If you like this book, I'm just going to ask that you not read any further because I don't want to offend anybody. But I'll be damned if I'm not going...moreIf you like this book, I'm just going to ask that you not read any further because I don't want to offend anybody. But I'll be damned if I'm not going to have my say.
This is the more realistic interpretation of someone like Christian Grey:
If that's your thing then HE'S ALL YOURS, LADIES!! But when it comes to *MY* fantasies controlling, creepy, clingy, and abusive pedobear stalkers need not apply.
Who knows why, but I finally broke down and read this crap. Maybe I'm just a glutton for punishment. But if I'm going to hate on something for the attention it's getting and the fact that I literally can't go ONE DAY without hearing about it no matter how hard I try to avoid it, the least I can do is give it an honest shot. At least I can now rightfully state my opinion that it's a *complete* travesty to literature. This is exactly how you define "utter garbage"; this "writer" (if she can even call herself that) is a disgrace to the craft, and much like Meyer she borrows from way better novels without injecting any decent form of originality. I'll watch Dexter if I want to focus on a character with dead mommy issues, k thx. At least he just kills people that deserve it instead of stalking and sexually abusing some stupidly compliant twit that I kinda wish he actually WOULD HAVE killed--woulda made it more interesting at least. I spent the majority of the book wanting to do to the character what "Rick James" is doing to this couch:
Maybe I'm a little fucked up myself to keep on reading to see what the fucking point of this was. But I'm obviously not as fucked up as this cast. I didn't think it could get any worse than Twilight, but of course its hellspawn would prove me wrong. I wish negative stars were possible. I'm not a prude, but it makes me wonder about and weep for what society has come to a little bit. This book has absolutely no redeeming qualities aside from it *finally* ending, and I really don't give a fuck what happens next. They could both die horrible deaths and I'd just think the world would be a better place for it. One less idiot; one less sicko bastard. Maybe I can just write a fanfic about that and Warner Bros. will contract me for a movie on it since piggybacking is obviously "in" now and the masses eat it up.
I certainly have my share of flawed billionaire book crushes (cue Trent Kalamack and Jericho Barrons), but Christian Grey is as far as you can get from making my list. At least they have actual goals and a purpose. And, more importantly, their love interests wouldn't be on the business end of their transgressions while IN the actual relationship. Christian Grey's psychological profile reminds me more of Christian Bale in American Psycho. This dude is just a fucking creeper, plain and simple. If he weren't so "beautiful" on the outside like we have to hear about ad nauseam OR rich, I bet her stupid ass would get a clue. The devil was the most beautiful angel after all.
And I must have missed the memo where this is supposed to be hott. It didn't get my motor running and it didn't help that these characters are so damned unlikeable. I'm not big on erotica, but I've read many books with explicit sex scenes and some actually manage to be pretty hott, so for this book it HAS to be the terrible writing that leaves me cold and repulsed. I may have a permanent WTF look etched on my face because that's all I could muster while reading this inane POS for who knows how many hours.
Not to mention, to me it's suggesting that to be into that lifestyle you have to have some sort of fucked up issues that manifest during childhood. I'd be insulted if that were my thing. I'm a proponent of doing whatever floats your boat, but this was just badly executed in every which way.
I was sick of hearing about her corny ass "inner goddess". I was sick of her stupid lip biting. I was sick of his head cocking. Being written in first person was probably the worst thing to happen to this book. She's got the type of mentality of those stupid girls that run off and end up missing, probably due to blindly following some crazy ass dude like this. It's not much different to me than a kid being abused trying to convince himself that he believes it's okay and that he wants it. She may be an adult, but mental maturity is relative. And believe me, there's very little that comes out of her mouth that sounds mature.
As for a story? As if there's no other book out there with an angsty storyline that you don't have to TRY to find between all of this sick shit? All in all, I wish I got these hours of my life back and I anxiously await the day that this fad passes by like everything else NOT worthy of the attention it gets in modern pop culture.
Sex sells. So this is really just an excuse to put porn on the shelves...with a warped but uninventive fairytale thrown in for kicks.
As I said, I'm a glutton for punishment. It's my own damn fault, but unlike Twilight where I read all 4 trying to figure out what the big deal was, I promise this is as far as I'm going with this one.
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!!)
Let's kick this off with a few of my favorite quotes!
"And the kiss...A tingle raced through me. Slowly my smile faded. Ellasbeth didn't know what she had."
"You've had that elf as your familiar for over a year, and he's not put the sparkle in your scrying mirror even once?"
"Trent leaned back, eyeing us over his scribbled legal pad. 'You have amazing friends.' 'I need them to stay alive through my amazing life,' I said, and Ivy became almost sultry as she pulled herself together in her chair and smiled at Trent."
So this is the book! It's the moment of truth for quite a few readers. Do I really need to explain why at this point? Okay, I'll tell you a story about a witch and an elf...
With pressure building for literally a decade now, that's a LOT for a book to live up to. With 11 books under its belt, Rachel Morgan has gone through quite a bit. Her ties to the Ever After and its never-ending problems in her life continue. In Ever After she had to save the parallel universe from shrinking due to her faulty ley line. Now her home town has to deal with dangerous magic causing routine spells to backfire, leading to countless accidents, injuries, and pure chaos all over the city. With magic in shambles, the race relations among all species--human and Inderlander alike--soon follow.
Undead vampires are down but not quite out, so Rachel has to figure out what's wrong with the magic in order for them to restore balance before this madness leads to a point of no return. To do this will require her to tap into wild elven magic. It's as unpredictable as it is ancient, so I think it's safe to say our favorite itchy witch has her work cut out for her (the story of her life). Thankfully she has her friends and her favorite elf, Trent Kalamack, who will do all they can to help her.
So how is it? Well, it isn't just epic, it really is E.P.I.C.
Emotional I'm sure readers will finish this book with lots of feels. I pretty much went through the emotional wringer with this one, but I found myself satisfied with the outcome of the book even though things aren't perfect. That's the beauty of The Hollows. Rachel and her friends have to earn everything and it's a constant fight to keep it together. We'd be in for a truly boring journey if things were too easy. Trent is not featured on the cover of this book for the hell of it. If you like him you can look forward to seeing a lot of him and his life. If you don't...you'll still see a lot of him and his life. Either way, we get a sense of how Rachel can and can't quite fit into it and he into hers. Since they are both adrenaline junkies in their own right the results are fairly interesting, but any long-term prospects will lead to a few roadblocks.
Obstacle #1: Ellasbeth, ooh Ellasbeth. Talk about baby mama drama! Kim Harrison knows how to make this character grate on a reader's nerves, THIS reader in particular.
Her cute little nickname from Trent doesn't help matters. Though even I will admit that reading about Ellasbeth isn't all bad. For someone with so much dignity (supposedly), even she gets pretty desperate and her subtle attempts to one-up Rachel expose her own glaring insecurities. At the heart of it, all I could think to myself is that Trent's been there, done that and bought the t-shirt, so why does she still try so hard? There are times when you really want to try to like her for the sake of the children, but she does not make it easy. She is here until the end of the series, so be ready.
Obstacles #2 and #3: The demons and the elves. Elves and demons don't have the best history and our favorite demon, Big Al, loves to remind Rachel of this. On the other side of the lines, Trent's elven community is less than thrilled as well. I honestly feel for Al quite a bit here. He is not featured as heavily in this book as he was in Ever After (sorry Al fans, I love him too), but his scenes were really profound and important, further driving home the suffering demons have endured partly due to their past with the elves. I have a feeling this is necessary to help tie up loose ends in the big picture.
But even with those obstacles and that star-crossed lovers element, the chemistry between Rachel and Trent is as strong as ever and it's high time for a definitive move one way or the other. Rachel still tries to fight it with good reason, but she's not the only one. Trent understands his responsibilities too, which should be elsewhere. But as the great Phoebe Buffay once said:
Progressive There's real movement here in the overall plot and the potential future of The Hollows and Inderlanders in general. Elves are starting to make their move, for better or worse. Vampires seem to be taking a stand against their undead masters, the I.S. and the F.I.B. both have to get their heads out of their rear ends to work together, and even the werewolves get some time to shine. Fans of David will enjoy his involvement with the storyline, though I found it somewhat bittersweet. Either way, change is on the horizon for the Inderlander community and it all goes back to Rachel in one way or another. I love how it all ties in together.
Intriguing If you thought we learned enough about the world of The Hollows, think again. The use of the magic here was really interesting and the results turn everything on its head. Wild magic is really its own beast and it is a little refreshing to see Rachel try to manage something other than earth and ley line magic. It's less tangible making the possibilities feel pretty endless. In this book the state of The Hollows in reality is not far removed from the Ever After with the fabric of civilization crumbling. It's quite a good character study to see how people react in desperate times.
More layers of characters we thought we knew very well are pulled back, proving once again that Harrison is a master at what she does. You don't come to the Hollows for cookie-cutter one-note characters. The world and its characters are complicated and ever-evolving. It's one of the reasons I can't quite get enough.
Comedic Jenks is in top form here. I don't think he's been this quotable since the earlier books before Matalina's passing. Clearly time heals all wounds even for pixies because he provides some of the best laugh out loud dialogue that I've read in a quite while from him. Of course he's not only a source of comic relief. He lives up to the pixy name by being a good judge of character and the all around voice of reason, especially when it comes to Trent and Rachel's beating around the bush with each other. He says what we're all thinking. There's more of the Trent/Jenks bromance that readers of Million Dollar Baby will enjoy too.
So all in all for me this book was indeed epic. I continue to be impressed with its high quality going into the home stretch. There are some truly amazing moments and chapters in this book that will be talked about for a long long time ESPECIALLY a certain chapter that I'm not going to mention here...chapter 22. Anyway, practically every new book is my favorite since Pale Demon and this one is the BEST yet for sure! Normally I like to dog-ear certain parts to re-read again, but I literally wanted to do that for the whole book. I am grateful for my kindle and it's lovely highlighting and bookmarking features, or else my tree version of this book would be a mess!
With just one book to go before The Hollows closes up shop I cannot WAIT to see how this all ends now!! I just know that I am so so happy that this is my favorite series. Kim Harrison hasn't let me down at all and though I'm going to miss this dearly when it's done, I am 100% confident she will give this series the ending it deserves.
So, uh, should I tell you how I really feel?
*ARC Provided by the Publisher *Review also posted to Amazon.
Oh, and uh one of these may or may not come in handy.
Full review to come.
10/21/2013: With Kim Harrison's author read-along Harper Voyager is offering the books for $1.99 for a limited time while we're reading them with Kim. I bought The Good, the Bad, and the Undead and it offered Chapter 2 of The Undead Pool! So if you're really anxious for more you should check it out, though the last line of the chapter will leave your head spinning. http://www.harpercollinsapps.com/book...
Kim will be offering the chapters on her site for free eventually, but if you just can't wait, there you have it.
You guys know me. I typically don't rate things 5 stars before actually reading them, but with the cover reveal and what I KNOW is going to be happening...yeah I don't think I need psychic powers to know how much I'm going to love this. What I REALLY need is an ARC!!! Great first chappie too. A promise of things to come for sure! (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
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.
"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. (less)
Even being the Hollows snob that I am, I admit a couple of stories have slipped through the cracks for me over the years. That's why I was quite pleased to hear that the stories would finally be included in an anthology! I'll be honest and say that when I opened it I immediately skipped to "Million Dollar Baby", the story centering on Trent and Jenks's elf quest in Pale Demon, and it didn't disappoint! Everything else for me was a bonus, but it was all worthwhile. Here's a breakdown of the stories and my general feelings:
"Million Dollar Baby"- this was easily the premiere story for this publication. It was essentially priceless getting into Trent's head and learning quite a few things that we never knew before. It makes him so much more "human" this way. Trent and Rachel fans eager for anything to support development of these two may be disappointed a smidgen (though not entirely), but I think it's important to remember when this story took place and what it's about. While I loved reading about Trent, I admit that I missed Rachel. I'm really attached to the itchy witch and they play off one another so well. No worries though because the bromance that blooms between Trent and Jenks is plenty entertaining. We see why pixies and elves get along so well. Overall, I thought this was a well done story and I wish we could get more stories from Trent, though I know that won't be happening much.
As for the reprinted Hollows short stories:
"The Bespelled" - a short story focusing on Al and how he ensnared Ceri of 1,000 years ago. I always enjoyed this read. But it has Al so that makes it pretty easy...
"Two Ghosts for Sister Rachel"- a Robbie/Rachel/Pierce novella going back in time to when Rachel was 18 and struggling with her decision to join the I.S. This story was new to me. I was not the biggest fan of Pierce in the main novels, but I must admit that he is a little better here.
"Undead in The Garden of Good and Evil"- a novella focusing on Ivy in her earlier I.S. days. Another entertaining novel with excellent doses of Kisten. If you thought he and Rachel were hott together, you should read this to see vamp on vamp action. I read this some time ago, but I forgot how hott he and Ivy can be together.
"Dirty Magic"- short story about Mia, the banshee from Book 7. While not my favorite I found it interesting to read about her and her complex thought processes.
"The Bridges of Eden Park"- a Kisten and Rachel short that no doubt makes you miss him all over again.
"Ley Line Drifter" - a novella focusing on Bis and Jenks. It introduces the character Daryl who we meet again in the later Hollows novels. I will say it's sort of weird to read A Perfect Blood and then go back to reading this. My favorite parts were the moments between Jenks and Matalina since we never get to see that first hand.
Stories beyond The Hollows:
"Pet Shop Boys" - I admit that every time I see this title I just want to sing "West End Girls". Though I promise that the story is completely unrelated. It's actually about vampires, but they are completely different from our Hollows vamps. I think she could have had something going, but The Hollows vamps are better and more developed, not surprisingly. They have an unfair advantage of having novel after novel of development. I would like to see this become a full novel or two to even the playing field. This was my favorite entry of the non-Hollows stories.
"Temson Estates" and "Spider Web"-a short story and novella focusing on dryads. I don't think they are my favorite supernatural creature, but I would have liked to have seen a little more regarding the Spider Web story.
"Grace" - novella introducing new powers relating to people who hold special energy capable of destroying electronics. Their powers can be intense enough that, if left unharnessed, they can be a danger to society. This one is more borderline Urban Fantasy to me. It could be categorized as something else.
Overall, I enjoyed this book but normally I don't enjoy anthologies very much simply because I prefer to read a whole novel as opposed to several novellas (just a personal preference). I found myself putting the book down more often for this reason, but I was definitely engaged enough to read the old stuff all over again along with the new stuff.
I follow Kim Harrison's work more closely under the Rachel Morgan series than anything else, but the non-Hollows stories give the reader a taste of her skills as an author. It's a good way to test yourself as a fan, determining whether you plan to follow Rachel Morgan or Kim Harrison in general. The beginnings of the stories were sometimes a little hard to get into because I didn't always want to switch gears from story to story, especially going from Rachel Morgan to something totally different. But if you stay the course, each read is quite rewarding and interesting, even with such a short window of opportunity to tell the story. I see myself following Harrison throughout The Hollows and beyond.
About two years ago, Ms. Harrison teased her blog followers about an upcoming book involving Rachel, Trent, and Jenks on a road trip out west. Fast forward to now, as Book 9 has finally been released. If you follow Ms. Harrison, you know that she touts this particular book as her favorite of the series. As a fan since 2005, I can say it's without a doubt my new favorite as well. It took six books, but Book 3 has finally been overtaken.
We have Rachel and Jenks heading out west for what she tries to convince herself will be a pardon with the Coven of Moral and Ethical Standards for using black magic. Oh yeah, and she has her brother’s wedding to attend too. Trent Kalamack also needs to get to the west coast, though it's for personal reasons. He's keeping mum on the details; however, he will accompany Rachel to her pardon (more like her trial as far as he is concerned) in an attempt to vouch for her. Rachel is banned from flying commercially and Trent is limited to travelling by land. Neither can get out west without the other. If Trent doesn't make his deadline, he’ll miss out on the most important opportunity to help his race. If Rachel loses, she says hello to Big Al and the Ever-After FORever-after.
Joined later by Ivy, Pierce, a surprise Coven member, and a few assassins trying to stop either Trent or Rachel in their tracks, we end up with an American Inderlander Road Trip...from Hell. Aside from the banter amongst themselves, they later run into a new demon, a Pale Demon, who can walk in the sun and must eat living souls to sustain himself. He’s so dangerous that even the demons sealed him away, but upon his unexpected release, he causes plenty of ruckus on both sides of the lines in more ways than one, proving to be a bit too much to handle for our favorite witch/demoness.
Character development, magic, action, comedy, drama, romance--these elements have been what keeps the storyline going and makes it so special for fans of this series. Harrison hits all of that in her writing. She addresses several particular issues when it comes to Rachel's relationships, as well as the relationships between the people around her.
While not trying to spoil much here (feel free to skip this paragraph if you’re worried), you're certainly strapped in for a roller coaster ride in terms of Rachel's love life. If you thought it was crazy before, you’re in for it now. While I’ve been a card-carrying Trent and Rachel supporter since Book 1, there’s attention given to her relationships with him, Pierce, Ivy, and Al too. I doubt that’s too surprising for those who have read the previous books though. It's just all quite complicated and I have a hard time imagining how Kim plans to iron out everything. Like any fan, of course I have certain hopes.
Relationship dynamics evolve as much as the characters, and I think it is for the better. Everyone in one way or another is growing in this book, even the demons. New and important characters are introduced as well. You find yourself surprised as you sympathize and even start to like particular characters that you may not have cared for in the beginning. Harrison does well with fleshing out their personalities, revealing them to be more complex than they seem. Throughout this book the lines of black and white aren't so clear anymore, though certain characters do *finally* pay some consequences for their actions. People--and I mean species in general--are who they are, but the issue of nature vs. nurture is still there.
Acceptance is a major theme this this time around, along with trust and vulnerability. We see Rachel making smarter choices and tapping more into her demonic nature. She and Trent have to learn to work together and trust one another. If you’re a Trent fan, he’s here in spades and you’ll never tire of him. You can see a mile away any opportunity when Rachel will ogle him, which is all in good fun of course. New questions arise for the demons and the Ever-After. Jenks evolves too, and he’s still some of the best comic relief throughout the book. You’ll love him per usual, if not a little more. We get more Ivy focus with the good old-fashioned teamwork that we loved from the beginning of the series, and more light is shone on her relationship with Rachel. Al fans should really enjoy this book as well because we learn a few new things about him as he helps Rachel harness her demonic powers. Even Newt’s character improves immensely. You can read it yourself to learn why. I am not the biggest fan of Pierce, but he is slightly more bearable this time around too, and that’s saying something. I found his presence in Black Magic Sanction absolutely smothering, almost ruining my enjoyment of that book.
Overall, I thought the book was pretty solid, but some instances were a little too convenient.
******MINOR SPOILERS************************* Like in terms of Trent’s quest. Realistically, why what he was after wasn’t being monitored 24/7 until his deadline passed was beyond me. That needed more explanation.
I also wonder why Harrison doesn’t exploit elven super-speed a little more considering they can travel really fast from one spot to another. ******END MINOR SPOILERS*******************
I read it in 2 evenings. However, I was breezing along until the last third, where all of a sudden it came to a screeching halt. It couldn’t have been helped, but gears switched a little too suddenly and I had a hard time wanting to follow it. It wasn’t that I was uninterested in the subject matter. I just wasn’t interested right then. Black Magic Sanction in comparison was all over the place, but that was easier for me because that was the established pace. My annoyance with Pierce was the only thing slowing me down there. However, after I finished Pale Demon, I went back to re-read the last third and I found it *very* engaging after all, so if this happens to you while reading it, see if that works. For other fans who read the book, it may be the opposite and the last third will be the easiest to read. Regardless, I have to say that I found the last 30-40 pages nothing short of epic. Harrison is full of surprises alright!
I have to admit, I was a little sad when I finished reading it. Loose ends are starting to tie up and this is the first time where I felt the series slightly begin to wind down. There are new obstacles and challenges and arguably a new direction for the story to take, but you definitely reflect a bit about how far things have come since Dead Witch Walking. I look forward to Book 10, but I’m not quite sure it can top Pale Demon, so I’m anticipating it slightly less. Even still, The Hollows is my favorite series, and there’s something or another that I enjoy in each book, so I expect nothing less in that aspect. In the meantime, the fan in me is actually pretty sated right now. It was worth the wait, Kim!
Coming off the high from Venom, I had a lot of high hopes for Tangled Threads, Book 4 of the Elemental Assassin series. Unfortunately, it comes up a little short for me.
Unlike the prior novels, where it kicks off with high action, this book definitely has a slower pace. After taking care of Elliott Slater, Gin has sent Mab Monroe a message (as the Spider of course), and Mab's listening. She recruits another assassin, a damn good assassin, to come in and deal with The Spider who continues to pick off Mab's men, making her empire seem vulnerable to the other underground players. Gin may have finally met her match as Elektra LeFleur is an elemental with the power of electricity, and it's every bit as strong as Gin's ice and stone abilities.
Mab's got other plans as well, attempting to start a new nightclub that would make the sex-infused Northern Aggression look like Barney and Friends. It would feature the 8-year-old daughter of one of Northern Aggression's employee's. Can Gin save the little girl in time to keep her from being a victim of pedophilia and other abuse?
Gin's long lost sister, detective Bria Coolidge, gets more screen time and interacts a lot more with Gin. All 3 (Bria, and Gin as Blanco and The Spider) are huge targets, obviously making things a bit complicated, but when isn't it for Gin? Will Bria figure out that Gin is her sister in this book? Where do they go from there?
This book honestly felt like filler to me for the first half. In prior books, I wasn't quite as annoyed with the repetition, but this time it was so rampant. Most readers will not start a series at Book 4, so there is no need to cater to an obvious minority and rehash ad nauseum pretty much everything that happened in the prior books...more than once. The character details are glaringly repetitive (it's been beaten over our heads that the spider is a symbol for patience) as are Gin's one liners like "sloppy sloppy sloppy" "enemy enemy enemy". We get it already! These books are not very long to begin with, so if they will be short, the plot needs to move along.
I really do not get her obsession with Donovan Caine. It was a matter of days that they interacted over a course of weeks and they hooked up twice. Does she even know his middle name? And yet she is soooo broken up about his rejection of her when she know very well that's the reaction most people are going to have when they learn of her "day job". Those two didn't have the kind of connection to me that would warrant her love-sickness lasting throughout the series, so what's the big deal?
I was also a bit annoyed about Owen Grayson. I do believe they are moving a bit too fast and he's fallen for her a bit too easily. It sort of takes the fight out of them finding their way to each other, which I honestly sort of like in my favorite series. I also wish we could see him in action more. His powers are put to use, but I feel like he could be a true badass; if not as good as Gin, then at LEAST as good as Finn.
With that said, once the action got going, it was up to Elemental Assassin standards. I was much more engaged in the latter half, but Elektra's introduction sort of distances the reader from the heart of the story. With Elliott Slater's death, you felt like Gin was getting closer to Mab. It doesn't quite feel the same when Estep keeps bringing in enemies that shield Mab. It slows progress on that front, but the developments in Gin's personal life keep this book from being considered completely as filler.
I would recommend starting this series from the top, but with how it's written, I am assuming that the author doesn't want this to be necessary. I would not recommend starting on this book simply because it's not the best installment in terms of quality. With overarching plot lines, these books really shouldn't be stand alones, and I definitely hope that the repetition is toned down significantly in the next book.
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 whe...moreDead 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!
Yeah, those of you who follow me closely know I wouldn't throw that out there lightly, but there it is! I'd heard good things about the series but I wasn't in the hugest rush to read it. Man am I SO glad I got around to it!
Delilah Dawson introduces us to a new world through the eyes of Letitia Everett (aka Tish), a nurse who spends most of her time tending to patients in reality, including her terminally ill grandmother. That is until she stumbles upon this interesting ruby locket at an estate sale. Unbeknownst to her it happens to be enchanted, and once she falls asleep it thrusts her into an alternate world called Sang where she meets Criminy Stain, a rebellious gypsy Bludman (aka vampire) who has been waiting for her for a long time. After all, he's the one that had the locket spell cast to deliver the love of his life to him.
He leads a travelling circus mixed with fellow Bludman and Pinkies (aka humans) alike. Tish will fit right in as she realizes her powers as a Glancer, where she can see into someone's past and future with just one touch. It's a valuable ability and she learns her own fate when she touches Criminy, seeing her ultimate doom. Anchored between both worlds through wearing the locket, she can decide what she wants, but when the locket is stolen she goes on a journey with Criminy to find it. They face many enemies by land and sea, their ultimate target being the evil and manipulative Magistrate who hates all Bludmen and has a plan to eradicate them all from Sang. If they succeed, she must decide on a normal structured life or an unpredictable destiny with the person she was least expecting to love. Is Tish meant for all of this?
I won't answer that question here, but I can just say that I loved loved LOVED this book! Dawson has an amazing imagination and has crafted a truly unique world with the Blud series. I wasn't sure how much I could get into the world-building because Steampunk novels can be too heavy on the details for my liking. But she was able to harness it and describe everything effectively while still keeping my attention. I seriously don't recall being bored at all and that's saying a lot.
I liked that the Bludmen are really different for a change. Instead of being at the top of the food chain and rich like vampires in normal series, their race is oppressed and their people are considered second class citizens. Let's not even get into the topic of a Bludmen becoming involved with a Pinky. It's super taboo and usually the two races aren't attracted to one another (well, aside from Bludmen seeing them as food of course). Because of this I enjoyed watching the tensions mount between the two.
Criminy Stain. Just one word to describe him: AMAZING!! I just don't know if we can get enough of this character. He is so unique in a genre where it's only getting more difficult to separate the best from the rest. He's a born leader, honorable and adventurous; he cares about his people and hates that they're suffering, but even still he doesn't become emo and self-loathing. He maintains a great sense of humor throughout it all. I probably haven't read about a more dynamic character since Algaliarept from The Hollows. The only downside is that I'm not sure what the second book will have in store. The book doesn't end in a cliffhanger, but I just can't tell what's going to happen next for him since the second book seems to shift focus. To ignore this character is to ignore a goldmine. He's got potential to be a fan favorite, like a Jericho Barrons, Algaliarept, Jean Claude, Curran, the list goes on.
I think the love story between Criminy and Letitia is very well done and not too heavy on that sap. It's definitely more of a romantic adventure so a lot of the focus is on the adventure side of things, which is just how I like it. All the while the feelings build allowing things to happen at the right time.
I really wish this series came out bi-annually simply because of him. Maybe we can coax the author into writing up some short stories or vignettes.
This series is one where I would love to see a movie adaptation created for it. It could be a big hit, seeing all of this come to life.
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)
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.
The title is false advertising! If you want an actual satisfying VAMPIRE story, this ain't the book to quench that thirst. You will be waiting and wai...moreThe title is false advertising! If you want an actual satisfying VAMPIRE story, this ain't the book to quench that thirst. You will be waiting and waiting and waiting for actual vampire action...and then the book ends. I tried really hard to get into this plot, but by the 50% mark it took a complete nose dive for me and never recovered.
Between the insufferable main character and her b-f-f, their utter stupidity, the unfunny dialog, the lame plot lines, the ridiculous NON-VAMPIRIC sex scenes...I just feel robbed.
(view spoiler)[The sex scenes were beyond weird. Not sure if I care to read about the main character about to get it on with the mysterious guy that she's known for 3 days while her friend is in the next room practically giving color commentary on the action. Call me a prude, but you would think that sort of thing would ruin the mood...But maybe it's just me. Not to mention how conversational they were in general for the other sex scenes. It was just bizarre to read.
I was utterly sickened by Joy falling head over heels for this dude in practically no time. She's ready to spend the rest of her LIFE with him, and yet he could have EASILY been a villain. Then she meets the so-called vampire. She is his beloved, but she rejects him to stay with the lame ass human. I mean really, she should have given the vampire at least ONE day since her heart apparently works so quickly. But it's not like I cared one iota about these characters anyway. (hide spoiler)]
This is the second vampire book in a row for me where there is discrepancy about human vs. vampire love interest. I would like to clarify that as a "VampireNovelFan", I am reading these kinds of series for smexy VAMPIRE action. Don't rope me in and just give general human stuff. When I want general human romance (which is never for fantasy books), I'll read it.
C'MON, people! Though I like vamps, I do try to switch it up with general urban fantasy. It's just that every so often I'll want to read a good straight up vampire story, and I'm batting 0 for 2 this year. If anybody can recommend a good standalone book for me, PLEASE DO!!
Do I recommend this series? Not in the least. I usually am all about lighter stories that take a comical approach, but this book overdid it to the point of where it wasn't enjoyable anymore. It probably didn't help that it later tried to add depth, but there was none because by that point I hated the book and wanted it over. I could say more; I probably should say more, but the more I write the angrier I get that I seriously wasted 3 days on this that I won't get back. I can totally understand everyone who didn't even bother to finish the book. As for me? Like a dolt, I usually have to finish no matter what. THIS book may have been just the thing I needed to break that habit. I will not be reading another installment from this series or any other book by this author. This seriously made me wonder why it's so hard to get published.
Overall I enjoyed the novel and found it engaging almost the entire time, though it wasn't until the third act that it reached unputd...moreThe World After
Overall I enjoyed the novel and found it engaging almost the entire time, though it wasn't until the third act that it reached unputdownable territory. Though it's clearly not the only dystopian novel out there, I enjoy the balance with supernatural elements and creatures. I like that I can become completely immersed in this gritty world suddenly turned upside down where we see beings (human or otherwise) at their best and their worst. Though it's considered a young-adult novel, I think it's just as gritty as an adult novel which adds to its appeal.
I found it thought-provoking often, wondering many times what I'd do in Penryn's shoes. For a seventeen-year-old, she's had to grow up so fast and while she makes a few dumb decisions, she also makes a lot of good ones and I was really rooting her for and her sister, Paige. I even found myself liking Penryn's nutty mom. I feel like she's just crazy enough to survive this thing. But Paige. Ugh, I spent most of the book just wanting to hug her. Her ordeal is completely heart-wrenching and I had a very tough time reading about it. We learn how she becomes what she is now, a twisted, patched up, razor-toothed experiment gone totally wrong...or maybe totally right? All I know is she's seven and it's just not fair. But I do appreciate that there may be a sense of destiny about the character which would make her even more multidimensional than being a sympathy magnet.
You're probably wondering why I haven't really said much about Raffe. You know, Raphael, the Great Archangel, the Wrath of God, and more importantly for the fans, Penryn's unexpected but very yummy main squeeze. He's definitely our favorite archangel. Well, unfortunately there's not much to tell this time. About half his significance in the book is through flashbacks of what we already knew. When they finally do meet up their chemistry and banter are a lot of fun, but I would have liked more of it and sooner.
Aside from that I had a couple more gripes with the entry. For one, the end didn't feel complete enough. I wouldn't quite call it a cliffhanger but it honestly just stops. I prefer when books wind down in the last chapter or at least provide an epilogue. My next issue would be the length. This novel is not very long at all. While I don't have page numbers to reference, I can't imagine it being over 300 pages. So why does this book have 75 chapters? Unless you're busting out 1,500+ pages novels like George R. R. Martin or something, it's completely superfluous. And since most of the scenes flow into the next one if anything it affected the pace a little. I honestly don't see why this would need more than 30. I just finished it and yet I couldn't tell you a standout chapter if my life depended on it.
But yes, my issues aside, I thought it was a very entertaining read and I'm looking forward to the next one. I also recently learned that this series will be adapted into a movie. I definitely think it's a good call because that's all I could think about while reading it, how cool it'd be on the big screen. But how often do movies live up to expectations?
If you're a fan, you won't want to miss it, but you might want to re-read Angelfall to give yourself a bit of a refresher.
*ARC provided by the publisher. *Review also posted to Amazon.(less)
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.
I came in prepared not to really like this book. I thought we'd get a ton of drama in order to set up for a satisfying resolution in book 6. And considering how amazing The Fiery Heart was (it still gives me the feels if you're wondering)
let's just say that to top that book for me would have been a very tall order. There were definitely things to like about this book. Once again we're treated to both Adrian and Sydney's points of view. Sydney's resolve is refreshing and it's just epically amazing how much she and Adrian rely on each other for strength. He's a lost puppy without her but turns into an amazing character with her. They are the definition of being the better half of each other and Mead has done a great job of building them up without it becoming overly saccharine. It's the big difference between having a whole series to develop a relationship as opposed to one book. And because of that certain developments that would normally irk me felt right. I won't say much more but I promise the developments are huge, though not completely out of left field.
I did miss the presence of Jill and the others but I understood that it would be difficult to focus on their problems in this book. But because of that the tone felt so different to me and I didn't know if it was for the better until later in the novel. Sydney had to rely on what she's learned up until now without the support of her witch teacher, Ms. Terwilliger so we really see her begin to grow into her own when it comes to her powers. Adrian ups the ante too with his magic use, pushing himself to the limits. I felt there were a couple of missed opportunities for the consequences of him pushing himself that far though.
Other than that, the pacing of this book was a little off for me. More or less, I would have preferred what happens at the 70% mark to have started at the 50% mark if not a little sooner. By that point I couldn't put the book down and was left wanting so much more. But now we have to wait and I don't wanna!
Though the plot for this book wraps up we do get a major cliffhanger that appears to be the plot of the final installment. Before the 70% mark I was thinking of giving this one a 4, but I just can't after that point. So I can say it's a 4.5 and round up. This series is still firmly in my #1 favorite YA/NA series spot. Though I am not crazy about the cover design of this one or the 4th book, and I don't know what happened since the first 3 were really nice.
Next up is the final Lux novel which happens to be my second favorite. So I'm on a roll and don't stop me now!
I decided to knock out the first three Experiment in Terror books, and I can say book 3 was by FAR the scariest one yet! They are easy reads, but the writing quality gets better book by book. This series follows amateur ghost hunters Perry Palamino and Dex Foray as they investigate locations near and far that exhibit paranormal activity. Something's always been a little special about Perry. She may not be the most beautiful or glamorous (in her eyes), but she has a special affinity with the dead, making her skills (unintentional as they may be) invaluable to producing good content for the show. Dex has his own demons as well, unraveling more and more by the book as he tries to keep Perry safe.
This particular investigation will prove to be their most dangerous and terrifying yet as they travel to a remote island between British Columbia and Washington state. There's no romantic getaway here, unless a former leper colony with dozens of unsettled souls somehow qualifies. And to make matters worse, that's the least of their problems; moment by moment, the ones they need to fear most may be each other...
I definitely came into this series wanting good creepy storytelling. The first couple of books had its moments, but it was clear that the primary focus was the evolution of Dex and Perry's relationship. It's great if you're into the slow build, but that wasn't exactly what I was looking for...until this book. It struck a much better balance with their development and the story's horror element. I got some occasional "The Shining" vibes which really worked in its favor.
One thing I notice with these books is that there's not total resolution for a case. Perry and Dex definitely get more answers, but they don't completely solve the crime or remedy things. They just get the hell out of dodge when the gettin' is good. If you want a little more resolution to the mysteries then this may not be the series for you, but I actually find this aspect somewhat refreshing. I'm curious as to if the sequels follow that pattern as well.
But now I'll switch to a personal experience with this book. I initially started this series reading the first two books during my daily commute, but I decided read the bulk of this one at home and at night just to amp up the spook factor. And let me tell you, some peculiar things happened:
1) So here I am innocently reading the book at a particularly creepy moment and then all of a sudden the power goes out completely. It's eerily quiet aside from a leaky faucet and those random noises a house tends to make. I'm alone at this point aside from the cat who was sitting next to me. Then the lights come back on a few seconds later. We rarely lose power for anything other than a storm, but it is completely dry with nary a cloud in the night sky. So I chalk it up to randomness and continue reading.
2) And then it happens again...and again...and again. So I decide to put the book down for a bit. Power is finally going strong so then I pick it back up because I want to finish the story. I just make sure to turn on every light in my vicinity.
3) No power outages this time, but the cat (who is clean of catnip at this point) is mysteriously staring at something out in the hall. You can tell because his posture is rigid and he's looking up. He even gets off the bed to get a closer look. I follow him, wondering if he's spotting a fly or something. But there is nothing there. I sort of have Paranormal Activity 2 flashbacks when the dog was presumably barking at the demon that we can't see. But of course that's just poppycock in the real world, right?
So I finished the book thoroughly freaked for more reasons than one. I will certainly continue the series, though it will no longer be in the comfort of my own home, but I'm going to take a break to read a few other books first.
I had no idea of what to expect when it came to a world book. I’d surely never read one before, so I was anticipating something fairly close to a textbook, which generally = boring. This was certainly information rich, but boring is was not. In fact, it’s fantastic.
The theme is genius. It kicks off with the Hollows humor we all know and love, instantly drawing you in. It’s basically told from the POV of an innocent bystander of one of Rachel’s spells gone hilariously wrong in her early days as an I.S. Intern. He takes his grudge to the next level and spends time spying and collecting information on our favorite itchy witch and the supporting Hollows characters. He works for the local Inderlander paper and his goal is to expose Rachel. He’s not having an easy time of it which makes things all the more entertaining, so in turn this is how we learn about everything from species facts, character profiles, maps, magic spells, demon curses, recipes, music lyrics and more.
Normally when I crack open a Hollows book I want a new story, but reading about the Hollows world is quite fascinating and surprisingly enough while I already knew some of the facts, I did learn a couple of new things when it came to character insights and spells. It repeats some lines a couple of times depending on the sections, but I didn’t find it annoying. You can tell Harrison really did her homework. She references the smallest things from the previous novels, even Rachel and Ivy’s mistakenly suggestive Yellow Page ad from Book 3. I also liked the clarification of the different magic types between ley line, earth, and demon magic. I wish there was a little more explanation about “wild” magic that the elves typically use, but that didn’t stop my enjoyment one bit.
You can skim or skip sections if you want, or you can take your time and truly absorb the information. It’s definitely an adjustment to have that option for The Hollows.
You pick it up and you really don’t want to put it down. The layout and graphics are very nice to look at which helps a lot. Reluctantly, I couldn’t read it in one sitting being the busy bee that I am, but it was on my mind until I could get back to finishing it. Heck, I want to read it TWICE and you will NEVER hear me say that about a text book!
If you’re an ebook reader, don’t despair. It’s not available in ebook format due to numerous graphics and font variations. I cannot imagine this looking remotely appealing on my kindle, or even on a color e-reader. It’s a reference text and I always find reading those on an ereader to be an awful experience because I often flip back and forth between pages; ebooks just don’t hold up to that for me.
So yes, I found this to be a satisfying read and it no doubt sets the bar extremely high for any other world books I come across. This is highly recommended if you’re a fan of The Hollows, though you will want to be caught up through Pale Demon because there are major spoilers. (less)
Be forewarned, there are spoilers EVER AFTER in this short story. EA is not due to hit the shelves until January, so unless you've read the ARC you wi...moreBe forewarned, there are spoilers EVER AFTER in this short story. EA is not due to hit the shelves until January, so unless you've read the ARC you will be spoiled!
That said, I absolutely adored this short story. The Hollows is the gift that keeps on giving! I love Trent and Rachel! (less)
""I ran out of stock around midnight and dropped by a place, got some Chinese." I hoped he meant takeout...."Mu-shu pork" he told me indignantly."
I held off from immediately jumping into the Dorina Basarb series, a spin-off of the Cassie Palmer novels by Karen Chance, for a couple of reasons:
1)I have some quirks with the Cassie Palmer books that I feared could spill over into this series
2)I wasn't sure if I wanted to invest in a series with such a long wait between novels. In my perfect world, I'd get two books per year when it comes to my fave series, not one every TWO years.
So it took quite a while to get around to this, but I am so glad I finally did.
This spin-off series centers around Dorina Basarab, a dhampir (vampire/human hybrid) assassin. Not quite enough of either species, Dorina's kind is rare and doesn't fit anywhere in either society. It doesn't help that she is subject to rages that cause her to black out and endanger not only those around her, but herself as well.
It turns out she is the daughter of the great and powerful Mircea Basarab, and he needs her skills to help capture her uncle and his brother, Dracula, who has escaped from prison. Crazy and dangerous, this is a tall order, so Mircea also adds another master vampire to the mix, Louis-Cesare. The goal is for Dorina and Louis-Cesare to work together, but we all know the results when you try to mix oil and vinegar.
This book was a lot of fun. This series has beaten the odds and has become an instant favorite, regardless of the lag time. It's missing my biggest annoyances with the Cassie books: an irritating love triangle and Cassie herself (I'm not just a fan, sorry). Dorina is much more likeable heroine for me. I laughed, I cried (okay, not really), I QUOTED!!
Chance really knows how to write compelling and downright delicious male characters. Louis-Cesare has shot up on my list of book crushes. He's an amazing fighter, and the chemistry with Dorina is crazy good! It doesn't feel like your run of the mill relationship like with so many other novels. It's dynamic, it's got room to evolve, he isn't invisible, and Dorina actually can take care of herself quite well. It feels really natural, or about as natural as you can expect for supernaturals.
Another pleasant surprise was Mircea. After reading the Cassie books we're only used to Mircea the lover and powerful Senate member. In these books we get to see Mircea the father. While we see the Senate member too, I really appreciate this perspective of him because it adds more depth to the character for me. I like him more and more because we see more of his vulnerability here as opposed to the Cassie books. When it comes to Dorina, you can tell that he doesn't have all of the answers, even when he tries to save face . It's a subtle chink in his armor and I love it!
This is about as great of a start as one could hope for. I finished this book and couldn't wait to dive in to the next one! I think it's needless to say that I highly recommend this one.
Many people loved this book, but this was actually among my least favorite.
Nick, Rachel's ex-boyfriend is a conniving little snot. He adds nothing to...moreMany people loved this book, but this was actually among my least favorite.
Nick, Rachel's ex-boyfriend is a conniving little snot. He adds nothing to this series, except my hate for him. He ends up partnering with Jax (Jenks' son) and they get themselves in trouble with the weres after their attempt to steal the Focus.
The gang take a road trip to save him and Jax, but Jenks needs to be a bit more powerful. Soooo Rachel makes him big! While this particular book wasn't my favorite, that one scene is probably one of my favorites of all of the series.
Rache's starting to tap into darker powers to get the job done. Can she still save her soul? How will the battle of vamps vs. weres turn out?
I am not that big on werewolves, so that probably contributed to this not being my favorite series. There was also too little (as in NO) Trent Kalamack. The bastard elf has become a character that I really look forward to seeing, so with him missing, it just wasn't quite the same for me. Big Jenks makes up for that a lot, but it still didn't completely fill the void for me. Even still, there's no way I'd miss a Hollows installment and I am eager as ever to see what Book 5 has in store.
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!
I believe this is my favorite angel series and I would say Archangel's Legion is was probably my favorite book since the series debut! It's definitely the perfect example of absence making the heart grow fonder. I genuinely missed Elena and Raphael's perspective so the story felt very fresh. They also have a whole slew of new problems and new...powers?
The story was really tight and the pacing was great. I wasn't bored for a second and Singh did great job of building a sense of foreboding and tension. I loved the appearances and development of a few side characters, particularly Illium, Aodhan, and Naasir. I definitely missed Venom though. He is my favorite side character (followed somewhat closely by Illium) . This book pretty much had everything I'd want in an urban fantasy/PNR read except for more Venom, but that's still a job well done.
I must say that I like Elena's progress as an angel. While we see improvements, it hasn't been an overnight process and she still has a lot of work to do. Raphael also appears to be evolving in a way that could only make sense for an archangel, though it does threaten to drive a wedge between him and Elena. Don't worry, there's still plenty of sexy times if that's what you come here for. I'm honestly impressed at how Singh packs so much story in these while giving a satisfying dose of romance too. Their relationships with their family also receive adequate development.
At first I was super concerned that because she was contracted for two more books we'd be seeing the end of the series soon. It didn't feel quite right to me because even though this is the 6th book, there's still a lot of story to tell and potential to expand the world. And quite frankly, I will not feel like this series is complete until Venom and Illium get their own books and in that order ~_^. The other day Ms. Singh herself calmed my fears and tweeted me that there will indeed be more books so I'm keeping hope alive for solo books of my boys and more Elena and Raphael too.
I enjoyed this book much more than the previous installment, however I think I would have been happier had Harrison stretched plot out over two books...moreI enjoyed this book much more than the previous installment, however I think I would have been happier had Harrison stretched plot out over two books instead of dragging it out in book 7 (which I can hardly remember anything important happening) and then cramming a million and one things into this book. On one hand it is fast paced which I like, but on another it's a big mess.
I am with the lot that does NOT like Pierce. I had Gary Stu vibes at the beginning which raised flags but it only got worse and worse as the book progressed as he got more and more clingy and now I can stand him less and less. He is officially the least tolerable boyfriend. He has to be at Rachel's side every second and it's nauseating. He has a lot of knowledge, but just leave it at that. Maybe I could stand her other boyfriends better because they weren't on every freakin' page. Kisten I loved to vampy bits though, rest is double dead soul. It is a sad day when I can say I preferred Nick!! Why is it that Rachel's boyfriends (save for Kisten) have 0 chemistry with her? Kisten could make chemistry with a cardboard cut out, so he just might be an exception to anything.
I really hope Harrison limits Pierce's presence significantly in the next books because after a while I found myself skimming and outright skipping pages that involved him...which was a lot. I was enjoying the book 20 times more when he wasn't there. I'm just not feeling the retcon of how he gets dibs so fast because he was "there all along." Especially at the expense of Ivy looking cool. She was such an afterthought in this book and that was a real shame.
-----SPOILER------ I don't know about anybody else, but I was EXTREMELY disappointed that Pierce was the one to go with Rachel in Jenks' time of need instead of Ivy. That was Ivy's place, not his and it angered me a lot. It's a very private time that should be shared with those CLOSEST to that person and Pierce does not fit the bill. I was really disgusted by that. -----SPOILER------
Of course, I am a huge Trent fan so I enjoyed seeing him a bit more in this book than the last. I hear book 9 should be a real treat for us, so I am looking forward to it! There were definitely some priceless scenes here. I was glad we got a glimpse into their past as well. They have their own bond that is complicated and hard to explain, but it's oh so important at the same time! Definitely liked what I saw here as a Trent fan and a Trent/Rachel fan. I do hope they explore a relationship at some point. (next book please please please please please)
And of course, Al has completely stolen the show. I would have never thought around book 1 that I would ever want to see Rachel and Al together, but by golly I wouldn't mind it now!! I love Trent/Rachel and Al/Rachel. I still like Trent/Rachel a bit more (probably because I have liked them since book 1), but way to turn on the heat with Al!! I started to like him a bit more in WWBC (probably because there wasn't much else to like in that book), but here he really began to stand out. I couldn't help but enjoy him knocking Pierce around like a rag doll.
So all in all, there were times I loved the book, and then times I hated it, so I will have to give it a 2.5 and round up to 3. One star for Trent and one star for Al. The plot being all over the place knocks it down half a star, and then Pierce knocks it down 2 more. Books 3 and 6 are still my favorites. Here's hoping book 9 can bring it back to that 5-star mark that I know, love and miss with this series! (less)
I picked Susan Ee’s Angelfall at just the right time. Coming off the high of reading and totally adoring Wicked as They Come by Delilah Dawson, another debut author, I am fully convinced that rookies know how to play with the big boys. And that’s a wonderful thing.
Susan Ee’s post-apocalyptic series takes place in Silicon Valley, California. In only six weeks the world has been brought to its knees by the hands of beautiful, yet destructive angels. There’s little order among the chaos as gangs terrorize by day, and the supernatural terrorize by night. One night, 17-year-old Penryn and her family take their chances and a brave the night to find a safer harbor. But once they witness a major struggle between an angel called Raffe and his fellow brethren, it ends with the lone angel beaten and wingless, and her little her sister being abducted by the winged terrors. They must begrudgingly team up with one another so that they can get back what they want most; Penryn, her sister, and Raffe, his wings. And they face almost any and every danger along the way.
This book would have taken me by surprise, but the high ratings and praise made me pretty confident that it would live up to the hype. Though I’m capable of thinking for myself, I have to side with the majority here. It’s a fantastic new series and it’s definitely one of my favorite dystopian novels. Maybe it’s because I’m a sucker for all things paranormal and this book blends both elements perfectly? I’m not going to try to figure it out, but it just works. Every time I had to put the book down, I really didn’t want to. And if that’s not a sign of a good read, I don’t really know what is.
The cover is really cool. I like the simple, but understated feel to it. It sets you up for a complete surprise once you begin to read the book because it’s filled with tons of creepy and pulse-pounding moments. Penryn and Raffe’s uneasy relationship is surprisingly endearing and it only gets better as the book progresses. I wasn’t sure what to expect since this book seems to be classified as young adult, but I found there to be a number of mature subject matter involved and the only thing separating it from an adult novel is the lack of sex, though the themes are there.
Speaking of themes. There are a number of others that Susan Ee brings to light in this book from racism, to misogyny, to religious beliefs, to human experimentation, to rebellion, to fractured family life. Each setting is structured to tackle these issues, or at least bring them to light for the reader to ponder. But it’s easy to see that it’s all under one big umbrella of deceit.
The book only lagged for me once when they reach a resistance camp. I think it’s because that’s the only area of the novel where it felt like your standard dystopian fanfare for the oppressed to strategize about how to take down those currently in power. With a book so unique, this scene stuck out to me like a sore thumb, though it’s still manageable and the book does move along to other places.
There’s very little to complain about on my end. I highly recommend this book. It’s only $1.99 right now, so you’re not breaking the bank too much if you want to give it a try. But I personally think you won’t be sorry.
I’d say The Vampire Shrink (Book 1 in the Vampire Psychologist Series) by Lynda Hilburn was pretty entertaining. 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.
A good deal of the book is spent with Kismet denying that vampire exist, even though all of the strange events add up to it. I guess that could be a realistic response, but it was a little irksome. Though she is a psychiatrist there are times what her inner monologue doesn’t sound very sophisticated at all, especially when it comes to men. That could be intentional due to her lack of experience with many men, or maybe it’s due to her age. She is unusually young for a shrink. It’s also a little hard to believe that she doesn’t get attention for being attractive. She is described as looking like Megan Fox yet when good looking men flirt with her she literally says that this doesn’t happen very often.
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… Deveraux is sophisticated and enigmatic.
Like many paranormal romances, there is a love triangle. Kismet’s torn between an FBI agent and the vampire Devereux, who takes her as his mate. I’m sure it’s not difficult to determine who I rooted for the whole time, haha.
Normally with these kinds of series I usually don’t like 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 and their union was foreshadowed.
The villains are evil and beautiful, evil and ugly, and evil and crazy. I was seriously creeped out in a couple of scenes, but they were well done. Hilburn doesn’t mind exposing the reader to disturbing situations.
This was rewrite but I actually did not notice any major differences aside from newer pop culture references over the past 5 years, so my opinion did not change much from the previous edition (which I also read). Towards the end it really picks up and gets very intense and engaging so I hope to see more of that in future novels all throughout. 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.