Gobbelino London & a Scourge of Pleasantries by Kim M. Watt

If you enjoy zany humour you might enjoy Gobbelino London & a Scourge of Pleasantries by Kim M. Watt, a hilarious urban fantasy about a cat private investigator. If you hate cats, you might not.

I finally got around to reading the first Gobbelino London, PI book by my prolific and talented friend, Kim M. Watt. (Did I mention I interviewed Kim recently?) This book has been on my to-be-read list for some time now, but you know how devious and ever-expanding those lists are.

Anyway, boy am I glad I did.

As we talked about before, I know you won’t believe any of my gushings about a book written by a friend, so instead of gushing I’m going to talk about who might and might not enjoy this book.

Yes, but what’s the book about?

Kim’s website has this to say:

“What’ve we got?”

“Tigers. Snakes. Alligators. Tears in the skin of the universe.” Susan shrugged. “I think I saw a kraken in the sink, too.”

Find a missing book.

That was the job the woman in the Doc Martens gave us. Easy money, right?

Only now it seems she’s actually an ancient, powerful sorcerer, and the book is a Book of Power that doesn’t want to be found. It wants to tear reality apart at the seams, and it’ll use anyone it can to do it.

So now we’ve got one spectacularly displeased sorcerer, a hungry, still-missing book, a dentist with bad hygiene, and a neighbourhood having some reality issues to deal with. Plus about a day before the book turns our world – and us – inside out.

We’ve totally got this. I hope.

This is the first book in the Gobbelino London, PI urban fantasy series, centred around the adventures of a mercenary feline PI and his human sidekick. It contains snarky cats and other gods, many bad jokes and terrible puns, plus a large serving of mythological and real creatures behaving badly. It will appeal to anyone who likes their fantasy funny, modern, and filled with friendship rather than romance – and also to those who suspect their cat may be living a great and secret life when they’re not looking.

Which, of course, they are.

Gobbelino London, cat PI
You did what to my heated bed?

Who might enjoy this book?

* Anyone who needs a zany, hilarious escape from 2020. I think everyone can agree 2020 has major personality problems, but don’t fret, here’s the escape you need. I laughed out loud so many times reading it. Sure, it’s ridiculous at times (okay, most of the time), but in a way that oddly makes sense. It’s urban fantasy with a capital F.

* Cat people. Yes, the main character is a cat. Smart, opinionated, and a little too knowledgeable about life. He’s probably more intelligent than his human sidekick, but he can still put on a brainless cute kitty act when cornered by a livid dentist. And he understandably hates getting wet. If you don’t fall in love with him, I don’t know what’s wrong with you.

* People bored with your average fantasy book that takes itself way too seriously. Gobbelino London (the cat, that is) does take the world very seriously, and that makes his snarky comments all the more funny. His world of Leeds, however, has seriousness (as well as reality) issues. Or maybe that’s just the Book of Power, bent on making the world a better place… before it destroys it. Enter pastel coloured rats, bewildered penguins, and so much more.

* People who enjoy physical humour in their books. Sure, the cat private investigator of the title does some cerebral sleuthing, but a lot of the laughs (and there are many) come from Gobbelino’s attempts to save the world while being, well, a cat. I would so love to see this book as an animated movie. Rich friends, where are you?

Flamingoes are ridiculous birds no matter where they’re located. But they’re twice as ridiculous in the middle of Leeds.

Who might not enjoy this book?

* People who hate cats. What can I say? Such incomprehensible people should go back to their dog parks and play catch with Rover.

* People who hate long book titles. I admit I didn’t think too much about the title before I read the book. But looking back now it’s kind of perfect–apart from being long. Leeds is facing a wave of transformations that make it a nicer place… but nothing so nice comes without a cost. (And sometimes it tries to eat you.)

* People whose hearts stop every time a cat runs across a road without looking both ways. I mean, I love you, Gobbelino, but please stop giving me heart attacks. I don’t care what you’re running from. Be more careful crossing the road.

* People who are offended by blasphemy. It’s not extreme by any measure, but it’s understandably there. I mean, you try teaching a cat polite language.

Watch out for the old lady next door. She has some new friends.

Have you read any of the Gobbelino London books? (Shortly there will be three!) Do you want to now, or are you a dog person?

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Gregory Josephs’ speculative fiction book The Confluence is (almost) here!

The talented Gregory Josephs shares his secrets about writing, dreaming big, and of course his new speculative fiction book, The Confluence.

Guess what!

My kind and delightful friend Gregory Josephs has a book coming out tomorrow–speculative fiction with mystery! suspense! LGBT characters!–and he shared all his deepest, darkest secrets about publishing and being a published author with me.

Maybe not deepest, darkest secrets.

But secrets.

Things he hasn’t told anyone.

Okay, he probably told some other people, but I came up with the questions all on my own, so you won’t find these answers anywhere else.

Here we go! (All in his own words, with just a few extra paragraph breaks.)

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A rant about A Song Below Water by Bethany C. Morrow

I read the YA fantasy novel A Song Below Water by Black author Bethany C. Morrow. It’s a powerful book, but the oppression it portrays might not make it the best escapist read right now.

As part of my recent mission to read a string of books by Black authors, I read A Song Below Water by Bethany C. Morrow. Sebastian and Rain had strong opinions about it. I’ll let them explain.

In case you missed it, last week I wrote about A Song of Wraiths and Ruin. I’m thinking of renaming my WIP so it has “song” in the title.

Rain: I get to start this time! This book was such a weird mix. It’s set in the real world, which I don’t approve of, but it had all these mysterious magical elements that I loved so much. There’s only one gargoyle in Portland, and it lives on the roof of the main characters’ house. Sirens are real–they’re always Black women–but they look like people and live like anyone else, and there are magical elokos who also look like people and are universally adored, sprites whose pranks occasionally go too far–

Sebastian: I got it. You liked the magic stuff.

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Not a review of A Song of Wraiths and Ruin by Roseanne A. Brown

Sebastian and Rain bicker about what they did and didn’t like in A Song of Wraiths and Ruin by Roseanne A. Brown, a fantasy novel by a black author that was inspired by West African folklore.

A week ago I shared a list of books by black authors that had jumped to the top of my TBR pile. Ten minutes ago I finished the first, A Song of Wraiths and Ruin by Roseanne A. Brown.

In a moment I’ll hand over to Sebastian and Rain to chat about it. In case you haven’t met them, Rain is my reader half and Sebastian is my writer half. I should warn you Sebastian is a bit of a prat, but I hope you don’t hold that against him.

The advantage of setting Sebastian and Rain loose rather than trying to write a review is that this way I don’t have to decide what I think about the book.

Genius, right?

Continue reading “Not a review of A Song of Wraiths and Ruin by Roseanne A. Brown”

What I did during lockdown and my reading list by black authors

In which I share my reflections on how Covid-19 lockdown did not live up to expectations and my reading list of books by black authors.

On 23 March 2020, New Zealand went into level 3 lockdown in preparation for going into level 4 lockdown two days later.

I went home.

Yesterday, on 8 June 2020, we finally made it down to zero active cases of Covid-19 in the country and the alert level dropped to level 1.

Between those times, I left the house twice–both times to drive to the shop around the block and not get out of the car. Today for the first time I went into the shop.

Other were people were there and I’m still not sure how I feel about that.

I guess lockdown is over (for now and hopefully permanently), so this seems like a good time to reflect on it.

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