Over the course of five Hollows novels, Harrison has teased and alluded to readers about Rachel Morgan's true heritage. Is she really a witch? What di...moreOver the course of five Hollows novels, Harrison has teased and alluded to readers about Rachel Morgan's true heritage. Is she really a witch? What did Trent's father exactly do to her DNA? Why does Ceri never let on about what she knows regarding Rachel's unusual talent in kindling demon magic? How is it related to Trent's research for the elf race? Why do demons gravitate towards her as if they have an ulterior motive? Why? Because they do!
Finally, Harrison lets the cat out of the bag in a big way...but she doesn't give it to us all in one big enchilada. The entire meat of the book is a lead in to what we have been waiting for but we stop a few times, glean more along the way.
Two main aspects to this latest tale that stand out significantly are: 1)there is more of a presence and focus on family ties both from Rachel's true family and her urban Hollows one i.e., Rachel's mom has a very dark secret related to Rachel's father, Keasley is revealed, Quen is in dire trouble, Rynn Cormel, the charismatic new Cincy vampire master makes an appearance, Ivy and Rachel come to an agreement of sorts with their blood balance, David the Were appears more nurturing, the addition of Marshal (the witch from Mackinaw Island) provides a potential new love interest, and Ceri...well she's got a bun in the oven from an unlikely source and 2) Rachel's true heritage.
It even gets more complicated and spicier as the search for Kisten's killer ensues, Trent asks Rachel to go on a mission to the Ever-After so that she can retrieve a piece of ancient Elven DNA-that might be able to repair the damage that the demons wrought in the last war. Couple this with Al on a nightly release when some mysterious person keeps summoning him from his jail in the Ever-After-even Minias is hard pressed to catch him. All in all, it's not just a bad day for Rachel but a bad week-Halloween week no less.
Readers get the big payoff and a glimpse into one possible direction that Harrison might be taking the series-one that is freaking irresistible! I felt like giggling and skipping around in a circle chanting a mantra: "We're going to the Ever After- We're going to the Ever After" like it's a really neat school field trip. Well hell...it is! My permission slip is signed and I'm ready to go!
After staying up nearly all night to finish reading (got the book early), and a triple espresso in the shower to wake me up, it was well worth every minute. Worth savoring and re-reading!
Kudos Harrison, did it again!-Laughter in One Word: `mouse burger", and the dialogue between Jenks and Bis was so freaking funny I laffed so hard and loud, that I probably woke my neighbors! (c)Nicola Mattos (less)
Mark of the Demon is dark, sexy, fare where the heroine doesn’t always get her way and the chase is filled with longing as well as plenty of twists an...moreMark of the Demon is dark, sexy, fare where the heroine doesn’t always get her way and the chase is filled with longing as well as plenty of twists and turns. For those fans of Kim Harrison’s Hollows series, Mark of the Demon will instantly be a hit. Guaranteed. And those fans who might hunger for a Rachel Morgan demon “lurve” connection with Algaliarept or Minias, or Morgan Kingsley and Lugh from Jenna Black’s series, then feed your desires with Mark of the Demon.
Kara Gillian leads dual lives: that of a homicide detective in her small Louisiana parish, and a demon summoner. When Rhyzkahl, one of the most dangerous demon lords to cross into the earthly plane steps casually out of her summoning portal instead of a lower level luhrek demon, Kara knows she is in trouble. Big trouble. But what could have been an impending gory death for the tricky summoner, morphs into something sensual and extremely dangerous.
As Kara heads the team on the Symbol Man serial killings, she comes to realize that there is a definite connection between Rhyzkahl, the recent ritual mutilations, and a powerful unknown rival summoner who is leaving a trail of bodies a mile-wide. Shackled with an FBI agent she doesn’t quite trust and yet is attracted to, Kara finds she has few allies in which to solve one of the grisliest crime sprees to hit her region in years. Stumped, Kara tries to tentatively solicit information from Rhyzkahl with potential devastating consequences. She finally comes to realize what “playing with fire” means when toying with a demon lord.
Rowland gives readers what they secretly crave: wicked non-stop action, diabolical sensuality and danger. As well as a sinister deadly demon force to be reckoned with in Rhyzkahl, and the possible means to tame him through Kara Gillian.
One can only wonder what Rhyzkahl has planned for Kara in BLOOD OF THE DEMON (out February 2010). We hope it’s equally good and BAD!
Cesaria “Chess” Putnam has seen the other side, lived it, and breathed it. Crawling out of society’s underbelly after Haunted Week took countless mill...moreCesaria “Chess” Putnam has seen the other side, lived it, and breathed it. Crawling out of society’s underbelly after Haunted Week took countless millions, Chess embraced the Church of New Truth that arose from the ashes. Under their tutelage and doctrine, Chess ascended from her own personal hell into her life as a Debunker.
Up until now, her life has been relatively uncomplicated. She makes a living expelling naughty spirits and ushering them onto The City of Eternity. She has a few vices, but doesn’t everyone? She lives in Downside, an edgy, crime and drug-ridden neighborhood. But everyone watches out for one another there. What more could she want?
When she’s asked to check out a derelict airfield on the outskirts of town as a “favor” to her pusher Bump, she thinks at most, she’ll be dealing she’s with a few recalcitrant ghosts. Easy money, right? Wrong. Whatever spectre has left its mark on Chester airfield is no common ghost, but a pack of magick wielders whose oily taint reeks of ritual sacrifice and the blackest of magicks.
As she ventures closer to the truth, Chess realizes that she’s in way over her head. The tentacles of those responsible reaches into the very heart of her precious Church. And what began as a hunt, now becomes a race. Chess and her unruly band of sources, and protectors must prevent the Lamaru and Ereshdiran from unleashing hell on the unsuspecting populace.
Untamed. Unbound. And a sinfully wicked ride on the dark side that will leave you howling for more, Unholy Ghosts is alike a disturbing dream come to life-sucking you in its cavernous, obsidian, maw.
I was spellbound…entranced by the darkness of Kane’s vision that inevitably sears itself into your retina. It is a horror-embellished urban fantasy that seeps into your bones, its grittiness spilling over you like black motorcycle grease. Readers will be enamored by Chess, Terrible, Lex, Tyson, Brain, and Bump, her unlikely cast of characters, fabulously flawed, and riddled with vices.
Unholy Ghosts is non-stop action, and wickedly delicious. If you are a fan of Lilith Saintcrow’s Dante Valentine series, or Caitlin Kittredge’s Black London series, or even a Lovecraft fan, you’ll instantly be smitten with Stacia Kane. And you’ll lick your chops for more. Even now I’ve started Unholy Magic and then plan to devour City of Ghosts when it hits bookshelves in a few days.
The old gods are dead. There is only Truth and Magick left…
What if you were an angel and your mission was to turn the tide against the growing evil in the world? What if you fell in love with a mortal? And wha...moreWhat if you were an angel and your mission was to turn the tide against the growing evil in the world? What if you fell in love with a mortal? And what would happen if you broke all the rules? In Halo, Alexandra Adornetto’s riveting debut trilogy, explores the perils of being a young angel and succumbing to temptation.
For Bethany Church, life is brand new. The youngest and untried of three angels on a mission, just being in human form is a challenge. Eating, drinking, sleeping, even the simplest tasks are challenging. Assimilating into daily life could end up being more than she bargained for, especially where high school is concerned. But Bethany must keep her mind on the mission and grounded with her brother and sister. Because it looks as if the devil just might have plans for the seaside town of Venus Cove, and he will not tolerate any competition over the souls of the residents.
Somewhere along the way, Bethany must find her own path and it could veer away from her brother and sister angels-into the hands of temptation. Can she manage her precarious mission and her burgeoning love for Xavier Woods all at the same time? What about her vulnerability to Jake Thorne? Who is he and what are his plans for Venus Cove? What are his plans for her when he seems to already know who and what she really is? What is he hiding?
Adornetto begins Halo simply enough until midway she changes the game and ups the ante, and suddenly you realize that though Halo might have been tame to begin with, the story has evolved into a thrilling tale of good against evil. A dark tale with victims. This sinister bent manages to focus on how dire the situation is in Venus Cove and how perilous the task is before her. Adornetto is no longer pulling punches. An evil has been unleashed in the Cove, and some have already died. Others will be possessed by souls of the Underworld, and in the darkness of it all, one being will stop at nothing to gain Bethany’s soul for himself. Will he succeed?
Adornetto has hinted it is not over and at the end of Halo you will desperately wonder what will she show us next? What will happen to Bethany, Xavier, Jake, Gabriel and Ivy when they meet once again? I am definitely eager to read Hades (set for 2011) release, because I have an idea of where Adornetto is heading…
4.5 Stars! Sins of the Heart is a sleek, and streamlined treat and Silver’s cocky take-no-prisoners writing makes for a decidedly slick urban fantasy s...more4.5 Stars! Sins of the Heart is a sleek, and streamlined treat and Silver’s cocky take-no-prisoners writing makes for a decidedly slick urban fantasy steeped in edgy visuals, scorching sex, and complicated action. She’s managed to encapsulate Egyptian history, build an Underworld realm infused with supernatural elements, and weave it into the modern day. Silver’s distinctive voice of a chance meeting between two very different creatures…a soul reaper and a potential Daughter of Aset turns into something more when they are drawn back together again-on the brink of chaos.
This time, when they are thrown together yet again, 11 years later, Roxy Tam and Dagan Krayl face a potentially dangerous alliance. Roxy who is now part of the Asetian Guard and Dagan, the son of a powerful Underworld Lord, Sutekh, are immortal enemies. But drawn together they are over the suspicious murder of another soul reaper…Dagan’s brother Lokan. And it looks as if another Underworld lord is positioning himself against Sutekh and his empire.
Sins of the Heart is a potent read and Silver doesn’t give it up easily. Eve Silver makes you feel taut and hungry. And for a large portion of the book, there is a delicious sense of anticipation that is well edited and honed with precision. Roxy Tam is an amazing character whose strong point is not paranormal weaponry or magic tricks but a neverending sense of iron will that pumps through her veins. Silver has taken the time to really flesh out some great characters that are both intensely believable but very likeable. Enviously likeable. And the plot is fastidious and engaging and reads like a high-octane urban fantasy hepped up on serious pheromones that will intoxicate readers. I cannot wait for the next two books: Sins of the Soul (Sept 2010) and Sins of the Flesh (Oct 2010) Looking for more Alastor and I hope that Lokan comes back! Phew, heady fare! .
Gabriella Pierce invokes a distinctive vintage horror vibe reminiscent of such great like Shirley Jackson and Ira Levin in her debut novel, 666 Park Avenue that takes that old 1970’s occult influence and modernizes it in a way that is highly appealing. Like a dark, poisonous cloud wending its way through every page. Pierce artfully creates an atmosphere that is both subtle and creepy.
This re-tooled Rosemary’s Baby (but without the baby), piece is about orphan Jane Boyle who emigrates to the U.S from France on the heels of two life altering events: the whirlwind romance to New York’s blue blood Malcolm Doran, and the death of her reclusive grandmother Celine. But as she is further isolated in New York from Malcolm and immersed in the Doran family circle, she realizes that something is dreadfully wrong. Do the Doran’s know about her family history, the power she can barely wield?
Pierce does a great job seducing the reader into trusting Malcolm…an absolutely great job. We believe in the relationship, the tenderness, the stalwart support he provides. When all is said and done, I can admit that I was fooled. Completely and utterly fooled. Pierce also offers up Jane’s fragile and trusting nature to further topple our stability and her isolation lends a solitary feel to the novel that works with the atmosphere.
Pierce’s depiction of Lynne Boyle is classic: mutable and off-center to the reader…evil and conniving and nurturing to fulfill her own ends. Charles chilled me to the bone. And that scene with him and Jane was just…just thinking about it makes me shiver.
The major weakness of this promising new book is the lack of a set of strong support characters for Jane and more of an intricate back-story into the history of the seven families, the seven witches and Ambika to really get our teeth into the story and the conflict. Either of which would have made 666 Park Avenue a richer read. Maeve and Harris are simple teasers, and with Maeve struck down by the evil matriarch of Clan Doran, there is little she can do but exit stage right. Perhaps a more robust role from either one, including Dee would have been better. But if Pierce’s focal point was for tone rather than plot, then it succeeds. I found that I had alot of questions at the end that were left unanswered…the names of the family lines who carry the genetic trait…is Jane pregnant when she leaves…more conflict…the attraction between Harris and Jane…(which was absolutely scrumptious by the way).
Over all I like 666 Park Avenue, and I am definitely wanting to read the sequel, where Pierce has a few infinite possibilities to pursue..and definitely want to read more about Harris and Jane who I think will be making a repeat performance…
A Fiendishly Bookish Review (and one grumpy cat)
Part of the 2011 Book Chick City Horror and Urban Fantasy Challenge (less)
Unholy Magic ended on quite a few loose ends. Chess and Terrible, at opposite sides of the ring, bloody and beaten-a row of epi...more6 Stars-Top Ten of 2010
Unholy Magic ended on quite a few loose ends. Chess and Terrible, at opposite sides of the ring, bloody and beaten-a row of epic proportions widening the chasm between them-and Lex at the center of the maelstrom. Despite the uncertain footing of Terrible’s ambivalent allegiance, Chess manages to down a pyschopomp to save his life, battle the Cryin’ Man, Vanita, and the unholy brothel from hell and even escape twisting black curses for Bump. But not without sacrifice.
This time in City of Ghosts, Chess Putnam has her work cut out for her as the latest challenge to the Church and its indomitable rule is that there is a war waging in the labyrinthine tunnels beneath Triumph City. And this time it’s not a gang war between Slobag and Bump that threatens to break the back of Downside, but something more evil, more sinuous, that could crack the heart of the City of Eternity-and let the ghosts run rampant…
The black magick faction Lamaru has slowly been consolidating their power and all signs point to a threat on the horizon of the likes that Chess has never seen. And now an enigma has stepped up to the plate complicating issues: Baldarel, a shadowy wraith with untapped power and a hidden connection to the Church who commands an army of aberrant children intent on battling for supremacy of the City. The citizens of Triumph and Downside find themselves caught betwixt two ruinous evils. Will Chess have Terrible at her side to engage in the deadliest battle of her life?
The peaks and valley’s of Terrible and Chess’ relationship is ardently felt throughout City of Ghosts. Biting with the sharpest knife and forever etched into your memory, Kane has patiently and agonizingly laid out her best work to resolve some of the loose ends left unanswered in Unholy Magic. The scene at Chuck’s is incomparable…a smoke-laden backdrop flickering filled with reverb, feedback, and bitter ashes, as Chess and Terrible battle it out-two damaged souls melding, unable to bear the constant polarity between them. Readers will be gasping like strangled guppies for air over that confrontation.
City of Ghosts shivers with vibrancy and a patently inimitable style that is without a doubt the best urban fantasy series I have ever read. Kane’s Downsider patois is an integral component-making the burnt and decrepit rank and file ‘hood hum with flavor. It is riddled with rabid gangster noir, surly and intriguing inhabitants, arcane magick, and a vice-ridden heroine riding the proverbial train wreck to hell and back. It’s so far north from cookie-cutter-gun-toting-vixens that you’ll get a nosebleed. (here…have a ‘kerchief)
A Fiendishly Bookish Review (and one grumpy cat).(less)
Kara Gillian has come a long way from that initial summoning in Mark of the Demon (#1). That one changed her life forever, brought Rhyzkahl, a powerfu...moreKara Gillian has come a long way from that initial summoning in Mark of the Demon (#1). That one changed her life forever, brought Rhyzkahl, a powerful demonic lord into her life, as well as a whole new set of supernatural dangers… including getting herself dead…transported to a demon plane and summarily resurrected. … It’s all in a day’s work right? Rigggght. But Rowland always hinted at more.
In Blood of the Demon (#2) Rowland basically whetted our appetite for more by placing Kara in an untenable position with Rhyzkahl. In order to save Ryan’s life she ends up bound to the demon lord for no less than three years. It’s not something she wants to do, but the decision was taken out of her hands
For Secrets of the Demon, remember to place your fire extinguisher nearby when diving into Diana Rowland’s latest police procedurals series with demon summoner Kara Gillian. Rowland burns up the pages with some incendiary scenes making Secrets of the Demon by far my favorite and the best of the series. Rowland is out the gate blazingly strong and dropping plot and character bombs left and right that had my jaw dropping. This is the pivotal book that veers into the direction readers have been clamoring for. All those hints of the demon realm? All those questions about Ryan and Kara? Rhyzkahl and his master plan? Yup, juiciness abounds.
Everything that Rowland has presented in the first two books of the series is now finally coming together, culminating into a steamy sexy pot of action, hidden danger, and secrets. Everything is “more” in Secrets, especially the clues into Special Agent Ryan Kristoff’s character which has been an enigma from the very start. The hints that he was a kiraknikahl or oathbreaker, and the simple fact that the demons recognize him and despise him. The biggest question of all….where did Ryan get his powers from? What exactly is he and what will he inevitably mean to Kara? And what’s Rhyzkahl going to do about it? I’ve got my money down that in the next book, Rhyzkahl and Ryan are going to throw down and it’s not going to be pretty.
Another big development is the fact that there are rumblings in the demon realm, and some of Rhyzkahl’s enemies have begun to target Kara to get at him. This is great plot point because it draws Rhyzkahl and Kara closer…demonstrating what he might actually feel for her: commodity, lover or something more? It’s also a great opportunity to introduce a new character in the form of a protector: Eilahn, a demon that, Rhyzkahl has ordered to protect Kara.
The key ingredient that Rowland excels at is suspense and she’s packed Secrets with plenty of it. Perhaps so much so that you end up with more questions than answers because Rowland plays it so close to the vest. But what I get is that Rowland has been carefully calculating this plot all along, balancing out the police procedurals plot along with the demon summoner plotline and how they mesh with each other.
It’s obvious that from Secrets of the Demon the next installment that the demon realm will take precedence. And I have it on good authority (actually my confidential informant) (wink wink) has hinted that we are so headed for the demon realm. Now that…I am licking my lips for.
(kudos and quips to the “Frak Off” and “Fruity Oaty Bars” reference. Loved it!)
A Fiendishly Bookish Review (and one grumpy cat)(less)
Carnal angels, a heavenly battle gone wrong, and drinking down the shimmering life of a soul-this is the fate of the Fallen in Anne Marsh’s erotic thriller Bond with Me.
Marsh’s damned angels exist as sensual lords of darkness in the seething underground of M-City, where the icy currents of the Moskva River churns and the fragmented Soviet-era buildings still stand-remnants of the distant past. For the Fallen, the only way to feel is to drink in the life of a soul-by bonding with another and in turn, they can grant any wish…any desire. This has placed them in an envious position of power in M-City ruling over the paranormal subterranean elements with an iron fist, and as immortal enigmas to the human population.
For the human female population of M-City, being bonded to a Fallen is tantamount to a lifetime goal. But for Mischka Baran it is one goal that she has no intention of pursuing. When she enters G2 the most exclusive club in the City and owned by Brends Duranov one of the Fallen’s powerful, she goes with the intent of tracking down her wayward cousin Pelinor. She doesn’t imagine becoming embroiled in a murder, enmeshed with the Fallen, Pelinor disappearing, or being hunted by a predator. But in the blink of an eye, and in the gun sights of Brends, her life as she knows it, changes forever.
When M-City suffers a rash of brutal murders, all fingers point towards a Fallen rogue. That is until Brends and Mischka stumble upon clues that show that this particular rogue is targeting a certain set of women, with a certain set of bloodlines and a conspiracy that will keep them eternally forsaken on Earth. They must delve deep into their ancient history, back to the time of the wars, and the Fall to remember what was forgotten and realize that Michael’s promise of redemption wasn’t an empty one. Much in the way that Christine Feehan’s Carpathians hunger for their soul mate, so do the Fallen have a soul-mate intended for each and every one of them.
The Fallen are a tad remote, but intriguing and insatiably sexy. It’s her female lead, Mischka Baran that deserves a bit of our attention. Without excessive posturing, Marsh fashions Mischka as a self-assured dominant, her cool demeanor prevailing and tempering Brend’s volatility-in this, the two characters complete each other, blow hot and cold, and are evenly matched. This theme of ice and flame is repeated throughout Bond with Me, its setting purposeful…the cold, brittle world of M-City juxtaposed with the banked flames of the Fallen. It is also Mischka’s ice that cracks, adding to the sense of capitulation when Marsh starts the steady burn, capably weaving and fanning the embers into a full-blown inferno that licks out of control. Any more Marsh accelerant and we would have to contend with a conflagration.
The added tasties to Marshs’ mix are Brends’ brother-in-arms, Zer and Dathan, who also play pivotal roles in Bond with Me. Their mysterious leader Zer, who can barely contain his intensity, is an incredible tidbit to dangle in front of readers. Relegated to witness the bond ceremony between Brends and Mischka, his ferocity and sexual hunger is an overwhelming scene stealer. And knowing that he has not been passive in past bonding ceremonies had me licking my lips hungrily. I am hoping, hoping, hoping, that Marsh’s next novel about the Fallen is about our lovely deprived Zer. Just think plate tectonics…he is a 12 on the Richter scale ready to blow, to create some earth shattering movement.
Dathan on the other hand, who is paired with Pelinor is dreamy mix. His desires held close under wraps but eyes squarely on Pell, he has managed to befriend her for four years without touching her, without coercing her to a bond until the right time. That amount of patience is well worth the wait, as Marsh takes it to the limit, steam bath style. Incredibly detailed and nuanced.
All in all, Bond with Me is not something to miss. Intense, incredibly sensual and seductive, I hung onto every word, fully transported into the world of the Fallen. Highly recommended.
A Fiendishly Bookish Review (and one grumpy cat) (less)