There is no other way to say it- I inhaled this book. OBSESSION hit all my romance novel buttons, with theReview courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy
There is no other way to say it- I inhaled this book. OBSESSION hit all my romance novel buttons, with the uber-alpha male, feisty female counterpart and loads of moments so sexy that I blushed. OBSESSION was one of those books where my inner feminist feels like she should be objecting to something, but then she gets a bit distracted by all the action and romance. In the end Serena brings Hunter to his knees anyways, so what if he’s a little bossy on the way?
OBSESSION starts out a little slow, but once it picks up, you better hold on tight, because it is quite the ride. We’ve got two alien races battling it out, plus the human government mixed in trying to police them, and that is even before Hunter and Serena meet. Once that happens there are practically fireworks! I love some of their interactions, especially when Serena stands up to Hunter just because she feels she shouldn’t let him boss her around. You can tell it is not a familiar feeling for Hunter to not get what he wants, which makes it that much more amusing.
If I hadn’t know that Jennifer Armentrout wrote this as a spin off from a series of young adult books (Lux series), I would never have guessed. This book definitely screams adult. Intimate moments between Hunter and Serena were super hot and very frequent (that is, when they weren’t at each other’s throats). Hunter had the problem of being a little over the top at some points, but he is an alien, so I suppose I can forgive him. It helped me be even more sympathetic when he had his vulnerable moments, opening himself up to Serena. And Serena is a perfect match, scared sometimes by who Hunter is and what he does, but willing to accept him as is.
With its fresh take on paranormal, captivating characters, and action filled plot, OBSESSION is a perfect summer romance read. Suggestion: load it on your Kindle before your next beach day, lie back, relax, and enjoy!
Sexual Content: Graphic sex, attempted rape...more
When I saw THE SOURCE come up for review, I remembered how much I loved The Line, how it kept me so wrapped upReview Courtesy All Things Urban Fantasy
When I saw THE SOURCE come up for review, I remembered how much I loved The Line, how it kept me so wrapped up at the end that I literally couldn’t put it down for the last 100 pages or so. That memory had me making grabby hands toward the second in the series. I wish I could say I was as pulled in this time, but the truth is, I wasn’t.
That’s not so say the sophomore installment isn’t a good story, it is. The characters I loved from The Line were still as wonderful as I remembered, and they all became richer and more developed in THE SOURCE and new characters brought even more depth to the story. Emmett, in particular, really added to that in a surprising way, for me at least. Surprising because I usually shy away from the love triangle plot device. I think that stems from my overall meh feelings for the main love interest, Peter. He wasn’t my favorite in The Line and became even less-so in THE SOURCE. All signs point to the fledgling triangle being both introduced and resolved within this book rather than being a drawn out choice, but as there is a third planned, I can’t help wondering.
What detracted in THE SOURCE, is a lack of tightness to the story as a whole. There just seemed to be so much that felt thrown in there out of nowhere and plot twists that are more like plot wrenches. The bait and switch around the arrival of Mercy’s mother, for one. Peter’s mother going from creepily obsessive over Mercy’s unborn child and getting the pair married as soon as possible to sympathetic mother-figure. Then there’s the whole subplot about Peter himself and keeping his family’s Big Secret from him, even though it directly impacts him and his son. Top it off with the mysterious Bad Guys, and, the whole almost contrived use of Tillandsia as sexual titillation factor, and it just felt like too much. It changed gears so many times, and so quickly, I kept having to go back and re-read sections to see if I missed something.
I enjoyed reading THE SOURCE and will no doubt be reading the third in the series to finish out Horn’s world to see how it all comes together, but I’ll do so with a hope that this time it’s a return to the tighter storytelling of The Line....more
The best way to describe my feelings towards this series in general is love-hate. It felt even moreso whilReview courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy.
The best way to describe my feelings towards this series in general is love-hate. It felt even moreso while reading the third book, THE CURSE DEFIERS. It’s not a bad book, not even a bad series, it’s just becoming more and more obvious that it’s not for me.
I had fears after finishing The Curse Breakers that a triangle was forming between the characters and that fear was realized in THE CURSE DEFIERS. Refreshingly, though, it wasn’t handled in the usual fashion. There are two men in Ellie’s life, but she knows whom she loves, and who she doesn’t. The connection she feels to Collin because of their marks, and status as joined partners provides a little bit of conflict, but that’s all. So, though there was a triangle, it was more in Collin’s mind than Ellie’s, or even David’s. Speaking of which, I still really love David. Like a lot.
The rest of the review is harder to write because while THE CURSE DEFIERS has a great plot – both in its own right and as part of the series as a whole – it’s not one that holds me. The mythology is really interesting, the voices are strong, and the action sequences well written, the whole of it doesn’t keep me turning pages. It took me a while to read because often naps or house cleaning would pull me more than sitting down and opening my kindle. It just felt overly expository and really dragged in places. That might be a reflection on my connection to the story, however, not the story itself. As they say, your mileage may vary.
While I thought THE CURSE DEFIERS was the last in the series, and the book itself seemed to be leading up to a grand finale, it became pretty clear in the final 25 pages or so that there would be more to come. I don’t think I’ll be returning for it, though.
As an unabashed Raine Benares fangirl, I was delighted when I saw Lisa Shearin was coming out with an UrbaReview courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy
As an unabashed Raine Benares fangirl, I was delighted when I saw Lisa Shearin was coming out with an Urban Fantasy series, SPI Files. I was also secretly terrified that my expectations were completely unrealistic and I was going to be awfully disappointed. Luckily, THE GRENDEL AFFAIR was a delightful entree into a new world, with an engaging heroine, a mysterious partner, hints of romance, and great action scenes.
From the first chapter, when Mac tries to get a gnome drunk in order to capture it, to the grand finale battles deep in the bowels of New York, I was captivated by Mac, Ian and crew and the world Shearin created. Mac and Ian’s relationship as partners was pretty great. Their relationship built slowly, since they started from a place where they didn’t even like each other all that much, but as they started to trust each other, their interactions were some of the most amusing in the book. The other characters rounded out the story nicely- the slightly creepy vampire lawyer, the dragon shifter who runs SPI, the werewolf driver- all had distinct personalities and helped me invest in the story even more.
The world Shearin has created is one that feels just a little bit different than our normal Urban Fantasy. There were lots of fun aspects to it that I liked learning about, and I’m curious and can’t wait for more. There are ghouls, vampires, werewolves, as well as goblins, leprechauns and, of course, grendels, running around amongst other creatures. The police department-like feel that the SPI offices have makes it all more interesting- it felt a little like a crime drama on TV, with briefing meetings, partnered agents and a mystery that had to be solved by a certain time and date. The storyline in THE GRENDEL AFFAIR rolled along beautifully, and I was kept on my toes with plenty of unexpected surprises around dark corners.
If you enjoyed the Raine Benares series, it’s a pretty sure bet you’ll like THE GRENDAL AFFAIR, too. Shearin’s narrative style is similar in the two series, and Mac has a familiar lovably snarky feel to her. If you haven’t read anything by Shearin yet, what are you waiting for? Now’s the time to jump in! If she hadn’t already been one of my auto-buy authors, THE GRENDEL AFFAIR would have sealed the deal – and I will definitely be pre-ordering all the SPI Files books from here on out....more
HEART OF VENOM has some wonderfully intense and graphic fight scenes, a plot that doesn’t slow down, and baReview Courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy
HEART OF VENOM has some wonderfully intense and graphic fight scenes, a plot that doesn’t slow down, and bad guys that bring new meaning to the word sadistic. This book follows a very similar formula to the plots in the previous books of the Elemental Assassin series and while I adore this formula I really come back for Gin’s superb fighting skills and the relationship she has with her friends and family.
Gin’s fierce loyalty to her friends and dogged determination is what makes her one of my favorite heroines in urban fantasy. In HEART OF VENOM, we get a glimpse into just how much Gin will risk her own safety to protect her friends when Sophia’s traumatic past catches up to her. Every since Sophia appeared I’ve wanted to know more about this raspy voiced goth dwarf who stays mostly to herself. It was interesting to see how Sophia became Sophia as a result of her past trauma. The torture she goes through (both in the past and present) at the hands of the main villains, Hazel and Harley is a thing of nightmares. The villains in the Elemental Assassin series keep topping each other in evilness and after what they do to Sophia and other people (including Gin), these two definitely top the list of most evil characters in urban fantasy.
Gin and Owen’s rocky relationship gets some closure in HEART OF VENOM and I was glad to see Owen finally fess up to his previous actions in DEADLY STING. He proves himself worthy of being with Gin by fighting alongside her and finally accepting her assassin life though I have to admit that I took some small glee in him getting beat up by thugs as a form of punishment for what he put Gin through. Gin and Owen have some good, adult conversations about their relationship and wounds start to heal which was nice though I didn’t fully accept Owen’s apology until I read his novella, KISS OF VENOM which gave important insight into his state of mind after DEADLY STING.
HEART OF VENOM continues the Elemental Assassin series tradition of high octane, heart pounding action with an expert assassin who will go above and beyond to protect those she loves. The tenth book in the Elemental Assassin series, THE SPIDER comes out December 24, 2013 from Pocket Books.
Readers who are looking for a change of pace from the numerous hardcore and gritty urban fantasy series onReview courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy
Readers who are looking for a change of pace from the numerous hardcore and gritty urban fantasy series on the shelves will find a decidedly lighter, more fun series in Linda Grimes’ In a Fix books. Both IN A FIX and QUICK FIX are a bit wacky, a lot sexy, and very much in the vein of Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series.
Rather than devote copious amounts of time explaining the worldbuilding that produces individuals who can assume the appearance (or aura) of others, QUICK FIX states the fact and a couple little references to genetics and plunges right into the action. In this case it involves absconding from the zoo with baby orangutans, wrangling said baby orangutan and trying to get it to revert back into the little girl it started out as, staying sane at the annual aura adapter ball that her mother hosts, fending off amorous guys while impersonating one brother and busting out of prison while impersonating the other. Mix in murder, cheaters, and two guys who refuse to share her, and you’ve got the fun and fizzy QUICK FIX.
Back to the two guys. Yowza was the romantic tension fun. We’ve got Billy, the notorious flirt and childhood-tormentor-turned-suitor determined to win her using all of the skills he’s spent a lifetime perfecting. Then there’s Mark, the guy she always wanted and can’t seem to say no to even while doubting the reasons behind his sudden intense and bold attraction. It’s enough to spin any girl’s head and it’s a blast to read.
Apart from the romance, the zany plot twists were a little crazy and the numerous characters a little challenging to keep straight. The main trio are so appealing that the other characters can feel in the way more often than not. And while the straightforward worldbuilding is a snap to comprehend, I’d love to see it get a little juicier in book three to match the killer romance that just keeps getting better.
Sexual Content: Moderately graphic sex. References to M/M/F sex...more
An action packed romp through the Cassandra Palmer universe, TEMPT THE STARS doesn’t give the reader a secReview courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy
An action packed romp through the Cassandra Palmer universe, TEMPT THE STARS doesn’t give the reader a second to get their breath from one scene to the next. With multiple fight scenes, jumps through time and dimensions, and new characters to meet, TEMPT THE STARS will satisfy a reader who is already in love with the series, but I wouldn’t suggest a first timer start here. There were times when even I had trouble remembering who was who (it has been two years since our last visit with Cassie).
TEMPT THE STARS takes place over about two days, from what I could tell. Like I mentioned, there were jumps in time and dimensions that made it hard to discern the timeline. It felt a bit like a filler book, with lots of little pieces to lots of different plots being revealed, but no clear step in one direction. Plus, there was a definite cliffhanger ending- so much so that I seriously thought something was wrong with my book- how could it end there?! It was a little frustrating to have some resolution but then so many new questions brought up. Lots happened in TEMPT THE STARS, and my head is still spinning a bit.
One noticeable absence was Mircea, who sadly didn’t make an appearance the entire book. However, it felt like every other character did manage to pop in- including some new ones, as we learn more about Cassie’s heritage and her new role as Pythia. She’s definitely coming into her powers, and whether or not that’s a good thing is up for debate, since she’s had almost no training, and there are a few magical mishaps both amusing and scary.
So, while I definitely recommend the Cassandra Palmer series as a whole, I wouldn’t say that TEMPT THE STARS is my favorite installment, and if you’re new to the series, you should really start with number one, or, even better, try the Dorina Basarab series first- that was my gateway drug to Cassie. Being a fan of Cassie makes it hard for me to rate TEMPT THE STARS, though, since I love her and love the world, but this book didn’t live up to what I’ve come to expect. I’ll still be on board for the next book, and maybe in the meantime, I’ll reread the series and make a cheat sheet of who’s who, just in case.
Once you get past the terrible Photoshopped aspects of the cover, the pages of CHAINED BY NIGHT hold an acReview courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy.
Once you get past the terrible Photoshopped aspects of the cover, the pages of CHAINED BY NIGHT hold an acceptable addition to the MoonBound Clan Vampires series. While I wouldn’t say I liked it more than BOUND BY NIGHT, it definitely tied up the cliffhanger from the first book’s epilogue, plus it gave the reader plenty of action and serious chemistry between the main characters.
Ione’s mythology continues to amaze. The world of the MoonBound Clan Vampires series is multi-faceted and built well. More time was spent in CHAINED BY NIGHT on the various vampire clans, and their different ways of life, and less about their interactions with the humans. It a very interesting world, and very creative. This alone makes it stand out from other paranormal romances. One other thing I liked was the fact that the hero and heroine were both vampires. This was not a hundreds of years old vampire falling in love with a 20-something, but rather it felt like two equals coming together. Both Hunter and Aylin were honorable and easy to like, even if I didn’t always agree with their decisions.
What did bother me was that Hunter was promised to Rasha, Aylin’s twin sister, so the times that Aylin and Hunter got together felt like he was cheating a little (even if it was hot). I wish the issue of Rasha could have been resolved before Hunter jumped into bed with Aylin. Plus, the characters had a tendency to be a little flat. I rarely felt like there was any growth of individual characters, they all seemed pretty much the same the entire way through.
Luckily, CHAINED BY NIGHT doesn’t end in a cliffhanger like BOUND BY NIGHT, but there are a few unanswered questions that will keep me coming back for more from the MoonBound Clan Vampires. While this one isn’t a book I’ll pick up again, this series has a lot going for it, and CHAINED BY NIGHT was a fun diversion while waiting for the next book.
With DARING, the second book in the Pax Arcana series, Elliott James becomes an urban fantasy author to waReview courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy.
With DARING, the second book in the Pax Arcana series, Elliott James becomes an urban fantasy author to watch. DARING manages to take everything I liked about book one and keep it, chuck everything I hated, and not come across as a sophomore slump. It’s a surprisingly good read that really steps up the series.
The first time around, in CHARMING, John’s narration was very distracting and off-putting for me. This time around, it’s toned down, so there’s less addressing the reader directly, but still with quite a bit of snark and amusing one-liners. With an entirely different cast of characters, we get to see John in a different light, and he comes off far more sympathetic than he did in CHARMING. All in all, the John of DARING was a vast improvement of the John of CHARMING.
DARING was full of action and plot twists, just like CHARMING, and the plot was fast-paced and exciting for the most part. There was a lot less explanation of the Pax Arcana spell and the world itself, and more of things actually happening. The middle section got a little slow, but the beginning and ending more than made up for it, cramming in the action while managing not to feel like you were rushing through the good bits.
All in all, I was quite impressed with DARING. I know I’ll be picking up FEARLESS, the third book in the Pax Arcana series, when it comes out next August.
Sexual content: Kissing, intimate situations...more
SEVENTH GRAVE AND NO BODY delivers exactly what readers have come to expect from the Charley Davidson seriReview courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy.
SEVENTH GRAVE AND NO BODY delivers exactly what readers have come to expect from the Charley Davidson series, with snark, sexiness and sweetness, all rolled up into one book. Those unfamiliar with the series may not want to start here, but if you're caught up on the latest of Charley, I would suggest diving right in, so you don't miss a single thing!
I wouldn't say that SEVENTH GRAVE AND NO BODY is as action-filled as some previous installments in the series, but there is plenty of fighting and also emotional moments. There were a few times when I was definitely holding back tears. It seemed a lot of the book was focused on the greater plot arc of Charley's potential and a little less about the individual case she was solving. We're given more answers to mysteries, about who Charley is, and where she came from, but we're also given more mysteries (for example, I want to know who the hell Mr. Wong, the ghost in the corner of Charley's living room, is). Jones manages that balance between telling the reader too much and not enough, divulging just enough information to keep me turning the pages without getting frustrated at the lack of background.
The secondary characters continue to be a delight, with Cookie and Uncle Bob's burgeoning relationship a wonder to behold, especially through Charley's eyes. Reyes continues to be as sexy as ever, even if he is hard to relate to. Everybody has a role to play, and they all play it so well. The banter between Charley and Cookie remains as fast-paced as ever, and Reyes and Charley continue to emit sparks whenever they're in the same room. It's rare that a series has such a large cast of characters that maintain such individual personalities, but the Darynda Jones manages to keep it up, reminding me every page why I fell in love with these characters.
Overall, a solid installment in the Charley Davidson series, SEVENTH GRAVE AND NO BODY isn't breaking any new ground, but it's definitely going to be a crowd-pleaser for those familiar with Charley and her gang. I can't wait to see where Charley goes next in EIGHTH GRAVE AFTER DARK, scheduled to be released next May.
MURDER OF CROWS should come with a warning: “Don’t open this book until you have time read the entire thing”. This second installment in The Others seMURDER OF CROWS should come with a warning: “Don’t open this book until you have time read the entire thing”. This second installment in The Others series has all of the humor and magic and sweet romance of WRITTEN IN RED, but this time with a threat that takes the stakes to a global level. This series is fascinating and heartwarming, and I treasure each new page that adds to its world.
While WRITTEN IN RED is already a favorite that I’ve read time and time again, on rereads I always skip the chapters featuring Asia Crane’s point of view. A venial, catty villain, she was the weakest part of the book for me. In MURDER OF CROWS, I know I’ll be back work for word. In MURDER OF CROWS, Bishop continues to develop the interplay between Lakeside’s Others and their human neighbors, but also gives us a glimpse of human/ Other relations around the world. Having more serious stakes makes MURDER OF CROWS a better balanced book than it’s predecessor, matching the intimate, funny, and juvenile friendships within the Courtyard against political pressures that could raise the world around them.
MURDER OF CROWS continues to develop this sweet, simple heroine and the otherworldly creatures around her. Whether romantic or platonic, Bishop does a fantastic job exploring how relationships bring complications, consequences, and gifts. For fans of WRITTEN IN RED, this next installment was worth the wait. For those still on the fence about this series, MURDER OF CROWS has all of the intricate world-building and heartwarming friendships of it’s predecessor, but with genuine stakes to match.
Sexual Content: References to sex and rape....more
THE WEIGHT OF SOULS read like Gossip Girls with a paranormal twist- a high brow school in London, a mysterReview courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy
THE WEIGHT OF SOULS read like Gossip Girls with a paranormal twist- a high brow school in London, a mysterious club with secrets, and a girl with the ability to get vengeance for murder victims. What originally drew me in to THE WEIGHT OF SOULS was the striking cover, and what kept me hooked was action that started from page one, the mystery that Taylor has to solve and the sweet romance that develops throughout.
With Egyptian mythology and a heroine of Asian descent, THE WEIGHT OF SOULS manages to cover ground that you don’t see frequently in young adult paranormal, or really in urban fantasy at all. But the book doesn’t feel like fantasy. It could be any two friends trying to solve a murder- it just so happens in this book one of them is a ghost. The murder has nothing to do with the paranormal aspect at all, and the juxtaposition of the very real aspects of hazing and high school cliques with ghosts and the darkness that follows Taylor is an interesting one. I liked that this book didn’t necessarily follow the typical “girl gets powers, is super special, everybody falls in love with her” cliched plot that seems to have become relatively common. If anything, Taylor’s abilities keep her apart from others, and she is constantly dealing with her father, who is trying to “cure” her with a single minded focus that to me, made him a very sad character.
The world building in THE WEIGHT OF SOULS was done very well. Through journal entries of Taylor’s ancestor, we find out why her family is “cursed,” and we learn about the logistics of the curse in the first scene, where we see Taylor passing on a mark to a murderous gang member. Right away, we’re introduced to the life she lives, complete with danger and constant vigilance, since she’s always trying to avoid ghosts who could pass on another mark.
Usually, ghost and human romances kind of drive me nuts. I can never tell where they’re going, and they seem impossible to me (I guess everybody has their urban fantasy deal breakers). And that would probably be my one complaint about THE WEIGHT OF SOULS- I think it would have made a good story without the romantic connection between Justin and Taylor. Their relationship evolved from antagonistic to friendly, and I thought that change was believable, but the step to her liking him was a bit harder to swallow, and while a lot of it had to do with the fact that he’s a ghost, it also has to do with the fast transition from hating to liking- it seemed unrealistic.
THE WEIGHT OF SOULS was a very worthwhile read. This one kept me up way past my bedtime, but I didn’t regret finishing it as quickly as possible. It was different and I would definitely recommend you try it out if you’re looking for something a bit out of the norm. And while I couldn’t find anything about it being the start of a series, I know I would pick up a second book about Taylor, if there is one.
Charley Davidson is the kind of urban fantasy heroine that I want to be. Barring that, I’d love for her toReview courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy
Charley Davidson is the kind of urban fantasy heroine that I want to be. Barring that, I’d love for her to be my best friend. Since she’s fictional, I suppose it’s a bit hard for that to happen, so in the meantime, I kept myself happy by reading FIFTH GRAVE PAST THE LIGHT, the fifth installment in the Charley Davidson series. Opening up a Charley book is like slipping into your favorite pair of jeans- comfortable and familiar. I sat down and read this book straight through in an afternoon, not wanting it to end, but at the same time dying to know what was coming next.
Our usual cast of characters is back- Charley, Cookie, Uncle Bob, of course Reyes, and all the rest of the people that we’re used to in Charley’s life- ghosts included. While it was a bit hard to keep everybody straight, Jones did a good job of throwing in a sentence or two about everybody’s backstory so I never felt lost. Another thing about Jones is that she is really good about writing relationships- not just the Charley and Reyes relationship, but Charley’s relationships with Cookie, her uncle, and Garrett, for example, all stand out and make Charley and her world seem that much more real.
As we find out more about the prophecies surrounding Charley, and why Reyes is on Earth after all, the paranormal aspects get better and more evolved. The little pieces that get dropped in are starting to make a larger picture, and color me intrigued! Plus, Reyes is one of the most enigmatic heroes ever, still maintaining an aura of mystery after five books, which, for a hero who is pretty much dating our heroine, has got to be some sort of urban fantasy series record. Overall, the combination kept me on my seat, pretty much begging the book (which yes, I realize is an inanimate object) for more details. Add in the smokin’ hot scenes between Charley and Reyes, and you’ve got perfection, in my eyes.
One little thing that bothered me was that at the end of FIFTH GRAVE PAST THE LIGHT, there was a rather traumatic situation that Charley found herself in, and I felt she bounced back relatively quickly compared to in the past. Maybe she’s getting better at dealing, but considering how she went to a therapist in this book to deal with her encounter with Earl Walker a few books back, her fast recovery surprised me and seemed out of character. Who knows though- maybe we’ll see more of the repercussions in SIXTH GRAVE ON THE EDGE, the next book in the series, which I unfortunately have to wait for until at least next year.
So, even though I want Charley all to myself, I do realize that I need to share, and I definitely encourage you to pick up FIFTH GRAVE PAST THE LIGHT. If you’re a new reader to the Charley Davidson series, you should be able to jump in with minimal confusion, though I would highly recommend not depriving yourself of books one through four. And if you’re already a fan, you’re going to love it- from the dead guy trying to buy Charley a drink at the bar on page one, to the startling post-it note from Reyes on the very last page.
Sexual content: Several sex scenes, attempted rape...more
After GENERATION V, I was extremely curious to see where M. L. Brennan was going to take her characters inReview courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy
After GENERATION V, I was extremely curious to see where M. L. Brennan was going to take her characters in IRON NIGHT, the second book in the American Vampire series. My cautious optimism (one can never be too sure about a second book) was rewarded tenfold – IRON NIGHT is a spectacular follow up to GENERATION V, and I can’t imagine how it could have been better.
One of the biggest reasons that this series is so awesome is Fortitude, our hero. He isn’t special, he doesn’t have powers that just automatically manifest because he’s a vampire, no, he spends time in the gym and he works as a waiter, not to mention being dragged around by his brother to “learn the family business.” Fort is the hero you cheer for because, if you were starring in an urban fantasy novel, you could imagine yourself in his shoes. Sure, sometimes he comes off as a bit too selfless, but he’s also awkward, he tries too hard and he has to work for every advantage he gets. Fort has dimension that a lot of UF heroes and heroines just don’t – he’s not just the cardboard cutout of sexy, badass fighter with insert special power here.
The vampire mythology that Brennan has created, that was so deliciously creepy in GENERATION V, continued to surprise and intrigue me. We learn more about why Fort is different from Prudence or Chivalry, and since the reader sees more of those two, we also get a more nuanced impression of them. While Prudence still scares the hell out of me, and I’m not particularly fond of her, it’s clear there is more to her than just being a crazy killing machine (though she is pretty good at that, too). With the introduction of more supernatural creatures in IRON NIGHT, Brennan takes the opportunity to beef up her world, building on GENERATION V, not just rehashing. Plus, Brennan’s humor really shines in this book. From Chivalry warning Fort not to name the goats, to Fort’s assertion that he deserved a fist bump from Patrick Stewart for killing Luca, there were multiple times when I laughed out loud while reading.
Overall, the American Vampire series is shaping up to be one of those that holds an eye-level spot on my shelves, and one I certainly pull out when I’m proving to skeptical friends that urban fantasy isn’t all sparkling vampires and sexy werewolves. IRON NIGHT was a wonderful trip through a continuously creative universe that I plan on visiting again, and though the series only has three planned books right now, I’m hoping that it goes on much longer than that.
Reading CITY OF ETERNAL NIGHT is like getting sucked into a whole new world. It's one of those books thatReview courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy.
Reading CITY OF ETERNAL NIGHT is like getting sucked into a whole new world. It's one of those books that makes you wonder where the time went, since it flows so smoothly and effortlessly. It was a treat to revisit Harlow and Augustine, and their world full of fae politics and intrigue.
With some secrets being revealed, and some plot lines thickening, CITY OF ETERNAL NIGHT strikes the perfect balance between satisfying the readers' curiosity, and keeping them coming back for more. Unlike HOUSE OF THE RISING SUN, I felt that Harlow played a much larger role in this book, and that was exciting to me, since I really like her as a character. Also, the sexual tension between her and Augustine was so yummy! The secondary characters continue to play significant parts in the plot, and are well-fleshed out and even surprising at times.
My only complaint is that while I am interested in the direction that Painter is taking the series after the end of CITY OF ETERNAL NIGHT, the way that she got there was a little predictable. Plus, Harlow acted a bit naively, and though she's a relatively innocent character, it felt like she was purposefully making bad decisions, which was frustrating. There's also the quasi-love triangle, which I know can be a deterrent for some readers. (Let's be honest though, we all know that Augustine is the guy for Harlow.)
CITY OF ETERNAL NIGHT was a really great second book to the series. With plenty of action and excitement, and a huge cliffhanger, I know I'll be back for more in GARDEN OF DREAMS AND DESIRES, the third book in the Crescent City series. And if you haven't read HOUSE OF THE RISING SUN, it is worth the investment, and will lead to greater enjoyment of CITY OF ETERNAL NIGHT.
Sexual content: Kissing, some sexual content. ...more