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Pacific Fire by Greg Van Eekhout
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Showing 5 of 5
Excellent, as I expected. Am now annoyed I have to wait until September for the final book. ( )
  Jon_Hansen | Apr 2, 2017 |
I did not like this as much as the first one. The first was a heist, right? This one has a heist in it, but it isn't "a heist". Thematically, feels a bit more like half of a story than a story, but the new one is coming out any day now. ( )
  adamwolf | Oct 2, 2016 |
Loved it! Such a different take on magic, and lots of food for thought about different things from friends and family to power and love. Can't wait to see what happens next. ( )
  LongDogMom | Sep 1, 2016 |
The bulk of this story takes place years after the first book, following the lives of osteomancer Daniel Blackland and his adopted son Sam, the golem created from the essence of the late Hierarch. The two have stayed under the radar for the last ten years, constantly staying on the move in order to keep Sam out of the wrong hands. That is until one day, word reaches them that some very bad people are attempting to build the ultimate weapon of mass magical destruction — a real, live, honest-to-goodness Pacific firedrake.

The premise behind these novels has got to be one of the most original and creative I’ve ever encountered in an urban fantasy series. The magic system of osteomancy – wizards who ingest creature bones and other body parts to absorb their essence and gain their power — is as cool as it is disturbing. I’m also a sucker for heist stories, which is why I loved the first book. However, this sequel, while also featuring a caper aspect, is more of character study and coming-of-age tale centered around Sam. Daniel on the other hand is still a major presence in the story, but it does feel like at times he is taking a step back to let the character of Sam shine.

In my eyes, the classic heist plot of California Bones still gives the first book the edge, but admittedly not by much; Pacific Fire is just as fun and full of thrills as its predecessor, and I do appreciate the differences in the two books’ structure because it definitely made things more interesting. ( )
  stefferoo | Aug 2, 2015 |
Daniel Blackland and the crew (Otis, Moth, Cassandra and the Emmys) are back but Pacific Fire is a different sort of book from California Bones. The crafting seems more relaxed to me and the characters more accessible, much of the credit owing to our getting to view Van Eekout's world from Sam's, the Heirarch's boy golem's, point of view.

You likely won't remember but I had mixed emotions about the first book, California Bones. I thought the premise of the Van Eekhout's book was brilliant and one of the most persuasive alternative worlds I've read about in years. And the beginning chapters had me riveted... until the book magically transformed into a 'theft' novel.

Not that there's anything wrong with that, only that breaking-and-entering fortresses isn't my thing. So it was drudgery for-me until the end when some pretty amazing action went down. Which is to say that I was onboard for book #2.

And book #2 is one I definitely liked better. There's still the whole having to break in to a locale because of the Firedrake, but the story is more about personalities and character than technically going from point A to B to C to D... working and working to get the equipment and materials necessary to do the job, followed by actually doing the job.
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As far as the story arch I had no idea where it was going at the beginning, only that Pacific Fire picks up where California Bones leaves off. Daniel and Sam are on the run from Otis and the Bad Tooth Lady. Argent is now head of the Water Works but it's unclear what his role will be. Max is still by his side.

Speaking of characters I have to say that I love Max and Argent. There is something really appealing about the oddball pairing. And we do get to see them in action in this book as they share the narrative, and I wouldn't mind them having their own storyline (hint-hint).

Back to Pacific Fire, it's interesting but when I got to the end of the book I'm still not sure where the story is going. There were some wild plot twists and I was left with my jaw slack knowing that I'm onboard now for Book #3.

SUMMING IT UP
I liked book #2 a lot more than #1. It's more personable and more of an easy read. There are some great plot twists but there are also some plot elements that are unsubstantiated. By which I mean that people just happen to drop into the story 'just in the nick of time' to help out. If your a plot stickler this is going to probably annoy you. I was in the mood to just enjoy the story and I charged over those bumps.

Overall, a fun read... and like I said, I have no idea where the story is heading now. No way I predicted anything at the end.
  PamFamilyLibrary | Feb 23, 2015 |
Showing 5 of 5
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To Sarah Prineas and her vicious goat, Nutcracker
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The golem sat on the motel bed, watching TV with the sound turned off.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0765328569, Hardcover)

I’m Sam. I’m just this guy.

Okay, yeah, I’m a golem created from the substance of his own magic by the late Hierarch of Southern California. With a lot of work, I might be able to wield magic myself. I kind of doubt it, though. Not like Daniel Blackland can.

Daniel’s the reason the Hierarch’s gone and I’m still alive. He’s also the reason I’ve lived my entire life on the run. Ten years of never, ever going back to Los Angeles. Daniel’s determined to protect me. To teach me.

But it gets old. I’ve got nobody but Daniel. I’ll never do anything normal. Like attend school. Or date a girl.

Now it’s worse. Because things are happening back in LA. Very bad people are building a Pacific firedrake, a kind of ultimate weapon of mass magical destruction.  Daniel seemed to think only he could stop them. Now Daniel’s been hurt. I managed to get us to the place run by the Emmas. (Many of them. All named Emma. It’s a long story.) They seem to be healing him, but he isn’t going anyplace soon.

Do I even have a reason for existing, if it isn’t to prevent this firedrake from happening? I’m good at escaping from things. Now I’ve escaped from Daniel and the Emmas, and I’m on my way to LA.

This may be the worst idea I ever had.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:57 -0400)

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