I'm a big Ward fan...so when I received "Unleashed" for my birthday I was completely stoked! Unlike the preceding installments, this dealt a lot lessI'm a big Ward fan...so when I received "Unleashed" for my birthday I was completely stoked! Unlike the preceding installments, this dealt a lot less in back story and the interaction amongst the Lessers (within their own group) was absent. It was a relief not to read through the group's interaction; it had become tiresome.
A new group was introduced that got my full attention and upped the ante of tempo and interest. Also of interest was a new, erotica "direction," with a spicy scene involving new characters that is extremely mature and different for Ward...more. She also included a crime/murder investigation sub-plot that was very intriguing. With the new elements added and the omission of (what I considered) the redundancies, I was captivated.
I enjoy Wards continued use of imperfections/challenges and flaws that her cast of characters must overcome (some do not, they just deal with it as best they can). It allows the reader to connect with them in a more real way and that is what is needed to maintain interest in a series. The revelation at the end with Manny was anticipated but it came full circle and tied things together that had been a mysterious loose end in the preceding book.
*sigh* this is worth the full price! (I'm unfailingly frugal!)...more
I am totally loving the fresh perspective/writing style of J.R.Rain! I have "rounded up" this book to a five star but it's more like a 4.5; the endingI am totally loving the fresh perspective/writing style of J.R.Rain! I have "rounded up" this book to a five star but it's more like a 4.5; the ending was a little too "cliff hanger-ish" for my taste and overall, the books was too short. Otherwise! What a blast! Alllll.....aboard! Really a fun ride!
This is book two in his "Vampire for Hire" series and I enjoy the protagonist very much. She has some introspective resignation about her life that is difficult for her to shed and it is interesting to watch her internal struggle while coming to terms with what she's become. I LOVE the way her familial mess gets wrapped up in this volume and was TOTALLY rooting for her throughout. Don't expect literary genius or some such: this guy, like John Locke, delivers a barrage of fun, as the reader is along for the ride. But, he has an underlying subtlety in the telling that draws you in. It's like ice cream: metaphorically, You decide which flavor you want to "eat." Maybe you want a melodrama, comedy, romance...whatever. Rain is pretty versatile; especially if you just want the "escapism" read. This is the perfect choice.
This volume has strong language that is contextually appropriate but may offend some. Personally, I love an Indie/author that "takes chances" and puts stuff out that is raw and edgy (it doesn't have to involve coarse language, there's all kinds of ways to do this). Rain's brave, he doesn't shy away from committing himself to the flow and never breaks pace. As things unravel toward the end, I love the moral choices that Sam has to make, and how alarmed she feels about her indifference.
I am definitely buying the sequel. As a matter-of-fact: I think I'm buying the whole catalog....more
*This review was provided by my blog reviewer, Malryk.
I entered this book with a little trepidation; I knew there was no other book in a series (no bo*This review was provided by my blog reviewer, Malryk.
I entered this book with a little trepidation; I knew there was no other book in a series (no book two), and the concept was post-apocalyptic Earth. I did not think that this was something that had not already been covered by, say, the Fallout Series for video games.
Oh, I was wrong.
This book encompasses a world enveloped in darkness - literally - as a cataclysm that has been both unprecedented and unimaginable wracked the world from north to south, scorching the land and bloodying the skies in an attempt to patch itself (the world) back together. As beings from another plane become part of our own world, the slaughter of the human race begins. This...is "Blood Skies."
I refuse to give out any other information. It should be enough to get one started on the read ;) ~ and I believe that it was done surprisingly well; the use of our old myths of creatures and undead in the new manners of the book was quite refreshing for one like me who loves to eat up novels of the fantasy/supernatural.
I had to give this book 4/5 because there was no 4.5/5: the thing that prevented that 5 star were that the book was short, and it did not have enough... meat(?) It felt like it did not have enough content. This may or may not be linked to the feeling of the book being short. I will say this though:
This is a well-written and conceptualized story. It's creative and I really enjoyed the characters. The one flaw is the vampire was not "revealed" enoThis is a well-written and conceptualized story. It's creative and I really enjoyed the characters. The one flaw is the vampire was not "revealed" enough. I just didn't get a "sense" of him. I'm guessing the author will evolve him more in subsequent books (which I'll buy). Loved the time-travel angle and would [also] love to read more about the MC's mixed blood and what that means for her future. ...more
Okay...so O'Rourke nailed me between the eyes with his "Black Hill Farm" novel and a book blogger I follow raved about Shift so I thought I'd take a cOkay...so O'Rourke nailed me between the eyes with his "Black Hill Farm" novel and a book blogger I follow raved about Shift so I thought I'd take a chance on yet another vamp book! Wow. And that doesn't even cover it! O'Rourke is British and his writing style/diction/syntax is really different and so refreshing for an American who is pretty steeped in my own country's works. He doesn't explain any of the vernaculars that are so common place in the UK and as a reader I was definitely along for the literary ride!
Kiera is a young woman fresh out of police school and assigned to an arduous post in the middle of nowhere along a stretch of creepy coastline. O'Rourke sets the stage for us to see the misery of her surroundings perfectly and as a reader I wanted her to get the heck out of Dodge! I love the way Kiera is insightful and sees details others don't. It deepens the mystery of her surroundings and what is happening wonderfully. I loved the plot. Although somewhat slow in the beginning, about 30% through the novel the plot twists arrive and the action takes hold and doesn't stop until the shattering crescendo at the end. There were several little surprises sprinkled throughout that endeared me to O'Rourke, pegging me to the pages until I was finished. He's excellent at telling a mystery and allowing a slow unravel as the story progresses. The ending leaves the reader puzzling over three main points that I will answer by purchasing the next installment, of course! I recommend this for readers who enjoy the following: mystery, intrigue, paranormal, light romance and vamps that definitely do not sparkle! Ha!...more
I just finished book two in the Blood Skies Series and feel like I ate my supper...twice! Don't kid yourselves, guys, this is a main entree, no appetiI just finished book two in the Blood Skies Series and feel like I ate my supper...twice! Don't kid yourselves, guys, this is a main entree, no appetizer or dessert served here! Montano really understands how to deliver dark fantasy and make no mistake, it's dark.
In this adventure, Southern Claw Solider, Eric Cross, takes on more than he can handle and becomes a prisoner and gladiator-of-sorts for vampires. Wanting nothing more than to survive, save his comrades and find the Woman in the Ice/Lake he does just that...with the single-minded focus only Cross possesses. I am not a big high fantasy fan but what saves the genre for me is Montano's descriptive prowess. It may not be for all, but a less adept writer could never have managed the weighty material. Look at the following example:
~The undead exploded. Pale animated bodies and jagged skeletal weapons, razor vapors and icy claws, maggot hearts and grave dust, soiled black fire and cursed souls: all of it immolated within the onslaught of primal spirit matter like paper put to the flame~
The entire work is a scene-scape of words. In some parts I desperately wished to escape the vividness of his writing, especially in battles, my heart raced! But there is no escape. You are IN the battle, while the melee swirls around the reader. This is a heavily descriptive work with great pacing and action throughout. Fans of high, dark fantasy are going to love this second installment in the Blood Skies Series....more
I've had this first book and the remainder of the series on my nightstand for A YEAR. All my sons read it and said it was pretty good. I'm such a papeI've had this first book and the remainder of the series on my nightstand for A YEAR. All my sons read it and said it was pretty good. I'm such a paperback snob now that it took my Kindle going on the fritz for me to bother. I'm glad I did, it's really a fun read. It is the perfect, upper middle grade level paranormal vamp book, super-short, witty with a nice thread of mystery and intriguing details about vampire lore throughout. Of course, as a female I dig the male POV, it's fresh and interesting.
Vladimir Tod is a dude that's not cool and gets harassed for it at school. He's also half-vampire. The book unflinchingly details the routine of Vlad's daily life and the struggles of hiding his true nature while trying to mainstream in eighth grade while he does. Trouble strikes when his English teacher goes missing and the substitute who replaces him seems a little *too* sharp for Vlad's comfort. Add in a girl that he likes that he's too shy to pursue and the bullies who won't stop bugging him, Vlad's vampirism almost takes a back seat.
Almost. The best part of this book is the last twenty pages when Brewer introduces action and pacing that was a lacking in the first two thirds. These fast reading, simple books are mildly addictive and I think I'll be reading the rest. I find I like Vlad and wonder what will happen to him in the future. The author left some unanswered questions that beg answering. People that enjoy middle grade fiction that's well-done with subtle humor and a male POV will really like this book. It may be too "young" for some adult readers and the inconsistent pacing of action may not be for all but I really liked it. Super clean too, for parents that are worried about gratuitous elements....more
Okay, where is my option to give more than five stars on this book... really? I absolutely loved this book, it was a face-plant-with-the-Kindle guys..Okay, where is my option to give more than five stars on this book... really? I absolutely loved this book, it was a face-plant-with-the-Kindle guys...a two AM shot for sure. Hubby bought this for me using his secret recipe and does it have fantastic diversity! It's not some tired vamp story with a few cookie-cutter werewolves thrown in for fun. It's an "all-aboard" speeding bullet of action, paranormal and supernatural powers. Most importantly for me it provides an intense connection to the MC. That was critical to maintaining my interest and Suttle did it.
Lissa is a middle-aged faithful wife that becomes a widow and vampire in the same day. She's been a methodically diligent person her whole life and brings those little-appreciated skills to her new life as a rare female vampire. Her "sire" took a wager that he could turn a human female in a certain number of days and when he was complacent after turning Lissa, she escaped. Through sheer grit, determination and using her keen mind, Lissa proved she could survive the challenges she faced. Suttle is tremendously astute at forcing the reader to feel Lissa's struggles. I had a physical reaction to some of the passages where my guts actually clenched (I didn't know this was possible). I was that struck by her circumstances, that moved by Lissa's agony and feelings of uncertainty and limbo with the circumstances of her existence.
In walks Gavin, who as an older vampire has been assigned to terminate Lissa. Without having been turned "legally" she is now considered rogue. She never knows that he is vampire out of ignorance. Gavin gets an unabashed perspective as to who she is. Gavin becomes troubled at extinguishing a flame that burns that brightly, a rare illumination for their race. From the way she handles herself to her fierceness in protecting those that she's promised to, she is unwavering and brave. I like who Lissa is. Her fragility and tenaciousness were captured perfectly in this story. So perfectly, that I ran out like a one-click spaz and bought the rest of the series!
Although this is really a dark urban fantasy book, I'd say the world-building she accomplishes is more than simply urban. I really felt like the vampire and werewolf "worlds" that she alludes to then begins to construct its framework in book two may appeal to high fantasy lovers as well.
If you like perfect pacing, non-stop action with intrigue throughout, this is the story for you. Suttle IS subtle, allowing the reader to appreciate tension that at times is sprung so tautly you think you'll die, while giving us just enough information to be intrigued and fashion our own precepts. Wonderful!...more
I am reading this series back-to-back so no reviews on other books unless they fall from the sky like rain! This author seems to be on my exact frequeI am reading this series back-to-back so no reviews on other books unless they fall from the sky like rain! This author seems to be on my exact frequency! Suttle offers just enough of a variety of different genres to keep me losing sleep over reading her work! The Kindle abuse continues, guys!(It hits my face at 2AM, wakes me up, I go back to reading!). Great recipe right before Christmas. So, why are these so addictive?
You just have to know what happens next.
From one unbelievable scene to the next. I see elements of other authors in her work. If you like the following authors, you may also like Suttle: Evanovich, Laurell K. Hamilton and J.R. Rain. She takes the best of the humor from Evanovich, the great criminal mystery of Hamilton before she digressed into erotica, and the "normalness" of the MC from Rain and combines those riveting elements in one fell swoop of her own. Brilliant and enthralling.
Lissa continues to be a bottle in the ocean for the vampires, mercilessly swept along in a current not of her making. Independent, engagingly intelligent and vital in her own skin she cannot help but resent their inability to trust her instincts. Instead, the vamps plow over the top of her with their "laws" while simultaneously abusing her gifts for their personal exploitation. I was so ticked on a few parts I had to take a moment. I was enraged for the MC! Unreal! Suttle seems to have an interesting "who dunit" thread running through her work that pleases the heck out of me and I am already enjoying that continuity in book three.
I almost cried at the ending. I was in agony for Lissa's treatment in book two and sincerely hope that Suttle takes that full circle and gives those responsible a suitable reckoning. I have a short list for her anyway. I love that when I finished that horrible cliffhanger, I was able to achieve closure with the beginning of book three, which seamlessly picks up where two left off. These books are not for the faint of heart, there are disturbing human elements throughout and described in horrifically honest fashion... unflinching. Non-homogenized fare.
Vital, Engaging, riveting, narrative-voice-I-love. Yeah guys, STERLING has all of that. This is a hill and valley read. Pretty much, I am on the top oVital, Engaging, riveting, narrative-voice-I-love. Yeah guys, STERLING has all of that. This is a hill and valley read. Pretty much, I am on the top of the mountain during the entire read with only a small valley about two thirds of the way through that dragged a little for me. I was reading along thinking to myself, four stars, pretty great then BAM, the author wallops me between the eyes with a few chapters that were so beautifully terrible, so brutal in their raw emotional transference it took my breath away. I do NOT tear up during reading (except for A DOG'S PURPOSE, of course!) and Dark made me! I couldn't believe the horrible circumstances the MC found herself amongst and wanted to commit murder against the perpetrators, that amped it to a five star right there. To know what Dark is capable of delivering was almost disturbing. I hope to see more of that intensity in book #2. I'm all over that gritty edge she served up in this book!
There, I feel so much better.
STERLING began talking about mages and I rolled my eyes. I am Sick to Death with mage this and mage that. But guess what? It was not what I was thinking and was a completely different premise than I was expecting. Another plus for the book. There is so a love triangle between Adam, Simon, Justus and Zoe (or square?). But we're just not sure how or which one and I love the suspense. It is acute without being frustrating. Zoe, who becomes Silver, is not weak but she is vulnerable and it is this subtlety in Dark's writing that made me not want to stop and bark like a dog on a short leash to get the next installment. Which I'm happily reading now.
Zoe is murdered during the opening scene and STERLING follows her odyssey of self-discovery with regard to what she's become. It's difficult, frustrating and she misses her old life. Zoe/Silver has a mentor that does so from a distance and it leaves her tense and lonely. But in his way, he loves her.
What I loved: pretty much everything. I love the latter third of the book deeply, it moved my soul. The first third was interesting and engaging along with giving me surprise bread crumbs to munch on. The middle had a sag but picked up quickly enough that I got through it.
What I wasn't as nuts over: there seems to be some things that are logically missing like: why didn't Zoe contact her friend sooner? Why did the mage council not see that her maker was an atrocity to their kind and meant her harm? They almost seemed to goad him to that end. Ugh!
Overall, STERLING gets a killer endorsement. Usually, I only go forward in a series if I adore the first book. It has to grab me for the second to be on TBR list. This one has that spark, that enigmatic something that pushed me forward. It's unique and that's what got my full attention. Try it, you won't be disappointed.
Genre: Dark Urban Fantasy Sub-genre: militaristic, sci-fi, romantic tension Elements: Violence, Profanity, Violence against women Age: 18+...more
I was Sucked in by STERLING and now I'm Tortured by TWIST!!! These are the best to-date reads for 2012! I average about three books per week so that pI was Sucked in by STERLING and now I'm Tortured by TWIST!!! These are the best to-date reads for 2012! I average about three books per week so that puts these at the head of an approximate seventy-six book pack, not bad! This is dark urban fantasy at its best and it reminds me of those terrific Stacia Kane books (Unholy Ghost Series) but without the high price tag! STERLING is only a buck and TWIST is $3! That's a heck of a lot of entertainment for the cost. I was on board when I stumbled across book one on the free promotional: cool cover, simple title, intriguing premise... promise of Alpha male types? Sign me up!
And boy, does Dark Deliver! This installment was slightly less dark than #1 and I liked it equally as well; the intrigue was laid on a tight wire, with the reader struggling to balance without teetering off. Unlike #1, there was no "valley" to slow down through. It was an all-mountain read, every chapter a peak of information, action and romantic tension. I was glad that some dudes took a back seat and others came forward. *Especially Logan* He's just... wow. Perfect flawed male that the MC resists. And I love how Silver is still evolving and there are questions that beg answering. I'm content, when there is a series I'm committed to, waiting until the secrets are revealed in a tantalizing bread crumb format. Dark does this expertly, giving just enough detail to engage but without giving away the whole tamale. Love her style. I hope she writes until forever.
Silver is taken again by a new Breed and struggles with his sudden place in her life. Forbidden to be anything more than enemies with him, she soon sees that although not Mage, he is a male of value, one even rivaling Justus. She's confused, hurt and wants desperately to have a more active role in a society that is overprotective of their rare females. Always Silver struggles with why she was chosen, why her old life no longer exists. She begins to cope and then circumstances rise out of the ashes to throw her off-center again.
This is a compelling read with wonderful and unique descriptive narrative. There were passages I re-read to more fully take in the depth of their meaning and nuances presented. Dark is awesome at using the supporting characters in the book, fleshing them out and giving each one individuality. You always know who is whom and she leaves no stone unturned in the unveiling of each person's role in the installment. Can't wait for more!
Genre: Dark Urban Fantasy Sub-genre: militaristic, sci-fi, romantic tension, supernatural Elements: Violence, Profanity, Violence against women Age: 18+...more
This is a strong 3.5 but a "4 star" is me liking it a lot and getting book #2 and I just couldn't endorse it that strongly. There wasn't enough romancThis is a strong 3.5 but a "4 star" is me liking it a lot and getting book #2 and I just couldn't endorse it that strongly. There wasn't enough romance for starters and although it was well-written with that dark vibe that generally draws me in, there was that spark missing that will usually propel me to progress with the series. I especially disliked Mac as the main character, I couldn't warm up to her superficiality. Maybe I'll try Moning's highlander series.......more
Okay... so anyone that follows my reviews understands that I'm a DIE HARD Mageri fan and think Dark is a terrific writer. So prejudiced- SO. Read on aOkay... so anyone that follows my reviews understands that I'm a DIE HARD Mageri fan and think Dark is a terrific writer. So prejudiced- SO. Read on anyway....
You know how you get the first book of the series and each subsequent one continues to degrade until it's just words on a page? We see it happen all the time. This is not the case with Dark's work. Like a fine wine, her books grow broader and better with the telling, each installment deeper and more succulent than the last. As a big serial reader, I just never want that book to end. If you're like me and love a series, and one that is written in multi-genres such as the following: dark fantasy, paranormal/urban romance with a dash of horror and suspense, there is not a better choice than Mageri. Further, if you like edgy adult urban fantasy from authors: Laurell K. Hamilton, Kim Harrison, Patricia Briggs and Stacia Kane... you'll love Dark's work.
Whenever a book provokes deep emotion while I'm reading I know it's a hit, a re-read, a five star, a: I'm-going-to-read-everything-by-this-author-even-if-it's-a-Math-Book. Yeah. GRAVITY is that book, that good, that: OMGosh I'm going to murder the imaginary villain, save the heroine and take up sword fighting.
Silver returns as a strong woman who believes loyal sacrifice is the superior choice, regardless of the consequence to herself. This pivotal deliberate decision, causes her world to turn upside down and every person who thought they knew her takes pause. I love the turmoil that Dark weaves into this story and the way my stomach felt in a few of the violent scenes, they're so real, I feel as though I'm in the book. It's a creepy, fly on the wall perspective that is disquieting and so vividly alive nothing can compare.
Dark had readers guessing about Silver's true origins and some suspicions I had were confirmed; I can't wait for the unveiling of even more in the final installment.
Channing has a lot of great things going for this novel: cover, author name (kinda unintentionally awesome), title (!), engaging plot and that enigmatChanning has a lot of great things going for this novel: cover, author name (kinda unintentionally awesome), title (!), engaging plot and that enigmatic "nailed it." If you dig paranormal vampire tales but are tired of the regurgitated fare that copy-cats like a puzzle piece that can't find its fit, WKM will hit the spot.
Axelia is living abroad in Italy with a foreign host family. Sugar plums dance in her head with the potential she feels the place holds; a blank canvas for adventure. When a exotically cute boy takes an interest in her, she shuns intuition in favor or recklessness. Soon her choice lands Axelia in a peril so final there seems to be no hope. Then the extraordinary happens and she becomes the thing that hunted her.
Axelia is not a weak heroine in need of rescuing and I normally don't dig that. I like the woman-in-peril gets saved by hunk-o-love scenario. However, Channing has such a way of writing to allow the MC's vulnerabilities to shine through and not make this story read like every other urban fantasy tale that needs a kick @ss heroine to make it. Our girl is tough but has a fragile edge that causes the reader to root for her. If you like a multi-dimensional heroine then you'll like this. Also, though the MC is almost 18, this doesn't have that "young" adult feel. It's more of the YA crossover/Mature YA and could easily progress into the New Adult realm with book number two. Addressing age-appropriateness, this book is multi-genre with elements of both dark urban fantasy (a sub-genre of horror) and paranormal romance. There are some fairly horrific things happening with a decent amount of violence. I'd think high school and above on this.
This is a 4.5 star read that centered between very good and outstanding so it was easy to round up to a five star. Channing has worked as a journalist and her skills for tight prose, a narrative voice that paints scenes and hard-core pacing shines in this short novel. I look forward to reading more of her work. Fans of Tammy Blackwell, JL Bryan, SM Reine and Dannika Dark should like this work....more