**spoiler alert** This is a great young adult book. I loved the world Jones developed here as well as the idea of placing the heroine, Sophie, under a**spoiler alert** This is a great young adult book. I loved the world Jones developed here as well as the idea of placing the heroine, Sophie, under a curse that aged her to look and feel like an old woman. But that it didn't crush her spirit and instead gave her courage to start doing things for herself. The other main characters, Howl and Calcifer, were fantastic as well. I rather enjoyed how foppish Howl was and the bantering that went on between him and Sophie was amusing. ...more
I love reading about magic in a story when it’s so subtle that you're not sure if what you're seeing is really magic. Alice Hoffman is a great authorI love reading about magic in a story when it’s so subtle that you're not sure if what you're seeing is really magic. Alice Hoffman is a great author for doing this and the way Stewart wrote the “magic” in the story was pretty similar. And really the magic is what the mystery of the book is. Is what’s going on around Gilly really some kind of magic from her godmother and neighbors or is it something that can be rationally explained away?
But really the mystery took the backseat in the book. This was more of a coming of age story for Gilly. As for the romance, I really did enjoy it. Christopher John was a sweet guy and he suited Gilly, but I felt he could've been a wee bit more developed. His son, William, kind of stole his thunder. I always say that I don't like children in books, but I'm beginning to realize that I don't mind children in books as long as they have an actual purpose to being in the book. What I hate is when a kid is inserted just for cuteness factor and serves no real purpose to the plot....more
I fear that I’m in deep trouble of turning into a rabid fan girl about this series. I loved this whole freakin’ book. So much, in fact, that I was sadI fear that I’m in deep trouble of turning into a rabid fan girl about this series. I loved this whole freakin’ book. So much, in fact, that I was sad to see it end and actually made myself start reading it slower. Anyway, this is series I don’t recommend reading out of order, because Magic Study picks up almost exactly where the previous book left off.
Yelena has once again gotten the shaft in life. Just when she has made friends and started to feel all cozy in Ixia she’s forced to leave because of the whole “all magicians will be killed on sight” rule. So now she has no choice but to go on down to Sitia, where she’ll start learning about her magic abilities and meet the family she was supposedly stolen from years ago. Only her welcome isn’t too friendly when she finally arrives on her lost family’s doorstep. Her brother has decided that she’s an impostor who was sent to Sitia to spy for Ixia and he’s determined to see her punished for it. So he starts taking every opportunity to rattle off his theory about her to anyone who will listen.
This, of course, doesn’t make Yelena the most popular girl in Sitia. In fact, she’s back to being shunned by everyone around her except for a few people, but even they are leery of her and her strange powers. Then there’s the fact that one of the people who have listened to her brother’s ramblings about her is the lost prince of Ixia who sees Yelena as his golden ticket into reclaiming the throne. And if that isn’t enough, Yelena also finds herself getting more and more involved in Sitia’s problem with a crazy ass guy who’s romping around near the plains, abducting young women and then stealing their souls.
It was great to dive back into the rich world that Snyder is building in these books. Once again she manages to not go into information overload, but still give us enough information where we can see the differences between both Sitia and Ixia. I think I would’ve liked to have seen more about the politics of both countries, but I also believe it would’ve interrupted the flow of the book if Snyder had tried to cram more information in.
Sitia is a really laid back country when compared with Ixia, so it was interesting to watch Yelena trying to adjust to the different customs and laws. The hostility between both countries is still going strong, so Yelena ends up taking a lot of crap from people who see Ixia’s ways coming out in her actions. And the bad vibes and rumors only increase around Yelena with the arrival of Ixian representatives in the place where she’s studying, which apparently is kind of like the capital of Sitia.
This, of course, brings some characters from the last book into the midst of things, which I was really happy for. It was great to see the power twins, Valek, and the Commander involved in this book’s plot. The new characters that were introduced were also great. They all meshed together nicely and none of the characters just felt thrown in for the sake of having fresh meat in the story. I also really appreciate the fact that everyone under the sun doesn’t adore and love Yelena to bits, I really don't like it when series end up doing that. The worse part about this book is that yet again, it ends with giving us a taste of the plot for the next book leaving me wanting the next one now. ...more
One of the biggest things that annoyed me about this book is how easy everything seemed to be solved for Julian and Grace. It just seemed like wheneveOne of the biggest things that annoyed me about this book is how easy everything seemed to be solved for Julian and Grace. It just seemed like whenever the two of them found themselves in a bind, some god or goddess would throw something at them to help. I wanted to see Grace and Julian work through the curse more by themselves and not with all these random gods throwing them helping hands along the way. But the way Grace and Julian interacted with each other more than helped make up for that. I loved how much quiet time they spent together and it made their developing relationship seem much more believable. By the end of the story I was convinced that Julian and Grace’s relationship would last and that they wouldn’t be trying to curse each other into a book after a week.
Grace was good character and she managed to hold her own in the book, but I have to say that I really really liked Julian. One of the main reasons I liked Julian so much was that despite the fact that he was a Spartan general back in the day, he manages to see Grace as an equal and doesn’t go into “Me Tarzan, You Jane” mode.
This book doesn’t go very far into the dark hunter world, but you could see that Kenyon was starting to set up things that will be addressed in later books in the series when we start to get deeper into that world. Her site says that you don’t have to read the books in order and I don’t doubt that at all, but in my opinion I think it might be better if you did start from the beginning. So you can see the world building evolve instead of just being thrust into everything like I was in Unleash the Night. All around though this was a great story and I can’t wait to read the rest of the series. ...more
Absolutely wonderful. I'm not a huge fan of time travel, but it worked for me here. Carol finds herself tossed back in time and has to figure out howAbsolutely wonderful. I'm not a huge fan of time travel, but it worked for me here. Carol finds herself tossed back in time and has to figure out how to get back to present day without screwing up the past...too much.
I love how Carol's past and the connections she's forged with her friends plays into the plot. I'm definitely becoming a Kelly Sue DeConnick fan-girl. Can't wait to read more in this series....more
Hawke and Sienna's book! Like everyone else who reads this series, I was really anticipating this one. Hawke and Sienna's relationship has been brewinHawke and Sienna's book! Like everyone else who reads this series, I was really anticipating this one. Hawke and Sienna's relationship has been brewing in the background of this series since the very first novel. Sienna is an X-cardnial Psy. X Psy aren't known for having long life spans, their powers typically cause them to die a fiery death long before they reach their mid-twenties. So when Sienna feels her powers slowly slipping out of her control, she knows she'll eventually have to leave SnowDancer or risk taking the entire pack down with her. In the meantime, she's determined to keep trying to reinforce her control, but the angst filled relationship she has with Hawke is not helping matters. Hawke has always caused her emotions to erupt into chaos and the confusing signals he's been sending her has just been adding fuel to that fire. Sienna has loved him for a hella long time and everyone at SnowDancer seems to be hellbent on shoving them together. Unfortunately, Hawke refuses to act on his attraction and Sienna is done waiting around for him to change his mind.
Oh man, I loved this story to bits. Hawke has been a favorite side character of mine ever since he showed up in Slave to Sensation and went out of his way to annoy Lucas. I really loved seeing that playfulness in his character expanded in this story. There's some really cute scenes centered on him "playing" with Sienna and I loved that she was able to hold her own against him. However, in the beginning of this book his stubbornness concerning her was pretty annoying. Hawke had a kind of "kid in the playground" mentality about Sienna. He didn't want to play with her, but no one else was allowed to play with her either. This combined with their relationship throughout the other books, made me really wish that Singh hadn't gone the virgin route with Sienna. Going into this book, I had hoped that Sienna would've slept with Kit or someone before this story. It was kind of a damper to see Sienna able to match Hawke everywhere and then suddenly play the shy and naive virgin in the bedroom. She eventually gets out of that, but it still broke the tone of the rest of the book to have to sit through that "first-time" scene.
Aside from the main romance, this one also had the benefit of a pretty great action side story. The Psy are organizing some pretty brutal attacks against SnowDancer in an attempt to weaken them so they can eventually be wiped out. The suspense of organizing defensive maneuvers and counter attacks was pretty awesome. I also really enjoyed that this installment seemed bloodier than the others in the series, it made the brewing war seem more imminent and important than it has been in the other novels.
My only real complaint is that I feel like Lara and Walker got short changed. Like Sienna and Hawke, their story has been quietly building over the course of a few books, but they got slotted as the secondary romance in this one. Lara and Walker's relationship was nicely done, but it faded a lot into the background in comparison to the other major plot threads such as: Hawke and Sienna's relationship, the Psy attacks, and Lucas and Sasha's baby. Because of this I really wish that they had been given their own book or at least their own short story.
I would recommend this book if you're a fan, but not to someone looking to start the series. This book really needs to be worked up to in order to appreciate the relationships and events that are at the center of the story. ...more
This book has the grittiness that I loved about the early Laurell K. Hamilton books. Frost isn't afraid to write about blood, death, and other unsavorThis book has the grittiness that I loved about the early Laurell K. Hamilton books. Frost isn't afraid to write about blood, death, and other unsavory things. Yet she does it in a way that doesn't make it trivial to the plot. The characters react in the own ways to it all and its pretty believable.
Cat was also surprisingly a very interesting character. She's a strong and witty heroine who manages to come across as vulnerable without sacrificing the validity of those character traits in the process. She's half-vampire and has been told by her mother that she's got evil in her. So she has this overblown concept that if she makes even the smallest misstep she could become a monster. In order to atone for that she goes out and kills vampires. One night while cruising for her next vampire kill she runs across Bones, who believes she is working for the villain of the story. In order to get information out of her her takes her captive and discovers what she is. She's determined to see all vampires killed and he's determined to kill one vampire in particular. Through this they form a tentative alliance with each other in order to take out a vampire who has been capturing women and selling them as sex slaves/food to other vampires.
Bones is what really made this story for me. He's clearly based off of Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but Frost adds enough of her own touches to the character that makes it work for her story. Because of this I would definitely recommend this series for Spike fans who are having withdrawals with the series no longer being on air.
This was an excellent start to the series. I only wish that it could have of ended on a more satisfying note than it did. The story ends on set up for the next installment in the series. And I hate it when books do that....more
**spoiler alert** Rosalind Hawkins is screwed. She had been in the middle of getting her masters degree when her father died, leaving behind a mountai**spoiler alert** Rosalind Hawkins is screwed. She had been in the middle of getting her masters degree when her father died, leaving behind a mountain of debts and no way to pay them off. Now all Rose has to her name is a couple of ratty dresses and handful of worthless mementos. And since this is 1905 her options of employment are pretty limited. So when Rose receives a job offer to be a governess for the railroad baron, Jason Cameron, she accepts it and moves to San Francisco. But when Rose arrives at Cameron’s estate she finds the place strangely devoid of human life except for Cameron’s creepy valet. She also discovers that the governess position was a hoax and that what Cameron really needed was someone who could read several ancient languages. This is fine with Rose seeing as she never really wanted to deal with a bunch of screaming kids anyway and she’ll be able to use her college education. Plus there are also the added bonuses of a big check, a new wardrobe, and plush living quarters. All for just reading to a disabled guy via speaking tube every night.
There was too many things going on at once between Rose and Jason’s developing relationship, the mission to find a way to reverse Jason’s wolf-iness, the valet creeping around, the other fire master trying to take Jason down, and the list goes on. It was still a really great story, but it felt too rushed for my tastes. The main villain was supposed to be the other fire master in the area and yet we hardly ever saw him. So I didn’t really get a chance to build up a nice big chuck of hate for the character. I disliked the valet a hell of a lot more than the main villain and the valet was just a pawn. So that kind of took away from the big showdown between Jason and the other fire master. -That showdown was still pretty awesome though.-
Despite the off stage main villain, all the other characters were awesome. Rose was smart and didn’t freak out over every little thing that Jason pulled with her. And Jason was awesome, even though he did have a bit of a stalker thing going with his being able to use mirrors to see what other people were doing. He watched Rose constantly, but that mostly because he didn’t trust her too much and then because he was vicariously living through her. This was fine by me, seeing as he didn’t build a shrine to her or start sniffing her underwear. Jason also had a great back story and was just a great character.
I was kind of disappointed when Jason didn’t find a way to reverse what happened to him. I think it’s because so much of the plot was about him trying to find some way to change him self back that I felt cheated when he didn’t find a cure. Also the way the plot was set up I think I would’ve looked at it more as him being redeemed from his past arrogance, etc....more
**spoiler alert** Meg Rittenhouse has started having hallucinations after being hit by a car. Her doctor had told her to expect this and that they'll**spoiler alert** Meg Rittenhouse has started having hallucinations after being hit by a car. Her doctor had told her to expect this and that they'll eventually wear off. But after seeing an elephant strolling down a busy street in New York Meg has decided that she needs to get somewhere more relaxing. So she calls up her rich cousin, Sylvia for help. Sylvia agrees that Meg does indeed need help so loans Meg the use of her large Victorian house in the country for 6 months. But the house Sylvia has decided to let Meg stay at has a twisted history and suddenly Meg is having joint hallucinations with Andy, Sylvia's step son, about a family that lived on the grounds before the current house was even built.
Both Meg and Andy have had some psychological conditions in their recent pasts that keeps you guessing if what they're seeing is really paranormal or if they're just somehow feeding off of each other. Meg and Andy end up joining together to discover who the people are in their visions and why there are shadowy things that surround the house at night giving off the feeling of doom. As their research starts going deeper into what happened to the family who lived on the property before Andy's ancestors built the house, the hallucinations start becoming more real and more revealing.
I liked that the mystery of the visions isn't the only thing that keeps the story moving. There’s Meg’s cataloging of the ancients furniture in the attic, which was oddly interesting to read about. Also there’s Meg and Andy having to deal with their mutual frustration towards Sylvia who isn't exactly known for having a very warm personality and her constant checking up on them. Then there's the past tenant of the house, a cracked out painted, who is harassing Meg because he blames her for his being evicted.
Highly recommended to anyone who enjoys a good mystery or ghost story. ...more
The hero in this book is based off of the character Gregory House from the tv show House M.D. This made me really unsure of picking up this book. I loThe hero in this book is based off of the character Gregory House from the tv show House M.D. This made me really unsure of picking up this book. I love House, but I was afraid that this book was going to read like some really awful fan fiction. But luckily that wasn't the case. The book is very light and humorous and the characters are all engaging. There's a few homages to the tv show casually thrown in (such as the mention of a patient with the last name Cuddy) but they weren't as annoying as they could have been.
The thing that really made this book enjoyable for me was the amount of time the two main characters actually spend together. Its a nice change of pace from most of the other historical romances where they're forced into a marriage and then spend half the book trying to avoid one another. Instead, Linnet and Piers spend a lot of time together over the course of the book and you get a sense of why they would be drawn to each other. Also, the way Piers didn't have a real sense of personal space boundaries was pretty amusing. The morning scenes when he'd come to wake her up to go swimming where probably my favorite parts of the story....more
I solemnly swear that I will try my hardest not to gush over this book like a rabid fan girl, but I have to say that I loved this book. Poison Study wI solemnly swear that I will try my hardest not to gush over this book like a rabid fan girl, but I have to say that I loved this book. Poison Study was a unique read and the characters and world Snyder builds up in this are absolutely amazing.
After rooming with the rats in the dungeons for a year, Yelena’s execution date has finally arrived. And she’s escorted upstairs to be read her last rights and have a chance to confess her sins before execution. Only the man she’s taken to offers her a choice, she can either swing in the breeze or become the food taster for the Commander of Ixia. -who is pretty much like the king of the kingdom.- Yelena’s not an idiot and knows that either way she’s choosing death, the only difference is how and when she’s going to die. Fast and now, by a noose or slowly and who knows when by poison. After a bit of consideration Yelena decides that with the poison at least she might have a chance of escaping.
Yelena’s lessons on poisons start immediately and this job is anything but easy. She not only has to deal with the fact that some assassin may try to slip the Commander poisoned food and end up poisoning her, but also that Valek, her teacher and the Commander’s right hand man, is known to test the food tasters by slipping them poisons every once in a while as well. Her plans of escaping have pretty much been squashed too, because Valek slipped a little insurance into her drink and now she has to get an antidote from him every morning or die a slow and painful death. And things just keep on getting better and better for Yelena, because the owner of the orphanage is pissed that she isn’t being executed for killing his son. So his cronies are running around the castle trying to kill her and there’s a rat in the servants quarter who is feeding her enemies information. There’s also the fact that something strange is happening to the Commander and she’s starting to develop a bit of a crush on Valek. Which shouldn’t be happening since the guy is likely to kill her if he ever gets even the slightest notion that she’s not working out as food taster.
I loved the world Snyder is building here. You get the sense that this place is kind of medieval, but then they have some modern conveniences as well. There’s a feud going on between the south and north countries that is really interesting as well. When Ixia was taken over by the Commander he banished all magic people and they went to the south. Now anyone who’s born with magic in Ixia is executed unless they can make it to the south before anyone reports them to the authorities. This is another problem Yelena faces when her magic powers start to emerge.
Yelena is probably one of the most tortured heroines I’ve read about in a long time and I absolutely loved her character. She had crappy life before she was imprisoned and things just keep getting more awful for her every day, but she handles everything that’s thrown at her really well. She knows how to think things through and instead of being broken by all that has happened to her, it’s only managed to make her stronger. She’s someone who can make it on her own and is smart enough and resourceful enough to survive pretty much anything.
Valek was another great character even though I think I made his character sound a bit darker than he is in the book. Throughout the story you’re a little leery of him and his motives because you can tell he’d do anything to keep the Commander safe and he isn’t exactly Mr. Trusting when it comes to other people. Both Valek and Yelena are really layered characters and I loved watching their relationship grow and watching their interactions together. And the minor characters in the story are great. The Commander was surprisingly a really interesting character and I would’ve liked to have seen more of him.
When I finished this book I was a little annoyed that it kind of ended on a cliff hanger. It wasn’t a huge one or anything. All the problems that were introduced in the story at the beginning were resolved and I felt content the story ended for the time being. Snyder just introduced a few small problems at the end in hopes of leaving us wanting more and kind of giving us a taste of what's going to happen in the next book. And it worked. I highly recommend this book to anyone who's listening....more
I was pretty surprised at just how much I enjoyed this book.
Mo moved up to Grundy, Alaska in order to escape her overbearing hippy parents. She had exI was pretty surprised at just how much I enjoyed this book.
Mo moved up to Grundy, Alaska in order to escape her overbearing hippy parents. She had expected to live quietly in her small cabin while figuring out exactly what she wanted to do with her life. But next thing she knows she's working as a cook in the local diner and having odd interactions with a wolf who keeps popping up all over Grundy. And to top things off she's constantly having verbal battles with the town grouch, Cooper, who is convinced she's another Thoreau wannabe who'll bolt after the first snow. It's rare when a book can have me laughing out loud, but this one had me doing just that several times. The main character, Mo, was witty as hell. Her inner dialog as well as her interactions with Cooper were hilarious. The only downside of the book was that there was a lot of build up surrounding Mo and Cooper in the first half of the book, but the way they got together seemed more like a fizzle than a pop.
The other thing that was really enjoyable about the story was Harper's take on werewolves. The lore of the pack and how she handled the politics surrounding it was unique and interesting.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book and can't wait to read more from this series. ...more
In The Kraken King (book 4 in the Iron Seas series) pulp adventure writer, Zenobia Fox, has had a target on her back ever since her brother acquired aIn The Kraken King (book 4 in the Iron Seas series) pulp adventure writer, Zenobia Fox, has had a target on her back ever since her brother acquired a fortune on one of his treasure hunts. Now anyone looking to make a quick buck knows that kidnapping her will easily get the ransom from her brother. Tired of living in fear and closeting herself away, Zenobia takes the chance to sail with her friend to Australia. But misfortune loves Zenobia as she quickly finds herself caught in the midst of a brewing conflict over a war machine and suspected of being a spy.
I’ll admit that I haven’t been following Meljean Brook’s “Iron Seas” series all that close. I read the first novel, The Iron Duke, but didn’t have the urge to jump into the rest of the series. Now, however, I definitely want to go back and read the other books because The Kraken King was fantastic. It feels like Brook has a much better grasp on the world and where she wants to go with it than she did in The Iron Duke.
The Kraken King offers a new look at Brook’s “Iron Seas” world as we’re taken for a romp in a new setting. I was pretty impressed with all the different politics that Brook incorporated as Zenobia and crew traipse across the continent. It gave the impression that this is a country that is divided and barely hanging onto peace time. Adding to this was the turmoil of the war machine and how the burden of it has fallen onto just a handful of average people.
One thing that Brook continues to do right is that she doesn’t include past main characters from the series unless they serve a function to the plot. This is one area that a lot of long running romance series fail in. Often characters will be inserted into the story to show just how bright and shiny their lives are now, which drags the plot down. So, instead of dreading seeing past characters appear in Brook’s novels, I’m excited because I know they’re appearing for a reason. This was the case here as we got an appearance from Archimedes and Yasmeen (Heart of Steel).
All in all, The Kraken King was a lot of fun. Also, I don’t feel like I missed anything by skipping Heart of Steel and Riveted to get to this one. Can’t wait to see what Brook will come out with next....more
Honor had been held captive by vampires for months before she was saved. Her captivity has left some serious scars on both her body and mind. BecauseHonor had been held captive by vampires for months before she was saved. Her captivity has left some serious scars on both her body and mind. Because of this she feels nowhere near ready to go out into the world, let alone work together with vampires to uncover a killer. Unfortunately, she is given little choice in the matter when the Tower calls demanding an expert who can identify some odd markings. Soon, Honor finds herself facing Dmitri, one of the oldest and most dangerous vampires in New York.
Well known for being brutal and cold hearted, Dmitri is a far cry from the man he used to be. Lately though, Dmitri has been finding it harder to bury the painful memories from his past. This doesn’t get easier when Honor shows up in his office. Her scars and behavior, remind Dmitri too much of what happened to his wife and family. However, never having been someone who could tolerate women and children brutalized, Dmitri takes over Honor’s case. Soon, both of them are working together to track down Honor’s abductors as well as discover who’s behind a rash of murders.
Now this is how an anti-hero book should be. Dmitri has always verged along the lines of being an antagonist in the series. In the first book, he seems fairly intent to kill Elena until the arch-angel Raphael nixes that. But even after that, his main role in the books seem be threatening to kill Elena if she shows any weaknesses. With this in mind, I wasn’t too thrilled to see him get his own book. I was worried that having him as the lead would destroy his character by making him suddenly all sunshine and bunnies or make him out to be such a huge ass that you just don’t understand why someone would fall for him. Luckily, I never felt that in this story. This book stays incredibly true to Dmitri's character, while at the same time making you want to see him get some happiness. Throughout the book, you feel like, in the other novels, you had only been seeing one side of the coin and I really enjoyed seeing the flip side.
The other reason why I was hesitant about reading this addition to the series is because reincarnation stories are not my bag. However, I really liked the way Singh did it in this book. She took a subtle approach to it that you don’t see too often. Throughout the story, you just kind of slowly assumed what Honor was. This was a huge relief, as it never forced a section of the plot to be about Honor trying to prove anything to Dmitri. That would’ve completely undermined the rest of the plot, which essentially centers on both characters slowly healing and coming to terms with past events in their lives.
And holy shit those events were horrendous. Singh really tortures both Dmitri and Honor in this book. What happened to Dmitri alone would make any of Sherrilyn Kenyon’s tortured heroes look like they had just been tickled by kittens. Luckily though, Singh never goes overboard with the details. What happened to both of the characters is revealed slowly, which made it much more palatable to read about than having it come up all at once.
All in all, this was a wonderful addition to the series. And I can’t wait for the next book which is going to be Jason’s....more
Kick-ass setting of an old plantation home in New Orleans. An awesome heroine who saves herself and provesThis book hit all the right buttons with me.
Kick-ass setting of an old plantation home in New Orleans. An awesome heroine who saves herself and proves capable yet still believable when the shit hits the fan. A role reversal where the hero is a virgin and the heroine is more experienced. Who sets out to soothe/teach him about sex. And a really original plot, involving a ghost from the 1920's falling in love with a vampire who has pretty much lost his marbles. Plus, some bonus points for a star trek reference.
I have to say one of my favorite things about this story is how Cole wasn't afraid to show the hero, Conrad, as inexperienced and almost shy about sex. Its so refreshing to read a story where the heroine gets to be more sexually aware than the hero. The ticking time bomb plot was also extremely enjoyable. There were a lot of deadlines that were encroaching on Conrad and Neomi throughout the entire story and it really added to the suspense. Conrad only has a limited amount of time to regain control over himself, there's also a demon who's marked him for dead, and later there's even a deadline concerning Neomi. This really added to the suspense of how in the world the author was going to solve the problem of Neomi being a ghost and Conrad being "living". All in all, I think this is probably one of the most paranormal romances I've read in a while. ...more