The plot is excruciatingly boring, what little there appeared to be anyway... This book needs better editing as well. It reads like fanfiction and I r...moreThe plot is excruciatingly boring, what little there appeared to be anyway... This book needs better editing as well. It reads like fanfiction and I really don't need to hear how much so-and-so loves so-and-so on every page. I get it, Derek loves Sophia and vice versa. But is a reminder every 2 minutes necessary? The multiple POVs were extremely annoying in this respect too. Half a dozen POVs is annoying as it gets, but to top it off, practically everyone who gets a POV loves someone and you'd better believe we have to hear about it as if we're supposed to give a damn. The previous novels didn't feel nearly as bad. Maybe I'll come back for the final book, MAYBE, but I have no interest on the road to get there at this point. I'll likely just read a summary. (less)
Being the fan that I am of crossovers and retellings of old tales, I figured this would be right up my alley, cheesy cover as...moreCheesy Cover, Good Story
Being the fan that I am of crossovers and retellings of old tales, I figured this would be right up my alley, cheesy cover aside. I'm a sucker for Disney and I make no apologies for it. After reading it I can confidentially say that the story is definitely better than the cover suggests.
One of the challenges of doing crossovers and retellings is that the author has to make the plot flow as cohesively as possible. I felt like this was handled well for the most part though there were a few subplots I didn't care about. Above all the novel needs to be able to stand on its own and I think there was enough original content, world building and history to accomplish that. Though I know how Jack the Ripper, Snow White, and Dracula end, I wasn't able to predict the direction of this book, which is a good thing.
While the story was enjoyable, I thought the actual characters were fairly flat and I wasn't totally invested in the romance. It was nice to see Alba Spencer's character as a barrister (a type of lawyer if you didn't know) and in a position to solve problems, but it just wasn't as compelling as I was hoping it would be for the majority of the novel. Her position does become more relevant and interesting toward the end, but by then it was too little too late for me. Dmitri's inner turmoil got a little tiresome at times as well, but his position as a surgeon leads to a few interesting plot twists.
If you plan to give this a shot keep in mind that this book is the second novel in this series, but it is written as a standalone. I haven't read the first book, but it's completely different and features different characters.
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!
I read this manga series once upon a time when it was still in Japanese. I was surprised to see it show up as an ARC some years la...moreShort, easy, steamy
I read this manga series once upon a time when it was still in Japanese. I was surprised to see it show up as an ARC some years later. It's definitely an easy read and the plot is pretty straightforward. It's a really nice option if you're in between reads. I like the artwork and if you're into comics, manga and romance, I imagine this series would be right up your alley to check out. There's nudity and sexual situations, but it doesn't overtake the story or qualify as hentai in my opinion.
I really like this cover! I read the first novel, Shade of Vampire, not very long ago and I found it pretty entertaining if a...moreEven better than Book 1
I really like this cover! I read the first novel, Shade of Vampire, not very long ago and I found it pretty entertaining if a bit on the short side. A Shade of Blood however is a big improvement. A larger page count probably helped, but the world and characters have become more interesting and the story more complicated. I’m not completely sure where things can go from here.
Sometimes multiple POVs annoys me in certain books, but I think the story and characters greatly benefit from it here. I’m a fan of when we can really get into the heads out our villains so I was glad they were included as well. Sofia’s destiny becomes clearer and she embraces it which helps move the plot along instead of dragging out the inevitable.
She and Derek definitely have something special and it was nice to see the bond solidified. The wild card now is Blake. At first I wasn’t sure if I’d enjoy his character as he seemed like more of a tie to her past and a reason to introduce the ever so popular love triangle. But there appears to be more in store for him than that could significantly affect the remaining books.
So far all books in this series are available to borrow for free on Amazon Prime, so I’ve been enjoying them that way. I already borrowed book 3 for October and am pretty sure books 4 and 5 will round out the year for me.
I have an idea of where this series is going to go. But after reading this book, I have no idea how long Karen Chance plans to take to...moreTempted to Stop
I have an idea of where this series is going to go. But after reading this book, I have no idea how long Karen Chance plans to take to get us there. For a two year wait I felt like it should have had more impact for me than it did. But the two year wait could have also been to its detriment. Considering my super long to-be-read list, I’m not really one to go back and re-read books unless I find it exceptional. So because of that I found myself occasionally confused this time around. This one didn’t quite draw me in as easily compared to the others either.
It definitely keeps to Karen Chance’s usual style of non-stop action to the point of where your head spins and occasional humor, but something felt missing for me this time around. I know what else (or rather who else) was missing as well, Mircea. In the earlier books I wasn’t necessarily Team Pritkin or Team Mircea because I’m just not that much of a Cassie fan, but I feel like she’ll ultimately end up with Pritkin. And books like this where Mircea is literally nowhere to be seen only reinforce that idea and further raise my heckles when it comes to my annoyance with this supposed love-triangle. It’s a pathetic one at best. After reading the Dorina Basarab books, Mircea has easily become one of my favorite characters of the series and I feel like while we see fantastic development for him there, he really gets the shaft here and I find that frustrating.
And you know what else is frustrating? Cliffhangers. We’re left with another one. Apparently this was originally 800 pages and Chance practically had to cut the book in half to get it published. After reading it that didn’t surprise me at all. I’m at a place now where I much prefer the Dory books because I find it has all of the plusses and none of the drawbacks that irk me with the Cassie books. I just wish Chance was able to produce both series in one year instead of alternating them every year.
I’m at the point where I’m contemplating dropping the Cassie books and focusing solely on the Dory ones. Since this book was really only half the story, I may read the next one but if I don’t connect with that one either, I’ll be hanging it up…unless the 8th book is the last one.
This was my first time reading a full length Larissa Ione novel. I believe I read a short story once upon a time but I can't remember wh...moreEntertaining!
This was my first time reading a full length Larissa Ione novel. I believe I read a short story once upon a time but I can't remember which one. I figured I'd rather start fresh with a new series to see if I enjoy her style, and after reading this novel I'd say I do! Though primarily a PNR, I thought it offered a satisfying dose of snark, comedy, and action. I liked the premise of vampires actually being the slaves this time around. At first glance it seems a bit ridiculous considering their place on the food chain, but humans have strength in numbers, resources and smarts and all of that plays a big part in this novel.
The love story between Riker and Nicole was satisfying enough. It felt like your standard fanfare in terms of progression for a standalone. Though I wasn't blown away by the book, I did appreciate the solid world building and the characters. It has potential to get better and better. I would consider reading the second book and I'd also considering giving her Lords of Deliverance series a try sometime down the line. It definitely won't be this year, but perhaps sometime in 2014. If you're in the mood for a lighter PNR, I'd recommend this one. It has dark themes at times, but it didn't really play on my angst strings very much.
I held off on reading this series for a long time. I actually started it some time ago then stopped and then decided to resume it closer...moreCity of Bones
I held off on reading this series for a long time. I actually started it some time ago then stopped and then decided to resume it closer to the movie’s release. Ultimately I ended up watching the movie before finishing the book. There were times that the book read like fanfiction to me (and then I learned that’s because it actually was), but I’ve certainly read worse. While I thought the movie was pretty rushed, the book had the opposite effect for me and felt overly long, but that could be because I didn’t find the melodrama particularly interesting between the main three, especially Simon’s assured-to-be-unrequited feelings for Clary.
Jace. Jace. Jace. Well at least he has a personality? He comes off as pretty juvenile for me at times and I didn’t always find it funny, so for me he wasn’t as swoon-worthy as I’m sure he is for millions of others. The chemistry with Clary is pretty good until the twist that made my eyes roll. After that I was pretty sure I wouldn’t be interested in seeing it play out for multiple books throughout the series.
I enjoyed the magic, mythology and lore here, but it honestly wasn’t something that I can’t get anywhere else and better, so while I don’t think I’ll completely drop the series, I’m also in no rush to continue it anytime soon. I’m much more likely to read the The Infernal Devices Trilogy instead because there are only 3 of those and they’re complete.
Oh boy, what a ride! While this book wasn't as quotable with the usual hilarious quips that make me love this series so much, 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.
More like 2.5 stars because there is creativity there. All in all I thought the story was original and unique enough to stick out in my mind which is definitely a good thing considering the tons of books I read throughout the year. I see a lot of potential with the story, the world, and character development, especially in future novels. The beginning draws you in quite effectively. I do think the novel could use an additional round of editing to cut down on repetition and improve the flow of the story. It distracted me from the experience at times, but with tighter writing in the sequels (or even a revised version of this story) I could see it being a true standout. I also think a catchier titles could help draw more attention.
This was my first time delving into the Love at Stake novels, or at least I think so. What drew me to this book was mainly the title. I thought it’d be a parody of the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo novel. There was humor here and there, but this is first and foremost a paranormal romance, so the romance and drama take precedence. I may have read a short story from this series before because one aspect sounded familiar to me; it was the VANNA angle in particular though I can’t recall where I could have read it. VANNA is a life-size synthetic device designed to look like a human woman. There’s blood stored inside it to help curb a vampire’s desire to attack real living people. That provided a healthy dose of comic relief in this book. Though the story appears to be a standalone, there is an overarching plot that I feel has been developing since the earlier books. But even still I never felt lost.
The relationship between Dougal and Leah was decent but I didn’t connect to it very much. Both were a little too down on themselves most of the time. I also think the timing was wrong for me because I read this on the heels of another book where reincarnation was at the heart of the relationship. I wasn’t disappointed with the book, so I imagine fans of the series who have read it from the beginning should enjoy it. Though I doubt I will read all the earlier 13 novels, I might look into reading one of its stronger prequels to get a better feel for Kerrelyn Sparks’s writing at its best.
*ARC Provided by Publisher *Review also posted on Amazon.(less)
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)
I seriously haven't read this series in years and only picked this up because of Jean-Claude. Was there absolutely no movement in their relationship t...moreI seriously haven't read this series in years and only picked this up because of Jean-Claude. Was there absolutely no movement in their relationship this whole time? Because the dynamics and background story provided nothing new at all. Though not the worst I've read, the writing could have been tighter. She repeats words too much. Still not my fave scene of them, and I prefer when it's just the two of them (Anita and JC that is). It seems like the only way I can read about them is when Asher's in the picture. (less)
The premise starts out interesting enough. I just would have liked more of an actual story as opposed to the large amount of sex. Basically, this would have worked better for me as an urban fantasy than a paranormal romance. I don't mind British or other non-American authors, but I'd be lying if I didn't admit that the constant references to her "knickers" got annoying after a while. Blame it on my American ignorance (even though we use that term occasionally), but it just doesn't sound sexy. Granted, neither do the words "panties" or "drawers" or "bloomers". The point is that it was overused, though with how often those two went at it I wondered why she even wore them at all.
In general I wasn't a huge fan of the dynamic either. I like for the heroines to have a bit more control and it was pretty clear that he was in the driver's seat. Later in the book they develop the actual storyline a bit more, though it may be too little too late for some. I like the magic and the creatures, so I might keep up with this one for a book or two just to feel it out and see if this series is for me. Like most serial PNR novels the next book focuses on another couple, but apparently the overarching storyline continues.
Though it wasn't a personal fave of mine this year, I do see its appeal so I can recommend giving it a try.
I did get a little bored at times skimmed here and there which is why I can't really give it a 5, but for the most part I was enthralled. It's the bes...moreI did get a little bored at times skimmed here and there which is why I can't really give it a 5, but for the most part I was enthralled. It's the best one yet in my opinion. (less)
This was on its way to being another 3, but the last 25% salvaged things. I totally called what was going to happen to a certain character around the...moreThis was on its way to being another 3, but the last 25% salvaged things. I totally called what was going to happen to a certain character around the first book, but it was executed well and I didn't necessarily think it'd happen at this point. (less)
Though I have yet to read one of her novels, Sylvia Day’s Renegade Angel series is currently on my TBR list, but it’s pretty far...moreDecent for a Quickie
Though I have yet to read one of her novels, Sylvia Day’s Renegade Angel series is currently on my TBR list, but it’s pretty far down, so when I got a chance to read this prequel for free I wanted to see if it could get a bump up to something higher. This was a decent short story, but I didn’t feel the need to bump the series up any higher at this time. I will likely get to it around 2014 if not later this year. I know Sylvia Day is pretty popular so I hope I like her writing as well. This short story is still available for FREE as an ebook on B&N and Amazon.
Sofia Claremont gets more than she bargained for on the evening of her seventeenth birthday after she is kidnapped to a mysterious island. While perpetually nighttime, it’d be easy to assume that she’s been taken to Alaska during that time of year; but it turns out it’s an uncharted location where vampires rule. She soon learns that she’s been abducted into slavery at the mercy of vampires that can be as cruel as they are beautiful. She may have a chance to fare better than most, as her master is the dark royal Prince himself, Derek Novak. Though blood thirsty due to a 400 year stasis he may be her best chance at survival, meaning she’ll do everything in her power to remain on his good side. However, his more sinister Novak siblings may have other plans…
I’ve been on somewhat of a YA kick lately, so this was a satisfying read for the time. The writing and world-building were very good for a debut. The characterization was adequate in that I found myself becoming invested in the cast. I liked who I was supposed to late and hated who I was supposed to hate. I think Sofia makes a few silly choices, but that’s pretty much the status quo for 99% of heroines out there. Derek is a pretty good leading man, though I would like to see him more unhinged. It would make him a little more interesting considering his age, though he looks eternally youthful.
I enjoyed the premise but I read it almost directly after another novel with a similar idea, though this novel was published first. I plan to follow both, but I definitely want to stagger them so that I don’t mix up plots. Though only a novella, Bella Forest makes it count with a tight and suspenseful story. I look forward to more, hopefully a full length novel at some point.
Though the book is currently $3.99 for 150 pages, if you’re an Amazon Prime member like myself, it can be your free book of the month.
*ARC provided by the author. *Review also posted to Amazon.(less)
If you're up for a new YA series, there are certainly worse ways to spend 99 cents. I actually quite enjoyed this novel, though...moreI'll Read the Next One
If you're up for a new YA series, there are certainly worse ways to spend 99 cents. I actually quite enjoyed this novel, though I will admit there were some similar themes between this one and another one I read almost directly after it. Though I liked both, I don't think I'd read their future books back to back because I feel like I'd mix up the stories. The cover is nice departure from the usual urban fantasy/paranormal style, but the story certainly isn't. The writing could be stronger, but the story is interesting enough so I will keep up with it. If you don't want to spend the 99 cents and you're an Amazon Prime member, you can get it for free as your book of the month! (less)
I was teetering between 3 and 4 stars. Towards the end I was leaning more towards 4, but the very last few pages bumped it down to a three. Way too so...moreI was teetering between 3 and 4 stars. Towards the end I was leaning more towards 4, but the very last few pages bumped it down to a three. Way too soap opera-ish. Review to come. (less)
This is a great short novella if you’re in-between reads. Though the page count isn’t particularly large, there’s a lot of cha...moreDestination: A new fan!
This is a great short novella if you’re in-between reads. Though the page count isn’t particularly large, there’s a lot of character development and story there that didn’t feel any more rushed than a 350-400 page PNR novel. It wasn’t overly angsty either which was a relief and I found myself laughing quite a bit. I enjoyed the charm and the wit and was ultimately impressed with Molly Harper’s writing. This was my first time reading anything by this author and it won’t be the last. The Half Moon Hollow novels seem to be standalones in typical PNR fashion, but I’m definitely a fan of her alternating between novellas and full novels. I like having the option of a fun, quick and satisfying read without investing a lot of time.
The third Rulers of Darkness tale presents us with a new hero and heroine. For centuries Hadrian Lucretius, Vampire King of the Validus Clan, has been cursed with dark and violent memories of his past. He’s practically earned the reputation of the seven deadly sins all wrapped into one. Eva Maldonado, daughter of the Silveria Shifter Pack’s alpha, has been offered to him as a gift in hopes of maintaining peace between vampires and their kind. Whisked away to the secluded fortress high in the Carpathian Mountains, Eva senses more beyond his frightening veneer. And he senses more beyond her broken spirit. Drawn to one another like moths to a flame, will they be each other’s saviors or ultimate undoing?
You definitely get what you expect based on the synopsis and the cover. I felt like this one teetered on the erotica line a little more than its predecessors which felt more like your usual paranormal romance. The chemistry between Eva and Hadrian is very strong and the love scenes are well done, if gratuitous after a while. There’s a lot of unresolved sexual tension that may become frustrating for the reader, but that’s become the norm in this genre. I liked the appearances of characters from the prior novels. Though a paranormal romance, it allows everything to tie in to the current story a bit better.
When it comes to this series, I think the first one remains my personal favorite. I enjoyed the regency feel and I felt like the focus leaned more towards the story and plot progression. I’d likely rank this one second though. Their secluded setting provided a similar feel.
This is quality paranormal romance. The writing, atmosphere, the angst, and the dynamic between the hero and heroine are all quite good. It’s just a matter of your tastes and your mood. I’m urban fantasy fan first so other details tend to catch my attention and I find myself wanting those fleshed out and explored more. Greene presents a supernatural world that can be pretty complicated between the various species all vying for control.
The books are standalones, but you definitely see glimpses of potential lead characters for the subsequent novels. I look forward to the sequels.
*ARC provided by the author. *Review also posted to Amazon.(less)