Tuesday, December 10, 2013

AudioBook Review: The Shambling Guide to New York City

The Shambling Guide to New York City

By:  Mur Lafferty

Publish Date:  May 29, 2013

Format:  Podiobooks & Trade size print, 338pgs

Genre:  Urban Fantasy

Series:  1st in The Shambling Guide series

Recommendation:  Oh goodness yes! Fun twist to the city of New York and story.

A travel writer takes a job with a shady publishing company in New York, only to find that she must write a guide to the city - for the undead!

Because of the disaster that was her last job, Zoe is searching for a fresh start as a travel book editor in the tourist-centric New York City. After stumbling across a seemingly perfect position though, Zoe is blocked at every turn because of the one thing she can't take off her resume - human.

Not to be put off by anything - especially not her blood drinking boss or death goddess coworker - Zoe delves deep into the monster world. But her job turns deadly when the careful balance between human and monsters starts to crumble - with Zoe right in the middle.

First Sentence:
The bookstore was sandwiched between a dry cleaner's and a shifty-looking accounting office.

Purchase At:
Amazon  /  Barnes & Nobles  /  Book Depository

Until December 15, 2013, you can listen to this story for FREE thanks to Mur Lafferty.
Mur Lafferty's Blog  /  iTunes 

**I listened/read this story for my own enjoyment.

My Thoughts and Summary:
Zoe has moved back to her home city, New York City, after a terrible incident with her last boss and...his unbeknownst to her, wife. She has some money to live off of, but needs a job. She is a wiz at travel guides and the book store and coffee shop she stumbles into has the perfect add on it's board:
Underground Publishing
Underground Publishing is a new company writing travel guides for people like you. Since we're writing for people like you, we need people like you to write for us.
Pluses: Experience in writing, publishing, or editing (in this life or any other), and knowledge of New York City.
Minuses: A life span shorter than an editorial cycle. (in this case, nine months).

Zoe feels she's a perfect fit. The owner...not so much. Zoe learns of the special employees and that she might be in mortal danger from them. These beings are all through the city. Then the danger she comes upon with the city as a whole. Zoe tries to balance the attacks on her, find out who and why they are after New York City, and finish a layout for the new Travelers guide all at the same time.

Mur takes New York City and twists what we know to the supernatural lives as well. What we know as one meaning also has another to the supernatural world. We start with the implications and feelings there is something off with a few places. We are human and the supernatural do hide themselves rather well, but we the readers are looking for it and see the small flickers in their glamour. ;)

The first chapter left me wanting more. I was curious to what the world is like behind the curtains we don't know are there. I did get the feel there were some supernatural in the world. And when Zoe was talking about the publishing company; on yes, something was going on.

Zoe's personality is perfect. One that takes things in stride, and what she learns about what's been in New York City all these years, and everywhere, trips her up for a heartbeat but she goes on. She needs the job to badly and finds it all interesting at the same time. I love her thinking process on the monsters in the city. They'd been here for some time, so why was it different from last week? I love seeing Zoe interact with the "monsters" and all that is present in the world. The connections of Zoe's life to what's happening around the Coterie is not viewed as a coincidence by the Coterie. There is more to it. Then we meet Zoe's neighbor, nice young man, Arthur. But Arthur has a secret as well.

I love that we get Zoe's story and clips from her guide book at the end of each chapter. The clips give an insight to what we've already learned, places we've visited, and what's to come.

This story has a blend of everything here. Fun. Supernatural. Story that grows as we get more and more acquainted with the world. And a spark of relationships. Definitely a must buy series for me! Mur is wonderful at weaving fun into a story. She has a great cast of characters and twists things with a supernatural element along with her quick one liners that make me chuckle. Mur weaves a whole system to the supernatural world. One that keeps it secret to the human world as well.

Thank you Mur, and Orbit, for podcasting this book. I loved every minute of listening to it and HAD to get the book! I want this to show off and go back through.

This fun humored read and story is one I'll suggest to many for the fun and world. You'll be flipping the pages to learn what next is in this world and the humor that will come with it. Then, you'll find you are sucked in to a story that you didn't see coming.


Blodeuedd said...

It sounds fun :D I think I would enjoy it

Carol said...

This sounds fun. And audiobooks seem to be the only way I get any reading done lately.

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) said...

It's good when you get pulled in with the first chapter! I saw this one just recently and added it to my tbr, and now you've just confirmed that I need to get it asap.

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

Sounds like a fun book especially for those of you who write! :) Oh I do think I'd enjoy it too. :D

Melissa (My World...in words and pages) said...

Oh Blodeuedd, go in for an enjoyable ride, and it will be. :) I loved how she twisted things of the popular tourist sight, New York City, into having supernatural meanings as well. :)

Melissa (My World...in words and pages) said...

Carol, I've been doing a lot of podcast/audiobook listening at work. Really is what's driving my book count up this year. Hope you get a chance to try this one. But remember the audio is only available until December 15, 2013.

Melissa (My World...in words and pages) said...

Oh yes Maja. I was really curious as to the world and characters after the first chapter. And the twist of popular New York City into having supernatural meaning as well. Oh great and so much fun. Hope you get to reading it soon and enjoy the fun journey. :)

Melissa (My World...in words and pages) said...

Melissa (B&T) Oh, I thought of you while listening/reading this one. I really think you'd enjoy it. :) Hope you get to try it out. :)

Anonymous said...

This sounds like a really fun book! I'm going to try to listen to it during the next few days.

Jennifer @ Bad Bird Reads said...

Love when the first chapter captures your attention like that. This seems like a different urban fantasy. Thanks for sharing.

Melissa (My World...in words and pages) said...

Readerholicnotes, I hope you got to listening to the book. I really enjoyed it and hope you did too. :)

Melissa (My World...in words and pages) said...

Jennifer Bielman, oh yes. I agree. And yes. It's a touch different, but in a great way. :D Thank you!