Not too far removed from Book 4, in For a Few Demons more we see that Rachel still has "the focus," a 5,000 year old demon-crafted werewolf artifact t...moreNot too far removed from Book 4, in For a Few Demons more we see that Rachel still has "the focus," a 5,000 year old demon-crafted werewolf artifact that was the focus of book 4. Considering its power, it's a hot commodity and everybody who is anybody wants to get their hands on it, from the evil Vampire Piscary to business tycoon and underground druglord, Trent Kalamack, to the Weres themselves. Rachel's got her hands full, and it doesn't help that her werewolf friend, David, is suspected of being a serial by the FIB. How will Rachel get out of this one? Trent's long awaited wedding finally happens, but does it go down without a hitch?
You'll have to read for yourself to find out. I know that a Fistful of Charms was a favorite for many, but as a self-professed fan of Kisten and Trent, this book was much more interesting for me since they get more focus. The previous book had one of the funniest moments ever in this series. Well, this book gives us another one. Let's just say that Rachel makes for a horrible bride's maid. That scene had me laughing out loud.
I really like how this series has villains, but Harrison gives them qualities that keep them from being so one-dimensional. You want to get into their world and their perspective. And sometimes, Rachel's interactions with them can be either terrifying or downright hysterical, all in the course of one book.
The scenes with Kisten were hott. I really like that this series adds a dash of romance, but it doesn't overtake the book. I've ran into a few favorites that start out being more about plot and then practically become erotica.
A for how this book ends. I spoiled myself and opened up the last page, so I was prepared for the shock. If there's one thing you can say about Harrison; you gotta admit the woman's got balls!
This is so far my favorite Urban Fantasy series so I highly recommend reading this book. Not every installment is as good as the the other, but this one is one of her best.
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.
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.
DARKANGEL This series was one of my favorites as a teen. Book 1 of the Dark Angel trilogy introduces us to Aeriel, a slave who ends up following her li...moreDARKANGEL This series was one of my favorites as a teen. Book 1 of the Dark Angel trilogy introduces us to Aeriel, a slave who ends up following her lifelong friend after she was captured by a Darkangel. His goal is to take 14 wives as sacrifices so that he may become a full fledged vampire. Aeriel's friend, Euodine, is to be his 13th wife.
Aeriel plots to be captured as well, the Darkangel deciding to take her so as to serve his wives. Upon meeting the Darkangel, she is stricken by his beauty. While he is undoubtedly evil, she sees something deeper within him that makes her want to save him.
This is not your typical romance, and really quite a bit of the story is centered around general fantasy lore and mystery. The Darkangel does not find Aeriel physically attractive, outright calling her too ugly to be one of his brides. That to me already sets up a very interesting dynamic that I enjoyed seeing played out in this book. If he is to fall for her, it would be for something deeper than her outer beauty to him.
A GATHERING OF GARGOYLES Book 2 of this trilogy follows book 1. Aeriel cured Irrylath and restored his humanity, but the White Witch has other ideas. This leads Aeriel to strike out on a mission through the Sea of Dust to find an oracle that can help her do away with the White Witch and the rest of the Darkangels for good.
This book has an entirely different feel from one. If you want a lot of Irrylath, you won't get it here. He and April spend a large amount of time separated from one another. This one focuses on her adventure where you can't help but suspect she will have a certain destiny to fulfill.
THE PEARL OF THE SOUL OF THE WORLD Book 3 certainly reaches a dramatic conclusion. As for me? I will admit that at a certain point I threw the book across the room.
Aeriel has lost her memory and ability to speak. She ends up being helped by duarroughs, who live under the earth. Then she travels to the city of Crystalglass. She meets an ancient being named Ravenna who created the world. She helps Rachel regain her memories, but Rachel must fulfill her destiny as well in destroying the White Witch, and her responsibility to the world afterwards.
I was so disappointed with the ending. You get a glimmer of a happy ending that's dashed and in the end, not a satisfying conclusion. You just ask yourself why? They are powerful beings and should be able to do what they want. Shouldn't love be a good thing? They worked so hard to get there.
So, the ending aside I thought overall the series was pretty stellar, but I just forewarn you to be very prepared for an irritating ending.
The writing style, while created for young adult, would translate well for general adult readers as well. The story truly made an impression on me and to this day, I think back to some amazing moment. I love the complexity of the protagonists and I think other readers will, too. (less)
""I ran out of stock around midnight and dropped by a place, got some Chinese." I hoped he meant takeout...."Mu-shu pork" he told me indignantly."
I held off from immediately jumping into the Dorina Basarb series, a spin-off of the Cassie Palmer novels by Karen Chance, for a couple of reasons:
1)I have some quirks with the Cassie Palmer books that I feared could spill over into this series
2)I wasn't sure if I wanted to invest in a series with such a long wait between novels. In my perfect world, I'd get two books per year when it comes to my fave series, not one every TWO years.
So it took quite a while to get around to this, but I am so glad I finally did.
This spin-off series centers around Dorina Basarab, a dhampir (vampire/human hybrid) assassin. Not quite enough of either species, Dorina's kind is rare and doesn't fit anywhere in either society. It doesn't help that she is subject to rages that cause her to black out and endanger not only those around her, but herself as well.
It turns out she is the daughter of the great and powerful Mircea Basarab, and he needs her skills to help capture her uncle and his brother, Dracula, who has escaped from prison. Crazy and dangerous, this is a tall order, so Mircea also adds another master vampire to the mix, Louis-Cesare. The goal is for Dorina and Louis-Cesare to work together, but we all know the results when you try to mix oil and vinegar.
This book was a lot of fun. This series has beaten the odds and has become an instant favorite, regardless of the lag time. It's missing my biggest annoyances with the Cassie books: an irritating love triangle and Cassie herself (I'm not just a fan, sorry). Dorina is much more likeable heroine for me. I laughed, I cried (okay, not really), I QUOTED!!
Chance really knows how to write compelling and downright delicious male characters. Louis-Cesare has shot up on my list of book crushes. He's an amazing fighter, and the chemistry with Dorina is crazy good! It doesn't feel like your run of the mill relationship like with so many other novels. It's dynamic, it's got room to evolve, he isn't invisible, and Dorina actually can take care of herself quite well. It feels really natural, or about as natural as you can expect for supernaturals.
Another pleasant surprise was Mircea. After reading the Cassie books we're only used to Mircea the lover and powerful Senate member. In these books we get to see Mircea the father. While we see the Senate member too, I really appreciate this perspective of him because it adds more depth to the character for me. I like him more and more because we see more of his vulnerability here as opposed to the Cassie books. When it comes to Dorina, you can tell that he doesn't have all of the answers, even when he tries to save face . It's a subtle chink in his armor and I love it!
This is about as great of a start as one could hope for. I finished this book and couldn't wait to dive in to the next one! I think it's needless to say that I highly recommend this one.
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.
Not as addictive as the originals, but still very good!
This controversial spin-off of the Fever series switches from the point of view of MacKayla Lane's to her former sidekick, Dani "Mega" O'Malley. After a tragic revelation, Dani goes from friend to foe. On the run from Mac, Dani does what she does best--survive. Of course her super powers make her a target for bigger and badder supernaturals, namely Ryodan, the immortal nightclub owner, and Christian, an Unseelie prince in the making after a shocking turn of events from the original novels. Her abilities are particularly useful after certain parts of the already ravaged city turn up frozen, killing innocent people for no apparent rhyme or reason. To save her city, she begrudgingly joins forces with these guys, though her mere compliance may not be all they have in mind.
To be honest, I wasn't really sure if I'd like this book. Dani was fine for me as a supporting character, but I wasn't quite sure if she could be main character material. After actually reading it I'm still not quite sure, but the final product turned out better than I thought. Moning adopts a completely different voice for Dani and she is every bit the obnoxious teen that we've come to love or loath. I try to cut her some slack; she facing the most awkward time of her life with little to no support system, and she still wants to do good things and protect people.
Moning can do the love triangle thing pretty well. Normally I don't like them, but the Barrons/V'Lane thing was an exception. In this instance, it's got an extra little statutory dimension that's bound to ruffle a few feathers. The book walks a fine line for me, but I can see how it could cross it for other readers. I just keep in mind that these guys are immortal and they are enamored with the woman Dani will be, not the girl she is now. But again, it's a fine line. Her human buddy, Dancer, is also another good prospect (and probably the healthiest), but 3 potential love interests obviously makes things a bit crowded. Someone's gotta go.
The mystery wasn't that great to me. It was interesting the first couple of times, but it felt a little repetitive after a while as they stumbled upon scene upon scene. However, a new recurring villain is introduced, and boy is she freaky! I loved reading those scenes and I felt genuinely scared!
I wish there was more Mac and Barrons presence, but I wasn't expecting that so it wasn't too disappointing. Cruce is also back, tormenting the Sidhe Seers in their dreams. I don't know about anybody else, but I hope there is a more permanent solution to get rid of him for good. Not a big fan of rapists and I don't care to read about them on an on-going basis if it doesn't include their deserved castration...A little much? Sorry...
All in all, there were flashes of brilliance that reminded me why I love the original Fever novels (they're my #2 or #3 fave), but it wasn't quite as addictive for me. I read all 5 Fever novels in 6 days. This one took me a few days, but I will definitely continue reading. This world is just too good to resist.
The Rift Walker (Book 2 in the Vampire Empire series) takes place a number of months after first book, The Greyfriar. Adele is trying her best to stall her wedding, and in turn stall the impending war against the vampires, which would come at a much higher price than Adele is willing to pay. Lucky for her she has Greyfriar who returns to her side, putting us on pace for another swashbuckling adventure, and then some. They are on the run with her nation, her husband-to-be are on their trail, leaving her home vulnerable to enemy vampires' advances.
Over the course of this novel Adele's powers of geomancy are increasing to an end that no one can predict. Her love, The Greyfriar, is determined to stay by her side anyway, even if it's to his own detriment, and the loyalties of a choice few in her court are tested as they also stand with the princess through much adversity.
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.
There was a lot of ground covered in this book with many significant developments. I was told that I should wait for the 3rd and final book to be released before reading this series; I though I'd be fine. But I've become quite attached to the characters and this world now. I am anxious to see how this saga ends so I sort of wish I heeded that advice.
Adele and Greyfriar's love seems more and more impossible by the page but they are still fighting hard for each other and that's really admirable to me. I just have a bad feeling about it, even though I want to be as hopeful as the two characters seem to be.
I still love Adele and Greyfriar the most, but her cat, Pet, is certainly up there. Their moments are super adorable with the little fur ball and (along with Adele and The Greyfriar's moments) I admit it gave me the warm fuzzies.
Unlike the first book where it took the 50% mark to get me hooked, this book got going around the 33% mark, though the beginning is still fairly slow. At this point slow starts can be considered a pattern for this series.
Like the first book there is a blend of action, world building, and character development that really rounds out the story. It's all well done, despite the boring politics. I really look forward to September, or maybe earlier if I'm lucky enough to nab an ARC. This series is a gem and it's quickly become a favorite of mine. I read this in a day and I implement a 5-star policy for any full-length novel that can keep me engaged enough to read it that quickly. I suspect when the third and final book is released, it will be the same.
Sandy Williams creates and nice array of characters in this new series. We're taken into the world of McKenzie Lewis, a college student trying to live a normal life and finally earn her degree. Unfortunately, that is proving impossible due to her rare gift. While human, she has the ability to see and track fae--otherworldly beings from the Realm. Her gift has made her an asset for 10 years in a civil war between the species, while also alienating her from her family.
Kyol, a fae and sword master to the king, has been a close companion to her, protecting her while she helps them locate enemy rebels. But that all changes when she ends up kidnapped by the enemy...or are they?
A great deal of the book is spent with McKenzie trying to escape from the rebels, however as she learns about their ways it appears that she may not have been playing for the right side.
I quite enjoyed this book for a first installment. We're introduced to two potential love-interests: Kyol, her companion for the past 10 years, and Aren, leader of the rebels. A lot of time is spent on this subject and normally I don't enjoy love triangles, but I found myself okay with this one, especially because she does make a decision by the end. Since this is only the first book I don't think it's over, but I am hopeful that there won't be too much back and forth that plagues so many other series. I'd rather have more focus on plot, action, and interesting dialogue than to have her indecisive for a million and one silly reasons.
The book is in first person present which has been a growing trend these days. If you don't read this style often it may be a bit of an adjustment, but I've grown used to it so it no longer bothers me. I almost didn't even notice.
I think it would have liked a bit more description of the Realm. Some series are fantastic and immersing you in other worlds (Wayfinder, a duology I recently read with a similar style is a good example), but here I felt like it was more character focused.
There's a good balance of action and downtime which is great for the pace and keeps the story from becoming too boring or too overbearing. I just know I don't envy McKenzie for all of the things that happen to her.
I definitely recommend this, but since the series is just beginning you may be like me and wish for it to have a few books under its belt first. Ongoing series tend to have cliffhangers and those usually drive me nuts when I get invested enough in a series, but I just couldn't resist picking this one up since so many seemed to be enjoying it. Maybe you will too.
Normally I prefer to start a series with the first book, but when I saw Wayfinder (book 2 in the Worldwalker Duology) listed I couldn’t help myself. The cover was nice and premise sounded very interesting. Overall, it turned out to be an enjoyable read. This was a little more on the high fantasy side as opposed to urban fantasy because you spend a great deal of time in the Barrowlands (a post-apocalyptic land for their Faerie-kin). Thankfully, even though I didn’t read the first book the author catches you up to speed.
The book is centered on Lara Jansen, a not-so-ordinary tailor that has special powers allowing her to be a human lie detector. Her gift makes her very attractive for the beings of this other world, so she reluctantly trades her sewing kit for a magical staff that proves challenging to control… Or is it trying to control her? Either way, she needs it to fend off enemies in the Barrowlands as she tries to rescue her beloved Dafydd, the Seelie prince who originally sought her out for her gift to save his world. As she takes this journey she meets many powerful characters, some friend and some foe.
I found it very easy to immerse myself into the story. There’s a lot of decent action and world-building and the magic was cool. Lara isn’t particularly special or quirky, but the character experiences the necessary growth into her roles as a Truthseeker and then a Wayfinder. The romance for me is a little bland, but this may have been because I didn’t read the first book where a lot of the development happens. As it stands, this book didn’t need that angle to be interesting.
I liked the author’s writing style and I felt as if the pacing was just right. I enjoyed this book enough that I have added the first book to the TBR queue. As a Duology, we’re not committed to an on-going series which is good and bad. I appreciate that the books didn’t drag on, but I think this could have been a decent on-going series if handled well. Either way, I recommend this series.
I was sitting on this book for quite a while but I was glad to finally read it. All in all the writing and characterization were top-notch. It’s not very often when I can connect with a heroine but I really enjoyed reading this from Karou’s point of view. Though I enjoyed her interactions with Akiva as well, I think I the first half of the book was more entertaining for me than the latter half. The latter half takes on a darker and more serious tone and the series will never be the same from that point on.
My biggest gripe is the cliffhanger. While it doesn’t totally ruin a series for me I found this one particularly frustrating. I want to read the next one, but I am considering waiting until the series finishes or at least until a few more books are available. The twists and turns, while not completely surprising, were still shocking. When it comes cliffhangers, I was very happy to have read the Fever books by Karen Marie Moning after they were all released (before she decided to continue them anyway). I don’t know how fans who read those novels in real-time stayed sane. And I feel like the Daughter of Smoke & Bone series could be of that variety. The writing and intrigue are just that good, especially for a young adult novel. Who knows, when book 3 is out I might give book 2 a go. But for now I’m debating if it’s worth it to continue right away.
Maria Snyder is off to an excellent start with Touch of Power, Book 1 of The Healer series. The book centers on Avry of Kazan...moreEngaging All Throughout
Maria Snyder is off to an excellent start with Touch of Power, Book 1 of The Healer series. The book centers on Avry of Kazan, a young woman with special power to heal those around her while she absorbs their ailments. One would think that this would be a revered power, but instead it puts a huge target on her back. Suspected of creating the plague that wipes out a significant part of the population, Healers are now persecuted and murdered. Against her best interests Avry secretly continues to heal those in need, often exposing herself. To survive she must lead a nomadic and lonely lifestyle.
This all changes when she ends up abducted by a rebel group who needs her power to heal their leader who has been M.I.A. There’s a hitch of course; healing this leader will cost her own life. Their leader, Kerric, is a prince himself though unconventional with a set of magical powers all his own. Against her will, she treks on a journey with them facing off against mercenaries, the undead, and nature itself. She begins to bond with them much to her chagrin, and re-evaluates who the enemies really are.
There’s a lot of action, adventure and magic in this series that I really enjoyed. The character development is well done, keeping it fairly realistic in this fictional setting. They aren’t as one dimensional as I was fearing, so I really connected with the story. I would put Avry in the “strong heroine” category. She’s not too badass but she’s not a fool either, taking a lot of initiative and being extremely brave when necessary. Overall, I like her.
I think the magic was very interesting without being too confusing. I look forward to how that evolves over the course of the series. The villain was slightly on the predictable side, and I sort of predicted how this would ends since I know it’s the beginning of a series, but I still enjoyed it and look forward to where things go next.
I may start reading more YA series again. For a while I haven’t been enjoying them as much as their adult counterparts, but it seems as if YA books centered around adults is as good as anything for me. Avry is twenty, and many of the adult novels are centered on twenty-somethings too, so the overlap works. I definitely recommend this one.
This particular book kicks off an ongoing series, so if you’re looking for a new world to become invested in, this could be it. I started...moreDecent Deal
This particular book kicks off an ongoing series, so if you’re looking for a new world to become invested in, this could be it. I started out really liking it, but as I read it it started to feel like 3 books in one, so it lost me a bit. There were a lot of drastic changes and too many characters that I didn’t connect with as well as I would have liked. The magic was pretty cool, there’s a good dose of humor, and if you like potential love triangles or polygons, you’ll get that here. I just found myself wanting more action at times. There’s a lot of human interaction which becomes boring in an Urban Fantasy/Paranormal novel. I think the next books will be better, though I’m not in a rush to get to them.(less)
The cover suggests a slightly more mature theme, even within the YA genre. It can happen. I just finished reading a book where it happened. But 99% of the book is spent with her outside of this “Everneath”, resulting in a fairly uninteresting read. I read it quickly so I didn’t waste too much time on it, but I really don’t like it when covers are so deceptive.
Nikki is the central character of the story. 6 months ago she was taken to the Everneath by Cole, an immortal who used her life force to sustain his own and his Queen’s. She spends 100 years literally attached to Cole as he feeds from her. Once the feeding is done it is discovered that Nikki is a unique case, surviving it as most others wouldn’t. This suggests that she has a special power, making her very attractive to Cole. She has a choice to stay in the Everneath with him, but she decides to go back home to be with her family and her boyfriend, Jack, who was her biggest motivation to remain alive. However, going back to the real world puts her on a countdown to destruction, destining her to spend an eternity in the Underworld. She tries to live her life (or what she has left of it) but Cole is an obvious interference, desperately trying to convince her to be with him and rule the Everneath. But her heart is with Jack, putting her in a predicament and forcing her to look for any alternative she can find. And therein lies the story.
I didn’t really like how 100 years in the Everneath is only 6 months in the real world. That was too convenient. There is a lot of time jumping (showing POVs from past to present to past, etc. ) while counting down to the climax, but the build up isn’t intense. It’s very “day in the life”. The beginning ropes you in in hopes that you’re in for a super cool roller coaster ride, but then it turns into an unoriginal high school teen drama; I would have avoided this book had I known to expect that. In terms of characters, I preferred Cole simply because he was actually interesting and that was an actual challenge. Don’t get me wrong, he’s manipulative and a horrible love interest, but as a character I would have liked to have seen more. I like my villains to be more than one-dimensional. I started skimming the scenes with Jack after a while, though I got the point. This book was more teen romance with a dash of paranormal lore. Overall, if they took out the lore most of the book would be unaffected.
The best parts were the brief mythology references. While it seems as if the next book could focus on a little more adventure, I’m not taking the bait. There are two other potentially interesting worlds that we merely hear about: the Everneath and the Underworld, and I wanted Nikki to explore both. This was the chance for the series to stand out to me and it didn’t. It’s got pretty good ratings overall though, so maybe it’s just me. I might be willing to read the second book if she does explore these worlds in future books, but I’m not waiting with bated breath for it.
I came into this story already expecting that I would not to enjoy it as much as its predecessor, The Fire Lord's Lover, and unfortunately it didn't exceed my expectations. Kathryne Kennedy's Lady of the Storm has all of the pieces, but I was honestly left wanting to simply go read The Fire Lord's Lover all over again.
We have a new hero and heroine in this tale, both elf/human half-breeds. The story centers around Cecily, who we meet as a child in the first book, and Giles, her sworn protector. In the first book we learn that Cecily inherited exceptional power from her Imperial Lord Elven father of Dewhame to control water and weather elements. This made her a target, so she had to flee into hiding in order to remain safe. At the start of this book we see that she's managed to live in secrecy for about ten years until the Imperial Lord's soldiers show up at her door. She is forced to go on the run again, but there's no more running away. It's her time to fight back with Giles at her side.
Everything that felt new and fresh with Fire Lord's Lover felt a bit bland here. I don't doubt Kennedy's imagination and world building abilities, but I guess her story-building abilities come into question. There were times where the plot felt completely formulaic:
Beautiful elves? Check Virgin heroine? Check 5+ love scene quota? Check 1 super magical love scene? Check A silly development for relationship conflict that you know will be resolved? Check
I felt like this book had more love scenes than the first one and it took a lot longer to get to that point, so it was a bit condensed. Also, whereas I liked the magical love scene in the first book, this one wasn't nearly as interesting, though the author tried to be creative and original. I think this series would have benefited from focusing on Dominic and Cassandra instead of shifting to new characters. Dominic and Cassandra do make appearances a few times in this installment, but it only served to make me wish the POV would switch to them every time.
There's nothing particularly likable about Giles or Cecily. I didn't feel a lot of personality with them like I did with their book 1 counterparts. They are heavy on the angst and emotionally weak. I was also disappointed with the lack of development for her Imperial Lord father as opposed to the first book. I like for the villains to be well-developed. The final showdown was really anti-climatic and I wasn't invested in it at all; it only sealed this book's fate as forgettable. I just wanted it over so that I could skip to the preview for the next book. I hope that the author rebounds, but I won't be quick to read this next one, which sounds like it could potentially be the last one. I haven't heard one way or another as to whether this series will be a trilogy, but if she can't turn things around then the sooner she ends it, the better.
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.
As you can see, I present definitive proof that I've indeed read the book! And man oh man is it fantastic! It's my new favorite! I normally worry about using that term too loosely because it could diminish the potential quality of the series as a whole, but I genuinely think it's the best book thus far. Kim Harrison has done it yet again and all signs point to her doing it two more times, and in epic proportions.
This time the Ever After, home of the demons, is shrinking at an alarmingly fast rate, placing the existence of magic in a pretty vulnerable position; without one there couldn't be the other. So as if our favorite itchy witch, Rachel Morgan, didn't have enough problems, this just sprang up to #1. If she can't solve this one, she won't have any others. If she can't fix it, the demons want her head as her botched leyline creation caused this mess in the first place. And no one wants to see that happen more than her old buddy, Ku'Sox, the former day walking demon who had the misfortune to cross Rachel and lose. He even resorts to abducting her friend and goddaughter as insurance...and boy is it effective. Thankfully she's got Trent Kalamack and Algaliarept by her side to restore balance and take him down once and for all. But the price may be too high for things to ever be the same again.
I know there was criticism about not a lot happening in A Perfect Blood, though I personally enjoyed the old-school Hollows style mystery. But for those of you who didn't, for EVER AFTER I think a better question is what *didn't* happen! There was so much going on that I genuinely can't recall a dull moment. I think I felt and continue to feel every emotion possible, but I ultimately finished the book in pure euphoria. In case you needed a little reminding, Harrison presents really harsh realities and difficult decisions that prove she's an author with guts. I don't think I've experienced so many pulse pounding moments since For a Few Demons More (book 5). This book left me reeling like no other.
The scenes that take place in the Ever-After were some of the best of the series. The race against the clock really made this book so intense. Learning the history of the demons and the elves and the eventual degradation of their relationship was great, though I would have loved even more insight. I just can't get enough of it.
And that brings me to Big Al, who was totally amazing. Fans will absolutely adore him in this book as we learn more about his personal back story. He's much more prominent here than in A Perfect Blood and that's fine by me because he literally lights up the pages and keeps things exciting in his own peculiar way.
After having read Trent's POV in the bonus chapter of A Perfect Blood, I saw everything he did in a whole new light, and boy was it refreshing. He's got his own personal demons to work through and it really makes you feel for the guy. He is in a rock and a hard place, accepting his actions that have led to certain consequences while still working to find the best solution possible. I loved seeing him use more magic. I feel like elves have a pretty powerful arsenal that deserve more exploration, so it was nice to see Harrison skim the surface here with the insinuation of even greater things. Magic is amped up for the elves, while more human qualities are amped up for the demons, so it was an interesting trade off.
His teamwork with Rachel was one of my favorite parts of the book. The tension was insane and placed so well all throughout. It's seriously amazing to go back and read passages from Dead Witch Walking and then look at them now. Their progress is usually one step forward, two steps back, but the slow burn for this ship is probably what will make it my all-time #1 favorite if they end up together *fingers crossed*.
This book was just about everything I could ask for, but it wasn't 100% flawless. With so much ever after, elf and demon action, the story manages to throw in a smidgeon of development in vampire politics. Unfortunately it felt very much like an afterthought and briefly broke the overall flow. We know vampires won't get a lot of focus until the final book 13, so 10 or so pages of development came off a random at best and forgettable at worst.
All in all, this is an absolute MUST READ for fans of the series. Since Black Magic Sanction and Pale Demon the series has been invigorated and manages to improve as we reach the final stretch. That is a rarity for 95% of series that make it this far. I think it helps a lot that Kim Harrison has an end in sight and continues to write towards that. Many others have jumped-the-shark by this point. The Hollows is absolutely revving up for a grande finale and I cannot wait to be there.
*ARC provided by the author (cuz she frickin' ROCKS!!)
And literally this book is a buck (or close to it). It's as good as it gets when it comes to this genre. There's a lot to learn with this world, but I think it will all settle in for me by the second book. The concept is great and I look forward to completing the series. It's original in a genre where it's becoming difficult to truly stand out. (less)
Even being the Hollows snob that I am, I admit a couple of stories have slipped through the cracks for me over the years. That's why I was quite pleased to hear that the stories would finally be included in an anthology! I'll be honest and say that when I opened it I immediately skipped to "Million Dollar Baby", the story centering on Trent and Jenks's elf quest in Pale Demon, and it didn't disappoint! Everything else for me was a bonus, but it was all worthwhile. Here's a breakdown of the stories and my general feelings:
"Million Dollar Baby"- this was easily the premiere story for this publication. It was essentially priceless getting into Trent's head and learning quite a few things that we never knew before. It makes him so much more "human" this way. Trent and Rachel fans eager for anything to support development of these two may be disappointed a smidgen (though not entirely), but I think it's important to remember when this story took place and what it's about. While I loved reading about Trent, I admit that I missed Rachel. I'm really attached to the itchy witch and they play off one another so well. No worries though because the bromance that blooms between Trent and Jenks is plenty entertaining. We see why pixies and elves get along so well. Overall, I thought this was a well done story and I wish we could get more stories from Trent, though I know that won't be happening much.
As for the reprinted Hollows short stories:
"The Bespelled" - a short story focusing on Al and how he ensnared Ceri of 1,000 years ago. I always enjoyed this read. But it has Al so that makes it pretty easy...
"Two Ghosts for Sister Rachel"- a Robbie/Rachel/Pierce novella going back in time to when Rachel was 18 and struggling with her decision to join the I.S. This story was new to me. I was not the biggest fan of Pierce in the main novels, but I must admit that he is a little better here.
"Undead in The Garden of Good and Evil"- a novella focusing on Ivy in her earlier I.S. days. Another entertaining novel with excellent doses of Kisten. If you thought he and Rachel were hott together, you should read this to see vamp on vamp action. I read this some time ago, but I forgot how hott he and Ivy can be together.
"Dirty Magic"- short story about Mia, the banshee from Book 7. While not my favorite I found it interesting to read about her and her complex thought processes.
"The Bridges of Eden Park"- a Kisten and Rachel short that no doubt makes you miss him all over again.
"Ley Line Drifter" - a novella focusing on Bis and Jenks. It introduces the character Daryl who we meet again in the later Hollows novels. I will say it's sort of weird to read A Perfect Blood and then go back to reading this. My favorite parts were the moments between Jenks and Matalina since we never get to see that first hand.
Stories beyond The Hollows:
"Pet Shop Boys" - I admit that every time I see this title I just want to sing "West End Girls". Though I promise that the story is completely unrelated. It's actually about vampires, but they are completely different from our Hollows vamps. I think she could have had something going, but The Hollows vamps are better and more developed, not surprisingly. They have an unfair advantage of having novel after novel of development. I would like to see this become a full novel or two to even the playing field. This was my favorite entry of the non-Hollows stories.
"Temson Estates" and "Spider Web"-a short story and novella focusing on dryads. I don't think they are my favorite supernatural creature, but I would have liked to have seen a little more regarding the Spider Web story.
"Grace" - novella introducing new powers relating to people who hold special energy capable of destroying electronics. Their powers can be intense enough that, if left unharnessed, they can be a danger to society. This one is more borderline Urban Fantasy to me. It could be categorized as something else.
Overall, I enjoyed this book but normally I don't enjoy anthologies very much simply because I prefer to read a whole novel as opposed to several novellas (just a personal preference). I found myself putting the book down more often for this reason, but I was definitely engaged enough to read the old stuff all over again along with the new stuff.
I follow Kim Harrison's work more closely under the Rachel Morgan series than anything else, but the non-Hollows stories give the reader a taste of her skills as an author. It's a good way to test yourself as a fan, determining whether you plan to follow Rachel Morgan or Kim Harrison in general. The beginnings of the stories were sometimes a little hard to get into because I didn't always want to switch gears from story to story, especially going from Rachel Morgan to something totally different. But if you stay the course, each read is quite rewarding and interesting, even with such a short window of opportunity to tell the story. I see myself following Harrison throughout The Hollows and beyond.
Overall I enjoyed the novel and found it engaging almost the entire time, though it wasn't until the third act that it reached unputd...moreThe World After
Overall I enjoyed the novel and found it engaging almost the entire time, though it wasn't until the third act that it reached unputdownable territory. Though it's clearly not the only dystopian novel out there, I enjoy the balance with supernatural elements and creatures. I like that I can become completely immersed in this gritty world suddenly turned upside down where we see beings (human or otherwise) at their best and their worst. Though it's considered a young-adult novel, I think it's just as gritty as an adult novel which adds to its appeal.
I found it thought-provoking often, wondering many times what I'd do in Penryn's shoes. For a seventeen-year-old, she's had to grow up so fast and while she makes a few dumb decisions, she also makes a lot of good ones and I was really rooting her for and her sister, Paige. I even found myself liking Penryn's nutty mom. I feel like she's just crazy enough to survive this thing. But Paige. Ugh, I spent most of the book just wanting to hug her. Her ordeal is completely heart-wrenching and I had a very tough time reading about it. We learn how she becomes what she is now, a twisted, patched up, razor-toothed experiment gone totally wrong...or maybe totally right? All I know is she's seven and it's just not fair. But I do appreciate that there may be a sense of destiny about the character which would make her even more multidimensional than being a sympathy magnet.
You're probably wondering why I haven't really said much about Raffe. You know, Raphael, the Great Archangel, the Wrath of God, and more importantly for the fans, Penryn's unexpected but very yummy main squeeze. He's definitely our favorite archangel. Well, unfortunately there's not much to tell this time. About half his significance in the book is through flashbacks of what we already knew. When they finally do meet up their chemistry and banter are a lot of fun, but I would have liked more of it and sooner.
Aside from that I had a couple more gripes with the entry. For one, the end didn't feel complete enough. I wouldn't quite call it a cliffhanger but it honestly just stops. I prefer when books wind down in the last chapter or at least provide an epilogue. My next issue would be the length. This novel is not very long at all. While I don't have page numbers to reference, I can't imagine it being over 300 pages. So why does this book have 75 chapters? Unless you're busting out 1,500+ pages novels like George R. R. Martin or something, it's completely superfluous. And since most of the scenes flow into the next one if anything it affected the pace a little. I honestly don't see why this would need more than 30. I just finished it and yet I couldn't tell you a standout chapter if my life depended on it.
But yes, my issues aside, I thought it was a very entertaining read and I'm looking forward to the next one. I also recently learned that this series will be adapted into a movie. I definitely think it's a good call because that's all I could think about while reading it, how cool it'd be on the big screen. But how often do movies live up to expectations?
If you're a fan, you won't want to miss it, but you might want to re-read Angelfall to give yourself a bit of a refresher.
*ARC provided by the publisher. *Review also posted to Amazon.(less)
If you are familiar with the artist/author, Brom, then you probably realize that he has a knack for taking popular children's tales and re-envisioning them with a twist--usually warped, disturbing, and certainly not child friendly. I absolutely loved The Child Thief, a dark retelling of Peter Pan, so I absolutely jumped at the chance to review Krampus.
Krampus is the Yule Lord, locked away for centuries thanks to Jolly Old Saint Nick. But he is determined to come back and restore Yuletide to it former glory, after he takes care of that little Santa issue course...
We also meet Jesse, a deadbeat down and out 20 something, who stumbles upon the special key that Krampus and his minions have been searching for. Begrudgingly he aids Krampus with hopes that the Yule Lord's power will be enough to save his family.
Brom is first and foremost an artist (he illustrated this cover), but he is a fantastic storyteller as well. He purposely makes it difficult to question the true villain at times, so it's hard to know who to root for even when it comes to the protagonist. Every character has an agenda and nobody is innocent, save for Jesse's young daughter perhaps. It wasn't quite as gruesome as The Child Thief, but there were a few cringe-worthy moments.
I really enjoyed the comparisons of Krampus and Santa Clause. I grew up with Santa in my life, so I couldn't help but have a little bias towards him, but I also found myself appreciating some aspects of what Krampus signifies. Neither character is perfect, which once again leaves the reader conflicted.
Brom's books are great to read if you'd like something a little different that breaks the usual formula. I can say that I enjoyed The Child Thief more, but Krampus is still good stuff!
Maybe his message is that good or bad, there's a villain in all of us.
These days I’m hard pressed to read a lot of manga as opposed to written novels, so Mayu Shinjo’s new series, Demon Love Spell, was a welcomed reprieve. Miko is a budding shrine maiden who is still developing her abilities to banish spirits, a skill and duty that has passed down from generation to generation in her family for centuries. She strives to keep her family’s tradition alive, but she has to get better. She sees one opportunity to do so when she meets Kagura, an incubus demon who feeds on women’s desires for strength. Miko’s spell inadvertently works to incapacitate his abilities, even shrinking him to the size of a pixy! But this plan isn’t full proof and he now has his sights set on her. While not completely evil, Kagura aides Miko in banishing spirits with intentions more evil than “lady-killing.”
It’s a cute, short, and occasionally humorous read. While it’s not what I’d consider explicit, the implied sexual themes are very obvious. He is an incubus with an appetite! I will say that I like how his smoldering sexiness is balanced with implementing his chibi form whenever Miko sees fit. Their dynamics shift at these points, which gives the series breathing room to put the two on screen while limiting the sap.
Overall, not a lot struck me as particularly original or innovative when it came to the art or the story, but I didn’t come in expecting that anyway. The plot is still entertaining even with the elements that I’ve seen before.
I liked the two lead characters overall and I expect a lot of emotional development as the series progresses. This is only the first volume, so it’s going to take time to build to something deeper I think.
"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.
Business is picking up a little more for Alex Craft as this time it is up to her to solve a peculiar string of murders…or so we assume. Instead of bodies turning up police are merely finding body parts, namely the left feet of several people. This makes it particularly difficult for Alex who cannot raise a shade without a body (I’m thinking a head and torso would suffice).
This means she needs to call upon the magic of her friends, but that also puts them in the line of fire along with Alex herself as she draws the attention of the Fae court. Can she fend them off and get out of it in one piece?
I would say that I enjoyed Grave Dance a little more than Grave Witch, but that’s not saying too much. I am still finding it hard to become attached to the characters and the world at this point. There are a few interesting developments, particularly Alex’s eye sight which is at risk every time she uses her magic. Her normal sight is steadily depleting, making me wonder if she’ll eventually be in the dark permanently.
Secrets are still slowly unraveling, but I still found myself wondering about a number of plot points, particularly when it comes to her father. He is more interesting this time around, but I wanted more questions answered about his motivations and his heritage. There is also the character Death. Her meetings with him are very sporadic and their feelings for one another are crossing lines into the taboo territory for reasons that we have yet to learn. So he remains mysterious.
The love triangle is an obvious focal point of this series, though it’s hard for me to buy it. Death seems like the better choice, but only because he doesn’t have the same baggage as Falin. She doesn’t have any more chemistry with Death than Falin, but she gets more screen time with Falin so at this point I’m liking Falin more. I don’t dislike Death, but I have a habit of getting attached to my first choices, so I’m trying to brace myself for disappointment. I hope it concludes soon enough one way or the other. This is why I don’t like triangles.
Towards the end of the book the plot really picks up out of nowhere and I went from being mildly interested to not being able to put it down. Kalayna Price’s writing shines best when writing about Faerie, and I couldn’t wait for Alex to go back. I doubt this will be the end we see of it.
Usually by the third book I can tell if a series will become a favorite. I’m still on the fence about this one, so I guess that means I’ll have to give Book 3 a try.
This marks my first review of Seanan McGuire's popular series. Normally I prefer to review every book after I read it; however, for this series it was super difficult to become invested early on. I got through the first three quickly to keep my enthusiasm up for the series. But since I read them quickly I didn't think I could write a proper review. But due to the high acclaim that the later books have received I decided to push through, and that turned out to be a good decision.
October "Toby" Daye, our favorite half-human, half-fae, is just a magnet for trouble. She means well, but when it comes to Faerie politics, nothing is cut and dry. She earns knighthood, an unprecedented achievement for a changeling since their kind are all but shunned when it comes to the fae community. So there is definitely an ulterior motive involved...perhaps the perfect scenario to make Toby public enemy number 1 after a number of grave incidents happen to those closest to her.
This is far and away the best book of the series so far. it's the most emotionally charged book yet where loyalties are cemented, secrets are revealed, and the action is steady. Everything is a close call, keeping the suspense high. I really didn't know what to expect from page to page for the majority of the book. We find out who Toby's friends really are and just how far they are willing to go to protect her. Her friends aren't perfect, but they're honorable.
I finally found myself really starting to like the side characters. My favorite supporting characters are Tybalt, the Luidaeg, Connor, and May. Being the cat person that I am, I do wish Tybalt would get more page time. Though not my favorite, I do like Sylvester and sympathized with him quite a bit. Everyone is coming into their own, and more than willing to prove their worth. The character development is pretty compelling, especially when it comes to Toby and May. The mythology involving the plethora of fairie species evolves quite a bit, expanding the world even more. They are more vulnerable than we think and I'm interested in seeing where things will go next.
It's not the first series to have a slow beginning. My favorite series, The Hollows, is the same way (though I became invested faster). I am glad that I stuck through it though because it's definitely one of the best that urban fantasy has to offer. Book 1 to book 4 is literally like night and...daye.