I really enjoyed the first book in the series, ‘Married with Zombies’ and thought it was...moreOriginally posted on www.BookChickCity.com - 7/10 on the blog.
I really enjoyed the first book in the series, ‘Married with Zombies’ and thought it was a unique take on the genre’s leading characters. Dave and Sarah are married you see, and just before the zombie apocalypse they were on the verge of divorce. But nothing brings you together more than the world around going to shit and Sarah and Dave found their love for one another growing again, and surprisingly they made a pretty good team.
However, with the second book ‘Flip the Zombie’ the humour was missing for me which made the book a little darker. Normally I love dark and gritty urban fantasies but since I fell in love with the snark and Dave and Sarah’s lighthearted married couple banter I was disappointed when I found it lacking.
Unfortunately, "Eat Slay Love" has gone the other way. There is way too much snark, innuendo and jokes that I felt saturated by it. Nearly every paragraph Sarah is making some quip or smart alek comment and after a while it just had my eyes rolling and started to get on my nerves.
But despite this irritation of Sarah’s I still liked her, she is kinda funny and sometimes the comedic moments were spot on and brought a smile to my lips. There’s also plenty of action and suspense, and with the addition of two other characters, Nicole, a reporter and McKray, a washed out rock star, there are lots of great interactions and the dynamics between these four was great to read.
After being bitten by a zombie at the end of book two, David is finding that he isn’t quite the same – he’s slightly different. Sarah is noticing all sorts of things such as his increased hunger, increased strength and the fact that the zombies don’t seem to want to eat him. While dealing with these disturbing revelations, their small group is also taken by another cult, which of course they have to escape from as well as avoiding the zombies who want to munch on their brains.
“Eat Slay Love” is fun reading and great for a quick entertaining read. It’s not quite up to par with the first book, but definitely better than the second. I’m sad to hear that Orbit have now dropped the series, I think Sarah and Dave still had quite a few stories to tell - at least the series ended on a high note. (less)
“Slave to Sensation” is the first book in Nalini Singh’s ‘Psy-Changeling’ series. I was very much looking forward to starting this series, although I...more“Slave to Sensation” is the first book in Nalini Singh’s ‘Psy-Changeling’ series. I was very much looking forward to starting this series, although I will admit I was a little cautious, worrying if it would meet my expectations having read and absolutely loved her ‘Guild Hunter’ series.
Of course there was really no need for any apprehension. I was hooked from the first page. Singh’s vibrant writing shines and I was so happy to be off to a fantastic start.
And to be honest, “Slave to Sensation” just didn’t let up, from the scorching scenes between Sascha and Lucus, to the thrilling underlying story of the psy-changeling world. There’s also a little mystery thrown in for good measure, with the murders of several Changeling women, which just adds to the excitement and intricacy of these two races.
Sascha Duncan is a cardinal Psy, living in a society that doesn’t feel any emotions and are plugged into a central Internet system. Since she was a child she has felt very different from the other Psy as she can feel emotions that should have been removed by conditioning when she was young. She thinks she is broken and has to put in place many psychic shields to prevent any other Psy from finding out her secret. It doesn’t help that one of the most powerful Psy is her mother.
I liked Sascha. I enjoyed seeing her open up like a butterfly to different sensations and stimuli after hiding behind her shields for so long, to act like the unemotional Psy around her. But when she meets Lucus Hunter, she finds it increasingly difficult to keep her emotions in check.
Lucus is a Changeling and Alpha of one of the most powerful Leopard packs. However, he is a panther, strong and powerful. Lucus is just gorgeous. Typically an Alpha and wanting to take control, but it was lovely to see Sascha fighting back and Lucus liking his feisty mate, enjoying when Sascha took control and challenged him.
The supporting cast of characters are just as vividly drawn, each with a history that gives them depth and makes them interesting to read. I’m looking forward to meeting some of the characters again in their own book further along in the series.
The emotions that emulate between Sascha and Lucas is just magical. I loved it when these to joined together as mates. It was a very happy and satisfying ending and I just wished I could continue reading and living in their world. I wasn’t ready for it to end.
Another fantastic read from Singh. I loved the characters, the complex world building and the tender but steamy romance. It’s obvious I just can’t go wrong with reading Nalini Singh – she’s without doubt my favourite author of paranormal romance.(less)
I have been a big fan of Magrs’ writing ever since I read his ‘Brenda & Effie’ paranormal mystery series. Ma...moreOriginally posted on Book Chick City.
I have been a big fan of Magrs’ writing ever since I read his ‘Brenda & Effie’ paranormal mystery series. Magrs writing style is quirky, with an old fashioned touch, articulate and descriptive. “666 Charing Cross Road” has all of these qualities.
New Yorker, Elizabeth Bathory, loves books, especially the supernatural kind and when her friend, Jack, gives her the address of a book shop in London who specialises in old out of print books in her favourite genres, she begins to write to the owner and order herself a selection of paranormal romances and vampire fiction.
One day she unexpectedly receives an ancient book, which is cursed with a demon. Having dealt with many vamps and other supernatural creatures in her past, Liza instantly knows that there’s something decidedly evil about the book and wants to be rid of it.
Shelley, Liza’s niece, is a curator for an unconventional art gallery and is dating her boss Daniel. When Daniel sets his eyes on the grimoire he wants it and asks to examine it in more details, so reluctantly, as Liza dislikes this man intensely and thinks her niece can do so much better, allows him to take it. Unfortunately, the demon possesses Daniel after he invites the demon in and all hell breaks loose.
Unfortunately, “666 Charing Cross Road” started off very slowly, which made it difficult to get into. It also has many plot twists and turns that made my head spin a little, as well as numerous characters, but due to the clever writing I knew exactly what was going on and who was who. There isn’t much depth to the characters either and I felt as though I was watching their lives from afar. I much prefer to be immersed in my characters lives so I did feel slightly detached from them.
There are lots of supernatural creatures such as vampires, zombies, demons, and in particular, Betsy, an effigy of a woman who comes to life after many years to find that she’s been brought back to life by the very grimoire everyone wants to destroy.
I found Betsy fun and different, I enjoyed that she was quite prepared to beat Daniel to a pulp if he hurt Shelley. There was one specific scene that had me giggling. But because she has been 'dead' for a long time her voice was taking time to return. The way Magrs used this in Betsy's dialogue was funny at first, but when she didn't get any better it became irritating and started to grate on my nerves. I just wanted her to talk normally!
I was also hoping for something more from Elizabeth Bathory, with such a name I thought that there would be a big reveal at the end. Unfortunately there wasn’t – although she casts a few spells and implies that she has had dealings with vampires in her past, no other details were given, which was a little disappointing.
Although “666 Charing Cross Road” isn't the strongest novel I've read by Magrs asI found the pace to be too slow, which made the story drag, it's still another wonderfully written story, with clever prose, fabulously idiosyncratic characters and intriguing, original plot.(less)
I’ve had this series on my shelf for a long time, and as it was All Hallow's Eve and I fancied a...moreOriginally post on Book Chick City. 7/10 on the blog.
I’ve had this series on my shelf for a long time, and as it was All Hallow's Eve and I fancied a mystery I thought it was a good time to start Victoria Laurie’s ‘Ghost Hunter Mystery’ series.
I really enjoyed Laurie’s writing. It’s a nice easy writing style and the pages flew by pretty quickly. The characters are fun, especially MJ’s African Grey parrot who sits on her shoulder and chats away – sometimes saying very inappropriate but funny things.
M. J. herself is a lovely character and I connected with her straight away. She is a medium who can talk to the dead, but she’s created a business with her friend and partner, Gilley, by ghostbusting – sending spirits over to the other side. Sometimes this kind of job can be dangerous, which is what they found out when hired by sexy doctor and millionaire, Steven Sable.
M. J. and Gilley are hired by Steven to find out how his grandfather died, even though the police put it down as a suicide. But Steven doesn’t believe it and wants M. J. to talk to his grandfather’s ghost in the hope of finding out the truth. But things go a lot deeper than that and there are many twists and turns. I really didn’t know where this story would end up and enjoyed the fact that I really didn’t know ‘who dunnit’.
I did find that although I enjoyed M. J. and all the other characters, I would have liked a lot more ‘ghostbusting’. There just wasn’t enough of it in my opinion, which was disappointing. Much of the book is researching the mystery and following living people, rather than interacting with the ghosts.
Overall, “What’s A Ghoul To Do?” is an entertaining read with fun and quirky characters. A really good start to a series and one that I will be continuing, with the next book in the series, ‘Demon’s Are A Ghoul’s Best Friend’. (less)
I have heard such good things about this series and I'm so glad to have now started it as "Moo...moreOriginally posted on Book Chick City. 7/10 on the blog.
I have heard such good things about this series and I'm so glad to have now started it as "Moon Called" was really good.
Mercy Thompson is a mechanic and also a Walker, the refreshing twist is that she doesn't turn into a werewolf or a big cat, but a coyote. She can also change at will and it's not painful or ruled by the moon as it is for the werewolf. I loved this aspect to Mercy's character, although she is surrounded by the popular supernatural creatures such as werewolves and vampires, it was fun when she turned into a coyote because it really gave the book a different dimension.
Mercy is very independent and lives on her own in a trailer - well, relatively alone as she also has a cat. Her immediate neighbour is Adam, the Alpha of the local werewolf pack, and despite not being a werewolf herself, Mercy has been accepted into the pack and is protected by them. The other reason Mercy is so "in" with the werewolves is because she was raised by them.
One of the aspects of Mercy's character I found really likable is that she acknowledges she doesn't have the supernatural strength of the werewolves or the vampires, so has to rely on weaponry and her wit, she also trains to give her body strength, and combined with her fearlessness, she's one tough cookie.
While working in her garage, Mercy finds a young boy called Mac. She instantly realises he is a werewolf and finds out he's on the run from some very bad people. To keep him safe, Mercy hands him over to Adam, but things go badly wrong. Adam is nearly killed and his fifteen year old daughter, Jesse is kidnapped.
"Moon Called" is very much an urban fantasy and is fast paced and action-packed, and is particularly light on the romance. However, there is potential for a love triangle. Her relationship with Adam, although just friends at the moment has the possibility of being much more. But there's also Sam, Mercy's ex-boyfriend who only wanted her for breeding purposes. This didn't sit well with me or for Mercy for that matter. When she found out she left him straight away - good for her!
There are certain scenes where, through Mercy's actions, shows that she cares for Adam and his daughter, Jesse very much. I felt as though they were almost like family and she would do anything to protect them. However, I didn’t really get the vibe that Mercy had romantic feelings for Adam. Her thoughts are quite detached, statements, a matter of fact rather than emotional, and when she goes on a date with Adam and they share a kiss, it is all a bit flat. There isn't any heat or passion and I really wanted there to be, especially as we knew Adam had feelings for her with the small details that hinted to the fact, like a picture of Mercy in his bedroom!
I do hope that Mercy’s narrative gets a little more personal as I like her very much; I just don’t think I know her or how she feels to be really connected with her character yet. Overall though, the characterisation is great and I enjoyed meeting all the other characters from fae to vampire, werewolf to witch, they were all well rounded and interesting.
I really enjoyed “Moon Called” and look forward to reading the rest of the series. I love the author's writing style and world building - I just hope that I begin to connect with Mercy a little more as I like her character a lot.(less)
“Mistress by Midnight” is the third book in the ‘The Scandalous Women of the Ton’ series by Nicola Cornick, and the best so far in my opinion. Althoug...more“Mistress by Midnight” is the third book in the ‘The Scandalous Women of the Ton’ series by Nicola Cornick, and the best so far in my opinion. Although the format is very much the same with each novel I really enjoy Cornick’s style of writing, it’s very easy to read and her stories seem to suck me in from the first chapter. She is fast becoming one of my favourite historical romance authors.
Our heroine is Merryn Fenner, a young woman in her early twenties who is quite different from the other ladies of the ton. Merryn isn’t much into fashion and grand balls and thinks being a debutante is a tedious business. She would rather curl up with a good book, go to the theatre or attend lectures to broaden her mind.
Merryn is an intellectual, educated woman and is working secretly for an inquiry agency as a working woman, which is not the done thing in high society. Her main aim is taking revenge on the Duke of Farne for the death of her brother and the pain he caused ten years before.
At five feet tall, she maybe small, but she’s feisty and smart. I loved the way that when she became angry, and this usually happened when around Garrick, she lifts her chin and marches off in the opposite direction to show her displeasure. She is just so cute. I can totally understand why Garrick would be utterly taken with her.
Garrick Northesk, the Duke of Farne is our hero and he’s one of my all time favourites. I just fell hook line and sinker for this particular gentleman. He's strong and gorgeous, but sweet and caring with a touch of vulnerability, a great combination. He has a dark past which is revealed slowly and the outcome surprises all, especially Merryn...
Both Merryn and Garrick are wonderful characters. I fell in love with both of them. They are so lonely and yet don’t want to admit it. They both have a past that continues to weave its way into their present and prevents them from giving in to their feelings. But this restraint is what gives their relationship so much fire and passion. Their dialogue is wonderful, at times very witty and at other times intense and tender. Their relationship takes time to grow, which made the happy ending so much more satisfying.
Another wonderful historical romance from Ms Cornick. If you haven’t read this author before then I recommend you do – I’m sure you won’t be disappointed, especially if you love historical romance. “Mistress by Midnight” is a fabulous read and I would recommend it just for the jail scene alone *fans self*(less)
When I began reading “Club Dead” I did wonder if now three books in it would continue...moreJOINT REVIEW - Originally posted on www.BookChickCity.com
When I began reading “Club Dead” I did wonder if now three books in it would continue holding my interest, especially as these books are quite light, although they do hold some serious issues. But “Club Dead” held my attention throughout and I found myself loving Sookie even more than I did in the previous book. It was also nice not to have so much Bill. Although I enjoy his character it was great to see Sookie interact with other men, especially the werewolf and, of course my favourite vamp, Eric.
I wasn't nervous about picking up "Club Dead" at all, I found it was great to be submerged back into Sookie's world again and this series only seems to be getting better. It combines humour with sexiness, all tied up in a supernatural mystery. I also enjoy the fact that these books are very different from other urban fantasy novels and Sookie isn't a tough, gun totting heroine, but she's got guts and I love her anyway.
In this installment we see Sookie getting tougher and definitely braver. But without losing her lovely Southern charm and flawless manners. One scene just sums it up for me, when Sookie has been badly injured and waiting for a strange vampire to heal her, even then she does not forget to be polite. She just makes me smile.
"How de do." Good manners would make you welcome anywhere, my gran always told me.
In the first book 'Dead Until Dark' the focus was very much on Sookie’s home town of Bon Temps. In 'Living Dead in Dallas' she took off to Dallas, which was lots of fun. In this instalment, Sookie takes another trip, this time to Jackson, Mississippi to try and find Bill who’s gone missing. She has also found out that he has been unfaithful although I had my suspicions if this was true, I found the answer at the end of the novel...
The writing is just so wonderful, I can’t seem to stop reading once I’ve started and the supernatural mystery element is so well done, I never really know what’s going to happen, and it also balances well with Sookie’s love life.
As the story centres around Sookie travelling to Mississippi to rescue a kidnapped Bill, you don't see very much of Sam or Sookie's friends in Bon Temps, but we are introduced to some fab new characters, most notably the introduction of werewolves. Alcide, the werewolf Eric assigns to protect Sookie when Bill goes missing is certainly very yummy, and there's an interesting amount of chemistry bubbling away between him and Sookie.
Just as Carolyn says the writing is wonderful, Harris is a very talented lady. This book has plenty of action, poor old Sookie seems to get injured a lot in this series. But lots of humour too. I enjoyed the return of Bubba, the mentally damaged vampire who used to be the South's most famous popstar and also has a thing for cats (don't ask!).
As mentioned by Laura, there is a new character addition in the form of a yummy werewolf, Alcide. He’s such a great character, and just for a moment I wanted Sookie to let down her guard and give in to the temptation to be with him and forget all about stiff ole Bill. But then I remembered I wanted her to end up with Eric *I love me some Eric* and although I very much liked Alcide, I like Eric more.
We get to see a real soft side to Eric and it melted my heart, I can’t think why Sookie hasn’t been swept off her feet by him. I really love Sookie and Eric’s banter though, it’s funny. Sookie is a feisty chick even with a very old vampire who could snap her in two with just two fingers, but I love seeing her mouth off in her cute southern way - I can totally understand why all these men fall for her.
I am very disappointed in Bill. His betrayal of Sookie cuts deep and I’m not sure how she’s going to come back from this. In just a few months her life has been turned upside down, she’s been beaten, nearly raped and fed upon violently, and yet she tries to keep chipper and not give in to self-pity. She really didn’t deserve Bill’s treatment of her, and I for one hope this gives her the reason to forget Bill, and give Eric a chance!
It looks like we both fell a bit for Alcide *quickly fans oneself* ;-) I like that we see a marked change is Sookie's attractiveness in this book. While I've always believed her to be very pretty, she's been a bit of a pariah amongst human men who are frightened by her abilities. In this book there's the potential for not only a love triangle, but a love square and that's without including Sam who isn't really in this book. Sookie's a popular lady! But with her usual polite demureness, Sookie is charmingly baffled by this, rather than letting it go to her head.
As Carolyn said, Bill went down in my estimations in this book, in fact I felt like he needed a bit of an ass-kicking! There is one scene I'm not actually sure I can forgive him for. And Sookie was perhaps a little too polite about it all. But in the long term it didn't matter as I just fell in love with Eric a little bit more. And you get to see a lot more of him in this book - hurrah! I hope in book four she realises just how super hot he is!
CAROLYN: This series is consistently great. "Club Dead" was a fab read from start to finish. I love the relationship dynamics and I just can't wait to see what happens next!
LAURA: Once again a fantastic book, I have long been a fan of Harris's quirky writing style, having read two of her other series aswell. I whizzed through "Club Dead" in no time at all. If you're a fan of the TV show you'll see a lot of similarities between that and the plot of series three, but be warned it's also markedly different in places too. (less)
There's something about Sookie that just makes me smile. The telepathic waitress who is...moreJOINT REVIEW - Originally posted on www.BookChickCity.com
There's something about Sookie that just makes me smile. The telepathic waitress who is dating the town's local vampire. She is so genuinely warm and wholesome and the last person at all you would expect to end up with a vampire. But it's these qualities that make the books so engaging.
I've read three of Charlaine Harris's series and her writing has a unique, quirky style to it. But they're also funny, laugh-out-loud so at times. The second book is similar to the first in that at the core of it is a supernatural mystery, with Sookie once again playing the unwitting sleuth.
Although the TV series, ‘True Blood’ does keep some of the aspects of the book, there are many differences. Therefore, it was easier for me to read “Living Dead in Dallas” without drawing too many comparisons, I tried to keep them separate and read the book on its own merit. Reading it this way is actually much more enjoyable. I do like the TV show, but I’m not sure on some of the castings therefore I would rather imagine the characters, especially Sookie as my imagination intended.
However, as with the first book, ‘Dead Until Dark’, I found this a wonderful, easy read. Harris has a great writing style that’s witty and charming and I read this book with relish. I'm with Laura on Sookie, she's is a fabulous heroine. I love her warmth and wholesomeness, but she's also quite feisty, which is a definite plus.
Sookie's relationship with the vampires continues to grow, when Sookie is attacked by a Maenad she & Bill have to turn to them for help. But nothing in life ever comes for free and before she knows it she is on her way to Dallas, rented out by Eric to help the vampires there with a missing vampire case. In typical Sookie style, her favour comes with a condition, that the vampires do not kill anyone she helps to bring to justice. As Carolyn says this is part of Sookie's feistyness that you can't help but love her for.
The book does dot about quite a bit as there are two stands to the story. We have a murder mystery at the beginning, when Sookie discovers the dead body of one of her co-workers. Then Sookie's attack and visit to Dallas, followed by her return home when the original murder mystery gets picked up again.
We are introduced to 'The Fellowship of the Sun' an obsessive, anti-vampire church who I can only imagine will continue to have significance as this series progresses.
Sookie’s ‘abilities’ of listening in on people’s thoughts is hired out by Eric to vampires in Dallas. Sookie and Bill, once there find themselves mixed up with The Fellowship of the Sun, a cult of vampire haters. There’s a few twists and turns that keep you wondering, and new characters and supernaturals are introduced.
As with ‘Dead Until Dark’, there’s enough intrigue to keep the pages turning and although Sookie isn’t the typical kick-arse urban fantasy heroine, she uses what she has to her benefit, including her sassy southern mouth.
“Living Dead in Dallas” is somewhat darker than the previous book, but it’s still a fairly light read. There’s something about Harris’s writing that makes these books addictive reading without having to go into too much detail.
I'm with Carolyn these books definitely make addictive reading. Harris's writing style cleverly mixes a lightness with the dark undertones you come to expect in urban fantasy.
This book introduces new species and characters. I had a real chuckle at Bubba, the mentally challenged vampire who used to once be a famous rock star. But above them all, I'm fast becoming an Eric fan, *swoon* and I do hope Sookie ditches Bill for him. While I enjoy the romance between Sookie and Bill, I am beginning to find him a little bit boring. Kind of like the equivalent of vampire slippers.
There is a truly superb scene when Eric attends a sex club with Sookie to 'protect her' that will make you want to laugh and fan yourself all at the same time.
Fans of the TV series will notice similarities between this book and the second series. But the TV show also diverges quite significantly in parts. But this means it's very easy to enjoy both. I love the TV show, but so far I love the books even more. Carolyn references the casting of the series earlier and it's a really interesting point. Paquin and Moyer are not how I imagine Sooke and Bill to be at all, however, I think that Skarsgard is superb as Eric. Or maybe I just have an Eric fixation! ;-)
Sookie is by far my favourite character, and so she should be being the main character and narrator. She’s sweet, naive at times but endearingly so, but she also has a strength that shines through and makes me smile fondly. I would love to befriend Sookie.
Next in line is Eric. Yummy Eric *sigh* I’m not usually into blonde guys, but I do like the bad boys so I am drawn to him. I know there’s a sensitive side to him too which makes him all the more alluring. Bill is a little stiff for my taste even if he is tall, dark and handsome. There’s just something about Eric’s humour that gets me. I’m hoping that something happens to Bill so my favourite character can get it on with my second favourite character! Sorry, Bill...
LAURA: As good, if not better than the first book. This series will appeal to fans of both murder mystery and supernatural genres. It's a quick read, you could easily get through in a day. I love the mix of dark, supernatural mystery, with romance and warm humour.
CAROLYN: A great instalment to the series. I'm crushing on Sookie and Eric and hope things go in the direction I want it too in subsequent books. An easy read with great characters combined with mystery and romance makes "Living Dead in Dallas" a definite win!(less)
I have been so excited about “Avenger’s Angel” ever since I saw it at the Headline Publishing event back in May. The cover is just gorgeous, and as I...moreI have been so excited about “Avenger’s Angel” ever since I saw it at the Headline Publishing event back in May. The cover is just gorgeous, and as I have a huge thing for angels right now, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on a copy. Luckily I received an early review copy, and let me tell you, I was not disappointed!
The writing is fabulous and there are three plots that weave together to create a thrilling action-packed story as well as a beautiful romance, and there are moments that are just gorgeous and made my heart melt.
The characterisation is great too. The protagonists in this book (there will be four books in the series altogether) are Ellie and Uriel. They are such great personalities and I love that their relationship wasn't insta-love, although it was definitely insta-lust. There’s lots of sexual tension between them, but it took Ellie quite a while to begin to trust and love Uriel and it was nice to see their relationship grow at a realistic pace.
I also fell in love with Uriel’s brothers: Gabriel, Michael and Azreal, especially Azreal, who’s an Archangel with a difference - he's also a vampire. He lives mostly in the basement on his own. I find him sad and can't wait until he finds his own Archess who will love him.
Also, unsurprisingly *I always seem to go for the bad boys* my favourite character was, Samael. He wants the archess for himself and pretends to be someone he’s not too gain her trust. Although he’s the villain, there's something about him that makes me believe there is so much more that meets the eye and I hope soooo much he gets his own book. I would love to meet the woman who's able to thaw his icy, black heart.
I really like the fact that Ellie is a strong character and can stand up for herself, but she's soft and vulnerable too, a great combination. Her realisation that these four brothers are Archangels and that she is an Archess is very well done. She doesn’t instantly believe, but the situation is helped by the fact that she’s had a niggling feeling for most of her life that something wasn't quite right, especially as she has abilities other humans don’t such as the ability to heal and the ability to control the weather.
The only real negative point I have with this novel was the sex scene between Uriel and Eleanore. As Uriel was a vampire at the time (due to an unknown spell cast by the naughty Samael to prevent Uriel from revealing Samael’s true identity to Ellie) it seemed as though he used his hypnotic abilities to keep her subdued and then had his wicked way with her. He even put his hand over her mouth as he took her virginity violently to keep her from crying out from the pain. This took the edge off from what should have been a satisfying union. It's what I had wanted since they first laid eyes on each other as the sexual chemistry between them is just so toe-curlingly good. But the tender hotness of this scene was diluted by not knowing if Ellie was willing or if she was under a vampires influence.
However, a few pages after the scene, Ellie did state that she liked being the submissive party and that she had thoroughly enjoyed what Uriel had done to her. I wish this was shared before the sex scene as I would have felt more comfortable reading it, although, I’m not a big fan of the submissive female as it goes against my nature.
I also wish there was a little bit more ‘wing’ action too. The cover is absolutely stunning and I love angels with wings, but most of the novel the archangels are just like humans but with supernatural powers. However, I do get my wish at the end of the novel, but not as much as I would have liked and there wasn’t enough emphasis on the beauty of the wings. However, the ending is great and leaves me very impatient for the next book in the series.
"Avenger's Angel" is a fantastic addition to the paranormal romance genre, with sexy Archangels and a strong, beautiful heroine. The world is intriguing and the action is fast-paced. I for one can't wait to read future instalments. Fans of paranormal romance will lap this up - a great start to a new paranormal series.(less)
"Dead Until Dark" is the story of waitress Sookie who has what she refers to as a 'disab...moreJOINT REVIEW - Originally posted on www.BookChickCity.com
"Dead Until Dark" is the story of waitress Sookie who has what she refers to as a 'disability', she can read people's minds. Because of this disability, she struggles with personal friendships & relationships and rarely dates. Nothing worse than knowing what your date is thinking of you!
Living in a small Southern town, Sookie is a mix of endearing naïveté, strong morals and a good share of guts and determination. Working at Sam's bar, she is waitress, and takes pride in her work. Her relationship with her grandmother, whom she lives with is lovely and written with real, believable warmth. And her promiscuous and selfish brother, while infuriating at times is still engaging.
I agree, all the characters are interesting and quirky. I especially love Sookie - she's a warm, down-to-earth kind of gal and not the type of urban fantasy heroine I'm used to reading. I really like the TV show, but I must say I like the books more.
If you watch the TV series, you will notice the distinct absence of best friend Tara in the book, in fact she's not even mentioned. While Sam and fellow waitress Arlene are important friends, Sookie does not have a best friend in the book. This adds to her overall isolation and loneliness, brought about by her telepathic ability.
Then enter vampire Bill. Bill's mind is delightfully and blissfully blank and Sookie is immediately fascinated. But with the arrival of Bill, the town suddenly becomes the victim of a serial killer and young women keep turning up dead. Before she knows it, Sookie ends up caught in the middle of the deadly game.
I must admit I was put off reading this series basically because of the TV show. I do enjoy 'True Blood' but I've never really got on board with Anna Paquin and I was worried that this would rub off on the books. When I started "Dead Until Dark" I did unfortunately see Paquin as Sookie, but after about fifty or so pages, the Sookie of my own imagination started to push through and I began to enjoy the book a lot more. In fact I had difficulty putting it down.
I read the first three books in this series years ago and for some reason didn't get around to reading the subsequent books. Unlike Carolyn, I read them before 'True Blood' hit our TV screens, so I wasn't put off by the TV show. But as I started re-reading them I couldn't help make a few comparisons as I wrote my review.
I really enjoyed the southern setting and the way that everyone spoke - I'm a big fan of the southern drawl anyway, so it just made this book even more enjoyable for me. The fact that Sookie is just an ordinary girl (apart from her supernatural abilities), working in a bar as a waitress, making an honest living rather than a gun-wielding, martial arts expert, gave this urban fantasy a fresh twist.
"Dead Until Dark" is an easy read. Charlaine Harris has a unique writing style, which I really enjoy. She often focuses on the detail, but in a way that adds richness to her story rather than coming across as tedious.
There isn't much to fault with this book, I thoroughly enjoyed it. If I had just have one tiny complaint, I did feel that Sookie and Bill fell in love just a little bit too quickly. I could understand it from Sookie, but maybe not from a several hundred year old vampire.
CAROLYN: "Dead Until Dark" is a fun and entertaining urban fantasy. It's pretty light compared to some of the other UF series out there, but it's still definitely worth a read. Harris has a great relaxed writing style that made this book a quick and easy read, as well as hard to put down. The characters are great and I look forward to reading the rest of the series.
LAURA: A fun and even delightful supernatural mystery set in a small town in the deep South. Sookie is a refreshing and charming lead character. She's not your normal tough, ass-kicking urban fantasy heroine, but I actually loved her even more because of it. As for the TV show... I much prefer the book! :-) (less)
I absolutely loved this book! I haven't read anything by Larissa Ione before but have read...moreOriginally posted on Book Chick City. Leaning towards a 9/10
I absolutely loved this book! I haven't read anything by Larissa Ione before but have read many raving reviews, so I was really excited to read it and it didn't disappoint.
The characterisation is just brilliant and I loved them all, even the secondary characters. But the main characters, Cara and Ares (War) are just amazing and I fell in love with both of them.
Ares is 'War' and one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse along with his brothers, Reseph who is 'Pestilence' and Thantos who is 'Death', and his sister, Lamos who is 'Famine'. They all have two prophecies that define their destiny: either they are going to bring pain and destruction upon the Earth or prevent it. They have a seal around their neck which they have to protect at all costs or if broken will put them on the path of evil.
Unfortunately, Reseph's seal is broken at the beginning of the book and turns evil, causing death and disease wherever he goes. I'm very excited to read his story when he gets his own book!
When we meet Cara, she has no idea that demons exist until one night a man leaves an injured dog with her, which as it turns out is a Hellhound. Although she doesn't know this at the time, she helps him and cleans his wounds and unknowingly becomes connected with him when he licks her in thanks.
Cara also has a dark secret which she has tried to keep from everybody she knows, but when she meets Ares, she realises that her gift is vital in the world of the four horsemen and isn't seen as strange but as a blessing. I loved this part of Cara and one of my favourite scenes was when she used her gift in the battlefield when three of the Horsemen had to fight their own brother. The vivid descriptions of the fight scenes are just awesome, bloody and exciting.
As well as the amazing action there is a wonderful love story. The sexual chemistry between Cara and Ares is great and the love scenes are pretty graphic and steamy but very well written. As well as the lust that is ignited between them I loved watching their love for one another grow, but there are obstacles in their way which prevent them from being together and which they have to overcome...
The world building is fantastic. I enjoyed the idea that the horsemen could create a portal to different worlds as well as back to their homes. Ares home is a beautiful sanctuary by the ocean and it's where he takes Cara to tell her what she needs to know about the demon world. We also meet some wonderful creatures that are strange but all incredibly cute in their own way.
I also liked the fact that when Ares horse was not needed he would sink into Ares skin as a tattoo, but when called he would appear large, imposing and deadly and also adorable, especially when around Cara. All the horsemen and their horses had this ability.
"Eternal Rider" is an amazing start to a series and I can't wait to get my hands on 'Immortal Rider' book two in the 'Lords of Deliverance' series, and which is Limos's story. I would definitely recommend this book to all paranormal romance fans - I'm certain you will love it!
Also, on a side note - I just LOVE the UK covers for this series - they match the different horsemen perfectly.(less)
I was a little dubious about reading "One Wicked Sin" after finding out the heroine was Lottie Cummings. She was in t...more7/10 on the blog Book Chick City.
I was a little dubious about reading "One Wicked Sin" after finding out the heroine was Lottie Cummings. She was in the previous book in the series as a secondary character and I didn't like her at all.
However, although I found it difficult at first to forget how awfully she had treated her best friend by sleeping with her husband, trying to seduce her new husband and betraying her in other ways, I did begin to like her more and more as I read each chapter. I began to understand why she was the woman she had become, but I still think it was daring of the author to think that all would be forgiven and forgotten.
We find Lottie in a poor state of affairs after her husband had divorced her due to her indescreet affairs. Without the support of her family and her only true friend out of the country, Lottie didn't have anyone to turn too. With no money and no place to live, the only option she could see was to turn to prostitution. She hates it with a passion and has lost all her confidence. She is now a broken woman and competely different from the one we met in 'Whisper of Scandal'.
One evening a gentleman offers to pay her to be his mistress, and upon reflection Lottie felt that this was the lesser of two evils, so she agrees. She did not expect to fall in love.
Ethan Ryder is a great hero - at first he uses her, but not in a rough way. He's gentle and caring, but he still sees her as something he has bought. But after only a few days he begins to have feelings for her that confuse him as he's never felt anything like it before. Ethan grows considerably throughout the book, as does Lottie and they find true love.
The one aspect that prevents "One Wicked Sin" from a higher rating is the balance of sex and plot. With 'Whiper of Scandal' Cornick gets the balance perfectly, but here there is too much talking and thinking about sex. If they're not thinking about it, they're talking about it and if they're not talking about it they're doing it. And although I realise that sex, lust etc is part of a romance novel, there is too much of it here for my taste and nothing much else happens for a good portion of the novel. However, the second half is much better balanced that the first.
Overall, "One Wicked Sin" is a fun, entertaining read and the characters growth is touching and heartwarming. Cornick gives us another romantic ending that makes the heart flutter.(less)
"Flip This Zombie" is the second book in the 'Living with the Undead' series and although it's an enjoyable read it didn't have the same impact, humou...more"Flip This Zombie" is the second book in the 'Living with the Undead' series and although it's an enjoyable read it didn't have the same impact, humour and laugh out loud moments that were so much a part of the first book 'Married with Zombies'.
Somewhere along the way, this novel became a little too much like so many other zombie novels. It lost a little bit of it's originality and although Sarah and David still snark at each other and banter back and forth it isn't in the same tongue in cheek way I loved to much in the first book.
"Flip This Zombie" is a little darker, which I normally like, but because this series started out with such a light and humourous tone I assumed, and hoped, this would be continued in the next instalment.
Sarah and Dave are now head of a new business, ZombieBusters Inc, which sees them splattering more zombie brains than usual. But now they are experienced zombie hunters and have gained knowledge of all their weaponry. They are no longer the naive married couple we met in the first book - which I missed a little too be honest - they are a zombie fighting duo.
There's also the addition of a scientist who proclaims to have a possible cure and hires Sarah and Dave to collect live zombies for him to test on. But things do not go to plan. There are quite a few twists and turns that kept me turning the pages, but mostly it was all quite predictable.
"Flip This Zombie" isn't as enjoyable or as fresh as the first book, 'Married with Zombies', but it is still entertaining. I will definitely be reading the third instalment, 'Eat, Slay, Love'.(less)
"Undead and Unappreciated" is a fun addition to the 'Undead' series, although it's a very short read, a lot happens.
Betsy, the Queen of the Vampires,...more"Undead and Unappreciated" is a fun addition to the 'Undead' series, although it's a very short read, a lot happens.
Betsy, the Queen of the Vampires, is a shoe loving, blood-obstaining vampire who drinks milk instead. However, because she's queen nothing harms her, including crosses and even stakes.
There is the Book of the Dead though, and after fighting with Eric Sinclair, she closes herself off in the library and reads for hours. But she ignores the warnings that reading too much for too long can make you go insane. Unfortunately, it gets to Betsy and she ends up hurting many of her friends, including Jessica, Marc and also Sinclair.
Betsy also finds out that she has a half sister who is also the devil's daughter. She decides to seek her out, which she does, but the girl she finds is far from what the image of the devil's daughter should be.
When Betsy became the Vampire Queen she inherited a bar, Scratch, but the vampire staff are not happy and she finds a mutiny on her hands. They group together to go on strike for better working conditions as Betsy has said no to biting and drinking from humans, but they disagree. There is something more sinister going on too...
"Undead and Unappreciated" is a very short novel, more of a novella really, and therefore with so much going on it felt a bit like a whirlwind through Betsy's life. However, Davidson's writing is so witty and I really enjoy her writing style. The sarcasm, snarkiness and banter from Betsy is so funny. Although this isn't the strongest book in the series so far, it is still pure entertainment. (less)
"Kitty's Big Trouble" is the 9th book in the 'Kitty Norville' series and it's still going pretty strong. I continue to find all the characters interes...more"Kitty's Big Trouble" is the 9th book in the 'Kitty Norville' series and it's still going pretty strong. I continue to find all the characters interesting and most of the time, likable. However, I didn't quite like the plot in this one as much as I have in previous books. There's a lot going on with many different threads. It's not difficult to understand as Vaughn does a great job at keeping everything easy but it did get a little tiresome with jumping from one storyline to another.
Kitty is on the hunt for another story for her talk-radio show and is looking into the history of different famous people from the past. She finds some interesting facts about them. She's also helping Anastasia, along with Ben and Cormac, in the quest to find the Dragon's Pearl, where the gang come face to face with Roman, a two thousand year old vampire, who they met for the first time in 'Kitty Raises Hell'.
I felt a slight atmosphere change in this book, it just doesn't have the same feel as the preceding books. I'm not sure if it's because it contained a lot more magic, or if it was due to the inclusion of Gods and mythology, but there is a definite shift in tone. And although there's plenty of action as always, which I usually love, this time I found my mind drifting, I just wasn't as engaged.
Even after all this time, I still find it difficult to believe in Kitty as a warrior, a true alpha, as she doesn't fight with weapons, has no magical ability and hardly ever fights as a werewolf, therefore all that's left is her human side, which surely has no hope against a two thousand year old vampire. And yet Roman seems concerned by her and her ability to thwart him. Kitty manages to stop evil in its tracks just by being there and being her sarcastic, snarky self.
Also, what is happening to Cormac? This is not how I imagined his character to end up. He's a bounty hunter and yet he now feels stripped of that ruggedness I loved so much in earlier books. I'm not sure I like this turn of events for him and want him to be the guy I met in 'Kitty and the Midnight Hour'.
I'm also not sure about the inclusion of Gods - there are enough supernaturals in this series: werewolves, vampires, demons, psychics, wizards, ghosts, magicians, without having to add mythology and Gods to the equation - this is just overload. Although I must admit I did like Sun - he was pretty dishy ;)
Despite "Kitty's Big Trouble" not being the strongest book in the series, there's still plenty to keep the interest of Kitty fans. I'm intrigued to find out what happens next for Kitty and her band of merry men, and I look forward to reading 'Kitty Steals the Show' when released summer 2012.(less)
**Warning - possible spoilers - read at your own risk!**
"Kitty Goes to War" is the 8th book in the Kitty series. Kitty, Ben and Cormac...more7/10 on the blog
**Warning - possible spoilers - read at your own risk!**
"Kitty Goes to War" is the 8th book in the Kitty series. Kitty, Ben and Cormac are back together, the "pack of three", and it's fun reading. I can't tell you how glad I am to see Cormac out of jail!
There are two main plots running through this novel. Firstly there's something going on with Speedy Mart stores across the country and Kitty as usual is in the thick of it trying to find out what is going on. Of course, because of this she nearly gets herself killed along with Ben and Cormac.
The second plot is that Kitty has been asked by the military to help three werewolf soldiers back from the war in Afghanistan who are finding it difficult to stay human. The military wants to know if these men can be rehabilitated or if there is just no hope for them. This was my favourite part of the book. As always the action flows and the pages fly by due to the easy nature of Vaughn's writing style.
Kitty has grown a lot throughout the series and I definitely felt she was making more of the decisions herself in this instalment rather than relying on others as she had done previously. Her compassion and understanding of the soldiers was really good.
Cormac is back but he's a bit different. I'm not sure I like what's happened to his character but I'm certainly intrigued. I also don't really know if the feelings between Kitty and Cormac are well and truly in the past as there are a few hints that they both still have feelings for one another, but nothing is said. I wish this would resolve as it's really not fair on Ben, even if I do want him OUT and Cormac IN! ;)
"Kitty Goes To War" is not as good as the previous book, 'Kitty's House of Horrors', which is my favourite in the series, but it's definitely another great instalment for Kitty fans!(less)
Wow, I didn't see this book coming - "Kitty's House of Horrors" is a pretty depressing instalment due to the sheer number of dead bodies, but it's als...moreWow, I didn't see this book coming - "Kitty's House of Horrors" is a pretty depressing instalment due to the sheer number of dead bodies, but it's also one of the best. It's jam-packed with action from practically the first chapter and doesn't let up until the last page.
Kitty is invited to participate in a reality TV show full of supernaturals. As Kitty is quite fond of the lime light and revels in publicity for her show, she agrees. When she enters the house, which is situated in a gorgeous cabin miles from anywhere, she meets the other contestants. I was wondering how the book would read without her love interest, but I didn't miss her Alpha mate one bit!
It was great to see a few characters return from previous books, such as Tina a psychic and paranormal investigator, who we first meet in 'Kitty Raises Hell'; Jeremy a TV psychic who Kitty works alongside in 'Kitty Goes To Washington'; Odysseus Grant a true magician who Kitty meets for the first time in 'Kitty and the Dead Man's Hand' during her trip to Las Vegas.
There were many others in the house too: Lee, a were-seal; Anastasia, Gemma and Damian, two vamps and their human servant; Jerome, a werewolf and pro wrestler; Ariel, Priestess of the Night, talk-radio show host; and last but not least, Conrad, a human and a disbeliever in all that is supernatural.
After the introductions everyone settles in. What I noticed more than any other novel is that Kitty likes to ask lots of questions of others, but when someone asks her a question she gets annoyed. I must admit that Kitty did irritate me a little in this instalment. She puts herself out there and then wonders why people think she's an expert, she roles her eyes and gets annoyed when people look to her, but always places herself in danger - she's in danger of becoming a martyr and I didn't really like seeing that side of her. However, with such great writing and fast-paced storyline, this was a small niggle I could handle.
After a few days Kitty begins to have suspicions about some of the other participants, beings to create conspiracy theories and one morning the contestants wake up to find that the producers and staff of the show have left, there's no electricity and the phones are dead. As Kitty leaves the cabin to try and find out what's going on, she finds the first body...
However, there was a big leap of faith on my part with regards to the believability of the plot. A house full of werewolves, vampires, magicians, psychics, were-seals (who can be surprisingly violent as it happens, and have very sharp teeth) are being hunted by three mortal men. Yes they have guns, silver bullets, explosives and silver tipped arrows, but surely the fast moving vamps with their hypnotic eyes could have snuffed them out in a matter of minutes?
Despite these few niggles I thoroughly enjoyed this instalment - it was a very entertaining and exciting read. This series seems to get better and better with each novel. I really appreciate Vaughn's easy writing style and punchy storylines and her characterisation is second to none.
A great addition the the Kitty series and one of the best in my opinion. I can't wait to read the next book 'Kitty Goes To War', I have no doubt it will be a bumpy, but enjoyable ride.(less)
“Hungry Hearts” looked and sounded like a fun zombie read – I love zombies, *as if you didn't...moreOriginally posted on Book Chick City. 5/10 on the blog.
“Hungry Hearts” looked and sounded like a fun zombie read – I love zombies, *as if you didn't know* ;)
Looking at the cover I thought this would be about Rick and Sally, their relationship and how her being a zombie would change all that. In a way it was, but not in they way I imagined it. Plus there was the additional plot line with the serial killer, which didn’t add anything to the story really, other than as filler.
Plainly speaking, the writing is good but the pace is a little too slow, the book a bit too long, and there's a plot too many.
There are two main plot lines which run alongside each other. One is Rick and the other is Daryl, the serial killer.
Rick is a policeman, who finds his wife murdered in their home, not by zombies but by human hands. Unfortunately, she returns as a zombie. Not being able to deal with her death and zombieness, Rick decides to try and find a cure.
Rick sedates her with morphine so she wouldn’t bite, he discovers that by injecting the drug through her eye seems to work, and bandages her up so to others she just looks injured rather than a zombie. I could understood this reaction and could get on board with it as Rick was filled with grief. However, the author takes the reader down a route which I really didn’t like. There were little hints that it was coming and I kept thinking please don’t go down that route. Unfortunately the author did.
Rick decides to have sex with his wife! Sex with his wife who’s decaying, bloated and dead. Why the author had to go down this path I don’t know but it was absolutely disgusting and made me see Rick in a completely different light. Up until that point I had been sympathetic to his plight and understood his actions, but after that I just couldn’t see him any other way than a complete sicko! Honestly, what normal man, even in grief would have sex with a dead person, and not just dead, but decaying and heaving with maggots?? *shudders*
The reason for the zombie outbreak is a little vague. Throughout the story people believe it's in the bite, but it seems that with some people they come back from dying without a bite, old corpses in graveyards rise up, Sally who was murdered by a human comes back as a zombie. There are suggestions the outbreak was due to human involvement, which is why Rick decides to go and look for the 'scientists' who may be able to cure his wife, but no real explanation was given.
Daryl is on the cusp of becoming a serial killer. He’s been stalking Sally and targets her as his first victim. We don’t get to see him in action with Sally, but he does give us glimpses to his actions when he uses his memories to turn himself on. This character is vile and completely evil. His thoughts and actions are repulsive. Even when it's revealed that he was a victim of incest with his mother and bullying I felt no sympathy towards him whatsoever.
The ending was a little ambiguous too - the last paragraph (not the epilogue) we see the world through Sally's eyes as a zombie, as well as her 'thoughts' and it ends on a note that suggests she is aware, but it doesn't go into any detail and just ends, which was unsatisfying.
I really believe the story of Rick, his zombie wife, Sally, and their journey together could have been enough to keep me interested if the author had fleshed it out a bit, without having to include the serial killer aspect *or the vomit inducing sex scene*. It was just too much and I felt it was unnecessary.
“Hungry Hearts” definitely sits within the ‘horror’ genre as it is pretty horrific. There are scenes which, if you are not used to reading this kind of novel, maybe shocking to you, so you have been warned! For me there were moments which I really enjoyed and others that I really didn’t – would I recommend it? Only to diehard horror fans I think.(less)
**Warning - potential spoilers - read at your own risk!**
"Kitty Raises Hell" begins one week on from where the previous boo...moreI gave this 7/10 on my blog
**Warning - potential spoilers - read at your own risk!**
"Kitty Raises Hell" begins one week on from where the previous book finished. Kitty is on the look out for the The Band of Tiamat, the cult she came face to face with during her trip to Las Vegas, due to an ominous sign left on her door. But she soon realises that they are not in town but have cursed her with a fiery demon. People are killed, property is burned and Kitty is left trying to figure out what to do.
Although Kitty has definitely grown as a character, she still has a tendency to leave it to others to work things out. She places a call to Odysseus Grant, a magician she met while in Las Vegas and asks him to figure out what to do with the fire demon. He gives her the recipe for a potion to place around her home and of those she loves for protection. When her own pack questions her on what more she intends to do about protecting them, she doesn't really show her authority, instead her Alpha mate, Ben does, and yet she takes the credit for it. Kitty herself doesn't really do much fighting, however, I still find myself liking her and enjoying the troubles she finds herself in, even though I wish she was a little more kick-arse.
There is some light relief in the way of a paranormal investigation team that comes into town to investigate a haunted house. Kitty wants in on the action in the hope of getting an interview with them for her radio show, The Midnight Hour. She gets a lot more than she bargained for and the action flows thick and fast from this point on.
There is only a fleeting glimpse of Cormac in this instalment. He's still in jail but something ghostly is happening. It's very intriguing and nothing is really revealed which makes me think this could be setting us up for the next book.
Although I do like Ben I miss Cormac and still wonder why Vaughn put him in jail. Cormac is a very charismatic character and I'm surprised as to why she would lock him up and keep him out of so many books. I'm hoping he's released from prison soon, so there can be more Cormac and Kitty and maybe a little romantic tention.
Overall, "Kitty Raises Hell" is another great addition to the series and is very entertaining, with a lots action and intrigue. I look forward to reading the next book, 'Kitty's House of Horrors'.(less)
"They Call Me Death" is a very strong title, which means this book had a lot to live up to. It started ou...moreOriginally posted on my blog: Book Chick City
"They Call Me Death" is a very strong title, which means this book had a lot to live up to. It started out well, with a prologue that was pretty intriguing, but unfortunately it fell at the first chapter due to poorly thought-out world-building and unimaginative characters.
In the prologue we are told how the world became what it is; an America divided into North and South between shifters and humans. Alexia is at home with her husband and child and watches a news anchor-man kill everyone in the studio live on TV, after shifting into a cougar.
This suggests that shifters had been living alongside humans for years, taking on human jobs, living human lives. However, further along in the next few chapters the main character, Alexia, tells us how she is able to differentiate between species even in human form due to "canines having overbites" (let me point out here that in another paragraph a few pages on it states 'underbite'), "felines can't hide their teeth when they talk" and "reptilians can be spotted by their skin" - wouldn't this have been noticeable before the shifters declared war and ate their work colleagues?
There is also mention that shifters had families - human families. How is this possible? What about children? Were they born shifters and if so wouldn't the parent have noticed reptilian skin or feline teeth?
The plot is also rather thin. In a nut shell there's a laboratory where shifters are presumably being held for some kind of experimentation. Andor, a Golden Eagle shifter, thinks his daughter is being held there and needs Alexia's help. There are a few twists along the way but that's pretty much it. We are given no explanation as to why the shifters turned on humans so violently and so suddenly.
Most of the story is 'told' rather than 'shown' which makes for tiresome reading, and the author had a habit of skipping chunks of the story by adding "10 days passed", "after two weeks" or jumping to the next day. Wouldn’t it have been better to show us what happened rather than tell us in retrospect in the next chapter?
Being called "Death" by the enemy is a pretty big statement and Alexia had a lot to live up to. Unfortunately she didn't manage it and did absolutely nothing to back it up, as we never get to see her in action. We do see her, however, throwing her weight around with the guys at work. This was a little unrealistic to be honest, especially when she's only five foot eight and the guys she works with are well built and six feet tall. There needed to be more evidence as to why these guys would be scared of her and why shifters nicknamed her "Death".
Alexia and Andor's relationship happens too fast and isn't particularly explosive or toe curling. It took them only a couple of weeks to fall in love and shorter still for Alexia to trust him, even though she has a self-proclaimed loathing of shifters due to them killing her husband and child. The sex scenes were awkward and clumsy and didn't get me hot and bothered at all.
Andor's most appealing aspect is that he shifts into a Golden Eagle, which I think are magnificent birds. The author did try and express how beautiful and powerful Andor is in bird form but didn't quite manage it and therefore I didn't get a sense of how amazing he is.
Also, with just a little bit of research you can learn that Golden Eagles have a flight speed of approximately 30 miles per hour; their wing span can be up to 7 feet and they can carry prey three times their own body weight. Andor in shifter form is 6 feet tall with a wing span on 15 feet - therefore, taking all this into consideration, why oh why were Andor and Alexia running for their lives from the Alpha of the shifter divide when all he had to do was carry her and fly?
Although Alexia didn't get the opportunity to show us why shifters called her 'Death', she did have a tough-guy attitude, but her demeanour changed almost immediately when she met Andor. He kept telling her to keep behind him or wait in the other room. She even leaned into him at times like a simpering wimp! This isn't evidence of a woman called "Death"!
Another aspect I found rather strange was all the shifters seemed to speak in formal English, and yet have mixed with human society for years, blending in, pretending to be human, surely modern day speech would have rubbed off, if not then the human's around them would have found them all rather odd. Alexia starts out sounding like a modern day woman, but for some reason even she begins to speak formally:
I'm not his to command, but I may be death for you unless you explain why you're here unbidden," I replied.
I really wanted to like "They Call Me Death" as I am a huge urban fantasy fan, but it had a lot to live up to with such a statement for a title – unfortunately the heroine, Alexia didn't pull it off. The world building and plot needed a lot more thought and better execution. It could have done with being longer with more 'show' than 'tell'. There were too many unanswered questions and hugely noticeable inconsistencies. I was constantly niggled, frowning in displeasure and sighing with annoyance. I may be reading about supernatural beings but it still has to be believable.
However, it wasn't the most awful book I’ve ever read, but would I recommend it? No...there are far too many fantastic urban fantasy novels to be read, so I wouldn’t waste your time with this one.(less)
"Kitty and the Dead Man's Hand" sees Kitty leave Denver and head to the City of Lights for some well deserved R & R, and to marry the man in her l...more"Kitty and the Dead Man's Hand" sees Kitty leave Denver and head to the City of Lights for some well deserved R & R, and to marry the man in her life. But things pan out a bit like a screw ball comedy.
Kitty ends up: staying in a hotel that's hosting a gun convention attended by bounty hunters who hate werewolves; hosting her radio show, 'The Midnight Hour', live on TV the night before her wedding; her beau gambling away their money and then disappearing without a trace; and finally delivering a letter to the Vampire Master of the City from Rick, Kitty's vampire friend and Master of Denver - which of course leads to lots of drama and trouble for Kitty!
Kitty also meets a group of were-animals that perform in a show on a daily basis in their animal form and after seeing it with her own eyes, Kitty senses something's just not right.
We also get to meet a new character, Odysseus Grant, a true magician. He's one of my favourite characters, he's so intriguing and I never really knew if he was friend or foe until the end.
"Kitty and the Dead Man's Hand" doesn't have as much action as the previous books, but there was still enough going on to keep me reading. I must admit that I am a little disappointed that Kitty is getting married. This seems to really cement the relationship between her and her man (I won't say who incase you haven't read the books yet). I much prefer my urban fantasy heroine to struggle with romance rather than it be all wrapped up neatly.
However, I keep getting mixed signals. Kitty says she's in love but then let's everything get in the way of actually getting married. Her man plans a poker tournament at the time of their wedding so they have to rearrange it and instead of getting married in the afternoon that push it back to six o'clock. This doesn't really convince me that they are in love...
Despite my reservations about certain aspects, "Kitty and the Dead Man's Hand" is still a fun read. It's not on the same par as some of the preceding books, but I have a feeling that more is to come in the next instalments.(less)
"Kitty and the Silver Bullet" is by far the best and most exciting book in the Kitty Norville series so far. This series ju...moreI gave this 7/10 on my blog
"Kitty and the Silver Bullet" is by far the best and most exciting book in the Kitty Norville series so far. This series just seems to get better and better with each book. There's plenty of action as always as well as a few rare scenes of Kitty with her family, which was nice.
Kitty is called back to Denver by her father as her mother is ill. It's hard to juggle werewolf life and human life and when the two mix it's not pretty. Kitty has also been asked by a very powerful vampire to take sides in a coming war, which she is reluctant to do but inevitably has to, to save her family, her boyfriend and herself.
Kitty also acquires a few more werewolves to her "pack of two" and she's not sure how to deal with it. I must admit that there are some parts of Kitty's life that are hard to fathom. Kitty doesn't overly display any power, and when she gets into a sticky situation her immediate reaction is to run. I find it difficult to understand what it is about Kitty that have other wolves thinking she is leader material.
Of course there are moments when Kitty mans up, but most of the time she's quivering in her boots and just wants to run away. This is the part of Kitty I don't like. However, she does have other very good atributes. She tries her hardest to keep others safe; she's loyal and caring. Maybe it's these traits that others can see that makes her Alpha material.
I'm still uncomfortable with Kitty's love life and I can't help feeling a little miffed at their relationship. It seems they are too - they still don't know if they're only together because of the werewolf thing or if it's because they actually love each other, but we find out which in the last few chapters.
"Kitty and the Silver Bullet" is great fun and hugely entertaining. I can't wait to read the next instalment, 'Kitty and the Dead Man's Hand'.(less)
"The First Days" is the first book in a new zombie series by Rhiannon Frater. Originally self-published all three books in the series are now being re...more"The First Days" is the first book in a new zombie series by Rhiannon Frater. Originally self-published all three books in the series are now being released by Tor US in fairly quick succession. As soon as I heard about this series I knew I had to read it, and squealed with delight when Tor offered me the first book to review - well, you know how much a love the zombies ;)
"The First Days" is an action-packed, character-driven novel and was immensely enjoyable and fun to read. I had difficulty putting it down. The writing also seemed to get better and better as the book progressed.
From literally the first page, Frater pulled me in and never let go. I went on an epic journey with two amazing women and it was scary, funny and exhilarating.
What I loved about Frater's writing was her ability to give her characters life. Her portrayal of Jenni, an abused an beaten wife who watches her husband eat her children alive and Katie, a lesbian lawyer who is nearly eaten by her wife, is just superb. I really cared about these two women.
The plot is fab too. It's not original in the sense that there are zombies and people are fighting to stay alive, as this has been done before, but the author does manage to give it a breath of fresh air by having two females as her protagonists.
Jenni's transformation from a downtrodden victim of marital abuse to that of a gun-toting zombie-killing machine was moving as well as, at times, hilarious. However, although Jenni is definitely unhinged this is shown to the reader through her actions and dialogue - it isn't spelled out to us. We garner all the information we need from the characters themselves and I loved this, it made them more real.
Life for Jenni was already tragic before the zombie apocalypse but now it's just downright catastrophic, it's almost laughable. And laugh she does, especially when she's splitting a zombies head in two with a bullet.
Katie's character is great too, and if I had to choose she is the one I connected with the most. She's down to earth, strong and independent. She keeps things together and seems a lot more sane than Jenni.
Katie and Jenni have a lot of scars emotionally and physically and both are traumatised. But they can certainly look after themselves and they both realise they are stronger than they thought, especially Jenni, but I think a lot of her strength is coming from a little craziness and I'm interested to see if she changes in subsequent books, or if this is just how she is now.
The only aspect I didn't like about Katie's character was the sudden change in her sexual orientation - it gets a bit of a shake up half way through the novel and I didn't know about it. I felt as though I had been kept in the dark along with the other characters and I didn't like it. There was no need to keep this aspect of Katie's story secret from the reader and I must admit I felt a bit duped - as I'm sure Katie's friends will when they find out.
The other small niggle I had was as the story moved forward it did become a little too focused on Katie and as this started out as a female duo, I missed Jenni.
However, these are very small annoyances, ultimately "The First Days" had me thrilled, excited, sad and happy as I read the ups and downs of these peoples lives. Characters come and go throughout the novel, but they always leave a lasting memory.
Katie and Jenni fight their way through hordes of flesh eating zombies with a dog and Jenni's step son. They eventually find a group of people who are rebuilding their world, even if it's a smaller and more insular one, by fortifying their town. It's a huge effort but most pitch in.
Although, as with life, there are the stupid ones, the ignorant ones and the thugs who want to rebel against change and what is happening or don't want to believe that they are now living with the walking dead who want to eat them alive. Some think that all the undead need is a little medical attention *idiots*. This attitude bugs me no end and I always relish when one of them gets eaten, just so I can be smug and say "see, not medical attention" ;)
"The First Days" is just SO good. It's a really fab addition to the zombie genre and I can't wait to follow Katie and Jenni's story with 'Fighting to Survive' and then 'Seige' - if you love strong characters, exciting plot and of course zombies then I'm sure you will love this.(less)
"Whisper of Scandal" is a meaty historical romance, with great plot and well defined characters. I liked the heroine straight away. Widowed Lady Joann...more"Whisper of Scandal" is a meaty historical romance, with great plot and well defined characters. I liked the heroine straight away. Widowed Lady Joanna Ware is a complex character, as is the hero, but she is immensely likeable, whereas Lord Alex Grant is not. It took me quite some time to warm to him due to his arrogent, presumptuous and incredibly shallow manner, where he dislikes Joanna without knowing her and only goes on one person's opinion.
From the first chapter, when Lady Joanna and Lord Alex meet and Joanna kisses him in the hope to disuade her dead husband's cousin from his advances, I thought this was going to be a fairly light historical romance, but it wasn't.
Joanna's husband, an adventurer, dies while abroad and we are given glimpses into this horrid little man's life and his treatment of Joanna as we read further into the novel, which helped me understand her and how much she has been through. So when Lord Alex Grant is nasty to her, all I want to do is box his ears! But luckily, Joanna is an intelligent and articulate woman and gives as good as she gets. At times, Joanna puts Alex in his place so much so, I wanted to fist pump the air and cry "Yes! Take that, you cad!"
Although I didn't particularly like Alex for most of the book, he did begin to grow on me when he joined Joanna on a trip to the Arctic to bring home an orphaned child, and by the end of the novel, I loved him nearly as much as she did!
The secondary characters are also full of life, I specially liked Purchase, the captain of the boat Joanna charters for the long voyage. He's so protective and so in love with Joanna he will do anything to protect her.
The only secondary character I didn't like was Lottie Cummings - what a horrid woman. She proclaims to be Joanna's best friend and yet had an affair with her husband, she's incredibly grating and very shallow. She doesn't grow or change a bit throughout the entire novel and then she betrays Joanna again. Why Joanna continues to be friends with her I don't quite understand.
The dialogue between all the characters is well written and sharp, especially between Joanna and Alex. I really felt their dislike of each other, even though they simultaneously want to rip each other's clothes off. Venom drips from their words which are, at times, hurtful and spiteful, and it was immensely enjoyable to read. The only thing I will say is this did go on for a bit too long in my opinion and became a touch frustrating.
However, overall the pacing is very good and I believed Joanna and Alex's growing love. It isn't too abrupt, everything happens at the right time, and Alex soon comes to his senses. The sex scenes are sensual rather than explicit and the romance builds wonderfully.
The ending is just swoon-worthy, and so romantic - I won't give anything away, but let me just say, I now want to go on a long boat voyage to the Arctic and be swept off my feet by a Lord...
A lovely historical romance with all the right ingredients. If you enjoy the love/hate relationship - and I do, it's my favourite kind - then you will gobble this up. I'm looking forward to reading the next book in this series, 'One Wicked Sin'.(less)