Not as good as the first book. I don't understand why certain things happened. So unnecessary. And we barely get to hear from our main couple. Too man...moreNot as good as the first book. I don't understand why certain things happened. So unnecessary. And we barely get to hear from our main couple. Too many characters.
At A Glance I don't know what happened. I still love the series, but this book didn't really do it for me.
The Good Dragons!!! Gotta love me some dragons. Lugh is still on a quest to collect and hide certain artifacts that will rebuild the fey mounds. But Lugh can already feel himself growing weaker as the Fade that kills off his people starts to descend on him. His life, and most of the sidhe, now must depend on a scary dragon who would as easily kill you as help you. Because only he could hide the artifacts from those who want to steal them.
Lugh is getting weaker and it shows a lot in Defender of Magic. You have to respect the guy for trying so hard to restore his people but it's looking more likely that he may be too late. His enemies are taking full advantage of his weakness and you can't help but feel bad for the guy. It's like the world is on his shoulders.
I loved the addition of Jonathan, the dragon-shifter. He was pretty badass. He's both frightening and reasonable. He much rather kill things than anything else, so the fey should be very weary of him. But we know Lugh, a little fire and a huge dragon doesn't scare him.
The ending definitely got my attention. Some things are revealed and they could be life-changing for Lugh. I will be reading the next book because I have to know what happens next.
The Bad It's no secret that I find this series of the three tier series to be the weakest for me. I am just not the biggest fan of Lugh's. He's kind of boring to me. This book didn't change my opinion of him. Out of all the series, he has the biggest quest, that's for sure, I just think the other characters are so much more entertaining.
I found myself bored with the plot. It had a slow start and only okay fight scenes that barely kept my interest.
The Snuggly No snuggly in this book, just adventure. Though we do get a heartfelt scene with Lugh longing for Rhiannon, a fey he loved and lost.
Final Thoughts This definitely wasn't my favorite book but I still love the series. I think the three tier series as a whole is fun and exciting (Champion of the Sidhe, Rise of the Unseelie, and Touched). I would still recommend them to fantasy lovers.
Quotes A stillness descended over Lugh that only came in the presence of a predator. The wind mocked him, altering course to taunt him with the hint of something foul and then stealing it away once more.
As Lugh reached for the long knife, the hiss of an arrow's flight slashed the air. In the second he detected it Lugh dodged, but not knowing from whence it came he failed to escape.
At A Glance Northern Bites was even better than the first book of the series, and I am already dying to read book three.
The Good I am so getting into this series. I think Northern Bites was better written and better plotted compared to book one, Aurora Sky: Vampire Hunter. The drama, the action, the mystery, it all blended together so perfectly. And I love the direction the series is going as a whole.
Aurora is growing into a little warrior. The ball may not be in her court, but she doesn't let herself get knocked down by anyone. She still has her weaknesses, but she is smarter this time around. She is biding her time, collecting information, determining who she can trust and who she can't. But things are going down and Aurora is determined to come out on top. Though some of her actions bothered me, most of the time I loved her. She's the average girl turned heroine. She is learning to fight, to ask questions, and to lead instead of follow.
Valerie is a b*tch and will always be one. But she's smart and she is a fighter. I was surprised to find myself liking her a little bit. I hate what she does to Aurora, but like Aurora says, Valerie may be evil, but she is upfront evil, she doesn't try to hide it like other people do. She's mean to your face, instead of behind your back.
Dante really caught my attention this time around. He's always been flirty and confident, but you can see a more serious side of him when his focus is on Aurora. No more games. Let the best man win, which is Dante. Screw Fane.
Even with my hate for some of the characters, I still find them all fascinating. I love how Jefford keeps her characters on the cusp of evil and good. We never know who to trust, just like Aurora. The plot was interesting and the dialogue flowed well.
Wow, that ending. I wasn't expecting that. We are left with a lot of questions, but that's okay. I think Aurora is going to come back even stronger. She is starting to see people for who they truly are, and she is ready to fight.
The Bad There are two parts of this book that bothered me and one is Fane. Can't stand that little bastard. There is no way Jefford can redeem Fane in my eyes. I am DONE! I am team Dante all the way. It was hard for me to respect Aurora for chasing after Fane in this book. How many times does he have to hurt her for her to understand he is NOT a good guy?
Oh, and why isn't Aurora sticking up for herself when it comes to Valerie? Valerie is mean and nasty at every turn, but Aurora kind of stands back and takes it. Mind boggling.
The Snuggly Since Fane is now the spawn of Satan for me, I am liking where Dante and Aurora are going. Dante is so cute and lovable. Aurora needs to snatch him up.
There is a lot of sexual tension, kissing, sexting, and one hot sex dream, but nothing over the top for a new adult.
Final Thoughts This is a note-worthy urban fantasy/paranormal series. It doesn't feel like every other vampire book. It actually feels refreshing. I love the mystery the most. We really don't know what's going on. We are at the mercy of Aurora's minimal knowledge, which makes things so much more exciting. Highly recommended.
Quotes Our lips met. He’d taken me off guard with the first kiss. This time it’s like he wanted me to anticipate what was coming, dangle it in front of my face like a carrot in front of a horse. Two could play that game.
I moved my lips over Dante’s , tilting my head as needed to change the angle, add pressure. I was much more confident about my kissing skills, thanks to Fane. I slipped my tongue between Dante’s lips and twirled it around his. I smiled when I heard his intake of breath. I pulled back and shot Dante a grin. “Good night, lover.”
“Oh, you’re bad.” Dante folded his arms across his chest and shot me a devilish grin. “You know this isn’t over.”
“Now, where were we?” I asked. “You were about to beg for your life,” the pierced vamp said. His tongue ring glinted as he spoke. It made a ‘f**k you, I eat silver for breakfast’ kind of statement. “No,” I said, shaking my head. “I was about to save you.” The lips on the pierced vamp drew back so far I could see his sharpened molars. Jackpot, I thought, right before the vampires closed in on me.
The Good You know when you are eating a calorie free hot fudge brownie sundae while getting your feet massaged by a bare-chested Chris Hemsworth and you realize you are NOT dreaming? Yeah, that's what this book is like for me.
Oh, the love I have for this book. It makes me feel tingly all over. I actually have the other two books of the series, but I am holding off a bit on starting them because I want to stretch out the happy happy joys joys I feel for this series. Sure, I've only read Pretty When She Dies, but did you guys ever get that feeling where you just KNOW that you are going to love the rest of a series? I have that feeling now. I actually had to force myself to put this book down just so I could prolong the experience. Every time I devour a book I love too fast, I get so sad that it ended so quickly. I wasn't going to do that with Pretty When She Dies. I had to spread the fun throughout the day, savoring the tummy butterflies I got every time I picked it up again.
Amaliya was AH. MAZ. ZING. She is one of my new favorite characters. She is not your typical heroines. She's dark in every sense of the word. She has dyed black hair, tattoos, piercings (*cough* nipple piercings *cough*), she likes hardcore metal music, and she likes the bad boys (she's looking for her Led Zeppelin prince charming). But when she is brutally turned into a vampire, left in a grave to dig herself out, and abandoned by her creator to figure out what being a vampire means, we see her vulnerable side. I think she did pretty good at taking care of herself. She turns out to be a badass vampire, even if she is feeling her way through it blind when it comes to her new undead state. Eventually, she comes to embrace her new lifestyle. But before all that, she comes up with a plan to find another vampire that can help her learn what it means to be a vampire. And she finds Cian.
Cian has a dark past but has come to live a life close to being a human. He is the Master of Austin and likes his quiet life as the only vampire in the city. Amaliya messes up his "perfect" existence with her presence, especially since he is so attracted to her. Because Cian has a fiancé, a human fiancé. But Cian feels responsible to help Amaliya learn the vampiric ways. He knows her creator is evil and she needs all the training she can get to help keep herself alive from the creator's sick games. Cian is hot, and only gets sexier as the book goes on. I loved that he just couldn't resist Amaliya because she brought out an interesting side of his character. He's a good guy, but he needed to embrace his vampire side so bad. Once the human stick up his but was removed, Cian became a force to be reckoned with.
The side characters were pretty awesome as well. Despise most of Amaliya's family being major asshats, her grandma is there for her no matter what. Her grandma was pretty badass herself, and had me cracking up. Samantha, Cian's fiancé, went through an interesting character arc. She was sweet, then crazy jealous, then mean, then fierce, then nice again. It was fun watching her go through the motions. Roberto. Oh, Roberto. Yeah, I will leave him as a surprise for you all.
Pretty When She Dies is a gritty, dark, and hilarious vampire book that will leave you giddy. The dialogue was done right and had those hints of humor that I love. The characters were all complex and interesting. The story was fascinating and refreshing. I liked the addition of zombies and how The Summoner (Amaliya's creator) could control them. It was creepy as hell. The action was intense and could get pretty gruesome which worked for this book. I am going to keep my eye on Frater's books for now on because she is a great writer.
The Bad The beginning is a bit slow, but it picks up pretty fast after that.
The Snuggly I LOVED Amaliya and Cian. Their lust for each other was so hot. They tried so hard to stay away from each other. Amaliya didn't want to screw up Cian's life more than she already had, and Cian was trying to stick with his bubbly, blond fiancé who made him feel human. But once Amaliya entered his world, he couldn't help but relish being a vampire once again. I loved how they seemed so opposite at first, but it becomes obvious how similar they really are. It's like they grew into the perfect couple.
Oh yeah, be ready for some Bow Chicka Bow Wow. We get awesome sexual tension and great sex scenes.
Final Thoughts No doubt about it, I will be continuing this series. I hope it will make my favorite series list. Frater knows how to spin a gritty but humorous tale with characters you come to care about. Be on the look out for my reviews of the rest of the series in August because I have a feeling I can't wait too long before I devour the rest of the books. Very highly recommended.
Quotes "It's weird," she whispered. "You know, being so powerful and yet being so vulnerable." "It's the irony of being a vampire. Being immortal and being terrified of death."
"I knew you were special when I took you. You were so pretty when you died. Exquisite in death. More lovely than you had been in life."”
"At first he thought her unremarkable, but she was one of those people who slowly emerged from the shadows the more you learned about them. The dimmest of all the lights had grown to blind him and he had to take her."
“You have a boyfriend and didn't tell me.” “I didn't think you'd be okay with me having sex,” she answered. “Oh, God! I don't want to hear it, Grandmama!” He covered his ears with his hands and stood staring at her in disbelief. “I told you. You're such a wussy,” she said with a sad shake of her head.
At A Glance Better than the first book and more romance, but not enough happened to warrant that cliffhanger.
The Good Warning: It's almost impossible to write this review without some spoilers. Just a heads up.
This book does not lack in twists, turns, and surprises. The things we learn...just wow. I was so excited to learn about what happened to Trowbridge in "fae land," how Hedi had handled the pack all by herself, and the revelations about Hedi's brother, Lexi. No one gets a break in this series. The bad luck keeps on coming and there is not a happy end in sight. We can only hope something eventually gives and this group is able to live a semblance of a normal life. *snickers* Yeah right. Not holding my breath. Don't get me wrong. I love the drama and obstacles. It's what keeps things exciting.
Hedi is not the best pack leader. Things have been getting worse and worse with Trowbridge gone. I was totally freaked when things hit a head with the werewolf pack, but Hedi seemed oddly calm but scared at the same time. I think that's what I like about her. She has the most odd reactions to stressful and frightening situations. She likes to have internal monologues with herself and she notices the most random things when the world is falling apart around her. It's nice to have a main character that doesn't react they way you think she will or should. Kept me on my toes, that's for sure. Hedi did the best she could after getting hit with shock after shock. Trowbridge is back but not in the condition or state of mind she hoped. Her long lost brother, who was stolen away to Merenwyn when he was young, is back, but is not the kind, caring brother she once knew. And Hedi is stuck between loyalty to her mate, her brother, and herself.
Trowbridge has had one messed up trip to Merenwyn. He has been to hell and back and he is not the same man as before. He's changed, some for the better, and some for the worst. He's keeping a lot of secrets and its so frustrating for Hedi. Trowbridge gets on my last nerve most of the time, but I can't deny his alpha sexiness.
Lexi has lived in a nightmare most of his life, but it's the only life he knows. His loyalty to his sister is questionable at best, but you can't really blame him. He's done bad things that seem unforgivable, but then you realize that he's only done what he has to do to live. Lexi is a big whole question mark. I want him to find happiness but I don't know if he is too far gone.
The writing was pretty good but Evans excels in plot twists, shocking moments, and complex characters. Sometimes we don't even like the characters, but that's okay. They aren't perfect. Not everything can be rainbows and roses. Life is hard, life in a paranormal world is even harder. These people can only do what they think is best. And as a reader, we understand that and respect it. I loved the humor intertwined with the seriousness and the dialogue was great.
The Bad For a lengthy book, not much happens. Okay, that's not true. There are some pretty big events that take place, but there wasn't enough going on to move the story along for me. I felt like there was a lot of waiting around on the characters' part. And when we were going to get our big adventure, the story ends. Damn you, cliffhanger!!!!
I just can't get behind Hedi and Trowbridge's relationship. Or lack there of. Without me rooting for the couple, it's hard for me to fall in love with this book.
I had to do some skimming when it came to descriptions. I just got bored.
The Snuggly I did like the romance better in The Thing About Weres than The Trouble With Fate, but I still don't buy that Trowbridge is really into Hedi. His actions don't backup his mouth. He may say he feels for Hedi, but he rarely shows it. Sure, they have strong sexual chemistry, but if I was Hedi, I wouldn't settle for a one-sided relationship.
Be ready for strong sexual tension and some hot sex. Nothing over the top but pretty steamy.
Final Thoughts I have my problems with this series, but I can't deny that I find it kind of fascinating too. I have this itch to know what is going to happen next. I will be reading the next book for sure. I just hope I can fall in love with the characters more the next time. Recommended overall.
Quotes He lifted the knife then paused. He's teasing me with it. I registered that and, absurdly, that the skin over Knox's flared nostrils was potted with big pores and that--oh look at that--moonlight can make a silver blade gleam in a deadly and beautiful way. My belly tenses as he pointed the tip at my shoulder. It's going to hurt, it's going to--
"In this bed, it is just you and me. You are my Robbie Trowbridge." I flattened my hands beside his head and bent until our mouths were inches apart. His breath and mine mingled. "And I am reclaiming you."
*Free book from publisher for honest review*(less)
At A Glance Johnson knows how to write characters you love easily. I just wish there were less boring parts.
The Good I will admit, River Road was better than Royal Street. I felt like the characters were more fluid. And with a stable setting, the plot felt more structured. I LOVED the addition of merfolk and nymphs. The more supernatural creatures, the better.
Now that the borders between the Beyond and our world have fallen, supernatural creatures are starting to make their home in present day New Orleans. When someone starts poisoning the water, making the merpeople sick, and wizards start showing up dead, DJ and Alex have to work together to find the culprit or supernatural war number two is about to break out.
DJ handles herself even better this time around. She is still a little reckless and still doesn't know how to shoot a gun, but her elven staff is all she needs to protect herself. She is still hopelessly attracted to the same dangerous men. But that's okay, it makes things so much more interesting. I love how DJ's mind works in this book. She focuses on her responsibilities and doesn't let up until it's all over.
Alex has become a little more laid back. He is still sexy as hell and still a stickler for rules, but I can see that stick being slowly removed from his butt. Jake is a whole other person in River Road. His life has changed the most since Royal Street, and not for the better. He spends most of this book fighting his new demons. Jean is oh so yummy still. But we now see a softer more romantic side of this pirate. He is more actively perusing DJ and that makes for some entertaining encounters. I also loved the addition of the surly mermen. They have much hate for the wizards which makes DJ's life even more complicated.
I think the plot was much better than the first book and had more interesting moments. The writing even flowed better. This book felt like a real urban fantasy. The ending was way more satisfying too.
The Bad This was better than the first book but I still found myself getting bored quite often.
This book is set three years after Royal Street. But none of the characters have really grown, nothing much has happened. It feels like days later, not years. The time skip felt off to me.
The Snuggly Though I love Alex, Jake, and even Jean, I think it's pushing it to have three men going after DJ. I loved Alex's jealously toward Jean though. Those parts made me laugh. Though I do feel like Alex and DJ have taken a large step back in their "relationship."
No sex, but some heavy petting and kissing.
Final Thoughts If River Road is any indication of the series, I think it's going to get better and better each book. It wasn't perfect by far. Still boring in a lot of spots. But definitely an improvement. Recommended to urban fantasy lovers.
Quotes “Until you stop dating the undead Pirate Of The Caribbean, you have no room to laugh.“
"Strong hands slipped over her shoulders as Alex joined us, standing so close, I could feel his body heat radiating up my back….He squeezed my shoulders a little hard for it to be a show of solidarity. I’d probably have bruises. He was marking his territory."
*I got this free book for a blog tour for an honest review*(less)
At A Glance Gilded Destiny is a very odd book. So much happens in such a short amount of time (it's a novella) which was exciting, but the ending made me want to curl up into a ball and cry myself to sleep.
The Good The perfect word to describe Gilded Destiny is odd. It is unlike anything I have ever read. We meet Calli with a forgotten past and Nycholas who is both scary and caring. He's a vesper, a half-human, half-snake being. Somewhat similar to a vampire. But vespers are WAAAAYYYY scarier than vampires. They are strong, vicious, and relentless. They may look human, but their ideals are not healthy for the humans they meet. We are food. Done deal. They will eat us. And in the most horrific way possible. *shivers* But Nycholas doesn't want to eat Calli, he wants to be with her, in every way imaginable.
Calli was a very strong character in the beginning. She handled her dismal situation with confidence and poise. Nycholas didn't hide who we was, and for all intents and purposes he was monster. But he asks this fragile woman to spend what may be his last days with him. He was actually very passionate and caring. You felt so bad for him, for his past and his possible future. My heart went out to Nycholas, which is hard to say about someone who eats people.
The writing was pretty good and the concept of the vespers kept me turning the pages. I actually wanted to like this book more, but by the end, everything changed.
The Bad It really comes down to personal preferences. I am not into sad, depressing endings and Gilded Destiny has one. I felt so down after finishing this book. Not even chocolate made me feel better. I know! Crazy, right?
Another thing is that Calli's obsession with Nycholas was just that, an obsession. Her unnatural connection with Nycholas is explained later, but before that Calli's I-will-die-without-him attitude put me off.
Also, the majority of the book we follow Calli and Nycholas around, but by the end we skip to another character and it felt very disjoined to me.
The Snuggly There is some sex (somewhat rough sex) and it's pretty hot but nothing over the top. The romance was a little odd for reasons I can't really mention without giving too much away. But I did like Calli and Nycholas together.
Final Thoughts This is not a bad book. It is actually doing VERY well on Goodreads as of now. So maybe it's just me. I just couldn't get over the ending. A girl can only take so much. I do feel like others may like it though. So not recommended to people who hate sad endings, but recommend to people who don't mind them. I may pick up the next book in the series. Not sure yet.
Quotes "When I tell you not to look," he said, "do not look. If I tell you to run, run. And when I tell you it's time for you to let go of me, you do it, without question. Is that understood?"
"I might not have a type, but if I had one, it would look something like that stranger in my shop. At least, that's what I thought...until he raised his head and I realized this gorgeous man was not human."(less)
At A Glance An interesting story but nothing spectacular. I almost gave it 2.5 stars but I did enjoy The Trouble With Fate enough to recommend it to some people.
The Good When this book got going, I was so intrigued by the world Evan's had created. Werewolves, fae, amulet necklaces with personalities. It was all so different and interesting. And the writing was so unique. It has a "lost in the heroine's head" feel. Hedi would think the most random thoughts at the most random times. Not everybody is going to like that, but I actually thought it was fun most of the time.
Hedi was snarky, odd, and a little lost. Her half-werewolf, half-fae heritage messes with her mind. Literally. It's like she has three different personalities. Mostly, Hedi keeps her "human" part in the forefront, but sometimes the fae and wolf in her peek through and cause some trouble. Hedi has had her life turned upside down once again with her Aunt's kidnapping and werewolf Trowbridge making an appearance in her life. Despite a little whining, Hedi does a pretty good job of figuring things out and trying to save the people she loves. She may stumble, but she has a lot of will.
Trowbridge was a grade a jerk. He's bossy, demanding, and has a take charge attitude. But this alpha werewolf has more to him than meets the eyes. He has a troubled past. He was accused of killing his family and wife and has lost his father's pack in the process. His solution was to run away. But Hedi's tenacity and reckless ways pushes him to confront his past and take back what's rightfully his. If only Trowbridge would give Hedi a chance. I could see them working well together in the future.
Hedi's fae amulet, Merry, was all sorts of creepy but cool. She may not be able to talk but she let's her feelings be known through her actions. She has spunk and her relationship with Hedi is so heartwarming. She is kind of hard to explain, so you have to read the book to get to know her.
The world of The Trouble With Fate is both brutal and scary. The werewolves are unpredictable and bloodthirsty, the fae are pretty much the same, and the fae magic is unpredictable but fascinating. But that damn cliffhanger was killer. Ugh.
The Bad The Trouble With Fate is a different type of urban fantasy. It kind of comes at you in waves. At one point it's super exciting, then it drags, lather rinse repeat. But really it's the writing you have to get use to. I didn't like it at first, then I got use to it, then I was kind of intrigued. But why I'm putting this in the bad section is because I think the writing style might lose some people. It's interesting, but it makes you want to skip paragraphs and pages to get the more fun parts. I think it comes down to pacing. It was all over the place.
The beginning is soooooo slow. I hate being bogged down with too much world-building and background, especially within the first chapter. It was all too much. That stuff needs to be spread out.
Some parts felt disjointed and choppy. Like it took an effort to make all the elements of the story fit together.
The Snuggly The romance is kind of messed up. Hedi has pined for Trowbridge since she was a little girl. But I didn't feel like Trowbridge had that many feelings for Hedi. She even gets that feeling and tries to push it aside. Too much happens for me that proves Trowbridge non-interest in Hedi so I don't really want them to be a couple.
There is a sex scene and definite sexual tension.
Final Thoughts I am still a little iffy with this book but I do believe there is an audience out there that will love The Trouble With Fate for all it's uniqueness. I will be reading the next book in the series because it's too hard to resist after the way this book ended. Recommend to some. Go with your gut.
Quotes He waited for me to explode again, and when I didn't, he used two fingers on my forehead to ease me back into my seat. "You are one crazy-ass Tinker Bell," he said, returning his attention to the road.
"Dude, it's harder than it looks." "Call me that one more time and I'll cut your balls off." "I'm the third," he said. "I'll still cut your balls off." "Leave it, Briggs," I said. "Her name is Cordelia. She is to be called by her name, and nothing else." I could hear her inhale of satisfaction. So to even it out, I said, "Cordelia, he is my third and that requires balls." There: my first quasi-Alpha ruling.
At A Glance I will always love Estep's books. They just have a way of making me fall in love with characters so easily. But, when it comes to the Mythos Academy series, the repetitiveness is getting tiresome. I still enjoyed Midnight Frost but I expected more.
The Good The mood in this book was a nice change to the rest of the series. We are use to Gwen being treated like crap from her schoolmates, authority, and others, but now Gwen is somewhat of a celebrity because of her actions in the last book. It's so hard for me to read about people being bullied, so I was relieved to see Gwen is finally getting a break. But Gwen is not is the happiest of states. Logan is still gone, sequestering himself away because of almost killing Gwen in Crimson Frost. But we quickly realize none of this is the focus of Midnight Frost. Because the reapers are really starting to play dirty when they try to poison Gwen and poison a close friend instead. Now the crew must travel up snowy mountains, into a guaranteed trap, to get the cure before it's too late.
Even though Gwen is still pinning over Logan, I could see her really grow in Midnight Frost. Without Logan's support, Gwen is learning to fight more for herself and stand up for what she believes in, even when it's against the boy she loves. Logan no longer needs to rescue Gwen, because Gwen has grown into a total badass. She's not afraid of a fight and will do anything for the people she loves. She is truly Nike's Champions more than ever.
I loved the introduction of Rory. Her and Gwen are so similar and so different at the same time. I hope to see her again. The rest of the crew were all awesomesaucy as well. Logan is finally becoming a character I can respect again. I was so over his self-pity.
The action was good and the twists were pretty surprising. There was a lot of new information revealed in this book, even if it wasn't related to the main plot. The same snarky humor reined in this book as well as the great dialogue. The trip to the Academy in Colorado was actually pretty cool. It's nice to see what goes on in other Mythos schools. I am very excited for the next book in the series to come out. I have a feeling things are coming to an end.
The Bad I noticed this time around that each book is getting a little too similar. Like a little bit of regurgitated plot points. I am tired of the same bad guys getting away because of the same mistakes being made. The same battles with the same conclusions. I just don't think progress is being made. We get new little things that might mean something later on but for now I feel like we are stuck on repeat and I just want someone to push the play button.
The Snuggly Unfortunately, Logan is absent for most of this book. So not much romance to speak of. But we do see him near the end I am happy with the direction of his and Gwen's romance.
Final Thoughts Even though Midnight Frost didn't add too much to the overall series, it was still a pretty good book on it's own. And though I love the series, I am ready for it to end soon. I think it's time to wrap things up. Recommend to those who love the series.
Quotes "You are making it impossible for me to get in my mid-afternoon, pre-killing-Reaper nap".
"All right, all right," I groused. "You can stay. But only because you're so cute, and I need some eye candy to look at."
His grin widened. "Oh Gypsy. You say the sweetest things."
"Gwen?" Daphne asked. "Slow down and talk to us. You're acting like a crazy person."
I let out a hard, brittle laugh. "Crazy? You haven't even seen my crazy yet. And neither have the Reapers."
At A Glance Mind. Explosion. If you aren't reading this series, then something is wrong with you. And I mean that in the most respectful way. ;)
Caution: I get a little rough and sweary when writing the Foul Mouth book reviews. These books bring it out of me.
The Good You know what, Raley? I don't even trust you anymore. I don't know if I want to punch you in the throat or lick your brain. Seriously, that ending. My brain has still not processed it. That's one hell of a knee in the crotch. Didn't see that one coming. You might as well have paid a hobo to jump out and flash me his junk and add little tassels on his testicles just for sh*ts and giggles, but even then, that wouldn't have been as shocking as what you did. And damn you to hell, I loved it. So effing amazing.
Anyways, I guess I should get to the review. Though ranting at Raley a little more would be more satisfying, but duty calls. Let's start with what this series is about. King Henry Price (effed up name, I know, but kind of what makes the whole thing funnier) is one of a few who have special abilities in which they can manipulate energy and...stuff. Sh*t, I don't know, its complicated, get off my back (Yeah, my inner King Henry coming through). Anyways, they are called mancers. They are recruited to a special school to learn about their abilities. This series follows the personal recordings of King Henry. He tells us about his time at the school and his life after the school. Sounds simple. It's not. King Henry's life is full of complications, danger, and a lot of swearing. In each book, we go back and forth between the recounting of stories of young King Henry (15) and older King Henry (23). I really, truly love this set up. Because both King Henrys are awesome. Young King Henry is a mixture of smart, stupid, and horny while older King Henry is more a mixture of smart, stupid, and horny...wait!! I have to rethink this. No, sounds about right.
King Henry is a one of a kind character. He's a jerk. No doubt about it. He's even mean sometimes, but it's always in good fun. He may call you a fire crotch but he would put himself in the line of fire the next minute to save your life. You have to take the sour with the sweet. I think this book is a major turning point for King Henry. His on again off again girlfriend, Valentine, is back in town. Val needs King Henry to convince her sister, Christmas (I swear, I want to pop out a kid just so I can name her Christmas. I never thought of that as a name until now), that going to the mancer school is the only option for her unless she wants to go insane by age 30. Spoiler: But as King Henry and Val's family sit down for dinner to have a talk, men in combat gear come and snatch Christmas up for God knows what reason. Now it's up to King Henry and Val to get her back. But the people behind the kidnapping are some scary mofos and no one is brave enough to take them on, except King Henry.
I was so happy to finally get to know Val more. She seems like a complicated character, and she is, but she is also so simple. She doesn't play games. She is up front and almost as aggressive as King Henry. She is the only one who truly put up with King Henry's crap all these years and still stayed friends with him. She never tried to change him, she loved him for his humor, his courage, and even his foul mouth.
This story blew my mind. The twists and turns about blew my socks off. The action kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time. The humor, as always, was top notch. If you want to laugh, if you want to be shocked, if you want to be entertained, then read this series. The writing is different and it works perfectly for the feel of the book. These books have personality, a whole bunch of face-smacking personality. And after that ending, there is so much tasty possibility for the rest of the books. This sh*t is going to get real, people!
The Bad All I can say is that it took me a little longer to get use to the writing style this time around. But after a chapter or two I was fine.
The Snuggly I was so happy to see a little romance this time around. The Foul Mouth books are not romantic by any means, so it was a pleasant surprise to find it in The Foul Mouth and the Troubled Boomworm. I am a girl after all, so I got all doey eyed just seeing King Henry go gooey over Val. It was freakin' adorable.
Expect a lot of cursing and sexual references. And a little sex.
Final Thoughts Love! I have a whole bunch of sloppy love for this book. There are three or four series in my life that would be hard to live without and the King Henry Tapes is one of them. Everyone needs to give these books a chance because they will give you bookgasms. Lots and lots of bookgasms. Highly recommended.
Quotes "Fine!" Raj sulked, accepting his broken state and giving up on just the tinniest bit of his usual polite and reserved attitude, "I'm in love...with Miranda."
"Can people be in love with gingers, is that allowed?" I asked.
Terminator seemed to think both sides over before motioning towards Matrix to holster his weapon. There was no argument once the decision was made. "Don't think this means you're going to survive this," he warned.
"I always plan for death," I mouthed off, "find it keeps me alive."
"I don't want to leave you."
"Worried I have a concussion?"
"...More like sure you have one, given that you're King Henry Price and you haven't looked at my breasts once this entire time."
At A Glance The characters were awesome but half of the time I was bored.
The Good I loved the concept of Royal Street. Having the normal world and the Beyond, which is another dimension where historical undead people remain alive and can cross over to the real world and interact, was a fun idea. I also found reading about New Orleans pre and post Hurricane Katrina to be interesting and informative. The wizard and magical element was refreshing for an urban fantasy novel.
Drusilla Jaco (DJ), a wizard, is charged with finding her mentor, Gerry, after he disappeared after Katrina. With the help of Alex, an enforcer for the wizards, and his flirty cousin Jake, DJ finds the mystery of Gerry and the ritualistic killings sprouting up post-Katrina to be a hard nut to crack.
DJ was a fun character. She's not like most urban fantasy heroines. She doesn't know how to use a gun and she isn't the best at fighting. She may have her wizardry skills, but they are limited. DJ is more about the funny. She has a great personality and strong loyalty. Her empathetic abilities really play a big part in her life and has shaped who she is today.
Alex is all around awesome. He is tough, sexy, and hilarious when he wants to be. He takes rules very seriously and doesn't let anything faze him. Except for DJ. I loved watching his resolve fracture a little when Jake comes into the picture. Jake is so freaking charming it's ridiculous. And he just loves pushing Alex's buttons by flirting with DJ. Then we have Jean, who is both scary but sexy. He is also violent, but what can you expect from a pirate? His character really interested me.
The action was good and each and every character felt well fleshed out. I loved the setting and the drama that came along with it. Who doesn't love New Orleans?
The Bad I felt like for half the book we were being told what was happening instead of shown. And most of that stuff was so boring or unnecessary. I could easily put this book down. Very slow pacing.
This is a tiny bit spoilery...you've been warned. So DJ finds this magical staff. She can use it to pump up her natural power and to zap people. It's pretty cool. And she uses it like 2 times. *head...desk* I don't know about you but if I had this kickass staff that stops the bad guys I would use it more often.
The plot was a little all over the place for me. Too many things happening all at once. Some storylines could have been cut out to make everything more streamline.
The ending was just okay for me. I didn't feel the excitement or fear like I should.
The Snuggly I actually liked this love triangle because it wasn't really a love triangle. Alex and Jake are both hot in their own ways. Alex is serious, hardcore, and deadly. Jake is laid back, easy to talk to, and flirtatious. Both obviously have feelings for DJ and DJ likes them back, but there is no hardcore pursuit. Just flirtatious friendship building.
There is no sex, but there is kissing and touching.
Final Thoughts It really is too bad that the pacing was slow and half the book was boring, because the other half was pretty good. This is the kind of series you want to give another chance though. Which I did. So make sure to read my review of the second book below. Recommended if you don't mind a slow kind of urban fantasy.
Quotes “I always hated it when TV reporters stuck a microphone in the faces of people who'd just lost a home or a loved one, wanting to know how they felt. They felt like shit. They hurt, and they didn't know how they were going to get through the night. They wanted to scream and cry and hit the guy with the microphone.”
"I know you think I'm hot.' Then the grin faded. 'Of course, you think Jake's hot, too, and Jean Lafitte, who's not even alive. You're really screwed up, you know that?"
*I got this book free for a blog tour for an honest review*(less)
At A Glance You know that feeling when you finish a f**king amazing book and you just sit there, shivering from your bookgasm, basking in the giddy high of fiction art? Yeah, Magic Rises was better than that.
The Good If you haven't read this series by now, something is wrong with you (just kidding *cough* but not really *cough*) But seriously, anyone who knows me, knows that the Kate Daniels series is my FAVORITE series of all time. When I first got into reading, urban fantasy was my choice of drug, and that has never changed. And that's all because of Ilona Andrews (a married writing duo, but I will refer to them as one person for the sake of this review). Ilona is spot on in everything that makes fiction so damn enjoyable: the humor, the action, and pacing, the detailed plots and storylines, the descriptions, and the supernatural aspects. They are all flawless. And Magic Rises is another example of perfection.
I want to get this out now, even if you are not a huge fan of urban fantasy, please, please try the first two books of this series (some say they really get into it by the second book). Not one person who I have recommended this series to has been disappointed. They have all come back with 4 and 5 star ratings for every book. You cannot go your whole life without at least trying this series out. It would be a travesty.
Okay, okay, on to the review. I couldn't devour this book fast enough. I had a pit in my stomach the whole time, stressing out that Kate and Curran were walking into a trap, and I loved every minute of it. The frightening parts seem a little more bearable knowing that Kate and Curran are so capable of taking care of themselves and others. And they are smart, they know it's a trap, they are just that confident. Total badasses, right?
I care about these characters like they are my family. I know it's weird, but I can't help it. They feel so real to me. I think it's the dialogue. Ilona is the all-star in writing dialogue. It flows so naturally and is packed with wit, sarcasm, and sincerity. I dare you to read this book without laughing and cracking a smile every page. I straight up laughed out loud throughout all of Magic Rises. Even during the serious parts, Ilona doesn't hold back even then.
OMG, the action. I don't even know what to say. It's so real, it's so detailed, it's so f**king awesome. No one writes action like Ilona does. It's art the way she does it. You can tell she does extensive research to make sure all the movements, sword swipes, and offensive and defensive strikes are realistic and factual.
The background detail on supernatural creatures is beyond even my expectations. The mythology is so well organized and integrated into Magic Rises I am still speechless. It blows my mind how in-depth Ilona goes when it comes to the history of every creature.
Kate is still the badassiest badass ever made into being. She is really taken on a rollercoaster ride of f**kedupness in Magic Rises. She is hit hard as more shapeshifter children turn loup (crazy, mindless monsters). She can't help but think that if she ever had children with Curran, this might be their fate. And even though the cure requires Kate, Curran, and the team to walk into a trap, they do it anyway. Kate would do anything for her pack. Even face pure evil. And she does. I love Kate's commitment and love for Curran and his pack. Even when they don't always show it back, she takes her responsibilities to keep them safe seriously. But I also love the Kate who needs to fight, to cause pain, to kill. Kate's vicious side is what makes her so fearless and strong. Without this scary side of her, she would have never survived the world she lives in. We see a lot of different side's of Kate in Magic Rises, and I loved every one of them. Especially jealous Kate. Oh yeah, that made for so much fun.
Curran scared me a bit in this book. He does some crazy things, but I never really doubted him. He's still my Beast Lord. Uh, I mean Kate's Beast Lord. Yeah, that's what I meant. *looks around for any signs of Kate* Hey, that bitch is scary, don't judge. The rest of the gang made an appearance and they were all wonderful, just like I remembered them. Derek is walking a fine line though. I am worried for his future. I hope something good happens to him soon. And, I have to warn you guys. An important character dies in Magic Rises. Some of you are going to be mad. Their death will change a lot of things. Personally, I like when authors kill off important characters. I like the change up. I was sad, but honestly, there is no love lost between me and this character. But I know some of you will be devastated.
I could go on and on about this book. But I think you got the hint. Read this series, read this book, become obsessed with Ilona Andrews like the rest of us.
The Bad That's blasphemy just hinting anything was wrong with this book.
The Snuggly Oh jeeze, Curran and Kate are put through the ringer in this book. It was so hard for me to watch Kate struggle with what was going on with Curran. She reminds me a lot of myself, by shutting down emotionally when people mess or play with her feelings. So I totally got where she was coming from, her reactions made perfect sense to me. But no matter what, I will always love Kate and Curran because I know that they will always end up together. There is literally no better "made for each other" couple out there in the world of fiction. They are soulmates in ever sense of the word.
There is a pretty hot sex scene or two that will get your blood boiling. Nothing over the top though. Personally, I want more details, but that's because I have no limits when it comes to Curran. He should be mine. I want to know every inch of his body.
Final Thoughts I gave Magic Rises my special 6 stars because it was perfection from beginning to end. Which reminds me, the ending was perfect, a little sad, but mostly happy. In my eyes, Ilona Andrews can do no wrong because she is consistent in her awesomeness. You can tell this author never gets tired of her work. She has found her calling. If that doesn't make you want to read this book, I don't know what will. Extremely recommended.
Quotes “You’re taking a nap? Come on, Kate, I need you for this fight. Stop lying around.” “You must think you’re funny.” “Just saying, you have to pull your own weight. A hot body and flirting will only get you so far.” “Everything I do, I learned from you, boy toy.” “Boy toy?” Curran asked. “Would you prefer man candy?”
“Aha! So I’m not crazy.” “You are most definitely crazy,” Derek said. “But in a deranged, endearing way.”
“Five minutes later, we were rolling around on the helipad as he tried to muscle his way out of my armlock, after slamming me onto the helipad. “I finally realized the source of your mutual attraction,” Saiman said, his voice dry. I looked up. He was standing a few feet away. “Do enlighten us.” Curran tried to roll into me to break the lock. Oh no you don’t. “You both think violence is foreplay.”
“One time I was dying in a cage inside a palace that was flying over a magic jungle. And some idiot went in there, chased the palace down, fought his way through hundreds of rakshasas, and rescued me.” “I remember,” he said. “That’s when I realized you loved me,” I said. “I was in the cage and I heard you roar.”
“Are you hungry, baby?” Curran asked. “Starving.” “I think we should go to dinner.” “Great idea.” “What are you going to wear?” “My badass face.” “Good choice,” he said.”
“Outside the windows the day was bright: golden sunshine, blue sky, pleasant wind ... I wanted to punch the happy day in the face, grab it by the hair, and beat it until it told me what the hell it was so happy about.” (less)
At A Glance Plague Nation is another great zombie book from Dana Fredsti, though I do feel like it left a little to be desired.
The Good It's no secret that I loved Plague Town. I love zombie books with a sense of humor, and that's what Dana Fredsti delivers. Her characters are entertaining as hell and her zombies are grosser than maggots roasting on a hot, sunny day. (EWWW, I just grossed myself out.) Now I'm sad that I have to wait for book three to come out.
Ashley Parker. She is the kind of best friend everyone wants. Her sense of humor is right up my alley. I love her pop culture references and her ability to make me laugh at the most inappropriate of times. Ashley can have zombie viscera dripping down her face while she sticks her katana into a teen zombie's gut and with just one sentence I'm rolling on the floor with laughter. Ashley also has the biggest heart. She takes care of a lot of people, not matter how stressed or scared she is. And her braveness is endless. She is always risking her life for others. Ashley is a very well-rounded character that anybody can love.
Despite Ashley's snarky personality, Plague Nation becomes very somber and serious in some places. As the zombie outbreak worsens, Ashley and her band of Wild Cards (peeps who are immune to the zombie virus) are finding it harder to control the upcoming pandemic. And now an unseen enemy is trying to stop the creation of a cure. With humans and zombies coming down on the gang, not everyone makes it out alive. I was so sad about who we lose in this book. And the ending What!!?? But...but...you can't do this to us, Dana. Cliffhanger extravaganza!
I also really loved the side stories and glimpses of happenings in the world as the zombie apocalypse spreads. I wasn't as into them in Plague Town but this time around, they were awesome. We get a lot of information through these different perspectives. Oh, the sweet foreboding. Loves It!
OMG. JT. He. Is. Amazing. I won't say much about him because I don't want to spoil anything, but his addition to this story is perfect. I loved every second he was on the page.
As always, Dana writes a gruesome and scary story with detailed descriptions and intense suspense. She really sets the mood and gives each of her characters life with her words. I cried, I laughed, I screamed. And loved every minute of it.
The Bad This is another book in which it's hard to pinpoint what I didn't like about it. I think it lacked a little direction. There was really no main goal until two-thirds into the book. All the zombie fighting was fun, but their was no point to this story until about half way through when we realize someone is out to stop Ashley and the gang from doing their jobs.
The Snuggly The romance was lacking in Plague Nation (which isn't really a bad thing since it's focus is zombies). Gabriel was a jerk most of the time (which was reasonably explained later) and Ashley just gives him space. But there are a few cuddly moments and a non-descriptive sex scene.
Final Thoughts With a little more solid structure, this book could have been 5 stars. But even with that annoyance, I loved reading Plague Nation. Ashley is the same hilarious and brave heroine I loved from Plague Town. I can't wait for book three. Highly recommended.
Quotes There was a crash, and three zombies stumbled out from behind the shelves stacked high with cases of hard liquor, beer, and wine--two of them in store uniforms, and a young woman in bloodstained jeans and a T-shirt proclaiming "I'm a Princess," the words outlined in rhinestones.
No, you're a zombie, I thought, giving her a permanent frontal lobotomy. Does it make me a bad person to admit I kind of enjoyed it? I mean, unless you're Honey Boo-Boo, who the hell would wear something like that? (less)
At A Glance Though I had more annoyances with Deadly Sting than any other book in the series, I still loved reading it.
The Good Deadly Sting is very different from the rest of the books in the series. It focuses on one aspect, and that's the robbery of Mab Monroe's valuables at a museum where all the rich and famous of Ashland are present and are taken hostage. Including Gin's friends. And if you don't know who Gin is by now, know this: she will stop at nothing to save her friends' lives, even at the risk of her own.
It's no secret that Gin is one of my favorite heroines ever. She is strong, capable and deadly. I love women who can kick ass and take names. And with each installment, Gin becomes more complex as a character. She's also become surprisingly vulnerable. The men she has been romantically involved with have done a number on her. But through each heartbreak and let down, she still remains the fearsome and loyal Gin we have all come to love. She deserves someone who will love all of her, the good and the bad, and I can only hope she finds that someone before this series ends.
But besides her love life, Gin really shines in Deadly Sting. She takes on a whole museum of giants hell bent on killing the notorious Spider and stealing some very valuable treasures. I loved watching her take stock of the situation and determine the best way to save her friends from the wrong end of a giant's gun. I'd like to be able to analyze and contain a situation like she does.
The action in Deadly Sting was amazing. It's known that fighting with a giant is like fighting with a tank. Giants are hard to kill. They have amazing strength and resiliency. No one can take them in hand-to-hand combat. Even guns and knives may only leave a scratch. But Gin knows her way around a giant, and she is the best with knives. I loved watching Gin take on the giants. They were a fearsome foe, I will give them that. They were well organized and out for Gin's blood from the get-go. But Gin never lets that scare her. She harnassed her anger which helped her take them down one by one.
Deadly Sting also addresses some open-ended storylines from past books. Some old enemies are taken care of, and a new enemy may have emerged. Gin may have ended Mab Manroe's life, but there are consequences to killing the most feared woman in Ashland, and those consequences might just be catching up to Gin.
Deadly Sting was a thrill-ride from beginning to end. It kept my attention the whole time. The character development was, as always, off the charts. Finn and Bria are still amazing secondary characters that could easily have their own series. I love the direction this series is going, especially since it's winding down to the end. I will be so sad to see this series go.
I want to also mention something about the whole Owen and Gin debacle before you read about it in The Bad section below. In Deadly Sting, there is this quote: "I'd rather have somebody alive and hating me than dead and buried." That sums up Gin. Gin will always do whatever is needed to keep her "family" safe, even if they will hate her later for it. For Gin, it's worth their hate to see them alive and well every day. That's what Gin did for Owen, her ex-boyfriend. She got rid of a person that was bad for him and his family. Even if Owen doesn't see it that way, Gin did the right thing in Widow's Web and it's a shame Owen is punishing her for it still.
The Bad Deadly Sting picks up where Widow's Web left off. Owen is still upset with Gin for killing Salina, his psychotic ex-fiance. Though it was hard to read, I didn't mind that Owen and Gin broke up in Widow's Web. I blamed Owen of course, because his past obsession with another woman was a ridiculous thing to hold on to when that woman tortured his sister when she was young. I thought Owen was going to realize that asking Gin not to harm someone who wanted to kill her and his family was ridiculous. I thought he would realize he was wrong, that this book would be Owen's chance to redeem himself. But that didn't really happen. He is still holding on to a crazy grudge and now I think less of him. It makes me think that he never really loved Gin for who she is. Owen has always been the loving and understanding man that Gin needed. Now he is scratching the surface of becoming Donovan #2. And I don't think any fan of Gin wants another Donovan around.
I was surprised to see this book completely focus on the museum event with Mab's art and jewelry collection. It felt more like a novella than a full length novel. I am use to a more complex storyline from Estep.
The Snuggly As I mentioned above, I am so done with Owen. I don't even think he can redeem himself in my eyes anymore. I don't see him loving Gin for Gin. I don't want another version of Donovan messing up Gin again. For an assassin, she is very emotionally vulnerable. So, needless to say, not much romance in this book. Just Owen messing with Gin's emotions and giving her false hope.
Final Thoughts Estep never disappoints. She writes exciting, character driven books that are addictive. Though I really am not liking the direction Owen is going right now, I still love this series. I can only hope Gin gets her HEA by the end. Highly recommended. (less)
At A Glance I had a lot of trouble getting into Seven Kinds of Hell, but by the end I was pretty happy I stuck with it even if it wasn't my taste.
The Good What stands out about Seven Kinds of Hell is that it has a little something for everyone. It has a lot of action. It has the kind of mystery that keeps you guessing until the end. The suspense is intense for most of the book. The paranormal aspect is expertly woven within the story so you don't even think of it as fantasy. And a little dash of romance to keep things interesting. If you are looking for a loaded urban fantasy book, you can find it in Seven Kinds of Hell.
If you are into archaeology at all, this is the book for you. It is packed with rich history, artifacts, supernatural politics, and mythology. Then the paranormal aspect was fascinating. Werewolves, vampires, snake shifters, oh my! I love how Dana incorporates mythology and archaeology into her supernatural creatures' histories. And learning why these beings inhabit the planet and how they differ from the supernaturals I have read in other books was the best part.
I did enjoy following Zoe on her adventures most of the time. It seemed like she could never catch a break. I couldn't help but feel bad for her. She actually stayed pretty strong through the whole ordeal. Zoe had a way of assimilating to each new situation, each new threat. And her friends were with her every step of the way, even when we weren't sure they could be trusted.
The plot was very complex. I liked the twists and turns that caught me by surprise. And the writing was well done.
The Bad I don't know why but I just couldn't get into Seven Kinds of Hell for the longest time. This book took me way longer to read than any book has in a long time. But it wasn't that it was bad, it just wasn't catching my attention like I hoped. I think around page 200 I finally got into the swing of things.
I think the characters didn't really capture my attention enough to keep me wanting to read about them. They all lacked the spark that makes characters truly interesting.
There was a little too much archeology and history lessons that slowed down this book a lot. They were too lengthy for my taste. I like heavy information dumps in small doses. This book rang more like an archaeological thriller.
Some plot points and inner monologue seemed to repeat a lot. For example, there is a group after Zoe, then there is another group after Zoe, then another, and another. She couldn't trust anyone and she said so over and over again.
The Snuggly There is a minimal sex scene and minimal romance. Zoe and Will have an unfinished romance that sparks up a little in this book. But they weren't together enough to say the romance was satisfying, but it was enough for the theme and pace of the book.
Final Thoughts I almost gave this book 3 stars, but after some thought, I don't think I am going to continue the series. It wasn't bad but it didn't blow me away. I do, however, think this book has an audience that will love it. So I recommend it to some people but not all. My review should help you decide whether this book is for you.
Quotes The darkness was almost absolute, but I didn't need a light to sense the knife just below my chin.
Neither man spoke until we were deep in the shadows.
"We won't be need this," one of them said. I felt my shirt tear.
Now, the Beast whispered.
The oblivion I'd been seeking all night came as the Beast rushed in and I was suddenly a wolf. If I hadn't been resisting the rapists, it was because I hadn't been resisting the Beast.
I snapped my head around, seizing the wrist of the man with the knife. I bit through flesh, snapping fragile bones, feeling blood--dark, coppery, and filthy--rush out as I severed an artery. As his blood hit the floor of that dank basement, I felt a glorious satisfaction: his blood was better outside his veins. The more he bled, the better I felt.(less)
At A Glance I really enjoyed the concept and dark elements of this book but the execution was a little off.
The Good With graduation looming, eighteen year old Aurora was finally going to get to leave Alaska. But almost dying in a car crash screwed that plan all up. Now the weird government agents who saved her life are telling Aurora that she works for them. Why? Because she has unique blood that incapacitates vampires. Doomed to stay in Alaska and let vampires chew on her neck then slay them, Aurora tries to assimilate to her new life by making friends with vampire groupies and dating one of the sexiest guys at school. But her knew boyfriend has some secrets of his own.
The Alaska setting was a nice change of pace. As well as the fact that the vampires weren't necessarily super strong. Sure, some of their senses are enhanced but they aren't amazing killing machines. The vampire hunters are just as strong as them. The concept of a vampire hunter having unique blood that once altered incapacitates vampires when consumed was very cool. But dang, being the undead's chew toy would really suck, right?
Aurora was an interesting character. I found her reaction and mannerisms after the crash quite intriguing. She pretty much went catatonic and became almost zombie-like. And can I just say, the way she dealt with her v-card had me cracking up. Aurora does slowly gain her fire and will to live back. I felt so bad for her most of the time because she had to deal with some creepy government agents who pretty much now control her life. They often threw her into situations with little training. It was all so frustrating. Dante made the whole situation a little better once he came into the picture. He is a fellow vampire hunter who is suppose to mentor Aurora. Though he may be a little laid-back when it comes to mentoring, his easygoing, fun personality was a great counterpart to Aurora's moodish personality.
But my favorite character was Fane. You think he is just a horny jerk in the beginning. Well, he is both of those things, but he is also really sweet and caring as well. I loved how Aurora and Fane's awkward relationship came to be. They didn't fall madly in love with each other at first sight. They just grew closer together after every meeting. It was nice to see Aurora start to really feel something for someone. Too bad Fane's secret could pull them apart. I saw it coming, but I was still heartbroken when everything was revealed and Aurora had to make some tough decisions.
Aurora Sky: Vampire Hunter did a great job of mixing the dark with light. This book has some very horrific scenes as well as scenes that will have you rolling on the floor laughing. I think this series has potential. I for one would love to read book 2.
The Bad I think the writing as a whole and the transitions were somewhat awkward. Some parts felt stale and some of the characters needed more fleshing out.
There was less vampire hunting than I expected. I wanted more action and less high school drama type stuff. Maybe next book.
The Snuggly We get an awkward kinda sex scene then some hot and heavy petting between Aurora and Fane. This is between a YA and New Adult book to me.
Final Thoughts I think the idea was very refreshing when it comes to the vampire genre. Fane made the whole book for me. I want to see more of him. I just wish the execution of the book was a little more cohesive. Recommended to vampire fans.
Quotes "Fane took my arm and led me down the hill. "Here we go———back home."
"I don't want to go home. She'll want me to decorate and eat cookies."
Fane laughed. "Clearly you come from a dysfunctional family."
The clammy lips on my neck felt like a suction slowly draining the life from me.
I was spinning out of control, lapsing into darkness. With a sudden jerk, I was released.
The thing, whatever it was, began to spasm beside me. It thrashed and gasped as though in agony. Its eyes widened until they looked like they would pop out of their sockets.
I lay spent across the floor, like a bloody human rag. I looked toward the mirror. "What did you do to me?" (less)
At A Glance Halfway through this book, I just knew it was going to be another 5 star story like the first book, Fire Baptized. Then the second half was like watching puppies being tortured.
The Good Here's The Story... Dante Bottelli has slaughtered mixbreeds for years so Lanore and Zulu, mixbreeds themselves, decide to get him back by blowing up one of his companies. But when corrupt cop, Detective Rivera, finds proof of Lanore's involvement, he blackmails her into helping him solve the Burning Bush Murders. Two girls have been found tied to bushes set on fire, a fire that cannot be extinguished. Lanore has no other choice but to help find the killer. But along the way, Dante continues to seek vengeance for his destroyed building by hitting Zulu and Lanore where it hurts most, their friends and family.
Wright's World... I just love Wright's writing style. She is not afraid of the grit or horror of discrimination and injustice. The world she creates in her stories is both horrible and mesmerizing. I was glued to the pages, either on the verge of tears or trying to hold back hysterics. The conditions these mixbreeds have to live in day after day just get worse with each book. I couldn't imagine living in this world. It's truly heartbreaking.
Lanore But what makes this book and series so amazing is the characters. Lanore was awesome in the first book, Fire Baptized. I liked her less in this book but she still remains to be a strong female lead who fights her own battles. She is compassionate and hardworking. She is in love with two men, and they are in love with her. Lucky wench. I noticed this book had a lot more romance and relationship stuff in it. I was happy to see that because this is the best and most interesting love triangle I have ever seen.
Zulu... Zulu is still frightening as ever. Though I love Meshack, Zulu has my heart a little more. I like his brooding and protectiveness and the way he cares so much for Lanore. Sometimes he's a gentle giant, and other times he is straight up horrifying. His beast form use to scare the crap out of me, but not anymore. We get to meet his beast form more in this book and I love him as much as I love Zulu. I like how these shapeshifters' beast forms are like different people, different souls. It makes things so much more interesting.
Meshack... Meshack was the same sexy jokster. He is more than hot, he is sizzling. He eats and breaths sex. I still hate him for cheating on Lanore all those years ago, but it's hard to stay mad at him when he brings on the charm. Meshack also shows his violent side in this book. Lanore and Zulu being together is almost killing him. It really is sad. Meshack and Lanore have a connection no one can break. They have been together since they were kids and nothing will separate them, not even Zulu. But will Meshack be a friend or a lover when this all ends? Who knows.
Damn You Cliffhanger... The mystery kept me on my toes. I didn't know who the killer was or what Dante was really up to in the scheme of things until Wright wanted me to know. The world-building was perfect. The humor is above par. The action was exhilarating and the heartbreak was unbearable. The emotional rollercoaster Wright took me on was hard to take sometimes. I am dying to read the next book. Especially after that cliffhanger ending.
The Bad Don't Hurt My Puppy... So you might be asking yourself why I gave this book 2.5 stars when I have so many great things to say about it. Well, let me be straight with you. These 2.5 stars have nothing to do with Wright's writing ability, the plot, or the story. These 2.5 stars completely represent how much I "enjoyed" this book. This was a 5 star book until about half way through. Then things went down hill. This is what it was like reading this book:
"Oh, look at that cute puppy. He is sooo adorable. I want to love him forever. He means everything to me. Wait, why are you taking my puppy? What are you doing!! Stop hitting my puppy. OMG, you are going to kill him. You can't kick him like that. Please, stop. What are you doing with that knife? Don't torture my puppy, please!!!"
And then whoever is torturing my puppy slits it throat. That was what it was like reading the second half of this book.
Really, Lanore? Am I being dramatic? Yes, but seriously. I have never had a book leave me in such a state of depression as this book did. I cannot believe the things Wright did in this installment. It was so horrible, so unfair, so eye-gougingly horrific I could barley finish it. And why did all these bad things happen? Because Lanore decided to grow a conscience. But not a good conscience, a stupid, useless conscience that made everything worse. Lanore's compassion and second guessing herself got people hurt and got people killed. And you know what she does to these people who have ruined her life? She doesn't want to kill them. She actively protects them from being killed. I can't. I just can't watch people be this stupid and only grow worse. These people are killers but she wants to handle them with kid gloves. Well, then she deserves everything that happens to her, but the people who get dragged down with her don't deserve it.
Not My Cup of Tea... Okay, enough with my tangent. Let me end this by saying that this 2.5 stars is completely a personal preference rating. I don't like sad books and I don't like sad endings. I want to walk away from a book feeling happy or at least satisfied. That didn't happen with The Burning Bush. Anybody who can handle some pretty gut-wrenching events in stories will love this book. I am just not one of those people.
The Snuggly I truly think Wright writes the best sex scenes ever. And most of the time, the sex gets interrupted, but the time leading up to it is just amazing. Like horny fireworks. I know that doesn't make sense but that's how I feel. The sexual tension she puts on the pages is malleable. I can smell, taste, and feel it. I just don't know who Lanore is going to end up with. I love both men so much.
Final Thoughts The Burning Bush was a great story with amazing characters. This book is hard to put down because you end up caring for everyone so much. But when an author rips your heart out by killing and hurting the people you love in a series, it's hard to walk away feeling good about anything. Approach this book with caution. Hopefully the next book will make some things better. Recommended to those who love this series no matter what happens.
Quotes "Must you not wear a shirt?" I sucked my teeth.
"I have you alone in a cellar where no one can hear you call for help. You're lucky I still have my pants on."
"You're like a romantic serial killer."
"And will you be living with the damn cheetah for the rest of your life?" He (Zulu) slid his fingers up my shirt and tugged at the bottom of my bra. "Will our children be calling him uncle weird-guy-that-stays-in-our-house?"
"No. They'll be calling me Daddy." MeShack stood in the doorway. His feline eyes concentrated on Zulu's hands.
...The room just thickened with both men's power and stubborn testosterone. (less)
At A Glance Yay. I love any book with Elena and Clay in it when it comes to this series. I just wish I got to see more of their twins.
The Good As many of you know, Elena and Clay books are my favorite and this one is no exception. Frostbitten really tied up some loose ends for me, especially with the couple's relationship. We know that Elena and Clay don't always communicate well and even act like children sometimes, but since they had their twins, I see a huge change in them. They are more mature, more responsible, and closer than ever.
This is really Elena's book where she considers her past, present, and future. We get glimpses of Elena's past and how she dealt with the horrors of being a foster child. We also see her for the woman she is today: a loving mother, supporting wife, and kickass werewolf. We finally see her as a true future alpha with responsibilities she can now easily handle. Clay too faces his past and proves to be the best father ever and comes to truly embrace his partnership with Elena. I can finally see the happy ending they so deserve and it makes me smile.
The Alaskan setting was a nice change up and the plot was intense. We encounter some really effed up werewolves who eat humans. That's a big no-no, so Elena and Clay are sent to investigate while trying to save this one rogue Mutt from getting into deeper crap than he can handle. The mystery about the "creatures" was awesome. I always love learning new supernatural mythology.
We get some intense life or death situations and heart-pounding twists that I didn't see coming. Frostbitten is fast-paced and full of action. We don't see too many of the other characters we know from the series, but that's okay. All I need is Elena and Clay and I am content.
The Bad I was a little disappointed that we didn't get to see more of Clay and Elena's twins. I wanted to see them interact together but we only got a few scenes with them and I felt jipped. This is Elena and Clay's last book in the series, it would have been nice to see them as a family more.
The Snuggly We get a couple love scenes that are well done but not overly explicit.
Final Thoughts This is a quick read that will keep you glued to the pages. I love that we delve even deeper into both Elena and Clay as individuals and as a couple. Armstrong is really great at characterization. That's what keeps me reading. Highly recommended.
Quotes “Next Clay gave the house rules for living with the Sorrentinos, which sounded a lot like the Ten Commandments. Thou shall not lie, steal anything, kill anyone, disrespect your hosts or covet any of Nick's girlfriends. And if you break the rules, you'll get your ass kicked and handed to you in pieces—a part I suspect God left out.”
“Did you use a chainsaw?" Joey said. "I seem to recall you like chainsaws."
"There wasn't a power outlet." Clay turned to me. "That's what I want for Father's Day, darling. A gas powered chainsaw.” Women of the Otherworld Series: Book #1: Bitten Book #2: Stolen Book #3: Dime Store Magic Book #4: Industrial Magic Book #5: Haunted Book #6: Broken Book #7: No Humans Involved Book #8: Personal Demon Book #9: Living with the Dead Book #10: Frostbitten Book #11: Waking the Witch Book #12: Spell Bound Book #13: Thirteen
Similar Reading: Mercedes Thompson Series Chicagoland Vampires Series Night Huntress Series Kate Daniels Series (less)
At A Glance I just love Jennifer Estep so much. I think everything she writes is gold. This book was no different. But you know me. I found one or two things that bothered me. But I still loved every minute of Crimson Frost.
The Good Here's The Story... It was all going so well. A little coffee, a little flirty banter, a little murder accusation. Yeah, you heard me. Finally Logan and Gwen had a chance to go on their first date, then the Mythos Academy "police" came and took Gwen away for freeing the evil Loki from his prison and taking part in the Reapers overall mayhem and murder schemes. Now on trial for crimes she didn't commit, Gwen has to watch her back as every student at the school comes after her. But they aren't the only ones who want her dead. There is more to these accusations than meets the eye. Gwen has to figure out who is leading the charge against her and kill them before they kill her.
Nerves of Steel... OMG. This book scared the crap out of me. If I were Gwen I would be hiding in a corner, rocking back and forth, trying to think happy thoughts. How Gwen faces her entire school, in which almost every student wants her dead, is beyond me. She may be self-deprecating, but we all know she has nerves of steel. I was so, so pissed when the Academy "police" took Gwen into custody, paraded her around and accused her in front of everyone without letting her state her side. It was horrible. Like a nightmare.
Trooper Gwen... Gwen is a trooper though. She may break down internally, but she always keeps a brave face in front of everyone else. She follows her normal routine despite all the hate and accusations. Her friends also stay by her side through it all. Gwen handled herself well and I felt proud of her. She has always been strong and determined and she is only growing more so in each book.
*Sighs* Logan.... Logan was very supportive of Gwen as his dad, the head of the Academy "police," treated her like crap. It was like his father's mind was set that she was guilty, no matter how much the evidence might say otherwise. Logan was so caring and sweet. He tried to keep Gwen positive no matter how far she was kicked down. But the ending was devastating. I can't reveal much, but that damn Logan really knows how to throw a pity party.
And Who Might You Be? Alexei was an interesting new character. He was assigned to guard Gwen. He was so mysterious at first. I didn't know what to make of him. I hated him sometimes because of his actions, but I also understood his position. I don't want to reveal too much but I was so happy to find out his connection to one of the beloved characters in the series. I can't wait to see what other tricks this guy has up his sleeves.
Here's My Heart, Estep... Crimson Frost left me raw. My emotions took a hit because Gwen goes through so much crap that it felt like I went through it all right along with her. The unfairness was off the charts. Sure, Estep tore out my heart but her amazing writing and perfect pacing made it all worth it. The story sucked me in right away and never let go. The ending was gasp worthy as well as heart-wrenching. I love Gwen's story and can't wait to see what it going to happen next.
The Bad The only thing I can complain about is that I feel like the series as a whole is now dragging a bit. The plots are becoming too similar and not enough forward momentum is happening. I want the fight between the goodies and the badies to be more progressive. Some big changes would be nice.
The Snuggly Logan and Gwen's relationship is still slow going. They are very cute together but it seems every time they take one step forward, they take two steps back. Really, it's Logan's fault. He needs to grow a pair. Harsh but true.
Final Thoughts Though I would like to see some more plot variation for the next books, I was very pleased with Crimson Frost. We were introduced to new characters and taken on an emotional roller coaster and it was all worth it. This series and book is highly recommended.
Quotes "How is it that you always know just what to do and say to make me feel better?" I said.
Logan grinned. “Just another part of that Spartan killer instinct. I can slay the ladies just as well as I can reapers.”
"I can't believe you just walked in here this morning like everything was okay, like we all don't know what you did--and what a traitorous Reaper bitch you are."
The kids circled around me murmured their agreement. My gaze went from one face to the next, but all I saw was anger--anger and no mercy. I wasn't psychic, not like Grandma Frost was, but I knew what would happen now. The other kids couldn't take their rage and frustration out on the Reapers who'd murdered their loved ones, so they were going to lash out at the next best thing--me.
Mythos Academy Series: Book #1: Touch of Frost Book #2: Kiss of Frost Book #3: Dark Frost Book #4: Crimson Frost (Dec 24, 2012) Book #5: Midnight Frost (Aug 2013) (less)
At A Glance I wasn't blown away but I thought Guardian of Fate was an overall enjoyable book.
The Good I was drawn into this story straight away. Cassandra has had a rocky life. It is her responsibility to save the souls of people in her visions from the damnation of hell. But all of a sudden her visions are going haywire and two mystery men try to insert themselves into Cassie's life. One of those men, Hunter, has been a fixture in her dreams for years. Soon Cassie finds out that the people she is closest to have been lying to her and the mystery men have brought her into a war between good and evil. But who can she trust? And will her soul be saved from a fate worse than death?
I think the premise was interesting and fresh. I always find the idea of hell to be truly frightening. Kentowski takes hell to a whole other level. Demons can damn any soul they want, and only a Guardian can save people from an eternity of burning. It's a war of good versus evil, and Cassie is right, smack-dab in the middle. She is special and both sides want her. I really did enjoy watching Cassie be pulled one way and another as both sides tried to persuade her to join them. The lengths the evil side went to was limitless which resulted in Cassie making some difficult decisions.
Hunter was a fun little mystery throughout the story. He seems like the bad guy at first, then he's good, then he's bad...and on and on. I see why Cassie had a hard time trusting him. You want to believe him but his past is just too sketchy.
I loved that I was genuinely surprised by the twists and turns of this book. I didn't know the answers to the mysteries until Kentowski wanted me to. And the ending has set up the next book in the series very nicely.
The Bad First off, the punctuation was often odd, off, or just plain wrong. There were also many info-dumps, and you guys know how much I hate those. The dialogue was often interrupted by inner thoughts. It was extremely annoying. Sometimes I forgot what the characters were even talking about once we finally got back to the conversation.
Cassie was a major crybaby. I don't mind emotional characters, but really, Cassie was crying through at least half this book, if not more. Give it a rest, lady. Your life is crappy, suck it up. But more than that, Cassie was not the strong protagonist I hoped she would be. She was a pushover.
The ending, where Cassie lashes out at Hunter for keeping a certain secret, was way over the top. Cassie's overreaction put me off.
The Snuggly We definitely get some passion and sex in this book. Cassandra and Hunter are explosive together but I did feel like Hunter was too aggressive. When he kept touching and kissing Cassie even when she said no, it made me feel uncomfortable.
Final Thoughts I think the concept of this book has great potential as a series. I need to see Cassie grow as a character for me to want to continue reading though. The writing wasn't perfect but the mystery of Guardian of Fate kept me interested. Recommended to some paranormal readers.
Quote There was no doubt in my mind that the man next to me was the same one who had been in my visions for the last six years. He was real, and he was at Luke's buying a whiskey? I almost felt cheated. For so long, I wondered what this vision was all about, feeling that it held some deeper meaning I would someday grasp. Yet, here I was at some seedy bar and the man in my dreams shows up and orders a whiskey. Now what? Save him from dying of inebriation? (less)
At A Glance Let's put it this way, I read this book a couple years ago and I completely forgot everything about it. I reread it for this review, and I've already forgotten half of it again.
The Good Though Hope and Karl aren't my favorite couple of the series, I was excited to see them again in this book. Hope is still struggling to control her chaos demon all while trying to accept and embrace her feelings for Karl, our hot werewolf. I enjoyed them in this book. They don't have a perfect relationship but it's getting there.
I will say one thing about Living with the Dead, Armstrong really went all out on her bad guy...or girl. Adele was batshit crazy. She is a hardcore sociopath and killer. But before she kills people, she likes to toy with them first. The lengths she will go has no bounds. I have read some pretty dark characters in my day but Adele tops the cake.
The Bad As you can see, there is not much good in this book. It got two stars only because I did enjoy Hope and Karl for the most part. But the rest of the book was so...stupid.
We meet Robyn, a human, who has never been in the series before. I don't know why Armstrong decided to introduce us to her. She is so insignificant to the series it's not even funny. And her being a human just took out the sparkle of reading about interesting supernaturals. At least Finn, a cop, can speak to the dead. But even he wasn't really interesting.
Living with the Dead did nothing to build onto the overall plotline of this series. It was a filler book that didn't keep my attention. This was the last book I bought from the series because of how boring it was. This is my least favorite book of the series.
I think the weirdest thing is that a whole bunch happens but I still yawned through three-forths of it. Then the ending was just blah. I was like, "What was the point of all this?"
Oh, and the last thing. The other books in the series were first person POVs and this one was third person. It really changed the dynamic, in a bad way.
The Snuggly Not much snuggly going on. Just a little with Karl and Hope. The romance was thin overall.
Final Thoughts I think I just forgot about another one-forth of the book just now. I have a really great memory and for me not to remember a book is weird. I would not recommend this book. I think series readers might want to read it just because.
Quote “What am I? Let's just say I won't fetch a stick for you. I won't beg for treats. And, no matter how nicely you ask, I will not roll over and play dead.” (less)