I will be honest and admit that I didn't re-read the prequels prior to diving into this one. It's been a couple of years since I read Shadow of Night so my memory was fuzzy on certain details and as a result, toward the beginning of this book I felt a little lost. It didn't last for long though as Harkness weaves the story together very well incorporating important developments from the other novels into this one. It definitely feels like a third book so you don't want to start here.
If you've been waiting patiently for this one then it was worth the wait. It's a satisfying final act and at this point I'd say it's my favorite of the series because I want to read it again. Harkness is prolific, but the pace felt just right this time around whereas in the earlier novels it occasionally felt slow. Either that or I finally adjusted to her writing style. I was hanging onto every word and the suspense created just the right tension, especially toward the end. I couldn't put the book down. It struck an emotional chord with me which was a pleasant surprise. After about a third into the book I was completely invested in the outcome for Diana and Matthew as they had so much counting against them and their family. And it only compounds as the story goes on. Diana's growing powers, Matthews secrets, the plot twists, the villains, they were all very entertaining.
Aside from feeling lost after having not re-read the other books, my only other criticism is that I thought it was a little crowded character-wise. I could keep up with core supporting characters, but often enough I found myself mixing up the rest.
These books offer a mix of everything which is what makes them so fun. I came for the paranormal but I appreciate the amount of research that went into the historical aspects of the book, the strong writing, the humor, the horror, the drama, and the romance. The chemistry between Diana and Matthew is the best part of the book. By the end I felt like I went on a journey with the characters and that to me is a sign of a successful book. Though this is the end of the trilogy I think there is enough left to write another one and I wouldn't be surprised to see it down the line.
I can always get behind a good graphic novel, and the synopsis here was practically irresistible! If you’re going to put a twist on classic fairy tales then sign me up! Unfortunately this has happened more often so it’s becoming a trend. That makes it harder for stories to stand out and be truly unique though a few still accomplish this.
For this graphic novel I’m more on the fence about it. I don’t feel like the character’s back stories are incorporated well enough for me to buy why these characters are special. They aren’t anything like what I knew or grew up with. They really could just be anyone but that’s a harder selling point. That said, the story kept my interest for the most part. I do want to see where things go next, but it’s mostly because of a potential villain, or at least a character that is clearly in the gray territory. I am curious about his motivations.
All in all it’s a good read to pass the time. The artwork is good, though not great. And there appear to be spin-off stories for all the main characters toward the end of the volume where we see brief side story prequels for them. Though I wasn’t a fan of how throughout all of those prequels we see little notes to buy other issues to read even more about their back stories. I understand the marketing tactic behind it, but as someone who doesn’t really read comics and graphic novels too often, I want everything I need in the Volume I am current reading and I don’t really care to seek out half a dozen other comics to get the big picture.
That said, I will read the next one, Volume 2 that is.
*ARC provided by Net Galley in exchange for an honest review. *Review also posted to Amazon. (less)
"I can't tell you how many jobs I've done without a hitch since the last time I saw you, Dresden. You walk through the door and everything goes to hell."
"That's embroidered on my towels, actually," I said.
""What you are telling me," she said, "is that you have never shared your life with another over the long term. The closest you have come to it is providing a home and affection for a being which is entirely your subject and in your control."
"Well, not at bath time..."
"I know you've been aching to have your hands on my staff," I said to Ascher, as Nicodemus examined the altar for himself. I held out my hand. "But I'd rather be the one fondling my tool. Wizards are weird like that."
PARKOUR! Because Harry Dresden says so.
Cold Days was easily one of the best entries of the Dresden series. It's probably my favorite. And it definitely left big shoes to fill for any book that would follow it. Well, Skin Game does it wonderfully. I was hanging on to every word. The tension between Harry and Nicodemus was beyond palpable and I kept waiting for the shoe to drop! And boy does it drop.
This book was really exciting, gripping, and a true nail biter. I wasn't sure where Butcher planned to go with this one putting Nicodemus front and center. Either we'd finish the book with a better understanding of the character (potentially liking him more) or we'd see Harry do away with him once and for all. He is definitely a character you love to hate.
The heist plot was great and we got to see more focus on potential future players in the series. I liked that everyone was out for themselves since it kept things unpredictable.
I did miss Thomas in this entry as well as Molly, but the story is still fantastic. We get a great deal of Murphy, Michael, and Butters to make up for it so that's good enough for me. There were some really great twists and turns and several characters get upgrades in power. One of my favorite aspects of any series are the strength of the relationships. Harry never has it easy, ever. You really feel for the guy. While Cold Days certainly had emotional moments, there are some pivotal developments here too that make his journey even more special to me.
I am a newer fan of these books having marathoned the entire series back to back this year. Admittedly a lot of the story blurs together for me so it's difficult to distinguish one book from the next (save for books like Changes and Cold Days). Of course that stops now since I'm all caught up with everyone else. But I will say that I am glad it happened with this book because it was a particularly satisfying read!
Harry juggles plenty of hats as it is, but I'm looking forward to how he handles just a few more in the next entry.
*Review copy provided by the publisher. *Review also posted to Amazon. (less)
"Adam snorted as he pulled on a faded green t-shirt that said "I Heart Coyotes." Yet another sign that folding my clean clothes wasn't too big a price to pay to make him happy. He didn't have any "I Heart Christy " shirts--or I would have burned them already."
"I thought we should apply that kind of thinking to the matter of Cristy's stalker." He gave me a skeptical look. "No, really," I said. "Now that we know that Flores is really this nasty, fiery, superpowerful nothing-can-kill-me demon from hell, maybe we should consider just giving Christy to him?" He laughed. "I'm serious," I said.
"Seriously? Do you know how many guilty people are in jail? None." Gary's voice rose to imitate a woman's voice. "Honest. I didn't kill him. He fell on my knife. Fourteen times."
You would think that our favorite coyote, Mercy, would have enough to deal with in her life when it comes to adversaries of the supernatural and furry variety. But she may have to confront her biggest challenge yet in the form of the former Mrs. Adam Hauptman. That's right, the ex is in trouble and on the run from her psycho boyfriend. And Adam wouldn't be the Adam that Mercy knows and loves if it wasn't in his nature to help others, especially the mother of his child.
The ex, Christy, is only safest in Adam's house and with his pack even though several things aren't quite adding up. But one thing is as clear as day, Christy wants Adam back and isn't afraid to play dirty to get him. Mercy isn't going to take this lying down, but Christy's peculiar psycho boyfriend may have more going on than some crazy stalker tendencies and as more bodies pile up, it's up to Mercy to put a stop to it.
Night Broken is certainly one of the more memorable entries in the world of Mercy Thompson. She's got bad guys...and girls all around and it's hard to know who she can truly trust! Christy's character is the one you love to hate. We'd been lucky for a while with her out of the picture, but since the character never died we knew she'd have to crop up sooner or later. And even death isn't always a guarantee that we'll be done with a character in the paranormal world, so it's always in our best interests to just wait and see. I did thoroughly enjoy this part of the book, even if Christy made me want to
Mercy's snark was of the highest order this time around and I found it refreshing. I loved this that novel tested the depth of Mercy and Adam's feelings for one another as well. They define what it is to be a unit. I think Adam fans in general will find him pretty swoon-worthy.
The villain was pretty interesting. I wasn't always sure what direction Briggs was going to take with his character so that helped keep the read very engaging. I did find myself annoyed more than once with Adam's pack though. It really disappointed me how they treated Mercy despite her dedication to them and the fact that she sticks her neck out there for their sakes time and time again. I really wish they would get over themselves. One saving grace is the fact that if they can't do it at once, they might be able to do it one by one. I thought the developments with Honey were well done and are a closer step in the direction of where things need to go.
My biggest gripe for the book would be the length. The latest Mercy books have felt too short to me. I mean, 350 pages might seem like enough but I feel like I whiz through it so fast. I could use another meaty 50-75 pages per entry. Additional pages would perhaps allow for more inclusion of side characters whose presence I found myself missing, namely Stefan. I know it's probably not very easy to figure out how to incorporate him now that Mercy's married to Adam, but I really like his character and his devotion to Mercy. Though he plays an important role, he is featured so little here and that makes me miss the old times. I am not very invested in the vampires as a whole in this world, just him. Briggs does a wonderful job at making me care more about pack matters in general, but I could still use a Stefan spin-off!
But all in all it's a good read and I think the fans will enjoy it immensely. The series still has a lot to offer and I look forward to what's next.
*ARC Provided by the Publisher. *Review also posted to Amazon. (less)
"I pinned him with pitying glare. 'That the best you got?" His eye flares at the challenge. 'No, this is.' His hand cupped his balls. 'According to Alice in Dispatch'--I lowered my gaze to his crotch and winced--'there ain't much magical about that wand."
"How do I know where you're really taking me? Maybe you got a plan to kidnap me and make me your sex slave." I scanned a dubious gaze over the man's ratty gray hair, serious dental hygiene crimes, and the dirt caked back under his nails. "It's tempting, but I think I can control myself today."
"I leaned against the counter and eyed the back of Danny’s head. His hair was in the style his peers favored—meticulous messiness. I swear the kid took half an hour applying goo to his hair so it could look exactly like it had when he rolled out of bed."
Well this was a fun one! Does the cover model remind anyone else of Olivia Munn? I should know!
I think this series is off to a great start. I don't really read too many police procedurals, but Dirty Magic makes it more interesting through incorporating paranormal elements in a traditional urban fantasy setting. The magic is really unique and I liked that it isn't totally flashy. It comes off as more scientific which makes the parallels between magic in this world and drugs in ours very believable.
Kate can be very funny and I think she's a good heroine so far. Though she has a tragic past, the series doesn't come off as too dark. I found myself quoting several hilarious lines though the latter half isn't quite as quotable as the first one. A few of the supporting characters should develop pretty nicely in the sequels, but I wasn't quite attached to them right away. I do sense a potential love triangle brewing, but I wouldn't be surprised if this series doesn't put a lot of focus on romance.
I'm very happy to have given Jaye Wells another shot. I tried a novel in her Sabina Kane series and it didn't really grip me, but Dirty Magic's witty dialogue, solid worth building, and character development put this series on track to become a potential favorite.
*ARC provided by the publisher. *Review also posted to Amazon.(less)
I enjoyed the first novel in this series, Sanctum, and jumped right into Fractured as soon as I could. There’s not much of a time-lapse at all so you won’t feel like you’ve missed much. While the supernatural big bads have come over to the human world, that leaves less time to explore the Shadowlands. I enjoyed the story overall, but I found myself wanting Lela and the gang to head back into Shadowlands pretty often since I found the world building and development there pretty interesting. This one focused more on high school life and came across as a more traditional paranormal YA read.
Malachi and Lela run into trouble in paradise which didn’t totally surprise me. One of the highlights of the book included several fish out of water moments for Malachi. You can’t expect someone who existed during the Holocaust to easily grasp how things are today. There are some interesting twists with the character as well that will leave you on the edge of your seat waiting for the next book.
We meet new side characters as well, but I didn’t find myself as invested in their storyline as I was with characters from the first book. I guess I might be a little afraid to get too attached.
Based on the ending of this book, I think book 3 will be closer to the same vein as book one which is a little more of what I’m looking for in this type of series. I look forward to its release and definitely recommend this series! And as an added bonus I really like the covers!
I don't regularly read yaoi manga, but this is probably the first where I think I can get really invested in the story and characters! The art is gorg...moreI don't regularly read yaoi manga, but this is probably the first where I think I can get really invested in the story and characters! The art is gorgeous! (less)
This was my first time reading Sarah Fine’s work, and it was fine work! I thought the world building was particularly stellar. The Shadowlands (a purgatory-like environment for those who commit suicide) and its inhabitants were well-developed. Some creatures were downright scary and not always because of their appearance. The psychological mind games were disturbing at times because of how normal some of the creatures and villains initially behave.
I particularly liked our leading lady and lad, Lela and Malachi. Though she’s not perfect and is capable of making critical mistakes, I appreciate Lela’s values and her selflessness. Her checkered and tragic past explains a lot about why she is the way she is. Malachi’s character is more of a mystery for a while, but he is a warrior through and through. They have great chemistry together, but I found myself appreciating most of the relationships in this book, platonic or otherwise. There were intriguing twists and turns that made the novel really hard to put down. Though this is a young adult novel, most of the time it really didn’t feel that way. The novel deals with very sobering subject matters from drug use to suicide to genocide to child abuse to rape. Let’s not forget the violence either. But the characters have motivations for a better tomorrow and that’s reason enough for me to root for them. While that works for me as someone who typically prefers adult series to YA, it may not sit as well with other readers.
Whenever I pick up a book and feel like I’m believably transported to another world, the author has done their job. I am really looking forward to the sequel.
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.