With legitimately crazy bridezillas, amusing incident reports, and a dab of romance, HEROINE WORSHIP managReview courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy.
With legitimately crazy bridezillas, amusing incident reports, and a dab of romance, HEROINE WORSHIP manages to follow in the footsteps of HEROINE COMPLEX nicely. Clever and entertaining, HEROINE WORSHIP is an excellent entry in the urban fantasy genre.
My biggest complaint about HEROINE WORSHIP was the switch in narrators from Evie to Aveda/Annie was mildly annoying. Evie was less narcissistic, and at times Aveda's inner monologue got repetitive and grating. I do understand that she was working through some changes in her life, but sometimes it felt the author was dragging it out a bit much. However, because of the switch in narrators, it felt more like a stand-alone novel instead of the second in the series, making it easier for somebody to pick HEROINE WORSHIP up without reading HEROINE COMPLEX.
As the book went on though, I became more used to Aveda's narration and got into the story. The plot line was more interesting in this installment, I felt, with a mystery and some very interesting things happening around the group. And the dynamics of the friend group again were a highlight for me. I liked how the women interacted with each other - how they felt so real and authentic. The changes Aveda went through felt as real as they could as well, being that we're talking about superheroes. She dealt with family issues, relationship confusion, and jealousy of her friend - all things that most people can relate to. So, while she was a bit over the top about most things, in the end, I really felt like I understood her and where she was coming from.
Also, I love how HEROINE WORSHIP has a diverse cast of characters without it feeling forced. There's different ethnicities, different sexual orientations, and different superpowers. 😉 It's refreshing in a world of urban fantasy where a lot of time the heroine is a straight white girl surrounded by sexy men. HEROINE WORSHIP gives us a glimpse into a world that looks a lot more like ours and definitely benefits from this representation.
All in all, HEROINE WORSHIP is a welcome addition to my library and well worth the read.
Sexual content: Kissing, references to sex, closed-door sex scenes ...more
While I enjoyed THE RED LILY, it just didn't quite live up to the first book in the series. Nikolai and SiReview courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy.
While I enjoyed THE RED LILY, it just didn't quite live up to the first book in the series. Nikolai and Sienna are a wonderful couple and the chemistry between them is scorching, but the story just felt like it lacked a little something.
My main complaint was that there was a lot going on in this installment of the Vampire Blood series. There was a lot of development, and not everything was always explained. Since the relationship between Nikolai and Sienna took center stage (as it should in a paranormal romance), this sometimes meant that other events felt rushed or consolidated. Things which had enormous impacts on the story happened in fewer pages than a romantic scene between Nikolai and Sienna, basically, which had the effect of making the story feel a little rough. One minute we were happy for Nikolai and Sienna, and the next unhappy, and then happy, and... you get the idea. (I would go into more detail but I don't want to reveal any spoilers!)
Luckily, Nikolai and Sienna more than made up for the back and forth of my emotions. I loved Sienna so much as a character. She's compassionate and brave, and I liked the way she was doing what she could for the rebellion. As for Nikolai, he was at times a bit too protective (at least his thoughts were) but he was sweet with Sienna and romantic. They just fit together, and I really liked the development of their relationship.
Overall, THE RED LILY works as a romance if you can suspend some disbelief about what's going on around Sienna and Nikolai. All in all, I would have liked a little more plot, but I really enjoyed this book, and cannot wait to see who the next book in the Vampire Blood series focuses on.
The vibe one gets from the cover of THE BEST KIND OF MAGIC is that the contents within will be lighthearteReview courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy.
The vibe one gets from the cover of THE BEST KIND OF MAGIC is that the contents within will be lighthearted and cutesy. The story delivers exactly that - an excellent example of a time a cover is perfect for the book. Unfortunately, while lighthearted and fun, I do have a few complaints about THE BEST KIND OF MAGIC.
Overall, THE BEST KIND OF MAGIC is fluff. It's fun and a quick read, but there were some issues. My primary issue with the book is that the author has a terrible habit of telling, not showing. There was a lot of information given to the reader just from Amber's internal monologue - things that didn't make sense for her to be telling herself. Overall, that tended to get a little tedious.
My other complaint is that there's a little bit much going on. There's the main mystery of Charlie's father's missing girlfriend, but there's subplots involving Amber's best friend, her mother's coven, plus the romance aspect! It all gets a little blurred together, instead of having a clear direction the story is going. Then, when it comes time for the main plot line to be tied up, it seems to end way too easily and quickly.
One thing I enjoyed about THE BEST KIND OF MAGIC was the characters. They all felt like they could be real people, and they acted in relatively age appropriate ways. For example, Charlie seemed like an awkward teenager, the type that a real person would encounter in a high school, not one of these fictional paranormal romance heroes who are super intense and/or immortal.
Overall, I definitely enjoyed THE BEST KIND OF MAGIC once I appreciated it for what it was - a light, fun, romantic read, akin to many young adult contemporary novels, but with a side helping of magic. Definitely pick this one up if you're a fan of stories set in Chicago (like myself) or if you're looking for a light dose of paranormal with your teen angst.
SPILL ZONE is creepy. Wonderfully, awesomely creepy. In part because of the creepiness, I think the storylReview courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy.
SPILL ZONE is creepy. Wonderfully, awesomely creepy. In part because of the creepiness, I think the storyline of SPILL ZONE is a perfect fit for the graphic novel medium, and the images coupled with the story are delightfully scary and not something you want to read right before bedtime!
With a short description, I really wasn't sure what to expect when I cracked open SPILL ZONE. I hadn't read anything else by Westerfeld before reading SPILL ZONE, though I've heard good things about some of his series. The way the story starts out, you're immediately thrown into the drama and mystery of the Spill Zone and Addison's world.
I love Addison's character. She has this code she operates by, and everything she's doing is just to get by in the world with no parents and a little sister to take care of. And because she's trying to take care of her little sister, she's drawn into something she would normally never do, which has very interesting consequences. I liked her grit and ability to operate relatively calmly in the face of craziness. The side characters she interacts with also manage to be relatively fleshed out even though there's not a lot of page space dedicated to them. But the most interesting aspect of the story is the Spill Zone itself. As a reader, I simultaneously wanted more details and less details, because sometimes it was so creepy it was scary.
Well-plotted and very entertaining, SPILL ZONE was a book I couldn't put down! When I finished, I wished I had the next one immediately, because the ending is a bit of a cliffhanger. I can't wait to see where Westerfeld takes the story next!
THE BURNING PAGE combines the best of THE MASKED CITY and THE INVISIBLE LIBRARY to produce a madcap, worldReview courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy.
THE BURNING PAGE combines the best of THE MASKED CITY and THE INVISIBLE LIBRARY to produce a madcap, world-jumping caper. With the return of Alberich, stakes are high and Irene and Kai have no idea who they can trust, inside or outside the Library. A thrilling read, THE BURNING PAGE should delight any fan of the Invisible Library series.
In THE BURNING PAGE, Irene cements her place as one of my favorite fantasy protagonists. She is competent and smart, and doesn't let her mistakes cause herself to second-guess every decision she makes in the future. She gets the job done but is able to ask for help when she needs it (mostly). She's a remarkably compelling heroine, in my opinion, as though there are some small bits of romantic tension between her and the various men in her life, she doesn't ever let that get between her and her job, which I love. In a genre sometimes littered with unnecessary sex scenes, I enjoy the muted romance in THE BURNING PAGE.
The world expands even further in THE BURNING PAGE, as Irene and Kai go to even more alternate worlds on missions. We're treated to a trip to a world with magic and high-order, and Irene gets to use the Language to get her and Kai out of quite a few sticky situations. If I have one complaint about the book, it's that the Language seems to be a catch-all "get out of jail free" card, sometimes making a situation almost too easy to escape from. Regardless, there still is plenty of danger, and Irene manages to think her way creatively out of all of it (did I mention I loved how competent she is?).
All in all, THE BURNING PAGE manages to answer some questions, but also brings new ones to the front of the reader's mind, and I, for one, am desperately wanting to read the next book, THE LOST PLOT. Unfortunately, there's a bit of a longer wait for this one, so I'll be over here, stewing on the mysteries Cogman introduces.
With A KISS BEFORE DOOMSDAY, the Dru Jasper series has quickly become one of the series I'm adding to my mReview courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy.
With A KISS BEFORE DOOMSDAY, the Dru Jasper series has quickly become one of the series I'm adding to my must-buy list. With its down-to-Earth heroine and the creative situations she finds herself in, A KISS BEFORE DOOMSDAY is super enjoyable and I can't wait to read the next in the series.
Dru is, without a doubt, a heroine who most of us could probably relate to. She's got powers, sure, but she's not crazy super powerful, and throughout the book, there's always the faint impression that she'd rather be reading than dealing with the end of the world. A woman after my own heart, that one. And not only is Dru an interesting, relatable character, but the rest of the characters aren't two-dimensional either. They've got multiple facets to them and really round out the story.
A KISS BEFORE DOOMSDAY doesn't have the inklings of romance that IT HAPPENED ONE DOOMSDAY did, but that's totally fine in this instance. Dru, with some help from Rane, gets to kick some butt and she gets to do some magic, and while there's some questionable decision making, the story moves along at a pretty fast clip.
For a short book (under 300 pages), A KISS BEFORE DOOMSDAY really has it all. Great characters, captivating plot, and interesting world building. I do recommend reading IT HAPPENED ONE DOOMSDAY first, because while it's not totally necessary, it is nice to have the backstory about how Dru ended up where she did. All in all, I'm definitely looking forward to the next installment in the Dru Jasper series!
A step up from its predecessors, OWL AND THE ELECTRIC SAMURAI is a welcome departure from the all-action,Review courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy.
A step up from its predecessors, OWL AND THE ELECTRIC SAMURAI is a welcome departure from the all-action, little-plot formula readers are familiar with from the first two novels. Delving deeper into supernatural politics, and significantly raising the stakes, OWL AND THE ELECTRIC SAMURAI shows an maturation of both Charish's writing, and the main character, Owl.
To be perfectly honest, though I enjoyed the first two books in The Adventures of Owl series, OWL AND THE ELECTRIC SAMURAI easily jumped into the favorite slot. I also think that it would be easy to pick up the series with this installment, as there isn't that much that the reader needs to know to understand what is going on, and most of it is covered by way of explanations from Owl or other characters.
Unlike the first two books of the series, OWL AND THE ELECTRIC SAMURAI doesn't rely on constant action to keep the reader's attention, which meant that going in, my interest lagged a bit in the beginning (though the book does start with a nice chase scene). I wasn't expecting the level of political machinations Owl found herself involved in and the slow burn to the end plot twist, but once I got caught up on the details, I was sucked in. And boy, that ending! The final quarter of the book was definitely unputdownable with not only action but more subtle twists and turns happening.
One complaint I had previously was that Owl felt like a pretty immature character. One of the reasons I liked this book more than the previous two in the series was that I felt Owl showed significant growth - she acted more like a super intelligent archeologist would, rather than a ridiculously inexperienced treasure hunter. Again, her smarts are something I like about this series, and I enjoyed how she really got to put them to use! And without any spoilers, another complaint I'd had was the ability of Owl and company to get out of any situation nearly unscathed - which is not the case in this book, and I loved it. It had a much more gritty, realistic feel (with magic, obviously!) than previously.
All in all, after the ending of OWL AND THE ELECTRIC SAMURAI threw me for a complete loop, I am desperate to know where Charish is going to take Owl and the rest of the characters in The Adventures of Owl series. I am very much looking forward to the next book in the series, OWL AND THE TIGER THIEVES.
With SHADOW REAPER, Feehan has managed to improve a series I already enjoyed. The part I liked, the sexy aReview courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy.
With SHADOW REAPER, Feehan has managed to improve a series I already enjoyed. The part I liked, the sexy and dark vibe, was maintained, but the main characters felt more realistic and not so over-the-top. Also, the very original world continues to grow, and I find myself looking forward to all of the Ferraro siblings' stories!
Ricco was sweet and definitely a dominant character, but without the ridiculous levels of stubborn and bossy that characterized Stefano in the previous book. Mariko is completely different from Francesca's more submissive personality and she is a handful. She's got the shadow rider skills to match Ricco, but she lets herself be tied up by him. She's an enigma and a very interesting character. While Ricco's transition from playboy to crazy-in-love doting boyfriend was a little bit of a stretch, and the instalove he feels for Marik0 is mildly annoying, the development of their relationship outside of that is lovely to watch, as they get more comfortable with each other and learn more about each other.
While the storyline was a bit crazy, it kept me on the edge of my seat, with a twist I didn't see coming until the end! We learn more about the shadow rider world, and a little bit more about the various families, which is interesting. Plus, we learn what happened to Ricco in Japan, which was only hinted at in SHADOW RIDER. One aspect of the plot line, Ricco's interest in shibari and Marik0's desire to be a model for him, was really cool, as that is not something we frequently see in paranormal romance novels and it added a very sexy edge to the relationship.
All in all, SHADOW REAPER is a great second installment in the Shadow series. I devoured this dark, suspenseful novel, and I can't wait to read more about the Ferraro family.
TREASURE & TREASON, the book I assume Raine Benares fans have been clamoring for, features Tam and PhaReview courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy.
TREASURE & TREASON, the book I assume Raine Benares fans have been clamoring for, features Tam and Phaelan. AMAZING, am I right??? These two characters, the reformed dark magic practitioner goblin Tam and the endlessly amusing magic-fearing pirate captain and thief Phaelan, together - just the idea is spectacular. Reading TREASURE & TREASON is a treat, especially for fans of the series, and even new readers would find something to love, I suspect.
Tam has always been one of my favorite characters in this series, and I'm so happy to see him finally get his own book. Phaelan, too, but Tam always had that dark mysterious side that makes him that much more intriguing. The premise was great- throwing Tam and Phaelan on a boat together, with no way to escape the other is hysterical, and Shearin definitely makes plenty of jokes despite the drama that of course happens. After all, it is a Raine Benares world novel- something has to go down. And plenty does, with fight scenes and bad guys popping up out of the woodwork, and into dreams, it seems there's no escape for our intrepid heroes.
My one complaint, and this may be because I recently read another Shearin book, is the repetition. It is really drilled in that Tam is pissed at the bad guys, that he's willing to do whatever it takes to do what needs to be done, that he's willing to make sacrifices, on and on his inner monologue is full of thoughts like that. It just starts to get a little frustrating. This could also be the way Shearin writes and I just haven't noticed it before since I haven't read multiple books so close together. The other thing is the cliff hanger - I felt like the book was a little slow to start and then it just ENDED, right before what I felt would have been the most exciting part. So there was that, too.
Like I said, TREASURE & TREASON might be a good place for a newbie to the series to jump in. We've got a new main character, and while there is a lot of background, there isn't nearly as much as in previous books with Raine and Tam frequently mentions the information you might need to know. Plus, there's new characters and a new setting, so that makes it different than previous books as well.
All in all, TREASURE & TREASON is a delight. Shearin is a clever writer, interspersing laugh out loud funny moments with action and magic, and it is definitely worth the read.
THE LIBRARIANS AND THE MOTHER GOOSE CHASE, the second in The Librarians series, follows our intrepid LibraReview courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy.
THE LIBRARIANS AND THE MOTHER GOOSE CHASE, the second in The Librarians series, follows our intrepid Librarians as they fight a Mother Goose who is intent on ending the world. Sounds like pretty standard Librarian fare, yes? While it definitely fits the Librarian playbook, THE LIBRARIANS AND THE MOTHER GOOSE CHASE is entertaining, action-packed and even has a reveal at the end that I didn't see coming.
I didn't feel that this installation in The Librarians series was as good as the previous book, THE LIBRARIANS AND THE SEARCH FOR THE LOST LAMP. It felt a little more forced to me. However, that doesn't mean it wasn't a fun read. I feel like you're getting exactly what you would expect from a book based on a TV show - the characters all match up with their TV personas and the references to prior adventures on the TV show are ever-present. The new characters introduced certainly shook things up a bit, and I really enjoyed how each Librarian was paired with a different person who ended up helping them out as they tried to resolve the situation. There is a little less interaction between the main characters, however, as they are separated for most of the book, so if that is the main draw for you, you might be a little disappointed.
Since THE LIBRARIANS AND THE MOTHER GOOSE CHASE is based on a TV show, and it is the second in a series, it does assume a bit of prior knowledge of the world and the characters, though there are frequent references to main character traits and any information needed about past adventures is definitely explained. It wouldn't be too difficult to pick this one up without having any prior knowledge of the show, and if you like stories with a little bit of mythology (as some of the full Mother Goose rhymes are discussed) this one would fit the bill.
If you're a fan of The Librarians TV show, THE LIBRARIANS AND THE MOTHER GOOSE CHASE is something you should pick up. It's a quick read (though it took me a little while to get immersed into the world again) and it should tide you over while you're waiting for season 4 of the TV show to air. If not already a fan, I'd suggest starting with book one and going from there.
I know I don't need to say that I love fairytale retellings, but there it is. I said it. And having read (Review courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy.
I know I don't need to say that I love fairytale retellings, but there it is. I said it. And having read (and enjoyed) Cross's work before, I was very curious about THE BLACK LILY and the direction she would go. It ended up being quite a fun read, with plot twists, steamy romance and a mystery to keep me entertained.
Upon starting THE BLACK LILY, the reader is immediately thrown into the action. The retelling part of Cinderalla happens almost immediately - servant girl gets fancy dress and carriage and goes to ball to catch royal prince's attention. There's a bit of lust at first sight on Prince Marius' side, as upon seeing Arabelle, he immediately wants her. However, as they get to know each other, his attraction to her starts to go beyond her physical appearance. Same with Arabelle, who finds the prince attractive at the beginning, even if she does not like what he stands for, but as she begins to learn about him she starts to question her preconceived notions about what he is like. However, it takes a lot for Arabelle to get past her automatic dislike of vampires, and that, combined with other factors, keeps her and Marius separate for a majority of the book. But oh man, when they get together, do sparks fly! Scratch that - more like full on flames. There is definitely enough to keep a romance reader happy.
There's a lot going on in THE BLACK LILY. First of all, there's the vampires, the mystery of the disappearing humans, the rebellion, plus a magical forest and a lot of back story that the reader gets in bits and pieces. Some interesting facts were revealed at the end which felt a little like they were inserted just to keep the reader wanting to know more - and possibly read the next book. My only small complaint would be the world building - it was written to seem like a society similar to a feudal society that we would be familiar with from history (except with vampires ruling) and so not much was explained unless it was pertinent to Arabelle's ranting about the class system.
Using Cinderella as a springboard, THE BLACK LILY takes some aspects from the original tale and runs with them, making a wholly original tale of vampires and humans, and the romance between two highly unlikely characters. I am curious as to where Cross will take the story, since it seemed rather finished to me (minus the few questions at the end) and I will definitely pick up the next book in the Tales of the Black Lily series.
A few days after finishing WYNTER'S BITE, I'm still not entirely sure how I feel about it. In the past, I'Review courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy.
A few days after finishing WYNTER'S BITE, I'm still not entirely sure how I feel about it. In the past, I've enjoyed the Scandals With Bite series quite a bit, but WYNTER'S BITE didn't have the same feel as the previous books in the series, and I didn't like it as much.
One positive is that I did enjoy the characters - Bethany and Justus were great. Both very strong willed and able to do what needs to be done in order to survive their circumstances, they were also super cute together, discussing books and throwing longing glances at each other early on in the book.
Where my problems lie, with WYNTER'S BITE, is the completely ridiculous plot. It seemed like many of the actions taken by the characters were very rash, and not completely in character, or, the reader wasn't given enough background of the character to understand why that character was doing something. For example, Bethany's parents having her locked up in a mental institution after one outburst, while she was a bit doped up after hurting herself, seemed a bit extreme. Then, after Bethany is rescued by Justus, they seem to be caught by every single vampire (after 8 years of Justus managing to be undetected?) in between the institution and their destination.
Lastly, the ending is tied up way too easily. There is a little bit of the miscommunication that is common in historical romance novels - where if the heroine and hero just talked to each other they would have resolved some issues - and that tends toward the annoying, but the solution to all of Justus' and Bethany's problems just was solved in a few pages.
All in all, while I liked the characters, I didn't particularly like the plot of WYNTER'S BITE. If there are more books published in the Scandals With Bite series, I will definitely read them, but this one just wasn't for me.
THE BEAR AND THE NIGHTINGALE is nearly everything I wished it would be. After hearing comparisons to UPROOReview courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy.
THE BEAR AND THE NIGHTINGALE is nearly everything I wished it would be. After hearing comparisons to UPROOTED, THE BEAR AND THE NIGHTINGALE had a lot to live up to, UPROOTED being one of my recent favorite fantasy books. Luckily, it was a delightful read, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
THE BEAR AND THE NIGHTINGALE has a quality that I've recognized before, frequently in Robin McKinley's books - the ability to make the mundane lovely. For the majority of the book, honestly, not much happens. But in the descriptions of the everyday tasks and actions, the characters get a chance to grow and needle their way into the reader's heart. I loved Vasilisa, I loved her father and her brothers and sisters. And the characters I didn't love, I still felt a sympathy for - they weren't straight-out villains by any means (that was left to the Bear of the title) but they were complex and interesting to read about. (Though being a step-mother myself I tend to dislike the trope of the evil step-mother, and THE BEAR AND THE NIGHTINGALE was no exception to that.)
When the action did come, I was ready for it, having prepared for the entire book, basically all of Vasilisa's life. The reader watches as she learns to befriend the spirits all around her, as she learns to commune with the horses, and as she grows stronger with every day. She is a wonderful heroine in an interesting setting, where the world building was done so well you barely notice it spinning around you until you're firmly situated in the world of the book.
Taking a page from Russian history and folklore and spinning it into something more, with beautiful writing and spectacular characters, Arden's debut is quite a wonderful read. I can't wait to see what she has in store next.
Sexual content: Very brief references to sex ...more
I will read nearly any story set in Chicago. This has led to great discoveries, such as the Chicagoland VaReview courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy.
I will read nearly any story set in Chicago. This has led to great discoveries, such as the Chicagoland Vampires series. Unfortunately, THE FAIRYTALE CHICAGO OF FRANCESCA FINNEGAN was not one of the great discoveries.
A quick read, THE FAIRYTALE CHICAGO OF FRANCESCA FINNEGAN is seeped in Chicago. It comes up with alternate stories for Chicago events - such as the creation of the flag, why the Chicago River runs backwards, and what started the Chicago fire. These stories are fantastical and amusing, and likely would not be as interesting to readers who are not familiar with Chicago history or geography.
The structure of the book is strange as well, since it is told as a flashback, with intermittent chapters being the stories of the people that Rich and Francesca meet on their adventure. It is sometimes hard to determine who exactly is narrating, and that was a little frustrating, and it makes it easy to lose the flow of the story. One upside, however, are the lovely illustrations (done by Chris Cihon) after each chapter.
All in all, THE FAIRYTALE CHICAGO OF FRANCESCA FINNEGAN was a very strange book that I found hard to get engrossed in. While I didn't dislike it, it didn't hold my interest, and I sometimes found it hard to pick up again. If you're interested in fantasy set in Chicago or something a little different than your typical urban fantasy, definitely pick this one up. Otherwise, this one might not be for you.
MER was a quick read with lovely art, a story that held my attention, but it left me with a number of quesReview courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy.
MER was a quick read with lovely art, a story that held my attention, but it left me with a number of questions at the end of the story.
One complaint I had is that the story jumped around a little, and sometimes the transitions were a bit jarring. However, it fit how the different threads were being woven together, so maybe just a bit of careful attention is needed while reading. My other issue was that the story was a bit short, and I wish some more time could have been spent on various questions I had.
Otherwise, the art was gorgeous and I enjoyed the storyline. I liked the main character, Aryn and loved the honest depiction of the difficulties of balancing family life with having a social life. The story was creative and unusual in the current gamut of young adult paranormal novels, since mermaids aren't super common, so I liked learning about the mythology the author created.
All in all, MER was a fun read and pretty cute. I would recommend to anybody who likes graphic novels and is looking for something a little different, or anybody who likes mermaids and creative takes on that mythology....more
Action-packed and suspenseful, THESE RUTHLESS DEEDS is an excellent follow-up to THESE VICIOUS MASKS.
THESE RUTHLESS DEEDS starts out with a bang, and even having read THESE VICIOUS MASKS within the past few months, it took a little while for me to get immersed into the world again. There isn't a ton of character development, but what is lacking in that regard the authors more than make up for in terms of action. There are plenty of super-powered fight scenes to keep a reader entertained, with a little romance thrown in here and there to spice it up.
One thing that irks me is that Evelyn is a bit of a "Mary Sue" character. She has multiple boys after her, she always seems to be the smartest and most aware person of her group of friends, and she has what is arguably the best superpower (healing ability). This doesn't make her that much less likable, it just bothered me on a few occasions when she seemed to be the ONLY person to realize some key clue or piece of information was crucial (though she did guess wrong on something at the end and I appreciated that display of imperfection).
What I like best about THESE RUTHLESS DEEDS is how those with superpowers aren't always the good guys. The authors definitely play with the gray area between good and evil, and I enjoyed watching the various characters reveal their motivations as the book progressed.
All in all, THESE RUTHLESS DEEDS was a fun, quick read with a crazy ending that left me thinking about the moral quandaries the characters were put in, even after I'd set down the book. While it isn't without its faults, These Vicious Masks series should definitely be on the to-read list of anybody who enjoys historical fantasy or characters with superpowers!
While BREAKING certainly met its goal of being a thriller, I was mostly disappointed with the book. The hiReview courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy.
While BREAKING certainly met its goal of being a thriller, I was mostly disappointed with the book. The hints of the supernatural were disappointing and though it kept my interest, there were too many questions left unanswered for me to be completely satisfied with the read.
To be fair, I read BREAKING in one sitting. It kept me completely glued to my seat, and I was desperate to know how it ended while I was reading it. Once I finished and thought about it, the more I realized I had some issues with the book.
One major problem I had was that Charlotte's friends, Ariel and Devon, are already dead at the beginning of the book. There are flashbacks, but not enough, in my opinion, for you to really understand Charlotte's friendship with the two of them. It was hard to get myself to care about Ariel and Devon and what happened to them, because I didn't have any connection to them other than that Charlotte cared about them. Another issue was the ending. It seems to end on a cliffhanger, as if there should be more books, but I don't see any news about further books in this series. So that was disappointing.
Had I realized when I requested it that it was a companion novel, I'm not sure I would have read it, but you don't need to have read BURNING, the companion novel, to understand what is happening in BREAKING. I easily picked up all the drama, and in fact think I may have appreciated the thriller aspects more since I didn't have hints from BURNING.
So, enough though I was entertained by BREAKING, ultimately I was left feeling unfulfilled. If you enjoy mysteries and thrillers, BREAKING might be up your alley, but if you like a little more closure when you read a book, I can't confidently recommend it.
Sexual content: Kissing, references to sex ...more
THE FATE OF THE TEARLING left me with lots of feelings. The first two-thirds of the book were rock-star. AReview courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy.
THE FATE OF THE TEARLING left me with lots of feelings. The first two-thirds of the book were rock-star. And, to be fair, the last third of the book was good too, it just wasn't what I was expecting. So, without spoiling anything, I am going to try to review this book for you. First of all, if you read the first two, definitely read the third. You'll want the closure that it provides. And if you haven't read the first two, I definitely recommend them. The trilogy has a very different feel than a lot of other fantasy trilogies, to its benefit.
Second of all, Kelsea. I love her so much. She is so freaking awesome - she does what she feels is right, but she makes mistakes and isn't perfect either. I don't like perfect heroines who can do no wrong, because they don't feel real to me. Kelsea's questioning of her past decisions, her anxiety about whether or not she did the right thing, feels like a young adult reaction to life, much less running a country. For the most part the characters really carried THE FATE OF THE TEARLING. Even the Red Queen had so much depth to her that I almost felt sympathy for her. (Almost, she was still awful.) And nearly everybody from the first two books makes an appearance in the third, so there were very few loose ends that were not tied up.
One complaint I had was that the magic system in the Tearling was underdeveloped. It seems the magic came from the sapphires, but where did the sapphires come from? It was implied they came from the mountains in the Tearling, but if that was the case, why weren't there more of them? I had some other unanswered questions regarding the magic, but I really don't want to spoil anything for you.
All in all, THE FATE OF THE TEARLING is a strong, character driven book. While some aspects of the world-building could have been better, there was enough set up to make things believable, and to give the characters room to grow and evolve within the context of the world. It offered an interesting ending that I totally didn't expect and tied up a lot of character storylines. In my opinion, it was a good ending to a trilogy, and totally worth the read.
Sexual content: References to rape, non-consensual physical contact ...more
THE LIBRARIANS AND THE LOST LAMP, a book based off the popular TV show The Librarians is a fun, fast readReview courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy.
THE LIBRARIANS AND THE LOST LAMP, a book based off the popular TV show The Librarians is a fun, fast read that I really enjoyed. My only complaint is that readers who are not as familiar with the TV show as I am may not get the same level of enjoyment out of the book.
THE LIBRARIANS AND THE LOST LAMP jumps back and forth in time from 2006 to 2016, from the single Librarian, Flynn Carson, to the three new Librarians. Having seen two of the three Librarian movies, and the entire first season of the show, none of the characters were new to me. I already liked the Librarians, and I like the world they inhabit. I felt the characters held true to their TV counterparts, while still being fleshed out enough to be understandable without having prior knowledge.
Some of the writing felt a little flat. Those were the times when I felt the author was relying on his readers having previous knowledge of the TV show. While for the most part it didn't bother me, I assume a reader going in with no knowledge of the series might be a little frustrated. There were few references to past cases the Librarians had taken on, or previous events in the series, so that wouldn't be too much of an issue, which is good.
Overall, I very much enjoyed the plot line of the story. I liked how the two stories (Flynn's and the current Librarians') were woven together. It felt more like a movie than a TV episode, which is good, because it would be very hard to drag a TV episode out to almost 300 pages! There was humor, adventure and plenty of bad guys to outsmart. I liked the tie in with Aladdin and Scheherazade, and how the Librarians were outsmarting the Forty Thieves. It was all quite a bit of fun.
If you are a fan of the TV show, don't hesitate to pick this up! You will definitely enjoy it. If you don't watch the TV show - start! ;) But honestly, maybe try an excerpt before buying to see if you'll enjoy THE LIBRARIANS AND THE LOST LAMP.
Every small glimpse each episode of Bookburners gives us into the past of the various characters is like aReview courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy.
Every small glimpse each episode of Bookburners gives us into the past of the various characters is like a little treat for me, and in this episode, after getting a bit of Liam's past in the previous episode, focused on Asanti, who easily is my favorite character.
DEBTOR'S PRISON fits the typical bill of a Bookburners episode, offering a bit of fun, a bit of mystery, and even a bit of politics. Though this episode wrapped up in a rather strange, rather quick, way, the lead up to the climax was just as interesting as the actual fight at the end.
DEBTOR'S PRISON was funny, so much so that I laughed out loud at certain moments, and I was happy to be back in the Bookburners world. Every episode seems to open another door to possibilities, but without leaving the reader hanging. All of the options to explore just make the world seem that much richer.
I am super behind on my reviews of Season 2 so far, but that means you could go ahead and binge read up to episode 10! Let me tell you, it's totally worth it!
A fun mixing of magic and technology, GHOSTS is one of the more interesting episodes of this season of BooReview courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy.
A fun mixing of magic and technology, GHOSTS is one of the more interesting episodes of this season of Bookburners yet.
There's a lot packed into this episode, and I enjoyed the way that doors were opened for further future discoveries about the team members' pasts, especially Liam's. Though this episode seemed to reference some events of the previous season, I wasn't ever lost or confused, I was always able to keep track of what was going on.
The mixing of the magical and the technological is something that was very interesting, and I'd love to see more of that in future episodes. The magic in the Bookburners world is fascinating, and I enjoy it's evolution and learning about it as the team learns about it.
If any complaints, this episode was, to me, not as witty as previous episodes, but that did not detract from my enjoyment of it.
All in all, this was, as always, an enjoyable jaunt through the Bookburners universe.