I know I am way behind the ball on this one but I have started reading the Morganville Vampires series. For those of you that are not familiar with thI know I am way behind the ball on this one but I have started reading the Morganville Vampires series. For those of you that are not familiar with this series, let me just say this – this is not your normal vamp fiction. The vampires do not sparkle, they do not woo, they do not seduce some busty vixen. These vampires are not good guys. They’re not even anything close to being mistaken for good guys. They are straight up, in your face, cant be denied monsters. And it’s kinda awesome.
The star of this series is a sweet little doormat by the name of Claire Danvers. Claire is a child prodigy of sorts. At 16 years old, she’s in her freshman year of college. The book opens with her being terrorized by an upper classman and that really sets the tone for the type of character we are dealing with. She’s young. She gets pushed around. At 16 years old, I would have beaten the ass of anyone that pulled that kind of crap on me. Our character feels more like 13 or 14 than 16 years old.
At times, that young feeling is a grating feeling in this book. She’s supposed to be in college and even the upperclassman all act like they’re twelve. Granted, I am fully aware that there are plenty of immature “kids” in college but the collegiate cast in this book is a bit much.
That immature feeling is about the only thing I really didn’t like about the book. The rest of the book is good. The whole “forsaken town” vibe that Morganville has just wreaks of Quentin Tarantino! Think ‘From Dusk Til Dawn’ or John carpenter’s ‘Vampires’. Or even Joel Schumacher’s 80’s cult classic The Lost Boys. These are all prime examples of the feel that this book has – like Morganville is the last stop before hell and about as far from Heaven as you can get.
However, there is very little blood in this book. It’s not horror in the sense that those films all are. It’s very PG. Aside from someone being pushed down a flight of stairs and talk of someone “being tortured”, there really isn’t even a whole lot of violence in Glass Houses.
The sex content is only hinted, not blatant. There is a threat of an inappropriate relationship but the older of the pair is very much like “I wanna but I know we shouldn’t so I won’t”. From the moment that we meet these two characters, I sooooooo knew that was coming. There was no way they weren’t going to play with fire on that one. The two characters are too conveniently placed.
As for the writing, It’s pretty good. It’s fast moving with not a lot of speed bumps. The mystery of the day is well written in that I did not see the bad guy coming at all. That one totally blind sided me. There’s also a twisty little surprise in the middle of the book that will make you make the WTF face.
Also, I kind of love the character of Amalie! She reminds me a lot of Queen Sophie Ann LeClerq of the Southern Vampire Mysteries novels by Charlaine Harris (NOT the True Blood version). She has moments of kindness but you would be very wise to remember that she can and would snap your neck in an instant if you cross her. She’s kind of bad ass.
One thing I realized upon finishing this novel is that Morganville Vampires are not stand alone novels. I would say the end was a cliffhanger but I don’t even think that really explains it. It’s more like it’s the end of a chapter and you’ll find the next chapter in the next book. Very much a “To Be Continued” kind of moment. Luckily, I had the next book ready to go immediately so I didn’t punch anyone in the face hole for leaving me hanging.
One last note in regards to the audio books. I got this as an audio book and I got the Kindle book (so I could read at night while my husband slept). The narrator of this series is…….well……..bad. I found that I had a very hard time staying focused when listening but not a problem at all when reading. That’s normally not a problem for me at all. So you may want to listen to a sample before buying the audio book to determine whether or not you can stomach that voice for over 8 hours.
Overall, I am going to give Glass Houses 3 stars. It’s a good book. It’s solid but it’s far from mind blowing. I am going to proceed with the series for now because I am hoping that as our main character gets older, the maturity level of the book will come up a few notches. ...more
My first taste of Ilona Andrews. Awesome book. Totally impressed. Easily categorized as "Epic Urban Fantasy". Super detailed world and very well thougMy first taste of Ilona Andrews. Awesome book. Totally impressed. Easily categorized as "Epic Urban Fantasy". Super detailed world and very well thought out. Will definitely be continuing on with the series. ...more
The Dead Girls’ Dance is the 2nd installment in the Morganville Vampires series. I am very new to this series but on the whole, I like it.
This secondThe Dead Girls’ Dance is the 2nd installment in the Morganville Vampires series. I am very new to this series but on the whole, I like it.
This second book I felt was much better than the first book in the series. Now that we are familiar with the cast, there’s a lot more plot to the story than the Getting to Know You game. Obviously we will get characters that pop up here and there but let’s be honest, they usually end up dead anyway so who cares?
I found that I didn’t mind Claire quite so much in this installment. She’s still immature as hell but she’s 16 so we really cant expect her to be worldly and sage. Instead, we get a normal 16 year old girl. She’s brainier (is that a word?) than most 16 year olds when it comes to books but she’s still just as brainless in some senses. Liiiiiike boys. Shane. She is jail bait. He knows she’s jail bait. The cops, judges and all other forms of authority in the town are OWNED by the vamps who would really like to see her head on a pike and yet she keep pushing his metaphorical envelope. Dummy.
She’s also that cliche girl in horror movies who is almost always running in the wrong direction. She gets herself into more crap situations than I ever would have imagined possible just simply by making the obviously WRONG choice. She always smarts her way out of a situation or stumbles out of it thanks to sheer dumb luck but she gets out alive. Which is more than I can say for some other characters that we know and love but I am going to leave that one alone and just dangle that teaser out there. It’s a good one. Great plot twist that made me want to cry.
On a side note: I LOVE EVE!!! She’s fantastic. She’s damaged (which makes her fun to analyze the crap out of). She’s snarky and sassy and sarcastic and all the other S-words I strive to be. She’s a fun character to read. Fanfic moment – it would have been really cool to see her take the lead role in this. I imagine there would be a lot more dead vamps and LOTS of gunfire! Explosions! AWESOMENESS!
Ok, I am done.
Overall, I am giving The Dead Girls’ Dance 3 stars. Good book but again, not ground breaking. I’d like to see it take a more edgier approach. And by edgy, I dont mean jail bait trying to seduce the adult boy who is trying his hardest to do what’s right. Claire……. *shaking my head*...more
This was my first time reading anything by Kerrelyn Sparks and I found that I really enjoyed it. I was familiar with Kerrelyn first by her historicalThis was my first time reading anything by Kerrelyn Sparks and I found that I really enjoyed it. I was familiar with Kerrelyn first by her historical romance releases but quickly learned that she wrote some paranormal romance.
I would like to warn potential readers though – this is not the paranormal romance that you are used to. Paranormal romance usually is a paranormal story line with a romantic twist. How to Marry a Millionaire Vampire was the opposite – a romance with a paranormal twist. It has all the markings of a true romance novel – the damsel in distress, the brave night who saves the day and at the same time sweeps her off her feet in a grand romantic gesture. The traditional romance formula. In this one, there happens to be a bunch of vampires involved. Now, I explain this not to turn you away from the book but just to give you a heads up so you know going in that it is not the norm for a paranormal romance.
Regardless of the traditional romance with a paranormal twist feel, I really enjoyed this book. The characters are fun and intriguing. The vampire lore in this book loosely follows the traditional vamp lore – stakes, sunlight, decapitation, blood consumption, etc. However, they DO go to the bathroom. Lol This was a fact that kind of made me laugh because of the way it is presented in the book. It’s a pretty funny moment.
My only complaint about this book was the repeated use of the phrase “God’s blood”. Not that I am a big nit pick about God or anything. It was just repeated so much that the repetition really stuck out.
Roman and Shanna are a fantastic couple of characters and I hope I get to see more of them as this series progresses. I will definitely be carrying on with the series so I guess I will find out * wink wink *
I am giving How to Marry a Millionaire Vampire 3 stars! A solid and entertaining read. ...more
Reading On The Prowl was totally not a planned thing. I was a few hours into the audio book for Cry Wolf (Alpha & Omega series #1) when I startedReading On The Prowl was totally not a planned thing. I was a few hours into the audio book for Cry Wolf (Alpha & Omega series #1) when I started e-mailing back and forth with Ginny Lurcock. She has already read the series and wanted to know what I thought about Charles. Well, I took that opportunity to spew my frustrations with the book. I love Patty Briggs!! She’s an amazing writer who creates amazing characters. Here I was, 3 hours into an audio book, the FIRST in the series, and I had NO CLUE what was going on. I had never had a problem with missing details in any of her previous books that I had read and I couldn’t understand how she could disappoint me so!
When I read her response, I could see Ginny’s face on the other end of the World Wide Web. I imagine a face of exasperation and “Ummmmmm, hello?!?!?!?!” as she informed me that I was missing a step. I started with Cry Wolf completely skipping the prequel that explains all of the events that you are unceremoniously dumped in the middle of. I immediately grabbed On The Prowl and started reading as soon as I got home last night and finished it up this morning. It answered every single question I had and completely restored by short lined loss of faith in Ms. Briggs.
Alpha & Omega is actually a kind of hard story to read. The content is hard to imagine and rather painful to read through the eyes of Charles. Between his instant protectiveness and the painful details of Anna’s prior treatment, it is just hard to read through at times.
As with everything else I have ever read by Patricia Briggs, it is brilliantly written. The writing style is classic Briggs – easy to read with enough detail to paint a perfect picture.
Since it is a novella, it just kind of feels like the missing chapter from the beginning of Cry Wolf.
I am going to slap a big juicy 5 stars on it. I am very much looking forward to proceeding on with Cry Wolf now. Having all the details gives me a completely different outlook on the way things are going in Cry Wolf and also gave me a fresh dose of hatred for the pricks from Anna’s Chicago pack. ...more
Ok, so this is my big dorky moment in the big dorky sun. My love of urban fantasy and PNR really took off in the early 2000’s when I discovered the BuOk, so this is my big dorky moment in the big dorky sun. My love of urban fantasy and PNR really took off in the early 2000’s when I discovered the Buffy novels. See, I was this super huge mega-fan of the show (……..ahem…still am…ahem……..) and when the show ended, I went through withdrawals on a major scale. All of these characters that I grew to love were just….gone. Well, sort of. A few spun off into the show Angel but that isn’t the same thing.
This case of withdrawal led to one of my friends giving me a nudge and saying “hey, there’s books!” I immediately ran out to my now-defunct local book store and found a SECTION of Buffy books. Yes, an ENTIRE SECTION. Written by all sorts of different authors, they are basically fanfiction. Sort of.
After reading about a dozen of them, I came across Seven Crows. I ended up reading it at least 20 times over the next few years until one day it just vanished. To this day, this is my favorite Buffy book and I hope to be able to read it again one day.
In the Buffy/Angel universe (carryover from the show) – This book takes place after Angel has left and moved to L.A. and also far enough out that Riley has also left and found his Nora Fury (thanks for that reference Xander!). Buffy gets a call from Riley asking for her assistance on a case out in the deserts of Arizona and she accepts, seeing it as a bit of a vacation that she’s going to get paid for.
The thing I loved about this book was the tie in of the old “poem” (don’t know that it’s really considered a poem).
One crow sorrow,
Two crows mirth,
Three crows a wedding,
Four crows a birth,
Five crows silver,
Six crows gold,
Seven crows a secret,
Which must never be told….
It comes up at the beginning of the book and ties plot lines together, line by line, throughout the story. But not in an obvious way. All together, it ends up piecing together a great story with a classically Joss Whedon-style Buffy/Angel mystery.
The Joss Whedon/Marti Noxon humor is dead on in the writing, as is the romantic ties that bind. The author was meticulous in the continuity with the two shows’ plot lines so the whole thing fits seamlessly together, rather than feeling like a completely separate story that just happens to star the same characters. The history is there and if you’re a BtVS/Angel fan, you’re totally going to love this story. I just wish I had been able to see this story on screen because this would have made a bitchin’ two part episode. Maybe three part….
Overall, I am giving Seven Crows five dusty stakes (‘cause in Buffy, vampires turn to dust when you stake them)! This particular novel goes down as my all-time FAVORITE Buffy book.
Unfortunately, it was written back in the day before ebooks were a thing and even on Amazon, you can only buy used copies of it. BUT if you happen to be lucky enough to find a copy, snatch that bitch up because it’s so worth the read.
Some of my other favorite Buffy and/or Angel novels are:
Blood and Fog by Nancy Holder <–Cool spin on the story of Jack the Ripper!! The Burning (The Unseen Trilogy #1) by Nancy Holder Door to Alternity (The Unseen Trilogy #2) by Nancy Holder Long Way Home (The Unseen Trilogy #3) by Nancy Holder Immortal by Christopher Golden Tempted Champions by Yvonne Navarro The Lost Slayer by Christopher Golden Sanctuary by Jeff Mariotte The Longest Night Volume 1 by Little Things by Rebecca Moesta Return to Chaos by Craig Shaw Gardner Out of the Madhouse (Gatekeep Trilogy #1) by Christopher Golden and Nancy Holder Ghost Roads (Gatekeeper Trilogy #2) by Christopher Golden and Nancy Holder Sons of Entropy (Gatekeeper Trilogy #3) by Christopher Golden and Nancy Holder
Any of these ones are GREAT reads and they’re not just a retelling of an episode (which some of the Buffy novels are). If you like the idea of reliving an episode, I recommend Chosen by Nancy Holder. Chosen is the entire final season of the show turned into a rather large novel, with each chapter being one of the episodes. If you were a fan of the show, you know that season was pretty epic and being able to read the “ending” of the Buffy story is kind of fun. There are other books too that are episodes that have been novelized but I found that they were always my least favorite episodes.
All of the authors listed above are great ones and they totally capture the feel of Joss Whedon’s creation.
Anyway, there’s my little dork out session. I am hoping that there are some Buffy fans out there among our readers who will really like this one and find a new way to bring their old school obsession back into their lives. ...more