Short Story Collection #4

To Kill A Critic (Jonathan Roper Investigates #2.5)To Kill A Critic by Michael Leese

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

You can find this review and all of my others over at

Actual rating of 2.5 stars.

Jonathan Roper is a leading investigator, he is absolutely unparalleled in what he can do at a crime scene and his sergeant admires his abilities. He’s also a little bit different than some, he’s autistic. It’s his autism that allows him to look at a crime scene with a different view and to pick out things that others generally would dismiss. In this short story, Roper and his Sergeant are called into investigate the murder of a play critic who was incredibly disliked around the stage play scene. With having so many enemies, how will they ever find the real culprit?

This story was okay. I love a good crime murder mystery, so I figured I’d love this one. I’m not sure, to be honest, why I didn’t. The writing was fine, and the story itself was, as said above, okay, but it just didn’t grab me. I’m not sure if it’s because this was my first meeting of Roper, or if it was something else.

Roper is a very different character, and I absolutely applaud Leese for creating him. Giving people a peek at what else lies behind the surface of autism is wonderful. I feel like if I had have read this series from the beginning and had a proper introduction into the character of Roper, I would have enjoyed this short story more. Don’t get me wrong, I believe you can read this without having read the previous instalments, but I feel like it really detracts from the characters. I’m assuming that over the previous 2 books, readers will have developed a relationship with Roper that can’t happen in a 50 page short story.

The revelation that leads to the killer also seemed a LLLIIITTTTLLLLEEE bit fantastical for me. I understand the cognitive abilities of certain people who are autistic, it’s not that that was unbelievable. I feel like the way the killer revealed themselves, just seemed to be so far above THEIR head. I don’t know. I really don’t know why I didn’t enjoy this story more. It had murder, mystery and unconventional character, it just wasn’t for me I’m afraid.

Underground Magic (London Coven #0.5)Underground Magic by M.V. Stott

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

You can find this review and all of my others over at

Actual rating of 3.5

Stella is the familiar to the London Coven. She’s also only 12 hours old. She’s hot on the tale of an Uncanny creature as it cuts a bloody swath through the streets of London. This is her first job and she doesn’t want to disappoint the witches. She’d also like to make it home tonight. Can she stop the creature before it kills more innocents? Or is she destined to die after only living for a short time?

I enjoyed this story quite a bit actually. I loved the idea of the magical human familiar to a coven, and Stella was likeable enough, even though she came across as very flat and undeveloped. Though I attest this to her only existing for 12 hours. I think it was a good way to write off an underdeveloped character whom you are unable to expand upon due to the short nature of the story. It made me not mind that she was very 2 dimensional. I just hope that she evolves in the main series, otherwise I’m not going to be too happy as I’m intrigued by this story and wish to continue.

The story itself was fast paced and action packed from the word go. I was a little annoy at the fact that Stella was sent out, by the coven, after existing for less than a day, but was given no hints about human interaction. To save face, wouldn’t the witches have at least given her some pointers on interacting with humans? It irked me a little that’s all.

The story was well thought out and I believe it was a great introduction into an urban fantasy series that promises to be action packed, fast paced and a great read.

Warden FallWarden Fall by Jennifer M. Eaton

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

You can find this review and all of my others over at

Maya is the invisible girl. No one really notices her, she wears glasses and struggles with acne. Until today. All of a sudden she can see without her glasses, her skin clears up and her hair becomes full, thick and shiny. And then there’s Eric. He notices her. He talks to her. He seeks her out! What the hell is going on? Maya soon learns that everything she thinks, everything she wishes for, is coming true. But what is the purpose of this? And why the hell is it happening now?! She soon learns the weight of the power she possesses. They do say, be careful what you wish for.

I actually enjoyed this way more than I thought I would. Maya was likeable enough, I guess I could sympathise with her in a way as I felt super invisible for most of my life up until my early 20s. She’s just a teenage girl struggling with teenage life and Eaton portrays it well.

The whole idea of Wardens was well thought out and executed, I felt. The revelation that Maya has is believable and I love the moral question it poses. What would happen if every thought you had came to pass? Would you be as good or as terrible as you think you are? I believe it also lends weight to, really THINK about what you’re saying (or in this case thinking). If everything you thought came to pass, what would your life and the lives of those around you look like? Yes when you get grounded you may say “I wish you were dead” But what if it happened? I think it raises a glass to the saying of “think before you speak” which a lot of people could really learn from. Things said, or in this case thought, in a moment of intense irritation, passion, anger, can have lasting consequences that cannot be undone.

I’m interested in checking out the rest of this series and seeing where the story goes from here.

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