I was contacted by Omnific Publishing to review Jennifer Lane’s debut novel, With Good Behavior. Once I read that she’s a psychologist, I knew I had to read the book because she would likely apply her knowledge throughout. I am a budding social worker, and just took Psychopathology, so I definitely wanted to find out what she had to say.
With Good Behavior is not my typical read, but I enjoyed the break from my fantastical normality. It’s a fictional story about two normal people, from very dysfunctional families, who get jipped by people they cared about, and sent off to prison to pay for their naïve loyalty. We get some mafia action, some no-no’s in the ethics department, and betrayal, all wrapped up in a sweet love story.
The two main characters, Sophie and Grant, are very relatable and likeable. They both made bad choices and paid heavily for them. They are now out of prison and on parole because of their good behavior, trying to piece their life back together while holding on to their last slice of dignity (big social work value there!) Grant is a caring, compassionate soul and desperately trying to remain detached from his Mafia family. Sophie is trusting, empathetic and trying to maintain her happy façade, all the while extremely embarrassed and disappointed about the ethical mistake she made. They meet by chance and fall deeply in love, only to realize that “it’s a small world” has never been more applicable.
I really loved Roger, who ran an architectural boat tour in Chicago and gave these two felons a chance. He was hysterical with his potty mouth and easily ignited temper. He gave Grant and Sophie a hard time throughout but you knew he was a softie underneath. Another great character was Jerry, Sophie and Grant’s parole officer. Another I-will-send-your-ass-back-to-the-slammer-if-you-smile-at-me-wrong attitude but he fought for Sophie and Grant when the shit hit the fan. The Mafia characters in the book aren’t likeable in the least, go figure, but one of them tries to redeem himself, albeit too little, too late.
As a social work student, I enjoyed reading about the helping relationship, certain mental disorders, ethics, proper parenting, the lasting effects of domestic violence and child abuse, and the like. It was also interesting to learn about the background of the characters and how much our childhood experiences shape our future. Grant turns out to be quite the resilient young man, and he also had a trusted, caring adult/mentor during childhood. These two things have been proven to improve the risks for children.
Jennifer’s writing is fun, knowledgeable and smooth. I thought the chapter names were very clever and fitting, and always made me wonder “How does ‘Fucking Carrots’ fit into this story?” I think I might need to interview Jennifer because I have some questions for her! I definitely can’t wait to read the next in the series, Bad Behavior, in 2011.
My Favorite Quotes
Roger raised his eyebrows. “Madsen, you brought me Mother Fucking Teresa?” “Hardly,” Sophie scoffed. “I doubt Mother Teresa was a convicted felon.”
Like most abuse survivors, he apparently blamed himself. He thought his inherent badness caused the abuse and believed nobody would love him once they learned of it.
“In my opinion, a trusting therapeutic relationship is key to change – a relationship in which the therapist and client can partner together to help the client cope with life better.”...more
So, for those that don’t know, I’m a HUGE Alice in Wonderland fan. It is one of the best fantasies I read as a child and it has a lot to do with why I love the genre so much today. I am not some Carroll purist who can’t enjoy a different view on the story. In fact, I find great delight in other’s ideas of Alice and her crazy imagination. I was beyond excited when Brooke at Brooke Reviews gave me a copy of this book. I had never heard of it!
I will admit that the writing isn’t fantastic. I don’t think it’s terrible but the author did not do the best job of grabbing us, emotionally. I wasn’t connected to the characters much, although a few of them stole the show. I know this book is geared toward the younger generations, and for them, I believe this book would be a great hit (albeit a tad long). The reason I loved it so much was because of the fantastic idea! I enjoyed the imagination behind this revamp so much that I really put aside the writing deficits and totally enjoyed the fantastical ride. For many, that is very difficult, but when you put Alice-esque literature in front of me, I am likely to enjoy it, regardless of its faults.
In this world, Princess Alyss, daughter of Queen Genevieve, has one of the strongest imaginations in the land. In this world, what you dream up comes to life before your very eyes. I found this extremely exciting, and was very interested to see what Alyss and Redd would dream up in their battles. It was explained, however, that you could not kill a creature with a will to live with imagination alone. That would make things way to simple.
There are some patriarchal tones and serious genocidal and fascist B.S. flowing throughout the book. I enjoy finding ugly issues like these in young reader books because it introduces these ideas to them, but not in a realistic way. It gives the reader a chance to think about the issue and question trusted adults. I think it’s a great way to slowly educate young people on the ugliness of our world.
“Lesson number 1b in Bibwit’s carefully planned curriculum: For most of universe’s inhabitants, life is not all gummy wads and tarty tarts; it is a struggle against hardship, unfairness, corruption, abuse, and adversity in all its guises, where even to survive – let alone survive with dignity – is heroic.”
Aside from Redd, who was pretty creepy and hella mean, I really enjoyed her evil creations much more. Instead of recreating a Chesire Cat character, the author turned him into The Cat, a massive half-man, half-cat creature that served as Redd’s henchmen. He had 9 lives, and it was pretty humorous to see him loose some from various people – mainly Redd herself! *snicker* However, being a cat, he was one sneaky creature…
I ended up loving the supporting characters much more than Alyss. I adored the Rook, which was some random chess piece fighter that would appear during drastic moments and save Alyss’ butt, and always had witty lines. Dodge, Alyss’ childhood friend/love interest was a great character when he was younger, but I was so disappointed in him as an adult. Bibwit Harte (definitely a play on ’White Rabbit’), master tutor of Wonderland, was a gentle, dear old soul. But oh, Hatter Madigan FTW! My goodness, I love this character something fierce. He is made of pure awesome. He’s not the loony tune in the traditional story. Instead, he’s a loyal, brave and fierce fighter with some snazzy weaponry! When he was searching the world for Alyss, he only trusted information from hatters, which I found incredibly cute.
“He trusted those who dealt in headwear more than he trusted anyone else.”
And one last tidbit, looks like they want to turn this one into a film! SO COOL!
My Favorite Quotes
"But I killed you,” Alyss said.
“Did you?” Red turned to The Cat. “Why wasn’t I informed?"
"You can't spend so much time in a place and not carry a bit of it inside you."...more
Meet Gabriella Moretti, a 20-something that is unique in every way. She’s a brilliant scientist who received her Ph.D. at the tender age of 19! She isn’t very outgoing, doesn’t make friends easily and doesn’t date often. It just ends up being very odd and uncomfortable for both parties. So, she’s turned to her field of study as a steady companion, one she’s extremely interested in. What’s her science of choice, you ask? Well, Gabriella happens to be a supernatural specialist, investigating all things paranormal. Unfortunately, everything she’s examined has been a crap shot…until the day she receives a shipment of three ancient corpses, dating back to 100 B.C., who look as though they have just stepped off the catwalk, and have the uncanny ability to regenerate. Just another day at the office for Gabriella?
Think again. Gabriella is excited yet overwhelmed by this discovery and soon finds herself surrounded by more paranormal beings than she could ever dream of! Those beautiful corpses happen to be Angels, and they don’t stay in their boxes, all stiff and pretty. As the bodies come back to life, Gabriella’s life unfolds before her eyes and she discovers secrets about herself and her world that she’d never think possible.
I really enjoyed this book. Gabriella is intelligent, independent, passionate and has a dry, witty personality. She would rather throw herself into the fire than allow another to perish. She is extremely brave given her circumstances, and she has one hell of a cool job, in my opinion. The supporting cast were just as amazing and you will find yourself shedding some tears! I do not want to give anything away, but I have to profess my undying love for Andrew. What an amazing character. I didn’t want the story to end just so I could continue to be connected to him. He is otherworldly, in many ways. *swoon*
As the story expanded, I found myself more and more interested in the outcome! There was a certain mystery to the story, as pieces of the plot are introduced to Gabriella through dreams, which are actually memories of an important character. It keeps you guessing and wondering what is in store for her! There was plenty of supernatural throw downs, and unfortunately, some casualties. I was pleased with the lack of tedious details, as I can become quite bored with authors who take 2 pages to describe a doorknob. This didn’t take away from the novel, and you are sent straight into the current plotline while still receiving important background via dreams/memories.
Shadow of the Sun is a great novel from a debut author, especially an author with an intense background in environmental science. I find it quite awesome that someone can excel at two very different things. I didn’t enjoy the writing style as much, but the author sure knows how to deliver a story! I was contacted by Obsidian Mountain Publishing to review this book. It was my FIRST contact with a publisher and I was so very excited and honored. I know that the author co-owns the company, but that is beside the point. I was contacted. Woot!
I look forward to reading the next in the Timeless series, Soul Stalker! ...more
Jem and Spider have led hard lives. Jem’s mother died from a drug overdose when she was young and she has been in the foster care system ever since. She hasn’t done well in school, and has no ambition for the future. She is a loner and very negative. Can’t say I blame her, being that she looks into someone’s eyes and sees their death date. I’d become pretty anti-social too! It is quite a secret to harbor. Spider is pretty much the opposite in personality. He is a happy go lucky young man. There’s always a smile on his face and a pep in his step, in spite of his situation. He feels hopeless about his future, as well, and turns to easier ways to make a buck. He lives with his grandmother, who adores him.
These 2 characters are thrust into each other’s lives after an explosion occurs at the London Eye. Because of Jem’s ability to see people’s date of death, she knows something horrible is about to occur when a large group of people have the that day’s date hovering over them. She flips out and tells Spider that they must leave immediately. Of course, the explosion occurs and the police are now after these two, as they looked highly suspicious or maybe just important witnesses. Jem and Spider leave town and embark on an adventure to leave the past behind and start over, but their days are numbered…
I thought the concept of this book sounded very interesting, and the synopsis intrigued me. Once the London Eye explosion, major event happened, the story took an entirely different route than I expected. I think the time when Jem and Spider were on the run was the best part of the book, but honestly, I was never very engaged or interested in the characters’ fate. It all seemed very predictable to me, especially the ending (and I am not good at predicting). I will read the second book merely because I am interested to see where the story goes, but I hope the author does more with characterization in the next installment. ...more
Kristina Georgia Snow is the perfect daughter: gifted high school junior, quiet, never any trouble. But on a trip to visit her absentee father, Kristina disappears and Bree takes her place. Bree is the exact opposite of Kristina -- she's fearless.
Through a boy, Bree meets the monster: crank. And what begins as a wild, ecstatic ride turns into a struggle through hell for her mind, her soul -- her life.
I was introduced to Ellen Hopkins when the blogosphere was enraged over a teen lit festival uninviting her from the event. I wrote about that particular situation here. I became immediately interested in what she had to say because banning books is something that seriously pisses me off. Having no prior experience with Hopkins’ work, I wasn’t prepared for the poem-esque writing. I must say though, it worked so well and brought such depth and emotion to this story. She is a fantastic writer, and so very different than others in the YA genre.
This story isn’t for the faint of heart. It’s about a straight-laced teenage girl name Kristina who has never stepped a toe out of line. She visits her not-so-heavy-on-the-morals father who is pretty much a stranger to Kristina. Her father lives in the same building as Adam. And Adam is hot. Kristina has never approached boys before and is nervous as hell...
Enter Bree, Kristina’s alter-ego. Bree takes over, Kristina is gone. Adam likes Bree and quickly introduces her to his friend, the monster. AKA, Crank. Kristina’s life quickly spirals out of control as she enjoys her roller coaster ride with the monster. Unfortunately, her dad doesn’t help steer Kristina back to the shallow end of Hell, as shown by the scene where he enjoys crank with his daughter and friends in the back of the bowling alley where he works. Nice role model.
Kristina enters into a reality that no parent wishes upon their child. A reality full of divorce, addiction, rape, suicide, teen pregnancy. All the things we wish to shield our children from. However, shielding them from reality only hinders their ability to deal with it, should they find themselves in Kristina’s situation. You definitely need to gauge the maturity level of your child before you allow them to dive into Hopkins’ mind, but I think allowing them to see this harsh reality through a book – rather than personally experiencing it – is a much better route to take. I can’t imagine an adolescent putting this book down and looking forward to a date with the monster…
As someone with a background involving ‘party drugs', as I like to call them, this book was very personal and is so very important. While I never shook hands with the monster or any of his seriously sadistic friends, I have friends who did. One of my good friends in my Social Work cohort is a recovering meth addict. He was able to escape his relationship with the monster. Not everyone is so lucky.
I’ve read in various places that this story is loosely based on Hopkins’ daughter’s struggle with crank. That makes this book personal, and it shows.
But it is Mom’s low, level threats I best remember.
You do not deserve these children and when I’m through with you in court you ‘ll be lucky to get visitation.
She was right. And I still had not forgiven her. Maybe he wasn’t perfect But he was still my dad.
I keep to the shadows, observing the game I hadn't dare play, absorbing the rules with adhesive eyes
No bowling, no small talk, just plain, empty time, I walked down to the corner store for Pepsi and Cosmopolitan. Guess who was buying cigarettes, copper skin glistening bittersweet summer sweat. One look, I was Play-Doh.
Just Before The Drop
You know how you stand and stand and stand in line for the most gigantic incredible roller coaster you’ve ever dared attempt. Anticipation swelling, minute by minute by minute, you choose to wait even longer, to ride in the front car and finally it’s your turn. They buckle you in, lock the safety bar with a jolting clunk! Hook engaged, the chain jerks you forward. You start to climb Crank-crank-crank. Cresting the top, time moves into overtime as you wait for that scant hesitation, just before you drop You know how you feel at that instant? Well, that’s exactly how it feels when you shake hands with the monster.
Like an Idiot
I took one too. Things went from weird to worse.
I mean, there I was, snorting crank with my dad, my boyfriend, and his other girlfriend.
Something majorly wrong with that picture.
Okay, I Looked Awful
To anyone else, he probably looked worse. To me, he resembled an angel. A poor, sad, beautiful angel.
His hurt swallowed mine, like space swallows time, and the two intertwine. We tangled together. I'm sorry. Me too. I'm just so confused. Ditto. I do know I love you. Ditto squared.
Girls get screwed. Not that kind of screwed, what I mean is, they're always on the short end of things.
The way things work, how guys feel great, but make girls feel cheap for doing exactly what they beg for.
The way they get to play you, all the while claiming they love you and making you believe it's true.
The way it's okay to gift their heart one day, a backhand the next, to move on to the apricot when the peach blushes and bruises.
These things make me believe God's a man after all....more
Calla Tor is young woman who respects tradition and questions nothing. Just shy of 18, she is an alpha wolf of the Nightshade pack. Her purpose, and why she was even conceived, was to marry the alpha male of the Bane pack and form a new pack. Pack of what, you ask? Well, Guardians, of course! Yes, Guardians do change into wolf form, but I wouldn’t call them weres. No, they are something much more. Created with magic, Guardians are human and wolf at the same time, shifting from one form to the other with the ease of a blink. According to Calla, they are always both forms, only choosing which to use and allow others to see. Sounds like magic to me!
Guardians are the ancient protectors of the Keepers, a magical, mysterious bunch, and frankly, a group that puts a bad taste in my mouth *coughEfronandLukecough*. As you would expect, Guardians are bound to non-negotiable rules set forth by the Keepers, and these rules are not to be questioned. However, the idiom curiosity killed the cat must apply to canines, as well, because Calla find herself betraying the very customs that rule her existence. Of course, she starts off her treachery by saving a human boy from a grizzly bear and thus, exposing her true self…and this is only the first chapter! The story only intensifies from there on out, and Calla find herself questioning her reality to the very core.
The best part of this book, for me, where the characters. Cremer’s characterization is very impressive. I am very much attached to these characters and look forward to their exciting and treacherous futures. Thank the heavens this is a series! Ok, let’s start with the love triangle, shall we? Firstly, there’s Calla, who I find very noble and courageous. I was very impressed by the restraint of this young lady, and found her respect for tradition and culture refreshing. Then we have Ren, the young Alpha of the Bane pack, and Calla’s promised mate. Ren is an interesting character, leaving the reader wanting to wring his neck one moment, jump his bones the next, and finally, hug him until hurts. He is a complex guy who should not be taken at face value. Oh, and his nickname for Calla is Lily, and that alone is enough to make me swoon. And finally, there’s Shay, the human lad who Calla saves from a gory death. Shay waltzes into Calla’s life like a hurricane, uprooting everything she’s ever known. And, in the process, he challenges her to leave all the rules behind and think for herself. I adore Shay’s quirky personality and determination to free Calla of her chains.
The secondary characters are just as awesome. Bryn, Calla’s Beta, is one awesome sidekick. She is feisty and loyal, and is always able to say the right thing at the right time. Mason, another Nightshade, is admirable in the strength he possess for being different. And finally, Ansel, Calla’s younger brother, stole the show! I am so over-the-top adoring this kid! He is the epitome of the perfect younger brother; the one who lightly teases you, really listens to you, whole heartedly respects you and loves you unconditionally. His personality had me smiling every time he made an appearance. ADORE.
Another notable piece of this book is Cremer’s ability to write the most intense sexual tension I’ve come across! This is Young Adult, so there are no J.R. Ward or Gena Showalter smack-your-ass sex scenes. But damn – there didn’t need to be! I was panting along with Calla through her experiences with Ren and Shay. Fantastic writing!
As a whole, this book really touches on the concept of Freedom and how very precious it is. Calla’s world is overflowing with rules and mysteries, and to question or challenge these things equals a quick death. However, Calla eventually takes a stand for what she truly believes, regardless of the consequence. It is very similar to our need to stand up to the injustices of our own world, and how so many of us just let things be how they may, and never challenge anything we may feel is unfair / unequal…
One thing I will criticize about this story was my ability to guess what was going to happen. I am not good at this type of thing, in general, so the predictability must be up there. However, it didn’t take away from my enjoyment of the story. In fact, I can’t express how much I enjoyed this book. Seriously. AND, if you can’t get enough of the Nightshade world, head on over to Shay’s blog! He posts videos and the like which correspond with his role in the books. So rad, me thinks. http://www.shaydoran.com/
P.S. I couldn't’ quote from this book because it’s an ARC. *sniff*
The length of the novella doesn't leave much room for character development and flushing out the world. Everything happened too quickly. It has much pThe length of the novella doesn't leave much room for character development and flushing out the world. Everything happened too quickly. It has much potential if it was longer, more detailed, etc......more
Justine Jones isn’t your ordinary woman. She’s a Disillusionist, someone with an intense amount of a certain emotion – in her case, extreme fear about her health – who can zing that emotion into another person. Now, Justine doesn’t run around zinging just anyone – she does have morals. Justine and gang zing their various fears, worries and emotions into unsuspecting criminals; a psychological hit squad, if you will. She is one of many disillusionists who works under Sterling Packard, a highcap human (in other words, someone with a super human power of sorts) who is out to disillusion criminals so that they can become wholesome humans once more. Packard can see people’s psychological make-up, allowing him to lessen the terror of his gang of neurotic crime stoppers. Little did Justine know that she would have to remain under Packard’s thumb forever because of a few details he forget to mention…
Now, Midcity is being terrorized by a group of killers, the Dorks, and they are targeting highcaps! How they are picking out highcaps from regular humans has the gang stumped, but Mayor Otto Sanchez, a very powerful highcap and Justine’s love interest, is determined to put a stop to the madness. In the interim, one of Justine’s targets, a dream invader, links her and Packard’s dreams and begins to uncover some ugly – and steamy – memories…
W O W! What a book! I didn’t want to put it down and kept getting so irritated at life for getting in my way. Carolyn really knows her stuff! She is a fantastic writer who is able to pull her readers into the story, dangling the carrot (or cupcake, if you prefer) in front of our noses until we are a drooling, over-stimulated, emotional wreck. Her characterization was stellar in this book. Some past supporting characters really shined, and Justine, Otto and Packard had some serious, serious scenes!
I really enjoyed the dream invader piece of this book, as it allowed us to see into the history between Otto and Packard, and gave us Packard fans glimpses into the short-lived romance he had with Justine. Fantastic idea!
I love the whole human rights theme in these books, and it was really talked about in Double Cross. Justine is still questioning whether the disillusionists have the right to zing people and change them. She’s having a discussion with Otto and says “Isn’t it a human right to be who you’ve become"?” I have to agree. You see, Otto has taken it upon himself to trap all the powerful highcaps who have committed crimes with his ability to transform structures (into prisons, in this case). However, have they been given a fair trial to prove their guilt? Pfft. Who is Otto to gauge their innocence or guilt? Otto sprouts BS about law and order later in the book, and it got me fired up! That megalomaniac (to quote Simon, and I have to agree) thinks he’s the one and only say in law against highcaps. Sorry to break it to you, Otto, but you ain’t God!
Justine yearns for freedom from disillusioning people because she constantly questions what side she is on, yet she can’t imagine dealing with those horrifying, self-destructive thoughts about her health again. She is in a constant battle with who she really loves. Otto is quite the catch and he and Justine share some intense, deep emotions and understand one another’s neuroses. However, it is quite obvious to the reader that she still loves Packard, even though she would never admit it. We readers feel her emotional conflict and it is a wretched feeling. She begins to grow during the course of the book, and we start to see a new side of Justine. Her constant battle for freedom becomes more of a reality, and it also frees her mind to make the right decision about who she loves.
I really loved Packard’s forwardness in this book. My heart burns for that man. I am definitely team Packard, and I feel a billion times stronger after this book. He may have made some ugly decisions in the past and lied to people, but I truly feel he cares and isn’t only looking out for himself. He finally drops some of his bravado and we get a glimpse of his human side. *swoon* However, as with Mind Games, it is quite difficult to know who is good and who is evil. The ending brings with it harsh scenes of betrayal, coupled with killer emotions of love and loss. We finally get to see the true colors of some of the characters, and it is an overwhelming discovery!
YOU KILLED ME WITH THAT ENDING, CAROLYN!! *sobs* However, it was about as genius as an ending could be. Quite the cliffhanger and disgustingly brilliant. So, I forgive you.
My Favorite Quotes
“A kiss with the right person simply can’t be compared to the drudgery of sleeping with the wrong one over and over.”
“You have to respect the crows,” he observes.
“Why? They eat roadkill and garbage.”
“And they don’t pretend different, do they? They don’t play the finches’ game – the cuteness and singing and all that. They’ll never be a state bird, you know? But to the crows, that would be degrading. It’s about who they are.”
I feel teeth on my earlobe. Butterflies in the pit of my stomach. The stone of his erection between my thighs....more
Meet Mackie Doyle, a 16 yr old boy with a dark secret. He lives in Gentry, a town that harbors even darker secrets. Mackie isn’t all that meets the eye. He’s a Replacement, a changeling that is left in a crib when the human baby is stolen. He’s lived life as Mackie Doyle, but in reality, he has no clue who he really is. His family loves him unconditionally and is very protective of him. The relationship he has with his older sister, Emma, is enough to bring tears to my eyes. She has never once thought of him as other. He is her brother.
Mackie’s life is difficult. Despite being different from every one else, Mackie (hate this name) has to maneuver life around the things that make him very sick – iron and blood - and he can never attend church where his father preaches because the moment he steps on consecrated ground, well…it’s not pretty. So who the bloody hell is this kid? And, an even better question is, who the hell is stealing human babies, and why?
The book was eerie and bizarre. The story was oddly explained and a bit vague is some areas, which is why I didn’t give it a higher rating. One things really irks me, and maybe someone can explain it if I missed it: Why did Tate single out Mackie to confide in? I assume if she knew what he was, or just suspected it, she wouldn’t have wanted anything to do with him. But maybe I missed something there. Maybe she did think he was valuable because he was other. Just seemed odd. *shrugs* Because of this, I could have cared less if there was any romance in this story. In fact, romance really didn’t fit, IMO.
On the other hand, the underlying themes of this story are fantastic. Us against Them. Unconditional Love. Identity. Judgment. Belonging. Inaction during Tragedy. Ohhhh, don’t get me started on Inaction! As a human rights advocate, I feel very strongly about how much the world sits by and allows such tragic and horrific events to happen in other areas of the world, and sadly, even in their own backyards. In this story, the town sits by, every 7 years, and lets a child be replaced by the changelings. The replacers somehow grant the town with prosperity (another vague piece) and so the townspeople turn a blind eye to the deaths of their children. These replacements don’t live very long, being exposed to iron, blood and the like. However, Mackie has survived and he becomes a pivotal point of change for Gentry.
The story is ugly but it speaks volumes of truth. The moral of the story, for me, is not who you are now but who you can be become. Tomorrow is a new day, and while I believe this world doesn’t take the time to ever live in the present – No Day But Today! – we definitely have the option to change. “It’s never to late to be what you might have been.” – George Elliott
I recommend this book to people who are up for the challenge. It is dark, ugly and different, but in all its fantastical glory, it speaks loads of truth about humanity and how we deal with those who are different from ourselves. This was a hot release for me, so I was so stoked to get my hands on an ARC! A major thanks to Tori from Book Faery for passing the ARC along to me! I really should share it with someone else, but I really love the cover…
[I could not share any quotes from this book because I have an ARC and you are only supposed to quote from the finished product. Boo.]...more
Meet Tally, an almost-16-year-old Ugly. Yes, Ugly. In Tally's world, people are considered Ugly until they become Pretty. And they become Pretty on their 16th birthday. How do they become Pretty, you ask? Via an operation, of course. This operation allows everyone to conform to to the ideal standard of beauty in order to keep the population on equal terms. When someone becomes a Pretty, they are shipped out of Uglyville into New Pretty Town, where they party the night away and have no responsibilities. Sounds like an ideal world, no? Wrong. Underneath all the glam and beauty lies a secret. Because we all know you don’t get something for nothing…
Tally accidentally meets Shay, another ugly whose 16th birthday is also right around the corner. Shay doesn’t really see any problem with staying Ugly. She voices these opinions to Tally who is horrified at such a thought. Shay urges Tally to come to the outskirts of their world to the Rusties’ ruins. Yes, they refer to former civilizations as Rusties due to the corroded cars and broken down buildings. They find such waste atrocious. At the ruins, Shay lets on she knows someone on the outskirts, someone who isn’t part of their civilization, someone who doesn’t believe in being Pretty just for the sake of fitting into society. In fact, there is entire village of people, living in a place called The Smoke...
Shay makes a run for it. Unfortunately for Tally, she gets noticed by Special Circumstances, who knows of her connection with Shay and the Smokies. Special Circumstances demands that she assist them in finding the Smoke. Their ultimatum: Help us or remain Ugly forever.
Will Tally betray the Smoke in order to become Pretty, or will she realize that all that glitters is not gold?
I love books with satirical themes. It is very obvious that this book brings to light the ridiculous nature of our society. We are so over the top about what beauty is, and so many young people struggle with looking like a Victoria’s Secret model or David Beckham, when chances of looking like that are 1 in a mil. Young girls starve themselves and young boys become attracted to mostly model-types. We’ve forgotten what really makes someone beautiful. I also love the intense environmental destruction theme in the book, which is most definitely a call to how we’re treating Planet Earth.
I loved the riddled directions to the Smoke that Shay gave Tally. She had decipher the meaning and it turned into a great adventure. I also think Tally grew up a lot during that very long, lonely and dangerous trek to a new society. Once she arrives at the Smoke, no longer do you see the self-centered, materialistic, naive young girl. Instead, a mature young lady has emerged, one who realizes there is more to life then just herself.
I really loved reading about this future society. Their technology far surpasses ours. They have a metal grid running under the city so they can use hovercars and hoverboards. Hoverboards FTW!! Where can I get one? They also have something called a bungee jacket, which we get to read about in action more than once.
David = Awesomesauce
Dystopian fiction is the best. Seriously. I do love it so.
I look forward to the next in the series, Pretties.
David lowered his voice. “Maybe they didn't want you to realize that every civilization has its weakness. There s always one thing we depend on. And if someone takes it away all that s left is some story in a history class."
"We're not freaks, Tally. We're normal. We may not be gorgeous, but at least we're not hyped-up Barbie dolls."
Tally sighed, tipping her feet again to follow. "Maybe that's because they have better stuff to do than kid tricks. Maybe partying in town is better than hanging out in a bunch of old ruins."
Shay's eyes flashed. "Or maybe when they do the operation-when they grind and stretch your bones to the right shape, peel off your face and rub all your skin away, and stick in plastic cheekbones so you look like everyone else-maybe after going through all that you just aren't very interesting anymore."
The Edict is a novel of heart-stopping suspense and brilliant imagination that conjures up an all-too-believable future – a time when the uncontrolled growth of the human population has pushed the world to the brink of total disaster.
The earth’s resources have been strained to the utmost, and in many parts of the world open cannibalism and food riots are commonplace. Seeking a solution to the crisis, the leaders of the WorldGov meet in emergency session. Their computers spin through billions of facts, and the reports are more than disquieting – they are chilling. Further growth of the population is unthinkable, and the leaders finally settle on the only possible solutions, which is soon announced by the World Gov satellite.
“All citizens stand by,” it intones. “This is an edict from WorldGov. In the interest of balancing the population, and preserving the food supply, the birth of any baby is forbidden for the next thirty years. Any man and woman who conceive and have a child during that period will be put to death by the State. Any child conceived will be considered an outlaw child, and will also be liquidated. There will be constant surveillance by StatePol and a large reward in extra calories for any citizen who reports the presence of an outlaw child. That is all.”
To give the world some semblance of normalcy, realistic mechanical babies are devised to pacify the maternal instincts of 10 billion women. But to Carole Evans, the very idea of accepting one of the robot infants is abhorrent. She wants and needs a real child, and this slowly becomes an obsession…
Let me set the tone: I don’t think we ever know the year when this story takes place. However, the technology is far more advanced than what we presently have. Regardless, the world has become one big shithole, to put it mildly. There was a major pollution and food crisis. People live on top of one another in the pockets of the world that are safe from radiation. Life expectancy has reached 150 due to cures for cancer, disease and the like, and births are rampant. All flora and fauna are extinct (except for special museums) and people pretty much live off plankton and algae. I think the typical calorie ration is about 650 calories per day, and it fluctuates. There is a major announcement made at 11 PM every night as to the calorie ration for the next day. Machines and robots have replaced most jobs, so WorldGov created opportunities for people to do something, like move bricks back and forth on a sidewalk, so they feel important and don’t go insane with boredom. Suicides happen regularly and WorldGov makes it very easy for the older population to off themselves by providing a euthanasia of sorts. The less mouths to feed, the better, right? Marriage has disappeared because the main reason for its existence has been lost. People still have steady partners, but sex knows no boundaries in this world and the meaning of swingers is put to an entirely new use.
And thus, the setting for a very interesting look into the human psyche and how we handle prohibition of a basic human right and a biological need.
In order for this scenario to work, they’ve brainwashed women into thinking these life-like robot children are real. Carole tied to make this situation work for her, but she is absolutely horrified at the thought of having a robot for a child. She needs to have a baby, a real baby. She lures Russ into the decision, and the rest of the story is a suspenseful ride as the constant threat of discovery hangs over their heads. The end will produce a tear or 2, but I’ll let you decide if it’s happy or sad ones.
This world in The Edict is pretty damn sad, but there is a silver lining through the smog. It’s an engrossing dystopian plot that challenges the reader to think about how they would feel in Carole and Russ’ situation…how it would feel to have the most important and primal human right…eliminated. I first read this book about 15 years ago. My mother introduced me to it and we loved to sit around and talk about it. I bought the book for my husband for his birthday last year and I decided to pick it up again. I am glad that I did. It is still as good as I remember. This book is out of print, but you can likely find a copy in your library, or a cheap used copy online....more
It is no secret that I am a major fan of the Night Huntress series. Cat & Bones are one of the most stellar couples in the PNR universe. So, it would make sense that I pick up the Night Huntress World books. I enjoyed Spade’s book, First Drop of Crimson, but I can’t say I was too excited for Mencheres’ story. I’ve never thought of him as sexy, he was always a bit scary (he posses MAJOR amounts of power) and aloof. Emotionally detached. Well, that has definitely ALL changed now! Frost managed to add depth, interest, compassion and actually breathed life back into Mencheres’ character. She also described his Egyptian history, which was some of my favorite scenes in the book. Just awesome! And, Mencheres might be older than dirt, but in this world - the older you are, the more power you have to make your partner’s body explode with euphoric sensations! *sizzle*
I enjoyed Kira from the get go. She is intelligent, independent and courageous, and she refuses to endanger humanity. Her sense of duty to help others led her to find Mencheres. Once he told her of the world she just stumbled upon, she took it like a champ. She is very strong-willed – Mencheres actually can’t breach her mind. He won’t let Kira go until he can erase her memories (he can’t risk her blabbing about his race). Kira isn’t very happy about this and she challenges him from the start. She was never once afraid of him. After Kira’s sister falls very ill (she has a chronic condition), Mencheres makes a very compassionate move. Of course, a big evil bad ass is out get Mencheres and a series of events puts him and Kira in an ugly predicament. However, I find they work quite well as a team. Kira is a good match for Mencheres. She levels him out a bit, and she stand up to him, mentally.
Of course, Cat & Bones make an appearance and I must say, I hated the scene they were in. Maybe it was the situation and their reluctance to believe Mencheres, but I was kind of pissed at both of them. *shakes fist* Bones is Mencheres’ co-ruler so he obviously doesn’t fight against him, but the attitudes in that scene were ugly. AND, Frost delivers the real goods: VLAD! He had serious airtime in this book! I love that hot vampire piece of ass something fierce and I am looking forward to his book!
Eternal Kiss of Darkness was fantastic, full of danger, intense emotions, compassion and loyalty. I think Frost wrote some of the best sex scenes I’ve yet read from her (not including Chapter 32, of course!). *holyhotshowersceneandceilingsexwhoa* I want to have ceiling sex, please. :) There wasn’t as much humor in this book, probably due to Mencheres’ serious, dignified persona, but I enjoyed what we got. Frost’s sense of humor never lets me down! And I am so pleased at Kira’s new job prospect. She is gonna rock it!
“Dead or not, you must be bored with women telling you how you look like the hottest, most exotic wet dream they’ve ever had. No wonder the thought of you, grapes, and some scented massage oils crossed my mind – and if you drop that towel again, I’m going to need a cold shower.”
It was ironic; he held her captive, yet she’d captivated him.
“First bubble baths. Now Disney parks. You’re shattering every creepy vampire myth I’ve ever heard.”
His pulsating power certainly had its unexpected advantages. After last night, Kira knew that his tongue felt like a vibrator set to the speed of Oh Hell Yea.
Deep, bone-melting pleasure surged through Kira’s subconscious as he thrust forward again, almost causing her to shout at the crash of rapture filling her.
“That is what I feel when I’m inside you.” His voice was low, eyes lit up with blinding green. “And you will feel every measure of the same, I promise.”
He smiled, so sensual and beautiful, it was another form of bliss just looking at him.
“I’ve heard the expression climbing walls, but I never thought I’d experience it, let alone like that,” she murmured, her mouth curling into what was probably a dreamy smile.
Cat cleared her throat in the tense silence that followed. “Uh, before this goes any further, let’s at least introduce ourselves to your friend. I’m Cat, and this is my husband, Bones. We’re part of Mencheres’ twisted little fang family.”
“I can’t believe you bit me there,” she finally said. “But what I really can’t believe is how it felt.”
A smile curved his lips. “There are perks to being a vampire. That is one of them. I’ll enjoy showing you the others.”
My favorite quote of the entire book was delivered by Vlad, of course. It can spoil a major event in the book, so don’t read it if you don’t like spoilers.
“Do you want to be put under first?” she asked Lewis as they sat down.
“Huh?” he replied in confusion.
Something like a cough came out of Vlad that jerked her head up. Vampires didn’t need to cough. Was that a muffled laugh?
“You know.” Kira’s eyes flashed green at Lewis, and her fangs seemed to jump out of her gums. “Get bespelled so you don’t remember this.”
Lewis appeared even more confused. “If that’s what you want.”
I will not as for pointers from Dracula, she swore to herself. I will not. “Yeah, I’d feel better about that. So, ah…look into my eyes.”
Another strangled sound came from Vlad’s direction. Now Kira was sure it was a laugh. She was determined to ignore him.
Lewis obediently stared at her, and Kira tried to make her voice sound confident. “You don’t feel anything. You’re not afraid.”
“I am,” came Vlad’s immediate reply. “If you tell him wolves are the children of the night next, I might hurt myself laughing.”...more
The book opens with Justine at dinner with Cubby, her boyfriend. She is obsessing over a man named Ben Foley, whom she'sCourtesy of Smash Attack Reads
The book opens with Justine at dinner with Cubby, her boyfriend. She is obsessing over a man named Ben Foley, whom she's had a dire run in with in the past and who is currently sitting with a couple across the restaurant. She wants to warn this couple how shady and disastrous this man can be to their life, and she works up the nerve to do so. But not before she has a full-blown anxiety attack. Yes, Justine has a flaw: she is a severe, anxiety-ridden hypochondriac! She's a mental mess! In fact, Crane writes her hypochondriasis so well that you start to wonder whether Crane is a hypochondriac herself.
After Justine confronts the scumbag and warns the couple, the restaurant's owner walks up up to her and apologizes for the scumbag's retorts. He also offers Justine an odd proposition: "I want to talk about what I can do for you, and what you can do for me. I'm the one who can cure you..." Justine can't easily walk away from this one, so after an odd run in with "the couple," she ends up back at the restaurant for some serious discussion about this so-called cure with the owner, Packard.
Packard offers her a grand solution to her hypochondriasis: push that horrific, debilitating anxiety off on someone else! Yes, Packard can teach her how to invade another's energy dimension and feed her fears into their emotional space. Obviously, Packard isn't talking about dousing anybody off the streets with intense, erratic emotions that aren't theirs. No, Packard has a list of criminals who need to be disillusioned from their world of crime in order to become wholesome once more. Packard has created a gang of people, like Justine, who can make that happen.
Justine is thrown into this crazy world of evil humans and more evil highcaps, or high-capacity humans. These individual's power grow out their personality as a baby and it’s a mutation that heightens brain power. Think telekinesis, telepathy, dream invader, memory revisionist, etc. Justine finds herself on a roller coaster ride of events after she agrees to join Packard's gabg, and you never really can tell what's going to happen next.
Conclusion: 5/5 Stars! Woohoo! This book is one wild ride and a wildly refreshing concept for the Urban Fantasy genre! Kudos to Crane for creating a heroine who uses her mind instead of her martial arts skills (although I do love that type of heroine too!) The world that Crane has created is quite different from your typical urban fantasy novel. There are no creatures of the night, just high-capacity humans with a little extra pep in their step. And I find it difficult to read the characters in this book - you don't know who the hell to trust! It's a psychological thriller/mystery! ...more
All seems well in Morganville, but, it is Morganville. Poor Claire just can’t seem to catch a breath of trouble-free time. The opening events of this book are pretty awesome and get you really excited for the rest of the story. In this book, Claire meets an ex of Shane’s who is like a bad rash that won’t go away. Kim is also moving in on Eve like rapid fire and Claire feels threatened by Kim’s newfound friendship with Eve, especially since Eve thinks Kim is God’s answer to awesomeness and Kim loves to ignore Claire. Claire also sees red when Kim reacts a bit to happy when reunited with Shane. Claire reacts to the situation a bit immaturely, but hey, jealously can do that to people.
Claire finds herself facing an enemy like no other: Ada. Claire is quite intelligent though and figures things out before others, so she remains on her guard throughout the story. However, Ada proves to be quite the powerhouse and Claire finds herself in a serious situation! I have to say, Ada is a really interesting character and I really love the uniqueness of her, as a whole. In this book, the Fantastic Foursome (Claire, Shane, Eve and Michael) are a serious force! I was proud of their moments together....more
Nora Grey is in love beyond her wildest imagination (and her imagination has definitely run amuck in the past). Her boyfriend, Patch, isn’t your every day guy. He’s a smexy, badass fallen-angel-turned-guardian-angel, and he happens to be Nora’s Guardian. Dating a guardian angel must not be a walk in the park, especially one who has outsmarted the archangels at their own game. And archangels don’t like to be slapped around by their own rules.
Once Nora confesses her feelings to Patch, he starts to pull away. In fact, it seems as though some gravitational pull has caught ahold of him and is yanking him closer and closer to Marcie Millar. *barf* Nora is beside herself with grief, and she can’t get a straight answer from Patch. Is he doing this for her own safety, or because Marcie undeniable puts out? We all know Patch can be described as anything but angelic…
In the interim, a distant childhood friend of Nora’s – Scotty the Hottie - moves into town and something isn’t quite right about him. Yet, despite warnings from Patch, Nora is determined to live her life without his interference. Nora also begins to have odd dreams about her father, and without Patch around to decipher the meanings, Nora sets out to piece together the truth about her Nephilim blood line.
My Thoughts Due to the situations and mood of the book, we didn’t get a ton of the snarky, sarcastic Patch that I fell in love with in Hush, Hush. He was very serious in this book, given the circumstances. His fun personality poked through a bit in the beginning, but then all was lost to his secret mission that is finally revealed at the end. While I missed this side of Patch, it definitely made sense and fit the story. However, he is still soooo smexy. *cat call*
We learn more about the Nephilim and fallen angel history and linkages in this book. We also get an unhealthy, unwanted dose of Marcie Millar. On the bright side, Vee was much more likeable and less annoying in this book. I quite enjoyed her this time around. In a way, she replaced Patch with her witty lines.
Nora wasn’t as likeable in this book. She sprouted fire from her mouth on many occasion and it was completely out of character for her. Her logical, independent nature slid into the depths of irrational, i-can’t-live-without-you land. It angers me that once again, a young female character feels as though life can’t go on without her love interest. Ugh. Nora has moments of clarity and refuses to let her loss of Patch rule her existence, but she always slumps back into a depressive state. I get it, I’ve been there, but this seemed so melodramatic. At one point she talked about not continuing on with life, and I became greatly angered. This is such a major issue with young people, and it breaks my heart to know that many young adults do go through with that very decision.
I have the same gripe about this book as I did about Hush, Hush. Nora, once again, was left home alone for days at a time. I know this is a fantasy book, but when you are bringing humans into the mix, you have to keep it somewhat realistic.
I think the world was better flushed out than Hush, Hush, but I think that is probably common for subsequent books in series. I definitely loved the use of flashbacks and dreams to piece the story together. Patch ended up infiltrating Nora’s dreams to speak with her ‘privately’. I thought that was a neat touch.
In the end, I was surprised, although it doesn’t take a lot for me. There are some interesting twists and a serious cliffhanger! I am itching to find out what happens next! We have to wait an entire YEAR for Tempest! So cruel…*sobs*
My Favorite Quotes
"I’m going to grab a cheeseburger,” I told Patch. “Want anything?” “Nothing on the menu.” I smiled. “Why, Patch, are you flirting with me?"
Everything had come into sharp focus : his smooth words, his black, glinting eyes, his broad experience with lies, seduction, women. I'd fallen in love with the devil.
"Don’t start. I saw Marcie climb inside your Jeep.”
“She needed a ride.”
I adopted a hands-on-hips pose. “What kind of ride?”
“Not that kind of ride,” he said slowly."
“That’s very eco-friendly of you,” Vee told Marcie. “Recycling Nora’s old trash.”
"I hung my fingertips on his waistband, tugging him closer. Patch buried his face in the curve of my shoulder, his hands flexing over my back. He gave a low groan.
"I love you," he murmured into my hair. "I'm happier right now than I ever remember being."...more
If you haven’t read the rest of the series, I’d skip this review. I don’t give away anything in the book, but it might spoil you to things in previousIf you haven’t read the rest of the series, I’d skip this review. I don’t give away anything in the book, but it might spoil you to things in previous books.
And when the first cat lunged, I leaped up to meet him.
Another way to put it would be: The shit hath hitteth the fan.
All of the issues and conflicts from previous books have come to a head in Alpha. Not only were there physical throw downs, one right after another, but there was also some serious emotional turmoil to be had by Faythe and gang. No one was left unscathed and they all had everything to lose…
But you know what? You just gotta have Faythe! That’s right, I said it. Faythe has been through one hell of a personal, tumultuous journey in a very short time, but no longer do we see the whiney, naive, spoiled tabby. Instead, we see a young woman who is still very unsure of herself, but takes risks that are fueled by her compassion for life, equality, and those she loves. She stands up for what she believes in, regardless if it will get her a swift punch in the face. She fights with the indignation of a 1,000 soldiers, and she loves with the fiercest passion. She may not always think things through thoroughly, but she learns from her mistakes. The great thing about Faythe though, is that she turns her doubts into actions. She might be scared as hell to take a step, but she takes it, regardless. She doesn’t stick her tale between her legs and run for the hills. She stands, tall and trembling, determined to see her way through any given scenario, dead or alive.
I absolutely loved the opener. It was fantastic and had me giggling, but then it got sad real quick. Yes. Now I remember. Faythe had a serious decision to make. Marc or Jace? Honestly, I can’t imagine having such a decision to make in real life. My mind can’t even fathom it. *sigh* Especially, on top of the insurmountable pile of cat poop a pride has ever found themselves in!
As suspected, both men were severely hurting throughout this book. Marc showed it more, being the hothead that he is. His heart broke over and over, right in front of us, throughout the entire book. The amount of pain he felt was so severe that I thought he might not ever recover. He did a major transfer of emotion though, and it left Faythe even more somber and hopeless than before. I wanted to scream at him for that stunt he pulled, it felt so childish and utterly cruel! But then again, the guy was in such pain and he lashed out with the most embarrassing scenario he could think of, because she surely embarrassed him…
And then there’s Jace. Sweet, adorable, breath-of-fresh-air Jace. He had my heart the minute we met him when he and Faythe spent time in her room, lightly flirting. He doesn’t share the history that Marc shares with her but represents everything Marc is not. He challenges Faythe to be true to herself, Faythe likes herself better when she’s with him, he’s funny and easy-going, and there’s that serious heat between them…
I always root for the underdog, but this decision had much more riding on it than pure charm and a sexy name. (The name Jace is sooooooo sexy.) Faythe needed to choose the one man she couldn’t live without, but she also had to choose the right man to help her lead the pride. So what’s a girl to do? Jump off a cliff is likely the decision I’d choose! Faythe would never take the easy way out though. In the end, her choice is as it should be. Faythe made the decision because it was the right one for her and her pride.
In short, this was an intense, violent, passionate end to a series that has held a serious place in my heart as one of the best of the best. I’m a sentimental fool, but I don’t openly cry while reading very many books. RV is one of the few authors that brings the sobs. She is a master at eliciting emotion from her readers, and it makes me wonder how damn hard it was to write these books! I will miss Faythe, Marc, Jace and the South-central Pride SO much, but all is well that ends with Faythe as Alpha. Thanks to Rachel Vincent for this masterpiece of a series. It will forever remain on my ultimate awesomeness list.
Marc didn’t want to win by default. He wanted to win for real. Forever.
“In the end, it only comes down to one thing: choosing the one you can’t live without.”
“You’re a bitch.”
“Yeah, I’m thinking of having that put on some business cards.”
“Um, Faythe?” Marc reached for my arm, and a small grin turned up one corner of his beautiful mouth. “As my first official piece of advice to the new Alpha, let me suggest that you put on some pants. And maybe a shirt.” His grin grew and pulled me closer to whisper in my ear, while Jace watched us stiffly from across the room. “While the look definitely works for me, I’m thinking the other Alphas might take you more seriously if you dress the part.”
Redemption isn't a word Jim Heron knows much about-his specialty is revenge, and to him, sin is all relative. But everything changes when he becomes a fallen angel and is charged with saving the souls of seven people from the seven deadly sins. And failure is not an option. Vin DiPietro long ago sold his soul to his business, and he's good with that-until fate intervenes in the form of a tough- talking, Harley-riding, self-professed savior. But then he meets a woman who will make him question his destiny, his sanity, and his heart-and he has to work with a fallen angel to win her over and redeem his own soul.
I love the 'good vs. evil' plot - who cares if it has been done before. What makes it cool is that Jim is so far removed from your typical hero. He has done a lot of bad shit in his life but at the heart of his soul, he is good. And throughout this series, he sets out to 'save' 7 people from the Seven Deadly Sins in order to save the world from the big bad uglies. I'm still wondering if he saved 1 or 2 in this book...
MT/Gretchen's stalker subplot was a bit odd and I was struggling with the purpose of this character through the entire book. I guess he served his purpose in the end, but I think we could have seen that ending with some actual fighting from big, bad Devina. I was really itching for some serious Demon throwdown. Maybe it will be delivered in future books...?
I am not entirely sure why so many people were disappointed with this book. It is definitely very different from Ward's BDB series, so you can't have the same expectations. I was emotionally connected to Jim, Vin and MT/Gretchen by the end, and I look forward to the next book, Crave. I found all the characters to be very strong-willed and determined. Plus, Dog was a star in the story, and I love Ward for allowing an animal to have a touching role in the series. Just like Boo in BDB. ...more
Nick Gautier (pronounced Go-Shay) is a down ‘n out, poor-as-dirt, constantly teased ‘n tortured 14 year old boy living in N’awlins with his fierce, sassy mama, Cherise. He is tough and savvy with a lightning quick comeback, but he definitely hasn’t learned the art of choosing your friends wisely because those suckers try to kill him after he botches up a snatch ‘n grab. But who should step in and save his puny lil arse but none other than Kyrian Hunter, Dark-Hunter extraordinaire. Shall we start the drool, ladies?. Yes, yes we shall.
So, Nick is quickly thrown into the Dark-Hunters universe, meeting Kyrian, Ash, Simi and a few others, and finds himself up against some gnarly beasties. The shit hits the fan when his classmates start munching on one another like Cheetos, and they seem to be rather interested in the flavor of the day – Nick! While trying to keep his butt off the menu, Nick has to navigate this crazy world while keeping it all hidden from his mom, who is a force to be reckoned with. Along the way. he meets an uber hot chick who actually notices him, but is not all what she seems, as well as some pretty awesome characters from the Dark-Hunter world. And, he discovers some pretty deep ish about himself in the process…
Hello, my immortal lover, Ash. Oh, how I’ve missed thee. I may just need to read Acheron again…Oh, wait. This book is about Nick! Sorry. Got sidetracked there. This book definitely isn’t a sexy, steamy PNR. It’s YA, and has enough action in it to last a few books. It’s fun, campy, exciting, treacherous and humorous. Nick is sarcastic and witty, which you all know I love in a character. Unfortunately, his mama doesn’t ever get his humor and is constantly reprimanding him for scaring her half to death. That woman loves her baby boy! Case in point:
"You’re the only thing I’ve ever done right in my entire life and if anything ever happened to you, they’d have to dig two graves ‘cause I couldn’t live a single day without my baby beside me.”
And boy, does he ever respect her. She is a young, single mom who does what she has to to support her son, and he sticks up for her through it all. Awesomesauce relationship, for sure. YAY for single moms that rock!
I think the reason I enjoyed this book so much is because I was familiar with the characters. If I picked this one up without having read the Dark-Hunters series, I’m not sure I would’ve liked it so much. I think it would be a tad confusing because there isn’t a lot of explanation going on. However, you seriously can’t go wrong with Kyrian and Ash, and you certainly have a winner when Simi is involved. When Nick first met her with his extreme lust in his eyes, all I could keep thinking was “Nick, walk away. Fast.” Loved Bubba and Mark too. Great supporting characters, indeed.
My Favorite Quotes
"I learned a long time ago not to judge people by what they look like, sound like, or by the clothes they wear. Just because a house is nice and shiny out front doesn’t mean it’s not rotting on the inside." (Amen, Kyrian!)
"I got a shotgun and a backhoe and no one looks under a septic tank for a dead body.”
"The Simi gots some barbecue sauce in her bag. It kind of looks like blood if you squint at it the right way. And it don’t coagulate between your teeth like blood or give you them funky burps, not to mention it tastes a lot better too. Especially over that type A stuff. Bleh! I’d rather eat my shoes. But that O-flavored blood…yum!” She straightened and held one finger up in a gesture that strangely reminded him of Smokey the Bear. “And just remember, kids, three out of four demons all prefer barbecue sauce over hemoglobin.”
“You need to stay away from her, Nick. Trust me. Girls ain’t nothing but trouble.”
Yea, but it was the only kind of trouble he wanted to launch himself into headfirst and wallow there until he was pruny from it....more
WOW! It’s been a while since I’ve read a historical romance, and this one was EPIC. So many people talk about Jamie Fraser, and I just couldn’t resist the hype anymore. I will admit to being totally over the top in love with the young Scot, and he is possibly the ideal man. Too good to be true perfect. I can’t recall ever coming across such fire, passion, commitment and bravery in a character. He's attractive (I love redheads!), strong, wise, smart, witty, courageous, chivalrous beyond belief, thoughtful, compassionate, and fair. I mean, I could continue….
The story took a bit to snag me. It wasn’t until Claire was transported from 20th century life to 18th century war-torn Scotland that the story became interesting, exciting and oh so addictive. Gabaldon has a way with words and she did her research. I was very impressed with her knowledge of the time period and her descriptive writing. It was like I was transported right along with Claire, and damn do I ever want visit Scotland now!! I was SO close to it this summer. :/
To me, the beauty of this story is the imperfection in Claire and Jamie’s relationship. No relationship is perfect, no matter how well the pair gets along. Jamie is just as stubborn as Claire, and they have some throw down fights. She stands up to him every inch of the way, and the in the end, she disobeys his wishes and fights for his life when he has just about given up. Claire is one strong, confident, amazing woman!
The book offers SO much for the reader: romance, history, adventure. fantasy, betrayal, loyalty…and a love that transcends time, people!
Quotes (SO many good ones!)
"Not yet. We’ve time. And I mean to hear ye groan like that again. And to moan and sob, even though you dinna wish to, for ye canna help it. I mean to make you sigh as though your heart would break, and scream with the wanting, and at last to cry out in my arms, and I shall know that I've served ye well."
" I wept bitterly, surrendering momentarily to my fear and heartbroken confusion, but slowly I began to quiet a bit, as Jamie stroked my neck and back, offering me the comfort of his broad, warm chest. My sobs lessened and I began to calm myself, leaning tiredly into the curve of his shoulder. No wonder he was so good with horses, I thought blearily, feeling his fingers rubbing gently behind my ears, listening to the soothing, incomprehensible speech. If I were a horse, I'd let him ride me anywhere."
“Where did you learn to kiss like that?” I said, a little breathless. He grinned and pulled me close again.
“I said I was a virgin, not a monk,” he said, kissing me again. “If I find I need guidance, I’ll ask.”
"Oh, aye, Sassenach. I am your master . . . and you're mine. Seems I canna possess your soul without losing my own."
" I wept bitterly, surrendering momentarily to my fear and heartbroken confusion, but slowly I began to quiet a bit, as Jamie stroked my neck and back, offering me the comfort of his broad, warm chest. My sobs lessened and I began to calm myself, leaning tiredly into the curve of his shoulder. No wonder he was so good with horses, I thought blearily, feeling his fingers rubbing gently behind my ears, listening to the soothing, incomprehensible speech. If I were a horse, I'd let him ride me anywhere."
"You're tearin' my guts out, Claire."
"What are you doing with the child?” I inquired cautiously.
”I'm teachin' young James here the fine art of not pissing on his feet,” he explained.
“Because,” I said, “I bloody well can’t do without you, Jamie Fraser, and that’s all about it.”
“And you, my Sassenach? What were you born for? To be a lady of a manor, or to sleep in the fields like a gypsy? To be a healer, or a don’s wife, or an outlaw’s lady?
“I was born for you,” I said simply, and held out my arms to him. ...more
**spoiler alert** The 5th installment in the Lords of the Underworld Series was one hell of a ride!
Synopsis from Goodreads: For weeks, the immortal wa**spoiler alert** The 5th installment in the Lords of the Underworld Series was one hell of a ride!
Synopsis from Goodreads: For weeks, the immortal warrior Aeron has sensed an invisible female presence. An angel--demon-assassin--has been sent to kill him. Or has she? Olivia claims she fell from the heavens, giving up immortality because she couldn't bear to harm him. But trusting--and falling for--Olivia will endanger them all. So how has this "mortal" with the huge blue eyes already unleashed Aeron's darkest passion?
Now, with an enemy hot on his trail and his faithful demon companion determined to remove Olivia from his life, Aeron is trapped between duty and consuming desire. Worse still, a new executioner has been sent to do the job Olivia wouldn't....
SPOILER ALERT! SPOILER ALERT!
This was the most anticipated book of the series, for me. Aeron has always held the most interest for me. Very intriguing character. What crappy predicaments the characters found themselves throughout this entire book! It was one shitty scenario to the next. It definitely made you continue to read the book.
Aeron/Paris: Those two seriously make me tear up. Paris' decision to save Aeron instead of Sienna made my heart cry now that Aeron knows, he feels he owes everything to Paris. Paris feels he made the right decision, but Aeron sees that he is suffering greatly. Where is the justice?
Olivia/Aeron: Olivia was a great heroine! Being of angel status, she did not know how to deal with human emotions. After she falls, she is bombarded with an onslaught of them. Poor girl! She gets to deal with pleasure, pain, sacrifice, anger, distrust, temptation (ha!), and love in a matter of days! Her POV was so refreshing because she was so pure and new to personally experiencing humanity. That delicate angel showed serious courage in this book! I can't believe she went up against Galen. She is truly a joy-bringer and I was routing for her all the way through! It took her some time to slice through Aeron's thick facade but she did it! I loved her as the heroine, and I hope Aeron fills her life with tons of fun! *wink* Those penis jokes near the end had me rolling on the floor. They were so unexpected and out of character for Aeron, and I just LOVED that we got to finally see his playful side.
Lysander: I was starting to feel a bit uncomfortable with his severe interest in Olivia. I know he is responsible for her and all, but it became WAY creepy for me there, at the end.
Legion/Aeron: Does their relationship remind you of Acheron/Simi from Dark-Hunters? I mean, to a degree, Simi definitely never crossed over the line Legion has, but she would definitely kill a bitch in a nanasecond for Ash. LOL.
Is there Hope in Legion's future? (CRAZY!!)
Twistful ending: What a hell of a twist at the end, with Baden/Pandora, and Sienna/Wrath! Holy crapola! I do truly hate that Aeron was separated from Wrath, after centuries of torment and finally learning to live together. Sienna/Wrath is going to prove very interesting in coming books. I am absolutely scared for Paris in these upcoming books. HE IS GOING TO LOSE HIS MIND! We have so long to wait for his HEA. :(
Gideon/Scarlet: I can't wait for LIES AND NIGHTMARES! I could feel the heat dripping off of him when he was around her. But what is this wife stuff? >:O
In the 6th installment of the series, Gideon, Keeper of Lies, is confronting Scarlet, Keeper of Nightmares. He wants answers, because at the end of Aeron's book, The Darkest Passion, Scarlet dropped a major bomb on Gideon: She's his wife!
Gideon doesn't understand why he can't remember her, although he's had some sort of odd memory about her because they share a special tattoo. She is utterly pissed off that he left her in Tarturus and never returned. However, she can't deny her lust for him, and he certainly can't deny his yearning for her.
Gideon Speak takes getting used to, but it makes Gideon ever so likable. You see, he can't utter a single truth. If he does, his demon gifts him with immense physical pain. So Gideon has to always say the opposite of what he means. "I hate you", never "I love you"; "I want to kiss you" instead of "I want to kill you." "Devil", never "Angel." Can you imagine the frustration this poor man must feel? Thankfully, Scarlet understands his distorted messages, but they definitely do not start out their reunion on a happy note.
Scarlet is a fierce and feisty female who doesn't trust a damn soul. And you don't blame her once you learn about her past and the people who have completely betrayed and deceived her and treated her like dog poo. All due to a little thing called jealousy. [Who the hell holds that demon?] However, she pretty much beats down Gideon to an emotional pulp throughout the book, and you wonder how much more the poor man can take! Even though she's had it as rough as one can have it, I still feel Gideon is too damn good for her! She is definitely not a favorite of the LOTU females.
The Titan Rulers, Cronus and Rhea, have large roles in this book, as they are continually at each other's throat. Cronus aids the Lords, and Rhea aids the Hunters - the human fighters out to destroy the Lords. Gideon and Scarlet find themselves smack in the middle of the B.S. that Cronus and Rhea are constantly dishing out. The Goddess of Memory also plays a big role, and throughout the book you are wondering whose memory was really tampered with...
I thoroughly enjoyed the side stories of Strider, Amun, and William. William has quickly become one of my favorite in the LOTU universe and I so look forward to his story in the future. I don't have much draw to Amun, the Keeper of Secrets, but I am feeling serious pain for him and hope his book is all roses and puppies, and not more fire and brimstone! Strider definitely stood out for me during his parts and I am much intrigued by the Keeper of Defeat.
Conclusion: 3 / 5 stars. I did like the book but it did not speak to me like some of the others. I warmed up to the couple in the end when Scarlet finally showed true compassion and love without jerking Gideon back and forth. I also routed for their demon's reunion!...more
A human in a werewolf’s world, Bryn is a very unlikely heroine. However, that is exactly why she is so amazing! While she has been taught how to fight by the Alpha, Callum, she doesn’t need a set of canine teeth and claws to win her battles. Bryn is one witty, sarcastic and intelligent young lady and she uses her brains to bring home the win! Throughout the story, Bryn discovers just how unique she is and the reader begins to realize that Bryn is fantastic just the way she is. Bryn is sarcastic, independent and doesn’t like to be told what to do, even by Callum. And if you know anything about pack life, disobeying the Alpha leads to a severe can of whoop ass…
The supporting characters, Bryn’s friends, allies and superiors, were all fantastic! I love them all. Bryn’s BFF, Devon was quirky, humorous, gorgeous and completely loyal to Bryn. His penchant for talking in Shakespeare-like speak had me in stitches. Who ever heard of a werewolf drama geek? Love this guy! Lake, one of only 2 female purebred weres in Bryn’s pack, is also Bryn’s close companion. She is fierce, loyal, passionate and funny as hell. She also has an affinity for guns and delivers one of my favorite lines in the book (see below). Callum - Alpha, Bryn’s savior and resident bad-ass - was also very likeable. He is very strict with Bryn but you can just feel the compassion and love he has for her. When the shit hits the fan about halfway through the story, Bryn discovers things about him that tears her world apart. However, I personally never lost faith in Callum. :) Ali, the other human female in the pack, is Bryn’s adoptive mother and has been raising her since she came to the pack at age 4. Ali is very protective of Bryn and makes a drastic move to protect her when the the storyline explodes into chaos. The fights between these 2 are very realistic, and the love they feel for each other is something to be cherished. Oh, and I can’t forget the twins! I don’t think I’ve ever read anything as cute as baby Katie in wolf form!
And then there’s Chase. The connection between Bryn and Chase was, literally, electric. I felt like I was transported into their intense, emotional bond and I almost felt embarrassed for prying on what was a very personal union. The scenes where Jennifer describes these two becoming one, feeling each other’s emotions, reading each other’s thoughts, entering each other’s dreams and seeing through each other’s eyes, was nothing short of brilliance, in my opinion. Their relationship transcends this world, seriously.
I’ve read two of Jennifer’s previous books, Tattoo and Fate, which are cute, fun YA books about 4 girls who get temporary tattoos and are suddenly part of this magical, mythological world. However, Raised by Wolves is light years apart from those novels, in terms of maturity and writing skill. Jennifer has really grown as a writer and it really shows in this novel. It is eloquent, fierce, humorous and touching as hell.
This book, in essence, is excellent. You have an unlikely heroine with a seemingly impossible goal who takes dramatic action to obtain it. She is faced with dreadful opposition yet she still emerges from the fight an improbable winner. It definitely surprised me with the storyline, and I was hooked when certain events began to unravel.
PICK THIS ONE UP! It is completely worth it.
"Luckily for me, I didn't know precisely what it was that I'd done to merit a visit from our pack's leader. There were any number of possibilities, none of which I wanted to openly admit on the off chance that there was something I'd done that he hadn't found out yet."
"Casey was in the bed with Ali. And that was where I drew the line. Because eww."
"You have no right to tell me-" "You do not want to finish that sentence, missy. You want to sit down, close your mouth, and eat." "How am I supposed to eat with my mouth closed?"
"Not going to walk me to the door?" I asked, pretending to be shocked at his lack of gallantry. "Of course I am. many would think that a bonny lass such as yerself wouldst be able to stay out of trouble for a distance of fifteen feet, but I know better." "Did you just use the words yerself and wouldst in the same sentence? You can't be a pirate and a courtier at the same time, Dev. It just isn't done."
"Ali wrinkled her forehead and cocked her head to the side. Clearly, she hadn't prepared herself for me to be pleasant. After a moment, her eyes narrowed. "What exactly did you and Lake did yesterday?" she asked, like we might have held up a gas station and gone on a crime spree across the country, all in the span of just a few hours. "We went to Mexico, had some tequila, eloped with a pair of drug smugglers, and took part-time jobs as exotic dancers. You know, same old, same old." Ali snorted. "I'm torn on stripper names. It's either going to be Lady Love or Wolfsbane Lane. Thoughts?" Ali threw a onesie at me. "Brat."
"Lake breathed out a happy sigh as she approached the row filled with guns. "Matilda was my first, but ladies, you know how to make a girl want to stray."...more
**spoiler alert** I cannot believe you and I have come so far Your book is not a goodbye, however- just another beginning But you’re used to that…
Move**spoiler alert** I cannot believe you and I have come so far Your book is not a goodbye, however- just another beginning But you’re used to that…
Move over Zsadist and Vishous --- Hello John Matthew! Ok, so I still love Z and V to the fullest extent possible but JM has swooped in and stolen my heart. This has been the most anticipated book in any series I have ever read (well, maybe except Breaking Dawn of the Twilight Saga, but that was a complete letdown!) This book, however, was all I could have asked for. Most of the BDB fan base has been waiting for John Matthew's Happily Ever After, and we finally got it!
We first met JM in Lover Eternal where he was a scrawny, rundown mute with an ugly secret, and no one to turn to. However, Mary, Rhage’s shellan, takes him under her wing and he gets sucked into the world of vampires and lessers in the blink of an eye. Unbeknownst to the characters, JM is likely the reincarnation of Darius, a brother we have very little time with in book one of the series, Dark Lover. However, the characters in the book believe that JM is Darius’ son, and his sister is Beth, the half-vampire shellan of the Blind King, Wrath.
Flash forward a few books and JM has suffered more great loss, but has now transformed into a vampire warrior. While he is still mute, he is no longer scrawny. In fact, one might describe him has ginormous. :) JM’s ugly secret has kept him from having relations with women, but damned if he can keep his mind, and hands, of Xhex. Xhex, half-vampire, half-sympath, does not let people easily enter her personal life. She is one hell of an ass-kicking female, built like a bull and her sympath nature makes her very dangerous. I think her attraction to JM throws her off her game, and their trysts leave them confused and hurt, but OH SO wanting more. Xhex is HANDS DOWN my favorite female character, and has been since her first appearance as Rhev’s head of security.
Lover Mine is one hell of a ride. JM and Xhex finally got their HEA, but it was a torturous journey. After Xhex’s abduction at the end of Lover Avenged by Lash, son of the evil Omega, JM swears to find her, dead or alive. Lover Mine opens to JM making a promise to always have Xhex with him, even if she is gone, by tattooing her name in the Old Language into his shoulders, Brother-style. Hot! Meanwhile, Lash has been keeping Xhex alive in some crazy dimensional cage, and doing some sick, grisly shit to her. He thinks he’s in love because she beats the shit out of him right back. Unfortunately, she isn’t strong enough to fight him off completely. :( Things happen, Xhex escapes, JM finds her, and the journey towards love, commitment, second-chances, faith, trust and revenge picks up the pace. Hold on to your hats!
We get some serious insight into the human psyche, how emotions can destroy us, and how the need for acceptance is dire. JM is a male of worth who pulled himself together to save his savior. He is sweet, strong, empathetic, and protective. He also embraces Xhex’s strength and courage, which seems to be a serious turn-on for him
Lash: You were one funny mutha, I will give you that, but you disgust me and I’m glad your skin peeled off like papier-mâché. You got what was coming to you, sucka!
Muhrder: The entire sub-plot with the filming crew and Muhrder was weird and boring. While learning more about him is very intriguing because he is a brother and has a history with Xhex, that entire storyline was odd and left nothing to be desired. It wasn’t even revealed that it was Muhrder until the very end and if you don’t pick up on stuff in books (like me), then you were probably wondering what the bloody hell that subplot was all about!
Blay/Qhuinn: I don’t read much male/male relations but these two definitely have my heart in pieces! I am not sure if they will ever get their own book, but all I can ask is that Qhuinn and Layla DO NOT mate. Ick. I am glad that Blay got an opportunity to experience a male, and I actually like Saxton. I wonder what will become of this triangle in the future. I just wish Qhuinn would stop brooding and tell Blay how he feels. I mean, he did let out some serious bonding scent during one interaction with Blay (and I think my jaw hit the floor). Hello! We finally got see a side of Qhuinn that we weren’t aware of, and if he would just admit to it, all parties would be happy!
Payne: Eh. Not very attached or interested in her, but I’m sure that will change. I’m glad that she was able to visit the other side, although under shitty circumstance. Doc Jane to the rescue!
Darius’ past with Tohrment, Xhex’s mother and Xhex: I absolutely LOVED reading Darius’ journal!! This was a fantastic way to enter into the psyche and past of a character we, the readers, don’t know well personally, but have learned a hell of a lot from other characters. Tohr’s father-like instinct was intensified after reading how Darius took him in. I am so unbelievably happy that Tohr and JM are picking up the pieces, together. I picked up on this plot line being about Xhex immediately, and it drove home JM and Xhex’s destined love. Tohr was completely right when he said they were meant to be together. In my eyes, they are soul mates being reunited. :)
P.S. First love Z sings during the mating! *swoon* ...more