This volume has a super high creep factor. Anything with secret/demonic cults I find very disturbing. We meet an order of Christian knights who are trThis volume has a super high creep factor. Anything with secret/demonic cults I find very disturbing. We meet an order of Christian knights who are trying to do what Baltimore does, but they are quite in over their heads. We also learn the fate of one of Baltimore's greatest adversaries (not the Vampire he hunts, mind you). There's some werewolf thrown in and not a little bit of blood and gore. Definitely one of the darkest volumes in a series that ain't exactly light reading. It was very good, despite all that. I hope Mignola keeps writing about Baltimore....more
Anastasia Lockhart gets sent to stay with her grandparents after yet another incident of getting into trouble. Labeled as a bad girl, she is fSynopsis
Anastasia Lockhart gets sent to stay with her grandparents after yet another incident of getting into trouble. Labeled as a bad girl, she is frustrated with the fact that that is all she's seen as, not given a chance to forge a different path. As a result, she's cautiously optimistic about going to Cedar Falls, a small town in Ontario, Canada. Once she's arrived in Cedar Falls, she encounters Frost Stone, an incredibly good-looking outcast who seems as drawn to her as she is to him, despite her determination not to fall for the wrong guy again. Anastasia encounters her old friend Chloe Fairbanks and faces bullying from local queen bee, Kate McKinley, whose clique Chloe has joined. Once again, Anastasia finds herself being labeled the bad girl as Kate blackens her reputation, and things get more sinister when a series of animal attacks escalates public hysteria. Could the animal attacks be related to Frost, and can Anastasia find the strength to stand up for herself against bad gossip and bullying?
Frostbitten has lots of atmosphere, with its cold winter setting and the eerie yet seductive beauty of the Canadian wilderness. Anastasia is a sympathetic heroine, due to her history of bad mistakes and her struggle to stand strong against mean-spirited gossip and bullying. Frost is both gorgeous and sweet, with a nice dose of alluring mystery. What's problematic with this book is that it seems to tread into too familiar territory in young adult paranormal romance, the girl falling for the bad boy who may or may not be hiding paranormal origins. I would have liked the characters besides Anastasia to be better developed. I felt as though I was merely seeing Frost through Anastasia's eyes and he never solidified into a standalone character in his own right.
The struggles Anastasia faces in her new high school were poignant, especially as terrible, hurtful lies are being told and she's put into the role of outcast, despite her hopes to escape her past similar situations. I would have liked to see more development of the relationship between Anastasia and her grandparents, especially since it's so pivotal to the storyline.
The action and paranormal elements are well done, and I liked the folklore foundation for the story, although it feels fairly thin at this point. I feel that with better development and more fortification of the world-building, it could definitely carry this potential series well into subsequent books.
Overall, Frostbitten is a good young adult paranormal novel. The feelings between Anastasia and Frost seemed genuine, and I liked them as a couple. I would have liked more character development all around, except for Anastasia, and a stronger story. But I think readers who enjoy young adult paranormal romance will like this book.
Wow, this novella is so action-packed, it feels like a full-length book! I seriously love this series now. The magic is fantastic and McHugh clearly kWow, this novella is so action-packed, it feels like a full-length book! I seriously love this series now. The magic is fantastic and McHugh clearly knows his legends. Nate is a guy I would love defending me, but I'd hate to have as an enemy. This is a series not to be missed.
I think I am learning my lesson not to put off reviews. My brain isn't as sharp as I would like, so it works better to write these reviews soon afterI think I am learning my lesson not to put off reviews. My brain isn't as sharp as I would like, so it works better to write these reviews soon after I read the books. Fortunately, this volume of Fables stands out a bit because it focuses on Bigby Wolf and his solo adventure to Story City, Iowa, a small town with a connection to Fabletown via Bluebeard. We have to go back in time a bit to recall Bigby's WWII adventures, which are highly related. It's no hardship to spend time with Bigby, because he's one wolf I rather like. I have to admit that this story gave me the creeps though. It had a Stepford Wives meets the Young Nazis Association of Weirdness feel. This town that Bigby visits is just wrong! You find out just how wrong it is the more time you spend in the town.
The other thing I would say is if you don't like nudity, don't read this book. A lot of full frontal nudity, because it's about werewolves. It didn't bother me, but certainly there is a lot of violence in this one, and the idea of that town just gave me the creeps.
If you've seen the tv show, Wolf Lake, you might appreciate the strangeness of this town, except it has more of an Aryan feel. I think that the writer/artists did an excellent job of conveying that sense of wrongness of this small community.
Bigby is basically forced into the role of enforcer when things come to a head in the town. They see him as a god in many ways. He's not willing accept their worship, but he does take on the role of an alpha of a sort, enforcing the rules of the pack and a true understanding of what it means to be a wolf, which the people of the town seem to lack.
I didn't like this as much as the other Fables that I've read. I can't really say what I didn't like that much about it, other than it just rubbed me the wrong way. I still love Bigby and his backstory and how it relates to the current situation was very intriguing.
Good story, although I didn't like this as much as I wanted to like it....more
Dancy Flammarion is quite an unusual character. A young teenager who has been on her own for a while, guided by a seraph who leads her to monsters sheDancy Flammarion is quite an unusual character. A young teenager who has been on her own for a while, guided by a seraph who leads her to monsters she needs to kill. I first became acquainted with Dancy in Alabaster, and I was drawn to her character. I wanted to protect her, even though she is much more fierce than I could ever see myself. In Alabaster, I wasn't quite sure of how much was real and how much wasn't, as the writing was quite surreal. In this graphic novel, I think you pretty much know that Dancy isn't living out a psychosis of what's happening to her. Sometimes graphic novels don't tell stories well, but that is not the case with this one. This story leads itself very well to the visual medium, so I am glad that they decided to make it into a graphic novel.
The artwork is beautiful. Although some imagery is dark and disturbing, I still see a lot of beauty in the manner in which Dancy's fine features are drawn and painted (as well as another young woman she encounters), and even the choices of color and design in the darker scenes. The motion of the wolves is conveyed very well, even down to their musculature and sinews. Dancy is an albino, and the artist captured this excellently, from her white hair, white skin, and to her red/pink eyes. The artwork also brings the Gothic Southern atmosphere to vivid life. It is spot on with that otherworldly feel of the South, where a bloody history and rich folkloric heritage (slavery and Civil War) has tinged the land in so many ways. Even in the daytime scenes, the hot sun seems barely able to protect against the dark monsters lurking in the shadows.
The stories are nicely sinister, with just enough menace to make for a scary/slightly disturbing read without going over the line into the grotesque and unpalatable. The lettering captures the feel of Kiernan's prose very well, and I could clearly hear the syrupy thick Southern accents as I read. I was holding my breath as I read, not sure if Dancy was going to make it out of the very sticky situations she faces. She's very good at what she does, but she's not invincible, so she faces very real threats along the way. I appreciate how things ended. I'm not ready to say goodbye to this special young lady.
I think this is a good read for those who are inclined more to classic horror, because it has such great atmosphere, and the storylines are tailored towards the older themes of horror. As I mentioned above, the Southern Gothic feel, but also a bit of the Lovecraftian sort of mythical feel. It makes me think of those occult detectives who are alone in their fight against the monsters of darkness, such as Manly Wade Wellman's Silver John and Kolchak. This is awesome because Dancy is a young woman, and she doesn't need a man to rescue her.
I have to give this one 4.5 stars because it was very nearly perfect. I hope for more Dancy adventures in the future....more
I read this immediately after finishing the first volume. Much of my issues with the first and second volume are the same.
I don't want to have the exaI read this immediately after finishing the first volume. Much of my issues with the first and second volume are the same.
I don't want to have the exact same review as for Volume One, so I'll go in a different direction.
While the illustrations didn't work for me as far as most of my favorite characters' faces (Charles, Samuel, Bran), I did think they capture the menace of that little ball of nastiness, Mariposa quite well. Walter's story also drew me in, although I pictured him with gray hair instead of red hair as depicted. The illustrations do lack clarity somewhat on the storyline. If I hadn't read this book previous to reading the graphic novel, I think I would have been be kind of lost and confused. You don't really get a lot on Bran's back story and how he was worried about being susceptible to magic again. One of my absolute favorite scenes from the book doesn't have the same powerful resonance in this version, and part of it was omitted. I cry at that loss.
I'm still at the point where I feel that 3.5/5.0 stars is probably as high as I can rate this one. Good, but disappointing in comparison to the prose version. Glad I read it, even though it doesn't quite measure up.
Will I read more Patricia Briggs graphic novels? Heck yeah! I just hope the illustrations are better in the next ones I read....more
Courtney goes with her great-uncle Aloysius on a trip to Eastern Europe. Of course, she manages to get herself in trouble, fighting for the underdog,Courtney goes with her great-uncle Aloysius on a trip to Eastern Europe. Of course, she manages to get herself in trouble, fighting for the underdog, including a patch of Gypsy werewolves, one of which is in love with a landowner's daughter. Oh, did I mention that Courtney has a boyfriend! But it's not as good as it sounds. Because her boyfriend is a vampire, and he's draining Courtney of her lifeforce and humanity. Courtney feels so disconnected and apathetic, this isn't sounding so bad to her. But her uncle loves her deeply, and he's not about to lose her to a creature of eternal darkness.
I think this might be my favorite in the series. I hope I am able to continue reading. I think my library is all out of these. Darn!...more
Sealed With a Curse starts out in medias res, and that pace pretty much matches what is found throughout this novel. I was a bit clueless at first asSealed With a Curse starts out in medias res, and that pace pretty much matches what is found throughout this novel. I was a bit clueless at first as to what was going on, but I got sucked into the narrative and the Wird sisters' story almost immediately. There is more or less nonstop action, and the cool thing, is the heroine and her sisters are the main ones kicking butt and taking names. Along with laugh-out-loud humor and wonderful sisterly bonding, with a touch of romance, that adds up to a very enjoyable book.
Celia and her sisters were cursed before birth, but the curse backfired into a blessing. They are all gifted with unusual abilities. Despite the strangeness of the four Wird sisters' abilities, three of them manage to have busy dating lives and all four fulfilling careers as a nurse. Celia had a big issue that precluded dating a lot. She has an inner tigress that makes her one tough woman. Most men can't handle that. Celia fears that she never will meet that guy. Until she sees a hunky werewolf running with his pack. Their gazes connect, but that doesn't mean that they will "connect". And there is an epidemic of vampires turning into feral, bloodthirsty killers, so they might not get the chance to 'connect' anyway. Aric Connor might be the man of Celia's dreams, but as a purebred werewolf, she might not be a good partner to settle down with on his end. However, master vampire, Misha Aleksandr thinks Celia is pretty awesome, wooing her with expensive gifts and his supernatural vampire allure, which Celia is a lot more immune to it than she would have thought. Instead, her heart beats for Aric.
I loved the sister camaraderie the most in this book. They really had each others' backs. I liked how each sister had a distinct personality. They were individuals, but they worked and lived together in harmony. I also enjoyed the humor a lot (although it is sometimes of the raunchy, foul-mouthed variety). At first, I thought that would book would be too silly for me, but Robson proved she could hang with the Grade A Kickbutt Action Writers crew with her seriously intense action scenes. Readers who don't like gory description should be warned, because the author doesn't skimp on these. But seeing the Wird sisters kick butt and hold their own against a slew of powerful immortals makes up for some icktastic moments.
I thought it was cute how Celia's sisters all found romance with other weres associated with Aric. Although I didn't like the assumption that sleeping with them that fast was 'normal' whereas Celia was weird because she didn't get physical with guys like her sisters did. Sort of an inherent value judgment against people who choose a celibate lifestyle, for whatever reason. Granted, Celia did tend to be very self-pitying about her lack of a love life. I do think she could have dated more if she wanted to. And it's perfectly fine if she didn't date much, if she was okay with it. The fact that Misha definitely found her sexy and appealing from the beginning of the book (even before she met Aric) was proof that there was nothing wrong with Celia. Misha thought she was better than sliced bread, and he could have any woman he wanted. A man who couldn't handle her wasn't worth it anyway. I think deep down, Celia didn't want to settle for a Mr. Now when she could have Mr. Right.
Overall, this was a very good book. Lots of action, hilarious humor, great sister bonding. I liked that there is good ethnic diversity in this novel. The Wird sisters have Latin descent on their mother's side, and numerous characters are of different ethnic/racial backgrounds. The world-building was good, with some interesting takes on vampires, werewolves, witches, and other paranormals. Personally, the romance wasn't the biggest draw for me, although it was good. I liked the sister bond the most and the action, but the romance is pretty good (for an urban fantasy book). But there is definitely good chemistry and romantic promise for those who want that in the urban fantasy. This is a series I look forward to continuing....more
I'm really glad I signed up to review this for Bitten by Books. It was very good. I love shifter romance and I like that this is on the clean side. EvI'm really glad I signed up to review this for Bitten by Books. It was very good. I love shifter romance and I like that this is on the clean side. Even without love scenes, I felt the bond between Kess and Cormac and this was really intense. The shifting aspect was very well done. I look forward to reading the rest of this series.
The terribly unlikable heroine killed this book for me. The Greek Mythology is interesting, but otherwise, this didn't have much of an original feel tThe terribly unlikable heroine killed this book for me. The Greek Mythology is interesting, but otherwise, this didn't have much of an original feel to me, and wasn't groundbreaking as far as female-lead urban fantasy.
I hate giving two star ratings! Three stars might be generous on my part, because this one didn't come together for me. I did like the werewolf characI hate giving two star ratings! Three stars might be generous on my part, because this one didn't come together for me. I did like the werewolf character a lot though, so it makes me want to give it more than 2.5 stars. Dilemma! BBB doesn't allow fractions below or above .5 star ratings, so I'll go ahead and give it 3 stars.
Although rather gruesome, I think this would appeal to fans of classic horror, such as Dracula and The Were-Wolf. Quite dark and morose, so be warned.Although rather gruesome, I think this would appeal to fans of classic horror, such as Dracula and The Were-Wolf. Quite dark and morose, so be warned.
Royal Street is a very refreshing and enjoyable urban fantasy read. I was captivated by the sights and scenery of New Orleans, and the honest and enliRoyal Street is a very refreshing and enjoyable urban fantasy read. I was captivated by the sights and scenery of New Orleans, and the honest and enlightening perspective of the city during and after the Hurricane Katrina devastation. We did get refugees (both human and animal) from New Orleans around that time in the Austin, and also the poisoned air drifted our way, causing a lot of allergy and respiratory issues. Seeing the aftermath from a more distant perspective was painful enough. I can't imagine having experienced it firsthand. Ms. Johnson allowed me to do this in reading this book. New Orleans has such a personality, that it continually establishes itself as a important character in her own right in books. This reader is not jaded at meeting this beautiful ancient dame yet again.
Drusilla Jaco doesn't cede all the attention to New Orleans. She establishes herself as a likable character whose story you want to learn. She's neither too strong, nor too weak. Her strengths and weaknesses balance themselves out, making her a character I want to accompany on an adventure. Drusilla is a wizard, which is fun. Usually the tendency is to make a female UF protagonist a witch, which I feel can be a bit sexist. It could also be that I am not a big fan of witch storylines and witchcraft. I can and do like the idea of wizards a little more, and why can't a woman be a wizard? In this case, she is not just a wizard, but one with a special heritage which comes into play. That was fun to see Drusilla, or DJ, as she is called, come into herself and her genetic inheritance.
As far as other characters, I definitely liked Alex and Jake. Boy howdy, I do not care for love triangles, but this one feels credible. Both guys have a lot to offer, and you do feel torn. I have made up my mind who I want Drusilla to end up with, but we'll see what the series has to say about that. Either way, so long as it doesn't turn into bed-switching (which has become almost an UF staple lately), I'm okay with going along for the ride. Now that Jean Lafitte, he's a character. I find him sexy, but it's in a "I'm so wrong to think he's sexy" kind of way. I mean, he's ruthless and amoral, and he is physically abusive. I'm not feeling that at all. At the same time, he is a cutthroat pirate, so I can't really ascribe 21st century values to him, can I? Yeah, I'm feeling conflicted. At any rate, he's an interesting character. I can't really tell you about one of my favorite characters, who is in fact an inanimate object that DJ calls Charlie. Let me just say that Lord of the Rings fans will find it very cool indeed!
As far as the urban fantasy action, this book is pretty good on that score although it could have used more showing and more description. I did feel that the final confrontation wasn't as exciting and as well-executed as I would have liked. Admittedly, I am a stickler for well-written action scenes, so I tend to grade harder in that area. I did like that Drusilla does get to save the day. It was important for her to be able to do so, even though she did get a bit of help along the way.
Royal Street is a great start to a series that has me excited to read more. I liked the concept and the characters are appealing and have me interested in reading more, including the Grande Dame of New Orleans.
Urban fantasy readers looking for a book that would appeal to both male and female readers should find something to like in this book. I know I did!...more