Michael Zimmerle

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Smashwords book reviews by Michael Zimmerle

  • The Unquiet Grave on Oct. 07, 2012

    Well, it's about time! This is the first book I have read that strips all of the pretensions and flag-waiving out of Urban Fantasy, portraying the kind of characters and use of magic that a reader can actually believe might be taking place in their own neighborhood. The characters are exceptionally well developed and are grounded in the real world with real world habits and motivations. The fact that most of the book deals with the exercise of thought and deduction only emphasizes the later application of Caitlin Ross's pragmatic approach to magic. Modern pagans will delight in Caitlin's acerbic attitude toward ceremonialism as well as her belief in common courtesy. This book also contains the VERY BEST use of tarot that I have ever seen in print or film.
  • She Moved Through the Fair on Nov. 08, 2012

    This book assures the reader that author Katherine Lampe is not just a one book writer. This second book in the Caitlin Ross series is engaging, fully realized and VERY difficult to put down (or turn off as the case may be). Caitlin and Timber become even more fully developed and familiar, and the supporting cast is made up of totally "real" people. The "behind-the-scenes" look at the festival scene is illuminating and fun in Lampe's now familiar slightly cutting style. And let us not forget the magic, plenty of gritty, troublesome, dangerous, and very effective magic. Lampe takes on that most capricious of magics, the wish, in this installment, reaffirming the old saying, "be careful what you wish for." Caitlin's interactions with her patron gods are both a little humorous and slightly terrifying, as they should be. After reading this volume, you may never experience a local festival the same again.
  • Dragons of the Mind: Seven Fairy Tales on Nov. 08, 2012

    I love fairy tales. I love the adventure, the lessons, the quirks and the way that magic is simply part of the world. Many authors and screenwriters have taken on re-tellings of of classic fairy tales with mixed results. Lampe's work is some of the finest, most enjoyable I have ever had the pleasure to experience. Her re-tellings are insightful and fun and her original tales sound as if they are ages old. The voice of each story in this collection is unique and perfectly suited to the tale, a feat not many authors can boast. Like any good story, each of the tales grabs the reader immediately and leads him into the world of the tale. From simple fun to creepy, from sweet to heart wrenching, these tales are excellent reads.
  • A Maid in Bedlam on Nov. 18, 2012

    Wow. Really, I mean WOW. This third installment of the Caitlin Ross series is REALLY GOOD! Author Katherine Lampe raises the stakes in this one with soul wrenching situations, world changing dedication, and some incredibly kick ass magic and action. A Maid in Bedlam shows us a depth of the characters that makes each development of the plot a personal event since Caitlin and Timber are now, not just characters, but close friends. Lampe's take on shamanic journey is believable and understandable, not to mention highly effective in the story. I don't know if a true shaman would agree, but it sure works here. While healing and magic play a huge role in this story, it has no lack of the kind of thought and reasoning that make Caitlin Ross such and interesting and believable character. There is also a good deal of hard and fast action in this volume, a kind of action that we haven't experienced before. I want to say a good deal more about this book, but the important thing is this: WOW! READ THIS BOOK!
  • The Parting Glass on Nov. 24, 2012

    What do you do when you know your world is going to change irrevocably, and you have no idea what it may change into? Hmmm, sounds like any meaningful relationship I have ever had. What if the choice not to change means that your dreams may shatter and people might die? These are the questions faced by the two main characters in The Parting glass. If that isn't enough for readers of the Caitlin Ross series, this book is the revelation of how Caitlin and Timber met. I'm a guy. I'm not supposed to go in for all that gooey relationship stuff. "Oooo, What a romantic couple. I wonder how they met?" That kind of stuff. Truth is, I'm nearly in love with both of Author Katherine Lampe's main characters, Caitlin Ross and Timber McDuff, so I was just as excited to hear the back story of their meeting and beginning of the most intriguing magical team EVER, as any smitten school girl. What could be better than watching Caitlin's first reaction to seeing her Scots he-man? I'll tell you. Watching two very clever and powerful individuals navigate their way through the cold trail of a wounded man, combating amorphous and threatening spirits and ultimately performing one of the best healing rituals I have ever read. Fear, romance, danger, magic, sex (oh yeah, but you know, tasteful sex), heartbreak, and the thoughtful methods we have come to expect from Caitlin and Timber. This is a real keeper! Be sure you read the author's note and the deeply moving The Morning After Blues at the end of the book. It's well worth it!
  • The Fits o' the Season on Dec. 15, 2012

    If you have read any of the other Caitlin Ross books by Katherine Lampe, be you man or woman, you probably have not been able to resist falling, at least a little bit, in love with Caitlin's husband and magical partner, Timber McDuff. The stories contained in The Fits o' the Season will seal the deal. These stories fill in some of the gaps of Timber's life before he met Caitlin and shed light on a man totally dedicated to his soul mate. There is a gratifying horror and elation in experiencing a tortured hero master his inner demons. Lampe reveals Timber as honestly and effectively as any of her other characters; however, this collection is a shift from earlier works in that Lampe puts the reader directly inside Timber's head and heart. The action in each of these fantastic stories is more a method of revelation than the construction of plot. And make no mistake, the plots of each story are riveting! There is self-destruction and redemption, failure and victory, but most of all, there is tenderness and love. Timber McDuff, through these stories moves from a "he-man," as Breda calls him, to a true hero. To say I was moved by these stories is a gross understatement. I found myself in tears by the end of this volume. It's that good! Five Stars, a rating I give "Without Holding Back."
  • The Cruel Mother on Nov. 12, 2013

    Once again Katherine Lampe has written a winner. This installment of the Cailtin Ross series shows us just a little more of our favorite rural witch by taking us back to Caitlin's birth place for the unfortunate passing of her mother. There is a good reason why Caitlin and Timber live as far from Caitlin's family as they do. This is not always an easy book to read. The interactions with Caitlin's family are painful and give the reader insight into a past that rip at the heart of every reader who has grown to love her. Fortunately, there is plenty of magic and otherworldly interaction to satisfy the magic addicts, along with a smattering of Timber's ass-kicking action. Lampe continues to satisfy readers with the kind of rich characterization and deeply moving description that she is so adept at producing. I found myself feeling the pain and discomfort of each scene including finding tears threatening to blur the words as I read the climax. If you have followed Caitlin's adventures this far, you won't be disappointed by this latest offering. If you are new to the series, you will be eager to find out what has happened up to this point. 1 like · flag