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Kindle Edition , ACE , pages. More Details Original Title. Cold Country 1. Other Editions 6. Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about In From the Cold , please sign up. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Nov 24, T. This book is all about tension. Quinn is a country singer who has hit the big time. Since leaving his Tennessee hometown, he has battled drug and alcohol addiction, hard times, family fights and an attraction to his best friend that broke that friendship.

Nathan is a deputy in the same small town he and Quinn are from. Twice divorced, former Marine Corp, from a wealthy family, Nate is happy enough. As long as he can keep ignoring Quinn. When a crisis involving Quinn's father, the sheriff o Tension. When a crisis involving Quinn's father, the sheriff of the town they both grew up in, forces Nate to call Quinn back home, the old pains and attractions boils back up. The tension between these two men is intense - can they find some common ground to get through this tragedy?

Celeste has created a tale that crackles with tension here. The tension between two old friends who became more than that. Between fathers and sons. And when the worst happens, all that grief and old hurt and love and anger and lust and history spills out and over and consumes these two hurting men. But the tension doesn't stop there. As the search for the man responsible for this crime intensifies, additional players come onto the scene and make Nate and Quinn even more tense. Because Quinn has been keeping secrets from everyone.

Secrets that hurt Nate, bringing back all his hurts and wants. And when a TBI agent questions both men, they realize their secrets are anything but hidden. And the tension builds. What I appreciated most about this hot, intense and very very satisfying book was the tense interplay between Nate and Quinn, and how it relates to the reason why Quinn's father was shot.

As the two lovers get closer to each other, the danger gets more real and closer to home. And when it overtakes them and one of the guys is in danger, we feel how close to the line both men are. And just when we thought it couldn't get any harder to breathe, something even worse happens. I swear, I thought I was going to grind my teeth to powder, and the tension in my shoulders gave me a headache. Because I came to care about these two characters - their wasted years, the circumstances they let come between them, the stupid misunderstandings, the wasted pride.

It is like when the air gets heavy and your lungs fill with humidity and something has to give right before a huge summer storm rolls in. All that potential and energy and you know it's going to erupt and you wait and you wait and you hope it will happen and it just keeps building and you need it to just BURST or you will.

Only when the lightening starts and the rains falls, it frees you up. Here, we just gasp and bleed and hope these two can put the pieces back together and that they will be alright again. And hellfire, when I got to the last page, only then could I relax a little. But the tension is still there.

And damn it, it's GOOD. So Ms. Celeste did her job. Left me wanting. And I really can't ask for more than that, can I? View all 3 comments. This book had a lot of unrealized potential, which was unfortunately overshadowed by somewhat choppy writing and the absolutely worst case of pronoun confusion I've ever encountered. Re-read before the sequel. And yes! To all of this still! Jan 4, Ah, holy hell Mercy. I can't fucking believe you did this to me. I have GOT to start reading reviews before I throw myself heart and soul into something expecting a nice, angst-filled coming home romance.

My punched in the gut tells me to give this 2 stars but my head and my heart are begging for 5. You sure know how to tear a girl apart. So, in the beginning the story follows the blurb. Tragedy brings country music star Quinn Re-read before the sequel. Tragedy brings country music star Quinn Anders home to his small minded home town, where his first love Nathan Truman left behind his lucrative family business to become first a marine and then a member of the sheriff's department.

They might be getting to a point where they could forgive all the secrets between them and accept who they could be to each other, and then whammo: an view spoiler [inconceivably brutal hide spoiler ] event all but shatters their trust and threatens to tear them farther apart than they have ever been. I swear to you I sobbed like a baby when view spoiler [Quinn stood outside Nathan's hospital room listening to him blame Quinn for everything and even harder when Quinn wished that he had never been born and then none of the tragedy that he brought upon the people that he loved would have ever occurred hide spoiler ].

Oh Mercy, Mercy, I promise that I will try to pay better attention to your blurbs. Especially the view spoiler [last line. Then maybe I won't be blindsided by your amazing story telling. I know you have 2 more stories planned in the lives of Quinn and Nathan. I also know that they won't be easy.

But I'll follow where you lead, because even though my gut is begging me not to, my head and my heart just won't listen. They enjoy what you do to us too much to quit now. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. There were a lot of things I didn't like about this one. The love story more or less sprung to life when both MCs met again after years apart having been secret High-School-Sweethearts.

No real explanation. One of the MCs was deeply closeted, but the whole coming to grips with his orientation was very shallow and drowned in some not very sexy sex scenes. It was a strange mixture of sappy dialogue and senseless actions. Most characters remained shallow and stereotypical e. Then a brutal and imho totally bizarre torture and rape scene that damaged one of the MCs, but not so much that he couldn't have sex with his boyfriend three weeks later in time for the HEA - WTF? This was really not a good read for me. I immensly dislike rape here as a plot instrument - it doesn't serve any good purpose for the story and it is not dealt with in a way I find emphatic or insightful.

Maybe I am over-sensitive on that, but I just think that this topic is not to be played with in this manner. Actually it made me angry. I am disappointed because I read another book by this author and liked it very much. View 2 comments. I had to reread this because I couldn't remember what it was about. The writing just wasn't good. A lot of time was spent telling more than showing.

I thought Nate's turnaround was a bit quick and Quinn calling him 'baby' practically every dialogue exchange was annoying. And I don't know how their dirty talk could turn anyone on, very cringe-worthy. I don't think the reason behind the crimes was fleshed out well. Neither was Nate's "recovery. I wish Nate had actually gotten the help he needed during his disappearing act. And no matter how much I loved someone, I would let them use me as an outlet for their pain.

The power of love isn't going to cure the problem. I wish the author spent time on Emma. I felt like she was just a throwaway character and wondered why she was put in the book in the first place other to compare and contrast. I also would've liked a prologue or a flashback to both their last night together before Nate ran off and Nate's wedding. Being told and not shown about those part made the story feel incomplete. Basically this whole story was one big info dumb.

View 1 comment. One MC was called home to see his dying father and the other MC constantly abused him. Who would do that to someone who's just been told his father's been shot?? And at the dying father's bedside no less. Not for me. Poor Quinn and Nate. What a tragic history and difficult journey they had to get their HEA. Unfortunately, because I've spent so much time here, I noticed all the niggling geographic research failures. A few examples: 1. MC Nathan talks about leaving a key in a "mail slot" by the front door of his mountain lakeside cabin. Sorry, no.

In this state we frequently have streetside mailboxes even in suburbs that are inside of town -- any mail carrier would laugh his ass off at the idea of stopping to walk up to a front door to slip mail into a mail slot out in the country. Sorry, but there is no Macy's in Chattanooga. The closest Macy's is in Nashville. The author gets the distances all wrong. At the beginning of the story, Quinn is said to have driven miles from Nashville to get to the unnamed small town where Nathan lives.

This town is somewhere outside Chattanooga. But Chattanooga is miles from Nashville, so this town must be 70 miles away from Chattanooga. Nonetheless, the guys supposedly drive into Chattanooga to go shopping. Not only is that a looooong way to go shopping, in most cases it's not going to make geographic sense. Chattanooga is in the southeastern corner of TN -- the bottom right-hand corner of the TN parallelogram. It's possible , but not terribly likely, to find a town that would fit -- especially when the narrative mentions that the "mountain" on which the "mountain" cabin resides is actually a big hill rather than a true mountain the eastern border of TN straddles the Great Smoky Mountain National Park -- real mountains, not hills!

It's mentioned several times that Quinn has performed multiple times at the Opry. Then, later, Quinn says that he was stoned "the first time I stepped on stage at the Opry" and "the first time I stood on stage at the Ryman" -- as though being at the Opry meant being at the Ryman Auditorium. Sorry, but the Opry hasn't been broadcast regularly from the Ryman since , when the new Opry House was opened there are rare special occasions when it still does. All of these issues could have been avoided with a bit of quick Internet factchecking. And then there's the writing.

It was frequently stilted and often confusing, with so many "he"s and "his"s flying around that it was often impossible to tell who was doing what to whom. These irritated me so much that I'm gonna give you three examples. First: He moved slowly inside him, withdrawing and sliding gently back inside. He had no idea it would feel this good to be penetrated. His cock trapped between their bodies throbbed -- it sounds like the same guy doing the penetrating is also getting penetrated at the same time, right? And: He spun to face the door at the sound of the key scraping in the lock and there he stood.

He looked like something the cat dragged in. He needed to shave, badly, and dark circles that looked painfully like bruises rimmed his eyes. His shoulders sagged under the weight of his new job -- same problem. Who spun? Whose eyes, whose shoulders? His mouth was harsh against his. His fingers threaded through his hair, holding him gently. He leaned him back against the bar, hovering over him as the kiss became frenzied. You get the picture. And then there's the plotting and characterization.

First, the two MCs jump back into bed instantly after 16 years of separation, madly denying their feelings the entire time. And then, cmon, this Bad Guy is entirely too psychotic for words. Whatever happened to realistic villains? And I came close to chucking the book when the MC view spoiler [who got raped six times and tortured by the Bad Guy says "he made me want it" -- seriously??

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This is all happening within the span of a couple of hours. First, the Bad Guy could actually get it up six times within two or three hours?? And second, there's no time here for Stockholm Syndrome -- how stupid is it to think that he could make his victim "want it", especially while the Bad Guy is busy carving up the MC while he's being raped???? And then apparently only three weeks after all this, our heros are magically having sex again?? And then we don't even get any real resolution even in the epilogue. How much future do they have, really?

A flat 2 stars. It could easily be 1. View all 4 comments. In From the Cold is primarily about two men, Nathan Truman and Quinn Anders; who were childhood best friends, youthful, quasi-lovers, who have let time, denial and self destructive behaviours distance them. Nathan left home after graduation and enlisted.

Now he's the deputy sheriff in his home town, and the Sheriff, Theo, Quinn's father has been shot. Nathan is the typical small town, in denial, 'marry a woman have a family' kind of character. It hasn't worked, and he's fractured as a person. Having to contact Quinn sets up all kinds of feelings and conflict.

Quinn was hurt when Nathan left after graduation. After a night of emotional significance to him. He's living a life many would love, but in reality it's a lie, and without the right person there, he's been self destructivee and hit rock bottom. When he gets the phone call about his father from Nathan he's been sober for approximately 3 years. Quinn is also conflicted about seeing Nathan again as well as the circumstances in which he's going to see him.

When Quinn comes home, he and Nathan are thrown together, there is a murder to be solved, a murderer on the loose, and feelings are running high. Plus, sexual tensions reappear and cravings for substances and sex dog both during a stressful time. In amongst this you get to meet Nathan's family, who you know are wealthy, but they're portrayed as pretty average, caring, family oriented people. They are like family for Quinn as well, and pick up the same role now that he's back in town, as if he's never been away.

The dialogue, scenes and timelines move at a fairly frenetic pace. It was good and it suited the content, by and large, but there were a few areas that were positively ADD, without meds. Quinn lacked a filter between his brain and his mouth, Nathan had too much of a filter - 'Nate's voice was rough, distant, almost angry. He had control down to a science.

Coming in from the Cold

His career can best be described as a hedonistic, Peter Pan lifestyle. It swallowed him up. Nathan had a rock solid career, family that supported him, in more ways than even he knew; but he had experienced denial, living in a war zone and divorce, all of which scares the shit out of a person and tightens actions and behaviours right up.

I like flawed and damaged. When they were in-sync they worked, but it was hard for them to get in-sync. I usually have to love at least one MC in a book to rate it 4 stars and above. Mercy Celeste seems to have immolated this pretty concrete parameter of mine. If you haven't read the book maybe don't read anymore. I've tried to be cryptic but I don't want to spoil anything. I know people feel that this book was dark, and, yes, I suppose it was, but I could have taken more. I wanted more; post event flashbacks would have been fine with me. I felt what happened either should have happened earlier, to draw out more post event emotions, and have it unfold in a better timeframe.

I felt it was rushed and that did the book a disservice. Things progressed too quickly three weeks after a major physical and psychological event, specifically emotionally. I had a problem with this aspect of the book, but I'm picky about this. I thought long and hard about the rating here. I enjoyed the book, the journey. It's worth 4. The reason it's not 5 stars is that the last quarter isn't strong enough from a psychological standpoint for me, it could have been, it toyed so close to it, but it was rushed.

Post event didn't have enough meat or time to develop like it should have. The writing is strong, but Beyond Complicated set the bar for me, so 4 stars it has to be. PS: I don't care if there is a sequel. I will definitely read one if it comes along, however, I'm happy where it ended. I got enough out of the ending and epilogue to satisfy me. The down side of this was that I found it hard to pick up the book again.

With the start of each section I felt like I was re-reading information I had already read. Way to much background information to keep me interested. I never connected with any of the characters and I really enjoyed the setting and the style the book was set up in. I never connected with any of the characters and found there wasn't enough fast paced action or magic in the story to counter the slow strategic war part of the story.

I loved this. I loved this so much. Buying season two of this was the most worthwhile thing I could have done.

Cold Days (The Dresden Files, #14) by Jim Butcher

Fantasy and historical fiction especially with a focus on Eastern Europe are my two favorite genres and this blends them perfectly into a mix I really can't get enough of. Very excited to get my hands on a physical copy in June. I read the Swanwick story, which is very much in media res and just so-so, perhaps because I had no idea of what is going on in the serial. So, 8 deadly words, new book with waitlist, way over-booked Probably not for me. Left unrated. May 05, Cristal Punnett rated it liked it Shelves: netgalley.

A great story with realistic characters and great mix of a spy novel and magical realism. I enjoyed the setting of Prague in winter. I enjoyed the different episodes written by different authors giving variations in writing styles. The only downside was some repetition in each episode of the storyline. I would like to thank NetGalley for this copy. The typical spy thriller is usually confusing enough, with agents and double agents constantly changing sides until the reader just gives up on understanding what's going on and just ends up reading for the occasional bon mot or romantic encounter.

At least that's what happens to me. One might wonder at what point mashups will have jumped the shark or perhaps that milestone is kilometers behind us but I am very glad Serial Box took a leap of faith to produce this series. The fact that several incredibly talented writers came on board surely did not hurt the product. Several characters have decent arcs, confronting not only their prejudices but also their own self-image and entire world view.

The plot really hums along, propelled by secrets both mundane and magic. The witchcraft system feels integral to the story and the world; I could completely buy into the idea that the East-West battle was fought not only on the ground but also in the magical energy fields underlying Prague, Cairo, and apparently the entire planet. I anxiously await the next season of this unique and engaging series. Mar 26, Tim Hicks rated it really liked it Shelves: fantasy , adventure. Three, really, but I award an extra star for the concept, which should be encouraged.

But not too often. I read it as a single unit, and I suspect if I'd been fed it in episodes I might have given up. If this seems long and tedious, wait till you read a real John Le Carre or equivalent. I am taking this one's length and pace as a tribute to those. Crossing a spy novel with magic is a great idea, although it can make for a tricky plot.

And I'm not sure about some of the characters - Sasha and Dom a Three, really, but I award an extra star for the concept, which should be encouraged. And I'm not sure about some of the characters - Sasha and Dom are just icky, and Zerena's a bit cartoonish until the end when things get real. Winthrop and Toms were annoying, but authors get to do that if they want. The conflicted Gabe was a good choice, well developed. The magic aspects were mostly good, although I never like to see golems -- they're too powerful and the author often ends up handcuffed.

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  7. The one here was dealt with better than in many books I've read. Maybe not if you've never read a spy novel. You need a base to appreciate this one. Then I looked at how much more of the book I had left to go. I looked at my colleague, who has been reading very, very long, semi-serialized work on places like Wattpad. And I gave her this book, having not finished it, because I think she might like it more than I did. There is nothing wrong or objectionable about this book. The plot was unspooling too slowly for my tastes. Often, depending on the author of each episode, the writing was a little too simplistic or sparse.

    Jun 06, Rebecca rated it really liked it Shelves: fantasy , historical-fiction. Interesting structure, having been serialized with each chapter written by a different author. It's not flawless, but it works better than you might expect. Cold War witches in which there's both the Russians and the Westerners but also the Ice and the Flame, both of which are horribly mixed so your ally on one level is your enemy on another.

    A lot of fun. The prospect of a Cold War era spy thriller in the fantasy genre excited me, when I first learned about this book, and indeed the premise remains one of the strongest aspects of the book. In Prague, secret agencies of all types wrest for knowledge and power; CIA, MI-6, The KGB--but there are two others operating even beyond the knowledge of the usual organizations, Ice and Flame, cabals of witches who have infiltrated other agencies and are working towards higher stakes--it's not just about the The prospect of a Cold War era spy thriller in the fantasy genre excited me, when I first learned about this book, and indeed the premise remains one of the strongest aspects of the book.

    In Prague, secret agencies of all types wrest for knowledge and power; CIA, MI-6, The KGB--but there are two others operating even beyond the knowledge of the usual organizations, Ice and Flame, cabals of witches who have infiltrated other agencies and are working towards higher stakes--it's not just about the political landscape, it's about the fate of the world itself.

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    There are a number of characters in this book, but the circle is kept relatively tight--though we follow a fairly large cast of perspective characters, they are generally the only characters in the book, aside from a few extras. It helps keep the story from spilling over itself. Primarily, we follow Gabe Pritchard, an all-American CIA operative who, at some point in his past, had a little run in with something he can't explain, and now there's a hitchhiker in his head trying to get out, and it's affecting his work. On the KGB side, we have Tanya, who is also a witch for the Ice, attempting to extract a young woman of interest to the Ice before the Flame can get her.

    Invariably, Gabe and Tanya's paths cross, and much of the tension of the book comes from them having to work together for the interests of Ice, while being enemies in their other agencies. This second layer of intrigue adds a nice twist on the usual spy story, in fact--it's not just about who might be an operative for another organization, but who might be a witch working against you.

    The characters themselves are fairly strong, due to all of them getting some time to carry the story. There are diverse personalities playing off of each other, but there isn't generally anyone who comes across as incredibly unlikable or annoying, at least for me although Josh, Gabe's partner in the CIA, gets pretty frustrating. The book is also episodic, which was one of the most talked about features when I was looking into this book; some people hated it, while other people loved it.

    I have never read a serial novel before, so I wasn't sure what to expect. If anything, I was surprised by how normal the book read. I don't read closely enough, I suppose, to really notice and be thrown by different authors writing certain episodes. To me, it just felt like one continuous tale, just like any other novel--perhaps with a few filler episodes thrown in. That said, the plot is largely the biggest knock against the book for me. By around the end of the book, when the characters are preparing for the ending, I got bored and started glancing over paragraphs until I got to something interesting.

    The problem is pacing. The story never really builds to anything. Yes, there's an event in the last episode that feels like a "finale" but it's just so underwhelming that it didn't really work for me as a drawing together of the characters and conflicts of the books. It felt more like the authors knew they needed a set piece to finish off on, and delivered, but there was little heart or anticipation to it. The best climaxes are the ones that force characters to overcome their differences, their prejudices, their obstacles, while tying up loose story threads and culminating in an emotional and physical pay-off.

    I could analyze why I don't think this book's climax accomplishes any of that, but to do so would require spending a lot more time talking about specific scenes and revelations. So I will just say that the climax doesn't really do much for tying up loose threads--it DOES feel like a logical continuation of the story at that point, but there are obviously a lot of relationships and subplots at play here--in a book where we get scenes from just about everyone's perspective, and everyone has at least three secrets stuck tightly to their chest--and nothing really gets wrapped up here.

    It feels like the characters end the novel in much the same place as they started, albeit with certain new information that they didn't have before and which didn't come about from the climax. It's an annoying return to the status quo, and the climactic event feels relatively detached from the story itself. And then the book just I assume there are more stories beyond this, that they've always intended for a "Season 2" but it's a bad television show that doesn't resolve many of the threads and conflicts by the end of Season 1 while hoping new, interesting conflicts will hook a viewer into Season 2.

    I also blame the stakes of the novel, which more or less stay the same all the way throughout. We get a very early distinction between the Ice and Flame, that the former wants to preserve the world while the other wants to tear it apart. While this binary is probably too simple we learn things about Ice, and we get some perspectives from Flame witches it also more or less informs the stakes of the novel: if the Flame get what they want, they'll destroy the world. For some reason. There are some moments of really good, personal stakes, but they almost always tie back into the Flame being victorious, and this looming threat of the Flame destroying the world.

    It was hard for me to be invested in such a vague threat, especially when the subversions of the book taught me that it wasn't probably so simple. So when the final threat of the novel more or less is "if we don't stop this thing from happening, it brings the Flame one step closer to destroying the world," I was just bored. Much of the novel's conflict also revolves around the question of "will they work together? It's a good question to throw out once or twice, to make us really doubt things are going to go well, but this book asks that question far too many times, and never really changes its answer, so it loses its weight--especially when it's still asking that question in the last two episodes of the book.

    Finally, and this is perhaps the most dependent on my personal preference, but I cannot stand when a multiple-perspective story, just before a big event or revelation, switches to the perspective of someone who is either not present at that event, or does not have the information to understand the revelation. There are quite a few scenes where a character will be about to unearth some secret, or will be pulling off an operation they've been building to for a few episodes, only for the narration to cut to another character who, at best, only gets to see the residual effects of that revelation or event.

    In some cases, we don't return to the original character for some time, and by then the character is living another day and isn't even thinking about what they've uncovered, so that the writers can reveal it later, from another character's perspective. It felt cheap to me, and annoying. I had high hopes for this book, and I really did want to like it, going into it. A strong opening drew me in, and the cast of characters was intriguing and varied enough to keep me interested. But the book was average to me, without any sense of rising stakes or tension, capped off by an ending that felt obligatory and didn't really do anything for me.

    It's hard to make justifications for a book when I'm skipping pages in the last twenty, ready to finish and move on to something else. May 17, Tracey the Lizard Queen rated it really liked it Shelves: reads , fantasy , spies , netgalley , urban. Well, I'm not really sure where to start with this particular title. Spies and magic, what can I say? It was rather good. At least, it started out exceptionally good and then deteriorated slightly through the middle and didn't quite make up for it at the end. But still a good read. For me, the best thing about this book was the whole 'spy thing'.

    I love a great spy drama and this was up there with the best. It's not w 3. It's not without its flaws, some parts were more dragged out than I expected for something originally published as individual episodes. So there were occasions where I thought there was a little too much focus on the environment and not enough on the characters. That being said, the descriptions of Prague are nothing short of magical.

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    There were some issues with pacing as well, now I'm not sure if that's because it was written by several different authors, or if it's because this is a 'box set', or perhaps something else, but sometimes it felt somewhat disjointed. I was able to look past it though. This is a brilliantly crafted spy drama with some magic for good measure.

    View 2 comments. Witches, spys, cold war, could be a bit of silly fun, hey? After flying through the first few parts however, I was well and truly on board with this rocking little urban fantasy x cold war spy romp. Yes please. Plus gay characters, POC, badass women to boot There are so many parts of this that I love egregiously. The Cold War and colder magical war overlaid and interwoven is a fantastic concept, and it's delivered with spy-shenanigans much more of the Smiley than Bond school, which is always a lot more fun to read.

    I enjoyed the characters, with all their personal levers and problems. And in general, the writing was great. My only real niggle was pacing again. The episodic nature of the original work is still not quite sitting right with me, and tha There are so many parts of this that I love egregiously. The episodic nature of the original work is still not quite sitting right with me, and that's far more a problem with me than a problem with the material, which was designed to be read in a different way than this. I'm a little annoying with myself for not getting with it: after all, I don't expect the same pacing out of a binge-watched TV show as I do from a movie.

    But I'm just stuck on novel-pacing when it comes to the written word. Anyway, broadly, I loved this. I think this is the first time I have read a book authored by five different people. It is categorized as fantasy but it is also a spy story. The Russians vs. There are magical potions made of herbs and roots and special people called Hosts who seem to be the fulcrum around which the "good guy Ice people" and the "bad buy flame people" circulate.

    I am not enamored of the writing style which is fairly weak and hesitant. Overall, though, the bo I think this is the first time I have read a book authored by five different people. Overall, though, the book was an interesting reading experience. Spoiler alert - don't anticipate or look for any sappy happy endings. Aug 15, Kathy Heare Watts rated it it was amazing.

    Mystery, suspense, magic, and intrigue. I won a copy of this book during a Goodreads giveaway. I am under no obligation to leave a review or rating and do so voluntarily. So that others may also enjoy this book, I am paying it forward by donating it to my local library. Mar 16, Casey rated it it was amazing.

    Fun read! Fast paced and complicated plot structure, formatted like a tv show. Has at least one gay character which I did not expect but appreciated and which should honestly be a minimum requirement for any book with this large a cast of characters. Aug 01, Jesse C rated it really liked it Shelves: It isn't quite Le Carre, but it is a really nice fantasy homage to the genre. I've never read a book like this. It was half a cold war Thriller and half a fantasy story about to Magic groups at war with each other.

    Both halves of this book were very well done and the interactions with it send it over the top. May 28, Peter Hansen rated it it was amazing Shelves: A bit of world building at the beginning of the story made for a slow start but once they setup was in place the story quickened and the twists and turns of the layers of the spies and the ice vs flame drew me right in. Glad season two just wrapped up and I can read it all without delay.

    Max Gladstone and a host of other writers deliver a monster of a serial novel. Prague , and two Cold Wars are about to collide; who you thought was an ally might not be. Magic is about to collide with spycraft. Fantastic fun. Aug 09, Drew rated it really liked it. Shelves: supernatural , espionage , alternate-history. Really enjoyed this novel, a strange mashup of a spy story and a supernatural story, written by a group of authors writing chapters turnabout, remarkably seamlessly. The authors included two of my favorites - Max Gladstone and Ian Tregillis, so it had a lot going for it from the beginning.

    There is an overall arc of a story involving the CIA trying to extract a Russian scientist from the grasp of the KGB during a scientific conference held in Prague. Then there is Prague itself as a background, Really enjoyed this novel, a strange mashup of a spy story and a supernatural story, written by a group of authors writing chapters turnabout, remarkably seamlessly. Then there is Prague itself as a background, mostly in winter, where the cold seems almost to be another character, and the environmental details stack up to create an excellent feeling of realism, from the troublesome Moskvitch cars to the specialized language markings for Czech words.

    The edition I read I don't know if it's the only one available came from a company called SerialBox, and included post-it notes at certain junctures, post-it notes with interesting details and insight by the authors, which actually made me look at some of the writing in a new light. The problem that agents of Ice and Flame face well, one of them is that their loyalties are often tested - do they cleave to the espionage service that employs them, or to the shadow organization with the long world view? Gabe works for the CIA, and, due to a previous magical incident, carries a "hitchhiker" inside his brain, effectively a second personality that wakes up at unforeseen moments to ruin his life.

    He is getting help for this from an Ice agent that happens to work for MI6. So will she help Gabe or will she hinder him? Prague inserts itself into the story again, with ley lines crossing under a bar frequented by all spy agencies and also by the supernatural rivals. Lots of great twists in the book lead it to a good conclusion, though it is easy to see a sequel being set up.