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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A promising start
My rating is closer to 3.5-3.75 stars but I rounded up.
**This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.**

This is a book that very much caught my attention because I love urban fantasy. I was hoping it would be as good as it looked.

When I started this book I was pretty disappointed. The first 100 pages dragged on for...
Published on December 16, 2012 by Heather K

versus
0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I have not read this yet
I haven't read this yet but i am looking forward to reading it. it has gotten very good reviews by previous readers and i find reader reviews to be accurate.
Published 21 months ago by millshouse


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A promising start, December 16, 2012
My rating is closer to 3.5-3.75 stars but I rounded up.
**This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.**

This is a book that very much caught my attention because I love urban fantasy. I was hoping it would be as good as it looked.

When I started this book I was pretty disappointed. The first 100 pages dragged on for me and the pace didn't really pick up until about page 150. I could have put the book down before this point.

When the action got going and I got drawn into the world, I really started to enjoy myself. The book doesn't have any romance to speak of (the barest hint here or there) or sex appeal so if you are looked for that, you aren't in luck. However, it does have interesting characters and a cool world that really snagged me in the end. I was up late finishing the book and ended up really enjoying myself.

What I disliked were small things. I HATED that they called magic men (warlocks or what have you) "voiders" - UGH - I understand the reference in the book to their lack of presence to a "sensitive" but when you are in the medical field like I am, all I thought about was urination . Pee pee and more pee. Each time they said voider I gave a little grimace inside. I have no idea if anyone else would have that reaction!

Another thing was the main character, Rose, was a bit of a tough nut to crack. She doesn't convey her emotions much, which bothered me. There is no "her heart pounded" or "she held back tears." She is kind of just there and very very persistent. I wanted more relate-ability from her character.

I also tend to compare all urban fantasies, especially involving the fae, to the Fever series. This book doesn't come close to that book in any regard. However, it isn't a very similar book in most ways so I know it's an unfair comparison.

Overall, I left the book feeling satisfied, which is more than I can say with many books I'm reading these days.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome True Blood-esque Novel Set in Russia, May 17, 2012
By 
This review is from: Midnight in St. Petersburg (The Invisible War Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
Midnight in St. Petersburg is a very entertaining urban fantasy novel in the same vein as HBO's True Blood series--which is based on New York Times bestselling author Charlaine Harris' Sookie Stackhouse novels . . . but this book is set in the broken and predatory city of St. Petersburg, Russia, a dirty jewel of a city on the shores of the Baltic. The dark aura of the city radiates from the pages and is always present, watching and waiting to strike the well-drawn characters pulled into its hungry shadow.

Author Barbara J. Webb gives us a fascinating view of the old world and all the supernatural creatures that have been secretly living there for millennia fighting an Invisible War with each other, and against "voiders," humans who use dark magic to level the playing field. St. Petersburg has been the site of many recent murders of vampires and voiders both, and if the killers are not found out soon, the Invisible War will be explode and many more voiders and vampires will die.

Into this backdrop of secrecy and violence the main character, Rose is drawn into a brooding world of vampires, creepy fae creatures, and shadowy wizards. She is flown to Russia first class to listen to a job offer, and her unknown employers don't care about her degree in social work. They want Rose for her rare gift, a talent that almost no one in the world possesses. She is a sensitive, with an "othersense" ability that allows her to know the history of places and things, and even people. Though she is not named one in the text, she is a retrocognitive, and has visions of what has gone before. She can also see into the hearts of people, and though she cannot know their thoughts, she can see into their souls--making her the perfect person to help with a murder investigation.

Her unique gifts help her uncover the mystery of what's going on in St. Petersburg as she works with a hand picked group made up of three men at the top of their particular fields. Ian has the blood of the fae in him and possesses many astonishing skills, other than his top model looks and his expertise with a blade. The other intriguing character is named Nazeem, who just happens to be a vampire. A very accomplished vampire. He might be the most interesting character, and definitely wanted to know more about him. Rose is particularly enamored with finding out who he really is, as his undead nature proves to be quite the challenge to her psychic "othersense."

The old priest Templar, Father Mike, gets thrown into the mix, and the group nearly tears itself apart as they race to solve the murders before the supernatural communities start killing each other in the streets, which reminds me: Never go out alone at night in Russia. Ever.

The best part about Webb's novel are its characters. It was easy to connect with Rose, who is a heroine worthy of being a franchise character. Her psychic power was described in such rich detail that you really felt the burden and the gift that she carries every minute of every day. Just being in St. Petersburg for her was a kind of mental torture, but she was not a whiner and I really enjoyed her witty sense of humor. The sharply written dialogue didn't hurt either.

This book wasn't too dark, and had an element of fun running through it that made me laugh out loud several times. I always enjoyed the natural and easy to immerse yourself in writing style, and I think she nailed the points of view of the distinct main characters. The interplay between the very different investigators kept me going, and I very much liked the awesome point of view chapters from Father Mike, the priest Templar--yes he works for the Knights Templar. Poor Mike had the darkest chapters in the book because you can't fight demons for over thirty years and not have issues.

Overall, I found that the plot moved forward at a good clip and led up to an epic and awesome ending with some creative twists that I did not see coming. Midnight in St. Petersburg stands alone, though you'll want more, and this novel marks the start of Barbara J. Webb's very promising Invisible War series.

Highly recommended for fans of Charlaine Harris, Jim Butcher, strong female protagonists and yes, vampires.

Paul Genesse
Author of the Iron Dragon Series
Editor of the Crimson Pact anthology series
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An interesting start to a series, April 3, 2013
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This review is from: Midnight in St. Petersburg (The Invisible War Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
There was a lot to like about this book, although I had some issues with it as well. The biggest point in its favor was the characters - they were interesting, charming, and well developed, with consistent motivations and distinct voices. The two main characters (I say that because we get their perspectives, not necessarily because of their importance to the story) are a militant old priest, who is a seasoned warrior with deep seated prejudices, and a powerful young sensitive, who is just beginning to discover the supernatural world. Both of them learn and grow, along with their companions, and are engaging enough to keep the novel moving through the slow parts.
The plotting, on the whole, was also pretty well done. The story was briskly paced, offering up new villains and allies, shifting loyalties, and fights with just about every chapter. A romance is hinted at, but thankfully not made central to the story. Eventually things do get a little repetitive, with the same sequence of events happening a few times, but the strong characterization pulls it through.
I did have some issues with the logic of the story - for some reason the part-human descendents of fairies and fairies themselves have a mutual hatred for one another for reasons that aren't really explained - but on the whole I thought it was a good start for a series. Some questions were answered, but more were raised, and I'd be very interested in seeing where this goes.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting plot, March 1, 2013
By 
This review is from: Midnight in St. Petersburg (The Invisible War Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
I really enjoyed this book. The characters were nicely developed and the plot was unusual and interesting. Nice work, Barbara! The blending of good guys found unique expression throughout the story.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not Great But a Solid First Novel, October 28, 2012
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This review is from: Midnight in St. Petersburg (The Invisible War Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
This is the first book in a series (The Invisible War) and it is a reasonable start. The author crowded in too many different types (Vampires, Voiders, Fae & Sensative) into the book without sufficient explanation, so I subtracted one star. The ending leaves you hanging, but I didn't take off a star for that. I would like to read more books in this series, when they are published.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Worth completing, January 11, 2014
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This review is from: Midnight in St. Petersburg (The Invisible War Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
This is my third reading of "Midnight in St. Petersburg". As I recall I was slow to enjoy it the first reading through but well before halfway through, I fell in love with these characters. The world that Ms. Webb develops is well worth the time exploring. I am very much looking forward to future novels in this series. I am disappointed that the next title put forth thus far (Inquest) is a tiny short story(27 pages) that can only leave me too hungry for a real read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars You Heard it Here First, August 20, 2012
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This review is from: Midnight in St. Petersburg (The Invisible War Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
Really no way to say what must be said without sounding a bit elitist, so here goes: If you're like me, you are apt to approach titles published outside of major houses with a healthy degree of skepticism, especially the work of as-yet-unknown writers. This is how I approached MiSP; it was recommended to me by readers whose tastes are generally unimpeachable; otherwise, I might not have picked it up at all.

...And that would have been a massive mistake, because MiSP is a great read. Barbara Webb is a gifted writer. This will be a major series, with all the trappings. Do yourself a favor and get to know sensitive Rose Daziani before the hoi polloi force her upon you. Because they will.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Characters - check. Magic - check. Reality - check. Wait...what?, July 23, 2012
By 
Katrina K (Columbia, MO) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Midnight in St. Petersburg (The Invisible War Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
A little caveat: Though I have read some fantasy fiction (Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter), my genres of choice tend to be more in the mystery and often historical sections of fiction. So I can't speak to how this book ranks next to other fantasy books. Rather, I tend to compare the fantastical aspects to the few television shows and movies I've seen.

Though my knowledge of other interpretations and prevailing understandings of magic, vampires, demons, and fairies is far from extensive, I venture to tell you that the mystical elements of "Midnight in St. Petersburg" have a freshness and a uniqueness to them that I quite enjoy. It's like these characters, and the things that make them unique, could actually exist in this reality of our daily life; it seems as though this undercurrent of mysticism simply gets uncovered rather than cut and pasted into the world as we know it.

But the best part about this story are the characters. They are mysterious, multi-faceted, fully-fledged characters telling us their story. Through the one-week lense of this book, we meet four very different people who have to learn to work together - and somehow get along. We meet endearing Rose, who ultimately yearns for friends with whom she can share the biggest secret she's carried her whole life. Then there's Mike, a war-worn priest with so much pent-up anger that he doesn't quite know where to direct it. Ian is a gorgeous and not-exactly-human hunter whose fearlessness seems unmatched. And Nazeem, the patient and intriguing vampire whose emotions and soul Rose searches to figure out.

The action is fast-paced and thrilling, the characters realistic and insightful. It is so easy to get pulled into their world, making it hard to put the book down.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Psychics, Vampires, Faeries, Mages and Priests Make a Volatile Mix., May 17, 2012
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This review is from: Midnight in St. Petersburg (The Invisible War Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
Have you ever wondered, what would happen if a Psychic, a magic wielding Priest, a Fae-blooded monster hunter and a Vampire walked into the same bar? I have. Now I have an answer. Barbara Webb's characters actually walk into a St. Petersburg Astoria metting room, but I don't suppose the actual place they meet is as important as the fact that they do meet.

I liked this story very much. I hope the second book of Barbara Webb's Invisible Wars Series comes out soon; as she leaves some tantalizing loose ends to further the story. If you are a fan of Psychics, Vampires, Mages, Faeries (or Fairies or any other spelling you like) you will like this book. The main characters of the book feature one of each such supernatural beings.

Each of the main characters comes to the St. Petersburg Astoria on the request of a mysterious group who wishes to employ them. All come to the meeting without realizing that they are about to be confronted by beings whom they either do not believe exist or whom they regard as deadly foes--and they are being asked to work together. Thus begins a week of intense investigations, tricky diplomacy and desperate battles in an Invisible War. A war waged at midnight in the streets, churches, palaces, and nightclubs of St. Petersburg.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Satisfying Read, March 18, 2013
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Kim Greenburg (Lawrence, KS United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Midnight in St. Petersburg (The Invisible War Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
I was very impressed with Ms. Webb's first full length novel. The story was rich and engaging with a good pace that blended exposition with action beautifully. Each of the characters are grounded and believable. I am really looking forward to the next adventure.
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