After the fallout of Merit's relationship with Ethan in Twice Bitten and his subsequent mind change, Merit is extremely gun shy about giving him anoth After the fallout of Merit's relationship with Ethan in Twice Bitten and his subsequent mind change, Merit is extremely gun shy about giving him another chance. Of course the sexy Master Vampire only sees this as a challenge rather than a deterrent, as he continues to try and win her back. Things get tricky when Mayor Tate informs them that three girls were murdered at a rave and if they didn't stop them then Ethan would take the fall. With protestors gathering outside their gates and the human population up in arms of what to do with the vampires and shapeshifters, Merit knows it will only take one more straw to break the camel's back. Cadogan house has never needed its Sentinel more.
One of my favorite things about The Chicagoland Vampires series is the incredible dynamic between all of the characters, especially Ethan and Merit. From the very start they were polar opposites clashing with each other, yet feeling inexplicably drawn to the other at the same time. Every emotion between them is always full throttle be it anger, frustration, love, or even fear, making them one of my top favorite couples, or well love interests, as I can't exactly call them a couple in the strictest sense. What they are is complicated, yet everything is so very real and raw that you can't help feeling everything right along with them. I have high hope for them in the long run, I just cannot imagine anything less considering all the build up.
I have to confess that I read the end of this book first. I ver rarely do this, but after hearing the blogger community ranting about a shocking ending I knew I would not have been able to enjoy the book because I was too nervous and anxious to find out what happens. I'm actually really glad I did because I was able to calm down and enjoy the build up. Even though I knew what was going to happen, the ending still had the emotional impact intended when I read it for the second time, it is that shocking. I'm not sure I would recommend this method to anyone else, but I really hate to be too anxious while reading a book as it makes me rush rather than savor it.That being said, no matter when you read the end, prepare to be shocked. Chloe has said to trust her, and all I can say to that is that it will take a huge leap of faith. In the end I guess I will just have to take her at her word, as the alternative is quite thinkable. I only hope the next installment, Drink Deep will have things fixed, as I just don't know what I will do otherwise.
The title Hard Bitten really suits as this truly was a very hard and difficult read. However, I am going to be a good little reader and trust that there is a master plan. I just don't think Ms. Neil would have done what she did without a really good reason. So, now the waiting game starts until I can get my hands on the next book. Putting the ending aside, Hard Bitten was everything I have come to expect from this fabulous author earning a five star rating.
Here is a spoiler section: (view spoiler)[ Okay, so Ethan is dead. See, I can say that calmly. *Pauses to scream* Or not. Now that I've gotten that out my system I wanted to discuss some things about this. I refuse to believe he is dead for good. I mean the whole dynamic between Merit and Ethan is so integral to the story, I just don't see how things could really work without him. I mean why would the author spend all that time building their relationship and make us root for them if he was just going to be eliminated from the story. That dream at the end really felt like it meant something, with Merit hearing Ethan scream her name as she woke up. Perhaps Ethan's soul is stuck somewhere and Merit has to find him in order to save him? Plus there is the vision Gabriel showed her of someone with eyes that were Ethan's but different. I'm wondering if he will come back as human or something? The only question is how, because as of yet there hasn't been shown a way that vampires can come back from ash. I'm sure in the end things will make sense and be believable, but that idea is no small comfort while we wait in agony to see his fate. If you have any other theories, I'd love to hear them! (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Chess is a church witch whose job as a debunker is to disband rouge ghosts and disprove false haunting claims against the church. She is a broken charChess is a church witch whose job as a debunker is to disband rouge ghosts and disprove false haunting claims against the church. She is a broken character with many flaws and weaknesses. In the middle of a fight she will pop pills or snort up. She is completely unable to function without being high. Surprisingly though, I couldn't help caring for Chess. Her past is a little murky, but based on what was revealed its no wonder she is a user. Despite her weaknesses, she has a tremendous underlying strength. A lesser person could not have survived some of the thing she went through.
Chess's habit lands her in hot water in this book when her drug lord, Bump, orders her to clear up a ghost problem at an airfield he wants to open. She thought it would be an easy way to wipe her debt clean but quickly finds herself in the middle of a deadly plot with a great evil at the root. As if these evil forces were not enough, Chess is pitted between the two main drug lords when Bump's rival, Lex, tells her he doesn't want that airport open and it would be in her best interest to stop it. Teamed up with Bump's enforcer, Terrible, she must figure out how to play both sides, and unravel the nefarious plot or it could mean countless deaths including her own..
Terrible's character completely caught me off guard. Chess describes him as an ugly brute who is only good for beating down people for his boss, so I wasn't expecting anything else behind that facade. However, he seems to have a slight vulnerability towards Chess and given his normal behavior, this makes him very endearing. As the book went on, Chess began to see intelligence behind that brawn, as well as compassion and found herself trusting him, something she never does. There was a definite spark between the two of them that was much more than the lust between Chess and Lex. Hopefully this trust will build into something more between them.
I didn't particularly care for the extreme slang from some of the characters. It was difficult to read at first, but as the book went on it did get a little easier to understand. I understand the author was trying to show the characters from downside as uneducated, but the slang could have been written a little more clearly. Putting that aside, the rest of the book flowed really well and kept me sucked in until the very end. Considering how dark the book is as well as Chess's habits, it is a surprisingly good read, and makes a good addition to the Urban Fantasy Genre....more
After saying goodbye to Ryu and leaving Boston, Jane's now been home for a few months to train on both offensive and defensive magical skills. She's mAfter saying goodbye to Ryu and leaving Boston, Jane's now been home for a few months to train on both offensive and defensive magical skills. She's making progress, and figures she has time to learn, but one thing she didn't count on was the horrific news she would be getting. She'll need her powers at full strength, as she gets wrapped up in a case dealing with brutalized females, both supernatural and human, that hits closer to home than she could have ever imagined. Despite Ryu and Anyan's protests, she becomes a very integral part of the investigation, putting herself in the gravest of dangers, and if she isn't careful, this time her number just might be up.
Jane truly becomes Ms. Jane True in this book. She is no longer content to just muster through her training, nor stay on the sidelines in the action. She really isn't the Jane we met in the first book anymore. I'm only hoping she continues on this path of gaining self confidence. Perhaps she may even start to see herself more clearly, as she is an incredibly awesome person. The things she endures are absolutely terrible, yet she continues on with a fierce determination. Granted, there were a few times where she seemed like she might crumble, but she never once gave in. Perhaps in time everyone will stop underestimating her, but at least for now it works in her favor, as no one realizes just how much of a threat she can be.
After the way the last book ended, the relationship issues between Jane and Ryu were inevitable. I'm so glad Jane is standing up for herself, and refusing to just accept his picture of her. Aside from her issues with Ryu there also is the glaring problem that she might actually love Anyan. However, she'll need to accept herself if she is to have any hope with him. As of yet, she just doesn't feel she is in Anyan's league, and that cannot possibly lead to healthy relationship. Of course, I'm still holding out hopes for them yet, but I just hope she doesn't jump into things with her current attitude, as that could be the recipe for disaster. I wouldn't want them to get together, only to fall right apart. I have more of long term picture of them in my mind and I hope it becomes "reality".
This series is the type where every time you think you have something figured out, a major curve ball throws you for a loop. I love being kept on my toes, and this book definitely did not disappoint. The next book should prove to be very good based on the ending events of this book. Some things could have easily gone a different way, but I am so glad they didn't. I highly recommend this series to anyone who enjoys paranormal romance or urban fantasies with a lighter, humorous side, yet still have plenty of danger and action to cause just the right amount of tension. This series is quickly becoming one of my top favorites and I cannot wait to see what Jane gets herself into next. Bravo to you Ms. Peeler! ...more
Bryn Davis knows being a funeral director won't be a very glamorous job, but it's a steady paycheck and she doesn't really mind death, or more accuratBryn Davis knows being a funeral director won't be a very glamorous job, but it's a steady paycheck and she doesn't really mind death, or more accurately corpses. She's very happy to be starting her new job at Fairview Mortuary, but all that changes when she learns things aren't as cut and dry as they seemed. There's an extortion ring going on behind closed doors with deadly consequences. She teams up with Patrick McCallister to try and destroy the drug company behind it all, but things get a little tricky as she also needs them to survive. Bryn will have to avoid being sucked down the rabbit hold too far or she will lose more than her life, or unlife as it were.
With Bryn's military background, and her nonchalance around corpses, I had assumed that she would just be another typical hard case urban fantasy heroine. So many of them are overly tough and have a laundry list of skills that sometimes seem to stretch the believable. I was very happy to find that my initial assumption about Bryn was very wrong. While she does has an amazing inner strength, she also isn't afraid to show emotion. You can really feel just how much everything effects her, and that sucked me right into caring for her plight. Now the other thing that make Bryn such an amazing character is that while she did have her breakdowns when things just got to be too much to bear, she never once let the situation get the best of her. She would cry it out and then "keep on trucking" as they say. The sheer determination it took to keep going was nothing short of admirable and I was rooting very hard for her every step of the way.
The world behind Working Stiff was truly spellbinding, yet also quite terrifying. With everything centered around the extreme corporate corruption, it makes you wonder how much of the events in the book parallel things that could happen in real life. The resurrection drug may be a little far fetched in our reality, but if you just picture some other "miracle" drug in place of it, I imagine things could really get that deadly in the end as everyone scrambles to control it. However, putting the corruption aspect aside, what truly makes Working Stiff such an incredible read is the depth of emotion in the characters. Somehow they are still able to form real connections, despite the extreme paranoia and lack of trust. What should have been survival of the fittest, with an every man for themselves mentality, became shaky alliances and then steadily into something a little more. By choosing to trust one another in the unbearable situations, they proved their humanity and truly solidified my attachment.
Working Stiff took off with a bang and never once slowed down. Typically a book takes a little while to really gain the reader's interest and attachment to the characters, but in Working Stiff, I found myself captivated from almost the very start. There was plenty of action, with even the slower parts being full of danger, suspense and paranoia. I can honestly say that I have never read anything quite like this book, but I absolutely loved it. In fact, Working Stiff may just be Rachel Caine's best work yet, and trust me that is saying something. As soon as I finished it I was already looking for more, and I simply cannot wait to see what happens next. If you are looking for a fast paced read full of action and danger to keep you more than entertained, the Working Stiff is perfect for you. ...more
It's Morganville, so the gang knew not to trust things to stay calm, but they sure hoped it would. Everyone but Claire seems to think the "new" girl KIt's Morganville, so the gang knew not to trust things to stay calm, but they sure hoped it would. Everyone but Claire seems to think the "new" girl Kim is great, but Claire isn't so sure. When Kim goes missing, the gang sets out to find her, but quickly find out she really wasn't who she seemed. She's violated the trust of the entire town by creating a video project exposing the deepest secrets of Morganville. It's up to Claire and the others to find her before the vamps do as its not just her life on the line, but potentially every human in Morganville if things go badly. Once again the fate of everything seems to rest on their shoulders as disaster is around every corner.
I just knew there was something fishy about the new girl in the picture, Kim. Claire has such a hard time disliking anyone. Even after all Monica has done to her in the past, Claire still has continued to save her over and over. So, when Claire felt such a strong animosity towards Kim, it really had to be much more than just simple jealously. Granted, the girl did seem to captivate most of Eve's attention and she has a "history" with Shane, which would make any normal person insanely jealous. However, Claire has never been normal, and she feels the need to save everyone, so it couldn't be just simple jealous to cause her to react so strongly.
As if the videos and risk of exposure wasn't enough, Ada the super computer that runs Morganville has gone psychotic and homicidal towards Claire. It really is a recipe for disaster when a sentient computer with limitless powers goes on a vendetta. The twisted relationship between Ada and Myrnin comes to a head since Ada is convinced Claire is trying to steal him away. I do feel bad for Ada, but not enough to choose her over Claire. They say love is blind, and it must be true for Myrnin as he refused to see the problem with Ada.
The action was dialed down a notch, which allowed for a lot more emotion and relationship development. I found it to be more of a transition book, which is okay after the 6 previous books being nonstop action. I actually think the time the two couples got to spend with each other was necessary and added even more depth to the characters. I definitely enjoyed the "downtime" while it lasted but I'm holding my breath for the next book as I'm sure things are going to majorly take off again. So, overall a good book, less action, but it had it's strengths in other way, and makes me eager for the next one....more
After narrowly escaping the event of the last book, Joanne has a whole new challenge, maybe the biggest one yet, motherhood. When Johnathan sacrificedAfter narrowly escaping the event of the last book, Joanne has a whole new challenge, maybe the biggest one yet, motherhood. When Johnathan sacrificed himself for David to be restored as a djinn, he also gave life to Joanne's djinn daughter, Imara. She never really believed Imara could possibly be able to be born without David's death, and she really did not expect her to be born as a six foot tall amazonian goddess. Imara looks just like Joanne, just made "exotic." Now that all the normal djinn, including David, have been possessed by mother nature and turned against all of humanity, Joanne realized its up to her to try and convince Mother they are worthy of survival. If she fails, so does all of humanity.
Even though it came at a complete shock, Joanne takes to motherhood very well. She instantly forms an unbreakable bond of love with her daughter and would do anything to protect her. This is kind of ironic considering Imara is a djinn who is so much more powerful than a human, but a mother wanting to protect her child truly is universal. Imara has all of the knowledge from both her parents, but she still has a vulnerable aspect to her. At times it is almost easy to forget she is only a few days old, but then she will do or say something to show that vulnerability. I don't know if it was as a result of Joanne and David's immense love for her, but I found myself instantly caring for her. She was born just in time for the world to start crumbling, and must learn immediately the hard lessons of life.
Joanne has always been special. When she was human, she was abnormally powerful with weather, then she became a djinn and all the powers that came with that. Now that David is no longer draining her, Joanne's powers are finally back in full force, with a new addition as well. Her change back to human made her manifest new powers in the fire warden category, which is extremely rare. Putting her powers aside, there is something even more special about her. She is the only one who even has a chance at convincing Mother Earth of humanity's worthiness. It isn't really clear why this is, but my guess would be that it is because of her constant self-sacrifice and drive to do the right thing no matter the cost.
This is yet another fast paced book in the Weather Warden series that will not disappoint. Each book makes me only care more for the characters, especially the newest one, Imara. The ending is very heart wrenching, and lives up to cliffhangers of the previous books. Just like its predecessors, this book is a must read for any urban fantasy lover....more
Poor Joanne has really had a rough couple of weeks. She started on the run from murder charges, died, was reborn as a djinn, died again, and came backPoor Joanne has really had a rough couple of weeks. She started on the run from murder charges, died, was reborn as a djinn, died again, and came back as a human. This book starts with Joanne and David trying to reach Las Vegas to stop the teenager, Kevin, who stole powers and enslaved the leader of the Djinn, Jonathan. Unfortunately they have not been able to make any progress as Kevin, via Jonathan always finds them before they get even close. Joanne finds herself stuck in the middle of a secret society and quickly learns she cannot trust anyone because even her friend seem to have no issue with using her as a pawn.
I've come to realize that I really should just expect the unexpected in this series. I cannot count how many times I thought "Woah, didn't see that one coming." Its amazing to see everything that is thrown at Joanne, yet she still seems to survive and come up kicking. At one point, Jonathan, who seems to have it out for her, even says "You really know how to survive, I'll give you that." I really admire her strength and determination to do the right thing. Yes, she does have a major weakness for cars and shopping, which she does at really odd moments, but in the end she makes sure to fight for what is right even if it means not taking the easy way out.
I'm starting to worry a little about Joanne and David's future. They just haven't been able to have any real time together, something always seems to tear them apart. I hope things do not fizzle between them. I love their chemistry and a lot of what I love of this series is the dynamic between the two. Hopefully they will at least get a little time together if not some peace in future books. However, with the way things ended in this book, it makes their future seem even more shaky.
This book was just as suspenseful as the first two. I love how the author integrates things from Joanne's past and makes them relevant to things happening now. Considering how she is always out to save the world, it was nice to see that she might actually be an important part of the puzzle, versus just a girl with a hero complex. This book is a great read, but beware that you will want to have the next book ready as the ending of this one will make you want to jump right into the following one. ...more
There isn't anyone quite like Risa. Her mother, a lab created clone, is an extremely strong clairvoyant and also a very special kind of werewolf, ableThere isn't anyone quite like Risa. Her mother, a lab created clone, is an extremely strong clairvoyant and also a very special kind of werewolf, able to shift facial structure. Her father is an Adeh, capable of becoming only mist, as well as several other perks. This mixed heritage has made Risa incredibly unique and powerful. Yet all she wants is to live a normal life. Yet, when her mother asks her to help out with a little girl whose soul has been stolen, Risa finds herself in the middle of a very dangerous plot. While she has trained with her guardian "aunt and uncle" nothing could have prepared her for what happens next.
If you are a fan of Keri Arthur's Riley Jenson books, then you won't want to miss this new spin off series. Favorites return, but the real focus is on Risa. However, don't be expecting her to be a Riley 2.0, as she is very much her own person. Yes, Risa is part wolf, but unlike Riley, she isn't chained as much by the sexual nature of her wolf side. In fact Risa is more Adeh than anything, making for a fresh new set of skills. She also is her mother's daughter, in that she has plenty of physic abilities. It would have been so easy to follow down the same path her "Aunt" Riley had with the directorate, but for the moment, Risa seems happier to live a normal life. Or, well that was the case until certain events were set into motion in this book. Now it looks like that normal life will be thing of the past, which is bad for Risa, but very entertaining for the reader.
There are two very sexy men that show up in Risa's life in Darkness Unbound. A sexually frustrated werewolf is an incredibly dangerous thing, so their arrival was just in time, since Risa's wolf side, while much milder than most, was starting to show the signs of neglect. Lucian, being a full Adeh seems to be surprisingly straight forward, a rare occurrence. Of course there still could be more to him than meets the eye, but only time will tell. Azriel on the other hand is quite mysterious, making me desperate to know more. He's a reaper charged with following Risa around until he gets his answers. Despite his outward demeanor, I don't think he is quite as aloof as he pretends to be towards her. One made some progress with Risa in this book, (I won't say which) but to be honest I'm more intrigued by the other one. I'm quite curious to see how things will play out for Risa, and how much of her wolf side will come into play. Does she have a soul mate like most wolves? It is a pair like her aunt's due to their dual natures, or does her Adeh nature cancel all that out? I cannot wait to see the answers to these questions, and where Risa's love life goes.
On a slightly side note, it is mentioned that Riley and Rhoan haven't aged at all, yet Liander is showing some signs. This worries me immensely, as Rhoan cannot survive without him, and in turn Riley wouldn't survive without her twin. Then that leaves Quinn and I'm not so sure how he would fair in all that too, as they are all a package deal. I'm kinda hoping Liander gets turned or something, as him aging is sure to cause a massive domino effect. But that is enough of those worries for now, and I'll get back to the book at hand. Keri Arthur once again proves just how good she is at writing an intriguing book with a fast moving plot that has plenty of steaminess on the side. I'll be counting down the days until the next book releases. ...more
No matter what Risa does, she still can't catch a break. She's lost the second key to the gateReview originally posted on my blog: A Book Obsession..
No matter what Risa does, she still can't catch a break. She's lost the second key to the gate to hell and due to some shocking revelations and unfavorable circumstances, she's banished her Reaper protector from her side. Not the best of moves on her part, but a hurting heart doesn't always make for the most sensible mind. All she wants to do is sleep for a month and forget all this ever happened to her, but everyone else seems to have a different idea. A point driven home when her father threatens the life of someone she cares about deeply, and suddenly the search for the keys are even more important. Meanwhile Madeline Hunter is up to her normal games wreaking havoc and demanding the keys for herself, making things even worse for Risa. She's on a slippery slope and one false move could cost her everything.
The relationship between Risa and AZRIEL both makes my heart equally hurt and soar depending on where things are at with them. There is just so much emotion between them that it's palpable, and yet most of the time it seems like there is miles of empty space in their way. He isn't human, and while I do feel for Risa as it must be hard to not feel or hear the things she need from him, I still think she needs to accept the fact that she can't judge him by her standards. She really seems to have blinders on when it comes to his actions, and honestly has acted rather mule headed only seeing his determination to his duty, not everything else. I have to admit that the ending of the previous book just about killed me with Risa banishing him. I mean not only do we find out she's pregnant with his child, but then have to cope with her sending him away. It was devastating, so I have to admit, I largely went into this book the trepidation. I just wasn't sure how I would feel about things without him around even if I mostly assumed it couldn't be permanent. Their relationship has caused me a lot of angst, and while I won't spoil things in this book, I will say that the angst was far from over, and probably won't be until the very end of the series.
Sometimes this series really amazes me. Each installment always seems so action packed and the pacing is excellent. And yet when I look back over the book and then the series as a whole, there seems to be a lack of overall forward momentum. I mean the main series arc is the quest for the keys, with other things thrown in there as well of course. Yet, this is the 6th installment, and Risa still does not have a single key. She's lost 2 to outside forces, but still. I guess I just would have assumed the girl would have been able to catch some sort of break by this point. Don't get me wrong, the books are incredibly entertaining, and this lack of overall series arc momentum doesn't slow things down, it's just that I'm rather surprised that it's working I guess. As in I'm questioning why this hasn't frustrated me. I realize this probably sounds ridiculous as in why would I want to go looking for issues that aren't really there, but it's just something that has stuck out to me. I guess the biggest reason is that I'm not sure how long the series is supposed to be, and unless it's supposed to be a very long one, there's a whole lot of stuff that will have to be jammed into just a few books. Considering the action and danger to Risa already seems borderline insane at this pace, I can't imagine it getting worse, but only time will tell.
I think the biggest indicator of a phenomenal author is one that can write book after book that keeps the reader coming back for more, and this surely fits Keri Arthur. It's pretty much a guarantee at this point that I can pick up any one of her books and know that I'll love it, and this one is no exception. Honestly, Keri Arthur should be on every urban fantasy lover's auto buy list, which she proves yet again with this fabulous showing in DARKNESS SPLINTERED. An absolute must read! ...more
Joanne finally realizes her feelings for Morrison in this book, just in time for Morrison to have started dating someone else, a cute little thing. SoJoanne finally realizes her feelings for Morrison in this book, just in time for Morrison to have started dating someone else, a cute little thing. So what does she do? She jumps off a cliff and into another man's arms, specifically, the cute little thing's brother. Yes, he is quite scrumptious, but he just isn't Morrision. Later on in the book Joanne is positively green with jealously and proceeds to make an absolute fool out of herself. What is even more astonishing is that she eventually admits everything, and I mean everything, to Morrision, but you will just have to read the book to see how all that goes over.
Ahh, Gary. What can I say. He is everything she needs to support her. His utter devotion to her brought tears to my eyes at several points. Everyone else in the books seem to think their relationship is sexual, but that isn't it at all. Its more of a fatherly, best friend's, brotherly love. She wouldn't have survived this long at all without him, and the following excerpt really shows this: Gary says: "You think I'm one of the bad guys, Jo? Every vestige of good cheer drained out of me like somebody'd opened a valve, complete misery rising to take its place. My throat went tight and my eyes sting with tears, color heating my cheeks even as my stomach twisted and my hands turned icy. "If you are I'm throwing the towel in now, because I just couldn't handle that." I just think that really sums up just how important Gary has become to her, and I couldn't help putting it in here.
This series has gotten back on track in my opinion. After dragging her feet in the mud for so long, Joanne is finally stepping up to the plate to accept her responsibilities. She's always going to have some doubt since that is her nature, but as of now she isn't going to let it hold her back anymore. Its going to be a long journey into learning how to properly use her powers and I think there still will reprecussions from her magical overload back in the first book. However, this book really showed a turning point in her attitude. She admitted a lot of hard truths to both herself as well as Gary and Morrison. I think just being honest with herself and others will go a long way towards healing her. I cannot wait to see the fallout in the next book!
On a quick side note, I just have to say how much I love this cover. The colors are great and Joanne looks so sensual, something we hadn't seen from her before this book. It really works with the changes that are going on with her. I love when a cover really fits the book....more
Kyana is the only one of her kind, and she is the world's best hope in stopping the Dark Breeds from wiping out humanity. She may be a Dark Breed hersKyana is the only one of her kind, and she is the world's best hope in stopping the Dark Breeds from wiping out humanity. She may be a Dark Breed herself, but she has devoted her life to the Order of Ancients and protecting the innocent, despite what has been done to her in the past. She doesn't hesitate to accept the Order's mission to find the key to hell. Well, that is until she learns Ryker will be escorting her in the mission. He's the only man that has ever gotten to her, and she wanted nothing to do with him ever again. They will have to team up despite the animosity between them as a dark god is rising and they are the only ones who can stand in his way.
Greek mythology has always been one of my favorite themes in a book, so as I started reading this book and realized just how deeply rooted it was in the mythology, I became one happy girl. The paranormal aspects are perfectly blending into the mythology, making for a completely realized world, full of characters that you can't help but feel for. The fact that the gods are dying, yet are in the process of finding replacements, was really original and fascinating to me. In all of the other books I have read that have mythology in them, the gods are typically arrogant beings that would rather just die out than be replaced. Of course the gods still show some of that self-importance, especially Ares, but what more can you expect from the god of war?
I've always loved books where there is a past history between the main characters, and the current story is based on them being pushed back into each others lives. (Typically much to their dismay.) Kyana is so scared to let anyone close to her due to her past, and heck, even the present as she is treated as unworthy despite all of the good she does. The only man that has ever been able to get under her skin is Ryker, but he turned down her advances years ago. Of course he has his reasons, and they are not what she thinks they are. So when they are paired up, well she's furious, and he is scared he won't be able to say no a second time. The two of them felt like magnets to me. Sometimes they would line up and be drawn together by such a strong force, and other times their polarity would be reversed and no matter what, they just couldn't bring it together. The sexual tension between them was palatable, and made for one heck of a steamy read. I was caught between wishing they would just get it on, and wanting them to wait to make sure it would be something long lasting, as I really loved the dynamic between the two. I guess only time will tell how things play out, but I just can't help wanting to root for them.
There was one heck of a twist at the end that I never saw coming. This twist took me from really enjoying the book and being eager to read the next, to being completely desperate to get my hands on the next one. I simply cannot wait to see the characters' reactions to this turn in events, and where things will be heading. This book was a fantastic blend of urban fantasy and paranormal romance, giving you a fast paced plot with plenty of romance to steam things up. You'll definitely want to check this book out as you won't want to miss this fantastic new author's debut!...more
Things never get a chance to calm down in Morganville as it seems like one crisis after another arises. The last few installments have proved that. HoThings never get a chance to calm down in Morganville as it seems like one crisis after another arises. The last few installments have proved that. However, now vampires are going missing, and it doesn't seem like the "rebels" are to blame this time. His very being permeates evil and he's been the last one seem with some of the missing. Yet it seems as if Claire is the only one who can see him. With the town's vampires acting quite strange, she may be the their only hope, but at what cost?
There was a slight change in the way this book was narrated from previous installments. In Bite Club there were times when we would get a direct view into Shane's head and that really helped the reader get a better idea of the whole picture. In Last Breath, Rachel Caine took that idea one step further and added in a few chapters with perspectives other than Claires. Amelie, Shane, Michael and Eve all get a little time showing their side of things. I particularly liked getting into Amelie's head as it shows a lot of her inner struggle. She's always going to do what she thinks is best for her people, no matter the cost. However, that look into her head showed how much of a struggle it was for her to make those sacrifices and hard choices. She really isn't quite the cold creature she seems to be.
After the slight let down of the last installment, I had high hopes for redemption in Last Breath. I got what I asked for and then some as Last Breath completely blew my socks off. Things started off somewhat sedately, and built so steadily until the pressure almost snuck up on me as it boiled over. It is a wonder that I have any fingernails left after that nail biting read that kept me on the edge of my seat. You would think after reading the past ten installments, there wouldn't be much room for surprise, but Last Breath was one big shocker after another. One of the biggest being the answer to a long standing question: Why would vampires build their town in the middle of a desert when the sun is so deadly to them? This complex addition to the world building was pulled off brilliantly, adding a horrific twist to things that I never could have seen coming.
While the nonstop action was heart pounding, the utter depth of raw emotion was what really cemented this as the very best of the series. The highs are so high that you feel like you are soaring right along with the characters. As for the lows, well lets just say devastation has never been more aptly portrayed. Anger, fear, loss, betrayal, jealousy, love, and desperation, all play huge roles in Last Breath. But the one emotion that stands above it all is hope, and nothing is stronger than that. To be able to feel such hope after everything that happens in this book is nothing short of amazing, and it made Last Breath a truly phenomenal read. I highly recommend setting aside a solid block of time to read this book, as once started, it will be impossible to set down. You won't want to miss this utterly captivating book that will leave you breathless in the end. Bravo!...more
When Quinn escaped Vamp City, she had hoped to never return. But deep down she knew that was onReview originally posted on my blog: A Book Obsession..
When Quinn escaped Vamp City, she had hoped to never return. But deep down she knew that was only a pipe dream as the vamps would never let her go since she is the only one who can save the crumbling city. This was only further cemented when her brother falls ill and must return to the city before the lack of magic consumes him. Despite her every instinct telling her not to help the vamps renew the magic hold their world together, now that her brother's fate is tied to that very magic, she doesn't have a choice. Further complicating matters is her fierce attraction to Arturo, the vampire who betrayed her. Despite knowing she can't trust him, she know it won't be long before her heart won't listen, and once again she'll fall under his spell.
Can I just say how much I love the dynamic between Quinn and Arturo? I mean every look, every touch, just smoulders right off the page. And yet, they are far from the perfect couple, if you could even call them that. Neither one is willing to give into each other and accept the relationship. They each have their own iron will, and their reasons for trying to keep themselves apart, but it's rather futile, as they fail and fail. There's just something about the pair of them together that seems right despite her not being able to fully accept him, and his terrible tendency to betray her. I will say that he made major headway I redeeming himself in A KISS OF BLOOD, especially as the reasoning behind his previous lack of emotion was revealed. That being said, it will still take some time for Quinn to be able to really open up and let him in, but I can't wait to see it.
Everything about the world in A KISS OF BLOOD was just as enthralling as the first installment, and yet it didn't seem quite so dark. In all honesty it really surprised me how much I enjoyed the first installment due to its darkness and utter lack of hope, but somehow it worked. That being said, I was rather pleased while reading this book as I realized it wasn't going to be quite so dark. Don't get me wrong, the threats are very real, and the stakes are just as high, but this time around I had hope. I think a lot of that was in part due to Arturo's turn around and fierce protectiveness of her, so I felt like she had more of a fighting chance this go round. But the biggest change I have to say is the amount of allies she had surrounding and helping her. It just turned the tides and made both her and I realize that despite prior appearances, not everyone supernatural in vamp city is a monster. Some are genuinely good guys, and it really helped give me that light at the end of the tunnel I needed.
We're only two books into the Vamp City series, and already it's shaping up to be one of my favorites. It has all the action and danger you could want plus an incredible amount of sexual tension and steamy moments that boil right off the page. Honestly this kind of hybrid between paranormal romance and urban fantasy is something I would love to see more of as it isn't something often found. Trust me, if you enjoy a kick ass world, with a stellar plot, great characters, and more than a little steam, then A KISS OF BLOOD is one you won't want to miss. ...more
I have to admit, prior to reading this book I wasn't the biggest Ridley or Link fans. I could sReview originally posted on my blog: A Book Obsession..
I have to admit, prior to reading this book I wasn't the biggest Ridley or Link fans. I could still take or leave Link to be honest, but Ridley really grew on me. She's just so harsh and abrasive. While in my mind I knew she hadnt had things very easy, it was hard to remember that when I would see how she would treat others. Now however, after being in her head, I realize just how truly damaged and broken she is. She's in an almost constant battle with herself between her siren nature and what she wanted from her life. It's a struggle to balance her desire to be good with her true nature, and the fact that she cannot trust and good emotions due to her influential nature, well it's utterly heartbreaking. Suddenly it all made sense why she always did things to make people angry with her, negative emotions she could trust to be real, but any affection may not be. And sometimes something real even if it's negative is better than something fake. So that being said, seeing her try to be with Link is painful to watch because you know she's trying so hard, but yet everything keeps falling apart. As I said, Iink's not really my favorite character, but since he has the potential to make Ridley happy, he's alright in my book in the end.
Can I just say that I am 100% over cliffhangers? I mean prior to reading this book I wasn't the biggest fan of them, but this one seals the deal. To me cliffhangers most times feel like a marketing ploy to keep readers coming back. But I'd rather come back because a book sold me on its own merits rather than a driving need to find out what happened after a shocking ending. I just don't see the need to leave readers frustrated for months if not years until the next installment comes out, especially in this case as the series can more than stand on its own without the need for this. Granted, this could be the way the authors wanted to tell the story, with the shocking ending, but frankly it's turned me off and overall lessened the read for me. It's to the point where I'm seriously struggling with how to rate this book. Without the cliffhanger, a solid, well earned four, but the cliffhanger makes me want to knock it down to a two. That's how much it's frustrated me, but in the end I'm going to ignore the ending and look at the rest of the book as a whole to rate it.
One thing to note is that even though this is a spin off series, it really isn't the place to start reading this world. There is no recap, no explanation or back story, so if you haven't read the main series, you will probably be pretty lost. Even as myself, having read the previous series, I still felt just a bit lost and scrambling to remember everything, so I think at least a little recapping would have gone a long way. That being said and frustrations with the ending aside DANGEROUS CREATURES was a pretty good read for me. I loved seeing Ridley in a new light and want to see where things head next....more
Domino Riley is practically the top dog in her outfit as her mobster boss has handed almost all of the reigns over to her. While this may have been heDomino Riley is practically the top dog in her outfit as her mobster boss has handed almost all of the reigns over to her. While this may have been her life's admiration, it means the buck stops with her and she is responsible for anything that could go wrong. So when zombies start showing up and "reproducing" like crazy, she knows she's in trouble, but that it is up to her to get to the bottom of things. Of course the distraction of her attraction to her boss's son Adan, doesn't help things. She'll have to team up with him as well as her other allies in order to have any chance at stopping the zombie Apocalypse. Luckily she has some kick butt skills to back her otherwise, there would be no hope for this little sorceress.
The saying goes "Be careful what you wish for because you just might get it." Domino learned this hard lesson in Skeleton Crew as she may have gotten her wish to lead a war effort to help people. However, it came with a horrible cost that she never could have predicted. If she fails in her efforts, millions of lives will be lost, the stakes really are that high. Domino of course keeps her cool and continues to be the driving force. She really is everything a leader needs to be. I found it amusing that the Fairy King kept taking her orders for where he was to concentrate his efforts considering he is supposed to be so much more powerful. In fact, she pretty much controlled the plans the entire book. Perhaps she has more influence than she truly realizes.
I really love the dynamic between the characters in this series. They are so fully fleshed out and their relationships are completely realized. You can't help but to care for them, and want to root them on. The Piskies continue to add a softer side that really helps to balance out Domino's outward gruffness. The sexual tension between Domino and Aden is also rather thick, perhaps more on her side, but this helps to ground her character even more. All of the characters seem to carry a certain amount of respect for Domino, and I am very happy that she continues to work very hard to make sure deserves it. She definitely is my favorite "good" bad guy.
Let me just say that while I enjoyed the first book, this one blew it out of the water. The stakes are just that much higher, however I never once felt weighed down by this, and found the pacing to be very good. Just as soon as a fight scene would start to feel a little overwhelming, it would end, proving this author sure knows how to keep the perfect balance between action, plot, and story. The ending caught me slightly off guard, but I think it set things up for an interesting future. These books are urban fantasy at their finest, and this is one author you will want to watch out for. Major kudos for another great novel that left me more than entertained!...more
Ciel Halligan has the unique ability to become anyone at anytime. She steps into the lives of hReview originally posted on my blog: A Book Obsession..
Ciel Halligan has the unique ability to become anyone at anytime. She steps into the lives of her clients for a hefty fee to fix a problem for them that they would rather not handle. But her latest job lands her in hot water when her somewhat boyfriend Billy's little sister, Molly, turns into an orangutan which isn't supposed to be able to happen. No adapter has ever been able to change into an animal, and to make matters worse, Molly gets stuck and can't change back. This leads to a made escape from the zoo with an orangutan in tow. It quickly becomes apparent that Molly's change was no accident, and the ones responsible would do anything to get their hands on her.
At first glance I would say that the adapter element was my favorite part of this series, as the ability to become anyone else at any time utterly fascinates me. But in all honesty it is the family dynamic and character that really make this series soar. Could you imagine growing up in a family with multiple siblings where any of you could change yourself at anytime? You never could be quite sure if you were interacting with the real version or someone else adapting themselves and pretending. Think of all the blackmail or bribery that would be involve to get others in or out of trouble depending on the circumstances. A lot of that played out in QUICK FIX, and I have to admit that this extra added element to sibling squablery make for a rather hilarious read. Even with all the learned tells they have for each other, it still was pretty easy for the others to get dupped and I found myself cracking up left and right.
I have to admit despite the somewhat love triangle going on, I really enjoyed the romance in this book. For the most part it's pretty clear who she is going to with in the long haul, and I don't feel it's a spoiler to say who since it's mentioned in the description. Ciel and Billy just seem right for one another. They both have this spark that only ignites even more when they are together. And not only are their interactions steamy and sexy as hell, but there also is a huge sweet factor that should jot be overlooked. Despite Billy being largely known as a ladies man, he's so tender and different with Ciel. You can really tell how much he cares, unlike Mark, who only started showing any interest once their was competition. Despite Ciel's long time crush on Mark, the two would never have worked due to his constant patronization and ridiculous overprotection. So suffice it to say that whenever Mark tried to make moves or act like he cared romantically in this book, it frustrated me to no end. Luckily there were more than enough yummy moments with Billy to keep me (and Ciel) happy and distracted.
While I will always be a diehard fan of Vamps, Witches, and Weres, even I will admit that it's rather difficult for one of those stories to fell fresh. In this series you will find none of those things, but instead a completely fresh and new idea that will not give you that dreaded been here done that feeling. I absolutely love the world behind this series, as it is Urban fantasy at it's finest without the baggage of 100 other stories just like it. So if you are looking for something fresh and unique in this sometimes crowded genre, look no further than the In a Fix series. QUICK FIX is the perfect blend of humor, danger, and fantastic characters to make for a great read you won't want to miss!...more
Meet Domino Riley, second in command to her Mob boss Rashan. The buck stops with her, and typically most problems are a relatively simple fix for herMeet Domino Riley, second in command to her Mob boss Rashan. The buck stops with her, and typically most problems are a relatively simple fix for her using bribes, intimidation, or just plain "removal" of the person causing the problem. However, when bodies start showing up skinned and no traceable magical residue is left, she knows this one won't be so easy to crack. Things get really complicated when one of the deceased's ghost points her in the direction of her boss's son, the man she has a strong attraction to despite the huge amount of trouble that could get her in. The more she tries to fix things, the deeper in she gets, and this time she might just not be able to dig herself out.
Let me start off by saying I LOVE Domino's character. She has plenty of kick ass attitude and the magical strength to back it up. There just is something captivating about a "bad" guy with a conscience, and this fits Domino perfectly. While she will kill without hesitation when necessary, an ability any good mobster must have, she never harms innocents. She constantly worries about becoming a monster and secretly wonders if she already might be one. This and many other traits make her the "good" bad guy that anyone would want to have in their corner, but really wouldn't want to cross. I can really see why her boss picked her to pull off the streets to train to become his lieutenant, and I think she has only begun to realize her full potential.
The world and the characters in this book are full of depth. I found it amusing that Domino's familiar, a Jinn, is trapped in an old TV box set. He sure isn't happy about this idea and seems to do anything he can to make her life more difficult if he can. An interesting part about the world is that the magic or "juice" as they call it doesn't have immediate side effects or costs, but the rush is extremely addicting and can lead towards a slippery slope of insanity. I find this a unique way to make magic come at price without being an immediate hindrance. Besides Domino's character, I really liked Honey's character the best. She seems to be the perfect balance to Domino, and I think the two of them will make a good team in upcoming battles.
This book threw me for a loop several times. It was anything but predictable as every time I thought I could take a stab at where things were going to go, something completely unexpected would happen and those predictions would go right out the window. It was really nice to read something completely out of the box compared to a lot of urban fantasies out right now. This is a must read from a fantastic debut author. If you love the "darker" side of urban fantasy with a heroine that isn't necessarily a "good" guy, then this book will be sure to impress. It definitely was a very quick and compelling read, and I eagerly await the next installment. ...more
I'm not sure what happened, but this series has completely derailed for me. I remember being coReview originally posted on my blog: A Book Obsession..
I'm not sure what happened, but this series has completely derailed for me. I remember being completely engrossed in the first book. Sure, I was a bit frustrated with the slow pace of the world building, but the premise was great, and the characters were even better. However, this time around in TOUCH, it was incredibly hard to keep reading. It just lost that spark that drew me in the first time around. In fact, I would only get about 5-10% or so of the book read before literally falling asleep. It just couldn't keep my attention, and I only made it through 50% total over two weeks. This is very rare for me as a book typically takes me about 2-3 hours to devour. I really hate to give up considering how much I enjoyed the first book, and want to see what happens next, but I just can't seem to get any further. Everything just seemed disjointed from the characters to the multiple plot threads that didn't really jive together. Maybe I just wasn't in the right head-space for this book, but I just had to set it aside. I'll more than likely pick it back up sometime and at least skim to the end, as maybe things will turn around, but for now it just didn't work for me. ...more
I'll be honest that I am little funny when it comes to anthologies. I love the glimpses the shoReview originally posted on my blog: A Book Obsession..
I'll be honest that I am little funny when it comes to anthologies. I love the glimpses the short stories give into other perspectives in worlds that I have come to love. However I do not ever read them to find new authors. In fact I have several owned anthologies that I have skipped multiple stories in. Of course, I come back to them once I've read the authors main books. I only want to read these types of stories as a supplement rather than an introduction. That all being said, when I saw that Angels' Flight was going to be four stories all set in the Guild Hunter world, I knew I had to get my hands on it. Even though I was worried about my favorite couple was not being featured, I did not miss Elena and Raphael one little bit. It was truly wonderful getting to see so many different secondary characters shine. In fact while reading Angel's Flight I was overcome with the desire to re-read the entire series, and once my review schedule opens up a little I will be doing just that.
First up was Angels' Pawn which featured Ashwini and Janvier. I've always been intrigued by the dance these two have going on, and now that I have seen how it all got started I am even more desperate to have a full length novel that features them. There is just something about their cat and mouse game that really draws me in, and I'd love to see both of their hidden secrets become unraveled for one another.
Angels' Judgement show Sara right before she became the Guild Director. It also shows how she came to be involved with her very yummy husband, Deacon. It showed just how strong the pair of them are, both together and as individuals, as well as some tough choices along the way. Very enjoyable.
I really enjoyed Angel's Wolf. My heart bled for Noel in Archangel's Kiss, for what he lived through. I hated to see him so broken and have been very curious about why Raphael sent him to Nimra's court in Archangel's Consort. That question was more than answered in this story, and I really loved seeing him come back to life one small bit at a time.
The heart and soul of this anthology belongs to Angels' Dance. It showed a much different time than what has been showed in the Guild Hunter books. It is set back when Raphael was first coming into power and establishing his territory. I loved seeing how everyone came together in their roles, especially as they tested one another. Prior to this point, Galen came across as only being very cold and harsh, fitting of his position, yet in this story we got to see another side of him as he courts Jessamy. I loved getting the insight into her character as well, especially since I realized her inner strength far surpasses even the toughest archangel. To be the only of her kind permanently unable to fly, and yet still able to overcome that debilitating longing, is nothing short of amazing.
In closing I would have to highly recommend Angels' Flight as it was a fantastic grouping stories in the stellar Guild Hunter world. Some of the content was previously published, but the gorgeous cover and the new material make this anthology more than worth the purchase. This is a definite must buy for fans of the series, and will make a great addition to your collection. ...more
Merit should have known she wouldn't get a chance to fully come to terms with her loss before being thrust into the middle of another crisis. The humaMerit should have known she wouldn't get a chance to fully come to terms with her loss before being thrust into the middle of another crisis. The humans in general are becoming more of a problem as they try to pass a registration act for all paranormals. Fuel is only added to the fire as Lake Michigan and the rivers turn completely black and stop flowing. Of course, the vampires are the first to be blamed as protesters come out in leagues. Merit will have to step up to get to the bottom of things before the tensions boil over, or her grief will be the least of her worries.
Drink Deep picked up two months after the ending events of Hard Bitten, and Merit is still in a staggering state of grief. Yet she is slowly trying to pick up the pieces and move forward the best that she can. She seemed to be making progress, but every so often the loss would overcome her and she breaks completely down. It is the fact that she continues to pick up the pieces and muster on that shows her true strength in character. Everyone of course has their own opinion about how she should be dealing, with some wanting to hurry her on, and others trying to hold her back. One character in particular incredibly infuriated me when they questioned whether or not Merit was respecting Ethan's memory. I just don't think it is anyone's right to tell her when it is time to fully move on, and Merit definitely felt the same way. Even so, Merit was able to see outside her own hurt to keep her duty to the others of her house as they are in that same state of grieving. It would have been so easy for her to forget that she wasn't the only one who lost something, but she never once did, making her truly admirable. They always say "A person's true character is defined in their darkest hour," and there can be no fault found with Merit.
The actual danger and plot of Drink Deep was a pretty much a giant wild goose chase. It was a massive case of pointing fingers, and Merit was generally led in circles as she tried to get to the bottom of things. The end result left me more than a little shocked, even though looking back I realize that I should have seen things coming. However, what made the actual build up the most interesting was the whole new depth to the supernatural world that we are introduced to in this book. Things were so much simpler back when there were only vampires, but then again simple is rarely interesting. I am eager to see where these new developments lead, and what new dangers they may possess.
The events of this book will have many political ramifications in the future, but in Drink Deep, they were merely set up. With the absurdity of the receiver placed upon Cadogan house, as well as the relations with humans, the political side of things will more than likely play a larger role than ever before in future installments, something I am both eager, yet nervous to see. While there was much grieving in Drink Deep, the overall theme of the book seemed to be hope. This honestly surprised me as I couldn't imagine how there could really be any other emotion than devastation and other negative feelings. Yet trust, hope, compassion, and even the potential for love all play their parts. This proves Chloe Neill knows how to write a well rounded book full of emotional depth that will easily suck the reader into Merit's world. While there wasn't really a cliffhanger ending, if you are anything like me, you will already be looking forward to the next installment and what the future may hold. All I can say is bravo to Chloe Neill for once again making my presumptions of what was to come be thrown out the window, making for a completely unpredictable read that left me more than satisfied....more
Years after the sky turned deadly with Aether storms that decimate all in their paths, the humaReview originally posted on my blog: A Book Obsession..
Years after the sky turned deadly with Aether storms that decimate all in their paths, the human race is still struggling to survive. Many live under domes, with no sicknesses or want for medicine and escape to alternate realms in their minds to escape feeling caged. The ones on the outside experience more freedom, but an infinitely more harsh life. Each day is lived in fear of the raging sky, disease is rampant, and food is increasingly hard to come by. Aria and Perry's lives should have never crossed being from such two different circumstances. But by a twist of fate, each one becomes the other's only hope at survival and they will quickly have to learn to trust in each other because so much more is at stake then either could have realized.
I really enjoyed the dual perspectives of Aria and Perry. There are two completely different worlds in Under the Never Sky, and it was really interesting to see them slowly start to merge as the book went on, well at least from Aria and Perry's perspective that is. At first glance you would think Aria to have been the one to go through the most change as she was torn from everything she ever knew and thrown into a very harsh reality. Yet she displays the same iron will and determination throughout the entire book. Yes it is hard for her, and a part of her wishes to give into despair, but she never once succumbs. So her circumstances change drastically throughout Under the Never Sky, but she's still basically the same amazing character from start to finish, she just now has a lot more experience under her belt. So, in the end I felt Perry changed a great deal more than Aria, especially due to her influence. At the start of the book he was angry at the world and everyone in it, with quite a set of cocky shoulders. He became a little less savage, and a whole lot more patient and understanding paving the road for a whole lot of potential. Based on the direction things look to be heading, these changes in him could not have come at a better time, and I cannot wait to see Aria's continued influence on him in the next installment.
One of the really interesting things to me was my ability to easily make references from Under the Never Sky to certain elements in movies. I'm never the one to make or even really catch similarities or references to other projects, as I always just picture something in my mind. So it was quite different to have a blatant picture reference instantly pop up. For example, the Aether storms put me in mind of the severe lightning storms found in the movie The Core. In fact, the whole idea of the Aether and the ozone idea reminded me of the destruction in that movie. The Smarteyes instantly threw me back to my childhood growing up with Star Trek and the holodecks. There is also an issue that reminds me of the reavers in the movie Serenity, but I won't get into that to avoid a spoiler. I'm not saying that I felt Under the Never Sky was in anyway a knock off of these other story elements, as they were their own unique element. It was just a unique experience to be able to put "real" pictures to a story, and definitely enriched my reading experience.
The beginning of Under the Never Sky was rather confusing as it started in the middle of things, leaving me scrambling with feeling the need to catch up, especially as I was thrown back and forth between the two worlds. Then when you add in all of the odd names, I was quite off-put at first. In fact I was a little worried I wouldn't be able to get through it for the frustration, but things started to slowly come together and I was soon completely engrossed. I think the point of no return where I could not have put the book down even if I had wanted to was when Aria and Perry start traveling together. From then on I felt like I was gripped in a roller coaster waiting for the next shocking twist or turn to leave me breathless. I expect the next installment to be even better now that I have a firm grasp on the circumstances behind both worlds. Under the Never Sky will appeal to fans of dystopian and paranormal YA fiction, and I highly recommend it!...more
Alison lives on the fringes of society as she refuses to be cattle for the vampires that rule tReview originally posted on my blog: A Book Obsession..
Alison lives on the fringes of society as she refuses to be cattle for the vampires that rule the city. To survive, most humans allow themselves to be branded and their blood taken in exchange for rations of food and safety. However, Alison knows better. That promise of safety is just empty words as registered people still go missing daily. Life is hard for her as she starves a little more each day scavenging for food, but at least her life belongs to her. That all changes when she is brutally attacked and given the choice of becoming the very thing she hates, or to die with her soul intact. In her moment of weakness she chooses immortality. With nothing more than a crash course in survival with her new status, she is forced out beyond the walls that protect them from the rabids, mindless beasts who kill vampires and humans alike. Her only hope at survival is to join a rag tag team of humans with their own mission. It will take everything she has to ensure her true nature isn't discovered, for that would mean an instant death, and this time there's no coming back.
Now that I've gotten the description out of the way, let me just start off by saying that I absolutely loved the mythology behind this world. The Immortal Rules has two of my favorite paranormal elements, vampires and zombies. In fact it takes things a step further by having zombie vampires. Yep, that's right ZOMPIRES! The funny thing is that I didn't put that together in my head at first. I just saw the rabids as nasty, killer creatures to be feared. Then all of a sudden it clicked in my head that they were Zompires and I was instantly in love. Seriously, when you picture Vamps, you typically expect them to be the top of the food chain, so it was really great to see them at risk too. Granted, they still lorded over the humans, who were treated no better than glorified cattle, but that didn't make them any less trapped behind the city walls.
I really loved watching Allie's character progression in The Immortal Rules. I found it a little ironic that she seemed more human by the end of the book than she did at the start, especially since she was still mortal at that point. Granted, she did want to do anything she could to help humanity overcome their oppression, but that really was only a pipe dream, as she was really only focused on her own survival. Although we do get a glimpse of her sacrificial nature early on, it isn't until the end that it really shows. Well, perhaps that isn't true either as that protective nature is pretty consistent throughout, it's just that it gets a little overshadowed by her battle with controlling the monster inside her. Her guilt at becoming what she hated the most won't let her see past the bad, to all the good she can and will do with her new found strength. In fact, I think she may now be in a position to actually make the changes for humanity that she desired early on, but only time will tell.
I'm not really sure why, but I somehow expected The Immortal Rules to be similar to Julie's other series, The Iron Fey, when the actuality is that they couldn't possibly be more different. The Immortal Rules is so much darker, and has a gritty, raw, bare bones aspect that will literally grab a hold of you with an iron fist. I was utterly captivated from the very start, and couldn't recommend it any higher! With a killer mythology (literally), awesome characters, a little romance, and heart pounding action, what isn't there to love about The Immortal Rules? This series will definitely be going on my auto-buy list! ...more
MacKayla, also known as Mac, starts out as just a typical blonde 22 year old in this book. She's flighty and a little shallow, and loves the color pinMacKayla, also known as Mac, starts out as just a typical blonde 22 year old in this book. She's flighty and a little shallow, and loves the color pink, her only worry in the world is what she wants to wear that day. Everything changes when she gets the worst phone call of her life, the one that tells her that her sister, Alina, has been brutally murdered in Dublin. When she finds out the police have stopped investigating Alina's death, Mac sets out to find the killer herself. She quickly gets in way over her head when she runs into the mysterious Barrons and finds out she can see the Fae, a very rare talent. The Fae do not like to be seen, so Mac must learn everything she can from Barrons quickly if she is to have any hope of survival.
While she still has a ways to go, Mac did come a long way towards growing up and character growth. She was raised in a very sheltered life, and when she is thrown into this "new" one, it really showed. However, after much protesting, she finally started to realize that she couldn't just hide her head in the sand anymore. She is very important to the fate of humanity. I think with some time she will truly become a force to be reckoned with. Even at her most flightiness in the beginning, some of her inner strength showed considering only someone with a solid constitution would be able to fly across the ocean to a strange country to track down a murderer. Yes, this idea is a little foolish, but requires strength none the less.
I loved Jericho Barren's character. He is a gruff, opinionated, very masculine character. He does everything he can to get rid of Mac in the beginning, but when she gets too deep he takes her under his wing. He insists its not for altruist purposes, that he only is helping her because she can be of use to him. However, every so often he shows a slight softness under that gruff armor. I have a feeling a love interest is brewing between the two. I think the two would work well as they would balance each other out, with Mac softening him, and he would toughen her up some.
This book was really good, while mostly a world building book as it did take a while for anything to really happen. However, I didn't mind the initial slowness of the book, as Mac really needed things thrown at her slowly to give her a chance to grow up a little each time. It ended on a cliff hanger, while frustrating, makes me very eager to read the next installment. This book was a little dark, with no real romance, but there seems to be a definite potential in the future for that. It is a very good first installment in a series, and I cannot wait to see what more is in store for Mac. ...more
For the longest time, all Zoe wanted was her powers as the Wyvern, the only female Pyr, or dragReview originally posted on my blog: A Book Obsession..
For the longest time, all Zoe wanted was her powers as the Wyvern, the only female Pyr, or dragonshifter. But now that she has some of those powers, she realizes that they also came with complications. It is harder than ever to balance her Pyr life with her human one and still keep her secret, especially since her best friend knows Zoe is hiding something. Add in the Mages targeting her in their plot to eradicate all shifters and her life is a mess. Turning sixteen should have been fun, but she's too busy scrambling to protect the ones she cares about.
Zoe's love life is more complicated than ever. She's over her attraction to Nick, another Pyr, an impossible match. However, she is still mooning over the would be mage, Jared, even though he hasn't seemed to return her interest. Well, that isn't technically true, as a more apt description of his behavior would be hot one minute and cold the next. If you read my review of the last book, you'll know that I have mixed feelings about a relationship between them, and after reading Winging it, I cannot say that has changed. Putting that aside, the romance department is rather tricky in general for the younger Pyr. Their fathers are extremely discouraging them from dating on account of their firestorm. From what I understand is that a Pyr will firestorm with a human that is destined to be their true mate and bear a Pyr child. So, the adults don't want the teens getting involved otherwise, which I think is a little ridiculous. Why deny them love now when their firestorm may not come for hundreds of years?
Something that really bothered me in Winging It was the behavior of the adults, especially Zoe's father. I realize that the girl needs rules and structure as she has a whole lot of maturing to do. However, she also is supposed to be the Wyvern, who is supposed to go her own path and direct the other Pyr as she sees fit. But as Zoe stumbles along trying to find her way, any slight misstep, and her father is there coming down extremely hard on her without even giving her a chance to explain. To make matters worse, something major had just happened that shook both their lives up and it almost seemed like he took it out on Zoe. I understand that it has to be hard for any father to raise a teenage daughter, let alone one in their situation, but I really think he could have done a much better job there. I'm hoping in time he will see her inner strength and realize that she will make mistakes, but that she must learn on her own if she is to have any real confidence.
I enjoyed Winging It much more than I did the previous book. Zoe had made great strides in maturity that I was thoroughly impressed. However, now more than ever do I want to read the adult books in this world as I would like to see better into Zoe's father's head. Maybe that would shed some light on why he behaved the way he did. Putting that aside Winging It was a fun read that made me quite eager for the next installment. Things are definitely looking up. ...more
Juliette hasn't touched anyone in 264 days. Her touch is lethal, even if she doesn't mean for it be. After being locked up for accidentally killing soJuliette hasn't touched anyone in 264 days. Her touch is lethal, even if she doesn't mean for it be. After being locked up for accidentally killing someone she's spent her days in silence. She's watched the world around her slowly crumble apart as people starve and the environment becomes slowly even more uninhabitable. To make matters worse, there is a movement called the Reestablishment that has taken over everything and ruined what hope was left. Anyone who opposes them finds themselves quickly executed, and yet there are still those who would fight. And their numbers are growing. Her confinement ends when someone in the Res realizes that they could harness her power to once and for all crush the opposition. Problem is that Juliette has no desire to use her power for evil, but she may not have a choice in the end.
In the start of the book, Juliette is as close to crazy as you can really get without stepping over the edge. Of course being in solitary confinement for such a long time would surely crack even the best of us. Her thoughts weren't quite coherent, but that made everything all the more powerful as she poured out her fears and thoughts. She has this very interesting way of crossing out what she really means, and follows it with what she should say. It is almost like she is constantly editing her own thoughts, but only crosses them out rather than fully erasing them, giving them a whole lot more value and meaning. Then as time goes on she starts to come out of the shell she has built around herself for protection. Not once did it cease to amaze me how she stayed so pure and good despite the horrific treatment she has endured. The world around her is literally in shambles, and to be honest, I'm not sure if the people on the "outside" of her cell had things any better, yet they still treat her as a pariah. This is dystopian at its finest, or worst depending on how you look at it.
You wouldn't think a book with such horrifying circumstances and a heroine with a deadly touch could possibly have a believable romance, let alone one that was so utterly breathtaking. Yet the connection between the two of them steamed right off the page. Every touch, kiss, or even gesture would completely overwhelm Juliette in such a way that made every single moment feel precious. And so it should be as she has gone a lifetime without any touch at all. So to be capable of it now would be nothing short of spectacular. But don't think it is a love out of happenstance due to the hero's odd ability to touch Juliette. There is so much more to them, with a foundation that is built to last.
It is impossible to not make comparisons between Juliette and Rouge from X-Men, but do not let that discourage you or make you think you've read this story before with just a different name. There is so much more to it than just a girl who can kill with only a touch. It is a story about horrifying circumstances as well as the strength and determination to stand above it all. This is dystopian at its finest, or worst depending on how you look at it. Add that into the fact that Tahereh's writing is absolutely amazing and you have one incredible book. It kept me utterly captivated as I devoured this book. And trust me, Shatter Me deserves to be utterly consumed and devoured. I've never quite read anything like the amazingly unique voice Tahereh gave Juliette. I will be waiting with bated breath for the sequel.
At one time Healers like Avry were reveled for their skills at saving people, but all that chanReview originally posted on my blog: A Book Obsession..
At one time Healers like Avry were reveled for their skills at saving people, but all that changed when a horrible plague ravaged across the lands. Now her kind is hunted with bounties on their head as they were blamed for the deaths. For three years she had managed to stay under the radar, but she slipped and healed a child, bringer her gifts to light. She's captured by a rag tag team of rogues who have searched high and low for someone like her. They insist she heal their prince who has fallen ill with the plague, only a magical stasis keeps him alive. They must travel for months to reach him, all the while Avry drags her heels as she refuses to heal the prince due to his past misdeeds, much to the ire of the rogue's leader. In turn her life, becomes miserable as she is targeted from all sides, becoming a constant target. In the end she will have to decide who is really worth her gift, because this is one journey that won't have a happy ending.
By far the best thing about Touch of Power was Avry. She's so strong, yet so fragile at the same time. It would have been easy for her to turn her back on the people determined to kill every last healer. However, even on the run she would risk her life for any child who would not live without her help. She knew each time that the parent's gratitude would not spare her life, yet she still took that risk each time. To make matters worse, not only would she be hunted by the townspeople, but when she heals someone she takes the injury or sickness into herself. Too much and she could easily die before her own healing took over. Some would call this a weakness, but I think it shows an extreme character worth as she continued to do what was right no matter the circumstances. Even as she was captured by the rogues and treated horribly by their leader Kerrick, she still stayed strong in her morals and healed those who needed, despite the high cost to herself. Of course as the journey went on she really softened towards the group and they became almost a family of sorts despite the situation.
I absolutely loved the characters in Touch of Power. They were so realistic and full of life that their troubles seemed like my own in no time flat. The best books are the ones you form a tight emotional connection with. I especially enjoyed the journey from my initial strong dislike of Kerrick (we are talking borderline hatred here) to an almost kindred bond, and finally to a fully swoon worthy connection. The ability to sway my opinion and emotions that much over one character in a single novel is quite impressive. Even the villain, who is quite horrific and terrible, at times even seemed like he could have been a normal guy. The author sure knows how to show characters with many layers of depth, and it was really refreshing to read a book where not a single character was only two dimensional.
In Touch of Power a full range of emotions happened within me as I was reading, eliciting laughter, or unadulterated joy, to horror and even full blown tears. While not completely integral to the main plot, there was a slow building romance throughout the book, that was both sweet and incredibly strong in the end. While the book could have survived without it, Touch of Power definitely would not have been as emotionally powerful and compelling to read. The combination of a great world, even better characters, a action packed plot, and an enthralling romance made Touch of Power a completely engrossing read that I simply could put down. I look forward to seeing what is in store for this rag tag team of characters, and trust me the next book could not possibly come soon enough....more
Charlie has a secret that she must keep at all costs. She can understand any language, which noReview originally posted on my blog: A Book Obsession..
Charlie has a secret that she must keep at all costs. She can understand any language, which normally wouldn't be a problem, but there is no equality in her world. The people are strictly separated into classes with a language barrier for each one. To violate the laws of language means an immediate death. She's lived her entire life on edge, and can only let go in the underground clubs where a person's class is of less importance. Her careful existence is completely shaken up when she meets the mysterious Max who speaks a completely new language to her. She instantly has an inexplicable attraction to him, but she must be very careful or her secret may just reveal itself, costing her more than she could ever have imagined.
The world behind The Pledge, while horrific, was also quite fascinating. By making languages a class separator, control over the people is quite complete, especially considering the extreme consequences of not lowering you head when a higher class speaks. We are talking public execution with the onlookers cheering at your death. In fact the fear of the queen is so great that parents will sacrifice their own children by naming them as traitors without even blinking. This harsh reality makes it extremely important for Charlie to hide her secret understanding of all the languages. I cannot imagine how difficult her life must have been growing up and trying to hide the fact that she understands everyone, no matter their class. She cannot show even the slightest hint of understanding no matter the foul things that are said about her. Her will power is remarkable, but then again she didn't have much of a choice as it was either that or death.
To be honest, I wasn't really feeling the romance too much at first in The Pledge. I wouldn't say that I didn't care for it, just that I was more indifferent than anything. I think the world and Charlie's plight had me more enthralled than the attraction to Max did. There was just too much unknown about him other than him speaking a strange language. As time went on and secrets were revealed, I started to appreciate him more, and the determination on both sides. I can't really say much, because those revelations would be pretty big spoilers, but suffice it to say, Max impressed me in the end.
The outcome of The Pledge was quite predictable, almost from the very start, but surprisingly that didn't lessen my enjoyment of the book. It was just as much fun to watch everything unfold while trying to figure where everyone's loyalties lie. There also was some interesting surprises along the way that added to the overall story as well. The Pledge could have easily been a stand alone novel, but just enough was hinted at in the epilogue, to make me eager for more, but grateful for the lack of a cliffhanger. Still, I look forward to getting my hands on the next installment in this trilogy. The Pledge was a pretty impressive read set in a haunting world that you won't want to miss. ...more
Despite her limitations from being cut off from most her magic, Rachel is still out in the thicReview originally posted on my blog: A Book Obsession..
Despite her limitations from being cut off from most her magic, Rachel is still out in the thick of things with her runner service. However, her latest case hits a lot closer to home when she realizes that the brutally murdered corpses point to someone trying to create their own day-walking demons, and her blood may be the key. And to think, she once thought things couldn't get worse than being shunned by the coven. Now, she'll have to get to the bottom of things fast before she finds herself in the middle of her worst nightmare.
At the beginning of A Perfect Blood, Rachel is in what can be best described as a period of stagnation. Prior to this she was living her life at warp speed, but everything came to a screeching halt when cut herself off from the lines and all of her potential via her elven bracelet compliments of Trent. However, her fear and hiding doesn't really seem to hit home until she realizes that Ivy and Jenks are moving on without her. This realization leads to some pretty hard decisions on her part as well as a good deal of growing up. Still, Rachel wouldn't be who she is without her extreme need to be in the middle of things regardless of the risk or idiocy of her choices. She is such a flawed character, but I love her so very much. It always brings a smile to my face to watch her grow and mature and try to make better decisions, but whenever danger comes about she will always run off half-cocked like an avenging angel. Her friends mean so very much to her, and yet there is still that small part of her that cannot seem to let go and for once let someone else take charge. In fact her friends know her so well that they just plan on her doing something crazy, and are just ready to pick up the pieces in the end, and I couldn't help the smile that came to my face each time.
Putting all of Rachel's other flaws aside, her biggest issue is trust. It just doesn't come easy to her, especially when it comes to Trent. However, in A Perfect Blood, we got to see a shifting in the dynamic between the two of them. It can't be described better than a dance with both of them circling each other, and testing the waters to slowly start to come together. As far as what their actual relationship is, well I'm not entirely sure, and to be honest neither of them seem to have much of clue either. They aren't lovers, or even really friends, but they aren't really adversaries at this point either. For now I think I will just say that they seem to have a mutual respect for one another with a tentative trust. Prior to reading A Perfect Blood, I was gung-ho on my hopes of them becoming a couple like yesterday. However, what occurred in this book was so much more natural, that it felt right. If something more grows from it in the future, I surely won't complain, but for now I am quite content.
Whenever anyone asks for a recommendation in the Urban Fantasy genre, The Hollows series is always the first thing I spout out. It is a true testament to the awesomeness of this series that even after ten books, I am still as in love with the characters and their journey as I was the very first time I read Dead Witch Walking. Each installment has been better than the last, and A Perfect Blood is no exception. I may seem like a bit of a fan girl at this point, but trust me, these books warrant the attention. A Perfect Blood truly was a ride from start to finish and my hat goes off to you Ms. Harrison!...more
When their brother goes missing, the Woodmore sisters are placed in the care of a very reluctant Earl, in order to protect them from evil members of t When their brother goes missing, the Woodmore sisters are placed in the care of a very reluctant Earl, in order to protect them from evil members of the Dracule. Lord Dewhurst, or Voss has always prided himself on his conquests of blood and flesh. However that all changes when he meets Angelica Woodmore. She isn't like the others, least of all being her Sight abilities. Even though they come from opposite worlds, they are quickly drawn to each other. Voss finds himself wanting to protect her, but what is the bigger threat; the opposing members of the Dracule, or he himself who longs with the desire to feast upon her flesh.
I've only read one other "period" book in the past, so it took me a little while to get used to rules of propriety and the other mannerisms of the book. The rules of propriety and other things were slightly baffling to me, but the author did do a good job of setting them up well. In fact I actually didn't care for the main character's sister, Maia at first since she continually lectured Angelica on propriety as well as controlled her with "an iron fist." However, after reading the entire book I realize that Maia was actually being a very good sister, by ensuring that Angelica didn't socially sabotage herself. The book is set in such a time where a proper lady's only goal in life is to marry well and produce at least one heir. I have a feeling I will enjoy the next book more, as I have had time to get used to the setting, and the society's rules, so less of my focus will be spent on those ideas.
While Voss's and Angelica's relationship was very slow in progression, I enjoyed their relationship. Looking back, I think the slow progression actually makes sense given the time period and the level of society they were in. I am glad that despite the risks, Angelica was bold at times and stepped outside of propriety's strict rules and mannerisms to at least explore a little bit between her and Voss. Of course several complications arise that severely set back their relationship several times, but at least she gave it a chance at all. Perhaps that was why Voss was drawn to her in the first place, she has an inner strength and fire that none of the other women did.
The book's pacing was rather slow in the beginning, and the shifting perspectives didn't really help me get pulled into the story at first. I prefer a book to either grab a hold of me with action immediately or at least draw me into the character's right away. However, that being said the further I read in this book, the more attached I got to the characters. I enjoyed the ending resolution, being a turn I did not see coming. I'm actually looking forward to the next book about Dimitri and Maia, as they were both characters I didn't particularly care for in the beginning, but definitely grew on me. All in all it was a pretty good read, even more so if you love reading about regency London....more
All of the major cities have crumbled, and basic rights are a thing of the past. Now control isReview originally posted on my blog: A Book Obsession..
All of the major cities have crumbled, and basic rights are a thing of the past. Now control is based on a set of moral statutes, with harsh penalties for offenders. Being simply accused means a swift arrest and trial, and no one comes back from that. They are simply forgotten. Ember gets by as best she can while trying to contain her very free spirited mother. She's learned all the ways to blend in and stay unnoticed, keeping her life relatively normal, all things considered. However all that changes the day her mother is arrested for violating Article 5 in the Moral Statues by none other than her childhood love. With her life turned upside down, she finds herself in her own personal nightmare. The only question is whether she can survive it.
Ember (love that name!) is a flawed, but REAL character. Throughout Article 5 there were many times where I really wanted to strangle her for the poor decisions she was making, especially when it came to Chase. However, those mistakes only made her seem that much more real. We would all like to think that in a crisis situation we could keep our cool and know exactly what to do. Perhaps some of us could, but I have a feeling the majority of people would behave exactly like Ember. Her whole life has been turned upside down and people are trying to kill her left and right, she just isn't going to be able to accept all of that rationally, especially considering just how naive she was in the beginning. Nor would she be able to easily throw her trust into someone she felt abandoned by. She's entitled to have melt downs, and to be honest, she had a whole lot of character growth throughout Article 5, to the point where she is almost a completely different person.
The world behind Article 5 is so chilling and rather horrific. I love dystopian books; there is just something about them that calls to me. However, what sets Article 5 apart is how very real it felt. It very easily could have been happening now in our world, or at least in the very near future. All it would take would be for one single conflict to go bad, and land a terrible war on U.S. soil, with religious extremists rising to take over in the aftermath. The whole concept of morality being the controlling factor of society absolutely terrifies me. Forget the Bill of Rights, keep your head down and don't dare to make a single misstep or you will pay dearly. My heart bled for these characters, in their desperation to survive, especially Ember as her eyes were painfully opened to the horrors of her world.
This is one of those books where you are so far sucked into the story you don't even notice the flaws until it is time to write the review. When I first finished the book I eagerly stamped a five star rating on it via goodreads, but now as I look back I realize that much of the story wasn't perfect. The idea of persecuting people for "crimes" they committed many years before there was even a law against them doesn't seem really plausible. Especially since this would impact as much as a third of the population. Also there was the issue of the too short time in the camp leaving that feeling a little undeveloped, as well as a few other things. Does that mean I'm going to now lower my rating? Absolutely not, as the reading experience was so intense, it more than warrants the five. No book is ever going to be perfect, and in the end what matters most is being entertained and emotionally attached to the story, and Article 5 certainly fits that bill. So if you like a book that is so riveting and compelling, as well as impossible to put down, then Article 5 is one debut you won't want to miss! ...more