I very much enjoyed this superhero (called "Alts" or alternative humans) romance. I would call it an urban fantasy except that usually implies witchesI very much enjoyed this superhero (called "Alts" or alternative humans) romance. I would call it an urban fantasy except that usually implies witches, werewolves, etc., and the only fantasy in this one is the superhero element.
I liked the characters, both the main couple and the side characters, and really want to know more about the world.
I look forward to more books in the Thunder City series....more
I especially enjoyed the author interview at the end. When JoAnother fun, fast-paced listen from Darynda Jones, and Lorelei King as reader, of course.
I especially enjoyed the author interview at the end. When Jones said Charley is a blend of Stephanie Plum, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Lorelei Gilmore, I totally got it--and loved that she had Lorelei in there, one of my favorite characters (and TV shows, natch).
(view spoiler)[In this second book, Charley is enlisted by her friend and assistant Cookie to help one of Cookie's good friends Mimi Jacobs. Mimi had contacted Cookie for help, --bout what she didn't say--and Charley's name came up in the process. Before Mimi could contact Charley, she disappeared under suspicious circumstances. So Grim Reaper and private investigator Charley and Cookie set about uncovering where Mimi went, what led to Mimi's sudden disappearance, and why so many of Mimi's former high school classmates have died within the last month.
On top of that, Charley is hot on the trail of escaped convict and supernatural hottie Reyes Farrow's body. He's been kidnapped by demons intent on using his status as the key and portal out of Hell, torturing his living flesh to find the whereabouts of the key and portal to Heaven--Charley herself. Intent on thwarting his father Satan's plans to use himself and Charley to invade Heaven, Reyes, still able to visit Charlie (and save her life) in his incorporeal form, informs the PI of his plans to let his mortal body die, thus destroying the key to Hell and Satan's triumph.
Charley, desperate for the almost-impossible of a real life with Reyes, does everything in her power to find Reyes and prevent him from destroying his mortal form.
Of course, both cases resolve. In the case of Mimi Jacobs, it turns out that back in high school, Mimi and some of her classmates were witnesses and party to the death of a fellow classmate, whose demise and hurried burial were kept a secret for years. That is until one of the unfortunate witnesses became a Senate-hopeful and his mother and grandmother went all Manchurian Candidate to keep his involvement secret and buried--at the expense of the loves of all the others involved. Luckily, Charley solves the case and saves Mimi before the Angela Lansbury wanna-bes succeed. She also discovers Reyes's body in her basement--the last place she would look--and not only saves him from the demons plaguing him and threatening her with her supernatural light ability, but binds Reyes's incorporeal form to his mortal one, preventing him from leaving his body and destroying it.
In the end, Charley waits around for Reyes to recover from the magnificent damage he endured only to have him refuse her visitation request now that he is back in the thorny embrace of the New Mexico penitentiary. What an ungrateful butt. (hide spoiler)]
I look forward to listening to the third book of this series! ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
I wasn't really feeling the main character, baker and witch Jade Godfrey, from the start. As the book went on, I warmed up to her more, but was stillI wasn't really feeling the main character, baker and witch Jade Godfrey, from the start. As the book went on, I warmed up to her more, but was still frustrated by her character.
The story didn't take off for me, either, evolving rather slowly but then speeding to a rushed halt at the end. The pacing just wasn't right for me.
Also, THERE ARE NO SEX SCENES IN THIS BOOK. Disappointing for a Vaginal Fantasy book club pick.
Jade was so willfully ignorant of her obviously bad foster sister Sienna (whose name I hate; so well-named then, cause I really didn't like her character), that she seemed stupid. Also, if I grew up around magic, I would damn well be CURIOUS about my own POWERS. WTF, Jade? You spend so much time coming up with annoying names for your ridiculous culinary creations (bakeries selling just cupcakes are pretentious and drive me nuts) and making your "trinkets"--whatever the hell those are (I figured just chains of crap strung together, mostly necklaces like her wedding ring one), you don't take the time to wonder about your capabilities and just blindly follow your apparently indomitable grandmother's rules? Oy vey.
I was really more interested in the vampire, so unfortunately named Kettil (thank god she shortened it to Kett). The werewolves I found annoying, especially Desmond McGrowly. Jade's attachment to Hudson, the dead werewolf, was sudden and unwarranted for the amount of time they spent together and his creepy stalker tendencies. Perhaps Jade's weird magic dancing forges more of a bond than came across.
I liked the middle bits better than the beginning and end. I guess the more urban fantasy/mystery blend of this part, with trying to track down the murderer and figure out Jade's powers, was more familiar and appealing to me. When Kett told Jade about her trinkets involvement with the murders, I knew Sienna was involved, if not as the murderer than as a complicit supplier to the murderer. However, it soon became blindingly obvious it was this wretched girl with her very tired accomplice boyfriend.
I don't like when an orphaned child is taken in by powerful people and paired with the golden child of said people. It's such an obvious set up of foil characters that I feel horrible for the unfortunate child, abandoned at an early age, trying so desperately to have something of their own, and never receiving the love and luck in life that their more fortunate counterpart simply gets handed through sheer chance of birth. I didn't like Sienna, but my empathy is too finely honed to not feel for her and her shitty circumstances. Grand Dame Pearl Godfrey did not come across as a particularly loving substitute parent for her foster daughter/granddaughter, what little we know of the woman from this book. I also didn't like the unwittingly pampered, coddled, and protected Jade. I am glad she is finally getting off her duff and doing something with her magic.
I was hoping Kett and Jade would have some romantic spark (and very much hoping she and McGrowly would not), but then at the end it seemed Jade's mostly absent mother and he would were hitting off. Sigh.
The ending felt super rushed, with the last chapter--after Sienna disintegrated in Jade's special magical light portal--skipping forward without the detail of the previous chapters. There wasn't enough wrap-up for my taste. Especially when it came to Jade's dad. "We just don't know"?! Seriously, Pearl and Scarlett?! WTF. (hide spoiler)]
I guess I went in expecting more from this book than I got. I love craft/food cozy mysteries, so the baking aspect appealed to me. I am a big fan of urban fantasy with all their supernatural beings, so that was a huge draw. The worldbuilding was intriguing, with its witches, vampires, and werewolves being the main players, but not enough of it was revealed throughout the book. And it had some romance to it? Brilliant. ...Except not. I would read the rest of this series in hopes of it getting better, revealing more of Jade's powers, and giving more information about Kett and his background. But really, not anytime soon.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
This was a quick listen (especially at 2x speed). Find me a YA supernatural fantasy romance book, and I am on it. This one has an interesting take onThis was a quick listen (especially at 2x speed). Find me a YA supernatural fantasy romance book, and I am on it. This one has an interesting take on werewolves. (view spoiler)[Once bitten by a werewolf of this world, you spend the warmer months of the year human and then, once colder weather sets in, those lower temperatures trigger your change into a wolf. You are then a wolf until the temperatures warm up again. However, this only lasts for a while. The length of time you stay human shortens as the years pass. Soon, no amount of heat will trigger your change back into human. (hide spoiler)]
The main characters, and romantic pair, are Grace and Sam. When Grace is about 10 years old, she is attacked by wolves in the backyard of her Mercy Falls, Montana home one winter. One wolf of the pack, with striking yellow eyes, saves her by preventing the other wolves from finishing her off. Since then, Grace yearns for glimpses of "her" wolf, looking forward to seeing him every winter. Six years later, she finally meets him, Sam, her wolf, in human flesh. And so begins this story. (view spoiler)[One of the big questions of the book, along with why these werewolves exist, what exactly triggers the changes and then the end of them when they become full-time wolves, is why Grace didn't become a werewolf after she was bitten. This is addressed towards the end of the book, when a fellow classmate Jack Culpepper, who had been recently bitten--his disappearance was a huge news in the town--kidnaps Grace to get her to reveal her secret "cure." Though Grace has never known why she didn't turn after being savaged by the werewolves, Jack's sister Isabel and Grace think it may be because Grace's father had left her in an overheated car after her attack, burning out the werewolf infection/curse. Unfortunately for Jack, when Isabel and Grace's plan to infect him with the deadly meningitis that has been going around town in order to burn his wolf out too, Jack dies. His death seems to disprove Grace and Isabel's assumption, so the question of why and how Grace survived her attack without changing still lingers. (hide spoiler)]
I like how Grace, the female of the lead romantic pairing, is the pragmatic, mathematical/scientific/nonfiction one of the duo, while Sam, the male, is the arty, dreamer/musician/poet/fiction one. A nice change of pace from many YA romance novels in which the main chick is the author avatar who loves books, maybe even going so far as to write poetry (see Beautiful Creatures's Lena), hating math and science. In Shiver, Sam is the dreamy guy who creates song lyrics in his head constantly. I must admit, though, that however swoon-worthy it may seem to teenage girls (myself of that age included) to have guys write poems and love songs about them (I was the one who did it about the dudes I liked; if a guy did that for me, they didn't share.), my older self--the present me--finds it cringe-worthy and eye-roll inducing. I can see how this type of male romantic lead would appeal to readers, but it's just not my cuppa. (Also, I wasn't a fan of Lena's poems in Beautiful Creatures either. I'm an equal-opportunity disliker of character-written poetry and songs in my YA fiction.)
(view spoiler)[The PG-13 steamy scenes with their fade to black were good, the sex scene hot. The story did include the standard electrifying, "whisper" touches often found in YA romance, which I also find cringe-inducing at this point in my jaded life. Also, why the focus on hipbones touching? Am I the only one who winces when they read that, knowing how painful hitting your hipbones against someone else's can be? Yes, I get that they are near the crotch and OMG our crotches are almost touching and SEX, but still.
The star-crossed-lover relationship between Grace and Sam, with their finally getting together after 6 years of longing for the other and this being Sam's last year as a human (premature to be sure; he's only 18 and his werewolf adoptive dad/mentor Ben got about 20 years as a werewolf), was a bit dissatisfying as I am weary of its use in the stories I read.
Since this is the first in a series, though, the blow of Sam turning fully into a wolf at the end of the book despite Grace having injected him with the meningitis as well, is lessened by the likelihood of this seemingly permanent transformation's reversal in later books.
The self-sufficiently and adultness (a small example is her reliance on coffee) of Grace's character bothered me. I know where it came from, since her parents are neglectful asses. But knowing from whence it came did not--does not--alleviate my irritation with it. I really wanted to smack the shit our of her mom and dad. And I am glad Grace expresses her feelings of abandonment a bit in the book. For Pete's sake, an older young man starts living and sleeping with her in their house and her parents are completely clueless! The jerks. (hide spoiler)]
At the end day of the day, I was not blown away by this book (perhaps doing it a disservice by listening to it at such a fast speed; I am fully aware that how I consume media can have a direct effect on my enjoyment level of said media, but those readers are slooooow), but I did like the characters of Grace and Sam overall. I would listen to the rest of this series.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
I was disappointed when my friend Laura told me this was the last book in the series. My exact reaction was "NOOOOA good conclusion to a great series.
I was disappointed when my friend Laura told me this was the last book in the series. My exact reaction was "NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!" (Just like that because it was one Instagram and not out loud. Although I did say it aloud too. Because that's me. Anyway.)
I had expected at least another book in the series, since we had summer in the first, fall in the second, and obviously winter (check out the cover) in this third one. Well, I should have known (view spoiler)[when early on I realized this had something to do with Persephone (the title and season of the book), that this would cover winter AND spring. (Duh, Brandi, remember ALL of your mythology, for goodness sake.) (hide spoiler)]
Honestly, this book seems a little plodding, a little disjointed. More like the second book than the tight, compelling first.
(view spoiler)[In Poison Fruit, we pick up shortly after where Autumn Bones left off. Daisy and Cody, after some hot hook-ups, reluctantly part ways again because of their mating incompatibility. So Daisy decides to give Stefan a try. Finally.
Meanwhile, a night hag has started terrorizing the citizens of Pemkowet. Daisy calls on several members of the eldritch community to help her get the creature. I thought this would be the leading drive of this book. That the night hag was called upon by some more powerful eldritch figure to wreak havoc and set Daisy on their path for the rest of the book. But no, this was more of an isolated incident setting up other stuff.
In order to catch the night hag, who is attracted to and feeds on nightmares, Daisy has Sinclair and the rest of the coven curse her with her worst nightmare. And with Daisy's parentage, and outsize emotions, that was one doozy of a nightmare. She ends up catching the hag and banishing it, finding out it was drawn to the town by the PVB (Pemkowet Visitor's Bureau) website's "all welcome" marketing language. This is just the tip of an iceberg of Bad Things the PVB's questionable advertising and promotion sets Pemkowet on the course for ramming full force.
But the more important thing about the night hag incident is Daisy's nightmare of invoking her birthright and breaking the world. This haunts her throughout the rest of the book.
The hellspawn lawyer Daniel Dufreyne returns in this book too, only now, instead of buying up property around Hel's territory for some mysterious, possibly nefarious, employer only known as Elysian Fields and not exactly Hades, he's representing a gaggle of people in a class-action suit against Pemkowet for the horrors that happened at Halloween.
A farce of a trial ensues, which brings lots of angst and worry to Pemkowet and Daisy in particular. She and her Scooby Gang hatch a crazy plan that almost works to prevent the infernal persuasion of Dufreyne influencing the case in his--and his employer's--favor.
Oh, and Stacey Brooks, Daisy's nemesis, turns into the Cordelia of the party through her relationship with Sinclair. A bit disappointing, cause I love seeing the mean girls fall.
The upshot is that the town must sell off the property that is Hel's demesne to pay for the damages of the case. Daisy tries her hardest to stop the decision and almost manages it with Lurine the Lamia's help, but what can you do when an actual GODDESS in the form of Persephone steps in and gets everyone on her crazy side. Because Persephone is crazy. Crazy enough to start a war on Hel, but not realize that is where all her stupid plans to get her own demesne are leading.
And then Daisy starts coordinating the defensive side of a war between gods. Crazy shit, right?
Characters both new and old bite it during this horrible conflict. Daisy, in an echo of her worst nightmare, finally invokes her birthright to stop the carnage.
Yeah, it's that bad, guys. I mean, they use DRONES on Yggdrasil II for Pete's sake! And did I mention that no one is quite sure whether destroying the World Tree will result in the end of existence as we knot it? Yeah, very bad.
Well, it's not as horrible as everyone, including Daisy's family and friends, think. Daisy has a plan. A crazy-ass, holy-shit-this-better-work-or-Armageddon-begins plan: She uses her invocation of her infernal birthright to bargain with God.
Yeah, I KNOW.
This was set up earlier in the book in a part I forgot to mention. Stefan, newly returned from his former home in Unpronounceable, Poland, with a horrible task for Daisy to fulfill: to kill a dear friend of his, a ghoul who has suffered much and yearns for release and possible redemption. Daisy does, in the hope that, being dispatched by her magical blade dauda dagr, he can return to the holy fold, so he can bargain with God, as some dude in the Old Testament did, for salvation of the ghouls, or Outcast.
As an apex faith, the God has power of Persephone and so, through his angelic messenger, cures her of her crazy. The war is stopped. Persephone regrets her nutso plans. Hel gains the right to approve any possible future buyers of the land in her territory. The current Outcast are returned to mortality with a chance of salvation or damnation at death. Stefan and Daisy end their relationship. Daisy ends up with Cody, who was really the best choice for her man what with their chemistry and attraction and all, despite the incompatible mate thing. (hide spoiler)]
So yeah, a good ending to this series, though I would love to revisit Pemkowet in the future, should Jacqueline Carey ever come back to it.["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"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more