Boss is a loner - she seeks out old ships to dive, not to loot, but for its historical value. She also prefers her own company and doesn't really inte Boss is a loner - she seeks out old ships to dive, not to loot, but for its historical value. She also prefers her own company and doesn't really interact with people or have any friends. When she finds a space ship that is five thousand years old, human made and shouldn't be in this sector of space, she groups together a team to help her explore the ship.
Her interactions with her crew are somewhat cold and matter-of-fact, as is her narration. There's no warmth or show of emotion, to her fellow crew mates or to the reader. But Boss is not hard, just closed off and as we read further the prologue becomes clearer and we get to understand why she is the way she is.
There is no real build up to the story as it jumps in straight away into the action and Boss finding the ship. But we soon realise that this isn't the primary story but the lead up to it. As the story progresses from finding the ship to being hired to find a man who has been lost a place called The Room of Lost Souls, it becomes apparent that this is a personal story, Boss's story and it becomes a personal mission and not just about the exploration of an historical ship or finding The Room.
The story picks up pace about half way through and becomes exciting as Boss learns about The Room of Lost Souls where she last saw her mother alive. She begins to offer glimpses into her past, her pain, her mother's death and her strained relationship with her father and we get to see this more as she is reunited with him after years of ignoring his calls and messages. We begin to learn and understand why she is such a loner and so private. But as we get to know her so do the other characters in the book. She opens up more, shows emotion, especially with the deaths of her friends.
Boss is a complex character and although there is not a huge amount of dialogue in the book we get the feeling of so much history, so much has gone on in her life that she is an immensely interesting character and I enjoyed getting to know her very much. I wish there was a sequel to this book so I could keep up with her life and get to know her more.
The story is great too and if you are new to science fiction a great book to start as the sci-fi jargon is kept to a minimum and all scientific explanations are easy to follow. I enjoyed the descriptions of Boss's world in space. I must admit the ending surprised me a little - to end with a 'if you can't beat them join them' attitude was quite a change in direction and I felt went against Boss's whole character. However, It didn't ruin my enjoyment of the book and I wasn't disappointed.
I found Diving into the Wreck to be an exciting and thoroughly enjoyable read. For me my favourite part was pealing away the layers of Boss's personality. If you enjoy a strong, complex heroine and an exciting plot, then this is definitely the book for you. I will certainly be checking out Rusch's back catalogue. ...more
The Wicked Marquess is the first book in The Inferno Club series by Gaelen Foley. I haven't read anything by this author before, and have only read aThe Wicked Marquess is the first book in The Inferno Club series by Gaelen Foley. I haven't read anything by this author before, and have only read a handful of historical romances, so didn't know what do expect. What I got was a delicious, passionate romance combined with intrigue and suspense.
The Inferno Club on the outside is a scandalous club where rich men of society go, and ladies of society do not as it's full of wantonness and depravity. But this is only a disguise of course, for what really lies within is a secret society of warriors who protect the land, and one of these warriors is Max, the Marquess of Rotherstone.
Max is a spy for the secret society behind The Inferno Club and is completely gorgeous. He's protective and dominant on the surface but underneath he's sensitive and caring. He is also in need of a wife to restore his family's name and to do this he needs a virtuous woman.
Max sets his sights on Daphne, who isn't exactly virtuous having declined three proposals, and in polite society this is a big no-no. Max, however, is a bit full of himself at times, and thinks that Daphne will just fall into his arms. Unfortunately for Max, Daphne is afraid to marry, afraid to trust anyone, so when Max sets his sights on marrying her, she just wants to run!
When Max finally does show Daphne a ring, Daphne feels so out of control and trapped she declines his proposal, which obviously comes as a complete shock to Max and his ego!
Since Daphne's mother's death she has been very independent and doesn't get on well with her father's second wife, who wants her wed and out of the house. She fills her time with helping orphans. I did like Daphne, but her hesitancy with regards to Max, which I could completely understand, just went on a tad too long for me and I was almost screaming at her to just marry the man!! ;)
The dialogue between Max and Daphne is witty and smart and I just loved their banter. The descriptive detail about the time period and surroundings was just lovely and added to the entire feel of the novel. I had a clear vision of every scene because of the authors great writing style. The passionate scenes were written very well, and I didn't cringe with embarrassment once *is proud*
I really enjoyed the several sub-plots running alongside the romance between Max and Daphne, which had more to do with the secret society and spies. The one that comes to mind which I especially enjoyed was with Drake, another member of the 'secret society', who was presumed dead, but is actually being held captive. Drake is being tortured for information by another organisation, which he will not give up but sadly at the price of his sanity *poor Drake*. I thought all additional plots gave the book depth and set us up for future books in the series.
Although the next instalment is the story of Rohan, The Duke of Warrington, and a lady named Kate, which I am very much looking forward to, I do hope one of the books in the series will be about Drake and the woman who brings him out of his broken and confused mind... *sigh*
This book is pure escapism and is full of everything you would want from a romance and more - a real keeper in my opinion. Bring on The Dangerous Duke! ...more
"Long Lankin" is a really good debut novel from new author Lindsey Barraclough and is based on an old traditional poem that's actually7/10 on the blog
"Long Lankin" is a really good debut novel from new author Lindsey Barraclough and is based on an old traditional poem that's actually quite gruesome. However, I'll just give you a snippet...
Let the doors be all bolted and the windows all pinned, And leave not a hole for a mouse to creep in.
The doors were all bolted and the windows all pinned, except one little window where Long Lankin crept in.
The novel certainly keeps the atmosphere and creepiness of the poem and the imagery Barraclough paints is just brilliant. The young characters of Cora, Mimi, Roger and Pete are well written and developed giving me a rounded understanding of their young personalities, and Cora's old great aunt Ida is severe and cruel in her treatment of the children and has a past full of deadly secrets.
Cora and her sister Mimi live in London but are sent to live with their great aunt Ida in the countryside by their father due to their mother being in hospital with mental issues. When the children arrive I got a real sense of how old and dilapidated Guerdon Hall was and the descriptions of the graveyard are wonderfully eerie.
I would have liked a bit more detail of the surrounding area as it really could have been anywhere, but because we are told that the area is Essex, England, it would have been a great opportunity to champion this particular county that gets such a bad rap - there are some stunning areas of natural beauty, especially in north essex. So with that in mind I didn't really get a true sense of where the characters lived in relation to London.
I quickly delved into the lives of Cora, her sister Mimi and great aunt Ida, their story captured my imagination for most of the novel, unfortunately it did wane slightly in the middle. There are references to Ida's complicated past with fragmented memories of certain horrors that happened (and which would soon unfold in the present), but nothing actually got going until a good 250 pages into this quite lengthy novel - overly so in my opinion.
The ending was rushed slightly with an overloading of history into who, and what, is Long Lankin, which did become rather tedious, and seemed to take forever to get to the much anticipated climax. I think at least a hundred pages could have been removed from the first 250 without any loss to the story and maybe a little more attention to the ending would have given the novel a better balance.
However, the fundamental story is a creepy one and there are passages that made my skin crawl. Long Lankin is indeed grotesque and he would have frightened me senseless as a young girl.
Below are two of my favourite passages from the book, both from Cora's perspective...
Last night I heard whispering, very close to me. I peered at Mini's face, half in shadow on the pillow. She was moving her lips in her sleep, as if she were speaking. I leaned in towards her, and with her breath on my cheek I heard her say, ' Help us...help us...save us...' but it wasn't her voice, or even one voice alone - it was many voices.
I rush to the stairs and look up. My jaw drops open. Behind Mimi, [Long] Lankin is crawling down like an animal. The tip of his tongue, wet with thick grey spit, is sticking out from between his sharp yellow teeth like a black pointed stone.
"Long Lankin" is a great debut. With a creepy and atmospheric story and great characters, "Long Lankin" was a delight to read and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to young adults and adults alike. Ms Barraclough has a wonderful way with words and I look forward to reading her future work....more
This has to be one of the best Anita Blake novels I have read in a long time. Fans of Jean-ClReviewed by Laura for Book Chick City. 7/10 on the blog.
This has to be one of the best Anita Blake novels I have read in a long time. Fans of Jean-Claude, Micah, Nathaniel and co. may miss their total absence. But I actually enjoyed the change & the absence of complicated relationship discussions. For the most this book was just Anita, Edward and lots and lots of guns! Oh yes....!
It does help that Edward has to be one of my favourite characters of the series. The fact that his and Anita's relationship is platonic is just so refreshing. I would class 'Obsidian Butterfly' as one of my favourite of the series, when Anita enters into Edward's world. I also like how their friendship has developed in this book, from more than just work colleagues with admiration from each other's skills, but genuine friends.
There are some scenes that took me back with pleasure to Hamilton's early writing. One particular in the woods, just Edward & Anita stranded with darkness approaching, had me rubbing my hands together in gruesome, violent anticipation.
The Harlequin play a very important part in this novel, and it's great to get some baddies that pose a serious challenge to Anita and Edward. We get some real monsters and proper edge of your seat action scenes.
About three quarters of the way through, the tone of the book changed with the arrival of bodyguards from St. Louis. Let's face it, it was quite remarkable that Anita was 'allowed' to travel without them anyway. But while it annoyed me a little, and the whole police politics around their arrival took away from the story, they definitely add to the big showdown at the end so I won't complain too much ;-)
Side note... Am I the only one that cannot abide Nicky? He is like a simpering, wet puppy who fawns unattractively over Anita. What I don't understand is why this tough, uncompromising woman, who let's face it can have any man she chooses puts up with it? Can he meet an unpleasant end somewhere please Ms Hamilton?
Then there's Olaf, I do hope we get a book with a big, bloody showdown between him and Anita, the man so has it coming! And I just know it will also be edge of your seat stuff. Bring it on!
This is definitely the best Anita book I've read in a long time and it's really got me excited, I hope this is the start of things to come. I don't mind the relationships with all the men, although I wish there were a few less. But I love the action scenes, because Hamilton does really know how to write them and give you the proper chills.
RATING: 7/10 - Very good, would definitely recommend...more
"Scarlett Dedd" is a wonderful book combining story with illustration. It's also full of wit, great teenOriginally posted on my blog: Book Chick City.
"Scarlett Dedd" is a wonderful book combining story with illustration. It's also full of wit, great teenage characters and a fun, ghoulish plot.
Scarlett is pretty much ignored at school, but she does have a few friends who share her love of gory horror movies - sometimes they even try and make their own. But a school trip is imminent and she just cant face the dumb comments that she knows she will get from the other kids at school, so she thinks up a plan that would get her out of going: wild mushrooms. Unfortunately these mushrooms do more than just make Scarlett sick, they make her dead. Her family shortly follows her, after eating her deadly mushroom risotto.
The story follows Scarlett as she comes to terms with her demise - there are lots of funny, but also slightly dark moments where Scarlett tries to kill her friends, Rip, Taz, Psycho and JP, so she won't miss them so much and be so lonely. Scarlett also tries to have fun with her new ghostly abilities by scaring her friends silly, which she thinks is hilarious, at first, until she realises that there are extremely unpleasant consequences for coming into contact with the living.
Scarlett is a great character. I loved her funny, snarky humour and her very teenage voice. There are lots of 'it's so not fair!', which brought a nostalgic understanding smile to my face.
The ending to "Scarlett Dedd" wraps things up nicely but the reader is left with Scarlett meeting two new ghost friends...including a very cute boy-ghost! I hope the story continues as I would love to read more about Scarlett's ghost-life.
However, there was one very small aspect to "Scarlett Dedd" which I found a bit distracting and it was how the text was formatted. Most of the time it was readable and it fit in well with the story, but there are a couple of pages where the text swirls round in circles and the only way to read it is to turn the book round with it - this was too much for me and I ended up skipping those particular pages... younger kids may find this a fun aspect to the book, but I didn't... maybe I'm just too old ;)
"Scarlett Dedd" is a really enjoyable book and I appreciated the accompanying drawings by the author, they are a great addition, complimenting the story well and add to the already spooky atmosphere... A perfect read for Halloween! ...more
Red Hill is the first book I've read by Jamie McGuire. I've heard a lot of great things about her new adult romance series so this seems quit2.5 Stars
Red Hill is the first book I've read by Jamie McGuire. I've heard a lot of great things about her new adult romance series so this seems quite a bit of a departure from that genre. Sadly it showed. Red Hill brought nothing new to the zombie genre, and contained quite a lot of the same stuff I've read before. And I've read a lot. It also didn't really go into any depth.
Basically it's the journey of several characters that find themselves fighting a zombie outbreak. There's Scarlet, who's looking for her two daughter's; Nathan and his daughter, Zoe, who he's trying to keep safe; Miranda, her sister and their boyfriends; all are heading to one place they think is the safest: Red Hill Ranch.
There are several narrators, all from the first person view point. This didn't work for me at all. The main reason first person is used is to get inside the mind of the character, this can't be done successfully when each chapter flips between several characters. We never got inside the character's mind for long enough to really get to know them, and because of this the first person POV was wasted. I don't really understand the use of first person in this instance, and wonder why the third person POV wasn't used. In my opinion it would have read better a lot better.
Even though each chapter is titled with the character's name, I often had to go back to the beginning if I'd taken a break mid-chapter, to see who it was, as I couldn't gage who was speaking, the voices just weren't distinct enough to determine who was speaking.
None of the characters are particularly likeable, except maybe for Nathan and Scarlet. Miranda starts out likeable, but then I changed my mind after some of her terrible, selfish decisions. One being to not take an eight year old girl because they didn't have any room in the car. Really? She could of sat on someone's lap - to me, there's always room for a child. But no, Miranda was totally happy to leave her to the zombie hordes.
There were also aspects that were glossed over. Such as an elderly couple who took in Nathan and his daughter, Zoe. They became quite close even in the short space of time they had known each other, and I liked their bond. But when something happens to them, it's never mentioned; no emotions - nothing. I found this unbelievable and way too simplistic. After reading quite a lot of really awesome zombie books who's writer's understood that emotions are a huge part of zombie fiction, (namely Rhiannon Frater who wrote the As the World Dies series), Red Hill was sadly lacking in this department.
There was also quite a bit of repetitiveness in the prose; doubling up of words in a short space is one of my pet peeves when it comes to writing, as well as weird descriptions:
Skeeter smiled with his mouth and frowned with his eyes.
I ran to the door and pressed my ear against the door.
Hearing her clumsy footsteps upstairs as the sickness told her braindead body to move to find food was unbelievable.
and then a short time later:
No matter how many times I told myself it was true, seeing someone I knew to be dead moving around was unbelievable.
There were also a few inconsistencies:
Skeeter alternated between checking on his wife and checking the windows in the other room.
I wondered who the woman on the floor was to Skeeter, and what her life was like before she was bitten.
The fact that the narrator knew the woman was Skeeter's wife in one sentence, only to wonder who the woman was in the next really irritated me and threw me out of the scene.
The ending was a mishmash of silliness all packed into a few chapters. It felt as though the author was just throwing stuff in there to try and get a better climax to the story. Characters died all over the place, a huge bomb went off, ash fell from the sky, was it nuclear? Nobody knew, but hey let's continue with the birthday party inside! It didn't do anything for me. And due to the way the narration was handled I didn't get to know the characters that well, and as I didn't like many of the characters to begin anyway, I didn't care much about their outcome.
However, even with all these negative points, I did still manage to read until the end. It wasn't awful enough to stop me reading but it certainly wasn't a particularly good zombie novel.
Red Hill wasn't the best zombie novel I've read, but it also wasn't the worst. It's a 'meh' book for me. There were a few good parts, but many were quite silly, most of the characters were unlikeable, and the pacing was all over the place....more
**This review will contain spoilers from earlier in the series. If you do not wish to know details, pleaseReviewed by Vickie for www.BookChickCity.com
**This review will contain spoilers from earlier in the series. If you do not wish to know details, please don't read this review**
Ok, so this book is pants.... HAH, as if! But more on that in a bit, a quick run down first.
"Lover Reborn" is the 10th book in the Black Dagger Brotherhood saga, and is an awesome addition to the series. It focuses on Torhment, who, since returning from his extended vacay from the brotherhood is not really coping very well with life in general. Since his shellan (or wife for the uninitiated) Wellesandra died he isn't sleeping well, feeding at all and is now a shadow of his former self, with suicidal tendencies. Wellsie, his one and only love, is locked in the underworld with no chance of escape, unless Tohr can figure out a way to release her.
No'One, a nobody from a nontemporal realm known as Sanctuary is staying at the Brothers mansion and is enlisted by Lassiter (the self-serving fallen angel from blurb) to help Tohr free Wellsie and allow her to move on to the Fade (afterlife).
What can I say. I love this book. I was thrilled to be given the opportunity to review one of my favourite authors and I have to say I have not been disappointed with her latest offerings.
"Lover Reborn" had me switching through my range of emotions like I don’t know what. Near the end of the book I was furious one minute, in tears the next, and then suddenly smiling, all within a couple of chapters! It’s a total roller coaster ride.
No'One starts out quiet and unobtrusive, hiding away in the back of the house working hard and fading into the background. As her character progresses she comes to life and although she doesn't rock the world she certainly stirs life up for Tohr. I guess you could describe her as a bit too nice in how she deals with things...but to be honest, I quite liked that about her.
Tohr has had me so mad during this book that I could have cursed him to Dhundh (hell for those of you that can't remember) and back. I can understand why he is like he is, but in some instances he was just down right mean. He really struggles throughout with the hard decisions he has to make in order to help Wellsie. And then he goes and makes me cry. Normally my fingers can wipe away an odd tear when reading a sad bit of a book...but "Lover Reborn" had me needing tissues.
Running along side Tohrments story, is the ongoing saga of the Band of Bastards and their quest to overthrow the King, and then there are the Lessers who seem to be around every corner lately although not as much of a threat as they have been in the past.
If you are a big fan of the series and know the history between Blay and Qhuinn then you may be a little peeved at some of the happenings in this book, but hang on in there, there are good things afoot!
All the regular characters make an appearance in "Lover Reborn" keeping you in touch with what’s happening in their lives, as well as introducing you to a new player in town who is stirring things up somewhat in Caldwell.
There was one tiny bit in the book that disturbed me, and I think that’s more to do with my weak stomach than anything else. I know that Xcor is a bad, bad man, but I didn’t need to know it so graphically... honest... (insert the green around the gills emoticon here!)
A small quote I enjoyed:
“Tohr came back at the end of the evening with two dirty daggers, no ammunition, and a bone bruise on his right calf that made him limp like a zombie. Fucking tire irons. Then again, payback to that particular lesser had been kind of fun. Nothing like sanding the face off your enemy to lighten the mood. Asphalt was his friend.”
Well, just in case you aren’t clear on my feelings for "Lover Reborn", I will see if I can make it any clearer. Go and buy it. Now. Get tissues; prepare to cry, to be mad, and to be totally conflicted. You will love it and it will be your new favourite book...until you read the next instalment at least. ...more
“Touch if You Dare” is the second in Rowe’s 'Soulfire' series. Jarvis is a bad-ass warrGuest reviewed by Andrea for Book Chick City. 5/10 on the blog.
“Touch if You Dare” is the second in Rowe’s 'Soulfire' series. Jarvis is a bad-ass warrior and the guardian of hate. He’s spent over 100 years as a prisoner in the clutches of Death’s evil grandma, and finally he and some of his warrior friends have managed to escape.
But it’s not all hugs and puppies now he’s free. He is the guardian of hate and anyone who touches him starts to feel it. It makes him a lethal warrior, but emotionally stunted. The hate is growing rapidly inside him and it’s only a matter of time before he can’t contain it anymore and it spreads throughout the world. He needs to find his brother, the guardian of love, to help stop it spreading, but the guardian of love is on a suicidal mission and Death is not going to give him up.
Reina works for Death as a reaper, in the hopes of harvesting enough souls to be promoted, thus finding a cure to save her only surviving sister. She’s supposed to kill an immortal assassin, if she wants the promotion. Bring in Jarvis. He needs to speak to death, and she needs to kill an immortal warrior.
I’m really unsure if I actually liked this book or not. The premise is definitely interesting, and reminds me a little of Gena Showalter’s Lords of the Underworld, but with a little more humour. And I think that is where it fails in my opinion.
I love a bit of humour with my bad-ass warrior types, but for me, “Touch if You Dare” took it too far; far enough that it pulled me out of the story and I couldn’t suspend my disbelief any longer.
The opening paragraph is definitely unique and had me grinning and wanting to read more. I knew it wasn’t going to be a serious novel from the opening, and I was looking forward to something a bit lighter.
Sometimes rescuing a bunch of almost-dead warriors form black magicked pit vipers was just the kind of thing a man needed to help him forget the fact that he could not, for the life of him, figure out how to knit.
An awesome opener don’t you think? Warriors who want to show their softer side! Jarvis and his inability to knit sucked me straight in.
I haven’t read the first novel in the series, 'Kiss at Your Own Risk', and felt a little lost in this at first. It wasn’t bad enough that I couldn’t make sense of what was happening, and on large I was enjoying this, but humour has a way of dampening my emotions to what is happening to the characters. Something really important can happen but because it’s written in such a humorous way I don’t worry and don’t feel a connection.
I think the first tendrils of doubt started to filter in, when, in passing Jarvis’ torture and rape (though it’s never really stated so blatantly) by Death’s dear grandma was written in a blasé, humorous way. Maybe I’m being too sensitive about this, or not reading it the right way, but the way his torture is made light of had me cringing.
He hadn’t had the upper hand with a female in, oh, about a hundred and fifty years. His quality time with chicks usually ended with him skewered, stuffed, skinned, trying to remember why he bothered to keep reviving each time Death offered him an invite to a happier place.
There is also a passing reference to being trained like Pavlov’s dogs towards women that had me frowning, and maybe I really am taking it too seriously; it’s from Jarvis’ POV after all, and it could be his way with dealing with what happened to him; to pass it off as a joke.
But this wasn’t really the issue I had with this book, I could explain it away by telling myself it was Jarvis’ way of coping with being tortured for 150 years.
The part that had me rolling my eyes, humour now gone overboard, skip 3 paragraphs if you don’t want to be spoiled...
... was the guardian of love trying to slit his throat using the strings on his harp (while they’re still attached) and Death stopping him.
It just went too far me. I like my paranormal romances angst-filled, but with a happy ending, and if it’s a series, then some in jokes and banter.
I just couldn’t take it seriously after this, even with all the action, drama, worry, and love flying around, I couldn’t stop picturing Cupid with a beer belly trying to slit his throat on harp strings. OK, it’s funny, but it just stopped the rest of the story being credible for me. I wanted Cupid to succeed!
I loved the character of Jarvis and the idea of a warrior as the guardian of hate, Reina’s love for her family driving her to do whatever she can to save them is heartfelt, and together they are the perfect match. You can’t help but want them to succeed and get together because each of them seem so starved of affection in their own way. I really had no problem with the overall plot or characters; I think I just didn’t mesh with the style of the writing at the end of the day.
Maybe it’s just me. I like more angst and less humour, it’s why I’ve never been able to get into Terry Pratchett, but the overload of humour, especially at what I considered inappropriate at times made what was a fantastic basis for a new and fun paranormal romance series into something less enjoyable. I can’t say I didn’t like reading it, I liked the characters, and the idea, I just thought it needed more angst and less of the funny. If you enjoy a lot of laughs in your paranormal romance, I’m sure you’ll enjoy this more than I did!...more
'Black Swan Rising' is a little different to other urban fantasy novels I've read, in that it is quite a gentle read. Garet James is not the typical k'Black Swan Rising' is a little different to other urban fantasy novels I've read, in that it is quite a gentle read. Garet James is not the typical kick-arse chick - she's a fairly normal, down-to-earth woman struggling to make ends meet. She knows nothing of the supernatural world which surrounds her and so when she finds out that the world is not as it seems we see her trying to come to terms with the revelation that there are faeries, vampires and demons to contend with.
The beginning of the book is great and very atmospheric. I liked Garet straight away as I did her father and her two friends, Becky and Jay. Garet and her dad have lived together since her mother was killed in a car accident, but Garet's memories are tested when she finds out that her mother wasn't who she thought she was and Garet has a role to play in the newly discovered supernatural world.
One cold, foggy night Garet finds herself taking refuge in an antique shop, where she is asked by the antique dealer to use her jewelry making skills to open an ancient silver box. Garet agrees and this is when strange things begin to happen. I loved this part of the book, it was intriguing and it was fun to discover that the antique dealer was a demon called Dee who has been in and out of Garet's life for sometime without her knowledge.
Unfortunately, even with Garet and the other characters, 'Black Swan Rising' started to lose some of it's charm for me half way through when Garet is taken on a journey by the Faery King to learn magical skills from different elementals. One of these elementals is Melusine. She is a water elemental. It is from this particular moment in the book that I lost virtually all interest and struggled to finish the book, as it just didn't make any sense.
Garet and Melusine are torn apart into atoms and then form molecules to travel through water. Then they evaporate to come back down as rain. While this is happening their molecules intertwine and they can "see" each others memories and "feel" each others emotions...also, Melusine "sniffs to find Dee's presence"...really? sniffs? While they are molecules? Don't you need a nose and some lungs to sniff?
I know I should suspend my disbelief further, as this book is about vampires, demon's and other supernatural creatures, but I just couldn't and as this went on for the rest of the book, I was unfortunately lost to this part of story.
Also, for some reason the author thought it a good idea for this particular elemental to spit at people:
As if to remind me of that greeting she [Mesuline] cleared her throat and hawked up a great gob of spit that landed six inches from the polished loafers of a lunching businessman."
The honking and spitting went on for some pages and I found myself wanting to gag. This just wasn't necessary and I can't for the life of me think why this was thought to be a good personality trait.
There is a love interest for Garet too in the form of yummy vampire, Will Hughes. I liked Will very much but the romance between them is slightly tainted by the fact that you don't know whether he is falling in love with Garet or because she resembles a woman he used to love called Marguerite, who is part of Garet's lineage. I'm hoping it's the former.
'Black Swan Rising' has a great first half and a poor second half. It's the first that has the potential to be a really interesting, albeit a slightly gentler, urban fantasy. Sadly there are a few additions in this instalment I could definitely have done without, but they won't stop me from picking up the next book in the series, 'The Watchtower', as I really liked the characters, especially Garet and I would like to continue her story....more
I was unsure about this book because I’ve looked at the other Private novels and then put them back on the shelReviewed by Andrea for Book Chick City.
I was unsure about this book because I’ve looked at the other Private novels and then put them back on the shelves because they seemed too girlie, and one thing I detest is a book set around catty teenage girls. I was pleasantly surprised with “The Book of Spells”. Yes, it’s about a group of teenage girls all attending school, they talk about fashion, boys and sneaking out, but it didn’t have that cloying, cringe worthy feel to it that I’ve come to expect from other books of a similar nature.
It’s set in 1915 and gives the history behind the Billings Society that the other novels are set around. Not at any point did I feel like I needed to read those to get a better understanding of the world. This novel can be read alone or as part of the series.
Eliza is a very likeable character, you can practically feel her excitement as she leaves her stifling life and starts a new one at Billings School for Girls. She’s the perfect blend of modern girl in an old fashioned society. She wants adventure and a life of her own, yet she wants to fall in love as much as her new friends do.
Theresa starts out as a pretty ordinary antagonist to create conflict for Eliza, but she really comes into her own and by the end of the book I warmed towards her and started to understand her motivation. I would have liked more characterisation for her, but she definitely helped move the story along.
Catherine is Theresa’s best friend and Eliza’s new roommate. They have lots in common, from literature to their love of adventure; they only differ when it comes to Theresa! She is the peacemaker and is often torn between the two.
Eliza meets Harrison on her arrive to Billings, and there is instant attraction between them, though nothing is as simple as it seems. The romance is secondary to the main plotline which revolves around Eliza, Theresa, and Catherine finding spell books in a secret room. The girls and their friends suddenly realise magic is real and they can be witches. There seems to be a spell for everything, and soon a simple spell to change to the colour of a dress can take a sinister turn.
If you can get past the giggling girls and boy talk this is a really good novel. There’s no annoying teen speak, but the girls do tend to talk about clothes and boys a bit too often for my liking. Whether this is because of the time it’s set in, I’m not sure, but the intrigue, and slow build up to a chilling end make it worth a few giggles.
There seems to be a few things that are left unfinished and it confused me because I wasn’t sure if Brian will write another prequel book, or if these are actually explained in later books. They’re not really important in the whole scheme of things, but sometimes a few little details can stick in your mind. For example, Eliza’s sister who attended Billings before Eliza seemed to have a personality change after she left, and everyone’s response once they knew Eliza was her little sister.
This was a fun easy read that has a good pace and a set of great characters. It was refreshing to read a young adult paranormal book that didn’t have romance as the focal point, even if the girls were rather obsessed with it! It was a good book, but not overly emotive. I enjoyed about it, but it didn’t get me overly excited. It had a few unexpected twists and turns and is a good basis for the other Private novels to be based around....more
This is the first book by Rachel Caine I have read and I must say I enjoyed it. Ill Wind is the first book in the Weather Warden series, where the worThis is the first book by Rachel Caine I have read and I must say I enjoyed it. Ill Wind is the first book in the Weather Warden series, where the world's weather is controlled by warden's who each control the different elements of Earth, Wind, Water and Fire.
Joanne is a weather warden and she has the ability to control water and wind. She's also on the run from the World Council as she's been accused of murder. I really like Joanne. She's certainly not a girlie girl as she likes her cars and drives a Mustang (who she talks to as though it's a person), likes to drive fast and take a few risks. But on the other hand she does really like her purple velvet trousers... What a great combination: a feisty chick who's not afraid to get down and dirty but who also loves to look good. I must say, I can relate!
Although I didn't quite manage to get into the book from the first chapter due to a few passages that dragged a little, mainly the descriptions of the weather, my interest certainly piqued with the introduction of David, a very sexy hitchhiker Joanne picks up along the way and who turns out to be something totally different. There's also great sexual tension between the two of course, and who doesn't like a bit of that!
About two thirds of the way into the book the pace picks up considerably and battles ensue. There are lots of twists and turns, which, for me, were a little predicable as I saw them coming a mile off, but they kept my interest all the same.
I also enjoyed the flashbacks to Joanne's past: how she became a Weather Warden, her friendship with Star and Lewis (both weather wardens) and her problems with her boss Bad Bob, who she didn't like and is accused of killing. I felt I was getting to know her slowly but surely as the book progressed.
After a bit of a shaky start, I thoroughly enjoyed Ill Wind. It's quite a fresh take on the urban fantasy as there's no vampires or werewolves, instead we have wardens and Djinn (genie). I look forward to reading the next book in the Weather Warden series.
I actually gave this 7/10 on my blog, but Goodreads still doesn't offer half stars!
'The Fallen Blade' has been on my to read list for a long time. I fell in love with the cover, thReviewed by Jo for Book Chick City. 9/10 on the blog.
'The Fallen Blade' has been on my to read list for a long time. I fell in love with the cover, then the title and after I read the summary I was a-goner.
Set in an alternate historical Venice, 1407, the Duke’s Cousin Lady Giulietta has been saved from werewolves and now has been captured by Pirates before her impending wedding. The only person who is capable of finding her and bringing her back is Tycho, a half starved boy with supernatural strength and a thirst for blood the Duke’s assassin found chained to a ship.
This is a book packed full of action, intrigue and style. Tycho is a really interesting character; he has next to no memories and doesn’t know what he is, or how he became what he is. Obviously we the readers know what he is, but learning with Tycho is fascinating, an assassin in training, he is possibly the first vampire in this history and so has no mentor to teach him vampy ways. Alongside the main story of Tycho training to be an assassin, are some Machiavellian politics worthy of The Tudors. Deceitful, cunning twists and turns that made even me want to laugh in an evil manner! Mwahahaha.
Venice itself is remarkably written and so vivid you feel you are walking the dusty, dirty streets. You can see the beautiful architecture, experience the Venetian culture and follow the characters on their story.
For me, this really had everything I like in Fantasy. A detailed clever plot with a very real setting, vivid characters, a hint of romance and the feeling of being fully immersed in a story where it’s a pleasure to experience.
After so many books domesticating Vamps and Weres, they are back where they belong in a hugely enjoyable gritty, violent and dark Fantasy....more
I saw a rave review of Tangled with a comparison to Wallbanger by Alice Clayton, which I really enjoyed. As it was already on my review pile,3.5 Stars
I saw a rave review of Tangled with a comparison to Wallbanger by Alice Clayton, which I really enjoyed. As it was already on my review pile, I thought I would give it a go. I did have slight apprehension because it is from the hero's point of view and it is very rare when I pick up a book with the guy's POV. However, I'm glad I did. Tangled is funny, full of witty dialogue and has two interesting characters.
Our hero (loosely termed) is Drew. He's a complete arsehole with hardly any redeemable qualities. He's sexist, egotistic, shallow, and thinks he's God's gift (which sadly he is... he's smokin') and doesn't he know it. To top it all off, he's excellent at his job - bastard.
Drew's views of women do not endear him to you at all, especially for the first half of the novel. As mentioned above, he sees woman as things he uses on a Saturday night to let his hair down and get his rocks off. He's not into relationships, just more into relieving his stress.
But for me, Tangled is all about growth, for Drew and for Katherine, his love interest. There is a scene where a male client will only sign a contract with Drew's company if he can have some 'quality one on one' time with Katherine. Drew totally balls the guy out and while he's at it realises that he's actually looking at himself, as this is the way he acts towards, and the way he thinks about, women; and he doesn't like it.
Katherine changes him in more ways than one and it was great to see him grow into a better person. He isn't that likeable in the beginning and even at the end he's an acquired taste, but the overall story arc is cleverly done.
There are many hilarious moments too, as Drew, our narrator, talks directly to you as though telling you his story face to face. It works well for the most part but at times I did get a little tired of him telling me how things went down rather than showing me how things went down, but it's only a small niggle.
Overall Tangled is a well written, funny read with hot sexy times. It is actually quite realistic, although I'm not sure many women could have dealt with Drew as well as Katherine. He isn't a particularly sympathetic character, and I don't think that changes much as I can't say I loved him by the end of the book. However, I did get to like him, especially as I saw his thoughts and opinions about women change.
I think that this is the message of the story in all honesty. This guy is all about one night stands; saturday nights filled with nameless, faceless women he doesn't care about and just wants to fuck; amazing at his job, and amazing in bed. This guy is all sorts of annoying. But meeting Katherine changes all that. You watch him grow, understand, become enlightened. By the end of the novel he's more than just a working hard-on.
Tangled is a fun read, but by no means perfect. You get a really good understanding about who Drew is and what he wants, but he isn't all that likeable. In fact he's a total douchebag. However, he does, in a small way, get to redeem himself by the end. I loved that Katherine didn't take any of his crap and gave as good she got. If you want a slightly different take and view point for a contemporary romance then I would recommend it. I would definitely read more by this author, and I look forward to book two in the series....more
I was really looking forward to reading "The Greatcoat". I was hoping it would be an atmOriginally posted on www.BookChickCity.com - 5/10 on the blog.
I was really looking forward to reading "The Greatcoat". I was hoping it would be an atmospheric, romantic ghost story, and although very different, written with the same richness and depth as 'The woman in Black' by Susan Hill (my favourite ghost story of all time). Unfortunately, it didn't really deliver.
"The Greatcoat" is a ghost story set in Yorkshire during the Second World War and the 1950s. It's a strange little novella in that to me it didn't have much of an atmosphere at all, which is what I expect from a ghost story. It wasn't eerie or creepy. I did, however, think the author managed to capture the essence of Yorkshire quite well and I could visualise the house and street where Isabel and Phillip lived.
Isabel and Phillip are married and move into a house with a rather grouchy landlady. Phillip is a doctor and is working long hours, leaving Isabel alone for long periods of time. The house is cold and one evening Isabel finds an old greatcoat, which she uses to keep warm, and thus begins the ghost story...
I felt that all the characters were very superficial, especially Isabel. They didn't have any depth to them and I didn't get to know them at all. Isabel's husband Philip and her lover (and ghost) Alec, were also a bit on the flat side and rather uninteresting. I didn't care about them, which made the reading of this novel slightly hard going. The character that did pique my interest was Mrs Atkinson, the landlady.
The romance between Isabel and Alec just didn't capture my imagination or my heart and unfortunately I didn't become emotionally attached to either of them. Half the time I didn't know who Isabel was and so I couldn't fully invest in their relationship.
Isabel's narrative was difficult to follow as it alternates between her true self and someone else entirely. I think I have an idea what the author was getting at, but ambiguity is not to my taste. There's also a fair amount of repetitiveness with Isabel doing and saying the same things again and again. The structure of the story is also irritating as it jumps about far too much, which made it feel disjointed.
Although I didn't particularly enjoy "The Greatcoat" I continued reading with the hope that the ending would make all the preceding pages worth while, but sadly the ending was abrupt and obscure.
Unfortunately "The Greatcoat" wasn't what I expected, which was disappointing, and the writing style wasn't to my taste. I couldn't connect with the characters or their relationships with each other. However, this is just my personal opinion - you may love it!...more
I gave this book 7/10 on my blog, but Goodreads doesn't offer half stars.
I really loved the first book in this series, and although Undead and UnemploI gave this book 7/10 on my blog, but Goodreads doesn't offer half stars.
I really loved the first book in this series, and although Undead and Unemployed didn't have quite the same impact as Undead and Unwed, I still really enjoyed it.
Undead and Unemployed starts roughly where the first book finished, albeit a couple of months have passed. Betsy is still trying to come to terms with her new status as Vampire Queen and the complete change of lifestyle. She is getting a little frustrated with her new life and wants to put back some sense of normality. So, she decides the only way to do this is to get a job.
Betsy heads out and finds employment at Macy's as a shoe salesperson, which of course she thinks is the best job ever! You see, Betsy loves shoes, so to be surrounded by them is utterly divine - this is her dream job. Luckily her employer is just looking for night time staff which fits in perfectly with the whole vampire thing.
Unfortunately, nothing ever runs smoothly and Betsy learns there's a gang who have taken it upon themselves to rid the world of vampires. Of course Betsy doesn't really want to get involved but is dragged into helping by the delicious Eric Sinclair, who she loves hates to positive distraction!
Betsy is as witty as ever and I enjoy her snarkasm so much. She's such a sassy character and I love her interactions with those around her, her witty retorts just have me smiling the whole time I'm reading! The supporting characters of her friends, Jess and Marc, are very likeable, especially Jess.
The story itself is a good one but not very complicated. There are a few twists and turns but mostly it is easy reading and completely hilarious. I especially enjoyed the scene where Betsy invited the vampire hunters to afternoon tea!
Undead and Unemployed is a quick but entertaining read. It's light and funny with a great heroine. I will definitely be continuing this series and would recommend it in a heart beat....more
I found the book to be well written, poignant and heart-warming. I sympathised with the main characters, Henry and Clare, and enjoyed the blossoming rI found the book to be well written, poignant and heart-warming. I sympathised with the main characters, Henry and Clare, and enjoyed the blossoming relationship between them. I liked the fact that the author used the present tense and first person narrative as it enabled me to connect with the characters straight away and to really get inside their heads. I don't think this would have been as easy if it was past tense or third person.
However, for me there is hardly anything so fascinating and yet so utterly frustrating as the 'Time Travel' story and frustration can sometimes be the stronger emotion due to the vaguely spelled out theory of time travel, which often leads to events being confusing and contradictory. This is what I think happened in this book. I'm not particularly scientifically minded, but I am intrigued by the subject of time-travel and I know this book is a work fiction, but I always find time travel a difficult one as there's always the 'Time Travel paradox'.
I found that the contradictions of time travel interfered with my total immersion in the book. As there are several Henry's traveling through time (and we know this by the fact that he sometimes visits himself and watches them time travel) then surely all these Henry's would be meeting with Clare and therefore she would be inundated with them!? I know that I should have put aside trying to analyse this element of the book, as time travel is only theory, but I couldn't and so it hindered my enjoyment of the book slightly.
However, overall I did enjoy the story and found it to be sweet and the characters likable. I would recommend it, but be warned, put your time traveling theories aside and just go with the flow. If you enjoy a good love story then this is the book for you. ...more
With its lush and vivid setting I'm tempted to call 'Trade Winds' a beautiful book. Set mainlyReviewed by Laura for Book Chick City. 7/10 on the blog.
With its lush and vivid setting I'm tempted to call 'Trade Winds' a beautiful book. Set mainly in Sweden, but with parts of the story told in Scotland and China in transports you through both time and cultures in 1732. I know next to nothing about Sweden, but I got a strong sense that this book was well researched and the author paints a distinct vision of each setting the book takes place in. I particularly loved the parts in China.
The heroine is Jess van Sandt a woman who has been raised in Sweden. Her now deceased father had been a forward thinking man, and with no sons to pass his business to had taught and encouraged Jess to be a part of it. But when her mother remarries, her new stepfather assures Jess that the business is now his, and her father's Will left her with nothing but a dowry for her marriage.
Jess is a determined and intelligent women and knows that something is amiss and desperately tries to get to the bottom of her stepfather's subterfuge. Wanting nothing more than the right to what she legally believes to be hers.
Living in the modern world, with a career of my own, it's easy to forget what it used to be like for women in the past. To not be able to own your own property and be entirely dependant on the men in your life. But this book really did make me think what it must have been like. I admired Jess's wits and courage and fumed at the injustices against her.
As a hero, initially you could be fooled into dismissing Killian as a bit of a gambler and a rogue. But peel beneath the surface and you'll find he's a very complicated man. A man that's determined to prove himself. Disinherited by his Grandfather, he seizes the opportunity to travel to Sweden and apprentice to Jess's stepfather to learn a trade and prove himself.
The love story isn't instantaneous, or a clash of lusty wills as you sometimes see in romances. It's Killian's dislike of injustice that draws him to help Jess, rather than some nefarious or romantic purpose. But just as Jess does, you slowly become charmed by him.
However, this book is more than a love story, the epic journey to China adds a real sense of adventure, and of course it really was an epic journey in those times. There's more than one villain to keep you on your toes and I found the history and Far Eastern culture fascinating.
There are four things that really make this book work. The beautiful setting, the obvious historical research coupled with the adventure and love story. This isn't what I would class as a fluffy romance, it's a rich and engaging novel with a romance story at the heart of it....more
'Killing Kiss' is the story of Gabriele, a Seventeenth Century vampire, and a Manchester University student. ItReviewed by Laura for Book Chick City.
'Killing Kiss' is the story of Gabriele, a Seventeenth Century vampire, and a Manchester University student. It is a dark, and somewhat edgy book.
Gabriele is entirely alone in the world since he was accidentally turned into a vampire, and then abandoned by his maker. He lives in the outskirts of society.
To keep his existence under the radar he only allows himself one feed a year. The choosing of each year's victim is an all consuming and important task for Gabriele. He seduces and stalks the woman like the serial killer that he is. That woman always has the same characteristics. She is dark, slim, quiet, reserved and a virgin.
It is very difficult to turn a human into a vampire and no-one knows why one person survives and another dies. So every year Gabriele chooses carefully, and every year devastatingly, she dies. He would know, he has four hundred trophies to remind himself.
This year is unlike any other, he has chosen his prey and has begun stalking her with single minded determination. But, this year something distracts him. A beautiful and curvaceous woman called Lilly, who has every male student on campus panting. Of course she is not Gabriele's type. Gabriele has already chosen the dark haired Carolyn who fits his requirements perfectly.
However, despite hundreds of years of planning and control, Gabriele quickly discovers it only takes one small action to disrupt even the best laid plans. It comes in the shape on a simple spiked drink and suddenly everything changes.
The story is mixed in equal parts with Gabriele or Jay's, as he is known currently, life in the modern day and his reflections of his past. As his thinks about how he became a vampire and his life since. The women he's loved and killed, some even his wives. He takes us on a macabre and occasionally desolate journey.
When I first started the book I struggled to engage with Gabriele. Instead of coming across as a dark, sexy and gothic hero, initially he seems more like a horny, teenage boy. There's something sleazy about his pursuit of the innocent Carolyn that was not only sinister, but made my skin crawl. But on reflection, I think this was perhaps the author's intended effect.
I can't really talk about them without throwing in some spoilers which I'm reluctant to do, but there were a few things in the narrative that made me feel uncomfortable. In particular an unexpected revelation towards the end. But, again even as I think about it, I think this is on purpose. It is meant to set the reader slightly on edge and to break stereotypical moulds. To make this an unusual and deliberately different vampire novel.
This book is deceptively compelling. Like that alcoholic drink you shouldn't like but can't resist having just one more of. It is a purposely different, contemporary horror. And I find I am curious despite myself, to know where the author takes it next....more
"Magic Burns" is the second book in the 'Kate Daniels' series by husband and wife writing team,Originally posted on Book Chick City. 7/10 on the blog.
"Magic Burns" is the second book in the 'Kate Daniels' series by husband and wife writing team, Ilona Andrews. I enjoyed it but, as with book one, 'Magic Bites,' I still can't connect with this series like I have with other urban fantasies. I think it's mainly due to the fact that the world is a little confusing to me. I still don't fully understand it or have a clear picture of it in my mind.
Having said that, there is a lot that I love about this book. The first is Kate - she's a great heroine, strong, kick-arse and stubborn. I really enjoy her interactions with Curran and they are too few in my opinion. They are constantly butting heads; Curran trying to dominate and Kate refusing to submit (which is another thing I love about her). The second is Curran. I love Curran. He's my favourite character and I wish he was part of the story a lot more.
As well as being hired by the pack to retrieve some stolen maps, Kate has to take care of a young girl who is in danger and goes in search of her missing mother who is part of a witch coven. Kate meets many new people and monsters on the way, which she has to slay, while also having to deal with a huge magic flare, which is making everything just that little bit more difficult.
The fight scenes are great - I particularly enjoyed the part where Kate uses her full power and all the demons kneel...it gave me goose-bumps. We now realise Kate has a huge amount of power but we're not sure why - the suspense to find out about Kate's past is increasing, which is exciting. There's also a little hint at Curran's feelings for Kate - awww.
"Magic Burns" is an entertaining read with great characters and lots of fantastic action. Although this series isn't one of my favourites yet I am looking forward to reading 'Magic Strikes' the third book in the series....more
'Married with Zombies' is such a fun book! The main characters, Sarah and David, are married, and while there is a zombie apocalypse unfolding around'Married with Zombies' is such a fun book! The main characters, Sarah and David, are married, and while there is a zombie apocalypse unfolding around them, they still argue about the issues that had them in therapy to begin with, and because of these two characters, 'Married with Zombies' gives a slightly original slant on the usual characters offered in zombie fiction.
However, that's where the originality ends, this book is full of zombie fiction cliches, but you know what, I didn't care. This is such a great read because it is pure entertainment. I giggled at their quibbles and yet there is still enough substance and depth to make me care about both these characters. There's also enough disgusting viscera and brain munching to keep me happy with regards to action and it's a fast-paced read.
It begins when Dave and Sarah are on their way to see their marriage therapist and notice that the roads aren't as busy as usual. But they don't think much about it and continue bickering. When they arrive at their therapy session they wait outside the room. After waiting for what seems like ages, Sarah opens the door to find Dr Kelly munching on her previous clients.
The first thing I noticed was that Dr. Kelly's eyes were no longer blue. Now they were red with huge pupils that didn't seem to focus on anything in particular, even when she looked right at us. Her skin was a greyish tone, sickly and pale and...dead-looking, honestly. Except for her mouth, which was covered with a black substance that clung to her lips and teeth. Her chin was bright red with blood and sticky with flesh from the fresh meal she had just devoured. "Um, Dr. Kelly," I said, hardly able to breathe. "Dr. Kelly, are you okay?"
From there chaos ensues and Dave and Sarah find themselves in a zombie infested world where they have to fight, kill and steal to stay alive. It's the same old story I've read many times within this genre, but it's wrapped in snappy dialogue and contains two very interesting, fun characters.
There are a few other characters throughout the book but they are fleeting acquaintances. Mostly, Dave and Sarah have to pull together to survive, and they begin to surprise themselves at what they're actually capable of.
I shook off my surprise and started booking it across the parking lot again. One of the zombies broke toward us and caught up to us pretty easily since we were slowed down by Dave's injury. I pushed my husband behind me and did the thing you always see at some point in zombie movies. I went all kung fu on his zombie ass.
They soon begin to work as a team and although this is a story about a married couple with zombies, there's still enough action to keep the story moving along at a perfect pace. It's also narrated by Sarah, who's funny and brave - I like her a lot. Dave's great too but for me Sarah is the star.
'Married with Zombies' is a wonderfully entertaining read. The writing is witty, the characters are warm and funny and the story is suspenseful and exciting. The slight twist on the typical hero and heroine of zombie fiction makes this is a refreshing read and I highly recommend it to any zombie fan....more
Affliction is book 22 in the Anita Blake series, and it’s a series I have a love to hate relatReviewed by Laura for www.bookchickcity.com - 3.5 Stars.
Affliction is book 22 in the Anita Blake series, and it’s a series I have a love to hate relationship with. I’ve nearly given up on it a couple of times, but there is something quite compelling about Hamilton’s writing. The last couple of books before this one have been an improvement, I really enjoyed Hit List, then felt that Kiss the Dead took a bit of a step backwards. But, the good news is that Affliction is undoubtedly one of the best books in the series in a long time.
Hamilton seems to really have made an effort to refocus the writing, we see a lot less pages on Anita’s love life and a lot more on the police investigation and bad guys. The lovers are still there, and still reasonably irritating, I do like some of them, but I just find that there are too many, it’s ridiculous. The first 100 pages or so of the novel was quite slow going and could have really done with some editing, but once the story got going, it really got going.
The best way I can describe Affliction is Anita Blake does the zombie apocalypse. Yes, think multiple, crazy, flesh eating madness versus Anita and Edward with a serious amount of fire power. The action scenes were utterly compelling, this is where Hamilton really knows how to write. I couldn’t get enough of them and looked forward to the next zombie killing fest with macabre glee.
The action was well paced, and the police investigation was thoroughly enjoyable. As the scenes got darker and darker you just knew they were going to need Anita to save the day and zombies are what Anita does best. In these sections the was less focus on Anita’s personal life and she also had a lot fewer bodyguards to hide behind too, so we get to enjoy plenty of scenes where Anita gets to kick arse all by herself. Hurrah! More please Ms Hamilton, more!
The parts I found rather irritating were the sections were Anita seemed to demand that everyone accept who she is. How many people discuss their personal/sex lives at work? Very few surely? But every time Anita is on a new job it’s like she has to force it down their throats. Why not be mature and refuse to discuss it and move on to the job at hand? Instead there are numerous tedious conversations about how many lovers Anita has and how everyone is prejudiced against her, ugh. I don’t mind so much people being nervous of Anita’s supernatural abilities and close relationship with the vampires, that suspicion is understandable. But it’s when she forces everyone to accept and discuss openly in a professional setting that she has multiple lovers that I find myself losing patience.
My last criticism is one I’ve had of several of Hamilton’s recent books in this series and it’s the ending. At 567 pages, this was by no means a small book, there was plenty of time for the story to be fully explored, but I felt like the final climax was all over disappointingly too quickly. I wanted a bit more bloodshed, more of a battle and yes more injuries! Overall the beginning needed cutting and the finale expanding.
It does feel in this review that I am whinging a lot. There are still plenty of frustrations, but please if you take away anything, take away that this is the best book in the series for a long, long time. We see lots of police work, lots of action, guns, battles and Anita doing what she does best. I think on my rough count there are only 4 sex scenes and Hamilton has most definitely pulled back on the sex and relationships and reverted back to what she does best.
If you’re an Anita fan who has been like me, losing heart with this series, then give Affliction a go and it will remind you why you fell in love with Anita in the first place. There are still issues with the writing, yes far too many ridiculous lovers, but it’s good. It’s about time we saw Anita versus the zombie apocalypse and Hamilton gives us plenty of gory action scenes to revel in. I hope Hamilton continues along this line of the focus and brings this series back to its heartland....more
THE GATHERING DARK by Leigh Bardugo is a thrilling YA fantasy novel set in a fictional world where GrishaReviewed by Rebecca for www.BookChickCity.com
THE GATHERING DARK by Leigh Bardugo is a thrilling YA fantasy novel set in a fictional world where Grisha live side-by-side with humans, serving the King of Ravka in the war with the surrounding regions. The plot is intricately carved, with this novel providing a strong basis for the future books in the trilogy and carving out the foundations of the Grisha universe.
Grisha are wielders of magic so to speak, their power being described as ‘like calling to like’, with the hierarchy of the Grisha dependent on their skills. The highest ranked is the Darkling, a man with the power to summon forth darkness and amplify others’ power, the strongest of all Grisha. The other Grisha wield a mixture of elemental, summoning, healing, and crafting magic, each having individual skills with which to aid the kingdom.
Our heroine, Alina Starkov, is an orphan, raised in a duke’s orphanage along with her best friend Mal, and now a cartographer in the army. Their regiment is tasked with crossing the Shadow Fold, a seemingly impenetrable stretch of the kingdom that is inhabited by volcra, vicious beings that will kill on sight. Alina’s power manifests during this attempted crossing, marking her as a sun summoner, a power almost as rare as the Darkling himself, making her a prime target…
Alina is a relatable protagonist, with her emotional turmoil at becoming a Grisha fully understandable, along with her subconscious desire to belong somewhere, to have some sort of purpose. I really liked her as a character, and felt that the first person narration was really well written by Bardugo, as I never once felt annoyed at her character or frustrated at her perspective. She grows throughout the novel, becoming even stronger and likeable by the end, the reader willing her to succeed along her journey.
Another well-written aspect of this book is the love triangle. Ordinarily the author will set up from the beginning who the protagonist will eventually end up with, prodding the reader’s affection towards the appropriate candidate. However, I felt that Bardugo completely subverted this, with the love triangle between Alina, the Darkling and Mal being totally unpredictable. I didn’t feel that there was a clear choice to be made until the end, with Alina’s childhood friend being pitched against the mysterious and seductive Darkling. But, is the Darkling working for the good of the kingdom or for personal gain? And will Mal ever understand Alina’s new ways of the Grisha?
Overall, I loved everything about this book, with there being some seriously unexpected plot twists that kept me on the edge of my seat until the very end. I could hardly put this book down, and am thoroughly looking forward to reading the following books in the trilogy. My only slight complaint is that the book was too short, I wanted more to read!
I absolutely loved this book, I was completely pulled in by the characters and the plotline kept me hooked until the end. I can’t wait for the next two books in the trilogy, and feel that this book was a superb opening to the world of the Grisha, and hope that it can only get better. ...more
It's no secret that I have a love of the classics. The Brontës reaching the top of my favourites list. In fact,Reviewed by Laura for Book Chick City.
It's no secret that I have a love of the classics. The Brontës reaching the top of my favourites list. In fact, I did my final project for my English Degree on the novels of the three Brontë sisters.
I've seen the trend for horror rewrites in my local bookshop and I've warily avoided them. Odd seeing as I love classics, romance and horror alike, it should have been a great mashing of worlds for me.
So it was with a certain amount of trepidation that I picked up this book to review. Worried that the introduction of zombies would somehow detract from the beauty of the original.
'Jane Slayre' is a somewhat tongue-in-cheek rewrite of 'Jane Eyre' and in many places was almost a recount of the original.
For those of you who haven't read the 'Jane Eyre'. In a quick nutshell, it is the story of orphan Jane who goes to live with her aunt and cousins, the Reeds, a selfish and unkind family who treat her with disdain. Eventually, Mrs. Reed sends Jane to boarding school and she enters into the cruel and barren world of Lockwood Institution. Much of Jane's early life is about suffering and endurance. At eighteen she escapes and finds employment working as a governess for the taciturn, but oddly charismatic Mr. Rochester, with whom she falls in love. However, the course of love does not run smooth and this is a gothic tale with a dark secret. Jane is a tough and beautifully humble woman who more than deserves her happy ending.
This version, of course has some very notable changes. The Reeds are vampires, Lockwood is overrun with Zombies and Rochester's wife is a werewolf. All written in with a sense of fun and a nice amount of delightful ghoulishness.
The author has kept very true to the original text. So much so in fact that I had to pull out my copy of 'Jane Eyre' to compare some passages. The only thing I really noticed is that there have been a few changes to make it more readable for a modern audience. For example:
Original: "You are afraid of me, because I talk like a Sphynx."
'Jane Slayre' edition: "Are you afraid of me?" he asked, his brow arching. "You think me a monster?"
As you can see the affect is cleverly, very subtle.
There are some genuinely amusing moments. The vision of Jane out for a quiet evenings stroll where she whips a stake out from beneath her skirts to slay an unbeknownst vampire did make me chuckle.
The book has been written with obvious deep affection for the classic. But, maybe I'm a purist, but part of me would hate for people to read this version instead, or least before they pick up the original.
'Jane Eyre' is magical and wonderfully dark in its own right. But the darkness in the original is born of human behaviour which in many aspects is more cruel than the acts of the undead.
This is a well written fun rewrite that will entertain horror fans. If you're a fan of the other mash ups then I don't think you'll be disappointed. It just wasn't quite my thing....more
Ok, this is a genre I haven’t read before. In fact the only novel that comes closeOriginally posted on www.BookChickCity.com - 3.5 Stars on the blog.
Ok, this is a genre I haven’t read before. In fact the only novel that comes close is Laid Bare by Lauren Dane. But to be honest, DARK SOUL is a completely different kettle of fish. Firstly it’s m/m and secondly the sex scenes are totally out of my comfort zone – but boy, was this book good!
I heard about DARK SOUL and the author from a fellow blogger on Twitter. It’s a raw, dark, intense, and at times uncomfortable read, but this sequence of short stories is also completely addictive, well written with amazing characters.
I was immediately drawn into the life of Stefano and Silvio, but I will say that the plot is limited. Yes, there’s the backdrop of the Mafia, and the take-over by the Russians, but really it isn’t explored in too much detail. DARK SOUL is very much an erotic romance, focusing mainly on Stefano, Silvio and their relationship. This is what made the entire collection absorbing, but also too intense at times. The sexual scenes are explicit, and sometimes verge on the masochistic.
Stefano is a Mafia boss who meets Silvio at a mafia meeting of sorts, and there’s an instant attraction. Although Stafano is married and loves his wife, Donata, he’s always refused to let out the other side to himself. Until, that is, he meets Silvio. That night Stefano finds Silvio and his bodyguard, Vince, fighting. He manages to apprehend Silvio and ties him up, and under the pretence of torturing him for information, Stefano sexually assaults Silvio with his gun only to find out he actually likes it. This was one of many scenes I had difficulty reading, but somehow the author’s writing just kept me reading.
Silvio, who’s an experience killer, is sent to the States to help Stafano in the war against the Russians. There is a story from the view point of Silvio, which I loved. There’s something so dark and broken about him, and there are hints to a troubled past life.
Silvio’s boss, Battista, who ended their relationship based on Silvio’s increasing age, is still pulling Silvio’s strings even though he broke his heart. Battista acts very nice and seems to have treated Silvio well over the years they’ve been together, but their sexual relationship is based on Battista controlling Silvio and some of their times together gave me the feeling that it was really abuse and taking total advantage of Silvio’s vulnerability, especially as he was only a young boy when they first got together sexually.
Things move on between Silvio and Stefano when Stefano is badly beaten by the Russian’s. It’s from this point that Stefano begins to relax his guard and emotions for Silvio, and starts to acknowledge he’s bisexual.
Volume three of the collection was probably the most difficult to read for me. The first story is from the view point of one of the Russians who beat Stefano. He picks up a transvestite prostitute and takes her/him back to their motel where he and the rest of his gang have sex with her. It is consensual sex, but still, it was hard to take, especially when it is revealed who the transvestite is. I had my suspicions but having them confirmed made the whole thing incredibly dark and twisted, and the ending even more so.
Another story is about incest. Silvio’s brother comes back from the French Royal Legion a broken man, although we find out that both him and Silvio were broken early on in their lives by their father in the snippets we are given into their pasts. I’m not a fan of incest in my books and it’s probably one aspect of literature I find difficult to read, and usually avoid at all costs.
With that in mind I didn’t like reading about Silvio and his brother, and having their sexual relationship described in such detail. But this is a personal thing and you may not be effected by it. Personally I could have done without it, especially as there was so much else going on with Silvio and Stefano, as well as all the other guys Silvio beds throughout the book, that it really didn’t need incest thrown into the mix as well.
I will admit to feeling a little let down by the end of this collection as I was hoping for a show down between Stefano and the Russians. Instead the ending I got felt like an easy way to end the story. I also felt that Stefano’s wife, Donata, excepted Stefano’s bisexuality way too easily, and she was too excited to get involved in a three way with Silvio and Stefano after just a couple of weeks of finding out about Stefano’s affair and his new-to-her sexual orientation.
I wish this aspect was developed further as for me it all happened too quickly and made this last batch of stories feel rushed compared to the others, and gave an unrealistic element to the conclusion.
I found it difficult to pick a rating as there was so much about DARK SOUL that I loved but also much that shocked me and made me squirm. However, there were many things that kept me reading, but mainly it was Stefano, Silvio and the writing. I loved the characters and their relationship. I enjoyed their struggle and intensity. Voinov’s writing is great, it flows well and pulls you in from the first page. But for me I think that there were too many scenes that made me uncomfortable and I couldn’t enjoy it as much as I wanted to. I found that I could just about cope with the violence of some of the sex scenes at the beginning, but after a while it all became a bit too much. This is obviously a personal thing and not a criticism of the author.
However, I’m glad that I read it – I’m always open to reading different genres and broadening my reading experiences. I’ll definitely be looking to read more from this author, (I’ve heard from Smexy herself that Soldiers is just pure crack) but maybe not just yet. I need to catch my breath....more
McMaster takes fairly standard romance, mixes in a little steampunk, a little paranormal and creates realReviewed by Melanie for www.BookChickCity.com
McMaster takes fairly standard romance, mixes in a little steampunk, a little paranormal and creates really great story. I was gripped by this novel from the first few pages and doing anything else went out of the window until I had finished. I think one of the reasons why I was so drawn into the story was that it was set in Whitechapel where I lived for almost 5 years. I enjoyed seeing how McMaster infused steampunk into this historic part of London.
The story starts with the Honoria Todd walking through the streets of Whitechapel on her way home. She is hiding from the Duke of Vickers in the rookeries and has been struggling to support her sister and her ill, younger brother since the death of her father months before. She is summoned to meet the man in charge, Blade who makes an offer that she is unable to refuse. The dangerous and rough talking Blade offers her his protection in exchange for spending three evenings a week giving him elocution and etiquette lessons. This seemed to the reader to being a ridiculously unfair trade but we soon find out Blade has an ulterior motive. He knows that Vickers is searching for Honoria and wants his revenge on the man that infected him with the craving sickness and will do anything to keep her out of the Duke’s hands.
McMaster takes the class structure of Victorian England and overlays with the paranormal including both vampires and werewolves (referred to as verwulfen). She uses the ‘infection’ theory of vampirism as the base for the story both in explaining the history but also, as a reference to recent events. Honoria’s father was researching an immunity to the craving virus but was brutally murdered before this could happen. This is the start of the ruin of the Todd family as Honoria flees her privileged life in the Echelon to hide in the slums of London and live in poverty.
McMaster teases the readers by hinting but not fully explaining the world in which Blade and Honoria live. She keeps the reader engaged in the story by not giving too much away until midway through the book. I was instantly drawn into McMaster’s steampunk version of London and its society. Drip feeding the background and description of the society kept me reading to try to figure out what was going on. McMaster sets the story in more of a Victorian era with just hints of steampunk and paranormal and this is evident in the dialogue and romance scenes. I will admit that I had a little, immature giggle every time I read the words ‘mons’ and ‘quim’ but that was all part of the charm of the story.
McMaster’s kicks up the suspense and intrigue with a vampire on the loose in Whitechapel horrifically killing Honoria’s neighbours all while her brother gets sicker and Vicker gets closer to discovering where she is. All of this happens as Blade and Honoria become closer and more attracted to each other. There is of course, secrets exposed, truths uncovered and the inevitable confrontation with the evil Vickers but I don’t want to give away the whole plot. My one criticism was that the plot was quite predictable and I guessed quite early on what was going to happen next. I think this is where it leaned a bit more towards being more PNR than pure steampunk. I don’t normally get so absorbed in books that are so heavy on romance but I really enjoyed the world in which McMaster created for this story.
If you are a PNR fan and fancy a bit of steampunk then this is the book for you. McMaster creates a fantastic world in which to base her story and characters that you really root for the entire whole through. I was hooked from the first few pages and found it almost impossible to put down. Looking forward to seeing if McMaster can keep my attention in the rest of the series. ...more
"Eyes to See" is an exciting supernatural mystery, with twists around every corner that are sure to keepReviewed by Rebecca for www.BookChickCity.com
"Eyes to See" is an exciting supernatural mystery, with twists around every corner that are sure to keep you reading until the very end. Joseph Nassise’s novel succeeds in setting up a mystery that you feel obliged to find the answers to, with almost as much vigour as the main character himself.
The novel kicks off with a ghostly exorcism, whereby the reader is introduced to Jeremiah Hunt, the protagonist of the novel, and also introduced to his unique supernatural gift – he can see the dead. Hunt made a Faustian bargain with the world of magick, whereby he traded his eyesight for the gift of seeing the dead. As a result, he can see perfectly in total darkness, but is blind in any kind of light.
Now you may be wondering about the reason for this Faustian bargain. His daughter has mysteriously disappeared from under his nose, seemingly without a trace. Hunt is obsessed with finding out what happened to her, and whether she is still alive. Five years later and he is still none the wiser, despite his understanding with Detective Stanton that allows him to see any leads on the case in return for consulting on certain crimes. However, there is a certain animosity between Stanton and Hunt, which is far from a healthy working relationship and could prove costly for both of them.
Jeremiah is an interesting character, with his love for his daughter being the driving force for everything he does. This leaves him isolated from everyone else, with his wife Anne having left him as a result of his obsession. He sees himself as a lone ranger, determined to discover the truth alone, with only his two ghostly companions, Scream and Whisper, for company. Whisper is the ghost of a young girl, providing Hunt with ‘ghostsight’ whenever he needs it, which allows him to see the world around him through the ghost’s eyes. Scream is a ghostly bulk of a man, who can provide Hunt with super strength whenever he needs it and put fear into any surrounding humans that are causing Hunt any problems.
However, these two ghosts are not Hunt’s only companions in his search, as he forms a trio with Russian bartender, Dmitri, and witch, Denise. Dmitri is the bartender at Hunt’s local, the kind of man who keeps out of Hunt’s business, and yet who knows the entire goings on of the city. Denise has prophetic dreams linking her to Hunt, causing her to seek him out to understand the meaning of her dreams. Both Dmitri and Denise are highly wrapped up in the supernatural world, and quick to aid Jeremiah in anything that he needs. However, it seems a little unlikely for Jeremiah to be so quick to trust them, as he has spent so long seeking answers alone, but just lets these two into all of his secrets without question.
There were certain aspects of the book I didn’t like too much, such as some of Nassise’s comparisons throughout the book. There were times where the comparisons felt natural, such as, ‘the vast majority of us go through life like sheep, thinking that it can’t happen to us’, which provides a realistic view of Hunt’s situation, and of real life. However, there were also times where the comparisons didn’t totally fit with the situation in which they were being used, which ruined my reading of the book in places, as I was focused on the bad description and not the plot.
Overall, this book was an enjoyable read, a good mystery to get into that provided lots of twists and turns, with several elements leading up to the final conclusion. There are surprises in store throughout the book, and I particularly liked the way that there are chapters strategically placed throughout the book that directly detail Hunt’s past. Where the series will progress after this first book is unclear, but there is certainly potential for further mysteries that can be solved using the dead as a witness.
Personally, I found "Eyes to See" to have an interesting mystery plot, and I liked the idea that ghosts could be used to help solve police cases. However, some of the twists weren’t as exciting as I would have liked, with the supernatural becoming too entwined with the plot, as if the writer has tried to include a multitude of different supernatural beings, forgetting that not everything about the plot has to be supernatural in order for it to be exciting....more
Originally published in 1977, this has been re-issued for today’s market. Trying to write this reReviewed by Jo for Book Chick City. 5/10 on the blog.
Originally published in 1977, this has been re-issued for today’s market. Trying to write this review without using the term ‘Bodice ripper’ is useless, because that is exactly what it is and for me, this is not exactly a bad thing. Without these original bodice rippers broadening the publishing market in the 70’s I wonder if we’d have the fantastic paranormal romances we love today.
Sabrina, in an attempt to support her family, becomes a highwayman. One night she stands-and-delivers the Duke of Camareigh – big mistake Sabrina! Because guess what? He now wants you dead!
Of course, we know this will never happen! We follow the Duke’s plot to capture Sabrina and his discovery that ‘he’ is actually a ‘she’.
The characters were very frustrating at times, and I really hated the way they treated each other. There was so much drama, and really all they needed to do was sit and talk for ten minutes. But I suppose we would have a very short book. The Duke at one point slaps Sabrina, which did leave a bad taste in my mouth and made me dislike the character. Sabrina is17, and while I respected her decision to support her family by any means necessary, I just couldn’t relate to her, and therefore couldn’t like her.
All these points are not necessarily wrong, I just feel after reading today’s heroes and their attitude towards women (they respect and actually seem to like their romantic interests) it felt too alien for me to want to enjoy their romance after their courtship and wooing, if you could call it that.
'Moonlight Madness' is like an old fashioned, soap opera style bodice ripper. The heroine is fiery, and the hero is frosty and they clash, and fight and argue. There are sword fights, drama, twists and turns, and snooty cousins with evil plots. It was fun in a way to see how far the genre has come and how different the romance is.
If you like the old style romances, then you’ll really enjoy this. But if you feel like me, it was really taking a step backward in the historical romance genre. Today’s historical writers such as Eloisa James, or Stephanie Laurens might be more your cup of tea.
Hunted is the fifth book in the House of Night series and continues from Untamed by only a day or two.
Zoey and her friends are now hiding out in the tHunted is the fifth book in the House of Night series and continues from Untamed by only a day or two.
Zoey and her friends are now hiding out in the tunnels with the red fledgelings, a different kind of fledgeling who change into a different kind of vampyre, and one which Zoey doesn't know if she can trust yet. Stevie Rae is badly hurt by an arrow piercing through her chest after being fired by the newly risen red fledgeling, Stark. All the gang is pretty freaked out by what happened at the end of Untamed and band together to decide the best course of action.
Erik is also one of the group hiding out and at first things are awkward between him and Zoey, but they decide to forgive each other. Although Heath, Zoey's other ex-boyfriend, are no longer imprinted, he seeks her out at the tunnels and wants to talk. But while she is struggling with her love for Heath and the knowledge that it's best for him if they don't see each other again, Zoey is attacked by one of the raven-men and is now fighting for her life.
Unfortunately, to save herself, Zoey has to drink Heath's blood and so they are imprinted again, at the delight of Heath, but Erik is definitely not happy. But things still do not look good for Zoey so they have to take her back to the House of Night, to Neferet, who is the only one who can heal her. But it feels as though they are entering a different House of Night, one filled with raven-men, fear and Kalona, an evil fallen angel who rose from the Earth at the end of Untamed.
At the end of the last book, Aphrodite was coming through as a very strong character, and was slowly becoming my favourite. After reading Hunted I can now say she *is* my favourite. She still likes the boys but she doesn't let them take over her life. She's funny and sexy as well as strong-willed and determined. I just love all her witty retorts. To me she's the most level headed character and to be honest the most strong, even more so than Zoey.
Zoey still has boy troubles and continues to make them worse, but after reading my previous reviews, I am sure you are now well aware how this part of the series has my eyes rolling. However, the action is still there in Hunted, which kept me reading until the last page.
Although Hunted is quite a roller coaster ride and a good read, it didn't engage me as much as the previous four books. I admit I am getting tired of Zoey and all her boyfriend issues, and the choices she makes when around them, but I'm still looking forward to reading Tempted, the next book in the series....more
'Divine Darkness' is a compilation of short stories from four popular authors in the paranormal romance genre. TReviewed by Laura for Book Chick City.
'Divine Darkness' is a compilation of short stories from four popular authors in the paranormal romance genre. There has been a trend for compilations of this nature for a while and for the most part I've avoided them. There's a sceptical part of me, that thinks that they're a bit of a marketing ploy. I also often struggle with short stories and find myself wanting a bit more detail and depth.
But I took my sceptical hat off, and sat back to enjoy my reading. I've read books by two of the authors before - Gena Showalter and Maggie Shayne, but not the other two. So this gave me a chance to see if I would enjoy the other two author's writing styles & stories. I've wanted to pick up a P.C. Cast book in particular, for a while.
The first story of the book is by PC Cast and is obviously from one of her developed series. It tells of a healer who ends up falling for an enemy soldier. It has a fantasy setting and not having read any of the other books, I wasn't fully aware of the rules or background of the story. It did feel a bit rushed, with the characters meeting on one day and falling in love in the next. That being said, however, the story intrigued me. I very much liked the two leads and wanted to learn more about them and the setting captured my imagination. As a consequence the first book of this series is now on my wish list.
The second, is Gena Showalter's we meet a sultry vampire Zane who is being held captive by a tribe of supernatural amazon women. They have captured a group of powerful men and then begin to battle to decide who will mate with whom in order to produce the strongest children. But Zane has a long lost love, Nola who is being punished and exists invisible to everyone, she can only watch as Zane is tortured. Nola needs to break her curse in order to save both herself and the man she loves. This book is a light, paranormal romance written very much in the style Gena Showalter is known for and fans will enjoy, even if the scenes of the women fighting over the men did make me cringe a little.
Maggie Shayne writes the third story, named 'Voodoo'. The name says it all, it is a tale of voodoo magic. Holidaying with her sister in New Orleans, Tessa becomes plagued by strange dreams and fascinated by their handsome tour guide. But as the dreams turn to hauntings and her fascination with the handsome guide leads her to do some research into the local history, Tessa discovers something about herself she could never have imagined. The second two stories of the book are certainly better than the first. Maggie Shayne managed to pack a nice amount of tension into a small amount of pages, an enjoyable short story.
The phrase saving the best until last definitely applies here. I've never actually heard of Rhyannon Byrd so I wasn't sure what to expect from her story. Set in the 1800s, it tells of warrior Rhys who has been assigned along with his troupe of soldiers to protect Alia and her father. Since his assignment began, Rhys has admired Alia from afar since, knowing that he can never have her. But a deadly betrayal changes all of their worlds upside down and Rhys and Alia must work together to save her father's critical work. A riveting read, filled with believable chemistry simmering between Rhys and Alia. I definitely want to read further books from this author.
Despite my skepticism, for the most part I enjoyed this book. I did feel particularly with the first two stories that they would have worked better fleshed out with some more detail and as longer stories. I was expecting more from PC Cast, but it gave me enough of a flavour to want to read more of her books and I think I'm officially now a Rhyannon Byrd fan. So, perhaps the marketing did its work after all ;-) ...more
'Archangel's Kiss' is the second book in the 'Guild Hunter' series by Nalini Singh, and after absolutely loving the first book in the series, 'Angels''Archangel's Kiss' is the second book in the 'Guild Hunter' series by Nalini Singh, and after absolutely loving the first book in the series, 'Angels' Blood', this one had a lot to live up to. I'm happy to say it didn't disappoint. I loved it. The prose is just as lush as the first book, Elena and Raphael are still fantastic characters and the world-building just as vivid.
However, I did feel as though the balance between urban fantasy and paranormal romance was slightly out of kilter. The first half of the book definitely sits in with the latter genre as there is a lot of sex, verbal adoration, basically lots of lovin's! Don't get me wrong, I love the romance between Elena and Raphael but I felt for the first half of the book I was a bit saturated with it and it did get a bit repetitive. But the second half of the booked kicked into high gear with lots of action, suspense and Elena back in the role she fits so well, that of the kick-arse chick. I was worried she was turning into a love sick puppy but her fighting personality won out - yay! I do adore the relationship between Elena and Raphael, it is swoon-worthy and very intense, but I'm pleased it didn't dominate the entire book.
The story picks up a short time after 'Angels' Blood' ended and Elena's friends are wondering if she's dead or alive, or more accurately one of the undead, as in vampire. But nobody is telling them anything and they are becoming increasingly frustrated. They decide to break into where they think Elena is being held, but once they set eyes on what she's become they can't believe their eyes...
There's a big learning curve for Elena and she needs her friends and Raphael to help her through, especially when she is invited to a ball by the eldest of Archangels. Raphael is worried as this could be the perfect opportunity for others to kill Elena for real and so he instructs his most loyal and dangerous vampire to train Elena in the fighting skills she will need if an attempt is made on her life. Unfortunately for Elena she's still weak from the transformation, but Dmitri does not go easy on her.
Apart from what's going on in Elena's personal life, she is asked to help when there's a new bout of fresh vampire kills, and one of the angel children is kidnapped and found brutally beaten to the point of death. Elena has to use her abilities to track the scent of the killer and it leads to an unexpected source.
We get more of a glimpse in to Elena's painful and horrific past. She begins to lean on Raphael more and more to give her strength and support. Her memories of her past are throwing up all sorts of visions about her mother and father. The more that is revealed the more I want to know. Elena is a complex character and she is fast becoming one of my favourite heroines.
There is a lot going on in 'Archangel's Kiss' and I lapped up every word. This is a wonderful series with gorgeous prose, fantastic characters and the world-building so vivid I could be living along side Elena. Elena and Raphael are becoming two of my favourite characters as well as one of my favourite couples. A great addition to the series!...more