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Last Car to Annwn Station by [Merriam, Michael]
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Last Car to Annwn Station Kindle Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Length: 225 pages Audible Narration:
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Product Details

  • File Size: 455 KB
  • Print Length: 225 pages
  • Publisher: Carina Press (June 27, 2011)
  • Publication Date: June 27, 2011
  • Sold by: Harlequin Digital Sales Corp.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #675,375 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Last Car plunges you into a fancy world where all sorts of magic folk live and in the middle of this action packed adventure is a very sweet lesbian romance with only kissing in the story. The character don't go beyond first base really but the adventure is so great and keeps you on your seat you don't really care that much, you just want them to survive the night and then to live happily ever after together. It is that kind of story.
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