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Smoke and Shadows

(Part of the Smoke Trilogy (#1) Series and Henry Fitzroy (#7) Series)

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Format: Mass Market Paperback

Condition: Very Good

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Book Overview

Tanya Huff's supernatural fantasy Smoke series, with a gothic twist - Mix of ghostly mystery, paranormal horror, and dark humor - Lamba Award nominated Fans of the X-Files and Twin Peaks will love... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

4 ratings

Promising Start to Spin-Off Series; Light & Exciting

_Smoke and Shadows_ is a spin-off of an established paranormal mystery series based around the adventures encountered by nearly-blind private eye (metaphor?) Vickie Nelson after she meets vampire Henry Fitzroy. Those who like to mix a little television with their reading might recognize these as the inspiration of new Lifetime series, _Blood Ties_. Those who like to mix a little television with their reading might _also_ very much appreciate the direction that Huff has gone with her new books. Protagonist Tony Foster, a former street kid, is now a television production assistant on a vampire detective series, and his job feeds into much of this book's humor and interest. Not that reading about Vickie wasn't fun, but Tony breathes new life into this increasingly popular genre. Drawn into the mysteries rather than seeking them out, he reads like a very real, natural person in very unnatural situations. The occasional interaction with Henry adds nice nostalgia, as well as a few new layers, but, truly, Tony is the star of this show. The book has a light touch and a tongue-in-cheek approach that doesn't soften the edges of its brief episodes of true horror. Oh, and some readers may need to be warned: Tony is gay, actively gay, and Tanya Huff treats his romance life as naturally as she would any straight character's. If for some reason the idea of two men being attracted to one another is offensive to you, you'd better settle down with a different book. Quite rightly, in my opinion, this one doesn't flinch.

Maybe better than Blood

This is an excellent series. I'd almost say that it was better than the Blood Books, except that the background laid down there makes me appreciate even more the continuation of the Henry/Tony storyline. I cannot tell y'all what a relief it is to get away from Vicki, and how cool it is to get to hang out with Henry and Tony without Vicki's histrionics, foul temper and all-consuming control-freakiness. Henry Fitzroy is the most compelling character in vampire fiction today, and Tony was always my second-favorite character from the Blood Books. The series starts off well, and gets better with each volume. Tony's emergence as a wizard puts him on a more level field with Henry - metaphysically, at least. Happily, they are still the same people inside, and their friendship/relationship tensions are poignant and endearing. Oh, right - and they're saving the world. Watching each of them evolve is a great deal of fun. From Tony's POV of everyday magic for the real world to Henry's struggle to bridge the supernatural and the ordinary worlds, I loved every minute of it. I hope Huff has more in the works for these two, cause I'm addicted.

Darkness Rises

I keep thinking that I should read more of Tanya Huff's other books, but they never appeal to me as much as the original volumes of this series do. I'm referring to the five volumes that tell of Vicki Nelson, a private investigator, and her relationship with Henry Fitzroy, on a prince, and now a vampire romance writer. There Huff demonstrated both finesse as a story-teller and a self-effacing style which kept everything in hand without calling on the hysteria which is often part of vampire fiction. Well, here it is several years later and we find that Henry, and Tony Foster, who was for several years one of Fitzroy's lovers have shifted to Vancouver, where Tony has begun to find his way as a member of the strange world of broadcast television. His first major job is as production assistant on, of all things, a series about a vampire detective. All seems to be going well until Tony notices that some of the shadows on the set seem to have a will of their own. And then someone dies. And then... Tony discovers that somehow the studio has been invaded by shadows who are up to no good. These are somehow tied to Arra Pelindrake, the special effects wizard. In fact, Arra is a wizard who does special effects, having fled her own reality as it fell to the Shadowlord. Now the darkness has found her here, and Tony, Arra, and Henry face a hopeless battle to stop this world from falling into darkness as well. Tony faces several crises, not the least of which is the plight of a gay man trying to establish his independence from a 400 year old vampire. One who has a tendency to see everything as 'his.' While Henry isn't truly overbearing, he has both a possessive streak and a very strong personality. To make matters worse, Tony really does need help saving the world. What makes the novel click is that Huff uses a light but sure touch in working the threads of Tony's sexuality and need for identity into the plot without overwhelming the story. Although Tony does come over as a bit of a wuss (shadows seem to make him nauseous - very nauseous), he gradually works past his initial wobbliness and develops onto a much stronger character than he was in the previous series. I do think that Huff should have spent more time redeveloping Fitzroy's character. Not every reader will have read the original series and having Henry drop in like a Deus Ex Machina and then step off-stage again doesn't ring true unless you know who Henry Fitzroy actually is. Even so, Smoke and Shadows turned out to be far better than I initially expected. I would be delighted to read more of Tony's story andI hope that Tony and Henry will star together in a few more volumes before the sun rises again.

Okay, I'll admit it up front.

I love Tanya Huff's urban fantasy books. They're cleverly plotted, humorous, occasionally chilling (that mummy wizard still gives me the creeps), and full of Canadian in-jokes. This latest book is no exception. I've always liked Tony Foster, so I was thrilled when I learned that Huff was branching off from her Blood series to give him a leading role in a new series. And I thoroughly enjoyed this book, although a few of the plot developments were a bit eyeroll inducing. Unlike one of the previous reviewers, I love gay romance, but even I had to groan at the Shadowlord succumbing to Tony's "charms". Vampire Henry Fitzroy has always fascinated me, and I'm intrigued by the power he still holds over Tony, and the understanding that they've come to about Tony's independence, which is, essentially, that Tony remains independent entirely at Henry's sufferance. I thought that was the most powerful part of the book...Tony's resistance to his deeply-held desire to submit to Henry and subsume himself in the role of being owned, and Henry's often fond, but occasionally reluctant indulgence of Tony's need to break away. The most amusing part of the book centers around Huff's knowing send-up of the Canadian television industry. "Darkest Night" is obviously a spoof on the campy vampire police detective drama "Forever Knight", the two RCMP detectives are a sly Canadian nod to Special Agents Mulder and Scully, and the character of underrated Canadian actor and total hottie, Lee Nicholas, is a fond and flattering paean to underrated Canadian actor and total hottie, Nicholas Lea, right down to the dark hair, green eyes, and nice ass. I took this book on vacation, and it was a perfect beach read. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys contemporary urban fantasy.
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