An entirely different experience than the movie. In fact, the only thing that correlated was the main character's name and location. The plot, the vamAn entirely different experience than the movie. In fact, the only thing that correlated was the main character's name and location. The plot, the vampires, and Robert Neville himself are completely other beings from their movie counterparts.
For a vampire enthusiast like me, this was preferable. The book explores traditional vampire mythos using contemporary science to explain not only how they come to be, but also how, in modern times, how our world could be devastatingly overrun by them. It satisfied the purist in me and excited the part that is always looking for logical and rational explanations for the extraordinary.
While I enjoyed it immensely, I will admit portions dragged on and on, lacking meaningful story and plot progression. The momentary monotony however, was vastly overshadowed by the grounding conclusion. The point this entire novella is leading up to was both unexpected and hugely thought provoking.
This "moral of the story" will stick with me for quite some time. ...more
Farley Hope is still dealing with the fallout of her mother's disappearance when Daniel, a mysteriously sexy guy, and the Reavers turn her world upside down. There is an entirely different world of super humans living beneath the city? Farley is a part of some ancient prophecy? What's a girl to do when all she wants is to find out what happened to her mother and get back to her normal life?
Sovereign Hope is definitely one of the best indies I've read this year and truthfully one of the best in the genre I've read in awhile. Mainstream YA has really let me down the past few years and it is a relief to read something where the characters and their reactions feel realistic and where the heroine doesn't play the damsel in distress. Farley may not be a sneaky ninja, an irresistible vamp, or an all-powerful slayer, but she still manages to contribute to the group. She doesn't just suddenly find out she has supernatural roots and become insta-cool. Her character arc shows that she has worked at and earned her badassery. And the best part is she remains relatable.
I'm not gonna lie, Daniel was what got me to start reading this and although I enjoyed the book for its many other assets, he really made the book for me. He's snarky, and sexy, and tries to keep his distance from Farley and not because, "he is no good for her," but because he can't let himself get to close without risking blowing things for himself. I guess what I'm trying to say here is it's not all about Farley. Too often the heroine dominates the book as far as importance. No other character could possibly be as important as her, she's a super special snowflake, blah blah blah. In Sovereign Hope Farley knows her worth and the worth of her comrades and doesn't take that for granted.
This was a nice start to a new series that has a lot of potential. I'm looking forward to reading the next book in the series, Eternal Hope to see what happens to Farley, Daniel, and their companions!
I was provided a review copy by the author in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated for the views stated above. All opinions are my own. ...more
I had lots of fun reading this book so I intend to have a good time with the review as well. I got my copy as a kindle freebie thanks to my Wigs telling me about the deal. Thanks Wigs!!!
This review is brought to you by the Godking himself! He is ever so excited to be involved in a review of a book that is about his absolute favorite subject... himself.
Let me start off by saying Mike Vasich has truly captured the unique flavor of Norse mythology that is adventurous and fantastic, but at the same time quite bizarre. The Trickster figure that spans across multiple mythologies and belief systems has always fascinated me and Loki is no exception. This short story collection recounts many of Loki's most famous tales, and opens up a whole new perspective on the god of mischief's reasoning. If you are not familiar with Norse legends let me give you a quick lesson on the general structure of your classic Norse myth.
Yes, Loki my love. That is the injustice you are faced with. Take comfort in the fact that your fangirl army is strong and keep reminding yourself that...
Whether you love him or love to hate him, Loki is without doubt one of the most fascinating characters to come out of mythology in general. This shapeshifter and master of magic spans genders and even species (sometimes both at once!) in order to perpetuate his trouble-making and, more often than not, to save his own ass from pissed off Norse gods. Oh and he's sexy as hell.
This short story collection advertises itself as "naughty" and indeed there are some delightfully indecent tid-bits, but it wasn't quite up to my wicked standards. I'll be the first to admit I'm a perv having enjoyed my fair share of bawdy fiction, so it shouldn't come as a surprise that I was hoping for some decidedly more steamy Loki time. I mean, the man is just scintillating with unbridled sex appeal!
Of course my king! After the review...
Despite my disappointment in this area, I enjoyed this collection a great deal. Vasich's characterization of Loki is devilishly charming. I think I should note here that, while I've been using Tom Hiddleston's portrayal of Loki in the visuals, the Loki readers will find in this book does not resemble him in physical appearance nor does he suffer from major daddy issues. The core personalities are fairly similar, but in Nine Naughty Tales of the Trickster you get a much broader picture of Loki's character arc. In fact, I was massively impressed with how the sequence of the tales shows the evolution of Loki as the Trickster figure from playfully mischievous to spitefully destructive. Vasich stays true to the essential classic depiction of the trickster while putting his own spin on why Loki did the things that he did.
Ok Loki... not helping.
While the sequencing did wonders for the character development of our favorite mischief maker, it flubbed quite a bit in its consistency. Loki's monstrous children are actively present in one story, but then they are suddenly just born in the next? I think this will be terribly confusing for readers who are not familiar with Norse myths.
And Hel being depicted as a dark beauty from the waist up? Not quite accurate, but I assume the author was taking some artistic license with this detail. While these flubs were distracting for me, I did appreciate the author's note at the end of the book that gives readers a bit of an explanation for why he took that particular path.
Finally... THAT ENDING! This was by far the most creative and risky interpretation that Vasich throws at us. I will not go into it in order to avoid spoilers, but I will say the risk definitely paid off in my opinion.
Nope, sorry you're just going to have to go check it out for yourself!
If you have any interest in Loki or Norse mythology at all, I would highly recommend this book, although I think brushing up on some of the actual myths first would be beneficial. Marvel Loki's fangirls should do their research on the trickster's origins and exploits if they haven't already. Marvel has taken some heavy liberties with this character and assuming they are generally the same would be a mistake.
Looking forward to reading Mr. Vasich's full length Loki novel for sure! Thank you kind sir, you have indulged my Loki fascination with your writing. Now! All of you reading this review, go pick up your copy and...
Fed is an alternate ending to Feed. A What If scenario if you will, that you should not read unless you have already completed Feed
For those of you loFed is an alternate ending to Feed. A What If scenario if you will, that you should not read unless you have already completed Feed
For those of you looking for a spoiler free review, I will say this. Fed is an almost complete regurgitation of the last few chapters of Feed, that exchanges thoughts and dialogue between characters as if they were interchangeable plot mechanisms rather than unique characters. Many passages are word for word what they were in the original regardless of whose point of view it was in to begin with. I felt cheated by this and didn't understand the point of writing an alternate ending if the author wasn't going to give us an alternate experience. Rather than seeing the ending as an entirely new possibility, we saw the same ending through a different set of eyes, with the exact same sentences, descriptors, and dialogue.
Not to mention, the part that was actually alternate to the original events is skimmed over so completely that I was left feeling more ambivalent than the intended devastation.
If this is how the story had actually ended, I would have been completely put off of this series. To be honest, I don't think this series would have continued period, if it had ended this way. It is jarring, unnecessary, and has absolutely no correlation to the events in the following two books. Things revealed to be true in Deadline and Blackout are completely disregarded. And while yes, these plot twists aren't introduced until after the events of this short, they still existed during regardless of whether the reader and the characters were aware or not. The following example is a spoiler from book 2 and this short so please do not read it if you haven't finished both yet. (view spoiler)[i.e. Shaun's immunity to the virus. In this alternate ending, Shaun is hit by the dart instead of Georgia. However we learn in book 2 that he is immune! As Grant gives us absolutely no details to how Shaun actually died outside that van, I can't give her the benefit of the doubt that she didn't slip up and forget that little tid bit. Instead of the emotionally charged original ending, we get this sadly flat alteration. George and Rick sit in the van and play, "Is He Dead Yet" and any truly investing details are skipped entirely. I have a hard time believing Georgia, being the badass she is, would have just sat there, with her tail between her legs, trying to shut it all out. (hide spoiler)]
Fed is a weak, and utterly uninspiring rendering of a story that was absolutely perfect just the way it was. And while I love the Newsflesh Trilogy, I can't give this sad little short a five-star rating based on the merits of its predecessors.
This was a story that didn't need to be told.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Chelsan is a young girl with the power to raise the dead. When tragedy strikes, she finds herself in the midst of a frightening conspiracy and discovers the truth about her past. Along with her gang of friends, Chelsan tries to uncover the whole truth and reveal it to the world.
I really thought this was going to be my kind of book. All the reviews have described it as a dark and gritty dystopia novel. While there is darkness involved, it was definitely muted by all the inane teenage drama. YA writers of science fiction, dystopia, fantasy, and paranormal romance are constantly having to balance their epic, heart pounding story lines with the everyday concerns of their teenage protagonists. Dating, mean girls, and homework are all things we expect to see these characters dealing with if they are living in a futuristic or contemporary world. The problem comes in when these things pop up in awkward moments. This happened a lot in Riser. Caught up in a life-threatening situation? Who cares! Let's go shopping! Or better yet, let's worry if my crush like, likes me. Yes, that term is actually used in this book by persons older than 11 years old. This part of the book overwhelmed the potentially gritty plot and just left me feeling like the book was just silly overall.
The main character Chelsan is your classic Mary Sue. She lives in a trailer park with her parents, has average looks, goes to a school for rich kids, and has two hot, wealthy guys vying for her attention. Wow, go figure. I'll give Chelsan this, at least she knows who she wants and isn't ping-ponging back and forth between the two. She makes a definitive choice early on and sticks with it. For that I definitely have some respect for her. Other than that I was a bit annoyed with her inner commentary that was constantly throwing me off of the dark vibe I so wanted out of this book. She sure says "ewww" a lot for a girl who has been playing with dead things her entire life. More often than not, the light-heartedness of the dialogue and narration just ruined any grittyness the book had. Here are some examples:
"I couldn't see his face, my sight was too blurred and the angle of the light made him look like a walking black shadow of doom coming toward me." (Black shadow of doom? Sounds like the name of some Dr. Doom wannabe)
"'Sleep.' He sounded like the wicked witch in The Wizard of Oz." (Honestly, this quote made this particular bad guy much less scary for me)
"He was so cute when he was thinking." (Oh dear lord...)
"It was like walking into a safe haven of awesomeness."(Seriously? This from a straight A student at a prestigious academy of the wealthy who managed to get in based on her academic achievements alone?)
The characters are fairly two-dimensional for the most part and I never really felt a connection to any of them. However there was a scene with Chelsan's love interest, Ryan that got me pretty steamed. The mean girl of the school, Jill, finally gets on Ryan's last nerve. What does he do? He punches her in the face so hard she falls on her ass and has a nasty shiner the next day. Regardless of how cruel teenage girls can be, I think we can all agree that this is unacceptable behavior. So what does Chelsan do? She is totally gaga over the fact that Ryan is willing to beat on other girls for her. As this is a YA book and predominately directed toward teenage girls, I guess the thing that steams me the most is that this is teaching them (1) they do not have to fight their own battles and (2) to romanticize violence towards women. I'm positive this wasn't the author's intent, but the message is loud and clear. Beating on girls is sexy.
Another thing that really put me off this book was the poor editing. If there was actually any editing done on this book at all. I was constantly coming across grammar errors and incorrect vocabulary. I cringed every time I came across a sentence in which the author uses the completely wrong word. It was made even worse by the fact that I could tell exactly which word she had meant to use. Here are some examples:
"They were inhumanly pitch black and they began chanting illegible words." (Speak up! I can't read the words that are coming out of your mouth!)
"He was going to gauge my eyes out." (Obviously she meant gouge... Unless there is some new body modification fad I'm not aware of?)
"Would everyone stop obsessing about my bowl movements..." (Can I buy a vowel please?)
"Perfectly coifed grass separated the parallel lined mansion-sized houses." (No, no, no, no!)
coiffed: past participle, past tense of coif (Verb) Verb:
1. Style or arrange (someone's hair), typically in an elaborate way. 2. Style or arrange the hair of (someone).
As my good friend Wigs said, "What is this English? How does it work? Does it have rules?" This had to be the most frustrating, and admittedly entertaining, part of the book for me. And before all the 4 and 5 star reviewers start jumping all over me, check out the FTC disclosure at the bottom of this review.
The Final Verdict
Riser has an interesting idea that is unfortunately executed poorly. The concept of a character with the power to raise the dead is far from new. If you want to read a YA necromancer story that balances the gritty and fluffy elements well, I would suggest you check out Kelly Armstrong's Darkest Powers Trilogy. Riser still needs some work and a thorough edit.
I was provided with a review copy of this book by the author and IO Tours in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated for this review. All opinions are my own.
Update Shout out to Becca C Smith for taking this review like a boss. It takes a truly awesome person to enjoy a negative review of her own book. Thanks again for your kindness and understanding....more
The Becoming, the first book in a new trilogy and Meigs' first novel follows three main characters as they experience the initial outbreak of the zombie virus Michaluk and fight to survive. Cade, Ethan, and Brandt pick up other survivors along the way, but when Ethan insists on returning to Memphis to find closure with the loss of his wife, Cade and Brandt forge on to find a safe place for their group.
Finally! A strong female lead character in a zombie series other than the Newsflesh Trilogy! I've been reading a lot of zombie fiction lately and I have to say I'm sickened with the amount of wimpy, whiny, practically useless female lead characters. The Becoming was a breath of fresh air for me and certainly for the genre itself. Finally a woman who can hold her own and is just as gritty as the boys. While there were still times I was frustrated with Cade's often overly dramatic actions, I still enjoyed her character.
Really each character Meigs has crafted for this novel is well developed and relatable. For me, there is nothing better than well written, character driven apocalypse fiction and this novel delivers it in droves!
One other thing that really stuck out to me was how much more cinematic this novel felt to me than others I've read of the genre. In the first chapters of the book, the tension is slowly and carefully built, setting the reader up for horror moviesque anticipation for the action to kick off. The tension had me biting my nails as I waited for the first zombie to rear its ugly head. This is one of the first zombie novels that truly made me experience horror rather than simulating it with over the top gore and action. Meigs played on my worst fears from the very beginning, sucking me into her world completely.
I think the only thing that rubbed me the wrong way about this book was the fact that the main characters took forever to catch on to what was happening. As this book is set in our world, which has been saturated with zombie movies, books, and pop culture for decades, I would have expected the main characters to have caught on right away. Instead, they spend the first quarter of the novel going, "This is so weird! I wonder what could be happening?" Umm... duh... A real world example would be the incident in Miami recently where a naked man was gunned down by police as he ate the face of another naked man. Although it has been ruled that the man was incredibly high on an illegal narcotic that caused him to act this way, many people associated the actions with zombie like behavior. No, I'm not insane, I don't think the zombie apocalypse is upon us, my point is, people are smarter than you think. It doesn't take an erstwhile Marine you randomly meet to tell you its freaking zombies chapters later. I really felt this dumbed down her otherwise impressive and capable heroes for me. Really, this may not make much of a difference for other readers, but it is kind of a sore spot for me when it comes to zombie fiction in general.
The Final Verdict
Regardless this was an amazing read for me full of action, true horror, and visceral emotion. Well written and superbly edited, The Becoming is a zombie novel you don't want to miss. Looking forward to the rest of the series!
I was provided a copy of this book by the author and IO Tours in exchange for an honest review. I received no compensation for the views stated. All opinions are my own....more
“Look at us. Amps. We're morons smarter than Lucifer. Cripples stronger than gravity. A bunch of broke-ass motherfuckers stinking rich with potential. This is our army. Our people. Strong and hurt. We're the wounded supermen of tomorrow, Gray. It's time you got yourself healed. New world ain't gonna build itself. And the old world don't want to go without a fight.”
Amped takes place in a future America where technology has managed to help individuals overcome disorders of the brain. Amplification devices are fitted to manage everything from ADD to epilepsy. Sounds great right? Well in a country legendary for its history of discrimination, these devices cause a whole new civil rights movement. It just so happens that people fitted with these amplifiers also benefit from enhanced neural processing and focus, setting them at a cut above the rest. Schools and workplaces are becoming inundated with individuals who are smarter, faster, and stronger than the average American, leaving everyone else in the dust. So, what's an average American to do? Take it to the supreme court of course.
When the supreme court rules that amplified Americans (Amps) are not equally protected under the Constitution, the world becomes a frightening place for anyone with a maintenance port on their temple. There is rioting in the streets and people are being thrown out of their homes as contracts with Amps are no longer being recognized as legal and binding. Enter Owen Gray, a man whose amplification merely keeps him from going into epileptic seizures; or so he thinks.
Amped started off with a bang, hooking me from the very first chapter. I kept saying to myself, "This is it! That epic read I've been waiting for!"
The narrative reminded me so much of Ready Player One that my awesome meter exploded and I started raving to my friends and family about how Amped was going to be the best read of my year. Little did I know...
It literally felt like it was the skeletal outline of a much longer novel. With an idea with this much potential, I was really looking forward to an epic read. While, Amped combines familiar aspects of American history with futuristic technology to create a concept that is wonderfully intriguing, it fails to really follow through. Wilson spends too much time jumping the reader from one major plot point to the next and not enough time developing the core characters and exploring the epic possibilities of cybernetic civil rights.
Amped does have some spectacular moments where you get a glimpse at what a truly remarkable work of science fiction this could have been had the author taken more time to develop his idea. The wasted potential is even more highlighted by the newspaper articles, court rulings, and press releases at the end of each chapter detailing how the events were impacting the nation as a whole. For all its ambitious concept and likeable characters, there just wasn't enough meat to back it up....more
Calder is enjoying himself in the Caribbean when he is abruptly called back to the shores of chilly Lake Superior by his sisters. Their blood calls them to avenge their mother, and it just so happens they finally found the man who can satisfy their blood lust. Calder is recruited to seduce Jason Hancock's daughter Lily in an attempt to gain his trust and get him alone on the water so his sisters can strike. Everything is going fine until Calder develops feelings for Lily and must fight between his emotions and his animal instincts, or risk losing the only warmth he has ever felt.
Murderous mermaids indeed! This dark take on possibly one of the most fanciful mythical creatures is breathtaking in its morbidity. Lies Beneath was a first for me in a couple of ways. First, it was my very first paranormal romance about mermaids. I hadn't yet taken the plunge into mermaid fiction as it seems to have been met with mixed reactions, but when I saw the cover for this one and read the blurb, I had to give it a go. As a friend recently pointed out to me, I tend to lean towards darker fantasy as opposed to fluffy fairy stories. With that in mind, this really was the perfect introduction to mermaids in popular fiction for me.
The other first that Lies Beneath presented me with was a first-person perspective, starring the male lead. I have read fathoms of paranormal romance from the perspective of the naive, human girl, but never have I come across a YA story told by the seductive otherworldly guy. A tale told by the predator has an entirely different tone. Had the narrative been more traditional, Calder's initial murderous intentions would have been unrelatable and could have very well made this more disturbing than darkly delightful. Thanks to Brown's foresight on this, you get to see their violently beautiful existence through his eyes, rather than discovering a completely alien way of life as experienced by another clueless teen.
One of the things I enjoyed the most about Lies Beneath was that the author stayed away from the Disney incarnation of mermaids and even poked a bit of fun at Ariel. Brown seems to have molded her merpeople around the dangerous sirens found in Homer's The Odyssey; those tantalizing, yet vicious creatures who lured sailors to their deaths in the murky depths. Calder and his sisters thrive off of absorbed energy from humans they drag beneath the waves. Creepy? Oh yes, but the author's well developed mythology and vivid writing style make this a tale about how truly transformative love can be for the soul.
The only issue I had with this fantastic first title in the new YA series was that there were some continuity problems. Especially near the end of the novel when the hectic climax was in full-tilt, I found that certain events weren't explained enough or were just dropped entirely. I don't know whether this was because they will be expanded on in the coming sequel, or if the author lost sight of them during the frenzy and hoped readers wouldn't notice. Regardless Brown's writing style, while wonderfully depictive, reveals that it is still in need of development.
The Final Verdict An impressive debut that fans of dark fantasy will delight in.
FTC Disclosure I received an advanced reading copy of this book from Netgalley and Random House Publishing in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated for the views expressed above. All opinions are my own. ...more
I gave this one a good try and because I didn't finish this, I won't bore you with a long review.
All I can say is, there was noDNF
Been There Done That
I gave this one a good try and because I didn't finish this, I won't bore you with a long review.
All I can say is, there was nothing new here that I haven't seen in other books of the genre to keep me interested. The writing was decent, but offered nothing unique or substantive. I just didn't see the point of wading my way through another mediocre paranormal YA that wasn't delivering when my review queue is filled with books written by authors who are taking risks and delving into unexplored territory.
Leaving Mundania is a non-fiction, in-depth look into the world of live action role playing and the people who have made it a lifestyle.
If you are a regular on my blog, then you know I am nerdy and proud. Now although I'm an avid gamer, I can't say that I've delved much into the world of LARP. I mean, I have cosplayed at anime conventions, but I don't really consider that to be the same thing. I did play table top RPGs with my high school buddies a couple times, but it just wasn't something I got into. Now years later in my adulthood I have found a sudden interest in this subject. While I don't expect to go jumping into a LARP convention anytime soon, I do see the experience in a whole new light. I picked up this book out of curiosity and came out intrigued and endeared thanks to the wonderful compilation of stories and information that Stark has put together.
I love that this book doesn't just seek to dump information into your lap about a subject you probably know little about. Stark informs her reader through the telling of her actual personal experiences and the often heartwarming and comical stories of LARPers she has interviewed. I didn't feel like I was being talked down to by some self-important expert on the subject. I felt like I was being led, hand-in-hand, through the entire process of starting up to becoming a part of the community. I think people interested in the subject will find Leaving Mundania a lot of fun.
Another thing that I found interesting while reading this book was that LARP may very well be a great device for authors. How you may ask? Well, as explained in this book, LARPers explore the characters they have created during each session of gaming. One of the most important things an author needs to do before they even put pen to paper is to get to know their characters. What better way than to actually put themselves into their characters' shoes and see how they would react in a plethora of improvised situations? I could see this process truly immersing an author into the characters they wish to write about and allowing them to reach an entirely new level of development. I could just be nuts, but it's at least something to ponder I think.
The Final Verdict Leaving Mundania is a fun and informative read that will satisfy your curiosity and quench your thirst for nerd culture.
FTC Disclosure I was provided a review copy of this book by Netgalley and Chicago Review Press in exchange for an honest review. I received no compensation for my review. All opinions are my own....more
The final book in the Newsflesh trilogy played out like the last 45 minutes of an action packed thriller. Well... that is, an action packed thriller wThe final book in the Newsflesh trilogy played out like the last 45 minutes of an action packed thriller. Well... that is, an action packed thriller with an anti-climatic ending so disappointing, it had me shaking my head and mourning the unfulfilled potential. It wouldn't have been so bad had the first two books in the series not finished with such heart-stopping, epic conclusions! With the bar raised like that, one could only expect the final book, the book Grant promised would reveal all, would eclipse the other two in the shadow of its behemoth of a finale.
No. This was not the case at all.
While I enjoyed the majority of the book, the "endgame" as it was called, was left until the last 100 pages and didn't offer much more in explanation that readers didn't already know. Oh, and a very key plot point was almost completely skimmed over!. Please only read the following spoiler if you have finished this series in its entirety.
(view spoiler)[The evil doctor from the CDC tells them there can never be a cure for the virus without destroying peoples' immune systems and that individuals with reservoir conditions must be eliminated in order to prevent people dying needlessly from second-guessing themselves. I get that, I really do, but once the good old doc is dealt with and it is revealed to the actual fucking scientists that Shaun is immune from his prolonged exposure to Georgia and her reservoir condition, it is completely overlooked as far as future cure research is concerned. Sure they must immediately make a run for their lives and don't have time to really think it over, but in the epilogue, which is over nine months later, Mahir reiterates that there can never be a cure! Ummm... so the EIS decided to completely disregard immunity via sexy time with reservoir conditioned lovers? Not even gonna look into it? No? Too much of a hassle for you? Ok, sure! We're cool with Zombieland USA anyways. (hide spoiler)]
After all the build-up, the fantastic world building, the endearing characters, the insane plot-twists, and the BALLS Grant had to posses to take the risks she did, this ending felt sloppy and rushed in comparison. Why bother putting in all that hard work? Why bother with the extensive research? Why bother developing the science when you are going to end it all like THAT? As you can see, I'm pissed, and for good reason too. I had so much invested in this series. I cried, laughed, and sweated bullets with these characters for nearly 2,000 pages total for all three books. I grieved at the losses, raged over the injustices, and rejoiced in their triumphs, only for it all to come down to such a baffling conclusion.
I am disillusioned
I am disheartened
I am utterly disappointed with a series that had begun to define me as a reader and shift my standards for what makes great fiction.
I bet you've gotten to this point in the review and are wondering, "What the hell, Jess? If you're so pissed, why give it 4 stars?"
Well my Wicked Darling, while I am obviously upset over the ending, I did mention earlier that I enjoyed the majority of this book. The shifting view points from chapter to chapter was a nice change from the usual stagnant single narrator POV from the previous two books.
Each new revelation presented on page made for perpetually increasing possibilities. I don't know how many times Wigs and I said to each other, "There are so many ways this could go horribly wrong! And we love it!" The level of excitement that was built up over 3/4 of the book had me frantic to get to the climax. Only to have it wind down rather than explode in a blaze of glory. (Yes that innuendo was intentional.)
Regardless of my sadness over how it all went down, this still remains a series I will keep close to my heart. I can't say the same for Wigs, who wasn't nearly as attached as I was in the first place and was still disappointed. Wigs, at least we'll always have THE FOX.
Adorable Frightening Bat-shit I am The Fox["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
Allison Sekemoto has spent her life surviving day to day in the Fringe of New Covington, a sprawling vampire city. When she is ravaged by rabids, Kagawa's version of zombies, she is given a choice between death and becoming what she hates most.
This first book in the Blood of Eden series was a likeable read that fell a bit short of my expectations. The idea of mixing dsytopia with vampires caught my interest right away, but while The Immortal Rules is set in the future, it's dystopian aspects mirror another popular series a bit too closely. The beginning of this book is very similar to The Morgainville Vampires series by Rachel Caine. Vampires have contracted with humans to provide them with protection, food, and work in their cities in exchange for keeping the vamps supplied with blood. The exact same statement can be made for Caine's YA vampire series, except the vampires' power extends to the boundaries of the city of Morganville. There is also another key element to Kagawa's vampire lore that is also exactly the same in Caine's series, but it is a spoiler for both so I won't discuss it here. The likenesses between The Immortal Rules and The Morganville Vampires series will be painfully obvious to fans of the latter. This could have ruined the book for me, but thankfully the core structure of the dystopian element isn't the focus of the novel. The story Kagawa tells once Allison leaves the city is one worth reading.
Once Allison gets past New Covington, the story becomes more unique and enjoyable. She spends some time surviving in the outside world alone for a time, but it isn't long before Allison meets up with a wayward group looking for the legendary Eden, a sanctuary for humans devoid of vampires and the threats they bring. This was by far my favorite part of the book. Allison is constantly covering up her vampire nature as she tries to maintain her tenuous alliance with the people and their formidable "man of God" leader. I definitely bonded with these characters and experienced some heart-wrenching moments throughout their journey.
Allison is a breath of fresh air in the YA heroine category. She isn't your average sweet, but misunderstood, pretty princess. Allison begins her journey by becoming what she most hates and proceeds on a progressive and satisfying character arc. This girl is tough and often times stoic in her need to disguise her nature. The best part about her is there is not once an instance of whiny, pathetic damsel in distress syndrome! She is hardly perfect, but she soldiers on and doesn't rely on others to save the day. I'm looking forward to future books staring this badass, lone wolf heroine.
My only complaint about Allison? There is a scene at the beginning of the book that was so cliche I cringed. Allison's vampire sire asks her to pick a weapon from an abandoned museum and what does she pick without fail? Of course! the Asian girl picks a katana as her weapon of choice even though she has no identification with or knowledge of her Japanese heritage. Given, a katana is a generally perfect weapon of choice for any situation, I thought this was just way too obvious and was left shaking my head.
Finally, the book's version of zombies suffer from an unfortunate title. Rabids and rabidism remind me too much of Raving Rabbids.
I couldn't help but imagine a bunch of these crazy cute little guys every time the "rabids" appeared in the book, regardless of their vicious and frightening natures. This is obviously hardly the author's fault, it was just something that messed with my overall enjoyment.
The Final Verdict
The Immortal Rules is a decent start to a new and exciting dystopian series. While the painful similarities to The Morgainville Vampires series are unfortunate and a bit off-putting, the characters, running plot, and lethal heroine will keep readers coming back for more. This could be the start of something beautiful if Kagawa keeps up the excellent character writing and puts a more unique spin on her dystopian world.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated for stating any of the above views. All opinions are my own. ...more
Marie Antoinette gets a revival and a more flattering coat of paint in this first installment of the new Marie Antoinette series by Juliet Grey.
What can I say? I have always been fascinated with a handful of historical leading ladies and Marie is one of the top 5. When I thought of her before this book, I pictured lush, scrumptious desserts and wispy cotton candy hair piled high on an overly pampered and exceedingly empty head. Think the Kirsten Dunst movie adaptation, which I loved by the way. After reading Becoming, which chronicles Marie's story from childhood to her husband's rise to the French throne, I feel like historians and poorly informed high school history teachers have been pulling the wool over my eyes. I realize this is historical fiction, however the author leaves us readers a note at the end about what is historically accurate and what she embellished for story's sake.
Written from Marie's perspective and supplemented by journal entries and correspondence between the major players in her accession to dauphine, Becoming Marie Antoinette allows the reader to feel a kinship with this infamous historical figure. Another thing that struck me as unique and pleasing was Grey's characterization of Louis Auguste. Rather than the cold, indifferent husband he is most commonly represented as, Grey offers us a shy, and painfully socially awkward boy. The way she progresses the relationship between him and Marie is both frustrating and achingly sweet.
This book would be a great way for anyone interested in learning more about this wonderful heroine, to become better acquainted with the young Marie Antoinette. I enjoyed reading this book very much and look forward to the next release, Days of Splendor, Days of Sorrow, which is expected to be published sometime in 2012. ...more
Beldon Stratten is the epitome of the perfect English gentleman and he just so happens to be in the market for a bride. He knows exactly what he wants, a perfectly proper English rose, that is, until Lilya Stefanov waltzes into his life and takes him for a wild ride. Liliya is the bearer of a rare diamond that many dangerous men would kill to get their hands on. Now Lilya must choose between protecting her family's legacy or embracing a happily-ever-after with the man she loves.
I don't feel like the title does this book justice. It suggests that Lilya is scandalous and improper. Her character is actually quite the opposite. She is sweet, intelligent, and courageous as she secretly protects her family's legacy from those who would use it to gain power. Of all the Harlequin titles I have read, Secret Life's heroine has to be my favorite. She was such a strong willed, unselfish model that I couldn't help but like her. Beldon's character came across like a weak cup of tea for most of the book, until near the end when he faces losing Lilya. He really steps up at this point in the story and takes charge of things. Beldon isn't the alpha male I usually enjoy, however he does have his sweet English charm.
The story is really what sets this book apart from others within the Harlequin-Historical lineup. The romance feels like it was built to fit around the story, instead of the story facilitating the romance, which was really nice. Many other books like this have left me feeling like the author created the situations in this story just to give the couple an excuse to get steamy. Scott manages to make every encounter between Lilya and Beldon feel spontaneous and realistic; loving and sultry as their relationship grows through the dangers hey encounter.
Overall, this was an engaging quick read with a memorable couple and a very sweet romance. You can pick up a copy for your reading pleasure September 6th. ...more
Brooke's coffee shop visit becomes a naughty, grown-up game of truth or dare when sexy barista Dylan leaves her a mysterious message on a napkin.
The setup for this erotic short story was flawless building up the reader's anticipation of how the sexy rendezvous would play out. I was pretty much convinced this was going to be my favorite of Mica Jade's short stories, right up until the love scene. This is where the story loses me. It felt like every other word was ass. I totally understand the sexiness of grabbing, spanking, and even some biting every once and awhile, but licking? There is a point where Brooke tells Dylan, "I want your tongue in my ass." Everyone has their quirky turn-ons, and I respect them for it. However in my personal case, this completely turned me off. There is no way my tongue would ever get anywhere near the place poop comes out. It's just plain wrong. Once again I will reiterate that this is my personal opinion and that I think no less of those who participate in this particular activity. It's just not for me.
Besides that particular part, the rest of the love scene is seriously hot, I just had a hard time getting back into it. The end of the story has a cute and surprising little twist that made me smile and really proves that love can reinvent itself infinitely. Love's Delight wasn't my favorite, but Jade certainly has a way with creating sexy situations her readers will be fantasizing about for years to come. The creativity and the variety is what will keep her readers coming back for more. ...more
I have individually reviewed each of the stories in this set. All I can say is, this is a really great collection of erotic romance that focuses on noI have individually reviewed each of the stories in this set. All I can say is, this is a really great collection of erotic romance that focuses on not just the sex, but the love the couple has for each other. I wouldn't even call this smut, although the love scenes are amazingly hot, they are just that love scenes. The couples in this collection are committed to each other completely. So, if you would like your sexy literature to have a little depth, this is the way to go!...more
Callie McFay has taken a job teaching at Fairwick College that she wasn’t sure she wanted in the first place, and has bought an old Victorian house that her instincts are screaming for her to stay away from. Something has drawn her to become a part of the community that is not what it appears to be at first glance. Just when she feels she is settling in, Callie is visited by a demon lover that is determined to suck the life out of her. Night after night, the insatiable demon brings her to new heights of pleasure and ever closer to death. As time goes on, Callie becomes less and less sure she minds.
There is really only one word that describes The Demon Lover accurately and that is lush. This book is filled with deliciously ripe detail that echoes my fondest memories of classic gothic literature while utilizing the trend of today’s popular paranormal fiction. The academic atmosphere of Fairwick College and Callie’s scholarly analysis of her situation are engrossing and give this novel the intelligent edge that a great deal of today’s paranormal fiction is missing. Juliet Dark’s attention to detail is truly what makes this story so breathtakingly beautiful and heart wrenchingly real.
The writing style and Callie’s character can be a bit frustrating, at times. She is constantly changing her opinion on her present situation and for the first half of the book she is in denial, coming up with a logical explanation for everything that happens to her. This frustrated me to no end until I hit a moment of clarity the same moment Callie did in the story. The writing style and content are meant to be confusing and frustrating at points to reflect Callie’s state of mind as it has been altered through her interactions with the incubus. Once I realized this I was completely enthralled. It was like a slap in the face and I had to admit to myself that the demon lover had hypnotized not just Callie, but me as well.
It is difficult to describe the romance of this book. Callie falls in love with many things through the course of its pages. She begins to feel at home in Fairwick and finds a mish mashed sort of family in the people that she interacts with on a daily basis. The magic and mystery of the town beckon to her deeply buried roots until she finds a piece of herself she didn’t know she had to begin with. Finally there is the incubus. I easily felt the same indecision towards him as Callie did. At first she thinks him a dream, but as he becomes more and more real to her, she can no longer deny his appeal. I will not spoil any of this story for you all, but eventually you will have to ask yourself, just as Callie does, “Is it possible that he could truly love her and become flesh?”
It was pointed out to me about half-way through this book that it was the same book as Incubus by Carol Goodman published by Ebury Press on July 21st, 2011. The only real reason I could come up with in my research for why two different publishers would publish the same book, under different titles, and authors six months apart from each other would be to maximize marketing. Incubus was published in the UK and therefore the publishers probably felt that particular title and its cover art would appeal to the European audience whereas the U.S. requires a bit more of a sexualized title and mysterious author pseudonym. Whatever the reason, it was a bit confusing, but did not divert from the overall appeal of the book itself.
These days, it has become excruciatingly popular for authors to end their books on a huge cliff-hanger, forcing you to read the next just to find out what happened, even if you didn’t really like it that much. The Demon Lover wraps up its loose ends nicely and all major plot points are developed so that the reader is satisfied. This book doesn’t need any cliffhangers to get its hooks in you; it’s just that good. I look forward to a sequel, which is all but promised by the subtext of the Incubus version declaring it as Fairwick Chronicles #1. Juliet Dark, and by extension Carol Goodman, has a new loyal fan in this Wickedly Bookish reader. ...more
While perusing the aisles of my favorite local used book store, I came across this one and picked it up because of the pretty cover, but bought it because the words "highland" and "rogue" appeared on it. Lately I've found I can't resist anything promising me a roguish alpha male with a Scottish accent and Highland Rogue, London Miss delivers a fairly decent portrayal.
The basic concept of this novel is finding out what happens when you take an opinionated, virtuously headstrong women, and a freewheeling handsome rogue and place them in a situation where they must pretend they are married. As you can imagine, it's a tough situation as it is, but then place them in 1800s England and Scotland and it becomes scandalously interesting.
The plot behind the romance is a bit weak and seems to be forced in order to set up steamy situations for our hero and heroine. Besides this flaw, it really is just a quick read with fun characters and decent love scenes built up with sexual tension fueled by what is or isn't proper. Don't get me wrong, that can be a great formula when it comes to 1800s romance, but it is only so-so in this particular case. ...more
Don't let the cover fool you! This book has a lot more to it than your average sexy romance novel.
"The first time I met Death, it was at a ball and we danced a waltz, and I feared him, feared the things he made me feel, made me want. That night I ran from him, but Death was right behind me, chasing me and I wanted him to catch me."
Isabella has a scandalous past and a family reputation she is determined to prove wrong. Her mother's past mistakes and their consequences have made Isabella hide her passionate self. Lord Black, the dark and mysterious neighbor, is also determined...determined to seduce her! This tale is full of scandal, seduction, ancient templar secrets, and sexy Freemasons!
Seduction & Scandal is the first installment of the Brethren Guardian series and is not to be missed. I read through this very quickly and had a hard time convincing myself it was time to put it down and get soem sleep. Lord Black is one of the hottest alpha males in the Harlequin lineup!
Underneath the sexy surface, Charlotte Featherstone has woven in touches of Masonic lore and has carefully entwined her characters' fates. The next installment is set up very nicely and will be on my shelf as soon as it releases. Isabella's cousin Lucy's story, Pride and Passion, comes out in November....more
Baby, I'm Yours is the short story prequel to Stephanie Bond's Southern Roads series that introduces the town of Sweetness Georgia and sets the stageBaby, I'm Yours is the short story prequel to Stephanie Bond's Southern Roads series that introduces the town of Sweetness Georgia and sets the stage for the trilogy. This is a freebie at both BarnesandNoble.com and Amazon.com and is extremely short at only 48 pages.
It honestly wasn't bad, but it wasn't good either. Even though it was well written, it felt half-assed. The characters had absolutely no time to develop so you'll have a hard time caring what happens to them. For all intents and purposes this should have been a bit longer an featured in a romance anthology. If you do read this, just take it as a sample of the trilogy as the main character of the first book Baby, Drive South is featured as a supporting character in this one. I intend to give the trilogy a try, but suggest you read this only if you are stuck in an airport with absolutely nothing else. ...more
Love's Rise was by far my favorite Mica Jade short story. I had a hard time even characterizing it as erotica, because erotica focuses on the sex, however this Neil and Kelly's story has real life depth to it, that most erotica is missing.
After a flood devastates their home, Neil and Kelley must band together to pick up the pieces of their shattered world for the sake of their children. The tragedy also forces them to come to terms with the decrepit state of their marriage that has been deteriorating over recent years. Will Neil be able to convince his wife that he is ready to not only rebuild their home, but also their marriage? Will Kelly be able to trust him again?
Love's Rise is a feast for the heart, bringing much needed meaning to woman's erotic fiction. Jade acknowledges that not everything is always perfect, no matter how sexy you are. Marriages are tough and can weaken over the years as we get overly comfortable, but when love is on the rise, there is still a chance for it to be wonderful again. ...more
A fun, quick erotic read. You will never be able to look at a pair of novelty vampire fangs the same way ever again. Autumn is my favorite season and Halloween one of my favorite holidays in it. Love's Bite made me twinge with nostalgia at all the gorgeously ghoulish decorations and costumes and took my breath away with those teeth!
Jade knows how to build up the sexual tension between her couples and create excitingly sensual situations. The best part about this story was Michael and Ella are a married couple! Very seldom in these short erotic stories that are becoming so popular, do we see the main characters being the average married couple. Not only could I relate to them, the story actually felt realistic. This could actually happen to you ladies! You and your hubby could get down and dirty with some plastic fangs from the dollar store. All I can say is enjoy and take some notes!...more
Beth is experiencing deep feelings of loss after attending her daughter's wedding. Her husband Sam is determined to cheer her up and relive the day they conceived their baby girl.
Love's Passion is by far the sweetest love story of Jade's erotic tales I've read so far. Beth and Sam have a powerful connection fueled by many years of marriage that is set ablaze after sending their daughter off to her new life. The story line is a bit reminiscent of Love's Bite in that the couple sneak onto a stranger's property for their rendezvous. The idea doesn't seem as fresh after reading it twice, however the amazing love scene just about makes up for it. As a reviewer, it is my job to find these flaws, however I feel the casual reader will find a new and exciting experience with each of Mica Jade's stories. ...more