I’ve only ever read the Kate Daniels series when it comes to the Ilona Andrews crew, and since that’s one of my favorite series I was looking forward to giving this one a try. They posted this story chapter by chapter as a serial series on their blog but I wanted to hold out until they had a finished product. It’s not a very long read but it’s full of magic and imagination on par with what we’ve come to expect when it comes to them. At the same time it’s totally distinct from Kate Daniels which is good. The only part that I didn’t really care for was the relationship with Sean, the alpha werewolf. I think the story was a little too short to work in developing a truly compelling romance angle there, and it’s hard to determine where it can go. He’s not Dina’s only admirer either as Arland’s intentions make me curious as well, so while I wouldn’t call it a triangle per se, it’s a little more complicated than I think it necessary for a 175 page read. The main characters themselves are plenty interesting though.
All in all I think this was a successful exercise for them and I’d like to see what they can do writing the sequels how they normally do. It’s an easy recommend if you enjoy the writing of Ilona Andrews and the artwork is totally gorgeous. I would love to see new ones in the sequel.
Dark Mind was a well-done debut effort by Matthew Goldstein. Though only a high school student, Cole’s left with a huge responsibiliDark Mind Review
Dark Mind was a well-done debut effort by Matthew Goldstein. Though only a high school student, Cole’s left with a huge responsibility that most adults couldn’t manage. He can prevent tragedy, but it’s a constant game of chess to determine if the decision is the right one. If he can prevent a tragedy, it comes at a price elsewhere, namely to those he loves. This give and take leaves him conflicted and leaves the reader wondering what he will choose, and the outcome is not predictable.
All in all I enjoyed the novel. It looks to be the start of a new series, so I would like for future novels to elaborate further on the paranormal aspects of the story. Some sections felt a little too contemporary. The cover is really cool. I like that the style is a departure from your usual photoshopped covers with models or flashy text that comprise most of the covers this genre. I’m definitely looking forward to a sequel.
I read the first three books back to back and then took a break. It was a good break because returning to this one unveiled a whole neA Game Changer
I read the first three books back to back and then took a break. It was a good break because returning to this one unveiled a whole new level of drama! Based on the synopsis, get prepared for a huge dose of awkwardness. We can finally put a face to the name for Dex’s girlfriend, and it was great seeing the layers gradually peel back on their relationship as the book progressed. It felt more real that way. While I enjoyed the book, a few revelations were pretty predictable, but I was glad to see them resolved.
Dex and Perry both experience a bit of growth in this one, even though the novel ends on a cliffhanger. This series is considered horror, but character development is at the forefront this time around. Thankfully each book provides enough revelations to keep me coming back. Often times when a book tries to do too much (ie: spending more focus on the book’s mystery rather than the overarching plot), I find it lacking. Even though character relationships are probably the most important aspect, I prefer when it ties into the series storyline, and I don’t want the revelations to feel like breadcrumbs. Some ongoing series have a habit of doing that to the point of where I give up because there’s too much filler and not enough meat.
I really enjoyed the introduction of rival ghost hunters. They were such tools. I kind of wish more happened there, but I also think we haven’t seen the last of them. I do like this series for the horror and I found this book very enjoyable. I honestly wasn’t bored for a second and I found myself laughing a bit too. Karina Halle does a great job with humor. I just wish there was more horror like Dead Morning Sky (book 3) where things were even scarier for me when some real life creepy things were happening while I was reading it.
This book is an absolute must read if you’re a fan of the series because things are never going to be the same from here on out. Halle has made it clear that she is not going to take the easy road for Dex and Perry, but that makes things all the more interesting.
Mercy’s adjusting to lot of changes theses days; she’s now Mrs. Hauptman, wife and mate to alpha werewolf, Adam, and stepmom to his daughter, Jesse. This level of normalcy is refreshing compared to the usual whirlwind of her life. But of course things can’t remain peaceful forever. While taking advantage of Black Friday, Mercy and Jesse are in a car accident and find that they can’t reach Adam or anyone else in the pack. And it’s not a coincidence.
The pack has been abducted and may be in serious danger. It’s a delicate time for the werewolf race as they work to gain public acceptance. Without her pack to turn to, Mercy will reach out to every ally possible to save them, including some new and unexpected faces.
This was a really great read! I breezed through it in no time. I really missed Mercy and the gang. Maybe that’s a sign that this series is inching its way into my favorites group. And that’s a pretty exclusive club! But after this book it’s earned it. Adam is a true badass here, even tied to a chair! I don’t quote Paris Hilton often, but that “that’s hott.” Seriously, he’s to die for here, especially since we get TWO chapters from his point of view!
His relationship with Mercy really is refreshing. Though they have some drama and angst, they are secure in their relationship and don’t bother with mind games. That’s become an oddity with a number of series, even some of my favorites.
The story combines events that occur in Patricia Brigg’s Alpha & Omega series. It definitely helps if you’ve read the A&O series. I haven’t yet, but I was able to keep up with no trouble. Though at first I wasn’t really planning to read the series, but after Frost Burned I think I’ll go ahead and add A&O to my TBR pile, though I likely won’t get to them until next year, maybe around the time when Mercy 8 will be released. Thankfully that won’t be two years.
This is one of my favorite Mercy novels, but I would have liked more Bran and Stefan (who I think deserves a spin-off of his own). The book wasn’t too short or long, but maybe if it were a little longer they could have had a little more presence. I hope we’ll see a good bit of them next time. This book is definitely a must read for Mercy fans.
This marks my first review of Seanan McGuire's popular series. Normally I prefer to review every book after I read it; however, for this series it was super difficult to become invested early on. I got through the first three quickly to keep my enthusiasm up for the series. But since I read them quickly I didn't think I could write a proper review. But due to the high acclaim that the later books have received I decided to push through, and that turned out to be a good decision.
October "Toby" Daye, our favorite half-human, half-fae, is just a magnet for trouble. She means well, but when it comes to Faerie politics, nothing is cut and dry. She earns knighthood, an unprecedented achievement for a changeling since their kind are all but shunned when it comes to the fae community. So there is definitely an ulterior motive involved...perhaps the perfect scenario to make Toby public enemy number 1 after a number of grave incidents happen to those closest to her.
This is far and away the best book of the series so far. it's the most emotionally charged book yet where loyalties are cemented, secrets are revealed, and the action is steady. Everything is a close call, keeping the suspense high. I really didn't know what to expect from page to page for the majority of the book. We find out who Toby's friends really are and just how far they are willing to go to protect her. Her friends aren't perfect, but they're honorable.
I finally found myself really starting to like the side characters. My favorite supporting characters are Tybalt, the Luidaeg, Connor, and May. Being the cat person that I am, I do wish Tybalt would get more page time. Though not my favorite, I do like Sylvester and sympathized with him quite a bit. Everyone is coming into their own, and more than willing to prove their worth. The character development is pretty compelling, especially when it comes to Toby and May. The mythology involving the plethora of fairie species evolves quite a bit, expanding the world even more. They are more vulnerable than we think and I'm interested in seeing where things will go next.
It's not the first series to have a slow beginning. My favorite series, The Hollows, is the same way (though I became invested faster). I am glad that I stuck through it though because it's definitely one of the best that urban fantasy has to offer. Book 1 to book 4 is literally like night and...daye.
I’m starting to wonder how many more directions we’ll get to these graves. Right, left, ahead… I don’t even know if Charley knows whDead on Arrival…
I’m starting to wonder how many more directions we’ll get to these graves. Right, left, ahead… I don’t even know if Charley knows where she’s going anymore. I just hope the cemetery isn’t that big. Personally, I just want to know the directions to the exit.
Third Grave Dead Ahead is the third installment of the Charley Davidson series by Darynda Jones. Charley once again is pulled into a murder case, this time involving a possessive doctor and his missing wife. She’d like to be at her best, but after binding Reyes Alexander Farrow (Son of Satan and her lifelong protector) to his body, she’s haunted by him in her sleep, meaning she’s getting no rest at all. So she’ll just solve that little issue by staying awake. I go on record to say that Reyes is a better problem to have than Freddie Kruger…
Unable to rely on Reyes’s help when faced with grave danger, she may actually need to take care of herself! Oh the shock!
After reading this book, the events of book 2 were rendered completely pointless. Reyes goes from wanting his body to die (since it’s just a burden and he’d only rot in prison) to now wanting to save it to prove his innocence. Deux ex Machina much? He couldn’t have decided on that one whole book prior to this? There’s an excuse, but it’s as thin as the paper these books are printed on. Furthermore, I am completely apathetic to their relationship, and now he’s becoming a lot more of a problem than a sweet escape. Maybe in about 10 books from now they’ll actually fight, or do something way more interesting than what’s here.
At this point these books feel really formulaic. There are constant punchlines (very few actually made me laugh), no poignant drama, more humans causing trouble (as if they should be an actual threat to the Grim Reaper), and we get breadcrumbs at best for any development that relates to Charley’s powers. I honestly ended up skimming to the dialogue to get through this book, making me realize that I simply do not like Charley.
Finally the last 10% picks up in the paranormal department, but it should have happened a lot sooner. But of course, Charlie has to figure these things out for herself; it cannot be told. She’s just not smart enough to figure it out before the end.
I am still scratching my head as to how she didn’t figure out how to reverse a particular spell when the solution ended up being…oh, I don’t know…ONLY THE MOST OBVIOUS THING TO SAY!!
I gave three books a go. I really wanted to like it, but at this point this series is not for me. Where’s that exit again? Oh, here it is!
I was glad to have the opportunity to review The Burning Bush (Habitat #2) by Kenya Wright after enjoying its predecessor a great deal.
When you’re a mixie, sometimes you have to take matters into your own hands to survive. In Lanore and Zulu’s case, that includes taking down a real mover and shaker, vampire businessman Dante Bottelli. After bombing his production plant, everything goes downhill and Lanore gets roped into a bizarre murder case, the Burning Bush Murders to be exact, involving the bodies of young women being tied to burning bushes. There is undoubtedly magic involved, making this not so cut and dry. Solving a murder and managing a turf war…it’s safe to say our heroine’s got her hands full.
There are some of the usual urban fantasy tropes that aren’t my favorite when it comes to this series, particularly the love triangle, but the actual story is engaging enough for me to deal with it. Their vigilante antics raise the stakes immensely, producing rather unpredictable outcomes. The characters themselves have quite a bit of flaws, but it makes them more relatable because of it. While the series is heavy on the drama and grit, there are quite a few laugh out loud moments as well. I can honestly say that I wasn’t bored for even one page.
Though longer than the first book, the Burning Bush is even better. The world building is as solid as ever and you really feel for the mixies being treated as second class citizens. Lanore, Zulu, and MeShack’s hardships take you on an emotional roller coaster that you feel even until the very last page. My jaw dropped to the floor. I wanted to make sure my file wasn’t corrupted and I somehow didn’t get the rest of the book. Think of the series finale of The Sopranos when it cut off suddenly and you stared at who had the remote. The “ending” if you can call it that was just unbelievable and it left me immediately wanting the next novel.
This series is as good as it gets when it comes to this genre, so I highly recommend it.
Usually by book 3 I'm able to determine whether or not I love a series. Well, I'm now fully into the world of Alex Craft and while good, I still don't feel as invested in the long haul.
There are some interesting developments in Nekros City; a string of suicides leaves Alex with many questions and few answers as she investigates these occurrences. The shades of these bodies all possess no memory of their final days, meaning that there's a big chance these people are actually murder victims. Facing magical adversaries she has never encountered before is always risky, especially as she navigates through her own evolution into her fae heritage, but this time the stakes may be too high.
While I am not totally in love with this series, in terms of the overall actual story, I thought this was the most interesting. I mean, suicide that may not be suicide? What a mindf*ck! I was quite invested in how Alex would solve the crime this time. My favorite scene for this series is still probably the last quarter of the second novel, Grave Dance, where she is fully immersed into the world of Faerie, but the overarching mystery was more compelling here.
All of everyone's favorite supporting characters are back and just as involved as ever. I do like that her problems strike close enough to home to put her friends in real danger, not just the fodder characters. It makes me wonder how far Kalayna Price is willing to go. I'm most interested in learning more about her Faerie roots and her destiny. It seems all but certain that she will be a huge player when it comes to its future.
One can't talk about this series without bringing up the love triangle. I was all but expecting to pull a switcheroo and get on the Team Death bandwagon, but after reading it I still prefer Falin. I'm not anti-Death and he gets more points here, but I was hoping for more substantial screentime with him this time around. Price still spends more time telling us about him and Alex than showing us like we get to see with Falin and Alex. There is undoubtedly more movement for them (I'm coining it Dalex if nobody has yet); I know he loves her and will sacrifice for her, I get it. But to keep this triangle going it's becoming formulaic, so I wonder why I should still care at all. I can certainly say this isn't changing my mind about love-triangles. They still blow.
Book 4 is due out next year, so maybe I will have some time to miss this world and it will be refreshing to see it again. Things are certainly about to get REALLY interesting based on the semi-cliffhanger ending...
The Vampire Council just won’t leave poor Risa Jones alone. This time she is forced to investigate a string of murders involving blood-whore addicted vampires. Sure, she’s got her own problems to deal with, but with an execution order on her life she’ll have to shift priorities and solve this case in order to get it lifted. She begrudgingly enlists the help of her ex-boyfriend journalist; this only serves to stir the pot even more, bringing up old feelings and nuggets of her past.
Not a lot of progress is made toward the overarching plot of the series, which involves Risa confiscating keys for her father that could potentially open the gates the hell. But I found the mystery to be satisfying enough to keep my interest. I love vamps so if we were going to get a side plot, I’m glad it was this one. That said, I hope that the next book is heavier on the main plot so that there can be steady advancement of the plot.
I am enjoying the continued development of her dark angel partner in crime, Azriel. There is progress on the relationship front with Risa as well, but it’s fragile at best and I have feeling that there will be a hitch. Not to mention, her current lover Lucian is not quite out of the picture yet, though this relationship hits its own rocky waters. I’m surprised it’s taken this long honestly. Lucian practically has a red flag stamped to his forehead when it comes to trust. It’s so obvious that he’s hiding something that I question if this is a red herring; otherwise, we’re in for a grossly underwhelming revelation of his true intentions.
When I first started reading Keri Arthur’s Dark Angel series, I wasn’t sure if it would be my cup of tea. I wasn’t really feeling Risa much as the lead and sometimes that can make or break a series for me. While she’s still not necessarily my favorite, I’m growing more attached to the supporting characters (namely Azriel), so for now I will continue reading.
Young Adult paranormal fans, specifically those who love ghosts, may want to consider checking out K.D. McEntire's debut effort, Lightbringer. Wendy is a not-so-everyday teen with a peculiar six sense; she can see ghosts--ghosts of the Never to be exact--which consist of children who've died too young. Not only can she see them, but they know she can and so they seek her out routinely for help. Only she can bring them to the other side, setting their souls free. However, evil is universal and her efforts put a target on her back from darker forces, so she may have to watch out to make sure she doesn't end up in the Never herself, or worse...
Overall I thought the idea of the book was pretty solid. There are many mythological references which were actually quite nice to read about. McEntire appears to have done some homework. It definitely encompasses the YA coming of age element, but it's not too focused on high school drama which just doesn't interest me whatsoever and often turns me off from picking up YA titles these days. While it was a solid read, I think I was expecting a little more tension than I felt as I actually read the book. It starts off really well, but I think it becomes more character driven as opposed to action packed. It sort of slowed down for me toward the middle and then picks up again towards the end.
I love great villains and I must say that this villain, the White Lady, kept me fairly enthralled. It's not quite as easy to predict what her plans and motives are, so I found myself looking most forward to those scenes.
This is the start of the series, so there are a number of roads the subsequent books can take as Wendy realizes her heritage and her destiny. Though YA, this series has a darker air about it, so tragedy could become a mainstay. Death is pretty much the center of this story after all.
Oh the shock. I must confess that I'd never before read a novel by Kelley Armstrong. Though I'd heard about her often and saSmall town, big problems
Oh the shock. I must confess that I'd never before read a novel by Kelley Armstrong. Though I'd heard about her often and saw her books on the shelves, I just never got around to her stuff. But now I understand what I was missing.
Waking the Witch is my first foray into the Women of the Otherworld series. The central character is Savannah Levine, an orphaned but proud and skilled dark witch. She must put her abilities to the test as a Private Investigator, looking into a string of peculiar murders in the small town of Columbus, Washington. Only to the supernaturally trained eye can we see that there's a little more than foul play involved. And it will take a member of the otherworld to catch this serial killer. But Savannah must watch her back as she makes herself a target as well as those whom she holds dear.
One of the qualities I enjoyed about this was how easy to is to become immersed in the book. I thought the balance of mystery and magic was handled well. If you removed the magic elements, it would make for a pretty fascinating mystery and suspense novel. But because I love all things paranormal, the magic makes it even more interesting. Though I hadn't read a prior novel, it wasn't necessary to enjoy this particular story; yet I do want to go back and read the prior novels at some point. I get OCD like that sometimes, but I really like Armstrong's writing.
For a long time Savannah's been carrying a torch for her friend Adam, but her feelings have gone unreciprocated. I really liked their moments as friends, and found this to be an interesting approach to build a love story. The only potential problem is that really do feel like friends to me aside from her internal monologue desiring more. I think they need a little more romantic chemistry for me to buy them as a couple, but I want to see how this is resolved.
Serving as an introduction to bigger problems, this book isn't necessarily a cliff hanger, but the story ends making it very obvious that there is more in store for the next one. And I will certainly read it right after this.
It took me a little while to get around to reading the second and final volume for the Moon Called graphic novel. What with no bookstores nearby, I wasn't totally sure if I wanted to pay for a comic that I couldn't see. The first volume was beautifully illustrated, but I wasn't sure how much I would enjoy the story. For me the Mercy Thompson series definitely suffers from FBS (first book syndrome), but seeing the story illustrated mitigated the experience immensely.
Volume 2 picks up directly after Volume 1. Adam's daughter, Jesse, has been kidnapped and Mercy tries to help track her down. She has to enlist help from her vampire friend, Stefan, whose camarilla may have information on where to find her. She has to manage this on top of figuring out whose been experimenting on weres. Facing a lot of danger, Mercy has to work with vampires, werewolves and faeries while she tests her own boundaries to see where she fits into it all.
The comments from my first review remain steady when it comes to the artwork. If anything I think it's even better than the first volume. The story is the weakest part of this entry, but I can't say if it's because I was never really interested when it came to the written novels or if it was because it's difficult to grasp the whole story when you're limited to speech bubbles. Sometimes it was hard to follow and I noticed a couple of continuity issues from frame to frame. Even still, the art exceeded my expectations when it comes to this series. I have a new way to imagine the characters. I was really happy to see Stefan this time around and he has a significant presence. I feel like the illustrator probably liked drawing him. He's quite the looker! I like Mercy and Adam together, but I honestly wouldn't have minded seeing her with Stefan in the books, and the graphic novel only makes it worse now, haha!
So all in all, I do recommend this if only to admire the beautiful illustrations, but you will definitely need Volume 1 as a companion to know everything that's happened.
I read the first novel of Keri Arthur's series, Darkness Unbound, finding that the pieces of a good Urban Fantasy series were therNow we're talkin'
I read the first novel of Keri Arthur's series, Darkness Unbound, finding that the pieces of a good Urban Fantasy series were there, but it didn't really come together to carve out its own unique spot in this genre. Well, Darkness Rising is definitely putting this series on the right track to do that and I'm glad that it didn't take very long. Many books suffer from FBS (first book syndrome), even some of the best series. So that's why I decided to give the Dark Angels saga another shot and I'm happy I did.
After the heart-wrenching ending of the prior book, Risa Jones, the Aedh/werewolf hybrid, is out for blood and desperately searching for her mother's killer. She's even willing to work for Madeline Hunter, the evil leader of the vampire council, doing her bidding in exchange for information to help her get to the bottom of the murder.
Part of that includes Risa finding the culprit responsible for spelling elder vampire council members to rapidly age and die. As if those two pesky tasks weren't enough on her plate, Risa's Aedh father also has plans for her, practically demanding she thrust herself into danger to locate the keys to heaven and hell--to what purpose we still don't quite know, but if she fails it will be her friends who pay the price. All of this while trying to figure out the growing powers within herself.
This book still wasn't perfect, but I felt like I was finally becoming familiar with the world and the characters. I wasn't hooked during the first book until the very end, but the momentum flows into this book so it ended up being quite an entertaining ride. I'm still not totally in love with the characters yet, but I think it has potential to grow over time. I particularly see a lot of potential with Risa's own personal "guardian angel" of sorts, Azriel. Some of their interactions are a bit predictable and I think I have a sense of where the relationship is going, but I appreciate that the author isn't rushing it. I was concerned this could be the case considering how Risa rationalizes her whoring ways as "celebrating sexuality." Still not buying it and I still think it's a lame attempt by the author to seem edgy, but it doesn't detract overall from the story.
After reading the first novel I wasn't really sure I would be interested in reading the original 9 novels from the Riley Jenson books. But after this book my interest has piqued a bit more. Unfortunately, I know how those books will end up so that may take away a bit of the suspense, but it could be worth it regardless of that. I'm still not in a rush to read them though and I doubt I will get to them this year.
All in all, for anyone that may have had a hard time getting into the first book, I urge you to give the second book a try because the series has potential to be really great.
The saga continues. Though the third book felt like it could have been a fitting end to the series, Stacia Kane got an extension and rolled with it. Chess and Terrible are back and things aren't as happily ever after as one would hope. I mean, really, how much of that can you really expect in this series?
Chess is ordered to help out Bump, her dealer and drug lord extraordinaire, to solve a set of murders caused by dark magic. Being a witch, this is her specialty and only she can get to the bottom of it. She's also got a day job as a ghost hunter for her Church where she must figure out what's behind a haunting on the other side of town, the rival side. The dead are being summoned and that's always a problem in the Downside world. They are super lethal and one must be super prepared to effectively take them on. So she has to put herself at risk once again to help everyone, including the one most important to her.
Overall, I really kind of struggle with this series. I'm not a Chess fan, and it's honestly not because she's a drug user. I just don't find her particularly interesting most of the time, but she is a very layered and flawed character, the product of too many tragedies suffered early on in life. I think in this novel we see the most introspection when it comes to Chess, and I actually laughed a couple of times. I'm honestly not a huge fan of Terrible either, and yet for some reason I like reading about their relationship. It's super raw and out of the ordinary, which makes it the most intriguing part of these novels. Though in this book there were a few instances where their situation became pretty off-putting for me by how destructive it was. It makes me hope that their personal drama won't be present in future books. I feel like once they've gotten past these issues we shouldn't go there again. So I'm wondering whether or not we'll see that pattern later on.
Kane is a very talented writer, if not a bit prolific at times. I've read a couple of her blog posts and I really respect her attitude toward the craft. She's created a distinct world, described very vividly; I get a great sense of the place. I just personally don't like to be in it for very long. I like my worlds to have some color to it. This feels way too drab, and it's not really because of the dystopian/post-apocolyptic style. I just can't put my finger on it. I would probably enjoy this series more if she shaved off 100 pages of non-Chess/Terrible content. This is probably why I enjoyed her short story, Home, a bit more than the books. It was short enough to keep me engaged, but it was still well done and included a satisfying dose of Chess and Terrible.
That said, the last 15% of this book is excellent and it had my complete attention. That's a stark contrast to a book I read before this one where the last 10% really dragged, so I give my kudos there.
The 5th book is due out very soon. It's a good series. I'm sure fans are glad the books have got an extension but I'm still not in love with it. I just can't seem to overcome my lack of love for darker urban fantasies. Different strokes, but it does keep me interested in what happens next for Chess and Terrible. I may give book 5 a read. If only my favorite series could release its next full novel only 3 months later. Downside fans are lucky!