Narrator: Therese Plummer
Length: 8 hours 26 minutes
Series: Deadly Curiosities, Book 3
Publisher: Tantor Audio
Released: August 21, 2018
Genre: Paranormal Fantasy
Cassidy Kincaide runs Trifles & Folly in modern-day Charleston, an antiques and curios shop with a dangerous secret. Cassidy can read the history of objects by touching them, and along with her business partners Teag, who has Weaver magic, and Sorren, a 600-year-old vampire, they get rid of cursed objects and keep Charleston and the world safe from supernatural threats.
When zombies rise in Charleston cemeteries, dead men fall from the sky, and the whole city succumbs to the "grouch flu", Cassidy, Teag, and Sorren suspect a vengeful dark witch who is gunning for Teag and planning to unleash an ancient horror.
Cassidy, Teag, and Sorren - and all their supernatural allies - will need magic, cunning, and the help of a Viking demigoddess to survive the battle with a malicious Weaver-witch and an ancient Norse warlock to keep Charleston - and the whole East Coast - from becoming the prey of the Master of the Hunt.
Gail Z. Martin writes urban fantasy, epic fantasy and steampunk for Solaris Books, Orbit Books, Falstaff Books, SOL Publishing and Darkwind Press. Urban fantasy series include Deadly Curiosities and the Night Vigil (Sons of Darkness). Epic fantasy series include Darkhurst, the Chronicles Of The Necromancer, the Fallen Kings Cycle, the Ascendant Kingdoms Saga, and the Assassins of Landria. Together with Larry N. Martin, she is the co-author of Iron & Blood, Storm & Fury (both Steampunk/alternate history), and the Spells Salt and Steel comedic horror series. Newest titles include Tangled Web, Vengeance, The Dark Road, and Assassin’s Honor. As Morgan Brice, she writes urban fantasy MM paranormal romance, with her Witchbane and Badlands series.
Looking to wind down my summer in style, I struggle for reads that go well with hot, lazy days and keep me awake long enough to enjoy them. Then along came Gail Z Martin, who had me at ghosts in Charleston about to destroy the world! Tangled Web is book 3 in her Deadly Curiosities series and, while I have not read the first two, you can be sure I now will. The writing style and tone were eerily similar to another author I enjoy and funnily enough, it turns out to be her alter ego Morgan Brice.
I will spare you the recap as the synopsis pretty much gives the reader what they need to know without divulging any exciting plot bunnies. That said, the thrilling balance of paranormal, mystery and action/adventure in this book makes it quite universally appealing. It is well written, crafted in a way that allows a reader who is not familiar with the series or characters to keep up without feeling like a full blown recap at every turn. The pace and flow of the action scenes is excellent - fast moving without being confusing or over-done. The characters are so real, so multi-dimensional, that the reader quickly and easily invests in the and the overall story line. And everyone who knows me, knows I adore a good Scooby-gang cast of characters when it comes to my Urban Fantasy tales - give me a team that takes on a big bad and saves the world and I am a happily entertained girl!
A major selling point for this as an audiobook certainly should be credited to Therese Plummer. She is one of those narrators whose voice is mild and fairly generic, but not in a negative way. She is able to capture all the unique personalities of from the Southern horse breeders to the ancient Scandinavian demigoddess and vampires who help the intrepid Cassidy and her partner Teag solve the mysteries afoot in the lovely and highly haunted Charleston, SC and save the world. Most importantly, she keeps the story moving along, making both narrative and action scenes equally compelling. As I said, hot summer days are not conducive to full attention but the combo of Martin and Plummer managed to keep me awake and engaged the entire time. I was on Audible searching for books 1,2 and 4 before the last chapter closed!
I would highly recommend this series to fans of mystery, paranormal suspense and Urban Fantasy - it is the quintessential summer read and complimented my stay by the lake to perfection.
Tangled Web gets five (5) chocolate dipped strawberries and an Ultimate Indulgence award.
I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Gail Z. Martin. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.
Q&A with Author Gail Z. MartinQ: How drew you to writing Urban Fantasy?
A: I love the idea of supernatural creatures and magic in the modern, ‘real’ world. The thought that there are things lurking in the shadows that we don’t know are there...That just turns the plot bunnies on for me!
Q: This series is set in Charleston, SC. How did you pick that city?
A: I went to a conference there, and saw how beautiful it was and how haunted. I decided right then I needed to set a series there! It’s got such a great vibe, but it hasn’t been used in a lot of books like New York or New Orleans.
Q: What does Urban Fantasy mean to you?
A: For me, it’s about magic and monsters that are part of our world, just out of sight, hiding from our notice. It’s ghosts and supernatural creatures and magic. It’s curses and haunted places and things that go bump in the night.
Q: Who are the main characters in Tangled Web?
A: Teag Logan is on the cover. He works at Trifles and Folly, an antique and curio shop in Charleston that really exists to get haunted and cursed objects out of circulation. He has the ability to weave magic into cloth and he’s also an amazing hacker.
Cassidy Kincaide owns Trifles and Folly, and she can read the history of objects by touching them.
Her boss is Sorren, a nearly 600 year-old vampire, who is part of a group of mortals and immortals who save the world from supernatural threats. Cassidy and Teag work with Sorren to protect Charleston and the world.
Q: What fascinates you about the supernatural?
A: I’m fascinated by the idea of magic, of people and creatures that are more than or different from what we expect. I love the idea of being able to do things no one else can do with magic, or to have extra supernatural abilities. And I just like the creepy factor.
Q: Have you always liked stories about ghosts and haunted places?
A: I got my first book of ghost stories when I was a kid. My favorite TV show when I was a preschooler was about vampires. I always wanted the monsters in ScoobyDoo to be real. And I love walking around in cemeteries, looking at the monuments, making up stories about the people in my mind!
Q: How do you get your ideas for stories?
A: Everywhere. I see things in the headlines, or on the History Channel, or I see a movie or TV show and think...hmm, what if it had gone another way? I overhear people talking in the line at the supermarket, or at a restaurant, and that will take me off in another direction. Ideas are everywhere!
Q: You use a lot of local history in your story. What’s your research process?
A: I look up the history of a place before I use it in a book, and I also make sure to look at urban legends and ghost stories about the area. I also look into famous scandals and crimes, abandoned places, haunted sites. If there’s a particular object involved in the book, I’ll look into it. I draw on photos of local landmarks for descriptions. If possible, I visit the site to get the vibe. I also use Google Street Views sometimes. It’s a lot of fun!
Q: How much do you draw on local urban legends and ghost stories?
A: A lot. The more I can tie a story into the setting, the more natural it feels, like it couldn’t happen anywhere else. I want the setting to be like a character in the books, to feel real to the reader. The legends and ghost stories say a lot about a place’s history and the kind of people who lived there, the types of struggles they had.
Q: How do you handle using real places and people in your books?
A: If it’s a public place or a monument or a government site, I will use the real name. If it’s a private business, I’ll make up a fictitious version. That way I can do with the setting what I want without worrying about making a business owner mad. Also, if I make up my own version of a business or restaurant, then I control it, and I don’t end up mentioning a place in my books that later goes out of business! As for people, I generally only use real people who are dead and were famous.
Haunted Heirlooms and Cursed Curios
By Gail Z. MartinI grew up going to antique stores and flea markets with my parents. All of the unusual items intrigued me. So many interesting things that were strange, beautiful, or just plain odd. Some I didn’t recognize, and had no idea about what they did.
So I made up stories about the items, and the people who owned them, as well as how they came to be for sale. That turned what might have been a boring wait into an adventure. Many of the shops had that dark, dusty look to them where it didn’t seem impossible for magic to happen, or a cursed item to be lurking in a corner.
It always fascinated me to think about the people who had owned those items. What did the object mean to them? Was it a gift? A souvenir? Something with sentimental meaning? It seemed so sad that their stories were lost. And sometimes, I’d come across an item that just felt ‘wrong’. It made me draw back and not want to touch it. It gave me the creeps. Probably my imagination, but who knows?
Trifles and Folly, the antique and curio shop in Tangled Web (and my Deadly Curiosities series) is based on all of those memories, as well as imagination and a few nightmares. The idea of a store making sure that haunted and cursed items are removed from circulation so they can’t hurt anyone really sparks my imagination. After all, you never know where that interesting antique might have been!
Teag Logan—Looks a bit like a young Keanu Reeves. Skater-boy dark hair. Late twenties. Tall and slender. Had been working on his Ph.D. In history before he got a summer job at Trifles and Folly, discovered his Weaver magic, and decided that saving the world was more interesting.
Cassidy Kincaide—Think of Nicole Kidman in her twenties, with strawberry-blonde hair. She inherited Trifles and Folly from her uncle, because of her ‘touch magic’. She’s a psychometric, able to read the history of an object by touching it.
Sorren—He’s a nearly 600 year-old vampire who helped Cassidy’s long-ago ancestor found Trifles and Folly 350 years ago. Sorren is Cassidy’s business partner, and he’s part of the Alliance, a coalition of mortals and immortals who keep the world safe from supernatural threats. He looks like he’s in his late twenties, with blond hair and eyes that are the color of the sea before a storm.
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