I normally don't do police procedural novels, but this has a distinct feel for me and the characters are taking on their own personalities. Jaye WellsI normally don't do police procedural novels, but this has a distinct feel for me and the characters are taking on their own personalities. Jaye Wells really brings this world to life. Our protagonist has her fair share of struggles trying to refrain from the use of magic. Remember, it's a bit different how it works in this world. Magic is practically a metaphor for drug use, from requiring AA meetings to "cooking." As a Breaking Bad fan, that always amuses me. Kate is really feeling the effects of her decisions from the first book which reinforces how unique this brand of magic is. I like that the characters are somewhat realistic. They have their flaws and make bad and selfish decisions just like anyone else. I found them relatable and I actually am becoming invested in her relationships with those around her, including her brother and best friend. She's caught between a rock and a hard place.
I found it entertaining from beginning to end. I do get a hint of a love triangle brewing, so you might want to steer clear if that trope irks you to no end. I don't like them either and if it gets to be too much I will table this series until we have a definitive answer. But for now I'm enjoying the ride and the author's *ahem* vivid and morbid imagination. It's not for the faint of heart. Overall it was a more even book than the first one. The first novel started off strong and lost some steam toward the end, but this one is a bit more even and strong all throughout. I am looking forward to visiting this world again....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'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
"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.
The plot is excruciatingly boring, what little there appeared to be anyway... This book needs better editing as well. It reads like fanfiction and I rThe plot is excruciatingly boring, what little there appeared to be anyway... This book needs better editing as well. It reads like fanfiction and I really don't need to hear how much so-and-so loves so-and-so on every page. I get it, Derek loves Sophia and vice versa. But is a reminder every 2 minutes necessary? The multiple POVs were extremely annoying in this respect too. Half a dozen POVs is annoying as it gets, but to top it off, practically everyone who gets a POV loves someone and you'd better believe we have to hear about it as if we're supposed to give a damn. The previous novels didn't feel nearly as bad. Maybe I'll come back for the final book, MAYBE, but I have no interest on the road to get there at this point. I'll likely just read a summary. ...more
So someone’s been bad. Want to take a wild guess? You guessed right! It’s me! I’m pretty terrible actually. I was totally sure thatThe Ruby Circle
So someone’s been bad. Want to take a wild guess? You guessed right! It’s me! I’m pretty terrible actually. I was totally sure that I reviewed this book. That’s why I’m finally posting this review now. It’s only one of my favorite (if not my all time favorite) YA series!! I apologize to my fellow Sydrian fans. I guess I delayed it because I was really hoping this book would help the series go out with a bang, but at the same time I was fearing Mead would give it a bitter-sweet and unsatisfying ending, like she tends to do for her series on several occasions.
All in all, I sort of ended this series feeling like no news is good news. I was really hoping for something more exhilarating, but in the end it felt like more of a fizzle. Without a doubt Books 3 and 4 are the best of the series. This book didn’t feel nearly as special and a few aspects felt like they were on the predictable side.
Sydrian didn’t have the same spark that I felt from them in the earlier books. The characters remain likable and both have grown which is nice to see, but that’s about all I can say.
I will definitely miss this series, and though I’m happy for a satisfying ended, at the same time I was left wanting more. I wasn’t into Vampire Academy nearly as much as Bloodlines, and there’s clearly an opportunity for another sequel of 6 after this one. But I don’t really think I want to follow those characters as the leads so I can’t say for sure if I’ll be reading it....more
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 gorgI 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! ...more
I didn’t start reading these novels until this year, but I’m certainly as enthusiastic as any long time fan when it comes to tSydrian is the BEST!!
I didn’t start reading these novels until this year, but I’m certainly as enthusiastic as any long time fan when it comes to this series. The Fiery Heart will evoke pretty much every emotion you can think of. This book is probably my new favorite, though book 3 nips at its heels. Fans who have been waiting to finally see Sydrian (that’s an amalgamation of Sydney and Adrian’s names for those of you who don’t understand shipper speak) in its full glory should not be disappointed but you have to remember that you’re reading a Richelle Mead novel and it’s the middle of the series, so expect some angst and some growing pains and a cliffhanger that reaches Holy-Smokes-Batman levels. It at least makes it somewhat realistic.
I loved this novel to bits but I would have liked a little more development in the magic department. That’s not to say it was lacking; her abilities are extremely relevant to this storyline, but it didn’t feel quite as involved as with the previous books. I can understand that because this time the novel alternates between Adrian and Sydney’s POVs. The read was still surprisingly cohesive. Sometimes that becomes a challenge for an author but I think Mead still captured both of their personalities very well.
I didn’t really sense as much page time being given to the supporting characters either. There are some significant developments with them and their stories, but don’t expect much. This is clearly a Sydrian novel, made for Sydrian by Sydrian. Have I made it pretty clear that this novel is about Sydrian?
And since this is a Sydrian novel, let's get back to that topic, shall we? This book makes you realize how good they really are for one another, though quite often their situation feels so hopeless. It's a case of star-crossed lovers if I've ever read one. Though she tries to keep up her alchemist front, internally Sydney becomes more of a free spirit; this leads to behavior more reckless than you'd come to expect from her and it's very refreshing. Adrian also really steps up to the plate to be responsible when it comes to his own vices. They balance each other extremely well, their chemistry is through the roof, and I loved every minute of it.
This book really made me realize I will have to revise my Goodreads shelves. For a "Young Adult" it was racier than some adult novels I've read. But I was also recently told that series like this where the characters are 18 and over are considered "New Adult." Of course the Goodreads Awards don't make that distinction... and honestly when I see "new adult" I think of a new novel in the adult category, like new Hollows, Kate Daniels, Mercy Thompson, etc. I'm also considering calling this "Mature YA" but I'm still deciding. I'm open to suggestions.
There are two novels left so I could understand why Mead didn't want to prolong the honeymoon period. She is an author that really makes her characters earn their HEAs and clearly this won't be an exception. I'm just hoping she can provide a satisfying ending to this series. It's no secret that her endings of series tend to polarize her readers so it does concern me a little bit. This is the first series where she has me by the balls and I'm totally at her mercy. But on the plus side, it's only 8 months until we get book 5! I'm ready for whatever, Ms. Mead! In the meantime, I'm gonna go re-read some of my fave passages from this one as they are MORE than enough to hold me over until next time!
Feels like a middle book I was super impressed with the first book in this series, The School for Good and Evil, so I was very eager to see what happFeels like a middle book I was super impressed with the first book in this series, The School for Good and Evil, so I was very eager to see what happens in this follow up. I think the first book did a great job of establishing the characters and the personalities and motivations of Sophia and Agatha as well as the schools. This book digs a bit deeper into their history including how their parents fit into the thick of things and we get a healthy dose of Tedros as well.
I didn't find myself enjoying this book quite at the same level as the first one. There were definitely a lot of entertaining twists and turns but sometimes it got to be a bit too much for me. I was left wondering how the characters could truly learn to trust if everything around them was a lie. I was hoping for this book to build stronger relationships. It appears this series will be at trilogy at the least so this book has that middle book feel to it; things happened, but there wasn't as much resolution as I hoped for.
One thing that attracted me to this series was the cover. I would say I like this cover even better than the last one. I am hoping that like the story, they'll save the best for last.
The first book is truly awesome and I have a feeling the last book will be great as well. This middle book is definitely one you can't miss.
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 tTempted 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.