Expected Release Date: September 20, 2011 Publisher: Harlequin ImprintThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.com.
Expected Release Date: September 20, 2011 Publisher: Harlequin Imprint: Nocturne Author’s Website: http://jillmonroe.com/ My Source for This Book: Netgalley Part of a Series: Book 2, Royal House of Shadows Continuation Series Best Read In Order: Works well as a standalone Steam Level: Steamy
Book 2 of the Royal House of Shadows Continuation, which began with Lord of the Vampires by Gena Showalter, and will be followed with Lord of the Wolfyn by Jessica Andersen and Lord of the Abyss by Nalini Singh, this installment follows Princess Breena after her parents’ magic thrust her far away from the Kingdom of Elden with only the compulsion to survive and avenge planted deep within her mind.
Reinterpreting the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, Breena stumbels upon an abandoned cottage, her survival instinct kicks in and she partakes of the food she finds there, and crawls in to bed to get some very much needed rest. Her slumber is interrupted, however, when the three inhabitants of the cabin return to discover that someone has eaten their porridge, broken one of their chairs, and is now sleeping in one of their beds!
Osborn is a berserker, a man who can channel the ferocious spirit of the bear to become a warrior without equal in his rage. When his entire clan is wiped out with the exception of his two younger brothers by a band of vampires from the empire of Elden, he turns his back on the teachings of his childhood and hires out his sword in order to earn a living that will feed, clothe, and protect his brothers, all while planning to someday avenge his clan by destroying the people of Elden.
When the golden-haired princess is discovered in his house, Osborn is stunned — this is the very maiden who has long captivated him in his dreams. Breena’s ability to dreamwalk has long been a diversion from her very proper (and very boring) life as a princess, and when she awakens in the cabin to discover her dream lover in the flesh, she’s ecstatic. Her joy soon turns to disappointment, however, when she realizes her Prince Charming is not so charming after all, and that he wants absolutely nothing to do with her quest to avenge her parents’ murder.
Determined to resist aiding the princess, he cannot help but be drawn in by her beautiful innocence and her determination, and yet Breena is hiding something — the very fact that she is the princess of the people who destroyed Osborn’s clan.
While a few elements of Breena’s magic didn’t really appeal to me as much as I’d hoped, I did enjoy the fact both Breena and Osborn were looking for vengeance of their own. Breena’s transformation from pampered princess to fierce leader was gradual enough to be believable, but was also fast enough that readers weren’t bogged down with the tedious nature of training, which I appreciated.
Overall, this was a great installment in the Royal House of Shadows Continuation. Recommended for fans of fairy tales revisited, fearsome heroes learning to temper their ferocity, and of heroines realizing their own strength.
While spoiler-free for The Rift Walker, this revThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
*** Spoiler Warning ***
While spoiler-free for The Rift Walker, this review does contain spoilers for The Greyfriar. Please scroll to the next BOLD text if you wish to avoid any possible spoilers.
Expected Release Date: September 2011 (Available Now!) Publisher: Prometheus Books Imprint: Pyr Author’s Website: http://clayandsusangriffith.blogspot.com My Source for This Book: Gift from the Publisher Part of a Series: Yes, Book 2, Vampire Empire Trilogy Series Best Read In Order: Yes Steam Level: Warm
Official Blurb: Princess Adele struggles with a life of marriage and obligation as her Equatorian Empire and their American Republic allies stand on the brink of war against the vampire clans of the north. However, the alliance's horrific strategy for total victory drives Adele to abandon her duty and embark on a desperate quest to keep her nation from staining its hands with genocide. Reunited with her great love, the mysterious adventurer known to the world as the Greyfriar, Adele is pursued by her own people as well as her vengeful husband, Senator Clark. With the human alliance in disarray, Prince Cesare, lord of the British vampire clan, seizes the initiative and strikes at the very heart of Equatoria.
As Adele labors to bring order to her world, she learns more about the strange powers she exhibited in the north. Her teacher, Mamoru, leads a secret cabal of geomancers who believe Adele is the one who can touch the vast power of the Earth that surges through ley lines and wells up at the rifts where the lines meet. These energies are the key to defeating the enemy of mankind, and if Princess Adele could ever bring this power under her command, she could be death to vampires. But such a victory will also cost the life of Adele's beloved Greyfriar.
The Rift Walker is the second book in a trilogy of high adventure and alternate history. Combining rousing pulp action with steampunk style, the Vampire Empire series brings epic political themes to life within a story of heartbreaking romance, sacrifice, and heroism.
The Rift Walker picks up a short time after The Greyfriar left off. When we last saw Adele, she had returned to Alexandria to "recover" from her time with the vampires, and to await her political marriage to the insufferable Senator Clark, while Gareth returned to Caesar's side, hoping to ingratiate himself to his younger brother in order to get inside information into Caesar's plans for the war.
Expanding on the incredible Steampunk world created in the first novel, The Rift Walker follows Adele's adventures through the African interior, as she attempts to not only avoid marriage to the deplorable Senator Clark, but struggles to harness her newfound ability to actually manipulate the powers of the earth to in turn superheat and destroy vampires from the inside out. A perpetual pawn in the schemes of others, she is finally beginning to come into her own as a leader, and while Garret/Greyfriar does play a large part in the story, this is truly Adele's moment to shine.
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While perhaps not quite as gory as the first novel, there are still plenty of action sequences that should satisfy the more blood-thirsty readers, and there are more than enough surprising twists to catch anyone's interest.
Like The Greyfriar before it, The Rift Walker quite literally has something for everyone: politics, betrayals, mysteries, romance, murder, family drama, action, steampunk, magic, and more, which make this novel quite literally the most incredible narrative that I've had the pleasure of reading for the entire year.
One thing that some readers may object to is the price of this novel. I will freely admit that this series falls far outside of my own comfort zone as far as price point goes. The MSRP of the paperback is $16.00 and the ebook's MSRP is $11.00. However, there are two very important things to note on this. First off, is that as of the time this review is published, the paperback is $10.88 at Amazon.com and the Kindle version is $9.59, which should make it more comfortable for most readers to click the "buy" button. Secondly, and most importantly, this book actually is worth the MSRP. I'm just as frugal as the next girl when it comes to purchasing books, but I promise you, buying anything from the Vampire Empire trilogy will be money well spent.
One thing I should stress, however, is that I very highly suggest reading The Greyfriar first, because not only is it an absolutely incredible book in and of itself, but because I think new readers to the series will be pretty much lost in the plot without the experience of the previous novel to fall back on. Plus, part of the awesomeness of The Rift Walker is probably just the sheer and utter joy of being thrown back into the world readers came to love from The Greyfriar.
In the end, I of course adored it. It is by far the best book I have read all year long (which is definitely saying something) and I am delighted to give it an incredibly solid 5/5 Stars.
I am currently running a giveaway on my blog, where one lucky winner will receive a paperback of either The Greyfriar or The Rift Walker (winner's choice).
Expected Release Date: September 6, 2011 (Available Now!) Publisher: PenguThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic
Expected Release Date: September 6, 2011 (Available Now!) Publisher: Penguin Imprint: Berkley Sensation Author’s Website: http://www.nalinisingh.com/ My Source for This Book: Amazon Part of a Series: Yes, Spinoff of Guild Hunter’s series Series Best Read In Order: Yes Steam Level: Steamy
When Archangel Raphael is away, the mice will play…. Someone is not only killing vampires in New York, but they’re taunting Raphael’s right hand man by dropping them in the heart of Raphael’s territory.
Cunning, vicious, and loyal to the bone, Dmitri will not stand for the threat to Raphael’s rule, and vows to find the beings behind these attacks — and make them wish they’d never been born.
Utilizing Guild skill sets, Dmitri partners with Honor, a woman who was been raped and tortured at the hands of vampires for a very long time. Desperate to keep Dmitri at arm’s length, she is blindsided by his ability to understand that what she needs is not coddling, but revenge on those who hurt her.
Together, they use Honor’s hunter skills and Dmitri’s pitiless cruelty to unravel the secrets behind not only the vampire murders in New York, but also the conspiracy that led to Honor’s torture.
I am very likely going to be skinned alive for this, but, I didn’t really like this one.
I know, I know, I’m usually so over-the-top giddy after reading one of Singh’s creations, and I’ve even had this book featured on my Waiting On Wednesday spot several weeks ago. However, I just didn’t feel as though it lived up to the hype.
The casual violence, instead of reinforcing how intense and scary and intimidating and whatever Dmitri was supposed to be, actually became rather boring and repetitive. Perhaps it’s because he’s so similar to Raphael from the original Guild Hunter novels, but I didn’t get the feeling that he was dark and scary because he was a sympathetic character, but more that he was just a bit of, well, an asshat.
There was also my feelings about the ending — not only did it feel quite rushed, but it also felt very much like a cop-out.
Overall, while I hate to say it, this one just did not live up to my expectations from Ms. Singh. She has such a talent for dark and dangerous heroes, but I think Dmitri was just too similar to Raphael to feel as though I were reading something new.
Expected Release Date: September 5, 2011 (Available Now!) Publisher: DorcThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit Romanceaholic.com.
Expected Release Date: September 5, 2011 (Available Now!) Publisher: Dorchester Publishing Imprint: N/A Author’s Website: http://ljmcdonald.blogspot.com/ My Source for This Book: Amazon.com Part of a Series: Yes, Book 3, Sylphs Series Best Read In Order: Yes Steam Level: Warm
I struggled so much in writing this review, because I wanted it to remain spoiler-free — so much so that I found that I couldn’t even write a good synopsis without giving away crucial spoilers.
While I think I’ve managed to achieve that goal, that leaves so many little things that I took great joy in that I couldn’t mention because of it. As a fan of the series as a whole, I greatly appreciated the fact that this book focuses less on a specific “couple”, as previous books did, and far more on the residents of Sylph Valley in general — their relationships, how each individual life affected the others, and how the entire community came together during a crisis.
As a side note, I am dying for Thrall to feature in a book. While he was only mentioned in passing in this book, he is easily the most anticipated of characters on my part, and I hope that he gets a very happy ending.
Overall, while it didn’t blow me away due to the plethora of character deaths, the abuse of the sylphs, and the sheer annoyance I had with Solie for not preventing the whole mess, I still thoroughly enjoyed it. I will be reading the next installment in the series once it’s released.