THE QUEEN'S DANCE is wonderfully funny and craftily written paranormal romance involving my fourth favorite paranormal animal,All Things Urban Fantasy
THE QUEEN'S DANCE is wonderfully funny and craftily written paranormal romance involving my fourth favorite paranormal animal, dragons. I really enjoyed this book and the world building is fascinating. I loved how dragons live with humans as rock stars and and other highly visible occupations and their society with dragon queens and studs is pretty unique (and oh so very political). Each book in this series involves a new queen emerging and each dragon has a unique ability. I loved how the dragons are all pulled from various dragon mythologies from Celtic to Chinese and various sea serpents.
With Margery we get her story of dealing with being a queen on top of her investigation of some shady dealings involving drugs and dragons and her romance with Remy. There are some interesting twists in the drug plot that were pretty great though I was a little confused about the players at times. I liked that we are introduced to Margery a few years after she 'emerges' and finds out she is a queen dragon. By doing this we get a person who isn't completely panicked about having scales and wings but is still new enough to be a bit naive about dragon politics. Margery is a pretty tough character and I really admired that she wanted to continue being a reporter despite her dragon complications. Remy is such a sweet dragon and I kept wanting to give him a hug each time he felt bad about not being a winged dragon. Their relationship was a really sweet one especially after they figured out the whole mating between a sea serpent and sky dragon...
I adore having some humor and quirky characters in books and this was right up my alley. I always have difficulty imagining just how dragons talk in dragon form but it's fun to imagine what they look. THE QUEEN'S DANCE has it all; humor, action, suspense, romance and I can't wait to discover the new emerging queens in future books....more
POSSESSED BY A WOLF is a pretty fun action packed story with an at times confusing world building which waReview courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy
POSSESSED BY A WOLF is a pretty fun action packed story with an at times confusing world building which was partially due to my habitual tendency to jump blindly into the middle of a series. That aside I enjoyed the tension and political machinations the characters have to work through while bullets fly, people are put in deadly peril, and things go boom.We get mystery, doppelgangers, fae, and ghosts to keep us on our toes trying to figure out just whodunnit. Thrilling action and much property damage aside the romance between Faran and Lexie was filled with mixed emotions and some wicked humor.
I liked how Faran and Lexie get thrust together and forced to be in eachother's company after so many years apart. It forces them to work through their issues and inner turmoil and allows for some smart quips to be exchanged. I enjoyed seeing Lexie's transformation and realization about her own emotions and experiences and how they affected her reaction and relationship with Faran. Surrounding our main characters are other characters who I assume were in the previous two books and who are interesting enough that I want to go back and read about them.
POSSESSED BY A WOLF is by no means the end of this series as this series is titled Horsemen and we need to figure out what trouble the fourth Horseman will find himself in. I enjoyed throwing myself headlong into this story, with its complex characters and exhilarating story....more
I feel like COMPANY TOWN snuck up on me; at first I was reading a pretty good dystopian-type novel, and thReview Courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy:
I feel like COMPANY TOWN snuck up on me; at first I was reading a pretty good dystopian-type novel, and then BAM, it turned into a fabulous, terrifyingly too-close-for-comfort near scifi with interesting new concepts and amazingly real characters.
Hwa, who was named after a purple dessert her mom hates, has Sturge-Weber Syndrome, which shows up as a purple-red birthmark on her face. She’s not too worried about it though, since most people have implants in their eyes and can’t see her real face anyway. It also helps her in her job as a bodyguard, since her face naturally confuses facial recognition software. In a hyper-monitored city, she is one of the only people who is difficult to track 24/7.
Hwa is charming. She is quiet, strong, and since she never had any money to spend on implants (and her mom never thought it was worth spending what little money they had on damaged goods), she is the last non-modified person on the rig. She is seen by most of the other characters as a freak because of it, but to her new employers, it means she can’t be hacked. Who better to protect the most important child around, the heir to the Lynch family, who have just bought the failing rig.
A lot of the scifi is subtle, but still effective and fun. The subscription-based implants were particularly scary: if you fail to pay your subscription, your implants might stop working. They might also start breaking down and poison you. Black market implants are often copies of copies, like a man-made wrongly-replicated cancer. The different characters with their different mods and implants, really added to the diversity of the city and outlined the massive class divide in the city. Hwa leaves her job as a bodyguard for escorts to work for the richest family in the city. Reconciling these two worlds is not easy and it was super interesting to read.
My only issue with the book was just how much stuff was going on. Between the social classes, the serial-killer, the future and past of the rig and the complex characters, this is not a book you want to read while something is on the tv. Still, if you have the time to immerse yourself fully, this is a unique book with a powerful cast of characters....more
For a lover or romantic suspense novels, and a lover of were-everything, HER WILD HERO should have hit allReview courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy:
For a lover or romantic suspense novels, and a lover of were-everything, HER WILD HERO should have hit all my buttons, and it nearly did.
The love story takes a while to develop, which is nice; it's great to see characters who have to work through their issues and misgivings before falling into bed together, and Kendra and Declan have a bunch of those to work out. She's craving adventure and coming out of a failed seven-year long crush, and he's given up on her ever noticing him, and also has issues with who he is as a bear shifter. Throw in life-threatening gun battles and a wet and sticky jungle, and it was nice that they took it slower than most.
I also appreciated some of the detail that went into the shifter mythology, even if some parts were super unclear or unexplained. As a bear shifter, Declan has some cool abilities that were fun to discover about and crucial to the story.
I also liked that there are no “fated mates” which sometimes feature very heavily in shifter stories; having characters who have to learn to like and love each other makes them more human, and I prefer that to characters who stare into each others eyes for a second and then bang in the next scene, without a good explanation other than fate.
HER WILD HERO starts with a super quick introduction to the main characters and flies into the action, which is usually great for romantic suspense novels. Unfortunately, the speed didn't help when a lot of characters were introduced, and it was tricky remembering who most of them were; was that one a shifter, or one of the humans who works for the DCO or one of the military buddies that tags along halfway through the book?
I also had an issue with the overarching plot of the book. Although the romantic plot is resolved quite satisfactorily, there isn't much difference plot-wise from start to finish. It definitely suffers from being a middle-of-the-series book: I'm happy that these guys got together, but there are still as many questions about what the DCO is doing and who to trust as there were at the beginning of the book (and they are often the same exact questions I was asking myself at the start).
Overall, this was a fun, quick read, and if you like buff, alpha were-bears, I would give it a shot... but maybe start with the first book of the series.
There be monsters here; amid the gas lamp laden walkways of Victorian era London in THE SHADOW REVOLUTION aReview courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy
There be monsters here; amid the gas lamp laden walkways of Victorian era London in THE SHADOW REVOLUTION and just a few magic practitioners stand in defense against the darkness. I loved the setting and the world building set up in this story and the idea of a order of magical practitioners with various sorts of skills really peaked my interest. I kept hoping they'd delve more into each and every type of ability available because the ones introduced just sounded so interesting. Luckily this is a series and the set up of a mysterious magical order (from the readers perspective) and other even more mysterious revelations about this magical world will be expanded upon in future books!
I loved the werewolf mythology and it was refreshing for me to read a story with werewolves being scary monsters. These werewolves are not nice or nice looking and I loved it.Though while the werewolves were scary they were small fries compared to the horror the characters discover. The actual bad guy is mad scientist creepy and some of the visuals belong in some sort of horror movie.
Our intrepid hero Simon Archer is a scribe or magic user who works his magic through spells and writing curses. I liked how he poses as a dashing playboy in order hide his abilities and to infiltrate high society. Oh, and he has awesome magical tattoos and a sword hidden in a walking stick because he's awesome. His team up with alchemist Kate Anstruther to solve the pesky werewolf problem and they work really well together. Kate really is a true match for Simon as she is intelligent, competent, and makes life hard for Simon. There are a few other characters that are pretty cool and have their own awesome skill sets. I would have liked to learn more about all of these characters as each character seemed so cool and interesting.
THE SHADOW REVOLUTION is a fun blend of urban fantasy, steampunk and alternate history. Its fast paced, action packed, and filled with magical greatness. I am looking forward to more action packed thrills in this magic filled series....more
GENERATION 18 is the middle book in the Spook Squad series and it valiantly escapes the classic second bookReview courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy
GENERATION 18 is the middle book in the Spook Squad series and it valiantly escapes the classic second book syndrome of not living up to the expectations of the previous book and being a dull set up to the expected major events of the third and last book. Its exciting, fun, and attention grabbing with mysteries wrapped around yet more mystery. There is a frentic pacing to GENERATION 18 considering Sam’s supposed connection to the victims and her mysterious origins. Sam is in a constant search for answers to just who she is and as she moves closer to the answer, three more come up.
While I would say a book leans more towards one genre or another this one solidly treads the line between urban fantasy and science fiction with shifters and other magically abled people alongside secret government projects messing around with human genes creating super powered people. The intriguing mysteries of some truly horrid murders and just who and what Sam is are what keeps the plot rolling. I mainly kept reading this book just to figure out what the mystery of Sam’s past is and about all of the secret government projects that seem to keep popping up in this story.
Sam is a very strong character and I liked her determination and will to keep going forward even when she hits a roadblock. Her relationship with Gabriel is an odd one. I can’t really figure it out. I think they work well together but I just don’t see them getting together as love interests which I assume will occur in the next book as Sam seems determined for it to happen. With GENERATION 18 there are mysteries to untwist, bad guys to fight, and brilliant new powers to discover. This story is a wonderfully exciting build up to the last book in this trilogy, PENUMBRA....more
In THE WITCHES OF ECHO PARK, Amber Benson introduces us to the Southern California "blood sisters" who, alReview courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy.
In THE WITCHES OF ECHO PARK, Amber Benson introduces us to the Southern California "blood sisters" who, along with other covens across the globe, keep the world in balance. When coven leader Eleanora informs her great-niece that she's dying, Lyse abandons her life in Georgia to fly to Los Angeles - and, unknowingly, to take her great-aunt's place as an Echo Park witch. Benson channels Alice Hoffman in this novel, painting the Echo Park neighborhood in a way that should delight locals, and inform strangers. Though I found the first half of the book a little overly descriptive, the narrative overall reflects the dreams that are central to the story - including that feeling that the dream never quite reaches its conclusion.
This is clearly the first book in a series, but even knowing more's to come doesn't quite change the fact that I felt something was missing. The characters are charming individuals - from perky mother-of-two and Tarot reader Dev to headstrong Daniela, the gloved-at-all-times empath. Eleanora, struggling with the cancer that has spread to her blood, is still formidable and stubborn, and occasionally gets high in her kitchen. I enjoy the way Benson weaves the story of Eleanora's past into Lyse's present, but it doesn't feel like this particular novel has an actual arc. Lyse's evolution isn't as dramatic as it might be. Though skeptical of witches and magic, she spends much of her first day back home reflecting on the strangeness of the neighborhood, and even discovers the place of her recurring childhood nightmare is a real location. Her transformation from non-believer into coven 'blood sister' is hurried due to Eleanora's intervention, but though Lyse comes around on her own by the end, it's still not much of a shift.
Benson introduces the reader to the Echo Park coven with great personal details, but the threat that looms over the first half of the novel is barely a whisper, and when it finally does resolve itself into an antagonist, it seems hurried, and ultimately anti-climactic. The character who strikes against the coven is there and gone, and only a piece of the larger conflict, which itself remains vague. The magic of the coven seems particularly focused on dreams, which might be why the story feels like a series of them. Though incredibly detailed, and obviously done with love, the first half - Lyse readjusting to life in Echo Park - is so impressionistic, so meandering, that when the plot that's intended to launch a series does come into play, it doesn't have enough space to complete its arc....more
Where BLACK WIDOW excels is going far beyond my expectations of a Elemental Assassin book. The series has fReview courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy
Where BLACK WIDOW excels is going far beyond my expectations of a Elemental Assassin book. The series has felt repetitive at times though I keep coming back for me as I adore Gin and every other character that crosses paths with her good guy or bad. What BLACK WIDOW has done is take a series I've become comfortable with in regards to how the plot is going to go and flip it on its head. There is a game changer at the end of this book that I adore and can't wait to see in the next book.
Future expectations aside this book is excellent in its forward momentum towards that game changer moment. Here we get Gin who is wrapped up in a web and not one of her own making. I kind of enjoyed seeing Gin get tangled up and confused by the M.M. Monroe just because I knew it would be a truly epic moment when Gin is able to escape that web and defeat Monroe. I really felt bad for what happened to Gin and her family and friends as M.M. Monroe is so very calculating and evil. One of the things that Gin has that Monroe doesn't is her friends who are there fore her more than ever in BLACK WIDOW. M.M. Monroe is nothing like Mab and I was grateful that this wasn't Mab 2.o and M.M. actually puts Mab to shame in being utterly diabolical.
Everything that I adore about this series is right here and more so in BLACK WIDOW. There's expertly crafted fights, banter, and suspense that continued to keep me on the edge of my seat. I can't recommend this book enough and love being on the roller coaster ride that is Gin Blanco life....more
I enjoy reading about dragon shifters in general and I like the concept of the Dragon Heat series with itsReview courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy
I enjoy reading about dragon shifters in general and I like the concept of the Dragon Heat series with its epic war between dragons and knights spanning over generations. WICKED DARK DRAGON expands on the intriguing mythology giving a basis for the hatred between dragons and knights. The plot of this story revolves around Mad discovering Ivy, a woman he doesn't really know has been kidnapped and his rescuing of her. Granted his big rescue mission stops once he gets himself caught and thus must sit around waiting for other dragons to come to the rescue. I was left wondering if he meant to be captured because he was taken down pretty quickly. There was really not that much action and I was left tapping my foot waiting for the other dragons to come and bust Mad and Ivy out of prison and that scene happened so fast I missed it.
The romance was the classic insta-love but this one was insta-love with a caffeine overload. They set eyes on each other and are already in love. Not merely attracted, or in lust but love and know practically nothing about each other. I get that they have the concept of destined mates but both of them seem to not even question it, even Ivy who is pretty new to the whole being a dragon thing. Much of the book involved these two talking and cuddling. I did enjoy some of the cuddling and sexy moments but I grew a little bored of it and impatient when the end of the book came near and they still haven't gotten out of prison.
WICKED DARK DRAGON was an okay, short read but left me wanting more, more from Mad and Ivy's relationship and attempts at escape, more action, and just more pages....more