Expected Release Date: February 26, 2013 Publisher: HarperCollins Imprint:...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic
Expected Release Date: February 26, 2013 Publisher: HarperCollins Imprint: Avon Author’s Website: http://www.joss-ware.com/ My Source for This Book: Edelweiss Part of a Series: Yes, Book 6, Envy Chronicles Series Best Read In Order: Yes Steam Level: Steamy Pet Peeves: Magic Peen Favorite Tropes: Secret Identity, On The Run
I’m a big fan of this series, and as such, it scored high marks for the progression of the series’ overall story progression, as well as the individual characters. I loved Remy, with her closely guarded identity and trust issues, and Wyatt is probably my favorite male lead from the entire series so far.
The only problem is, I didn’t really care for them as a couple. I think there was just too much fresh grief for Wyatt and too many fresh scars for Remy for me to buy this magical romance between them, and I found myself dreading the love scenes rather than looking forward to them, even though they were written with Ms. Ware’s trademark skill.
Even so, I still enjoyed the book as a whole, and as a fan of the series, am quite pleased. I can’t wait for the next book in the series.
Expected Release Date: November 29, 2012 Publisher: Samhain Imprint: N/A A...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: November 29, 2012 Publisher: Samhain Imprint: N/A Author’s Website: http://www.moirarogers.com My Source for This Book: Gift from the author (Bree) Part of a Series: Yes, Book 1, Children of the Undying. Series Best Read In Order: N/A Steam Level: Hot
Clocking in at only around 100 pages, Demon Bait packs quite a bit of punch for what could be considered a relatively low word count. With a captivating universe where evil demons have taken over and the world’s human population has taken to the underground for protection, much of a person’s life is spent in virtual reality. Having blamed summoners for bringing down the scourge of demons, humans live in fear and prejudice against those who may carry demon or summoner blood.
Marci was wonderful. She was a strong character without being bitchy, and Gabe was alpha while still desperately trying to find a balance between his instincts and actual consideration for Marci.
While I do of course wish there’d been a few more details of both the history of the demon/summoner relationship and of the realities of the world outside of the compounds, I still found this an incredibly satisfying read.
As always, the love scenes are steamy without ever feeling gratuitous, and the ending was absolutely perfect.
A delightfully solid 4.5/5 Stars, and I’m very much looking forward to reading the sequel.(less)
I'll be honest, if it hadn't been for Thomas, as in, if his entire character had been cut...more(free from the Kindle Store)
This one was...... interesting.
I'll be honest, if it hadn't been for Thomas, as in, if his entire character had been cut out as well as everything having to do with him? This would've easily been a 4.5 or a 5. There was excitement, romance (eh, kinda), mystery, time travel, post-apocalyptic society, all sorts of goodies that I love.
And then there was Thomas.
Well, to be fair, there was also a little too much confusion between when she jumped times (though I think some of that was intentional), and I didn't care for the rapes Safire suffered at the hands of her captors, but I could forgive that since it was off-screen.
There were also quite a few editing errors which threw me off, but even with those errors, I did enjoy the main storyline.
This is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic. Please note the full review contains spoilers for previous novels in th...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic. Please note the full review contains spoilers for previous novels in the series.
Expected Release Date: May 22, 2012 Publisher: Grand Central Publishing Imprint: Forever Author’s Website: http://larissaione.com My Source for This Book: Netgalley Part of a Series: Yes, Book 3, Lords of Deliverance (Spinoff of the Demonica Series) Series Best Read In Order: Yes Steam Level: Steamy
I've been a fan of the Demonica Series, and subsequently the Lords of Deliverance Series since their inception, and this book is no exception. Full of action, drama, steamy romance, and terrifying plot twists, I was happy to see that Than and Regan still had the same intense chemistry that we'd witnessed between them in Immortal Rider.
The main thing keeping this book from being a 5-star read was simply the fact that as Book 3 of a spin-off of another 5-Book series, it tends to be a case of "more of the same". While I was glad to see that certain long-standing elements of the series-wide story arc were resolved, I admit that there were several instances where I was tempted to skim over parts that were feeling a bit repetitive. Also, since Than and Regan's story began in the previous book, much of the early story was spent rehashing the dramatic and even traumatic way that Regan got pregnant to being with.
That said, I loved them as a couple. Regan and Thanatos are easily my favorite couple of the Lords of Deliverance series, and I was very pleased to see so much of the delicious chemistry and snarky by-play that I'd enjoyed so much in Immortal Rider.
I admit that I was a little disappointed that we didn't get more background on Reaver and Harvester, but they played a big enough part to keep me from protesting TOO loudly (not to mention the setup for the next book!).
I do, of course, think that this story is best suited for those who have already read, at bare minimum, the previous book in the series, simply because there is so much history that newcomers will either be totally lost, or miss out on the significance of many of the story's developments.
While this is not my favorite title by Larissa Ione, I can easily say it's my favorite installment of the Lords of Deliverance series, and as such is very firmly on my keeper shelf.
A solid 4.5/5 Stars
Lords of Deliverance Series Reading Order: * Eternal Rider * Vampire Fight Club (Novella in the Supernatural anthology) * Immortal Rider * Lethal Rider * Apocalypse: the Lords of Deliverance Compendium (less)
Expected Release Date: October 1, 2011 (Available Now!) Publisher: Harper...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: October 1, 2011 (Available Now!) Publisher: HarperCollins Imprint: Avon Impulse Author’s Website: http://kckleinbooks.com/ My Source for This Book: Gift from the author Part of a Series: Possibly* Series Best Read In Order: N/A Steam Level: Steamy
Dark, gritty, and utterly entrancing, this book absolutely blew my socks off.
Let me backtrack for just a moment. To be perfectly honest, things got off to a bit of a slow start for me. The first three chapters had me a bit wary — Kris, with her perfect manicure, carefully tamed and colored curly hair, cartoon-character panties, and rather cowardly attitude seemed far too weak to be a heroine of any sort of post-apocalyptic, futuristic story, and to be honest, my assessment was correct. That Kris absolutely was too weak to be a heroine.
However, Chapter Four is where the book really starts to shine, when Kris is catapulted into a world of pain, fear, tough decisions, and horrible sacrifices. Completely out of her element, she does what any modern day woman would do — she flounders, badly. Stubborn, angry, frightened, indignant, mouthy, and impulsive, she is quite literally her own worst enemy in a world that she neither belongs in nor understands.
Her relationship with ConRad gets off to what is quite possibly the rockiest of starts imaginable — thinking she’s an alien spy, he’s fully prepared to torture her for information, and makes no qualms about threatening her, physically hurting hurt, and doing whatever else may be necessary to coerce her into telling him the truth. He can’t believe she could possibly be from the past, and even if she is, she’s a danger to everyone in the compound. ConRad is a hardened warrior who has lived his entire life making tough decisions and sacrifices for the greater good of both their compound and of mankind in its entirety. He’s tough. He’s brutal in his decision-making. He’s unapologetically in charge and not afraid to use his authority as he sees fit, even when it tramples on the rights of others.
And I adored him.
This book is dark. It’s bloody. It’s violent. All of the characters, not just the main protagonists, are put through literal hell more times than I can count. And yet out of that darkness bloomed an absolutely gorgeous love story against seemingly impossible odds. Both ConRad and Kris have had quite a bit of trauma in their pasts, and throwing in her tendency to lie to him, and his utterly devastating betrayal of her, and it truly seemed as if these two characters never had a chance. Yet, I believed in their romance. Two lost souls, surrounded by unspeakable horror, finding solace in each other? Utterly and absolutely delicious.
Yes, this book had a few minor issues. There were some unanswered questions in the world-building, only a fly-by mention of why there weren’t a ton of paradoxes created by the time travel, and at one point I found it very hard to believe that Kris had emotionally recovered so quickly from what was a truly horrible betrayal and some of the most brutal torture I’ve ever read about in a romance. But you know what? I don’t care. Even with all of those things, I loved this book so much I want to marry it and have its babies (if, you know, I weren’t married already, and it weren’t both illegal and creepy to marry a book), and I am desperately hoping I am able to get my hands on more of this author’s writings in the future.
A very raw 5/5 Stars
*There is a sci-fi novella planned for February release based in the same world but with different characters. Details have not yet been worked out as to whether or not there will be an actual sequel to Dark Future (but oh how I hope so!).(less)
Expected Release Date: September 14, 2011 (Available Now!) Publisher: Sel...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: September 14, 2011 (Available Now!) Publisher: Self Published Imprint: N/A Author’s Website: http://www.shannonmayer.com/ My Source for This Book: Amazon.com Part of a Series: Yes, Book 2 Nevermore Zombie Apocalypse Trilogy Series Best Read In Order: YES Steam Level: Steamy
Nevermore Trilogy Book II
Rumours and whispers of a cure have reached Mara’s ears and hope that has been denied for so long begins to grow once more. But, if she is to find the cure, to help Sebastian, she must face down a whole new set of dangers. A sadistic army General whose hatred knows no bounds. A brilliant scientist whose love for his lost wife drives him to madness. And a new pack of Nevermores . . .
Sensitive readers should know going in that there is a child death in this story.
While this one did end in what I would consider to be a "cliff-hanger", I do have to admit that it was a much better stopping point than that of the previous installment, Sundered.
Even having not read the final installment, Dauntless (expected release October 31, 2011), I have to say my very strong opinion thus far is that the entire series should probably be consolidated into a single, longer story and given a higher price point. While I understand that the current price of ninety-nine cents for Sundered, and right at three dollars for Bound, is a definite selling point for readers unfamiliar with the author, the fact that this book picks up literally a sentence after the last one left off makes it virtually impossible for readers unfamiliar with the series to really get the full benefit of the story. While the general gist of the history of the apocalypse is covered, as is the relationship between Mara and Sebastian, I do think that some readers who did not read Sundered will be highly disappointed with just how obvious it is that the first book is an integral part of this one.
That said, I would still recommend both Sundered and Bound to any fan of zombie apocalypse fans, especially those who prefer a strong romantic theme. Gritty, violent, tragic, and terrifying, this whole series also manages to be touching, romantic, and at times, even sexy (which let me tell you, is an achievement considering the hero is a zombie). Just make certain that you pick up the first book before attempting this one and you won't have any problems.
I am actually very excited to have found this author. Even with the slightly-campy feel to the initial premise, her skill in creating believable characters and writing both action and love scenes is truly much more than I've experienced in a self-published author in quite some time. I am very anxiously awaiting the final installment on Halloween, and can't wait to see what becomes of Mara, Sebastian, Scout, Buck, and the others.
Recommended for fans of fresh takes on the zombie apocalypse trope, of normal people surviving on their wits, and of a love that not even a zombie infection can stop.
Expected Release Date: September 2, 2011 (Available Now!) Publisher: Self...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: September 2, 2011 (Available Now!) Publisher: Self Published Imprint: N/A Author’s Website: http://www.shannonmayer.com/ My Source for This Book: Amazon.com Part of a Series: Yes, Book 1 Nevermore Zombie Apocalypse Trilogy Series Best Read In Order: N/A Steam Level: Warm
Official Blurb: A miracle drug, Nevermore, spreads like wildfire throughout the world allowing people to eat what they want, no matter how unhealthy it is and yet still lose weight. It is everything the human population has ever dreamed of and Mara is no different. Only a simple twist of fate stops her from taking the drug.
As the weeks roll by, it becomes apparent that Nevermore is not the miracle it claimed. A true to life nightmare, the drug steals the very essence that makes up humanity and unleashes a new and deadly species on the world, a species bent on filling its belly. Locked down within their small farm home, Mara and her husband Sebastian struggle against increasingly bad odds, fighting off marauders and monsters alike.
But Sebastian carries a dark secret, one that more than threatens to tear them apart, it threatens to destroy them both and the love they have for each other.
The secret forces Mara to make the ultimate choice. Will she live for love, or will she live to survive?
While I do think that the overall premise was a bit on the unbelievable side, it helped give the story a rather campy feel, which I enjoyed. Add to that the fact that while it was a "zombie apocalypse" story, as even the title will attest to, it wasn't the same old same old where some kind of virus was spreading, and I LOVED the idea that not only was the Nevermore syndrome not contagious, but that there was the possibility of the zombies actually procreating.
The entire situation with Sebastian, of course broke my heart, but even more than that was the knowledge that the entire world had changed, and that there were a lot of little things taken for granted that would no longer be available (such as feminine products or even basic food and water).
I will also be VERY interested to see what comes next with Mara's physical condition. Even having not taken Nevermore, it's still hard on the body to be as malnourished as she is by the end of the story, and with her severe allergy to the medicine and even the proximity to those infected, I'm very curious to see how her body will cope with the Nevermores so physically close to her.
I was not at all pleased that there was a cliff-hanger ending, but for readers like me who can't stand that sort of end to a story, please note that there was a small preview for the next novel in the series at the end that does help to take some of the sting out of it.
Overall, I actually liked it a lot more than I thought I would. The characters were surprisingly well-developed, and the book was all at once exhilarating, terrifying, hopeful, and heartbreaking.
With just enough humor and lightness to balance out the guts and horror, I think this one will be a favorite of any fan of slightly campy zombie horror stories, and I for one am looking forward to reading the next installment.
Expected Release Date: December 1, 2011 (Available Now!) Publisher: Gran...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceacholic.
Expected Release Date: December 1, 2011 (Available Now!) Publisher: Grand Central Publishing Imprint: Forever Author’s Website: http://larissaione.com/ My Source for This Book: Won in a contest/Netgalley Part of a Series: Yes, Book 2, Lords of Deliverance (a spin-off of the Demonica series) Series Best Read In Order: Yes Steam Level: Steamy
I was so incredibly torn with this book when trying to come up with a final rating. On one hand, it’s a favorite series of mine, so of course the underlying plot grabbed my by the privates and wouldn’t let me go. I also enjoyed Limos with all of her different faces — innocent, loving and loyal sister, warrior, liar, manipulator, and woman. Erik was wonderful as well, with not only his strength in refusing to break under torture but also his desire for revenge, and how he came to care for Limos despite his disappointment and anger with her. Then of course, there’s the byplay with Reaver and Harvester (and c’mon, I can’t be the only sick puppy who sincerely hopes they end up together in the end, can I?), and Reseph/Pestilence and the possibly futile hope that there may be a way to bring him back. The delicious sexual tension between two other characters was deliciously hot, and there was plenty of angst to be had.
On the other hand, there was the rape of a major character (though to be fair some readers may feel it was more of a case of “dubious consent”) — something that I truly want to rant about for several paragraphs but cannot without giving away spoilers. There was very little chemistry and sexual tension between Limos and Erik until the very end of the story. There was so much gore and horror and action and torture that I found myself becoming bored with major injuries instead of sympathetic or concerned for the characters in question.
So in the end, this was not a 5-star book for me, no matter how much I adore the series as a whole and am in love with Ms. Ione’s writing style and world-building. However, so much of the book’s positive points are a large collection of small things that I cannot mention them all without actually retelling the story or giving major spoilers. While it may, at first glance, appear that there are more negative points in my review than positive, that’s certainly not the case. The book absolutely sucked me in, chewed me up, and spit me out, leaving me begging for more. Despite any misgivings I may have had about a few points in this story, I am already anxiously awaiting the sequel, Lethal Rider, due out in late spring of 2012.
Incredibly poetic and strangely thought-provoking, this is probably one of the coolest "non-romance novels" I've ever read. Unapologetically full of b...moreIncredibly poetic and strangely thought-provoking, this is probably one of the coolest "non-romance novels" I've ever read. Unapologetically full of blood and gore, the underlying romance and life is absolutely wonderful. Using a definite (and obvious) parallel to Romeo and Juliet (there's even a balcony scene for cripe's sake), there's a decidedly non-tragic ending, which pleased me greatly. I'd love a sequel.
I agree with other reviewers that Perry's death could've been so much... more, instead of being glossed over and easily forgiven by everyone, but even so, I adored it.
Expected Release Date: July 31, 2012 Publisher: HarperCollins Imprint: Avo...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: July 31, 2012 Publisher: HarperCollins Imprint: Avon Author’s Website: http://www.joss-ware.com/ My Source for This Book: Edelweiss Part of a Series: Yes, Book 5, Envy Chronicles Series Best Read In Order: Yes Steam Level: Steamy Pet Peeves: “Ex” In The Picture Favorite Tropes: Physically Imperfect or Scarred, Phobia
I’d forgotten how much I enjoy this series. This one features a heroine who has a physical disability, and a hero with an emotional one (phobia/PTSD) — very interesting combination to say the least, especially when the combination of the two makes their relationship seem almost impossible from the beginning.
And of course, the overall story arc with the Elite, Atlanteans, the zombies, and Envy all continue towards their conclusion, which was pleasing to me as a fan of the series in general. As this is book 5 in the series, I wouldn’t really recommend it as a jumping-off point to newcomers, though I have to admit, Ms. Ware did a fantastic job of giving relevant backstory up to this point without ever feeling as though it were out of place or a case of “info-dump”.
Expected Release Date: Available Now! Publisher: Carina Press Author’s Web...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: Available Now! Publisher: Carina Press Author’s Website: http://marieharte.blogspot.com/ My Source for This Book: Netgalley Part of a Series: No Steam Level: Scorching
When I first read the blurb, I was a little concerned, because it says “Drawn by her lush beauty, he agrees to guide Miranda across the Plains if she’ll let him explore her body each night.” This bothered me for two reasons — first, it made Danner sound like a complete jerk who would exploit a woman in a desperate situation, and second, it made Miranda sound like a bit of a loose woman, and I tend to prefer my heroines to be a bit more chaste, especially in historicals or steampunk stories.
I shouldn’t have worried, because while that is indeed the bargain that they made, the circumstances surrounding it completely set my mind at ease, and I immediately liked both Miranda and Danner. The chemistry between the two was explosive, and the love scenes were enough to leave a reader panting.
The vast majority of things that didn’t work for me all happened in the very last part of the story. The beginning was fantastic, and I absolutely loved the world that Ms. Harte has created, where gods and goddesses of old punish humans with god-bolts of lightning, where technology once existed but is now forbidden, where steampunk-like elements such as clockwork spyders (complete with the ability to spin incredible silk webs) roam with wild plains, and where children of the gods roam the earth seeking to correct injustices. Add to that the incredibly delicious encounters between Miranda and Danner, and you’ve got the makings of a very good story.
Had the worldbuilding been more detailed, and maybe some of the ending action had been re-arranged or at least drawn out a little further, I think this could’ve been an absolutely wonderful read. As it is, the climax of the story (no pun intended) rather ruined it for me, so in the end I will have to go with a very solid 3/5 Stars, and a great little read for fans of super-steamy western fantasies.(less)
I sigh. I absolutely adore the Demonica series by Larissa Ione; it’s ran...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
I sigh. I absolutely adore the Demonica series by Larissa Ione; it’s ranks in the top five of all series I’ve ever read. That said, however, I was very very disappointed in one main thing about this book — there’s the dreaded “forced nudity” thing. *sigh* Those who know me realize that forcing a heroine to be naked, or even to be naked and viewed without her knowledge is such a huge turn-off to me. I absolutely cannot stand this literary device, and sadly, more and more authors seem to fall back on this one. Why? I don’t know. I’ve guessed that it’s because it makes the heroine more vulnerable, or in some cases (such as this one) help to move along the lustful feelings of the hero or whatnot. Regardless, it irks me and I was very disappointed to see this occur on multiple occasions in this novel.
I still loved it!
Even though this is the first book in the Lords of Deliverance series, newcomers should be aware that it is a spinoff of the Demonica Series, and as such, doesn't work very well as a standalone.
Overall, it was a very solid entry into the Demonica universe. While I wish that Ms. Ione hadn’t stooped to the forced nudity thing, I was able to get past that, though in the end, it did lose a star for me because of it. Final rating? 3.5/5, and I’m GREATLY anticipating Immortal Rider, Famine’s story, due out in December.(less)
You know that a book is going to be good when only a few chapters in, you...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review please visit The Romanceaholic.
You know that a book is going to be good when only a few chapters in, you think to yourself that it sure would be nice if your Kindle were waterproof so that you wouldn't have to put the book down long enough to take a shower. True story.
Now, I should probably start this review with a very important disclaimer: this is Book 17 in a series, and I haven't read a single installment previously. I decided to read this one for two main reasons. First, the blurb sounded interesting enough that I felt it would be an entertaining read, and second, because I think other readers who are also new to the series deserve to know whether or not they'd be completely confuzzled if they jumped in so late into the series.
Surprisingly enough, I have to say that I feel that this story worked quite well as a standalone. As with any late-edition to a series, there are of course references to events and relationships that were obviously detailed in previous novels, but while my curiosity was piqued in regards to a few of the existing couples, I never felt as though I was missing any key information.
I really enjoyed the ending. While it didn't wrap everything up into a neat package by any means, leaving the storyline wide open for the next installment of the series, I didn't feel as though it were a true cliff-hanger which was a relief. While there was more focus on the relationship between James and Lucy than I think is normally the case in an Urban Fantasy, the low steam level did leave me feeling that it was more UF than Paranormal Romance, and that actually appealed to me.
Overall, a very solid read that won't leave newcomers scratching their heads, and I'm looking forward to reading the next installment to the series. 4/5 Stars. (less)
In a post-apocolyptic dystopia, civilization has fallen and Beaters, mindless flesh-eating zombies created by a disease originally...moreThat was... intense.
In a post-apocolyptic dystopia, civilization has fallen and Beaters, mindless flesh-eating zombies created by a disease originally spread by a plant dispersed through biological warfare, threaten the lives of everyone in existence.
Cass was captured by the Beaters only to awaken two months later with no memory of what had happened to her, and wounds that indicated that not only had she been a victim of the Beaters, but that she herself had been infected and had recovered.
The only thing driving her on is finding her young daughter, whom she had only just gotten back (after having lost custody of her due to her alcoholism) for a single day before being taken by the Beaters.
What follows is a horrifying, heart-stopping, gory narrative that keeps you on the edge of your seat, gasping for air, as Cass tries desperately to find her daughter while navigating this dangerous new world where the Beaters are not the only threat to the weak.
What worked for me: * Deliciously gory, parts of this story were like a bad car wreck, where you want to look away but can't tear your horrified gaze from the action.
* I loved the Beaters -- the progression of the infection from euphoria to a horrific new existence, was terrifyingly plausible.
* The pacing was amazing, and there wasn't a single time that I was tempted to skim.
* I loved the little "extra" glimpses into human nature -- things like piling rocks outside of houses where the dead had been found, or leaving an empty pot outside of a building to signal to other raiders that there was nothing left worth salvaging at that location. Add to that the inevitable power struggles, how the powerful took advantage of the weak, and how everyday people found courage that they never imagined they possessed, and it's easy to imagine that this is a future that could actually happen.
What didn't work for me: * It felt as if the connection between Cass and Smoke was one of convenience rather than love, destiny, or even chemistry. Cass had been molested as a child and turned to sex and alcohol to both mask her pain and give herself a false sense of control over her life. Her relationship with Smoke felt like a continuation of this self-flagellation, and Littlefield told us, rather than showed us of the existence of deeper feelings on her part (and really none at all on his).
* The ending was most definitely a "Happily For Now" rather than a "Happily Ever After". There were no ILY's at all in the story, both of which contributed to the feeling that the connection between Cass and Smoke was one of convenience rather than anything deeper.
* There was an astounding lack of explanation for what was really going on. While it's true that this could've very easily been a device used by Littlefield to help the reader place themselves in this world, since neither the reader nor the characters ever really understood what the hell had happened, I found this to be disappointing. It would've been nice to know more of Smoke's history (as I got a distinct feeling that he somehow contributed to all the crap that had happened), and I wish that there had been some hint as to what was really going on in the rest of the world. Had the blueleaf spread to the rest of the country? To the rest of the world? Or was this a situation similar to 28 Days Later, where (spoiler alert for the movie here), the world hadn't fallen to the disease but rather had quarantined the infected areas waiting for the disease to die out before offering assistance? Is Cass a carrier? Has she somehow infected Smoke? Will poor Ruthie be "normal" again after her traumatizing experience? What was really the deal behind The Convent? All of these questions are left completely unanswered, leaving a distinct sense of dissatisfaction in this reader.
In the end, I feel exhausted. It's a good exhausted, however, rather like the kind you feel after a long run, or after accomplishing a hard task that you'd set out for yourself. I think one redeeming fact to this story is that I do know that it's the beginning of a series, and as such, the missing answers to those questions I mentioned are hopefully forthcoming. I really hope that both Smoke and Cass are the stars of the next novel, as I am dying to know what will become of them. 4/5 Stars(less)
I swear I have no words, but dangit I'm going to try!
This book has a little bit of everything. There's steampunk, romance (the heartfelt kind, not the...moreI swear I have no words, but dangit I'm going to try!
This book has a little bit of everything. There's steampunk, romance (the heartfelt kind, not the steamy kind), swashbuckling adventure, horror (complete with gore), politics, religion, family issues, intrigue, betrayal, all wrapped up int a giant ball of awesomeness.
What worked for me:
*The whole secret identity of Greyfriar. I actually had a hard time deciding who I liked better -- "Greyfriar" or his alter-ego, (view spoiler)[Prince Gareth (hide spoiler)].
*The "sex talk" had me rolling, yet oddly disappointed that it wasn't discussed further :P I'm truly dying to learn more about the physiology and culture of the vampires. Which brings me to
*The vampires. I. LOVED. how they managed to put a new spin on the "same old same old" vampire stories. Some of our commonly accepted vampire lore is fact (such as vampires being able to fly), some is only based on fact (such as the idea of vampires being unable to tolerate sunlight -- this is true, only not because they turn to ash; rather because they simply function better in colder temperatures), and some is purely fiction (such as vampires not having a reflection in a mirror). It kept things fresh while still appealing to fans of the "original" vampire mythologies.
*The romance -- for once, I loved the fact that the "romance" wasn't in the forefront of the whole story. The Greyfriar is NOT about the blossoming affection between the hero and heroine, but rather is about this incredible world perched on the cusp of a terrible war, the nasty politics and prejudices boiling behind the scenes, and a small resistance desperately trying to set things straight. And yet, even with all of that, the romance felt REAL -- it was a slow build of affection, set back by betrayal and mistrust, but ultimately culminating in a love (rather than lust and chemistry) that I as a reader could actually feel.
*I love the cats. :D
*I really enjoyed watching Adele mature throughout the story, as her prejudices and preconceptions were constantly both reaffirmed and destroyed.
*I admit, I like Flay, despite the fact she's one of The Bad Guys.
*The "Steampunk" elements felt natural rather than being forced or simply used as window dressing to ride the wave of popularity that the genre is currently enjoying. It wasn't the "Victorian England only with automata and aviator goggles" feel that a lot of steampunk has -- this is a war-ravaged people with a whole different set of technology. Yes, there's steam engines, and yes there are airships (and even goggles lol) but there's also a strong emphasis on chemical weapons rather than clockwork. It's a VERY refreshing twist to the genre.
*I also liked that even though this is OBVIOUSLY the setup for a series, it didn't feel bogged down with all the extra baggage that typically comes with pilot novels, AND more importantly, it ended at a satisfactory place. Yes, I will preorder the next novel just as soon as it becomes available to do so. However, I'm not left screaming my dismay at even a partial cliff-hanger ending, which is nice.
What didn't work for me:
*The fact that the rest of the series isn't out yet! GAH!
*The writing got a little odd at times.. Not "bad", just.. odd.. It was in third person, so it would refer to Adele by her name (as in, "Adele walked to the window."), but then it would turn around and refer to her as "the princess" or "the young woman" or whatever, which got a bit confusing at times.
*The price. $10 on kindle is outside of my normal purchase range -- as a matter of principal I tend to stick to my $6.99 price points unless it's an author that I've read and enjoyed previously. All I can say is THANK HEAVENS FOR AMAZON GIFT CARDS because that's the only reason I bit the bullet on this one and trust me, this is one purchase I can honestly say is worth the extra.
Overall? This one gets the honor of going on my Yes It's Really THAT Good shelf -- I would give this one WAY more than 5 Stars if it was possible.
lol How's THAT for "having no words"?? :P["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
I'm always pleasantly surprised when a debut novel is good, and this book was no exception.
What worked for me: Loved loved loved the sea talking and pl...moreI'm always pleasantly surprised when a debut novel is good, and this book was no exception.
What worked for me: Loved loved loved the sea talking and playing with Blue :) That was incredibly cool
Really enjoyed the Mad Max/Thunderdome vibe of the post-apocalyptic world that existed after a series of tsunamis wiped out civilization as we know it.
Max was awesome, and I loved the card game with Aubrey :)
The tattoo? Epic Win as well.
I for one also liked the toughness of Blue resulting from her being raised by pirates and having had a really crappy childhood, at odds with her vulnerable/naive/sheltered personality from having been away from "civilization" for so long... I know some reviewers have said it put them off, but I thoroughly enjoyed the fact that a girl who could filet you with a bowie knife also blushed whenever faced with the slightest bit of attraction to another human being :) It was sweet.
There are more things, but honestly I don't want this review to have too many spoilers, so let's just say it was a lot of little things that kept making me smile :)
What didn't work for me: I'm not sure I ever really felt the love/attraction between Gabriel and Blue... Yes, she had a party in her pants around him because he was incredibly easy on the eyes and she was a 24 year old virgin, and it was obvious he was attracted to her, but even though the backstory as to why he was interested in her outside of her physical appearance was explained, I still didn't quite feel it as deeply as I think I was intended to.
Gabriel seeing Blue naked and/or half naked outside of sexual situations all the bloody time was annoying! Pet peeve of mine, I know, but authors, don't try to make your heroine vulnerable by having people see her naked unless it's some kind of exhibitionist fetish that you're gratifying for an erotica story. It's not sexy, it's embarrassing.
The vagueness of the ending (not the epilogue, the ending)... I think I know what the message was, but I'm a bit thick sometimes and wish it'd been spelled out a bit more
In the end, I was very happy with this story :) I'm very glad that Book 2 has been sold, even though it'll deal with different characters rather than being a continuation of Blue and Gabriel's life
Expected Release Date: Available Now! Publisher: HarperCollins Imprint: Av...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: Available Now! Publisher: HarperCollins Imprint: Avon Author’s Website: http://josswarebooks.com/ My Source for This Book: Amazon Part of a Series: Yes, Book 4, Envy Chronicles Series Best Read In Order: Yes Steam Level: Steamy
Picking up where Abandon the Night left off, Theo has been shot and apparently left for dead. Discovered by some locals, he’s brought to Selena so that she can care for him as he dies. Known as The Death Lady, Selena has the ability to foretell a person’s death, and to ease their transition into the next world.
I do believe that this book would not stand very well on its own. While a lot of the concepts were very well reiterated without feeling like infodump, there is so much information that was presented in the first three books that it would’ve been impossible to include every single thing of import without rehashing the entire series. As such, I would strongly urge readers to start from the beginning to understand everything they can about the gangas, the Strangers, Bounty Hunters, the Change, Envy, and the Resistance, as well as to get used to some of the newer slang.
Overall, I did enjoy it. It was a nice change to have an older heroine with all the baggage that comes from having lived a full life past your early 20′s. Theo is delicious as always, and I loved the new tidbits about the overall story arc.
Recommended for previous fans of the series, those who love post-apocalyptic dystopian tales, and fans of age differences in their romances. 4/5 Stars(less)