As a child, Samantha grew up in a coven of witches consumed by the black side of power, A covenReview originally posted on my blog: A Book Obsession..
As a child, Samantha grew up in a coven of witches consumed by the black side of power, A coven who regularly spilled blood. Now, years later, she is the only survivor, and she struggles day to day to keep the horror in her past. Now a devout christian and a detective firmly on the side of good, she devotes her time to helping others. However, her latest case hits a little too close to home as woman are dying with ritual symbols carved into them, meaning the witches have returned. She'll have to go undercover and infiltrate the coven as she is the only one who stands a chance at stopping them. But that mean she'll have to use her power again despite her vow, and that may just break her.
Whenever I think of witches, I always picture a mixture of both good and evil, just as there are both types of normal people. I just figure that it doesn't take a supernatural power to be evil, so why wouldn't there be some good ones as well? The author does seem to brush on this as she separates the witches out from the more benevolent wiccans who believe in not harming others. The witches in The Thirteenth Sacrifice are nothing short of pure evil, with Samantha being the only possible exception, and even she struggles to stay on the side of good. The greed for power is so all consuming to them that they commit unspeakable acts, and definitely ratcheted up the creepy factor in this book.
Samantha is such a tortured soul and really quite broken. Her horrific past haunts her, threatening to consume her, but no matter how much she fights it, she cannot ever really escape it. My heart really went out to her when she was forced back into the world of power and witchcraft as it nearly crushed her, especially since it goes against everything that she believes since she converted to Christianity over a decade ago. She knew that once she opened that door, it could never be shut again. To be honest, I'm surprised she made it as long as she did without boiling over on her own. Even so, Samantha is a character you can really get behind due to her determination to not let the seductiveness of magic consume her. In fact, as she learns to control her powers as well as an acceptance of herself, she will truly become a force to be reckoned with.
While I was utterly repulsed and quite terrified of some of the things that happened in The Thirteenth Sacrifice, that did not keep me from being completely engrossed in the story. I was covered with chills as I watched things unfurl and the threat of Samantha's discovery just about killed my nerves, but that only made me enjoy it all the more. I'd recommend The Thirteenth Sacrifice to anyone one who enjoys an on the edge of your seat thriller with a major creepy factor that will utterly haunt you. The next installment as well as other Debbie Viguie novels will be definitely be going on my watch list. ...more
Despite wanting to stay far away from all of the Angel business, Alex finds herself dragged bacReview originally posted on my blog: A Book Obsession..
Despite wanting to stay far away from all of the Angel business, Alex finds herself dragged back into the thick of things when she finds out that the plan to stop Armageddon is in shambles. Seth was that plan, until he lost all memory, greatly endangering humanity. She rushes to save him so he can save the rest of the world, but there is more going on than meets the eye. Her soulmate Aramael, who she thought dead, is on his own mission, only his ends in taking Seth's life, and triggering the War between Angels and Fallen.
Sins of the Son dove a lot further into the mythology behind the Angels than the previous installment, which really was great for me because that was my favorite aspect of the series. So much was revealed, and it was great to get the insight into how things came to be the way they are between the Fallen and the Angels. I also really enjoyed seeing Lucifer's perspective. Previously I had thought him to only be a force for evil and that his betrayal of The One was absolute, but I was wrong. Trust me, even after seeing his perspective, I still think he is quite bad considering his hatred of humanity. However, I don't think his betrayal of The One was absolute, and it seems like he would give almost anything to be back with her. It just somehow makes him seem a little less nasty.
While reading Sins of the Son, a certain part really stuck out to me. When The One (Creator) is asked why she continues to love Lucifer despite everything he has done and chooses him over the rest, The One responds: "It is not in my nature - not in my capacity - to favor any one life over another, every living thing in this universe is a part of me, created from me. Who I am, what I am, demands I love them all." Even if you ignore all of the damage Lucifer has done and that she has allowed to happen to mortals, she still has chosen some of her creations over others. The Angels that remained loyal to her were stripped of their free will to a certain extent, but even worse, they were also stripped of their ability to love. I mean what is life other than simple existence with out love in its many forms? Even worse, whenever one of them started to regain those abilities, he was still forbidden to embrace love, all the while Lucifer gets to carry on his merry way. I guess in the end, her powerful love towards him has really blinded her.
I have to admit that Sins of the Son really caught me off guard. I wasn't the biggest fan of the first installment, but I did like the mythology behind everything. So I knew I would be giving the series another shot. I'm really glad I did because Sins of the Son did not have any of the issues that had bothered me previously. In fact, the procedural aspect was pretty much non-existant this time around. Granted, there still wasn't as much as I would have preferred in the romance department, but being an Urban Fantasy, that is to be somewhat expected. So, in the end Sins of the Son has firmly cemented my enjoyment in Grigori Legacy series, and I look forward to the next installment.
With Magic unusable to Allie, and everyone under the sun out hunting for her, including the magReview originally posted on my blog: A Book Obsession..
With Magic unusable to Allie, and everyone under the sun out hunting for her, including the magic council called the Authority, Allie's own freedom is a ticking time bomb. Of course more than just her freedom is at stake because capture would mean losing her mind, literally. Stripping minds is the Authority's standard procedure for renegades. Unfortunately, she cannot lay low until the tide changes as Magic has been poisoned. Allie and her friends are the only ones who are willing and hopefully able to fix things before more lives are lost. But more stands in her way than just the police and the Authority as a nasty death magic user has set his sights on consuming the only thing that can heal magic, and she'll have to stop him before it's too late.
It will never cease to amaze me just how much of a whirlwind Allie is. She draws people to her like a moth to a flame, but cannot be corrupted. In fact, she seems to be the only person the corrupted sections of the Authority cannot seem to put down. Of course she wouldn't have made it this far without her friends, but their utter loyalty to her only further shows her strength and fortitude. Yet despite all this, Allie still cannot quite grasp her true worth. Yes she has her own inner confidence in her skill as a magic user, but as a leader, not so much. However, I think a lot of the events in Magic Without Mercy may have started to open up her eyes, and once she fully believes in herself, she will only be that much stronger.
It completely baffles me that with such a far reaching organization as the Authority, there wouldn't be more checks and balances in place to help stem some of the corruption. Of course the saying goes that absolute power corrupts absolutely, and that is what these people hold. To make matters worse, it doesn't seem like they are corrupted as a whole, but in many different factions with their own agendas are in the mix. Perhaps that could be explained arrogance, in that these people are so full of themselves that they couldn't possibly believe that they could be fooled or ruined by another. Ironically, their downfall will probably be the very thing that got them into power in the first place.
One of the most impressive things about Magic Without Mercy was Devon Monk's ability to keep a perfect balance between action and character development. In a lot of series after the first few books the focus on the characters seems to drastically drop in favor of plot or series momentum, which can be a shame as it is easy to become detached from characters when you don't see them grow. The fact that this series doesn't, pretty much guarantees me a fantastic read with each new installment. In Magic without Mercy we see lots of character development; From Allie's overwhelming need to be the protector despite a certain lack of confidence in her leadership skills as well as her acceptance of her father's haunting, to Shame and Terric's strange love hate relationship, and even to some of the older members of the group learning to hand over the reins. Each character goes through changes, be they forward or backwards in progress, keeping me fully attached to each of them, and this series overall. As for this installment, from start to finish, Magic Without Mercy was a roller coaster ride. I simply could not put it down!...more
Gin thought her life would get easier now that she's finally killed Mab Monroe, and lived to teReview originally posted on my blog: A Book Obsession..
Gin thought her life would get easier now that she's finally killed Mab Monroe, and lived to tell the tale. However, now everyone in the Ashland underground is seeking to make a quick name for themselves by taking her out, and the constant battles are making her weary. So, she sets off on a much needed vacation with her sister, Bria, for some much needed R&R. Of course trouble always seems to find Gin, and this time will be no exception. A nasty vampire full of elemental magic is set on acquiring Bria's childhood friend, Callie restaurant, and he will let nothing stand in his way, even if it means killing her. To further complicate things, her ex just happens to be Callie's new fiance, whose lofty morals will make taking care of this issue quite tricky. Talk about the past coming back to bite you!
Bria's behavior gave me a nasty case of deja-vu. She was so judgmental, and even resentful towards Gin for so much of By a Thread that I couldn't help remembering everything Donovan put her through. He also rears his ugly head in By a Thread, but I'll get into that in a moment. I realize there were hints at Bria's inability to accept Gin's profession in the previous books, but those issues were greatly overshadowed by the issues with Mab. However, now that Mab is dead and buried, all of those emotions are front and center, and quite frankly I was furious with Bria. Gin has sacrificed everything over and over, and endured so much for Bria, and yet her lofty morals still get in the way. There were several times that I wanted to reach into the book and smack her upside the head, if only for my own satisfaction. Speaking of characters I would like to smack, I cannot believe Gin had to deal with Donovan again. I thought his judgmental butt was gone for good, but unfortunately not. The only good thing I will say about his return is that Gin finally gets to say her piece, as well as some closure. Other than that, well I will say, Good Riddance!
I'll admit I was a little hesitant in approaching this book, because I was worried about how things could possibly feel threatening after all the build up in killing Mab freakin Monroe. I just didn't see how there could be a big bad worse than her. However, as By a Thread started to unfold, I realized that the threat didn't have to be more elementally powerful to be a danger to Gin and her loved ones. I was so wrapped up in the elemental aspect of things that I forgot to remember that Gin's stone and ice powers are really only a small part about what makes her so good. In fact, Gin also seemed to forget this as well, as it is only in recent times that she has relied on her magic so much. In the first few books she hardly used it at all. I have a feeling that as she finds the balance between using her magic and other skills evenly, she will only become more deadly.
While By a Thread had more than enough action to keep me fully engrossed, it was more about the emotional side of things. Between the issues between Gin and her sister, as well as the sticky mess of old and new lovers, and even Gin's own internal emotions and acceptance of her new life path, the emotional tension was practically flying off the page. But, most importantly, everything whether good or bad seemed to have a forward moment, making me very hopeful for the future. So of course, I cannot wait for the next installment to see where things end up next. By a Thread was yet another phenomenal installment in this stellar series. Trust me, you won't want to miss this!!...more
Chris Merrick and his brothers have been trying to get by each day without losing control of thReview originally posted on my blog: A Book Obsession..
Chris Merrick and his brothers have been trying to get by each day without losing control of their powers. Each one is tied to one of the four elements, Fire, Earth, Air, and Water. The rest of the community fears them, and they live on a razor edge's balance. The tide changes when Becca saves Chris from certain death. A slippery slope of events begin that mark the brothers for death, and Becca right along with them. Then a new kid shows up to school and Becca finds herself drawn to him, knowing that she must keep her secrets from him or she may just push Chris over the edge. A loss of control is the last thing any of them can afford, not with the rising storm coming.
By far the best thing about Storm was the Merrick Brothers themselves. They are such a tight knit group, and yet there is such tension between them. Storm focused more on Chris, the youngest sibling, who has this sense of loneliness about him. The twins have that bond that all twins seem to have, almost being one unit despite their extreme differences. And Michael, being the oldest, has to bear most of the burden of responsibility and safety for the others since he is their legal guardian. Based on some things Chris said, he and Michael used to be a lot closer, but with tragedy comes inevitable change. That doesn't make it any easier, and in fact Chris is quite bitter about their lot, and at the beginning of Storm, we can see that he has just about hit his breaking point. He lets Gabriel, the more hotheaded of the twins talk him into some activities that revolve around payback. Of course, this only causes more tension between him and Michael, which in turn only furthers the problem. My heart really went out to these brothers as all they really want to do is live their lives in peace.
Most of the time I prefer books to be written in first person perspective from one character, however Storm would not have been half as good if we had not been able to see both Chris and Becca's side of things. It almost felt as if I as the reader had inside knowledge, and I thoroughly enjoyed watching the secrets unfurl. Everything about Storm felt fresh and original, yet somehow so familiar at the same time. There were times where the mythology behind it all reminded me of a coven of witches, due to the structures of power and deals between the factions. Yet they really had nothing to do with magic, but more of an innate connection to a specific element. Either way, I was fully captivated from start to finish, and I cannot wait to get my hands on the next installment.
On a slightly side note, there will be an ebook prequel titled Elemental releasing prior to Storm's drop date. Lucky for me, it was included in my ARC copy of Storm. While reading Storm, Michael's character frustrated me. I realize that he was placed in a tough situation by having to be responsible for his brothers and also worrying about keeping the fragile peace between them and the rest of the community. However, after reading Elemental and seeing the closer look into Michael's past, I now better understand the burden of guilt he carries, which by all right should have consumed him by now if not for his brothers. Even though I'm not really one for buying short stories like Elemental, in this case I feel it is more than worth the purchase as it really adds to the overall story. In fact, I really would love to see a full length book centered around him as there is so much more than then meets the eye.
As much as I loved Storm, I wish the ending would have been developed a little more as it seemed rather abrupt, especially considering the next book looks like it is going to shift the main focus to Gabriel. Don't get me wrong, there really wasn't a cliffhanger, but it did give me a sense of being cut off mid sentence. Hopefully the next installment will build onto the things that happened with Becca and Chris rather than completely dropping them for Gabriel's part, but only time will tell. I would highly recommend Storm to anyone who enjoys a fresh and original story that will suck you in from the very start. Trust me, you won't want to miss Storm and the yummy Merrick brothers! Oh yeah, and Becca was pretty cool too. ;)
(Also, there was a touchy issue involving an attempted gang rape in this book that I wasn't sure how to approach in my review, so I decided to forgo it mostly. To be honest I'm a little surprised such a topic was included in a YA novel. I really loved Storm, but didn't care for how this event was handled, so I tried my best to ignore it. As I'm not really sure what to say about this issue, please check out All Things Urban Fantasy's Review to see Abigail's thoughts.)...more
Gwen's been through a world of deadly experiences since she started at Mythos Academy. As Nike'Review originally posted on my blog: A Book Obsession..
Gwen's been through a world of deadly experiences since she started at Mythos Academy. As Nike's warrior she's a direct target for the Reapers, but unlike them she hasn't trained since birth. Turns up her mother hid the Helheim Dagger, the only thing standing in the way of the evil Loki's release. Gwen is the only one with a chance at finding it before the Reapers. Nothing has ever been more important in her life, and everyone is counting on her. At least she has her friends at her side and things are definitely heating up between her and Logan. She'll need every moment of happiness she can get to prepare for the coming fight.
In Kiss of Frost I was very annoyed with Gwen's backtracking in maturity. But in Dark Frost those worries are long gone. She doesn't make the same mistakes of not asking for help when she needed it. Also, a lot of the teen angst drama was toned down. I was incredibly impressed with this because there were several times where other very close to her characters treated her horribly, yet she took the high road each time. I will admit that her reaction to the ending events worried me a little, but considering the shock of what happened, I'm almost surprised it wasn't worse. Still it will take her time to accept what happened and her role in those events. Even so, I have a lot more confidence in her ability to handle things now than I would have prior to reading Dark Frost. She may have a ways to go yet, but she's definitely on the right path now.
The relationship between Logan and Gwen is moving along at such a slow crawling pace. For every step forward they make, they take two steps back, which really drives me nuts because I love the two of them together. Quite frankly, I don't get the stalling nature of their relationship. They really care for each other, so why in the world are things still wishy washy between them? Although in all honestly I think a lot of their problems stem from each of their own insecurities. If only they would open up just a little to one another, they probably could have avoided most of the issues between them. I will say that they seemed to make some progress in Dark Frost, I'm still skeptical about it sticking. Only time will tell I guess.
Everything really hit the fan in Dark Frost and there definitely will be major repercussions and fallout to come in the future. With all the shockers and reveals, I can't imagine what things are going to be like for Gwen and everyone else against the reapers, but I can pretty much guarantee nothing will be easy. That being said, I really enjoy how these books don't end on a cliffhanger as it makes for a refreshing read since I feel satisfied rather than bereft at the end. Full of mystery, danger, great mythology and even a little romance, Dark Frost and the rest of the Mythos Academy are books you won't want to miss! ...more
Sophie not only got her job back at the Underworld Detection Agency, but a promotion to head ofReview originally posted on my blog: A Book Obsession..
Sophie not only got her job back at the Underworld Detection Agency, but a promotion to head of the fallen angel division. So life is looking up, at least until her clients start disappearing that is. Sophie instantly suspects that there is some nefarious plot going on despite everyone else having doubts. Regardless, she is determined to get to the bottom of things, and lucky for her she has an oh so yummy guardian to help protect her while she sticks her nose into trouble. Things start heating up between the two much to Alex's dismay, but his absentee behavior has just about met Sophie's breaking point. Relationship woes aside, Sophie may have bitten off more than she can chew in her investigation as a powerful force seems determined to annihilate anything and everything demonic, and Sophie may have very well placed herself right in the cross hairs.
A love triangle forms in Under Suspicion, and I'm not really happy about it. It isn't that I have a problem with love triangles, in fact ones where either choice is equally appealing can make for a great read. However, in this case, the two of the men cannot be described as anything near equal in terms of deserving Sophie. Granted I did get my wish that some sparks would start between Will and Sophie, but I had intended for Alex to be then completely pushed out of the picture. Unfortunately, that just didn't happen and it really frustrated me. I just don't understand what Sophie sees in Alex. All he does is string her along, and it just isn't right. On the other hand, Will has been nothing but supportive of her and while he does chuckle at her antics, he never once patronized her unlike Alex does. Hopefully she will wise up quickly, but I have a bad feeling that none of this will end well, and poor Will will probably end up being hurt the most.
Sophie's rash and crazy behavior continues in Under Suspicion, making for another hilarious read. However, I've noticed that her friends (Will being mostly the exception) are becoming more and more patronizing and rather condescending as time goes on. It just infuriates me how they treat her considering just how much she has been through lately. Yes, her methods may be a little unorthodox and almost insane at times, but she gets the job done. She doesn't let anyone or anything hold her back from doing the right thing, nor does she ignore any problem just because it would be easier. No one else can say the same, all they see is a quirky and ditzy red-head, but she is so much more than that.
Once again, there is a slight disconnect between the look of the cover and the actual content of the book. Even so, this one is definitely a step in the right direction compared to the last one. As far as the story itself, despite my frustrations with some of the characters behavior, I'm still really enjoying this series. Sophie is just so very different from the hard case heroines typical in the urban fantasy genre, and it definitely makes for an enjoyable read. In fact for anyone who is a little jaded with the similarities in the genre, The Underworld Detection Agency series may just be the breath of fresh air they need. As for me, well I can't wait to see what happens next!
The souls of the dead in Chicago are confused and damaged beyond repair, and it's up to Maddy aReview originally posted on my blog: A Book Obsession..
The souls of the dead in Chicago are confused and damaged beyond repair, and it's up to Maddy as an Agent of Death to get to the bottom of things before the situation gets any worse. Meanwhile, her relationship with Gabriel is at a stalemate now that he is her thrall. To make matters worse, her ex-fiance Nathaniel is back with his own agenda. Can't a girl ever catch a break?
Black Howl seemed to be the book of discovery, hard truths, and unwanted revelations. While all of this kept me on the edge of my seat as I was shocked over and over again, it does make it quite hard to review without revealing some pretty big spoilers. Leaving all specifics aside, I will say that I was thoroughly impressed with Christina Henry's ability to completely catch me off guard, making for a very unpredictable read. I never know where things will lead next!
What a mess! Maddy and Gabriel's relationship has never been more complicated than it was in Black Howl. Yes, they had the messy business of her undesired fiance, and J.B.'s interest causing some jealousy issues, as well as the pesky problem of their love being extremely forbidden, due to his designation as a thrall placing him "below" her. However, now that he directly belongs to her, things are even worse. He has no choice but to follow her orders, and let me just tell you that the sparks are flying as a result. There has been so much build up between the two of them that a blow up past the breaking point was completely inevitable. Whether the ending result was positive or negative, well you will just have to read the book to find out.
I had to wait a few days after reading Black Howl to review it because I was too emotionally tied up in the ending events to be able to separate myself enough. I just wouldn't have been able to give the book a fair review. Black Howl was such a roller coaster of emotions with the highest highs, and the most devastating lows that left me feeling more than a little bereft. I'm holding out hope that Christina Henry has some brilliant master plan in store for the future books that will turn things around or somehow lessen the massive blow dealt in this book. Even so, Black Howl was an incredible read from start to finish that only further cemented my love for this series, and I highly recommend it....more
Alex is a diviner mage, able to see threads of the future, and all the possibilities therein. UReview originally posted on my blog: A Book Obsession..
Alex is a diviner mage, able to see threads of the future, and all the possibilities therein. Unlike other mages, he can't cast spells or other types of offensive magic. But he doesn't need to when he can see every possible outcome of a situation, allowing him to succeed where others would fail. Even so, for the most part his life is quiet as he operates his small magic shop in London. However, all that changes when he is approached by multiple fronts wanting to use his powers to open a relic that encases an object of untold power. Trouble is that none of them are saying no, and they don't particularly care how they get his cooperation, no matter how brutal the method. For a man who can see all the possible future threads, he knows just how unlikely his survival will be in the end.
While I was reading Fated, I couldn't seem to quite put my finger on why I couldn't seem to get attached to Alex. I mean he was witty and quite resourceful, as well as more than a little curious, traits I really enjoy in a main character. However, I just couldn't figure him out, as his motives weren't really clear. He wasn't good, nor bad, nor even a mercenary, open to both sides, he was just blundering through with no other motivator than plain curiosity and survival. In all fairness, I'm not really sure if he even knew what he was doing himself. It just made it hard to really care about his plight, as simple survival isn't really enough in these types of situations, especially since he could have taken the chance to stay out of the mess entirely. That being said, I do think there was some turn around in the department by the end of the book as he started to really "find" himself, making me hopeful for the future installments.
There were so many different angles and threats in Fated, that it was a little hard to keep them all straight at times. In all honestly, the excess of dangers made it a little hard to find any of them really threatening, especially since it seemed rather easy for Alex to talk himself out of trouble each time. Also, there was an apparent back story in Alex's history that I wished would have been expanded upon. As it was, we only got glimpses as it was alluded to as a nasty ordeal, but I think with more information I could have understood Alex a little better, as well as his history with some of the threats.
The mythology behind Fated was quite intriguing. I always love books where the supernatural operate right under mundane human's notice, it just makes it seem more real. Almost as if we were to only look at things a little closer, we would see so much more going on in our world, and Fated was the perfect example of possibilities. There was so much potential in Fated based on the mythology alone, so it is a shame that in the end I'm left with the impression of mediocrity at best. The pacing was rather slow, and there were a lot of long winded, and quite unnecessary descriptions that really kept me at an arms length. It wasn't enough to turn me away from the story, but I wasn't fully engaged either. Add that into my difficulty attaching to the main character, and I can't help feeling a little let down. However, even though Fated may have been a rocky start to the series for me, I'm not writing it off quite yet, as I am more than a little curious to see where things lead next.
I'll be honest that I am little funny when it comes to anthologies. I love the glimpses the shoReview originally posted on my blog: A Book Obsession..
I'll be honest that I am little funny when it comes to anthologies. I love the glimpses the short stories give into other perspectives in worlds that I have come to love. However I do not ever read them to find new authors. In fact I have several owned anthologies that I have skipped multiple stories in. Of course, I come back to them once I've read the authors main books. I only want to read these types of stories as a supplement rather than an introduction. That all being said, when I saw that Angels' Flight was going to be four stories all set in the Guild Hunter world, I knew I had to get my hands on it. Even though I was worried about my favorite couple was not being featured, I did not miss Elena and Raphael one little bit. It was truly wonderful getting to see so many different secondary characters shine. In fact while reading Angel's Flight I was overcome with the desire to re-read the entire series, and once my review schedule opens up a little I will be doing just that.
First up was Angels' Pawn which featured Ashwini and Janvier. I've always been intrigued by the dance these two have going on, and now that I have seen how it all got started I am even more desperate to have a full length novel that features them. There is just something about their cat and mouse game that really draws me in, and I'd love to see both of their hidden secrets become unraveled for one another.
Angels' Judgement show Sara right before she became the Guild Director. It also shows how she came to be involved with her very yummy husband, Deacon. It showed just how strong the pair of them are, both together and as individuals, as well as some tough choices along the way. Very enjoyable.
I really enjoyed Angel's Wolf. My heart bled for Noel in Archangel's Kiss, for what he lived through. I hated to see him so broken and have been very curious about why Raphael sent him to Nimra's court in Archangel's Consort. That question was more than answered in this story, and I really loved seeing him come back to life one small bit at a time.
The heart and soul of this anthology belongs to Angels' Dance. It showed a much different time than what has been showed in the Guild Hunter books. It is set back when Raphael was first coming into power and establishing his territory. I loved seeing how everyone came together in their roles, especially as they tested one another. Prior to this point, Galen came across as only being very cold and harsh, fitting of his position, yet in this story we got to see another side of him as he courts Jessamy. I loved getting the insight into her character as well, especially since I realized her inner strength far surpasses even the toughest archangel. To be the only of her kind permanently unable to fly, and yet still able to overcome that debilitating longing, is nothing short of amazing.
In closing I would have to highly recommend Angels' Flight as it was a fantastic grouping stories in the stellar Guild Hunter world. Some of the content was previously published, but the gorgeous cover and the new material make this anthology more than worth the purchase. This is a definite must buy for fans of the series, and will make a great addition to your collection. ...more
After giving everything she had to win the challenge at the end of last school year, Drew has bReview originally posted on my blog: A Book Obsession..
After giving everything she had to win the challenge at the end of last school year, Drew has been preparing for her upcoming reward mission, but she may not even survive that long. Still an Acari at the bottom rung, she'll need to keep her wits about her as the attacks keep coming from all sides. Still, she stays strong and fights her battles as they come. The worst is yet to come as her mission involves infiltrating a group of vampires even more deadly than the ones on the island. She must get information from the bloodthirsty vamps to find one of the Watcher's own before his torturers succeed in getting the information they want out of him. Yet once again nothing is as it seems, and this time Drew may just have bitten off more than she can chew.
Vampire's Kiss seemed like a book for starting relationships. My head is spinning from all the potential love interests, so you can only imagine what Drew is going through. You have Ronan, who has been there from the very start. He is quite mysterious, and seems to care for Drew, or as he calls her, Annelise. However, that is a very dangerous possibility as a relationship would be forbidden. And on the island, breaking the rules means death. Then there is Josh who seems to be a pretty good guy, but there is definitely more going on than meets the eye. He still is forbidden, but I think there is a possibility that could change when/if he becomes a vampire. Then we go to Alcantara, the mysterious and very powerful vamp that seems to have his sights set on Drew. I'm not really sure how I feel about him as his interest in Drew has kept her mostly safe so far, but I don't think encouraging him would be a smart move. I don't think she could survive very long with his full attention. I doubt anyone could. Finally there is one more love interest that is yet again, forbidden, but this one seems to have more of an impact on Drew. He'll be introduced in Vampire's Kiss, so I'll leave it at that.
I'm really having a hard time figuring out what the vampire's angle is in this series. I get that they want the best of the best to be their Watchers, but why do they even need them? Aren't they powerful enough on their own? I'm especially unsure of Alcantara's motivations. One minute he seems to enjoy Drew's wit and sarcasm, and the next he is all super scary when he feels she has overstepped. Yet he says he wants her to be comfortable around him. Really? Then there also is the question of why in the world he would want Drew for his super secret mission. She has so little training that it really doesn't make sense unless he had another angle going on that isn't clear. There is a whole lot more going on here just beyond the surface, and I wish I could figure it out.
I'm having some mixed feelings about this series as a whole. We are two books in, and each one knocked my socks off, and yet I don't really feel like we are getting anywhere. There are so many questions that just keep multiplying to the point of frustration. Granted, I was thoroughly entertained and sucked into the stories, however I can see the lack of answers could quickly start to lesson my enjoyment of the books. Which would really be a shame, as I could easily see this series moving to the top of my YA favorites list. So hopefully the next installment will feel a little more gratifying in the answers department. As far as Vampire's Kiss, well to sum it up, it rocked. ...more
Most people's mistakes don't have deadly consequences, but Gene is isn't like most people. In aReview originally posted on my blog: A Book Obsession..
Most people's mistakes don't have deadly consequences, but Gene is isn't like most people. In a world full of vampires, he is perhaps the only free human left, and has learned to survive by hiding in plain sight. He lives every day on the razor's edge of death as discovery would mean an instantly brutal death as his blood is incredibly intoxicating to the vampires. Yet, he still seems to have things under control. At least that is until he is selected as one of the few for the upcoming hunt for the last remaining humans. Discovery seems inevitable under the intense scrutiny of the other hunters as one false step will be his very last.
The Hunt has an incredibly chilling world where the vast majority are vampires, with very few humans left. In fact aside from the very few domesticated hepers for the hunt, our narrator, Gene is under the impression that he may be the very last free human left. He lives every day having to watch his every move and behavior to make sure he isn't discovered. While I do think his ability to fool the vampires for so long does stretch believability at times, I can't possibly imagine living in his position. When the only thing you really have to look forward to in life is that your inevitable death will be brutal, but quick, it is a wonder he hadn't long crumbled under the pressure. Granted, he is more than a little arrogant in his thoughts at times, but if that is how he hopes and survives then I can't really fault him for that.
At first glance, The Hunt looks like all the power is firmly in the hands of the "people" aka vampires rather than in the very few remaining hepers. However,there is just something about the way the vampires become slobbering idiots when hepers are even mentioned that sparks of a greater control over them. It is almost as if they have been conditioned to act this way in order to keep them all in a firm hand. The whole concept of the heper hunt seems to support that theory. If hepers are supposed to be such a delicacy, then why would they allow the last remaining few to be hunted to extinction. It just seems far more likely that they would have "domesticated" them, so that in the very least the hunt could continue on for years afterward. I'm still trying to figure out the Palace's angle on this as they seem to use the hunts to gain favor, but the hunt is supposed to destroy the last of the hepers. Don't get me wrong, I don't feel sorry for the vampires at all as they are quite violent and cruel, I just don't think they realize how much they are being controlled.
On a slightly side note I do have to express a little disappointment in the cover change. Granted, the new cover is nice, and does portray the more violent nature of the book. However, I felt the original one was quite stunning with the way it wrapped around from front to back. (The Hunt original cover image here). Getting back to the review, The Hunt is one of those books where you are so engrossed that you forget everything else around you. I just simply couldn't put it down once I started reading it. Even though you will have to suspend a little disbelief at times, The Hunt was an incredible ride from start to finish, and definitely is one of the best books I've read this year. I cannot wait to get my hands on the next installment. Violent, gritty, and quite original, The Hunt is sure to please even the most jaded genre fans. ...more
All of the major cities have crumbled, and basic rights are a thing of the past. Now control isReview originally posted on my blog: A Book Obsession..
All of the major cities have crumbled, and basic rights are a thing of the past. Now control is based on a set of moral statutes, with harsh penalties for offenders. Being simply accused means a swift arrest and trial, and no one comes back from that. They are simply forgotten. Ember gets by as best she can while trying to contain her very free spirited mother. She's learned all the ways to blend in and stay unnoticed, keeping her life relatively normal, all things considered. However all that changes the day her mother is arrested for violating Article 5 in the Moral Statues by none other than her childhood love. With her life turned upside down, she finds herself in her own personal nightmare. The only question is whether she can survive it.
Ember (love that name!) is a flawed, but REAL character. Throughout Article 5 there were many times where I really wanted to strangle her for the poor decisions she was making, especially when it came to Chase. However, those mistakes only made her seem that much more real. We would all like to think that in a crisis situation we could keep our cool and know exactly what to do. Perhaps some of us could, but I have a feeling the majority of people would behave exactly like Ember. Her whole life has been turned upside down and people are trying to kill her left and right, she just isn't going to be able to accept all of that rationally, especially considering just how naive she was in the beginning. Nor would she be able to easily throw her trust into someone she felt abandoned by. She's entitled to have melt downs, and to be honest, she had a whole lot of character growth throughout Article 5, to the point where she is almost a completely different person.
The world behind Article 5 is so chilling and rather horrific. I love dystopian books; there is just something about them that calls to me. However, what sets Article 5 apart is how very real it felt. It very easily could have been happening now in our world, or at least in the very near future. All it would take would be for one single conflict to go bad, and land a terrible war on U.S. soil, with religious extremists rising to take over in the aftermath. The whole concept of morality being the controlling factor of society absolutely terrifies me. Forget the Bill of Rights, keep your head down and don't dare to make a single misstep or you will pay dearly. My heart bled for these characters, in their desperation to survive, especially Ember as her eyes were painfully opened to the horrors of her world.
This is one of those books where you are so far sucked into the story you don't even notice the flaws until it is time to write the review. When I first finished the book I eagerly stamped a five star rating on it via goodreads, but now as I look back I realize that much of the story wasn't perfect. The idea of persecuting people for "crimes" they committed many years before there was even a law against them doesn't seem really plausible. Especially since this would impact as much as a third of the population. Also there was the issue of the too short time in the camp leaving that feeling a little undeveloped, as well as a few other things. Does that mean I'm going to now lower my rating? Absolutely not, as the reading experience was so intense, it more than warrants the five. No book is ever going to be perfect, and in the end what matters most is being entertained and emotionally attached to the story, and Article 5 certainly fits that bill. So if you like a book that is so riveting and compelling, as well as impossible to put down, then Article 5 is one debut you won't want to miss! ...more
The D'Artigo sisters can never seem to catch a break. It should have been a happy time as theyReview originally posted on my blog: A Book Obsession..
The D'Artigo sisters can never seem to catch a break. It should have been a happy time as they prepare to celebrate Iris's wedding. But things go from bad to worse when the Supe Comunity center is bombed the night before, and that is only the start. The Koyami are back and wreaking havoc yet again as they team up with another of the girls' past nemesis, a pair of nasty sorcerers. Meanwhile it looks like Shadow Wing is gearing up for another fight as he sends a new general to amp up his side of the war, and he may just be the worst one yet.
In the past several installments, the war against Shadow Wing has been mostly in the background as the sisters had other issues to deal with. However, in Shaded Vision, that fight is back, front and center. The girls learn some pretty terrible things, that change their view points on the last few months, and bring to light a terrible new threat. With each new installment, I always wonder how the author is going to be able to top the previous threats so things don't start to seem like old hat. While I doubt Hyto's absolute cruelty and horribleness will ever be able to be "outdone," I will say that the new threat in Shaded Vision is pretty scary, just in a different way. Instead of being targeted at just Camile, this one is a danger to all of them, and they will definitely have their work cut out for them.
In my review of Delilah's last book, Harvest Hunting, I had talked about how much Delilah had grown from the naive tabby cat we met in the beginning of the series. However, after reading Shaded Vision, I can't help being a little frustrated with her. Yes, her rose colored glasses are gone (as she calls them), but she was pretty whiny about it. I realize that she misses being able to always believe things will be okay, but now she has turned into a pessimist about pretty much everything. She also had many break downs over the changes that were going on. In fact she seemed rather selfish in her desire to have everything back to they way they used to be. She wants her sisters all to herself, and a small part of her seems to resent their significant others. I remember her being very resistant to change in the past, but not to the point of selfishness. Although I will say that she felt guilty about these feelings, so I have hopes that she will work through them and continue to grow.
I didn't enjoy Shaded Vision as much as some of the other installments in this series, and a lot of that had to do with Deliliah's behavior. Now, I'm not saying it wasn't a good book, I just couldn't seem to get myself as invested as I normal do in the sister's trials. Then again, any book would have a hard time following after the incredibly, but emotionally exhausting previous installment, Courting Darkness. So while I am giving Shaded Vision a mediocre review, this series, still remains as one of my favorites, and I will eagerly await Menolly's next installment, Shadow Rising. ...more
Years after the sky turned deadly with Aether storms that decimate all in their paths, the humaReview originally posted on my blog: A Book Obsession..
Years after the sky turned deadly with Aether storms that decimate all in their paths, the human race is still struggling to survive. Many live under domes, with no sicknesses or want for medicine and escape to alternate realms in their minds to escape feeling caged. The ones on the outside experience more freedom, but an infinitely more harsh life. Each day is lived in fear of the raging sky, disease is rampant, and food is increasingly hard to come by. Aria and Perry's lives should have never crossed being from such two different circumstances. But by a twist of fate, each one becomes the other's only hope at survival and they will quickly have to learn to trust in each other because so much more is at stake then either could have realized.
I really enjoyed the dual perspectives of Aria and Perry. There are two completely different worlds in Under the Never Sky, and it was really interesting to see them slowly start to merge as the book went on, well at least from Aria and Perry's perspective that is. At first glance you would think Aria to have been the one to go through the most change as she was torn from everything she ever knew and thrown into a very harsh reality. Yet she displays the same iron will and determination throughout the entire book. Yes it is hard for her, and a part of her wishes to give into despair, but she never once succumbs. So her circumstances change drastically throughout Under the Never Sky, but she's still basically the same amazing character from start to finish, she just now has a lot more experience under her belt. So, in the end I felt Perry changed a great deal more than Aria, especially due to her influence. At the start of the book he was angry at the world and everyone in it, with quite a set of cocky shoulders. He became a little less savage, and a whole lot more patient and understanding paving the road for a whole lot of potential. Based on the direction things look to be heading, these changes in him could not have come at a better time, and I cannot wait to see Aria's continued influence on him in the next installment.
One of the really interesting things to me was my ability to easily make references from Under the Never Sky to certain elements in movies. I'm never the one to make or even really catch similarities or references to other projects, as I always just picture something in my mind. So it was quite different to have a blatant picture reference instantly pop up. For example, the Aether storms put me in mind of the severe lightning storms found in the movie The Core. In fact, the whole idea of the Aether and the ozone idea reminded me of the destruction in that movie. The Smarteyes instantly threw me back to my childhood growing up with Star Trek and the holodecks. There is also an issue that reminds me of the reavers in the movie Serenity, but I won't get into that to avoid a spoiler. I'm not saying that I felt Under the Never Sky was in anyway a knock off of these other story elements, as they were their own unique element. It was just a unique experience to be able to put "real" pictures to a story, and definitely enriched my reading experience.
The beginning of Under the Never Sky was rather confusing as it started in the middle of things, leaving me scrambling with feeling the need to catch up, especially as I was thrown back and forth between the two worlds. Then when you add in all of the odd names, I was quite off-put at first. In fact I was a little worried I wouldn't be able to get through it for the frustration, but things started to slowly come together and I was soon completely engrossed. I think the point of no return where I could not have put the book down even if I had wanted to was when Aria and Perry start traveling together. From then on I felt like I was gripped in a roller coaster waiting for the next shocking twist or turn to leave me breathless. I expect the next installment to be even better now that I have a firm grasp on the circumstances behind both worlds. Under the Never Sky will appeal to fans of dystopian and paranormal YA fiction, and I highly recommend it!...more
Vanessa has always been in her big sister Justine's shadow, and that is exactly where she wantsReview originally posted on my blog: A Book Obsession..
Vanessa has always been in her big sister Justine's shadow, and that is exactly where she wants to be. Terrified of the world, she relies on her sister to make it through each day. However, her life drastically changes when Justine's body washes up on the shore of their vacation home in Winter Harbor. After her death, everyone tries to get back to their lives like nothing has changed, but Vanessa just cannot accept things being an accident. She returns to Winter Harbor to find the answers to her questions, but quickly finds more than she was bargaining for. As more and more bodies wash up on shore, all with smiles on their faces, she knows something sinister is at work, even if she is the only one. Some secrets are too dangerous to be found, and some will change her life forever.
I had a bit of a hard time getting attached to Vanessa, or as her sister calls her, Nessa, at least at first. She is absolutely terrified of everything, and her sister has always been her crutch. Of course all that changes very early in the story when Justine dies. However instead of breaking down, Nessa decides to go off on a trip of her own back to the vacation home where the tragedy happened. It just didn't seem very realistic for a girl who is literally afraid of her own shadow to all of a sudden have the confidence to go off on her own when she just lost someone so important to her. Also, I found the fact that she was so oblivious to her beauty, and allure to be a little odd. However, after putting all that aside, I did become rather endeared to Nessa for her determination to find out what really happened to her sister. Unlike everyone else, she knows something isn't right, and does what it takes to get to the bottom of things, even if that means learning secrets about herself, and her sister that she never wanted to know. Yet, she never once shies away from her path, showing her true strength, even if she doesn't realize it.
Ah the romance, what can I say? It was both sweet yet powerful and I really enjoyed seeing their childhood friendship blossom into so much more. However, despite its powerfulness, everything between them felt so very fragile as well, especially as more secrets were revealed. Nessa's insecurities really came into play towards the end, and my heart was broken as she tried to do what she thought was best. I can only hope that in time they will be able to overcome the obstacles that are between them. Of course that would require a huge does of honesty from Nessa, and that may just prove to be more difficult than it seems.
Siren was a hauntingly beautiful read that kept me sucked right in from the very start. Even though a lot of things were quite predictable, I never once lost interest as I was fully submersed (no pun intended) in this world. I realize the traditional siren mythology doesn't quite follow the same as Siren portrays, but that is what makes fiction so enjoyable. Everything is subject to each person's interpretation, and I really enjoyed Tricia Rayburn's take on Sirens. I cannot wait to dive into the next book as I highly doubt things will stay quite for long. So, in the end I was quite impressed with Siren and found it to be the perfect blend of romance, mystery, and suspense. ...more