I was really surprised by this book - in a good way. Having the central character go through 459 years of personal baggage doesn't sound like an excitI was really surprised by this book - in a good way. Having the central character go through 459 years of personal baggage doesn't sound like an exciting read, but I quickly became engrossed in it and was sad to reach the end of the book. I'll definitely be buying the next entry in the series.
I originally picked this for my teenage sister who constantly 'borrows' my Kelley Armstrong, Charlaine Harris and Laurell K. Hamilton books, as well as worshipping those sparkly vamps aka the Twilight [shudder in horror] series. Anyway, if you like your fiction to contain a blend of good old fashioned drama, the supernatural and romance, mixed with a dollop of mystery like the mentioned authors you'll enjoy EVERLASTING NIGHT. Author Cate Tiernan blends these different genres together seamlessly, I've re-read this book several times now and haven't found anything major that I can fault with the story line or the author's writing style.
Young adult books - naturally - have leading characters experiencing emotions that their target audience are going through; something that most adult readers have no desire to re-live, but EVERLASTING LIFE isn't an obvious YA entry - despite being a first person narrative by a eternal teenager. The author knows how balance between connecting with teens and not making adults revisit their hormone driven younger years, so Nastasya - the story is told from her POV - is self aware when it comes to those angsty moments, and often counteracts them with a biting wit that doesn't seem forced.
To make the main storyline more interesting there is the additional story arch featuring - of course - a potential love interest for Nastasya [I'm not a big romance reader, but I adore the chemistry going on here] and a whodunit sub-plot, as well as the beginnings of two larger subplots involving Nastasya's old friends searching for her, as well as her hidden past, so these all promise to add more action to the following books in this series.
Another pleasant surprise was how the author handled the whole immortal [aka aefrelyffen] issue; The immortals aren't truly immortal, they are simply very slow-to-age humans, who heal very quickly [so chopping their heads off is the only way to go]. There's no sparkling, no superhuman strength and/or speed and her magical abilities don't show up in a wham-bam-let's-finish-the-story-as-quickly-as-poss ible way. It's all - in a sense - realistic. Nastasya is an otherwise normal woman, who has only started slowly learning about her extra abilities by the end of the book.
As I mentioned above I didn't have any major issues with EVERLASTING NIGHT, but my sole niggle is with the whole whodunit sub-plot. Simply put the culprit is obvious - I twigged who it was straightaway. However this isn't part of the main storyline and I can't see it playing a big part in the next entries, so it doesn't effect my enjoyment of the book.
DARKNESS FALLS focuses on Nastasya's fears and how she chooses to deal with this emotion; she has strong magick powers, but doesn't know anything abouDARKNESS FALLS focuses on Nastasya's fears and how she chooses to deal with this emotion; she has strong magick powers, but doesn't know anything about them, her belief that she is too tainted by her colourful and long past to save, her attraction to Reyn feels wrong considering their shared history and scares her and how when she tries to help others she always seems to end up hurting them.
I really enjoyed how we get to learn more about the other people at River's Edge and we also learn more about why a few of them needed guidance and support to escape their own dark beginnings. Leader River always came of as whiter then white in the previous book, so it was really nice to learn something about her past here. It makes her character seem realistic to have her halo removed.
We also get a deeper look into Nastasya's past, which doesn't sound exciting but actually gives a fascinating insight into her often abrupt attitude and questionable decisions. A standout for me are the parts of the story that deal with her [mortal] son - very moving. I really enjoyed the first book but never found Nastasya likable in it, but now I can fully see where she's coming from and has lived though, so my opinion of her has completely changed. If you didn't wholly like Nastasya last time either, you will too after reading this.
Despite getting to explore the backgrounds of several characters, there is also more action in this book, compared to the first one. Another improvement in this book is that the ending is stronger then that of the first book and is less predictable.
The story gives hints as to what the final book will be about, but the main plot-line both solidifies and is resolved in this one book, so we're not being left hanging for a year whilst we wait for the final part.
Finally; the writing style has subtly changed. Book one was obviously geared towards the young adult crowd, but DARKNESS FALLS seems to be casting a larger net. Nastasya looks like a teenager, but she doesn't talk and act like one so much now. There is also some moderate swearing and a bit of blood and gore - we're not talking Hellraiser here, but it makes the sense of tension, confusion, stress and danger seem real.
I have one niggle; I loved how the first book in the trilogy (Immortal Beloved) portrayed the immortals in a realistic light; they were shown as regular people who just happen to heal quickly and age extremely slowly once they reach puberty, not as mystical beings with extra speed, strength etc. So I was a bit disappointed by how often the subject of their magick is brought up. And - naturally - Nastasya is special and has stronger abilities then normal.
Also - Nastasya doesn't know much about her magick, so therefore we don't either, so it's a bit confusing now that we're meant to have a understanding of how it works. In short I find myself glossing over mentions of magick in the book....more
Mixed emotions to this one: on one hand it is humorous and has a nicely rounded out list of characters. But, on the other hand, the main plotline [misMixed emotions to this one: on one hand it is humorous and has a nicely rounded out list of characters. But, on the other hand, the main plotline [missing vampires] gets pushed to the sidelines in order to explore the characters. Also: I found the heroine to be bitchy and quick to anger and, rather then being funny, I just found her attitude irritating and childish.
I doubt that I'll bother reading any more installments in this series....more
I wasn't bored reading this and all of the characters were well-rounded and bought something to the story. In a lot of books like this the heroine annI wasn't bored reading this and all of the characters were well-rounded and bought something to the story. In a lot of books like this the heroine annoys me, but Sadie is likable and sensible.
I've already said this a few times, but I'm still saddened by the quality decline in the Southern Vampire Mysteries [aka True Blood] book series. So wI've already said this a few times, but I'm still saddened by the quality decline in the Southern Vampire Mysteries [aka True Blood] book series. So when I read the description for SUNRISE IN A GARDEN OF LOVE AND EVIL I thought that the hole in my heart about to be filled in, with a new hit of vampires, sex and murder. But was it?
Lets start with the biggest annoyance; Ophelia is bitchy and tantrum-prone, even though the other characters constantly tell me what a kind-hearted and gentle, peace loving delight she is. She's the most hideous character I've come across in recent memory, so I actually began skimming the scenes which featured her. I'm not exaggerating, these are the first words that she says to the hero:
"Who the the hell are you?"
Rude, but not so bad. But now let me set the scene; this takes place minutes after she calls the police to report that someone has just vandalised her garden, and he is the officer who turns up in response. And she is also brandishing a shotgun at him. Then just a few pages later she's merrily accusing him of being corrupt for no reason, ordering him to do certain tasks whilst he processes the scene, then sending him away because she can't be bothered to answer simple questions. Again; he is a police officer, responding to a call that SHE placed, in order to help her.
Another big problem for me is that a big deal is made over how much Ophelia hates being a vampire. She hasn't drank blood from a human for over two years, because of a mysterious Past Trauma. But blood-drinking isn't actually the worst thing about being a vampire for her. No, the biggest trauma for her is actually that she has a strong allure, to help draw in her dinner. I could understand how that may not be pleasant to draw desire from every Tom, Dick and Harry - what if they were married, a childhood friend, a distant relative or something like that?
The thing that infuriates me is that she knows full well that if she drank human blood on occasion this allure she has would weaken, so I just don't understand why she is forever moping and whining about how horrible it is for her. The solution for her problem is right there and is easy for her to do, so there is no real point for spending a big part of the book moaning.
As for the hero; Gideon doesn't actually act like a cop should, so I can't take him or his blackmail and murder investigation seriously. For instance he discusses the ongoing murder case in public with the heroine and her criminal friends, just because they demand answers to questions that they have no right asking in the first place. And when a women frets that her missing husband is dead, he just shrugs and more-or-less tells her "not my case, not my problem".
OK, so he doesn't seem professional to me, but personality wise he seems alright - apart from the way he allows Ophelia to treat him and butt her nose in places it doesn't belong.
The book was originally released by Lovespell, so the romantic angle is meant to be the book's biggest strength, but it is actually the biggest weakness for me; I just don't believe that Gideon is in love with Ophelia. She shows no respect for him or his job, so what is there to attract him to her? She has this allure, so gives him an erection the first time he meets her, so it's happy ever after?
The author has failed to show me anything that suggests Ophelia evens likes Gideon, and everything suggests that Gideon is thinking with his penis when it comes to his feelings for Ophelia.
The mystery sub-plot should be enjoyable, except that the reasons that people are being blackmailed are really tame. If we'd got to read some juicy secrets then maybe I'd have been a little more invested in the characters, but no. (view spoiler)[ one victim actually just packs her children in her car and runs away, abandoning her home, because the blackmailer has a photo of her breast feeding her [infant] son. She thinks this counts as child porn, so thinks the authorities will take her children away from her. Seriously. (hide spoiler)]
Plus; the identity of the blackmailer becomes very much obvious from the first murder onwards. Yes - it's a romance book, so the development of that plot-line is the author's first priority. But still, does the author think readers won't notice the big giveaway? She mustn't think much of her readers observational skills. (view spoiler)[ someone publicly arranges to meet Ophelia, promising information about the blackmailer, but then turns up dead before he can spill the beans. Who could have known about their upcoming meeting and bean-spilling session? How about the ONLY other person in the shop at the time? Maybe, just maybe, he had something to do with shutting the loose lipped employee up... (hide spoiler)]
The secondary characters should be interesting, but most of them haven't been fleshed out; the criminal underworld members are the worst. The author just calls them underworld members, throws in a couple of rumours that are making the rounds about them, then informs the readers that these rumours are false. So why are they 'criminal underworld members'? Are they drug-dealers, hitmen, thieves, con artists, or do they share MP3s online?
Just an observation; are the residents of Bayou Gavette meant to be aware that vampires exist? The quote from SPNSMB [The Society For Protection Of Not-So-Mystical Beings] at the beginning of the book implies that no, they're not - so then why are there so many underground clubs and bars catering to vamps and sexual deviance in such a small, bible-belt town?
Also; no-one seems shocked or scared when they do find themselves face to face with a vampire, it's just like "Yeah, cool. Whatever".
Good points? The author's take on vampirism is new to me; it is the result of a genetic mutation, that reveals itself during puberty. There is no super-speed or strength, no burning in sunlight, no shape-shifting, bout from the fangs everything is quite realistic. And because they don't have special abilities, readers don't assume that the vamps are going to merrily breeze though obstacles.
Othella's vampiric sister Violet is one of the more developed characters. I like that she accepts what she is and makes it work for her. I'd much rather read a book about Violet's life, rather then the one we got.
However, the standout character for me is Zelda, Ophelia's 13 year niece, who is waiting to see if she has inherited the vampire gene. She is much more mature then any of the other characters and doesn't spend the book worrying about things that she has no power over; the most interesting plot thread to follow is whether she is a vampire of wholly human. ["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"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
[I didn't realise that this is the 3rd book in a series when I read it, but I found it easy to follow. I believe the earlier books focus on different[I didn't realise that this is the 3rd book in a series when I read it, but I found it easy to follow. I believe the earlier books focus on different characters, so this makes a good stand alone story]
The story opens on the arranged marriage between Creed - the 900 year old leader of a vampire tribe - and Blu - a rare female werewolf and the daughter of a pack alpha. The wedding takes place as a show of trust and unity between the vamps and weres and is somehow meant to stop the threat of war between the two...
This is Mills and Boon, so of course our newlyweds fall in love in next to no time, but both Blu's father and the vampires are plotting to annihilate the other race, so our lovebirds are stuck right in the center of the fast approaching war.
The main problem that I had with this book is Blu. She is so whiny, as well as annoyingly spoilt and reckless. She is called a princess and she isn't a member of royalty, so that tells you everything you need to know. Honestly she is meant to be a heroine and I want her to die a gory death. Creed makes a better hero; He thinks before he acts, he is thoughtful, he is intelligent, he puts others before himself and he is honest, so pairing him with Blu just highlights how flawed she is.
Speaking of the 'war' - shouldn't it be a major part of the story? I thought so [based on the blurb and the first few pages], but it's mainly only spoke about and referenced, until the final quarter of the book and by then I was already bored and struggling to finish it.
One more complaint; the cheesy way our happy couple talk to each other; After the first couple of hundred pages of "our love will end this war", the book became a real chore to finish.
Good points? Most of the sex scenes are hot - at least when our dear beloveds are not talking.
I usually devour any books featuring vampires in two days at the most, but HER VAMPIRE HUSBAND took me other a week. The character flaws, language and the sometimes dragging plot put me to sleep. There were some good ideas, but really the whole vampire versus werewolf thing has been done to death.
*** Amazon UK offers the Kindle edition of HER VAMPIRE HUSBAND for free. The paperback edition is now out of print ***...more
... The four archangels - Michael, Gabriel, Uriel and Azrael - fell to earth 2000 years ago, to search for the archesses - soul mates - that the Old M... The four archangels - Michael, Gabriel, Uriel and Azrael - fell to earth 2000 years ago, to search for the archesses - soul mates - that the Old Mam [God?] created for them as a reward for their loyalty. Fellow archangel Samael - AKA The Dark Prince - follows the brothers down to earth, as he is jealous that they have archesses and, so, he intends to take them for himself.
This is the first book in THE LOST ANGELS series, where we follow each brother as they continue the search for their other halves...
Uriel [the angel of vengeance] has had difficulty finding his place in the human world and is currently living as actor Christopher Daniels, as he continues 'trying on' different lives trying to find his perfect fit. The second he sees Eleanore he realises that she is his archesse, so all is good. Isn't it?
Eleanore Granger has had strange powers her whole life; telekinesis, healing and ability to control the weather. Her parents have tried to hide her abilities and protect her, but some shadowy organisation has been hunting her since she was little. So as she has been trying to fade into the background for most of her life she is not at all impressed by Christopher's high-profile life.
With the shadowy organisation and Samael both closing in on her, can Uriel convince her that he really is a immortal archangel? And how will she react to the revelation that she was created just for him?
AVENGER'S ANGEL is a paranormal romance, which action and a urban setting. The main storyline isn't anything new, but it is well written, the main characters aren't whiny and annoying and the mythical elements that dress everything up are interesting and well researched.
I also like how the other three brothers are also in the story so we can get a feel about how their characters will be like in future books, but their inclusion doesn't feel forced. For me - although Michael and Gabriel seem like their stories will be strong enough - Azrael [The Angel of Death] seems to be the most interesting character and I can't wait for his book. ...more
To be blunt; I'm disappointed. I loved the first entry for THE BEAUTIFUL DAMNED, but the writing style is completely different and I couldn't get intoTo be blunt; I'm disappointed. I loved the first entry for THE BEAUTIFUL DAMNED, but the writing style is completely different and I couldn't get into it fully. 90% of the book is comprised of the heroine's scattered thoughts and observations, so it didn't work for me. Also: I didn't buy the away she falls in love in the hero immediately - before she'd spoke to him.....more
The basic premise for LAST RITES is that Lucy - privileged princess turned poor and unpopular after her attorney father is jailed for tax[4.5/5 stars]
The basic premise for LAST RITES is that Lucy - privileged princess turned poor and unpopular after her attorney father is jailed for tax evasion and immigrant slave trafficking - lines herself up for an arranged marriage into a wealthy family, in exchange for a car and a credit card, plus a cash payout in the future.
Unfortunately, things soon take a turn for the worse. Her fake fiancee Gabriel is a werewolf and the reason that he needs Lucy to pose as his wife in the first place is because his real lover is a 600 year old vampire, and the two races are forbidden to mate. This would be the point that most girls would run away, but Lucy sees her opportunity and just asks for more money to continue with the scheme.
However; spending time with the handsome, charming and rich Gabriel, unsurprisingly leads to Lucy falling for him. But who does Gabriel want and how will his real girlfriend react when she finds out that Lucy might not be faking her feelings for her future husband?
So we now have one guy + two girls = someone is going to end up getting their heart ripped out. You know that this isn't going to end well...
Lets start with the main characters, as they carry the book. The star of the piece is eighteen year old Lucy Hart. Lucy is so vain, spiteful and materialistic - so I shouldn't like her, but I do. In most other romance lead books we get the same old saint-like heroines, so it was refreshing [and fun] to see someone who is looking out for number one. So if, like me, you preferred Cordelia Chase to Buffy, LAST RITES is a must read.
When you actually scratch beneath the surface you'll discover that she is actually intelligent, self-reliant and honest, she's just not afraid to admit that she's mainly interested in looking after herself. Sure she wants the money for designer clothes and a nice car, but she's also thinking about college tuition and starting her own business after that, so she isn't the airhead that she first appears to be.
Of course, her strong personality does have it's downsides; I wouldn't say that she is necessarily clueless in LAST RITES, but she is so focused on the supposed outcome of the arranged marriage, and how it will help her regain her desired lifestyle, that she doesn't stop to look around and consider the situation she's walking into. And whilst Lucy is tough and can see through other people, I think that, despite of what she thinks, she actually becomes overlooks most of Gabriel's faults and how he is perhaps manipulating her.
A far less likable character for me is Gabriel. Lucy, for all her faults, is a somewhat naive teenager, with no real understanding of what she's getting herself into, but Gabriel is older [I place him in his mid twenties] and a WEREWOLF, so I find it a bit creepy that he's happy to arrange a marriage with a only-just-turned-legal human girl, who is still in high school and has never had a serious relationship. Then to happily put that girl into the middle of a werewolf pack AND into the cross-hairs of a slightly psychotic vampire and her family? Marriage material, I don't think.
Maybe if I was actually in the intended age bracket I would see Gabriel in a more favourable light; as the handsome and intelligent hero, helping Lucy rise up from the depths she has sunk to. But, based on this book alone, I just see a creep who knowingly chooses a young, inexperienced girl and puts her in harms way for his own end. I also think that he knows she has developed feelings for him and using that angle to his advantage.
Darla is the third point in this love triangle and I'm still not sure what I think of her; on one hand she has to watch the man she loves play happy families and plan a marriage with another woman, who his family seem to like, so I have no problem seeing why she hurts and becomes jealous.
But, on the other hand, the whole arranged marriage scheme is actually her idea in the first place, whilst Gabriel needed a lot of convincing to take part. yet she gets all crazy jealous over the scheme when he agrees to do it and directs most of her anger towards Lucy. I'd understand Darla's view more if she was angry at her actual boyfriend, who is apparently so ashamed of her that he'd rather marry someone else then be seen with her, but she, like Lucy, almost seems blind to Gabriel's faults...
Hmm, am I reading too much into this, or is Gabriel using both women?
LAST RITES mainly focuses on Lucy and Gabriel as they meet and reach an agreement for their upcoming marriage, but we are still introduced to many secondary characters. There are too many to name here, but one of my favourites is Micah - Gabriel's brother. Darla's brother Vin is intriguing too, but we haven't really 'met' him yet, but I'm sure he'll be one to watch in future.
I can see the multiple love interest plot-line looming, but for once I'm not rolling my eyes and already dreading it, as I personally just can't see the appeal of Gabriel and so I wouldn't mind him getting shoved aside for a better 'match'.
This is the first book in a series and as such a lot of time is spent on Lucy's background and putting the fake-marriage scheme into motion, whereas other people and plot threads aren't shown in much detail. On one hand I do like the depth the author has gone to in order to give the set-up an air of realism, but it means that she has had to speed other parts of the book up, in order to fit everything and everyone else in. I don't want to spoil anything here, but there is one thing that will actually play an enormous part in the series [and is/was mentioned in the blurb] that is barely touched upon in this book.
The 'sped-up' feel to parts of the story is my only real issue. LAST RITES is self published, so there are a few grammatical and spelling errors in the edition I have, but I believe the author has now corrected these. Even if she has not yet done so, there was nothing major enough to disrupt anyone from the story.
LAST RITES is a very enjoyable read, but it isn't perfect yet, but the series as a whole does have a lot of potential. I'm very much looking forward to the sequel [Blood Rites], to see where the events that happened here take Lucy next.
Blood Rites will hopefully be realised around Christmas 2012....more
City girl Jessica is on a camping trip in Alaska with her boyfriend, but after splitting up from him in a bar, native Flint steps in to take her to AnCity girl Jessica is on a camping trip in Alaska with her boyfriend, but after splitting up from him in a bar, native Flint steps in to take her to Anchorage so that she doesn't miss her flight home to Washington.
From here on out it's case of read-it-before-many-times blah, blah, blah...
CLAIMED is a short romantic fantasy, so yeah, obviously the story is going to be focused on the, ahem, romantic angle and the plot is rather basic and predictable, with the whole city life versus native life and damsel in distress angle, but it is still an enjoyable tea-break read.
The main criticism I have is how the two main characters talk to each other; Jessica in particular. At times she just comes off as whiny and bitchy, switches from one man to another way too easily and do you really tell strangers in bars how much you earn and ask them how well off they are? [the answer should be no].
As for Flint the whole referring to partners as mates and "men should provide for the women" and "the woman gives the man children" alpha male stuff turns me off - it's why I approach werewolf stories with caution...
Also some of the sex scenes include such gems as "what are you waiting for, take me, gosh dammit", "I haven't showered in five days" and "I want to eat you more!"...
Finally, the spelling and grammar is fine for the most part, but I just had to find some way to include this following line in my review; "I felt silly, like I was a girl losing her virginity for the first time...". Wait - it grows back?! ...more