The Voodoo Killings is a brand new Urban Fantasy series by Kristi Charish which introduces Kincaid Strange, a voodoo practitioner living in Seattle, WThe Voodoo Killings is a brand new Urban Fantasy series by Kristi Charish which introduces Kincaid Strange, a voodoo practitioner living in Seattle, Washington. Struggling to make ends meet after losing her job with the Seatle PD and now that raising zombies is technically illegal, Kincaid resorts to making the rent by performing seances. Her roommate, a deceased Seattle grunge rocker by the name of Nate Cade, occasionally assists her with these but it’s often difficult for her to persuade him to stop playing video games to do so. When a local bar owner calls to inform her that an abandoned zombie was discovered in his alley, Kincaid Strange becomes his temporary guardian while she tries to not only find out who turned him and why but to keep others from finding out, mainly her ex-boyfriend Aaron who still works for the Seattle PD.
This book didn’t even make it onto my radar (and I compile an entire list of book releases on my blog so I don’t know how I missed this) but thankfully a blogger friend (Thanks, Tammy!) brought this to my attention and I’m so very glad. I knew next to nothing about this story or the author, only discovering it was about zombies (and ghosts!) and I immediately was all on board. With an intriguing form of magic in addition to a fascinating mystery and a most charming cast of characters, The Voodoo Killings was enticing and incredibly entertaining.
“I mean, there’s hell freezing over, pigs flying, and then there’s me and responsibility.”
It’s so refreshing to read about a heroine that is not only a total badass but has flaws and power limitations and isn’t some perfect superhuman, and that’s exactly how Kincaid Strange is written. She’s brazen, headstrong, and isn’t afraid of handling business. In addition to a lead character that can hold her own, her roommate Nate is all that was needed to make up the perfect dynamic duo. But wait, there’s more! The zombies practically adopts, Cameron, fits right into the group. Kindcaid is constantly finding herself in a bind (or three) and her two sidekicks have her back and are constantly keeping her out of trouble. And even better, there is zero romantic inclinations, just pure, unadulterated friendship.
I loved the characters far more than I expected, but I really relished the intricate details of Charish’s magical world. Rather than your typical post-apocalyptic world where some virus has been unleashed causing the existence of zombies, these zombies only come alive because a voodoo practitioner makes it so. The added details regarding the dead being brought back to life to solve land disputes or to discover who murdered them was an amusing concept. Just as long as they consumed a steady supply of brains (animals brains worked in a pinch but human brains really did the trick) they remained fairly coherent for the most part. Additional interesting tidbits included details about different bindings as well as much discussion about Otherside or the energy Kindcaid draws from which comes from the land of the dead.
It was an incredibly compelling story and I enjoyed every minute of it and I do mean every minute in the literal sense. I listened to the audiobook and Susannah Jones’ narration was absolutely brilliant. I am not a night owl at all but I found myself staying up till 1:30am one night because I couldn’t stop listening. Her various voices and accents for both male and female was phenomenal and she no doubt made this already fantastic story into something even better.
Urban Fantasy fans, don’t let this one go unnoticed! The Voodoo Killings possesses a mystery that will keep you guessing, a cast of character you wish you could call friends, and a unique magic system. The ending will leave you hoping there was a second installment ready and waiting. Alas, there isn’t yet. I definitely wont be letting that one fly under my radar though.
It’s a bit difficult to find a copy of this one considering it was published by Random House Canada and currently the only format that can be purchased in the US is the audible version (but I highly recommend the audio!)...more
It pleases me to no end how fantastic and thrilling this installment was. Things got a little rocky for me in the Kate Daniels fan clubKate is back!!
It pleases me to no end how fantastic and thrilling this installment was. Things got a little rocky for me in the Kate Daniels fan club with installments 6 and 7 so if any of you happen to feel the same, don’t give up hope. While the tenth installment will be the last, you heard me, Magic Binds is the PENULTIMATE installment, I’m still oh so very excited to see how the chips fall. But yes, very soon, Kate Daniels’ story will be coming to an end.
This both breaks my heart and reinforces just how fast time flies. Kate Daniels was one of the very first Urban Fantasy series I read and I only discovered it after joining Goodreads (in 2011!) and making friends with people who recommended some excellent books. It will be most sad to see this come to an end because this is hands down one of the top five best Urban Fantasy series of all time. This series has elaborate world building bringing total fantasy to the real world, complex characters that make it easy to grow to love them over time, exciting storylines in every installment, and I can’t forget to mention the unbelievable chemistry between Kate and Curran. It’s some steamy shit, people. If any of these descriptions seem mildly entertaining to you, get on it. But I’m getting sidetracked, back to Magic Binds.
I already said this, but this was one action-packed and exciting installment. We’ve got wedding planning shenanigans, we get to see Kate and Curran work through their relationship drama (showing a lack of perfection which is always appreciated), an oracle that comes bearing quite a bit of bad news, Kate’s ongoing understanding of her vast powers and fighting against the lure of becoming exactly like her father, and the hilarious dynamic between Kate and her father, Roland. Sure, Roland is setting up a future war between him and Kate, but their banter back and forth is laugh out loud funny.
“Father, you are sending mixed signals. You dispatched a woman to murder me today and now you’re upset about my wedding reception?”
There’s additional amusing banter between Kate and… well, it’s a bit of a spoiler. But just be aware that there is much banter. And it’s oh so good. There’s also a Pegasus named Sugar that is QUITE a character.
‘At least I had stopped worrying about Sugar flying off and leaving me to fend for myself. She seemed to find me amusing and stuck around. I’d learned to sneak off before taking a bathroom break, however, because she decided that pawing at me with a hoof after I found a secluded spot to pee was the funniest thing ever.’
We’re given a bit of a cliffhanger which was honestly to be expected with the second to last installment but it left me feeling CONFLICTED.
Both. Definitely both.
We’ll see how it all plays out… sometime in 2017. Until then, let’s all start hoping and wishing for a spin-off series.
I received this book free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review....more
These are so much fun. If you like fairy tales and urban fantasy, this is a must read. Not sure if a third installment is to come but I would more thaThese are so much fun. If you like fairy tales and urban fantasy, this is a must read. Not sure if a third installment is to come but I would more than welcome it. Next time though, I'll definitely read it as intended, with a new story released every couple of weeks. It was a lot more fun doing it that way with the first book....more
Petra Dee is a woman running from the past and all the memories that haunt her dreams. She seeks distraction in the form of sMy rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Petra Dee is a woman running from the past and all the memories that haunt her dreams. She seeks distraction in the form of small-town Temperance, Wyoming where her father was last heard of years past and she intends on searching for him. This small-town is far from ordinary and she quickly realizes that law enforcement has no hold on the town but instead local land owner Sal Rutherford seems to be the one in control. There’s another powerful man that goes by the name of The Alchemist who seems to aid in the areas drug habit. Petra quickly ends up right in the dangerous path of both Sal and The Alchemist when she uncovers a magical artifact that is somehow tied to both men and the mysterious story behind the origins of this mysterious small-town.
Alchemy is the reason surrounding this strange towns existence and involves a mysterious figure by the name of Lascaris that during the Gold Rush, as rumor has it, figured out how to transform simple rocks into gold. His experiments were conducted in secret and he was never questioned since he was the sole reason the town was thriving, so why question anything when it’s working so well? After his supposed death in a mysterious fire, new figures rose in hope to take his place. Sal Rutherford, who currently owns the land where The Lunaria, the Alchemical Tree of Life, resides (in addition to the undead ranch hands that call themselves The Hanged Men) and Stroud/The Alchemist, a man that can trace his lineage back to Lascaris himself. The aspects of alchemy were explained sufficiently and incorporated well into the story, however, as the story drew to a close it lacked a necessary conviction when it came time for solid answers.
This one generated a lot of discussion for me when all was said and done and there is much to love but also much that left me in confusion. First and foremost, Sig the coyote, Petra’s “animal familiar” was the true highlight of this story for me. Sig possessed more personality than some of the side characters without having to say a single word. He was her first ally in Temperance and he quickly took to her and became her self-appointed guardian before she even knew she needed help. He became incredibly docile by the end and as much as I loved his addition to the story it did seem incredibly unlikely. Still, this story would not have been the same without Sig. There were many other additional loose ends that I felt should have been addressed, most are spoilery so I’ll avoid going into detail. Whether this is because the author wanted to leave some things in the ‘unknown’ so as to maybe turn the story into a series I’m not sure but this being the start of a new series seems like a definite possibility.
Possessing an interesting blend of mystery and magic, Dark Alchemy is an eerie and most inventive tale that kept me completely spellbound.
I received this book free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review....more
*BOOKS 1-9 TO BE DISCUSSED. DON’T READ IF YOU DON’T WANT TO BE SPOILED*
‘The fact that there’s a Highway to Hell and only a Stairway to Heaven says a*BOOKS 1-9 TO BE DISCUSSED. DON’T READ IF YOU DON’T WANT TO BE SPOILED*
‘The fact that there’s a Highway to Hell and only a Stairway to Heaven says a lot about anticipated traffic numbers.’
Hallelujah, Charley’s back!! Okay, it hasn’t been that long, The Dirt on Ninth Grave just came out this past January but it sure feels like it’s been forever. The ninth installment was a bit of a filler novel, with Charley having to work to regain her memories and it took damn near the entire book to get there, but in The Curse of Tenth Grave we’re back to the good ol’ Charley that we all know and love. The stakes are even higher after Charley’s father passed through her after being a spy down in the depths of Hell to obtain vital information: the three Gods of Uzan are on Earth to kill her daughter and she just so happens to be very close with one of them.
In addition to that, Charley still manages to find time to solve a mystery (or three) for her P.I. business. This time she’s dealing with a dead woman where all evidence points to her fiancé despite Charley’s misgivings, a mystery behind kids who believe themselves to be cursed at a local group home, and the repercussions of videos resurfacing from Charley’s past involving her and an exorcism that could land her in some hot water. There’s always so much going on in a normal day with Charley Davidson – seriously it’s no wonder she drinks as much coffee as she does – but even though the stories are always told at a breakneck pace, they’re still always exhilarating rather than jumbled. The stuff she has to deal with, especially now the issues involving her daughter, life has got to be stressful yet Charley’s sarcastic sense of humor maintains.
‘I wondered if I should just tell him the truth. Of course, after finding out a Colombian drug baron wanted to eat me, I figured I should reevaluate how many people we let into our little circle.’
In addition to being able to rely on the hilarity of these stories, the steaminess also never lags. I’ll never look at a Twister game the same, that’s for damn sure. What I appreciated most in this installment is we got some insight into their actual relationship. These two never really communicate with one another and most of the time Charley is doing all kinds of crazy shit behind his back and he’s keeping secrets (okay, she’s keeping secrets too) yet they still have the hots for one another. But for the most part that seemed to be the only aspect of their relationship that made sense. In this installment, we get real heart to heart talks between them and some genuine bonding that will only make you love these two more (if you didn’t already).
This is officially the longest running series that I’ve not only continued to keep up with but still eagerly anticipate. And it’s still so freaking fantastic. I have no idea how many more installments we have, but at least there’s a possibility of a spin-off series and I’m all over that. Simply put, Darynda Jones continues to hit it out of the park with Charley and the gang. If you haven’t jumped on board these series, do yourself a favor and find out what you’ve been missing.
I received this book free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. ______________________________________ I am completely crazy for this series. And it's still so damn good.
*BOOKS 1-8 TO BE DISCUSSED. DON’T READ IF YOU DON’T WANT TO BE SPOILED*
Picking up where Eighth Grave After Dark leaves off, CMy rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
*BOOKS 1-8 TO BE DISCUSSED. DON’T READ IF YOU DON’T WANT TO BE SPOILED*
Picking up where Eighth Grave After Dark leaves off, Charley has finally given birth to Beep, has already had to part with her, and has learned her true name. As feared, learning her true name causes Charley to lose control of her powers and she loses her memory completely and ends up in an alley in Sleepy Hollow, New York with no idea who she is. Now responding to the name of Jane, Jane Doe, she works as a waitress at a local diner. Fortunately though she’s not alone, as she has a new best friend named Cookie and a raging attraction to the new cook named Reyes.
Well, I guess it was probable that I’d find a Charley Davidson story to be sort of ‘meh’ no matter how much I adore this series. After that brutal cliffhanger from Eighth Grave After Dark, I was dying to get my hands on this next installment. At first, I relished the change of pace and getting reacquainted in a new way to the characters we’ve already grown to know and love. We also got to see Charley, or Jane rather, fall in love again with Reyes with a new set of eyes seeing him for truly what he is. I loved that even though Jane has no idea about who or what she is, she still found herself embroiled in the mysteries of the town, often failing to think of her own safety out of the desire to protect the innocents.
I enjoyed those aspects of the story, but when it all boils down, there wasn’t nearly enough advancement of the fundamental storyline. I find the mythology and the foretold battle all extremely fascinating and previous installments have really been amping up the intensity. The Dirt on Ninth Grave was a vast change of pace and while I liked it at first, I wasn’t anticipating that it would last the entirety of the book. As I feared, the change of pace finally switched back to what I’ve come to expect in the final 30 pages or so. Honestly though, the turmoil that takes place and the shocking revelations made it all worthwhile in the end. Darynda Jones once again left me thrilled with anticipation for the next book where the stakes have never been higher.
I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review....more
‘Sure, I was good at a lot of stuff. How many girls my age could kill a dude with her bare hands in under fourteen seconds?My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
‘Sure, I was good at a lot of stuff. How many girls my age could kill a dude with her bare hands in under fourteen seconds? That’s a skill, and one that’d get me places in life, but it didn’t help me here. All the combat training in the world couldn’t make being a normal teenager any easier.’
Being a teenager is hard. Being a teenager is even more difficult when your only interaction with that age group is via the television. Seventeen year old Maggie has been home-schooled by her single mother who also happens to be a monster hunter (think Van Helsing in the modern age.) Maggie has been trained since she was young to do the job as well and is completely content with the cards that life has dealt her with one small issue: becoming a full-fledged, licensed monster hunter requires her to lose her virginity. Easier said than done.
Okay, not to be totally lame, but this really was awesome. And extremely hilarious. Not only was Maggie fantastically snarky, and sure oftentimes undignified and more than a bit crass, but she was such an amazingly confident character that you cannot help but love her. She’s realistically awkward when it comes to her “first time” but honestly the best thing about it is how awesome the topic of virginity was handled. (Yes, I know, I’ve already said awesome twice. It’s FITTING though.) It’s all displayed in such a non-shaming way and I loved the comfortableness between Maggie and her mother in how the topic broached. There wasn’t any awkwardness and her mother was straight up and honest with her about using protection and about being confident and comfortable with her body. While the summary implies that the sole focus of the story is Maggie losing her virginity, it’s actually so much more and bottom line, the relationship between Maggie and her mother is the very best.
“You’ll go on that date tomorrow, and before you get all pissy-pants over the suggestion, listen to me, Margaret Jane. […] I tell you that because life goes on despite our jobs. It’s too short not to have fun while we can. Sitting at home with guns and silver expecting the worst is no way to live. Trust me on that. I know.”
The relationship/friendship between Maggie and her mom reminded me a lot of my relationship with my mom, except alas, we don’t go out hunting vampires and other night beasties together. My mom was also one of those awesome women that didn’t tread lightly around the topic of sex and seeing how vastly different other parents handle that subject makes me forever thankful to her for that. It’s a natural thing that shouldn’t have a taboo placed around it. It’s something I feel should be openly discussed because having someone to answer those difficult questions will only lead to smart decisions in the future. Seeing the topic of sex addressed in that way and a parental relationship like that is rare in fiction, but shouldn’t be so.
The Awesome takes Maggie on a hilariously snarky, undead adventure that will leave you eager for more. While satisfying enough as a stand-alone, this still has definite room to grow, and I definitely want more.
I received this book free from the Author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review....more
This book, man. I don’t know if it’s just because I’ve been away from Urban Fantasy for WAY too long, if it was just really aMy rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
This book, man. I don’t know if it’s just because I’ve been away from Urban Fantasy for WAY too long, if it was just really a fantastic story, or my brain is broke (quite possibly all of the above) but I’ve been in a book funk since finishing because I can’t find anything to compare. The publisher was kind enough to send me an ARC of this waaaay back in September 2014 but it sat gathering dust. Why? Well, not to be a cover snob, but have you seen that thing? Despite my love of Andrews’ Kate Daniels series, I just never got around to starting this one. I picked this one up at random this past week, read like a maniac till I finished, and now I’ve read the first page of about a dozen books and nothing is enticing me.
So for starters, I’m NOT going off that horrendously awful cover because good gawd the CHEESE. Their “Rogan” interpretation isn’t really all that hot (sorry random cover dude) so I took it upon myself to picture Tom Hardy which definitely helps things. Okay, honestly all of my fictional man crushes take the appearance of Tom Hardy but WHATEVER. I do what I want.
It has to be said: I’m really not one for fictional man crushes. I don’t obsess over “ships” or any of that. Kind of rethinking that stance after this read because good gawd, the swoons were severe. Rogan is not only charming in that way only the boys steeped in danger can be but his zingy one-liners were a constant source of laughs for me.
“Hold on. I’m trying to figure out a place where nobody will recognize us.” “If you prefer, I can acquire a windowless creeper van, and we can huddle in it and have greasy takeout.”
“Yes, I’m a hermit. Mostly I brood,” Mad Rogan said. “Also, I’m very good at wallowing in self-pity. I spend my days steeped in melancholy, looking out the window. Occasionally a single tear quietly rolls down my cheek.”
“If you keep wiggling, things might get uncomfortable,” he said into my ear, his voice like a caress. “I’m doing my best, but thinking about baseball only takes you so far.” I froze.
I legit did the clapping giggly thing at one point then looked up and realized I had forgotten I was in public. I’m a nutter, I know, but this book just totally hit the right spot. But moving on from Tom Hardy, Rogan… okay, just one more.
Okay, I’m done. SO, the plot. Burn for Me is set in a fascinating world where a serum was created in the 1800s which brought out latent magical powers in individuals. It was used by the military, politicians, and anyone that could afford to get a hold of it. These magical talents were different for everyone and they were passed down to their children making picking a spouse of the utmost importance. Magical families were considered to be “Houses” (i.e. House Rogan, House Pierce) and the stronger the House, the more influential and powerful the family members. In the very beginning, Kelly Waller is distraught about her missing son Gavin after him and another boy, Adam Pierce, were involved in an arson that resulted in the deaths of a police officer and his family. She reaches out to her cousin, Mad Rogan, who is infamous for his magical powers and the destruction he brings, to bring him safely home. Trouble is, someone else is on the trail of Adam Pierce: Nevada Baylor, private investigator. Naturally, Rogan and Nevada cross paths. *cue giggles* The two realize that there is something far bigger at work here than just a random arson incident and it forces them to work together to stop the next attack.
Seriously though, I loved this, and Nevada and Rogan’s chemistry were off the charts. The naiveté that I find typical in stories of this ilk with the woman falling for the bad guy was completely absent here, thankfully. Nevada and Rogan first began working together (after he briefly kidnapped her, of course, ha) and she was determined to keep it professional. She may have ended up becoming attracted to him but the fact that she recognizes the danger he represents and isn’t idiotically oblivious made it so much more tolerable. The build up was perfect and I’m oh so anxious for the next installment… which doesn’t come out till May 2017.
I know, right? That’s not a typo. In addition to the sexual chemistry, there were so many fantastic side characters that made this story even more enjoyable. Nevada’s Grandma specifically was all kinds of hilarious in her obsession over hot, younger men.
“Did you know that Adam Pierce showed up at our house last night?” Grandma’s eyes went wide. “He was here?” “She met him outside.” Grandma swung toward me. “Did you take any pictures? […] Pictures or it didn’t happen!” Grandma declared.
This was really so much fun though and highly recommended for all you Urban Fantasy fans. Hoping now that I’ve sufficiently gushed about this one I can now find my next read. Wish me luck, guys.
I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review....more
I spent a long, long time deciding whether I wanted to read this and continue to tarnish the memory of the original Fever series. I read Iced last yeaI spent a long, long time deciding whether I wanted to read this and continue to tarnish the memory of the original Fever series. I read Iced last year and was so completely horrified at what this series had become that the thought of any future books had me going:
But, clearly I caved. I completed my second re-read of the original five and loved them even more than I thought possible. And I toyed with the idea that because Burned goes back to Mac’s point of view that it wouldn’t be that bad… right? Well, it wasn’t nearly as horrible as Iced but it still had its own set of issues. But backing up a bit regarding the switch-up from Iced being the first of the Dani O’Malley trilogy to simply Fever #6… seriously, what happened there? The summary literally says “…the first book in her hotly anticipated new urban paranormal trilogy.” You know, instead of “the hotly anticipated new installment in the bestselling Fever series!” A huge part of why I wasn’t a fan of Iced (aside from the pedos of course) was I have never actually liked Dani’s unique use of the English language. There were moments where I thought I was going to lose it if I read feck one more fucking time.
So, the switch up back to Mac was a bit of welcome news for me, unfortunately it felt like Burned was the bandaid book to all things readers found wrong with Iced because there was honestly very little plot progression. Just a whole lot of expounding on things that were already touched on but were now being explained in even more detail in order to “justify” things.
It was great seeing Mac and Barrons back together again but there’s something definitely missing from the whole thing, or mostly it just didn’t feel like anything fresh but simply re-used material that fans have already pored over in the previous installments. There wasn’t any development in their relationship minus some ridiculous soap opera drama that came completely out of nowhere and was utterly unnecessary. I was at first intrigued by the twist in what we all thought we knew about Mac and Barrons first introduction, but my excitement was short lived to say the least.
And then there’s Mac specifically. Mac has gone through some serious character development since her introduction in Darkfever but it really felt like we did a bit of backtracking in Burned. In KMM’s blog post she says, “I follow my muse and my muse put Mac where she is at this time for reasons. I understand that those reasons are not apparent to others because only I know where the story is going.” First off, KMM, a prolific and accomplished writer, should not still feel the need to justify her stories in such detail to her readers. I may have had issue with where she took Mac in the story, sure, and I may not be able to foresee the outcome she has planned for her, but that’s cool. We’ve all followed fictional characters down mysterious paths and you either are or aren’t along for the ride. So I’m going to reserve complete judgment on Mac’s reversal back to being a meek individual that hides in the shadows (view spoiler)[and the last half of the book where she is literally invisible (hide spoiler)]. I still have hope that KMM will turn it around, even if I’m leery about the path she’s chosen to take. So, fingers crossed.