn, C.E. Murphy (the shaman series; not so keen on her others for some reason), Rachel Caine (the Weather Wardens; I don't like her vampire books), and Jim Butcher (the Dresden Files; not as into Codex Alera). Those five authors are the ones that, in my opinion, new urban fantasy authors should be reading closely, analyzing and setting out to emulate, particularly when it comes to protagonists. Steampunk authors could learn a thing or two, as well.

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