I read Nalini Singh’s previous books in the Guild Hunter series last year, and I was fascinated by the creatures that were introduced in our world – a...moreI read Nalini Singh’s previous books in the Guild Hunter series last year, and I was fascinated by the creatures that were introduced in our world – angels, archangels and vampires living alongside humans. That – and Raphael’s characterization – were enough to make me fall on my knees for this series. But I was not happy when I saw that the fourth book, Archangel’s Blade, was going to be about Dmitri. I wanted so badly to know more about Raphael’s childhood, and Elena’s life before she met Raphael.
Archangel’s Blade deliciously surprised me. Dmitri’s personality and Honor’s trauma immediately pulled me into the book, and Nalini Singh, - as always – managed to throw a series of issues and villains at her main characters that, together, kept me hooked. I can’t honestly say how much I loved the romance – how the impossibility of it made it all that much more enjoyable. Dmitri was haunted, for a thousand years, by his wife’s death, and ever since, hasn’t been able to love and feel – it’s like he doesn’t even have a soul. And Honor, on the other hand, was haunted by two awful months of her life, in which she was kept in a basement, being abused, beaten, and hurt by a bunch of vampires.
And then you ask me, how one of the most dangerous, cruel, and sexy vampires of New York managed to fall in love with a broken hunter who, since they first met, was terrified by him? Hah, that’s the magic in Nalini Singh’s books. There’s a reason I love this series so much. The author can create a romance so complex and well-developed that, even with these weird circumstances, feels real at the end. Dmitri’s heart growing softer and softer throughout the chapters and Honor’s fear of everything with fangs being slowly replaced by acceptance over what happened to her can only lead to a 5-star book.
Really, I wanted to give this book 5 stars. But to say I enjoyed it as much as Raphael and Elena’s story would be make me a fat little liar. The ending was not so great. I felt like there should be something else, like the big fight at the end wasn’t all that good. To me, the resolution of Honor’s problem and Dmitri’s as well was too much of a coincidence, and it didn’t feel real enough. Honor didn’t bleed, Dmitri didn’t even sweat, and after finding out something pretty damn incredible – pardon my language – Dmitri acted like it didn’t surprise him much.
(view spoiler)[ Ah, really? So you find out that your wife is reincarnated, and you’re all like “Been there, done that”? Please. (hide spoiler)]
Overall, Archangel’s Blade was a really great book. But I think the series is losing its focus. The next book – or so I heard – is going to be about Jason, the black-winged angel. Seriously, who cares about him? I want more Elena and Raphael, I want to see what’s going to happen with Raphael’s mother, and how his change is going to affect his relationship with his consort. Jason just isn’t important to me, and to say that I’m going to take a long time to pick up his book is an understatement. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
The Black Dagger Brotherhood is - was - one of my favorite urban fantasy series. The first three books were wonderful, the characters were engaging, t...moreThe Black Dagger Brotherhood is - was - one of my favorite urban fantasy series. The first three books were wonderful, the characters were engaging, the romance fierce, and J.R. Ward knew how to write a fantastic story. But then Lover Revealed came, and with it, a deep sense of hatred for the characters grew on me. I didn't like Butch, and I hated Marissa. The fifth book was better, but not as good as the first ones. And so on and on. The quality of this series has gone downhill ever since, and Lover Unleashed was no exception.
One of the most disturbing things I've realized as I was reading this book is that there is no plot whatsoever. J.R. Ward creates a lot of issues for the characters to deal with, we go along with them throughout the book, and that's it. The focus of this novel isn't on the characters and in the story, and that creates a huge problem: after a couple of chapters, it gets boring. So incredibly boring. I wanted some action, some kickass scenes and more development when it came to the romance. The author, however, focused this novel on a lot of characters, and I was lost. I didn't know who the main character was anymore.
I'm not saying Lover Unleashed is awful, and I'm not going to continue with the series. If anything, I'm more determined to prove that J.R. Ward is a good author, and that BDB can be fantastic even after 10 books. However, I'm disappointed with Lover Unleashed. The romance didn't hold my attention, Vishous and Jane did, and that's not good. I'm still reading Lover Reborn. Tohr is one of my favorite characters, and I wouldn't miss his book for anything.
Aaaah, this was such an amazing read. And a confusing one, that is. I took my time to understand the world created by Sandy Williams. Not that I have...moreAaaah, this was such an amazing read. And a confusing one, that is. I took my time to understand the world created by Sandy Williams. Not that I have no experience with fae (hello, Eugenie Markham), but the setting was rather different from what I'm used to read. But when it finally clicked into my brain, I enjoyed it so much.
First, there's McKenzie. Do you know that protagonist that actually thinks before acting? That's Mckenzie. She's one of the best characters ever. She doesn't fight, doesn't have superpowers except for the shadow-reading skills, but even then, she's not afraid to get a little dirty while doing what needs to be done. McKenzie has personality -- being in love with the sword-master Kyol doesn't affect her judgment. She's not a weak girl that depends on the guy she loves. Every time she pushed her feelings aside to deal with most important things, I wanted to jump into the pages and hug her.
Then, there's the love triangle. I'm not a fan of those. In fact, I hate to see two guys fall all over one girl, who's not even able to make a choice. But the love triangle that Sandy Williams introduced in The Shadow Reader made me wanna bite my nails and scream "I'M CONFUSED". Both Arien and Kyol are honorable fae, from different sides of a war. Kyol, the sword-master who has always loved and protected McKenzie, and Arien, who abducted her, and tried so hard to get under her skin.
I admit that at first I was 100% Kyol. But with each comment, grin, look, and action, Arien made my heart soften. The same thing happened with McKenzie, and she fought every spark that his touch ignited in her. The dialogues between them are so funny to read -- and there was a point when I actually started to encourage Arien. Crazy o.O
The writing is another positive point in this review. I despise narration written in the present time, and I realize I'm loving the book when this doesn't bother me. That's what happened in The Shadow Reader. I was halfway through the book when I thought, "Wait. Is this book written in the present?". The writing is so good I didn't notice it.
The shadow reader concept is really interesting, as well. I found it fascinating the way McKenzie was able to draw and pinpoint an exact location. Another thing I enjoyed is how our loyalty shifts as the story goes on. At first, I was all but screaming at Kyol to just kill the rebels and be done with it. After chapter 20 or so, I wanted to kill the king. The author really did make this change of loyalty in the characters subtle, the way it should be, dragging the readers along with McKenzie.
I just think the ending could've been worked out with a little more details. But long story short: this is the way most urban-fantasy books should be written. I can't find a single thing I didn't like about The Shadow Reader. This book is just that good.
Awesome, to say the least. I love the way Cat and Bones' relationship is stable in this novel, though they still have to work some things out. Realist...moreAwesome, to say the least. I love the way Cat and Bones' relationship is stable in this novel, though they still have to work some things out. Realistic, but not boring. Also, Heinrich Kramer is the second worst villain in the series, only behind Gregor. (less)
It's no secret how much I love this series. You know that kind of setting that immediately draws you in, a main character that's simply fantastic, and...moreIt's no secret how much I love this series. You know that kind of setting that immediately draws you in, a main character that's simply fantastic, and non-stop action scenes? Yeah, that's what Elemental Assassin means to me. Through each book, we came to know a bit more of Gin Blanco, the Deveraux sisters, Finn, and the other characters. Since Jennifer Estep just sold 3 more books, I was hesitant to read By a Thread. I was afraid it would be like Anita Blake. Thank God it was nothing of the sort.
After killing Mab, Gin finally tries to find some piece. But even with her arch-enemy dead, things haven't gotten easier for Gin. Everyone wants to get a taste of what the Spider is capable of, and fights and duels in the back of the Pork Pit's a common thing now. When Finn suggests a vacation, Gin takes the opportunity. But, just like the synopsis said, when you deal with blood in a daily basis, even a week off town can't keep you out of trouble.
Bria's friend is being harassed by Dekes, a vampire, constantly. He's basically Mab Monroe with a suit and fangs, so Gin offers her services to deal with him. With her friends' help, Gin finds out Mab wasn't the hardest target she'd ever face. Dekes is more powerful than the Spider ever imagined. Since book 2, I was always afraid of Mab. The woman was Devil on Earth. She was evil and twisted, but Dekes is no better. Seriously, Jennifer Estep has a way with villains. Dekes freaked me out.
I don't even need to say how heart-racing the action scenes were. Just like in the previous books, Gin's not afraid to get dirty and do whatever is necessary to survive. She's such a strong character. I've never seen anyone like her, and that's saying a lot. Gin's reputation as the Spider is not a joke, if she has to cut a guy's throat or decapitate him, so be it. She gets the job done at all costs, but even then, she doesn't lose her humanity. She's an assassin, but that doesn't mean she isn't human.
However, as much as I love Gin's soft side, I was bothered by her selflessness when it came to Bria. Fine, she's your sister, you'll always love her. I get that, I have a sister myself... but it was wrong for Gin to accept whatever Bria told her. There was a certain scene in which Bria was ashamed of Gin, because she was an assassin. Gin just bowed her head and acknowledged the pain without confronting Bria. This bothered me immeasurably. It's not okay to be ashamed of your sister, or blame her because you were tortured by Mab. She almost died trying to save Bria's life, and yet, the detective just continued to throw evil stares at Gin. Ungrateful much?
This brings me to my next point: Owen. He cares so much about Gin, loves her so much, that the fact that she's an assassin doesn't concern him. He accepts her, bloody parts and all, which is one of the best aspects of the series. Their relationship is heart-warming. Owen would do anything to protect Gin, but if she's about to fight nine guys and tell him "Go, I'll meet you outside", he goes. He trusts her to make her own decisions. I love that about him. No, risk that. I love everything about him. I was so glad Owen was there for Gin when Donovan came back into her life. Compared to Owen, Donovan is trash. He's a hypocrite, selfish, and know-it-all. Also, the way Jennifer Estep resolved the "unfinished business" between Gin and Donovan was freaking awesome. That's all I'll say.
By a Thread is the perfect sequel to Spider's Revenge. There's so much going on, and that still need to be dealt with, and I can't wait to read Widow's Web. August can't get here fast enough. If you haven't read the series yet, or never heard of it, please do. You have no idea of what you're missing.
Note: This review can also be found on my blog.(less)
If you haven't read this series yet, you should. You have no idea what you're missing. Molly Harper's writing style and characters captivated me since...moreIf you haven't read this series yet, you should. You have no idea what you're missing. Molly Harper's writing style and characters captivated me since book one, and after almost two years, I still enjoy myself while reading her books. Nice Girls Don't Bite their Neighbors is no exception. Jane has grown so much, changed so much throughout the series, and yet, she continues to be the same hilarious, crazy librarian we met so many adventures ago.
This time, Jane is marrying Gabriel, but of course, trouble is following them very closely. Being able to get married in an old fashioned way may not possible after all if they don't find out who wants to kill Gabriel and use Jane as a message. I loved Gabriel even more in this book. His protective nature was always charming, but now, he's doing everything he can to be with Jane forever. This couple works fantastically while investigating, and, as always, secondary characters like Dick and Jolene are just as entertaining as Jane.
Molly Harper delivered us yet another great addition to this series. In a way, I'm sad that it's almost over. At the same time, however, I'm happy about the way things played out in the end. It was a worthy ending to a series I loved so much. Ah, well. I'll miss Jane, Gabriel and the gang, but I'll still have the short stories.
Note: This quick review can also be found on my blog.(less)
First of all, let me tell you that there will be spoilers of the previous books in the series, and heavy spoilers of Shadow Heir. I’m sorry, but I jus...moreFirst of all, let me tell you that there will be spoilers of the previous books in the series, and heavy spoilers of Shadow Heir. I’m sorry, but I just have to comment about the ending and why I was so frustrated.
I can’t believe I’m giving 2 stars to one of my favorite series (and favorite author). Richelle Mead’s previous series, Georgina Kincaid, and Vampire Academy, were fantastic, but just like this one, the final book let me down. The only difference, though, is the level of disappointment. I was so angry, frustrated and sad at the end of this book that I almost cried.
Eugenie Markham, after 4 books and plenty of adventures, fights, etc etc, still managed to act like a teenager sometimes. And yes, I get it that Richelle Mead wanted her main character to feel and act like a human, and have flaws, but to me, she just looked immature. Most of the time, I don’t really bother with this particular characteristic of the main character, but oh, this got on my nerves as the book progressed.
To be quite honest, I didn’t notice much development in the characters throughout the series except, maybe, Jasmine and Dorian. They were awesome, especially in Shadow Heir. Dorian simply made his feelings and wishes pretty clear, putting aside his greed for power. I loved him for it.
But one huge disappointment is the plot itself. Or maybe I should ask, what plot? Shadow Heir didn’t feel like a final book. First, there’s a villain that didn’t add anything to the story, let alone help conclude it. It was obvious who this villain was since the beginning, and their whole journey to stop this evil, evil character was just unnecessary. There were so many other things that Richelle Mead could’ve explored in Shadow Heir, and a new issue with the seasons in the Otherworld is not one of them. The bigger things, like the Storm King’s prophecy and consequences in the human world, and her own fate regarding whether she’d choose one world or the other, was simply put aside.
Yes, Eugenie’s pregnancy did play a big role, and I enjoyed it, mostly because Eugenie’s feelings about her children were so raw and real, it was obvious the author was putting her own thoughts there, since she just had a baby. But after that was resolved, everything was so rushed I felt lost. If Shadow Heir were two books instead of one (and I know that at first, it was supposed to be), things could’ve get worked out a lot better. There were so many things thrown at us just to finish the series and wrap everything up, that it all felt convenient.
I was particularly anxious to see how the Storm King’s prophecy would be dealt with. And, big surprise, there was a hell of a twist in the end, that just solved the problem for Eugenie. But that’s not all. Another big discovery in the very end, and the paternity problem was also resolved. A little convenient, it seemed.
Like I said, there was so much in this book going on, and in the end, I had the feeling nothing had changed at all. Prophecy, a new villain, the babies, personal issues, the romance developing, character growth… it’s too much for just, what, 350 pages? And when I finished Shadow Heir, I just sat there, on my bed, at 3 o’clock in the morning, thinking, what?
By all of this, my frustration is perfectly justified, right?
No, it’s not, because the part that actually bothered me and drove me over to the edge was the ending. Even now, I can feel my blood boiling in anger. How, oh GOD, did my favorite series came down to this? One of the big discoveries in the end left me so happy I almost began to cry in joy. And then, in the next chapter, I couldn’t believe what I was reading.
Eugenie, my dear, you find out that the bloody fox was actually lying about being the father of your children, and reveal that, actually, Dorian is Ivy and Isaac’s dad, and you decide not to tell him that? You decide to hide this from him, because, according to you, it’s safer for the kids if they don’t live in the Otherworld?
Oh, please, please, don’t do this. This decision, this particular and peculiar decision, angered me so much I almost stopped reading right there. Not two chapters ago, Eugenie was thinking about how her relationship with Dorian could be rebuilt, how she wanted to trust him, and base the aforementioned relationship on love and trust… and then she does this? It’s hypocrite, it’s ridiculous!
First of all, she made this decision alone, because she thought that telling Dorian he had kids would result in a very protective father trying to stay with his children in the Otherworld. And, even though Dorian would lift a city and do anything to protect Ivy and Isaac, it’d still be dangerous for them. Of course he would want to protect his own children! This is the man whose biggest dream is being a father and, let’s not forget, with Eugenie at his side. And yet, she hides this from him?
Again I say, hypocrite! This is the world’s worst decision ever made. It couldn’t disappoint me more. I remember I almost burst in tears when that old woman revealed Eugenie’s pregnancy in Dorian’s castle, and Dorian couldn’t even breathe, thinking her children was his. And how, over and over, he said to her that it would mean the world to him if Eugenie was the mother of his children. And then, in Shadow Heir, Eugenie just decides to hide it from him?
Dorian deserved to know. He deserved to have these kids, to be a father, because he gave everything to Eugenie, and in return, she kept Ivy and Isaac from him. After everything he endured for her, after their talk about trust and love, she still made this decision alone. Dorian had the right to know, he had the right to decide along with her if Ivy and Isaac were better off in the Otherworld or in the human world. And let me be honest here: With two monarchs as powerful as Dorian and Eugenie, and three kingdoms, I think Ivy and Isaac would have a lot of protection. And oh, it would've been so beautiful, so heart-warming if Dorian knew. Can you imagine his reaction to this revelation? Knowing that his biggest dream has become true? I can, and again, I want to cry for this not happening. (view spoiler)[ Just like Dimitri's reunion with his family didn't happen in Last Sacrifice, and how we didn't get to know a single detail about Georgina's wedding. (hide spoiler)]
The fact that one of my favorite characters ever came down to this broke my heart, along with the fact that Dorian was kept in the dark, and the ones who deserved to die, or at least get their asses kicked (ahem, the fox and the bitchy queen) just went away, without a single hair out of place.
Richelle Mead has disappointed and frustrated me before. But never like this. And I’ve never felt this awful after reading one of her novels. Even now, I want to cry and scream my frustration. I just can’t believe Dark Swan’s final book was such a disappointment. I think a lot of people will love this book, but I just didn't. All I have now is the hope that Bloodlines won’t be as messed up as this series. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
When I first began reading Chicagoland Vampires, I was bored by the politics and the complex world-building that Chloe Neill had created. I almost dro...moreWhen I first began reading Chicagoland Vampires, I was bored by the politics and the complex world-building that Chloe Neill had created. I almost dropped it altogether, but I was using her descriptive writing to train my English, and my translation skills, so I just swallowed my urge to throw the entire series away, and kept reading it. And now, two years later, this is one of my favorite vampire series of all times, especially because of the politics and the complex world-building - although some kick-ass scenes and a breath-taking blond Master vampire do win a few brownie points.
I feel like Chloe Neill is unraveling something unique with her series. In it, vampires burn in the sun, but they also have a knack for using a katana, they're magical creatures that feel all the currents of power around them, and their eyes silver when they're feeling certain emotions. It's a familiar yet completely disconcerting territory to explore, and Chloe Neill has done a terrific job at it - she's still doing a terrific job at it, since this is her sixth book and things are only improving. Merit has grown into her skin, gone from a geeky graduate student to a vampire Sentinel who's willing do to just about anything to protect her House and her city. She's at the same time a reliable friend and a kick-ass vampire chick ready to swing a katana when danger arises. I simply love Merit, and the way she has evolved as the series went on.
Now that I'm talking about, you know, my love for the characters, I wouldn't be able to write this review without talking about Ethan, the breath-taking blond Master vampire that I mentioned before. If you have read this series, and invested as much effort into it as I have, you're probably as happy as I am about Ethan being in this book. And at a certain extent, my expectations were met and I was fan-girling over the fact that he's back the whole time.. but at the same time, I was disappointed with a few things. Ethan has changed, and I wasn't ready for it. One second he's this intense guy bursting into Tate's office and being staked by Celina... and then, he's this open-minded guy who's not afraid to speak his mind, and being forward with Merit about his feelings. Well, this troubled me. I couldn't create a connection between these two sides of him, and I was afraid that Chloe Neill had changed Ethan in a permanent way. I'm glad to say this didn't happen, and once again I saw the Ethan that I loved and got so frustrated with. My friends, I can definitely say: Ethan Sullivan is back. Prepare yourselves: It's a tough, yet exciting, ride.
When talking about the plot and the villain, I was surprised by how much Biting Cold was about Tate. The summary talks about an evil chasing Merit across Nebraska, yes, but I thought that maybe that was just a secondary plot arch, and Mallory stealing the Malificium would've been the real issue. However, Mallory's betrayal is the least of Merit's concerns, now that Seth Tate has finally showed his true form. I loved this twist, and though it was a little weird to know what Tate was, it made sense. I was satisfied by the way things turned out, especially when it came to the "final" battle.
Overall, Biting Cold was everything I thought it would be, and more. Chloe Neill is a fantastic writer, and now I can only wonder why I was so worried about this book in the first place. Chicagoland Vampires is still placed firmly on my "favorite" list, and with everything that has happened in this installment, it's obvious things are going to be even crazier in Chicago now. I can't wait to see more of Merit and Ethan.This series is just getting better and better!