"I can't tell you how many jobs I've done without a hitch since the last time I saw you, Dresden. You walk through the door and everything goes to hell."
"That's embroidered on my towels, actually," I said.
""What you are telling me," she said, "is that you have never shared your life with another over the long term. The closest you have come to it is providing a home and affection for a being which is entirely your subject and in your control."
"Well, not at bath time..."
"I know you've been aching to have your hands on my staff," I said to Ascher, as Nicodemus examined the altar for himself. I held out my hand. "But I'd rather be the one fondling my tool. Wizards are weird like that."
PARKOUR! Because Harry Dresden says so.
Cold Days was easily one of the best entries of the Dresden series. It's probably my favorite. And it definitely left big shoes to fill for any book that would follow it. Well, Skin Game does it wonderfully. I was hanging on to every word. The tension between Harry and Nicodemus was beyond palpable and I kept waiting for the shoe to drop! And boy does it drop.
This book was really exciting, gripping, and a true nail biter. I wasn't sure where Butcher planned to go with this one putting Nicodemus front and center. Either we'd finish the book with a better understanding of the character (potentially liking him more) or we'd see Harry do away with him once and for all. He is definitely a character you love to hate.
The heist plot was great and we got to see more focus on potential future players in the series. I liked that everyone was out for themselves since it kept things unpredictable.
I did miss Thomas in this entry as well as Molly, but the story is still fantastic. We get a great deal of Murphy, Michael, and Butters to make up for it so that's good enough for me. There were some really great twists and turns and several characters get upgrades in power. One of my favorite aspects of any series are the strength of the relationships. Harry never has it easy, ever. You really feel for the guy. While Cold Days certainly had emotional moments, there are some pivotal developments here too that make his journey even more special to me.
I am a newer fan of these books having marathoned the entire series back to back this year. Admittedly a lot of the story blurs together for me so it's difficult to distinguish one book from the next (save for books like Changes and Cold Days). Of course that stops now since I'm all caught up with everyone else. But I will say that I am glad it happened with this book because it was a particularly satisfying read!
Harry juggles plenty of hats as it is, but I'm looking forward to how he handles just a few more in the next entry.
*Review copy provided by the publisher. *Review also posted to Amazon. ...more
New Hollows Day is probably as good as Christmas Day for many of us. Not to mention this one has come much sooner than expected! But if I'm being honest, this is probably my toughest review yet. It's taken me so long to get it together because I just keep drawing a blank. Part of it is because this is the end of my favorite series ever. But I have accepted that this must happen to all good things, or else they could risk not being so good anymore.
Kim Harrison brought this novel back around to be about the vamps. She made good on her promise compared to other recent books where they sat more on the back burner. It appears to be for good reason though because vampires are the key to changing everything. There were some revelations that truly surprised me and the unpredictable twists kept me at the edge of my seat the whole time.
I was happy to see the demons and elves get a healthy dose of focus as well. Over the years I have grown very attached to their story lines and was happy to see they wouldn't have too many loose ends.
Rachel and Trent. Yeah, if you're a fan I don't see why that would stop now! They display great teamwork and definitely turn up the heat as they're settling into their relationship together. It's satisfying to see but still hard to believe it's happened considering the long road they took to find one another. Of course it still isn't easy for them. They have very complicated lives, but their determination to make it work just gives a girl all the feels in the world.
Rachel takes her relationships seriously and her friends and family are as strong as ever. We get the answer to the question of whether she is able to save Ivy's soul. That alone is worth the price of admission if you've stuck it out with this series for as long as I have.
The thing is, I was expecting to have the waterworks ready after finishing this final book. I mean, I was expecting this
9 years is the longest I've stuck it out with a series. But I finished it feeling satisfied and believing that the characters would be okay. Kim has done her characters justice and she should pat herself on the back for being able to give them what they deserve. And it truly feels deserved with a very fitting ending. They've worked hard and sacrificed so much.
I enjoyed every page from beginning to end in this last installment. We received a lot of answers and many things were wrapped up, but at the same time it also feels like a new beginning so I still want more! I just don't know what I am going to do without my favorite witch, demon, elf, pixy, and vampire team to look forward to once a year.
And now I'm gonna lay the sap on extra thick. Honestly, reading for me won't be the same again, at least for a while. This is the first series to really introduce me to the adult urban fantasy genre and it's set the bar so high that nothing else can scratch that itch quite like The Hollows can. Everything else fights for second. This is the first series I have followed for so long so it will always carry a special place for me for that reason alone. Of course I'm looking forward to what's next, but it's always hard to say goodbye to history, especially as I've gone through the ups and downs with the characters year after year and made quite a few friends in my life along the way, including Ms. Harrison herself. So goodbye Hollows! Thanks for the ride! Thanks for the memories! Thank you, Kim Harrison! I'll be first in line for your next book! In the meantime...
*Review also posted to Amazon. *ARC Provided by the Publisher. ...more
"Adam snorted as he pulled on a faded green t-shirt that said "I Heart Coyotes." Yet another sign that folding my clean clothes wasn't too big a price to pay to make him happy. He didn't have any "I Heart Christy " shirts--or I would have burned them already."
"I thought we should apply that kind of thinking to the matter of Cristy's stalker." He gave me a skeptical look. "No, really," I said. "Now that we know that Flores is really this nasty, fiery, superpowerful nothing-can-kill-me demon from hell, maybe we should consider just giving Christy to him?" He laughed. "I'm serious," I said.
"Seriously? Do you know how many guilty people are in jail? None." Gary's voice rose to imitate a woman's voice. "Honest. I didn't kill him. He fell on my knife. Fourteen times."
You would think that our favorite coyote, Mercy, would have enough to deal with in her life when it comes to adversaries of the supernatural and furry variety. But she may have to confront her biggest challenge yet in the form of the former Mrs. Adam Hauptman. That's right, the ex is in trouble and on the run from her psycho boyfriend. And Adam wouldn't be the Adam that Mercy knows and loves if it wasn't in his nature to help others, especially the mother of his child.
The ex, Christy, is only safest in Adam's house and with his pack even though several things aren't quite adding up. But one thing is as clear as day, Christy wants Adam back and isn't afraid to play dirty to get him. Mercy isn't going to take this lying down, but Christy's peculiar psycho boyfriend may have more going on than some crazy stalker tendencies and as more bodies pile up, it's up to Mercy to put a stop to it.
Night Broken is certainly one of the more memorable entries in the world of Mercy Thompson. She's got bad guys...and girls all around and it's hard to know who she can truly trust! Christy's character is the one you love to hate. We'd been lucky for a while with her out of the picture, but since the character never died we knew she'd have to crop up sooner or later. And even death isn't always a guarantee that we'll be done with a character in the paranormal world, so it's always in our best interests to just wait and see. I did thoroughly enjoy this part of the book, even if Christy made me want to
Mercy's snark was of the highest order this time around and I found it refreshing. I loved this that novel tested the depth of Mercy and Adam's feelings for one another as well. They define what it is to be a unit. I think Adam fans in general will find him pretty swoon-worthy.
The villain was pretty interesting. I wasn't always sure what direction Briggs was going to take with his character so that helped keep the read very engaging. I did find myself annoyed more than once with Adam's pack though. It really disappointed me how they treated Mercy despite her dedication to them and the fact that she sticks her neck out there for their sakes time and time again. I really wish they would get over themselves. One saving grace is the fact that if they can't do it at once, they might be able to do it one by one. I thought the developments with Honey were well done and are a closer step in the direction of where things need to go.
My biggest gripe for the book would be the length. The latest Mercy books have felt too short to me. I mean, 350 pages might seem like enough but I feel like I whiz through it so fast. I could use another meaty 50-75 pages per entry. Additional pages would perhaps allow for more inclusion of side characters whose presence I found myself missing, namely Stefan. I know it's probably not very easy to figure out how to incorporate him now that Mercy's married to Adam, but I really like his character and his devotion to Mercy. Though he plays an important role, he is featured so little here and that makes me miss the old times. I am not very invested in the vampires as a whole in this world, just him. Briggs does a wonderful job at making me care more about pack matters in general, but I could still use a Stefan spin-off!
But all in all it's a good read and I think the fans will enjoy it immensely. The series still has a lot to offer and I look forward to what's next.
*ARC Provided by the Publisher. *Review also posted to Amazon. ...more
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.
I know I’m late to the party on this one. I surprise even myself, especially since I read Burn for Me first! *slaps self* Bad bad! But I finally got around to it. Ilona Andrews is like old faithful. You know you’re getting a good read no matter what. While I thought this was a good book, it wasn’t my favorite. There’s a ton of action and it definitely meets the level we’ve come to expect from them. This one wasn’t a quotable for me as past books though. I found myself missing Curran a great deal. Of course, Kate misses him too, but that doesn't cure the itch for their lack of interaction. They went through a lot of turmoil in the last book so I was expecting the results of that to carry over to this one, but it was as if none of that happened. I totally guessed Andrea’s new situation, so I snickered to myself a bit on that one. There are game changing moments that are established, but we don’t really see the follow through here. All of it will have to wait for future books so I was left wanting to read them ASAP.
I also wasn’t so sure about the love scene. I mean, the scene was fine, it’s just that the placement felt a little random. It was like it was an after thought that the authors realized they needed to add into the book before its end. There have been prior books where sex isn’t depicted at all and I didn’t enjoy it any less. And because the tone of the book is so action and fantasy oriented, I think placing better overtones throughout the book would have made me think “finally!” instead of “that was random.”
Julie’s short story as a bonus read was a decent introduction if they want to consider a spin-off. However, I think I should have waited to pick it up until later because I was still trying to digest the ending of the main story. As a result, I wasn’t as invested as I wanted to be.
Overall the developments were interesting but this can easily fit into the “transition” book category for me. The one plus with waiting so late to read it is that the wait for the next book won’t be quite as long. So yay me!
I started this series thinking Keri Arthur was publishing a new one alongside the Dark Angels novels. I didn't know that they wI was hoping for more
I started this series thinking Keri Arthur was publishing a new one alongside the Dark Angels novels. I didn't know that they were republishing her older works. It's very interesting to become familiar with an author's style and ability and compare it to something else. I noticed after a while that this had more of a pedestrian quality to it as opposed to the Dark Angels series. I've only read the first Riley Jenson novel but it did not feel quite on that level either. This is not to say that the story wasn't straightforward and enjoyable in some parts. I thought the mystery was good and it worked fine as a standalone story. But it's not my favorite effort by Arthur.
I didn't really become invested in the development of the protagonists or their relationship to one another over the course of the book. The most interesting aspects were the villains and the world building, but as I said, Arthur's definitely done better. This is the first of a trilogy, though to me if felt perfect as a standalone. I honestly doubt I will continue with this as I'm more likely to read her other books instead because I'm not yet caught up on either one.
I held off on reading this series for a long time. I actually started it some time ago then stopped and then decided to resume it closeCity of Bones
I held off on reading this series for a long time. I actually started it some time ago then stopped and then decided to resume it closer to the movie’s release. Ultimately I ended up watching the movie before finishing the book. There were times that the book read like fanfiction to me (and then I learned that’s because it actually was), but I’ve certainly read worse. While I thought the movie was pretty rushed, the book had the opposite effect for me and felt overly long, but that could be because I didn’t find the melodrama particularly interesting between the main three, especially Simon’s assured-to-be-unrequited feelings for Clary.
Jace. Jace. Jace. Well at least he has a personality? He comes off as pretty juvenile for me at times and I didn’t always find it funny, so for me he wasn’t as swoon-worthy as I’m sure he is for millions of others. The chemistry with Clary is pretty good until the twist that made my eyes roll. After that I was pretty sure I wouldn’t be interested in seeing it play out for multiple books throughout the series.
I enjoyed the magic, mythology and lore here, but it honestly wasn’t something that I can’t get anywhere else and better, so while I don’t think I’ll completely drop the series, I’m also in no rush to continue it anytime soon. I’m much more likely to read the The Infernal Devices Trilogy instead because there are only 3 of those and they’re complete.
Oh boy, what a ride! While this book wasn't as quotable with the usual hilarious quips that make me love this series so much, itThis SERIES Rises!
Oh boy, what a ride! While this book wasn't as quotable with the usual hilarious quips that make me love this series so much, it is definitely one of my favorite books of the series, if not my favorite. I usually love books when the characters go on road trips or end up out of their usual element. It usually gives a series a fresh perspective, revealing new aspects about my favorite characters and ultimately showing what they are made of when the going gets tough. Ilona Andrews really brought their A-game from start to finish. Kate and Curran, how can you not love them? As solid as they are, or at least as solid as we assume they are, their relationship and feelings for one another are put to the ultimate test.
I must say that bringing just about every essential character along for the quest set off my alarm bells early that nothing was going to be the same from here on out. I feared that not everybody would make it back or make it back in one piece. And they do take a hell of a beating in that department I'm sad to say. But I believe everything that happened happened for the sake of pushing the story forward to the best conclusion possible.
There were definitely frustrating moments making me feel for both characters as individuals as well. I will always be a Kate and Curran girl, but I thought they handled the chemistry between Kate and Hugh D'Ambry (her father's right hand) surprisingly well. I was genuinely looking forward to their scenes together and the outcomes weren't always predictable. I was really engrossed in the back story involving Kate's heritage and felt satisfied with what was revealed. It felt integral to the story and to what we can expect of the series here on out. So often I run into series where the overarching plot is merely peppered throughout the book instead of being the meat of it, making it very obvious that the author plans to drag the story out as much as possible. I am so happy that wasn't the case here, though I honestly haven't read a disappointing Kate Daniels book.
If we thought things were complicated before, this book proved to me that we haven't seen anything yet. I heard the series was going to end at 7, but then they decided to extend it to 10. At this point I think 10 books is definitely the sweet spot.
If you want a true page turner, this is one of the best you are going to find this year, guaranteed.
This was my first time delving into the Love at Stake novels, or at least I think so. What drew me to this book was mainly the title. I thought it’d be a parody of the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo novel. There was humor here and there, but this is first and foremost a paranormal romance, so the romance and drama take precedence. I may have read a short story from this series before because one aspect sounded familiar to me; it was the VANNA angle in particular though I can’t recall where I could have read it. VANNA is a life-size synthetic device designed to look like a human woman. There’s blood stored inside it to help curb a vampire’s desire to attack real living people. That provided a healthy dose of comic relief in this book. Though the story appears to be a standalone, there is an overarching plot that I feel has been developing since the earlier books. But even still I never felt lost.
The relationship between Dougal and Leah was decent but I didn’t connect to it very much. Both were a little too down on themselves most of the time. I also think the timing was wrong for me because I read this on the heels of another book where reincarnation was at the heart of the relationship. I wasn’t disappointed with the book, so I imagine fans of the series who have read it from the beginning should enjoy it. Though I doubt I will read all the earlier 13 novels, I might look into reading one of its stronger prequels to get a better feel for Kerrelyn Sparks’s writing at its best.
Quin Lennox found herself lucky last time, managing to escape the alternate world of Vamp City. But that world isn’t quite done with her. They need her powers to restore the magic of their world and free the vampires currently bound there. Vampire Arturo Mazza is sent to bring her back, and Quinn has learned her lesson than to trust him again after his betrayal. However this time Vamp City has some leverage, her brother. She has to return to save him, and Arturo’s all she’s got. Has he learned the error of his ways? Or is she setting herself up for disappointment once again.
The first book was one of my favorite reads last year, so the sooner I could get my hands one, the better. Palmer’s morbid imagination really makes this series a standout to me, though I think certain dynamics of the first book didn’t sit well with everyone. For this novel I think it has more mass appeal, but I had a gripe or two. I guess the pace of the book was a bit of a problem for me. They spend quite a bit of time talking about the final adversary and yet we don’t even see that stand-off in this book. Cliffhanger enthusiasts should love it, but I can’t say the same for those of you who don’t. I just wish it would have wrapped up the novel in a more serial fashion because towards the end I was anticipating a conflict I didn’t get. The book just kind of ended and that was that.
I do like her efforts to redeem Arturo. I mean, sometimes the graphic and horrific things he endured got a little hard to stomach, but he had a lot of ground to make up and I think he did that. Tish was okay. I never really had a problem with her, though her over protectiveness of her brother, while noble, got a little annoying after a while. The chemistry between Tish and Arturo was s still immensely strong which certainly adds to their appeal.
I liked the history and backstory about the vampires and other supernaturals that live in Washington, VC, learning of their gradual deterioration into what they have become and why. It was thought-provoking and I was often conflicted about the best course of action to fix everything.
At this point I am sort of wondering if Palmer plans to make this a trilogy or if it’s an ongoing series. If it’s a trilogy it certainly feels like a middle book. I feel as if all the issues presented can certainly be resolved in one more.
*ARC provided by the publisher. *Review also posted to Amazon. ...more