I came across a mention of Halfway to the Grave on Rachel Vincent's blog and decided to give it a try because the notion of a main character who is aI came across a mention of Halfway to the Grave on Rachel Vincent's blog and decided to give it a try because the notion of a main character who is a half-vampire intrigued me. How does one become half a vampire, and what wicked cool/unbelievably lame attributes come with the package?
Cat Crawfield's mother had an unfortunate encounter with a vampire and five months later Cat was born. Her reclusive mother raised her to hate the darker half of herself, encouraging her to actively hunt the undead as a way of atoning for the fact of her existence. Being the good egg that she is, Cat obeys her mother and spends her youth isolated and alone, always in pursuit of her next victim.
Now 22 and about to start college, Cat firmly believes her mom's mantra: all vampires are evil and must be destroyed. Then one night a routine hunt goes bad when the vampire in question manages to take her prisoner, threatening to kill her unless she reveals who she is working for. Turns out this vampire, aka Bones, also kills other vampires for a living. And he suspects Cat of working for his enemy. The two strike up an uneasy alliance with Bones determined to train Cat as the ultimate vampire slayer and Cat determined to use the training to kill Bones the first chance she gets. Humor, mayhem, romance (not for the faint of heart...ahem), and lots and lots of slaying ensue. I really liked prickly Cat and the hilarious Bones. This book is funny and fun and the gangbusters ending left me very excited about book two, One Foot in the Grave, due out April 29....more
I was excited for this sequel for many reasons: Bones, Bones, oh, and Bones. Also, because it takes place a rather shocking Four Years after HalfwayI was excited for this sequel for many reasons: Bones, Bones, oh, and Bones. Also, because it takes place a rather shocking Four Years after Halfway to the Grave and, I have to say, I like that Jeaniene Frost was willing to take that big a leap with just her second book. Most urban fantasy series books take place right on on each other's feverish heels, yet the readers have waited sometimes a year for the second installment, and occasionally I find myself wanting more time to have passed for the characters as well. Add a little more gravitas to the situation. Like we've all grown up a little in the interim.
One Foot in the Grave starts out in the middle of Cat Crawfield's new life as a federal agent working for a little known department of Homeland Security specializing in vampire eradication. Having forced herself (for his safety) to leave Bones and her former life behind, Cat has become Cristine Russell and spent the last four years literally consumed by her work, training up a team of vampire slayers lean and mean enough to make Bones proud. Unfortunately, someone seems to have discovered her secret and is leaving clues around her old stomping grounds. Cat and her team follow the clues home to find someone old and powerful has put a price on her head and all the undead bounty hunters are coming to play.
I definitely liked the premise of this story and the guys on Cat's team are fun, interesting characters who I hope will stick around throughout the series. The scene where Bones and Cat see each other for the first time in four years was just as delicious as I hoped it would be. And, who are we kidding? Any page with Bones on it is a good one. Make that, a great one. What I needed was more from Cat. She doesn't seem to have grown at all in the last four years. And while I understand she's sort of been hiding from a lot things she doesn't want to face, she's still got this great team of guys who will walk over hot coals for her, and (when he comes back) a protector and lover who will do anything to make her happy, and she still seems to spend most of her time drinking, fighting, swearing, and whining. All in slightly too extreme quantities for me to buy. That's not the Cat I remember. She's Cat sans the the sweetness and sense of humor that made her so endearing in the first book and that made me think she deserved the awesomeness that is Bones. Oodles of action (fighting and otherwise) seem to dominate this story when I wanted more character development and the Cat I remember. Maybe Bones feels the same way...Hopefully, we'll both find what we're looking for in the next volume, At Grave's End, due out in January....more
I waited for this one to become available at the library for quite awhile. It was always checked out and that, coupled with the rather rave reviews I'I waited for this one to become available at the library for quite awhile. It was always checked out and that, coupled with the rather rave reviews I'd read, made me excited to get my hands on it. The cover is decidedly hokey, but I've come to regret bouts of cover-snobbery many a time before. So I resolved not to let it get to me this time. Besides. I finished the book and still can't wrap my mind around what the tairen actually look like. So the creature on the cover is as good a rendering as any, I'm sure.
Essentially, it is a Cinderella story. One in which the prince is actually a king. A massively overbearing, centuries old king at that. Rain Tairen Soul is well-known throughout the world as the man who almost destroyed it all when his beloved was killed. His rage was of such a magnitude that it nearly scorched the world. Thousands upon thousands died as a result. This all took place nigh unto a thousand years ago and Rain has spent the intervening years basically trying to hang onto his sanity and not give into his anger and sorrow. Enter Ellie--found on the side of the road as a child and taken in by a woodcarver and his wife. In a moment of utter terror, her soul cries out and Rain's hears it. He comes immediately to her rescue and the two of them attempt to make sense of what has happened to them. And what has happened is that they are soul mates. That's right. Rain has love thrust upon him centuries after he thought he was through with it for good. And Ellie has it swoop down upon her for the first time in her life. It's all very anguished and touching.
Except it's not.
I don't know if it's just that the story's been done before and in more compelling ways. Or if it's the he's older than Methuselah and she's a spring chicken ick factor. But it didn't do it for me. It's like the whole time the story was telling me, I am So Epic. Bask in my epicness! And Rain was storming around yelling at me, I am So Tortured. Revel in my anguish! Meanwhile, Ellie was tip-toeing around in his wake whispering, I am fragile but with a Core Of Steel. Underestimate me at your peril! But none of it felt real. It just felt like the veneer of epicness and torture and steel cores. There was also a string of women drugged and manipulated against their will which really rubbed me wrong. And did anyone else think Ellie should totally be with Bel? Or was that just me? Now the story certainly had its sweet moments. How could it not? At just over 400 pages, it never gets beyond the courtship stage of Rain and Ellie's relationship. But even then, I didn't feel like they got to know each other well. But I didn't feel like I knew them either so it wasn't that great a loss. I do have to say that this book (and series) is dearly beloved by many so, clearly, your mileage may (and probably will) vary. It may very well fly for you. But, for me, it never got its feet off the ground. ...more
Prior to reading ANGEL'S BLOOD, I was a Nalini Singh virgin. I'd heard nothing but good, but just never found myself in the mood for paranormal romancPrior to reading ANGEL'S BLOOD, I was a Nalini Singh virgin. I'd heard nothing but good, but just never found myself in the mood for paranormal romance. My feelings on the genre are uncertain at best. However, this book, the first in Singh's new Guild Hunter series, is being billed as urban fantasy, which made it seem more palatable and like a good place to start. It does have several of my favorite urban fantasy characteristics. Kick-A** heroine, deadly vamps of the non-sparkly variety, strong world building, etc. But. It remains a paranormal romance at heart. So if extremely heated situations make you cringe, giggle, or otherwise react unfavorably (as they do me), tread lightly here.
Elena Devereaux is a vampire hunter. She's what is known as hunter-born and so it's not just her job. It's her calling. She could no more walk away from it than she could sprout wings and fly. Elena belongs to the Hunter's Guild and, as such, is hired out to those willing to pay to have an expert hunt, capture, and/or kill rogue vampires. In this world, vampires aren't the top man on the totem pole. That honor belongs to the angels. Specifically, the archangels. Archangels rule the world and, get this, they create vampires. Who are then at their beck and call for at least a hundred years of servitude. The vampires are pretty much evil incarnate, but interestingly enough, the angels are not their polar opposites, i.e. paragons of virtue and goodness. In fact, they're sort of outside the whole good vs. evil spectrum. They run the show. They use who and what they need to to keep the vampires and humans in line and, if you value your life, you stay out of their way. Life spices up for Elena when Raphael, the Archangel of New York, enlists her services to hunt down a rogue Archangel who has done the unthinkable and become a vampire himself.
Here's the thing about ANGEL'S BLOOD. It grew on me more after I finished it than it did while I was actually reading it. While I was reading it I spent a fair bit of time on the fence. Since finishing, I've found myself thinking about it throughout the day, wondering what will happen next and what the characters I particularly liked are getting up to in my absence. That's a pretty good sign, after the fact, I have to say. I had two main issues with the story, the romance and the backstory. I love me a good antihero so Raphael was right up my alley. So much so that I wanted his gradual transformation to something resembling something human to be even more gradual so that I could savor the process. And while I'm a big fan of protracted tension between the two main characters, this one tended heavily toward the sexual variety and I tend to like mine a little more cerebral. I kept wishing Elena and Raphael would wrangle a little more over the differences in their species and background and a little less over their mutual desire to jump the other's bones. Similarly I liked Elena, but I really wanted more on her backstory to push that like over to love. There are all kinds of hints at a dark past and I felt like a little more reveal earlier would come in handy sympathizing with her position in the present and understanding where she's coming from. That said, I still think this was a good place to start and I'm glad I read it. I'll be picking up the sequel to find out what happens to Elena and Raphael (and Ilium and Dmitri--love those two). ...more
I was pretty excited to get a hold of HUSH, HUSH after I saw the cover, which is completely awesome, and began hearing murmurs of dark goodness floatiI was pretty excited to get a hold of HUSH, HUSH after I saw the cover, which is completely awesome, and began hearing murmurs of dark goodness floating around the verse. Then I was fortunate enough to win an ARC over at Steph Su Reads. Thanks, Steph and Becca! I'm going to preface my comments by saying that if you really want to know what I thought of this book you should go read Chelle's review over at Tempting Persephone because I agree with every single thing she said. No joke. Chelle and I are often one on our reactions to a book, but this time I felt exactly the same way. In every particular. Unfortunately, in this case, it was a book neither of us loved. We wanted to. But we didn't. Several things got in the way.
Nora Grey is your average high school sophomore. Intent on getting through the year with her grade point average intact and her best friend Vee at her side, she is dismayed to find herself partnered with the broody, mysterious Patch in biology class. Patch seems to delight in intimidating the hell out of Nora. He goads her, teases her, persists in getting to know all her hidden quirks and fears and exploiting them. No one seems to know where he came from or who he really is and, as he continues to pursue Nora, she becomes obsessed with finding some answers to the mystery of Patch and his mercurial smile. Against her friend's, her counselor's, even her mother's advice, Nora spends more time in Patch's questionable company. Bit by bit, as she puts two and two together, Nora develops an impossible theory as to stalkerboy's origins...along with a pretty healthy attraction to her dark shadow.
Let's start with the good. Becca Fitzpatrick displays some solid writing skills in her debut novel. I enjoyed her way with words, the honest and wry observations Nora made about her world, and the deft descriptions of bad boy Patch. And you've got to hand it to Simon & Schuster's packaging job. That's one gorgeous cover, coupled with a killer title given the subject matter of this YA paranormal. Lastly, the whole idea behind this book is top notch. The Paradise Lost fangirl in me loves the notion of fallen angels, struggling to reclaim their former glory and still maintain their fierce independence, tangling their destinies up with mere mortals. It's a recipe for a cracking good story. The problem I ran into was in the characters themselves. Everyone knows I'm a sucker for the bad boys. I'll take Spike over Angel, Logan over Piz, Eric over Bill, and George over Jonathan any day of the week. On the surface of things Patch seemed made to order. Except he never won me over. He was just bad. No boyishness at all, really. Don't get me wrong, there was plenty of chemistry between these two. But when he wasn't smoldering, Patch was pretty creepy. And not in a good way. He felt cold, alien, and like your worst stalker nightmare. I was unable to find romance in his meanness and I didn't want Nora to be with him. Unfortunately, I didn't really want him to be with her either. Nora didn't wear any better for me. She felt like a stand-in for a cool character and I couldn't seem to summon the energy to care whether or not she died, fell in love, or passed biology. Not necessarily in that order. The rest of the characters felt annoyingly one dimensional and forgettable and this proved to be the ultimate stumbling block for me. There were also several unfortunate and distracting similarities to Twilight (I'm sorry, but it's just no longer possible to have your smart-but-uncoordinated heroine meet and become lab partners with the dangerously-handsome-and-supernatural-to-boot bad boy in biology class), some strangely pointless plot threads, and an unconvincing denouement. But my lack of enjoyment remained rooted in the unsympathetic characterization. Now, this reaction is mine alone and will certainly not be true for all (or even very many) readers. I see HUSH, HUSH finding a very fond, dedicated readership (just check out some of the glowing reviews below). As Chelle said, it just wasn't for me....more
You know how if you don't start a series it can never let you down? I'd been avoiding Richelle Mead's Vampire Academy books for that very reason. I keYou know how if you don't start a series it can never let you down? I'd been avoiding Richelle Mead's Vampire Academy books for that very reason. I kept reading encouraging reviews from reliable sources and just not following through on picking up the first book. Then the Cybils rolled around and Blood Promise, the fourth Vampire Academy book, was nominated. And since it's almost physically impossible for me to read a series out of order, I decided it was time to jump in. I'd managed to avoid knowing much of anything about the series, so it was quite fun to be immersed in a completely new world. This was also my first Richelle Mead book and I was interested to get a feel for her style.
Rose and her best friend Lissa are on the run. For two years they've been traveling from city to city, posing as college freshman. Rose is determined to fulfill her duty and protect Lissa at all cost from the danger pursuing them. Lissa is a vampire princess and Rose is a half-human, half-vampire guardian known as a dhampir. In their world, there are two kinds of vampires--the Moroi and the Strigoi. The Moroi are mortal vampires. They're the "good" kind. They only feed on willing donors and they have magical capabilities they develop and train at academies such as St. Vladimir's. The Strigoi, on the other hand, are immortal. They're the "bad" kind. They feed on who and what they will and they are impossibly fast and terrifyingly violent. With the Strigoi on their tail, half-trained Rose is forced to relent when a force of fully-trained dhampir show up to drag them back to St. Vlad's. Having burned her last bridge, Rose agrees to submit to one-on-one training with dhampir legend Dimitri Belikov in lieu of being kicked out for good.
I was immediately involved in this world Richelle Mead has created. Honestly, I've had a string of lame reads lately and have been seriously craving some solid world building, some characters to sink my teeth into. And on the world building front, VAMPIRE ACADEMY comes through. It starts right in the middle of the action and doesn't let up. The notion of good and bad vampires is not a new one, but Mead makes it her own by crafting the long history of opposition and war between the gifted Moroi and the damned Strigoi. And then there are the dhampir--the guardians of the Moroi. Neither human nor vampire, the dhampir straddle both worlds and were easily my favorite aspect of the story. I enjoyed Rose's resistance against conforming to expectations. I enjoyed her sparring lessons with tall, dark, and massive Dimitri. And I enjoyed the politics that come into play between the three different classes of creature. The character development didn't feel as strong, unfortunately. I could have done with a little more depth to Rose, a little walk to match her talk if you will. She's appreciatively smart-mouth and full of vituperative angst but it began to wear on me after awhile as I wished she would think a bit before acting on her assumptions or whims. I liked Dimitri all right and I particularly liked Christian--the outcast Moroi royalty who makes it his mission to give Lissa a hard time. I wanted more from them. Still, I liked it enough to pick up the next installment in the series....more
I'm really not sure about these two on the cover. The only conclusion I can come to is that it's Christian and Lissa, though I'm sure it's supposed toI'm really not sure about these two on the cover. The only conclusion I can come to is that it's Christian and Lissa, though I'm sure it's supposed to be Rose and Dimitri. And while I can buy that that girl could be Lissa, the dude is definitely not Christian. Or Dimitri. Ah, well. So I picked up the second Vampire Academy book hoping for more standout world building and perhaps a little more in-depth character development. I finished Vampire Academy enthused about the series' possibilities, but a little disenchanted with the characters as well as the info-dump climax. The villain starts monologuing and I'm rolling my eyes. I do enjoy Richelle Mead's smooth writing and the upfront approach she takes to running her characters through the mill and seeing what comes out on the other side. So I went into FROSTBITE with an open mind.
Life at St. Vlad's has entered a sort of holding pattern. Rose and Dimitri have agreed to stay away from each other "socially." You know, in the interest of putting their duty as dhampir above the desires of their hearts. Dimitri is thinking of moving on, both professionally and emotionally, while Rose's friend Mason would give his right arm for a few quality minutes alone with Dimitri's girl. Christian and Lissa, on the other hand, have decided to make a go of it and their open affection is grating like fingernails on a chalkboard on Rose's nerves. Her little psychic connection with Lissa makes romantic encounters more than a little uncomfortable. So when a proposed Christmas vacation trip to a resort and ski lodge comes up, Rose jumps at the chance, eager to escape even for a little while. Add in a Strigoi attack on some veteran guardians, an unexpected visit from Rose's mother, and the beginnings of a potentially enormous power shift, and you've got quite the little powder keg. While hobnobbing among the Moiroi elite, Rose encounters well-known bad boy Adrian Ivashkov. Adrian has his own demons and they may have connections with Lissa, and hence with Rose.
This installment was a decided improvement on the first book. I enjoyed taking everyone out of their usual haunts and setting them down in a new environment to see how nicely they play. Trust Rose to make it not very nicely at all. Her face-offs with her mother were especially enjoyable, one workout scene in particular had me grinning. This scene in particular served to place me firmly on Rose's side. I understood her anger and outrage and considered it perfectly justified. When it comes to Dimitri I fear I'm a little bit through. Rose's love and longing and general forlorn-ness I totally get. Hell, I remember feeling precisely that way at her age. But Dimitri's 24. I'm somehow a little less sympathetic with his plight and wish he would just man up and decide. My opinion here is no doubt influenced by Adrian. True to form, I'm a fan of the bad boy. Clove cigarettes and constant self-medicating aside, the boy is mysterious and funny and interesting and I am a fan of whatever will bring he and Rose a little closer together. There. I've said it. You can sign me up for Team Adrian from here on out. FROSTBITE has the deeper development of Rose's character that I was hoping for and it builds up to a genuine nail-biter of a climax. I throughly enjoyed it. Point to you, Ms. Mead. On to book three....more
It's one roller coaster ride reading all these Vampire Academy books back to back like this. I'm actually starting to have trouble keeping the eventsIt's one roller coaster ride reading all these Vampire Academy books back to back like this. I'm actually starting to have trouble keeping the events separate and compartmentalized in my head. It all feels like one headlong rush to me. I maintain that the world itself is the real draw. I like how cold it feels, how dangerous and yet limned with the hint of hope and possibilities. The characters are full of potential and somehow keep their hooks in me despite the fact that I still feel parched in the depth department. SHADOW KISS is the third installment in Richelle Mead's very popular Vampire Academy series and, though it's taken me awhile to get around to reading them, I have blown through them without a backward glance.
Rose isn't the same girl anymore. Having bagged her first Strigoi and watched her friend die at their hands, she endures the ceremonial tattooing process with an almost detached stoicism. The moment was in no way, shape, or form the way she imagined it would be. Dogged as ever, she presses forward with her studies, her training, and her dedication to her friend and charge Lissa. Despite the fact that she's now regularly encountering the shade of her dead friend around every corner. And having trouble controlling unusual mood swings. And not assigned to Lissa for her Guardian practical training. Instead she gets Christian and her friend Eddie gets Lissa. Having bonded with Eddie (and Christian to a degree) through the events at the end of Frostbite, Rose manages to keep her lashing out to a barely contained level and directs her rapidly disintegrating attention to keeping Christian safe. As her anger rises, her last shreds of composure are shot to hell by regular contact with both doomed flame Dimitri and new St. Vlad's resident Adrian Ivashkov.
This is the thickest Vampire Academy book yet, and I was pleased with that fact initially. I've been wanting "more" and hoped this third volume with come through for me. In some respects it does. I like how Rose finally turns her attention inward and, when pressed, pays some attention to what's going on inside. I'm also glad she's making a few friends other than limpid Lissa and dour Dimitri. Though I never really bought the whole Mason thing, I thoroughly enjoyed watching her interact with Christian, Mia, Adrian, and particularly Eddie. The mutual respect and willingness to work together to protect their assigned Moroi lent a nice maturity to their actions and the calling and burden of the Guardians. I've enjoyed the history of St. Vladimir and his shadow kissed partner Anna from the very beginning and I liked how that played out in this more modern story as well. However, I have to say it was mostly a slog getting through SHADOW KISS. Those interesting bits were overshadowed by so much telling, so little showing, and a healthy dose of predictability. These drawbacks kept me from fully engaging. I kept wishing book two had been the longer one and that there were more scenes with Adrian in them. I saw the end coming a mile away and, as it mirrors a certain event in a certain TV series I followed religiously, I threw back my head and groaned when the fateful moment finally came. I was so not okay with it. So. I know this was everyone's favorite, but for me that spot is still held by book two. Will I be picking up the fourth book? Yes. Why? Because I am an Adrian junkie. And, yeah, I want to find out what happens to Rose. You'll be hearing from me soon....more
I had been warned in advance that, given my reactions to the first three books, this one might not be my favorite. At the same time others encouragedI had been warned in advance that, given my reactions to the first three books, this one might not be my favorite. At the same time others encouraged me with the promise of a measurably higher Adrian quotient in this installment, which might well factor into shoving the Siberian chunkmeister that is this book to the forefront of the series. Either way I was very interested to find out just how Rose handled the fallout from the painfully messy end of Shadow Kiss.
A WARNING: beyond this point lie unavoidable spoilers for the series. Proceed at your peril.
Rose is leaving St. Vlad's once again, this time on her own and possibly for good. Against everyone's wishes, she leaves her best friend and charge Lissa behind and heads for Siberia, where she is certain Dimitri would have gone after becoming Strigoi. Once there Rose manages to infiltrate the local dhampir culture and relentlessly hunts for someone to direct her to the home and family Dimitri described to her in such loving detail. Eventually she succeeds and is forced to meet his family and explain to mother and sisters just what happened to their beloved son and Guardian. Meanwhile, back home, Lissa and crew are failing rather spectacularly to cope with life without Rose and post-attack. Lissa and Christian are on the outs, there are a couple of interesting new characters in town, and Adrian is the only one who seems to grasp what is happening. He appears in dreams to Rose, urging her to tell him where she is and to impress upon her the importance that she not throw away her life and that she return as soon as possible. Everything, of course, changes when Rose finally encounters Dimitri once more...
So there were some ups and downs with this one. I missed St. Vlad's. I really did. I like the school, I like the world Richelle Mead has created there, and yet the majority of this book took place on the frozen planes of the Middle of Nowhere, Russia. Since I am no longer a Rose/Dimitri fan, it was not a fun process watching Rose relive all their precious moments together in the presence of his family and mourn for what seemed like endless pages the loss of the love of her life. Honestly, Dimitri sort of fell out of my head with surprising rapidity what with being absent for so much of the book and then present in his evil Angel Strigoi form. I looked forward to every scene in which Rose psychically eavesdropped on her comrades back home and her dreammeets with Adrian most of all. Call me crazy, but the dude gets more interesting with each passing page and, for the life of me, I can't understand the undying Dimitri lovetorch everyone seems to be carrying. Along those same lines, why must they all persist in being so oblivious? These are smart kids. Sure, they're blinded by love and daily scrapes with death and dismemberment, but I would think by now they'd have learned to trust each other a little bit more than they do. Most of all I was bothered by a particular turn Rose's character takes in the latter half of the book. I mean it rubbed me so wrong I was livid. And, though I feel things ended on a strong note (minus one annoyingly predictable twist at the very end), I hated seeing Rose that way. Perhaps I'm merely too impatient and things will progress more apace in the next installment. My anger on her behalf does seem to indicate I'm on her side. We shall see....more
When I was offered the chance to review DARKFEVER, I immediately accepted. I've heard so many good things about this series. I've heard it straddles uWhen I was offered the chance to review DARKFEVER, I immediately accepted. I've heard so many good things about this series. I've heard it straddles urban fantasy and paranormal romance. I've heard it features a strong and likable protagonist as well as a rich world full of mythological beings, yet set in present-day Ireland. All of which things served to pique my interest. This was my first Karen Marie Moning book and I had high hopes for it as it is the first in a series of four books so far. The fifth and next installment--Shadowfever--will be published early next year. As a longtime series reader, I like coming into an already established set every now and again. It goes a little ways toward balancing out all the others you've got lined up and are waiting impatiently for.
MacKayla "Mac" Lane is Southern belle through and through. Born and bred in Georgia, she and her big sister Alina followed their mother's proper example. But while Alina was always the studious straight laced daughter, Mac was the laid back one. Dropping out of college after a couple of semesters, she takes a job tending bar in a local pub and working on her tan in the off hours. Then the world comes crashing down around her. Her sister Alina is murdered while on study abroad in Dublin. And it isn't your run-of-the-mill mugging gone wrong. Alina's body was literally torn apart and the Dublin police have all but closed the case for lack of evidence. Sick of watching her parents sink further and further into depression and grief, Mac hops a plane to Ireland determined to make the police see reason and reopen her sister's case until the culprit is caught and brought to justice. Just before her death, Alina left a hysterical and cryptic message on Mac's phone and it is that fragment of a clue that pushes Mac deeper into the Dublin underground than she thought possible. And it is there that she discovers the fairy tales she read as a child--the things that go bump in the night--aren't so made up after all.
Essentially, DARKFEVER reads like Sookie Stackhouse-lite. Mac is blond and beautiful like Sookie. She likes nice things and she's smarter than people take her for. But she doesn't possess quite the depth of the telepathic barmaid from Bon Temps. I wanted to like her, but her cluelessness and lack of spark began to wear on me after awhile. I appreciated the Dublin setting with the rain and the fog, the endless pubs and the warm, cozy bookstores popping up out of nowhere. But the world itself never leaped off the page at me. Similarly, the Celtic mythology and the various factions of fae are right up my alley, but . . . I don't know. Some vibrant element was missing and my interest palled and eventually stalled out. The glossed over writing and characterization left me with only vague impressions of who, what, and where. The dark and deceptive Jericho Barrons who Mac encounters shortly after arriving in Dublin, and with whom she is repeatedly thrown together to find the object her sister was looking for, clearly works for many readers. But I found him unlikable and callous, any redeeming qualities failing to materialize in time for my affections to be engaged. I think I would have appreciated a little more backbone and a little less pink lip gloss from Mac and a little less chauvinistic manhandling and a little more complexity from Jericho. Or at least a stronger connection between the two to keep me going. I like that there is no precipitous romance in this first book, but as these two are the pillars on which the book rests, I needed to at least believe in some reason why they would be friends. And I just didn't. Overall, I finished DARKFEVER lukewarm at best and, with so many options out there, I will not be continuing on with the series.
I vastly prefer Smith-Ready's WVMP urban fantasy series. These characters fell flat for me, and I had trouble summoning the energy to finish their stoI vastly prefer Smith-Ready's WVMP urban fantasy series. These characters fell flat for me, and I had trouble summoning the energy to finish their story....more