Urban Fantasy Review: ‘Cherry Bomb’ by Kathleen Tierney

Cherry Bomb (Siobhan Quinn, #3)Cherry Bomb is the only kind of ending that would have worked for this short series about half-vampire Soibhan Quinn. It was irrelevant, at times nonsensical, and concluded on a note of…non-conclusion. That is to say the plot lines are wrapped up, and Quinn is obviously done telling her story, but there will be no tagged on ‘where the fuck everyone is now’ kind of epilog to assure the readers everything turned out all right in the end. Nothing about Quinn’s life has turned out all that well thus far, so why should everything be wrapped up with a bow?

To recap events to this point; Quinn was a junkie attacked by a werewolf and a vampire in a time frame close enough together to make her half(a third?) of each. Conventional wisdom would say this should make her the baddest unholy monster on the block but instead she just has that many more enemies and problems. For two books she has blundered around doing strange jobs for the mysterious Mr. B but after the episode with the unicorn horn (see Red Delicious) she gets on a bus and tries to escape.

Clever transition and find Quinn living off an accountant with a S&M itch that Quinn is able to scratch. An occasional open vein is her reward for keeping the accountant happy (perhaps a parody/reference to 50 Shades or perhaps the upcoming movie has me seeing ghosts on that front). A better offer comes at a certain, specialized, kind of party and the story gets past build up and into the meat of the tale; a relic hunter has something that could completely, and quite literally, change history.

Everything I love about the series is present; Quinn has one of the most unique voices in the genre, does her best to piss off everyone around her, and flirts with but never quite completely breaks the forth wall. She seems very aware she is a walking pissed off parody in an urban fantasy novel but refuses to actually say it out loud. And when events taker her to the lowest point the silly factor leaves; same great voice but able to be serious when it is called for. The twin ghoul nasty’s have a plan appropriately over the top; a highlight came in the perversion of Christian mythos the creatures follow. Above all else the book is funny. The way the narrator plays with story telling conventions, dropping hints about upcoming info dumps and the like, is a treat to anyone who struggles to craft a sentence. And Quinn’s ongoing fight with seagulls has been bringing a smile to my face since book one.

After a strong start in Blood Oranges I felt a bit let down by the second book. I am happy that this concluding volume is much more up to standard. Looking too deep into any of the background info is a mistake. For one, the story is designed to be over the top. And for two, Quinn has told us through three books not to trust a word she says.

This series is something of a parody and that either works for people or it doesn’t. For me, despite not reading a whole lot of urban fantasy, I found it to be a delight. Each book is short enough to be a diversion without requiring a lot of commitment. And Cherry Bomb finished dup the series perfectly, both in story and tone.

4 Stars.

Copy for review provided by publisher.

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