What worked for me: * Oh Em Gee if I hadn't been Team Rhyzkahl before (which, I mean, of course I was), this book wou...moreBy far the best in the series yet!
What worked for me: * Oh Em Gee if I hadn't been Team Rhyzkahl before (which, I mean, of course I was), this book would've solidified it for me. So yeah, we can't forget he's a scary-as-all-getout DEMON LORD for crying out loud, but we get to see so many more sides to him in this one, including one where he's (dare I say it?)... truly affectionate? *swoon!* Gah. And! AND! That bit in Kara's room after Kara had summoned Rhyskahl (not the dream, but the other time) *squee*
* I really liked that there was no info-dump. The author's note actually suggests reading the books in order, because while she tries to make each book a standalone, you really do need the background. However, as a devoted reader, it's been literally hundreds of books since I last read anything in the Kara Gillian series, so I have to say that there was just enough background/refresher information that I didn't feel lost. New readers should indeed read the first two books first, however, because it was just that -- a refresher. I was reminded of events that had happened previously without being forced to relive them.
* I loved the bit about the Golem, and the aftermath of the confrontation. Loved loved loved seeing a different "side" to the demons there.
* There were quite a few "Oh Shiz!" moments, where I literally gasped in reading. :D I would expound on that (because there was quite a bit of fangirly squealing in some parts), but I don't want to spoil this since it just came out.
What didn't work for me: * The cover. I know, I know, it's NOT the author's fault -- she changed publishers and the cover was out of her control. As such, it isn't counting against the rating. I had to mention it though, because the covers of the first two books, Mark of the Demon and Blood of the Demon, were gorgeous, and this one is... well.. not.
* ARG! There are still so many unanswered questions it's driving me INSANE! :D Again, this isn't counting against the rating because, der, this just makes me want to continue reading, which IMHO is the mark of good writing ;)
Review to follow (I have WAY too much to type to do it tonight), but GAH! I thought Here There Be Monsters from The...moreOMFG I LOVE THIS BOOK *falls over*
Review to follow (I have WAY too much to type to do it tonight), but GAH! I thought Here There Be Monsters from The Burning Up Anthology was fantastic, but holy cow, this one just blew that out of the water :D
10 Stars (because dangit, it was better than just 5)(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)
Expected Release Date: Available now! Publisher: Penguin Imprint: Berkley A...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: Available now! Publisher: Penguin Imprint: Berkley Author’s Website: www.nalinisingh.com My Source for This Book: Amazon.com Part of a Series: Yes, Book 10, Psy-Changeling Series Series Best Read In Order: Yes Steam Level: Hot
*Happy Sigh* I have been anxiously awaiting Hawke’s story since the very first Psy-Changeling novel back in 2006, and I will say right now, that this was hands down worth the wait.
Because the Psy/Changeling world is so intricate, and because this book marks the beginning of a long-coming war between the Psy and the Changelings, I will say straight out that this is a series that is best read in order. While some of the previous novels were not my favorites, it is certainly important to understand the general story arc before trying to tackle this book, or readers will likely be very lost outside of the relationship between Hawke and Sienna.
There are three species of people in this world — the Psy, the Changelings, and Humans.
The Psy are a race of very powerful psychics, with their abilities varying widely in both type and strength. The most powerful of any of the Psy are those who are Cardinals — scoring extremely high on the power scale, Cardinals are immediately recognizable by their eyes which are solid black, including the sclera as well as the iris.
Unfortunately, in the past, the Psy were often victims of madness and violence, due to some of their uncontrollable powers. In the late 1970′s they undertook a radical social change called Silence, which basically allows all members to have incredible control over their powers by effectively removing all emotions. Unfortunately, while Silence was the answer to many Psy’s prayers, it is not perfect, and there is plenty of room for corruption and abuse under its regime. Physically the weakest of the three species, they are the most mentally powerful, and often defend themselves with their psychic abilities. The Psy are ruled by the Council — a group of men and women who tend to be self-serving at best, and psychotic at worst. The Psy are also incredibly dependent on PsyNet, a psychic network that links each of their minds together (though they are taught at a young age to shield themselves for protection), and which also provides important biofeedback that they require to function.
The Changelings are a race of shapeshifters, with a large variety of different species. The main packs in the Psy/Changeling novels are SnowDancer (wolves) and DarkRiver (leopards), but many other species make appearances, including deer, rats, various birds, and aquatic creatures. Changelings are the strongest physically of the three species, with limited psychic powers such as the ability to partially shield themselves, and to form varying degrees of psychic bonds within their packs.
Humans are the weakest of the species, both physically and in psychic ability, but the one thing they do have to their advantage is that the other two species tend to underestimate them. Humans play only a small part in the series in general.
Hawke is the Alpha of the SnowDancer pack. A victim of an insidious attack on his pack at a young age by a group of Psy, Hawke also lost the woman his wolf recognized as his mate while he was still a child. Wolves mate for life, and having lost the female that his wolf recognized as his mate at such an early age, Hawke knows that he will never be able to give a woman a full mating-bond like the others in his pack. Like all Changelings, Hawke is a very sensual being with a very strong sexual drive. However, as an honorable man, he always makes certain that all of his lovers understand that he can never take them fully as a mate, and that they are not looking for something that he can never give them.
Sienna has been half in love with Hawke since she was sixteen — the day he first showed her kindness as a defector from the Psy. Now almost 20, she is no longer a young girl who is entirely off-limits as a woman, and has begun to prove herself as a powerful and valuable member of the SnowDancer pack. Sienna, however, is more than just the woman that Hawke refuses to admit his attraction to — she’s a Cardinal X-Psy, a designation so rare that less than ten exist at any given time in the entire world, with Sienna being the only Cardinal of that designation in known history. We’ve heard about the X-Psy in previous novels, but with no real explanation of the power other than it’s deadly both to others and the wielder, and that if Sienna were to ever completely break Silence, she’d almost certainly die — and take out everyone around her in the process.
Overall, I adored it. The sexual tension was so thick, you could cut it with a knife, and the angst of their relationship was absolutely gut-wrenching. Add to that the fact that the events leading up to war have finally come to a head, and the glimpses into the lives of some of the more important players from previous novels, and I truly couldn’t be happier with this book.
While the price point may put off some readers (the ebook is $12.99 as this is a hardcover release), I will gladly tell you that if you are at all a fan of the series, it will be worth every single penny.
Recommended for fans of the series, stubborn alpha heroes with incredible sexual tension and chemistry, unrequited love, seemingly insurmountable odds, and a kick-ass heroine finally allowed to come into her own, all liberally sprinkled with political intrigue, family issues, and pulse-pounding action.
I would rate this a 10 if I could, but as it is, I will have to settle with a very enthusiastic 5/5 Stars. (less)
Well, first off,(view spoiler)[ this book is NOT a romance in the traditional sense. There is no HEA or even HFN, but please don't let that put you off. The ending is most definitely open-ended as far as any romance goes, and this is the first book in a trilogy, so there's definitely some potential. (hide spoiler)]
This book was most definitely spooky to the extreme. The descriptions of the ghosts and their interactions with Amelia are enough to make you want to sleep with the light on at night, especially if you have a drafty bedroom ;)
As I said, overall I adored this book. I love the first-person POV, and Amanda Stevens kept me guessing until the end. I quite literally couldn't put this one down.
A very solid 5/5 Stars["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
While spoiler-free for The Rift Walker, this rev...moreThis 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.
[End Possible Spoilers]
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: August 2, 2011 Publisher: Entangled Publishing Impr...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: August 2, 2011 Publisher: Entangled Publishing Imprint: N/A Author’s Website: http://melaniecard.com/ My Source for This Book: Netgalley Part of a Series: Yes, Book 1, Chronicles of a Reluctant Necromancer Series Best Read In Order: N/A Steam Level: Warm
I don't normally start reviews off this way, but I honestly think that this was one if not the best books I've read all year, and since it's almost July at the time of my writing this, that's definitely saying something.
In Ward's world, magic is commonplace and some things that we take for granted are completely forbidden, such as surgery. Having always wanted to be a physician, Ward was kicked out before completing his training because of his penchant for grave-robbing -- a distasteful but necessary occupation for one who wants to study the illicit practice of surgery. Now forced to be a Necromancer for the rich, his job is to bring back those who have recently died for fifteen minutes so that their families can make peace with the deceased.
Hired by a rich man to wake Celia Carlyle, he is astonished when not only does she insist that she's been murdered rather than having been simply "ill" as her family suggests, but she also sleeps with a dagger under her pillow, dresses in men's clothing, and attempts to escape out the window. Knowing that her disappearance will result in an accusation of grave-robbing, he follows her trying to convince her that she must return. Instead Celia invokes Ward's Physician's Oath -- an unbreakable vow to help all those who ask for assistance, and one punishable by eternal torture in the afterlife if broken.
Making his decision, he follows her, having to re-wake her several times as the fifteen-minute limit of the waking spell is reached. At risk of permanently disturbing the "balance" between the worlds, he performs a dangerous spell to attempt to allow her to remain "awake" for a longer period, when something goes wrong. In addition to the fact that he's been forced to improvise with the required ingredients for the spell, he is interrupted before he can be certain his spell has been completed, but when Celia regains consciousness and helps to fight off their attackers, he assumes that everything worked as it should have.
However, it soon becomes apparent that his intended spell did not yield the expected results, as Celia shows no signs of decay, and in fact, actually seems... healthier than before.
Complicating matters is his own undeniable attraction towards her, but relations with the dead are strictly forbidden, and despite the fact that she eats, breathes, and walks, there is no denying that she had died and is therefore completely off-limits.
Add to that the fact that Celia is obviously not simply the pampered daughter of a rich noble, and Ward is soon drawn into a dangerous world of forbidden magic, assassinations, and deception.
One point of note is that while I have labeled this as Young Adult for my own convenience, it is more of a New Adult/Upper YA Fantasy. Not having read a lot of Young Adult in my life, I'm not certain just how important this distinction is, only that it was made and I felt it was wise to point it out. I think the biggest difference is that the main characters are no longer teenagers, but are instead both in the first stages of real adulthood, complete with all of the complications that come along with that stage of life
I admit, I'm actually having a hard time believing that this is a debut novel. Ms. Card's website and Goodreads profile list this as her only work, but I wonder if she's written any previous novels under a different name. I must do some Googlefu and see what I can discover, because I'm absolutely in love with her writing style and am thirsting for more.
It goes without saying (but I'll say it anyway) that I will be preordering any and all future books in this series, and I have a feeling I will be fangirling all over this one for a long time to come.
Recommended for fans of kick-butt heroines who reluctantly soften as they mature, heroes who actually have to work to earn the title, and an intriguing paranormal-fantasy universe to explore.
Expected Release Date: June 14, 2011 Publisher: Samhain Imprint: N/A Author...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: June 14, 2011 Publisher: Samhain Imprint: N/A Author’s Website: http://www.joshlanyon.com/ My Source for This Book: Amazon.com Part of a Series: No Series Best Read In Order: N/A Steam Level: Steamy
Professor Sebastian Swift grew up in the limelight. The only child of two brilliant and highly acclaimed poets, he himself was a rising star in literary circles until his drug addiction made him lose everything, including his own father. Now six years recovered, he's eeking out a life as a Professor at a small university, and has established a relationship with local Police Chief Max Prescott. However, despite his growing feelings for Max, their relationship is slowly stagnating, with neither one pushing the other for actual commitment.
When a student in trouble come to Swift for help, Swift immediately gives him the money from his wallet and keys to his small island cabin, because he knows what it's like to need to get away from everything and yet have no one to count on. Later that night, however, Swift discovers that the same boy he generously helped that afternoon is the prime suspect in the brutal murder of the boy's father. Realizing that his lover has already convicted the boy in his mind, Swift risks everything by keeping the information to himself, hoping that he can contact the boy and convince him to turn himself into police.
Things come crashing down for Swift when he discovers that the boy never went to the cabin, and he must come clean to Max about his actions. No matter what Max's feelings for Swift may be, he cannot stand being lied to, and is understandably furious about Swift's lie of omission. When it becomes obvious, however, that Swift himself has become a target due to his involvement, Max risks not only his career but also his heart to protect Swift and bring a killer to justice.
Once again I feel I should start this review with a warning -- I love Josh Lanyon. He is, quite literally, one of my favorite authors of all genres, which is definitely saying something, and I'm only slightly joking when I say that I would likely give five stars to his detailing of a character spending 20 chapters over the mystery of how to properly setup his TiVo simply because I know that with his skills, he could make us care for the character and whether or not he was able to DVR his favorite shows. I have read almost all of Mr. Lanyon's books, and I have finished each and every one with the feeling that I've taken the same incredible journey as his characters have. There's just something about his writing style and characterizations that just draw you into the story and won't let you go even at the final line. Angsty and romantic, the relationships in his books always feel very realistic, with believable problems and more importantly, very believable happy endings.
This story was no exception. The characters were all incredibly developed, with realistic backstories and personal issues, and the romance itself was achingly beautiful. The underlying murder mystery helped to add excitement to the story without taking anything away from the romance.
Expected Release Date: December 6, 2011 Publisher: Penguin Group Impri...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.com.
Expected Release Date: December 6, 2011 Publisher: Penguin Group Imprint: Signet Author’s Website: http://www.amandabonilla.com My Source for This Book: Netgalley Part of a Series: Yes, Book 1, Shaede Assassin Series Series Best Read In Order: N/A Steam Level: Steamy
Utterly alone in the world, assassin Darian is a Shaede — a being who can dissolve into shadows, move with unbelievable speed, and who cannot be killed. Having been created and later abandoned by the man who rescued her from an abusive marriage almost a hundred years prior, she has learned to rely only on herself, reinventing herself as a notorious assassin known for avoiding innocent targets.
However, her next mark will cause her to question everything she has accepted as truth, and in accepting the job, sets her along a path that will change her life forever.
I originally heard about this book on another blogger’s Waiting On Wednesday, which is a meme that highlights upcoming books that bloggers are excited about. I was lucky enough to snag an advanced reader copy, and let me tell you, I was absolutely blown away. I, quite literally, could not put this book down. I read it in line at the grocery store, I read it while I was cooking dinner, I read it while folding laundry, I read it propped up in bed that night. In fact, there was quite a bit of angst for me at the end when I realized that I would have to wait until July for the next installment in the series, despite the solid feeling of resolution at the end.
While not without faults, Darian’s character and the world as a whole sucked me in and refused to let me go. The first person point of view allowed the reader to experience first-hand the frustration, loneliness, heartbreak, and love that Darian went through over the course of the novel, and the high level of action and intrigue kept my attention from the very beginning.
Darian is a badass, no doubt about it, but her arrogance that served her so well in the past suddenly becomes a huge liability, and she has to learn to rely on others, as well as to sift through truths and lies in order to discover just what it will mean for her to become part of the Shaede community.
The world that Ms. Bonilla created is utterly fascinating, and the two main love interests, Tyler and Xander, were able to hold their own even against Darian’s oft-overbearing presence.
Recommended for fans of fast-paced, original Urban Fantasy, of strong heroines suddenly thrown completely out of their element, and of a sweet, albeit complicated, love story. A delightfully solid 5/5 Stars.
Expected Release Date: March 6, 2012 (Available Now!) Publisher: Penguin...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: March 6, 2012 (Available Now!) Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group Imprint: Berkley Sensation Author’s Website: http://theaharrison.com/ My Source for This Book: Netgalley Part of a Series: Yes, Book 4, Elder Races Series Series Best Read In Order: Worked well as a standalone Steam Level: Steamy
Grace Andreas comes from a long line of Oracles, women descended from the original Oracle of Delphi, but she never expected to have the Power fall to her. After all, Grace’s sister, Petra, was the one who inherited it from their Grandmother. But when Petra and her husband are killed in an accident that left Grace badly injured, the Power and obligations of the Oracle are not the only burdens that fall on her doorstep, as Grace is given guardianship of Petra’s two small children.
Khalil is a Djinn Prince of the House of Marid — the oldest and most powerful of Djinn Houses. In repayment of a debt owed to the powerful vampiress, Carling, Khalil soon comes face to face with the new Oracle, and is completely taken aback by her lack of deference towards beings of great Power.
Overwhelmed by grief, debt, and the sudden and unexpected role of parenthood, Grace is struggling to balance family life with her newly acquired burden of Power. The last thing she needs, or wants, is a cocky Djinn meddling in her affairs.
But when it becomes apparent that Grace and the children are in danger, it isn’t long before it becomes apparent that Khalil is exactly the sort of protector that her family needs — and perhaps even the type of man that she wants…
I’ve had a bit of a crush on Khalil ever since he first appeared in the last book, Serpent’s Kiss, and had been desperately hoping that he and Grace would get a book together. Sexy, incredibly powerful, a bit of a mystery (especially since he’s the first “non-wyr” hero to feature in the series), he’s also got the whole “tortured hero” thing in regards to his daughter. He’s arrogant, bossy, and powerful, yet he also has a very obvious soft spot for children, without turning into some sappy squishy weakling, which I loved.
Grace is easily my favorite heroine in the series as well. Human, with only minor psychic powers before having inherited the mantle of “Oracle”, Grace is the easiest heroine in the series for me to relate to. While she’s not a wilting flower, she’s not some incredible, ancient, kick-butt action star either. Instead, she’s just a young woman who has been forced to put her life on hold to take care of her niece and nephew, try to pay the mortgage, grieve for her sister and brother-in-law, and still maintain the dignity and level of service required of the Oracle. She’s not perfect, and she doesn’t try to be, and I think that’s one of the reasons I loved her so much.
In short, this was actually my favorite book of the series, and considering how I fangirled all over Dragon Bound, that should definitely tell you something. The chemistry between Khalil and Grace was absolutely wonderful, and both characters were beautifully developed on their own. While I think some readers may feel as though the main external conflict was not on as large a scale as those of the previous novels, but I personally felt that the “smaller” conflict fit well with these particular characters.
An unbelievably solid 5/5 Stars, and recommended for old fans of the series and newcomers alike.(less)
When I first sat down to write this review, I realized that I had a bit...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
When I first sat down to write this review, I realized that I had a bit of a problem — how on earth was I going to rein in my inner Fangirl long enough to put together coherent sentences on just how fantastic this book was? I’m still not certain that I am able to do it justice, but suffice it to say, I loved this book. It easily ranks right up there with my adoration of Ilona Andrews’ Kate Daniels series, Jeaniene Frost’s Night Huntress series, and yes, even Stacia Kane’s Downside Ghosts series, and I will tell you that is no small feat at all.
With not only intriguing characters but fascinating world-building, new twists on old mythologies as well as original creations, and an exciting mystery behind the disappearance of many non-human children, the story never felt rushed, even though it was full of action and multi-faceted characters that made it easy to become fully immersed in Kit’s world.
Recommended for fans of strong heroines with a horrifying past, of alpha heroes with hidden depths, and of fresh new twists on old mythologies.
An impossibly solid 5/5 Stars. *As of 7/10, I've read this three times. If anyone wonders why I'm "behind" on my 2012 reading challenge, this is why lol (and yes, it's still 5/5)
-- A Slightly Off-Topic Rant (10.19.2012)
I've noticed quite a few reviews where people were upset that Kit wasn't a Kate Daniels clone. Kit isn't Kate, despite the similarity in names and their penchants for sharp pointy things. Kit is, well, Kit. She has a completely different past, a different skill set, different magic, and lives in a completely different world with its own set of rules.
I can't speak for anyone else, but when I first read this and went around the internet gushing to anyone who would listen about how this was the best Urban Fantasy I'd read since the Kate Daniels series, it wasn't because I thought that Kit and Kate were so similar, it's because I recognized in Kit the same vulnerability, stubbornness, and potential that I saw in Kate in her first book.
If you look back at Kate in her first novel, she was a lot younger and lacked a lot of the experience and maturity that has developed her character into the awesome power that she is. Kit's also like that in some ways -- she's not superwoman, she doesn't always make the right choices, she occasionally acts impulsively, and she's got her own personal demons to battle just like anyone else. And I for one can't get enough of her.
So please don't go into this expecting a heroine just like Kate Daniels, or you're probably going to be disappointed. And please, don't be put off by the reviews expressing disappointment that Kit turned out not to be Kate... Instead, go into this book with an open mind, and I think you'll find that Kit is a character that you're going to want to follow through many books to come.
Expected Release Date: April 30, 2013 Publisher: Simon & Schuster Impr...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: April 30, 2013 Publisher: Simon & Schuster Imprint: Pocket Books Author’s Website: http://delilahpaints.blogspot.com/ My Source for This Book: Edelweiss Part of a Series: Yes, Book 2, Blud Series Series Best Read In Order: Works Well As A Standalone Steam Level: Steamy Pet Peeves: “Lost Princess Anastasia” is a wee bit overdone, Tiny Heroine Favorite Tropes: Enemies To Lovers, Secret Identity, Amazing World-building
With pirates, dirigibles, evil witches, vampires (called Bludmen, thank-you-very-much), lost princesses, power struggles, assassins, and even man-eating unicorns, the world that Ms. Dawson has created fascinated me from the very first page and even after the final sentence, I had to go back and re-read some of my favorite parts, because I simply wasn’t ready to be finished yet.
I loved the forbidden aspect of the romance between Ahna and Casper, but even more than that, I think what really grabbed me in this book was the character development of Ahnastasia herself. She changed, oh so gradually, from the selfish, cold, entitled princess into someone who actually looked at the viewpoints of others, who would sacrifice some of her own happiness to give someone she cared for what they needed, and someone who was willing to challenge the entire foundation of society for what she felt was right. Yet, even with all of those changes, fundamentally, she was still the same person, and by the time the book was done, I couldn’t believe just how much I loved her character, especially given how much I despised her in the beginning.
Casper, as well, was a fascinating character — a charming, handsome rogue, who is obviously a little too fond of the bottle and is rather surprisingly short on temper. The secret he harbors will be instantly recognizable to fans of the series, but I myself had not yet read the first book when I started this one, and the mystery was something I greatly enjoyed.
I could gush about this book for hours (in fact, poor Mr. Romanceaholic has had to listen to me prattle on about it for quite some time, I assure you), but rather than ramble, I will simply say that this is now one of my favorite series, with Casper and Ahnastasia in particular being my favorite couples thus far (having gone back and finally read all of the previous stories in the series), and that I will be fiercely stalking this series for a long time to come.
I know I don't read a lot of regular Urban Fantasy (as opposed to Paranormal Romance or even Urban Fantasy with strong romantic themes), but I'm so gl...moreI know I don't read a lot of regular Urban Fantasy (as opposed to Paranormal Romance or even Urban Fantasy with strong romantic themes), but I'm so glad I decided to pick this one up.
I loved the world Mr. Somers hsa created, and his perfectly IMperfect characters, and I WILL be reading any sequels the moment I can get my greedy little hands on them.
Expected Release Date: July 18, 2013 Publisher: Entangled Publishing Impri...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: July 18, 2013 Publisher: Entangled Publishing Imprint: Entangled Teen Author’s Website: http://melaniecard.com/ My Source for This Book: Amazon.com Part of a Series: Yes, Book 2, Chronicles of a Reluctant Necromancer Series Best Read In Order: Yes Steam Level: Chaste Pet Peeves: None Favorite Tropes: Betrayal
I have been a fan of Melanie Card and the Chronicles of a Reluctant Necromancer since shortly after I started this blog. The first book, WARD AGAINST DEATH, has long been a favorite of mine even though I don’t typically find myself reading YA/NA very often, and I knew that this book was going to be amazing.
It’s so nice to be right.
What I think I loved most about this book was the character development. Ward starts off just as we left him — clumsy, insecure, and on the run for his life. As the story progresses, though, we get to watch Ward grow up quite a bit, and get exciting glimpses into just the type of man that he will someday be — strong, confident, and powerful.
Celia, too, matures from the cold-blooded assassin that we’ve come to know and love into a more toned-down version of herself, with her affection for Ward growing, and the uncertainty of her life span really starting to weigh down on her.
More than that though, we get action, intrigue, and tons of danger, along with some unexpected new allies and some thrilling twists.
I do wish that there were a little more communication between Ward and Celia, as they both kept their developing feelings for each other under tight wraps, but for once, I wasn’t actually reading for the romance. There was also a slight issue with my copy (purchased for Kindle), where some page breaks between scenes would have really come in handy, but that was a minor issue and not one that counts against the final rating.
Overall, I adored it, and I’m hoping against hope that it won’t take another two long years for me to get my greedy little hands on Book 3.
I knew the moment that I finished this book that it would garner a lot o...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
I knew the moment that I finished this book that it would garner a lot of OMG-I-LOVED-IT reviews right alongside quite a few WHAT-THE-HELL-DID-I-JUST-READ ones. It definitely falls into the category of "love it or hate it", and quite honestly, when I look back objectively, I'm actually surprised I enjoyed it as much as I did.
This has been a very difficult review to write, to be honest, because when I look back over the notes I took while I was reading, and when I add up the number of "negative" points to compare to the "positives", I actually should have hated this book. Instead, I quite literally stayed up the entire night reading it because as cliched as it sounds, I simply couldn't bring myself to put it down.
I think what I liked the most about this book isn't necessarily the book itself -- it's the world that Ms. Bishop has created, and the immense potential for this series. Don't get me wrong -- I liked the characters and the storyline that made up this book, though admittedly the day to day mundane narrative grated on my nerves at times, and Meg was so sweet it made my teeth hurt while reading it at times.
But what really grabbed me by the throat and refused to let go was the fascinating mythology surrounding not only the many forms of terra indigine, but of the cassandra sangue themselves. Perhaps I've just been reading the wrong things, but I've never read anything quite like it, and I am absolutely hooked.
The biggest drawbacks of this story for me (other than the price and the fact that I have to wait so long for the sequel) are the fact that there is so much heavy detail on the day to day goings on in Meg's life, and the fact that Meg is a pretty unremarkable character that for some miraculous reason brings out the protective instincts in pretty much everyone she meets.
Meg's innocence and naivete were taken to the extreme at times, and though it was explained well by the isolation she experienced in her very unconventional upbringing, there were times where she really needed to be shaken a few times.
However, even though there were things about Meg that I didn't particularly care for, what I really loved was the idea that a single, somewhat ordinary person, would have touched so many lives in small, almost unintentional ways, that so many of these incredibly powerful creatures would be on the verge of practically ending the human race were she to come to harm. It sounds ridiculous as I write that, and yet that was one of the things that I enjoyed the most as I read.
In the end, though, my final rating doesn't depend on the number of things I liked versus the faults I was able to find when looking back on it. Instead, what it boils down to is how I felt when I finished the final page, and as such, this one gets my highest rating, despite it's many flaws, and I for one am dying to get my hands on the sequel.