Celia and her 3 sisters find themselves in vampire court and Celia is terrified at what might happen. Misha Aleksandr has requested the presence of the Wird sisters after charging them with the murder of one of his family members. Today is their lucky day however, since evidence proves the dead vamp in question had a virus that caused uncontrollable bloodlust, and it seems to be spreading. People are dying at an alarming rate as the vampire virus spreads and infected vamps go on the rampage. In desperation, Misha Aleksandr appeals to the sisters to help him fight whoever is spreading the infection and weakening his power. Taran, Emme, and Shayna are horrified at the deaths, but they also don’t want to get involved. Celia sees it a bit differently and decides they should help the Master vamp fight the rival master that is causing the carnage. Not only does Misha want the sisters’ help, but he seems to have a bit of a thing for Celia, much to her chagrin, since she has her eye on a werewolf hottie, Aric, who also gets involved in the fight. So much for the Wird sisters laying low in lovely Lake Tahoe, huh?
The Wird sisters aren’t your usual supes. As the result of a childhood curse, they each have very unique powers, but consider themselves very much outside the supernatural community. All they want to do is carry out their day jobs as nurses and live in peace in gorgeous Lake Tahoe. However, Misha and the rampaging vampires don’t plan to let the sisters off so easy, and Celia’s interest in the gorgeous Aric definitely throws a huge wrench into things.
Sealed With a Curse has just about everything I want in a really good urban fantasy. Strong lead characters? Check. A sexy romance brewing on the side? Check. Vamps, weres, witches, and more? Check!! The story is told in Celia’s voice, and what I simultaneously love and hate about her is her vulnerability. Most men are very intimidated by her tigress (yep, Celia can change into a tigress, among other things), so she’s closed herself off to men, and yet she’s so very lonely and insecure. She berates herself more than once, and if you’ve ever wanted to hug a character from a book, you’ll want to hug Celia and shake her until she stops doubting herself. It’s also important to point out that while the romance element is strong in this book (lots of hotties running around, trust me), I swear there are kick ass fights every 3 or 4 pages. The author just doesn’t let up, and if you think you’ll be reading about the same old supernaturals, think again. The baddies are really, really bad, and the author never shies away from the ick factor. Cecy Robson has a very, very fertile imagination when it comes to the scaries, and she’s not afraid to use it. Celia and her sisters are a great fighting team and if you like books with plenty of girl power, you’ll love this one. I also really enjoyed Celia’s sense of humor and the “triangle” between her, Aric, and Misha. I swear this book has some of the funniest one-liners in urban fantasy. These nurses are good at their jobs, but don’t mess with them. Seriously. If you mess with one, you mess with all four, and the person/creature doing the messing is probably going to get the bad end of the stick (or blade, or claw…you get the picture.)
So, can the girls track down the source of the vampire infection and take care of business? Will Celia find the love she deserves? Will these poor girls ever get some much deserved peace? Probably not, well, at least the peace part. But that’s good for us, because that means there will be plenty of adventures with the Wird girls to come. I really enjoyed the prequel novella and was hoping Sealed With a Curse would live up to my expectations. It did. This is an exciting and refreshing debut and I can’t wait to see what’s next for this series!(less)
When Linnet Ellery begins working at the White-Fang (yep, vampires) law firm of Ishmael, McGillary, and Gold, she realizes rather quickly that her professional life may be a bit boring for a while. Taken under the wing of lawyer Chip Westin, she’s recruited to help out on a case that’s been in litigation for many years. Stagnation seems inevitable, until a werewolf invades the law firm one evening, brutally murdering Chip, and nearly killing Linnet. Who would have wanted to kill the gentle,kindly Chip? And why?
I really enjoyed this fun, unusual urban fantasy! The alternate world the author created is just to the left of ours, and vampires, werewolves, and the fae (the Alfar) have revealed themselves and are collectively thought of as the Powers. It’s a boy’s club, however, at least when it comes to vamps and werewolves. You see, they’re not allowed to turn women, under any circumstance, under the penalty of death. Linnet was, in fact, fostered by a vampire liege from the age of eight, with whom she’s still very close to, so she’s sensitive to the discrimination that they sometimes face. Working at a White-Fang law firm doesn’t intimidate her, but knowing that she, and the rest of the women in the office, will never make partner, can be bothersome. As she follows the clues to find out who killed Chip, with the help of handsome PI (and Alfar) John O’Shea, she finds herself in danger more than a few times over, but she’s determined to get to the bottom of it. A shadowy firm called Securitech and its head werewolf, Deegan, seem to have something to do with his death, but she’s not quite sure what. She does know that Deegan is perfectly capable of tearing her limb from limb.
This book is described as Anita Blake meets The Firm, but I’d describe it more like Stephanie Plum meets The Firm. Linnet has the charm of Plum, but is plenty capable in her job, and I loved how the author actually gives her a life in between the werewolf attacks and law office politics (of which there are plenty). Linnet is an accomplished horsewoman, and I loved the passages that involved the ins and outs of competitive riding. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the action, but woven in with traditional urban fantasy themes are explorations of gender equality, and a rather sweet romance. It also wouldn’t surprise me to learn that the author is very fond of New York City, since it’s almost a character unto itself. I highly enjoyed This Case is Gonna Kill Me and I’ll be crossing my fingers for more adventures with Linnet!(less)
Deep in the jungles of Columbia, Sam Thornton is on the hunt for the soul of Pablo Varela, drug czar and brutal killer. When he gets to the camp, his whole posse is dead, and a message is carved on the chest of one of the bodies. There’s only one person who could have left the message: Sam’s old friend and fellow Collector, Danny Young. Danny now has the soul that only Sam was supposed to collect, and if he doesn’t get it back soon, the powers that be will be very, very angry. Sam met Danny in 1953 while in Amsterdam for a Collection. Danny wanted to team up, be each other’s support system, and in spite of the strict rules against consorting with other Collectors, a friendship was born. You see, there are two types of people that come up for Collection: contract kills and freelancers. Contract kills are generally good people who’ve made a deal with a demon, many times in order to help someone else. Freelancers are people that revel in the misery and suffering of others(serial killers, psychos, you get the picture…). Both Sam and Danny were contract kills and both ended up as Collectors, as they sometimes do. The way Danny saw it, with the horrible job they had to do, Collectors should stick together, support each other, even if it was against the rules. It also doesn’t help that Sam is still reeling from an angelic confrontation that may have kicked off a war between heaven and hell.
I really enjoyed Dead Harvest, the first book in the Collector series, but in The Wrong Goodbye, Chris F. Holm really brings the awesome. Told in Sam’s voice, we get quite a lot more insight into why he is the way he is, not to mention some insights into his past collections that will chill you. The author has a gift for lush descriptions and his creatures made my skin crawl more than once.
Poor Sam has quite a few enemies to contend with in this one. He’s certainly been under scrutiny since his last big demon/angel confrontation; however, he does find friends in unusual places, such as a former small time hood, Gio, whose soul he places inside another body in order to use him as a sort of dowsing rod in finding the missing soul of Varela. During their trek across the desert, they also meet up with an oilman trying to escape the clutches of his greedy soon-to-be ex-wife, and a blind, transvestite fortune teller.
The action is pretty much nonstop, yet somehow the author managed to balance that with laugh out loud and terrifying moments in equal measure. Their wild journey across the desert will lead them to an L.A. Day of the Dead celebration and a showdown with powerful magic you won’t soon forget Sam is not your usual protagonist. After all, the man changes bodies like we change socks, and since he doesn’t have his looks to rely on, it’s who he is as a man that makes him a worthy hero. And he is worthy. Magic, betrayel, creatures made of bugs. It’s all in a day’s work for Sam.
I couldn’t make this stuff up, but Chris F. Holm can, and it’s a good thing, because we get to have a blast reading it. This series is urban fantasy at its best with subtle noir undertones and the combo just works. Also, if you’re a fan of the classics in hardboiled noir, the title is especially awesome. I wanted to hug this book when I finished (it happens sometimes, don’t judge.) If the author keeps this up, he’ll be giving some of the big UF names a run for their money, very, very soon. If you haven’t discovered this series yet, you’re in for a wonderful ride!(less)
Washed up, disgraced psychiatrist Dr. Annie Torgus has got quite a story, and she’s determined to sell it to the highest bidder. For the past 35 years she’s worked at a prison called Morphic Fields, attempting to thwart suicide in death row inmates (the irony is not lost on her), and she’s convinced that there is something “otherworldly” about convicted child killer Agnus Day. Agnus has Gershwind syndrome that causes him to write compulsively on every surface, and he’s been known to portend trouble for the prison staff. Meanwhile, Detective Alexis Bianco is onto something too. Her latest case has her stumped, after the medical examiner came back with the news that the bones of a 22 year old girl are supposedly over 400 years old. This case leads her to Lola, a woman whose sole job is to hunt down and kill the Tormenta; demons that torment people into committing suicide so they can siphon their remaining lifespan. The Tormenta may be the least of humankind’s problems, however, because the Mosca is coming…
Romeo Spikes takes place in Louisiana and its bayous, and having just visited New Orleans, I can honestly say that the author couldn’t have used a more perfect location for this story. Morphic Fields is decidedly creepy, and the Tormenta are terrifying, just like the methods they use to increase their lifespans. I loved strong, smart Alexis Bianco and actually developed a bit of a soft spot for Lola. The demon mythology is fascinating and Ms. Reay manages to balance quite a cast of characters deftly. There are tons of plates spinning in the air in this head banger of a book, and I don’t recall one of them breaking. There’s so much awesome in Romeo Spikes, I’m not sure what to highlight, to be honest. For starters, Lola has a rocket launcher over her door, for gawd’s sake (and an alarmingly vast number of weapons hanging on the walls.) It’s got angels, demons, murder, insanity, bayou mambos, otherworldly hunters, super-secret government agencies, mysterious manuscripts, and yes, romeo spikes. It reads like a movie, which makes sense, since Joanne Reay is a professional screenwriter, and her prose virtually leaps off of the page. She’s not afraid to take risks either, and knows how to keep her readers on their toes. Romeo Spikes is a fast paced, breath-of-fresh-air, scary, exciting, and rather unique, humdinger of a novel, and I dare you not to get hooked at page one! It’s also part one of a trilogy, so there’s more to come, and I can’t wait!(less)
A seedy Las Vegas motel room. A dead hooker (or is she?) A lesser angel (and former PI) named Grif here for another Take. A nosy girl reporter out for vengeance. Sounds good so far, right? Oh, it totally is. When Griffin Shaw comes to collect this Take, he has no idea that it will set him on a course that will force him to examine his former life, and unlife. After a small act of kindness angers his bosses, he’s forced back into a flesh suit to investigate the beautiful Kit Craig. There’s a bit of a hitch, though. Kit is scheduled to die in only a few hours, and he’s not supposed to interfere with that. What’s a PI angel to do?
I’m a huge fan of Vicki Pettersson’s and was sorry to see her Signs of the Zodiac series end, so when I found out she was starting a new series, I couldn’t wait to dive in. In The Taken, the author has taken the angel mythos and spun it around a bit, to create her own cool-as-hell style. Kit is a delightful heroine: she’s a glass-half-full kind of gal, and compliments Grif’s gruffness perfectly. She’s a go getter, and when her longtime friend is taken from her, instead of succumbing to grief, she gets down to the business of finding her killer, at the risk of her own life. Grif finds himself simultaneously annoyed and charmed by this talkative, inquisitive woman with rockabilly style,and Kit is undeniably attracted to the enigmatic (and stylish) Grif. Grif is still hung up on his wife’s murder, fifty years ago, and hopes to find out the truth behind her death, and his, but this case is darker and more vast then even he could have imagined. Ms. Pettersson has never shied away from the darkness, and it’s in full force here. Ms. Pettersson’s ability to capture the seedy side of Vegas while never leaving her love of the city behind is always a pleasure, and she uses the city she loves to full advantage.
The Taken is a slow build, but as soon as it hits its stride, you won’t be able to put it down, and you’ll be rewarded in spades. Angels, ghosts, mobsters, romance, rockabilly,and a cabal of corruption come together explosively in a Vegas noir confection you won’t want to put down. Seriously, watch out, or you’ll get a paper cut turning those pages so fast.(less)
Nurse Edie Spence is having a bad day. She’s assigned to unit Y4 at county hospital, and manages to obliterate a vampire servant (daytimer) by accident, getting bit in the hand in the process. He whispers the name Anna before he expires, and with the name, and his watch in hand, she’s off to find the mysterious Anna. What Edie finds is horrifying, evidence of a slavery ring involving vampires, torture, and worse. When she does finally manage to find and free Anna, she realizes she may be in over her head. Anna is not only a vampire, she’s much more. Just how much more Edie doesn’t know, but she’ll lead her down a dangerous path, and there’s no turning back. Edie needs Anna to testify on her behalf at a vampire tribunal for any chance of survival, but keeping track of the little vampire is a monumental task all its own.
I loved this book. What a breath of fresh air! You may think from the cover that it might be a semi-light urban romance. Not so. In fact, in many ways it’s darker then a lot of UF out there right now. Edie isn’t a happy go lucky girl. In fact, she’s got a brother who’s a junkie, and the Shadows (the denizens that keep Y4 in check) have her over a barrel. She works on Y4 and in return, they keep her brother clean. She’s afraid of making any real connections with anyone and unwinds by going to clubs to dance and bring home one-night stands. And Edie is very, very lonely. I think the diminutive Anna (she appears to be a nine year old girl), brings out a protective side in Edie, and her determination to protect her was endearing, especially since Anna isn’t exactly what you’d call “cuddly”. She’s very much “other”, as are all vampires in Cassie Alexander’s world. Nightshifted is a unique, fascinating trip into Edie’s world. Not only is the worldbuilding different, but I really enjoyed the nursing aspects as well (Cassie Alexander is a nurse, so she knows her stuff.) The book is filled with fascinating characters, including an enigmatic zombie firefighter (no rotting shambler here), which Edie finds herself increasingly drawn to, weres, shapeshifters, and of course, vampires. A memorable scene with a STD afflicted dragon (yup) had me on the edge of my seat, the budding romance with Ti (zombie firefighter!) is sweet and tender, and I just plain loved hanging out with Edie. Nightshifted is a very strong start to what promises to be a wonderful new series!(less)
Working the checkout line at the grocery store is no place for Miriam Black. Little acts of rebellion like staring into the laser light of the scanner just aren’t doin’ it for her. Of course she finally runs her mouth and gets herself fired, but gets an itch that she just needs to scratch. That would be touching the woman that fired her and finding out how she dies. The only problem is, when she does that, she finds out death isn’t far off at all, quite possibly for all of them. This incident prompts Miriam into packing up and attempting to leave the trailer that she shares with Louis. Feeling smothered and panicky, she sets off on foot, but Louis tracks her down. He always does. Louis talks Miriam into using her “talent” to help an English teacher at a school for troubled girls, which leads to visions of a serial killer. Let the descent into crazy begin…
If you’ve read Blackbirds, you’re already somewhat familiar with Miriam’s personality. She’s rude, mouthy, insensitive, blunt, extremely foul mouthed, and really, really hard to like. Ok, now set that stuff aside for just a minute. Bear with me. Yes, Miriam isn’t the most charming girl, and if anything, she’s even more abrasive in Mockingbird. Seriously, the girl would begin trying my patience in about 2 minutes. However, all of that crappy stuff is mostly a defense mechanism. Mostly. Her ability allows her to see horrible stuff, and the events at the girl’s school are just about as bad as it gets. Our Miriam, foulmouthed, childish, and surly, will put herself in the path of a Mack truck if it means saving an innocent life. She reminds me a bit of a zombie, without the whole rot and braaaaaiiiiiins thing. She will keep coming, until the job is done, and she’s dead. And poor Louis feels like her must protect her. Needless to say, I don’t envy Louis the job he’s assigned to himself. A killer is indeed cutting a swath through these girls, one that dons a plague mask and uses barbed wire for restraints. The situation is much, much worse than Miriam initially thinks, though, as hard as it is to believe, and she’ll need every bit of grit she has to get through this one. Dark forces are rallying against Miriam, because she’s been messing with fate, and fate is a fickle, vengeful mistress. Chuck Wendig’s mind is a terrifying, twisted, fascinating thing, and thank goodness he puts this stuff down on paper for the rest of us. Darker than dark, Mockingbird will take you on a journey you won’t soon forget, so fortify your stomach and settle in, because you’re going to want to read this one in one sitting. Can’t wait for the next one!(less)
There’s a blurb on the front of Fated by Jim Butcher, and I’ll admit, it went a ways toward me reading the book. Don’t get me wrong, the book sounded great, but Benedict Jacka is a new author, so it definitely helped. That said, Fated is a bit like the Dresden Files, but really only in the fact that Alex Verus is a wizard, or mage, and Alex’s voice is is a similar mix of easygoing and tightly coiled power. Alex is a diviner, able to see the many possible outcomes and paths of a situation. Usually. He’s not all-powerful, but he’s pretty darn powerful, and he’s done his best not to cross paths with the Council, running a magic shop in Camden Town, in London. Staying under the radar has done well for him, but when various mages (Light and Dark), come to him seeking his services, he finds himself back under the very thumb that he escaped years ago.
The author packs quite a bit of storytelling into just under 300 pages, and does it very effectively. I liked Alex immediately, and found his power fascinating. There’s some mild tension between Alex and his friend Luna, who’s carrying a very powerful curse, and she’ll turn out to be a valuable ally in the battle to come. And there will be battle. There’s a powerful artifact that more than a few powerful mages want to get their hands on, and they’ll use any manner of coercion, arm twisting, and just plain nastiness to get Alex to snag it for them. The main group of Dark mages that Alex deals with are really just plain mean, and I found myself wishing that Alex could just kick ‘em in the mouth. Multiple times. With feeling. It doesn’t help that Alex is carrying around a little baggage of his own, having been at the mercy of a Dark mage himself when he was younger. Yeah, the Dark mages like to keep slaves, er, helpers, and they’re extremely cruel about it. Can you say torture chambers? So, you can understand why Alex isn’t too keen on “helping” any of these guys out. On the charming side, we’re also introduced to some really neat creatures, and the world that the author has created is definitely one I’ll want to visit again. Fated is a strong start to what looks to be a magical series!(less)
Jessica McClain is the daughter of the head of her werewolf Pack, and she’s enthusiastically breaking Pack law by fighting an Alpha wolf who’s been giving her trouble. The problem is, Jessica is female (weres don’t carry the ability to create females, so she’s considered an abomination), and fighting an alpha wolf is really not a good idea, but she’s sick and tired of being picked on. Jessica knows she must fight or leave before things spin out of control. Set to go to the city and enter the police academy, she must convince her father that it’s the best thing for her, but at only 19, that’s not an easy thing to do. Blooded is a great introduction to this brand new series by debut author Amanda Carlson, and Jessica McClain is one tough human girl in a sea of supes that’s determined to hold her own. Ms. Carlson’s writing is tight and her fight scenes are stellar. If you love urban fantasy (and shifters), this is one new series you’ll want to get your hands on!(less)
The Mortal Path series is one of the most fun urban fantasy series out there, so I was more than ready to dive into Deliverance. Maliha’s story is a heartbreaking one, and there were quite a lot of changes in her life in book 2, so I was eager to see how book 3 explores these new paths. For one, Maliha is no longer Ageless. However, in order to break free from the demon that has enslaved her for so long, she must balance the scales and save the lives of innocents in order to make up for the many that she has killed as an assassin. Of course, her demon is convinced she can’t do this, but Maliha is determined to be free. She’s also ready for some normalcy in her life, and eager to explore a possible future with the man she loves, Jake. Jake has a secret, though, and that’s just one of the complications Maliha will have to deal with. A dear friend has been kidnapped, and a woman older and more dangerous than Maliha could ever imagine will have to be dealt with, even if it means Maliha’s life.
Maliha is a favorite character of mine, and she’s never hesitated to kick some serious butt. Deliverance is no exception, and the fight scenes are fast paced and brutal. Let’s just say that Maliha is very talented with a sword, and doesn’t hesitate to use it. When a member of her team gets kidnapped, all of her talents will come into play, and she’ll have to balance whether or not the rest of her team is in too much danger. Maliha’s got some guilt in this one, more so than in the first two books. No doubt this is because she’s now on the Mortal Path, and killing indiscriminately is no longer in her playbook, so a lot more thought has to be put into her methods. There’s also some serious tension between Maliha and her lover Jake, especially when a trusted friend tells her that there may be more to Jake than she thinks. Ms. Banks brings it with the villain in this one, and a lot of readers will recognize her as a very real figure from history, one that will certainly make you cringe. A big part of the fun of these novels are Maliha’s toys (cars, swanky condos, etc), and they’re at her disposal, as usual. I appreciate a girl who likes a nice sports car, but I digress… Fans of urban fantasy involving fun gadgets, fast cars, and internationat destinations will enjoy these always entertaining adventures, alongside a heroine that never ceases to be fascinating. Lots of revelations in this one will keep you glued to the pages and eager for the next book!(less)
Ashley Parker is attending college in the small town of Redwood Grove and dating a pleasant enough guy. Life isn’t too bad, so when she and her boyfriend are attacked by shambling, rotting corpses one night while on a date, and said boyfriend runs away and leaves her for dead, things suddenly take a turn for the worse. That’s an understatement. Ashley is bitten, but instead of turning into one of the zombie horde, she fights off the virus, and comes out of it stronger, faster, and…immune. After being nursed back to health by a super-secret military organization, they ask her to join an elite group of fighters called the Wild Cards, which are made up of civilians that are immune to the virus, just like Ashley. She knows something has to be done to save as many survivors as necessary, so agrees to join the group. Little does she know how terrifying things are about to become…
Author Dana Fredsti has a background that folks like me will totally geek out about. We’re talking stuff like sword-fighting on the set of Army of Darkness, guys, and it shows in Plague Town. The lady knows her weapons (especially those of the bladed variety), and isn’t afraid to take Ashley to new heights of ass-kicking. Plus, she gave her heroine a name that can be shortened to Ash…yeah, you know you like it. Ashley Parker is a pretty normal chick with a smart mouth that just won’t quit. She’s a lot smarter than your average girl, though, and the pop culture references come hard and fast. More geeking out, of the awesome kind. The author does a wonderful job of balancing the serious, the funny, and the downright grotesque, creating a zom novel that will please fans of Jonathan Maberry’s Dead of Night, etc.
Ashley takes on her new role with chutzpah and more than an ounce of bravery and her attraction to her handsome and enigmatic instructor Gabriel isn’t without drama, and adds a nice little dash of romance to the story. Ms. Fredsti also manages to throw in some interesting twists to the zombie virus that will have those little hairs on the back of your neck standing on end. I chuckled, I cringed, and I cheered (quietly, so as not to disturb the rest of the house), as Ashley and her rather ragtag (and somewhat charming) band of zombie warriors fight the hordes and rescued survivors. If you love zombies, strong, sarcastic heroines with heart, and fight scenes that will knock your socks off, you’ll devour Plague Town!(less)
This is the first book I’ve read by Jessa Slade (I know, shame on me), and all I can say is…wow! Sidney Westerbrook, fresh from London, a bit stiff in his tweeds, is attacked by lesser demons in a rather dark Chicago alley. Along comes the lovely Alyce Carver, feral, wild, and unearthly, and rescues him from almost certain death. All I could think of during her fight with the demons was the fight between River and the Reavers in Serenity (if you haven’t seen that movie, download it, buy it, whatever you need to do), but I digress. I couldn’t help comparing Alyce with River during the entire novel, and it really endeared her to me. She very old, yet she was never properly bonded with her demon, resulting in certain…oddities. Lots of divergent traits, our Alyce has. These oddities are something that Sid is happy to research, since he is to be the Chicago League’s temporary Bookkeeper. What is a Bookkeeper in this case, you might ask? Well, each member of the League is possessed by a repentant demon, or teshuva. They’ve taken on the responsibility to protect their respective areas from lesser demons. The problem is that Sid is inexplicably drawn to Alyce, but he’s determined to maintain his distance. After all, his job is to catalog the history and traits of the talyan and their mates, from a distance. You can bet that’s not gonna happen, but it’s not for his lack of trying…
Darkness Undone knocked my socks off. Yes, it’s the 4th in the Marked Souls series, and since it’s the first one I read, I had a bit of catching up to do, but that’s ok. It was very easy to get attached to each member of the League and especially our main couple, Alyce and Sidney. Well, it was easy to love Alyce. Sid took a bit longer:-D Ahh, Sid. It’s fairly likely you’ll want to slap him more than a few times as you read Darkness Undone. His resistance to love is eye-rolling at times, but he has his reasons. You’ll still want to shake him though, hard. Jessa Slade has created a rich, dark, complex world and populated it with equally complex characters. Luckily, she included a handy glossary in the back. Don’t let that scare you. It’s a pretty short list, and if this is your first read from her, you’ll only have to consult it once or twice. Seriously, her world of possessed humans is all her own. The light of the talyan is counteracted by the darkness of the djinn-men, or humans possessed by not-so-nice angels, and she introduces a villain, Thorne, that you find is not all black and white. He’s pretty firmly in the grey zone, and I found myself sympathizing with him at different points. Don’t worry though, he commits plenty of nasty.
The romance between Sid and Alyce is everything I like in my love stories: lots of push and pull, frustration, cold shoulders, resistance, desire, and plenty of heat. Kick ass fight scenes punctuate this wonderful book, and did I mention the writing is top notch? I didn’t? Well, it is, and Alyce has a dry wit that will delight you, and frankly, make you want to give her a hug. Exploring her mysterious past and mining her relationship with Sid and the League was a delight, and I can’t wait to return to this wonderful world. This series will appeal to Urban Fantasy and Paranormal fans alike, and it’s a must for your bookshelf. I’ll be devouring books 1 through 3, like, now, and will count the days until the next one!(less)
In book 4 of the superb Iron Druid series, we rejoin my favorite Druid, Atticus O’Sullivan, and the Morrigan in the Arizona desert, as they prepare to watch as Atticus rather spectacularly fakes his own death, with the help of the trickster Coyote, of course. Yes, you read that right. Atticus is about to watch “himself” be obliterated by a few gods that want him dead (see book 3, Hammered.) What follows is indeed spectacular, and laugh out loud funny as the gods discuss Atticus’ demise with Morrigan (playing her role with aplomb.) Well, now that Atticus is “dead”, he’s feeling pretty good, since, for the first time, no one is after him, and he can train his apprentice, Granuaile, in peace. Yeah, riiiiight. We all know that Atticus is kind of a trouble magnet, in spite of his best efforts, right? Indeed, Coyote, who was a big part of Atticus’ faked death, needs a favor, and it’s a biggie. Coyote wants to help out his people, who are suffering in a dying town, but little does Atticus know, this also involves fighting some extremely nasty skinwalkers. Think berserker Tasmanian devils with one track minds set to “kill, kill, kill.” Yes, they’re that bad. Oh wait, add some pretty hefty magic to that equation too. Atticus is tough, but the skinwalkers are off the charts. Then there’s that pesky vamp problem…
If you haven’t discovered this series, yet, get thee to a bookstore and snag ‘em, or download them, however you roll, because it just keeps getting better and better. I laughed so hard during the first half of this book that I may have squirted tears a couple of times, and the action in this one pretty much never lets up. Poor Atticus is also put through so much, physically, that I was genuinely worried for my fave Druid a couple of times. There’s lots of meaty stuff in this one, and the author wraps up some major story arcs and gives Atticus and Co. a fresh start. The author takes a bit of a break from the thunder gods to tackle Navajo lore, which I found fascinating, and we also got to know Granuaile a lot better (she’s smart, kicks butt, and has Atticus’ back at all times.) Oberon, the big, adorable, meat-lovin’ ball of awesome that is Atticus’ longtime friend and Irish wolfhound, is funnier than ever and his heroics in this one might get you a little bit teary.
The problem with these books is, upon finishing, I want to gush and tell everyone all about it, and I want to tell you, my loyal readers, all about it too, but that would totally spoil the fun, yeah? Reading an Atticus book is like visiting a lifelong friend and knowing you’re always going to have a kick-ass time. How Kevin Hearne does it Every. Single. Time, I have no idea, but he does, and he just keeps piling on the awesome. Tricked is packed with thoroughly engrossing characters, fascinating mythology, creatures that will make your head spin, lots of action, and a ton of heart. I dare you to give this series a try and NOT fall completely in love! Luckily, the next book, Trapped, is out later this year, and I have no doubt it will blow me away!(less)