Abandoned by her troop and her immortality, Joanna Archer is adrift in a sea of uncertainty. Formerly an agent of Light, she’s now joined with the Grey agents, hoping to reclaim her life, and her immortality. The Tulpa (Joanna’s father) is sending his agents into Midheaven, and nobody knows why. He just may be trying to gain control of the Kairos so he would be able to rule three worlds: mortal, supernatural, and the underworld. Joanna was once thought to be the Kairos (the perfect balance of light and dark), but that’s not the case, and now, Joanna must rescue Hunter from Midheaven, and the scheming, jealous Solange, his former lover. She must also keep the Tulpa from gaining control of the Kairos, and with it, wielding the ultimate power.
Ahhh, Midheaven, how you give me the creeps. Midheaven is one of the author’s best and yes, creepiest creations in these novels. In The Neon Graveyard we get to visit Midheaven with Joanna quite a bit. Poor Jo doesn’t get much of a break in this one, and is really put through the emotional and physical ringer this time. Butting heads with Solange is never fun, and Solange ain’t her purty self this time around. Oh no. We get to see her true face, and it’s icky, really icky. Think spider with its skin on inside out. See? Not pretty. Joanna also has her former troop leader, Warren, gunning for her, and he’s firmly riding the crazy train. Personally, I wanted to ring his neck and throw him off a cliff. She’s really got a knack for imagery, and this is no exception. If you’ve ever found yourself mesmerized by the stars, she’ll have you in the palm of her hand. We also get to spend some quality time at Master Comics in this one, and that’s always fun. After all, it’s the belief of the readers of the Troop Manuals that give our heroes their powers, and the loyalty of those readers is nothing short of phenomenal. Love and loyalty are very strong themes here, and if these novels have made you cry before (guilty), then this one will too. Joanna discovers some new powers and faces new tragedy, but there’s always a light in the darkness, and she never gives in to hopelessness. She’ll need all the hope, and help, that she can round up to face off against her greatest enemy: her father.
I hate to say more and spoil it for those still catching up with the series, but I can say you won’t be disappointed. For those that are just now discovering this splendid series, I envy you. I hope you love it as much as I have!(less)
The Cold Kiss of Death has lots going on. I mean, lots. Genny is the only sidhe fae in the London area, and that makes her a very attractive proposition for any supernatural being that has it in his mind that it might be time to, er, start a family. Her job with Spellcrackers.com has gotten tough with the tension between her and her satyr boss, Finn. Then there’s the sexy vampire, Malik al-Kahn, who holds the key to her past, possibly her future, and definitely her heart. She also happens to own a spell that lets her take over the body of a very ancient, beautiful vampire that Malik has a rather messy history with. Ms McLeod fills her books with intricate detailing and manages to weave many storylines together without them becoming overly entangled. There were a few moments where I lost my place, but everything came together in the end. Nothing is black and white in Genny’s world, and she’s constantly getting pushed and pulled from all sides. The Cold Kiss of Death was rather bloody in parts, but there’s a reason for this, and these scenes never seem gratuitous. If you like your London filled with fae, vamps, trolls, ghosts, and enough magic to make your toes curl, you’re in for quite a ride! I’m certainly looking forward to the next book in this series. (less)
I don’t want to live in the world that Mira Grant described in Feed, and now in Deadline.
I don’t want to live in a house that has tiny windows, so that anything about 40lbs can’t get through, or have to endure blood tests at every entry or exit.
I don’t want to never again experience the joy of an open air concert or festival.
I don’t want to not be able to offer comfort to a stranger by giving them a hug, or holding their hand.
I don’t want to live in a world where I might have to shoot someone I love to save them from a fate worse than death.
This is the world put forth by the author, and it’s just the tip of the iceberg. Almost 30 years after the cure for the common cold turned into hell on wheels, the world is still recovering from the devastation. Some parts of the world will never be reclaimed, and the effects of this disease roam the wilds, seeking to infect and feed. In Deadline, news blogger Shaun Mason is our narrator, and still hasn’t recovered from events that affected him and his team in the worst possible way. When a CDC doctor fakes her own death and shows up, asking for his help, all hell breaks loose…again. He’s now on a mission to uncover a vast government conspiracy that could affect the whole of humanity and will uncover secrets that will certainly change his life, and those he cares for, forever...and he has nothing to lose.
If you haven’t yet discovered this superb series by Mira Grant (aka Seanan McGuire), then you’re in for a wild ride. Feed and Deadline feature some of the best post-apocalyptic writing that I’ve read, hands down. Not just zombie books, these novels explore the nature of fear in all its forms and will take you on an emotional roller coaster that will haunt you for days after you’ve stopped reading. The characterizations are phenomenal, and the attention to detail is no less than it was in Feed. Sometimes it’s hard to follow up such amazing work, and sometimes second novels in a series suffer a bit. Not Deadline. It’s just as good as Feed, and you’ll find yourself plowing through this 600+ page novel in no time. I missed quite a bit of sleep finishing this one up. Was it worth it? Totally. (less)
It’s really difficult to review a book in a series, unless it’s the first, without giving some things away. That said, I’m going to keep this review as spoiler free as possible.
In The Iron Queen, we rejoin Meghan and Ash after they’ve been exiled from Faery as a result of Ash declaring his love for Meghan. They return to Meghan’s home only to be attacked by thugs sent from the Iron Court and she realizes she cannot stay, or her family would be in grave danger. The characters we love from Iron King and Iron Daughter are all here, and there’s still a bit of a love triangle with Meghan, Ash, and Puck, although Ash will make a promise that will change things between him and Meghan forever. When they get word that the Winter and Summer Courts have banded together to fight the invasion of the Iron Court and the end of the Nevernever, Meghan is made an offer that she can’t refuse, but to accept it could cost her not only her life, but the lives of the ones she cherishes the most. In a race against time, Meghan and her friends must enter the Iron realm and defeat the Iron King, or she will lose the people, and the world, she’s come to love so much.
The novel moves right along with Meghan’s first person narrative, and as usual Ms. Kagawa’s prose flows beautiful and lush across the page, taking us into Meghan’s adventure as if we were by her side. Family secrets are revealed and battles are fought on Faery battlegrounds while the fate of an entire world hangs in the balance. Meghan has to gather every bit of strength she has to journey into the Iron realm and kill the false king. Along the way she’ll meet new friends, fight her way through a steampunk wasteland filled with magma lakes and mountains of lost things, iron fey attacks, and traitorous Winter fey, all while keeping her friends safe, and not losing herself in the process… Oh, and did I mention she gets to fly?
This is probably my favorite of the three novels and I’ll be anxiously looking forward to The Iron Knight!(less)
A witch, and elf, and a pixie go on a roadtrip… Sounds like the start of a bad joke, right? Well, it’s not, it’s the basic premise of Kim Harrison latest Hollows novel, Pale Demon, which is anything but basic. Trent Kalamack needs Rachel to do him a “favor” and get him to Seattle in one piece. Rachel needs Trent to back her up at a coven meeting, where she is hoping to have her shunning rescinded, and Jenks, Rachel’s trusted partner and dear friend, is along for the ride. Throw Ivy, Rachel’s beautiful, and lethal, vampire friend into the mix, and you’ve got the recipe for a roller coaster ride of magical proportions!
Jenks gets pixie-napped in the desert, the gang tangles with a very nasty day-walking demon, the coven is on a mission to assassinate Rachel before she can get to her hearing, and Rachel finds out that Trent may not have been completely honest with her about just why it is that he needs to get to Seattle. Pale Demon is nonstop action from the start, and unlike other series,where things can start to flag at this point (9 books in), it’s just as good or even better than the previous books. Rachel has always had a bit of a struggle with her identity, but never more so than in Pale Demon. She uses dark magic for good ends, but the coven doesn’t condone dark magic of any kind, and Rachel desperately doesn’t want to be labeled a Black witch. She’ll have to come to grips with who she is, or an entire world could be destroyed. Kim Harrison has made me cry before with this series, but Pale Demon was an emotional roller coaster of the best kind. The author is a pro, her characterizations are perfect, and her ability to balance a complicated, emotional plot with just the right amount of action, is part of why I love this series. Rachel, Ivy, Jenks, Bis, Pierce and even Al and Trent are like family to me, and reading a Hollows novel is like coming home. I can’t wait to follow Rachel into her next adventure! (less)
Sabina Kane, half vamp, half mage, and all kick-ass, is locked and loaded. Her grandmother, head vamp Lavinia Kane, wants her dead, and the feeling is mutual! Granny-from-Hell isn't the only one that wants her dead. An evil sect, the Caste of Nod, believes that Sabina is destined to unite the dark races, which would really put a damper on their plans to bring back the queen bitch herself, Lilith. Lavinia Kane has also taken one of the things that means the most to Sabina, her twin sister, Maisie. It will take everything Sabina's got to hunt down Lavinia and save her sister. With sexy mage Adam and loyal demon minion Giguhl at her side, what can go wrong? Right?
Green-Eyed Demon was hands down my favorite of the first three Sabina Kane books. Ms. Wells ratchets up the action to a feverish pace, and much of the story is set in New Orleans, which adds a rich, magic infused setting. This book has it all; faeries, weres, horny demon minions, vamps, mages, drag queens, zombies, voodoo, steamy romance, and did I say drag queens? Pulse pounding, action packed, with Ms. Wells' trademark snark, Green-Eyed Demon had me frantically turning the pages until the very end! (less)