I love Rachel Caine, she is one of my favorite authors currently. Her Morganville Vampire books are a fr...moreREVIEWED by Chris for Between the Covers blog:
I love Rachel Caine, she is one of my favorite authors currently. Her Morganville Vampire books are a fresh young adult series, and her Weather Warden series gives new light to the gene / djin lore. When I saw that she had a new series coming out that was tackling and reinventing the zombie genre, I knew I had to read it.
Bryn is an ex-soldier who decides that handling the dead is a job that she could make a living from. Unfortunately, her first week doesn’t really go that well: she has a suicide on her watch; is harassed by Fast Eddy, the morgue’s undertaker; finds out that her boss is peddling drugs; and winds up dead. Luckily for Bryn, she doesn’t stay dead. Bryn doesn’t know why she has been brought back, or even exactly how. With the help of the undercover agent (and possible romantic interest) Patrick McCallister, she plans to find out exactly what’s going on and bring new definition to the term “Working Stiff”.
Ms. Caine has taken zombies and brought them to the modern age. Bryn doesn’t crave flesh and she isn’t a rotting corpse. She is a fully sustained person kept a live by the most ground breaking technology. Being the debut of a new series this book has a fair amount of world building and character development, but it is all done with a finesse that only a seasoned writer could possess. I love the idea behind a medical “corporate zombie,” and Ms.Caine has created a heroine that you can empathize with but who is a hardcore woman, all at the same time.
I am not sure how many books are planned in this new series, or even when the next one is planned to be released, but I am certainly watching and waiting for it. Ms.Caine has a knack for writing fantastic novels and this just adds another series of hers that I will be reading immediately upon there release.
Lover Revealed is the fourth book in J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood series. Picking up one month...moreREVIEWED by Louise for Between the Covers blog:
Lover Revealed is the fourth book in J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood series. Picking up one month after Lover Awakened, (see review HERE) this book tells the story of Brian “Butch” O'Neal, the human who has been taken in by the vampires.
Butch is a former Caldwell police officer who was a frenemy to Beth Randall. If you’ve read the earlier books in the series *wonders how there is anyone left that I haven’t convinced, coerced or blackmailed to read these books* then you know how Butch comes to be living among the vampires, something unheard of as secrecy from humans is paramount to the species survival.
Shortly after his immersion in the vampire world Butch meets Marissa, a beautiful female member of the glymera and Wrath’s former shellan. Butch falls hard for Marissa... I’m talking love at first sight, the world shifted and gravity changed to tie him to her kind of love, BtCers... and she seemed just as fascinated by him.
But months have passed and Butch hasn’t seen or heard from Marissa. He constantly finds himself sitting on the sidelines in the Vampires’ war with the Lessening Society. He is living in a house that isn’t his, eating food that he doesn’t pay for... and generally feeling like a useless piece of flesh.
Meanwhile Marissa is going about her daily routine: running her brother, Havers’, home; helping out in his clinic; attending council meetings... and slowly withering away. The glymera is very unforgiving and have formed their own opinions about why she and Wrath did not mate. Of course in their eyes, the fault lies with her. Holding her head high and behaving every inch a lady, Marissa’s spirit is being crushed under the constant weight of the disapproving stares of her brother and her peers.
Then fate intervenes, bringing Butch and Marissa back together. Events unfold which show them the truth of the past months absence and allow them to admit that they care for each other. But what does an unemployed alcoholic cop who is hanging on the fringes of society have to offer a female of worth like Marissa? And what does a female who has known nothing other than quiet comfort and privilege have to offer a hardass former homicide cop?
*pulls on full body armor and takes a deep breath before continuing*
This is my one of my least favorite books of the series. And it has nothing to do with the characters.
I love the cop and think he is a fabulous addition to the BDB world. He brings much to the game and his relationship with V is absolutely fab on so many levels. He is a true male of worth who, despite some mistakes in his past, is genuinely a good person who puts others before himself. And he gets many gold stars from me for his stand on hitting women and his method of handling the guys who do.
I am among the few who actually like and respect Marissa. *says it louder* Her spunk impresses the hell out of me. She was raised in a very confining bubble, yet finds ways to slip out of it and be more than society deems she is supposed to be. And when Havers pulls an “asshat of the century” move, she not only stands on her own two feet, she kicks ass and takes names... and his is at the top of the list. *whispers* I found that scene particularly satisfying.
Having said that... and wanting it abundantly clear that I really do love the characters... this book did almost nothing for me. I didn’t like that Butch, who had until this point been so dogged and determined, was suddenly a sodden, depressed mess. I didn’t like that Marissa, who had found the strength of will to stand up to Wrath, was incapable of calling Butch on his BS when he was being a jerk. I feel like these two got short changed, that the very characteristics which I like most about them were used to underscore their weaknesses. While some might see that as brilliant, I saw it as frustrating and not true to the characters. And don’t even get me started on what happens when Butch says the word “baby.” *UGH*
It was good to go back to this world and see where these characters were at in their lives, to see the changes in them from the last book to this one. Lover Revealed has Ward’s trademark quick, sharp dialogue and her uniquely entertaining if not grammatically correct style. And once again, this book contains smoking hot sex, so read it with an ice cold bottle of water handy. Oh, and BtCers? Butch will teach you all you never knew you didn’t know about french kissing. *winks*
So, back off ladies. I will not hesitate to use the shanking spork to protect what's mine. Now that we've got that settled...
I need to pause for a moment and get something out of my system so that I may continue this review in my usual solemn and professional manner.
*insert BDB fan girl scream HERE*
Okay... All better.
Lover Awakened is the third book in J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood series. Picking up in the weeks following Lover Eternal, (see review HERE) this book tells the story of the warrior Zsadist. *pets my pretty Z pic*
WARNING: This book deals with sexual abuse and includes scenes which may be uncomfortable for some.
Zsadist is the most brutal, vicious and cruel of the warriors. Simply looking at him inspires terror in most. Not even his brothers like fighting alongside him. He oozes hatred from his very pores.
But he has good cause for his cruel demeanor. Held captive for almost a century, used as a blood slave… and worse… his hatred grew strong and deep. Once rescued by his twin brother, Phury, he was physically safe, but nothing could erase the memories of his captivity from his mind... or diminish the impact of the nightmares he carries.
Bella has lived a much different life than Zsadist. A member of the glymera, pampered, protected and much loved younger sister of Rehvenge, she has known no hardship. But she is no less trapped than Zsadist was. Her brother controls her world, allowing her only the illusion of freedom. Yet despite their differences Bella is unable to forget the harsh and dangerous warrior.
When Bella is kidnapped by Lessers, Zsadist does what he does best… hunts and kills his enemy. Driven by a need he doesn’t understand, he searches mercilessly for Bella, her safety… or vengeance for her death… his consuming thought.
This is my absolute, hands down, without a doubt, do-I-need-to-spell-it-out-for-you favorite book of the series. I love a tortured hero, and Zsadist is that and so much more. I love a heroine with spunk, and Ward is very good at writing those. Bella is no exception. While these two characters seem so drastically different, they are in reality each others perfect compliment.
Zsadist’s story, told in flashback style, made me wince in horror, infuriated me and made me cry. He is one of the most misunderstood characters of this series. Ward always does an excellent job with character development, but in my trying-to-be-unbiased-and-probably-failing-miserably opinion, Zsadist exhibits the most growth of any within the series. He is not at all what you have been led to believe in the first two books. *pauses* Well, actually… he is exactly what you’ve been shown IF you have been paying attention. He is a male of worth. #NuffSaid
Bella is much more than the decorative piece of furniture most females of the glymera are, and is stronger than anyone ever knew… her brother and herself included. She shows her strength and proves the adage that you can be victimized without becoming a victim. The two together were incredible to watch unfold on the page, and I cried at the conclusion. #LoveNotesFTW
The only downside for me in this book… and it was a HUGE downside… was a side story arc that involved other characters in this world. As I am determined to keep this review spoiler free, I won’t rant about my feelings over these events. If you follow my personal account on twitter, you already know them. *grumbles internally… LOTS*
Yet again Ward’s writing is quick and sharp, the dialogue flowing in an entertaining if not grammatically correct manner. And once again, this book contains much smoking hot sex, so read it with an ice cold bottle of water handy… and maybe open a window to let some cold air in. Take note, BtCers… kissing will take on a whole new meaning for you after this one. *winks*
I’m going to pause for a moment and get something out of my system so that I may continue this review i...moreREVIEWED by Louise for Between the Covers blog:
I’m going to pause for a moment and get something out of my system so that I may continue this review in a professional manner. I'll have to repeat this for most of the books in this series, so bear with me.
*insert BDB fan girl scream HERE*
Okay... All better.
Lover Eternal is the second book in J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood series. Picking up where Dark Lover (see review HERE) left off, this is the story of the warrior Rhage.
Rhage is the strongest of the warriors. No one can best him in a fight. He’s unstoppable, losing himself in the battle. But that isn’t because he loves the fight. It’s because of the monkey on his back.
Cursed years ago by the Scribe Virgin, *coughs* evil witch *coughs*, Rhage lives daily with the fear that he will hurt his friends. He uses fighting and sex… lots and lots of anonymous sex… as a form of self-medication. They take the edge off his hunger. Until he meets Mary Luce, a human woman who turns his carefully controlled world upside down.
Mary Luce is battling her own demons, fighting a fight she can’t win. But Mary isn’t a quitter, and she will do everything in her power to stay strong and survive. Including denying blonde hottie, Rhage, admittance into her life.
But neither fate nor true love will be denied. Nor will a warrior who has found his mate. And Rhage won’t allow Mary to push him away, especially once he learns just how precious the time they have together is.
This book is the one that sealed the deal for me with this series. I fell in love with the brothers in this book. Rhage won me over, completely. He made me laugh, he made me cry… he made me want to kick a fictional character’s ass on his behalf. *points up to previous comment about the Scribe Virgin* He also had me fanning myself. *laughs* #TrueFact.
As always, it was the characters that did it for me. Rhage has such a good heart and he gives every bit of himself over to Mary, offering her unconditional love. Mary is so incredibly strong and such a good person, one who gives of herself without seeking any glory. People like that are rare, and yet she’s so believable and approachable. The two of them together were amazing to see, and I was thrilled with how their story worked out.
The only downside for me in this book was that Rhage and Mary were denied the last little piece of their HEA, and I felt they deserved it. However, as I understand it, that final piece to their happiness will be resolved in their upcoming novella.
Again, Ward’s writing is quick and sharp, the dialogue flows and is entertaining, there is much smart ass and snark, and the brothers and Butch are truly fun to watch. This book REALLY ups the ante on the smoking hot sex, so read it with an ice cold bottle of water handy. And know that you will never look at a chain quite the same, again. *grins*
I’m going to pause for a moment and get something out of my system so that I may continue this review i...moreREVIEWED by Louise for Between the Covers blog:
I’m going to pause for a moment and get something out of my system so that I may continue this review in a professional manner.
*insert BDB fan girl scream HERE*
Okay... All better.
The Black Dagger Brotherhood is a Paranormal Romance / Urban Fantasy series about vampires. But, not just any vampires. *shakes head* No, this series is about warrior vampires.
I stumbled upon this series years ago... only Dark Lover and Lover Eternal were out at the time... by recommendation of my trusty B&N bookseller. She was right, I love them.
J.R. Ward keeps much of the known mythology for her vamps... they turn to crispy critters in sunlight, drink blood, are super fast and strong. But she changes it up enough to keep it from being boring. The vamps these books focus on are selectively bred to be the strongest and smartest of their kind, and are intended to serve as the defenders of the vampire race.
Dark Lover is the first in Ward’s BDB series, and tells the story of Wrath, son of Wrath, the heir to the throne, the last pure bred vampire, and the King who will not rule. As many who follow my personal account on twitter know, I had a hard time getting into this book, and if I hadn’t already purchased Lover Eternal when I bought Dark Lover, I probably would’ve stopped after reading DL.
I would have missed out.
There is much about this book that I love: Wrath’s HEA (Happily Ever After) Beth, is made of win. She’s funny, intelligent, strong and takes no crap from Wrath. The other Brothers... Darius, Tohrment, Vishous, Zsadist *dreamy sigh* and Phury... are all excellent and interesting characters. Beth’s friend, a cop named Butch, is fun to watch as he finds himself smack in the middle of a group of linebacker sized vamps. And I absolutely adore Fritz.
I’ve said it before, and I’m going to say it again… character development, character development, character development. This is a make or break for me in a book, and these characters are truly excellent. Even when dealing with the secondary characters (in this book) such as Havers and Marissa, Ward did a good job in developing them and bringing them off the page.
The only downside for me in this book was Wrath himself. I had a very hard time coming to like him. In actuality it wasn’t until later, in Lover Awakened, that I began to “love” Wrath like I do the other Brothers. He’s very aloof, as a king would be, and very cold. He’s set himself apart and that isolation made it hard for me to relate to him. Even once he fell in love with Beth, I still didn’t feel him open up.
Having said that, Wrath is a male of worth from the start, and he shows his worthiness to rule the vampire race throughout this book and the series.
On my first read I didn’t love this book and would have set it aside. Having now read the entire series too many times to publicly admit, I can say I do enjoy this book… the writing is quick and sharp, the dialogue flows, there is much smart ass and guy type BSing, which is fun to watch.
There is also romance and some smoking hot sex. You will never look at peaches the same after reading this book. In fact seeing them in the market might inspire hot flashes. *winks*
Overall, a very good read, especially if you go into it with the knowledge that the series only gets better.
Witches, magic and vampires – what more could you want? In this debut novel by P.A. Lupton, we are intro...moreREVIEWED by Karen for Between the Covers blog:
Witches, magic and vampires – what more could you want? In this debut novel by P.A. Lupton, we are introduced to Brianna Reece, a kick-ass FBI agent assigned to the Denver division of VICAP (Violent Crime Apprehension Program). Brianna has empathic abilities - can sense emotions and get impressions - which makes her the perfect lie detector, a useful interview skill for an FBI agent. But she is unaware of her legacy: that she is descended from an ancient bloodline of witches. Along with her new partner, Todd Morrison, Brianna is tasked to solve a series of disturbing murders where the victims are completely drained of blood – and who all physically resemble Brianna. The primary “person of interest” in the investigation is Nathan Donovan, head of a security firm, who has had contact with all the victims. When they meet, the chemistry between Brianna and Nathan is immediate and intense.
Brianna reveals her empathic abilities to her father, who reluctantly reveals her heritage shortly before he dies of a heart attack. At her father’s funeral, she discovers that Nathan is the key to harnessing her gifts. As she works with Nathan to unlock the full potential of her powers, Brianna comes to trust and respect her new partner Morrison, and together the three hunt down the serial killer
Bound by Blood is a great read, and I was hooked from page one. Lupton built a complex paranormal world filled with vivid characters, great interaction, and hot sexy scenes. Throw in a few great plot twists, and you’ve got yourself a great debut novel.
One thing I must mention though: the electronic version of the book that we received from the author had so many run-on sentences, misspellings and grammatical errors that it made for difficult reading. I realize that proper grammar, syntax and spelling are like a sickness with me, but the amount of errors was distracting to the flow of the story. All in all, I loved Bound by Blood, but the ebook we received could benefit from an editor’s touch.
I love the Iron Fey series. I love the uniqueness of the world, but I also love how familiar everything...moreREVIEWED by Chris for Between the Covers blog:
I love the Iron Fey series. I love the uniqueness of the world, but I also love how familiar everything feels at the same time. In this final installment Julie Kagawa switches from original narrator Meghan Chase to Ash, Prince of the Winter Court.
The Iron Knight picks up shortly after Summer’s Crossing (the e-reader exclusive novella) and within a few months of The Iron Queen. Ash and Puck have teamed up and are on a quest so Ash will be able to reunite with Megan. There are a few twists and turns that many will see coming, but enough surprises along the way to keep people entertained.
I feel that I was one of the few that were happy with the ending of The Iron Queen and the completeness it gave the series, but I am extremely happy that Julie decided to give us this book, and let us see our brooding prince up close and personal. I feel that this book gave us a piece of the puzzle that had been missing and we didn’t even know it. It gave us a look at Ash and Puck, and a better insight into why these former friends became enemies to the death, and the reason for their self-loathing.
Julie truly is a talented writer, and has a feel for what her fans want. This final book will leave fans feeling complete with a very appropriate happily ever after.
Mackenzie Brooks is on the run. She’s been chased across several states by her crazy ex-boyfriend and...moreREVIEWED by Louise for Between the Covers blog:
Mackenzie Brooks is on the run. She’s been chased across several states by her crazy ex-boyfriend and his thugs. Now she’s in New Orleans, and has managed to land a job at a local bar. Mackenzie is trying to keep a low profile and fly under everyone’s radar, especially her ex’s. Unfortunately for her, she’s in the middle of the supernatural stomping grounds and about to get a reality check.
Jackson Holt is a P.I. with a twist... he’s a caster. A spell caster, that is. He agrees to check Mackenzie out at the request of her boss, who is his best friend, but finds himself unable to look at Mackenzie as just a “job,” especially once he realizes she’s in danger.
Crux is the first book in the Southern Arcana series by the writing duo that makes up Moira Rogers. The storyline in Crux moves very fast and you have action almost from the beginning. The dynamic of Were culture as briefly explained in the book is interesting, and I look forward to learning more about it in future books. One aspect of the story I really enjoyed was the unusual distribution of power between the hero and heroine. Mackenzie is physically stronger than Jackson. But he didn’t waste time on “guy ego,” and didn’t complain about her being stronger than him. In the end, it took both Jackson and Mackenzie working together to overcome the big, bad, evil guy.
There were some things that bothered me about the book... some problems switching between person and tense. Also, the instant attraction and trust Mackenzie feels toward Jackson despite having been chased by her madman ex was a little hard for me to believe. However, the mythology supporting were or shifter senses / instincts is well documented, so I chalk that up to me not being anything that resembles animalistic. (No, seriously... my idea of camping is a 5 star hotel with a view of the mountains. I own my city girl.) I felt some scenes were glossed over... what should have been a major fight between two extremely powerful Seers was reduced to a couple of paragraphs and was very anti-climatic.
While billed as an urban fantasy, Crux seemed more like a paranormal romance to me. It was an interesting read, and while there were things that bothered me, it was well written enough for me to be interested in the next book in the series. Add to it the banter I see displayed by the Bree half of the Moira Rogers duo on twitter, and I have high hopes that the series will continue to grow and become more engaging over time.
I want to start by saying that I read the first two (2) books in this series,...moreReview courtesy of Louise @ Between the Covers blog: tinyurl.com/62zkxfh
I want to start by saying that I read the first two (2) books in this series, Darkfever and Bloodfever, years ago… Bloodfever had just been released… after reading the author’s Highlander series, and LOVING… (and perhaps lusting)… them! This review is based upon a recent revamp of the books, due to many of my friends reading the series. Though this book is older than most we review here on BtC, the series is ongoing, the latest book having been released earlier this year.
Darkfever is an urban fantasy that tells the story of MacKayla “Mac” Lane, a 22-year-old young woman from Ashford, GA, a small town deep in the Bible Belt. Mac is a bartender at a local bar. She’s in college, but only because her parents require her to be. She’s fortunate enough to live a very happy, carefree life where her biggest concerns are the possibility of her favorite lip gloss or nail polish being discontinued, or her tan being uneven.
But Mac’s happy world implodes one day when she receives a call telling her that her sister, Alina, has been murdered while studying at Trinity University in Dublin, Ireland. Grieving and feeling that the police aren’t trying to solve her sister’s murder, Mac decides to go to Ireland and use the “in your face” method to get them to investigate further. Soon after her arrival, Mac begins seeing strange, unbelievable things. It is in this way, during a scene where Mac is having dinner at a pub, that we are introduced to Moning’s fae. These are not the winged fairies of your childhood, but dark and dangerous beings who use glamour to hunt their prey… humans.
Darkfever is an unusual blend of a novel… an urban fantasy with a mystery woven into it. The supernatural world unfolds as Mac desperately searches for who… or what… killed her sister. Moning keeps us in suspense throughout the book, not revealing Alina’s murderer until the end.
I have to admit that I didn’t feel Mac, at first. She is painted as very shallow, initially. I’m a character driven reader, so this was a major turn off for me. I struggled with the idea of this Georgia peach surviving alone in a foreign country, especially once the supernatural world began to unfurl around her. But Darkfever is a story of self-discovery for Mac. She learns much about herself, including what she is, and the truth of her and her sister’s birth. In the end, Mac won me over. She’s much stronger than we’re led to believe in the initial characterization we’re given. Stronger than she herself knew she could be. She’s sarcastic, witty and I love her “Southern” euphemisms. I think Mac’s momma and my momma would’ve gotten along famously.
We also meet the intriguing Jerricho Barrons in this book. Barrons is the owner of a book store Mac stumbles into. And don’t we all wish we had a Barrons’ Books and Baubles in our neighborhood! At the end of Darkfever, Barrons is still shrouded in mystery. I’m unsure if he’s a good guy or a bad guy using Mac for his own nefarious purposes. But there is an undeniable chemistry between Barrons and Mac… it practically sizzles and scorches the page.
There were some things that caused me to have difficulty getting into this book, and while I’ve recommended the series to many friends over the years, I’ve always done so with a disclaimer that it is hard to get into. You have to be willing to stick with it. Moning’s choice to write in the first person retrospective robs the book of the tension and suspense first person point of view usually provides, and distances the reader from events. Obviously Mac survives, or she couldn’t tell her story. Also, the continual use of names between Mac and Barrons is awkward. It’s not natural in conversation, and disrupts the flow of dialogue.
However, the good points greatly outweigh the bad, and made the book well worth the initial struggle I had. The world Moning has crafted in Darkfever is very visual. There is an atmosphere to the story, and it is in turn horrifying and chilling, inviting and seductive. There are ideas about the abilities of the fae which are different and interesting. There is an ever present air of danger throughout the book.
And underneath the supernatural is a story that will resound with many. Darkfever is a story about dealing with tragedy and coping with grief. Mac's phone calls home are actually painful to read.
Overall, Darkfever is a good read and an interesting beginning to this series. I stand by my oft given disclaimer… you must be willing to give the book a chance. If you do, you will come to love the characters, want to linger in this dark, dangerous and fascinating world.
It’s been a long time since I’ve been in the Sookieverse…it felt good to be back!
Sookie and Eric are finally together (yay!), but it’s certainly not a happily ever after. Even though the war from Dead and Gone has ended, the dust hasn’t completely settled. Between vampire, Were, and fairy politics and schemes, there’s never a dull moment for Sookie. As always, Sookie finds herself in a variety of dangerous situations, and she has to rely on her own wits, as well as some unlikely allies, to find her way out.
Moreso than the action in this book, I enjoyed seeing how the characters have developed throughout the series. Sookie is starting to see the gray area of matters, Jason is slowly growing up, and even Claude makes an effort to be civil. It was nice to see Sookie interacting with a variety of people, including her spending time with Hunter and Remy again. There are also a few new characters introduced, who with their backstories and actions made the book much more interesting.
The downside to all of the above is that this book had little Sookie and Eric time, and the scenes they did have seemed rather rushed. Also, while this series certainly has no shortage of interesting turns of events, I can’t help but wonder what else there is left to happen in this series. Granted, this book leaves more than a few things unresolved, so I’m eagerly looking forward to the next installment.
Overall, this book was a quick, fun read – perhaps not on par with some of the other books in the series, but enjoyable nonetheless. I can’t wait to see what Sookie gets herself into next, and how things will work out for her and Eric!(less)
When I first stumbled upon the Billi SanGreal novels, my thoughts were - "Templar lore? Strong heroine? A l...moreReviewed by Christin for Between the Covers
When I first stumbled upon the Billi SanGreal novels, my thoughts were - "Templar lore? Strong heroine? A little romance thrown in? Yes, please!" And Devil's Kiss did not disappoint.
Billi has been raised to be a fighter for the Knights Templar - she has been trained, tested, and accepted. But it is a hard life, and even when her one and only friend returns from his time away in training, Billi is still longing for a meaningful relationship. Enter Michael, who seems to be Billi's knight in shining armor - almost literally. He appears just in time to help Billi out of a dangerous situation, and he is clearly interested in her, much to Billi's delight and her father's consternation. But things are seldom as they seem to be. Soon Billi finds herself caught between Michael and Kay, her lifelong friend and fellow Knight. Furthermore, he begins to question what she truly wants out of her life. And in the end, a simple shard of glass could control the future for them all...
Talk about gripping introductions - Devil's Kiss has one of the most morbidly intriguing openings that I think I've read. And the action never stops. Whether the characters are fighting physically or emotionally, the intensity carries you through page after page. Chadda brought an old religious legend back and gave it new life. I thoroughly enjoyed his writing style; he didn't mince words, and yet it was still very refined. Refined though it may be, this book still incorporates the harsh realities of the Knight life, though in a compelling way.
I think the most intense relationship in this book was the one between Billi and her father. Though there was certainly an interesting interplay between Billi, Kay, and Michael, it was the familial relationship that was really explored and held the answers to some of Billi's questions. However, Billi and Kay certainly had their moments. The ending was something that I wouldn't have predicted and should definitely make things interesting in the next book!
Devil's Kiss was a compelling read, one that kept me up long past when I should have been asleep to read it. With it, Chadda achieved an excellent balance of action and introspection, adventure and respite. I'm looking forward to reading Dark Goddess!(less)
Nightshade is one of those books that got tons of hype around the blogging community before its release, and even more after - and in this case, it wa...moreNightshade is one of those books that got tons of hype around the blogging community before its release, and even more after - and in this case, it was 100% deserved. Although Nightshade is about werewolves, it really has something for everyone - great characters, well-developed setting, fantasy, a little history, and a lot of romance. And look at that cover - is it not beautiful?
Calla has never questioned what life has in store for her - she loves being a Guardian, and the Keepers provide for everything her family could want. She's always done what she should, until she reveals her true nature to save a strange boy from certain death by a bear. Though worried, she thinks nothing will come of the incident - until the boy shows up in her class at the Mountain School the next day. It soon becomes clear that Shay plays a much larger part in her world than Calla ever realized; in fact, her world is not even what she imagined it to be. As she learns more of the Keepers' secrets, she finds herself drawn to Shay; but she is mated to Ren, the alpha male. Throughout the book, the tensions and romances heat up, all coming to a head on Samhain, the day of the union - the day for which nobody is prepared.
The world of Nightshade was excellently created. I loved the blending of actual history with a fantasy world. But more than that, I loved the characters. The Nightshade and Lumine pack members were quite diverse and yet all believable. Calla is definitely a strong, independent character, though not without her flaws and unique traits. And Ren and Shay - how could anyone choose one?
Occasionally parts of the story were a bit confusing, but as the reader learns along with Calla, that is to be expected. And the ending...well, all I can say is that I needed Wolfsbane yesterday.
Nightshade kept me turning page after page, eager for more, with its engaging story, sweet (and sometimes steamy) romance, and imaginative world. Andrea Cremer has a brilliant style, and I cannot wait to read more!(less)
After hearing from numerous people that I needed to read this series, and knowing that Cassandra Clare's Clockwork Angel was coming so...moreReally 3.5 stars
After hearing from numerous people that I needed to read this series, and knowing that Cassandra Clare's Clockwork Angel was coming soon, I gave in and moved this series to the top of my to-read list. And after the first 50 pages, I was hooked!
I thoroughly enjoyed all of the characters and their variety of personalities. Although at first I didn't like Jace (shame on me, I know) he grew on me as I learned more about his past and how his mind worked. Despite being paranormal, Clary found herself in relatable situations, causing me both to laugh and to feel for her. And Simon is such a generally good guy that you can't help but pity him when he's hurt and be proud of him when he saves the day.
The plot twists throughout this book definitely made for interesting reading. While some things I was able to figure out (or at least guess correctly), there were many other details that took me by surprise. I'm already wondering what will happen in the next book!
Despite this, I have to say that I did not care for the ending. Perhaps I would feel differently had I read this book earlier - as in before City of Glass came out - but already knowing tidbits from that book simply make the ending of CoB very frustrating. However, I'm interested to see how the situation is handled!
Cassandra Clare has a unique writing style that I really enjoyed. I'm looking forward to City of Ashes!(less)