Biker witches, sassy dialogue, and demon slaying are the key ingredients for fun antics in Angie Fox's DemReview courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy.
Biker witches, sassy dialogue, and demon slaying are the key ingredients for fun antics in Angie Fox's Demon Slayer series. NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEMON SLAYER, adds a dash of voodoo alligator zombies to this already perfect recipe of a series, and the result is more awesomeness. The fact that there is an alligator voodoo zombie alone should inform you of the absolute quirkiness of this series. It's silly without being unreasonably so and still maintains a balance with the darker elements. All of the lovably quirky characters from the previous six books are back making for a fun story and non stop banter in a book that is non stop action and peril for Lizzie Brown, Demon Slayer extraordinaire.
I love Lizzie on her own as she continues to keep learning about her demon slaying powers and seems to be such a kind caring person. The fact that she even entertains the idea to trek down to New Orleans to fight some unknown force says a lot about her character. One small problem I had was that there was simply not enough of Lizzie's shapshifter husband, Griffin. Lizzie and Griffin are adorable together and I so wanted more of him. There are some very unique characters in this series such as Pirate, Lizzie's talking dog, and the biker witches who could so easily become annoying side characters but they all come off as loveable, fun, and super competent in their abilities.
NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEMON SLAYER lets the good times roll with some badass zombie slaying, strong family ties, and hilarity. I'd recommend this book and series to anyone wanting a bit of quirky humor in their urban fantasy/paranormal romance.
BEAUTY AND THE WEREWOLF is a charming paranormal romance filled with much romantic and family angst. It isReview courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy
BEAUTY AND THE WEREWOLF is a charming paranormal romance filled with much romantic and family angst. It is an even paced story and I enjoyed the werewolf mythos set up in this story. One issue I did have was the fact that Isabelle's dad seems to be intent on her marrying someone from her pack regardless of the fact that the mythos sets up that if you don't find your mate you will die after 300 years. So he is sentencing is daughter to a shortened life due to his bitterness over who her mate ends up being? That's some serious grudge! This apparent grudge against Jack's family led me to really not like Isabelle's family since they are not only giving her a death sentence but also Jack; a person they don't know at all.
I liked the relationship between Jack and Isabelle especially their banter and inner thoughts during the art auctions. It's both sweet and funny. Though I was baffled over the sheer amount of money each of them are able to spend! I swear they each spend a small country's yearly GDP throughout this book. I liked Jack as he was an interesting character being so close to death yet is caring enough to be able to still contribute some good to the art world. Isabelle is equally likable and a good foil to Jack. I was a little confused at Isabelle's ability to create such a masterpiece of artwork in an evening but I am no artist so I guess it's possible?
This is the second installment of the San Francisco Wolf Pack series, and it is filled with a lot of heavy emotions and conflict for the number of pages it has. I was not a fan of many of the secondary characters as they consisted mostly of Isabelle's obsessive grudge holding family. Aside from that issue BEAUTY AND THE WEREWOLF is a good quick read....more
REDZONE came off as really confused as to what genre it wanted to be. For the longest time it felt like I was reading a policeAll Things Urban Fantasy
REDZONE came off as really confused as to what genre it wanted to be. For the longest time it felt like I was reading a police procedural and a one that was at times confusing and slow. There were some hints about mutants and a disease being passed around in world and these mutants are put in redzones for everyone's protection. When Cassandra does eventually go to a redzone it felt like a massive detour from the Bonebreaker serial killer plot of the police procedural section. The two parts didn't connect and both plots were pretty interesting in themselves. The redzone plot was a family drama involving inheritance, betrayal, and great family revelations. The police procedural part was a interesting thriller involving a cat and mouse game between Cassandra and the Bonebreaker which is a continuation from the previous book. There was no science fiction involved in the Bonebreaker case. No random mutants wandering about protesting at their unfair treatment or the Bonebreaker trying to threaten the general public with contamination of this virus. Only when we actually go to a redzone do we see some future tech and mutants.
Anytime a mutant showed up I got excited and immediately disappointed as their mutation is described, they say a few words maybe and the scene goes on. I had so many questions about the mutants and their lives. What are their lives like in the redzones? Do they get subpar medical care? It's mentioned that there is a hierarchy with mutants who don't have visible mutations being thought of as more normal. The mutants are treated as background characters or they don't even really seem mutated until their facial features are described. There could have been an interesting commentary or allusion to how the disabled and people with chronic diseases are treated in society. But no, the mutations seem to be just quirks people have that are only brought up in passing and when the plot thinks it's important.
With an airborne virus such as the flu you can catch it from someone coughing on you as well as from touching a surface someone with a flu or cold has touched. So, someone sneezes on a counter, you touch the counter and rub your eye, you could possibly catch flu. This mutation in REDZONE is so contagious that any spray of fluid (your breath has small water droplets in it even if you don't cough) immediately causes the mutation. My question is do the mutants have to wear gloves then? These mutants shouldn't even be touching non-mutants since sweat and tears can transfer a virus very easily. See the Ebola virus. I know this is fiction and a fictitious virus but I am confused by such a powerful virus being only transmitted through breath.
The conclusion to REDZONE was really dissatisfying as the part in the redzone just sort of ended once Cassandra left and we were straight back to the Bonebreaker plot which was a bit jarring as there was no mention of this plot thread for quite a good section of the story. REDZONE had some nice ideas that I would have loved to have read more about but it was just all over the place genre-wise and plot-wise for me to really enjoy it....more
One of the many aspects of ASHES I liked aside from it's fast and clever plot, and creative action sequences was the additionAll Things Urban Fantasy
One of the many aspects of ASHES I liked aside from it's fast and clever plot, and creative action sequences was the addition of phoenixes. Their culture and abilities were truly fascinating and fun to learn. I liked the whole 'princess is secretly living as a commoner' plot point and I am sure I've read a story about it somewhere at some point but forgot which meant for me that this was a fresh theme to read in a paranormal romance! I loved the blend of old world and new world with royal houses mixing with super powered guns that are far more advanced than anything we have today. The political machinations and complexities of the situation Ana and Cade find themselves in was riveting and filled with some interesting twists.
The characters in ASHES are awesome. Ana, the runaway phoenix 'princess' is an incredibly tough bad-ass especially given the fact that she became one after coming from the cushy upper class. Cade, her former bodyguard now assassin, is pretty brilliant at what he does and he does job with such awesome wit and sarcasm. Sometimes flashback don't do anything for the plot but here they really showed who Ana and Cade were before the events that led to Ana's disappearance. They fit pretty well together and more so after we get an understanding of their close relationship in the flashbacks. The characterization of even the secondary characters were fully realized with full and compelling back stories.
ASHES is a fun ride containing explosive action, subterfuge, and romance. This is a great start to The Divided Kingdom series and I can't wait to learn more about this world....more
I decided to review SONG OF MIDNIGHT EMBERS due to the mention of dryads and elementals in the description. I don't think I'vAll Things Urban Fantasy
I decided to review SONG OF MIDNIGHT EMBERS due to the mention of dryads and elementals in the description. I don't think I've read urban fantasy or paranormal romance involving dryads as central characters. I was fascinated by the mythology and magic of the dryads in this book. I had some trouble wrapping my head around the concept of traveling through the trees and dryads entering their trees but besides that it was really cool to explore a new paranormal creature. At times Greer seemed to come act sort of like a werewolf would with some growls and odd behaviors that I'd associated with shifters but in the end put that down to reading too many books with werewolves in them.
The plot revolving around attacks on various magical inhabitants of Maggie's Grove was really well done and filled with twists and suspense. It's a murder mystery in a small town but with people who have incredibly amazing and varied powers that make the solving of such murders all the more messy and complicated. The plot carries over from book to book and did make figuring out character relationships and minor plot point a touch confusing but it in no way hampered my enjoyment of the book. I will definitely have to go back to the previous books to better understand things and of course read more about some of the very interesting side characters and their mixed paranormal relationships.
Greer and Mollie's relationship is filled with hilarious banter and communication issues that could have been resolved with people simply talking to eachother. The central plot could have been resolved a lot quicker with some talking as well but then there would be no book... I liked seeing Greer and Mollie finally work through their both their communication problems and their insecurities about eachother. They both seemed like fun people and worked really well together so I was rooting for them which is a generally good thing to be doing for a central couple in a romance....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
Whenever I see a new Rainshadow series book come out I admit I get a little excited for more dust bunny advReview courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy
Whenever I see a new Rainshadow series book come out I admit I get a little excited for more dust bunny adventures. I know, I know they are the sidekicks/adorable pets of the main characters who are fabulous and tough and everything I'd want in a heroine. But I love them. These little creations are slightly intelligent tiny balls of fluff with teeth who help out the main characters in their own adorable way. Okay, my gushing about dust bunnies is done for now. On to the actual review of the SIREN'S CALL.
SIREN'S CALL is an eerie mystery set on Rainshadow island. The description of the weather on Rainshadow really helps make the book feel haunting. This is a place of fog, strangeness, and great mystery. You really get a sense of the danger people face even visiting this place for a short time. I love the paranormal creatures Ella and Rafe encounter on the island. They are really unique and quite scary.
I really enjoyed how Ella and Rafe are equals in their abilities and in their relationship. Ella's talent as a siren is really unique and seeing how her powers are used was very cool. It's refreshing in a way to read about characters who aren't really to far out of their depth and can handle themselves compentantly in a paranormal romance. Both characters have their pasts and issues to overcome and deal with them in a mature reasonable way (more or less). I liked seeing them connect and grow together and solve the mystery of how to stop singing paranormal creatures in Rainshadow.
For its eeriness and mystery SIREN'S CALL is a rather fun and quick read. It's a magic filled paranormal mystery filled with alien artifact dealers, singing dinos, mysterious organizations and of course....dust bunnies!...more
WITCHES BE BURNED is full of interesting twists and action set in a really unique world where the OtherworlReview Courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy
WITCHES BE BURNED is full of interesting twists and action set in a really unique world where the Otherworld is in another dimension from our world (Earth). I really want to read more about how these two worlds came to be and so many other things about it in general. The general plot is kind of like a police procedural amped up with vampires, witches, and shifters as the potential bad guys. I enjoyed the political maneuverings they had to do in interacting with the vampires who are supposedly at the center of the murders. Unfortunately I found myself checking to see how many pages I had left to read as they plot seemed to just hand around for a bit before any action happened.
Kyden and Nexie are already an established couple although they are working through their own personal boundaries aka Kyden being cool with Nexie going out to fight bad guys. Their relationship is sweet and they work well together. I was a bit annoyed at Kyden's overprotectiveness at every instance of possible danger to Nexie's life but it's understandable and he tended to back off and compromise with Nexie pretty easily which I liked.
WITCHES BE BURNED is a pretty satisfying, suspenseful paranormal romance. I enjoyed the ways magic is used in this world and how the worldbuilding is set up. I admire any author who can create such a vast and intricate world of magic and mayhem....more
I tend to shy away from many YA books unless I find the premise interesting enough that I must at least givReview courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy
I tend to shy away from many YA books unless I find the premise interesting enough that I must at least give it a try or until the shear popularity of it forces me to take a peek. With THE STORYSPINNER it was the former reason. While there are certainly common elements that are ever present in YA fiction and historical fiction this story takes those elements and twists them deftly into a compelling and unique story. What really kept me going was the fact that every chapter kept giving you a peek at this world from different characters' perspectives. Granted I could have done with two or three less narrators as I lost track of who was where and doing what at times.
The plot has an even amount of quiet reflection and high energy action with intense fights and nightmarish creatures haunting the forest. Along with the page turning plot, the characters are pretty interesting. One of the main characters, Johanna, is a performer in a circus act of sorts. The performers' lifestyle and work was a really fun part of the book to read about and I wished we got to spend more time with Johanna there. Johanna is a classic YA heroine, whose tough, determined, fighting to keep her family together, and has a lot to learn over the course of this story. Aside from Johanna there is a whole cast of characters who are very well rounded and compelling in their own right. There are also some sweet romances and flirtations between a few of the characters which thankfully didn't overpower the plot.
THE STORYSPINNER weaves a magically beautiful tapestry of high adventure and discovery with l with a strong vein of magic running through its core. There is a bit of a cliffhanger so I am very interested to see where this story goes in book two....more
Review courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy SOUTHERN SPIRITS is a fun and surprisingly fast read. I enjoy some quirk in these light paranormal storiesReview courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy SOUTHERN SPIRITS is a fun and surprisingly fast read. I enjoy some quirk in these light paranormal stories and this book is full of quirks from Verity's pet skunk to the many types of ghosts with their own odd issues and relationships. The story follows Verity on her attempt to solve a decades old murder mystery in order to get money to pay off her debt and keep her house. There is a ton of action and suspense along with a pretty clever bad guy reveal that I did not see coming at first. With a decades old murder to solve, Verity ends up going into lots of old haunted buildings and I spent half the time mentally telling Verity to not go down into the very scary, dark room!
I like Verity and admire her courage in being able to adjust to seeing and communicating with ghosts all of a sudden. The secondary characters I loved most were the ghosts she encountered with fun backstories and interesting lives even in their afterlives. The way Verity can 'see' the ghost world is really cool too. I had a hard time warming up to Ellis, Verity's love interest. In part it was due to his being so horrible to Verity in the beginning but as the story went on and they were supposed to grow closer to some sort of romance I couldn't buy it. Perhaps I need to see more interactions between them to really buy more than them having grown from more than mild respect which is what I had for Ellis at the end of SOUTHERN SPIRITS.
One of the touches I love with Angie Fox's stories is her addition of adorable pets. Her Accidental Demon Slayer series had a talking dog, and now The Southern Ghost Hunter Mysteries series has an adorable pet skunk who is the impetus for some very hilarious moments. SOUTHERN SPIRITS is a good start to a lighthearted paranormal mystery series with some loveable characters, spooky sights, and a kindling romance....more
One of the aspects I enjoyed about DRAGON FALL was the world building. I love seeing different takes on dragon lore and thisAll Things Urban Fantasy
One of the aspects I enjoyed about DRAGON FALL was the world building. I love seeing different takes on dragon lore and this one was especially unique.The story follows Aoife as she begins to discover this strange new world filled with dragons except of course she discovers it at a time when there is the greatest conflict and danger for the dragons. The plot is fun and there are a ton of quirky characters and silly moments most of which include Jim, the demon dog. Jim is crazy and so much fun, also Jim is a perfect name for a demonic entity. Like many other Katie MacAlister books there is so much tongue in cheek humor and rapid dialogue in DRAGON FALL.
Aoife was an interesting main character and while she wasn't physically tough she had spirit and was insanely adaptable to the whole concept of dragons existing. One issue I had with her was her odd exclamations such as "Holy cheese whiz!". I found it confusing and weird the first time and every other time she uttered something like that. I wasn't a huge fan of Kostya. He seemed too grumpy and came off as a bit too alpha for my liking. I kind of wanted to shoo away the dark cloud that seemed to follow over his head at times. The romance between Aoife and Kostya is quick and very fun to see evolve.
DRAGON FALL is ridiculous, witty, and satirical. If you like your romance with a heaping dose of silly and irreverence then I'd highly suggest this book and other Katie MacAlister stories as they run along a similar vein....more
In SPIDER'S TRAP Gin is in a new position of power which includes politics and increasing the amount of tiReview courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy.
In SPIDER'S TRAP Gin is in a new position of power which includes politics and increasing the amount of times her life is threatened. I enjoyed seeing how she dealt with more of Ashland's underworld, especially since she so obviously doesn't want to be involved with it. Most of these seedy underworld folk are handled pretty easily with a helping of death by Spider. The real challenge in each of the Elemental Assassin's books comes with the main bad guy of the story. Most of Gin's previous challengers have had some pretty awesome mixes of elemental powers and a yearning for Gin's head on a platter. The bad guy in SPIDER'S TRAP had a really unique power set which gave Gin a very challenging dilemma in how to approach it. It also gave way to a spectacular fight sequence. The issue I had with how Gin figured out who it was and why they were after her was that it took her so long. Not to say that I totally knew from the first page but with the constant flashbacks to a major life event involving said bad guy in Gin's teen years I couldn't help but think that such a huge event would be seared into someone's memory.
Issue aside with Gin's memory loss the pacing was pretty quick, with your usual awesome 'assassin-ing' by Gin with a little help from her friends and family who are in top form in SPIDER'S TRAP. I continue to adore the hilarious banter between Gin and Finn and her relationship with Owen. Gin and Finn's banter is twisted at times but when you grow up in the assassin business it kind of has to be. The fights in this book, like the previous twelve are awesome and bloody hence the need for a touch of gallows humor.
Gin is not only a great assassin but a wonderful cook. Typically when a character makes a meal or sits down to eat something in a book I tend to skip over it as its superfluous information. For some reason, possibly a subconscious need for a release from the bloody violence of Ashland, I slow down and just savor the down-home meals Gin serves up at the Pork Pit. Every dish Gin makes is one I want and I end up hungry after reading one of the Elemental Assassin books. There must be someone out that that has made a list of all of the meals Gin has served up.
SPIDER'S TRAP is lucky number 13 in a series that just wont quit with its excellence. While I've liked some of the books a little less than others, I continue coming back to this wonderful world filled with elemental magic, deadly assassin games, and some down home Southern cooking.
IN THE AIR TONIGHT is a thriller with a few ghosts, dashes of witchery, and some sweet romance. I enjoyed tReview courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy
IN THE AIR TONIGHT is a thriller with a few ghosts, dashes of witchery, and some sweet romance. I enjoyed the fact that this story is set in Wisconsin as not too many books take place in the upper Midwest. The Midwestern vibe is strong in this book and I was afraid we'd forget about it when parts of the plot went to New Orleans. I love that city but I wanted to stay in Wisconsin, luckily they did. Aside from the setting I really enjoyed the magical backstory surrounding Raye. The increasingly complex story of just how Raye ended up where she is and who exactly she is was fascinating. I mean there are witches, secret societies, and witch hunters so what's not to find fascinating?
The actual plot revolving around some brutal murders that shake up Raye's small town really had me scratching my head over just who was doing this and why. I like having no clue since it makes the discovery all the more exciting. There were some aspects of the plot that had me shaking the book wanting people to just talk to eachother and explain things! Then again, some of the 'things' that happen are a bit on the paranormal side and some of these characters might not be able to believe it if they were informed.
Raye grew up seeing ghosts and obviously has to hide it else she end up in an asylum. I loved how she handled her ghosts on a daily basis with a dash of sass and determination. I enjoyed her sweet romance with Bobby. It didn't over take the plot which was really good as it allows the relationship to grow organically behind the scenes. While IN THE AIR TONIGHT has some grizzly murders and violence, its actually pretty light and has some silly moments that bring levity to the darker aspects of the story. Considering Raye is a triplet I'm looking forward to more witchy discoveries, murder, magic, and mayhem in the next two books....more
THE DIAMOND CONSPIRACY is full of steampunk awesomeness as I thought this whole series would be just from reading the story sAll Things Urban Fantasy
THE DIAMOND CONSPIRACY is full of steampunk awesomeness as I thought this whole series would be just from reading the story summary of PHOENIX RISING. It has everything from weird steampunk weapons and tricked out vehicles to intense action and some romance thrown in as well. Add a mad scientist doing creepy experiments and secrets upon secrets and this book is filled with so much delicious ideas. Granted, keeping track of every storyline and who is with who does get a bit confusing but I didn't mind for this story as everything was interesting enough, and the characters compelling enough that I wanted to get a hold of what was going on.
Books and Braun (I love their names!) make a wonderful team and it was fun to see how they work at their new status as a couple. There stubborn 'discussions' are very adorable and highlight exactly why they get along as partners. We are treated to revelations of Wellington Books' rather sad childhood which was really interesting and makes him probably the world's most interesting archivist. There is also a fascinating twist discovered at Books' childhood home that could have some major repercussions for the next book.
I'd advise reading the previous books in Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences before this one to get a better handle on the world or you could be the adventurous type and jump right into this one as is my personal habit with THE DIAMOND CONSPIRACY is a fun, quick paced steampunk action story filled with quick wit, and dastardly bad guys who are simply no match for the brilliance of Books and Braun....more
When reading anthologies I find myself wanting more of some of the stories featured. This feeling came to mReview courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy
When reading anthologies I find myself wanting more of some of the stories featured. This feeling came to me on almost every story in TWELVE SHADES OF MIDNIGHT. They ranged from sweet and sexy to thrilling and dangerous and I will not be satisfied with just these paltry few drops of sweet sweet storytelling. Lucky for us many of these stories will be expanded on! Here are my thoughts on a few of the ones that really stood out for me.
The Witch Next Door by Liliana Hart is a tale about a few witch sisters who protect a town and an encounter with a past love for one of them. It ends on such a tease it would be criminal to not write another story or even series about what mysterious dangers they are running into.
A LOVELY DROP by Darynda Jones has a quite capable heroine who can time travel 24 hours into the past and of course uses her powers for good solving crimes. This story packs a punch in so few pages and I loved exploring this 24 hour time travel concept and how it can be used to help solve crimes. More please!
STONE COLD DEAD by Shea Berkley was a longer story in comparison to the others. The main characters were pretty badass and one of them was a supernatural creature I admit to not encountering in urban fantasy/paranormal romance. This one was pretty dark and thrilling. I enjoyed how the female lead was kind of an avenging superhero.
WITCHED A BIRTH by Dakota Cassidy was hilarious, sweet, and touching. It was basically everything I excepted from a Dakota Cassidy book. We've got a bad girl turned good, rekindling romances, and Baba Yaga being crafty and clever. I want more from this story as I have to know what happens to some of the other characters featured here. This story felt like a whole book with a full plot combined with a clear backstory for the main characters.
BODYGUARDS IN HEELS: HIT AND RUN HALLIE by Angi Morgan This one was a funny, lighthearted story about a FBI agent turned private investigator. I enjoyed the case though I felt like there could have been more information about Hallie's past. Luckily there probably will be more about her as noted by the author's promise at the end of the story.
SWITCHING HOUR by Robyn Peterman This was about Zelda, Winnie's friend from the Dakota Cassidy story which was a pleasant surprise since I had been wondering what happened to Zelda after getting out of jail. Zelda's hilarious banter with her cat Fabio was the highlight for me.
THE FAIRYLAND MURDERS was a interesting mixing of noir detective stories with fairy tales. With this mixturReview courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy
THE FAIRYLAND MURDERS was a interesting mixing of noir detective stories with fairy tales. With this mixture of a gritty murder mystery with light fanciful fairies and princesses you get an at times bizarre world filled with some hilarious interactions between characters. There are some neat references to fairy tale characters and fairy tales. I liked the mystery as it expanded on the tooth fairy mythos making the tooth fairy the center of the fairy world. I like the random cameos of familiar fairy tale characters and this blending of two different genres was really well done.
While I enjoyed most of the secondary characters, I wasn't to taken with Blue Reynolds, the stereotypical noir detective at the center of this story. First of all his 'power' of being a human electrode seemed out of place in a fairy tale/noir detective world. Also, he seems to be very bad at his job considering he has multiple cases open which he is nowhere near solving. Along with being bad at his job he has the classic tragic back story all good detectives must have except all we know is that he was cursed at some point which I guess is the start of a story arc for the rest of the series. I just kind of wanted to know more about it to get the hang of this character better. Blue also comes off as really sexist and many of his comments about women were off putting. I get that that is kind of what noir detectives speak like but Blue came off as really harsh many times.
There is a lot going on in THE FAIRYLAND MURDERS and at times it was a bit confusing but that didn't hurt my enjoyment too much. Perhaps in the next book the ideas and story will feel more settled. I enjoyed this genre mash-up and seeing a different take on fairy tales. I wasn't a fan of Blue Reynolds as he just didn't seem to fit in this world and came off as really incompetent, mean, and sexist....more
What makes JUST IN TIME FOR A HIGHLANDER unique in the 'time traveling to the past historical romance' genrReview courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy
What makes JUST IN TIME FOR A HIGHLANDER unique in the 'time traveling to the past historical romance' genre is that the genders are switched. The guy, Duncan gets shuttled off to the Highlands of Scotland and meets a Scottish lass, Abby and they fall in love.The conflict (aside from Duncan being stuck in a time with no flush toilets) revolves around Abby trying to avoid war with the English, keeping the clan safe, and avoiding a forced marriage. With so much going on the plot was really hard to keep track of. Half the time I kept having to stop and figure out what was happening and to who.
I liked both of the characters and Duncan was really a good sport about being out of his time. He seemed to adjust pretty well though its probably a bit easier for a man to go back in time than a woman considering some of the limitations and attitudes towards women at the time. I was baffled at how he was perfectly fine with staying in the land of no penicillin so soon after he arrived. There didn't seem to be anything about trying to figure out how he got to Scotland or how to get back to his life in the 21st century. It was also interesting to see that Abby was a clan chief which puts her in a position of power yet she is still bound by some of the prejudices and hurdles women had to leap over to be respected.
I am always up for a good time travel story but sometimes the method of time travel is a bit unclear or random for my taste. JUST IN TIME FOR A HIGHLANDER's time travel method seemed really odd and the revelation towards the end of the book left more questions than answers. This story had potential with a female clan chief and a man being sent back in time instead of a woman. Unfortunately it fell flat in the execution of the plot threads which were really hard to follow and the romance got lost in all of the plot too much for me to get invested in it....more
To say the Thieftaker Chronicles series is well researched and practically throws you right into pre-RevolReview courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy.
To say the Thieftaker Chronicles series is well researched and practically throws you right into pre-Revolutionary War Boston with its attention to detail of life and events happening at that point in American history is a massive understatement. Being a history geek I relished in remembering all of the things I forgot from American history class about what was going on then and seeing the smaller daily life details of the tension felt by the American colonists in the 1760's was so much fun. Magic is so easily woven into DEAD MAN'S REACH that I'd almost believe that magic users really did exist in Boston then!
The story in DEAD MAN'S REACH is about the consequences from the previous books and is basically an epic historical thriller with magic thrown in to make things interesting. And interesting it is. I tend to try to play detective along with the main character and here I kept suspecting everyone of being the big bad. I even suspected Ethan Kaille for a half a second out of sheer desperation of trying to figure out the twist. One of the issues I had with this book is the way in which Ethan performs his magic through cutting or biting himself to make himself bleed. I can't stand seeing people slice human flesh on tv and apparently can't handle it when people do it in books. While I enjoyed the uses of magic in this world I almost wanted Ethan to stop just so I wouldn't have to read about him pulling out his knife again.
Knife usage issues aside the characters are just as complex and interesting as the plot of DEAD MAN'S REACH. While I enjoyed Ethan Kaille's tenacity and loyalty I found myself wanting to hear more about the side characters especially Sephira, Ethan's main thieftaker rival. She is one seriously tough woman and while she is one of Ethan's antagonists I so want to know more about her and what her life is like. This is supposedly the last book in the Thieftaker Chronicles but I am hoping for something more in the future. Perhaps there is a short story or another book set in this world?
If you love historical fiction with a touch of magic, and the darkness of a thriller then you'll love DEAD MAN'S REACH and the previous books in The Thieftaker Chronicles.
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
One of the best things about GUNPOWDER ALCHEMY is the fact that the worldbuilding takes place in China duriReview courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy
One of the best things about GUNPOWDER ALCHEMY is the fact that the worldbuilding takes place in China during the Qing Dinasty. I so rarely read books predominately set in Asia so it was refreshing to see steampunk mixed in with Chinese customs and history. I enjoyed seeing some of that culture play a role in the fast paced plot such as the Opium Wars, arranged marriages, and mentions of foot-binding.
Along with this being a historical fiction filled with some steampunky goodness this is a wonderful action adventure. There actually was a good balance of steampunk technology in that the story wasn't to bogged down in technical descriptions of fantastical contraptions. Jin is a strong, smart, heroine who I really felt for right from the start considering her family situation. Her determination to support her family brings her full throttle into the circle of war, politics, and some pretty cool ship battles. The romance is definitely a slow burn to the point that it didn't really feel like there was even a romance there. I see how Jin's relationship with Chang-wei is developing into something more than simple friendship but it barely exists in GUNPOWDER ALCHEMY. Perhaps there will be more romance in the next book between these two? All of the characters have wonderful back stories and are fully realized. I just hope there is more to the romance in later books.
GUNPOWDER ALCHEMY created a wonderful tapestry of epic battles, political intrigue, and a rich setting which made for a great story. I loved seeing Chinese culture and history with a steampunk bent and am looking forward to seeing what the next book brings in the Gunpowder Chronicles. ...more
I've only ever read one other Anita Blake novel and after reading that book I experienced for the first timReview courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy
I've only ever read one other Anita Blake novel and after reading that book I experienced for the first time wanting to unread a story due to reasons too long to write here. Since then, I've been hesitant to even pick up the first few books of this series which are supposed to be excellent according to everyone I've spoken to. I decided to give JASON a chance as I was prepared for the random sexual encounters, throngs of characters, and over explaining of Anita's relationships. I thought I was prepared to have fun with the sex-capade that would be this book especially since the focus would be on Anita's friend Jason and therefore would be a tad different. Wow, was I wrong.
Jason's issue and its resolution is regulated to the side as we are invited to read pages and pages about Anita's complex relationships and personal issues. Now I am pretty darn open about poly relationships but the sheer amount of men this woman is connected to is just ridiculous. I think Anita had a relationship with a barely legal kid according to a passing reference in this story. I think the only other line this woman can cross is bestiality. Although she is having sex with shifters so I guess it could count as bestiality if they did it in were form. I am certain there is a chart out there with all of Anita's relationship connections because someone somewhere has to have figured out this tangled web.
Okay, the plot. I'm pretty okay with a story that has lots of sex though I like a bit more non-sex related action than what was in JASON of which was none. It was all rather not sexy sex and talking. Oh is there talking; talking during sex, talking getting ready for the sex, talking after sex, and more talking. It was work to read through the sex scenes especially since they talked so much through the sex. The issue of Jason wanting to show his girlfriend some rough sex is resolved through demonstrating rough sex with Anita. That's the story. Talking about and planning sex, then having said sex with Jason's issue resolved in a page or two.
With my previously read Anita Blake book I remember getting so frustrated with the talking and standing around to have sex with Anita (she needs to power up with orgies apparently?) while the bad guy ran off and created havoc that I just skipped to the last few pages to see if they got around to catching the bad guy. I think they did and by golly I was rooting for him to get away with it too. JASON doesn't have to worry about silly things like a bad guy or the world ending or plot when there is overly detailed sexytime to be planned and had! I stuck with tradition and skipped to the last few pages to see if anything interesting happens. Guess what...nothing interesting happened....more
DEADLY PURSUIT is an excellent paranormal science fiction adventure. The world building is inspired with shReview courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy
DEADLY PURSUIT is an excellent paranormal science fiction adventure. The world building is inspired with shifters of various sorts, vampires, aliens, living under two powerful sources; The Collective (a large government agency) run by an immortal elite and the Church of Everlasting Life. I love the idea of having all of our familiar paranormal creatures having adventures in space. The plot gets pretty twisty very quickly and really has no dull moments. The romance is a different one especially since Alex is introduced posing as a young boy. It actually took me awhile to adjust to the fact that Alex is indeed an adult woman and that no Jon is not going after a child because I would have stopped reading if that were true. Age and gender confusion aside there are some pretty big hurdles these two have to get through before they actually start their romance. The frustrating part was that they kept getting interrupted any time they start to make some progress in their relationship. They both develop, grow, and learn about themselves and eachother pretty well. Its a slowly building romance with a ton of frustrating interruptions but worthwhile for their happily ever after. DEADLY PURSUIT is an entertaining addition to the genre of sci-fi that is equal parts adventure and romance....more
I always enjoy it when a book takes characters from history and puts a twist on them as GHOST PHOENIX doesReview courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy
I always enjoy it when a book takes characters from history and puts a twist on them as GHOST PHOENIX does with various famous figures from different points in time posing as immortals living in modern times. One issue I had with the story is the use of ‘California slang’ like ‘stellar’. I adored the fact that Richard Plantagenet is an immortal surfer dude but it just seemed so jarring and weird for him to be using slang terms that I am not certain are actually used. Other than that Richard’s story of being prodigal son of the immortal court was interesting albeit the issues he had with the court didn’t seem to be as big of a deal as they were made to be.
Richard’s relationship with Marian is that of the insta-love variety at least on Richard’s part and while its not my favorite trope their relationship evolution was really sweet. Richard’s nickname for Marian upon first seeing her ghost-walking ability was absolutely adorable. I enjoyed Marian’s ability to ghost-walk and how she used it in her family business. I would have actually liked to have a whole book with her using her ability to phase through walls but alas this was not that book.
The story is fast paced starting out as a simple madcapped heist to find the body of Rasputin, only to become a more complex race against time with massive deadly roadblocks in store for Richard and Marian. The conflict with Rasputin was very entertaining and suspenseful. The way in which they incorporated Marian’s ability into the quest to get Rasputin’s DNA was genius. GHOST PHOENIX is a thrilling science fiction adventure story with a sweet romance that doesn’t overwhelm the exciting plot....more
I was attracted to the premise of 'TIL DRAGONS DO US PART with a thief trying to rob a dragon's house durinReview courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy
I was attracted to the premise of 'TIL DRAGONS DO US PART with a thief trying to rob a dragon's house during a dragon wedding. Basically I was excited to see some dragon or dragon shifter action as they I have not been reading enough books with dragons in them lately. Savannah being a dragonmorph thief let to some really unique ways she used her abilities to steal objects. I liked seeing Savannah try and figure out just how she was going to rob Lord Relobu's house during a wedding. The plot moved pretty well and has some amusing moments though I probably would have enjoyed the world better if I had read the previous books in the series.
While I liked the premise I was not feeling the romance between Cameron and Savannah. Perhaps it was due to the shorter length of the book but they seemed to go from just meeting to falling in love with absolutely no build up in between. This wasn't the magical insta-love that happens in paranormal romances which I accept and understand if its explained logically. This was completely random and I felt no connection between these two at all especially since they don't spend all that much time together in the story.
The side characters were pretty amusing and quirky in their own rights. I was a bit confused as to the actual size of the dragons in comparison to the humans though. Dragon scale and romance issues aside, 'TIL DRAGONS DO US PART was a satisfying light dragon romance for the dragon shifter lover in your life....more
PENUMBRA continues the quick pacing and action of the previous two books in this series. I liked figuring oReview courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy
PENUMBRA continues the quick pacing and action of the previous two books in this series. I liked figuring out just exactly what Sam is and how she fits into the vast network of government clones running amok around the world. I loved discovering Sam's powers along with her and how she learns about them was fascinating. This series storyline with an almost never ending rabbit hole of discoveries about just what the government has been doing in regards to human cloning reminded me of the television show Orphan Black which is all about clones and government cover ups. Since I adore Orphan Black you can bet I loved the premise of this series and had fun figuring out where the story was going and what new types of government craziness was going to be uncovered.
The characters are all fun and very well developed. The relationship between Gabriel and Sam as I understand was supposed to be a romance of some sort yet I really didn't feel anything romantic between them. They kept butting heads with Gabriel pushing Sam away and acting like a jerk as Sam attempts to flirt with him unsuccessfully. It got to the point that it became really annoying to have to read. I kind of didn't want them to get together and really they didn't which worked out for my hopes I guess.
The big issue I had with PENUMBRA was the fact that the ending just fizzled out. From what I understand there was supposed to be a fourth book that didn't happen for some reason which explains the random ending to this series. I loved the worldbuilding and storyline of PENUMBRA. The ending and the relationship between Sam and Gabriel were unfortunate downsides to an otherwise great book....more