“I’m Constance Danger Verity. I’ve defeated magical Nazis in four different alternate realities, and saved the King of the Moon from a literDNF @ 32%
“I’m Constance Danger Verity. I’ve defeated magical Nazis in four different alternate realities, and saved the King of the Moon from a literal army of ninja assassins. I can do anything. Why the hell can’t I do this?”
“This” = quitting the job of being the savior of the world.
Yes, Constance Verity was blessed as an infant by a fairy godmother who bestowed upon her the ability of mastering anything she puts her mind to. Anything. But she’s done with that life and all she wants is to get an office job and have a normal life, one that doesn’t involve vampire Al Capone, leprachaun kings, or turtle dragons. Whatever that is.
I really enjoyed this one at first because it had a super quirky sense of humor added into some pretty crazy urban fantasy. But those quirky levels kept rising further than I thought was possible. The formulaic clichés are piled on page after page and while I can see the appeal, it just wasn’t my preferred type of humor. We veered quickly into screwball territory. Constance Verity should have been delved into more because she was an interesting individual and one that I would have enjoyed learning more about. For the most part though we learn about the adventures she’s undertaken, the creatures shes battled, and the ways she’s saved the world. But we find out little about her personally as the story continues the focus on the plentiful quirky tropes instead.
“Are you trying to be a tough guy?” asked Connie. “If so, I’d recommend putting down the snow cone.” Tia took a bite of her ice. “But it’s so good. I don’t know what they put in it – “ “Buzazabog blood.” Tia examined the crimson shavings in her hand. “I thought it was some kind of space cherry.” “Nope. Blood.” Tia shrugged. “As long as it’s not artificial sweeteners, I can live with it.”
“We have to burn brightly. We can’t burn forever.”
October “Toby” Daye is a changeling and after spending fourteen years living as a koi in a pond sh“We have to burn brightly. We can’t burn forever.”
October “Toby” Daye is a changeling and after spending fourteen years living as a koi in a pond she’s back to trying to live a normal life working the night shift at a grocery store. Ha, honestly, I already love it. Toby has to solve the murder of a fae friend, her own life is on the line if she doesn’t, and Toby is such a badass. She’s a changeling, only half-fae, so she doesn’t possess quite the badassery that everyone else does but she really holds her own. The side characters are also surprisingly fantastic (Danny, the Bridge Troll taxi driver was my personal favorite next to Tybalt), I loved seeing all the various fae species (especially the rose goblins), and there’s clearly much to learn about Toby and her backstory which I’m super eager for. There’s a romance in this installment but it doesn’t consume the story and thank gawd because ew. But there’s another romance that we only get hints of and…
I’m totally kicking myself. I listened to Rosemary and Rue on audio in late 2011 and I gave it two stars because I was so fucking bored. I’m now chalking that up to the fact that I was brand new to audiobooks and didn’t really know what I was doing because I clearly wasn’t listening to this super interesting urban fantasy story with an awesome heroine. Or maybe the narrator was really bad? I have no idea, guys, but I’ve officially re-read it and while I only gave it 3 stars, it was an excited for the next installment 3 stars. (Which means I also need to give Moon Called another shot since I also listened to it around the same time and also didn’t like it.) Anyways, many, many thanks to Christina for being book pusher extraordinaire. I’m so glad I gave this one a second chance. ...more
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
“There was a man, back in 1861. He came to be known as Skinflint Jack, the Jack ofMy rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
*spoilers from the first two installments*
“There was a man, back in 1861. He came to be known as Skinflint Jack, the Jack of Harts.”
Petra Dee may be accustomed to the magical happenings in Temperance, Wyoming, but after the re-appearance of a man who was transformed through alchemy into a formidable creature in the 1800s, she knows she’s the only one that would be capable of overcoming him. Destroying an 18th century monster isn’t the only thing troubling Petra these days though. Gabe is trying to both acclimate to being mortal once again and staying under the radar of the local authorities after Sal’s disappearance, Sal’s cousin being the sheriff and all. Petra is dealing with some health issues of her own which has her adjusting plans for her future. But when the wolves of Yellowstone are viciously attacked and Petra’s work colleague is left hospitalized after going to investigate, she knows that no one will have much of a future if this danger is left to roam.
“We all have our dark sides, I guess,” Gabe said, taking a swig of his beer. “Yeah. And sometimes, the darkness finds us.”
Combining both ordinary and mystical mysteries, life is never dull for Petra Dee. I thoroughly enjoyed the complexity of the mystery behind the Luneria, the alchemical tree of life, but after its destruction in Mercury Retrograde it seemed as if that storyline had finished. I was pleased to see it reintroduced in this installment, albeit in an extremely unsettling way. The death of Sal didn’t mean the end of the mysterious Rutherford family either. Temperance, Wyoming is, suffice it to say, a most enigmatic and peculiar town.
I’ve seen Nine of Stars marketed as both a brand new series and the third of the continued Dark Alchemy series. While I can see it working as a brand new start, the “prequel” novels as they’re being referred to, I feel, are an integral part of giving you the necessary context behind these characters. Whether you start here or with Dark Alchemy, Bickle still manages to properly introduce you to a world of magic and mystery which also incorporates Native American folklore that will appeal to any fantasy fan. There are no supernatural creatures in these stories, just by-products of alchemical experiments, the “magical process of transformation, creation, or combination,” a subject that has clearly been researched extensively by the author. Nine of Stars possessed an ending that was extremely abrupt that felt more like a chapter end than a story end but I am still eager for more Petra Dee.
I received this book for 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
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
“…I’m going to take over the world.” “The whole thing?” “Well, I’m going to try to take ovMy rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
*spoilers for previous installments*
“…I’m going to take over the world.” “The whole thing?” “Well, I’m going to try to take over the world.” “And you feel you’re prepared for world domination?” I lifted a noncommittal shoulder. “I’m taking a business class.”
Despite her new awareness of her God-like state, Charley Davidson strives to continue living as a normal human would. She’s taking a business class at the college (to help her out when she takes over the world), she has a new case which involves the son of the people that kidnapped Reyes when he was a child, and she’s helping the police sort out why and who could be sending Cookie’s daughter, Amber, threatening text messages.
Although I continue to profess my love for this series, it must be said that the plots of these later installments are getting weaker with each new one. I have always loved the incorporation of her day-to-day investigations mixed with the advancement of the Reaper storyline but if I’m being honest, more needs to happen with the Reaper storyline. It continues to be stretched to the limit and we’re given minuscule nibbles with each book which seems like nothing more than a way to continue to stretch the series past its expiration date. For the most part, there isn’t any actual advancement until the final 10% or so, and while it’s a most excellent 10%, it makes one definitely wish there was more to go around. And then as a cherry on top, we’re given a massive cliffhanger that will leave the reader groaning until the next installment.
The mysteries are great, the paranormal aspects are incredibly interesting, the sex scenes are off the charts, and Charley is always a source of amusement. But, Jones, you’re killing me with these cliffhangers.
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
*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