Queen of fantasy horror, Laurell K. Hamilton straightens her crown and continues to reign supreme in the 25th installment of the Anita Blake Vampire HQueen of fantasy horror, Laurell K. Hamilton straightens her crown and continues to reign supreme in the 25th installment of the Anita Blake Vampire Hunter Series.
As a US Marshall, vampire executioner, necromancer, fiancé to the American vampire king, and queen to a growing number of were animals, Anita Blake doesn’t just hunt the monsters, she lives among them. Edward, Anita’s best friend and fellow executioner, calls for help in Ireland due to a sudden emergence of vampire victims in a country that isn’t supposed to have vampires. Damien, Anita’s accidental vampire servant, finds himself awake during the daytime hours and sweating blood, and he needs Anita’s help to figure out the problem. Anita once again finds her professional and personal lives blurring together when she finds out that the Viking vampire was created in Ireland, and that his creator is the only vampire in Ireland strong enough to create vampires in a land that likes to keep the dead…dead.
The Anita Blake series started strong with Guilty Pleasures as a series with a balance between both character and plot developments. Anita knew who she was and knew where her lines were drawn, and did a good job of solving crimes and hunting the bad guy. As the series developed, more characters were introduced, Anita was no longer as strong in her identity as she once was, and much of the plot development seemed forced to get Anita and the other characters from point A to point B. The strongest books in the series have been those that had an overall focus on fewer characters and how they fit in Anita’s life while balancing a more driven plot. The problems haven’t so much been a problem in Hamilton’s writing, but in the intense progressive nature of Anita’s development. Anita is once again comfortable in her skin, the cast of characters are mostly familiar, and there is a seamless entwinement of character and plot in Crimson Death.
One of the main struggles that plagued Anita in the middle of the series was the increase in sexual partners due to the increase in power derived from the line of her fiancé and American Vampire King and Master Vampire, Jean Claude. While the sexual interactions will not be a surprise to dedicated readers of the series, readers that are offended by same sex partners, multiple sexual partners, or were-animal/vampire - human sexual interactions should probably avoid picking up the series at this point.
In Crimson Death, Hamilton brings back the balance of the story and readers will appreciate Anita’s continued journeys - both personal and professional.
I received an advanced reader copy of this book through netgally in return for an honest review. Originally reviewed at my blog The Nerdy Librarian ...more
Major Gabriel Forrester devotes his life to being a soldier and finds himself at home on the battlefield. His life changes forever after the Battle of Salamanca when Wellington delivers the news that Forrester didn’t just save the day on the battlefield, but he shouldn’t have been in that battle because he’d just inherited a dukedom from a very distant relative.
Fiona Blackwood ruled over Lattimer, MacKittrick to the locals, as it’s steward since her brother disappeared four years earlier. Fiona, a loyal member of the Maxwell Clan, eagerly sets out to make the new Duke’s visit a short one while trying to protect the Maxwell people, investigate unsavory happenings, and find sheep that keep going missing.
With the Clan Chieftan, an older Highland Duke, against him, the clan worried about their place, and helping Fiona sort out the happenings of MacKittrick, Gabriel approaches his new problems as a true soldier, one battle at a time. Fiona must struggle with loyalty to her clan, her people, and discovering where, if at all, the new Duke of Lattimer fits into her life.
Gabriel is not an aristocrat, nor does he act like one – ever. He is strategic, hard working, and plain spoken – traits that are unexpected of him as an Englishman. Fiona is determined, a bit brazen, and unashamed of who and what she is – above all, she wishes to see MacKittrick thrive again, even if that means looking in a new direction.
Gabriel and Fiona’s story is a nice addition to Suzanne Enoch’s booklist. The characters were well developed, and while their behaviors might not meet the standards of other Regency period Romances, their words and actions remained true to the characters. Some readers will be surprised by the candor at which Fiona admits to having a sexual past, and the calmness in which Gabriel accepts it. I personally enjoyed the simplicity of this moment, and the additional depth it created for the characters and their bond to one another.
I highly recommend this book for romance readers, historical romance readers, and readers that enjoy strong female characters.
Note: I received a copy of this ARC from NetGalley in return for an honest review.
In my mind, I've read several alternative history books that I absolutely loved. I think? Anyway, the last two I read or tried to read, not so much.
IIn my mind, I've read several alternative history books that I absolutely loved. I think? Anyway, the last two I read or tried to read, not so much.
I really wanted to love this book. The cover is amazing and beautiful, and my book club members that remember the Vietnam era quite vividly admitted that the cover took them back, for a minute anyway.
The idea of JFK serving a third term, and that the Vietnam war was still progressively active due to this fact had a lot of potentials. Unfortunately, I really don't see how either of these impacted the story at all. There was little reference to the point that anything was happening due to the presidency or that the third term of Kennedy made any difference; Something as big as a third presidency term seems like it should hold more weight. Also, what difference did the increase of war years make to the story?
I liked the idea of the folding/unfolding (Ok. It may have been called something else, but I don't have my copy in front of me, and that was how I remember it. Folding up the memories to forget, and the Unfolding the memories to remember.), however, my mind is apparently more twisted than Means, because I was wanting all kinds of plot twists or plot points at all using this idea in the story, but that just didn't happen. (I shared to my book club what I kept wanting to happen. There opinion: Oh, THAT would have been interesting. It's like those writing exercises we did in one of my undergrad writing classes - take a story that you hated and make it to where you find it more interesting. I was always good at those...)
One of the things we talked about, for quite a lengthy time, was the violence in the book. It didn't bother me. (I compartmentalize well, as does my husband, so we don't have a lot of issues that some others have.) It did bother the women that either served and/or had husbands that served during the Vietnam War. Their general consensus: Been there, done that, don't need to read it or live it again. Totally fair.
The idea of my book club is to push our reading boundaries. Sometimes I choose books outside of my comfort zone (Anything that takes place from 1890 - 1995 is iffy for me), or I know will push my members outside of my comfort zone. It's not a requirement to finish the books, although it helps when writing a review or discussing. I am not a librarian that pressures. I haven't finished two of my books and I'm the one that chooses them. All I ask is that when we discuss, you tell us why you hated it so much.
So, my feedback: I was disappointed, and I wanted more from the book. Bookclub feedback: Just didn't like it, and didn't understand why it was an alternative history instead of just a fictionalized historical account. They didn't see the purpose....more
I enjoyed this book. A lot of the information I knew, but the tips on how to present it to your board (or council) are helpful. There's been a bit ofI enjoyed this book. A lot of the information I knew, but the tips on how to present it to your board (or council) are helpful. There's been a bit of a movement in the last couple of years to rethink the way we manage and promote our libraries, and this simplifies the thinking on how to implement parts of this ideology that even smaller libraries will find useful. Ben Bizzle's simplified and direct approach make this book bot only a useful resource, but a quick easy read as well. ...more
I'm not going to give an official review because I inhaled these books a couple weeks ago. I was waiting for Winter to be published before I read themI'm not going to give an official review because I inhaled these books a couple weeks ago. I was waiting for Winter to be published before I read them and decided that I would make Cinder my Librarian's Book Club Pick to give myself an excuse to get it read. I read Cinder on Saturday, Scarlett & Cress on Sunday, and finished Winter off on Monday.
Some members of my book club were really hesitant about this book to begin with, but by the time the meeting came around on Thursday I was happy that they all loved it! My goal with my book club picks is to get everyone reading books they wouldn't normally pick up - at least once. This book surprised everyone, and now they've put the rest in the series on hold. I love it when people find new genres and types of books to add to their reading list!
I love Sarah MacLean’s historical romances for their strong fiery female leads.
Take this line from one of Sophie’s earlier meetings with the Marquis oI love Sarah MacLean’s historical romances for their strong fiery female leads.
Take this line from one of Sophie’s earlier meetings with the Marquis of Eversley in The Rogue Not Taken:
You are all I loathe about the aristocracy-arrogant, vapid, without purpose, and altogether too reliant on your title and your fortune, which you have come by without any effort of your own. You haven’t a thought in your head worth thinking-as all of your intelligence is used up in planning seduction and winning silly carriage races…
Lady Sophie Talbot’s father “won an earldom” through Coal Mining. While the venture brought many members of the ton money – it brought them very little actual respect toward the Talbot family. Their common birth and scandalous behavior made the Talbot sisters infamous in gossip columns.
Eversley, a rogue blamed for many broken engagements, claims he will never marry, and the line will end with him because he blames his father for a tragic accident that killed the only woman he ever loved. (The Marquis is a courtesy title, he’s in line for a dukedom.)
Both Eversley and Sophie are looking for freedom in their own rights; a sense of home that neither one has managed to achieve despite (in spite?) of their infamy. As the main characters are thrown together, a constant battle of wills ensues creating a rollercoaster of emotions for the characters and readers alike.
I gave The Rogue Not Taken a review of 4 (3.5) , only because there are moments where Eversley really gets annoying. I’m alright with the occasional hero stupidity, but there were a few too many moments in this book that Eversley’s behavior just didn’t seem to fit with his character that pulled me out of the story.
Sarah MacLean remains a go to author for witty historical romances, and I look forward to reading the rest of this series....more
Quick Review: I thought that this was an excellent introduction to feminism touching on all the key areas of importance in modern feminism while alsoQuick Review: I thought that this was an excellent introduction to feminism touching on all the key areas of importance in modern feminism while also touching on the history of the feminist movement. As both a librarian and a mother, I am excited for this book to be on shelves. ...more