Allow me the endeavor to warn you, gentle reader, of a few...things...this review will contain.
Thing 1. LotI shouldn’t, I won’t, but lord I’m tempted.
Allow me the endeavor to warn you, gentle reader, of a few...things...this review will contain.
Thing 1. Lots of rage. Thing 2. Lots of cursing. Thing 3. Lots of “spoilers.”
If Thing 1 and Thing 2 are your kryptonite, no worries; I’ll catch ya next week. If Thing 3 makes you leery, it’s all good because I can’t reiterate this enough...THIS BOOK IS OUCH. As such fear not, for my itty-bitty detonated spoiler bombs won’t hurt a bit. This 8 dollar toilet paper won’t be any worse for the read if you still opt to dive in.
But before we bust out the whoo-ha and what’s-its, let’s get the nitty gritty outta the way first.
Accidentally Dead; a “paranormal” “romance” about a chick who got accidentally dead. Yeah, thrilling stuff, right? Well sadly I’m not even premise truncating for the sake of a punchline. Whoops-dead-chick is this entire story in one painful anus-spike phrase.
Our heroine Nina, the dental hygienist newbie, gets bit by Greg The Vampire Patient because, umm...reasons. The book never gives a good explanation for why that went down. It likes keeping things vaguely confusing.
Thus, lo and behold, Nina goes all vampiric, annnnnd that’s it; three hundred and thirty nine damn pages of this Dung Beetle’s paradise is just Nina. Bitching. About being a vamp. Spunky, spiky, and boring Shit-For-Brains Nina has got a tragic past so she’s...wait for it...SASSY!
It isn’t JUST that this chick wouldn’t know nuance or character depth if they walked up and bit her on the ass. Oh no. We also get to spend almost the ENTIRE novel stuck in this glitch’s butt-stupid point of view.
And so we have arrived upon this book’s biggest baddest bitch-worthy boo; dat writing style.
Our reader brain has to traipse through “unique” writing, one that’s chock full of obnoxious neologisms, forced quirky internal and external dialogue, and let’s not forget my favorite oldie but goodie; the, “let’s cram in long-ass walls of text as the character just internally thinks about shit while providing absolutely no environment establishing descriptive detail. AT ALL.”
Ooooooh yeah, baby! Just what I love seeing jammed into my face! Boring musings which offer nothing of value and fail ass-first at providing any sort of entertainment WHAT SO EVER!
Hmmmm, okay fair point, but still!
The thing is, Nina almost incessantly rocks a bitch-fest. I poop ya not, my friends; It. Gets. Tiresome QUICK! Though, admittedly, I’d be far less butt-hurt if the story had been written in first person. l’ll be buggered if I understand why it wasn’t because it’s all Nina Nina Nina.
Like, who the eff is Greg? I don’t know. Just the hero that went chompy-chomp on Nina, cause that’s literally almost all I know about the dude. Poor schmuck spends the whole kit and kaboodle of this shindig listening to Nina rant about him having turned her. And to answer your question, yes my empathy for his lot is weird. I’m aware.
After all, Vampire Greg did inadvertently steal our heroine’s mortality, so I should be side-eyeing him, but I can’t. Poor guy felt more like a cardboard cutout than a character, and you can’t get mad at cardboard.
Yes, guy did supposedly feel uber guilty about his going down to chow-town on Nina, and seeing that, or hell even seeing HIM was a rarity. Everything else in this world was a mystery wrapped inside an enigma wrapped inside a taco, so why not the hero, too? Even the entire vampire mythos in this universe made fudge-all sense.
Like, why do these vamps turn into dust bunnies on their 500th birthday if they’re not mated? Oh, you know, just cause.
Why do garlic and crosses and holy water make these creatures say ouch? Why do these guys even exist? Why can vampires fly?
WHY DOES A PARANORMAL ROMANCE NOVEL CONSTANTLY HAVE ITS HEROINE MAKING FUN OF ROMANCE NOVELS? Oh, you know, just FREAKIN’ cause.
However, as much of a fart-cloud as the world building is, it don’t hold a mosquito's ass compared to the craptastic plot.
Nina gets her Creature of the Night lessons (and I am not shitting you here) from Vampires for Dummies and Wikipedia. (God I wish I was making that up.) What’s more, those reliable sources spoon-fed her the 411 that if Nina finds the vamp that made the vamp that turned her into a vamp, then WHAMO. She gets her old expiration date body back.
Nina wants to find this Lisanne chick, Greg don’t wanna help her search and we the reader are never, not-ever given the slightest clue he’s faking until...Whoops. It’s the 11th hour, we got balls-all zero conflict and we’re in desperate need of a climax. So, yeah, Greg was tooooootally searching for Miss Antagonist on the down low all along.
Now this may sound as though I'm picking gnat crap outta pepper until you realize my butt done sat through chapter after chapter AFTER CHAPTER of Nina bitching and Greg shrugging.
And all that suffering was for not because, and I quote...
"I didn’t wanna get your hopes up.” - Greg
No lie, guys. That right there, smack dab on page 262 is when my rage-face went to DEFCON 1.
We could have had a grand ole time seeing these two peeps go on a search-quest for Miss Bad Guy. We could have got an actual, oh gee what’s the word...oh right! PLOT! ROMANCE!
But a plot? A romance? In a romance novel? Why, that’s much too cliched. It’s far more fun just reading Nina bitch!
Fuuuudge you, book. Fudge. You.
I mean, even the action scenes we got, like all two of them, couldn’t offer me fun. Those things read like play by plays more than they did like actual fluid organic battle sequences.
I swear to french fries, guys, Accidentally Dead has a sin list so long, even Satan would eyeroll.
The writing style was PAINFULLY obnoxious, the female lead was the personification of chalkboard+nails, the writer put in ZERO plot crafting effort, there were walls and walls of aimless POV musing with no detail, copious fake-sounding dialogue was all over the place, the male lead lacked depth AND believability, the world building was pathetic, the universe rules either made no sense at all or were flat out absent of an explanation, the antagonist was a last minute joke, the romance was an aneurysm, AND OH MY GOD I COULD KEEP GOING.
But I won’t, cause I got a life to get back to.
The fact that I even finished this godforsaken brain-bleach thing means I deserve a cookie.
Sure I skimmed the last 50 pages, but whateves, I want my cookie.
If a book makes my brain happy and my lady-pants horny, then that book is unicorn that poops diamonds and world peace.Ya'll, I got exactly zero chill.
If a book makes my brain happy and my lady-pants horny, then that book is unicorn that poops diamonds and world peace.
Soooooooo yeah, we're talking vampire romance novels, but unlike SOME bitey-bite fluff-puffs I could mention (#NoJudgement) THIS ONE ACTUALLY DOES THE GOOD! Because I'm a stupid dipshit, I didn't think it would, and I was bad-wrong. Dude, this is Larissa Ione; author goddess second only to Sherrilyn Kenyon.
While I did initially side-eye Bound By Night upon first reading its setup, that didn't last long. Since I am professionally deranged, the porn-plot-sounding premise gave me a kinky, kinky thrill.
The book plays the “Bowser kidnaps Princess Peach” shtick when Mr. Hero Vamp snatches Miss Heroine Human and brings her back to his lair. But unlike Peach, Nicole kicks ass! She's a smart, kinda-traumatized scientist who is, whoops, family member to the CEO of Bad Guys Incorporated, so girl can handle herself.
Our pointy-teeth sex god, Riker, is on a mission to save his vampire clan and to do it, he needs the chick who kind of enslaved his dead wifey. Now, if after all that setup you're still a no-go in the Interested Department, then FOR SHAME YE HEATHEN...
...because dat world building was everything.
Bound by Night is a universe where vampires aren't a secret, and they're crapped on by humanity. Throw in the scientific slant most of the book takes at vampirism, which lets Nicole be smart and cool and the chick I wish I could marry, and DAMN we get a solid-ass story!
Then there's all those cool secondary peeps!
The characters populating our clan are HELLA witty and interesting, like Mr. Sarcastic Myne and his titanium vamp teeth. There’s Hunter, a video-game-lovin' clan leader; Grant, the sweetheart scientist nerd; Lucy, the endearing, developmentally challenged candy-loving teen vampire; Aylin, the physically handicapped vamp with a heart of gold and oh my god just so many good characters!
All of those precious babies won my heart, but our heroine Nicole definitely got first prize, because dude!
“Yes, that’s exactly what I’m saying. In fact, let’s try sex again. Maybe my magic vagina will cure you of all the traumatic acts my family has inflicted on you.” - Nicole.
I CAN'T BREATHE FROM THE FUNNIES! So, yeah, our female lead was hilarious and intelligent and, like, human...As in human-human, as in a person with layers and nuance and flaws.
She was kind of screwed up, but endearingly so. She was damaged but strong; she stands up and knows when to shut up and I JUST LOVE HER HARD!
But more on my heart-boner for Nicole later, because next up? Dat hero!
Aside from this book being SEXY AS SMUT, but the good kind of smut, with emotional and intellectual engagement…Aside from the fact that the romance elegantly and viscerally rips out your feelz, there's Riker.
Riker, man. RIKER!
This dude comes equipped with a tragic past, but he wasn’t a big moping emo-face about it. He’s sad, yeah, and definitely not over his man-pain. BUT! Our boy doesn’t spend his time sipping a glass of B positive, staring out the nearest rain-soaked window.
He’s a military dude through and through, and gets shit DONE despite the big manfeelz he’s toting. He legit makes this book a giant ride of emotional fun.
Plotting wise, our story is one part action-stuff and two parts emotion-feelz.
Internal conflict is busting all over the place. Nicole and Riker are hella tied up in each other’s past dealing with new wounds and old.
External conflict gets a nice workout, too, because we’ve got some battle scenes, some Black Ops missions, and even some science-y bits thrown into the cake pan.
If you like kinetic and dynamic character-driven stories where everybody is interacting out the ass with everybody else, then this is definitely your jelly jam. It’s a fun, creatively well written story. It's damn near perfectly paced with not one dry spot, and whoops my brain just made that last bit dirty.
But in my defense? This book has some HELLA intense hot sexy-times so blame it and not me.
I mean, guys. No guys really, like, for real. VAMPIRE TEETH DID NAUGHTY NAUGHTY THINGS ON THE LADY FUN-PLACE!
And I, for one, unabashed kinky bitch that I am, THOROUGHLY approve!
Point being this book’s so good, I lack much criticism to spew at it. Okay, so yeah, there might be a few unnecessary or rush plot points here there and yonder, but overall the book's like two degrees from perfection.
Any story where our heroine plays The Hero makes me happy, so CUE MY HAPPINESS.
I mean, Nicole legit busts in to save Riker’s distressed damsal-ass from the super-duper bad vampies! PLUS when it's her turn to get kidnapped, she's the one responsible for instigating her own rescue mission! I LOVE THAT SO HARD I MUST SCREAM MY LOVE!
Yes, I might have thought our OTP were pretty quick to start doing the Opening Up dance after just 100 pages, but hey...considering what all went down before that, there ain’t no shade in my game.
Bound By Night is exactly how you write a good vampire romance with action and suspense and sexy playtime and beautiful romance and heartbreak and all the good stuff. Now, please, shut me up, AND GO READ THIS BOOK!
I don’t even have a spoiler section for you this time around, so, really...shut me up, and go read this book.
Have I asked you to shut me up and go read this book yet? No?! Well then SHUT ME UP AND---
(If you like my writing voice or you think I’m funny...[or you just really wanna laugh at a fangirl for fangirling]...then SHAMELESS YOUTUBE CHANNEL PLUG IS SHAMELESS! I review romance novels and Asian dramas, so that is a thing and now you know.)
Oh, don't mind me. Just, you know, sitting here, basking in the brilliance of one of the most exciting roller coasters of fiction I have ever read. Ev
Oh, don't mind me. Just, you know, sitting here, basking in the brilliance of one of the most exciting roller coasters of fiction I have ever read. Ever. Hyperbole might admittedly be my thing, but let's lock that bitch right up and never refer to it as anything but copious truth. The facts are these:
1. Kristen Callihan will one day be a national treasure. 2. Moonglow is one of the most adventurously entertaining stories you will ever read. 3. You will feel All Of The Feels throughout the course of this novel. 4. Orginality is NOT dead; it's name is Moonglow.
Dear wondrous bacon, where does one even begin?! I mean, logically it's first with the characters, who deserve a damned review all on their own reality of "These People That Aren't People Be Kick Ass." Aside form all the necessary adjectives (likable, believable, interesting, etc.), Daisy and Ian are so much more than simple description. If Einstein, Kant, Kipling, and Sherlock Holmes were given a decade and an endless supply of cocaine, even they couldn't convey to you the earth-shattering, level-this-sucker-to-the-ground depth and complexity embodied by our two leads. Their evolution as whole-bodied characters reveals itself layer by layer, each chapter in the book pealing back more interest and emotional agency to their existence as people. Am I in love with Daisy and Ian? Well.
Truly it's not my fault, for obviously there's a national conspiracy at hand that has genetically engineered the perfect construction of plot with excellent writing quality. Callihan delves into a paranormal world that feels such a part of the fabric of reality within its fictional setting. The historical elements mesh perfectly with the other worldly-ones, which are fundamentally unique in their own right. Yes, we've read about werewolves, but not these lycans. Yes, we've seen be-gifted heroines with powers over the elements, but not with this backstory. Yes we've seen the animated dead, but not with that steampunk Grim Reaper twist.
You really don't; not til you read the book. (Seriously, hon; read this thing.) I mean, in this single novel we've got smokin' hot romance that is emotionally fueled by the most heartbreaking needs-some-lovin' hero and heroine, a Who Done It mystery, a monster on the loose, one hella screwy love triangle that is an acid trip into Feelville, a bloody half-century family feud even Dr. Phil wouldn't touch, all topped off with some of the most NO-WAY plot twists that would leave Steven King salivating. And, if all that wasn't enough to make you want to devour this book NOW, DAMMIT, then at the very least ignore that huge run-on sentence, for my sake. Additionally, know that you're crazy.
*Dodges the hate.* Okay, so aside from my being a douche-nozzle, I will admit that if the book contained a single flaw, it would have to be that a LOT is going on in this story. Such is a good thing, in that it makes for some hella-damn interesting story telling...but not such a good thing for crowding out room for more emotion-building between Daisy and Ian. While it would have been nice to see just an itsy-bitsy bit more of these two constructing their emotional connection, the specific plot points that occur do believably allow Daisy and Ian to short-hand their way to the lovey-dovey sentiments. Confused?
(view spoiler)[Basically Ian gets his flesh literally eviscerated (facial muscles mutilated, bloody chunky inside bits falling out...yeah) all to ensure Daisy's well being. Daisy's trust in Ian's humanity sparks a bond that supersedes the need for copious love-growing exposition. So, yeah. If that's not enough to excuse the lack of an extra heaping spoonful of emotion-cresting-telling, then may Alan Rickman help you. (hide spoiler)]
The non-spoilery answer is that Kristen Callihan is a goddess, and you should worship on her alter of awesome writing skills, dammit! She creates spectacular spectacularness and you effing -NEED- this in your life for your own well being! Moonglow's entire cast of characters are all equally well written and they're just waiting to be your friend, and you want to know the future of your friends don't you? DON'T YOU?!
Read this book. Now.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
So this book kicked hella amounts of ass. We've got Steampunk, Paranormal, Alternative History, Science Fiction, and Mystery all crammed together intoSo this book kicked hella amounts of ass. We've got Steampunk, Paranormal, Alternative History, Science Fiction, and Mystery all crammed together into one big smacking pule of awesomeness.
Seriously, people. Very rarely do non-standard adventure romances pull me into a story, because mostly, and sadly, they bore me. Often I'll get very bored, very quickly, with romance-ish books; either make it a romance, or make it something else is my mentality. However, I gotta say, Gail Carriager is just a phenomenally damn good writer.
The characters were, in a word, sublime. Outside of just a likable, realistically relatable leading woman, Alexia, we have an interesting hero, Lord Maccon, who functions, initially, more as a secondary protagonist. Added to that is the rather fascinating Lord Lycon, the irrestiably compelling Lord Akeldama, and the craptastic mother and half-sisters to Alexia. Every character that arrived on-page, from the predominate individuals of the story, to the supposedly disposable antagonists and background characters had presence in this book. Every single one of them felt believable, realistic, and lifelike. Holy crap on a cracker, did they ever!
The plotting of this book took a little while to attain momentum, but I'm more of the mindset this slow build was done with intent, better to acquaint the readers with the cast, and Alexia, specifically. Despite that, once the ball got rolling, I was hooked. Even though the reading time for this novel was a bit longer than my standard, I was still amazingly engaged with the plot. I find it interesting how the actual events of the story line are paced within the context of the book. Some might say "rushed," and while I can see that argument, I think it felt more realistic as a result.
While it may seem redundant, I have to admit I was astonishingly impressed with the quality of writing this book contained within. Gail Carriger mastered the art of picturesque detail, when appropriate. The scenes were painted in fine consideration, when necessary, and left to the readers imagination when not. The dialogue, likewise, was snappy when appropriate, informative when needed, and always fluid and relevant. The pacing of the book, as a whole, was almost geniusly constructed, so much so that I doubt there is one single purposeless scene in the book.
Very rarely do I proclaim that a book can have everything a reader could ever want within, but Soulless unquestionably proved me wrong. This book could entertain just about any literate person on the planet, I believe. I am absolutely going to be seeing to the rest of the series, and I only pray the subsequent books carry the same amount of entertainment quality as Soulless....more
Sadly, despite being an alt pick for September's Vaginal Fantasy, this book was an Epic Fail in every context of the word. IronicallPages Survived: 83
Sadly, despite being an alt pick for September's Vaginal Fantasy, this book was an Epic Fail in every context of the word. Ironically, it's fail-ness was more upfront and not entirely a shocker, but still a disappointment so big, it hurt my face.
Most people know from jump that a shifter romance story with a dinosaur as the hero lead probably isn't going to hold up well as a realistically "good" piece of fiction. Truthfully, this isn't my biggest problem with Eternal Pleasure. I can handle off-the-wall weirdness, and odd-ball book realities. I can handle a novel that doesn't take itself too seriously (even though this one so did, and shouldn't have.) I like humor, and drama. I don't, however, like paper-thin characters.
The worst element to this book is, unquestionably, the lack of reader connectivity available with the two leads. Granted, while my sorry-ass only lasted 83 pages, I still maintain that good characters can jump at you within the first sentence of a book, or at least make headway into said jumping within that time-frame. Kelly and Ty were so not-on-page for me that I literally felt like I was slugging through words, and THAT does not for a good book make.
But! What's worse than paper-thin characters? Plot. Specifically, when there's SO much plot that it pushes out any room for character personality, development, or interaction. I don't mind a busy story with lots happening, but when I'm 80 something pages into a book and feel like I literally only met Character A and Character B two paragraphs ago, I'm done.
Add those two negatives with the fact that Bangs' book is abhorrently weak in the world building department, even considering my early stopping point, along with the illogical "Hi, Character X, who are...oh, wait, where you going?" writing device was used, and my brain practically spun into a tizzy. Characters were coming out of Santa's ass and MacArthur's pipe with little to no relevance, introduction, or presence. Something about werewolves, and good vampires. Or, bad vampires? Or ghost dinos? I don't know.
I guess, fundamentally, my issue is the fact that the book had the makings of a parody-style lite PNR, but took itself in so-not-that-light that I was just done. So, in conclusion? This one's a big honkin' no-go for me, thanks....more
Yet again, I've read this series. But, seeing as hod I've apparently not read this series, I shall read it...again, for the first time. (Get that logiYet again, I've read this series. But, seeing as hod I've apparently not read this series, I shall read it...again, for the first time. (Get that logic.)...more