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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Book Review: Red Delicious by Kathleen Tierney/Caitlín R. Kiernan

Red Delicious by Kathleen Tierney/Caitlín R. Kiernan (Roc)

Even before the first page, I was cracking up at the epigraphs. Okay, maybe it's just the geek in me, but I don't think it's possible to go wrong with a book that quotes "old Asura proverbs" from Guild Wars 2. Regardless, I knew I was going to be in for a ride with this one, and I would have expected nothing less from the follow-up to the utterly brilliant book that was Blood Oranges. Yep, it feels great to be back in the world of Siobhan Quinn!

Much like the first book, Red Delicious delivers a healthy dose of dark humor and satire. Our favorite half-werewolf, half-vampire heroine is back working a case for her boss Mean Mr. B, following the trail of a missing teenage girl who also happens to be the youngest daughter of a local bigwig necromancer. But, as Quinn so often likes to remind us, she is not a detective. Oh, and don't call her Siobhan. Not unless you want to keep all your teeth.

What follows next is an outrageously entertaining sequence of events as Quinn gets caught up in a tangle involving demons, alternate universes, and an ancient magical artifact of immense power which I can't even physically describe here without having to raise the content rating of this review. Trapped in the middle of everything, it'll take Quinn everything she has just to get out of this one alive.

This story is guaranteed to serve up lots of laughs and no small amount of raised eyebrows. This is not your typical urban fantasy, folks. The author's note pretty much says it all; if you're looking for romance, likeable heroes, seductively attractive werewolves and vampires, or books in general that don't come with a warning label, then this series is probably not for you. But if you're down with checking out a side of this genre which has never been seen before, Kathleen Tierney (nom de plume of renowned speculative fiction author Caitlín R. Kiernan) will seriously rock your world.

I still remember my first encounter with Quinn, which was such a refreshing experience. She's a pure riot! I think the first time I heard her describe herself as a "werepire" I almost fell out of my chair. A self-admitted coward, shamelessly compulsive liar and a terribly unreliable narrator to boot, she's nonetheless an anti-heroine you can't help but love. She will make her own rules when telling her story, and won't give a crap if you don't like it. Always fond of breaking the fourth wall, throughout the book Quinn will even tell you that herself -- though I assure you she is much less polite about it! This is a protagonist who will blast away all your expectations with the shocking things she says and does.

It's this tongue-in-cheek, almost parodic take on urban fantasy that makes me love these books so much. This series breaks the mold in more ways than one, and is perfect for those needing a quick breather from the more traditional UF tropes. The fast-paced, volatile and unpredictable nature of the story means there is never a dull moment. Red Delicious is a worthy sequel, just as amazing as Blood Oranges!

A review copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. My thanks to Roc Books!


  1. Exactly what I want in UF. I love warnings on books, The Somnambulist used the same tactic and it was a perfect intro.

  2. Took me time to read all the comments, but I really enjoyed the article. It proved to be Very helpful to me and I am sure to all the commenters here! It’s always nice when you can not only be informed, but also entertained!
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  3. I definitely need some laughs right now so I can't wait! So much to read so little time.

    You did NOT almost fall out of your chair? well the amount of fbombs shocked my mom thats for sure.


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