Channing has a lot of great things going for this novel: cover, author name (kinda unintentionally awesome), title (!), engaging plot and that enigmat...moreChanning 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.(less)
I can't give this post-apocalyptic story six stars but I wish I could! This is not a re-read, it's too harrowing a tale for me, but I cannot wait to r...moreI can't give this post-apocalyptic story six stars but I wish I could! This is not a re-read, it's too harrowing a tale for me, but I cannot wait to read book #2! This author falls under the "Narrative-voice-I-love-to-read" category squarely. Goodwin has an almost conversational style to her writing that makes the reader feel like their intimate friend is regaling tales with the highest degree of excitement and tension available. Goodwin can also write an almost movie-like action scene. I see the blood and gore spatter, I hear the heroine's heartbeat race as she tries to escape and rescue those she should, and shouldn't.
I feel her pain.
Yes, Goodwin's that good. I "know" Orissa, I want to help her. As a reader, that's a connection that's not usually there. I read all the time and strictly for in-and-out entertainment value. But once in awhile, there's a story that feels so real you're sure it actually transpired. I love zombie tales, as a writer of four myself, so I was reading with a semi-critical eye and loved the spin she put on this post-apocalyptic work. It's so interesting with its believable war elements, the different stages of "zombieism," and the tension of survival and romantic suspense interspersed that I could not stop reading! Those readers that are bored with a single-dimension zombie tale will enjoy the following elements that are cleverly woven into Contagious: militaristic, romantic suspense, action, survivalist (think Hunger Games) and sci-fi. This is "so much" more than a zombie novel. It's a flat-out great read.
Orissa gets her appendix removed and wakes up to discover a nightmare out of a movie: a terrible contagion has been loosed on the populace for reasons yet undisclosed. While recovering she must battle to escape the immediate threat and take all those that she can save with her. Orissa has a secret though: she's a tough, highly trained fighter and survivalist. She's brave beyond compare, unflinching beyond compromise, tender near her heart and brutally honest about who she is.
When all hope is lost and Orissa thinks the end is near, a story arc occurs that makes the novel jump from really good to AMAZING. Period. I loved the gear switch and everything that followed.
This story flirts with being a Mature YA but should be just fine for readers 16+. I've recommended it to all four of my sons. If they can put this book down, I'll eat my hat.(less)
These stories of the Downside Ghosts are hopelessly addictive! There just isn't enough dark urban fantasy that rivals these. ANGELFALL had the same de...moreThese stories of the Downside Ghosts are hopelessly addictive! There just isn't enough dark urban fantasy that rivals these. ANGELFALL had the same decrepit lurching speed as these tales do but was geared more for young adult readers. This series is fully adult and gets edgier with each subsequent installment.
GHOSTS is no different. Delivering action sequence after action sequence of Chess in peril. But she's so tough, she never needs a man to rescue her. That is one of the things I don't like so much: Chess is almost too independent. There is no interdependence. In book three, she allows the facade of her self-preservation to crack just enough to let the one man in she is scared to trust but must. In the end, Chess decides to take a leap of faith. But the big question remains: can she tow the mark?
This installment takes off exactly from the ending of book #1 and never lets off the throttle! It is a roller coaster ride from the inception, draggin...moreThis installment takes off exactly from the ending of book #1 and never lets off the throttle! It is a roller coaster ride from the inception, dragging the reader by the hair and whipping them off their collective feet until the finish. This was a five star: from the artfully decadent prose that left you gasping through love scenes that bordered on violent to hideous circumstances no human being should have been able to survive. Fantastic.
Each of the four books has one major mystery with a heady undercurrent of sexual tension between Chess, Lex and of course, Terrible. The reluctant hero that is flawed, hot, built and stoically moral despite an environment that is depraved beyond what we know.
The relationship between Terrible and Chess sits more solidly and blooms like a reluctant flower between two people that have become porcupines due to abusive backgrounds yet somehow find each other. MAGIC also expounds on the natural skills which Chess possesses in her witchcraft. The "why" and tantalizing other details about the Facts are Truth order come to the surface to fascinate the reader. Chess's world is such a fascinating mix of very old-world and modern. The reader never knows what to expect.
But expect this: a great mystery wrapped up in a tight bundle of taut erotic tension and action.(less)
I'm going to try and Rein. It. In. with this four book series but not without effort! This is a fantastic dark urban fantasy series that is gritty, da...moreI'm going to try and Rein. It. In. with this four book series but not without effort! This is a fantastic dark urban fantasy series that is gritty, dark, real and uncompromising. Kane has flavors of the Anita Blake Series by Laurell K. Hamilton. However, there is more "meat" and less sex in these works. They really smack of Hamilton's earlier works that I adored (#s 1-10) with the detective/action angles. If you like your urban fantasy served up dark, this is totally the series for you.
Chess Putnam, is a drifting loner who believes deeply in the calling she's been assigned: church witch. She is also equally challenged by an upbringing that's left her bereft of the typical emotional foundation most people possess. She's tough and fragile, rolled up in an intoxicatingly mad mix that has the reader rooting for her and worrying after her. Splendid! The world-building is solid and what I really dug was the made-up language of the Downside residents. It's a little off-putting at first as it reads "wrong" but it is so "right" with the depth that it allows into the story. The differences of the people in this dystopian world come alive as you read them. You see them, feel them, hear them. It's story telling at its best.
This debut installment establishes the first Debunking we see from Chess and how she handles herself through her addictions; both with drugs and with her numbing obsession for superficial relationships.
This first book was a 4.5 for me. It was disturbing and messy, with elements I didn't agree with on a personal level. In the end, none of that mattered. I went ahead and read... UNHOLY MAGIC.(less)
I know, I know... so why review a book that is selling so well and has a boatload of five star reviews already? Because, it's THAT good! Did you go nu...more I know, I know... so why review a book that is selling so well and has a boatload of five star reviews already? Because, it's THAT good! Did you go nuts over Hunger Games? Sick and tired of all the sappy angel stories out there? Then you've got a great fit in Angelfall, because it's none of that. It's a take-no-prisoners read that will leave you really wanting the next installment.
The story is essentially about an angel apocalypse. The angels decimate earth and we are now under their strange rule. In this world our MC, Penryn, is busy looking after a wheelchair-bound seven year old sister and a Mom that is constantly bordering on unpredictable psychosis. The family slowly starves in an environment where water and electricity are sporadic at best and gangs have taken over suburbia. This is a dark, urban fantasy that has tension strung taut in a way that makes the reader stayed glued to the pages, wishing for Penryn's safety and dying over the sister's kidnapping. Did I say dying? Ugh! Ee paints such a startling and clear portrait of gritty survival, the reader can't help but be drawn in.
What I liked: the pacing and the flow. This story moves! And it does so in such a way that the reader is getting "fed" little tidbits of intrigue in a fairly consistent way throughout the entire tale. I love the MC. Penryn has never been soft, but she longs to be. Her inner girlie has never had a chance to manifest and she is left being the provider for her family after her father deserts them. I love a MC under pressure and Ee knows just how to cook it! I never feel pity for Penryn, but I root for her. That is the mark of a clever storyteller. Where you wish to assist the MC but you don't languish in their pain and angst. Awesome! I like the dark angel that she befriends and the mystery of their relationship as it evolves.
What I didn't care for as much: I thought it was a little short for a full-length and didn't feel like her relationship with Raffe was clear at the end. Maybe it wasn't supposed to be? I will definitely be picking up book two. This is the first angel book that has really made me want the subsequent installment. Romance and angel lovers might also enjoy The Saving Angel Series by Tiffany King. That series is "softer," with more romance and alpha male vibe. With the current trend in Angel Lit there is no shortage!
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 freque...moreI 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.
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.....moreOkay, 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!(less)
**Review from my fellow reviewer on my blog** Malryk~
This book is not about zombies. It's not about vampires, or werewolves, or anything in between. I...more**Review from my fellow reviewer on my blog** Malryk~
This book is not about zombies. It's not about vampires, or werewolves, or anything in between. It tries to go for a style similar (even without the author mentioning) to "A Game of Thrones" - and I like that. While it has its own dark story, the book also seems to have aspects I come to expect - the good guys win, bad guys lose. And there it becomes a book that one can predict, but that doesn't stop you from wanting to read it. In fact, I did not put the book down until it seemed like it was time to hit the hay; you know, when your eyelids refuse the commands you have given them, and they make you believe that you're still reading even when they're shut.
All in all, this book seemed (to me) like someone's attempt to bring another aspect of life to the world of fiction - and it was not a bad job at all!(less)