Charlotte may be a healer and hold a noble title, but her life has never been easy. Taken fromReview originally posted on my blog: A Book Obsession..
Charlotte may be a healer and hold a noble title, but her life has never been easy. Taken from her family at a young age because of her healing talents, she's been sequestered from the world. So when she married her husband she was rather naive in believing his offer of a happy ever after. Then her eyes were opened to the truth and as everything around her came crumbling down, she flees to the Edge. Unlike her homeland, the Edge is a world of its own as it separates the magical realm from the mundane one, called the Weird and the Broken respectively. Her life then settles down into a sort of normalcy, but then everything is turned upside down again once she is dragged into Richard's quest to stop a malicious band of slavers who have destroyed countless lives. Between his unparalleled skill with the blade and her ability to manipulate diseases into a weapon, the pair of them together may just have what it takes to finally bring the slavers down, but at what cost?
I'm not usually a big fan of regency style books, but I really enjoyed the change in atmosphere for Steel's Edge. Granted, if I recall, the previous book was also centers largely in the Weird, but it didn't have the regency feel that this one does. Perhaps that is due to the fact that the characters this time around had much stronger roots to the Blueblood way of life. Oh Richard is an Edger through and through but he was trained by his exiled Blueblood family member and can do society with the best of them. I just found it utterly fascinating once Charlotte starting to explain all the minute rules of society. In all honesty it was quite baffling for a no fuss, no makeup kind of gal, but entertaining all the same. I also enjoyed the way this book lifted the "curtain" from the Bluebloods to see behind their noble fronts and showed that they can be every bit as a monster and the ones they call beneath them. I just love to see the high and mighty get knocked down a few pegs.
I really loved the dynamic between Charlotte and Richard. Despite the fact that they came from two very different worlds, they couldn't be more perfect for one another. They both just seem so grounded and have this utterly selfless nature about them. In fact, both of them were worried that they were not good enough for the other at first, which was rather laughable considering just how much they were willing to sacrifice in order to bring the slavers down. That being said, they did have some pretty insurmountable odds to over come in order to be together, and I thoroughly enjoyed every part of the ride.
As much as I love Ilona Andrew's style of writing and the guarantee for a good story, I can't quite give this particular story the five star rating I would like to. I realize this is the final book in the series and there were a lot of various plot threads to tie up, but that led things into being rather chaotic as the many different aspects were pulled together. It just didn't have the solid and put together feel that the previous installments have had. Also, I really didn't care for the way the final showdown went with the slavers operation. It just felt rather anti-climatic to me in the way it was resolved, especially since all of the other confrontations in the book had a whole lot more oomph to them. That being said I did read an early unfinished review copy, so perhaps things will be tweaked a little in that area before the release. Putting that aside, I felt Steel's Edge did a good job of rounding out the series and leaving things in a good place. There is room for the authors to come back to the series for more, but even if that never happens, I'm rather satisfied with the way everything turned out. Fans of the series will be pleased with this wrap up to the fabulous Edge series....more
While traveling with other students in New York City, catastrophe strikes and their subway carReview originally posted on my blog: A Book Obsession..
While traveling with other students in New York City, catastrophe strikes and their subway car goes up in flames. Climbing out of the wreckage, Jesse and his friends search for other survivors, but find no one else alive. When they reach the surface, what faces them is nothing short of a nightmare. The skyscrapers are crumbling around them and there seems to be no one left, at least until they stumble across a strange group of people who seem mindless except in their search for liquid to quench their thirst. Any liquid will do, even blood, making Jesse a prime target. Survival in this desolate new world won't be easy, but at least he isn't alone.
I'm at a loss as to how this book can possibly be properly reviewed without spoiling something major in the story. There is a shocking twist at the end that irrevocably changes your perceptions of everything prior to that point. So much so that I can hardly remember what I felt prior to that knowledge, and in all honesty that twist both infuriates and impresses me. It infuriates me because of just how much it turned everything upside down and drastically changed everything. On the opposite end, the impressive part came from its ability to catch me so far off guard. Let's face it, with everything we experience in modern society, it has become harder and harder to drastically surprise anyone. So when something like this comes along you can't help but be impressed even if you didn't really care for what that twist entailed.
While reading Chasers I kept picturing the movie I Am Legend with Will Smith. Each time they described yet another empty and deserted place, I shuddered just like I did in the movie. In no way am I saying Chasers is a knock off of I Am Legend, since there was a whole different character dynamic as well as a completely different story line behind the devastation. It's just that Chasers elicited that same horrible feeling inside of being terribly alone and isolated while your life is constantly hanging in the balance. Even though there was four of them together, it didn't lesson those devastating feelings one bit. In all honesty it was the isolation was what made this book so absolutely terrifying for me. So much more so than anything to do with the Chasers. Perhaps it is because I'm a social creature by nature, but I cannot see myself lasting very long under that kind of stifling aloneness.
I'm not really quite sure how I feel about the chasers and their role in zombie fiction. Granted, they weren't really zombies due to the fact that they sought out liquid of any kind rather than flesh. But the fact that they were mindless and would attack people for their blood does push them somewhere in the zombie region. I guess in the end I can't really fault them for not being true zombies, as they were plenty scary enough. I think my sticking point with them was that there wasn't any explanation for anything that was going on. Granted, this is a trilogy, so there needed to be some things left open for the next two books, and the staggering feeling of aloneness couldn't have been achieved if there had been any contact with the outside world to get those needed answers. That being said, I'm incredibly eager to get my hands on the next installment, since Chasers was one heck of a terrifying ride that grabbed a hold of me and just wouldn't let go. ...more
Remy has the ability to heal others with her touch, but that ability comes with a price as anyReview originally posted on my blog: A Book Obsession..
Remy has the ability to heal others with her touch, but that ability comes with a price as any injuries she heals become her own. Due to her stepfather's abusiveness, she rarely get a break from the pain as she struggles to heal both her mother and herself. When he finally takes things too far and it can't be covered up any more, Remy is sent to live with the biological father she never knew. Still she's determined to make the best of things and hopes this fresh start will lead to a much calmer life. Those hopes go out the window when she meets Asher Blackwell and she learns terrible secrets about herself and an age old war. Caught in a forbidden romance, one with deadly consequences, Remy's life is more in danger than it ever was. Luckily she has had a lot of practice with staying alive because she'll need those skills if she is to have any hope at surviving what is to come.
Remy is truly an amazing character. She has been through so much abuse both physically and mentally, yet instead of breaking like most people would have, she found a way to make herself stronger. Granted, in doing so, she largely cut herself off from her emotions and others, but she wasn't cold, far from it actually. In fact it only took a little time once her situation started to improve for her to start opening herself back up. It just amazes me that someone who has endured what she has could still be so compassionate. I mean even putting aside being abandoned by her father and brutalized by her step father, she still wouldn't have had an easy life since her healing gift is its own form of torture. Every time she heals someone she knows that she will be pulling their agony into herself as their injury becomes hers. The fact that she so willingly heals others knowing that one time their injuries may just prove to be too much for her and she will be unable to heal herself. She is probably one of the least selfish and most sacrificial characters I have ever had the pleasure of reading about. Seriously I am in utter awe, and even if the rest of the aspects of the book had not been as enjoyable as they were, Remy's character could have easily compensated, I just loved her that much. Luckily she had an awesome story and a great cast of characters to make this book a truly fabulous read.
Touched was more focused on the romance rather than the paranormal aspects, which was a little disappointing to me. Don't get me wrong, I loved the budding relationship between Remy and Asher and felt that there was just the right amount of build up to make it more than believable. It's just that I would have preferred a little bit more focus on the Healer versus Protector aspect since I generally gravitate more to books that center more on the paranormal rather than romance. So I guess it's more of a style preference issue than anything. Another thing that pulled it away from the paranormal was that the biggest threat in this book was decidedly not supernatural in any way which honestly left me scratching my head a bit since the characters missed some rather obvious things in that area. I guess they were too busy looking for the paranormal threat to come that they didn't look elsewhere.
When I took a step back to look at the book and my frustration with the lack of any real developments in the Healer vs Protector aspect, I realized that this is a trilogy, so it wouldn't have been a good idea for the author to put all her eggs into one basket. I just found myself yearning for so much more, but I guess that could technically be a good thing depending on how you look at it, since because of this, I am now desperate to get my hands on the next installment. In fact, between Remy and the rest of the great characters, along with the incredibly intriguing story, Touched was a whopper of a read and I highly recommend snatching this puppy up pronto!...more
Reeling from the pain of having to kill her brother, Kat, aka Lady Death is in shambles. It doeReview originally posted on my blog: A Book Obsession..
Reeling from the pain of having to kill her brother, Kat, aka Lady Death is in shambles. It doesn't matter that Thomas was a mindless killer leaving a path of destruction in his wake, a part of her still held out hope that he could be saved. So now that her small hope has been extinguished, she's left her Lady Death persona behind and fled to the safety of a town called Delai as it offers a strange sort of peace. But in Delai, nothing is as it seems. With each passing day it gets harder and harder for her to remember who she is, and it's only a matter of time before she succumbs. Her only hope lies in the strangest of saviors, her tie to a demon known as Beligral. But even his power may not be enough to save her as she is in the grasp of something stronger than she ever could have imagined. With her very freedom on the line she's got a choice to make, stay in this false peace or return to her bloody life as Lady Death. Talk about a rock and a hard place.
It's a real testament to how much I enjoy the world behind this series and the side characters that I have been able to continue reading despite my utter dislike of Kat. And I'm not talking a mild disagreement either, I absolutely cannot stand the chick. Not only is she too much of a hard ass and closed off, but she's also ridiculously reckless, which quite frankly baffles me. I just don't get how she survived this long without getting killed. I mean she's supposed to be the bogeyman to vamps and weres and yet, she's constantly being sloppy, especially in this installment. But I could have forgiven all that if it weren't for her utter cruelty towards the people who care about her. It doesn't matter what they do she's absolutely terrible, and quite frankly I feel she needs to be knocked down a post... or ten. I cannot count the number of times while reading BLESSED BY A DEMON'S MARK where I wanted to reach through the pages to slap her silly for either her foolish/reckless behavior, or the way she treated her friends. I don't care if she hates herself so much that she is incapable of attachment. There is absolutely no excuse for the way she acts, and quite frankly my anger at her made it rather hard to read the book.
Now to get into the good things in the book, with the first up being the world behind it all. I just love the way that this is an open world, with all of the humans, vamps, demons, and weres all intermingled with each other. It just opens up a lot of possibilities for the story, and the author is fantastic at exploring them. By the end of BLESSED BY A DEMON'S MARK things were definitely shaken up and I really enjoyed the new added elements to the story. I can only imagine where things are headed, and I'm sure it will be an intense ride along the way. The other thing I really enjoy about these books is the secondary characters, from the good guys to the bad, they are all fully fleshed, with not a placeholder among them. On the good side, I love how fiercely loyal everyone is despite the fact that they should have given up on Kat long ago. I also really adore Jeremy as he's had a whole lot thrown at him in such a short time in his path to redemption, and I couldn't be more proud of what he has overcome. On the bad side, well the author sure knows how to write a convincing bad guy, and there are several in this book. I'm not sure who is the worst out of them all, but trust me, evil is an understatement here.
As I said previously, I really enjoy this world/secondary characters, but it's become a juggling act of enjoyment considering my issues with Kat. On one hand, I am incredibly curious to see what happens next, but on the other I don't want to spend another book seething at the main character. It just doesn't make for an easy read, nor does it allow me to have the full entertainment value. I'm really hoping that the barest hints of a romantic possibility will start to come to fruition in the next installment, because that would go a long way towards softening Kat. Would I recommend BLESSED BY A DEMON'S MARK? Yes, for fans of strict Urban Fantasy, it's a solid read, but as a disclaimer for those looking for a good main character attachment or romance, they won't find any here....more
Reese's life forever changed the day thousands of birds started throwing themselves at airplaneReview originally posted on my blog: A Book Obsession..
Reese's life forever changed the day thousands of birds started throwing themselves at airplanes, causing countless crashes. Stuck far from home and with all the planes grounded, she and David, her longtime crush make their way home to San Francisco in a rental car. But when birds strike their car, they careened right off the road and everything went black. Waking up in strange hospital a month later, Reese feels strange, which is only compounded when she returns home. Nothing is the same, especially with her own body as she starts to miraculously heal at an extremely accelerated rate. As she and David try to get to the bottom of things, what they find will be so shocking and so rooted in conspiracy there won't be any escape.
Before I start this paragraph I feel the need to state that I don't have a problem with homosexuality. Granted seeing it does tend to make me a little uncomfortable, but that's my own issue not theirs, and I would never say anything negative towards their rights. That being said, I had an issue with those elements in this book. Not because they were there, but because it just didn't feel natural or realistic and as a result had my guards up that it would become a "cause" book. Looking back, I don't think that was the case, but it still bothered me the way things were handled. Granted Reese had never dated before Amber came along, but that was more due to a fear of love and attachment rather than any lack of desire for boys. In fact, before she met Amber she had a rather large attraction to David despite the fact that she didn't want to. So, it caught me and her quite off guard when all of a sudden she was gangbusters for a girl. Granted, I probably would have still been rather confused if she had of suddenly switched her attentions to a different guy, but at least that would have still been more inline with her original attraction preference. I do realize that I could be completely off base in how different sexualities work and how sudden they can change, but regardless of that I just couldn't believe the romance making it rather frustrating to me. To make matters worse things wound up turning into a twisted love triangle mess, that just didn't seem necessary. I guess things would have been a whole lot more enjoyable and believable if Amber's role had been a very good friend rather than an impromptu lover in the middle.
I love sci-fi movies, but I typically try and stay away from that genre in books, unless the description really grabs me like this one did. I don't know why, but books just don't seem to get the same "pass" for believability that I give to movies. I just get so frustrated when things don't really mesh up to what is truly believable, especially in relation to how the Government would behave about something sensitive. I'm sorry but they are all about top secret stuff staying that way, so if anything or anyone would threaten that security, you can't tell me that they wouldn't be all over sealing the leak by any means necessary. I guess it just boiled down to me rolling my eyes one too many times at the credibility of the events as my frustration mounted.
Even though this review shows a great deal of frustrations, I was intrigued enough by the story to make it the whole way through the book without too many distractions. This is another one of those times where I wish I rated in half increments as I'm stuck between a 2 and a 3. Since I will more than likely read the next installment to see where things lead, I'll round up to the three and chalk my issues up to a rocky beginning. Also, it should be noted that since a lot of the frustrations I had were due to believability issues, that some of them could be attributed to my mood while reading it. There are times when I'm much more forgiving of unrealistic things and able to go with the flow, but other times my mood just won't allow it. So, depending on your own preferences, Adaptation may just be a much better read for you. ...more
Celia and her two sisters all share a special bond. Not only are they triplets, but they can alReview originally posted on my blog: A Book Obsession..
Celia and her two sisters all share a special bond. Not only are they triplets, but they can also see the past, present, and future. Celia holds the past, something she has always felt useless. But that changes when she meets Lo, a soulless mermaid who cannot remember her own past. Determined to finally help someone with her gift, Celia tries to help Lo remember. But with that remembrance comes a price, one that just may cost more than they ever realized.
I have to be honest that mermaids/sirens have always creeped me out. I've always had a fear of drowning, so the idea of terrible creatures who lure people to their deaths in the murky depths of the water gives me shudders. Fathomless takes that whole creepy factor to a whole new level when it adds in the mysteriousness of their change and their cold cold hearts. Somehow the fact that the mermaids were once human, but are now stripped down and soulless shells who only hunger for peace made it even worse. Add in the false hope they were given and everything about them made me shudder, even as Lo started to remember some of her past and become more human. To be honest that only made me more terrified of her, as once she got a taste of her old life, I knew she wouldn't let go without a fight, no matter the cost.
I really loved the concept behind Celia and her sister's powers even if I didn't quite understand where it came from. They had such a strong bond as triplets, and yet Celia still was a bit of an outcast when you took a step back. It was almost as if Jane and Anne were twins and Celia just happened to have been born at the same time. Being able to see the past, present, and future between them is such a burden, yet at the start of the story it is only Celia who seems to be having a hard time with it as she doesn't feel the worthiness of her power. If I could only pick one thing about this story that was most enjoyable or had a lasting impression, it would be Celia's transition from being in the shadows of her sisters, and learning to have confidence and believe in herself. Don't get me wrong, there is so much more to this book, but it was Celia's path that really stole my heart.
Fathomless was a rather frustrating read for me as there were several elements that just didn't feel fully developed. This was only made worse by the fact that the concepts themselves were rather intriguing, making me want to know more. Between Celia and her sister's powers and the whole "mermaid" lore itself, I just can't help thinking there was so much left unrealized. Either of the elements could have really been expanded upon, which would have ramped Fathomless from its mediocre rating from me to something fully enjoyable. It just isn't very satisfying to read something that feels lacking in the end, and in all honesty after all of the build up I have an almost sour taste in my mouth due to that frustration. Granted, I have not read the other two books in this series, but considering the fact that each book has it's own fairytale origins and are really only supposed to be companion novels, I can't imagine that would account for that much of the things that I felt were left too far unexplained. I'd go back and read the first two books, but I think that would only frustrate me more since I'm already not that satisfied with Fathomless, and it's supposed to be the series ender. That being said, I can definitely see myself reading a fourth book if one were to be written. ...more
As Raphael's spymaster, Jason lives his life in the shadows as he goes undercover to garner theReview originally posted on my blog: A Book Obsession..
As Raphael's spymaster, Jason lives his life in the shadows as he goes undercover to garner the best intel. However, his latest charge will take him out of that comfort zone and into the light. The Archangel's Neha's consort has been brutally murdered and her rage is shaking the world. Neha was already quite unstable prior to his death from the pain of losing her daughter, and if she continues on the path into madness, millions will suffer. When offered aid in finding the culprit, Neha agrees in allowing Jason to enter her lands, but only with the stipulation that he bind himself to another of her bloodline, Princess Mahiya. As Mahiya and Jason team up to find the killer along the way they find a passion for one another so unexpected that it threatens to tear apart who they each are at the core.
All of the characters in the Guild Hunter series seem to carry a plethora of scars from their pasts. Each one is damaged, but expresses it in a different way. I had always wondered what made Jason so closed off from the world as he constantly hid in shadows. Throughout the book we are given glimpses of those harrowing events, but it is the reveal later in the book that brought tears to my eyes. Such suffering he endured, it truly is amazing he was able to function at all. Granted, he has survived by completely closing off his heart to everyone, not allowing anything or anyone close at all. Even Raphael is kept at a distance despite the many years of loyalty. I really have to applaud Nalini for her ability to write Jason's character so beautifully, showing his quiet and thoughtful strength and grace. It isn't often that we get to see a non-alpha male take the spotlight making for a rather refreshing read. Don't get me wrong, nothing about Jason is weak, he just doesn't have the arrogance and outwardly brash manner that most heroes do, and honestly, I loved him all the more for it.
I really enjoyed watching the interactions between Jason and Mahiya as they developed from just acquaintances to so much more. I don't think any other woman could have been more perfect for him. Her hidden iron will intrigued him enough to draw him in, but it was her pure heart and untainted kindness in a world of horror that kept him there. It is a true testament to her strength that she wasn't long ago corrupted by her circumstances. Also, Mahiya seemed to understand Jason's needs better than he did, and was able to give him so much with asking a single demand in return. The poor man didn't stand a chance against her giving heart, and and a result may finally know love in return.
The thing I love most about this series is that is the perfect blend between Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance. I'm a huge romance fan, so I really enjoy having that be a larger element in my books and it is nice to have that guaranteed happy ever after in Paranormal Romances. However that happiness also frustrates me as each couple is only featured for one book and then mostly forgotten and don't hold much page time in future books. That just isn't the case in this series as each new book is completely intertwined with the previous ones only adding more to the stories, yet each one also finishes with some sort of happy romantic resolution. In fact, I am honestly in awe at Nalini's ability to ensnare me even further into this amazing world and increase my love for these characters with each new installment. Simply put, Archangel's Storm is an absolute must buy for fans of the series!...more
Since Anna was unwillingly turned into a vampire, there are very few people who know her true nReview originally posted on my blog: A Book Obsession..
Since Anna was unwillingly turned into a vampire, there are very few people who know her true nature. Her shape-shifter friend, Culebra is one one of the few trusted ones, so when his dark past is revealed, that shock hits her even harder. Yet when one of his past cohorts comes to call wanting to cash in a life debt Anna instantly steps up, along with Max, the DEA agent and her ex, to support Culebra on his quest. Traveling deep into Mexico, Anna could have never imagined the horrors she would experience, ones that spurn her vampiric need for justice to a righteous fury. Like they say about a woman scorned, adding a vampire to the mix, and her opponents don't stand a chance.
I was utterly shocked at learning Culebra's past misdeeds. Considering how open he is now to everyone in need, by running the bar and the safe house nature it supplies, I just cannot believe he was ever so terrible. Just like Anna, it blew the wind out of my sails a good bit. Of course that shock didn't last very long for either of us as Anna realized that Culebra may very well be in trouble from that dark past. I think it shows a true testament to their strength in their friendship that stubborn Anna was able to get over such a shocker to her morals so fast. It also shows her fierce loyalty to those she calls her own, and I feel that despite his lesser moral past, Culebra is more than worthy of her support now.
Anna's love life is an utter tangled mess in Haunted. She's currently dating a human who accepts all of her, and doesn't shy away from her nature. Even though she is fond of him and he does make her happy, part of her isn't satisfied. Then there is the brief return of Frey and his son, which opens up all sorts of questions for Anna. In fact it shows her the life that she wants, a real family, but thought she could never have since she was turned into a vampire. Speaking of that turning, Anna is also mixed up in a mission with Max, the human who dumped her after finding out her true nature. Despite his terrible demeanor towards him and his nonacceptance, She'll always has a soft spot for him and there is a wistfulness there as she wishes he had been able to understand. So, needless to say, when it came to love, Anna was rather confused in Haunted. I have to admit that I have my preferences out of who I would pick from the three men, and I'm so happy that it looks like by the end, Anna will be heading in that direction. (I was purposely vague on that last statement to keep from spoiling the ending.)
I have to admit that most of the time I don't read the acknowledgements in books, but skip right to the "good stuff." However, this time around I'm very glad that I didn't follow that normal pattern, as Jeanne talked about writing this story because of the real issues below our borders and she wanted to give some sort of resolution, even if it was only a fictitious one. I've just always enjoyed stories that employ a deeper story or connection to the writer, as the emotion always seems to come across all the more strongly for it. All in all, I really enjoyed this latest installment in the Anna Strong series. It really amazes me just how much all of the characters have grown over the series, and I know I will be terribly sad to say goodbye to them in the next installment as it will be the last. Fans of the series won't be disappointed in Haunted as it is an action packed ride featuring an issue that is near and dear to the author's heart, making for an incredible read....more
For the most part, Risa Jones' mixed werewolf and Aedh heritage gives her a large advantage oveReview originally posted on my blog: A Book Obsession..
For the most part, Risa Jones' mixed werewolf and Aedh heritage gives her a large advantage over most of her opponents. However, even her ability to see the dead and turn into a being of pure energy can't seem to help her stop a malicious killer that is preying on women. Even worse, he knows who she is, and has turned his attentions to ensnaring Risa into a nasty game of a race between life and death. Meanwhile she's still being targeted from all sides to find the keys to the gates, and even with the help of the Reaper Azriel at her side it may just prove to be an impossible task. Speaking of Azriel, the attraction between them is only growing stronger, but succumbing could lead to an unimaginable fate that neither of them wants.
I really love how these books not only follow a strong overall arc theme, but each one also has its own individual plot. This is my favorite type of series as it keeps things fresh by adding a whole new threat element with each installment, but it also strongly ties things together by adding developments to the overall series threat, this case being the Gate Key Quest. Although, these books take that intertwining aspect a step even further by not only having the in your face new threat, but also having several different factions going after the "prize", with Risa stuck right in the middle. There is just so much going on that there isn't a single opportunity to get bored, and that's my kind of book!
Not since Mac and Barrons from the Fever series have I been this strung out from the sexual tension between two characters. Sure, there have been plenty of other books where I really want the characters to "get together," but all of those pale in comparison to how I feel about Risa and Azriel. I had thought some of the unrelenting pressure would have been lessened due to them succumbing in the last installment. Unfortunately, it seems to only have brought things to an even higher fever pitch. I realize that this is a series, and Keri can't really have them get their happy ever after yet, but that doesn't mean I don't want to see some kind of promise or hope, or really anything at all between them other than this miserable stasis they are in. Granted, Risa seemed much more willing to give into her emotions, making me really feel for her as she was having a very hard time dealing with the distance forced upon them. I will say that even though Azriel's resistance and emotional armor only slips a few brief times, it is rather obvious that he is suffering from the distance as well. I just cannot wait until they both finally crack, because I think there will be some major fireworks flying. Hopefully that will be in the next book, otherwise I myself might just crack under the pressure.
Although the ending left me needing more, I absolutely loved this book! It really amazes me just how much further I get sucked into this series with each new installment released. The only problem with that high level of enjoyment is that it makes the wait between books even harder. That being said, I can easily see myself re-reading this series several times, as it has earned itself a solid place on my all time favorites list. Fans of this series, cannot possibly be disappointed in this latest installment as Darkness Hunts is an absolute thrilling ride from start to finish! ...more
As an Angel of Death, has seen countless souls ferried to the other side, and has become a littReview originally posted on my blog: A Book Obsession..
As an Angel of Death, has seen countless souls ferried to the other side, and has become a little numb to the pain and loss associated with it. But all that changed when that loss stuck home and she is left a grieving mess. But there is a small matter of hope with the new life growing inside of her, a happiness that is lessened once Maddy realizes her unborn child would be a mighty temptation for Lucifer. A child of two of his bloodlines would have untold power, and Maddy is determined to keep that from his hands no matter what that takes. Meanwhile, the rest of the courts are still stirring trouble and Maddy has had about enough. This time she'll be taking the fight to them.
This was an incredibly difficult and emotional read for me. Heart ache absolutely kills me in a book, especially when it comes from something as permanent and devastating as death. My heart was in every bit as tatters as Maddy's was, and each time she broke down, my heart bled for her. I cannot count the number of times there were tears in my eyes when everything became too much for Maddy. That being said, the ability to affect my emotions that strongly shows just how good these books are and how real the characters are. If the emotion didn't impact me, well then it wouldn't be worth reading.
After reading Black Lament, my respect for Maddy has seriously ratcheted up another notch. Despite the immense emotional pain she was in, she still found a way to stand strong, especially once threatened. It didn't take long at all for her to go all "Momma Bear" and start eliminating current and future threats to herself and her unborn child. At several points throughout the book, her gargoyle companion, Beezle, seems to worry that she is turning over to the dark side, but I don't have the same worry. Sure she is making decisions she never would have in the past, but her actions are justified by the means. She hasn't sought out the trouble that finds her, she only refused to back down when others wanted to either control or destroy her. Granted, she has become a little more proactive in her defense as she began to take some steps to prevent future attacks rather than waiting to be ambushed, but in all honesty I can't blame her one little bit for that. She has no desire for world conquering and if everyone would just leave her alone, she wouldn't be a threat to any of them.
I have to admit that a part of me didn't want to continue on with this series after the heart shattering ending of the previous book as I just didn't want to face the reality of the horrible changes Maddy would have to face. But in the end it was more than worth it to push through it and keep reading, as Maddy and the gang are still some of my top favorite sets of characters. I highly recommend Black Lament as it is full of both emotion and action that will keep you sucked in from the very start. This series just keeps getting better!...more
Now that the largest threat to vampires has been defeated, the vamps in Morganville no longer hReview originally posted on my blog: A Book Obsession..
Now that the largest threat to vampires has been defeated, the vamps in Morganville no longer have anything to fear and it's showing. They no longer feel the need to be constrained by societies rule and have opened a new hunting season. No one, not even the "protected" ones are safe, causing the humans in the town to take up arms. Claire Danvers finds herself stuck in the middle as both sides seem prepared to tear the town apart one piece at a time.
As much as I love this series, I can't help feeling a little frustrated with the repeating pattern that things seems to be stuck in. Claire and company will do something amazing/brave/stupid to save the town/vampires/humans and then the vamps show some sort of gratitude and say they will change things for the better. But, by the time the next book rolls around, the vamps have all but forgotten the promises they made, and the gratitude towards Claire, etc is all gone. It wasn't much more than a mild annoyance at this point because each book more than held its own by distracting me with the new big and bad threat. However, after coming down from the insanity of the Draugs and just how much Claire and her friends did for the vamps, you would have though there would have been at least a small grace period. I realize that the series wouldn't be so enthralling if the vamps don't seem like strong threats anymore, but there has to be some other way than making them so incredibly ungrateful. I guess I'm just frustrated because I cannot count the number of times Claire has saved their royally screwed butts, and I want the poor girl to get some sort of credit.
Aside from the vamps acting like idiots, the theme of this book seemed to center more around the personal relationships. Don't get me wrong, there was still plenty of action, it's just that this time around there was more going than just trying to survive the latest threat. There's all these different interwoven character relationships and dynamics that play such a large role, yet are sometimes glossed over by the intense action, that it was really nice to see things come to the forefront. In particular, I'm talking about the dynamics between Michael and Eve, Claire and Shane, and Claire and Myrnin, although that last one won't be discussed here to avoid spoilers. As far as the others, I may be in the minority, but I'm not really a supporter of Michael and Eve. I kinda agree with the town that they shouldn't be mixing as it looks to only be leading to heartache or death. Although unlike the town, I don't want them to split up, but that Eve become a Vamp herself. I just don't quite get that one, or what the real hang up is, but I guess tension is really the key to a good book so I can't complain too much. As far as Claire and Shane, well Shane screws up yet again, but this time Claire isn't so quick to forgive him, and that make me rather proud of her. Don't get me wrong I'm still in firmly in the Claire/Shane camp, it's just that I want the boy to finally have to start taking some responsibility for his screw ups.
As much as it pains me to do it considering how much I enjoyed this book, I'm going to have to dock my rating by one star due to the series redundancy. It almost feels wrong to "penalize" this book since my problem is more with the series trend as a whole. However, since my frustration came to a head in Bitter Blood, I can't really overlook it any more. That being said, strangely I do have hope for that cycle to be lessened, if not broken in the next book based on the way things ended. Of course, I could be wrong, but I'll still be holding out hope. Don't get me wrong, things won't be all wrapped up in a pretty bow or be all like roses, it's just that the ending points to a new direction that I wasn't really expecting. I'm both anxious and nervous to see where things lead, but at the very least it should make for a change of pace, which is exactly what this series needs. So, putting my repetition woes aside, I have to say that Bitter Blood was a really solid installment in the fabulous Morganville Vampires series. There's action, romance, and drama galore, making for one heck of an entertaining read that you won't want to miss! ...more
Being a dhampir, half-human, half-vampire, Dorina Basarab has lived a very long and rough life.Review originally posted on my blog: A Book Obsession..
Being a dhampir, half-human, half-vampire, Dorina Basarab has lived a very long and rough life. Hated by vampires due to her uncontrollable and deadly rages, it's a miracle she wasn't killed long ago. Even so, she had finally started to gain some control over those periods of rage, but her latest case working for the very creatures that despise her must have tipped the scales. She wakes in a unknown lab with the rage consuming her, almost costing Louis-Cesare his life. After calming her down, the Vampire Senate realized that the answers they so desperately need are hidden behind that rage fog, and they would do anything to get them, for it could mean the difference between victory or defeat in the war.
Prior to reading Fury's Kiss, out of Karen Chance's two series set in this world, my favorites were definitely Cassie's books. However, now that I have finished Fury's Kiss, I have to say that the scales have tipped in Dory's favor. Granted I realize some of that is probably due to the fact that Dory is fresh in my mind while the last Cassie book was released over a year ago, but there is more to it than that. Dory has grown so much from the angry and bitter woman we first met. She's still rather wary of most of the vampires (completely understandable due to her terrible history with them), but she also has made great strides in learning to work with them. Between her father, Radu, Louis-Cesare, and even Ray, she makes great inroads in this book towards opening herself up. Now, instead of blind mistrust standing in her way, it is more her own insecurities that seem to be her biggest road block. Of course, when you have been treated a vile thing your entire life, and are terrified of yourself because you hurt others in uncontrollable rages, it would be rather hard to have a good sense of self worth. That being said, Dory seemed to slowly be opening up to the idea of accepting and hopefully embracing both sides of herself, which will go a long way in overcoming those insecurities.
Another thing that makes this series so great is the dance of a romance between Dory and Louis-Cesare. Perhaps a more apt description would be a game of cat and mouse now that Louis-Cesare has made it rather apparent where he stands on the issue. Dory, isn't so certain, but a lot of that is due to insecurities, which like I mentioned previously, she has made great strides in that area. I really enjoyed the steamy moments between them, even as the sexual tension was ratcheted up several knots leaving me more than a little frustrated at times as I just wanted them to finally get their groove on. That being said, I really feel like they have finally started to settle things and head in the right direction, making me one very happy camper.
I have to admit that I was a little intimidated by the size of this book as the ARC copy I read had 536 pages. Whenever a book goes over 400 pages (and sometimes even when the page count is less), there always is that concern that parts will drag as it hadn't been condensed down enough to its best form. That wasn't even a possibility of a concern for Fury's Kiss as it was non-stop from start to finish. Seriously, I cannot even begin to express how impressive it was to read a book of that length without having a single dull moment. Even if I wasn't already incredibly satisfied with all the other elements of the book, that feat alone would have earned it a high rating. So when you add in the yummy romance, the great character growth, and the heart pounding action, Fury's Kiss more than earns a resounding five star rating. Seriously, run, do not walk to your nearest book store and snatch this puppy up as it is an absolute must buy!...more
Unlike the rest of her real estate mogul family, Lexi Belarus is much more whimsical, preferrinReview originally posted on my blog: A Book Obsession..
Unlike the rest of her real estate mogul family, Lexi Belarus is much more whimsical, preferring to surround herself in art like her great-great grandfather rather than focus on money. But everything changes when she is attacked and saved by a creature beyond imagination. Turns up dear old Grandad was involved in a lot more than just sculpture and real estate as he used alchemy and his Spellmason powers to create a gargoyle named Stanis out of stone to protect his family and legacy over the ages. Lexi quickly realizes that she has a bit of that same Spellmason power herself, albeit very rough and untrained, it still makes her an even bigger target for those who would seek to bring her family down. With time quickly running out on the protections placed upon her family home, she'll have to learn to master her abilities fast before even Stanis's protection isn't enough.
Lexi's voice in Alchemystic felt very fresh and unique. Although her talking about being a non-violent person at the beginning of the book was rather amusing to me as early on, it became very apparent that she has a rather nasty temper. Aside from that she's a fun and quirky girl who has a penchant for getting herself into trouble more often than not, but luckily she has fiercely loyal friends and her gargoyle protector to get her out of her messes relatively unscathed. In fact, the whole dynamic between the team really sucked me right into the book. Rory is like the sidekick friend everyone needs to have as she is spunky and fun, but also isn't afraid to speak her mind, especailly when she thinks Lexi is headed in the wrong direction. Also she can majorly kick butt, which honestly makes her rather awesome in my book. I even loved how Marshall's uber geekness in his role playing games wound up saving them more often than not. I mean the guy lives and breathes the stuff, but he also finds a way to apply that fantasy world into real life application when it matters most.
Now onto the gargoyle. Honestly, this was the number one factor that drew me to wanting to read this book. I'm still crazy in love with the Urban Fantasy genre, with the vamps, witches, fey, and weres galore, but I have to admit it is always refreshing to read about other types of creatures for a change of pace. I loved Stanis as he was very calm and steady throughout, being much like the stone he is made out of. Of course that does start to change as Lexi seeks to restore him to his full power, and bit by bit he gains a little more humanity. Don't get me wrong, he still is very strong and steady, there is just more emotion behind him rather than simple practicality. I cannot wait to see more of him in future books!
The magic behind Alchemystic was incredibly intriguing. It did take a while for any real answers to happen, but I never felt frustrated with the pace, as just enough was revealed to keep me moving along happily. That being said, I have a feeling the surface has only been scratched, and there will be so much more involved as Lexi learns more about her heritage and abilities. The only thing I could possibly complain about in Alchemystic was the complete lack of romance, which isn't really a complaint, but more of a stylistic preference. I will say that the intrigue of the story and the action kept me more than entertained, so I didn't miss the lack all that much in the end. All in all, Alchemystic was a very solid start to a new series, that will definitely be on my radar for future releases. ...more
To everyone but Dr. Melanie Lipton, Bastien Newcombe is a no good traitor that they would likeReview originally posted on my blog: A Book Obsession..
To everyone but Dr. Melanie Lipton, Bastien Newcombe is a no good traitor that they would like to see dead and buried. Granted, with a past full of nasty things and an extremely poor attitude, Bastien hasn't exactly given the rest of the Immortals any reason to forgive and forget. But to Melanie he is so much more than that and she holds a fierce desire towards him. Content to live his life as the bad guy, Bastien hasn't done anything to discourage the negative attitudes towards him. So when Melanie starts to make her desires known, he is at a loss for how to handle it other than to fight her tooth and nail despite his own desires. But she isn't some weak little kitten, and she's set him in her sights, leaving no room for escape. What is a man to do when the woman he cares for won't take no for an answer even when it's for her own good?
I was very excited when I found out Phantom Shadows would feature Bastien. I've always had a soft spot for a tortured hero, especially ones that everyone else seems to despise. Perhaps that is because I know that deep down below the outward anger they show the world is a vulnerability that simply endears them to me. It also is really nice to see a role reversal from the normal situation in Urban Fantasies where the guy is the one doing the chasing. In Phantom Shadows it is Melanie that is relentless in her pursuit of Bastien, not letting him shy away thinking he doesn't deserve her. She seriously would not allow no for an answer. Don't get me wrong it wasn't like he didn't have a strong attraction to her from the start, it is more that he had an extreme hesitance to allow her close for fear of tarnishing her reputation. Luckily Melanie was able to see right through his facade to the man below.
The thing I enjoy the most about this series is the way the ongoing threats to the immortals are handled. Each book comes with some sort of resolution to the current in their face threat, keeping things fresh and exciting. But in addition to that resolution there also is more than enough left over for the next installment to hold my interest. In all honesty it can become a little tedious when there is a 100% new threat in each installment in a paranormal romance series. I just feel those types of books aren't as enjoyable since there already is such a large adjustment with the change in couple focus. Adding in a completely new villain each time just is a little too much for my tastes as it makes the "learning curve" even longer. So, again I really love the way these books are set up to have a continual threat that ties all of the books together. It made it so much easier to pick up the book and dive right in without any confusion even though I hadn't read the previous installment for quite some time.
With each new installment in the Immortal Guardians series I only fall more in love with the world and the amazing cast of characters. I just love how each new couple introduced only adds to the overall family feel of the Immortals, and I especially look forward to some of my favorites getting their own happily ever after. Well as much as they can while still battling down their latest foes that is. It is for that reason and many more that the next book in this series will be going on my most anticipated list. There isn't a release date set yet, but I can assure you I'll be stalking Dianne's website for the announcement. So in the end, Phantom Shadows is a must read for fans of the series, and for those who haven't read the first two installments, I have to ask what are you waiting for? Full of romance, danger, and a heck of a cast of characters, these books cannot possibly disappoint! ...more
For years Middy has been secretly lusting after Dred Shadowins, her childhood tormentor turnedReview originally posted on my blog: A Book Obsession..
For years Middy has been secretly lusting after Dred Shadowins, her childhood tormentor turned billionaire playboy extraordinaire. She has every issue of Weekly Warlock featuring a centerfold with him. Yet, she never wanted to make her fantasies a reality as he goes through women like water. She has more self-respect than that, or at least she thought so until he convinced her to pose as his fiancée. Turns up he actually is a spy for the High Chancellor, and his latest case is one stepping horrors, and Middy would do anything, even sacrifice her pride to help stop the ones responsible. Yet things take a turn for the interesting when Dred's mother gives Middy a potion that makes their engagement turn from a farce to a reality leaving her only 10 days to make Dred hers or she will lose her Magick forever.
I really loved Middy and Dred's characters. Middy is a outwardly confident Witch who more than holds her own against Dred. He's been around the block a few times, and women typically fall at his feet, yet Middy gives him one heck of a run for his money with her brutal honesty. I loved watching her turn him upside down and off balance. Dred on the other hand has much more to him than meets the eye. Sure, he goes through women like crazy, but that really is only to keep from letting anyone close. Despite his outward confidence, inside he is actually rather insecure and doesn't believe he deserves to be loved. That's a perception that slowly changes over the book as Middy starts to teach him the error of his ways. Of course there are more than a few bumps along the way, making for an incredibly entertaining ride.
I have to admit that I'm never a big fan of the whole virginity aspect in adult books, especially as the heroine goes from no experience to a borderline nympho after just one encounter. Seriously, that just earns books a major eye roll from me. In How to Marry a Warlock in 10 Days Middy is a virgin at the start, but a very self-experienced one, so that did help balance things out a little, and made it rather easy to ignore the fast pace of the "pleasure." Speaking of which, I wouldn't have though it possible after the very steamy nature of the first book, but this book was even hotter. The interactions between Maddy and Dred practically sizzle right off the page. I'm talking crazy hot. It was just one of those situations where the chemistry between two people was simply perfect, making their encounters full of fireworks. Don't get me wrong, the romance wasn't only sexual, as there was definitely a deeper element between them, even if it did take them a long while to admit to each other and even themselves. But in all honestly, that only made it sweeter for the anticipation.
I was fully immersed in this book, laughing and snorting the entire time, right up until the last third of the book where things just seemed to turn rather bizarre and underdeveloped. Don't get me wrong, it was still enjoyable, but it just didn't quite flow as well as the rest of the book. Add that with the rather anti-climatic resolution of the main plot, and I couldn't help feeling a little let down in the end, which is really a shame considering how strong the first two thirds were. I guess I just prefer my books to go out with a little more of a bang than this one did. That being said, I am still completely in love with both this book, and the series overall as they provide plenty of laugh out loud moments and incredibly hot romances that are not to be missed! I'll be eagerly awaiting the third installment, How to Seduce an Angel in 10 Days, set to release at the end of February next year. ...more
Iris Scanlon makes her living by being Half-Moon Hollow's only daytime vampire assistant. In otReview originally posted on my blog: A Book Obsession..
Iris Scanlon makes her living by being Half-Moon Hollow's only daytime vampire assistant. In other words, a glorified errand runner for the tasks vamps would rather not bother with. Because of this she has a healthy understanding of the way they work and as a result has implemented a strict no personal involvement clause, be it in friendship or something more. But when she finds her latest client, Cal, poisoned, she knows she's in for trouble. Persuaded by an obscene amount of money into sheltering him, she reluctantly agrees to take him back to her home. She's breaking her hard set rules left and right, and his surly behavior isn't helping the situation. Yet she can't help her mind wandering towards the rugged sexiness with him and if she isn't careful all those boundaries may come crashing down.
I really loved Iris in the last Jane Jameson book, so I was really happy to see that she would be getting her own spin off book. She is a personal assistant extraordinaire to the vampires, catering to their every whim, yet she still has a healthy does of wariness towards them. So much so, that she avoids actual contact with them at all cost, always ensuring she finishes her duties well before dark. Some would think she was paranoid, but she actually is pretty smart, as even if you put aside the potential safety risks, there still is the issue of the vampires being rather clingy. And nothing is worse than a clingy vampire. *shudders* As it stood, she hardly had a life, and allowing them any leeway, would have spelled for disaster. Of course all of those hard set rules came crashing down when she had to rescue Cal. Of course, there were desperate circumstances and a substantial amount involved, but it still was hilarious to watch Iris try to cope with her carefully constructed life falling apart at the seams due to one rather unruly vampire. It only got more interesting once the tides started to change in their relationship and clothing became optional.
The relationship between Iris and her teenage sister, Gigi was really heartwarming. In so many cases you see siblings resent each other when one of them in put in a lasting position of authority. Yet, in this case that didn't happen, and the bond between the two of them couldn't be any stronger. Of course there is the typical teenage issues and conflict, but those only made for some pretty hilarious interludes. Iris could think up some pretty hilarious ways to thwart Gigi's complaints and small rebellions. Things really got interesting when Cal started throwing in his own methods, especially when they involved a boy Gigi was dating.
Even though this book is a spinoff from the Jane Jameson series, it can easily be read separately without the reader being lost. Jane and the rest of the gang do make cameo appearances, but their roles are rather small overall. Of course if you haven't read Jane's book you will probably want to after reading this one. Just like I have come to expect from Molly's books, The Care and Feeding of Stray Vampires was an incredibly sexy and fun romp that had me laughing so hard at times that I was crying. These books are my go to whenever I want a lighter read that is guaranteed to brighten my mood. Seriously, I cannot recommend this book, any higher. You will want to run out and purchase this book as soon as possible. Trust me, you'll be glad you did.
Over the last twelve installments the Women of the Otherworld have been telling their tales ofReview originally posted on my blog: A Book Obsession..
Over the last twelve installments the Women of the Otherworld have been telling their tales of danger keeping readers enthralled. But everything prior to this point has been leading to one final showdown that will bring all of the beloved characters characters back together one last time. The stakes have never been higher as the lives of every supernatural are hanging in the balance. Told from Savannah's perspective, the reader will be enthralled as they watch her scramble with her other allies to stop the war from destroying them all. But it won't be easy as the fight isn't only on earth, but heaven and hell have joined the fray. No matter the outcome, in the end nothing will ever be the same.
There are so many elements in Thirteen that I would love to talk about, but in all honesty the entire book is one big spoiler and I completely understand why the publisher opted to put such a strict release date and no early review copies. This is a book that truly deserves to be savored not spoiled, and for that reason, I won't be going into may detail or specifics in this review. I apologize in advance if things seem overly vague or I end up sounding like a squealing fan girl as a result. It just wouldn't do this fantastic book any justice to give anything away in advance.
From the very start, Thirteen took off with a bang. It was so jammed pack with action that the even when the characters would score a small victory, both they and myself barely had a chance to breath before it was off to the next crisis. Seriously, I don't think my heart rate lowered once while reading Thirteen as the stakes were that high. However, even though that action was incredibly exciting, what really kept me enthralled were the emotional aspects of the book. Again, keeping from spoiling things I won't go into specifics, but suffice it to say the emotion took the book from really good to absolutely stellar. I especially loved the added in chapters from the different characters' perspectives periodically throughout the book. Don't get me wrong, Savannah's perspective was great, but it was nice to see into the heads of some of my favorite characters from the rest of the series.
I am always torn by my emotions whenever the final book in a series comes out. On one hand I am very excited for the anticipation and wait to finally be over, so I can dive into the story and see how everything plays out in the end. However, on the other hand, finding out that resolution also means saying goodbye to characters that I have grown to love. In Thirteen's case this inner conflict was even worse due to the long build up over so many books. With each installment, my anticipation of the final showdown and resolution only grew, but so did my love for the characters, making saying goodbye even harder. Even though I knew the blow would be softened somewhat by the short story collections set to be released in the future, I still was still rather nervous as I started this book. However, after finishing it, I am happy to say that Thirteen not only delivered on but exceeded my expectations. Granted the ending wasn't exactly what I was expecting, with nothing tied up in pretty bows, but in not doing so, it served these characters so much better. Their personalities and circumstance wouldn't allow for anything less and I'm very happy Kelley stayed true to them. She really is a fantastic writer, and will always be one of my favorite authors. Thirteen is an absolute must read for fans of the series!...more
Life or rather unlife hasn't been easy for Bryn Davis in the past year, but since being killedReview originally posted on my blog: A Book Obsession..
Life or rather unlife hasn't been easy for Bryn Davis in the past year, but since being killed and revived by a drug called Returne, she's been making the best of it as she can. She's moved on as best she can as she runs her funeral home and the occasional job for the government in exchange for the daily shot that continues her existence. But when her latest assignment reveals that several other Returne have gone missing, Bryn can't help wondering if the Feds have decided keeping Returne quiet wasn't worth the hassle anymore and have chosen to end the program. Permanently.
The conspiracy and paranoia are stepped up an incredible notch in Two Weeks' Notice. Now that the government has a major hand in Pharmadene the threat against Bryn seems to have doubled. Sure, the government claims to be completely running the show, but Bryn knows that an organization as secret and corrupted as Pharmadene doesn't easily disappear. Especially since one of the drug's creators is still on the run and out of the government's grasp. Either way, there is still only a limited supply of the Returne drug that she and the other revived are dependent on, and it is only a matter of time before the government starts to decide that maintaining their afterlife isn't worth the security risk. In fact I almost can't believe that Bryn and the rest of her allies haven't become just as insane about security as their scientist friend, Manny. If I were them, I would have long ago begged sufferance from him (and bribed with a lot of money), and hunkered down with him in his current stronghold. Then again, I just don't quite have the strength of will Bryn does, so I have to thank goodness that this is only fiction and not a reality. Especially as there also was another player added into the game that led to a shocking turn of events that I can't talk about without spoiling things. But suffice it to say that your head will be spinning once that plot thread is revealed. Even now, I am still in shock as I cannot believe the direction things are heading, but I'm sure the next book will be one heck of a ride because of it.
I really admire Bryn's character as she is both incredibly strong, but also isn't afraid of opening herself to others. Granted, she has had to adapt to some pretty horrible changes in her life which have left her much more sarcastic and hard. She also has this lone ranger mentality when it comes to trouble, but her reasoning for this is rather noble as she wants to keep the ones she cares about out of danger since they are much more vulnerable than she is, at least physically. On the emotional front however, Joe and Pat seem to have it together a whole lot more than Bryn and have become her steady rocks of support no matter how hard she may try and push them away for their own safety. Add in the rest of the supporting cast, and you have a small army willing to do anything and everything for one another, which makes them very dangerous to the wrong people. Love and loyalty more than anything can be the fiercest motivators, something their opponents will quickly learn.
My first thought upon finishing Two Weeks' Notice was rather incoherent, but it was something along the lines of "Holy bleeping bleep, that was bleeping insane!" It's not that the ending was an extreme cliffhanger, but more that the intensity of the book crept up on me so much that I hadn't realized just how sucked in I was until I finished. I looked up and realized hours had gone by without me noticing at all. I absolutely loved the first book, and had high hopes for this one as well, but wasn't sure how it could possibly top the series opener. Not only did Two Weeks' Notice top Working Stiff, but it completely blew it out of the water earning this series a place on my all time favorites list of Urban Fantasies. From the incredible cast of characters, to the fierce action and incredibly high stakes Two Weeks' Notice is one heck of a read and a must buy! ...more
Life has hit rock bottom for Andrea. After finding out she was a shapeshifter, the Order of KniReview originally posted on my blog: A Book Obsession..
Life has hit rock bottom for Andrea. After finding out she was a shapeshifter, the Order of Knights of Merciful Aid kicked her out with prejudice, leaving her without the stability of the only real family and loyalty she has ever known. Even worse is the fact that she lost the loyalty of her mate, Raphael when she chose the Order over his Pack. The only thing holding her together is her work with her best friend, Kate in their investigative firm. But when she's assigned to investigate a multiple homicide of shifters employed by Raphael, and forced to work with him, all the fine threads holding her old self together finally snap, leaving a very enraged and unpredictable bouda in their place.
Andrea is such a damaged character, and in Gunmetal Magic we see her almost at her breaking point. Considering what she has endured, and how incredibly strong she is, it really shows just how hard things have become for her to come so close to breaking. To escape her past, she threw her entire loyalty into the Order, never once faltering even when it cost her the love of her life, Raphael. So, when they threw all of it back in her face and rejected her despite her many years of service, messed up can only begin to describe the state she was in. Yet, despite the horribleness of the situation, in all honestly I really think the Order dropping her was the best thing that ever happened to her. It forced her to finally face the other side of her nature. For years she has been living a half life as she suppressed her bouda side, but now that it has been exposed, she can't hide anymore. I only admired her even more as she started to pick up the broken pieces of her life to start the healing and made the hard decision of who she really wants to be.
In the previous books, I had rather mixed feelings about Raphael, at least when it came to him deserving Andrea. He was just painted as such a player as well as a very spoiled man. Andrea deserved much better than that so I was against them together at first. Then when he started to show his true devotion, I slowly melted and accepted Raphael. However, all that acceptance went out the window when he abandoned Andrea for choosing the Order over the Pack. Considering the Order was her "family" at the time, he had no right to behave the way he did. So, considering the fact that I already had a major bone with him, the stunt he pulled with another woman at the beginning of Gunmetal Magic had me seething right along with Andrea. Like her I just wanted to rail at Raphael for the hurt he had caused, and I honestly felt he was irredeemable. However, once I realized that he was hurting every bit as much as she was, I started to slowly open up to him again. I really enjoyed watching the two of them as they battled against each other, especially as it led to many hilarious moments. (Mating shifters are seriously crazy. Enough said.)
I have always loved Andrea's character in the Kate Daniels books, so I was really excited to find out she would be getting her own installment. She just had entirely too much going on for her personal messes to be justly resolved without completely overshadowing whatever crisis Kate was currently in. Even so, there still was a small worry that Andrea's installment wouldn't quite live up to the others. I shouldn't have worried as I absolutely loved it. Every bit as good as its predecessors, Gunmetal Magic adds a new dimension to the already fantastic Kate Daniels world. Once again Ilona and Gordon proved just how fantastic they are as writers, seamlessly blending action, romance, and humor into a story that cannot be put down once it is started. Gunmetal Magic is not to be missed!...more
Being the only professional demon slayer around, Vicky makes her living by bringing down the deReview originally posted on my blog: A Book Obsession..
Being the only professional demon slayer around, Vicky makes her living by bringing down the demons who prey on unsuspecting humans. But when her clients start canceling in droves as their tormenting demons disappear, Vicky knows something fishy is going on. Turns up her psychotic cousin Pryce is up to no good. He's bound and determined to get the shadow demon half that Vicky destroyed back so he can continue in his quest to conquer all of the realms, bringing about death and destruction the likes of which have never been seen. To stop him, she will have to make incredible sacrifices as she travels to the realm of the dead with no guarantee of making it back alive.
It seems like Vicky never gets more than a brief respite before she is thrown into another world threatening mess. In Darklands, the stakes are even higher than before and there was plenty of heart pounding action. But in between all those action packed moments, Vicky also went through a lot of growth, both in her relationship with Kane, which I'll get into in a little bit, but also in facing the incredible amount of guilt over her father's death that she has carried over the years. Because of this she has thrown herself into a lone ranger type of mentality, making relying on others incredibly difficult for her, with her mentor, Mab being the only exception. Yet, due to a guilt demon forcing her to face those issues as well an interesting turn of events, Vicky finally seems to be on the path to accepting help when she needs it. And trust me, she needs it in Darklands. I really enjoyed seeing her open up to others to accept their help despite wanting to keep them safe. It's time she learned that she isn't the only one who can take risks for the people they care about.
Vicky's insecurities with her relationship with Kane really came to a head in Darklands. She's very hot and cold towards him, and it is very obvious that she really cares, but there is that extreme fear of commitment. Despite his willingness, Vicky still hesitates to take the next step, or really anything to solidify the relationship at all. I really think she doesn't believe she deserves Kane, especially since she could never give him a picket fence life. So she pushes him away, but it would seem that he's had just about enough of her wishy-washiness, and is bound and determined to prove to her that he isn't going anywhere. In fact, I'd say he does one heck of a job showing her that he would follow her anywhere and give up anything for her no matter the cost, forcing Vicky to face her feelings for him. It really says something when a man is willing to literally go to hell and back for the woman he loves. All I can say is that is well past time Vicky wakes up and faces the music.
With each book in the Deadtown series, I only get sucked further in, this installment even more so considering the way things ended. While not a cliffhanger in the strictest sense, a lot of things are left in the balance, leaving me desperate to find out what happens next. Darklands was incredibly action packed, leaving me literally on the edge of my seat. Combine that with the intense emotional moments and Vicky's character growth, and Darklands made for an incredibly entertaining installment that cannot be missed!
Through a funny set of circumstances, Alex Conner finds herself in a new job as the Hughes CounReview originally posted on my blog: A Book Obsession..
Through a funny set of circumstances, Alex Conner finds herself in a new job as the Hughes County Coroner. Considering there hasn't been any murders in the area for over two years, Alex thinks she's in for an easy paycheck. But those ideals quickly go out the window when a corpse comes in with a cryptic warning about magic. With Alex's troubled past involving magic and the psychiatric ward, she thinks she's become the brunt of a nasty joke, at least that is until some very strange things happen ending with the corpse getting up and walking away. Her chief sends her straight to Precinct 13 where she learns that magic and paranormals exist after all, and she may just be one of them.
I was really impressed with Tate Hallaway's world building in Precinct 13. There was a plethora of supernatural characters that should have been overwhelming, but weren't due to the way things were handled. Each new element was introduced to Alex, and due to her acceptance were easily taken in stride as it they were directly tied into whatever she was currently facing. There wasn't a single info-dump, which was rather impressive considering the very large amount of things that needed to be covered in such a short amount of time. In fact the entire story was paced very well with no dull or slow moments keeping me sucked in the entire time.
I really loved the characters in this book, Alex most of all. She is incredibly tough and doesn't take nonsense from anyone. Most people would have collapsed long ago under the extreme stress of being told she was literally crazy for seeing and believing in magic. All the years of therapy and anti psychotics definitely took a toll, but she came out the other side much stronger. In fact when she learns that magic is real, she only protests for a short while before accepting it and getting down to business with her case. This is where she really shines as her drive and determination make for the perfect investigator. As far as the rest of the characters go, each one stood out, being well developed and fully realized. The many different personalities at the Precinct made for a very interesting rag tag team, that only furthered my enjoyment of the book as I watched the dynamics between them play out. However, aside from Alex, one character really stood out. There was just something so mysterious and rather yummy about Valentine, that I loved him from the moment he arrived, and the reveals centering around him only made me love him even more. Take my word for it, he is awesome!
I really enjoyed Precinct 13 and felt it was a great opener to this new series. Everything from the characters to the incredible world felt fresh and unique making Precinct 13 a stand out in the Urban Fantasy genre. This is one new series you won't want to miss!...more
The last of her kind, half Vampyre, half Lychen, Kyana was forbidden from passing her curse ontReview originally posted on my blog: A Book Obsession..
The last of her kind, half Vampyre, half Lychen, Kyana was forbidden from passing her curse onto another. But in order to save her friend Haven, she did exactly that, creating a monster in the progress. Haven has become possessed by the spirit of the most evil of all Titans, Cronos, and seeks to raise him from the dead. Kyana, as her sire has the only chance at bringing Haven down. But time is running out. In only seven days, Kyana will complete the transformation from half-breed to the Goddess of the Hunt, and lose all her blood ties to Haven. If Haven isn't brought down before she raises the dark God, then all will be lost, with no one safe, not even the Gods themselves.
Bedeviled was all about change for Kyana as she transforms from half-breed to the Goddess of the Hunt. For centuries Kyana has been ostracized for her half vampire, half lychen nature, and despite her determination to use her abilities to help others, she has been greatly disdained by many. To cope she has cloaked herself with a brash and hard as nails exterior, fully embracing the darker halves of herself in order to get the job done. Now however, as her half-breed nature is slipping away to turn her into a full fledged Goddess, her world is being turned upside down. She can no longer hide behind her other nature and it has left her more than a little lost. Even so, she is adapting remarkably well considering the circumstances, and once she fully embraces her new nature, she will be even more of a force to reckoned with. Trust me, that is saying something.
I'll be the first one to admit that I don't always have the best of patience for a slow moving romance. I am such a sap for that happiness, that I always want that instant gratification. However, in this series, I am actually really enjoying the slow build up between Kyana and Ryker. They are both so incredibly damaged, that anything else wouldn't have been stable enough to last. Honestly I love it when both the hero and the heroine are wrecks as it puts them on equal footing, and then can heal one another. Although in this case, Ryker does have a little bit one up on Kyana, as he both knows and freely admits that he wants her, not just for now, but for always. Kyana is much more skittish, but I enjoyed seeing her start to slowly open up a little more in Bedeviled. There's still a very long road ahead, but the two of them seem to be headed in the right direction.
Bedeviled was a really great follow up to Ascension, and definitely kept me more than entertained. The blend of mythologies, from the Greek Gods, to vamps and lychens, and a plethora of other supernatural creatures, makes for a very enriching world, that is sure to please. I highly recommend Bedeviled as it is a very solid second installment in the Dark Breed Series that shouldn't be missed. ...more
After dying, getting a second chance at things isn't all it's cracked up to be for Kaylee. She'Review originally posted on my blog: A Book Obsession..
After dying, getting a second chance at things isn't all it's cracked up to be for Kaylee. She's having a hard time adjusting to the fact that she isn't really alive, but only imitating life. It takes all of her concentration to keep herself visible, and avoid disappearing at the wrong moment. Things are even strained with her friends as they seem to have nothing in common anymore. Somehow things like prom and graduation just don't hold the same appeal anymore now that she will never advance past where she is now. And if those difficulties weren't enough, in exchange for that second chance, she has to reclaim stolen souls, and her first mission is turning out to be a doozy. Someone is stealing souls at an astronomical rate, and no one, not even Kaylee is safe.
The characters more than anything, are really what makes this series so fantastic. Sure there is a whole lot of action and suspense, but it is the relationships (and drama) between the characters and their growth that really sets this series a step above the others. Of course, Tod and Kaylee are my favorites, (especially together), and I'll talk more about them in a bit, but the rest of the cast had some pretty shining moments as well. Sabine really grew on me now that she and Kaylee aren't battling for Nash. She may hide it well, but underneath her brash exterior she hides an extreme vulnerability and insecurity. She isn't as tough as she acts, and I found myself really starting to care for her, especially as Nash continued to break her heart. On the other side that mess is Nash, who is still undeniably screwed up and quite bitter especially towards Tod and Kaylee. But even there, some changes started and the healing seemed to start even though it will be a very long road ahead. There's one more character that really seemed to grow, and that was Kaylee's dad. Prior to this point he was trying to make up for being absent for so long by over-parenting Kaylee. However, now he seems to realize that wasn't really what was best for her, and the reigns are loosening just a little bit.
I really love Tod and Kaylee together as they just simply seem to be made for one another. What she had with Nash can be described as nothing more more than puppy love as what she and Tod share is the real deal. More importantly, Kaylee understands that difference herself showing a huge amount of character growth. In If I Die, it was apparently obvious that Tod would do anything for Kaylee even if it meant giving up his own life, well "death." So I was really happy to see that Kaylee felt the same way in Before I Wake, although I would really hate to be the person in her path if she ever needed to save Tod, because things really wouldn't work out so well for them.
With each book that is released in the Soul Screamers series, I wonder how Rachel Vincent could possibly top the previous one. Yet time and time again they do, with Before I wake being no exception. Considering the serious shockers and game changing events of the previous installment, this was no small feat. I felt like I was put through the wringer multiple times while reading this book. As emotionally drained as I was while reading Before I Wake, I cannot imagine the state my nerves will be while reading With All My Soul if the stakes go even higher. The wait until April 2013 will definitely be an agonizing one. A roller coaster of emotions, drama, and incredibly high stakes, Before I Wake simply cannot be missed!...more
For years Jenny has avoided the woods that swallowed her brother whole, but now that it is timeReview originally posted on my blog: A Book Obsession..
For years Jenny has avoided the woods that swallowed her brother whole, but now that it is time for her to move on to university, she returns one last time to say goodbye. She should have stayed away for nothing could have prepared her for the danger she would find as she is sucked into a magical world full of beauty, but all the more terrible for it. There are strange and terrible creatures that seek her harm and yet whisper of a deeper purpose for her arrival in Faerie. But destiny means nothing to her in her determination to save her brother and escape the terrible beauty of it all. But in Faerie, nothing comes without a price and the sacrifice she is forced to pay may just be more than she can bear.
The Treachery of Beautiful Things was written in an almost magical, lyrical prose which was rather beautiful at times, but didn't really serve the story well. I just felt a rather strong disconnect from the series as if I was being narrated to rather than immersed in the story as the events unfurled. In fact the whole story felt like one rather long monologue, keeping me a silent witness without emotion rather than the full attachment I would have preferred. To make matters worse there pacing issues as things felt very weighed down as they were drug out for far longer than necessary.
For a story to be really enjoyable, I have to be able to connect to the characters early on in the story, otherwise it is very hard to care about their plight. In this book, there is a major disconnect between the reader and the characters, almost as if a glass partition has been placed between them. This is probably due to the fact that nothing was shown, but told. Even the romance felt stilted and forced, and even though it was there, I just couldn't connect to it, only further disconnecting me from the characters and the book as a whole.
The mythology behind The Treachery of Beautiful things combined faerie lore of old with Norse and other areas. The blend was so interesting and compelling that it almost made up for the character disconnect and the stilted pacing, but unfortunately the intrigue of it couldn't carry me for long. Looking over other early reviews, I realize the vast majority seem to love The Treachery of Beautiful Things. I haven't read any other fairy tales of this nature, modern or old prior to this book, so it is quite possible this type of story just isn't for me. So if you enjoy the lyrical nature of fairy tales, then you will probably love The Treachery of Beautiful Things, but for me it's a pass. ...more
Dez has always been a quiet girl, always trying to keep under the radar and unnoticed. Due to aReview originally posted on my blog: A Book Obsession..
Dez has always been a quiet girl, always trying to keep under the radar and unnoticed. Due to a spine defect she has been forced to live with an extremely confining back brace that severely limits her mobility. That brace is the source of her embarrassment and need to hide herself from others. All that changes when she panics after a boy touches her waist, feeling the brace beneath. Throwing her brace aside, she embraces her inner anger at her limitations, and she changes into a Siberian Tiger setting off a chain of events she never could have imagined possible.
Ah, young love, it happens so fast and can be all consuming. That is one of the biggest reasons I love YA novels, as the love comes quickly and so much can be overlooked. In adult books, relationships are almost always much slower and quite bogged down by the real world. You just can't love quite the same way as an adult as you did when you were a teenager, because let's face it, life is much more complicated once you have responsibilities and the choices really aren't so black and white anymore. So, it can be really nice to experience that all consuming love again by reading these types of books. Otherkin features a whirlwind romance that feels incredibly real even as the characters question the reality of it themselves. That's not to say everything is full of roses for the pair, as there are plenty of roadblocks along the way that make things rather interesting, especially as they keep secrets from one another.
I really loved Otherkin's take on shifters, as I prefer the mythology that makes them born into what they are rather than some disease. It just makes the animal part seem so much more an ingrained part of them as they were always more than human. Even Dez, who had no knowledge of her heritage is still incredibly "one" with her tiger side. I especially liked the way that their animals sides came from a shadow world, allowing them to be two things at once, with either animal or person taking the reigns when necessary. This shadow world added in the element of others who could manipulate those shadows to do good or harm. Of course it is those who would harm that are the opposing force in Otherkin. They are called the Tribunal, and they are almost fanatical in their hatred of the shifters, and their powers remind me very much of evil sorcerers, making them a very real threat. I just kept waiting for the evil cackles to happen whenever they were wreaking their havoc, they were that bad. I'll be glad to see the day when they are finally given a dose of their own medicine, that's for sure.
Everything about Otherkin felt fresh and unique, an impressive feat in the genre. In fact, I am so excited about this new series, that I have already added the sequel, Othermoon, due out April 2013 to my most anticipated list. From the rich cast of characters and the incredible new world, to the way it grips you from the very start, Nina Berry's debut novel, Otherkin is not to be missed! ...more
In a last ditch effort to give her ex-boyfriend, the Russian Mobster the comeuppance he deserveReview originally posted on my blog: A Book Obsession..
In a last ditch effort to give her ex-boyfriend, the Russian Mobster the comeuppance he deserves, Grace summons a demon to do her will. Of course she gets much more than she bargains for when Caspian, the Crown Prince of Hell shows up. In their bargaining, Grace had been expecting a price, but she never could have imagined Caspian's demands to be so carnal. But if sleeping with a denizen of hell is bad, falling for one is even worse, and she has only 10 days to get rid of him before it is too late.
Based on the description, I imagined this book would have a tongue in cheek kind of humor, but I never would have predicted the hilarity that greeted me from page one. I mean come on, a demon who is trying to act all badass should never ever say the word frolicking in reference to himself. Kinda bursts all shreds of credibility from the start, especially as Grace labeled him metrosexual and was worried about him "bibbity-bopping along," even as he had a serious case of ADD due to her breasts. All that in just the first few pages, and things only got "worse" from there. There was one point involving peanuts and a very compromising position that left tears streaming down my face because I was laughing so hard. I can't remember the last time I read a book this funny, and it was a nice change of pace from the darker books I typically read. I mean, don't get me wrong, this book isn't just "fluff" as the overall plot is quite dark in its own right, it's just that the humor plays such a large role that it greatly overshadowed the danger.
I really enjoyed watching Grace and Caspian grow and change in this book. Caspian started out so full of himself and absolutely carefree in his emotions, or rather the lack thereof. However that all changed once Grace came into his life. It was so much fun watching him squirm as he realized to his absolute horror he may actually have feelings for her, especially as he didn't know what to do about them. There were several times he royally messed up in his blundering about, but that only entertained me more due to the hilarity of it all. Grace on the other hand, in the beginning she was so uptight and shut off from the world, although she did have good reason. Even so, being a bitter harpy hell bent (literally) on revenge didn't suit her well, and I loved seeing Caspian slow start to change her as well. Of course, being so strong willed she fought that attraction tooth and nail, leading
How to Lose a Demon in 10 Days is an incredibly sexy, fun romp that kept me thoroughly entertained. From the great characters and their steamy moments that sizzled right off the page, to the insane hilarity of it all, I was thoroughly entertained from start to finish. If this book is any indication of the future installments, the 10 Days series will be going onto my most anticipated list. This is a definite must read for those who like their paranormals with a large slice of humor on the side, and I highly recommend it! ...more
It's a new semester on the island, and Drew has a new roommate, Mei-Ling. She's different fromReview originally posted on my blog: A Book Obsession..
It's a new semester on the island, and Drew has a new roommate, Mei-Ling. She's different from the other girls as she didn't chose this life. The vamps stole her as she has something they covet. Knowing the girls on the island will chew her up and spit her out, Alex is determined to look out for Mei-Ling. But babysitting her roommate is the least of her problems. Since rescuing Master Vampire Carden in the previous installment, Alex has been trying to figure out the bond between them. All she really knows is that she craves him in the worst way. So when bodies start showing up drained and Carden is accused, Alex is determined to do everything she can to clear his name and keep him safe, even it if mean risking her own life.
The plethora of potential love interests seemed to settle down a great deal in Blood Fever. Some faded to the background as the relationship dynamic changed more to allies rather than attraction. Another seemed to be on the brink of dissolution, which considering the circumstances, isn't really a good thing, at least not where Alex's safety is concerned. But one came firmly to the forefront. Since the vamps in this series are cruel and manipulative without a romantic bone in their bodies, I never thought I would actually be rooting for Alex to be with one. However, that being said, Carden is quite different than his counterparts, and it makes me wonder if there are other more "human" vamps out there. Perhaps the ones on the island (and the ones she encountered on her mission) are just an evil bunch. Just like humans can be good or bad, perhaps the same applies to the vamps as well.
I still don't really understand the purpose of the island although I do have theories. Why do the vamps even need the Watchers to be warriors? They are supposed to be so strong, why do they need humans to protect them? Why they train these girls to be able to outmaneuver them is beyond me. Perhaps they are just that arrogant that they don't believe one of them would be capable of doing so. Even so, it just strikes me as odd that they don't just train them in obedience, manners, and poise. Considering how much the vamps like to be in control, you would think a warrior wouldn't make for the perfect companion. Perhaps it is a status thing to have the cream of the crop, but honestly I have a feeling it will come back to bite them in the behind one day. Perhaps our dear Alex will be the one to take them down and show them the error of their ways, and I will be cheering for her all the way.
Alex really shines in Blood Fever, even as her personality traits were laid bare in front of her. She has managed to hold true to her humanity even as she continues to play the deadly game of survival that the island holds. She really stands above the rest of her peers as her iron strength and will has not turned her cruel. She still has compassion, although the vamps do their best to stomp it out. That more than anything else is what makes this series so very enjoyable. With each book released in the Watchers Series, I only become more invested. Blood Fever was no exception as it takes everything that I loved from the first two installments and only made it better. Definitely a must read!
Introduction: When I saw that there would be a novella collection by Kim Harrison, I was incrediReview originally posted on my blog: A Book Obsession..
Introduction: When I saw that there would be a novella collection by Kim Harrison, I was incredibly excited. Even though I knew that I would have already read many of the ones included due to my obsession with reading everything from the Hollows world. It would just be awesome to have all that yummy goodness in one place. Of course I will admit that it was the new stuff that excited me the most, but I still would have purchased it without it. Yes, I'm that big of a fan. Onto the stories...
The Bespelled: While I had previously read this novella it was nice to read it again. It does show a much more abusive Al than the one he has grown to be since being influenced by Rachel for so long. I really love that demon, even if he was rather horrible to Ceri, but then again she really doesn't have anyone to blame but herself as this novella showed her choices.
Two Ghosts for Sister Rachel: This was another previously published novella, but one I hadn't read prior to this collection. It was really interesting to see how very different Rachel was back when she was still weak from her childhood. I feel like after reading this that I understand why she is the way she is and her choices so much better. It was in this novella that she learned taking risks is really the only thing that makes her feel truly alive. Also, even though I'm not the biggest Pierce fan, it was fun to see their initial introduction.
Undead in the Garden of Good and Evil: Another novella that I had read before, this one shows Ivy in the past right before she met Rachel. I'll admit that I wasn't thrilled about the Kisten and her parts as in my mind he always belonged to Rachel. That being said, this novella gave a really good picture of the mental abuse that both Ivy and Kisten endured over the years. The manipulation is absolutely horrifying, but this novella seemed to show the turning point for Ivy as she finally started to want something more for herself.
Dirty Magic: This one was a new one for me, and while it was enjoyable for the closer look into Mia, I can't say it was my favorite of the Hollows novellas. I'm just not the biggest fan of Mia, so seeing her use someone so cruelly only turned me off even more.
The Bridges of Eden Park: I had read this one before, and it still makes me so sad even now. I just miss Kisten so much. His death really stunk, and while I am far enough past it that I can understand Kim Harrison's reasoning that he needed to go, it still is hard. That being said, this is a very enjoyable little outtake between them with both action and sentimentality. Man I miss that guy!
Key Line Drifter: Again, another I had read previously. This novella shows Jenks with his first solo/personal job. I felt like it really accentuated just how unusual he is compared to other pixies. Of course those differences are what make him completely awesome. It also was fun to see him team up with Bis and the trouble they get in to.
Million Dollar Baby: If nothing else, this collection is absolutely worth reading just for this novella alone. I am a huge Trent fan, in fact he is the only male character I have even come close to accepting since Kisten's death. It was really enjoyable to get a better look into his head. I found it interesting to see just how much Rachel's opinion of him matters. He always seems so closed off, it was amazing to realize how much turmoil is going on beneath the surface. Trent really hates the things he has had to do to protect his race, and wants to do anything he can to stop the deaths that seem to surround him like a heavy shroud. I also loved seeing him meet his daughter for the first time, definitely heart wrenching!
Beyond the Hollows:
Pet Shop Boys: I absolutely loved this novella. There was just something so yummy about the characters having the characteristics of both vampires and the fey. Seriously, anyone who is tired of vampires due to the heavy market saturation, will absolutely love the premise behind these guys. I really hope something more becomes of this story because I think that would be a truly awesome series to read!
Temson Estates: This story was my least favorite of the bunch. It just didn't really spark my interest or attention. The story is about dryads, only in a scientific way, and that's probably where my interest was lacking. I just prefer magic to science in my books.
Spider Silk: I loved this story. It was so creepy and mysterious, definitely another one with full series potential. That being said, I felt like it ended rather abruptly, with things left too open-ended for my tastes. But then again, those unanswered questions do leave things more open for more stories, so I guess I shouldn't complain.
Grace: This story was awesome, and the premise behind it leads to so many possibilities. I think this is the series Kim is considering on diving into next, so I have to say that I'm really happy about that. Grace seems like such an amazing character, but she also is a spitfire like Rachel, which will keep things more than interesting. However, unlike Rachel, she easily sees her own flaws and instantly takes steps to correct them. It made her rather admirable.
Conclusion: I may be biased, but I think Into the Woods is an absolute must buy for fans of The Hollows, as it gives deeper looks that we don't get to see in the main series. It also was really great to see some of her work outside of The Hollows, since it is winding down and will be soon time to move on. After reading these novellas, I have even more confidence and excitement for what is in store next. ...more