Thirty stories written by twenty writers who hoped to get me hooked. Well, I wasn’t. Maybe if they kept the story count at twenty and developed thoseThirty stories written by twenty writers who hoped to get me hooked. Well, I wasn’t. Maybe if they kept the story count at twenty and developed those a little bit more, I would feel otherwise....more
I decided to read this (series) based on the reviews and high ratings it got around here. That's why it's also part of my Serial Reader Challenge bookI decided to read this (series) based on the reviews and high ratings it got around here. That's why it's also part of my Serial Reader Challenge booklist. Well, this just shows how much tastes vary from person to person. Because to me, this book was a huge disappointment.
From the rave reviews I was expecting much, much more, instead I got a story that was all over the place, filled with prejudices, slurs and racism, with slow pacing, a horrible female lead (I just couldn't stand the bitch and her mercurial disposition), a male lead that didn't spark anything (and what kind of name is Eidolon anyway?!), and extremely poor chemistry between them. The entire story appeared forced, and though the new and interesting take on the demon lore could've proven quite interesting with the right execution, I just couldn't spare the energy to actually enjoy the tale.
I will try the next two books (eventually), hoping this was just a first-book-in-a-series fluke....more
Nothing to write home about, that's for sure. There were a couple of good stories in here, but were unfortunate to share space with other not-so-goodNothing to write home about, that's for sure. There were a couple of good stories in here, but were unfortunate to share space with other not-so-good stories, and so seemed rushed and not long enough. The potential was there, though.
The Good: Paranormal Romance Blues by Kelley Armstrong (good humor) Taking Hold by Anya Bast (wanted to read more about Mac and Lily) How To Date a SuperheroJean Johnson (it promised, but didn't show the "big scene") Trinity Blue by Eve Silver (again, wanted to read more) Grace of Small Magics by Ilona Andrews (the absolute best in the bunch) Night Vision by Maria V. Snyder (interesting premise, too little space) Pack by Jeaniene Frost (what's not to love about werewolves, especially hunky ones, although the heroine was the most annoying one of the bunch) The Dream Catcher by Allyson James (definitely not long enough)
Noah (Nightwalkers, Book 5) For the past six months, Noah, the Demon King, has had difficulty keeping his darker and "baser" instincts under control,Noah (Nightwalkers, Book 5) For the past six months, Noah, the Demon King, has had difficulty keeping his darker and "baser" instincts under control, plagued by tantalizing and incredibly real dreams of the woman clearly destined to be his mate. But if she fights him even in his dreams, he can only suspect the fight she'll put up in real life.
Kestra Irons is living her life on the edge, trying to purge her deep-rooted fears with deadly stunts. Yet one day, the Grim Reaper is waiting and her life is extinguished with a single bullet through her head...That is also the day Noah's dreams stop.
He knows something has gone terribly wrong and when the tiny bundle of his "niece" Leah helps him understand by showing him Kestra's violent death, Noah's life shatters. For the first time in his life, he indulges in a bout of (temporarily insane) selfishness, using every power available to change the past and save his woman, no matter the cost to him and the people he loves and love him.
The powerful Demon succeeds in his quest, sequestering Kestra right before she's killed, and brings her to his home. Yet, as he suspected, convincing her of the fact they're destined to be together soon proves to be a major problem...A rather minor one compared to a new threat of a group of rogue Vampires intent on feeding off the powers of random Nightwalkers. From the very beginning of the series Noah came off as the most "stable" of the Demons, the strong, capable glue keeping his people together, providing an immovable buffer for his friends when they jumped off the proverbial cliff. Taking all that in consideration, coupled with the his awesome capability of keeping a tight reign over his volatile temper, gift of his scorching element, watching him fall apart, literally implode, is thrilling and terrifying at the same time. Like a train-wreck, you don't want to watch, yet you're compelled to do just that.
His struggles as he tries to piece together who he (thought he) was, what he's turned into (a monster, at least in his eyes), and what he could be with Kestra at his side are both painful and beautiful to behold. And his inner turmoil when he realizes the true extent of what he's done to get her and yet still unable to feel guilty about it, was heartbreaking.
I must applaud Ms. Frank on her "selection" of Noah's heroine. I couldn't imagine a woman more worthy of her hero as Kestra was. In a way, she was so similar to him, it was uncanny, and a real joy to read. They both hid their fears and scars behind an exterior veneer that only came undone when they were finally together.
Kestra was a much a "balm" for Noah as he was for her. In her own way, she taught him not to be afraid of who he was when he was with her, of just being true to himself. And he taught her the real meaning of true and unconditional love. Love uncorrupted, as she reflected on the union of his parents.
Again, kudos to Ms. Frank's amazing story-telling. Because that's what she does, she's just not a writer, she tells stories, and though her style is something one has to get used to (and still there are some parts where the plot could move a little faster), her interpretation of her characters, their relationships, their interaction and their world is always on the mark.
I was saddened by the fact this was the last in the series, but since there was not even a small mention of the main villain from the previous four books, instead concentrating on a new threat, I'd say she isn't done with that plot yet.
Although I'd love to read more about Demons, 'Thropes and Vampires, I'm perfectly content (for the time) to leave it with Noah...That is, until I pick up her Shadowdwellers series next.
As I suspected all along, the entire series has built up to the grand finale that this book was. When I think Ms. Frank cannot do it better, she's outdone herself yet again with this huge emotional roller-coaster (as much for the heroes that this weep-prone reader).This small (and rather insignificant) review cannot even hope to do this amazing book the justice it deserves. You'll just have to pick it up and see for yourself....more
Elijah (Nightwalkers Series #3) To Elijah's consternation, the Captain of the Demon Warriors, falls into a trap like a rookie. Left for dead, he's resElijah (Nightwalkers Series #3) To Elijah's consternation, the Captain of the Demon Warriors, falls into a trap like a rookie. Left for dead, he's rescued by the woman who's been plaguing his dreams for the past half a year - Siena, the Lycanthrope Queen.
What starts as a nurse-patient situation, quickly escalates into something mush stronger, more potent, and inevitable as Fate, when the mutual attraction between them burst up into a conflagration of passion that cannot be denied.
Against all odds, principles and beliefs of the two races, the two are Imprinted, possibly disintegrating the young, tenuous peace between Demons and Lycanthropes.
But the peace between the two races is the least of their problems, when the evil-stained traitor, followed by human hunter/necromance forces threatens to destroy not only Elijah and Siena, but their friends and allies as well.
So far into the series this one has been the best book so far, since it touches (in its own fictitious ways) on a sometimes pretty touchy modern subject. The improbable and heavily discouraged relationship between two completely different individuals, in this instance a Demon warrior and the queen of the race that was his enemy not twenty years ago is a wonderful example of the scorn and disdain many mixed relationships face in these modern times we call our era. With her fictitious example, the author shows such prejudice and inner and outer fears and demons can be put to rest with determination, force of will, and love.
This subject aside, this was one heck of a book, with just the right amount of action, drama, romance, and insanity. Once again it was the male lead that remained quite stoic throughout the turmoil that was his love-life, mostly due to his knowledge that such things could not be helped and Destiny could not be outrun.
It was the female lead to provide the required amount of angst, inner turmoil, and indecision every romance novel worth its salt needs...And her eventual development was as gratifying as it was jaw-muscle-relaxing.
Once more I cannot help it but admire the author's knack of interweaving the past characters and their stories (and future ones) into the current plot, bringing each individual book to yet another full-circle, while still keeping the reader at the edge of his/her seat with creating two new obstacles for each resolved issue and given clue. So, while each book in the series is a small closure to its own story, it is, at the same time, a huge cliffhanger for the next one in line, keeping the reader interested and stubbornly refusing to let it go until the end.
Another highly-recommended read from this astounding author....more
Gideon (The Nightwalkers, Book 2) Nine years ago Gideon, the oldest of Demons, the Ancient medic of his race, has committed (in his eyes) the unpardonGideon (The Nightwalkers, Book 2) Nine years ago Gideon, the oldest of Demons, the Ancient medic of his race, has committed (in his eyes) the unpardonable sin of succumbing to the cursed moon of Samhain and claimed Magdelegna, the youngest sister of the Demon King. Their embrace was nothing more than a heated kiss, but still, he went into self-imposed exile for the better part of a decade.
Now he's back, braving her mistrust and acerbic insults, but Destiny has something "wicked" in store for the two Demons. During a routine exam, the two become Imprinted, melding their souls, hearts, and (somewhat) bodies together in a ritual as old as time.
Gideon and Magdelegna now must come to terms with their Fate, the desire they feel for each other, and their blossoming feelings all in the midst of a full-blown battle between human necromancers and the Nightwalkers...How come in every series there has to be an old "geezer" with silver eyes? First, there was Christine Feehan's Carpathian Gregori Daratrazanoff, then came Sherrilyn Kenyon's leader of the Dark-Hunters, Acheron Parthenopaeus, and now Gideon, the Nighwalker. Unlike his "predecessors", he also has silver hair combined with his mercury/silver eyes.
Actually, Gideon was a little too similar to before mentioned Gregori, both in age and abilities (Gregori is an Ancient healer, Gideon is an Ancient medic) to be deemed original. Also the scene after the attack in Jacob's home was a rather flat mirror reflection of a scene with Raven and Gregori in Dark Desire. Another similarity between these two series (Carpathians vs. Nightwalkers) is the "battle" between the Demons (and other dark creatures) and the humans.
I don't know whether that was an intentional tribute, or the only way the author saw that could create a decent enough conflict.
That uncanny similarities apart, this was yet another good story. The past characters (Jacob and Bella) mixed rather nicely with the current and future ones, making yet another great example of Ms. Frank's ability to have them all in the same book, yet not "crowding" each other. Also the bigger picture (the animosity between Nightwalkers and humans) was nicely woven into the main story, resolving some issues that remained open from the previous book, and creating some more to propel the series forward...Nicely prepared ground for Elijah's story with the introduction of his heroine and the already obvious mixture of their emotions.
While Magdelegna has developed nicely throughout the story, the diplomat embracing her fierce and protective nature slowly yet effectively, I missed the same with Gideon. He didn't appear to struggle overly much with his newfound mate and emotions. For someone who's been alone for so long, he's adapted rather too quickly. But that's just my opinion. I find myself liking the stories where the man is literally brought to his knees by his woman. Gideon simply appeared to take it all in stride. Maybe it was his logical nature that made him see sense, but I really hoped he'd put up more of a "fight".
A big plus was the cutback on the lyricism of the prose. There were still too many internal musings, but not as few and not as "colorful" than in the previous book. The repetitions remain, alas. The "abuse" of the word mate and heavy fall of hair was molar-grinding-inducing.
All in all, a good book, with a plethora of various characters and a nicely developed plot (and universe). Not really a stand-alone per se, so I'd advise to start from the first book in the series (Jacob) or a few of the scenes could draw a complete blank.
Update (03/09/2010):I don't know why, but I actually liked this story more on a second read. And I absolutely adored the epilogue. How more cute can you get?...more
Jacob (The Nightwalkers, Book 1) The most feared amongst the Demons, Jacob the Enforcer, is the only one standing between his people and the madness bJacob (The Nightwalkers, Book 1) The most feared amongst the Demons, Jacob the Enforcer, is the only one standing between his people and the madness brought upon them by the moon of Samhain and Beltane.
On one of those nights, after giving his little brother a slap on the wrist for straying and following a Summoned Demon back to New York, his destiny is dropped into his lap. Literally.
Isabella Russ is staring at the moon, feeling as she usually does when staring at the moon - weird, when she suddenly loses her contact with her apartment floor and tumbles head-first onto the street...And straight into the embrace of a hunk strolling the Bronx streets in the middle of the night.
That tumble, and subsequent catching, is the start of a new life for them both. Bella quickly discovers her strange dormant abilities that fit her uncannily into the Demon world, while Jacob, the perpetual loner, finds the tough, little book-worm has wormed herself into his heart.
But is there a future for a human/Demon relationship when the very laws of the ancient race forbid such a union? And when the human magic-wielders throw their weight into the mix, Bella and Jacob have their work cut out for them.
This book started rather slowly, boy did it start slow, but still not slow enough for me just to skim the pages. But after a few chapters the plot thickened and the story revved its engines.
Kudos to Jacquelyn Frank for her imagination. Using the Demons, we humans see as ugly, slimy creatures (after the transformation in Ms. Franks' universe), the "lesser" creatures of the night realm, as leading characters was a nice respite from the flood of vampires and lycans in today's paranormal fiction...Also, great world-building. It's tough enough creating an entire race, its history, beliefs, laws, abilities, and prophecies from scratch. But make them work as a whole without falling into inconsistencies and making the created world crumble down around its foundations is another story altogether.
The milk thing was a great move, BTW. Also providing for one of the few funny moments in the beginning of the novel. ("From where?" - "A cow.")
I loved Ms. Frank's characters. Though introducing (almost) all main characters of the series in one (first) book could be kinda crowded, the "supporting cast", despite their "largerthanlifedness" complimented the leading couple and story without "hogging the space". Bella was a real gem with her dry sense of humor and astounding presence of mind. Jacob was your average paranormal Alpha, a loner with barely a friend in sight, whom everybody either feared or hated. He was in dire need of salvation and Bella provided that and much more.
Also, I liked how through the pages Bella seemed to rub off a little on Jacob...Nice touch and very cute.
The only major problem I've encountered with this novel was its prose. The style of narration was a tad too old-school for a "new" author and it was that strange (and somewhat out of place) lyrical style that made for such a page count and the slow beginning. Once the reader gets used to the style, the story starts flowing.
Also some repetitions could've been avoided, for example constant reminders of Bella's dark hair curling around something (mostly her breast) and Jacob's obvious fixation with it. There wasn't a scene with the two of them together, when he wouldn't run his fingers through her mass of hair, surprising she didn't go bald...Wait...Never mind.
Other than that "small" hitch, this was a wonderful story and a great start of the Nightwalkers series. Ms. Frank is certainly an author to watch out for....more