What just happened? Charley Davidson’s story comes to a head in EIGHTH GRAVE AFTER DARK and I have to admit that it all happens kind of fast. I don’t want to give any spoilers, so this review is going to be written very different from the rest of my reviews. What I liked. What I didn’t like and What had me scratching my head!
What I Liked:
Having the whole gang together. Who would have thought that being forced to live in an old church on hollowed ground could be so fun. This book is filled with the normal humor, male rivalry and ridiculous Charley wit.
We got to face the villain. Yup, you finally meet Reyes dear old dad Satan in this book and it happens in a very interesting not to be expected way. Let’s just say the king of hell is pretty evil.
The arrival of Charley’s baby. I was really happy that we didn’t have to wait another couple of books. Dealing with a pregnant heroine of an urban fantasy novel is not the best, because we’re used to them being in danger and no one wants to hear about a pregnant woman getting hurt.
The Lore. Charley Davidson’s lore started very simple and then sort of just exploded halfway through the series. We learn more about Charley’s destiny, her past and what exactly she is.
What I didn’t Like:
That we completely missed out on Bob and Cookie’s relationship. I feel like they went on one date in the last episode and now they’re married.
Reyes and Charley. Ok, here me out…. they never change. She’s still hiding things from him and he’s still hiding things from her. What was the point of them getting married if they weren’t going to be partners in life and in evil fighting?
Also, she literally talks about him like he's a piece of meat. Does she love this guy or does she just love having sex with him?
Charley’s desire for martyrdom. I wont say what she does, cuz it’s a spoiler. But, she takes the biggest risk ever in this book and it really really pissed me off. She’s a mother now. She can’t do that kind of stuff and yet there she was ready to endanger her life for yet another case.
The glimpse we get into Charley’s baby’s future. Charley kind of has a premonition about her daughter’s love life that I found disturbing and also kind of a spoiler.
That this story can’t come to an end with Charley. Charley is basically Mary mother of Christ in this world. Meaning her daughter is the actual savior. So, we’re probably going to have to read a spin-off series to see how it truly ends.
What Had Me Scratching My Head:
So, we spend the entire book kind of like on vacation and then all this really, really earth shattering life changing stuff happens in the last 30 pages. I just didn’t understand why it couldn’t have been spread out a bit more. It was like calm, calm, EARTHQUAKE! The rise in tension just didn’t work for me.
Reyes always grabbing Charley’s throat. IS HE CHOKING HER? Why does he always do that. It’s weird and it’s threatening and I don’t like it.
Besides that another solid installment in the series.
Recommended for fans of the Charley Davidson series.
The Hollows was one of the first series I read when I first made the jump into urban fantasy. It’s a flag ship series for me and has literally everything I love about the genre. Shifters, vamps, witches and a slow burn romance books in the making. I have cried with Rachel, laughed with her, rejoiced with her and buried favorite characters with her. Knowing that the series is over fills me with melancholy, because on one hand Ms. Morgan deserves a break, she deserves to be happy and settled, but I am going to miss going on adventures with her. I’ll miss the foul mouth of Jenks, the shifty anti-hero that is Trent, the fierce Ivy (the Ivy from the 1st few books not the annoying emo Ivy we’ve been getting lately) and of course the deliciously demonic Al.
Still, all good things must come to an end and Kim Harrison does a pretty good job of wrapping it up.
I should preface this review by saying that I did not read the end of this book, as the final chapter of the book was cut from the ARC. So, this review is of the book without knowing the actual very end of the story.
The resident vampire master of the hollows wants his soul and he will do anything to get it. Even of it means killing Ivy and forcing Rachel to try and find her friends soul. This storyline has been going on for a few books, but in The Witch with No Name, Rynn Cormel ups the ante. He’s tired of waiting and he wants his soul now!
Due to the vampires forced involvement in Rachel’s life The Witch With No Name hits the ground running and doesn’t stop until the end.
Rachel is a powerful witch/day walking demon. With Trent, her Elf boyfriend beside her, she’s even more powerful. Because he brings his knowledge of wild magic and the history of relationships between the demons and elves into the equation.
Together they figure out a possible solution to getting the vampires their souls back, but that could prove problematic. There is a reason that the soul leaves the body when it becomes the undead. The body might need the soul, but can it withstand the soul? That is the question of the story and it drives a strong message through out. What is a soul? What is it’s purpose and can the soul handle all the evil the undead have done?
The Hollows is once again in uproar. The demons blame the elves, the elves play the vampires against each other and everyone is looking to Rachel to fix it.
Honestly, Rachel Morgan may just be the most exhausted character in literature. People always want these world shattering magic tricks from her without knowing the consequences or the price.
Just about everyone makes an appearance in this book, the good guys and the bad. Her enemies, allies and friends and it was great to see the usual suspects mucking it up one last time. Something should be clear also, Trent is in every scene. Almost, literally. He is entrenched in the story as the new Jenks and Ivy. His devotion to Rachel is really intense. He refuses to leave her side no matter the cost. Which is all good and well, but he has a child and responsibilities. His obsession with Rachel seemed ridiculous, selfish and over the top. I’m not sure how true to his character it was.
But, now here’s my problem with this book, it all seems a bit easy. Rachel spends book after book yelling from the rooftops that she doesn’t know how to capture a soul and affix it to the body. She doesn’t even know how to go about searching for the souls of vampires! She has absolutely no idea where to even start! Then within like 10 pages possible answers all fall into her lap. The answers may not all be out of the blue and even makes sense, but Kim Harrison should have spent more of Ever After and The Undead Pool, setting this up so that I wasn’t so taken aback by how easy it all seemed.
Something that Kim Harrison does really well is ask the question just because you have it, does that mean you should use it? And I kind of want to ask her that question about the finale of this book. Just because you have this cosmic deity, does that mean you should use it?
The final climatic scene happens on a cosmic level and really upset me. I like final books that connect to the first book. Obviously, a series will change and evolve over years and 13 installments, but I wanted the Hollows to return back to it’s roots of being the story of witches, vamps, elves and demons. I wanted it to end in a way where we know things will go back to relative normal. Well, as normal as the Hollows can be, but Harrison brought back the convoluted a bit too big for this one book storyline.
And like I said, Rachel’s final battle isn’t about her skill with the leylines and her spell magic. It’s this up in the stars, power of wills where she simply has to survive or hide or whatever happens in that sort of all over the place battle that ensued.
Then it’s over. Quickly. One of those impromptu actions of one character fixes everything and puts everything in place with literally a half a page, finales.
No, I have not read the final chapter. But the chapter apparently is 10 pages. Which kind of breaks my heart. 10 pages to not only wrap up this book but also wrap up years of story? I don’t have a lot of hope for those final pages.
All in all, this is not my favorite Hallows book, but it’s not the worst. And, let’s face it you have to read it. Just like I’ll be off to read the final ten pages on Tuesday....more
For Revenant's entire existence he believed he was evil to his core. He was abused and tortured in hell, before being raised up by Satan himself intoFor Revenant's entire existence he believed he was evil to his core. He was abused and tortured in hell, before being raised up by Satan himself into power, violence and wickedness. In a flash, everything changes. Revenant learns that he has been lied to. He's not a fallen angel, but an angel that heaven abandoned and forgot while his twin brother Reaver was raised up in heaven as a beloved son.
Revenant doesn't know how to feel about this. So, he bitches and moans and lament's it for 368 pages. Don't get me wrong. Revenant's life sucked. He had every right to his confusion, his hurt and his rage. But, the world is falling apart and it's all we hear about. After five books in the Lord of Deliverance series I hoped for more with book 6 which is supposed to be the final book in the series. I waited years for the apocalypse, but instead got emo styled complaints.
Blaspheme has a secret. She is a strain of angel that I'd never heard of before. Not from the 11 demonica books or anything else in this world that I have read. But, ok, fine. Blaspheme (what a horrible and ridiculous name) is the type of angel that is hunted down, because of a power no one understands and no one has taken the time to investigate. So, she has hidden her abilities, but now her shield is running out.
She has all that to deal with and on top of that Revenant who is obsessed with her and stalks her, wants her to treat the mother of Lucifer. In this version of heaven and hell, Lucifer is not an alternate name for Satan, he is the son of Satan and his birth is not only draining from his demonic and angelic siblings, he is also killing his mother who may die, before he comes to term.
If that's not convoluted enough, we still have to deal with the so-called apocalypse and the havoc that Lucifer's birth will release on the universe. And then, it's all settled. In around 5 pages, give or take, the entire apocalypse is stopped. Revenant has a last minute plan that is quickly and easily acted out and boom all is saved….
Not only that, after about 360 or so pages of hating Reaver, all of a sudden Revenant's like that guy, my brother, he's not bad.
It's all really ridiculous. Honestly, the most anti-climactic apocalypse ever. I expected so much more from Larissa Ione. So MUCH MORE.
Last, but not least, I must discuss the relationship between Revenant and Blaspheme. She spends most of this book telling him no. Pushing him away and hiding from him, but homeboy does not take no for an answers. He basically stalks her until she is so hurt she cannot fight him when he takes her off somewhere. They apparently fall in love at this point, which I some how completely missed. There's no romance. They both just have sob stories and cry and cry to each other for 300 pages. Even though he is the second big boss of hell and he's a stalker, Larissa Ione also wants us to believe that he's old fashioned and follows rules…yea, sure. Whatever. But, Blaspheme finds this completely ridiculous aspect of his character intriguing, which is obviously why Larissa Ione added these traits.
Paranormal Romance is becoming a recycle of the same characters. Every single male character has some deep dark past that they cannot stop talking about. Every female character has a secret trauma that they keep hidden until they risk it all by letting the hero know about it. They basically stress and whine and complain and then have lots of sex.
I am hoping and praying for a PNR to surprise me. To wow me. We don't need the same sad characters over and over. We just need paranormal and romance. Why can't they be too people in fantasy drama that fall in love? ...more
Disappointing. Reyes doesn't have much if a personality. Which isn't true! This was just flat. His thoughts didn't reveal anything new about his lifeDisappointing. Reyes doesn't have much if a personality. Which isn't true! This was just flat. His thoughts didn't reveal anything new about his life or personality. It only made him kind of boring.... I think a novella from his POV could be good if she delved into his psyche and made his obsession with Charley about more than her glow....more
I didn't love this one, because 1. Charley is kind of a foot stool letting Reyes get away with everything. 2. We need more focus on Charley's destinyI didn't love this one, because 1. Charley is kind of a foot stool letting Reyes get away with everything. 2. We need more focus on Charley's destiny and less cases. 3. What was the point of the Captain storyline? 4. What is going on with Charley's dad.
This series doesn't need to be 100 books. The author is obviously stretching out.
Still, fun read and I am excited for book 7....more
Spoilers: You should be at least up to River Marked in the Mercy Thompson series.
I notoriously dislike short stories, because when I reach the end I always crave more. I am never satisfied with them, but when Patricia Briggs comes out with a collection of short stories that gives me insight into favorite characters and a glimpse into the epic past of her world, I CANNOT resist. Just can’t. I am only going to review the four new shorts, but I want to go on the record and declare very loudly that I would read a complete novel of every single story in this book. Every story has interesting characters, diabolical villains and the ever consistently talented voice of Patricia Briggs. The stories were creepy, sad and even sexy in the case of Alpha & Omega. I really enjoyed this and very happily could have read a lot more.
For a long time it was understood by readers of the Mercedes Thompson series that Samuel Cornick, loved Mercy. They had a broken love affair in her youth and he came to town in order to rekindle that love. When Mercy fell in love with the alpha (and amazing) Adam, it seemed that Samuel the age old werewolf had finally lost enough. Then out of the shadows, a fae woman named Arina stepped into the light as Adam’s true love.
As a long fan of the series I was like, who the hell is this? Arina seemed like a cop out and easy save for the end of a love triangle. All of a sudden Samuel didn’t really love Mercy and he was pining over this fae woman. Silver gives us the back story into the ill-fated love affair between Samuel and Arina. Probably the most depressing installment in the collection, Silver is the story of hurt, and abuse, captaivity, hope and heartbreak. The happy ending comes centuries later and it really gives us a look into what it means to be a werewolf. They are not immortal, but they might as well be, as they are extremely long lived if they could survive the violence of their lifestyle.
My favorite part of Shiver is the much desired look into who Bran is and history. Bran is one of those characters so engimatic and mysterious, that I just want to crawl inside his head and learn his secrets. I don’t understand him, even as I love him and seeing the history of Bran and how he became a werewolf really is the icing on the cake of this collection.
Roses in Winter
Roses in Winter is the story of two fan favorite werewolves. Kara, the youngest known person (well to me) to survive the change into a werewolf and Asil, a werewolf who is so old he feels he’s lived long enough. He is the legendary Moor and he has come to join Bran’s pack, because Asil feels it’s his time to die and only the Marrock is strong enough to take him out. Really, both Asil and Kara are on the edge. Kara, because she is incapable of controlling her wolf and Asil, because he fears that he will lose all control and succumb to the madness that can only arise with age.
Naturally, Bran decides to throw them together. He tells Asil that the old wolf must help the child, because if Kara cannot control her wolf within weeks, Bran will have no choice but to kill her. It’s the law.
Besides, giving us a sweet and action packed story of a old man who thought he was beyond caring, love a child who needs all the caring she can get, Roses in Winter gives us another look at the brutality of the pack. Sometimes, with Adam being so dreamy and Charles being so protective and the Vampires being so crazy, it’s easy to forget how incredibly brutal and violent the werewolves are. Here is this kid, who was brutally attacked and turned into a werewolf. She does the impossible and survives the change and grown ups are calling for her death just, because that’s the way things are.
It’s really frustrating an rage inducing, but Patricia Briggs is a master of giving us a well rounded and entertaining story that stays within the realm of the world she’s built. It was short, but it left me at the edge of my seat and it was sweet.
I love Ben, which is why Redemption is the most disappointing story in the collection. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed it. But, when I heard that women hating, foul mouthed, can’t help but be a hero, Ben, was getting a story I was threw the roof! When I interviewed Ms. Briggs on my blog, the one thing I begged her for was more info on Asil, Bran and Ben. When she mentioned this collection, I thought that the heaven’s had opened up to give me my biggest wish. My problem with Redepemption is that as fun as it is, I don’t really know that much more about Ben. A lot of his back story has been hinted about through out the series and I got it. I put 2 and 2 together and unerstood all that he has survived and faced.
I expected to get more than confirmation of my assumptions. I expected a new and unique look at this character who understood Mercy so beautifully after her attack.
Still, it was funny and getting a glimpse of Mercy through Ben’s eyes was a lot of fun. It was also fun to see him be a hero in a realm that was completely outside of the pack. We see Ben in the human world and as you can guess, he absolutely hates it.
Can there be a Mercy Thompson universe story collection without a Mercy Thompson story? I think not!
Hollow is a short version of everything I expect from a Mercy book. Our favorite Cayote shifter, stumbles into a paranormal situation that is over her head and that she didn’t ask for. There’s supernatural bad guys, a mystery, comedic moments, danger and of course, Adam coming in at exactly the right moment. It really was the cherry on top.
I really enjoyed this anthology and wish I had some kind of power over time so that I could gift Ms. Briggs with the time to expand every single pone of these stories.
I highly recommend this for Mercy fans it will hold us over until Dead Head (Alpha & Omega #4) and the yet to be titled Mercy #9
The Biggest problem with Ilona Andrews is that they write these amazing books and then I have to wait months and months for the next installment. The wait between every installment of the KATE DANIELS SERIES is always painful. Physically painful and I have to admit that the wait for the next book to in the Hidden Legacy series is going to be just as bad.
That’s right, I LOVED this book.
Nevada Baylor has been put between a rock and a hard place. The rock is a case that she doesn’t have the experience to pull off and the hard place is the powerful family who technically owns her family business. Nevada has to find Adam Pierce before the cops do or her family will be without a company, a home or a dime to their name. The Pierce family and Nevada’s bosses the Montgomery’s don’t care that Adam is a Prime aka an elite power user who can burn Nevada alive with a flick of his wrist. They don’t care that he’s a terrorist with no conscience and they don’t care that he’s so good at hiding, the police have been incapable of finding him.
With no choice Nevada starts the hunt for the notorious Adam Pierce and picks up Mad Rogan on the way. Mad Rogan is also looking for Adam and he will walk over anyone and anything in order to get to him. It does’t matter if that anyone is Nevada and that anything is her family’s business.
Burn for Me works, because writing team that is Ilona Andrews are geniuses when it comes to world building and fantasy. Magic isn’t only real in their books. Magic breathes, it lives and exsists. They weave their lore into every aspect of their world. It’s not just elite groups who hide or fight secrets wars that others cannot see. No, everyone knows about the Primes and the magic users and magic abilities Those with the most magic have money, power and fame. These magic users are the primes and they live in the world like royalty. They plan their marriages strategically so that it’s not only political gain, but also they want to ensure that their power remains in the family. And, hopefully, their children will be even more powerful.
The world building in this novel is spectacular. The authors were able to vividly paint a world without slowing down the plot or having sections of info dumps. Everything is organic and flows on the page like magic itself.
In the midst of the search for Adam, the authors gives us a story filled with interesting supporting characters, scenes that will have you at the edge or your seat and character actions so well depicted it’s like you’re watching a movie or standing beside Nevada on the street. I love that Andrews decided to go a different route from Kate Daniels, because Kate is my absolute favorite. I reread those books when I’m burnt out or sad or just need some entertainment. It would have been feasible for me to see Kate everywhere in this novel, but I didn’t. Nevada is not just physically different from Kate, she is also at a completely different emotional and psychological place. Nevada has people in her life who she is willing to sacrifice for. She has family, she has love and she has a purpose beyond simple survival.
And then there is Conner “Mad” Rogan. What I love about him is that he is a fixer upper. He is handsome and smart and rich, which is usually the mold of a perfect man. But, Mad Rogan is also extremely powerful. That power isolates him and puts him in a completely different head space than the people around him. Rogan has no regard for human life, he lacks empathy and yet knows how to incite loyalty in the people around him. He’s a great leader and a hero and yet he lacks some of the emotional range that the rest of us are born with.
It’s going to be interesting watching Conner and Nevada evolve over this series. Rogan must learn empathy and to care more, while Nevada must learn to care less and focus on her own happiness. In Burn for Me, their chemistry is undeniable, but their meeting is rough. They need to work on themseleves and work toward a relationship that makes sense and will fit their own personalities. I’m glad that this is not paranormal romance, because this relationship needs the slow burn of Urban Fantasy to really make it stand out. And, it will stand out, because no one knows how to make two stubborn strong and powerful people fall in love like Ilona Andrews.
Once Nevada and Rogan get their claws into you, they will have you until you have to read the final page. My final thought about this book is…. MORE PLEASE!
Recommended for fans of Urban Fantasy, fans of the Kate Daniels series and anyone who likes Barrons from the Fever series, Trent from the Hollows and of course CURRAN from Kate Daniels!
Liked this one a lot. Reyes kind of has creepy stalker thing going on, but I think that these two can be an exception considering how their lives areLiked this one a lot. Reyes kind of has creepy stalker thing going on, but I think that these two can be an exception considering how their lives are weirdly entwined. It's all very creepy, but fascinating.
I find the "comedy" aspect and Charley's one liners to be corny as hell.
Fun read. Really helping with my book burnout. I needed some supernatural adult fun. Been reading too much YA....more
While interesting with a strong start, there is a lack of action in this book. Charles being the hitman for the Marrock should have a lot more action in his life. Instead, 75% is an investigation. The kind of investigation that goes from house to school to house to talk to various suspects and victims. Sure, the people being interviewed are 10x’s more interesting and magical than anything seen on Law & Order, but still…. I wanted more. But, still I consider this slow. A slow burn if you will. A very slow burn.
It’s nice getting a glimpse of Charles’ past. I have a clearer view of what his life is like. A glimpse of what it’s like to be old, but never age. To be practically immortal while everyone around you dies. I also have a much clearer view of why Anna is a blessing to his life. Not just someone for him to love, but his savior, because she loves him. I doubt that Charles could have been alone for much longer without falling into despair.
I am always a fan of reading about the impact of Fae’s choice to come out and reveal themselves to humans. What’s interesting about this book is that suddenly twenty year old incidents that no one believed are suddenly possible. Perhaps the five year old kid did see a 10-foot green man, perhaps the old woman did see unicorns in her garden. The world is suddenly open to a million possibilities and unfortunately most of those possibilities are not safe for humans specifically the children.
The villain in this book is a nasty bugger, truly disgusting, awful and evil. I wanted him caught and put to Charles’ special brand of justice, but that’s all that kept my attention.
Like every other book in this series, DEAD HEAT contains the following:
Anna and Charles figuring out their Mate bond and what makes the other tick.
Cantrip agents who aren’t sure how to deal with werewolves or the Fae.
A villain who enjoys heinous actions.
Charles lamenting his hitman status and Anna attempting to make his actions look like a positive thing.
Bran being too cool and too school for fool.
Random Mercy Thompson references.
Rehash of Anna’s change and the nightmare she lived through.
Ohh and waaaaay too much horse talk. Way too much!!! I have a healthy respect for horses, but if I wanted Horses for Dummies, I would have just gotten a copy from the closest book store.
Not horrible. Really nasty villain and an insane crime to investigate. But…more of the same....more
I love Urban Fantasy. Growing up fantasy always happened on faery rings, in Neverland and on the grounds of Hogwarts. I love Urban Fantasy, because I’m from New York and I like seeing my Urban world infused with magic. In fact, that is exactly what Jaye Wells has done with her new series. She infused the nitty gritty of crime, gangs and police investigations with magic.
There’s no more crack, weed, crystal or illegal prescription drugs, in the world of DIRTY MAGIC, people use potions for pain reduction, weight loss and high as a kite highs. It’s actually a really great idea. Instead of selling hard drugs, a life of crime is based off of how strong your potion is and not how good you can cook that blue crystal. Imagine Walter White as a Wizard. That’s Kate Prospero’s world.
Kate’s a simple beat cop with a dirty past. She walks the streets looking for petty crimes and small misdemeanors. On a normal night, on a normal shift, Kate runs into the abnormal. A man so high on potions he has transformed into a creature with a taste for blood. Kate’s altercation with the supped up druggie grabs her the attention of the MEA (Magical Enforcement Agency) and has a her put on a case that brings her dirty past back. Kate comes from a coven family. Her mother was a magical sex worker and her uncle, a wizard king pin. After heartbreaking events that surrounded to her mom’s death and her uncles imprisonment, Kate took her baby brother from that world. She stopped cooking potions and became a cop. Now, her old contacts, enemies and ex-lovers are all suspects behind the new potion Grey Wolf that turns the average human into wolf like murderers.
After ten years of banning magic and treating potions like the plague, Kate is thrown back into the deep end. When her case gets a little bit too close to home, she must decide whether or not she has the ability to use magic without getting addicted to the power.
It took me a bit to get into it, but half way through I just couldn’t put it down. This book is fun, because it seems so real. It’s “Law and Order,” “Bones” and “Fringe” with magic instead of technology and science. The lingo is similar, the criminals just as bad, but instead of violent sociopaths, you have magical mercenaries.
DIRTY Magic is filled with twists, turns, action sequences, frustrating events and heartbreaking collateral damage. Kate is dealing with trouble from all sides. Her kid brother wants to learn magic, because he can’t remember the events that lead to their magic-less existence. Kate’s put on a task force where she is unknown and disrespected. The ex-boyfriend who she left years ago, not because she didn’t love him, but because she had to get out of the life. It’s all thrown in and reading has Kate stumbles through it all is real entertaining. She’s a great heroine. Tough, but vulnerable. BAMF, but not an ice queen. Just the right combination to make her likable and admirable all at once.
This book was good. I am excited to see where the author takes her characters in the next installment that comes out later this year.
Recommended for readers of Urban Fantasy and fans of Kim Harrison, Ilona Andrews and Patricia Briggs. ...more
Originality. That Ilona Andrews humor. Fantasy men who are rugged without stomping out the women's strength. For characters who areFor many reasons...
Originality. That Ilona Andrews humor. Fantasy men who are rugged without stomping out the women's strength. For characters who are deliciously bad and for inspiring me to resume work on my own serial novel.
Rachel Morgan is at it again! Or, in it again would be more accurate. There’s strange magic at play in the Hollows that is causing magic, spells to backfire and supernaturals to act extremely strangely. The Master Vamps are asleep, the Elf’s are in a religious crisis and our favorite witch turned day-walking demon is in the midst of it all, because the same magic that is being pulled through Cincinnati is coming from Rachel’s personal ley-line.
THE UNDEAD POOL is the best Hollows book we have had in awhile and is without a doubt one of my favorites in the series. It is action packed, funny, filled with those fantasy elements that we all love and to top it off it is romantic. It’s truly amazing how Kim Harrison has been able to keep this series, entertaining and fun for a decade. Usually, I’ve given up by book 12, but not THE HOLLOWS. Never the Hollows, because Kim Harrison keeps me coming back and emotionally entrenched in her characters and in the story.
The story and action in this installment packs a powerful punch, as always. I couldn’t put it down. I had to know who was behind the magic, what it had to do with Rachel’s ley-line. In the midst of all that we get to see how the wild magic effects the vampires, the witches an the shifters. More excitingly, there’s new lore connected to the Elves that we’ve always got a glimpse of, but we finally get to really experience. In THE UNDEAD POOL, we really get to see into Trent’s world. What he’s trying to save and ultimately what he is trying to fight against.
From the moment the cover was revealed fans of the series have been in a tizzy. Why? Trent was on the cover. I picked up the novel with frightful anticipation. After ten years of being enemies then friends, then enemies and friends, it was finally here! Finally, Trent and Rachel were going to be a thing. This could either go one way. This new couple could either destroy the series or make it all the more interesting.
I don’t want to give anything away, but I really want to address the people who have doubts about reading this book, because of rumors or a dislike of Trent. This is not a paranormal romance! This book is as Urban Fantasy as ever. Filled with magic, adventure, fighting and snarky inappropriate comments from one sassy pixy.
I’m going to try my best to write a serious review with a minimum amount of gushing, but it will be hard, because I absolutely loved this book.
It was just every single thing I love about urban fantasy. Action packed with magic and magical creatures. It was funny and sad and filled with romance. A roller coaster of emotions that took me on a wild ride, so, yes I am going to attempt not to gush, but guys it’s going to be hard.
Kate Daniels is an investigator by day, consort to the Beast Lord by night and magic user extraordinaire at every other available moment, at least she’s trying to be. Her merc status is in jeopardy as her company Cutting Edge is struggling, the pack is always in constant drama and her magic doesn’t seem to be progressing as quickly as she would like. Add to that the knowledge that her father undoubtedly knows of her existence and you have one stressed out Beast Lady.
Magic Breaks begins very much business as usual. Kate is on yet another ridiculous mission, and the pack has yet another problem that needs Curran’s attention. I have to say that the entire set up of the beginning worried me. First, there’s a letter from the authors promising that this is not the end of the story(like whoa why did we need that stress), then a trope is used that I very much hate, because it separates me from beloved characters…
But, then it happens. In the middle of the conclave between the Pack and the People, all hell breaks loose. Literally, the character that I would akin to the devil walks in and brings hell with him! Then the plot does not stop. I would call this probably the most action packed of the entire series. It just doesn’t stop or slow down. Our heroes are in constant danger and battle. They face impossible odds and still somehow keep swinging.
Exhilarating. Magic Breaks is exhilarating.
Kate Daniels is a series which means the authors are taking us on a journey. One of the things that this novel does beautifully is remind us how far Kate has come on the journey. Not, just magically or in her relationships, but also emotionally. Kate, the character has fought for her life, killed, sacrificed, loved and lost. She is not the same character we met in Magic Bites. She is braver, stronger, more skilled and she has a lot more to loose.
Lots of names from the past, enemies from prior books and even locations are visited from earlier installments. We are reminded how and why she met Curran, her Merc past with Jim and even easier days with Derek. These blasts from the past are important to the journey and makes the way that she needs Curran even more beautiful.
I love Kate and Curran’s relationship. Sure, all the getting together, cook for me in your underwear stuff was hilarious and fun, but them as a couple have a certain kind of magic. I don’t give a damn what happened in Magic Rises, Kate and Curran are the bees knees and I love them together. I love that they understand each other’s violence. I love that they don’t shy from a fight and that they don’t back down. I love that they both know that the other would tear the world apart in search of them. I love their unwavering faith and loyalty to each other that they have in this installment. It was hard won and even harder fought, but they have reached a place of absolute trust that is startlingly beautiful.
I also love that no matter how badass Kate is, she needs him. I love that it doesn’t weaken her or push any kind of anti-feminist ideal, because we all need someone and also, Curran needs her, too.
They are so fantastic together and honestly if after this installment you refuse to forgive him for Magic Rises…then I shall simply ignore you and assume you are fool. (Yup, I said it) I love this book. I love it and I love Kate and Curran.
Besides the action and the drama, you will also get to know Ghastek better which is fun. We also spend a roller coaster ride with the alphas of clan rat, which is great because we know literally nothing about clan rat. We get to see magic work in new and wondrous ways and we get to really glimpse into the magical world outside of the norm. Basically, we get to see the world Kate has been preparing to face.
Every single fan of this series has been waiting for the moment where Kate looks into the face of her father, the all powerful Roland. Don’t you worry, I won’t tell you the hows, where’s or why’s. What I will say is that I was not disappointed. In fact, I truly commend Ilona Andrews for the work they did in building up to Roland over the entire series and somehow making him everything one would expect and yet so much more.
Kate Daniels has been training her entire life in order to kill her father. Roland is so powerful he has been considered a god and he is the force behind the People, aka the humans who pilot vampires like they are vehicles. The question has always been…is she powerful enough to defeat him?We get the answer in Magic Breaks and it is as terrifying as it is interesting. I am obsessed with getting my hands on the next book, because really the conclusion of this book is brilliant.
It sets up everything that we love about the series and yet it’s a whole new world. I am always apprehensive when a series goes beyond five books. It always stretches the story and is filled with fillers. In order to prevent that, Ilona Andrews blew the Kate Daniels world as we know it, wide open.
It honestly astounds me that the authors that are Ilona Andrews can pack so much intensity into a book and still have time for humor. Honestly, I am stunned. I was emotional. Heartbroken, stressed, fearful and on the edge of my seat…and still, I laughed. Or smiled. This one book encompasses why I love fantasy. You get transported into a world beyond your greatest dreams and yet you get to feel every single human emotional, possible.
I want more. I want it all. And I want it now.
I highly recommend this book and I scream from the rooftops that you should be reading the Kate Daniels series. (I readily admit that I am not a fan of book 1, but the rest of the series is gold…noo! Platinum!)...more
There is nothing really wrong with this book, it’s just boring. Boring, because it’s more of the same. The City of Chicago are still bullies, Merit and gang stumble upon yet another magical mystery that only they can solve and nothing much else happens. Lots of series have formulas and monster of the week type formats, but in my opinion Chicagoland suffers for it. There just isn’t much holding me to the series beyond the fact that I love Ethan Sullivan, but even he fell flat for me in WILD THINGS.
We finally learn the meaning behind Gabriel’s infamous prophecy and I kind of guessed it years ago. But! But after years of reading this series, the prophecy seems illogical and against the lore Chloe Neill has spent years setting up. More, Merit has been taken from normal girl to Ms. chosen one, special, first of her kind, McAwesome. Completely against the premise that a grad student becomes a vampire. All of a sudden she’s something more, which isn’t what I signed up for. I’m kind of tired of the “chosen one” angle, no matter how simple or intimate the anomaly is.
Then there is the mystery. I have often felt that Merit and team were weak detectives, and they are, but for some reason the characters in this particular installment seem to think that they are getting better or accomplishing feats, when really they are just bumbling around in the dark. They stumble across leads without any real deductions or investigative prowess. Everything is solved with a single phrase or action. Too easily wrapped up with not enough tension or resolution. In fact, I could care less about the villain.
The ending was intriguing and I’ll no doubt read the next book without such high hopes, but interest non the less.
I am really disappointed and underwhelmed by this book,
Recommended for fans of the Chicagoland Vampires series.
A powerful goddess has stolen Jessica McClain’s mate and she is going to get him back. She is a brand new werewolf, the only female wolf in existence and she is still new to her powers, but that is not going to stop her. Armed with two familiar werewolves, two foreign vamps and one crotchety human, Jessica sets out to seek revenge and get back her man. Along the way they encounter underworld creatures they never knew existed and discover that Jessica’s powers are far more potent than they ever imagined.
In many ways “Hot Blooded,” the second book in the Jessica McClain series, is better than its predecessor. Jessica is learning more about her abilities and her place in the great circle of supernatural life. The characters have definitely grown on me and I did feel a strong desire to see them take down their enemies. I am not in love with any characters or this series, but the world is so interesting I couldn’t put the book down.
“Hot Blooded,” is an Urban Fantasy novel rolled into a rode trip story rolled into an adventure. Most of it takes place away from the pack and away from home. While there is progress in the story, “Hot Blooded” still feels like an intro book. There is still so much we don’t know. The true villain or goal of the series is still unknown. So far it is still talk about prophecies and everyone in the supernatural world is freaking out. Besides a few glimpses into Jessica’s power, I still don’t know anything that I didn’t know at the end of “Full Blooded.”
The great thing about the Jessica McClain series, so far, is Carlson’s world building skills. The supernatural sects are rooted in the lore that every fan of fantasy already knows. Wolves run in packs, vampires sleep at night and demons belong to a different world entirely. Ms. Carlson has done a great job of taking those norms and breathing new life into them. I enjoyed reading of Jessica’s strange anomalies, the telepathic powers that ran between Jess and her twin and the strength of a goddess who has sold part of her soul for more power. As a fan of the other, these aspects were fascinating to me.
My biggest issue with this novel is the lack of Rourke. Due to the fact that the whole story is about getting him back from the insane goddess, I knew to expect his absence. I guess the old term “absence makes the heart grow fonder” really applies here, because I wanted more of him. I am really interested to see Rourke and Jessica together. Working together, dating and whatever else is to come. I am just interested to know more about Rourke. Like what kind of cat he is, why he chose the life of a mercenary and how does he feel about being mated to a one of a kind werewolf who will always be in danger.
I am still not 100% into this series. I like it, but it seems to be lacking the kind of emotional connection that I look for in a series. With a series I love, I feel like I fall into the book and am pulled into the story like a participant. I still feel like an observer.
Recommended for readers of Urban Fantasy and fans of Kitty Norville & Mercy Thompson. ...more
From the moment Maya Delaney discovered that she could shift into a cougar, her life has not been the same. Two powerful Cabals are chasing her, she’s been officially declared dead and one by one the members of her small runaway gang have been taken. Maya and her friends, Daniel and Corey, are at the end of their rope. They are out of ideas and in even more danger every day that passes. Using the number of the one person who may be able to help them seems to be a dead end, but leads to even more adventures. We’re introduced to new characters, catch up with missing friends and the Darkness Rising group finally meets up with the runaways from Darkest Powers.
I am sure a lot of people will find the story to be repetitive. It is very similar in structure to “The Gathering” and “The Calling.” Maya and friends are on the run, they escape, all looks dreary and then there is a stroke of good luck. I don’t want to give anyone the impression that I rated this book five stars, because it’s the best book I have ever read or because I will be rereading it over and over. It wasn’t and I probably wont. This is a five star review, because this book was an absolute joy to read. I have been in a reading slump. Everything has frustrated me, offended or annoyed me. Or it just didn’t do much for me, but keep the smallest bit of my attention. With “The Rising,” I had an absolute blast.
“The Rising,” is without a doubt one of the most entertaining books I have read all year. I have read so many ok or plain mediocre books lately; I almost forgot what it is like to truly enjoy a book. This book pulled it all out of me. Fear, happiness, sadness, indignation, anticipation, rage and finally satisfaction, it is all in there.
I didn’t cry. Anyone who knows me knows that tears are usually my measure for a truly great series end. If I have been with characters through multiple books, movies or seasons, I want to be sobbing when I see how things work out for them in the end. It seems that I must add smiling to my measuring stick. I smiled so much during this book. I smiled at the comedic moments. I smiled when a character surprised me, when beloved characters reemerged and in sweet satisfaction of revenge. Most importantly the ending made me grin from ear to ear.
One of my favorite things about the “Darkness Rising” series is Maya’s relationship to the other characters. All of Maya’s relationships are layered and complicated. There is as much love as there is frustration and secrets. Maya is a character who loves few people, but when she loves them she is loyal and devoted. Which is what makes her separation from her parents so heartbreaking and makes you root for these kids even more. Even her interactions with long lost family members that she barely knows is so interesting and gives the story so much heart. Then there is the romance.
From the first moment Maya kissed Rafe it was pretty clear that she stumbled into a love triangle. Clear to everyone, but Maya who was blind to the fact that her best friend Daniel was in love with her. It has been interesting seeing these two guys maneuver crisis after crisis knowing that they are into the same girl. That’s one of the things I like about the series. That while these characters are kids and they have a level of immaturity, they are very adult about other aspects. For the most part everyone puts their feelings aside to deal with the crisis on hand. Which adds to the tension, because you know it’s going to explode eventually, but also made me respect the characters. A lot of YA characters don’t know how to prioritize and it can sometimes be annoying reading romance angst in the middle of a crisis. I will say that in “The Rising” Maya’s eyes are finally opened and it adds a new layer to the series that I truly enjoyed.
It was great to see things come to a conclusion for not only the “Darkness Rising” kids, but also the original group from “Darkest Powers.” The ending is not perfect. These kids will never have the white picket fence with the dog, but I was still very satisfied. I had no idea how Armstrong could solve this, but she does and it’s a joy to read.
Recommended for fans of the series, readers of YA paranormal/science fiction and anyone who likes a good adventure.
Stay tuned tomorrow for my interview with Patricia Briggs! :-)
Mercy Thompson is one of the best Urban Fantasy series around. Maybe the best of its kind. While other series start out good and promising they then fall and buckle under the weight of extended contracts, and trying to stretch a story that was originally a trilogy into five or more books. Not so Mercy Thompson. Patricia Briggs has consistently released installments that are engrossing and maintain a level of stable entertainment that few can boast of. NIGHT BROKEN is another action packed, fantasy driven installment in what is without a doubt my favorite series barring Harry Potter.
Mercy Thompson has gotten her man. The good looking and loyal pack Alpha Adam Hauptman is her husband and their bond is as stable as ever. So, when his ex-wife needs a place to hide out from a stalker ex-boyfriend, Mercy magnanimously offers the woman a place to stay. This opens a can of worms, because while she left him Christy still believes she has full rights and ownership to Mercy’s husband. Adding insult to injury, the pack who are not big fans of Mercy as Adam’s mate…love his ex.
Besides a manipulative ex and her stalker, Mercy is pulled into an investigation of brutal murders that the authorities believe are the crimes of werewolves. It’s pretty amazing how innocently Mercy stumbles into trouble. Trouble finds her. In eight books, I cannot think of a single mishap that she purposely brought on. People are just drawn to the mischievous coyote in her veins.
NIGHT BROKEN is pure unadulterated entertainment. It encompasses everything I love in Urban Fantasy. Sassy heroine, super hot hero, action, drama, interesting villain, great side characters and of course fantasy. The fantasy in NIGHT BROKEN takes an interesting turn. After eight books, Ms. Briggs evolves her mythology. We’re getting more than the usual vamps, werewolves, Fae and occasional coyote lore. It’s brand new and it is big.
At moments in this book it is really difficult to decide who Mercy can and cannot trust. She’s surrounded by haters at every turn. There’s the manipulative Christy, who is a lot more interesting than I thought she would be. Honestly, any woman who can manipulate people who know they are being manipulated, is a well written antagonist. Then there is the pack. For several books it has been clear that the pack is not 100% on board with letting a coyote into a world of wolves. They have been against Mercy at every turn and with the added memory of the human and domesticated, Christy, Mercy really has to watch her back to make sure she is not stabbed in it.
Add to that the ever present Fae threats. For quite sometime Mercy has been in possession of an ancient Fae artifact and now that the Fae have locked themselves away in their mound, they want it back. Mercy is all too willing to return it, but the pesky walking stick has a mind of its own and always returns to Mercy. Its connection to Mercy is forever saving her life and putting her in danger.
Now to the murder investigation, it is gruesome. It’s the kind of thing that you can just see in your mind and know that if you were standing next to Mercy your stomach would roil. The hunt for the killer is really fascinating and it’s interesting to see all these different story lines connect, because while this story is broad, it is a small world, after-all.
This book is a funny, smart, romantic and action packed thrill ride! I laughed, I cried, raged and rejoiced. The ending is wrapped up and yet opens the series to new possibilities and Mercy to new struggles. I am excited for book 9. Another great installment to the Mercy Thompson series. Oh, and Adam is still my FAVORITE guy! :0
Recommended for fans of the Mercy Thompson series. If you have not started this series yet, I honestly have nothing to say to you, because how many times can I say this series is amazing?!
*ARC Provided by ACE Hardcover an imprint of Penguin. Release Date: March.11,2014 (TUESDAY!)...more
I am a huge fan of Kelley Armstrong’s “Darkest Powers” series. When I heard about this new series that would eventually interact with the “Darkest Powers” characters, I was like sign me up!
Maya lives in a small town of a few hundred people, where everyone knows everyone else and a stranger coming to town means that the mayor, sheriff and chief research doctor in town get a phone call. This town is probably the most claustrophobic and a bit creepy town I have heard of. It is surrounded by woods, wild animals and doesn’t have any kind of entertainment. When a strange reporter shows up and begins asking questions, Maya starts asking questions of her own. About her town, about the medications they keep giving her and what the paw print mark she was born with really means. These questions leads to an action packed, intense and explosive climax that changes the very fabric of Maya’s life.
“The Gathering” is what I like to call a slow burn. A slow burn book is the kind of story that slowly escalates. It starts calm, but by the last page it’s on fire. Now, don’t confuse my use of the word ‘slow’ to mean boring. This book is never boring. I love that we were given a chance to really meet the characters before the conflict starts. We’re also allowed to get to know the world that Maya lives in and it allows us to feel dread. This town is too perfect. There is just too much convenience and it is too well set up that alarm bells go off in my head.
Then there are the characters. There seems to be something a little off about all the teenagers who live in this small town. Everyone has a certain amount of athletic skill and then there is the individual issues/skills. Maya’s affinity for animals, Daniel’s instincts and Sam’s violence all made me wonder what the deal is with this town. Is it supernatural? Scientific experiments? Aliens?
I found the character dynamics interesting. Especially, the way the author uses those dynamics to reveal secrets and plot points. Maya has a very unique relationship to the people in her town. She is popular, but it doesn’t faze her, because what is popular in a class of 20 kids? She has influence. If Maya says someone is innocent then everyone believes it. She is best friends with the school’s most popular boy and has gained the attention of the town’s resident bad boy. It’s really interesting the way that her unique position puts her in an ideal spot to learn new information, have bad things happen to her and be the center of our story. Add to that Maya’s dry wit and sarcasm and you get one interesting heroine.
I liked Maya a lot. Maya is strong, she stands up for herself, doesn’t let her hardships bring her down and sees past swagger and pick up lines. Which is why the few times that Maya does revert into average heroine, it annoyed me. There were moments when her miscommunication with characters and her self doubt kind of annoyed me. Part of drama in relationships is when the two characters misunderstand, miscommunicate and misrepresent themselves in some way. Sometimes Maya completely missed the point when someone was interested or when she hurt someone which made them react in a negative way. I wanted to slap her and scream ‘smarten up!’ Luckily, these moments happen so infrequently that my annoyance comes from my own personal pickiness and probably wont bother most people.
My biggest issue with this book is that at the end of it, we still do not have an idea about what’s going on. I have a lot more questions by the final page than I did at the first. Those questions have me immediately opening book 2 in the series, which I guess, is the point. Still, I would like to have understood exactly what was happening. Who is the bad guy? What is the St. Cloud family hiding? Are the kids actually skilled or is it just a coincidence? Are all the kids skilled or just a few? Are the skills some kind of natural talent or is it scientific? More importantly how do these kids connect to Chloe and her friends in the Darkest Powers series?
I don’t have answers to these questions, but Kelley Armstrong’s writing is so good that instead of being annoyed, I’m just like next book please!
Recommended for fans of the Darkest Powers series, fans of Urban Fantasy YA and anyone looking for an interesting series to pick up.
This book is beautiful and terrible and heartbreaking. I cried so much through out. I stayed up all night to read it and it was perfect. And when youThis book is beautiful and terrible and heartbreaking. I cried so much through out. I stayed up all night to read it and it was perfect. And when you realize how important the title of this book is you will just die.
In the final installment of “With All My Soul,” Kaylee is facing the greatest challenge of her life and her very soul is in the balance. Avari and his hellion counterparts have taken almost everything from Kaylee. Her childhood has been ruined, she has buried her friends and has lost her life. Twice. Now she is on her third chance at surviving and she is not going to give it up. She is also freaking angry. She is angry that due to Avari’s obsession with her, she has been in danger and she has put the people she loves in even more danger. She has had enough and together with her undead boyfriend Tod and their friends, Kaylee has a plan to free herself from the hellions forever. Unfortunately, Avarice is one greedy hellion and before they can get their plan off the ground, Avari unleashes an evil plan of his own.
From page one of this book, I was heartbroken. With all my excitement to read this book, I forgot about the devastating finale of “Before I Wake.” Kaylee and her friends have suffered so much. They have died, been resurrected and just barley survived. The opening of this book reminded me that surviving can be extremely difficult and sometimes impossible to get over.
It starts at a funeral and is filled with emotions and tears. For me, the tears did not stop there. Of all the young adult fantasy/paranormal novels I have read, Kaylee has suffered the most. In “With All My Soul,” we experience some of the guilt and shame that her survival has brought her. She lives and is happy with Tod, but others were not so lucky. Even though it isn’t her fault and no one really blames her, Kaylee cannot help but feel guilt at how life has turned out. Everyone from her mother to her best friend Emma has suffered due to their connection to Kaylee. If there isn’t a rogue reaper after her soul, there is an Incubus teacher or even worse a Hellion is after it. That’s a lot for an 18 year old girl to take. That guilt leads her to make some reckless, dangerous and life changing choices. Kaylee makes huge sacrifices all in the name of saving the people she loves.
What has always made the “Soul Screamers” series stand out to other YA fiction is the fact that the parents are active in the danger. Usually, parents have disappeared, are clueless or are lacking the skills needed to be of any real help. Kaylee, Tod, Nash and Sophie have always had their parents. Not this time. Due to a series of unfortunate events the kids are truly alone. This causes strife within the group as everyone struggles with their own feelings of weakness and uselessness in the wake of tragedy. Everyone wants to help, but it is too dangerous and it seems unlikely that everyone can be the hero.
This is where readers of the book will separate and argue in their opinion. Kaylee takes a lot of the responsibility on herself. She foolishly opens the door to danger and places herself in situations where she could be hurt and her friends wouldn’t know. This of course upsets team good. Then there are the times where her sacrifices are so vast, amazing and selfless. Some will call her self-righteous or a martyr. And, they would be correct, but under the circumstances I don’t see how any of this could be helped. When it is all said and done everyone is in danger, because of their connection to her. Of course she wants to be the one to take all the risks. Of course she wants to prevent anyone else from hurting, just because they are close to her.
I cannot end this review without talking about my favorite thing in this series, Tod. For a long time Tod was the saving grace of these books. Just when my frustration with Kaylee, Nash, Sabine, etc would rise Tod would swoop in and say or do the right thing to bring me right back into the story. When the series began, Tod was an interesting outsider. With every book, Rachel Vincent brilliantly built him into an absolutely fantastic YA hero. In a world filled with borderline abusive males, psychotically possessive boyfriends and vampires who have to fight the urge to drink their girlfriend’s blood, there is Tod. A shining beacon. Tod is not perfect. He has done awful things, but his heart is always in the right place. He will do anything, face anything and give anything to protect the people he loves. Even if what he must give his own life. At the end of the day, the person I wanted to have a HEA most was Tod.
This book is jammed! Jammed pack with action, intrigue, romance and all manner of emotions. Everything you have been waiting for happens. Characters you thought you hated turn out to be heroes who step up at the right moment. Secrets are revealed, sins are forgiving and everyone is closer than ever. That of course is when all hell breaks lose and one of the most traumatic climaxes of my book geek heart transpires. I had tears in my eyes on page one and constantly throughout. Soooo much has happened to these kids and their families and the events in this book felt like salt in the wound. I am sorry to see the series end, but happy all the same. I am happy, because I cannot possibly stand anything else happening to these people.
A fantastic ending to an entertaining series. A must read.
-Reviewed by RH (with input/opinions by me)...more