Alex Reviews Empire of the Vampire by Jay Kristoff

Alex reporting in with a review of Empire of the Vampire by Jay Kristoff which released on 2021-09-14

Cover of Empire of the Vampire

It’s Interview with a Vampire (well, Vampire Hunter) in a setting that’s like Castlevania/Vampire Hunter D with some Berserk and Bloodborne thrown in there. If that sentence made complete sense to you, congratulations, you’re incredibly nerdy.
DESCRIPTION OF BOOK BELOW. It’s not spoilers but it’s a review. If you don’t want to hear about the setting, characters, and some of the themes, leave off reading right about
It’s not a cheerful read–it’s gory and cynical–and it’s the first book of a series. The world it sets up is fun–a sort of fantasy Europe (where everyone seems French for some reason) where a meteor hit the world and kicked up so much dust it hasn’t settled twenty-five years later. The sun is obscured enough that vampires don’t die in the sunlight. Vampires are making a serious bid to rule this not-Europe under the leadership of one who calls himself the Forever King because he (not unreasonably) expects to be around that long, but other things what go bump in the night are mentioned and sometimes encountered.
The hero is a guy who has been reduced to some deep cynicism and, to put it bluntly, assholery by ill fortune and hard life (and, at one point, gets epically, gloriously, proven wrong after he makes an ass of himself). He’s the last member of an order of monster slayers who tattoo themselves with a silver-based ink because silver burns monsters. Is that good for a long lifespan? Probably not, but they don’t really expect to see old age anyway, their job being what it is.
I initially thought this was an edgelord power fantasy and I was okay to read it on its terms (I like a good dark fantasy romp), but then the author pulled the rug out from under me and showed more sophistication than I expected and kept building on it.
It had some good LGBTQ+ rep in there (albeit in a very narrow-minded society, but it’s presented as society having its priorities oriented on things that aren’t really it’s business) and, also, some hilariously catty back-and-forth between the hero and the vampire jailer recording his story.
Remember how I said it was Interview with a Vampire? Yeah. The whole this is framed as a conversation, with the hero doing the bulk of the talking but sometimes stopping to trade insults or bicker with the historian. There’s illustrations, as well, and those are called out as being the vampire using his super speed to sketch and draw in between taking down lines.
Right, rant over. I enjoyed the book enough I got a proper copy when it came out. My ARC didn’t have all the illustrations in it yet.

Interested in a copy? You can order it on our website to ship, deliver (local only) or pick up in store

Release Geek: Bump by Matt Wallace

I didn’t ever expect to be this excited about a middle-grade book about a wrestling school, but it’s coming out tomorrow and here I am! I’ve been waiting on this to come out for months so I could tell people about it!

So it’s like this: MJ is a girl in middle school who’s being bullied in her gymnastics class and dealing with her complicated feelings about her dad, who has left her and her mom. She still loves him, but her pain and betrayal at his departure is complicating her emotions. One thing associated with him that’s still fun for her is watching professional wrestling, a shared hobby of the two of them. She’s well aware the results are predetermined, but the athleticism, showmanship, and excitement of it are all very real.

She meets an elderly next door neighbor and it turns out he used to be a respected name in the wrestling business and he still runs a training gym that occasionally puts on shows. After some cajoling aimed at her mother, she drops gymnastics to get away from the toxicity of her peers, and starts taking classes. She finds that the gym’s fellow students and staff are welcoming and supportive but the first thing she has to do is learn to take a bump: how to land and take an impact safely. There’s some tricks to it. It takes practice and cooperation to not actually break anything in some of the moves, and strength to do it reliably, and it’s the fundamental skill the rest of professional wrestling is built on.

No matter what you do, taking a bump hurts a bit. The process there teaches MJ: Life hurts, no matter what you do, but you can pick how it hurts, be ready for it, and it’ll hurt a lot less with friends to help.

The author, Matt Wallace, is a former wrestler himself and the discussions of the mechanics and backstage life are informed by his lived experience. Anyone who’s been to middle school will identify with the petty games of social dominance bullies play that MJ has to live with, and further along MJ learns about how even doing something well-meaning and the right move can cause jealousy and hurt feelings that have to be addressed and mended.

I didn’t expect to read this book and have the memories of middle school cliques wake up like they did. Matt Wallace very accurately nails the pains of that age down on page, and I think he has some lessons here that’ll help kids get ready for life. I know some of this would have helped me, back in the day.

Haunted Book Shop Halloween: Vamp It Up

Here at the Haunted Book Shop, we go hard on Halloween. This year, our theme is Vamp It Up–we’ve made a display of every vampire-centric work we could lay our hands on. Even the wonderfully befanged Mr. Bingley is getting in on it.

Here’s a selection of some them:

Dracula–Bram Stoker’s classic work of horror that put vampires firmly in the public imagination. We have several editions–paperback, graphic novels, hardback, and a limited number of an unabridged illustrated edition.

Interview With A Vampire–The first in the awesome series by Anne Rice, you can’t go wrong with reading Louis and Lestat’s story.

Twilight— Stephenie Meyer’s breakout hit, and for many people the first series they read and reread. The story of Bella Swan, the woman that makes forever worth living for Edward Cullen, whose century-plus as a vampire hasn’t made him relish the eternity before him.

Anno Dracula–Kim Newman’s alternative history and sequel to Dracula, start from the premise “What if Dracula won in Bram Stoker’s novel?” The answer: Dracula was never run out of Britain, hypnotized his way into marrying Queen Victoria, and vampirism has become open and legal. This book presents a look at the often-gruesome social changes that have to happen if the vampires came out of the night to trouble to warm.

Giracula–Vampires aren’t always scary! Giracula, by Caroline Watkins, is an adorably silly kids’ book about a vampire giraffe–a vampire just couldn’t stay away from that much neck, you see.

Bunnicula–Deborah and James Howe’s adorable kids’ classic about a vampire bunny rabbit (he doesn’t drink blood, he sucks the juice out of vegetables until they turn white), told from the point of view of the family dog, Harold.

The Vampire Files–P.N. Elrod’s fun mysteries set in Depression-era Chicago. Narrated by Jack Fleming, a decent guy who got turned into a vampire on his first day in town, these horror-mysteries are great fun.

Crave — If you’re missing Twilight, this is your next YA vampire read. I thoroughly enjoyed the magic school setting and the addition of the witch and dragon characters. Grace has lost both of her parents in a car wreck and moved to a remote Alaskan academy run by her uncle. She’s warned away by the brooding male protagonist and comes to realize all is not what (or who) it seems. One of the main differences between Crave and the Twilight series is that Grace isn’t pining away, trying to run from the trauma of her life like Bella was. She has agency and is actively trying to build a life and unravel the mysteries surrounding her. As the story progresses, the plot thread that most captured me is what or who Grace actually is. It became an un-put-downable book because I just had to know.

Preacher–Garth Ennis’ graphic novel masterpiece features a Texas preacher on a journey to, quite literally, find God. He’s accompanied on the way by, among others, a hundred-year-old hard-partying Irish vampire who takes the view that being a vampire who burns in sunlight isn’t a good enough reason to not have fun.

American Vampire–a graphic novel collaboration between Scott Snyder and Stephen King, this story features a world where vampires are feared–even by other vampires. New vampire bloodlines have their own unique strengths and weaknesses, and learning what it takes to put them in the ground costs lives–even for vampires. In comes a woman named Pearl and a man named Skinner, the first of a new vampire bloodline which scares the old guard back into their coffins.

Carpe Jugulum — Terry Pratchett’s salute to vampires and horror films of old, set in Discworld. Verence, King of Lancre, wants to be a fair and reasonable monarch who is on good terms with his neighbors, so he invites some vampire nobility from across the border to his country–not knowing that vampires really only can go where they’re invited, and this family of bloodsuckers are liking the idea of an increased territory.

The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires–Hendrix describes his book as an ode to the underestimated: housewives as people, the 90s as a decade, and vampires as monsters. But be warned—the Southern charm and heart of this book will lure you in so when the horror hits, it really knocks you for a loop. There were a couple times I had to put the book down to catch my breath, but I just had to know what this group of true crime-loving book club ladies would do next. Especially when their whole world—their husbands, the family livelihoods, their social standing (all huge stakes in Southern society)—was against them. What saves the day in the end is such an important message to the monsters we fight against today in our own lives too.

Bloodsucking Fiends — if humor is more your thing, buckle up for Christopher Moore! 

Black Dagger Brotherhood series — This paranormal romance series by J.R. Ward  is seriously addictive. Featuring sexy alpha vampires, this series has a strong voice and flipped the trope in its day by having the vampires be the good guys and the religious zealots hunting them the baddies.

Dead Until Dark — the first book in the series by Charlaine Harris that was made famous in its HBO adaptation True Blood. These are also addictive with a dash of mystery set in Louisiana. The books diverge significantly from the show. 

Also, be sure to check out our Vamp it Up window display designed by Coco! The theme is Vampyre Attack on the Bayou, Mobile 1776 and it’s chock full of fun details, like cicadas in the lady’s hair and more!

Do you have any fave vamp books?

Alex Reviews: The Hollow Places–books that make you go eeeEEEeeeEEEeeEeEeEEE

“Pray They Are Hungry” is a line that ends up setting a lot of tone in The Hollow Places. There’s so much worse things than being eaten.

The next horror novel from T. Kingfisher (author of The Twisted Ones), I had inaccurate expectations and I was fine once I rid myself of them. I somehow had the notion that this would be another Twisted Ones or a story set in the same world. It’s not, it’s very much its own thing and hits its own flavor in the horror. It’s pretty explicitly based on The Willows from Algernon Blackwood, just as The Twisted Ones was based on The White People from Arthur Machen. It’s spookception all through here.

The Twisted Ones played the slow game, building the tension and creepy and letting it ebb with the plot’s incidental visits to a normal small town and normal life. The Hollow Places gets you to the “weird” part sooner, and keeps you there longer–and then the horror starts.

I was reading it and thinking ‘this is weird but isn’t that spooky’ and then I found out it’s not scary because it’s not meant to be scary and hoo boy Kingfisher knows exactly what she’s doing when she wants to scare you. She hits you with a busload of scary at once, and I now have issues with the word ‘unravelling’.

Once the The Hollow Places ramps up, you’re unsure what’s going on and all your hypotheses are too horrible to contemplate for long. It’s a good book at making, to paraphrase T. Kingfisher from another work, ‘normal’ feel like a thin skin over an abyss. If you’re looking for an October spooky read, you can’t go far wrong with this one.

Where to get it

You can find The Hollow Places in our store or, if you’re unable to pass through the august doors of the Haunted Book Shop because of time or distance or because I renewed the wards and bindings last week in preparation for Halloween, you can get it at our Bookshop website. It’ll be mailed from our distributor, but we’ll still make a commission on the sale.

The Hollow Places

Release Day Geekery: A Snake Lies Waiting Releases Tomorrow!

Hey, this is Alex, and I’m not even going to pretend to be able to act cool about this. I’ve been waiting for this for too long. Y’all. Y’ALL. A Snake Lies Waiting, part 3 of Legend of the Condor Heroes comes out tomorrow. I have been itching for this book for a minute now.
This is where I’ve been for months
If you’re not aware, Condor Heroes is a semi-historical wuxia novel, written in the 1950s by Jin Yong (Real name: Louis Cha), never before officially translated and released in the US. It can be described as the Chinese equivalent to Lord of the Rings–since its release, it’s been deeply influential and popular, with a deep cultural penetration. It mainly follows the life and adventures of a young man named Guo Jing and, to a lesser degree, the love of his life Lotus Huang, in the early 1200s during the Jin-Song Wars in China (Short version: China split into north and south empires. The Song Dynasty is the original and more populated of the two nations, but their corrupt and ineffective leadership lets the Jin dynasty, which has some talented leaders, have a legitimate shot at completely taking over.) For more context, Genghis Khan is also a side character, and the seeds of the Mongolian Empire are planted in the time period of this book–Genghis Khan starts off as Temujin, an important warlord of the Mongolians but not yet THE warlord. Finding this series has been, without a doubt, one of my favorite things in the past couple of years. I love it when a book teaches me something new as it entertains, and this has history and philosophy along with the incredible action (wuxia is a genre where sufficiently trained martial artists can perform superhuman, even essentially magical, feats of prowess and strength thanks to hard work and training. Think Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and you’ll be in the neighborhood.)
Pretty much, the characters are fighting like this on page. A common recurring element in Condor Heroes is the pressure point hit to disable someone, which ends the fight in this clip. For those who are aware of the series, possibly because I’ve geeked out to you in the store (Hi! Thank you for listening!), I think in the end Condor Heroes will be “Character Growth: How to Do It.” Guo Jing starts off an innocent, even naive, young man who believes strongly in the virtues of generosity, loyalty, and patriotism. As the story progresses, he remains generous, loyal, and patriotic, but he gets wiser and more nuanced about it. A Snake Lies Waiting has this recurring element where Guo finds a historical memorial of some kind, and finds out about the person it dedicates; in some cases his evaluation of the great names of the past can be quite harsh when before he might have simply revered them. His increasing tendency toward independent thought has been interesting to see, and I’m curious where he’ll end up in part 4. Lotus is also maturing; in the beginning, she’s clever (a genius, really) but spoiled and whimsical. Her father, one of the great martial arts masters, provided her an excellent education and trained her, but she thought actual practice was boring so she wasn’t as accomplished a martial artist as she could have been. Her growth has been about her learning there’s some things that need to be handled seriously, and her growth in power keeps pace with Guo Jing. I’m quite interested to see who she’ll be when this is all done. Yes, A Snake Lies Waiting is the third of four parts, and it shows: Subplots are beginning to be resolved, and the tensions between some main characters are building toward some sort of resolution, but it doesn’t truly stand on its own as a narrative–I imagine someone who hasn’t read A Hero Born and A Bond Undone would be quite lost at the characters who suddenly show up, not to mention it casually mentions a character backhanding a 200-pound shark out of the water. Hitting that hard is just something master martial artists can do in this series and it’s described and treated as such. For all its quirks, though, I’m excited and pleased with this book, and now I’m waiting for A Heart Divided to come out. In several months. Dang it.
Aaand I’m right back here again.

How to Purchase

You can find A Snake Lies Waiting at our store, on our website at or you can purchase it through our third-party supplier and still give us a commission. A Hero Born A Bond Undone A Snake Lies Waiting

Alex Reviews – Harrow the Ninth: The Sequel Which Surprises

I love these covers. Harrow the Ninth, out now!

I recently reviewed Tasmyn Muir’s Gideon the Ninth, a book which gave you enough setting details to go on but didn’t dwell on explaining every single little facet of its big weird gothy universe (as so many science fiction and fantasy stories do, for good or ill), and a story told from the irreverent viewpoint of Gideon herself in a third person limited viewpoint. Gideon’s attitude towards people and the society she’s in colors that whole book.

Tasmyn Muir decided to run with that theme and she gives us Harrow the Ninth, and believe me, the inside of Harrow’s head is a chilly, scary place compared to Gideon’s. In a complete shift in authorial voice, you’re given this big weird gothy universe as seen through the eyes of a necromancer who’s grown up intelligently analyzing motivations and balances of power despite the bundle of nerves and anxiety and shames she is underneath that.

Harrow the Ninth sets up a central mystery right off the mark, a very big ‘wait, what?’, and a lot of the book is spent feeding piecemeal information about the Very Strange Thing. Gideon the Ninth’s plot was, in some ways, a locked-room mystery. Harrow’s plot is pretty much solving a crime which no one witnessed. Fair warning, this book won’t make much sense if you hadn’t read Gideon yet.

I didn’t guess Gideon to go the way it did, and I didn’t guess Harrow to do what it did, and I know there’s a third book and all I can say is I have no idea what’s going to happen or where this trilogy is heading.

And I can’t wait to find out.

How to Purchase

Most of the books mentioned above are linked directly to our website where you can purchase for curbside, delivery or shipping. However, if we’re sold out, or you live out of town and would like them shipped, you can use our 3rd party supplier who will ship them to you (but will give us a commission)

And while supplies last, get an exclusive Harrow the Ninth pin (pictured)

Harrow the Ninth

Alex Reviews: Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir

“In the myriadic year of our lord — the ten thousandth year of the King Undying, the kindly Prince of Death! — Gideon Nav packed her sword, her shoes and her dirty magazines, and she escaped from the House of the Ninth.” –The opening sentence of Gideon the Ninth

This book is a master class in not bogging down a story in needless detail. The world is complicated and intricate with complex social hierarchies, religion, and magic—but the plot is a locked room mystery and the viewpoint character is a swordfighter who wasn’t raised to all this and doesn’t even try to understand it. A reader can glean clues about the houses and get a good idea of how things work if they want, but the book definitely doesn’t linger unless it’s important to the story. I didn’t guess the reveal but the clues were there all along, and that’s a hallmark of a solid mystery plot.

What the story lacks in detail, it makes up for in voice. Gideon is a soldier of the Ninth House, a place almost like a monastery, dedicated to unique religious rites and guarding some treasure, and really what she wants to do is fight things with her sword. She’s got an irreverent view of her environment and her viewpoint colors description. She’s also learned how she can get a reaction out of more straitlaced associates by saying what crosses her mind. Naturally, this causes her boss no small amount of worry when they’re trapped in a place with seven sets of their counterparts and there’s tense social maneuvering because someone is almost certainly planning to kill the rest of them.

Gideon the Ninth is now out in paperback, and if you like some Nightmare Before Christmas creepy-cute-funny-gothy vibes, or you want to read a blend of science fiction and fantasy, or you just want to read some good abrasive snark, I give it my recommendation.

How to Purchase

Above, Gideon the Ninth is linked directly to our website where you can purchase for curbside, delivery or shipping. However, if we’re sold out, or you live out of town and would like them shipped, you can use our 3rd part supplier who will ship them to you (but will give us a commission).

Gideon the Ninth

Ghost In The Shelves: Categories

You can have the best, most soul-searing books in the world, you can have works of profound literature and deep scholarship and they won’t do anyone any good if you can’t find them. We here at the Haunted Book Shop are greatly in favor of finding things. We’re just crazy about it, truth be told. Finding new books, finding old books–my favorite memory of my job at the store so far is finding a book a woman read thirty years ago but she couldn’t remember the title, and then finding it on the shelves (Run With the Horsemen, by Ferrol Sams, if you wanted to know what book.)

The thing that really helps with the finding of books are our categories. Say you’re a history reader–well, what sort of history are you after? You’ve got local history, then state, then national, military, and world history. Looking for a kid’s book? Well, how old is the child, because we break up children’s books by age. We sought to make sure people could find a few shelves of what they wanted, rather than a wall of books and a cheerful “It’s in here somewhere.”

I like to think it helps exploratory browsing. Everyone who reads has things they prefer to read but sometimes the cosmic rays align and you’re interested in a new author or a new subject. You could want to give Stephen King a try, or maybe you’ve always heard Agatha Christie’s name mentioned but never read her. Maybe you’re in to buy a copy of Twain’s Huckleberry Finn for a summer reading list and Tolstoy catches your eye. Or you love time travel stories, but looking through a huge section of science fiction to find these is daunting–here we have a small shelf set aside for those. For whatever reason, if you want to try something new, we’ve made it easy to find.

If you browse our second floor, you’ll notice the place is an ode to genre fiction. There’s timelines and charts about how the English-language genres formed and what books were instrumental in that process. Genre and writing and how people handle and express those ideas and concepts are always changing, and even in our own lifetimes we can see shifts. The stuff that comes up over centuries is downright amazing! Many moons ago, I was reading a school textbook in class (I’d do the required reading and then some, go figure). The bit was a reprint of a letter Benjamin Franklin wrote to a friend, and he was discussing how he’d read a story which reproduced the speech of the characters in its entirety, and he marveled at how immersive quotations and, essentially, quotation marks was. Can you imagine how much someone to whom dialogue is mind-blowing would feel about the narrative devices that get used today? And the books are still around so we can trace them.

To this end, we break every section down into sub-sections, several of which are common across most of the store, like a local authors shelf, or a classics shelf. In some genre sections certain authors will have their own shelf, either for their enduring popularity or because they’ve just written that many books (as you might expect, Stephen King has quite a lot of space in our horror section. It’s good to be the King.)

Typically, in most of our genre sections, you’ll find the following sub-sections:  classics, local authors, new releases, staff recommendations, author recommendation, and anthologies. But this can’t cover all possibilities, so each genre has some that are specific to them.

So, for the sake of example, here’s a breakdown of our science fiction sub-genres and examples of what each contains, and why we gave it that space:

Classic Science Fiction: Several works of Jules Verne, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (which also has space in horror, but some books fall into more than one genre), H.G. Wells, and Frank Herbert’s Dune.

New Releases: A spot to showcase the new releases of the past few months

Isaac Asimov and Rad Bradbury, both noted authors of classic science fiction, share a shelf. If the shelf was large enough I’d put Arthur C. Clarke’s books in there with them and they could be the ABCs of Science Fiction.

Philip K. Dick, a prolific author with a staggering number of adaptations of his books, also gets his own shelf.

Space is our ‘main’ science fiction category. Space is big. Really big. Mind-bogglingly, unbelievably big.

Retro Science Fiction features science fiction pulp novels from the 50s, 60s, and 70s. Get your fix of rockets and ray guns here!

Military Science Fiction is also an extensive subgenre, with authors like John Ringo and David Weber having decades of writing behind them, and there’s people who want those.

LGBTQ Science Fiction, written by LGBTQ authors. Their unique life experiences means some very different answers to the questions science fiction asks.

Alternate History SF what if aliens made contact in the 1930s? What if Congress had gone through with a plan to release a breeding population of hippos into the Mississippi River (yes, it’s a real thing they considered)?

Near-Future SF is set in a recognizable present (at least when it was written) with one or two things happening to change things up. Like the Jurassic Park novel.

Post-Apocalyptic SF if we mess up with the world and crash civilization, how do we go on?

Time Travel is, of course, one of the classic “what-ifs” of human speculation.

Humorous Science Fiction because sometimes we need a laugh

Anomaly is when it’s a normal world with one single strange thing there that doesn’t belong.

Cyberpunk features a world with near-total integration of technology into society, with corporations often taking the place of governments.

Trans-humanism focuses on science fiction featuring people human technology to, essentially, move beyond being human.

Some of these categories are small, with ten books in there or less, but we felt they were distinct enough, interesting enough, to warrant their own little space and isolation. Every now and then, we get someone who gets their interest piqued by Anomaly or Alternate History and they find something new to read.

TIP: If you’re wondering where a specific book might be you can always ask the staff, or you can also look it up on our website–most of the books will have their location as the first line in their description. So, for instance, if you’re wondering where we shelved Heinlein’s The Cat Who Walks Through Walls, you could pull out your phone, navigate to our website and search for the title and see where it is!

Short Look at a Long Series: The City Watch (Discworld)

Alex here, presenting one of my personal favorites: The Ankh-Morpork City Watch.

The City Watch (Discworld)

By: Sir Terry Pratchett

Series Run: Guards! Guards!, Men At Arms, Feet of Clay, Jingo, The Fifth Elephant, Night Watch, Thud, and Snuff

Where to Start: Guards! Guards! (first book in the series), or Feet of Clay (a good mystery novel in its own right and a good look at the tone of the writing and setting when it’s hit its stride)

Discworld is a huge series. It’s something in excess of forty books, well over a million words long, and that’s intimidating. It’s also my favorite book series ever and I love to see people start to read it. To help people get a toe hold in, I’m going to break it down. See, Discworld is a huge series, but it contains sub-series featuring the same characters, so you could focus on one of those at first.

The City Watch series tracks the fortunes of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch in general, and a watchman named Sam Vimes in particular.

In the first book, Guards! Guards!, Sam Vimes is the alcoholic captain of the Night Watch, and his ‘command’ is his sergeant and his corporal–three middle-aged men to ostensibly keep the law and peace at night in a city of a million people, still in the job because they don’t know how to do anything else. Things begin to change with the hiring of Carrot Ironfoundersson, a dwarf (he’s six-foot-six, about fifteen years old, and adopted).

Over the course of the series, Sam gets his life together, dries out, and the Watch goes from being a handful of unemployables everyone ignores to an actual functioning police force. Part of the brilliance for me is the Watch learns to grapple with living in a fantasy city. Ankh-Morpork is a big city, and it has quite a lot of species who live there in the hopes of being where the action is and making a good dollar. Humans, dwarfs, trolls, vampires and other undead, they all come to the big city and then the Watch has to learn to deal with them. Usually by hiring a few on for their expertise and unique abilities (dwarfs might be about four feet tall, but they’re very muscular from all the mining and forging; they wear a lot of chain mail and leather and tend to bring their own excellently-crafted axes with them. Trolls are better than seven feet tall and made out of living rock. All of these are qualities which are great to have on your side in a tight spot).

Upsides: The growth of the characters, as well as the ways they stay the same, is amazing. Sam Vimes has one of my favorite arcs in fiction. A couple of the novels (Feet of Clay in particular) are quite good mystery or thriller plots in their own right, just with a fantasy coating on it. The books are also hilarious, but there’s some very excellent and serious things for the brain to chew on underneath the jokes. Sir Terry Pratchett was great like that.

Downsides: If you just don’t engage with fantasy settings of any stripe, this won’t work for you. Also, Sir Terry Pratchett is British, and sometimes the humor just isn’t for some people. I don’t judge.

How to Purchase

Most of the books mentioned above are linked directly to our website where you can purchase for curbside, delivery or shipping. However, if we’re sold out, or you live out of town and would like them shipped, you can use our 3rd party supplier who will ship them to you (but will give us a commission)

The City Watch

One-Day Only eBook: The Way of Kings

Hey! Alex here, geeking out. I recently highlighted Brandon Sanderson’s Cosmere as a series worth checking out if you have the time and like fantasy.

Today only, has one of the series entry points, The Way of Kings, available as a free eBook. If my short look at the series intrigued you in any way, today’s your chance to give it a whirl!

Here’s your link to the page!

Also, if you like eBooks and are looking to purchase more but still support our store, you can browse our eBook partner site!