This was a good book as far as Urban Fantasies go, but if you've read Arthur's RILEY JENSON or DARK ANGEL novels the story, and the characters are freThis was a good book as far as Urban Fantasies go, but if you've read Arthur's RILEY JENSON or DARK ANGEL novels the story, and the characters are freakishly similar. I've tackled both, so aside from a few minor differences I felt like I was doing a re-read instead of experiencing the second installment in a brand new series. If you're a newcomer to this author you'll probably enjoy it, if not, you'll most likely be disappointed. Full review to follow....more
Religion is always a slippery slope in fiction, but Rachel Vincent used it well in THE STARS NEVER RISE. I liked the way that the world was presented,Religion is always a slippery slope in fiction, but Rachel Vincent used it well in THE STARS NEVER RISE. I liked the way that the world was presented, and the YA elements were enjoyable without the characters' maturity levels suffering as a result. Full review to follow....more
Unfortunately I was in the middle of a move when I started reading this book, so it took me over 2 weeks to finish it, and I feel like I might have foUnfortunately I was in the middle of a move when I started reading this book, so it took me over 2 weeks to finish it, and I feel like I might have forgotten a few important details. My fault. Anyway, I enjoyed the Dystopian aspects, and NOLA always make for a great setting, especially in the Paranormal sub-genres. None of the characters really stood out though, and I found that Claire's progression from a newbie Sensitive to world-saviour was a big leap for one installment. Full review to follow. ~3.5 Stars...more
Gin's experiencing growing pains as the new head honcho of Ashland's underworld, so she did a bit less stabbing, and a tad more politicking in this inGin's experiencing growing pains as the new head honcho of Ashland's underworld, so she did a bit less stabbing, and a tad more politicking in this installment... no, not really cuz she IS The Spider. But, this wasn't your everyday ELEMENTAL ASSASSIN book either. And, after 13 titles, different is always good! Review to follow....more
Things seem to finally be moving in the right direction; let's see if the trend continues, or if the time has come to break up with RYLEE ADAMSON. FulThings seem to finally be moving in the right direction; let's see if the trend continues, or if the time has come to break up with RYLEE ADAMSON. Full review to follow....more
After I read the first book I learned that it was the author's intention to slowly reveal deets about her werewolves over the course of several instalAfter I read the first book I learned that it was the author's intention to slowly reveal deets about her werewolves over the course of several installments, so I fully expected the minimal world-building, and that made the lack of answers slightly less frustrating. Paige DOES explore my previous question about females in SWAT which was enough to stave off my curiosity (for now), and allow me to enjoy Khaki & Xander's story. The characters weren't as predictable as HUNGRY LIKE THE WOLF, and the romance was better. Full review to follow. ~4.5 Stars...more
I still don't know if I want to commit to this series for the long haul, but I can't bring myself to give it up either. Dammit! Full review to follow.I still don't know if I want to commit to this series for the long haul, but I can't bring myself to give it up either. Dammit! Full review to follow. ~ 3.5 stars...more
THREE DAYS TO DEAD's deck is stacked with tons of paranormal content, a funky 'work backwards' story telling style, and a tough as nails protagonist.THREE DAYS TO DEAD's deck is stacked with tons of paranormal content, a funky 'work backwards' story telling style, and a tough as nails protagonist. I loved Evy; this girl has been lived through pretty much every crappy scenario you can dream up, and then some, yet she keeps her eye on the prize. Meding's DREG CITY world is vast, and exciting without being overpowering, and the urgency of Stone's situation comes through loud & clear thanks to the author writing the heroine's flashbacks in the present tense. I was iffy on the narrator for the better part of this audiobook, but I enjoyed it enough to continue listening to the series. ...more
Happily-ever-afters for everyone! This series may be about superheroes and ubervillains, but in Jennifer Estep’s BIGTIME univReviewed by: Rabid Reads.
Happily-ever-afters for everyone! This series may be about superheroes and ubervillains, but in Jennifer Estep’s BIGTIME universe even the little guy is deserving of finding love. In this installment its Piper and Swifte’s turn, and I think that pretty much everyone will get a kick out of this one because as a fellow reader you’ve either A) attended a book con, and can relate to Perez’s FANDEMIC condition, or B) have been waiting nearly three years for more BT.
This novel may have been shorter than some of the previous titles, but it was absolutely overflowing with little extras tailored specifically for Estep addicts. There’s shout outs to all three of her other series, an abundance of never-before-seen superheroes, more of Rascal—the puppy from #4—and an impressive Big Bad. The story starts off in a sex club, and ends in wedding bells; so needless to say, it’s far reaching for 43,000 words.
These books are as loud as their covers, and the author did a fantastic job of making Piper a larger-than-life character by transforming her crazed fandom into its own strength. As a result, the end battle was probably the one that I’ve had the most fun with to date. Swifte’s a decent guy, and even though he’s very flamboyant about his superhero status, I liked that their relationship and personalities were the focus instead of superpowers.
Piper & Swifte have a past which was a change from the prior couples; it gave the story more of a second chance at love slant which I enjoy whether it’s with someone new, or rekindling an old flame. I was happy that the two protagonists didn’t have the insecurities that some of the earlier characters in this series did, and although Swifte’s reason for breaking it off was kinda weak; it’s BIGTIME, and that means it’s supposed to be silly, so he gets a pass.
This was the first time that I’ve read a CHARLEY DAVIDSON novel, so I was a little worried that the story just wouldn’t be thReviewed by: Rabid Reads.
This was the first time that I’ve read a CHARLEY DAVIDSON novel, so I was a little worried that the story just wouldn’t be the same without Lorelei King’s narration, and yes I did miss her sultry voice (audiobook’s been pre-ordered!), but I regret nothing. EIGHTH GRAVE AFTER DARK was the installment that I’ve been craving since Darynda Jones began laying her trail of breadcrumbs in FIRST GRAVE ON THE RIGHT. We get answers to oh so many questions, to the point that I’ll be hitting play on my iPhone the moment it shows up because one pass wasn’t nearly enough.
Lately this series has been on my ‘easy listening’ playlist thanks to it’s snarky humour, scorching romance, and the fact that it’s, for the most part, mindless entertainment. Well, that all changes with this latest addition; Charley’s working a case—from the confines of a convent no less—and her latest problematic spooks aren’t stalking her in order to cross over. Oh, and she’s eight months preggo. AND, the prophesy is not even close to being done with her yet. I typed up a list of must-remember events, and I have sixteen bullet points. SIXTEEN!
I found that the author waited a touch too long to fill readers in on what’s what; it seemed like she saved every single reveal for this installment, and as much as I loved finally getting to open Pandora’s Box, it was a bit much to take in all at once. Practically every page had an ah-ha moment, but as gratifying as the discoveries were, this novel wasn’t nearly as funny as some of the previous volumes, so while it was a strong addition in many respects, it didn’t deliver in all areas. Still, the Mr. Wong mystery was solved, that’s all that matters.
Jones definitely hit all of the right notes where my favourite characters were concerned. Cookie & Ubie are sneaking up on Charley & Reyes, and I’m really diggin’ Osh too. I even started to like Denise, Davidson’s witch of a stepmom, which was weird, but I’m so over her now. I was however disappointed that there’s still drama between the lead couple; they persist on doing stuff behind each other’s backs. I mean, it’s looking like their kid might be Earth’s only hope, so maybe they should get their act together because the fate of humanity quite possibly hangs in the balance. Just a thought.
EIGHTH GRAVE AFTER DARK was a critical book in the CHARLEY DAVIDSON series, and despite my minor quibbles, I will be downloading the audio on Tuesday, and spending the next nine hours with Darynda Jones and Lorelei King for a repeat performance!...more
I was drawn to the demon summoning aspect of this series because of its uniqueness within the Paranormal genre, and I also never miss an installment oI was drawn to the demon summoning aspect of this series because of its uniqueness within the Paranormal genre, and I also never miss an installment of Diana Rowland's WHITE TRASH ZOMBIES, so I knew that I'd make my way to KARA GILLIAN eventually. This story was way more serious than my previous experiences with this author's writing, but it was extra sexy as well which helped to even it out. At this point in time, I'm picking Ryan over Rhyzkahl, although neither has proven themselves yet, therefore things could go either way on the romance front. I liked Liv Anderson's narration, and have already purchased the second audiobook. ...more
I've been enjoying this series thus far, but this installment really brought it! The porn star murder mystery had barrel-of-laughs written all over itI've been enjoying this series thus far, but this installment really brought it! The porn star murder mystery had barrel-of-laughs written all over it, doubly so with Harry Dresden on the case. BLOOD RITES put a lot of the characters' roles into perspective; Murphy tries being a vigilante on for size, Ebenezar is not what he seems, and Thomas—I did NOT see that one coming. This book was a turning point for THE DRESDEN FILES, and... PUPPIES! ...more
The romance progressed entirely too quickly for an Urban Fantasy series that's up to nine installments. I expected to wait a good long while, and I waThe romance progressed entirely too quickly for an Urban Fantasy series that's up to nine installments. I expected to wait a good long while, and I was totally ok with that, and then *BOOM* L-word. I'm still enjoying the characters, and story arc, but Rylee/O'Shea's relationship might push me to quit. It all comes down to RAISING INNOCENCE. Full review to follow....more
The ALPHA GIRL series, and I have had our ups & downs; I was worried that this magic driven installment might feel out ofReviewed by: Rabid Reads.
The ALPHA GIRL series, and I have had our ups & downs; I was worried that this magic driven installment might feel out of place amidst Aileen Erin’s werewolves, and that postponing Tessa & Dastien’s full moon ceremony (again) in favour of giving a secondary character their HEA was a mistake. BRUJA proved me wrong on both counts. Lucas single-handedly solved my first concern, and Claudia did the rest.
I liked that the author waited a bit before hightailing it to Peru. She set the stage for the why of De Santos’ trip with a brief recap, and some new information which did wonders for my opinion of this book’s protagonist because she didn’t blindly accept Muraco’s wild goose chase of a quest. The story did lack Peruvian authenticity though, so the setting change was barely noticeable unfortunately.
Claudia has been a useful ally in the witches vs. werewolves war, and after three volumes as a sidekick it was time for her to step outside of her comfort zone. I enjoyed witnessing her transformation from one of Luciana’s minions to future leader of the rebel coven. Her internal monologue exhibited the most growth, but by the conclusion of this tale it was apparent that Claudia was no longer a protégé.
There seemed to be a bit of a love triangle emerging until Erin finished painting her ugly picture of Matt, De Santos’ betrothed, after that unpleasantness he was hastily taken off the menu. The heroine’s connection with Mr. July was impossible to miss, as were the not so subtle furry bits. The outcome was easy to predict, although admittedly the shortage of romantic drama only made the plot stronger.
BRUJA was a quaint witch-y dalliance, but I’m ready for more werewolves!...more
Chick with a sword on the cover. A werewolf sidekick. A $0.99 price tag. By a Canadian author—SOLD. One of my favourite UrbanReviewed by: Rabid Reads
✓Chick with a sword on the cover. ✓A werewolf sidekick. ✓A $0.99 price tag. ✓By a Canadian author—SOLD. One of my favourite Urban Fantasy series was discovered the same way, so I decided to go for it. PRICELESS did not disappoint with its colourful secondary characters, unique slant on the typical P.I. spiel, and a heroine with boatloads of untapped gifts. I enjoyed my first trip down Shannon Mayer’s rabbit hole mine shaft, and I will for sure be one-clicking IMMUNE in the near future (YAY! It’s on sale too).
This novel had several paranormal elements that I’ve seen before such as the Tracker talent, and an Arcane division within the FBI angle, along with a few new-to-me spins including creative shifter limitations, and Rylee’s Immune ability. The author straight away sets to work weaving together an attractive tale of supes, magical rules, and plot threads. This was definitely a lively book, but the heavy influx of information, and extensive cast debuts were a good fit for the pacing, and added to this story’s curve appeal.
Rylee was my kind of heroine, in that she already has a knack for blades, hockey player fight moves, and has been developing her powers for several years. I love a burgeoning protagonist, but sometimes it’s a relief to walk into a series with a lead that’s already got their shit together. No doubt, Adamson still has much to learn, however she has a sturdy foundation to build upon, so it will be interesting to see how her personality, and skill level evolves from here. I’m hoping that Mayer will rev up the humour as the installments get further along too.
Every strong female protagonist needs an able-bodied man to back her up, and although O’Shea didn’t immediately fit those shoes, his character growth began shortly after his first entrance, and didn’t let-up until the cliff hanger ending. He has charm; I’ll give him that, with his excited grins over finding himself knee deep in otherworldly chaos, and his foresight to practice swordsmanship. Alex was a hit with his Golden Retriever-esque qualities, and flair for lightening up even the most deadly situation. Adversely, Milly has some atoning to do.
PRICELESS was (hopefully) the start of a beautiful RYLEE ADAMSON relationship....more
Going in, I knew that this audiobook was probably going to be a letdown given how the reviews were stacking up, but I got itReviewed by: Rabid Reads.
Going in, I knew that this audiobook was probably going to be a letdown given how the reviews were stacking up, but I got it as a daily deal, so no big. The blurb is misleading with its “groundbreaking modern fantasy series” because Sophie Jordan wrote a very similar story back in 2010 with FIRELIGHT. Those points aside, Julie Kagawa has been on my radar for a while, and I love dragons. Overall, I did enjoy TALON from a Contemporary Young Adult Romance standpoint even though it was super predictable, and not overly avant-garde.
The love triangle was a given; book 1 focused on the ‘forbidden boy’, and if the author stays true to the YA course, 2 will be about Ember’s dragon’s mate, and the conclusion will be her making the inevitable choice. Oh wait, there are five volumes planned, so expect a few filler installments in-between. Still, I liked Garret. My #1 gripe with this novel was the absence of dragons. TALON (the organization) is all about assimilation, and the author fixated on that; there were a total of four shapeshifts, and two of them happened in tandem at the end.
I enjoyed the alternating POVs because they allowed listeners to come to their own conclusions about each of the characters, and went a long way towards establishing their back stories. Ember’s on her way to being a hellraiser with her defiant nature, and relentless quest for the truth. The plot did have some noticeable holes in it though like for instance TALON’s pathetic attempts at hiding their sleepers. Dead parents, recent transplants, and draconic names were major red flags, and made it almost too easy for St. George to track them down.
The narration was this audio’s strongest suit with three seasoned performers; all were new to me, but that didn’t stop me from being dazzled by their deliveries. As the lead, Caitlin Davies captured the heroine’s teenaged voice to perfection; my only criticism of her was her pronunciation of ‘room.’ It was quite noticeable because the word appears repeatedly, and she didn’t enunciate the second O. MacLeod Andrews was a pivotal factor in me being pro-Garret early on, and Chris Patton’s role was minor, so I won’t weigh-in on his narration just yet.
TALON didn’t soar, but it didn’t crash & burn either—typical YA. ~ 3.5 Stars...more
My reading horizons consist of Paranormal, Paranormal, and more Paranormal. So, when The Bookaholic Cat fervently recommendedReviewed by: Rabid Reads
My reading horizons consist of Paranormal, Paranormal, and more Paranormal. So, when The Bookaholic Cat fervently recommended this SciFi audiobook to me, I was skeptical. However, past experience has taught me not to ignore my fellow bloggers, and that served me well once again because THE MARTIAN was outstanding! This genre isn’t my forte, and Math was always my weakest subject in school, but pair them with Andy Weir’s writing & R.C. Bray’s narration, and soon you too will be endorsing this title with zeal.
This story is told via a series of log entries from Mark Watney’s POV, with intermittent JPL/NASA, Hermes, etc narratives. It was funny, dire, hopeful, scientific, and so much more. The protagonist makes good use of his mechanical engineering & botanist background which lead to a lot of technical jargon that even laymen like me could appreciate. The hero’s fight for survival was one that every human can relate to, and his ability to laugh in the face of adversity was oftentimes the difference between life & death.
You’d think that a novel that’s restricted to a habitat, a rover, and a deserted planet as locales, and one character all by his lonesome would get tedious in the long run, but if you’re Weir that’s all you need. Mark Watney made this book for me with his sarcastic sense of humour, and MacGyver-like ingenuity. His last name really should have been Murphy because anything that can go wrong, will—at the worst possible moment. From magic duct tape, to pondering the accurateness of Aquaman, to solving terminal velocity à la Iron Man; you will fall in love with Watney.
I can’t say with utmost certainty, but I’m 99.9% positive that the calculations would have bored me to tears if it weren’t for R.C. Bray’s enthusiastic performance. The protagonist celebrates victories with yays, and setbacks with boos, and those emotions came through loud and clear in Bray’s tone. Saving Mark eventually became a world-wide effort, and as a result, the narrator had to cycle through tons of accents including Hindu, German & Chinese, and he aced them all. Unless you’re a whiz, I’d recommend listening over reading to most.
THE MARTIAN was passed on to me, and now it’s my turn to do the same for you. You’re welcome....more
It took me a full year to build up the courage to listen to HEIR TO THE SHADOWS after being thoroughly traumatized by book 1.Reviewed by: Rabid Reads.
It took me a full year to build up the courage to listen to HEIR TO THE SHADOWS after being thoroughly traumatized by book 1. I really love Anne Bishop’s THE OTHERS series, and I’m a firm believer in second chances when it comes to authors, so after twelve months of mental preparation, here we go again. It’s with a massive sigh of relief that I write this review because A) no nightmares & B) this installment was a vast improvement upon the previous one. It was slow paced, and was more about the dialogue than the action, but we’re definitely getting somewhere.
This novel concentrated on Jaenelle’s road to recovery; after two years in a coma, she must battle her way back to sanity, and then take the necessary steps in order to become the Queen she was meant to be. The story followed Angelline from the age of twelve to twenty, so it’s best to minimize the number of sessions spent reading this book in order to avoid confusing the timeline. Lots of character development takes place, both where the protagonist was concerned as well as the secondaries, and all of the chess pieces were brought to the fore, including the kindred—wolves, unicorns & dragons!
Even though THE BLACK JEWELS series now has nine volumes under its wing, it was originally a trilogy, so this installment felt like it was the limbo between books 1 & 3 which explains its lack of major intrigue. By the end of this novel everything was in place for an earth-shaking payoff, except the love interest. Daemon Sadi was off in cuckoo land, but other than that I was able to better appreciate Bishop’s Dark Fantasy because this story was minus the truly heinous tidbits; however that doesn’t mean that the author dons kid gloves. Every character is still fair game.
John Sharian’s narration didn’t creep me out nearly as much as it did in DAUGHTER OF THE BLOOD. I still question the producer’s decision to go with a male voice for this series, but Angelline’s entourage is a sausage fest, so with the more disturbing aspects behind us, he’s growing on me. Sharian’s ominous tone actually worked to his advantage when he mimicked Jaenelle’s ‘midnight voice’, and I thought that he was reasonably adept at keeping the plethora of personas separate, although he does goof on occasion, and slips into his staple timbre when he shouldn’t.
HEIR TO THE SHADOWS was almost good. I’m eager for Anne Bishop to bring it home with QUEEN OF THE DARKNESS. ~ 3.5 stars...more
Let me just start out by saying that this book wasn’t what I expected. Dark Urban Fantasy—most definitely, but the title andReviewed by: Rabid Reads.
Let me just start out by saying that this book wasn’t what I expected. Dark Urban Fantasy—most definitely, but the title and blurb led me to believe that there would also be a generous helping of humour, or snark which there wasn’t. The male protagonist lives in a trailer park, and he & Robin eat a meal at a diner; however that’s pretty much the full extent of this story’s ghetto vibe. Lilith Saintcrow’s writing style was heavy on the Fae court speak, and the plot was rather humdrum until the halfway mark. Still, I enjoyed it once the ball got rolling.
The author’s prose was the largest hurdle for me having not read anything by her before. I wasn’t deterred by the Fae politics or by the formal discourse because both go hand-in-hand whenever the Sidhe are involved. My problem was with the amount of it; there was no break in the flowery words whether it was the dialogue, descriptions, or mortal exchanges. It made the plot threads difficult to spot because I was too busy trying to figure out what the heck Saintcrow was trying to convey, and the fact that nothing really happened until page 160 made it worse.
The remainder of my review will focus on what happened after the pre-excitement hump considering that it was the second half that merited the four star rating. The novel was actually shockingly uncomplicated once all of the key characters, and their motivations were identified. The twists were carried out nicely, and the author nailed the ambiguity of Fae word play, as well as their creepy / magical natures. The Fair Folk were pretty standard as far as their mythology goes, so once the language was no longer an obstacle, I was able to find my bearings.
I liked Jeremy; he had an interesting back story, and there was way more to him than his construction worker facade. Former Armormaster, and ex-lover of Summer who gave it all up for a mortal woman, and refuses to serve any court (anti-hero FTW!). Robin did everything right; she set off to save a human boy, mostly had Gallow’s back, and she’s powerful, but I just couldn’t bring myself to her. Also, I’m hoping the romance doesn’t pan out because, well… spoiler. Puck Goodfellow was the quasiessential mischievous Fae, and the catalyst of many things I suspect. Yup, I will be reading book 2.
TRAILER PARK FAE required a bit of patience, but I’m glad that I stuck it out....more
Another miss. The couple fought so much that it made their eventual HEA a tough sell, we didn't learn nearly enough about Cole's ice fey for my likingAnother miss. The couple fought so much that it made their eventual HEA a tough sell, we didn't learn nearly enough about Cole's ice fey for my liking, and the sex scenes were in a lot of ways a repeat of DARK NEEDS AT NIGHT'S EDGE with the no touchie angle—which was my least fav installment BTW. And, that epilogue was just c-h-e-e-s-y. Full review to follow....more
After struggling with Will Patton’s narration for the past two installments, I decided to switch to reading in the hopes thatReviewed by: Rabid Reads.
After struggling with Will Patton’s narration for the past two installments, I decided to switch to reading in the hopes that my opinion of this series would improve because as ill-suited as he’s been for the Raven Boys’ POVs, I simply couldn’t handle the idea of him as the voice of Blue. Sadly, the swap-out did very little to boost my original assessment of THE RAVEN CYCLE; I felt that this was the weakest book so far. New threads get added, and yet it seemed as though the story went nowhere, and there were a couple of things that just didn’t jive.
BLUE LILY, LILY BLUE was primarily about Gansey & Blue; their maturing feelings for each other, Sargent’s inability to come to terms with her mother’s absence & what the end of high school means for her group of friends, and of course, Richard’s never-ending quest for Glendower. Stiefvater flies Mr. Malory, Gansey’s mentor, in from the UK to help the kids with research, but his presence seemed kinda unnecessary, and what the heck was up with the dog? This novel’s purpose was obviously to set-up the final installment, or more to the point, filler.
Ronan & Adam were off doing their own thing trying to frame Greenmantle for crimes that he didn’t commit by working some Graywaren mojo because they have no evidence of the real reason why they want him behind bars. The villain was a bit of an oddball, but it was his wife, Piper, who raised my hackles. She goes from complaining about missing her book club to finding a key Glendower clue in under a week. I mean… who is this woman? How did she even know about the Welsh King? And, more importantly, how did she stumble upon such a huge discovery?
After Noah’s shocking revelation in THE RAVEN BOYS he seems to have become almost irrelevant which begs the question—why bother with him in the first place?—and I didn’t really get how Gwenllian was pertinent to the plot either. Adam showed the most forward mouvement by facing his social status hang-ups, and acknowledging that accepting help doesn’t necessarily equate to charity. One of the secondaries dies which again, came off as pointless. The only thing that’s keeping me going is the feeling that a light bulb will go on after I read THE RAVEN KING.
BLUE LILY, LILY BLUE was an exercise in futility, like a dog chasing its tail....more
After three hair-raising installments of wondering whether the fourth Dean brother was alive, or not, we finally have our ansReviewed by: Rabid Reads.
After three hair-raising installments of wondering whether the fourth Dean brother was alive, or not, we finally have our answer, however their reunion might be short lived because D-Day is upon them. This series has been one gigantic adrenaline rush, and Rebecca Zanetti doesn’t hold back in TOTAL SURRENDER; in fact, she severs the brakes, and pushes listeners off the largest hill she can find with an evil grin plastered on her face. This audiobook didn’t just get an emotional reaction out of me, but a physical one too, and Karen White led the charge with her narration.
This series is a great example of nature vs. nurture in that all of the SIN BROTHERS were test tube babies, and received near identical upbringings, and yet they couldn’t be more different. Jory has the highest IQ ever recorded, and Piper is a gifted hacker, so I totally geeked-out over these two protagonists. I also loved that the author filled in the remainder of the gaps by sharing minor details like how the siblings got their last name, and major ones such as who shot the youngest Dean. You might want to strap on a helmet because the blindsides just keep on coming!
I’ve heard of close calls, but apparently down to the wire just didn’t cut it for Zanetti because she left no room for error when the deadline on the kill chips was up. Thanks for the gray hairs! I went into this installment thinking that it was the last one, however when Chance & co. showed up, I began to have doubts. I was excited at the prospect of more volumes, although the idea of the Commander living to fight another day brought on a fit of rage. Ultimately, I was satisfied on both fronts, and even more so by the closing chapters, along with each brother’s mini HEA.
The blame for my newly found heart condition doesn’t rest solely on the author’s shoulders because even though she brought the grenade, it was Karen White who pulled the pin with her narration. There were so many voices in this audiobook because all of the characters were in it, and yet the reader conquered every single one of them as though it were child’s play. My only beef with this novel was the overuse of the word ‘intense'; I’m tempted to buy the eBook edition so that I can run a search, and tally it up. Nevertheless, Zanite and Romantic Suspense go together like chocolate & strawberries!
Sticking with the food theme, TOTAL SURRENDER was the cherry on top of the SIN BROTHERS sundae....more
I spent months waffling on this title; the reviews weren’t great, the paperback edition got bumped to an April release dateReviewing by: Rabid Reads.
I spent months waffling on this title; the reviews weren’t great, the paperback edition got bumped to an April release date (5 months after the eBook), and although Nicole Peeler’s JANE TRUE series apparently started off strong, the last few installments left readers dropping like flies. Now, I haven’t checked out her other novels, but the three previous points were enough to make me leery of JINN AND JUICE’S pretty cover, and catchy name. The story was fast paced, and the author went all out with her mythology, however there were LOTS of characters and the romance crossed a line that was kinda iffy.
Lyla’s POV was disappointing considering she’s supposedly nearly a millennia old. I found that she was rather immature as far as protagonists go given her massive life span, and she also lacked drive. She had a “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” outlook that consisted of belly dancing at a burlesque club, and hiding in Pittsburgh with the other misfit toys. Peeler does explain Lyla’s reasoning; she doesn’t want to get Bound again, and the other jinni have it in for her, but still… she was too green for someone so old, and powerful. I felt like her potential was wasted.
I had zero quibbles with the world. Peeler really dug deep when it came to setting the tone of this series with her definitions of Purebloods & Immunda, Deep Magic, Bound vs. unBound, and multiple plot threads. There was at least a baker’s dozen of different supes in this book which came with advantages, and downsides. In the positive column, you were never bored, but alternatively, very little was elaborated on besides the jinni & Magi, and there were SO many characters that it was difficult to identify potential secondaries from background noise. The only names I remembered were Lyla & Oz.
The romance seemed to be the main bone of contention with readers, and I have to agree. I fully anticipated the Master / Slave relationship; however the feelings that developed between them progressed entirely too fast given their dynamics. Oz strolls into town and Binds Lyla one week before her thousand years of servitude are up because he’s convinced that his mission outweighs her freedom. He feels bad about it, and ultimately keeps his promises when all is said, and done, but is there really such a thing as a good oppressor?? It was all a little too dysfunctional for me.
JINN AND JUICE tried overly hard to be funny, and not enough to be badass. ~3.5 Stars...more
Whenever I just want to sit back, and enjoy a quality audiobook, I turn to Molly Harper & Amanda Ronconi. My last listeniReviewed by: Rabid Reads.
Whenever I just want to sit back, and enjoy a quality audiobook, I turn to Molly Harper & Amanda Ronconi. My last listening session with them was in June 2014, so clearly I was in desperate need of a fix because I finished THE DANGERS OF DATING A REBOUND VAMPIRE in one day. As soon as I clicked ‘play’ my smile was locked into place thanks to the fun quotes from The Office After Dark: A Guide to Maintaining a Safe, Productive Vampire Workplace—this installment’s fictional how-to manual—and there it stayed.
We first met Gigi in I’M DREAMING OF AN UNDEAD CHRISTMAS, and it was nice to finally get the continuation of her story, and find out who her mysterious vampire stalker was. She’s the last human in the Jameson / Scanlon circle, so I was curious to see whether she’d stay that way, or join the rest of the HALF-MOON HOLLOW supes. She’s also the youngest POV to date which lightened Harper’s already breezy writing style even more, and made her character’s sometimes questionable decisions and go-with-the-flow attitude easier to grasp which is always beneficial in insta-love type situations.
The plot wasn’t a brain buster, but still kept me on my toes, and I really enjoyed seeing Ophelia get kicked off her high horse. My favourite secondary, Dick Cheney, didn’t have as much dialogue as I would have liked, although Nik was a pseudo Russian version of him which was an acceptable substitution. It was entertaining watching Iris in all of her overprotective big sister splendor, and how their group of friends banded together when Gigi’s life was in danger. Plus, this author’s latest batch of pop culture references were real winners: GAME OF THRONES & THE WALKING DEAD.
Amanda Ronconi pulled out all the stops once again with her exuberance, accents, voices, and sound effects. She’s a pro at pinning down the emotions that each scene calls for, and always gives her 100% in every performance. Harper’s sense of humour is increased tenfold by Ronconi’s narration, and because of that I ALWAYS opt to listen over reading. I can’t recommend Harconi enough; they are the benchmark by which I measure all Chick-Lit Paranormal Romance and a MUST for all audiobook junkies.
THE DANGERS OF DATING A REBOUND VAMPIRE was like riding a killer water slide, except the whee lasted for 9+ hours....more
KARMA GIRL – 4/5 Cute chick lit PNR à la superhero where every city has at least one do-gooder, and one ubervillain. The charaReviewed by: Rabid Reads.
KARMA GIRL – 4/5 Cute chick lit PNR à la superhero where every city has at least one do-gooder, and one ubervillain. The characters were wacky, the story light-hearted, and no thinking cap was required to figure out the plot. I put most of the pieces together well before Jennifer Estep laid everything out, however it wasn’t overly difficult considering the first letter of each hero’s secret identity was the same as their masked self. The author was a little too liberal with her definition of karma, but she consistently went over-the-top in all of the aspects of this book, so it matched the overall theme, and made for an entertaining read.
HOT MAMA – 4/5 This installment was the complete opposite of the previous one; Carmen Cole was a reluctant heroine while as Fiona Fine was an “I’m the shit”, and fabulous, and powerful, and *insert endless glowing adjectives here*. This novel was even more off-the-wall than book 1 with boundless puns, crazy antics, and an irresistible second shot at love romance. I’d expected that Fiera’s large-than-life personality would get on my nerves, however given her back story; I couldn’t help but like her in the end. The twists were once again easy to predict as was the outcome, nevertheless fun was had by all.
JINX – 3/5 I had my doubts as to how a protagonist who hates superheroes was going to fit into this series, and unfortunately Bella’s wishy-washy ways drove me absolutely bonkers. It was easy to understand the reasons behind Bulluci’s unwillingness to give Debonair and their relationship a chance, but she burned so hot & and cold that her constant mood swings gave me whiplash. I enjoyed reading about her powers, and watching them go haywire was definitely good for a laugh, however the comedic relief wasn’t enough to save this book from its negative Nellie heroine.
A KARMA GIRL CHRISTMAS – 3.5/5 This short was a play on the classic GRINCH tale with two D-list ubervillains stealing all of the toys that were slated to go to underprivileged children during the holidays in an attempt to boost their infamy. Their evil plans get foiled by Karma Girl & Lulu, all of Bigtime’s superheroes chip in to help get the gifts back to Oodles o’ Stuff before the big event, Christmas cheer is restored, and Sam makes it home in the nick of time to drink eggnog with his wife. It was your typical, cheesy, holiday novella; I wish there’d been a touch more romance, but otherwise it was darling.
NIGHTINGALE – 4.5/5 Abby Appleby was one of the more enjoyable female leads in this boxed set which is weird coming from me considering that her negative monologue was similar to Bella’s, whom I did not care for—at all. I think I connected with her more because of her type-A personality, and I liked that both her, and the Talon’s identities were a mystery to each other. Also, she’s just such a giving character, always putting others’ needs before her own, that it was impossible not to root for Abby’s HEA. I do so love an underdog, and these two protagonists fit that description to a T. My fave installment of the series!...more
The arch nemesis match-up was a cool idea, and I liked that Kresley Cole jumped straight away into Rydstrom’s story after CadReviewed by: Rabid Reads.
The arch nemesis match-up was a cool idea, and I liked that Kresley Cole jumped straight away into Rydstrom’s story after Cadeon’s because Woede’s about-face towards the end of book 6 left me dying to know the cause. This installment was probably one of the hottest thus far, but that actually worked against KISS OF A DEMON KING; the couple felt as though they were an island unto themselves instead of part of the Lore, and the quest for the crown was downgraded to a minor concern. This novel was second to last for me in the IMMORTALS AFTER DARK series.
I don’t do well with plots that revolve around one setting, and granted this tale had more than that; however the bulk of the events unfolded either in Sabine’s dungeon, or Rydstrom’s demon camp, and it grew stale after a while. And, not just because of the limited scope, but also due to the monotony of the action. Sex is inherently redundant as is torture—cut, thrust, repeat—so after a couple of chapters of this, déjà vu set in. It also isolated the characters from the rest of the IAD universe, and as a result this audio felt disconnected from the whole.
Villains can be as captivating as protagonists, so Sabine’s evilness wasn’t the trait that turned me off from her plight. I liked that she stayed true to her course, and that finding love didn’t change her basic nature. Rothkalina never denied that she was a liar, a thief, and a master manipulator, but when the gloves came off there was nothing extra beneath the surface. Her sole redeeming quality was her devotion to her sister, Lanthe, otherwise there was absolutely no depth to her personage. She was just an empty shell of discontent.
I’ve been admiring Rydstrom from afar for several installments now, and was looking forward to seeing the Demon King in all of his raging glory. Imagine my disappointment when he spent the majority of this audiobook chained to a bed! He was all bark, and no bite; the only place that his furor came through was in Robert Petkoff’s narration which hasn’t wavered in its awesomeness since IAD #1. This was the second so-so volume that was much improved by his performance, and I’m grateful for his steadfastness at times like this when Cole’s writing slips.
KISS OF A DEMON KING will please BDSM listeners, but frustrate substance seekers. ~3.5 stars...more
This book’s blurb had fun written all over it, and there’s nothing sexier than a werewolf with handcuffs, so Loribelle Hunt mReviewed by: Rabid Reads.
This book’s blurb had fun written all over it, and there’s nothing sexier than a werewolf with handcuffs, so Loribelle Hunt made an easy sale with THE SOUTHERN BELLE’S GUIDE TO WITCHCRAFT. I surmised that this story would be light on intrigue, and heavy on passion, but it was actually fully loaded with both which really worked in SOUTHERN MAGIC’s favour because what originally started out as an lazy Sunday fling now has the potential of being a lengthy affair. The Burke witches have pizazz!
Paranormal Romances routinely only incorporate enough world-building to put the plot into context, thus I was delightfully amazed by the amount of detail that the author opted to include. This series’ universe was lush and vast; from its affluence of supes, to the lore encompassing the Earthly & Terran plains, to the deeply rooted history of the Burke family. Hunt also made future installments hugely appealing with her simple yet efficient set-up, and by getting readers to rally to her secondary characters.
Witches are an acquired taste that I haven’t managed to completely adopt, however Scarlet and her relatives are definitely on the right track. It helped that she wasn’t merely a magic practitioner, but also a capable Guardian, and an all-around stand-up human being. One would have to be in order to take in her deceased sister / cheating ex-husband’s children. The extremes Burke goes to in order defend her town, and kin were enough to make anyone love her, including this witch-y naysayer.
The romance was understated, yet impossible to overlook; for one, the chief of police presented an imposing, but tasty figure, and two, they never had sex in a bed! The hood of a car scored big points, however first place goes to the lunchtime hook-up they had on his desk AT the station. It’s good to be alpha! I liked that these scenes didn’t drag on as they are wont to do in this genre, although Scarlet’s chain insta-O’s were a little too rapid fire to be convincing, but that’s par for the course in PNR.
THE SOUTHERN BELLE’S GUIDE TO WITCHCRAFT was deep fried fiction at its finest. ~4.5 Stars...more
I wasn't sold on the direction the love thread was taking, but after listening to this installment, I'm ALL IN. Same goes for the Knights; their holieI wasn't sold on the direction the love thread was taking, but after listening to this installment, I'm ALL IN. Same goes for the Knights; their holier-than-thou attitude would have tested my patience eventually, however in DEATH MASKS they demonstrate that they aren't 100% black or white either. The Archive was some freaky deaky sh*t which leads me to believe that Butcher has only dipped his big toe in this universe's scope. The punches kept on coming in book 5, and with so many secondary plots intertwining, the story left me reeling in the best kind of way. I don't know if I'll be able to focus on anything else until BLOOD RITES is on my iPhone, locked & loaded. Goodbye weekend! ~ 4.5 stars...more