MAGIC MOURNS No better way to make this short story more special than to receive it from the authors themselves!! I'll certainly cherish the copy!
But t...moreMAGIC MOURNS No better way to make this short story more special than to receive it from the authors themselves!! I'll certainly cherish the copy!
But that aside, I will review as objectively as possible. Magic Mourns is a short story included in the Must Love Hellhounds anthology that shifts the focus from Kate Daniels to her best friend, Andrea Nash. She's been handling Kate's affairs at her office until she gets a call to investigate a weird three-headed dog that seems to be running free. It turns out it's a Hellhound (well, at least the title of this book isn't false advertising!) She goes to investigate only to run into Raphael, the werehyena who is hopelessly in love with her. Coincidence Coincidence. They end up working together to do away with the fiery canine as well as the adversary that has summoned him.
I really appreciate how the authors were able to inject the full effect of the Kate Daniels world in a few pages, while using few familiar characters. There was a lot of action and suspense packed into such a little story, and it was nice seeing the use of tech (Andrea prefers guns while Kate prefers her magical slayer sword). The descriptions were also really well done. I ended up reading this *after* I read the fourth book because there is an obvious major plot development when it comes to Raphael and Andrea that is explained in this book. It's a short and fun read, and definitely worth your time if you're a Kate Daniels fan. Andrea has one of the funniest scenes of the whole series in the 4th book, launching her onto my "favorite heroines list," so I was happy to have a novella with her own personal development and back story.
The only reason I've taken off a star is because I wish it were longer. Andrea is a character that's interesting enough to have her own spin-off. I could also just be a greedy fan that will take any of the Kate Daniels world that I can get.
(More reviews to come for the additional short stories)(less)
I originally read this comic as an ARC and then decided to purchase it immediately before I even finished it. Since I was reading the series via ebooks, I wanted something for Ms. Briggs to sign for when I meet her at San Diego Comic Con this July. I was going to try to get through the ebooks as fast as I could so that I could then also purchase a paper copy of my favorite installment. After seeing this comic, there's no longer a need. And even better, it fits in with the theme since it's about the comics at Comic Con (well, it supposed to be anyway). I'm now super excited so I can spaz to Ms. Briggs in person about how wonderful of a job the artist did. I can already tell this is one of the best. Talk about doing a series justice!
No doubt this graphic novel adaptation accomplishes the most important goal of all; it's very visually very pleasing to look at! That's the point of a graphic novel at all, right? I actually enjoyed the comic much more than the actual book. The book comes off as somewhat bland in parts (though the series gets better with every book), but seeing the action come to life on the pages gets my adrenaline pumping. The drawing style is fabulous and not over the top. I love the coloring and shading and spent a few panels simply admiring the images. I feel like it truly captures the Mercy Thompson world. Mercy's gorgeous, Adam's sexy, and Sam actually looks much better than I assumed he looked in the books. I thought the artist was very good with expressing the characters' emotions as well. A few of the transformation scenes were a little awkwardly drawn, but it didn't detract from my enjoyment.
I like that it's close to the book. I think that made me read it much faster. Unlike the book, it kicks off with action to draw you in. It was a nice technique to keep it engaging. I felt the pacing was just right. There wasn't a moment where I was bored and yet it stayed true to the plot.
I always have this trepidation of looking at fictional characters outside of the reading medium. 9 times out of 10 it just doesn't capture the images I've conjured up in my mind. I am so pleased that's not the case here.
We get a bonus section that's by a completely different artist. It's a completely different style that doesn't portray the dark urban fantasy feel, so I didn't really connect to it as much. Also, some of the proportions and angles were off. I recall at one point a character was drawn cross-eyed.
It ends with short of a narration of the panels to see how the artist conceptualized the panels. It was pretty cool to see their process, but not really necessary. My biggest enjoyment was in the meat of the story. I wish we could have seen Stefan, Warren, and Kyle in this volume though.
Because these look so good and flow so well, I plan to follow the comics for this series in conjunction with the books, as long as Ms. Amelia Woo continues to illustrate. It's very rare that I can say I prefer any other medium to the original, but in this case I very much prefer the comic to the novel.
After reading Jennifer Armentrout flex her YA skills with the Lux novels, I was ever so curious to check out her adult skills...moreMore Like Fangirl Rising
After reading Jennifer Armentrout flex her YA skills with the Lux novels, I was ever so curious to check out her adult skills with Unchained. I will be honest and say that any series set in Washington, DC like this one is will automatically make me a little biased. But I probably would have loved this book if it took place in Timbuktu (well, not really, but any urban setting would have worked). I have grown to enjoy the fallen angel subgenre almost as much as a vampire one and books like this are probably why.
After reading the novel I learned that this was actually an earlier novel by Armentrout and while I enjoyed it, finding the plot and characters satisfying enough, I wasn’t surprised. If there was one area I could criticize it would definitely be the world building aspect. We definitely hear about Washington, DC, but she does very little to actually show us the setting with good details. It’s only because I live here that the setting makes sense to me. She has since improved in that area with her Lux novels.
The characterizations are very good, especially when it comes to Julian, the fallen angel. I don’t doubt he’ll make the book boyfriend list for many readers. While I personally liked Lily, I think she would have to grow on other readers. She’s brash, overconfident and loves to dive head first into danger. But she’s Nephilim (a fallen angel/human hybrid), what do you expect? She’s also a bit of a rebel but for me that made her all the more fun. She’s good at what she does so she can back it up…for now.
While I would call this an urban fantasy, it definitely comes on strong with the romance too. The chemistry between Julian and Lily is totally scorching, but you’re never allowed to feel comfortable with their relationship because they are inherently on opposing sides. There’s just enough tension to keep things interesting the whole way through. I was honestly fearing a potential love triangle, so if you’re concerned about that, don’t be. There are definitely bigger fish to fry as to what can drive a wedge between the two.
There’s a lot of action and brutality and I honestly wasn’t always sure of the characters’ motivations which kept things from being too predictable. All in all there was never a dull moment for me, so even though this is an earlier work of Armentrout, it’s still plenty enjoyable and re-readable. I will absolutely be reading Book 2 and I’m crossing my fingers that it can release on time in 2014.
"He was on the ground, unmoving, bloody ropes of intestine surrounding him. He needs those, she thought stupidly and rushed to him, trying to stuff them back into his stomach."
In the latest Valerie Dearborn novel by Caroline Hanson, Love is Fear, we're finally delving into the supernatural world that we merely heard about in the first book. The playing field evens out as Lucas, Rachel, Valerie, and Jack are thrust into the land of the Fey where vampires are even more vulnerable. This is actually Lucas's plan as he desires to bring them back and restore balance because he feels that vampires have become too powerful. Of course, there's the small issue of him being responsible for their near extinction and current dormancy in the first place, so they likely won't be chummy with him upon their return. Not to mention the amount of tension that's bound to flare up among our 4 "heroes" all trying to work together without killing one another. That proves to be a difficult enough task in itself.
Book 2 is even better than the first one. Valerie starts to come into her own a bit more as an empath---the defacto mediator between supernatural creatures---and I must admit that I quite enjoyed the power play between her and Lucas, especially since it is a part of her nature. Their relationship goes from hot to scorching!
There are a lot of huge developments that make this installment a must-not-miss. Everything is turned upside down as character dynamics drastically shift and secrets are revealed. I don't know whether I should he happy that Hanson didn't waste a lot of time getting to the good stuff or upset because we didn't get more settled into the the former way of things.
Shippers, start your engines! Somebody somewhere determined that love triangles and quadrangles and polygons are a must-have for urban fantasy books and Hanson is certainly following suit, much to my personal chagrin. But I am enjoying the series so much that I will muddle through it...somehow...someway... Alls I know is that I'm Team Lucas. 9 times out of 10 I side with the vamps when it's a viable option (the exceptions being The Hollows and maybe the Cassie Palmer series). Of course, that shouldn't be very surprising when you see my username. All of her suitors (yes, it is now "all" instead of "both") have their a-hole ways, so I'll settle on the one with the most chemistry. It's only the second book after all and it's very obvious that the author as a lot more in store for Valerie Dearborn's world. I am expecting that to include a lot of evolution and character growth.
I was hoping that with a slightly higher price tag of $3.99 the author would fix the spelling, formatting and grammar errors, but they are just as rampant as they were in the first book. I guess they won't be fixed until the books are printed.
Errors aside, while we only get a taste of the new (though traditional) supernatural beings that will be thrown into the fray, it still makes for a satisfying read. Like the first one, expect plenty of action, plenty of smut (which one could argue is its own kind of action), and---most importantly---plenty of laughs with a good story somewhere in between. Along with the likes of The Hollows and Kate Daniels, this is definitely a quotable series! I have high hopes for Book 3 which I hope will be released later this year. You'll know when I know!
""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.
This is the first book I've read in one day on my Kindle. And now I shall put a dent in book 2. This series is GOOD!!! It's definitely my favorite of...moreThis is the first book I've read in one day on my Kindle. And now I shall put a dent in book 2. This series is GOOD!!! It's definitely my favorite of the series I've just recently started. (less)
"Louis-Cesare. It's good to finally have you in hand."
Indeed it is!!!
This time around our favorite ass-kicking dhampir Dorina Basarab now finds herself involved in a murder mystery “whodunit” style. Someone has started murdering vampire Senate members and that may be too close to home. To make matter worse, her best friend Claire also needs Dorina’s help to locate a fae relic that could be used to harm her infant son, the successor to the fae throne. With those she holds most near and dear in harm’s way, who can Dorina trust?
In usual Karen Chance style, Death’s Mistress is jam packed with story and there are even a quite few laughs. I feel like her imagination knows no bounds and that has to account for the super fast pace of her books, though Dorina’s pace doesn’t feel as hectic as Cassie’s. It feels just right.There is so much going on that I can’t even put it in one synopsis.
There is moving and shaking among all of the supernaturals: the mages, the vampires, the dark and light fae, you name it. About the only species with nothing going on is the dhampire community, and that could be because there are only a handful of them to begin with. I would like to see Chance introduce us to the few that exist. Why not? We’re seeing everybody else!
Louis-Cesare tension is back and better than ever. Their interactions, while extremely amusing and pretty freakin’ hott, are ultimately dangerous. Louis-Cesare’s affections are as transparent as it gets and that may be a problem since dhampir/vampire relationships are about as taboo as it gets. So a star-crossed appeal has become a component of their relationship.
The secondary character really shine here. I was entertained to no end by Raymond, a vampire she beheads early as leverage, as well as her uncle Radu. He is delightfully flamboyant, dramatic., and surprisingly relatable. Papa Mircea was fabulous here as well with additional back story involving his past with her mother. Then there’s her unconventional pet Stinky, a chimera, who sticks to her like glue every since she saved him in book 1.
All of these elements really give the series a life of its own outside of the Cassie Palmer series, and I think it’s for the better. I can effectively say that I prefer the Dorina novels to the Cassie novels. I can’t wait two WEEKS for the next installment let along two years like the poor souls that read these books in real time. It’s definitely one of my favorite series and I highly recommend this read. It has everything I’m looking for in a great Urban Fantasy series.
Oh boy, what a ride! While this book wasn't as quotable with the usual hilarious quips that make me love this series so much, it i...moreThis SERIES Rises!
Oh boy, what a ride! While this book wasn't as quotable with the usual hilarious quips that make me love this series so much, it is definitely one of my favorite books of the series, if not my favorite. I usually love books when the characters go on road trips or end up out of their usual element. It usually gives a series a fresh perspective, revealing new aspects about my favorite characters and ultimately showing what they are made of when the going gets tough. Ilona Andrews really brought their A-game from start to finish. Kate and Curran, how can you not love them? As solid as they are, or at least as solid as we assume they are, their relationship and feelings for one another are put to the ultimate test.
I must say that bringing just about every essential character along for the quest set off my alarm bells early that nothing was going to be the same from here on out. I feared that not everybody would make it back or make it back in one piece. And they do take a hell of a beating in that department I'm sad to say. But I believe everything that happened happened for the sake of pushing the story forward to the best conclusion possible.
There were definitely frustrating moments making me feel for both characters as individuals as well. I will always be a Kate and Curran girl, but I thought they handled the chemistry between Kate and Hugh D'Ambry (her father's right hand) surprisingly well. I was genuinely looking forward to their scenes together and the outcomes weren't always predictable. I was really engrossed in the back story involving Kate's heritage and felt satisfied with what was revealed. It felt integral to the story and to what we can expect of the series here on out. So often I run into series where the overarching plot is merely peppered throughout the book instead of being the meat of it, making it very obvious that the author plans to drag the story out as much as possible. I am so happy that wasn't the case here, though I honestly haven't read a disappointing Kate Daniels book.
If we thought things were complicated before, this book proved to me that we haven't seen anything yet. I heard the series was going to end at 7, but then they decided to extend it to 10. At this point I think 10 books is definitely the sweet spot.
If you want a true page turner, this is one of the best you are going to find this year, guaranteed.
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)
The Greyfriar (Book 1 in the Vampire Empire Trilogy) was my first proper introduction to the steampunk genre. In this bold alternate universe authored...moreThe Greyfriar (Book 1 in the Vampire Empire Trilogy) was my first proper introduction to the steampunk genre. In this bold alternate universe authored by husband and wife team Susan and Clay Griffith, vampires are vicious, powerful, and wisely feared by the human population. 150 years ago, vampires and altered the course of history as they emerged and destroyed much of human civilization toward northern territories, forcing survivors to move south. But humans are resilient beings and with time they become determined to fight back and restore their glory.
Part of that fight includes Princess Adele of Alexandria, a young lady poised to marry American Senator Clark in a political move that will unite their people and allow a full scale war against their fanged enemies. All goes according to plan until Adele is captured by the enemy and held prisoner in the northern lands. All hope seems lost, but there is The Greyfriar, a mysterious and legendary masked warrior that's able to take on the vampires and win. He aides Adele, helping to keep her alive in this hostile territory.
First off, the model for the covers of these books totally reminds me of Mitchell the vampire on BBC’s Being Human, played by actor Aidan Turner.
I figured that was a good pic to use since the costuming is fairly close, though that’s from a photoshoot for The Hobbit.
As for the story, I was pleasantly surprised with this book. I will say that the beginning started out really great and action-packed, but then it hits a bit of a slump for me becoming riddled with politics and side characters that I know are important, but I found myself not caring about it very much. In short, I was bored for a good deal of time. I liked Adele and Greyfriar's point of view and wanted more of that, so I was considering giving up on the book until it hit the 50% mark. After that I was really hooked and finished the book being really happy that the second book was available.
There is a lot of world building, but it's really pretty fascinating as it incorporates airships, special weapons, and even a unique sense of wardrobe which really drives home that steampunk feel.
Adele makes mistakes, but overall for me she was a likable heroine. She is not the same person by the end of this book as she was in the beginning, so it was a satisfying evolution that promises even more as this trilogy unfolds.
I want to say a lot about the Greyfriar, but I found a pleasant surprise as I read the book, though I will not spoil it in this review. All I will say is that his character also experiences significant evolution. He was probably my favorite character. It's nice when the title character can accomplish that, especially for me because I'm usually the type of reader who often follows a series for the sake of the side characters.
There's a lot of action, a real sense of adventure, and a building romance that really make this book a success. I wasn't expecting to become attached to these characters, but by the end I found myself completely invested in what would happen next. The book isn't perfect, but I finished reading it being really glad that I invested in it.
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.
The crazy cliffhanger from the third installment of the Fever saga completely changes this series from there on out. Mac is no longer the Mac we once...moreThe crazy cliffhanger from the third installment of the Fever saga completely changes this series from there on out. Mac is no longer the Mac we once knew. She's lost her memories and with Barron's help, he tries to bring her back, but will she ever be the same?
This book is when the series switched from Urban Fantasy to practically Paranormal Romance. The graphic content could possibly be jarring if you weren't expecting such a drastic change in content and style.
Of course it's used with a purpose to try to restore Mac's memories. Once that's out of the way, she's still got plenty of enemies to take down, while also trying to realize who she can really trust of those closest to her in Dublin.
Mac is a little girl no more and we're hit with that fact like a Mac truck (pun intended? Maybe?). This series is really emotional. Based on the cliff-hangers, I am so grateful that I never it picked up until it was completely finished. The wait and suspense would have totally killed me.
“We got unfinished business,” he reminded me. “My name’s not Bill.” He chuckled. “Yeah, I loved that movie. Shoulda brought a katana, but it seemed like an unfair advantage.”
- I love that movie too!
"I wasn't the kind of gal who wore designer and knew what all the forks were for. I was the kind of gal who thought the nightgown drawer was where old T-shirts went to die and who had only started using forks in the last century. And who frankly still thought them kind of a waste when there were perfectly good knives handy."
Dorina is awesome. Yeah, yeah, I know that's not news, but we could SO be besties if it weren't for her little quirk of blacking out into nasty dhampir rages that can level a whole village (think Saya from Blood+).
Though Dorina's dhampir heritage has made her the pariah and enigma of the paranormal community, her skills are still quite useful to the Vampire Senate. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. While working with them to smuggle magical items and weapons out of Faerie, the operation hits a snag that leads to Dorina's capture. Though eventually saved by master vampire Louis-Cesare, she has no memory of what happened, but she has to find out fast or else the vampire community and herself will be dangerously vulnerable. This leads to new enemies, new revelations about her past, and ultimately a war residing completely within...herself.
She did make readers wait two years for it, but this is definitely the longest Dorina book to date! Karen Chance doesn't let up when it comes to the twists, turns, and action sequences that you wouldn't believe. Chance proves herself to be a master story teller with the continuous world building, complex plot, and super fast pace; it makes me wonder how she keeps up with it all. There HAS to be a secret.
For the most part I was really with it, but I did have a couple of annoyances. I sometimes felt like I was reading about a character with ADHD because there are a number of times when she doesn't complete a thought before something else happens. That felt a bit unnecessary because the books are fast paced enough. By the 80% mark it sort of hit a wall, though it didn't last for very long because the end was beyond stellar.
As much as I love her Louis-Cesare (they are probably in my top 3 ships now), the developments with Mircea were probably my favorite parts of this book. Chance's love of time travel is as present as ever. She skirts the time travel idea often used in her Cassie Palmer books by pretty much turning Dorina's mind into a time machine. Being 500 years old, she has a lot of memories she can recall.
We see romance all of the time in this genre books, but so rarely do we see such a the delicate father-daughter relationship like theirs develop and evolve over the course of a series. Absolutely it is unconventional, but at the root of it, we are seeing a bond that is unbreakable, as it should be. They are both hundreds of years old, so it's hard to navigate their relationship in a convincing way, but Chance does it and it works so well. I got some serious warm fuzzies and my only complaint is that I wish we got a little more. Though I would have liked more, what I want to see is probably more suited for the last book...woohoo for 4 more years! That's assuming she ends this series at 5 books.
I would say that slightly less action, more Mircea, more Louis-Cesare, or just less pages would have put this book on the path to perfection. These little things took it from perfection to NEAR perfection. It was definitely one of my most satisfying reads of the year!
I didn’t start reading these novels until this year, but I’m certainly as enthusiastic as any long time fan when it comes to th...moreSydrian is the BEST!!
I didn’t start reading these novels until this year, but I’m certainly as enthusiastic as any long time fan when it comes to this series. The Fiery Heart will evoke pretty much every emotion you can think of. This book is probably my new favorite, though book 3 nips at its heels. Fans who have been waiting to finally see Sydrian (that’s an amalgamation of Sydney and Adrian’s names for those of you who don’t understand shipper speak) in its full glory should not be disappointed but you have to remember that you’re reading a Richelle Mead novel and it’s the middle of the series, so expect some angst and some growing pains and a cliffhanger that reaches Holy-Smokes-Batman levels. It at least makes it somewhat realistic.
I loved this novel to bits but I would have liked a little more development in the magic department. That’s not to say it was lacking; her abilities are extremely relevant to this storyline, but it didn’t feel quite as involved as with the previous books. I can understand that because this time the novel alternates between Adrian and Sydney’s POVs. The read was still surprisingly cohesive. Sometimes that becomes a challenge for an author but I think Mead still captured both of their personalities very well.
I didn’t really sense as much page time being given to the supporting characters either. There are some significant developments with them and their stories, but don’t expect much. This is clearly a Sydrian novel, made for Sydrian by Sydrian. Have I made it pretty clear that this novel is about Sydrian?
And since this is a Sydrian novel, let's get back to that topic, shall we? This book makes you realize how good they really are for one another, though quite often their situation feels so hopeless. It's a case of star-crossed lovers if I've ever read one. Though she tries to keep up her alchemist front, internally Sydney becomes more of a free spirit; this leads to behavior more reckless than you'd come to expect from her and it's very refreshing. Adrian also really steps up to the plate to be responsible when it comes to his own vices. They balance each other extremely well, their chemistry is through the roof, and I loved every minute of it.
This book really made me realize I will have to revise my Goodreads shelves. For a "Young Adult" it was racier than some adult novels I've read. But I was also recently told that series like this where the characters are 18 and over are considered "New Adult." Of course the Goodreads Awards don't make that distinction... and honestly when I see "new adult" I think of a new novel in the adult category, like new Hollows, Kate Daniels, Mercy Thompson, etc. I'm also considering calling this "Mature YA" but I'm still deciding. I'm open to suggestions.
There are two novels left so I could understand why Mead didn't want to prolong the honeymoon period. She is an author that really makes her characters earn their HEAs and clearly this won't be an exception. I'm just hoping she can provide a satisfying ending to this series. It's no secret that her endings of series tend to polarize her readers so it does concern me a little bit. This is the first series where she has me by the balls and I'm totally at her mercy. But on the plus side, it's only 8 months until we get book 5! I'm ready for whatever, Ms. Mead! In the meantime, I'm gonna go re-read some of my fave passages from this one as they are MORE than enough to hold me over until next time!
Curran:Volume 1 is a supplement to the Kate Daniels series that presents a number of scenes from Curran's point of view (shocking based on the title,...moreCurran:Volume 1 is a supplement to the Kate Daniels series that presents a number of scenes from Curran's point of view (shocking based on the title, I know, I know). From his perspective we learn how he grows to love Kate. Naturally, these inserts aren't quite as fulfilling as reading an entire novel, but I did enjoy what we got. In the usual Kate Daniels fashion, you'll get a little bit of comedy, a little bit of drama, and a little bit of action. All I have to say is it's hard out there for a shifter!
I think I would have enjoyed reading these excerpts even more if I did it AS I was reading the novels. It would have had an even greater impact. Perhaps when I re-read this series I will try that and maybe recommend it to friends who haven't started it yet (if they can match up the scenes of course).
I appreciate when authors give us insight from the second party. Lord knows I've got a ton of series where I'd love to get the perspective of another character because often times it's a complete game changer. The first-person perspective really limits the scope of the story. It's purposeful and you'll never learn the ins and outs of a main character better, but it can be frustrating.
I definitely do not recommend reading this unless you've actually read the corresponding novels. I would imagine you'd be quite lost since these play off of already established scenes.
This collection was volume 1, but parts 2 and 3 are also available on the authors' website. I would assume there will be more and eventually the subsequent parts may be compiled into another volume. The best way to keep up to date is to keep up with Team Andrews. And they're definitely cool to keep up with. (less)
A Bite's Tale (A Furry Fable) is aptly named. This delightful novella provides a supernatural take on the age old Cinderella story. Cydney, the "Cinderella", is a werewolf while the prince is a vampire.
We meet the characters while they are in their early teens. Neither one is willing to admit who they really are, but they secretly meet each other every summer until one year when Cydney's wolf loses control, leaving the prince to fight for his life. We soon experience a time skip where we see Cydney at seventeen, continuing to battle the nature of her inner wolf and manage the guilt of hurting, or possibly killing her secret sweetheart.
Unbeknownst to Cydney, he was changed into a vampire to save his life. All is well, but of course as a prince he has a huge responsibility to his country and he must choose a wife to help him rule. The king schedules a ball for the prince to choose a fitting lady, but he can't forget his "Cinderella". Will fate allow these two to cross paths once again? Will they have to put their species first since vampires and werewolves are enemies?
Veronica Blade's novella is an extremely satisfying read. I was genuinely surprised. Even better, if you're an Amazon Prime member the book is free to borrow. That made the read just that much sweeter for me. Though I must admit I try to imagine the prince with a different hair style in my mind because the one on the cover is a total buzz kill.
I liked having an old tale to compare this to. It made me appreciate the subtle changes. While I never doubted Cinderella's love for her prince in the cartoon, sometimes for this one I merely wondered if it was due to teenage hormones. Also, sometimes it felt more like Romeo & Juliet than Cinderella. This had a lot of coming-of-age elements. There is a little action but not a whole lot. That was fine with me because I didn't pick the book up for that reason.
This is a fun, quick read and a nice change of pace from the norm. I would like to see a full fleshed out novel with these characters because there's room for the story to expand.
Quin Lennox found herself lucky last time, managing to escape the alternate world of Vamp City. But that world isn’t quite done with her. They need her powers to restore the magic of their world and free the vampires currently bound there. Vampire Arturo Mazza is sent to bring her back, and Quinn has learned her lesson than to trust him again after his betrayal. However this time Vamp City has some leverage, her brother. She has to return to save him, and Arturo’s all she’s got. Has he learned the error of his ways? Or is she setting herself up for disappointment once again.
The first book was one of my favorite reads last year, so the sooner I could get my hands one, the better. Palmer’s morbid imagination really makes this series a standout to me, though I think certain dynamics of the first book didn’t sit well with everyone. For this novel I think it has more mass appeal, but I had a gripe or two. I guess the pace of the book was a bit of a problem for me. They spend quite a bit of time talking about the final adversary and yet we don’t even see that stand-off in this book. Cliffhanger enthusiasts should love it, but I can’t say the same for those of you who don’t. I just wish it would have wrapped up the novel in a more serial fashion because towards the end I was anticipating a conflict I didn’t get. The book just kind of ended and that was that.
I do like her efforts to redeem Arturo. I mean, sometimes the graphic and horrific things he endured got a little hard to stomach, but he had a lot of ground to make up and I think he did that. Tish was okay. I never really had a problem with her, though her over protectiveness of her brother, while noble, got a little annoying after a while. The chemistry between Tish and Arturo was s still immensely strong which certainly adds to their appeal.
I liked the history and backstory about the vampires and other supernaturals that live in Washington, VC, learning of their gradual deterioration into what they have become and why. It was thought-provoking and I was often conflicted about the best course of action to fix everything.
At this point I am sort of wondering if Palmer plans to make this a trilogy or if it’s an ongoing series. If it’s a trilogy it certainly feels like a middle book. I feel as if all the issues presented can certainly be resolved in one more.
*ARC provided by the publisher. *Review also posted to Amazon. (less)
This writer's choice of style and atmosphere is right up my alley. I'm a big fan of the Rachel Morgan series, mainly because it's a bit more of an upb...moreThis writer's choice of style and atmosphere is right up my alley. I'm a big fan of the Rachel Morgan series, mainly because it's a bit more of an upbeat urban fantasy series, not overly dark. The central character is overall likable and relatable; she's able to kick ass but she has her imperfections too. This series is similar. I found it pretty funny actually how the roles are switched and, this time, it is the vampire that is the central character while the best friend is the witch. That's obviously the opposite with Rachel Morgan. But getting back to this series. It's paranormal romance, but not the overly sappy type. I have a hard time connecting to those. I think this could also easily be considered Urban Fantasy. I instantly took to both Morgan AND Ethan's characters in this book. Usually I side with one. There are funny moments and good one liners. Either way, I cannot wait to read book 2 and 3! This has the potential to easily become one of my favorites. It's definitely one of the favorites from the new crop of books I've started reading. To its credit, I can say that with the Rachel Morgan books, while it is my favorite now, I originally put it down and I had to force myself to finish the first book. Not the case with this one. If I didn't need sleep I'd have read it the whole way through. Definitely recommending this one!
*****Minor Spoiler*****The subject of the Bears vs. Packers came up, and a character said "Green Bay's a better team, especially this year" I laughed out loud because, if you look at the date of this review, just this past weekend the Bears faced the Packers with the winners going to to Super Bowl...and the Packers won. This author has a pretty good premonition.*****Minor Spoiler****** (less)
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.
The Fire Lord's Lover by Kathryne Kennedy is yet another FABULOUS ebook cheapie at $1.99! This was on my to-be-read (tbr) list for the...moreI'm on a roll!
The Fire Lord's Lover by Kathryne Kennedy is yet another FABULOUS ebook cheapie at $1.99! This was on my to-be-read (tbr) list for the longest, so I was really glad to finally get around to it. It was so good that I read it in one day...and then I read it again!! Yep, I read it TWICE!
In an alternate universe during the middle ages, England endures the reign of Elven Lords---powerful and magical beings from Elfhame who entered the human realm seeking war and even more power. Unable to return home, they decided to make themselves comfortable in the human world, acquiring slaves and servants to maintain their palaces and lands. While stunningly beautiful, these humanoid creatures are evil and self-serving---mating with humans solely to produce formidable champion warriors.
Most English citizens comply out of fear; however there is the Rebellion, a large number of people secretly working together to put an end to their tyranny. Lady Cassandra is one of them. She is a secret assassin raised to be the wife of General Dominic Raikes, the champion son of Imperial Elven Lord Mor'ded. They are to produce a new champion for Mor'ded, giving her a perfect opportunity to infiltrate his court and assassinate him. On the flip side, Dominic works hard to conceal his growing power from his father. Of course nothing goes as planned for neither Cassandra nor Dominic as they try to fight their growing feelings for one another. But they soon learn that Mor'ded is way too ruthless and powerful for either of them to take down alone.
I have totally fallen in love with Ms. Kennedy's world and her characters. Next to vampires, elves and fae are a not too distant second as my favorite supernatural species. I love love LOVE her imagery! I truly looked forward to any scene where magic was involved because she makes it very intriguing and fun. I adored Dominic and Cassandra and their evolving relationship over the course of the book. While it follows a similar pattern of other romances, it doesn't feel cliche so I really invested in this part of the story. It's really fresh...or as fresh as you can expect for a historical setting. I've read many a love scene in my large library of books, but this novel contains a scene that is probably up there with my all-time favorites. It's super tasteful, magical, and well-placed while remaining really hott.
I never tired of any of the characters or the story which is a testament to Ms. Kennedy's writing ability. It's just the right length, so the story doesn't drag. Usually towards the middle of a book I will get bored, but for this book the middle is my favorite part, keeping me the most engaged.
I'm a little concerned about the mixed reviews for the second book, but I will give it a chance. It is an ongoing series. I'm super disappointed that the next book won't center on Dominic and Cassandra, but I will give it a chance because the world building is as good as it gets. Another one that I highly recommend, and for $1.99 you have nothing to lose...or at least not a whole lot.
Correction, I think I must thank Val for throwing it in my face how good this series is. This is the best 99 cents I've spent yet! Of course the price has increased to a whopping $1.99, but I can assure you it's worth breaking the bank for this one.
Valerie Dearborn has spent her life trying to avoid her destiny. As a child, she watch her mother meet a tragic end at the hands of a vampire. That unfortunate turn of events changed her life forever. Her father, with a help of Jack--a young man left orphaned after a vampire slaughtered his family as a child--have made it their life's mission to hunt these evil bloodsuckers. They're pretty good at it too! ...Or so they think. Except one night they bring Valerie along and she meets Lucas, a 1600 year old vampire King who knows that Valerie is no ordinary human. She is part Empath, a believed-to-be extinct species that makes vampires vulnerable to their emotions. Using her family as leverage he recruits Valerie to help him on his quest to find others like her, as well as werewolves and fae, who were supernatural adversaries to vampires long ago. He also really really wants to get in her pants because he's been emotionless for so long and wants to "feel" again. Let's not stray away from that not so little plot point. Of course Valerie wants a normal life, but it is obviously not in the cards, or this book would be really boring.
Valerie as a heroine is pretty cool. I have no real complaints since I understand that this is the first novel and she hasn't yet gone down the road of self-discovery. I sense a lot in store for her as the books continue. This series is not in first-person tense, but Valerie's own humor and personality shine through in a number of scenes.
I admit that for a while I just hadn't been coming across super sexy badass vampires. If they weren't of the "emo" variety then they merely talked the talked. Well, Lucas walks the walk. He has a valid reason for his attraction to Valerie. None of that "I have lived for 900 years and never met a strong, fearless woman who speaks her mind!" and similar lame, unbelievable crap. It's attraction on a cellular level, literally. Their chemistry is all kinds of crazy. I was liking Jack in the beginning, but after Lucas it just doesn't compare for me. I think what really impressed me was his display of complete power and dominance against enemies. He is King and he knows it, he doesn't doubt it, and it's his way or the highway. He could be as ruthless or as gentle as the moment calls for and he makes no apologies.
As for the writing, while I love Caroline Hanson's style, there are a number of spelling and formatting errors which interrupts the flow for me at times. But this tends to be pretty common for the cheap or free Kindle books.
There isn't a whole lot of story, but I see a lot of promise. The character interactions are very intriguing and there are a number of action-pact scenes to keep things moving while not being overbearing. While Love is Darkness not surprisingly has "dark" undertones, there's a lot of humor as well which is always a plus for me.
There are a few sex scenes as well so this is certainly NOT of the YA variety, but if you're in the mood for a more mature story (or about as mature you can expect a college girl moving abroad to be) then this one may be for you. Favorites don't come easy for me, but I really connected with this series and was left wanting more...a lot more. Highly recommended.
Sometimes you really need a fun Urban Fantasy series that checks all of the usual drama and headaches at the door. When you're in the mood for that then you should check out the Cheshire Red Reports by Cherie Priest. Bloodshot (Book 1) introduces us to vampire Raylene, a very independent, efficient, and hilariously neurotic professional thief.
Her skills catch the attention of Ian Stott, a fellow vampire who needs her help. He hires Raylene to locate top secret files about an experimental program that caused him to go blind. This requires her to travel throughout the country, eventually landing in Atlanta where the fun really begins. It turns out Raylene is a potential target for this program as well, so she must evade this organization as well as the Feds who want to take her down. This of course makes her job a little more difficult.
She ends up meeting a peculiar drag queen named Adrian. There’s definitely more to this character than meets the eye and he ends up partnering with Raylene. It turns out he’s an Ex-Navy SEAL and he’s searching for his sister, who he believes was also a part of the experiment. I can tell you right now that I totally loved this character, even more than Ian. I never thought I’d see the day when I’d say one of my favorite characters is an Ex-Navy SEAL who moonlights as a drag queen, but there it is. Normally humans are boring, but I enjoyed his chemistry with Raylene even more than Ian.
There are other supporting characters as well that I liked, including a kid brother and sister team who live with Raylene. They are orphans but they’re pretty crafty at times, making them useful to Ray. They’re also at the center of a number of hilarious lines.
There’s a great mix of action, comedy and mystery that makes this a fairly quick read. Raylene’s not the typical self-loathing and emo vamp (like many that have begun to saturate the genre), making this series a breath of fresh air. I actually ended up reading the second book first, but I enjoyed that one so much that I went back to see how it all began. Based on the structure of the story, it seems as if the books in this series can work well enough as a standalone.
Overall I recommend this book if you keep in mind that it’s not to be taken that seriously. Sometimes you don’t need that for a good read.
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.
Are you a fan of Peter Pan? Great! Are you a fan of the horror genre? Even better. Just expect a bit of a twist on this classic fairy tale, infusing horror--both traditional and psychological--that you'll find chilling and fairly thought-provoking.
We meet Peter, whose mission is to recruit as many kids (Devils) as possible, bringing them to Avalon (a warped version of Never Never Land) to help defeat his pirate adversaries, save his ailing queen, and restore Avalon to the once beautiful place that it was. Of course, Peter doesn't choose just any children. The book kicks off making it very obvious that he connects with those who have been abused and battered. He saves them, wanting to give them a better life. But is it really better? Where do Peter's priorities and loyalties really lie? To his Devils, or to his queen?
These question are challenged through Peter's newest recruit. While we meet a number of children, the second protagonist of this series would be Nick. He's living in the mean streets of NYC when Peter finds him under attack by a group of thugs who routinely terrorize him and threaten to hurt his drugged out mom. Peter helps do away with them and coaxes Nick to join him for this "better life". Little did he mention the whole part about that pesky little war going on. Unfortunately for Peter, Nick is not a blind follower. Unfortunately for Nick, all of Peter's Devils are. How does Nick plan to deal with this?
This book is absolutely not for children. The amount of gore, death, abuse, and torture (which both the adults and children are subjected to) I imagine is even disturbing for many adults. But I for one love the dark and vivid world Brom creates. It just takes everything we knew about the Peter Pan tale and turns it upside down making it familiar, but far removed from everything we thought we knew. The lesson is clear: don't be tempted by forbidden fruit. No matter how bad things are in your life, switching it for another life may not necessarily be for the better...and there's no going back.
This book certainly makes you question who is the real villain. I loved that this book gives you the perspective of all sides, the Devils as well as the Pirates and other adversaries. I've always said that most of the time, many conflicts would be fixed by a little thing called "communication." If you really think about it, you will question how necessary this war was at all. Also, expect a lot of dissension among the ranks on all sides, keeping the plot fairly unpredictable. Aside from Peter, the characters themselves aren't quite as dynamic, but I think that providing different perspectives helps make them more than one-dimensional fodder.
I highly recommend this book as long as you're prepared for the rough undertones and subject matter. No, this is not the Disney adaptation. It's not Fox's either (which was my personal favorite growing up). But I like seeing this tale told.
This book is the best thus far in the series. You can tell it's starting the hit its stride. The characters are becoming more established and the line...moreThis book is the best thus far in the series. You can tell it's starting the hit its stride. The characters are becoming more established and the lines between protagonists and antagonists are thinning a bit.
Rachel strikes a deal with Algaliarept, a demon, to testify against Piscary. To do it she'll have to become his familiar. From there she meets his old familiar, Ceri, who happens to be an elf. She turns out to be a very mysterious, interesting, and powerful character. Does Rachel want to make her existence known to Trent Kalamack?
Her relationship with Nick is strained from the second installment after she makes him her familiar. In the meantime, there's Kisten. Their chemistry from the end of the second book certainly doesn't go ignored here. All I have to say there is WOWZA!! Her scenes with Nick were pretty boring (he's human, what can he do?), so adding the vamp was a welcome change.
She ends up going to an event with Trent Kalamack, elf tycoon and brimstone dealer. No, they aren't chummy. Quen, Trent's head of security, cannot accompany him due to his vulnerability to his vamp scar, so he begs Rachel to go in his place. This gives the elves a bit more development and we learn more about Rachel's past and her father. While there's definitely some heat with Kisten, there is surprisingly a good deal of chemistry between her and the elf, too. He's got a few surprises of his own, but I found their adventure together quite fun. Man, I can't help but like the bad boys!
If that's your thing, you'll want to read this series.
I thought it was amazing to read Big Al and Ceri's back story. Oh how far he's come since then!
Loved learning about how Ceri became Al's...moreI thought it was amazing to read Big Al and Ceri's back story. Oh how far he's come since then!
Loved learning about how Ceri became Al's familiar. I think this is my favorite of the short stories.
Still reeling from the shocking end of For a Few Demons More (Book 5), one has to wonder if the series can bounce back. I can certainly say that it does. About the only way to do it is with more action and twists, and we definitely get it in this book.
Everything you thought you knew about this series and these characters starts to change. Trent is more prominent in this book as well and needs Rachel to travel with him to the Ever-After to obtain an ancient elven sample that could cure his race.
With Piscary out of the picture, we learn more about the new master vampire, Rynn Cormel. While he's not as downright evil as Piscary, he's far from a push-over.
After the end of the previous book where Ceri is finally introduced to her elf kin, we learn that she's pregnant. That's the least of the surprises when it comes to potential for children in this series.
The highlights of this book for me were her interactions with Trent as well as their trip into the ever-after. While he's still a murdering bastard, we do see his walls crumbling a little bit, which only really happens around Rachel for those not in his immediate trusted group of friends and guardians.
The plot surrounding the Ever-After was fantastic as well. We meet a new sidekick for Rachel, a young gargoyle named Bis. He's so ugly, he's almost cute! I also really enjoyed learning about the demon society a bit more. As I've said in previous reviews for this series, it makes the villains so much more dynamic when we can see these parts to them. Demons have their own rules and laws in the Ever-After. While they are ruthless, it's within their own civilization.
To add to that, Kim likes to make Trent really experienced at random activities. We learn that he can drive a stick at the end of Book 2. We learn that he can swim very well in Book 3. Here we learn that he can (view spoiler)[roller skate of all things. (hide spoiler)] It's just some of the qualities that add to the richness of this series as a whole.
This is my favorite urban fantasy series by far, so I highly recommend reading it. While not every book is as good as the next, this one is one of the best ones.