Book Summary: Explore the emotional upheaval that is the transformation from human to vampire. Bleeding to death after brutal mugging on the...more3.5 Stars!
Book Summary: Explore the emotional upheaval that is the transformation from human to vampire. Bleeding to death after brutal mugging on the campus of UNLV, Twenty-five year old Alyssa, is rescued by the cold and aloof, vampire, Lysander. Taking pity on her, he shares the gift-and curse-of immortality. She awakens as a vampire and is soon devastated by harsh realities of her new way of life: An unyielding thirst for blood as well as the loss of her friends, her independence, and her humanity.
As if having her humanity stripped away was not enough to make life interesting, Alyssa finds out her "turning", did not go unnoticed by the rest of undead society. Old enemies; an ancient sect of vampire hunters, known as the Acta Sanctorum, as well as a powerful Vampire mistress, each set plans in motion to destroy both Alyssa and Lysander.
Only by accepting her new-found immortality, seizing the night, will Alyssa hope to survive. She and Lysander must fight together against two sets of enemies bent on destroying them both.
This was very original in the sense that Katies Salidas explored the life changing effects of vampirism instead of the usual beauty, age and perception 'makeover' most writers go with. I am used to reading about how, once turned, the heroine's beauty is enhanced. She is overwhelmingly strong to the point of impervious, (barring wood and decapitation), she will never age, get sick, be turned down by the hot guy or be the last one picked for the team. Although Alyssa will eventually enjoy most of these benefits, she is at first horrified at the supposed implications of her new life. Does she have a soul? Is she damned, dead? Can she ever re-connect with her old life? How will she survive...and so on? I found this approach by Katie Salidas to be a perfect fit in the Urban Fantasy genre. The characterization of Lysander was done well too. He only decides to turn her at the last minute to save her life. He actually hadn't plan to save her, just wait until the men assaulting her were done then he could feast. If you've lived centuries, seeing the evil in humanity, eventually you would probably realize you can't save 'em all. He did, however, and was faced with his own doubts about turning her. I've said this before, Fantasy, horror, romance, whatever.... I love and need a dash of realism. Kaite gives us that and more. Impressive.
The only reason I gave this book a 3.5 star rating versus 4.0 was because for most of the book Alyssa acts like a brat. She didn't choose to become vampire, didn't realize they even existed, but complains about everything. She takes risks despite Lysanders warnings and eventually I just wanted her to get the ever-loving shit kicked out of her but she eventually gets past this.
This series is definately worth a second look. I will be reading number two as soon as I can because this book was great, Salidas's writing was very good and the theme hits the Urban Vamp Fantasy genre's nail on the head!
3.5! I really enjoy this series. Justine is a hypochondriac that has so much fear in her, when she 'zings' someone with it, it can ramp their own fears...more3.5! I really enjoy this series. Justine is a hypochondriac that has so much fear in her, when she 'zings' someone with it, it can ramp their own fears higher and higher. As a Disillusionist, her job is to 'Disillusion' High Cap criminals who have some medically related fear. This is part of a process the founder of the disillusionists, Packard, devised. You break down the criminal using their weaknesses until only hoplessness remains. Then a life revision or reboot can reform them. The problem is that Justine resents the fact she was tricked into this gig. Yes, by zinging her fear into another she can live a normal life but she is still not free. In Double Cross, Justine struggles with the ethics of what she does. She feel her latest project, a dream invader accused of murder, may be innocent. No one can actually prove to her that she is guilty. Justine cannot handle the idea that she may be zinging an innocent person. Her boyfriend Otto, now mayor, is a hero to the city and the one responsible for imprisoning these criminal high caps. Justine loves the fact that Otto is so good, everything in a man she has wanted her whole life. Packard is a criminal and since Justine cannot forgive him for trapping her into disillusionment, her desire for him is agonizing. The fact that Otto and packard are enemies makes it even worse. This book delves deeper into the ethical and moral struggle of all the main characters. It gives you a better understanding of them and that invests you even more into the series. I will not give much more than this because i don't want to spoil the process the author uses to reveal essential personalities and underlying issues within the story. I really enjoyed this. I cant wait fot book three and if the ending of thos book doesnt make you want number three asap, I will be surprised!(less)
What I love about Urban Fantasy is that it's gritty. It's Action/Adventure with a Paranormal theme and I can't think of a better combo. Throw in an in...moreWhat I love about Urban Fantasy is that it's gritty. It's Action/Adventure with a Paranormal theme and I can't think of a better combo. Throw in an intelligent, snarky tough chick and I'm hooked. I'm sure you figured out by now that is exactly what I got with Magic Bites. I had actually read this book before and forgot. It is in no way a forgettable story, I just read so many books so quickly that until I found my home here at GR, I had no way to track all of them. So even though I re-read this story, I still kept interested. Hell, I was rapt. Kate Daniels is the perfect butt-kicken', smart-mouthy bitch that belongs in the UF Genre. I love her. Throw in a sexy 'Lord of the Beasts' and rich world building full of magic and I guarantee you will love this series too. (less)
The heroine of this series is Justine. She is a raging hypochondriac convinced she has Vein-Star Syndrome and will bleed out any minute. She is a walk...moreThe heroine of this series is Justine. She is a raging hypochondriac convinced she has Vein-Star Syndrome and will bleed out any minute. She is a walking panic attack and if you have ever suffered from an anxiety disorder you will appreciate the accuracy in which Carolyn Crane details the thought patterns and rituals of someone who does. Crane could have easily made this condition humorous and allowed Justine to be made fun of or just silly but she didn't and Justine's character took on a layered reality. You realize how hopeless her life is even though she tries to live around the fear. She has a 'normal' boyfriend who is happy and cheerful. She has a normal job and all she dreams of is to live without fear. Enter Packard. He is a Highcap, an individual with high capacity brain power allowing them to have extrasensory mental abilities. Packard can sense a persons psychology. He meets Justine and immediately intuits her fear of vein-star and death. He can help her by teaching her to channel the fear into him and eventually others. He makes her an offer; work for him and he will cure her. She can live an ordinary, fear-free life. All she has to do is join his squad of Disillusionists. The goal of Packard and his Dillusionists is to reform evil and criminal offenders who have escaped justice. They start by forming a relationship with the target, 'disillusioning' them, breaking them completely thus causing them to turn thieer back on thier previously dark life. But Justine senses a catch. She can't imagine causing someone else to suffer as she has. She doesn't trust Packard but he convinces her to allow him to take her fear for one month. She can experience life without fear and when the fix wears off she can decide whether or not to join. Justines life is transformed. She is carefree and happy for the first time ever. Her relationship blossoms and things can't get any better but the fear starts to come back. She forces herself to ride it out but in the end she is lost. There is no way she will live that way again. Not only was I impressed by the unique story-line, I was also happily surprised by events that were unpredictable. Justine has to make some very difficult decisions and in no way does Carolyn Crane skimp on content. The story is solid, the characters are fully realized and I can't wait to read the next installment.(less)
The world is not the way it was. The dead have risen, and the living are under attack. The powerful...moreSolid 3.5 Stars!
Summary: THE DEPARTED HAVE ARRIVED.
The world is not the way it was. The dead have risen, and the living are under attack. The powerful Church of Real Truth, in charge since the government fell, has sworn to reimburse citizens being harassed by the deceased. Enter Chess Putnam, a fully tattooed witch and freewheeling ghost hunter. She’s got a real talent for banishing the wicked dead. But Chess is keeping a dark secret: She owes a lot of money to a murderous drug lord named Bump, who wants immediate payback in the form of a dangerous job that involves black magic, human sacrifice, a nefarious demonic creature, and enough wicked energy to wipe out a city of souls. Toss in lust for a rival gang leader and a dangerous attraction to Bump’s ruthless enforcer, and Chess begins to wonder if the rush is really worth it. Hell, yeah.
I found this Urban Fantasy to be very original! No perfect people in this book. Chess is a heavy drug user. The world is heavily atheistic, The Church having 'debunked' religion and God and introducing The Truth which proves everthing is energy. Holding spirits captive to keep humanity safe, The Church trains people like Chess to banish ghosts not under Church control. Chess is complex and the characters surrounding her are as well. Gritty and real. I was not too sure how I felt about the darkness in this story but Stacia kane won me over with great character and world building.(less)
Genny is a rising star at Spellcrackers.com, where she finds the "M" in magic - which can mean anything from mischief to malice to murder. The spellcr...moreGenny is a rising star at Spellcrackers.com, where she finds the "M" in magic - which can mean anything from mischief to malice to murder. The spellcrackers are run by the Witch Council, whose ancient tenets prohibit any contact with vampires. And that's just fine with Genny, who wants as little to do with the bloodsuckers as possible.
My first impression of The Sweet Scent of Blood was...huh? It seemed as if the story bounced around from topic to topic without allowing me time to process. I couldn't understand what a Sidhe Fae was doing working for witches, why she could 'absorb' magic but could not do spells. It even took awhile to get a feel for how she looked. I also found the Satyr, Finn, to not be as sexy as she made him out to be. It took awhile for me to even like him. Malik, the vampire love interest, was hot but an ass. Now usually I don't mind the hotties to be a little jerky but there is a scene in Tropic Thunder that clearly explains that going full retard in a performance is a no no. i.e. Hoffman in Rain Man vs. Sean Penn in Sam. Penn went full retard, didn't work. The point is Malik went full ass. Doesn't work.
Sooo, having said all that, I will say that aspects of the book are fun and enjoyable. When you get to know more about the characters you either like them, or at least understand them. I also started to like the plot, which is unclear at first.
All in all 3 stars for keeping me hooked. I think this series will get better and therefore I will read the second installment.(less)
This series keeps getting better. Kate Daniels is kick-ass and I really like most of the characters in this book. Curran got hot and sexy in this one....moreThis series keeps getting better. Kate Daniels is kick-ass and I really like most of the characters in this book. Curran got hot and sexy in this one. Instead of wanting to rip Kate's smart-ass mouth off her face, he wants to kiss it too. Well I say YAY! In this installment Kate goes up against a Celtic God who wants to use a flare in the magic of Atlanta to appear in the real world. Of course this aint a vacation, he is bringing a horde of his sea monsters to devour the city. Kate becomes a surrogate mom to a powerful teenage girl in order to protect her, is pestered by a sexy bowman who can 'mist' away at will and keeps stealing from the Pack, has to fight off a magic-drunk shifter of indeterminate origin who, by the way, wants in her pants. Protect her few friends and go to war. A bit over-whelmed but Kate is a multi-tasker. Great read.(less)
I felt that this series had great possibilities and perhaps it still does but with all the awesome books I have waiting for me on my TBR shelf, I doub...moreI felt that this series had great possibilities and perhaps it still does but with all the awesome books I have waiting for me on my TBR shelf, I doubt I will find out. Tate is an artist who's specializes in metal sculpture. She decides to move to Golgotham which is in New York and has been home to many kinds of supernatural beings for hundreds of years. Her landlord is a hunky wizard. She struggles with being the only human living in Golgotham but feels at home there. One of the big problems I had with this is not only did much of nothing actually happen but Tate is only human with no magical powers at all. She doesn't even seem to belong in this book. Maybe it's just me and I have become a paranormal snob. I don't know. All the action, not much of it, is at the end of the book and the most interesting thing seems to be whether or not she can get movers to deliver to Golgothom.(less)
Succubus. An alluring, shape-shifting demon who seduces and pleasures mortal men. Pathetic. A succubus with great shoes and no social life. See: Georg...moreSuccubus. An alluring, shape-shifting demon who seduces and pleasures mortal men. Pathetic. A succubus with great shoes and no social life. See: Georgina Kincaid
Georgina doesn't like to use her Succubus powers on innocent men. Even a kiss will take some life from her victim. Her Demon boss Jerome, puts up with this because everyone likes Georgina and she is the best Succubus he has had in a long time. Her real life job is as an assistant manager at a bookstore. she love books and her favorite author is coming to do a signing. She is excited to meet him. But even with the attraction she feels toward him, it's hands-off. Enter Roman, who by chance becomes involved in Georgina's crazy life. He is sexy and smart but Georgina obviously cannot have an intimate relationship with the good guys. Humans are off-limit unless they are bad. sooo, she has sex with her sleezy married boss to take the edge off. She has a great group of supportive friends, two vampires and an imp but when an arrogant vampire, Duane, is killed after an argument with Georgina, even her friends think maybe she did it. As more immortals are attacked and killed Georgina decides to play detective and find out who is responsible despite the command from her boss to stay out of it.
I did enjoy this book. Not too deep a read but fun and sassy. I am going to read the next installment and hope things ramp up! (less)
I just have to give this 4 stars! J.N. Duncan is a new writer of Dark Urban Fantasy. This is his debut novel and series. I LOVED IT. I gave it 4 stars...moreI just have to give this 4 stars! J.N. Duncan is a new writer of Dark Urban Fantasy. This is his debut novel and series. I LOVED IT. I gave it 4 stars based on originality, true grit and believable characters.
Synopsis: She's as tough as anything haunting Chicago's streets. But to deal with an inhuman power that won't stay buried, this FBI agent needs help that comes at an immortal price. . .
Jackie Rutledge has seen her share of supernatural killers. But her latest murder case is what recurring nightmares are made of. Brutally exsanguinated human victims, vanishing-into-the-ether evidence, and a city on the edge of panic mean that she and her psychic partner, Laurel, are going to need more than just backup . . .
So Jackie is fine with any help rugged P.I. Nick Anderson can give--even if that includes the impish ghost and sexy vampire who make up his team. But Nick is hiding secrets of his own. And Jackie's investigation has plunged them both into a vengeful game reaching back centuries--and up against a malevolent force hungry for more than just victory. . .
Duncan has a truly new take on vampires. He impressed me with his understanding of what a true/real friendship between woman FBI agents would feel like. He didn't try to lay on the sister/girlfriend love crap too thickly. He wasn't afraid to make Jackie, 'Jack', sometimes unlikable. On the other hand, the male protagonist, Nick,is NOT too freaking heroic to be two-dimensional. I am truly impressed and found this book to be entertaining as well as fresh.
The second installment, I believe, comes out in May October, (confirmed by Mr. Duncan below) and I am ready for it. I will be recommending this series to all my friends! (less)