This was a quick and enjoyable read, although I wouldn't label it as being high quality. There was great chemistry between the main characters, and I...moreThis was a quick and enjoyable read, although I wouldn't label it as being high quality. There was great chemistry between the main characters, and I enjoyed how the narration switched between their points of view. It was like a paranormal he-said/she-said.
My primary problem with the story is that the characters were unbelievable. Wroth is vampiric warlord who falls desperately in love with Myst pretty much at first sight. He spends the entire book chasing her and fawning all over her. I wanted to scream at him, "Where's your spine warlord? Have some pride." Myst is a kick-ass valkyrie who also falls in love pretty much at first sight, but she feels the need to run away from Wroth over and over for various reasons. Not exactly an original story line.
In addition to the lacking of originality, I was also annoyed by the fact that, at one minute, Myst runs from Wroth because he wants to possess her--instead of letting her choose to be with him. And then the next minute, she adores him because he takes control of her. And there's never any recognition that this is a complete one-eighty. Which is it, woman?
But I enjoyed it nonetheless. It was a fun, light read with good sex scenes.(less)
Fire Baptized is an action-packed, sexy, murder mystery. There wasn't a moment in the book when I wasn't completely engaged. Lanore commanded my atten...moreFire Baptized is an action-packed, sexy, murder mystery. There wasn't a moment in the book when I wasn't completely engaged. Lanore commanded my attention.
The habitat is is a caged space where humans force supernaturals to live. Lanore is a Mixbreed, born of two different supernatural species. Like other Mixbreeds, she is an outcast among supernaturals, even within a city full of supernaturals cast out of the human world. As you can see from the cover art, Lanore's power is pyrokinesis. She creates and controls fire with her body.
The first chapter is one large action sequence, which will appeal to you action lovers out there. Personally, I would have preferred a little time to breathe, but some might say that breathing is a bit overrated.
Lanore witnesses a bloody murder committed by a supernatural killer. The bulk of the book is dedicated to Lanore's investigating the murder mystery. There are so many things that are fun about this book. It's an old-fashioned murder mystery with a new twist, and the primary investigator is a witty, fire-throwing rebel with two sexy guys close at her heels. Speaking of the guys, there are a couple of hot romantic moments in here, which definitely ups the fun the level yet another notch.
An exciting read, yes, but this book also touches some serious issues. There's the whole bloody murder thing and chopped up body parts. But there are also issues of equality among members of humanity (or . . . um, supernaturals). The world that Kenya has created is full and complex, where Purebloods rule and Mixies sit in the back of clubs and use Mixbreed-designated restrooms. I'm excited for the next book, to see what else will happen in this amazing world.
Read this book or Lanore will set you on fire. (You may have to read it to get that joke.)(less)
I've lost interest--mostly because the main character, Tish, has no mind of her own. She worries a lot in her head about not being in another relation...moreI've lost interest--mostly because the main character, Tish, has no mind of her own. She worries a lot in her head about not being in another relationship (after her divorce) where she is controlled. But she falls right into that with the alpha-male love interest, Criminy. She tells him what she wants, and he decides exactly how to accomplish that without her input. He says jump, and she jumps.
The primary problem with this dynamic is that most of the interesting stuff seems to be happening in Criminy's head. He creates a plan and then gives it to her in bits in pieces. I can't feel tension or excitement because I'm not in Criminy's head. And there's little going on in Tish's head, since she doesn't know what's going on until Criminiy tells her what's what.
As a result, the story ends up being very linear: They go to Point A. They go to Point B. They go to Point C. I can't possibly predict where they'll go next or get excited about it because Tish doesn't have a clue. And at the same time, there's zero mystery, because Criminy has all the answers. When a solution is needed, Criminy presents it. Voila!
To add insult to injury, I'm not at all attracted to Criminy, despite his being the primary love interest. First of all, he's bossy and controlling. Plus, I can't help but imagine him exactly like the guy on the cover, since his description is consistent with that. Although that is a sexy torso, the overall effect is not attractive to me. Kind of cheesy and creepy.
This is officially the first urban fantasy (or paranormal romance) book that had me in danger of crying. I read the ending...moreI really enjoyed this book!
This is officially the first urban fantasy (or paranormal romance) book that had me in danger of crying. I read the ending while sitting passenger-side during a four-hour road trip. I think if I had been alone, the tears would have actually rolled. As it was, my eyes watered and I tried my darned-est to hold back the tears as Cat made her final decisions in the book. All the while, I was trying not to look like I was about to bawl, so my husband wouldn't have to ask me what was wrong, and then I wouldn't have to say, "(view spoiler)[Cat has to leave her undead boyfriend, so that she can protect him and her mother. And I wish I could fix it all for them, because I just want those two crazy kids to make it work, because . . . THEY COMPLETE EACH OTHER. (hide spoiler)] Waah!" That would make me look pretty foolish, I think.
Halfway to the Grave was formulaic in a lot of ways. For example, we have the near-virgin woman and the much-experienced man who falls deeply in love with her and breaks down her emotional barriers. We have the vampire-killer who initially believes that all vampires are evil but eventually sees the error of her ways. We have the half-breed who doesn't know where she belongs in the world and fights too hard against her "evil" half. But despite the formula, I loved every minute of it.
The book was a lot fun, with lots of bloody action, sexy vampires, and sexual innuendo. The author managed to achieve the perfect ratio of character-development/touching scenes to action scenes. This book may have followed a formula in many respects, but "formulas" exist for a reason. Sometimes they work! And this author did a fine job making the formulas her own, by creating believable and engaging characters. (I just love Bones to pieces!) I bought it, hook, line, and sinker. I was never bored--not once.
I thought the ending was pretty great. The climax was a series of several beautifully choreographed action sequences, which I could visualize perfectly in my mind's eye. And it was clear to me that the author had put some thought into creating a bad-guy crime network that spanned both supernaturals and humans. I appreciated that. It took some of the cliche out of the book.
I am definitely looking forward to reading the second book in this series.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
I liked this book. But I didn't adore it, partly because the main character was not sufficiently developed, and also partly because the writing style...moreI liked this book. But I didn't adore it, partly because the main character was not sufficiently developed, and also partly because the writing style annoyed the stuffing out of me at times. Three stars.
Let's start with the action: The action was good, and there was plenty of it, ranging from personal disputes to failed burglaries to assassination attempts. The plot was spelled out nicely, and the book always had a clear direction. The amount and types of action gets five stars. This book certainly was not boring.
The characters were interesting, although the main character was probably the least interesting of all. At the end of the book, I understand the secondary character Jenks (who rocks, by the way) better than I understand Rachel Morgan, the protagonist. Rachel underestimates her abilities as a witch; she has some minor insecurities about her physical appearance; and she is scared of her partner and roommate, Ivy. Those are the only things I learned about Rachel based on her actions. The author told me many times that Rachel enjoys the chase of being a runner (i.e., a magical bounty hunter), but I saw no evidence of that throughout the book in her thoughts or actions. Never once did Rachel express any kind of excitement or positive reaction to being in an action-type situation, except to directly express that she liked it. Okay, if you say so; I'll have to take your word for it.
The two main secondary characters, Jenks and Ivy, were great additions to the book. Ivy is a gorgeous living vampire, who may be a little sexually attracted to Rachel. It was fun to watch Rachel work with Ivy, of whom Rachel is clearly terrified. And Jenks was continuously entertaining, with his ongoing quips and failure to take just about anything seriously. For those of you who do not know, Jenks is a 4-inch tall pixy. When Rachel turned herself into a mink for the first time, she was impressed at how completely hot Jenks was when they were close to the same size. I have decided that I will develop a shrink ray, so that I can hang out with Jenks. He is the awesome-ist.
A final note on characters before I change the subject: So Rachel and Nick are dating. And it is oh-so-cute when he puts his arm around her waist. But wait, what's that you say? This ISN'T a young adult book? Okay then . . . where's the freakin' sexual tension?! WHERE?! It ain't here; that's for sure.
My primary problem with this book lies with the author's odd descriptions and, in some instances, lack of descriptions. Some of the action sequences (and by action, I am referring to all movements and not necessarily just to fighting) were told kind of like freeze frames. The description gave bits of what was happening, but I didn't see a blending of movement from one position to the next. Some of the descriptions of magical beings or items are also incomplete. For example, I still don't know what a splat ball is, and Rachel was apparently almost killed by splat balls. And I still don't understand the difference between a ghoul and a living vampire. A ghoul has vampire-like abilities. But why does a ghoul have to be turned into a dead/undead vampire after death, while a living vampire does not? And the book repeatedly refers to something Ivy and other vampires do called "pulling an aura," which makes Ivy's eyes go all black and terrifies the bejesus out of Rachel. I have no idea what that is. I hope it's explained more fully in later books.
Furthermore, some of the descriptions contain really odd word usages and imagery. For example: "I spotted Keasley's slow moving shadow making its way across the dew-wet grass past the silent trees and bushes." Sounds ominous, right? Well, Keasley is a good guy (at least through this book, he is), and he just walked into a happy-joy-joy party. Why the ominous imagery? Why are we watching his shadow? And who cares that the trees and bushes are silent? They usually are, after all. Anyway, I found the descriptions distracting in many instances, and in many other instances, I was annoyed by the lack of description. Argh!
But I didn't hate the book, and I'll continue reading the series.(less)
Digital ARCs are available on Edelweiss, in case anyone is interested. I think I'll wait for the release date. I want to see what my GR buds have to s...moreDigital ARCs are available on Edelweiss, in case anyone is interested. I think I'll wait for the release date. I want to see what my GR buds have to say first.(less)
I had some likes and dislikes about this book, but overall I enjoyed it very much.
In urban fantasy, I generally expect to see supernatural being...moreI had some likes and dislikes about this book, but overall I enjoyed it very much.
In urban fantasy, I generally expect to see supernatural beings dropped into the world I know. In this case, what made it special was that the supernatural being were so wild. The Others weren't humans who happened to be supernatural. They didn't think like humans. They didn't follow human laws. I loved this about them.
For example, the Wolves had a difficult time maintaining their human forms at times, since the Wolf form was more natural to them. As a Wolf, when he let his guard down, Simon wanted to play games like chase and tug. This was a cute side of Simon and really emphasized his animalistic nature.
On the darker side of being a Wolf, Simon and his pack also had no trouble tearing human intruders apart and eating them. I loved that just when we were beginning to see Simon soften towards Meg, we see him asking one of his men to save him a human's heart to eat. This showed so clearly that Simon was not human, even if he could potentially have a relationship of some kind with Meg.
Mary Sue alert! Meg is a cassandra sangue, also known as a blood prophet. As a result of her upbringing as a blood prophet, she's also an innocent who has gaps in her knowledge about the real world. As she learned to operate independently, she'd often make choices that were at odds with others' expectations. We repeatedly get the same reactions to these choices over and over again: other people are initially angry or confused—and then they see how right and perfect Meg is after she explains herself. It got old. And I would have liked to have seen Meg make a bad choice at some point, since that's expected when learning a whole new world.
Occasionally, entire scenes were dedicated to someone's internal monologue. For example, during a Simon-POV scene, Simon may be travelling in a vehicle. Nothing actually happens during this scene except that Simon's internal monologue tells us what he's thinking, where he's going, and why. At the end of a scene like this, I think to myself: What just happened here? Nothing.
These scenes were uninteresting and difficult to get through. They felt like cheating, and I would rather have had these scenes replaced with scenes where Simon's thoughts and the events on his his mind could have been shown or inferred.
This dislikes didn't turn me off too much, so overall this book was a win for me. I definitely intend to read the next book in this series.(less)
This is among the best few books I've read so far this year. I really enjoyed it!
At the beginning of the book, Allison is a Fringer, a human...more4.5 stars
This is among the best few books I've read so far this year. I really enjoyed it!
At the beginning of the book, Allison is a Fringer, a human living in the poor edges of a vampire city. She had to worry about being potential vampire food, and about finding food for herself. Not far into the book, she becomes one of the vampires that she so fears and hates. Then, she's trained by the vampire that turned her, until she is forced to leave the city.
Allison is a winner. On second thought, all the characters are winners, but I'll start with Allison. She's a determined survivor, trying her best to cling to what remains of her humanity. One of the things I love about her is that she isn't all-powerful. Too often in books, an inexperienced main character somehow manages to win fights by unbelievable ability. In contrast, Allison's abilities were believable. She got battered, and when she won fights against bigger badder opponents, it was through ingenuity or assistance from friends. I liked her. I rooted for her.
Other characters are also great: Kanin, Zeke, Jackal, Jeb, Ruth. I feel like I know and understand all of these characters--except for aspects of their backgrounds that were purposely kept secret from me. Each character had his or her own personality, and their actions were consistent with those personalities. Some I rooted for; some I wanted to die.
Now the one big negative: There was a point, at about the 60% mark, that I started looking for the plot. What is this book actually about?, I asked myself. Yes, it's about a girl who becomes a vampire. But that's who it's about, not what it's about. Truth be told, this book didn't become about anything in particular until almost 70% of the way into it--when Allison decided to help a bunch of humans reach their goals. Before that, she was proactive in each situation that presented itself to her, but everything that happened to her was mostly by coincidence. The story wasn't really going anywhere--although there were hints about some big stuff that would happen later.
I call this "first-book-itis." I suspect that the lack of direction can be, at least partially, attributed to the fact that this the first book in a series, and it took a while to get the whole series set up before major issues and goals could be presented for this book in particular. Usually, I'd make a big issue of this. But in this case, it just worked. I was interested in the various episodes of Allison's life and struggles, even without knowing where they were going. So despite this issue, I still enjoyed this book to pieces.
I don't usually read paranormal romance, and I kind of feel like now I need cigarette. Oh wait, I don't smoke!
Although the description of this book su...moreI don't usually read paranormal romance, and I kind of feel like now I need cigarette. Oh wait, I don't smoke!
Although the description of this book suggested to me that this is an urban fantasy book, the romance and sex scenes definitely overshadowed the action. The action scenes were also good but fewer and farther between. That was fine with me though, because I quite enjoyed the steaminess. The author has a way with words and painted beautiful images . . . of many things.
I especially enjoyed the commercials. The protagonist is a late-night radio talk show host, and her sponsors are of the adult-only nature. Some of the product names and sponsor spots were outrageous!
I'm giving this book only three stars because (1) I would have liked a bit more action; (2) there was some serious cheesiness going on at some points, which made it difficult for me to take the book seriously; and (3) I found myself distracted by the author's frequent misuse of the word "which." Although I am a strong supporter of occasionally defying the rules of grammar in the name of creative writing, in this case, it was just distracting for me. And I'm not sure this was so much defiance as just incorrectness.
Overall, I enjoyed the book, with all its steaminess.(less)
Having only recently (i.e., about six months ago) been introduced to urban fantasy, I haven't exactly read a truckload full of books of that...more3.5 stars
Having only recently (i.e., about six months ago) been introduced to urban fantasy, I haven't exactly read a truckload full of books of that genre. But I have read quite a few that seem to be deemed "good" by a large portion of Goodreads members. Unfortunately, a significant portion of urban fantasy novels that I have read consist of a kick-ass female, a hot male love interest of the supernatural kind, various ass-kicking encounters involving said kick-ass female, and said kick-ass female's reluctance to become romantically involved with said hot male love interest for no apparent reason except that he fails to fit in with her ass-kicking lifestyle.
In my humble opinion, Some Girls Bite is a solid urban fantasy novel. In some ways, it fits the mold, and in other ways it breaks the mold. It fits the mold in its inclusion of a hot male love interest (two hot male love interests, actually). It stretches the mold in that Merit is not entirely kick-ass in the usual sense. She is learning how to be a fighter, but for now, she's just faking it in an entertaining fashion. Some Girls Bite breaks the mold in that Merit is reluctant hero (with a number of respectable similarities to Mac of the Fever series). She does not want to be a vampire, and she is just learning how to deal. It also breaks the mold in that Merit has actual, articulated, and reasonable reasons for her reluctance to become romantically involved with said hot male love interests.
In short, I believe that Merit could be a real-live person. She has reasonable desires and she takes reasonable actions. I get her. I like her. I can relate to her, despite her being a vampire.
Bella sucks. Edward's annoying. Their relationship sets a damaging example for young girls everywhere. And vampires don't sparkle! Despite all this, I...moreBella sucks. Edward's annoying. Their relationship sets a damaging example for young girls everywhere. And vampires don't sparkle! Despite all this, I kind of enjoyed this book, so much so that I took a day off of work to finish it. . . . My shame knows no bounds.
It could be that my rating here is unfair, because it is largely based on the fact the book strayed far from my expectations. Maybe it's my expectations that were flawed. But my rating represents my own personal truth, and sometimes the truth is unfair.
My prior experience with Larissa Ione is only the Demonica series, which rocks in oh-so many ways. I was originally hesitant to read Demonica because of the cheesy titles and half-naked people on the covers. Until very recently, I had never read any kind of explicit sex in a novel. It's still kind of new to me--but I'm not complaining! Demonica includes great characters, great action, and good stories. There's just a lot to enjoy there. This story . . . not so much.
I expected this short story to be more like Demonica. I expected action and sex. Maybe I expected too much; it is only a little short story after all. There was sex in this story. Although there was a supernatural element, the story could have been written almost exactly the same without anything being supernatural. So although this is a dark fantasy book, it was really just a sex book. Frankly, it was too much for my little self to handle.(less)
I'm not sure why I'm adding this book. Young adult, paranormal romance with vampires. I'm a tough YA PNR critic, and vampire romances make me commence...moreI'm not sure why I'm adding this book. Young adult, paranormal romance with vampires. I'm a tough YA PNR critic, and vampire romances make me commence with the eye-rolling. But I'm drawn to the cover and description, so we shall see!(less)
My thoughts on this book are pretty much the same as my thoughts on the first book of this series--except that a touch of the originality was gone bec...moreMy thoughts on this book are pretty much the same as my thoughts on the first book of this series--except that a touch of the originality was gone because I've met all these characters and situations before. This was a very entertaining book. I liked the characters and the fighting, and the romance was hot. For more details, please see my review of Halfway to the Grave.
One more thing before I end this short review: There was a moment in the big sex scene where I had to go back and reread because I couldn't believe the author had written it. It would make me blush to go into more detail. (I'm sure if you look for more details in some of the other reviews, you will find out what I'm talking about.) Granted, I'm relatively new to any kind of erotica, so I may be a little prudish here. For me, that bit of the scene took a little bit of my enjoyment away; it was too much for me.(less)
Boring. This seemed more like an introduction to a world than a story in its own right. I quit halfway through when I found myself skimming over every...moreBoring. This seemed more like an introduction to a world than a story in its own right. I quit halfway through when I found myself skimming over everything in search of a story.(less)