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Last Car to Annwn Station [Kindle Edition]

Michael Merriam
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $1.99
Sold by: Harlequin Digital Sales Corp.
This price was set by the publisher

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Book Description

"The fare is ten cents, miss."

Mae Malveaux, an attorney with Minneapolis Child Protective Services, is burnt-out, tired and frustrated. Passing on an invite from Jill, her flirtatious coworker, Mae just wants a quiet night in. Leaving the office late, she's surprised to find the Heritage Line streetcars up and running and hops aboard, eager for a quick trip home.

But this is no ordinary streetcar. Death is one of its riders, and Mae is thrust into Annwn, a realm of magic and danger.

"Your transfer, miss. You'll need that."

Mae's life is turned upside down as human and fae worlds collide. Her budding relationship with Jill takes a perilous turn when they are hunted by mythical beasts, and Mae is drawn into a deadly power struggle. With Jill at her side, Mae must straddle both worlds and fight a war she barely comprehends, for not only does the fate of Annwn rest in her hands, but the lives of both a human and fae child...

81,000 words

Product Details

  • File Size: 455 KB
  • Print Length: 225 pages
  • Publisher: Carina Press (June 27, 2011)
  • Sold by: Harlequin Digital Sales Corp.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #756,589 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful blend of magic, myth and adventure June 28, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
In the interests of fairness, I must disclose that I am a personal friend of the author and his family.

I like many different kinds of books and authors, and I like them for different reasons. One thing they all have in common is that the books are interesting. Other strengths and weaknesses vary from book to book.

Where Michael Merriam and Last Car to Annwn Station shine are in the realms of story and character. The story sets a good pace, and feels neither rushed nor plodding. There are really three storylines at work. Two are intimately related, and the third is tangled up in their dance. Mae Malveaux is a CPS case worker who has stumbled across something hidden while trying to protect a young girl named Chrysandra Arneson. She's warned off the case, which has been closed irregularly by the county attorney. Shortly afterward, she begins to see strange things that have no right existing in the staid world of the Twin Cities. A ride on a ghostly trolley car changes her life forever.

At the same time, we learn of a young girl being held captive and writing letters to a wall in her room with a smuggled pencil. It quickly becomes apparent that the girl is somehow connected to the Arnesons, and whatever strange activity Mae has tripped over.

In the midst of this chaos comes Jill, a fellow county employee and long-time friend of Mae. With timing that couldn't be worse, she begins to pay serious court to our confused heroine, getting herself involved in the mystery as well.

The story unfolds well, with revelations and events coming along quickly enough to keep it interesting but no so fast as to feel chaotic and confused. The story ties romance, mythology and mystery together in an enjoyable package.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Urban Fantasy that won't disappoint! January 12, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
In fairness, I will admit I know Michael through the MinnSpec writers group, but this is the first time I've read any of his work.

I thought this was a great Urban Fantasy with strong pacing. I started reading it yesterday afternoon and couldn't put it down. I stayed up late, even though I had a cold and a nasty headache, because I just had to find out what happened at the end. I was happy to find the ending didn't disappoint. It surprised me just enough and tied everything together.

One thing I loved about the book was how it dealt with lesbian protagonists. They're just like any other couple. There's no explanation of why they're gay (some SciFi and Fantasy feels the need to invent a reason for it), they just were who they were. They went on dates and fell in love just like everyone else. Jill's painful family backstory was also well done, plausible and not too cliche.

Another great thing about the book was the connection to Minneapolis. It's obvious Michael lives here and used actual places for his setting. I loved all the references to local coffee shops, buildings, parks, etc. I also loved how he brought back our lost streetcars and how he showcased them in the story.

There were a couple issues I had with the book. For me, the POV switch between Mae and Jill was a little jarring at first, so it took me a while to catch on to it. I also would've liked more details on Mae's background to make the ending more real.

Overall, it was a great read!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great beach read! July 17, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
(3.5/5 stars)

Welsh afterlife/mythology references? Fantasy elements? AND two main LGBTQ characters? Sign me up! This is a really great summer beach read - I consumed it in two or so sittings. The relationship flowed pretty naturally, though at times did seem a bit quick in terms of how quickly Jill and Mae got together, but I guess danger does that to people - cement them tighter together quicker than normal. But the ending was awesome, and tied up some ends, but not all.

However, I do have to say that the fae vs. mage war could have been expanded upon a bit. It only concentrated on the main arc of what was going on with the children, and even though Mae's supernatural-related backstory was mentioned and hinted as important, it was delved into for only one or two paragraphs. That was it. That disappointed me, and I think that if re-edited, that this could really make the book better. I wanted to know more about this war, wanted to know more about the role of the street cars, and was just kind of left hungering for more but with nothing left to eat. I wanted to know more about how all of the Welsh mythology tied in, because you could have inserted any other cultural magic mythology and the story probably would have ended up the same way. Why use the Cwn Annwn? A lot of questions like that remained after, and it was more than a bit frustrating.

The dialogue was natural and it flowed, and it felt as if I were really there. Yeah, even in the supernatural scenes. If anything, Merriam definitely has a talent for those scenes and makes them really pop off the (virtual), makes them shine. His use of white space is really good in terms of separating the everyday scenes from the letters to the Wall (and other supernatural-only scenes), which is hard to wrangle and achieve.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars UFR Reviews Last Car to Annwn Station October 31, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
I have to say this is a very interesting story. I always find it interesting when a man writes from a woman's point of view, sometimes its done really well and sometimes it just rings as a man saying what he thinks women think about. I have to say that this was a pretty good women's point of view, especially since the man author wrote a book with mostly women main characters.

This to me felt more like a romance set in a paranormal/fantasy setting. There is definitely romantic intent on Jill's part toward Mae, and I personally think they are pretty cute as a couple. I think Jill is a solid character, much more sure of herself than Mae. She is more the aggressor in the relationship, but also she is a stanch fighter for those she cares about, especially Mae.

Mae I think is a highly inquisitive person, she wants to get to the bottom of thing, even when people try and shoo her away from them. This is how she finds herself in the middle of two worlds, the human world, and the fae world. She takes this newfound knowledge and ends up embroiled in more than even she bargained for. But Mae is a good person at heart, so she tries to do the best she can under the circumstances, and help as many people/worlds along the way.

I think this is a pretty decent book. I think anyone who enjoyed paranormal romance will enjoy this book. Also is you are looking for a romance that is a lesbian romance, then this is your book, it's a solid romance, with good foundation. The paranormal elements are also interesting and intriguing, and keep you turning the page.
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More About the Author

Michael Merriam is an author of speculative fiction living in Hopkins, MN. His first novel, Last Car to Annwn Station, was named a "Top Book in 2011" by Readings in Lesbian & Bisexual Women's Fiction. He has published three novels, two story collections, three single-title novellas, and 80+ pieces of short fiction. His novella, Should We Drown in Feathered Sleep, was long-listed for the Nebula Award in 2010.

Like most writers, Michael has worked a variety of odd jobs over the years, including as a musician, short order cook, spoken-word performer, and the booking agent for a puppet troupe. Also a working actor and storyteller, Michael has appeared in the Minnesota Fringe Festival and the Tellebration! Storytelling Festival.

Michael is the convention liaison for the Minnesota Speculative Fiction Writers, and is a member of the Artists with Disabilities Alliance, the Outer Alliance, the Steampunk Artists and Writers Guild, and Story Arts of Minnesota.


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