I gave this book 7/10 on my blog but Goodreads doesn't offer half stars!
Shadow Bound is the first book in a new series by Erin Kellison. It is also th...moreI gave this book 7/10 on my blog but Goodreads doesn't offer half stars!
Shadow Bound is the first book in a new series by Erin Kellison. It is also the authors debut. The press release states it's a fusion of "dark fantasy, science fiction, horror, religion and paranormal romantic suspense" - phew, that's a lot of genres! To me this book leans more towards one: paranormal romantic suspense, the other genres mentioned are a bit misleading.
However, I enjoyed Shadow Bound. I was sucked into this book from the prologue where we meet Shadowman and a mortal woman, Kathleen, who has been ill and close to death for many years. She knows he is there but has never seen him and yet through all this they have fallen in love. Against his better judgement, Shadowman reveals himself to her from the shadows even though he's not meant to until she passes away. They fall into each others arms and this one brief moment together produces a child called Talia.
From here time moves forward twenty six years, to the present day where Talia is at college and living a fairly normal life. Her mother Kathleen died while giving birth and Talia has been living with her aunt. Although Talia knows she's different because of the things she can do with the shadows, she tries to ignore it and lives her life as normally as she can, until one day, without warning, two Wraiths come into her life and kill her room mate.
Talia is a good character, but I didn't feel as though I really got to know her. She's also not particularly kick-arse (until the very last chapter), she's more into running away and hiding. I would have liked to see her grow a bit more, to see her harden to the world and come back fighting a bit sooner than the last few pages. Most of the time she is being protected by Adam.
Adam is a great character and felt I got to know him a lot more than Talia. He's a bit bitter and twisted and at times rather arrogant, but his life over the past six years has been traumatic to say the least. His mother and father were killed by a wraith, which Adam captured and is keeping prisoner in the basement, and to make things worse the Wraith is also his brother, Jacob! Adam's also the head of an organisation which is studying Wraiths and how to kill them. It's a slow process and time is running out. But when Adam meets Talia and finds out what she can do, he thinks he has the weapon that will save the world.
I did feel there were too many names for the same thing. The "Shadows" is also called "Twilight" and Shadowman is also called "Death" and as well as being Death he is also faery, and the Demon who is offering immortality for souls is called "The Death Collector", which is a bit confusing when "Death" is Shadowman. You see my point.
With that aside, the world building is pretty good and I enjoyed Kellison's descriptions of a world filled with Wraiths, which are nasty soul-sucking demons. I did want a little more detail about the Shadows, but I did get a feeling that it is quite an eerie place. A place between this world and heaven, where once you die, Shadowman takes your soul from this life to the afterlife.
Shadow Bound is full of suspense with a smidgin of romance, which I really liked and both go hand in hand very well. Talia and Adam have lots of sexual chemistry, which they try and ignore by looking at the bigger picture, which is - they have a Wraith war to deal with first before succumbing to their feelings - of course, they don't stick to this but I really liked the way their relationship grew. It was lust at first sight on both their parts but I felt as though the author held back with their relationship and took it slowly, nothing was rushed, so the end result was very satisfying and the relationship realistic.
Shadow Bound is a very promising debut. The ending gave me a flutter of excitement as it sets us up for the second book in the series, Shadow Fall, which I luckily have at hand. I think readers of urban fantasy, paranormal romance and suspense will enjoy this book and I definitely recommend it. (less)
This is the fourth in a series of spin-off books from the Supernatural TV series. It ta...moreReviewed by Laura for Book Chick City. Rating 5/10 on the blog.
This is the fourth in a series of spin-off books from the Supernatural TV series. It takes place in the fifth series and is a filler between episodes. The beginning of the book says that the novel takes place after the episode 'Changing Channels' (episode 8 of 22).
I'm a huge fan of the TV show, well Dean alone need I say anymore! But like with Buffy before it, one of my previous spooky TV favourites, I've never really been tempted to read any of the spin-off stories. Which left me wondering what I'd been missing.
It's worth saying that the author has without a doubt assumed the reader has watched the TV show. However, I haven't read any of the previous three books in the series, and didn't feel feel like I'd missed any of the storyline because of this. For those unfamiliar with the show, it follows two brothers, Sam and Dean, who travel about America slaying demons and evil, supernatural beings.
The story is split into three parts. It begins with fallen angel Castiel warning Sam and Dean that the Heart of the Dragon has risen again, then we're quickly transported back forty years to 1969 and the dragon's first rising.
The first part of the books tells the story of Sam and Dean's grandparents Samuel and Deanna (yes really) and their mother Mary, a teenager at the time, who are called to China Town to investigate a slew of supernatural murders and end up facing the Heart of the Dragon. The hippie setting of the story is fun, but I found the first part of this book slow. I didn't really engage with Samuel and Deanna that much and if I'm honest I found Mary quite irritating.
The second section takes place twenty years later when Sam and Dean are just children and their father John, a man obsessed with revenge. He regularly abandons them as he obsessionally hunts demons and fails to come to terms with his wife's death.
It was interesting to get some insight into Sam and Dean's life as children, their strained relationship with their father and the impact this had on them. John is a man consumed with single-minded determination and regularly sacrifices his children's well being to banish both his own and the real life demons. Bobby (another demon hunter and character from the TV series) makes an appearance as the put upon friend and surrogate father to the brothers and I enjoyed seeing this warmer side of him.
Then the book takes us up to the present day and the part you've been waiting for - Sam and Dean's section. While Samuel and Deanna and John went up against the Heart of the Dragon, they only succeed in banishing it, and as it rises again forty years it's up to Sam and Dean to complete what their family have been unable to do and destroy it completely.
There are some genuinely good bits of the story, particularly the Japanese legend and the young Sam and Dean, but a lot of it was quite slow going.
The biggest thing is I felt that the book missed the humour that I love in the TV shows. We all love the relationship between the two brothers and it was very much skimmed over or there was just not enough of it.
All in all I would summarise this book as OK. I didn't love it, but I didn't hate it either. The author tried very hard to recreate the setting of this much loved TV show and while he nearly achieved it, I don't think it quite got there either. (less)
Oh, what a gorgeous cover! So so pretty! OK, now I've finished crushing on the cover, on to the r...moreReviewed by Jo for Book Chick City. 7/10 on the blog.
Oh, what a gorgeous cover! So so pretty! OK, now I've finished crushing on the cover, on to the review!
Olivia is a fallen Angel. Fallen Angels are Vampiric in their ways and feed on blood but only when the person finds them desirable or they fear them. Olivia seems lost and indifferent to her existence and wants back in heaven, and she thinks the only way is to find a man who loves her for everything she is.
Dominic has memories of another life, but believes they are hallucinations or seizures. He spends a good deal of him time looking for a cure for his illness. This is where it gets interesting, because one fears paranormal retribution and the other fears a mental illness - but who is right/deluded/insane etc? They meet in 'rehab' and while they instantly click, Olivia believes Dominic is deluded, and Dominic thinks Olivia is insane. There is romance between the two, but while one wants a cure and one wants salvation it ultimately means their seperation should they get their wish.
I really cannot say too much here on the plot or even the characters because the brilliant-ness (is this is a word? Ah, it is now!) of this story is the way it unfolds and plays with our minds. The characters are very interesting and you are invited into their minds and the weird and wonderful way our minds work.
A very good, and very insightful, interesting book. If you enjoy films such as Fight Club, and having your mind played with then you'll really love this.(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)
**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)
I have heard a lot about this author, mainly from Natasha (Wicked Little Pixie) via Twitter, who rated this book 5/5. So, I thought I would read it my...moreI have heard a lot about this author, mainly from Natasha (Wicked Little Pixie) via Twitter, who rated this book 5/5. So, I thought I would read it myself and see what all the fuss was about - it sounded like a really fun book too. And it most certainly was!
How to describe Amanda Feral... bitchy, snarky, vulgar, foul-mouthed, smart (arse), sexy and totally zombelicious! And dare I say it after all that... likable. Although Amanda is a zombie, through no fault of her own, it doesn't stop her from being utterly fabulous and determined to keep strutting her stuff - makeup, designer clothes and a cocktail in hand are absolute must haves! Unsurprisingly, after getting to know her, Amanda takes the knowledge that she is one of the undead in her stride and isn't too concerned that she now has to eat people - well, a girls got to eat!
Some may find the humour in this book not to their tastes but I loved Amanda's character and although she can be a total bitch, she can also be a loyal friend, as her determination to find her missing friend showed, albeit reluctantly. She enjoys gossiping and sipping vodkatinis with her supernatural friends, Wendy (a sister zombie); Gil (a gay vamp) and Liesl (a succubus) in the trendiest night spots and all as bitchy and snarky as each other!
There is a plot to Happy Hour of the Damned - Amanda turns pseudo-detective and sets out to find her friend Leisl, who sends a 'Help!" txt message before disappearing. But what transpires is something completely innocent as well as more sinister. And although I did enjoy this part of the book, for me it was all about Amanda. Amanda is the reason I rushed out and bought book two! *I has me a 'Manda crush ;)*
Henry mixes urban fantasy with his obvious comedic talent as well as a smattering of visceral horror. Readers who read urban fantasy but not horror will find some scenes a little gruesome and gory (lots of braaaiinns and well, the rest of the body - waste not want not!). Personally I loved it, but I am a bit of a sicko ;)
Happy Hour of the Damned is a fun and entertaining read as well as being absolutely hilarious. Yes, it does get a little rushed at the end with maybe too much going on but Henry's timing is superb and Amanda's witty, snarky comments had me chuckling and giggling to myself and occasionally laughing-out-loud.
I can't get across enough how wickedly good this book is... so you will just have to read it for yourself - I can't wait to read the second book in this series, Road Trip of the Living Dead (look out for the review soon!).
I actually gave this 9/10 on my blog but Goodreads doesn't offer half stars!(less)