Vampire Voss is the first of a period trilogy series that takes place in 19th century London. We meet Voss, a vampire whose prides himself on a debaucherous lifestyle as well as gathering any and all intel he can about his fellow vampire brethren. This line of Draculia bears the mark of Lucifer who selects them while they're dreaming. Once chosen, they awake as vampires and must do Luce's bidding.
Voss encounters Angelica, a Woodmore sister with the gift of Sight. She dreams about how people will die. This ability is a huge assett that makes her an attractive target for heroes and villains alike. Her brother, Chas, is a vampire hunter who places his sisters (Angelica and Maia) into the care of his friend, Dmitri, another Draculia who denies his vampiric nature. Chas believes there are good and bad vampires and makes it his mission to kill the bad ones. Dmitri and Voss have a bit of history, clashing many times as Voss tries to get closer to Angelica.
The series centers around Voss and Angelica finding love for each other. There is an instant attraction--easy as both of them are attractive people. But his vampiric nature presents a huge challenge for him. He spends a good deal of the book trying to hide it. He wants her, but he also wants to protect her. I am normally not a paranormal romance reader because I generally like for there to be other things going on, so I appreciated that their relationship developed at somewhat of a slower pace. That said, I wasn't particularly in love with the pairing either. There's nothing really memorable about Voss and Angelica, and how it ends isn't typically how I prefer my vampires. I also sort of predicted what would happen, too.
The novel is in third person, so that gives the author an opportunity to focus somewhat on the flagship couples of the next two books. In that sense, it is nice that we're being introduced to them now. Will I read them? Perhaps at some point, but I'm not anxious to get my hands on them like I have been with other series.
The book is a decent read, but I would not recommend it for someone that's not into period novels. While the author does give details of the 19th century setting and customs, it still sort of feels superficial to me. It doesn't completely engross me like other novels. Also, the Kindle edition for my eARC probably had some of the worst formatting I have experienced with an ebook, so I hope that the official release fixes that issue. I am not sure if it affected my enjoyment of the book, but it definitely didn't do it any favors.
The third novel of the Sabina Kane series focuses on the kick-ass mage/vampire on a mission to save her twin sister, Maise, w...moreDestination: New Orleans
The third novel of the Sabina Kane series focuses on the kick-ass mage/vampire on a mission to save her twin sister, Maise, whose been kidnapped by their vampire grandmother. Sabina and her trusty demon and mage sidekicks, Gighul and Adam, travel to New Orleans to get her sister back and do away with her grandmother once and for all. No, this is not your typical nuclear family. There is not much love lost between the twins and grandma, who can't accept her grandaughters' mage heritage. The stakes are high and Sabina's patience is low with her sister's life on the line.
I have not read the previous two books for this series, but from what I could gather, Sabina's character experiences a bit of growth. Throughout the book she learns to trust her teammates, open herself up to love, and become a more effective and powerful mage.
I didn't feel as if I missed much from the first two books. I'm not sure if it's because this book rehashed plot points well enough, or if it's because this series isn't much different from other urban fantasy books out there. While it was an easy read for me, it came off as formulaic and predictable. Sabina's character isn't very unique. She's got a chip on her shoulder, yet being surrounded by her teammates and coming to terms with her past mistakes, she experiences changes for the better. Sound familiar? Yeah, I thought so.
This book has a lot of action which helps move the story along. There are many quirky characters and Dark Races between fae, werewolf, mages, vampires, demons, you name it. No one really came off as a favorite in terms of personality, but I liked trying to imagine how Gighul looked.
Would I recommend this series? It certainly isn't the worst, but at this point, I didn't really feel compelled to want to go back and read the first two or continue on to book 4. For me, at this point it's forgettable, but it's not a bad read for someone new to the Adult Urban Fantasy genre. Actually, I think it'd be a good transition series between the Young Adult and Adult genres.
This series is awesome! If you're a fan of zombie movies like Shaun of the Dead and Zombieland, then you'll love this. Husband and wife team, Dave and...moreThis series is awesome! If you're a fan of zombie movies like Shaun of the Dead and Zombieland, then you'll love this. Husband and wife team, Dave and Sarah, are in the Zombie-killing business--and business is a-booming. That is, until they discover a new strain of Zombie; one that is stronger, faster, and smarter. How will they get out of this one? It has you at the edge of your seat. They run into a doctor whose working on a cure, but needs their help to acquire zombies to be his "test subjects." They also gain a side kick named, Robbie; he's pretty resourceful 11-year-old who provides many laughs and smart-alecky comments.
I didn't read book 1 of this series, and I didn't really need to. Book 2 never really made me feel like I missed a beat. Very entertaining and engaging ride with a great dose of comedy, action, horror, and a touch of romance. I highly recommend this series. I will soon read book 1 and anxiously await book 3. (less)
I'd say this book was a solid start to this series. The main character, Kismet Knight, is a young clinical psychologist who specializes in helping those that believe in all things paranormal. She recently decided to take on a client who believes in vampires. Of course, like anyone else, Kismet herself doesn't believe in these things, and she often struggles between maintaining her professionalism to analyze their situations scientifically and her internal natural thought process that just wants to knock sense into these people. That is, until she's thrust into this world herself.
We spend quite a good deal of the book with Kismet denying that vampire exist, even though all of the strange happenings add up to it. I guess that's a realistic response, but that did annoy me ever so slightly. We meet some really cool vampires. I like their powers. I'm happy they don't sparkle. I'm even happier that they have fangs...and boy are they used...
Like many paranormal romances, we get a love triangle. Kismet's somewhat torn between an FBI agent and the vampire Devereux, who takes her as his mate of sorts. I'm sure it's not difficult to determine who I rooted for the whole time, haha.
I gotta say. Normally with these kinds of series I usually can't stand it when the main character falls in love with the guy in 10 pages. I don't connect with that whatsoever as a reader which is why I generally am selective about my paranormal romances. But for some reason, I didn't mind it in this book. That is probably because there is something special about Kismet. She's not some ordinary woman that an 800-year-old falls in love with, something I cannot STAND in many series. I just for the life of me don't grasp how something that old can become so enamored considering they've probably seen that same personality trait time and time again throughout the centuries. But I digress...
The villains are evil and beautiful, evil and ugly, and evil and crazy. I was seriously creeped out in a couple of scenes and scared for Kismet. This author definitely doesn't mind exposing the reader to disturbing situations.
I'm not quite sure whether or not I'd consider the ending that much of a cliffhanger or not. At least it helps that you can easily move onto the next book and see what happens next. I know I will.
I originally read this comic as an ARC and then decided to purchase it immediately before I even finished it. Since I was reading the series via ebooks, I wanted something for Ms. Briggs to sign for when I meet her at San Diego Comic Con this July. I was going to try to get through the ebooks as fast as I could so that I could then also purchase a paper copy of my favorite installment. After seeing this comic, there's no longer a need. And even better, it fits in with the theme since it's about the comics at Comic Con (well, it supposed to be anyway). I'm now super excited so I can spaz to Ms. Briggs in person about how wonderful of a job the artist did. I can already tell this is one of the best. Talk about doing a series justice!
No doubt this graphic novel adaptation accomplishes the most important goal of all; it's very visually very pleasing to look at! That's the point of a graphic novel at all, right? I actually enjoyed the comic much more than the actual book. The book comes off as somewhat bland in parts (though the series gets better with every book), but seeing the action come to life on the pages gets my adrenaline pumping. The drawing style is fabulous and not over the top. I love the coloring and shading and spent a few panels simply admiring the images. I feel like it truly captures the Mercy Thompson world. Mercy's gorgeous, Adam's sexy, and Sam actually looks much better than I assumed he looked in the books. I thought the artist was very good with expressing the characters' emotions as well. A few of the transformation scenes were a little awkwardly drawn, but it didn't detract from my enjoyment.
I like that it's close to the book. I think that made me read it much faster. Unlike the book, it kicks off with action to draw you in. It was a nice technique to keep it engaging. I felt the pacing was just right. There wasn't a moment where I was bored and yet it stayed true to the plot.
I always have this trepidation of looking at fictional characters outside of the reading medium. 9 times out of 10 it just doesn't capture the images I've conjured up in my mind. I am so pleased that's not the case here.
We get a bonus section that's by a completely different artist. It's a completely different style that doesn't portray the dark urban fantasy feel, so I didn't really connect to it as much. Also, some of the proportions and angles were off. I recall at one point a character was drawn cross-eyed.
It ends with short of a narration of the panels to see how the artist conceptualized the panels. It was pretty cool to see their process, but not really necessary. My biggest enjoyment was in the meat of the story. I wish we could have seen Stefan, Warren, and Kyle in this volume though.
Because these look so good and flow so well, I plan to follow the comics for this series in conjunction with the books, as long as Ms. Amelia Woo continues to illustrate. It's very rare that I can say I prefer any other medium to the original, but in this case I very much prefer the comic to the novel.
Can this girl ever catch a break? Even cutting herself off from the demon collective and having a new bodyguard can't save our favorite itchy witch from problems. Rachel tries to adjust to being a borderline civilian (as she still works to solve cases after all) but her secret is out and that has made her the perfect target for a pretty serious hate group, HAPA, led by a group of sadistic humans. Their public enemy #1 is the Inderlander community and they will stop at nothing to be rid of them all, even if they must use Inderlander powers to do so. Of course we would have no story if Rachel wasn't exactly what they needed. She tries her damnedest to take them on the good old-fashioned demonless way, but she soon finds that it may not be enough.
She can't do it alone which results in the unlikely but very anticipated partnership with none other than Trent. And this partnership certainly doesn't disappoint. It's a new day for the new dad as we see a completely new but believable side to our favorite elf (well, he's my favorite at least). Their teamwork really is the heart of this book though other familiar faces, Ivy and Jenks, are still around.
Since Book 3 Rachel has liked to drive home that she and Trent look so good together, yet they're apart. But by the end of this book, you start to wonder why. Though she denies it, to me Rachel's actions clearly indicate growing affections towards him. As Trent embraces his magic, they seems a lot more compatible than one would initially think. If I spilled the beans about some of the revelations for his character, it would seem as if Harrison pulled it out of thin air. But she backs it up with several references from past novels, making one wonder if she was thinking about these threads all along. A lot of scenes are stark contrasts to what we've seen before, most notably her interactions with Trent in his home and office. Key moments throughout the series (though few and far in between) have taken place in those locations, so the evolution is meaningful.
While there wasn't a lot of Al, he certainly makes it count for the scenes he's in, managing to be his usual hilarious, yet terrifying self. I'm sure he will be a large presence in the next novel, so I'm looking forward to that. Jenks is funny as always, saying the most inappropriate things at the most awkward times. Ivy is stable and more of a presence than I was expecting based on Harrison's comments about her going away and then coming back in the last book. We're introduced to a few new supporting characters as well. Wayde is a Were bodyguard hired to look out for Rachel. Nina is a living vampire often being controlled by a master-vamp, making her really vulnerable. Both of those characters were okay---I could take them or leave them---but I really took a liking to Winona, a Witch prisoner that Rachel befriends as she takes on HAPA. She's a sympathetic character, just a normal person wanting to live her life. But the events of this book make her shine for her adaptability and practicality. I thought she and Rachel worked really well together.
I'm not sure if it's because it's fresh, but I LOVED this book...dare I say better than Pale Demon in a lot of ways. I liked Rachel's self discovery that she can hide but she can't run. She truly accepts who she is as a demon and the animosity between her and Trent is over too so now it's just the building process that you really hope pays off.
If I don't like a Hollows book, I will say so. I've been with this series since 2005, so I've been through all of the ups and downs. While I read many urban fantasy novels, I pick up The Hollows and feel like I'm saying hello to an old friend. It still manages to be really exciting, so knowing that there are only two books left (with a thirteenth as a possible continuation) makes me a bit sad. But for some reason, I didn't get the same vibe like I did from Pale Demon where it was really obvious how much the story was winding down. I guess that's a signal for filler, but at least it's good filler. The mystery aspect made me flash back to book 2 and the times when Rachel had gruesome mysteries to solve, so it gave me a feeling of nostalgia. This book isn't perfect but all in all I found it to be a satisfying entry to The Hollows series, so I gave it 4.5 stars.
This Angel omnibus includes 12 stories, so you definitely get your fill. It’s like a marathon. I enjoyed the dialogue, pacing...moreARC Provided by NetGalley
This Angel omnibus includes 12 stories, so you definitely get your fill. It’s like a marathon. I enjoyed the dialogue, pacing, and action, but the art could have been better. The coloring was acceptable, but nothing to write home about. In terms of proportions and character design, there wasn’t always a good consistency, so at best I was indifferent about reading the story in this form since I didn’t necessarily like or hate looking at it. It should sell because of its title, but if it was a relatively unknown series, the art itself wouldn’t compel me to pick it up.
All in all, I think that if you enjoy urban fantasy and enjoyed the Angel series, you might enjoy this. I watched the show occasionally, so I am not quite a die hard fanatic, but I can say from experience that I don’t always enjoy every medium for a series I like. Because of that I can’t guarantee that Angel fans would like this. I just know that when it comes to the story, it is good enough for me to want to read more installments. (less)
There’s really only one thing to say about this series: quality is greater than quantity. Lately I’ve been reading a number of...moreStorm Born is a keeper
There’s really only one thing to say about this series: quality is greater than quantity. Lately I’ve been reading a number of graphic novels that just haven’t drawn me in or been very satisfying. At first I wondered if it was because I’m more used to reading Japanese manga where they’re masters at flow, beautiful drawing styles, and storytelling mixed into one. Manga only produces an average of 18 pages a week, or about 32 pages a month depending on the series, so mangaka (the creators) have to master how to balance art and story within those limitations. Graphic Novels tend to give you a bit more leeway when it comes to the pages and many times the artists and authors don’t take full advantage. There are issues with flow, art, proportions, and keeping the story engaging. Storm Born has thankfully been one of the series that doesn’t suffer these short comings. I wasn’t blown away by the art, but I did quite like it along with Eugenie’s expressions at times. The coloring is well done and fairly vivid too. Volume 1 is only about 25 pages, but I got more out of it than a few 130 page graphic novels I’ve recently read. It kicks off fairly quickly with the action, so don’t expect to be bored.
While not trying to give too much away, our protagonist is Eugenie, a sexy Shaman who is busy doing away with supernatural big bads as her “day job.” All in all, I can say that I like her. She’s pretty badass and we get a good feel for her character and personality.
I’m actually surprised at how the pages are short, but the story is rich and engaging. Eugenie starts out doing her ghost-busting thing, but it evolves into a deeper plotline. A teenaged girl has been kidnapped and taken to another realm by the Gentry (the PC form for “Fairy”). Eugenie is her only hope and will need to travel to that realm to save her. I am not familiar with Richelle Mead’s other works, but I’m assuming that these fairies aren’t the friendly Disney kind.
Because this is an on-going series, the major plot points are just beginning. So while there’s no resolution, I can say that I am definitely looking forward to the next issue. There’s always room for good urban fantasy and I look forward to what Storm Born can bring to the table.
*Copy provided by Sea Lion Books. Many thanks!(less)
Many thanks to Sea Lion Books for providing a review copy.
There’s really only one thing to say about this series: quality is greater than quantity. La...moreMany thanks to Sea Lion Books for providing a review copy.
There’s really only one thing to say about this series: quality is greater than quantity. Lately I’ve been reading a number of graphic novels that just haven’t drawn me in or been very satisfying. At first I wondered if it was because I’m more used to reading Japanese manga where they’re masters at flow, beautiful drawing styles, and storytelling mixed into one. Manga only produces an average of 18 pages a week, or about 32 pages a month depending on the series, so mangaka (the creators) have to master how to balance art and story within those limitations. Graphic Novels tend to give you a bit more leeway when it comes to the pages and many times the artists and authors don’t take full advantage. There are issues with flow, art, proportions, and keeping the story engaging. Storm Born has thankfully been one of the series that doesn’t suffer these short comings.
In my review of volume 1, I said that I wasn't blown away by the art but I must admit that it's now growing on me. It certain has an exceptional quality about it compared to what else is out there, and again the coloring is beautifully done. I'm liking Eugenie more and more by the issue and I love love love her expressions now that I'm becoming more attached to the character.
The storyline picks up exactly where Volume 1 left off, and as the story progresses there are naturally even more questions. There's definitely more to her new beau Kiyo than meets the eye, so perhaps it was a little more than fate that drew then together? We shall see. I do like that things don't seem to be dragging on for too long and Eugenie actually makes decisions instead of leaving things on the back burner.
The pages are short, but the story is rich and engaging. Eugenie starts out doing her ghost-busting thing, but it evolves into a deeper plotline. A teenaged girl has been kidnapped and taken to another realm by the Gentry (the PC form for “Fairy”). Eugenie is her only hope and will need to travel to that realm to save her. I am not familiar with Richelle Mead’s other works, but I’m assuming that these fairies aren’t the friendly Disney kind.
Because this is an on-going series, the major plot points are just beginning. So while there’s no resolution, I can say that I am definitely looking forward to the next issue. There’s always room for good urban fantasy and I look forward to what Storm Born can bring to the table. So far it's carving its own niche in the genre. (less)
It is always touch and go when you decide to dive into a new series. I approached the first book of the Comarre trilogy with a little trepidation thinking that it could just be eye candy and little else. I’ve been burned before on that one. Thankfully, this is worth a read.
It primarily follows Chrysabelle, a member of a special breed of humans known as the Comarre. Their blood is especially potent, making them ideal companions to vampires. Once their “blood rights” are claimed, a Comarre or Comar (for males) can only be released from their bond by their vampire patron’s will or if their patron dies. Crysabelle’s patron…dies, but it turns out he was murdered and it is looking like she is the culprit. That is certainly a no-no in their society, so Crysabelle goes on the run until she can figure out his murderer and clear her name. She runs into Malkom, a vampire who has remained far removed from their society. He has his own demons to fight and as they work together, they have to stop an even greater evil from gaining power that could destroy mankind and the vampire society alike.
I read this book coming off the heels of a super fast-paced series. I can say that the slower pace was welcome. It’s not too slow, but it’s just right to keep you from becoming bored. I can be easily annoyed by the female leads when it comes to urban fantasy series, but thankfully Crysabelle is a likable heroine and the Comarre society is interesting. I enjoyed the build up of tension between Crysabelle and Malkom and I expect that to continue through the other two books in the series. The supporting cast could be improved. There was one character I rather liked, but everyone else seemed more generic and disposable.
The biggest plus to this series is that each new installment is only one month apart, so there will be no significant waiting to see what happens next and no long-term commitment. It only gets 4 stars because it wasn’t super intense to the point of where it was hard to put the book down. The story is still pretty good though and because of that, I certainly plan to keep up with this one. (less)
It's not badly written, but it's just not interesting at all. I couldn't get sucked into the world, and with a novella you've only got a short span of...moreIt's not badly written, but it's just not interesting at all. I couldn't get sucked into the world, and with a novella you've only got a short span of time to make an impact. The author is a decent writer though, so I do encourage her to keep going.
The pieces are all there for Laura Anne Gilman’s Tricks of the Trade. Your enjoyment will simply depend on your tastes as a reader. If you want mystery, there is tons of it. If you want mythical creatures, you get that too with a little comedy along the way. Basically, it delivers what it promises. Our protagonists are detectives of the PUPI (Private, Unaffiliated, Paranormal Investigations) organization. It’s supposed to be pronounced as “puppy”, but my Kindle’s text-to-speech doesn’t seem to understand that. I’ll let you guess what it sounds like instead, but I can say that I got in a few immature chuckles at first. Anyway, these detectives have magical powers which allow them to solve paranormal cases. Interestingly enough, electronics interfere with their magic use, so they can’t use them. There are two cases: one is a murder mystery surrounding a murder/break-in, while the other looks to be an even bigger issue with an ancient creature targeting them.
To get to the bottom of everything they of course hit snags along the way, both professionally and personally. The POV switches between the main character, Bonnie, and her boss and reluctant love-interest, Venec. I usually don’t read a lot of books that switch between POVs and I found it a little confusing at times. It may have been because the ARC I received was not formatted. The only way I could signal the change was the switch from first person (for Bonnie) to third person (for Venec).
This series is supposedly standalone. They are all from Bonnie’s POV, though you get references to the cases in previous books. So on one hand you don’t necessarily have to start with the first book, but on the other hand that means you may not be able to rely on a lot of development for supporting chracters (aside from the slow going romantic development with Venec of course). Instead you will have to rely on the author’s good story-telling abilities to make the cases interesting.
All in all, it’s a solid read. I think I was personally in the mood for more of the world-building fantasy elements, which is why it wasn’t that enjoyable for me. But as I said before, it just depends on your tastes. It’s definitely worth giving it a try to see if it’s your cup of tea.
This is a good reference guide with general knowledge on geography. I reviewed the e-arc and there were a lot of grammar mistakes that I hope will be...moreThis is a good reference guide with general knowledge on geography. I reviewed the e-arc and there were a lot of grammar mistakes that I hope will be fixed in the final version. I also own "My Grammar and I...or Should That Be Me?" from this series and I found it to be an even easier read because it was able to provide more examples. I felt like I retained more from that one than this one (that I didn't already know of course), but this one is a good reference to keep on hand. I STRONGLY discourage buying this as an e-book. I read this on my e-reader and the fact that I can't flip through the pages as easily is really nerve-wracking. E-readers are best for linear text (ie: fiction and non-fiction stories) and it's incredibly limiting when it comes to anything else. (less)
Normally I prefer to start a series with the first book, but when I saw Wayfinder (book 2 in the Worldwalker Duology) listed I couldn’t help myself. The cover was nice and premise sounded very interesting. Overall, it turned out to be an enjoyable read. This was a little more on the high fantasy side as opposed to urban fantasy because you spend a great deal of time in the Barrowlands (a post-apocalyptic land for their Faerie-kin). Thankfully, even though I didn’t read the first book the author catches you up to speed.
The book is centered on Lara Jansen, a not-so-ordinary tailor that has special powers allowing her to be a human lie detector. Her gift makes her very attractive for the beings of this other world, so she reluctantly trades her sewing kit for a magical staff that proves challenging to control… Or is it trying to control her? Either way, she needs it to fend off enemies in the Barrowlands as she tries to rescue her beloved Dafydd, the Seelie prince who originally sought her out for her gift to save his world. As she takes this journey she meets many powerful characters, some friend and some foe.
I found it very easy to immerse myself into the story. There’s a lot of decent action and world-building and the magic was cool. Lara isn’t particularly special or quirky, but the character experiences the necessary growth into her roles as a Truthseeker and then a Wayfinder. The romance for me is a little bland, but this may have been because I didn’t read the first book where a lot of the development happens. As it stands, this book didn’t need that angle to be interesting.
I liked the author’s writing style and I felt as if the pacing was just right. I enjoyed this book enough that I have added the first book to the TBR queue. As a Duology, we’re not committed to an on-going series which is good and bad. I appreciate that the books didn’t drag on, but I think this could have been a decent on-going series if handled well. Either way, I recommend this series.
Say it ain’t so!! So I find a series that I genuinely enjoy. No mopey heroine (okay, maybe she’s a little obnoxious, but at lea...moreA Hell of a Good Time!
Say it ain’t so!! So I find a series that I genuinely enjoy. No mopey heroine (okay, maybe she’s a little obnoxious, but at least she’s fun about it), no emo vampires, just lots of action and fun. While it wasn’t a cliffhanger, I finished this book thinking there would be more in store. Well unfortunately Cherie Priest was only contracted for two books, meaning this may be the last we see of Raylene and friends unless the books sell more. So I guess I’m doing my part and recommending you guys read this one if you enjoy light urban fantasy series.
I read Hellbent (Book 2 of the Cheshire Red Reports) before the first and I believe it works well as a standalone. Raylene, our favorite professional vampire thief, is settling in well at her new digs after her old warehouse/home was raided by the Feds. She’s picked up a couple of new roomies too: blind vampire Ian Stott and my personal favorite Adrian deJesus, ex-Navy Seal and Drag Queen extraordinaire. While unconventional, a sense of domesticity is established as Ian helps mentor the orphan siblings Pepper and Domino who we met in Bloodshot. Adrian is still primarily focused on finding his sister who had been abducted along with Ian for that top secret government experiment that left him blind.
There is more development with that plot point, clearly establishing it as an overarcing storyline in the series. Aside from that, the master of Ian’s house has been murdered and he’s slated to take his place. This doesn’t sitting right with his brother whose been waiting in the wings to take control. Ray must protect Ian from the target on his back while taking on a side quest to collect powerful ancient artifacts.
While the books feel like more of the same, I actually think I liked the second book a bit more than the first. The characters are becoming more familiar with each other and beginning to settle into a dynamic. Who am I kidding, I liked that there was more Adrian. He’s a great sidekick for Raylene and even though she’s more powerful as a vampire, his skills, wits, and determination, allow him to keep up with her fairly well. The series doesn’t have a lot going on in the romance department, but it seems like the author wants to test the waters between both Adrian and Ian. Though her chemistry with Adrian is even stronger in this book and almost non-existent with Ian.
The vampire politics were interesting and ended up being the center of some of the best action. The humor is as strong as ever and I found myself laughing out loud a number of times. The characters are all likable in their own way…even Ray’s new kitty cat. The ending is predictable, but it makes sense. Overall, Hellbent is and enjoyable ride, but what bring the series down a bit is that it should have been structured as a duology if there was a risk that so many loose ends would be there when it’s all said and done.
If there is a book 3, I want it right away. But if there isn’t I do plan to follow Cherie Priest’s steampunk series because she’s a good writer and I like her style.
*ARC provided by NetGalley *Review also posted to Amazon(less)
This Haunted World is creepy! It kicks off with a wounded soldier explaining what happened on the battlefield. He descr...more*ARC Provided by Sea Lion Books
This Haunted World is creepy! It kicks off with a wounded soldier explaining what happened on the battlefield. He describes a mysterious tribe who completely annihilates his troop. Nobody believes him, but from the looks of it, they will soon wish they had. There is a good deal of disturbing imagery, suspense, and paranormal elements. The art is well done and several stills capture the characters expressions really well. It's certainly an interesting start to this series, leaving you wondering what's in store for the characters. (less)
Yet another great chapter! I was hoping for a little more interaction with characters from chapter 3, but there is a hu...more*ARC provided by Sea Lion Books
Yet another great chapter! I was hoping for a little more interaction with characters from chapter 3, but there is a huge revelation here that has just made things veeeery interesting. Talk about going from bad to worse! This is one you WON'T want to skip! No doubt, I am hooked on these comics and I can't wait to start on the Dark Swan books. (less)
A very interesting viewpoint on how the world was created as well as where we could be going. Having a science background would make it a lot easier t...moreA very interesting viewpoint on how the world was created as well as where we could be going. Having a science background would make it a lot easier to understand though. Some concepts went over my head, but overall it was worth the time. I may need to read it twice to fully understand it. I do think that religious people will have a problem with this publication as Stephen Hawking makes his atheism pretty apparent. While I'm not an atheist (I am more agnostic and decide to live by the golden rule), I do see how it could be difficult to convince a religious individual since many theories over the course of history have been debunked and even the current theories that can't be tested could be debunked. I am still left wondering how does one *really* know, one way or the other? A 200-paged publication obviously will not have all of the answers. (less)
I think that fans of Twilight may find this series right up their alley. Unfortunately, I am not a Twilight fan so I got to the 20% mark before it bec...moreI think that fans of Twilight may find this series right up their alley. Unfortunately, I am not a Twilight fan so I got to the 20% mark before it became clear that it wasn't my cup of tea.
It falls into the paranormal romance/drama trap where a vampire that is centuries old randomly falls for a love interest whose personality isn't unique or original. You would think that they'd come across someone with that kind of personality at *some* point before this story. I also never understood the desire to stay eternally in teenaged-dom. Now that I'm out of my teens, I will never miss them (though I will miss in 20s), so I can't relate to it, especially since they've got so many years of experience. I also never understood why self-loathing vampires just don't kill themselves. William and Liv look to find a cure, but then what? They will just get old and die anyway, so I just can't embrace that logic as realistic (or at least as realistic you can be for a mythological being). I enjoy series where vampires embrace what they are. This tends to give them more of a personality.
These are my personal gripes with this genre but many readers love it, so I guess the saying "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" applies here. For what it is, the author does an adequate job. She's a good writer and fairly descriptive, though I think more world-building would be interesting.
The cover leaves a lot to be desired. I don't think this would grab the attention of its target audience. (less)
Maria Snyder is off to an excellent start with Touch of Power, Book 1 of The Healer series. The book centers on Avry of Kazan...moreEngaging All Throughout
Maria Snyder is off to an excellent start with Touch of Power, Book 1 of The Healer series. The book centers on Avry of Kazan, a young woman with special power to heal those around her while she absorbs their ailments. One would think that this would be a revered power, but instead it puts a huge target on her back. Suspected of creating the plague that wipes out a significant part of the population, Healers are now persecuted and murdered. Against her best interests Avry secretly continues to heal those in need, often exposing herself. To survive she must lead a nomadic and lonely lifestyle.
This all changes when she ends up abducted by a rebel group who needs her power to heal their leader who has been M.I.A. There’s a hitch of course; healing this leader will cost her own life. Their leader, Kerric, is a prince himself though unconventional with a set of magical powers all his own. Against her will, she treks on a journey with them facing off against mercenaries, the undead, and nature itself. She begins to bond with them much to her chagrin, and re-evaluates who the enemies really are.
There’s a lot of action, adventure and magic in this series that I really enjoyed. The character development is well done, keeping it fairly realistic in this fictional setting. They aren’t as one dimensional as I was fearing, so I really connected with the story. I would put Avry in the “strong heroine” category. She’s not too badass but she’s not a fool either, taking a lot of initiative and being extremely brave when necessary. Overall, I like her.
I think the magic was very interesting without being too confusing. I look forward to how that evolves over the course of the series. The villain was slightly on the predictable side, and I sort of predicted how this would ends since I know it’s the beginning of a series, but I still enjoyed it and look forward to where things go next.
I may start reading more YA series again. For a while I haven’t been enjoying them as much as their adult counterparts, but it seems as if YA books centered around adults is as good as anything for me. Avry is twenty, and many of the adult novels are centered on twenty-somethings too, so the overlap works. I definitely recommend this one.
The cover suggests a slightly more mature theme, even within the YA genre. It can happen. I just finished reading a book where it happened. But 99% of the book is spent with her outside of this “Everneath”, resulting in a fairly uninteresting read. I read it quickly so I didn’t waste too much time on it, but I really don’t like it when covers are so deceptive.
Nikki is the central character of the story. 6 months ago she was taken to the Everneath by Cole, an immortal who used her life force to sustain his own and his Queen’s. She spends 100 years literally attached to Cole as he feeds from her. Once the feeding is done it is discovered that Nikki is a unique case, surviving it as most others wouldn’t. This suggests that she has a special power, making her very attractive to Cole. She has a choice to stay in the Everneath with him, but she decides to go back home to be with her family and her boyfriend, Jack, who was her biggest motivation to remain alive. However, going back to the real world puts her on a countdown to destruction, destining her to spend an eternity in the Underworld. She tries to live her life (or what she has left of it) but Cole is an obvious interference, desperately trying to convince her to be with him and rule the Everneath. But her heart is with Jack, putting her in a predicament and forcing her to look for any alternative she can find. And therein lies the story.
I didn’t really like how 100 years in the Everneath is only 6 months in the real world. That was too convenient. There is a lot of time jumping (showing POVs from past to present to past, etc. ) while counting down to the climax, but the build up isn’t intense. It’s very “day in the life”. The beginning ropes you in in hopes that you’re in for a super cool roller coaster ride, but then it turns into an unoriginal high school teen drama; I would have avoided this book had I known to expect that. In terms of characters, I preferred Cole simply because he was actually interesting and that was an actual challenge. Don’t get me wrong, he’s manipulative and a horrible love interest, but as a character I would have liked to have seen more. I like my villains to be more than one-dimensional. I started skimming the scenes with Jack after a while, though I got the point. This book was more teen romance with a dash of paranormal lore. Overall, if they took out the lore most of the book would be unaffected.
The best parts were the brief mythology references. While it seems as if the next book could focus on a little more adventure, I’m not taking the bait. There are two other potentially interesting worlds that we merely hear about: the Everneath and the Underworld, and I wanted Nikki to explore both. This was the chance for the series to stand out to me and it didn’t. It’s got pretty good ratings overall though, so maybe it’s just me. I might be willing to read the second book if she does explore these worlds in future books, but I’m not waiting with bated breath for it.
To my knowledge, Barely Human is the first Urban Fantasy novel by Trace Riles. We're introduced to Jessie, a police detective with a strange ability to teleport or "flicker" practically anywhere at any time. She can't control this ability and it's getting worse day by day, making it impossible to keep it a secret any longer. While it also seemingly affects her murder investigation for a high school student, it actually turns out that this murder is key to her finally realizing what she is and what else is out there. The high school student is just the first victim of a serial killing maniacal demon, and Jessie and her partner have to team up with other unsuspecting supernaturals to stop his rampage. From there we're introduced to a world of demons, vampires, werewolves, necromancers, witches and more.
The book is pretty good. The cover is kind of cheesy and leaves a lot of be desired from a few design aspects (though my pickiness could just be due to my graphic design experience), but the story itself is overall fairly interesting. Based on the pace of the book, I was actually expecting it to be the start of a series, but for now it seems to be a standalone.
A lot of elements felt like your typical Urban Fantasy fanfare without a twist that was unique or fresh enough. While Jessie is the central character, this book does reflect POVs of other characters in every chapter. I usually don’t like this approach, but I didn’t mind it here because I felt like it helped the main storyline progress for the most part. So overall, I think Riles handled that part well. Though without follow up books I think a good deal of the development will be wasted, so it will be interesting to see if that happens.
Some perspectives were more interesting than others, but honestly the character that stood out to me most was the villain, Karl. I think it was a gutsy move to use his perspective because we really got into the mind of a maniac. The scariest thing about a psychotic individual is that the person believes he or she is normal. Jessie proves that you can be a monster without being an evil monster if you know what I mean.
So while I'm not sure if there's a lot more in store for Jessie's world, I must say that for a first novel I definitely think Riles shows a lot of potential. I didn't really fall in love with the characters so I wouldn't mind if she moved onto something else, but I feel as if Riles has creativity that can evolve.
Kenya Wright's Fire Baptized pleasantly surprised me! Just when I start to wonder if I'm just reading too much Urban Fantasy, I run into a fantastic story like this one.
There are no secret supernaturals here. Since the '70s humans have isolated these species to live in restricted areas. Think District 9 with a little less slum...in some parts of town. They identify all of the different species with brands on their foreheads. Of course there is a class system within their kind, with mixbreeds being on the bottom. Our main character, Lanore, is one of these mixbreeds. Armed with the power of fire, she is far from helpless, but she doesn't really look for trouble either; it merely finds her.
She ends up in the wrong place at the wrong time when she witnesses a grisly murder, eventually making herself a target for this satanic killer. The biggest fear is of the unknown. And to stop this killer she has to team up with a couple of hunky--but helpful--friends as she investigates the murder herself and tries to stay alive.
The world building is fantastic, intriguing, and easy to follow. Some of the characters and the monsters are awesome too, if not a bit sympathetic at times. The story is a shorter read than most, but it still qualifies as a novel and I felt that it was the perfect length. Because of this, I can honestly say that I wasn't bored for a second. I would say that it's a lighter Urban Fantasy with some dark elements to it because I did find myself laughing a good deal of the time.
Lanore is an African American character so I thought it was awesome to change it up from what we usually see (not that I don't love that too). It's just great to see diversity in this genre. I also really liked the descriptions of how she uses her fire power.
I don't like love triangles and this one didn't change my mind. That is pretty much the only harp I have with this book, so I grinned and beared it. Though there is interracial romance, the racism and discrimination is a species-based issue and it gets pretty ugly, making you really question "humanity" or the lack thereof.
Overall I am truly impressed, especially considering that this is Wright's debut novel. It kicks off strong and never lets up. It was a very imaginative world and I am eager to read the next book. While this book solves the mystery, there is definitely a larger overarching plot that is developing, so we have a lot more to look forward to.
And on one last note, I must say that I love love love the subtlety of the cover. I think it looks great!
As you can see, I present definitive proof that I've indeed read the book! And man oh man is it fantastic! It's my new favorite! I normally worry about using that term too loosely because it could diminish the potential quality of the series as a whole, but I genuinely think it's the best book thus far. Kim Harrison has done it yet again and all signs point to her doing it two more times, and in epic proportions.
This time the Ever After, home of the demons, is shrinking at an alarmingly fast rate, placing the existence of magic in a pretty vulnerable position; without one there couldn't be the other. So as if our favorite itchy witch, Rachel Morgan, didn't have enough problems, this just sprang up to #1. If she can't solve this one, she won't have any others. If she can't fix it, the demons want her head as her botched leyline creation caused this mess in the first place. And no one wants to see that happen more than her old buddy, Ku'Sox, the former day walking demon who had the misfortune to cross Rachel and lose. He even resorts to abducting her friend and goddaughter as insurance...and boy is it effective. Thankfully she's got Trent Kalamack and Algaliarept by her side to restore balance and take him down once and for all. But the price may be too high for things to ever be the same again.
I know there was criticism about not a lot happening in A Perfect Blood, though I personally enjoyed the old-school Hollows style mystery. But for those of you who didn't, for EVER AFTER I think a better question is what *didn't* happen! There was so much going on that I genuinely can't recall a dull moment. I think I felt and continue to feel every emotion possible, but I ultimately finished the book in pure euphoria. In case you needed a little reminding, Harrison presents really harsh realities and difficult decisions that prove she's an author with guts. I don't think I've experienced so many pulse pounding moments since For a Few Demons More (book 5). This book left me reeling like no other.
The scenes that take place in the Ever-After were some of the best of the series. The race against the clock really made this book so intense. Learning the history of the demons and the elves and the eventual degradation of their relationship was great, though I would have loved even more insight. I just can't get enough of it.
And that brings me to Big Al, who was totally amazing. Fans will absolutely adore him in this book as we learn more about his personal back story. He's much more prominent here than in A Perfect Blood and that's fine by me because he literally lights up the pages and keeps things exciting in his own peculiar way.
After having read Trent's POV in the bonus chapter of A Perfect Blood, I saw everything he did in a whole new light, and boy was it refreshing. He's got his own personal demons to work through and it really makes you feel for the guy. He is in a rock and a hard place, accepting his actions that have led to certain consequences while still working to find the best solution possible. I loved seeing him use more magic. I feel like elves have a pretty powerful arsenal that deserve more exploration, so it was nice to see Harrison skim the surface here with the insinuation of even greater things. Magic is amped up for the elves, while more human qualities are amped up for the demons, so it was an interesting trade off.
His teamwork with Rachel was one of my favorite parts of the book. The tension was insane and placed so well all throughout. It's seriously amazing to go back and read passages from Dead Witch Walking and then look at them now. Their progress is usually one step forward, two steps back, but the slow burn for this ship is probably what will make it my all-time #1 favorite if they end up together *fingers crossed*.
This book was just about everything I could ask for, but it wasn't 100% flawless. With so much ever after, elf and demon action, the story manages to throw in a smidgeon of development in vampire politics. Unfortunately it felt very much like an afterthought and briefly broke the overall flow. We know vampires won't get a lot of focus until the final book 13, so 10 or so pages of development came off a random at best and forgettable at worst.
All in all, this is an absolute MUST READ for fans of the series. Since Black Magic Sanction and Pale Demon the series has been invigorated and manages to improve as we reach the final stretch. That is a rarity for 95% of series that make it this far. I think it helps a lot that Kim Harrison has an end in sight and continues to write towards that. Many others have jumped-the-shark by this point. The Hollows is absolutely revving up for a grande finale and I cannot wait to be there.
*ARC provided by the author (cuz she frickin' ROCKS!!)
Tempted by Blood is book 3 in Laurie London's Sweetblood series. The war continues between Guardians, the evolved race of vampires who cho...moreA Good Read
Tempted by Blood is book 3 in Laurie London's Sweetblood series. The war continues between Guardians, the evolved race of vampires who choose to protect humans, and Darkbloods, the more primitive vampires who want to maintain their heritage and culture, remaining at the top of the food chain. The focus of this book is on one special Guardian, Jackson. He takes pride in his work and finds himself protecting a teen girl who is the Darkblood's target. She is in the custody of her cousin, Arianna. Arianna works for a gaming company while maintaining a secret paranormal blog. Having always suspected that supernatural activity existed, she and Jackson cross paths trying to keep her cousin safe, and what she witnesses may expose them all.
I honestly didn't know this was a part of a series because the author does a really good job at providing back story. Jackson is indeed hott, but every time I think about him I imagine Taylor Kitsch. The cover doesn't really match him at all, especially when it comes to his multi-colored hair. Arianna is his love interest and she comes off as fairly ordinary in appearance, but Jackson loves that about her.
While this can be classified as paranormal romance, there's a good deal of action, plot and tension that keeps things very interesting. I actually felt as if this book balanced the elements really well. No, it's not the most original, but it's still an entertaining read. I think fans of the Black Dagger Brotherhood would like this; I myself particularly appreciated normal names and villains that are actually intimidating.
Feel free to skip this paragraph because this may be considered a spoiler, but I was fine with the book up until the ending. In all honesty it was way too "Happily Ever After" for my tastes. I was hoping for a little more grit and I felt like this book could have taken a more interesting route. Tieing everything up into a perfectly neat bow was just cringe-worthy for me.
So aside from that one gripe, I recommend this book if you're searching for a new series. I was engaged all throughout, so that's a sign of a good read for me.
Having lived in Washington, D.C. all of my life, I was expecting to be pretty well-versed in the environment of A Blood Seduction by Pamela Palmer. But instead we’re introduced to Washington, V.C. Nope, there are no typos there. V.C.–”Vamp City” for short–is the alternate dimension of D.C., taking us through a bit of a time warp in the process.
While not in first person, the story primarily focuses on Quinn Lennox, a scientist with NIH who always had a sneaking suspicion that she wasn’t quite normal. Strange things have happened to her and around her all of her life. She’s had this sight into a strange parallel universe that she hadn’t been able to enter until her brother’s friend goes missing.
On their mission to find her they stumble into this world by accident, separating from one another as they soon realize that they’ve been swiftly downgraded to the bottom of the food chain. Vampires, werewolves, and witches, oh my! They all exist here and vampires enslave humans to not only drink their blood, but feed on their anguish in many forms. Quinn is taken in by Arturo Mazzo, a devilishly handsome and manipulative 600-year-old vampire who realizes that Quinn is no ordinary woman. In fact, she may be the key to save V.C. But saving her brother is her top priority, so she endures the many horrors of this world. Better the devil that you know…
I devoured this book in one day. It is a departure from your typical Paranormal Romance which I tend to prefer in order to enjoy this genre. I was instantly drawn in to Palmer’s familiar, but not so familiar setting. Quinn is not the most likable heroine, but she is occasionally relatable if not a bit stupid in a few instances. Honestly, at this point I’m trying to figure out what heroine hasn’t been on occasion. It all really just goes back to her devotion to her brother.
While we do get a few scenes from Arturo’s POV, this character remains mysterious throughout the whole novel. Her relationship with Arturo is fairly complicated and I couldn’t always predict what would happen. It’s really difficult to determine his real motivations or a definitive direction for his character. This makes him genuinely intriguing and a bit more than a pretty face.
Palmer’s vampires are genuinely horrible beings, but boy are they pretty… Thankfully a lot of the scenes with them at their worst quell that appeal. I was slightly shocked at the depravity and cringe-worthiness of the vampires actions, so Palmer’s mission was accomplished to really make me hate the worst of the worst for these big bads. I’ve been looking for a bit of horror in my books and this brings a very good dose of it, more than I was expecting based on the synopsis.
Palmer also injects a lot Washington, D.C. history (more than I know personally *hangs head in shame*), but your average Washingtonian wouldn’t know half of the facts Quinn was throwing out, and it seemed a little out of character because Quinn wasn’t particularly interested in history. That’s my only real gripe about this novel.
This book is ballsy without a doubt. While I wouldn’t necessarily call this a cliffhanger, beware that this book is certainly an introduction to Vamp City. The surprise ending left me wondering the fate of certain characters as the books progress, and I desperately wish that more books were available. It’s a story you’ll either love or hate, but if you love it, the second book can’t come soon enough. This is one where you’ll definitely hope for two books per year.
Epic doesn’t even begin to describe Kingmakers, the final novel of the Vampire Empire trilogy. Each installment is better than th...morePowerful, Perfection
Epic doesn’t even begin to describe Kingmakers, the final novel of the Vampire Empire trilogy. Each installment is better than the last; Susan and Clay Griffith have done an amazing job at building momentum to this moment and it really doesn’t disappoint.
Adele leads the war against vampires to the north and Gareth is getting first hand experience with the it, fighting for Adele in the front lines of battle. But the vampires are formidable opponents and have gained the upper hand, quickly bringing the humans to their knees. Something must be done and Adele’s geomancy powers may be the ace in the hole that the human race needs to win once and for all.
The last novel is jam packed with story, but there’s a lot of action so it gets going much faster than its predecessors. Politics, betrayal, and new revelations are key to Adele and Gareth’s development. They are the heart of this saga after all. But with their seemingly impossible love, can the heart still beat?
Adele has matured wonderfully over the novels and she’s become really admirable. I liked seeing her in a major position of power, strategizing and making difficult decisions that challenge morality. It’s a nice departure from other urban fantasy novels where the heroines start at the bottom and have to work their way up. She’s on a slippery slope as she tries to control her geomancy powers, which may be dangerous to more than solely vampires.
Gareth is as wonderful as always with his selflessness. He’s even adorable at times as he still tries to fully understand human customs and history. His light moments with Adele really gave me the case of the warm fuzzies, if only because it feels so fleeting as the pull of his vampire heritage requires that he finally face his brother once and for all. That, and her powers seriously conflict with his entire being on a biological level beyond their control.
This book has pretty much everything you could ask for and you’ll experience practically every emotion while reading it. The ending is very powerful, enough that you may want to have kleenex on hand, but I won’t spoil it any further. My only complaint is that I want more. I love this world and I’m sad to see it end; though unfortunately that must happen to all good things…
Well done to the Griffiths on their fantastic work! This is definitely one of my favorite trilogies ever.
*ARC provided by the publisher *Review also posted to Amazon.(less)
Betrayal and redemption are the primary themes in Love is Mortal, book 3 in the Valerie Dearborn series. It also completes the story arc of Valerie and Lucas. Stuck in the land of the Fey, Valerie is desperate to get out of Cerdwellyn’s clutches. Her powers as an empath, while useful, are not enough and she’ll have to work with Lucas if they have any hope of freedom. But can she trust him after his betrayal?
I have enjoyed this series quite a bit so it was sad to see this come to the end, though this book was a fitting way to conclude their story. There’s a lot of character development, particularly on Lucas’s end. After the devastating revelations in Love is Fear, there was a lot of rebuilding to be done when it came to Lucas and Valerie’s relationship and not a lot of time to do it. The work around was effective.
There wasn’t as much action this time around as Val and Lucas spend a great deal of time captive. It’s more of a psychological game. The the start was a little on the slow side for me because of this, but it does hit its stride and doesn’t really stop until it’s over.
Even though this doesn’t leave on a cliffhanger, there are a lot of questions still left when it comes to the land of the Fey and Cerdwellyn’s past and future, as well as Jack and Rachel, so thankfully we’re not completely finished with Valerie Dearborn world. It’s a fabulous series and I still want more.
*ARC provided by the author. *Review also posted to Amazon. (less)
The description of this book is a bit misleading. I was expecting a lighter yet informative read. There were some moments where I enjoyed it...more2.5 stars.
The description of this book is a bit misleading. I was expecting a lighter yet informative read. There were some moments where I enjoyed it and chuckled quite a bit, but I wish there was more material to relate to for myself.
I liked the descriptions of the types of assholes. While reading it, I found myself thinking of all of the ones in my life, appropriately categorizing them along the way.
The book would break off into a lot of lengthy political tangents, which I didn't really care about. I know politicians are assholes. I don't need a rehash of the history about it. I don't care to categorize what kind of assholes *they* are. I just care about the ones in my everyday life...and celebs.
I wanted more definitive guidance as to what would be the best course of action to deal with them. What's written is common sense; or at least it suggests for you to use it.
I also wasn't a fan of the nature vs. nurture argument and how culture cultivates assholes. There were too many sweeping generalizations, suggesting that Canada and Japan don't have assholes in comparison to the US and Italy (which I personally think is total B.S. because I've spent time in both Japan and Canada and can affirm that they have assholes, especially beneath the surface).
There were a few wise words that were highlight-worthy, but they were more about how I should internalize assholian attitudes as opposed to the best recourse to fight back. I found myself willing to instead just copy and print the "letter to an asshole" at the end of the book because it expressed my feelings fairly accurately.
So while I had a couple of issues with this book, it's worth a look, especially for the asshole categorizations, the "letter to an asshole" at the end, and the game theory, which made me reminisce about my college days where we experimented with this theory for a class project in business school. (less)