First read of paperback, July 22, 2011. See below for audiobook comment.
★★★★★ Yes, five full stars! One of the best paranormal/fantasy books I’ve rea...more First read of paperback, July 22, 2011. See below for audiobook comment.
★★★★★ Yes, five full stars! One of the best paranormal/fantasy books I’ve read this year! I wanted to read it faster, but real life got in the way. As it was, I had it planned for a future “buddy read” and peeked at the first few pages. Three chapters later I was e-mailing my GR friend to hint around about moving this one up in our queue; luckily, she agreed. Ha! Indeed, she finished the book before I did. This is the first one this year that we didn’t stick to our reading schedule, but zipped ahead, gobbling up the book like hungry carnivores, as fast as possible.
Anywayz, back to the book: For those of you who want more insights into their heroes, this is the one for you. Almost half the book is spent inside the hero’s, Dragos’, head. He is scary, arrogant, “stalkerific”*, possessive, and perplexed about his burgeoning feelings toward Pia. He is such a delightful, swoon-worthy “hero-in-pursuit”** to read about.
Pia is no slouch herself, even if she is a thief. She is dismayed at the ruination of her life – and she’s scared of Dragos. Despite her “nightmarish week” and one furiously pissed-off dragon on her tail, she is also funny, clever, generous, and a radiant mystery that is a wonder to uncover. She stole her way into my heart in no time flat.
If the bad guy is obvious from almost the beginning, who cares? The interaction and dialogue between Dragos and Pia alone is worth the price of the book. Escape plans? Joint efforts. Misunderstandings? They are talked out within a reasonable time. Love scenes? Toe-curling! Secondary characters? Amazing too. All in all, it kept me transfixed.
I highly recommend this book! It is imaginative, sweet, H.O.T., funny, and magical. Ms. Harrison has built a compelling, enchanted world parallel to ours that you’ll want to discover for yourself. Personally, I can’t wait for the next in the series.
* “Stalkerific” is a term coined by the creative Lady Danielle; however, in true Pia inspired fashion, I stole it from her. :) ** “Hero-in-Pursuit” is a term from the All About Romance special title listing they have for same; Lady Danielle has a bookshelf dedicated to them.
Update: May 5, 2012 (Comment on audiobook.) Loved this one so much in paperback, I had to get the audio and listen to it again. Sophie Eastlake does a nice job narrating this one; she sometimes has what I can only describe a sultry, lazy delivery. I picked up different things this time around. It is always interesting to hear how someone else will ‘act out’ a scene in their vocal delivery; not exactly how I had it in my head, but enjoyable enough. I would give the narration ★★★★☆.
Pia is supposed to look like the great Greta Garbo, “star and icon during Hollywood's silent and classic period.” (Wiki)
★★★★★ (This is a review of the audiobook.) I’ll be honest and say it took me several attempts at this one. After failing three times, I ju...moreAshmole 782?
★★★★★ (This is a review of the audiobook.) I’ll be honest and say it took me several attempts at this one. After failing three times, I just put the audiobook in the car; I figured there I would be a captive audience. I was really beginning to wonder how this book ever received GoodReads’ Romance of the Year Award. However, I ended up loving it and wanting to go out to do my errands just to listen to the story. Eventually, I had my iPod in my ears while I did my grocery shopping. It is wonderful. Yes, I borrowed the Kindle version from my library to reference certain sections; while there is just one plotline going on, it is complicated.
While the story is spellbinding, Jennifer Ikeda’s fabulous narration is something I didn’t appreciate until the book started introducing so many international characters. Ms. Ikeda does a great job on all the accents: American, English, Indian, Australian, Scottish, French, Italian . . . I lost count of them all in the 24 hours it took for her to read this novel. When there are multiple people from one dialect, she manages to differentiate their voices, which is no small task. Regardless of a character’s mood or tone, she doesn’t slip. She elevates the whole book, IMHO.
I loved Diana and Matthew’s love story! And I loved Diana’s gradual unearthing and acceptance of her heritage after her serendipitous discovery of a palimpsest known as Ashmole 782 among the eleven million rare manuscripts in the Bodleian Library of Oxford University.
Can’t wait for July and the next book in the All Souls Trilogy!
I was trying to decide if I should listen to this one audio or not. Going to the Brick & Mortar Public Library is a pain, now that I've been spoiled by downloadable audiobooks. Plus, I would have to transfer all those CDs (twenty!) to my iPod/Touch. Then Xe sent me the link to this blog review: The Oddiophile. Some people are just so darn clever! LOL! Thanks Xe!
★★★★½ (Review of audiobook.) It is one thing to fight a forest fire and another thing all together to parachute into one; however, that is exactly w...more
★★★★½ (Review of audiobook.) It is one thing to fight a forest fire and another thing all together to parachute into one; however, that is exactly what the Missoula Smoke Jumpers do. Nora Roberts has decided to write a story that follows several storylines of these select heroes and manages a murder mystery to boot. Rebecca Lowman does an excellent job of narrating this one, keeping the voice inflections varied enough for me to differentiate the multiple characters.
I enjoyed Rowan Tripp and Gulliver Curry's love story – all fifteen hours and ten minutes of it. Yep, at 472 pages, it’s what you call a “chubby chunkster”. I loved the bantering between these two, and the way Rowen, a veteran of these elite Smoke Jumpers, resisted getting involved with an experienced firefighter – now cast as a ‘rookie’ jumper. Of course, Gull, our hero, not only sets records in training camp, he overcomes Rowen’s resistance to his charms; it is inherently a romance. It was also realistically pleasant to see this kick-ass heroine be less than perfect when her father, a Smoke Jumper legend himself, finds love too.
There are several compelling characters in this fictional account of this small western Montana community, from the firefighters, to the ancillary staff, to the police detectives investigating the murder. There’s plenty of grief, and the ending is brutal; but, there are also precious moments, laughter and love. Some readers felt it had too much firefighting throughout, but I loved hearing about how these daredevils fight the “dragon”. I definitely recommend this read – or listen!(less)
I've read all the Harry Potter books twice, some three times. I remember years ago when I mailed the first three books to my new nephew, Quinton. My b...more
I've read all the Harry Potter books twice, some three times. I remember years ago when I mailed the first three books to my new nephew, Quinton. My brother-in-law, Terry, and his wife, Libby, had decided to raise Q, her grandson. Libby said the books were a little “old” for him and would have to be read aloud; but if I really wanted to send them, I could go ahead. Unfortunately, my sister-in-law, Libby, got a terrible flu about the time the books arrived on their doorstep.
To appreciate the rest of the story, you need to realize my brother-in-law’s favorite hero is “The Duke.” As in John Wayne. Terry is nothing, if he’s not a man’s man, and when we play the “lines from a movie” car-riding-game, all his are from JW’s movies.
Due to Lib’s infirmity, Terry decided to take on the duty of nightly story time, and graciously agreed to read this first book until Libby got well enough to take on this “woman’s” responsibility. After almost a week, Libby emerged from her sick bed and, when bedtime came, asked Q where they were in the story. My big, strong, manly brother-in-law said, “Ah…that’s alright. I've got this one.” And he proceeded to read all the rest of the books in the series too! My sister-in-law said it came as no surprise to her when the books became a nationally best-selling phenomena; she knew something was up way before then.
Update Re-read via audio while traveling the week of February 21 – 23, 2012: I loved Jim Dale’s narration of this delightful book and was happy I finally got to listen to his rendition. His inflections and tones are pitch-perfect, elevating an already engaging book that is a wonderful listen for any age.(less)
Keeping the Characters Straight - Help (you're going to need it) from Shelfari.com Sara Keegan: An Accountant, owner of a new age book shop called "The Scrying Glass". Quinn Tyrell: Pyr, a silver and blue dragon, the Smith. Erik Sorensson: Pyr, a pewter and onyx dragon, leader of the Pyrs Donovan Shea: Pyr, lapis lazuli and gold dragon Lucien: Slayer, topaz yellow dragon Boris Vassily: Slayer, ruby red dragon, leader. Ambrose: Slayer, gold dragon Niall Talbot: Pyr, amethyst and platinum dragon Rafferty Powell: Pyr, opal and gold dragon Sloane Forbes: Pyr, tourmaline dragon Sigmund Guthrie: Slayer, malachite green and silver dragon, Erik's son Sophie: Wyvern dragon, Pyr, crystal white, only female. Everett: Slayer, tourquoise dragon Xavier: Slayer, garnet red dragon Magda: Sara's aunt Delaney Shea: Pyr, emerald and gold dragon
★★★½✩ I was really enjoying this first in the Dragonfire series; loved the characters (and there were a lot!), loved the plot, and this made it for a fast page-turning read.
Then. Things. Changed.
I felt the author played a little fast & loose with the abilities and magic of the characters and world. She didn't have her “rules” firm enough, IMHO. Why didn't a character used that ability earlier? (Which happened more than once!) (view spoiler)[What was with the hero’s keen not-so-keen sense of smell? Why didn't a character recognize another character? Why didn’t the hero ensure the safety of his lady before antagonizing a potential foe, and then rapidly try to erect a defense? Especially given his history. (view spoiler)[Why could one character shape shift to enable escape, but didn’t do so earlier? Oh, because they didn’t know. But wait, they did! (hide spoiler)] Why didn’t the dirt in the tunnel stop the smoke? I don’t know about that world, but here in the Real one, it does. (hide spoiler)] And on and on.
Some parts of the book were fun and engaging, I enjoyed the author’s “voice” and I could forgive a few little things as a “first in the series book” - but the inconsistencies just started snowballing out of control, making me roll my eyes one too many times and lose interest. (And I was really, really interested the first 3/4 of the book!)
I did this as a “buddy read,” so of course I finished; I think my fellow “BRs” liked it more than I did, so you should probably give it a chance. In fact, I’m willing to give this author another shot. I’m just getting the next in the series from the library. ☺
★★★★½ I liked it a lot. These two “frienmies” banter back and forth instead of bicker. Yes, there is a difference. As, Sans, my GRs friend says:
...more★★★★½ I liked it a lot. These two “frienmies” banter back and forth instead of bicker. Yes, there is a difference. As, Sans, my GRs friend says:
Gimme witty dialogue any day over "I hate you, get away from me, go to hell, let's have sex."
Loved the action. Some romantic suspense authors have the H/h do things separately, and I can see the reason for the logistics sometimes. But as a reader, I want to see them working together, side by side, in the thick of it. That happens here.
As a new-to-me-author, I found her “voice” pretty easily. For a short story, she told a lot. Her words were eloquent and concise; she was amazing. I will definitely read more of her writing. In fact, I thought this was a prequel, not a companion novella to Angels' Blood; but, the characters in the next book are not the main ones in this short. **sigh** I'll just have to wait for the rest of their story later in the series. (less)
I have a shelf on GoodReads entitled “take-flight” that I use for all sort of things: airplane pilots, angels, dragons. Or in this case, drákon. The...more I have a shelf on GoodReads entitled “take-flight” that I use for all sort of things: airplane pilots, angels, dragons. Or in this case, drákon. These mythical breasts are beautifully, if fiercely, portrayed in Ms. Abe’s book. I love the descriptions of they flights.
It felt…exhilarating. Even with him there, it felt like liberty, like she need never touch the ground again.
The sun began to set and the entire sky kindled to flame, suspending them in wild pink and cherry and orange, colors so burning and luminous they almost hurt to behold. Every stroke of her wings shifted hues, deepening the heavens, and when the first of the stars sparked overhead – a bouquet of them all at once – all that was left of the day was a band of intense maroon melting like hot sand into the edge of the world.
At times the author’s descriptions reminded me of an old fashioned movie; back when the camera spent time on a scene so we can absorb the surroundings – or the ambience – if you will. Ms. Abe does the same thing; describing the birds’ or monkeys’ reactions to the dragons’ presence, or the intricate description of masquerade costumes. She takes her time on a passage, which is quite alright with me, even if I was a little impatient to move the story along, I finally just enjoyed the lyrical prose of her writing.
I was confused a bit during the prologue and the first chapter, but that is not unusual for me with regards to the fantasy genre. I caught on quick enough by chapter two. Dragons are irresistibly drawn to gemstones. They can smell them, feel them, breathe them. They can change - or “shape-shift” - from human, to smoke, to dragon. Cool.
There was a point at which I was so incredibly glad Rue had escaped the beastly tribe at Darkfrith that I started having my own little fantasy that Kit would not be her love interest. Then, about the time Ms. Abe started writing about that scribe in the council room, I actually flipped to re-read the back-of-the-book-synopsis to check, “Could it be someone else? Please!” There was no way that Kit would ever redeem himself.
I didn’t blame Rue, who is half human, for fighting her fate. Who wants to be in a relationship involving unrequited love? Especially if you’re not the one loved!
About here I need to tell my friend, Faithmarie, not to worry. Rue gets her happily ever after. After all, it did get Romantic TimesHistorical Romance of the Year 2005. And it’s an enjoyable flight of fantasy until she gets it. (less)
★★★★☆ (This is a review of the audiobook.) I liked this one. I didn’t love it, like I thought I would, but I liked it a lot. (view spoile...more[image error]
★★★★☆ (This is a review of the audiobook.) I liked this one. I didn’t love it, like I thought I would, but I liked it a lot. (view spoiler)[I felt the heroine jumped into a new relationship too soon after her break-up with her current boy-friend. (hide spoiler)] But, with the hero as yummy as he was, maybe I would have, too.
Some of the humor didn’t work for me, but some of it did. In fact, there were a few laugh out loud moments. Maybe this can be credited, in part, to Kate Reading’s wonderful delivery. Love listening to her narrations. She does a great job of Jack’s American accent.
Hey, we all have secrets, right?["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Artist: Ni Anluain. Inspired by Nalini Singh's character Archangel Raphael ★★★★✩ I read Angels' Pawn first, thinking it a prequel, when really it is j...moreArtist: Ni Anluain. Inspired by Nalini Singh's character Archangel Raphael ★★★★✩ I read Angels' Pawn first, thinking it a prequel, when really it is just a companion novella to Angels' Blood. For me, this was a disadvantage; while I loved Elena in this story, Raphael was not a very likeable character in that one, IMHO, and I wondered not how, but if Ms. Singh was going to be able to covert me to a Raphael fan. She did, but the going was rough.
I liked the story and was glad I finished it. In all honesty, I kind of lost interest there at about 75% of the way through and might not have finished it – or maybe just skimmed it – had this not been a “buddy read”. There was a bit of rehashing and the frustration of knowing my questions were not going to be answered this go round. (view spoiler)[Planning for the next book in the series in our “buddy read” schedule, I had looked at it and saw Elena was an angle – kind of hard to miss, when she’s on the cover with a pair of black wings!), (hide spoiler)] so I was interested to see how that happened and at the same time dreading a “cliffhanger” ending.
Sometimes I felt I was being led in one direction in the story, only to have it turn in another. And, in an unfair way, not in a neat, surprising-turn-of-events sort of way. (view spoiler)[Like with Lejuan, for example. She was coming across as this all-wise, ever-evolving archangel and instead – poof! – she’s suddenly making zombies? Then there is the unrevealed mystery of the deaths of Elena’s mother and sisters – and the resultant issues and effects this has had on Elena. Huh? (hide spoiler)]
There could have been fewer characters and more development of those pertinent to the story. Loved Illium, the angel with blue wings. I actually enjoyed the companion novella, Angels' Pawn much, much more. I thought Angels' Blood was 4 stars for a little over half way, then it dropped to 3 ½ stars there for a while; however, it redeemed itself in the end, so I’ll stick with the original rating and hesitantly give it ★★★★✩.
★★★½ Tanya Eby does a nice job of narrating this audiobook. I selected this first in the Evan Delaney series for so many reasons, one of which was the...more★★★½ Tanya Eby does a nice job of narrating this audiobook. I selected this first in the Evan Delaney series for so many reasons, one of which was the pretty blue cover – reminiscent of the skies above China Lake – satisfied a June challenge. The second, because it was an 2009 Edger Award winner, also fitting in with said challenge.
Did I like the heroine, Evan Delaney, or not? Hummm… First, let me say, I like to see people stand up for the disenfranchised, but Evan had a lot to lose, specifically her six-year-old nephew, Luke, whose father is a Navy pilot. I love some of her witty – and at times, snarky – remarks sprinkled through-out the book; however, on other occasions, the first person narrative is detrimental to the IQ level of the heroine. Ms. Gardiner must bring Evan into the proximity of a cult, calling themselves The Remnant; therefore, Evan sometimes acts too stupid to live. Does one really get in the faces of religious fanatics with pithy replies just because they can? As a lawyer, painted obviously more intelligent than the zealots, does one seek them out, thwart the law and, again, insult not only these armed extremists, but the police within hearing? Plus, the AFT, FBI and NCIS would have shown up in real life long before they do (IMHO).
Still, as this is a first novel, named for an actual place in California’s Mojave Desert – home to NAVAIR’s Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division (NAWCWD) – a setting with which I am familiar, so I got a great sense of place. It also has with some nice twists; I’m willing to give this author another read. If not book #2, Mission Canyon: An Evan Delaney Novel (Evan Delaney), then maybe from her other series Jo Beckett, who is a forensic psychiatrist in San Francisco.
Four solid stars. A fast-paced, enjoyable read with some great one-liners. I work in the medical field, so it was nice to read a paranormal book about...moreFour solid stars. A fast-paced, enjoyable read with some great one-liners. I work in the medical field, so it was nice to read a paranormal book about an underground hospital run by a demon that still managed to reflect the author’s accurate medical knowledge. I enjoyed her sense of humor also.(less)
★★★★★ Wow! All I can say is this book is cool. I just love “Anna Latham Cornick, mate of Charles Cornick, Omega of the Aspen Creek Pack. Wolf. Sister....more★★★★★ Wow! All I can say is this book is cool. I just love “Anna Latham Cornick, mate of Charles Cornick, Omega of the Aspen Creek Pack. Wolf. Sister. Daughter. Lover. Beloved.” Remember, knowing a person’s name is powerful magic. And that is all the hint of this plot you are going to get out of me! This one is delicious. Just enough clues sprinkled throughout for me to guess some of them and still leave enough mystery to unfold. Plus, enough realism in the human relationship between two lonely, insecure souls verses their newly established mate-bond to be fascinating. Not to mention, the cover actually looks like Anna and Brother Wolf. Finally.
Don’t miss the fun. Start this one with the novella to get the full effect. I can’t wait for Fair Game, coming out February, 2012.
★★★✩✩ Okay. **deep sigh** There is an imaginative plot in this story. Comparing the date of publication to a popular 80’s movie (view spoiler)[Star Tr...more★★★✩✩ Okay. **deep sigh** There is an imaginative plot in this story. Comparing the date of publication to a popular 80’s movie (view spoiler)[Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home(hide spoiler)], I found that AM had the solution to planet Pern’s “Threadfall” - a deadly organism raining down from the skies - problem first.
Procreation is a big theme in this book. Dragon and human. I was surprised and unhappy about the whole “strong” heroine (Lessa) falling for her rapist abuser, the “hero” (F’lar). I couldn’t believe this was a young adult book, but what do I know? At least all that unpleasantness was “off camera.” Also, there are lots of characters in this one, and their corresponding dragons. I had to check shelfari a few times to keep them straight. I was listening to Dick Hill’s baritone narration (which took some getting used to, making some of the voices sound the same) and sometimes I just needed to see a name in print to get it straight.
I was looking forward to continuing the series and already worked the next one into one of my challenges; however, now I’m not so sure I’ll continue. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
★★★★✩ (This is a review of the audiobook.) Who knew Barbara Rosenblat had so many funny voices? There is a “Newfie” in...moreEffrijim: AKA Jim [image error]
★★★★✩ (This is a review of the audiobook.) Who knew Barbara Rosenblat had so many funny voices? There is a “Newfie” in this book that she anthropomorphizes with a hilarious “woe is me” tone in his voice – oh, excuse me, a Newfoundland, as Jim prefers to be called! This first in the Aisling Grey, Guardian series is a hoot! Ms. Rosenblat sounds completely different than she does in the Amelia Peabody Mysteries.
Still, I enjoyed this book more than I should have and laughed at all the silly set-up scenarios that contribute to all of Abaddon and the Paris Otherworld chasing after Aisling. Of course, maybe this is worth squabbling over: (view spoiler)[ Gold Dragon or. . . “An aquamanile is a form of ewer, usually made of metal, used for the ritual washing of hand by a priest or other liturgical person. They were very common in medieval times.” (hide spoiler)]
I have no idea if Ms. Rosenblat’s French and Hungarian accents are spot-on or not, but I loved listening to them, both male or female. I’ll definitely continue with the series on audiobooks. . . (view spoiler)[if only for more of Jim! LOL! Yes, Drake, the hero, is yummy, but Jim made me laugh. Book #4.5 below is just a short story, featuring him. (hide spoiler)]
★★★★★ This series just gets better and better. Love the detail and the wit. I feel as if I’ve gotten to know these wonderful characters (though some a...more★★★★★ This series just gets better and better. Love the detail and the wit. I feel as if I’ve gotten to know these wonderful characters (though some are infuriating!) and at the same time they keep surprising me. Ms. Carriger had me on the edge of my seat for chapters, laughing out loud, wanting desperately to learn what happened next ー yet conversely wanting to savor each word. Wonderful. Can’t wait for the next installment.(less)
3 1/2 stars. This one was something a little different for me. I usually don't read about aliens, etc. It might be right up your alley. It was pretty...more3 1/2 stars. This one was something a little different for me. I usually don't read about aliens, etc. It might be right up your alley. It was pretty good. If you are wondering what my bookshelf "take-flight" is, that means it involves some kind of flying. Could be anything from airplanes, to dragons, to angels. In this case it's a spaceship, and the hero makes a good instuctor!(less)