"I throw back the cup of tea. It tastes like hot swamp water filtered through a baboon's ass."
This was my first time reading a Sandman Slim novel as well as anything by Richard Kadrey despite hearing this series and his name pop up from time to time. Yeah, I'm starting a little late in the game, but I'll take what I can get! Color me impressed! I really enjoyed this world and characters. Kadrey has quite the imagination when it comes to the powers and abilities of his supporting characters and his central character, James, as well. I started reading it feeling like there was plenty of back story given so I didn't really feel lost. However, as I read a bit more I do think there were things I would understand better had I read the other 5 books when it came to species, their abilities, and their interrelationships with other species and James. Even still, there is enough new material for me to follow along without much issue. They do reference the past a lot so it's nice to see another series that does a good job of building on itself. I was intrigued enough by the plot and enjoyed this story enough that I do plan to go back and read the others! Candy (James's demon girlfriend) is really cool. I like her personality a lot and can see how well it works with his character as well. The world-building is fantastic, thorough, and consistent. This particular book wasn't very dark for me but I hear that this series takes a bunch of very dark turns in the prequel novels, so color me intrigued.
I am coming off of reading the complete Dresden files earlier this year so a few elements made me think back to that series, but this series has plenty to stand apart on its own as well. I was engaged from beginning to the end. I feel like readers of The Dresden Files and Kate Daniels in particular would really like this one too. There are plenty of quotable passages, very funny ones.
So yes, overall I enjoyed it and look forward to reading the rest of the novels in this series. Looks like I have another marathon planned for 2015!
I’m usually always up for a good angel series. I probably enjoy those second after vampire books. So the premise of this one was partDIVINITY Review
I’m usually always up for a good angel series. I probably enjoy those second after vampire books. So the premise of this one was particularly interesting. The world building itself has a fair amount of potential. I think some things could have been fleshed out a bit more because there were a few instances that felt like info-dumping to me. There were some issues that may be hard to swallow for some readers, especially a certain plot point relating to domestic abuse. That topic has been hot in the media as of late (ie: the Ray Rice situation), so I found myself particularly invested in that outcome. The author seemed to have quite a bit of knowledge about the situation so it played out realistically.
I wasn’t crazy about the romance aspect here. I actually think the book would have been fine without it. I just didn’t feel the chemistry between Julia and her boyfriend, and to be fair, when it comes to supernatural series I find that human book boyfriends are at a disadvantage by default (poor Nick from The Hollows never stood a chance for me honestly). That said, I think there are other potential on the horizon there for future installments. Overall, if you haven’t read a lot of angel novels then this will probably feel like a fresh read. While it wasn’t bad, for me it did lack a fresh factor, but I do think the next books could be promising. I would give a sequel a try because some of the characters were interesting and there are some interesting paths where this story can go.
*ARC provided in exchange for an honest review...more
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. ...more
"I can't tell you how many jobs I've done without a hitch since the last time I saw you, Dresden. You walk through the door and everything goes to hell."
"That's embroidered on my towels, actually," I said.
""What you are telling me," she said, "is that you have never shared your life with another over the long term. The closest you have come to it is providing a home and affection for a being which is entirely your subject and in your control."
"Well, not at bath time..."
"I know you've been aching to have your hands on my staff," I said to Ascher, as Nicodemus examined the altar for himself. I held out my hand. "But I'd rather be the one fondling my tool. Wizards are weird like that."
PARKOUR! Because Harry Dresden says so.
Cold Days was easily one of the best entries of the Dresden series. It's probably my favorite. And it definitely left big shoes to fill for any book that would follow it. Well, Skin Game does it wonderfully. I was hanging on to every word. The tension between Harry and Nicodemus was beyond palpable and I kept waiting for the shoe to drop! And boy does it drop.
This book was really exciting, gripping, and a true nail biter. I wasn't sure where Butcher planned to go with this one putting Nicodemus front and center. Either we'd finish the book with a better understanding of the character (potentially liking him more) or we'd see Harry do away with him once and for all. He is definitely a character you love to hate.
The heist plot was great and we got to see more focus on potential future players in the series. I liked that everyone was out for themselves since it kept things unpredictable.
I did miss Thomas in this entry as well as Molly, but the story is still fantastic. We get a great deal of Murphy, Michael, and Butters to make up for it so that's good enough for me. There were some really great twists and turns and several characters get upgrades in power. One of my favorite aspects of any series are the strength of the relationships. Harry never has it easy, ever. You really feel for the guy. While Cold Days certainly had emotional moments, there are some pivotal developments here too that make his journey even more special to me.
I am a newer fan of these books having marathoned the entire series back to back this year. Admittedly a lot of the story blurs together for me so it's difficult to distinguish one book from the next (save for books like Changes and Cold Days). Of course that stops now since I'm all caught up with everyone else. But I will say that I am glad it happened with this book because it was a particularly satisfying read!
Harry juggles plenty of hats as it is, but I'm looking forward to how he handles just a few more in the next entry.
*Review copy provided by the publisher. *Review also posted to Amazon. ...more
New Hollows Day is probably as good as Christmas Day for many of us. Not to mention this one has come much sooner than expected! But if I'm being honest, this is probably my toughest review yet. It's taken me so long to get it together because I just keep drawing a blank. Part of it is because this is the end of my favorite series ever. But I have accepted that this must happen to all good things, or else they could risk not being so good anymore.
Kim Harrison brought this novel back around to be about the vamps. She made good on her promise compared to other recent books where they sat more on the back burner. It appears to be for good reason though because vampires are the key to changing everything. There were some revelations that truly surprised me and the unpredictable twists kept me at the edge of my seat the whole time.
I was happy to see the demons and elves get a healthy dose of focus as well. Over the years I have grown very attached to their story lines and was happy to see they wouldn't have too many loose ends.
Rachel and Trent. Yeah, if you're a fan I don't see why that would stop now! They display great teamwork and definitely turn up the heat as they're settling into their relationship together. It's satisfying to see but still hard to believe it's happened considering the long road they took to find one another. Of course it still isn't easy for them. They have very complicated lives, but their determination to make it work just gives a girl all the feels in the world.
Rachel takes her relationships seriously and her friends and family are as strong as ever. We get the answer to the question of whether she is able to save Ivy's soul. That alone is worth the price of admission if you've stuck it out with this series for as long as I have.
The thing is, I was expecting to have the waterworks ready after finishing this final book. I mean, I was expecting this
9 years is the longest I've stuck it out with a series. But I finished it feeling satisfied and believing that the characters would be okay. Kim has done her characters justice and she should pat herself on the back for being able to give them what they deserve. And it truly feels deserved with a very fitting ending. They've worked hard and sacrificed so much.
I enjoyed every page from beginning to end in this last installment. We received a lot of answers and many things were wrapped up, but at the same time it also feels like a new beginning so I still want more! I just don't know what I am going to do without my favorite witch, demon, elf, pixy, and vampire team to look forward to once a year.
And now I'm gonna lay the sap on extra thick. Honestly, reading for me won't be the same again, at least for a while. This is the first series to really introduce me to the adult urban fantasy genre and it's set the bar so high that nothing else can scratch that itch quite like The Hollows can. Everything else fights for second. This is the first series I have followed for so long so it will always carry a special place for me for that reason alone. Of course I'm looking forward to what's next, but it's always hard to say goodbye to history, especially as I've gone through the ups and downs with the characters year after year and made quite a few friends in my life along the way, including Ms. Harrison herself. So goodbye Hollows! Thanks for the ride! Thanks for the memories! Thank you, Kim Harrison! I'll be first in line for your next book! In the meantime...
*Review also posted to Amazon. *ARC Provided by the Publisher. ...more
"Adam snorted as he pulled on a faded green t-shirt that said "I Heart Coyotes." Yet another sign that folding my clean clothes wasn't too big a price to pay to make him happy. He didn't have any "I Heart Christy " shirts--or I would have burned them already."
"I thought we should apply that kind of thinking to the matter of Cristy's stalker." He gave me a skeptical look. "No, really," I said. "Now that we know that Flores is really this nasty, fiery, superpowerful nothing-can-kill-me demon from hell, maybe we should consider just giving Christy to him?" He laughed. "I'm serious," I said.
"Seriously? Do you know how many guilty people are in jail? None." Gary's voice rose to imitate a woman's voice. "Honest. I didn't kill him. He fell on my knife. Fourteen times."
You would think that our favorite coyote, Mercy, would have enough to deal with in her life when it comes to adversaries of the supernatural and furry variety. But she may have to confront her biggest challenge yet in the form of the former Mrs. Adam Hauptman. That's right, the ex is in trouble and on the run from her psycho boyfriend. And Adam wouldn't be the Adam that Mercy knows and loves if it wasn't in his nature to help others, especially the mother of his child.
The ex, Christy, is only safest in Adam's house and with his pack even though several things aren't quite adding up. But one thing is as clear as day, Christy wants Adam back and isn't afraid to play dirty to get him. Mercy isn't going to take this lying down, but Christy's peculiar psycho boyfriend may have more going on than some crazy stalker tendencies and as more bodies pile up, it's up to Mercy to put a stop to it.
Night Broken is certainly one of the more memorable entries in the world of Mercy Thompson. She's got bad guys...and girls all around and it's hard to know who she can truly trust! Christy's character is the one you love to hate. We'd been lucky for a while with her out of the picture, but since the character never died we knew she'd have to crop up sooner or later. And even death isn't always a guarantee that we'll be done with a character in the paranormal world, so it's always in our best interests to just wait and see. I did thoroughly enjoy this part of the book, even if Christy made me want to
Mercy's snark was of the highest order this time around and I found it refreshing. I loved this that novel tested the depth of Mercy and Adam's feelings for one another as well. They define what it is to be a unit. I think Adam fans in general will find him pretty swoon-worthy.
The villain was pretty interesting. I wasn't always sure what direction Briggs was going to take with his character so that helped keep the read very engaging. I did find myself annoyed more than once with Adam's pack though. It really disappointed me how they treated Mercy despite her dedication to them and the fact that she sticks her neck out there for their sakes time and time again. I really wish they would get over themselves. One saving grace is the fact that if they can't do it at once, they might be able to do it one by one. I thought the developments with Honey were well done and are a closer step in the direction of where things need to go.
My biggest gripe for the book would be the length. The latest Mercy books have felt too short to me. I mean, 350 pages might seem like enough but I feel like I whiz through it so fast. I could use another meaty 50-75 pages per entry. Additional pages would perhaps allow for more inclusion of side characters whose presence I found myself missing, namely Stefan. I know it's probably not very easy to figure out how to incorporate him now that Mercy's married to Adam, but I really like his character and his devotion to Mercy. Though he plays an important role, he is featured so little here and that makes me miss the old times. I am not very invested in the vampires as a whole in this world, just him. Briggs does a wonderful job at making me care more about pack matters in general, but I could still use a Stefan spin-off!
But all in all it's a good read and I think the fans will enjoy it immensely. The series still has a lot to offer and I look forward to what's next.
*ARC Provided by the Publisher. *Review also posted to Amazon. ...more
"I 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.