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Chuck Wendig
Samuel R. Delany
Charles L. Grant

Wake of the Bloody Angel

Wake of the Bloody Angel - Alex Bledsoe I'm four books into the series now, and I'm seeing a slight improvement in the way that the women characters are portrayed. They still seem to be defined by their attractiveness, but they're also pretty strong women who aren't there just to orbit the men in the books. That's not to say that they don't serve as support to Eddie, but the series is called "Eddie LaCrosse," and not "All the other women who are a part of Eddie LaCrosse's life." This time around, we actually get more of the stories about the women in the series (albeit told from Eddie's perspective).

I feel like it's important to know this characteristic of the series, but I also feel like I have to tell you that if you can overlook it, you'll be well rewarded with the books. I've noticed that Bledsoe has a knack for adding a tiny little detail to a scene that makes it come to life. In the opening scene, as he describes the tavern Eddie enters, he mentions using a mud-scraper to clean his boots. It's a small detail, but it adds to the setting, and tells us a little bit about Eddie. That kind of thing peppers the book (or books, really; I noticed it in the previous volumes, too), and it adds a lot to the story.

And have I mentioned that he just tells a damn good story? Quibbles aside, I've enjoyed every one of them as a story, and as I've said before, story is king. There's no doubt that he can write. Each book so far has had at least one corny, random joke thrown into the middle of a scene (this one included the "Interrupting Cow" joke, for the love of Mitch), but otherwise he puts together an excellent story.

The series is classified as fantasy, and there are certainly some fantastical elements to the stories and a fantastical flair to the events, but when you step back and take a broader view, the series is really just Medieval fiction. Maybe I'm splitting hairs, but given that the magic is understated in the series, and that I associate magic with fantasy, they don't really feel like fantasy novels. That's not a criticism as much as it is an observation, though. I bring this up because Wake of the Bloody Angel brings in pirates, which makes it feel out of place with the rest of the series. My knowledge of history isn't that good, but I get the feeling that pirates (or at least the kinds of pirates portrayed in this novel) came about a couple of centuries after Medieval times, which made the book feel just a little odd. Once you get into the story, though, it doesn't matter.

Once He Drank, and Saw the Spider hits paperback, I'll be sure to read it, and there's also The Hum and the Shiver to consider, but make no mistake; I'll be reading them.