A really neat, really new... really fresh premise, merging American folklore with Clockpunk Fantasy! There's was a bit in the end battle that I felt a...moreA really neat, really new... really fresh premise, merging American folklore with Clockpunk Fantasy! There's was a bit in the end battle that I felt a tad overlong (and as a result skimmed through) but it was still a very unique read. I am intrigued to read the next one, and might even see my way to re-read this again when the sequel gets published (in 2010, likely). The bits I liked the best were with Jolie, Ray, and the characters in the Ballyhoo trying to get to know one another, that is where Bemis' strength lies, character interaction. He can craft a hell of an interesting plot, but his strength are his characters and how they develop.
Fans of fantasy won't want to miss this one. Unique, bizarre, oddball, eccentric, and very much it's own singular piece of work. Enjoy it with a relish, because you won't ever find anything like this. Trust me. (less)
Ethan has lived and longed to leave Gatlin County all of his life. But that was before Lena Duchannes breezed into town like a hurricane. This outcast...moreEthan has lived and longed to leave Gatlin County all of his life. But that was before Lena Duchannes breezed into town like a hurricane. This outcast is brutally attractive to Ethan but there's a problem... no one else accepts the new girl immeadiately, causing problems for Ethan who has always been one of the Gatlin community. Will he turn his back on everything he has ever known to embrace a girl who has a curse looming over her head.
This is a gorgeously written book, full of depth, mood, and heart. Combine the atmosphere of a Tennessee Williams play with the racial issues of "To Kill a Mockingbird"... and then add the beautiful and tragic angst of a young adult romance. It's good...it's oh so good. This has become one of my favourite books published this year, and I cannot wait to read more of this world by these two new promising authors.
Tera Lynn Childs’ books are always fun, fanciful, and full of magic. I like the ease of reading them. In and out quick, no muss no fuss. Her character...more Tera Lynn Childs’ books are always fun, fanciful, and full of magic. I like the ease of reading them. In and out quick, no muss no fuss. Her characters are always likeable and wonderfully flawed individuals who are enjoyable to read.
Forgive My Fins follows in the footsteps of Childs’ previous Goddess series (which at this time, I lament, is not being picked up for a third book by the publisher, boo!). Whereas the Goddess series concentrates on Phoebe and co. and their exploits in Greece Fins follows young Lili through her love misadventures in human high school. She’s only half human, the latter half is mermaid. And she’s not just any mermaid but heiress to the Thalassinian throne.
Problem is, she has to be bonded by her 18th birthday to claim any right to the throne.
Second problem, her object of desire, Brody, doesn’t even know she exists. What to do?
With the help of her annoying neighbor, Quince, Lily just may be able to attract Brody’s attention after all. There’s just one catch; Lily has found herself accidentally bonded to Quince instead and will do anything to sever the ties to get the man of her dreams.
Like I said, it’s fun. It’s light. It wanders a bit more romantic than I usually like, but I found the relationships compelling enough. Where it deserved a few eyerolls was in Childs’ overuse of all metaphors fishy to create expressions, swear words, sayings, euphemisms, innuendos, etc. etc. One a page was fine. After many the eyes start to shoot heavenward and the sighs increase tenfold. When it comes down to it though I lost myself in a pleasant book for the entirety of an afternoon and, ridiculous metaphors aside, that always says something.
4 out of 5 stars to Childs for this one. I am intrigued to read her new Medusa Girls books when they come out in 2011, as well as Fins 2.
Jane True is a broken woman. 8 years ago her true love, Jason, was killed in a swimming accident in the ocean. The problem is, it's all Jane's fault....moreJane True is a broken woman. 8 years ago her true love, Jason, was killed in a swimming accident in the ocean. The problem is, it's all Jane's fault.
Jane has always a secret she kept from her beloved. She swims at night, no matter how cold or how rough the sea is she has to swim to balance herself. But since Jason's accident she has lived in the small Maine town of Rockabill with her ailing father, blaming herself for everything that has happened and not moving on with her life... Until a visiting writer named Peter Jakes is found on the beach, by Jane herself. Now Jane is involved in a small town murder and the only relief comes in a handsome stranger named Ryu who has come to investigate the crime.
I unabashedly loved this book. It had me laughing (out loud) from the first page. Because of Peeler's strong writing it feels as if Tempest Rising is a satirical take on the Urban Fantasy genre. And what a Satire! Shades of Christopher Moore abound, but slightly more subtle and less frenetic. It feels very similiar in tone to the Sookie Stackhouse novels by Charlaine Harris but much better written and conceived. What I loved about Sookie shows up in this but not in a plagiaristic way, and what I hated about Sookie is no where to be found. Plus Jane True is a likeable, fun, funny, and interesting head to be in. I love reading her. I love that Peeler created her. This is such a fun book.
I adored it. Outright. I can't wait for the next one. (less)
I just finished a treat – Tracking the Tempest by Nicole Peeler. It’s an excellent and fun read from Peeler for the second time in a row, I’m happy to...more I just finished a treat – Tracking the Tempest by Nicole Peeler. It’s an excellent and fun read from Peeler for the second time in a row, I’m happy to broadcast.
We open on Valentine’s day. Jane and Ryu have a pleasure romp planned in Boston. But when the date ends in flames (literally) Jane finds herself caught up in an investigation that may hit too close to home…herself.
I’ve been a fan of these since reading Tempest Rising in November and have made it one of my tasks at work to share Peeler’s world with anyone who cares. As of the release of Tracking I have successfully handsold 100 copies of the first one (bragging rights, raise the roof). So, of course I was thrilled to dip back into the world of Rockabill Maine and it’s denizens. Well, I adore Jane True. I adore Rockabill and all of Jane’s outcast, quirky friends. I really adore Ms. Peeler’s writing.
I keep telling people two things when they ask me about the Tempest series. One is that Peeler’s savvy writing had me at hello (it’s funny and hip and so smart that I feel she’s satirizing the entire Urban Fantasy genre while, in tandem, revolutionizing it). And two; these books are better than Charlaine Harris‘ Sookie Stackhouse books. For real. They are alike enough to make the comparison (outcast heroine with something off about her, vampire boyfriend, supernatural mystery element, small narrow-minded town, etc. etc.) but unlike enough that people can enjoy both of the series as wholly separate entities, which they are. My thing, I don’t find Peeler’s Tempest books to be ridiculous, guilty pleasures that make me roll my eyes constantly. I find the writing to be utterly satisfying. The characters are all fresh and edgy, and Jane’s oddball antics and inner dialogues have me riotously laughing (and reading aloud to other people at every chance I get).
I’m crestfallen to have to wait until January for Tempest’s Legacy but that is the bookseller’s cross to bear. Rest assured that I will be reading Nicole Peeler at the earliest chance I get. I can’t wait to see what she pulls out next.
I started Kiersten White's debut novel Paranormalcy (great portmanteau) last night... and I'm done. Twenty-four hours later. Yeah.
And I read the whole thing! Squee. It's fast, it's funny, it's edgy, it's a whole lot of fun.
Evie lives and works for the International Paranormal Containment Agency. She's been there since she was 8 and she longs for a normal life. But when you're best friend is a mermaid and you can see through supernatural glamours normal, clearly, becomes relative. One day she intakes a shape shifting young man named Lend who opens up possibilities in Evie's life, despite her guardian Raquel's heavy sighs.
Paranormalcy had me at hello. Right out of the gate I knew this would be a fun read. The writing is spectacular, chock full of giggles and gasps in tandem. The characters are impacting and well constructed. I adored Evie - the pretty pink girl with an obsession with all things "normal"... normal being defined as what she sees in high school dramas on television. It's not surprising that Lend is so attractive to Evie. He represents the unknown and Evie is drawn to him. I even liked reading about bad boy Reth, a faerie who is a part of Evie's past.
It's romance. It's silly (in a good way). It's a super fast read. Basically, it's Hellboy with a spunky pink clad foul-mouthed heroine... even though the swearing is all censored. It's exactly what I wanted this week.
Charlie Madigan died 8 months ago and was resurrected. Now she experiences a host of bizarre side effects…the ability to see people’s auras for one. S...moreCharlie Madigan died 8 months ago and was resurrected. Now she experiences a host of bizarre side effects…the ability to see people’s auras for one. She’s also experiencing horrible nightmares which influence her sleep and creep into her days. Charlie works for the ITF, or the Integration Task Force, policing the good and the baddies that are finding their way from the nearby dimensional planes. Charbydon and Elysia resemble heaven and hell, and they definitely have there share of angels and demons.
When a girl at a local school goes comatose, likely under the influence of a terrible new street drug named “ash”, Charlie is called in to investigate. The case hits home because the young woman, one Amanda Mott, is close to Charlie’s daughter, Emma. Charlie vows to help Amanda anyway she can, but when the case takes several different directions it’s all Charlie can do to not bring those she loves into it.
“The Better Part of Darkness” is an interesting read. However, I’m not sure if I will go rushing for the sequel. At first I felt like I was just re-reading Kim Harrison’s “Hollows” series with a slightly different mythos. It becomes apparent quite quickly that this initial impression is flawed. The Christian overtones add some interest, as does the fact that Charlie is a mother (Something one doesn’t always find in the Urban Fantasy/Paranormal genre)… however, I’m not wowed. Will I handsell it to my customers. Yes, very likely. Will I keep it around to put in people’s hands for “A very different read”…probably… so why wasn’t I wowed?
Maybe it gets better in the second book… a distinct possibility.
…Maybe it suffered from being read just after I finished Caragh O’Brien’s “Birthmarked”… an extreme probability. Whenever I find something I’m uber giddy geeked about (as I am with Birthmarked) the next read always suffers a tad. Fact.
So, what’s wrong with the read? It’s got a great premise? It’s got a great heroine? It’s got a lot of interesting diverse mythos, and I enjoyed reading it. Let’s chalk it up to poor timing, and leave it at that. I liked it. I guess I wanted to like it more, but four of five stars is still pretty good.
Poor timing. Sorry, Kelly Gay. It’s entirely my fault. Or, at the very least, blame Caragh O’Brien. (less)
Well, I'm very happy with the latest release by Nicole Peeler. These books are always a treat, but the third book in the series quite simply blew me a...moreWell, I'm very happy with the latest release by Nicole Peeler. These books are always a treat, but the third book in the series quite simply blew me away. I think it's my favourite in the series currently, and the books just keep getting better and better. Shiny.
Tempest's Legacy picks up shortly after the events of book 2. Jane is training vehemently on her offensive power while staunchly avoiding Ryu, whose relationship has become strained. She's also developing feelings for her Barghest partner, Anyan, who has been by her side since the beginning. Suddenly news arrives of females being attacked... and Jane gets news of the one person she most wants to hear about. Jane leaves Rockabill with co. in tow in order to pursue these rumours and hopefully, at last, find... her absent mother.
Like I said earlier this book simply Rocked. My. World. Great concept. Great execution. I always enjoy following Jane around anyways, but when I go for a while between books (and these are pretty much auto-reads upon release) I love getting back into her head. I adore her voice... the voice of her virtue and her libido as well. She's always so much fun to read. The fact that the sexual tension is so heightened between Jane and Anyan in this one is sheer delight. I was getting over Ryu, so I'm gunning for Anyan hard. I usually don't get all swoony and moony over characters, but I really want these two to end up. In fact if Jane can figure out a way to launch herself vagina-first at Anyan I think that could potentially make my life.
Solid 5 out of 5 stars... Actually, scratch that... 6 out of 5 stars. I loved it. Nicole Peeler has not only become my favourite Orbit author, but could also be writing my favourite Urban Fantasy series. Again. I. Love. It.
Beautiful Darkness is a reread for me. I read it first in July of 2010, when I couldn't talk about the book because everything I might talk about coul...more Beautiful Darkness is a reread for me. I read it first in July of 2010, when I couldn't talk about the book because everything I might talk about could be construed as a spoiler. Sitting down to type this now, however, I realize that pretty much everything I can say about this book even now is an actual spoiler, and that makes it hard to write a review that will not offend someone.
But I'm going to try. Because I can. And because my previous boasty review of this needs to be stricken.
* Spoilers for those who have not read Beautiful Creatures *
Lena's sixteenth birthday has come and gone. The claiming failed and now Lena is stuck between two states, the dark and the light, with both sides warring for her powers. She is heartbroken over her Uncle Macon's death and this puts a lot of strain on her relationship with Ethan. Ethan is not the same either; he sees visions and longs for the relationship he once had with Lena. But as the months stretch onto her seventeenth birthday Lena begins to drift from him. She is spending more time with the Dark Casters in her family. Ethan finds comfort in the Librarian with Marian and, more importantly, Marian's British research assistant, Liv. Lena's birthday rocked the supernatural foundation of Gatlin to its core and, as the book goes on, Ethan vows to find a way to bring back the girl he loves.
There's a piece in the middle of these books where the pacing is incredibly slow. I didn't notice it on the first reads because I was impatient to know what the hell was going on. I'm noticing it more on the second read, a dull middle bit where the reader wades through the plot like quick sand. I know it's intentional, and therefore I can't fault it on the author's part. These books are always plot heavy in the end and world building/character heavy in the front. It's just the way that Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl structure their novels. However, it has been noted - the middle drags a little. Make a note as a reader and do not be surprised.
The characters are what really shine in these books though. Ethan has always been a favourite male narrator of mine. His resourcefulness and empathetic nature have always appealed to me. His love for Lena is both tragic and beautiful. These two are fundamentally different people - he's human and she is, well... not. It causes some ripples in their relationship throughout the entire series. That they keep trying to be together, despite the odds, is what makes these books work. The doomed nature of their relationship is gorgeous.
The side characters are also a fantastic addition - Link and Ridley, Amma and *sniff* Macon, the great Aunts, Lena's Caster family, even some of the cattier girls at Ethan and Lena's school figure in well to the story. Without some human element of drama it would fall flat, and the high school addition reminds us that Ethan, at least, is human.
The latter part of this book is where the action really sings. And I had forgotten the ending, particularly the bit about the older woman (I hope I am being nebulous enough). That was my favourite part of the book.
So, with Darkness done we march onto Beautiful Chaos, with a vengeance.
5 out of 5 stars. I still love it, even with the drag. We all need a little drag in our lives, sometimes.