I wanted this book for quite some time now. I read Stacia's Megan Chase books last summer and I knew the moment I finished book 2, Demon Inside, I wanI wanted this book for quite some time now. I read Stacia's Megan Chase books last summer and I knew the moment I finished book 2, Demon Inside, I wanted the Downside books. Stacia's writing is so captivating I knew she could make me read anything, or nearly anything.
Unholy Ghosts is a really dark urban fantasy and I was a bit unsettled at the start. I like UF most of the times but I don't like these overly dark and brooding books because I always feel down after finishing them. It was totally different in this case. Yes, Unholy Ghosts is a dark book but it worked around my prejudices and sneaked into my heart.
In 1997 the whole world changed. Earth was overrun with ghosts and nearly didn't survive this attack. They were saved by the Church of Truth but they are paying for that now. The old religions died and the new and only one is a religion without believe, there is only Fact and Truth. It is a hopeless world because there is no place left for hope without something to believe in. Their new religion is based on the Truth and they practice it every day with magical rites like banishing and warding spells. Most of the magic is only allowed for church employees and one of those is our heroine Chess Putnam.
Chess is a broken woman with many flaws, one of them being a drug addict of the worst kind. I would have never thought that I could feel much for this type of heroine but again Ms. Kane proved me wrong. Chess had a rough life- she can't remember her parents and was brought up by the social system of her time. You can imagine that this was not a lovely experience. She lived though hell more times than anyone on earth should and she is still here. She is strong in her own way even if she is weak concerning the drugs.
Chess lives in the Downside, a district of Triumph city and probably the worst part, too. It's full of pimps,drug dealers and aggressive gangs. I was highly confused with the way these people spoke at first but after reading a few pages I got a hold of the slang and finally understood what they meant. That could be a problem with me being a German and English only being a secondary language for me. I never heard English slang in real life but nevertheless I got it, probably a bit later than most of the other readers though. It's one of these things that makes this book special to me: the voices of the characters and the way they speak are so individual you know immediately who speaks.
One other character I just have to mention is Terrible. He's the hired muscle of one of the drug lords and he is one kind of character I would have never thought I could like. At first he seems to be not much more than a bulk of muscle-mass who knows how to crush your bones but nothing more. But over time you a get a glimpse into his mind and life and I was captivated. I admit: I'm a total Terrible fan girl now and I really want to see more of him in the next books.
I loved how throughout Ms. Kane build her world. At the start of each chapter we get a few lines out of the "common" literature of that time, be at an expert of a religious book or out of a life guide. These snippets made the world so much more real for me and I savored each one of them.
The pace of the book was wonderful and the story gripped me ASAP and didn't let me go till the last word. I loved how Ms. Kane shows us that looks are deceiving and we should never judge a person just with taking one glance at him or her. A highly recommended read not only for Urban Fantasy lovers, but for anyone who likes a good story. ...more
I started Kelly's debut novel with high expectations and Three Days to Dead didn't disappoint me. Why so high expectations? The novel came out in GermI started Kelly's debut novel with high expectations and Three Days to Dead didn't disappoint me. Why so high expectations? The novel came out in Germany before it came out in the US and for the first time ever I had to wait for the English book. Why didn't I read the German version? I can be a bit stubborn and I wanted the US book cuz I really adore the cover and in my opinion some of the jokes always get lost in the translation so I avoid to read a translation when I know the original language. OCD much? Yep I know. But back to the book. But how great must a book be if the foreign rights are sold that fast? It is great.
We meet Evangeline Stone in a rather dramatic situation. She wakes up in a body of a woman she doesn't knew in the morgue. She can't remember the last few days of her life but she knows that she died. She shouldn't be here any longer and now she has to figure out why she is and why she died in the first place. Evy is some kick ass girl. She has a way with words that made me laugh out loud more than ones. She is stubborn as hell and sometimes her temper rises rather quick but she has good intentions and I like her from the start. This is always a rather critical point for me in a book written in first person POV: when I don't like the heroine the book has already lost the fight for my apprehension. Kelly did everything right with Evy though. She is exactly the way I love my heroines: strong but still with a heart, funny but not silly.
And then we have Wyatt. *big sigh* He is Evy's handler and no that not at all something dirty. He is the brain behind the brawls so to say. He organizes his own Triad, including Evy, or what is left of it. He has his own talents but those are of a more magical nature and not as fight orientated as Evy's. There is more to Wyatt than the eyes see at first glance and I was highly intrigued by his wit and his smart-ass comebacks. He is sexy, dark and mysterious- what can a girl ask more for? His appeal grew through the book and now I can't wait to read the next one and finally learn more about him.
All the action is set in Dreg City- a world full of humans and monsters, or as Kelly calls them "Crazy Ugly Things". This world is full of Magic but not everyone is able to access it. We find most of our paranormal favorites in this book: vampires and all kind of Fae. They are called Dregs but most humans aren't aware of their existence. The Dreg Hunters are here to keep it that way and punish the Dregs who broke the rules. And you know what I mean with punish- there is no forgiveness for Dregs in this world.
The plot in Three Days to Dead is a gripping roller-coaster ride full of explosions, fighting, action but also love, fun and intrigue. I love that it was not only a big accumulation of fight scenes but also has a really good plot behind that. I loved Evy's and Wyatt's discussion and their dynamics together. To say it was entertaining to listen to them is a huge understatement.
Three Days to Dead is a Big Bang for a debut novel. Kelly Meding is an author you should keep your eyes open for. A gripping explosive ride through a fascinating urban fantasy world which will glue you on the edge of your seat. I know I won't miss the next book, As Lie the Dead and you shouldn't neither. ...more
I read many reviews of Mind Games before I started it. They all said it's an awesome read: funny and all but I was by far not prepared for this. WeI read many reviews of Mind Games before I started it. They all said it's an awesome read: funny and all but I was by far not prepared for this. We are thrown into the world of an hypochondriac, Justine, and see everything through her eyes. It's not as weird as I thought it would be. Justine is a wonderful character. She is so much more than a crazy hypochondriac. Yes, she clearly is a hypochondriac with her nightly ER visits and panic attacks because of her impending death. She "suffers" from vein star syndrome and sometimes all her thoughts are centered around that. But she has a strong will in all things not star vein syndrome and very high morals, too. She knows what is right and good and stands up against everything that doesn't fit into this category. She knows what she wants: a normal life without fear, a life where everything is perfect and full of smiles and love. She desperately wants this world and it broke my heart to see that she will probably not get it in the near future.
The action starts when Justine meets the mysterious and super sexy Packard. He offers her a world without fear and without her obsession about her health. But as always there is a price, an even bigger one than she sees at first. She's introduced into a group of "misfits" who all joined Packards' cause and now fight the bad in this world as vigilantes. They call themselves the Disillusionists and they all have their own burden to carry but with the help of Packard they can morph their craziness into a way to do something "good". Packard invented a way to reflect your own feelings into another person. So for example Justine could infect other people with her hypochondria. They plan to disillusion the bad guys and to "restart" them. They want to reform them through breaking them before. That's what these Disillusionists do.
I loved how much work and love Ms Crane puts into her side-characters. They all seem so vivid and real and they sneak into your heart without you noticing it. The group dynamics is wonderful and it was wonderful to see that Justine finally belonged somewhere.
"It's reality," he [Helmut] adds. "The water will be what kills us." "Unless a horrible disease gets you first," I say. "Your own body's working overtime right now finding ways to self-destruct." It's wonderfully liberating to be able to talk like this without upsetting myself. "Who cares?" Shelby says. "We have no chance for happiness anyway."Silently we sit, siblings in torment, The moment stretches on and I have this crazy sensation that I'm finally home. I smile at that thought. And then I chuckle. And then we all just burst out laughing.
The plot in Mind Games completely deserves the title. You think you know what will happen and bam everything changes. Ms Crane created a story that pulled me in and really played with my mind from time to time. In the end I thought I knew what would happen and she completely surprised me again. A thrilling story with many twists and turns.
Another fact I loved was Ms Crane's unmistakable humor and wit. I smiled nearly through the whole book and some scenes made me laugh so hard. She also has a wonderful talent for geeky references and I adore those so much. She knits those into the story and I'm sure not every reader will notice those but I love every single one of them.
There is one thing that made me cringe sometimes: the names. Okay perhaps that's just me being German but Helmut and Otto are so old people names and I just couldn't imagine them being under 50 at first. See BF's grandpa is Helmut and I live in the Ottostadt Magdeburg (named after 3 old historic Ottos LOL). It got better but for me these names will always be grandpa names.
Mind Games is one of the best debut novels I ever read. The Disillusionists world is wonderful unique and nothing you will find somewhere else. I loved the characters, the witty convos and the romantic storyline. Carolyn Crane is on top of my author radar now and I can't wait to get my greedy little hands on Double Cross (Release Date: Sept 28th, 2010).
Okay so how to start reviewing the fifth and last book in a series with spoiling it? I have to admit I have no idea so I will just go with the flow.
IOkay so how to start reviewing the fifth and last book in a series with spoiling it? I have to admit I have no idea so I will just go with the flow.
I had high expectations for this book. So many things were left in the dark and I wanted everything to work out the way I planned it in my head. Okay as it seems that were not the same things Ms. Black had planned for her story but this doesn't has to be something bad.
The Devil's Playground is a great ending for this series but I expected a bigger bang as the big showdown. After all this struggling and planning over the last few books I was a bit letdown with the way it worked out. But when I think about it now I have to admit it was a nice ending. I enjoyed the book from the first to the last page so perhaps I'm only sad that it's over.
Morgan as a character matured through all the books and I have to say she is a different person now. In book one she was such an explosive and untrusting girl. Now she can really make decisions and she knows how important it is to have someone to trust who has you back no matter what. I really like that the development was slow because it would have been wrong any other way. She was a bit damaged good at the start and it needs time to fix that. Relationship-wise I was a bit disappointed. I expected something more. I wanted…not sure if I should say that now. But let it be said that I didn't get it. Me sad again. Okay so now I hope I will get my will in the short story Ms. Black will publish in an Anthology. At least something.
All in all the Morgan Kingsley series is a great urban fantasy with durty demon action and a faced paced story arc. Highly recommended to all lovers of this genre....more
I was so thrilled to receive this book s an ARC and I HAD to start it ASAP. After reading the first few pages I started to remember all the things thaI was so thrilled to receive this book s an ARC and I HAD to start it ASAP. After reading the first few pages I started to remember all the things that happened in the last book. I think this is one of the saddest urban fantasies I ever read. I'm not such a Urban Fantasy addict so that probably doesn't say much or it could be because I'm feeling Joanna's pain like my own. Ms. Pettersson really knows how to make her heroine believable.
I loved that Jo is not perfect- she has flaws but I like her, most of the time. Sometimes she's way to stubborn and a bit immature but her development since book one (The Scent of Shadows) is strongly visible in this book. She's hurt- big time but she fights to keep going. She just doesn't want to give up and I I really felt for Joanna and my heart broke every ten pages or so for the first part of the book. The beginning is so dark and I hoped for Joanna's and my own sake that something good or at least something not bad happens to her. She still is strong but you can feel that she would resign if all this stuff would happen to her any longer.
The plot in Cheat the Grave is a thrilling ride with many twists and turns. I was hooked after the first few pages and I couldn't put this book down for more than the time I needed to dry my tears. I loved how new revelations were woven into the story and I had to gasp more than once. I wanted to scream at the characters often and sometimes I had the deep urge to slap them.
The bad guys are still shudder -worth and surprisingly the good guys aren't any better. That's probably a reason for the overall dark feel of this book, too. We discover a new fraction and they are the ones that seem to be the "sanest" in this world. I enjoyed to learn more about these characters and their stories were touching or bizarre, depending on the character but they always fit into the big picture. They gave the world more depth and answered some of the question I had from the start.
As you can see this book really grabbed me. I can't wait to read the next book and I want a HEA for Joanne with all my heart. A great new addition to the Signs of the Zodiac series and one you shouldn't miss. Thrilling from the start and full of emotion. Cheat the Grave answers many of your questions but it also brings new mysteries that need solving. I, for my part can't wait to get my hands on the next book....more
In Crossroads we finally get the chance to see Nick and Derek becoming closer. In Crux the tension between these too build up and I was so curious abouIn Crossroads we finally get the chance to see Nick and Derek becoming closer. In Crux the tension between these too build up and I was so curious about them both.
Nicole is the daughter of the alpha but she tries to stay out of all the political stuff that goes on in the supernatural world. She likes her life the way it is. Being a bar owner suits her and Nicole likes to decide for herself what to do and who to love. She is independent but also caring for the ones she loves. Nick finally has enough of all these back and fourth between herself and Derek. She decides to take the initiative and pursuits him. But as always in life nothing is as easy as it seems. Her sister is in deep trouble and Nick has to save her, no matter what!
Derek is a turned werewolf. He struggled for years to get control over his new urges and his strength. His life wasn't easy before the attack. He fosters his cousin, an empath alone and always knew about the supernatural world. But being young and alone with a girl in her teens is not easy at all, count in the attack and you can imagine that his whole life got chaotic. Even worse is that he now is one of the unaccepted made-ones. The turned werewolves aren't worth anything in the eyes of the most other wolves. He has to stand his own to survive and with each time he gets challenged he gets stronger. His attraction for Nicole is nothing he can ignore for a long time. He is fascinated by her and can't keep his eyes from roaming her body. He knows that for Nick having a made werewolf partner could become a great problem. She's one of the most watched and most powerful woman in the wolf society and in the eyes of the majority she should only consider a high-standing full-blood for this role. That so not good for the male ego.
These 2 have serious chemistry going on since the first day they met. That hasn't changed after Derek's turning into a werewolf, okay perhaps the attraction got even more unbearable. It was such a salvation to see these two finally getting together and it was exceptional hot! After this long waiting they really knew how to sate their desires. *wink* It was even more sad for me that all this happened at a so inconvenient time.
I really loved Crux but I have to say Crossroads blew me away. This book is full of action that will keep you on the edge of your seat. Love, family and obligations play a big role and they seem so real that I just couldn't put this book down. The plot is heartbreaking but never too hard to stomach and the mix with funny witty conversations makes it into one of the best urban fantasies I ever read. I recommend this series to everyone with at least a bit interest in urban fantasy. You will not regret this! Moira Rogers is definitely one of my best discoveries so far!...more
I just finished this book an hour ago and I already can't wait to get my hands on City of Ghosts. Everything I loved in Unholy Ghosts is in this one, I just finished this book an hour ago and I already can't wait to get my hands on City of Ghosts. Everything I loved in Unholy Ghosts is in this one, too but it also has so much more. Chess is still basically the same girl. She's still a Debunker for the Church and as addicted as ever. But this time she gets in trouble with a capital T. She has to solve the murders of some whores for Bump and she gets between the lines of him and Slobag. She maneuvers herself into a one-way road and now has to figure out how to solve this without losing her friends, her job or perhaps even her life. The whole situation is rather complicated and as if she doesn't already have enough on her plate she also has to investigate a celebrity case for the Church.
I loved that we got a deeper view into her mind. We see more of what she feels and how she sees the world. I was fascinated by how this society of Facts and Truth affects a person. I always thought that believe itself is important, no matter what kind and I think this quote shows what I mean with that:
"What had it felt like, to have faith like that? To believe that death brought something better, brought peace and unity with something greater than oneself?"
People need hope and what will they do if they don't have any left? We can see that while watching Chess living her life. She starts to realize what she is really doing for her drugs and sees for the first time what is important in her life and what not. She discovers on who she can count and what she does to these people.
So much happens in Unholy Magic but I never felt lost. Mrs. Kane knows how to connect her storylines and keeps them so nicely woven together that you never feel disconnected to one part of the book. The suspense build up through the whole novel was perfect. I was itching to know will happen at the end. This story is so full of revelations and story twists- I knew some of them were coming but it still hit me where it hurts most.
And even more I wanted to know what would happen with Chess and Terrible. I really have to bite my tongue now to not spoil anything but let me assure you: Unholy Magic has a good amount of romance and heartbreak. This part of the book touched me so much that I had to cry a bit. It's surprising how much feeling you find in this couple. I would have never thought that I could feel for an drug addict and a brawny drug lord enforcer.
Unholy Magic made me stay up late and get up early. It has everything a great urban fantasy book needs and so much more. Stacia Kane created a world that drew me in- deep, and then she made it even better. I knew before her Downside Series that she is an awesome writer but now she definitely is on my auto-buy list. If you haven't started this series: What are you waiting for? Her Chess Putnam novels are the best new series I read this year and I'm sure City of Ghosts won't let us down....more
When I received this book as an ARC I was thrilled and nearly out of my mind with joy. I totally adored the first book, Black & White and I couldnWhen I received this book as an ARC I was thrilled and nearly out of my mind with joy. I totally adored the first book, Black & White and I couldn't wait to read this one. I completely lost the memory of any other books and jumped head first into the world of superheroes and supervillians again I will try to keep this review spoiler free but it will probably contain a few spoilers from book one, so stop reading if you haven't read that one. You should go to a bookstore and redeem this mistake. *wink*
The first thing I really loved about this book is the, for lack of a better word, organization. You've heard me bitch about some books with multiple POVs and now I tell you that's the thing I adored in this book. Each chapter has the name of the hero it's about at the start and I never felt lost. Again we also have the NOW and THEN parts and I was so happy to get a glimpse at Arclights and Nights background. We also get a new part in Shades of Gray: between the NOW and THEN parts are interludes. I won't tell you anything about them just that OMG I hope we get more about them. Cryptic much? I know.
The NOW chapters are all about Jet and Iridium again. We see what happens after the Fall of Night and the destruction of the Corp Co commlinks system. The superheroes are free, more or less, and the reaction to this varies extremely. Jet and a few fellow heroes try to get the mess sorted out but they are just not enough to go against the uprising rabids. This is Jet's chance to show them what she's really made of. I liked Jet more in this book. I can't even say why, but she didn't seem as pitiful in this book. I learned to understand her more and I really wanted everything to work out for her.
I still adore Iridium with her witty and bitching comments. She made me laugh so much. I was happy to see that at least some good thing happen to her too.
The THEN chapters are centered around the life of Jet's and Iridium's parents and how life as a superhero was at that time. We see how their relationships develop and how it all became so messy. I have to admit, at some points I was screaming and raving at the characters. I told them: No, don't do that and OMG why would you do that? but unfortunately they ignored me. I have to work on my changing the past skills. I enjoyed the unique voices of Vixen, Luster (that's Arclight's original superhero name), Blackout, Angelica and Night. The resemblance between children and parents was wonderfully handled. I got attached to these characters really fast and it pained me so much more to see what happens to them.
The plot in this novel is fast paced and will keep you at the edge of your seat. It makes you want to strangle the authors when they switch to THEN although you just have to know what happens next in the NOW parts but after reading the unwanted part you want to know what happens there. You will feel like you have a little shadow power with voices in your head, too. One surprising thing: I would have never thought that this book would make me cry, but it did. It is heart wrenching from time to time.
I noticed one thing in Shade of Gray that confused me a bit. The names of all the heroes. At times I was totally sure that this one hero is a man cuz the name is a male one and then bang it's a woman. Or is Kai a female name? In Germany, only boys are called that.
All in all Shade of Gray is an excellent hero story with wonderful characters and a story that will break your heart. Fast paced from the start, it will never let your attention shift to something else. Ms. Kittredge & Ms. Kessler really have super writing powers. Recommended to everyone who at least still remembers his or her love for superheroes. ...more
After reading Three Days To Dead my expectations for As Lie the Dead were really high and I'm happy to say that was not disappointed at all. As Lie thAfter reading Three Days To Dead my expectations for As Lie the Dead were really high and I'm happy to say that was not disappointed at all. As Lie the Dead is an action packed read with thrilling story and a heartbreakingly sweet romance.
Evy is still the snarky heroine I started to love.I adore her wit and the way she handles people. Okay perhaps that is not something I should try to achieve in real life but I like to read about people like that nonetheless. She is sarcastic and I laughed so much about the things she thought. Although she isn't too kick-ass to be untouchable. I think it is important not to have one of those superhuman ice queen heroines who just deflect any emotion and tragedy. It's refreshing to see how much she cares and what she would sacrifice to safe an innocent. She is a human with flaws and it only makes her better in my eyes.
We finally get more insight into Wyatt's character. He seems to be more fleshed out in this novel and I could feel more for his character. He is still mysterious but we learn more about why he became who he is now. I admit I missed him a bit in the first part of the book but the second half made up for it.
The relationship between Evy and Wyatt is steadily growing and they both learn, with the help of each other, to let the other one in. Not easy for 2 battle-trained hunters. It was refreshing to see these 2 get along without starting a fight every single time. They are still really headstrong but we get some heart touching moments too. The romance was sweet in this rather rash and brutal environment but unfortunately smutless. I didn't expect some kind of orgy but a trace of physical love would have made this book perfect for me. I really want them to be happy and to overgo every obstacle that stand between them.
I like the sidecharacters- especially that we got a closer look at the shifters. I really like those and it was fascinating to see how their social system works and how they live.I would have loved to see more of Isleen but we get some new characters who make up for that.
Storywise Dilemma is the big topic in As Lie the Dead. We are confronted with some situations where it's hard to decide what is right and wrong . And even harder is who decides about that? A tough choice and even more harder to see who is friend or foe.The story was action packed and never really gives you time to breath. We jump from one revelation to the next, some were obvious other not at all.
As you can see I loved this book to pieces. The characters are wonderful and the story is full of revelations and has it's fair amount of action. A highly recommended read that will keep you on the edge of your seat and won't let you stop till you read the last page. ...more
This book surprised me in many ways, not always in a good way but it did nonetheless. It's the first book in a new series and as in most first books iThis book surprised me in many ways, not always in a good way but it did nonetheless. It's the first book in a new series and as in most first books it has the bitter task of introducing the world and the characters.
The world we are thrown in is nothing totally unique but it worked for me. We have vampires living hidden between the ignorant humans who are unaware of the danger they live in. Vampires aren't completely the way they are often pictured in these kind of book but they aren't really something new either. They drink blood, they don't like the light but can learn to tolerate it and they can't breach into your home because of spell cast a few hundred years back. But all the rest we think to know about them isn't true. The vampires in this book are mostly aloof to say it nice. They see the humans as a necessity, something they need to live. They need the human blood and the best way to do that is to stay hidden in the dark or otherwise the humble humans would start a rebellion against the monsters. That's what most of the vampires think. In the last few years a group of rebells formed and now wants to grab the reigns of the world and form it the way they want it: vampires as masters and the humans nothing more as kettle. We also have the immortal warriors who are there to save the human race from the danger that will come. They are from another world and can only enter ours if invited by a so called conduit, a special human descendant of this warrior. The conduits are the warrior's only way to get here so it is a logically step for the vampire rebells to try to destroy this passage. So the conduit hunt begins.
The story starts with one of the oldest vampires in this world- Luca Ambrus. He is our hero and one of the few blood born vampires (that means he is the child of 2 vampires and not turned through blood transfer as most of them are). He's very old (2000+ years) and powerful, he has gifts most vampires can't even imagine and he likes to live on his own, secluded from the rest of the world. For me Luca was not easy to like. He's not a bad guy or had any major flaws I could point out now but he just didn't do it for me. His actions his reason to do them were mostly wrong in my mind. He did good things and all the stuff hero's are supposed to do but I never had the feeling he did cuz of the right reasons. I'm not sure if that makes any sense at all to you but it is hard to explain. Perhaps he was too aloof for me but it was right to make him that way. I know that 2000 years of experience would make someone different and perhaps he was just too different for me.
Chloe is a conduit and of course she doesn't know that. She has an ordinary life with even more ordinary problems. When the first vampire tries to kill her she is thrown headfirst in a world of monsters and her only help is Luca. He offers his help and she knows it would be stupid to refuse. She wants to live and she was never someone to shy away from problems. I really liked Chloe as a character. She is a strong woman with the right morals and a good attitude. I enjoyed reading her part of the book and was a bit disappointed that there weren't more parts about her. I disagreed with her a few times and some choices really pissed me off but I still liked her.
That brings me directly to one part of the book I didn't like so much. We have again a vast variety of POVs. I never noticed it so much in the past but I kind of run into more of those books in the last few books. It could be that it is only me but I was highly annoyed with the ongoing shift between places and characters. It always happened when I just started to feel for a certain character and bam we are thrown into a totally different storyline again and I was left wanting more of the last one. Not a good start for the next part and so it went on and on. I think I really am no fan of this.
Also worth a mention is Sorin- he is the second in command of the bad rebel vampires and I really enjoyed his part in the book. He was a good mix of good and bad and he really drew me in. I so hope he gets his own book in this series. He is so worthy of my interest.
All in all I think the many story-lines and different plot directions distracted a bit too much from the romance between Chloe and Luca. I was surprised that they loved each other at the end. The world building was nicely done and the story was interesting. The story didn't grab me as much as I wanted it too but all in all I still want to read book 2, Warrior Rising. I'm highly intrigued by both Sorin and his heroine Iklayina. ...more
When I held Night's Cold Kiss in my hands for the first time I was immediately impressed. The book looks impressive and when I started to skim throughWhen I held Night's Cold Kiss in my hands for the first time I was immediately impressed. The book looks impressive and when I started to skim through it I discovered the Glossary at the end. I thought wow that really looks like some serious world-building and the book didn't disappoint in that department. But let's start at the beginning.
We are thrown in the middle of a world full of paranormal creatures living in a more or less peaceful coexistence with the human population. There are organisations on both sites to keep an eye on the fragile peace and to punish those who break the line. The biggest problem are the Draniacs, vampires who turned crazy after feeling the "death rush" while draining someone completely. They turn into mindless killing machines who go rampant on a killing spree. But there is a group of humans who protect us from this threat- the Venators and our heroine is one of them.
Antoinette is a kick ass heroine with some baggage of her own. Her mother was killed by a necrodreniac who made the small Antoinette watch her mother die a slow and painful death. No wonder Antoinette is now full of prejudices and hates vampires in general with all her might. Not only this makes her into the best Venator out there and her goal is to kill as many of those vampires as she can. Antoinette is stubborn as hell and at some points she shows a rather unbecoming childish streak. But she is also an unbelievably strong woman ,compassionate for those she loves and no matter what she wants to keep the rest of her family together. For outsiders she seems to be untouchable. Her attitude shows and she can't hide her disdain for the vampire population in general. When she meets Christian and Victor she doesn't seem to be able to stop herself from judging them. With time she discovers her missjudgment but old habbits die hard.
Christian is a mysterious and very old vampire. He has big secrets in his past but all in all he is a nice guy. He learned to be in control of himself and Antoinette seems to shortcircuit that ability. He tries to keep his attraction for her in check but I have to say he's not doing such a good job. I was really intrigued by this character at first but unfortunately in the middle of the story his character was pushed a bit into the background. I would have loved to read more about him.
And then we have Victor- he's Christian's best friend but nothing like the brooding hero. He's a wonderful funny and witty character but for my taste his description was a bit too androgynous to be attractive. But I loved him nonetheles. His way to banter with Antoinette gave this book a wonderful funny side, something to light up your mood between all those fights and bloodshed. He also has that wonderful beast of a dog, Cerebrus and I just loved that one too.
The sidecast in general was very intriguing and variying. Each and every single character had a distinct feel to them- this made Night's Cold Kiss extra vibrant for me. I love to see the different facets and even more like the compulsion to discover their own secret agenda. That's always the most fun for me in one of those novels full of political intrigues. One of the characters I loved the most is Kavendish the mysterious butler. Very entertaining character.
Again I have to say I thought the end was a bit too easy and the last scene threw me off even more. I would have never seen that coming but it makes me even more curious for book 2, Death's Sweet Embrace.
An urban fantasy novel with an awesome world-building, captivating characters and a fast paced story. Night's Cold Kiss is urban fantasy at its best and it even has a bit of romance to sweeten the deal. I can't wait to read more....more
Finally an urban fantasy novel that is the way I like them. I nearly gave up on them after some disapointments in the last few months but Black WingsFinally an urban fantasy novel that is the way I like them. I nearly gave up on them after some disapointments in the last few months but Black Wings reminded me why I love this genre. It has a great world-building, a funny and witty heroine and a sidekick made of perfect. And yes, it also has a sexy hero- that was absolutely the icing on the top.
Black Wings is about Madeline "Maddy" Black, an agent of death. Her job is to deliver the souls of the newly deceased to the door that leads to the afterlife. She inherited that job from her mom and to say she's happy would be an overstatement. How satisfying can a job be if it doesn't pay for food or anything at all? She's a loner and not at all as socialized as she wished to be. Her independance isn't her choice but she does what she has to in order to survive. She has a wonderful sense of humor and made me snort more than once. But with the arrival of Gabriel her whole life is turned upside down. Luckily Maddy is a strong woman and handles all these rather bad news very well. She tries to keep it together and most of the time she does. Although I loved how some things made her lose her temper.
Gabriel is a rather mysterious character at first. Everything about him seems to be a bit "shadowy" and all my inner alarm bells started to scream. Yes it seems that those are my hot guy detectors. While the story progresses we get a better view of him as a person and I have to say I'm in love. His story made my heart bleed and I really would love to see him getting a well deserved HEA. Gabriel develops into Maddy's connection to the new world she's faced with, like a guide who shows her how to act and what to say, or even more important what NOT to say. ;) He really does his best to help her survive it.
And I have to tell you about Beezle, Maddy's gargoyle sidekick and probably her only real friend in this world. He is her roommate but actually more like her supernatural mini-dad. He's a protective little fellow and can really show some mean temper when he thinks that Maddy gets herself in too much trouble. But on the other hand he has a popcorn and chocolate addiction and is really decorative so I totally forgave him everything else. ;)
Black Wings is set in a rather complex world based on Christian mythology. I have to admit all my knowledge about this is taken out of other fiction novels so I'm probably more than under-qualified to judge the correctness. That's why I won't even try to do that. I was very intrigued by everything but at some points I was a bit swamped with information. After 3/4 of the book I even had to ask a friend if I missed something. Perhaps a glossary would have helped keeping track of the mythological and political structure of this world.
I really liked the plot though. It is full of twists and surprising turns and will keep you glued to the pages. It made me nearly break my brain when I tried to figure it out. The story has a great structure and I already know I need to read more.
Black Wings is a wonderful debut novel. It showed me why I love urban fantasy- wonderful world-building, witty and funny convos and a sexy guy who leads through the story. I can't wait to get my hands on Black Night, book 2 in this series....more
After what felt like a never ending wait we finally get the chance to dive into the wonderful world of the Southern Arcana series again. I loved the fAfter what felt like a never ending wait we finally get the chance to dive into the wonderful world of the Southern Arcana series again. I loved the first books and Deadlock didn't disappoint at all. I just say Alec. *insert swoony voice*
Carmen Mendoza is an empath working as a doctor in the local independent hospital. She knows how the shapeshifter politics work first hand because her ambitious father left her and her family to secure his political station. She put her back on everything connected to this prejudiced and discriminating system and tries her best to stay out of it. But her family just won't let it go. Her uncle and father are working together to right the "wrong" he did by marrying her mother. They want her to accept an "appropriate" husband who had the right position in the werewolf society. But Carmen won't budge. She's a strong woman and won't give in. I love her- Carmen is compassionate, strong and won't back down even from the strongest alpha. Being an empath makes her better at her job and improves the way she understands and helps people. I really liked her. She's a good person but her character didn't stand out enough.
But then we have Alec. *swoons* That guy makes my knees weak. He's the big bad alpha- possesive and protective of what he sees as his. Stubborn but also very sexy. He's a caretaker and sets everyone else's needs over his own. His past is branded with heartbreak and betrayal and he keeps his heart behind tons of shields to avoid being hurt again. I loved him to pieces. He's my kind of alpha hero. Strong, passionate, dirty but not overbearing or too stubborn. He always said the right things to make my toes curl and I really start to swoon again every time I think about him. He's in my top 5 heroes of 2010- and all mine. ;)
As always the worldbuilding and pace of this book was masterly done. I was drawn into the story from the start. This world is one of this rare gems that makes you think- it combines a paranormal world with a political system based on prejudices and intolerance that make you think about the world we live in. I love when a book makes me think. But the best thing about the Southern Arcana series for me is the way Moira Rogers includes the sidecast. Each story doesn't focus 100% on our couple but we also see the characters we loved in the previous books. And I so can't wait to read about Kat and Andrew- and I swear to god these two deserve a HEA. I so can't wait.
Deadlock is a great addition to this series. It's an action packed paranormal romance with a swoon worthy hero and a lovable heroine. Moira Rogers writes in a way that draws you in and won't let you go till you read the last word. For me her books are going on top of my tbr pile as soon as I get them. If you haven't started this series yet: what are you waiting for? Get your hands on Crux and believe me you won't regret it for one second. Great book in an awesome series....more