Stone Cold Touch really made me a fickle reader. By the end of WHK, I was firmly in Team Roth, but both Roth and Zayne had their equal share in spotliStone Cold Touch really made me a fickle reader. By the end of WHK, I was firmly in Team Roth, but both Roth and Zayne had their equal share in spotlight moments (and some of those were some butterflies-in-stomach-and-brains-and-liver moments). Yes, Roth made it back topside. ;)
But SCT did what I almost thought was nigh impossible...it made me Team Zayne. Hahaha.
I've always found JLA books read more like YA, in terms of the whole tone of her books and her writing style. The Dark Elements series is no exception. The contents are definitely New Adult, but it's shelved as YA in my subconscious.
Anyway, SCT has the usual JLA goodness of humor, romance and plot-curves that just hooks you in. There were parts of the story that didn't sit well with me though - how Layla was two timing the guys, which is a serious pet peeve of mine, how fast her relationship with Zayne progressed, and how little the Church of God's children part progressed. It seemed like the plot took a backseat this time with all the love triangle drama SCT's got going. But still, definitely worth a shot!
I was hooked, but...can the guys stop falling for the doppelgängers!? It's weird. And meh. This is my first witch novel and it's pretty coo*3.5 stars*
I was hooked, but...can the guys stop falling for the doppelgängers!? It's weird. And meh. This is my first witch novel and it's pretty cool. 'CEPT FOR THE ROMANCE.
What I really loved was how Angelini amalgamated science and magic together, which is technically alchemy and alchemy is seriously cool shit. Which is very Angel and Demons/Dan Brown-ish just YA-fied, no? I'm a very science-based person (aced those mofos through O and A levels ;), so Angelini's ability to weave theories and all that jazz in made it all the more intriguing without dulling the pace nor tone of story.
Something that bothered me a little initially was Angelini's writing style. It's not even selective third person perspective; it seemed more like she wrote it in first person but decided to changed the I's to Lily/she/her. It just...seemed that way to me.
I found Lily relatable, Rowan was awesome, Tristan and Caleb were fun to have around but the rest seemed terribly 2D. Even the Outlander tribe chief. Maybe she spent too much brain juice on her world building - which was very ambitious and interesting, but still a little lacking in terms of the magnitude I think Angelini was striving for. So much potential there that I'm looking forward to see developed in TRAIL OF TEARS, book 2.
Sci fi, witchcraft, alternate universes and modern/medieval cities abound, definitely refreshing and worth reading. This is almost an unprecedented mishmash of genres, some might like it others might hate it, but ultimately I think that TRIAL BY FIRE might actually set a trend in the YA department, if not by merit of its execution, then by it's novelty.
Seriously, I didn't expect anything less. Anything Nalini Singh writes is able to completely suck me in irrevocably (I'll always think of T*4.5 stars*
Seriously, I didn't expect anything less. Anything Nalini Singh writes is able to completely suck me in irrevocably (I'll always think of Twilight when I use this word. Weird..). I didn't expect to like Talin and Clay all that much, but hot damn, theirs is a story that is compelling and exciting. Clay might not be the most tender of lovers, but he has a way of worming into all of us readers' hearts. :)
Review to come
P.S. I'm not reading this series in order, but I'm running out of Psy-Changeling books to read.
My first Ilona Andrews book and it's pretty not bad! I have never read anything like this before, and that maOrginally posted at A Bookalicious Story.
My first Ilona Andrews book and it's pretty not bad! I have never read anything like this before, and that made CLEAN SWEEP a refreshing and exciting read. Judging from the cover I was expecting Fantasy, but it turned out to be URBAN fantasy. I was in the mood for some fantasy, but this turned out to be an unexpectedly-fortunate mistake.
Dina is an innkeeper, and that means she has magical abilities and she's strongest when she's within the boundaries of her inn. Innkeepers have a sort of connection to their inns that allows the inn to respond to commands and comments from their keepers. They're sort of like a really loveable pet dog - the inns, I mean. Inns thrive with the flow of customers and guests, so with good business, the inn becomes stronger; Too little or no guests will cause an inn to go into hibernation.
Dina's parents were innkeepers that run a thriving inn, with a booming business and top ratings, a whopping five-stars. A highly-rated inn will be reflected in the directory and that tells customers that it is safe and guarantees quality. Dina's learnt the ropes and is pretty familiar with the codes and etiquettes that comes with being an innkeeper. However, about three years ago, her parents and their inn vanished without a trace and her brother and her had spent a few years attempting to find clues to their disappearance but to no avail. She decided to settle down and The Innkeeper Assembly allocated to her Gertrude Hunt, an inn that went into hibernation years ago.
With time, patience and lots of TLC, she slowly coaxes Gertrude Hunt out of its slumber and even have a permanent guest, the eccentric but elegant Her Grace Caldenia who has a thing for Funyuns and Mello Yello...and who's cannibal too. Anyway, it's all peaceful until her neighbor's dogs start to turn up at public places grotesquely mauled that Dina starts to investigate. Innkeepers are neutral ground, and that means staying out of anything that does not directly threaten their inns and their customers. But Dina can't just stand by and let this...whoever it is start killing and threatening the lives of the people in her town.
In walks Sean Evans, ex-military and resident werewolf who just moved into town a few months back. When their town is threatened, werewolves usually feel the need to protect it and establish their claim on the town. Then the Marshal of vampire house Krar, Arland, from some other planet drops by too claiming that the one responsible was a wanted criminal from their planet. And so Dina will have to work with two very big, bad, infinitely stubborn and protective dudes to save their little town.
I want to be an innkeeper too, dammit! This writing-duo made Clean Sweep such an adorable and fun read that I just want to be a part of their imaginary world for just awhile.
Dina is a very relatable character. She might not be kickass, but she has a broom that can change shape when she sends her magic into it, a Shih Tzu that isn't really a Shih Tzu but is still plenty cute and an inn that can send out roots to hold down attackers and wield guns to help defend itself and Dina. Then there's the cool, calm and gorgeous werewolf, Sean, and reserved, mysterious and muscular vampire, Arland. I wouldn't say that they were terribly unique love interests in the UF genre, buuuut they do provide comic relief that's for sure. (Watch out for Arland with coffee, hahaha. Vamps have this funny reaction when they ingest caffeine)
CLEAN SWEEP is a short, light and fun novella with just the right amount of humor, action and good ol' UF mystery. The ending provided enough closure, but I sense so much more adventure coming our way. CLEAN SWEEP was originally published free at this website, chapter by chapter each week, and it's been announced that they're doing it again for the sequel starting early 2014. I'll probably wait for the final copy of the book cause I prefer to read my books in one shot. I'll definitely be checking out the Andrews' other works in the mean time though!...more
*4.5 stars* LOVED, loved, luuurved Leila. Loved Vlad. Loved the simple yet oddly satisfying, addictive and fast paced plot! Admittedly,Quickie Review
*4.5 stars* LOVED, loved, luuurved Leila. Loved Vlad. Loved the simple yet oddly satisfying, addictive and fast paced plot! Admittedly, there was more focus on the development in the romance department between the commanding, enigmatic Vlad and Leila in TWICE TEMPTED, but that didn't take away from the overall story or pace.
I'm not sure how to describe Leila, other than that she's loyal to the people she loves to a fault, she's stubborn, but oddly vulnerable to her feelings for Vlad and her family. She's such a beautifully flawed yet amazing woman, y'know wha' I mean? After acclimatizing to the harsher, more brutal (and oddly medieval) world of vampires, she's starting to stand on her own again, and she's gotten more badass! I liked that she faces her problems, that she tries to help Vlad any way she can while also thinking for her family, she doesn't make the same mistake of doubting Vlad again when people whisper poison in her ears, and have I mentioned she's definitely become more badass?
A determined new love interest, a vengeful ex-lover, and a stubbornly sexy man unwilling to open his heart. What is an electricity-wielding woman to do when life keeps throwing excretion in her fan? (Ok I tried to be less crude about it, but wasn't very successful I can tell. And sorry I butcher the English language. Whoops.)
Anyway, I couldn't ask for a better sequel, and I am dying to get my hands on book three. (Which still doesn't have any information released yet other than it's the last in the series. *sobs hysterically*) If you enjoyed ONCE BURNED, you'll definitely like TWICE TEMPTED. Maybe even more so! RECOMMENDED. :)
P.S. (view spoiler)[I have some questions about the book as I was reading ONCE BURNED and TWICE TEMPTED... Like when Vlad and Leila were hunting for the mastermind behind Leila's kidnap in OB, why couldn't Vlad just see Szilagyi's face in Leila's mind after she did her essence-tracing thing? Couldn't she just think of Szilagyi so Vlad can pick it out of her mind? And in TT, why Vlad couldn't read Leila's mind after she turned into a vampire? Vlad could read Maximus' mind before, so being a vampire shouldn't have given her extra neuro-protection... I'll email Jeaniene to see what she says. ;) (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
*4.5 stars* I didn't expect to like this so much right after devouring Unchained by J. Lynn (another UF) just a week ago, but I loved ONQuickie Review
*4.5 stars* I didn't expect to like this so much right after devouring Unchained by J. Lynn (another UF) just a week ago, but I loved ONCE BURNED!
The plot was simple yet superbly enjoyable, and there were the action, the gore, the romance, so ONCE BURNED is far from a mindless good read, it's an amazing read. I loved the entire cast of characters - Leila, Vlad (though he does take high-handed to a whole new level), Maximus, Marty, everyone. Each character had their own distinct voice and (very endearing) personality.
Frost's version of vampires (and Vlad, the Dracula of old, the source of inspiration Bram Stoker drew from) was the classic, fly-superhuman-speed-and-strength, kind. If my memory doesn't fail me and Dracula could fly. Well, at least they don't sparkle in daylight (thank you, Jeaniene!). But in addition to the original vamp model, Vlad had an affinity for fire, able to summon and wield it. Others have other powers they inherit from their sires but it will only manifest after some time. The only thing that didn't really sit well with me was Leila's abilities to sense a person's essence - to see said person's defining moment in life, be it their darkest sin or life-changing tragedy, trace the essence to the person's present location and glimpse his/her possible future - and being a walking electricity generator after touching (and almost dying) a downed power line during a storm. I mean, come on, this might be an urban fantasy, but still. And the lack of world-building.
However, even with the minimal world building, ONCE BURNED had all the thrills and fuzzies that reminded me why I fell in love with this genre a long time ago, and it kept me glued to it's pages so much so that I didn't bother to update my reading status on Goodreads and grab the second installment, TWICE TEMPTED, right off my shelf once I was done with it. I don't know why I haven't ventured into Frost's Night Huntress world earlier, but I'd definitely check out Cat and Bones' story. I'd say ONCE BURNED is a pretty classic UF read, but there's just this something I can't put my finger on that makes it so addictive; Strongly recommend this to any UF/PNR readers and vampire lovers out there!...more