For a heroine who is supposed to be totally badass and the most feared shaman of all, Eugenie Markham finds herself in some incredibly hairy situation...moreFor a heroine who is supposed to be totally badass and the most feared shaman of all, Eugenie Markham finds herself in some incredibly hairy situations where she is powerless to save herself. What drew me to this book was not only because it was a title by Richelle Mead, but because the back cover of the story read to be incredibly enthralling, you've got a shaman with magical powers and a Glock, fairy kings, a shapeshifter, what's not to like?
It turns out that the book is not what it seems on the surface. I expected a whole lot more action and a less to do with Eugenie's love life, as she alternates between two guys which take up the bulk of the book. Kiyo, the japanese kitsune fox shapeshifter was a one night stand and soon after that she appears to have developed an extreme bond with him, which she goes to the extreme to save him. There's hardly any relationship development here, and you, as the reader are simply to assume that the two are inseparable after having sex. Despite all of this, her other partner is the fairy king Dorian which she also has sex with in the book, and it seems like she alternates between the two with no mystery or tension for the reader whatsoever. As a result, I found myself caring less about who she ended up with than about finishing the book.
There are also some incredibly confronting themes in this book which I found very blatant. You know from reading the description that there's bondage involved, but I was surprised to find that the underlying theme of the book is domination and rape. Despite being an all powerful shaman, Eugenie finds herself 'dominated' a lot of the time by a bunch of Other worldly beings who want to get in her pants. This happens several times during the book and it is both uncomfortable to read and disturbing. There are also several implied rape scenes, one involving a 15 year old girl, and another involving Eugenie's blood father which I just could not come to terms with as a reader.
Sure, there's a hot bondage scene involving Dorian, but the book focuses more on who wants to bed Eugenie and her want of being dominated than what drew me to the title in the first place - awesome creatures, other worlds, and full blown action. All things aside, I enjoyed the fast paced plot, unique and interesting characters (especially Dorian who gets a few one-liners) and Mead's writing style draws you in. However, the ridiculous plot developments especially towards the end, start happening in such quick succession that by this stage, absolutely nothing was shocking to the reader.
Well reader, you've been warned and approach at your own risk. Unfortunately, I've already purchased the next two titles in anticipation of Mead as my favourite writer, but those are the ones that I will not be picking up soon.
A perfect ending to a beautiful, supernatural love story. Not much happened in this book, most of it was Georgina's internal dialogue and figuring out...moreA perfect ending to a beautiful, supernatural love story. Not much happened in this book, most of it was Georgina's internal dialogue and figuring out the truth about her contract. As the last book of the series however, it tied up the story better than I would have imagined. I would have liked to see more of Las Vegas where all the flashing lights and possibilities were, but alas, that's not what this book was about.
One of my favourite things about the Succubus series is how Hell is structured like a big corporation, with office politics, contracts, legal proceedings, employee awards, and bowling matches. It's quite a hilarious depiction of Hell and how it runs its workers, and always provides a few laughs. The start of this books starts out with Georgina working part time as a Santa's helper elf, which was hilarious.
I found the book to be a little predictable, especially after all the deductions from Succubus Shadows, but adored the small twist at the end. Richelle Mead's writing is natural, believable, and enticing, and she's only gotten better and better after each Succubus book.
If you haven't read the Succubus books yet, I definitely recommend it, it's highly charged, emotional, has a unique plot with a soul sucking Succubus, her hellish friends and artistic and gentle Seth Mortensen. They are highly addictive from start to finish, and I preferred this over Vampire Academy.
What an exciting, action-packed read! At first, Bones really put me off because he reminds me so much of Spike with the spiky, blonde tipped hair, chi...moreWhat an exciting, action-packed read! At first, Bones really put me off because he reminds me so much of Spike with the spiky, blonde tipped hair, chiselled jaw and English accent and his personality is a lot like him as well. It was a little repetitive at the start when Cat dresses up as a skank and goes and baits vampires like that but the finale totally blew me away. Will keep reading this series.
This is now the second time I've read Angelfall, and it was brilliant both...moreThis appears originally on Happy Indulgence. Check it out for more reviews.
This is now the second time I've read Angelfall, and it was brilliant both times. There's a certain comfort in reading a book that you have read and loved because then the critic in me pipes down in favour of enjoyment.
The brilliance in Angelfall is the post-apocalyptic setting where angels have descended upon humans and started an all out war. Instead of counting on them for saviour and salvation, these ones are evil and regard humans as lowly, lesser beings. Humans have to scavenge for food, scrounge for angel parts, turn on each other and pretty much do anything to stay alive, some even turn to cannibalism. In other words, the survival aspects were done really well here, only with the added threat of angels around.
The book is incredibly intense with the evil fallen angels, dark and crazy characters, epic gory action scenes and just really horrific moments that had my heart clenched throughout the book. The horror elements here were so incredibly unexpected the first time I read it, where I had a sick, shocking sense of fascination where I couldn't tear my eyes away. Susan Ee paints a vivid picture in your head about this dystopian world, and doesn't hold back on the gore with scorpion angels and children with razer teeth. It does get really gritty, dark and horror-driven though so you're definitely in for some heart-stopping moments.
Penryn is a kickass heroine that I absolutely adored, having being trained in multiple martial arts techniques. Her family is unstable, with her young sister Paige getting kidnapped by angels and her insane mum who belongs in a mental asylum for how coo-coo she is. I loved how Penryn was so focused on looking out for her family and getting her sister back, even when she meets the badass angel Raffe. When Raffe gets his wings cut off, she nurses him back to health because she needs him for intel about Paige's whereabouts, not just because she finds him hot.
I loved how Penryn is focused on the goal, we really need more of that in YA. Romance isn't everything, and this book delivers some healthy attitudes about family and its importance (no matter who- or what they become). I also loved how Raffe and Penryn kind of grew together in their unlikely kinship, but it doesn't take over the story. Raffe was really swoon worthy, he could have left Penryn at any point but he agrees to help her in exchange for her wings. There's some enjoyable banter between the two throughout their journey.
On my re-read, I picked up a few interesting observations:
Penryn and Raffe pretty much carry his severed wings through the whole adventure, and the state of his wings were already tattered and bloody at the beginning of it. Not once, but twice, do they use the wings as a prop. Aside from the general grossness of amputated limbs, wouldn't it be in a completely disheveled or even decomposed state after a while? Are we simply meant to believe that the wings are still good after being taken around for so long?
Penryn's crazy ass mum coincidentally pops up everywhere she goes. How does this even keep on happening, if neither are following each other? If we're lead to believe the world at large is big, and Penryn's mum has no rhyme or reason as to where she goes, how is this plausible other than for the sake of convenience?
Penryn thinks about Paige pretty much every single Page. See what I did there?
A scene where Penryn has to dress up in a tight dress, stockings and heavy makeup just so she could flirt with angels in order to get into an aerie. I had forgotten about this scene but it just made me kind of disturbed about how sexualised she had to be and the obvious discomfort that she went through here. The angels pretty much regard humans as dirt but in the aerie, they are pretty much looking to have 'relations' with them. How twisted is that?
Isn't it great how I can pick up these observations in my re-read? Perhaps I should re-read books more often.
Angelfall is absolutely brilliant. The genre mashup of dystopia, horror and paranormal is genius and I cannot fault this book on anything. With a strong character, action focused plot, heart-clenching horror moments and a true brave heroine that we can truly back, I'd recommend Angelfall to absolutely everyone. Apparently there's still a few of you who haven't read Angelfall yet and seriously, what are you waiting for? You won't regret it.
Now I am thoroughly prepared to read World After which I am picking up straight away.
Oh yeah, there's one gripe...Raffe is actually pronounced "Raph-ie". I'm just going to pretend that it's pronounced "Raff".(less)
Red Headed Stepchild is about a half mage, half vampire assassin called Sabina Kane. She's been sent into the enemy's base to infiltrate their secrets...moreRed Headed Stepchild is about a half mage, half vampire assassin called Sabina Kane. She's been sent into the enemy's base to infiltrate their secrets and perform an assasination that gets complicated, as she finds out more about the people and her own birth.
At the very start of the book, there was a part that revealed that every vampire is a red head. The ones with darker mahogany hair are older and more powerful, while the ones with lighter auburn hair are newborns. I found this reference to be interesting and a little comical, but it was unfortunate that it wasn't really followed through well for the rest of the book.
There's this hilarious demon called Gighul in the book. Later on, he gets stuck in the form of a hairless cat. He steals every scene that he's in, and he does provide a bit of comical relief for the entire book.
Unfortunately, Red Headed Stepchild failed to grab me with it's run-of-the-mill story. As I've mentioned in the Serious Overload of Series Buddy Read thread, the story failed to convey a depth of emotion even though the circumstances affecting Sabina were personal. I just found like I was reading a straight action story all the way through, and in the end I failed to care about the main character. For an assassin, I expected her to be more on her guard and less trusting of others, but that didn't seem to be the case.
The mythology covering Lilith and Cain in Adam and Eve's place was quite interesting, and the book does spend quite a lot on it's world building. It seems character development was sacrificed in its place however. A 3 stars read for me, but if I did pick up the sequels it would be to read about what becomes of Gighul.
As one of the most popular urban fantasy titles out there, I was really excited to start The Hollows series. I have a thing about the supernatural, ev...moreAs one of the most popular urban fantasy titles out there, I was really excited to start The Hollows series. I have a thing about the supernatural, ever since I was young I've been intrigued with the world of witches, vampires, werewolves, and the like. The blurb to Dead Witch Walking sounded promising.
Once I got into Dead Witch Walking however, I found it difficult to get into. There's just something about the writing that is difficult to follow. Too many fragmented sentences, and there wasn't really a proper introduction. I felt like I was an outsider looking in, although I'm certain that it's just 'first in series' syndrome as the writer warms up her characters and the world building.
There were some intricacies which kept me reading, such as faithful companion Jenks, the interesting world-building, and how Rachel was going to get herself out of her own mess.
I found the relationship between Rachel and Ivy strangely perverse. A few times during the book I was questioning whether Rachel swung that way or not, but she did clearly state that she didn't. It's evident that the characters are quite complex, which will probably develop over time.
I'll keep reading because it's fascinating so far, and hopefully the writing gets better from here on out (and I've heard it gets really good, so I'm keen on following the series further).
The second book in the Hollows series is written much better than the haphazard style of Dead Witch Walking. I'm glad I stuck with the series because...moreThe second book in the Hollows series is written much better than the haphazard style of Dead Witch Walking. I'm glad I stuck with the series because it's a really unique and interesting one. Firstly, it seems like the author has done with some good editing and slowly interweaves the world building with what is happening at the time, instead of having huge info dumps at random intervals.
Rachel Morgan slowly learns to stand on her own and develop her powers further in this book. As an FIB consultant, she's assisting in a murder investigation using her strong intuition and witchy powers. The host of side characters such as Ivy, Nick, and Jenks are developed further and they are complex characters so it's interesting to follow.
There's some interesting developments to follow in this book, and I especially find entertaining how tomatoes are feared by all humans due to them containing a virus that wiped out 1/4 of humanity. This book is multi-layered and has complex characters and developments, and it is easily enjoyable.
I recommend The Hollows series to anyone who hasn't started it yet, and keen to start on the next one.
Woah this was amazing! Much better than the first, which dragged with a slow introduction and conversations between Cat and Bones.
The second in the N...moreWoah this was amazing! Much better than the first, which dragged with a slow introduction and conversations between Cat and Bones.
The second in the Night Huntress series goes straight into the action, which was both exhilarating and fast-paced. Cat is a rare vampire/human half-breed and her job is to exterminate vampires who pose a threat to humans. She's the commander of a badass but lovable team of agents, training them to stand on their own against vampires. Four years have passed since she left Bones behind to join the cause.
I was glad to see that she would inevitably meet her beloved again. The chemistry between Cat and Bones is explosive, partly due to their forbidden relationship and the tensions with her mum's disapproval, and her job.
With her reunion with Bones, commanding a team she has both trained and befriended, and finding herself a target of an assassination attempt, this book is bursting with excitement and emotion. Definitely pulled on the heartstrings and left the emotions raw. So glad I continued to read this series!
Zombies. Vampires. Ghouls. A centuries old Egyptian vampire goddess. After completing the 3rd book in the Night Huntress series, it's evident that thi...moreZombies. Vampires. Ghouls. A centuries old Egyptian vampire goddess. After completing the 3rd book in the Night Huntress series, it's evident that this series goes from strength to strength. It's exhilarating, fast-paced, and pulls at the heart strings.
Cat continues to grow on me, her strength of character is strong but not unbreakable in her weaker moments. Her fierce love for Bones fuels her every moment, and Bones is such a charming, arrogant, witty fellow. The only thing that annoyed me was Tate, who thinks he has a chance with her but how dodgy can you get?
Jeaniene Frost weaves intricate storylines into each character with a greater complexity than I've seen other authors do, and that's what makes this series a must-read.
While reading Unholy Ghosts, what struck me was how strange and unusual it was in some parts of it's storytelling.
Chess is a witch who hunts ghosts f...moreWhile reading Unholy Ghosts, what struck me was how strange and unusual it was in some parts of it's storytelling.
Chess is a witch who hunts ghosts for a living, but she is also addicted to drugs and uses them to deal with her life. In order to use magic, she is an employee of the Church of Real Truth, yet she also hangs out in all the wrong places. This juxta-positioning was a little strange, especially when she snorts drugs, listens to sermons, and hangs around rough-talking males. She certainly is an intriguing character, definitely not predictable or run-of-the-mill in any sense. I'm still unsure whether she's a likable one or not, but I guess I'll just have to wait and see as the series unfolds.
The book features an interesting and unique setting. It's set in a dystopian world based around ghosts, where a Church has been established to deal with the ghost problem. As the first in the series definitely had a lot of world-building to it. Despite this, a perfect sense of pace between mystery, character development, and world building sucked me into the story.
Chess's drug using however, was a bit hard to swallow (no pun intended). She's describe as an addict and that she definitely is and we hear about her need throughout the book.
The men in the book were kind of strange. I don't really buy Chess being attracted to either of them, and they are both are written a bit too similar in my opinion. They're both from opposing gangs, and both use rougher, street speech to talk, and both apparently perfect gentlemen. I kind of find this difficult to believe, but I suppose they are meant to be love interests.
I'm glad I've picked up this series as I've heard it gets really good later on and will be definitely continuing to read it.
The 4th book in the exhilirating Night Huntress series took quite a different turn from the previous books. Cat is no longer commanding her team of sp...moreThe 4th book in the exhilirating Night Huntress series took quite a different turn from the previous books. Cat is no longer commanding her team of special agents, however, she's got another problem - an old lover from a past she never knew claims to be her real husband and will stop at nothing to steal her away.
That's a cause for concern for Cat and Bones, and the passionate couple are constantly at each other's throats in this book - literally. So much so, that I found it quite difficult getting past the first 60% of the book. In fact, the book is filled with so much angst, self-loathing, and regret that it was quite uncomfortable to read.
Thankfully, the supporting characters really step in to save the day. Mencheres, Vlad, Spade and newly found ghost Fabian are all intriguing characters who have a place in the Night Huntress universe. I look forward to the Night Huntress world spin-offs to read a little more about these characters.
The last quarter of the book definitely did redeem the whole book for me. It was filled with lots of sex & sizzle, ultimate action-packed duels and twists as expected from Jeaniene Frost. Frost is masterful in how she weaves a story together, always keeping you on the edge of the seat to find out what happens next.
Continuing on from the phenomenal Night Huntress series, This side of the grave starts off with a bang as Cat gets accustomed to her newfound powers a...moreContinuing on from the phenomenal Night Huntress series, This side of the grave starts off with a bang as Cat gets accustomed to her newfound powers and strange feeding habits as a vampire.
Bones and Cat have ironed out their issues from the last book and spend their time either being mushy with each other or getting hot and heavy. It's a welcome change from the angst and whining from the last book as there's a lot more happening here on the brink of an all out ghoul war with an evil ghoul ruler and a ghoul goddess representing queen of the Damned.
The side characters especially the ghost Fabian are a crucial focus on this book, and Vlad as well as Mecheres are as fascinating as ever.
The plot isn't as tight and fast moving as previous books, but a hilarious voodoo experience and emotional passing of someone who means a lot to Cats heavyweights in this book. It's def a stronger contender than the previous title filled with lots of action, wit, and love. Can't wait to move onto the next one.
Being an avid reader of the first 5 books, it's evident that the series is sadly beginning to lose momentum. It seemed like the author was clutching a...moreBeing an avid reader of the first 5 books, it's evident that the series is sadly beginning to lose momentum. It seemed like the author was clutching at straws with the plot to create a completely out-of-the-blue arch enemy that you somehow fail to care about.
What I have loved in all of the previous books, even when Cat and Bones were fighting, was the strong emotions causing through the main character, the fast-paced action, the great side-characters, the witty remarks, and of course the passion and bond between our favourite vampire couple. It seemed that One Grave at a Time lacked the essential elements that tied the series together, and I just felt like it was a complete stand alone that had bland characters barely reminiscent of the ones from the series.
Firstly, the book was incredibly slow and the whole thing revolves around an evil poltergeist called Kramer. When you weren't reading about his terrifying threats and hauntings, you were reading about an annoying ass of a Centre leader Madigan. So what I felt here was a constant annoyance at whatever character that Frost has felt compelled to include that just gristled at me. Honestly, the previous books had done without the characters just there to make you annoyed and there is absolutely no reason that this one needed to include TWO of these characters.
Secondly, because the entire plot was so focused on this Kramer poltergeist that Cat is so fixated on, it barely left time for anything else. Very limited interaction between other characters actually felt like they were there as a cardboard cut out. Cat and Bones spent most of their time fixated on Kramer. And where the heck was Vlad? Definitely a slight disappointment.
Also the whole Cat and Mouse plot has been done so many times before and I don't mind it when it's done well, but when the finale is so anti-climactic you wish you could have done other things, like read all 5 previous books again. During the showdown, I actually felt all of those unpleasant emotions that I had from reading A Girl with a Dragon Tattoo, disturbing, wrong and just plain unpleasant.
All in all it's evident that I'm quite disappointed in this book, and hope that the last few books of the series will live up to the excellent standard that Frost has created for the first 5 books.
With a name like "Touched by an alien", it's no doubt that this book would be hilarious and unconventional, not taking itself seriously. Even the blur...moreWith a name like "Touched by an alien", it's no doubt that this book would be hilarious and unconventional, not taking itself seriously. Even the blurb was funny, I mean handsome aliens dressed in Armani suits? The book delivered lots of laughs, action, romance, and more.
Nothing could prepare me for the entertainment that ensued upon reading the book. The witty banter alone was incredibly fun, between the Alpha-Centaurions (or A-C's) which are all incredibly good looking, smart aliens who are great in bed and who hold superpowers like "extreme empathy". When you look at the book as a whole, it's really funny but it definitely doesn't try too hard to be that.
Kitty is a great heroine with an excellent sense of humour. She could win battles just on her quick wit and taste in hard rock music alone. Her parents are also an interesting pair, one of which is even more kick ass than her daughter.
This book wasn't perfect however, with a political and religious agenda explaining why the aliens came to Earth. It did confuse me in some parts, but carried on at a fast pace. There was heaps of action moving the book at a fast pace, although I was disappointed that the Montblac pen didn't make a reappearance later in the book.
*minor spoiler*(view spoiler)[The contrived love triangle was probably something I could have done without, I felt like I was watching another episode of Vampire Diaries again, with the heroine caught between two hunks! (hide spoiler)]
I definitely enjoyed this title, and will be continuing with the rest of the series. This series is definitely underrated, if you want a good, entertaining sci-fi romance then pick this up!
Ill wind is an explosive debut about a group of wardens who maintain balance to the Earth, fire wardens, earth wardens, and weather wardens. Joanne Ba...moreIll wind is an explosive debut about a group of wardens who maintain balance to the Earth, fire wardens, earth wardens, and weather wardens. Joanne Baldwin is a powerful weather warden who is running from the storm, looking for her powerful friend Lewis who is the only one who can save her from a demon mark.
The whole story is basically set out around a huge road trip, but it's a journey definitely worth travelling. The weather descriptions went over my head a little as they were a bit too scientific for my liking, but definitely makes it unique in a sense. Flashbacks are tied into the Joanne's road trip, fleshing out why she is running and looking for Lewis and the relationships she has with other characters.
When she meets a handsome hitchiker David, things get really interesting from there as he's not what he seems from the start.
I really enjoyed the writing, it is personable, down-to-earth, and does not try too hard to be descriptive or poetic. The author weaves complexities into the storyline really well. Both Joanne and David are extremely likeable characters, while they aren't perfect in any sense, they are void of any annoying character traits that are so common in PNR/UF titles.
I loved how the story unfolded and felt like I went on a little journey myself, reading about the circumstances following Joanne. The way the story was set out definitely led up to an explosive finale that had me gobsmacked with an ending I did not see coming.
The weather warden series is an interesting one, and I'll definitely pick up the next books in the series to see how things pan out.
Kitty Norville pleasantly surprised me with it's unique radio talk show segments and intriguing heroine. Unlike most other heroines in PNR UF series,...moreKitty Norville pleasantly surprised me with it's unique radio talk show segments and intriguing heroine. Unlike most other heroines in PNR UF series, Kitty is at the bottom of her pack and she's the meek one who needs the protection of others. Her radio talk show about supernatural beings suddenly takes off, and intrinsically she finds herself wanting to break out on her own and lead the pack.
The whole 'pack' mentality was interesting in this one. Even as humans, the Alpha can do whatever he wants with the rest of his pack members, provided they have his protection. Kitty's gotten by so far by acting submissive and needing to be looked after, but slowly, she starts to break free of that. It's an interesting journey to follow, especially because she's not the typical kick ass heroine and she starts out from the bottom.
The radio segments were fantastic. Callers talk to Kitty about their supernatural questions, and it attracts the attention of the police, government departments, and her own boss. I'm still not sure how the existence of werewolves, vampires and other beings are handled in Kitty's world. Typically, it would be risky to expose these beings, so why is she so open about it?
It will be interesting to see how the rest of the series unfolds, this wasn't mindblowing in any sense but intriguing.