Ashes of Honor, Book 6 in the October Daye series, takes place about a year after One Salt Sea. Toby has loved, lost, and is now trying to get back to normalcy. Of course, in Toby’s world “normalcy” includes solving cases and facing danger head on. And those who love her most fear that her luck could run out.
She takes on a case for Etienne to find his teenaged daughter, Chelsea, a changeling whose been kept a secret from Etienne for all of these years. However, without her father’s tutelage to harness her powers, she inadvertently wreaks havoc on Faerie, and Toby and her friends are at the front lines to help.
This was a great book for character development. Being the cat lover that I am, I was particularly interested in the politics surrounding the Court of Cats and their growing disdain for Tybalt’s decisions. Toby and Tybalt have always had a complicated relationship, so the consequences have caught up and everything plays out accordingly. Romance or no, I find the books are always better when he’s gracing the pages, and this time there was a satisfying dose of him.
The adventure to find Chelsea was a little flat for me, though it ended well. I think Seanan McGuire has created an amazing world, so to go from the previous book where we took a trip to the Undersea where we could see Toby in all of her mermaid glory and compare their politics to land fae, this wasn’t quite as interesting for me.
Toby gets banged around a LOT here. Having self-generating abilities has its pluses, but I feel like at least a quarter of the chapters end with Toby passing out or getting knocked out, which came off as a bit too repetitive.
Even still, it’s a quality read and a very important installment to the series. It’s probably my favorite at this point. I always appreciate a series that gets better with age.
In Susannah Sandlin's new series, Penton Legacy, a vampire's nightmare is realized when human blood, their major food source, is no longer readily avaIn Susannah Sandlin's new series, Penton Legacy, a vampire's nightmare is realized when human blood, their major food source, is no longer readily available. Vaccinated human blood for an unrelated pandemic has proven deadly to their kind, making supply low and demand high. With their race on the brink of starvation, a civil war looms. This becomes a problem for master vampire, Aidan Murphy, who has managed to create a small peaceful community in Penton, Alabama with vampires and unvaccinated willing human donors. Only one thing is missing--a doctor. Aidan plans to remedy this by recruiting Dr. Krystal Harris with or without her consent. This obviously creates tension, but maybe it creates something else too...
Maybe it's the timing, but this book really didn't work for me. I am typically not a big insta-love fan, which is a major part of this book. I had to pick it up and put it down more than once, eventually planning to give up altogether until I found an opportunity to finish it while doing a mindless task.
The writing isn't the worst, but the overall impression came across as more formulaic than I was hoping because the synopsis seemed pretty interesting. It has occasional action and a truly deplorable villain whose inevitable demise is certainly easy to root for, but I believe the overall execution and world building could have been better. The ideas weren't fleshed out well enough in favor of more mundane and uninteresting details.
It's a kindle Prime freebie, so it doesn't break the bank, but I don't feel the need to continue with this one.
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 do enjoy this series, but no installment has surpassed the first book as my favorite. Archangel’s Storm doesn’t do it eithExceeded my expectations
I do enjoy this series, but no installment has surpassed the first book as my favorite. Archangel’s Storm doesn’t do it either, but I would probably rate it top 3. Much like Archangel’s Blade, Elena and Raphael take a back seat as the story gives Jason, one of Raphael’s Seven, focus as he enters the rival territory of archangel Neha to solve the grisly murder of her consort. Jason has his own demons to face from his past, and they do challenge him; however, he must put it aside to work with Princess Mahiya, daughter of the slain archangel, to find the murderer and return to Raphael.
Jason isn’t particularly one of my favorite side characters. In all honesty, I never really thought too much about his character at all so I wasn’t really looking forward to this book. I sooner expected angel Illium to get his own story or even my personal fave, the vampire Venom. While Illium doesn’t get much time at all here, Venom actually does get significant focus which was a pretty good consolation prize. As progeny of Neha, his presence helped to flesh out the story and character development, though I would have liked more.
Both Jason and Mahiya have had pretty difficult upbringings, easily making them sympathetic characters. You root for them to find happiness, but it isn’t the easiest love story and there is no insta-love, which is for the better in my opinion. There is a lot more mystery and story than romance in this book which is personally how I like it, but it’s hard to say if other readers will feel the same. I love the world building and the focus on angel politics, but I am sure there is a contingent that reads these more so for the romance aspect.
It was a satisfying read, but I am still hoping Ms. Nalini Singh gifts us with a Venom-centric book at some point. With the next book set to go back to Raphael and Elena, I am not sure how far off that possibility is. Either way, I’ll be reading all the same.
I received this audiobook as a gift, so this was a first for me in a long while. Amanda Carlson's debut novel introduces us to Jessica McClain, the first female werewolf. Her first transformation catches her by surprise, initiating a decade late. This unique occurrence has put her at the center of the supernatural community, and they all want a piece of her. As a being more powerful than her male counterparts, can she navigate her new abilities in time to defend herself against a growing number of foes, werewolf or otherwise? Thankfully she doesn't have to fight the good fight alone, with family and new friends to help her along the way.
While it wasn't a bad book, the writing felt a little elementary to me. There were adult themes at times, but I think with a little tweaking it'd be better suited for young adult. While this was the first book in the series, I didn't feel like a whole lot happened and I wasn't particularly interested in their pack politics. I'm also not a fan of Mary Sues right out the starting gate, and Jessica's powers put her in that category.
I expected more. It never really grabbed me. Being in audiobook form is probably the only reason why I finished this. The narrator is pretty good. I liked her accents.If you're a fan of cliffhangers then this is certainly the book for you!
Werewolves/shifters/lycans, etc. aren't my favorite supernaturals to read about usually, so a series had to be REALLY awesome to pull me in. I've certainly read worse, but I think I'll just stick to Kate Daniels and Mercy Thompson when I need that kind of fill.
It probably didn't help that I read this on the heels of two series that are practically urban fantasy royalty (The Hollows and October Daye respectively) and have some of the best world building you're going to find. The short-comings of Full Blooded were all the more prominent due to that.
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 wasn't really sure what to expect with Sean Hayden's novel, but Origins (Demonkin #1) ended up being the perfect read for me over the weekend. The main character is Ashlyn Thorn. Right off the bat we learn that this is a world filled with vampires, elves, and werewolves, but she's a special case. She's a predator of the predators, finding sustenance on in supernatural blood. This gave me a Trinity Blood vibes a bit quite honestly.
After being sheltered all of her life, her aunt passes away which forces her out into the real world where her uniqueness doesn't stay a secret for long. She becomes a target for an underworld vampire boss and is forced to grow up really fast, discovering her deeper powers in the process. It's up to Ashlyn to use her gifts for good or evil.
Origins drew me in immediately. I like that her character has visible differences from normal humans, particularly her cat-like talons that are non-retractable. It was pretty cool imagining how she adapts to having them (on her fingers AND toes). The character herself is really relatable. Even though she's a vampire/demon, she has very human emotions which makes her sympathetic in many instances. It's fun to watch her grow up. She's 17-18 years old and her hormones get crazier and crazier as the book progresses. She's also going down a path of unchartered territory as a new vampire breed. This prompted a number of Mary Sue-ish moments, but she will be humbled so I'm not worried about this.
The vampires get the most focus in this book, followed by the werewolves. She teams up with them and fights against them in a number of scenes. There is not a lot of back story there, but I hope to see it in the sequel. I also really want to see more development for the elves which we only get a taste of in this book.
I do commend Sean Hayden for doing a fairly good job of writing from the perspective of a female. A growing number of series will have a husband and wife team as co-authors, working to strengthen the presence of their respective genders, offering a more natural point of view.
I'm a stickler for covers and this one leaves much to be desired, but there is a quality story in there. Origins is a short read, but very engaging, bringing a fresh perspective to the Urban Fantasy genre and I definitely look forward to its sequel.
Charley is back for another go ’round in Second Grave on the Left by Darynda Jones. This time she has to help her receptiI might be warming up to it
Charley is back for another go ’round in Second Grave on the Left by Darynda Jones. This time she has to help her receptionist and BFF, Cookie, after her old classmate, Mimi, goes missing. There seems to be a trend as Cookie and Mimi’s high school classmates are turning up dead, almost 20 years later.
And then there’s Reyes Alexander Farrow, Son of Satan, and now Charley’s personal poltergeist/incubus. He’s once again separated from his corporeal form which is being hidden and tortured. His body is the perfect bait for demons to lure Charley to them. They want in to heaven, and she is their key. But if she doesn’t get to Reyes on time, he will be corporeally dead…forever.
The first book started out pretty good and then dropped off for me. I can say that I consistently enjoyed this book at the same level all throughout, but I didn’t enjoy it as much as the beginning of the first book. The punchlines still don’t let up, but I tried to adjust to it a little better. I didn’t laugh at most of them, but one or two made me chuckle. I have a sense of humor, but less is more for me.
I’m still a little put off by the lack of true paranormal adversaries. Her biggest issues are still mere humans. I’d like for her to be more capable of kicking butt. She’s only the Grim-frickin’-Reaper. Yet time and time again she is on the business end of one attack or another. She just takes lickin’s and keeps on tickin’, but I want her to fight back.
I am trying to become attached to Reyes, but it’s not really happening. It’s even harder to care about their relationship. Maybe it’s harder to buy it because he’s incorporeal, so it’s not “real” enough. Since they spend most of their screentime together sucking face and then some, there are countless opportunities to become invested, but it’s become boring quickly. I want to see more regarding his back story as the Son of Satan and the demons. That’s the only thing that keeps me hanging on.
There is still a chance for the lore behind the other worlds to pick up in the next novel. It still didn’t get a satisfying amount of focus, but I will give the next read a go to see if anything substantial happens. Though I can’t guarantee that I will read any further it doesn’t.
When you've got a book that's a borderline novella, with so little page time the pressure is on to make an impact. I felt like Origins accomplished that. This one? Not so much.
Ashlyn is settling into her role as an FBI agent, and a new case has fallen into her lap. She has to protect the State of California's new and very first vampire governor. Though many hope this fosters better relations between humans and vampires, others are out for his blood. But they'll get it over Ashlyn's dead demon body...with a sprinkle of vampire thrown in. That might not be too far off as her naivety puts her in deeper water than ever.
Attempts to be edgy sort of diminished the value of the series for me. I really enjoyed the first Origins book, but Deceptions felt like a completely different series, and Ashlyn a completely different character. I guess she's growing up. She now has to learn the ways of the vampire world. I would have preferred more of that and less focus on her honeymooning with her new (view spoiler)[progeny. Not that I have a problem with it (I supported Rachel and Ivy from The Hollows for a time). I just had a feeling that it wouldn't be for the long haul. I liked that this series could stand on its own without overly sexualizing things. I wanted to see more of what Vic could accomplish as a progeny aside from making Ashlyn hot in her pants. (hide spoiler)]
Elves are introduced in the prior novel, but they barely receive a mention in this one which was a let down. Demon development was also few and far in between. I was really looking forward to learning about Ashlyn's heritage. We get a glimpse into her power but it just wasn't enough. It all led to an ending that I predicted a little too early, enough so that the book started to drag for me towards the end, but it wasn't too unbearable.
While I didn't enjoy it as much as the first, there is still potential there, so I will give book 3 a try. The books are short, they're free (on Amazon Prime), and there's a chance the plot could pick up and grab me as well as the first book did.
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...