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)
Absolutely Five BIG @SS stars; gritty, smart writing, different narrative voice all rolled into hot sex scenes and hard-to-the-wall pacing. Loved it....moreAbsolutely Five BIG @SS stars; gritty, smart writing, different narrative voice all rolled into hot sex scenes and hard-to-the-wall pacing. Loved it. No formula writing!(less)
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 a...moreOkay... 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.
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 romanc...moreThis 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....(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?
I am dying here! CHASING MAGIC will not release until June 26! The pain! The misery! Must. Know. What. Happens next! Ugh! Okay... this fourth book of...moreI am dying here! CHASING MAGIC will not release until June 26! The pain! The misery! Must. Know. What. Happens next! Ugh! Okay... this fourth book of the Downside Series is absolutely perfect. What I totally loved was the snippets of Chess's past that are finally revealed. Why, in the name of the Good Lord is she using drugs? Well... we find out and it's not the neat little package of assumptions we thought it'd be. Why does she have such a hard time trusting? Answers there too. I was beginning to be unsympathetic toward Chess by book number four. I was thinking, "clean up your act!" Now, I understand that her internal framework is a myriad of depravity, abuse and memories she cloaks through drug abuse. Gotcha.
Where will our heroine be in book five? I don't know but I can't wait to read and find out!(less)
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)