The beginning of Moon Spell was without a doubt incredibly intriguing and mysterious. I wanted more and more of the storyline and the secrets revealedThe beginning of Moon Spell was without a doubt incredibly intriguing and mysterious. I wanted more and more of the storyline and the secrets revealed. You can tell that there are so many secrets that will keep you guessing even after only reading a few pages. I felt bad that Caia knew so little, especially when it came to things that pertained to her. Usually this would bother me since those with the knowledge are keeping it hidden for the character's 'own good' and this drives me batty. Moon Spell was just so densely completely woven with secrets that I never minded, I only wanted to know more as soon as possible!
“Yvana,” Lucien’s voice rumbled darkly in warning. Caia had never heard him use that tone before, but she was still too shocked by Yvana’s reaction to look at him. She was caught in this woman’s bleak gaze. What had she done to her? “Griffin died because of your parents... because of you.” Yvana was standing up now, trembling with anger and grief.
I loved Moon Spell's lore and how it incorporated the Greek gods into the supernatural. It was such an interesting idea and I love stories that involve mythology in any way. Young didn't just adopt them into the lore and then drop them either. Caia regularly used them in her language like how normal teens would use 'oh my god'. I found that to be extremely clever and well done.
No. Uh-uh, Haaades no.
Caia is really hard to describe personality-wise. As far as paranormal goes, she's the first character I've read about that isn't hotheaded, brave, dangerous... some mix of typical werewolf, vampire etc traits. Caia is quiet, unassuming, a loner (but not in an 'I hate everything' kind of way, more of a peace seeking type). To be honest I thought she was completely without personality at first. She goes along with everything, she doesn't make waves, she wasn't expected. I was wrong though, she doesn't need to be loud and constantly in the midst of the action to be her own person. As Irini said, Caia is gentle.
“According to our spy everything’s going perfectly well. She’ll be sending the information we need over the next few weeks.” “And Caia?” “Integrating into the pack. By the time we get the little bitch, the pack may actually mourn her.”
The multiple points of view (Caia's, Lucien's and the villain's) were a welcome surprise. I really liked getting into Lucien's head since Caia knew so little about what was going on. I also liked the quick glimpses into what was going on on the 'other side' too. I enjoy knowing what villains are up to and thinking but it's always ridiculous when they have a long monologue explaining everything at the end. Doing brief section in their POV was a great idea.
Something inside Lucien split open. With a shock of awareness that set him back on his heels, Lucien realised that all he wanted in this life … was to melt into the darkness with her.
Lucien was completely adorable, delicious, swoon worthy... I was so excited when Moon Spell even started hinting at a romance between him and Caia. It was a relief that his point of view was included because Caia is so unsure of how the pack operated and where she stood with Lucien that I would have worried for her otherwise. Instead I could just bask in all the sweet moments.
I loved, absolutely positively loved Moon Spell until the ending. I really don't want to give anything away but at the same time I could write out a page long rant. Why, Young?! Why would you do this to me!!?
I knew Bayou Moon was going to feature a new hero and heroine and I'm so glad William carried over from On the Edge but I have to admit that I spent tI knew Bayou Moon was going to feature a new hero and heroine and I'm so glad William carried over from On the Edge but I have to admit that I spent the entire introduction of Bayou Moon's Cerise comparing her to Rose. I loved Rose from the get go and I had trouble letting her go for a starter heroine who was completely new. I never doubted that Cerise would find a place in my heart too though. I think I should have waited longer before picking up Bayou Moon, however, so that Rose, Declan and William as a secondary character wouldn't have been quite so vivid in my mind.
“It didn’t knock me out. I jumped in.” Dear Gods. “You jumped into the water with a Gospo Adir eel in it?” “I couldn’t get a good cut from the boat.” Unbelievable. “Are you crazy?” “Look who’s talking, swamp mermaid.” “I jumped in to rescue you, you fool!”
I absolutely loved how William and Cerise met and their initial interactions. It never ceases to impress and please me how well Andrews pulls off humor without being silly. It's always so well crafted and executed.
William leaned forward and pointed at the river. “I don’t know why you rolled in spaghetti sauce,” he said in a confidential voice. “I don’t really care. But that water over there won’t hurt you. Try washing it off.” She stuck her tongue out.
I was also pleasantly surprised by how different Bayou Moon was from On the Edge. I'd expected some echos from the previous novel but some things went as far as shockingly different. I was completely thrown off guard by the swamp setting at first. And while Cerise and William had the same feelings towards each other that Rose and Declan had, in no way could I even begin to call them the same characters but with different names which I often find myself considering when it comes to paranormal romance series. Andrews is a master at creating unique characters and dialogue. None of the heroes and heroines I've been introduced to have liked each other from their first encounter, in fact they often fight like school children, yet it's always fresh, makes me giggle and crave more.
She waved her hands in the air. “Do me a huge favor, Lord William. Keep your thoughts to yourself for the next few miles. If you keep talking, I’ll have to hit you with this pole, and nobody wants that.”
William's interactions with Cerise's family were so interesting to read about. All William wants is a family but that's been denied him and he has come to believe he doesn't deserve one because of his status as a changeling. On that same note, it was just as interesting to read about Cerise's interactions with them. As her head of household she feels the weight of the world on her shoulders. Watching her bear the burden of responsibility for death and money contrasting to William being tested at every turn and trying to learn them was fascinating.
Bayou Moon is another amazing story from Andrews. I absolutely loved William, Cerise, her chaotic family, the Mire... I can't wait to delve in to Fate's Edge.
(This review contains spoilers for book one) Considering the ending of Darkness Unbound, IReview originally posted on Bitten Books and given 4 stars.
(This review contains spoilers for book one) Considering the ending of Darkness Unbound, I was both super excited and nervous to start Darkness Rising. I really wanted to know more about what happened to Risa's mother but I was afraid that Risa would no longer be the her usual kick ass self, or that a depressing cloud would smother the book. I was so happy to see that the book wasn't angsty or depressing! But still showed how the death affected Risa which was also important to me. I hate when there's character death and the other character say "OMG I'M SO SAD!!" and then poof, they're happy again and unchanged.
Quite a few hugely minor characters from Darkness Unbound made reappearances in Darkness Rising. I love it when authors do that because I feel much more immersed in the world rather than simply getting the same props and main cast but a new storyline (like in cartoons, for example). None of the character returns I'm referencing really mattered or were ones I cared about, but all were memorable enough for me to recall them. I also loved all of the tiny continuations from the previous book in the series like Iliana's parents harping on her need to mate with a stallion and her willingness to do anything to get out of having dinner with them. It's always little things like that that make the book and characters for me.
I thought Lucian was okay in the first book but something about him in this one creeped me out. It wasn't anything he did specifically either, I just didn't like him. The entire book I was waiting for the proverbial shoe to drop and for Lucian to screw Risa over. This made at least the first half of the book a little weird for me whenever he was in a scene because I don't think that was quite the intended vibe. On the other hand, I freakin' adored Azriel. I was much more ambivalent towards him in Darkness Unbound but with his new found playfulness and other 'unfortunate' human traits, I found it hard not to love his character. His transition from stone cold and completely inhuman to attempting jokes for Risa's sake and a few displays of emotion were a joy to read. Every time I caught some progress towards something new, I wanted to start my own cheer for him or something equally fangirly. Maybe it was Azriel's explicit and vocal hatred for Lucian that swayed me...
My biggest issue with Darkness Unbound was how confused I was. So much was thrown at me at once and some of it was never explained or only done so vaguely. The biggest one for me was Iliana was called a Mare countless times and her potential mate was referred to as a stallion. I spent the entire book wondering if Iliana was a centaur, but I knew that couldn't be right but the only other option I came up with was that it was just metaphorical. It never occurred to me that Arthur meant that she shapeshifted into a horse until it was plainly said in Darkness Rising. Anyway, in Darkness Rising things were explained so much more satisfactorily. I always knew what was going on....more
Atticus O'Sullivan, the last of the Druids, knows better than most that witches aren't trusReview originally posted on Bitten Books and given 5 stars.
Atticus O'Sullivan, the last of the Druids, knows better than most that witches aren't trustworthy and usually mean trouble. So when he finds himself under magical attack there's no reason not to suspect it's the doings of the local witches despite the nonaggression treaty they have in the works. It turns out things are much more complicated because said local witches were attacked as well and lost one of their own. Malina needs Atticus to hunt down the new witches in town who seem very familiar to him while somehow finding time to fight off Bacchants, rogue demons, as well as a tall priest and a short rabbi.
I adore Atticus and everything but I've really come to love many of the minor characters. I was so excited that they all made reappearances in Hexed even though some of them that I'd previously liked showed some pretty nasty colors. I like how every aspect of the book is ever evolving. The minor characters are never just hanging around backstage waiting for Atticus to call on them. They're all active and changing. Even the less than desirable changes in a few characters was enjoyable to see because it made them even more realistic.
I love that things briefly mentioned in Hounded made an appearance in Hexed. I'll have to pay closer attention to see what pops up from Hounded and Hexed in Hammered and any later books. It's really important to me when reading a series that the books tie together and don't feel like separate stories with the only thing in common being the same characters. That's often why I read series novels back to back because I want that one experience and amazing extended immersion. The Iron Druid Chronicles thus far, while I have read them back to back, are truly a series and not just Law & Order episodes. I've read them back to back solely because I need to, I'm chomping at the bit to know what happens next and if I attempted reading anything else, I wouldn't be able to give it my full focus. Reading Hammered (book three) was day three of my own personal Iron Druid Chronicles marathon. I'm already going crazy now that I have to wait for books.
Overall I thought this was a wonderful followup from Hounded. I loved every aspect of Hexed even more than the first, other than the continued manwhoring of course. Although I have to admit that I foung it at least a little interesting because it's a fairly unique hero character trait. There was more history and pop culture in this one that I noticed, and picked up on anyway, which I always find fun. I'm so glad this was continued from the previous book. And why I honestly give this book the best rating, Oberon continued to be nothing more than amazing....more
This review is beyond bias considering that Patricia Briggs is my absolute favorite authorReview originally posted on Bitten Books and given 5 stars.
This review is beyond bias considering that Patricia Briggs is my absolute favorite author other than JK Rowling. She could write a collection of essays on laxatives and I'd give it five stars, that's how far my love goes. One of the reasons I love this particular series so much (and Mercy's, of course) is that Briggs is able to wreak havoc on my emotions so easily and I actually don't mind. I like that it would totally destroy me if a character were to be killed off because often times I don't feel involved enough when it comes to urban fantasy. I love the genre but no other author is able to immerse me like Briggs does. The first chapter of Fair Game was so emotional and conflicting for me which was a dream come true. It's been ages since I've read about Anna and Charles (and Bran, eep!) so I was a little worried that I might not connect with them as well as I used to. The beginning of the book totally broke my heart. That is my true measure of an author's ability.
The storyline, characters, world... everything is so unbelievably well developed. I love knowing characters so well that I can anticipate certain reactions. For example Anna teases Charles to lighten his mood; even without her being an omega you can always count on Anna to look out for others in her own special way. Briggs is also constantly surprising me. Just when I think I have a firm grasp, something completely unexpected will happen but it always fits so perfectly. I read over and over again Bran's line where he uses the word 'bejeebers'.
The Alpha and Omega series has a wonderful quality of emotion driven stories, usually ones where a character is breaking and needs Anna's tranquility. Fair Game is my favorite thus far because it's Charles who needs fixing. I loved how their dynamic changes yet didn't because both Anna and Charles are too strong to let something like that overcome them. Charles' issue was so perfectly melded into the plot; I never knew which I was furiously nibbling at my fingernails for. Was I beyond anxious because I needed for one of my favorite werewolves to get better or was I freaking out over what was quite possibly the most intense plot Briggs has written thus far? I don't know but I loved every page of it....more
I was really worried right from the start of Six Moon Summer. Rylie is staying at a three month long summer camp where she has no friends and has no iI was really worried right from the start of Six Moon Summer. Rylie is staying at a three month long summer camp where she has no friends and has no interest in making any. In general I hate boarding school stories because of how much drama and cattiness they breed; summer camp has the same feel as a boarding school. There's enough angst in real life, I don't have much interest in reading about it in depth. That said, the story started off with me worrying and finding it angsty in another way. I didn't know Rylie well enough to like her but I felt intense pity for her in the beginning. Rylie's parents are in the midst of a divorce and my impression is they want her at camp to keep her out of the way not to spare her any of the ugliness.
Rylie considered the words with a frown. Camp could be interesting, I guess. Maybe if I see it as a learning thing instead of a punishment for the divorce...?
At about a quarter of the way into Six Moon Summer, I still had no idea how I felt about the book up to that point. Rylie was... unlikable. I originally felt sorry for her and I understood where her anger and hostility came from (her situation and the oncoming werewolfism). However, she was just as drama seeking and petty as the other campers that she hated. She was constantly nasty and feeling sorry for herself yet they were situations she'd gotten herself into. I found myself enjoying the idea of the book a lot but it wasn't going to be enough as the story continued.
Why had Rylie, of all people, been bitten? She was going to become a wolf at the end of summer, and she hadn't done anything to deserve it.
He nodded. “The library is in the back room. Kids aren't allowed.” "No wonder, if they've got stuff on werewolves,” Rylie muttered. “How do we get in?”
I did a whole lot of my own suspension of disbelief in Six Moon Summer but was too farfetched. I love paranormal/fantasy so the werewolf aspect wasn't my issue. I had a problem with the counselors having secret werewolf books, Seth being the one to guide her and always showing up at exactly the right moment/knowing everything (some of the Seth stuff eventually gets explained but it doesn't change the fact that it was 100% ridiculous and unbelievable until you get to that point and Rylie eats it up), Rylie's constant rule breaking and general obnoxiousness not getting her kicked out or some sort of real punishment until far down the line... I couldn't immerse myself into a novel when I don't find anything believable.
I was not a fan of how werewolves were tackled in this book. I like books where werewolves are the dark heroes typically, but them being evil is okay too. In Six Moon Summer they aren't really either... they're rabid animals. This is very much a personal preference thing. Reading a different take on werewolves was refreshing and interesting but it wasn't something that I enjoyed.
Rylie was horribly whiny, constantly feeling sorry for herself when she was the cause of her problems, and frankly she wasn't a nice person. I don't see how any of her 'friends' liked her. She claims Cassidy was a close enough friend to risk getting into trouble by sneaking her out yet all I saw was her avoid Cassidy in a mean way and use her.
“That’s not fair!” Rylie complained. She never got to see Seth unless something was wrong. She wanted one chance to have fun before the summer ended. Her chin quivered as she tried not to cry. “Everyone else gets to go!” *She stole the counselors' car which resulted in privileges being taken away*
I actually liked the ending despite its bittersweet quality. I will probably give the next book in the series a try before I decide whether to continue on or give up.
This review was a little harsher than I intended it to be. I definitely didn't hate the book but Rylie pressed every button I have and apparently I had a lot to say about that. I would recommend Six Moon Summer to readers who like lots of action and can forgive a whiny heroine. Reine kept the book fast paced with very few quiet moments.
With Urien dead, Niniane (Tricks) can take her place as Dark Fae Queen. This is easier saidReview originally posted on Bitten Books and given 4 stars.
With Urien dead, Niniane (Tricks) can take her place as Dark Fae Queen. This is easier said than done considering her first meeting with the Dark Fae on her own results in an assassination attempt. Niniane can't turn to the Wyr for help anymore so she attempts to disappear. Her friends in the Wyr demesne are worried about her though and want her found at any cost. Tiago is sent to find and protect her, and somewhere along the way he find himself guarding her with his life because he wants to.
I really enjoyed Storm's Heart, mainly because I loved the characters. I fell in love with Tricks in Dragon Bound and was very excited to read more about her and her transformation into Niniane, Dark Fae Queen. I certainly wasn't disappointed. Niniane remained herself but we got to see her mature and work towards a more queenly personality. Tiago wasn't in Dragon Bound much so I wasn't sure what to expect, but holy cow was he kickass and smoldering! I liked that Tiago and Niniane weren't equals per say, but each had their strengths. I also liked that Niniane was always challenging Tiago so the difference between them never mattered. I also loved the character background stories, both were very fitting and didn't disappoint. I especially enjoyed the reasoning behind Niniane's nickname, Tricks.
So many books in the paranormal romance category have powerful supernatural males and either human or relatively weak women, but somehow the heroine becomes vital or she has some amazing power that no one else has. I liked that while Niniane was queen, I never felt like it put her into that silly 'special' category.
I prefer my romances to be as angst free as possible. Angst and unhappiness just aren't my thing. I love how Harrison dealt with issues in Storm's Heart. She wasn't afraid to face them head on in her writing then simply move on. I love that her characters are intelligent, fierce, loyal and loving but most of all willing to work things out and not leave me in agony.
There were a few loose ends and other aspects that I'd hoped would be included in Storm's Heart that weren't. I especially wished we'd seen more of Pia and Dragos considering her, uh, current condition. I was glad we got to see more of Rune, loved him in the Dragon Bound. He bothered me a little bit in this one because I was so involved in Tiago and Niniane's relationship and I didn't care for his actions however honorable they were. I still adore him though and look forward to his story. Carling... I hated her until the end scenes. I'm very excited to learn more about her now though, she seems like she'll be the most complex character so far. I'm really worried, however, because she might not be good enough for Rune.
All in all, Storm's Heart was an amazing followup novel to Dragon Bound. It was a little slower actionwise making it more character and emotion based. I found Dragon Bound to be more of a 'stand out' novel than Storm's Heart but I think fans of the first book will devour this one like I did....more
Atticus O’Sullivan hasn't lived to be a 2,000 year old druid by causing trouble with otherReview originally posted on Bitten Books and given 5 stars.
Atticus O’Sullivan hasn't lived to be a 2,000 year old druid by causing trouble with other mythical beings. He just wants to run his bookstore and teashop in peace, go for hunts with his faithful Irish worlfhound and maybe spend time with a few friends. Too bad for him a Celtic god with a vendetta against him is finally closing in and making a peaceful life, what with all the Fae trying to kill him, a little difficult.
I haven't read many urban fantasy series with kick ass male main characters. Atticus just happens to really take the cake because he's also completely unique in the urban fantasy world as a druid. Not only that but he's also got all of the characteristics I look for and love in female main characters as well as a few of his own that I adored. If a wonderfully unique main character and interesting plot hadn't already won me over, Atticus's friendship with his Irish wolfhound would have. Being an animal lover, this totally had me squeeing and wishing more fantasy or urban fantasy included animals. Even if Atticus had been the worst protagonist in existence, I still would have read the book for Oberon.
I really enjoyed the history and mythology worked into the story. Some of it I was familiar with and thought was wonderfully used in the story. Others that I weren't familiar with, I enjoyed learning about without being taught. Nothing was used like a lesson, it was all seamlessly worked into the story. Anyone living under a rock might think Hearne was clever enough to make it all up, it's that good. When he's actually clever enough to recraft it into something new.
Invincible and truly immortal heroes and villains always have me wary. Often times I'm left feeling that the action was more like a play or one of those traps set up by Joker or Penguin to catch Batman, all show with no chance of real harm or downfall. I was a little hesitant beginning Hounded, what with all the god/goddesses plus ancient Atticus. I was pleasantly surprised with the realness of the danger though and never felt that any of the 'villains' were incapable of ending him. I don't usually like it when power increases and increases because then there has to be a point where nothing can stop you, but I loved how that increase of power was balanced in Hounded.
I am in awe of Hearne's abilities as a storyteller. First off, he has a humungous cast of characters yet every one had life and felt real, none of them were simply props to move the plot along (this happens to be one of my biggest pet peeves). Secondly, his plot was intricate and massive too. There were several times when I was stunned that I was only part way through the book. Lastly, I have to say that Hearne's use of language amazes me. Everyone talked so differently and distinctly. It must have been hellish keeping everyone straight with how they spoke, word use etc.
If you enjoy the urban fantasy genre even a little bit, Hounded is something you absolutely must read. It's too much fun to miss out on....more
The werewolf lore, community, history etc. in Bitten was really interesting and unique. There are only 35 werewolves in existence and only three of thThe werewolf lore, community, history etc. in Bitten was really interesting and unique. There are only 35 werewolves in existence and only three of them are werewolves due to being bitten. Elena was not only bitten, but is also the only female. She abandoned the pack in an attempt of having a normal human life. Reading about Elena's struggle with being human and werewolf has probably been the best paranormal internal struggle I've read yet. Elena is raw, emotional and so believable because she isn't perfect or pretty about it. She wants normality so desperately but it isn't possible for her and yet she can't fit in with the other werewolves either.
"I want to know why I'm here and I want to know now. If you walk out that door, I'm not going to promise you'll still find me here in the morning." "So be it," Jeremy said, his voice so cool I shivered in the draft. "If you decide to leave, have Clay drive you to Syracuse." "Yeah, right," I said. "I'd be more likely to get to the airport by thumbing a ride with the local psychopath." Clay grinned. "You forget, darling. I am the local psychopath."
Wow, Armstrong created some very dynamic, intriguing, perplexing characters. Upon introducing each of them, and even for quite a long while later, I couldn't decide what to think of them. Elena is bitter and angry so learning about the pack from her perspective was a like untangling a web. I liked that the characters weren't clear cut though, it made the story have a darker feel to it and heightened my anticipation for the next sentence since I couldn't predict reactions. And then there was Elena herself. She's trying so hard to be normal, human. She's got a job, a place to live and a boyfriend. Before she decides how to act, she asks herself if a good person would do it. On the inside she's aggressive, angry, hurt. Every day is a struggle and when she's in her other skin... killing is in her nature. I loved that Elena wasn't perfect. Armstrong made Elena's thoughts and feeling so compelling that it was impossibly not to love her even with the darkness clinging to her.
This time, the weeks had turned to months, then to a year. I thought they'd figure it out, know I wasn't coming back, but maybe they hadn't, maybe they'd still been waiting, like Clay waiting all day at the front gate, confident that I'd eventually return because I always did and because I hadn't said I wouldn't. I wondered how long they would have waited.
Clay would be so unacceptable to me in real life but since this is fiction... guh! I adored him. He was absurdly stalker-ish and way too intense but his actions could all be taken as dog-like. A dog will sit and wait forever for its person to come home and its world is centered around them. Clay is an oddball like Elena. He was bitten while he was a child and because of this has lost what makes him human. He's intelligent but acts only on instinct. I definitely prefer judging his actions on wolf standards than against human ones because they're much sweeter that way.
I was extremely conflicted about the last quarter of Bitten. It didn't sit well with me how Elena treated Clay or Philip. I don't want to spoil anything but let's just say that three's a crowd. But at the same time the storyline of the book was at it's highest peak and WOW. It was intense, perfectly executed, compelling, quite the adrenaline rush. I thought the plot was well done throughout the whole novel but the ending was out of this world.
Pia has succeeded in being the first to find and steal something from the dragon's horde. SReview originally posted on Bitten Books and given 4 stars.
Pia has succeeded in being the first to find and steal something from the dragon's horde. She doesn't like stealing, didn't even want to, in fact she left something of equal value behind and an apologetic note. She knows it won't matter though, the leader of all Wyrkind will hunt her down and tear her limb from limb in revenge. Stealing hadn't been her choice. Pia's scumbag ex-boyfriend was threatening to tell secrets she'd foolishly told him to an unknown enemy just as frightening as Dragos Cuelebre. She couldn't have guessed that despite the Cuelebre's rage, it was the first time in far too long that he wasn't bored and perhaps he'd want to keep her.
I almost skipped over this book entirely after reading the provided summary. The 'claiming her as his own to further explore the desire they've ignited' and slave bit of it left me very wary. I'm so glad I read Dragon Bound anyway! That part of the summary is highly misleading so don't go into this book thinking his price for stealing is making her his sex slave like I did.
I loved Pia and Dragos. They were both funny, in their own ways, and very passionate. The contrast between the two of them was enormous but it made everything more interesting to read. I loved their arguments, battles of wit, sweet moments and smut scenes. We've got the Wyr lord who used to eat people and has never heard no and a skittish half-breed who leaves an apology note for stealing and, while typically a pacifist, hates being told what to do. It was very enjoyable reading the worst of their clashes and seeing how they eventually got to a place where compromise was possible. Yay for character growth! Loved the dual POVs, I'm almost always a fan of that though. I think it was especially cleverly used in Dragon Bound seeing as Pia and Dragos are so vastly different from one another.
I won't lie. Generally when I pick up an adult paranormal (fantasy) romance, I'm reading it for the lovin'. Harrison dished that out quite nicely but she also surprised me with a fantastic and utterly unique plot and cast. I'll admit when I discovered what Pia was I had to put the book down to squeal in excitement for several moments. Fae are becoming more common in PNR/UF but this is the first time I've encountered elves and thunderbirds (!!!). Can't wait for Storm's Heart. I loved the characters that will be featured in the sequel....more
Maddie is struggling from day to day as an outcast after moving in with her grandmother dueReview originally posted on Bitten Books and given 4½ stars.
Maddie is struggling from day to day as an outcast after moving in with her grandmother due to a haunting family tragedy. Her world gets tipped upside down again when two new students make an appearance on the same day, both of whom can't seem to leave her alone. Chase takes on a role as her knight in shining armor while Dougal gives her the creeps. I don't want to give anything more away because a lot of my enjoyment in reading this book was finding out all of its secrets, but I do want to say that this is a paranormal like none I've read before. You won't be getting vampires, werewolves, or witches in this book. In fact, fantasy romance might be a more appropriate category.
I really enjoyed this read. Once I got started I couldn't seem to put it down. The story and characters' uniqueness is what really sucked me in. If you're a jaded paranormal reader and are tired of reading the same plot line with new characters, give this book a try. I bet you haven't read anything similar.
I think the book was written perfectly for teen enjoyment. I'm a little older than the target audience but I never found this detracting from my own enjoyment. There were no eye-roll moments or frustrating (as an older reader) scenes which are most often my problem with YA books. I found all of the situations and emotions relatable and believable despite the fantasy elements.
I completely adored Chase. It took a while for him to grow on me because I was convinced he couldn't be as wonderful as he seemed in the beginning but Maddie is definitely a lucky lady. Chase was literally my perfect YA hero; protective without being a caveman, caring, chivalrous, handsome, funny etc. I'm so glad the book split the POVs in half between Maddie and him with a few guests thrown in. I loved having a chance at getting into his head.
I only had one issue while reading The Key. The very beginning, first two or three chapters (there are nearly fifty so it's not very much of the book), was rough going for me. I think it's because I was confused and there was a POV change, which was a little too soon for me, or maybe it was because I was simply acclimating to the characters and story and couldn't appreciate the book yet. Either way, I reread that section after finishing the book and found I loved it just as much as the rest. I wanted to mention that though for any future readers who might have the same experience. Stick with it, it's not a very long patch. The book gets wonderful really quickly and you'll come to appreciate the introduction of some great characters....more
Let me preface this review by saying that I'm an utter idiot and didn't realize the Dark AnReview originally posted on Bitten Books and given 4 stars.
Let me preface this review by saying that I'm an utter idiot and didn't realize the Dark Angels series had anything to do with the Riley Jenson Guardian one. Moving on: The very beginning of Darkness Unbound was an... interesting journey for me. I was so lost and utterly confused. Every few paragraphs something new was being added and none of it was something I was familiar with. We've got reapers, Helki werewolves, pagans, firestarters, Aedh, Fravardin, mares etc. I had to somehow learn all of those while being introduced to a stream of characters and those characters' friends, family and sexual preference. Somewhere in there I believe there was a plot too but I can't be sure because I was so freakin' lost. I have to say that while I was frustrated, lost and confused that I was also deeply intrigued. I'd picked up this book thinking 'alright! urban fantasy, let's do this' and expected it to be something I could plow through, enjoy the interesting story and familiarity then quickly move on from it. Darkness Unbound proved to be so much more than a run of the mill urban fantasy. It was something startlingly new to me but fascinating and definitely enjoyable. All I can say is read, you won't regret it. Things became much clearer as the book moved along and several times I felt ridiculous for not having gotten something in the first place. Everything probably would have been crystal clear if I'd read the Riley Jenson series first but I hadn't realized the two were related.
There were so many little itty-bitty parts of Darkness Unbound that made me want to hug Arthur for their uniqueness. Our heroine, Risa Jones, has loving family and friends. I never see that in urban fantasy! Most times it's them against the world with a sidekick or love interest to save or help out a little. Risa is a rich, privileged character. My mind was totally blown when this finally sank in. The whole concept for the book was unique but it was these small additions that mattered most to me. They made Risa more of her own character rather than urban fantasy heroine #32.
Darkness Unbound was significantly more risque than most urban fantasy and paranormal romance novels I've read. I wasn't on board for the occurrence at Franklin's. Smut with not even a single iota of emotion does nothing for me. Maybe it's because I'm not familiar with Arthur's writing but I feel it's necessary to mention the threesome that takes place, it certainly caught me off guard. You won't find that in pretty much any non-erotia romance, let alone a book marketed as urban fantasy. It's quick, maybe a page or two, but I do feel that it's enough for those of you who find menages to be a no go for it to possibly ruin things for you. I was really enjoying the story and adoring Risa so when stumbled upon it I was more baffled than anything else because, despite all the sexuality and promiscuity mentioned, I never expected to face it head on.
The ending was intense. There is no way that I'll be able to resist reading the next in the series, Darkness Rising, for long. I usually like to space books out so that by the time the upcoming book releases I won't have forgotten everything, but the ending of Darkness Unbound is heart stopping. I need to know what's next for Risa right now!...more
Kate Daniels' life couldn't be more perfect. She's finally her own boss and doesn't have toReview originally posted on Bitten Books and given 5 stars.
Kate Daniels' life couldn't be more perfect. She's finally her own boss and doesn't have to take orders from anyone, Julie is as safe as she can be and Kate has a cuddly lion to come home to each night. Too bad no one has hired her since Cutting Edge Investigations opened, Julie mailed herself to escape school and Curran still is himself, His Overbearance. The monotony doesn't last long, however. Kate receives an odd call from Ghastek requesting her to intercept a loose vampire because the woman controlling it fainted. Suspicious, yes. Kate discovers this is only the beginning of the odd occurrences when an old 'friend' from the Red Guard offers her a job to find a man that she can't say anything about and the device he was building that she doesn't know what its purpose was.
Coming down off the amazingness that was the previous book, I was honestly going into this book with low expectations because what could possibly surpass Magic Bleeds?! I was right in my assumption that this book couldn't beat its predecessor but wrong in thinking that this would effect my enjoyment. This book was wonderful and I'm already eagerly anticipating whatever Ilona Andrews has in store for us next.
I loved all of the progress we saw in this book especially in relationships and character growth. Following Kate and Curran's relationship was been a true joy and I thought this was a great start to a contented togetherness between them. There were so many times when I stopped reading to think 'wow, Kate/Curran would never have said/done this in the first few books!' I loved them when they were apart, but both truly shine when they're together. Another step forward I was happy to see was Kate's business, Cutting Edge Investigations. I was a little worried about it because I love seeing Kate's defiance and fury when dealing with superiors but having her own business brought so many new issues for her to handle that I never had a chance to miss the old.
I'm a sucker for the secondary characters in this series and was sooo excited for their return. I was even more excited with the mentions of events in Magic Bleeds that carried over into this book with those secondary characters. You can't tell me you weren't dying to know if Curran exacted revenge on Saiman for his stunts at the last Conclave meeting or where Andrea disappeared to.
Magic Slays is a wonderful addition to an addicting series. The writing, characters and story are consistently fabulous. I simply couldn't have enjoyed the book more. I dare you to find a series with wittier and more clever dialogue than this one, enjoy wasting your time....more