Harper Price has the perfect life: she's homecoming queen, class president, top of the social scene and standing at the head of the line for cotillionHarper Price has the perfect life: she's homecoming queen, class president, top of the social scene and standing at the head of the line for cotillion. All of that goes to hell, however, when she encounters a dying man in the bathroom on homecoming night. The fatally wounded janitor grabs Harper and kisses her passing on his role as a Paladin - a supernatural and ancient warrior/protector. Mr. Janitor, however, dies without telling Harper who she's supposed to protect. That's okay though because two seconds later her history teacher bursts into the bathroom and tries to turn Harper into a shish kabob. Harper fights back with her new-found fighting skills and kills the evil history teacher with her pointy high heel. And so begins Harper's mad, crazy, hilarious and oddly appealing story. This book is like Legally Blonde meets Buffy with a dose of Gone With the Wind thrown in.
Southern Belles kicking ass doesn't get much better as a plot summary, but it fits. I was giggling so many times throughout this book. It's not a heavy, weighty read. There's no deeper message and the plot is fairly shallow and predictable. But it's irresistible none-the-less, a pleasant cotton-candy read to while away a rainy afternoon and make you smile. Rachel Hawkins writes engaging, memorable characters and has a turn of phrase that makes me envious as a writer.
There is, of course, the inevitable love triangle. Can a YA book that involves any amount of romance be published today WITHOUT a love triangle? Sometimes it doesn't seem like it. The love triangle was my least favorite part of the novel and felt forced at times. Ryan, Harper's current boyfriend, is the school golden boy and Mr. Perfect. On the other side of the ring we've got David Stark - editor of the school newspaper, muckraker, general social misfit and kind of an asshole. But you know, a lovable asshole. David has been Harper's arch nemesis since the were in diapers. At least David wasn't your typical bad-boy as he falls into the same over-achiever mold as Harper. It's nice having two protagonists that are total type-A's and obsessed with school. However the trope of love being so close to hate is a bit dated. David is the boy Harper has to protect as a Paladin, whether she wants to or not. And because of that and having to be around him so much, she suddenly discovers he's fascinating and she has feelings for him. Poor Ryan, he gets tossed aside like a used tissue.
The shining star in this book is Harper and her narration. They really make the book despite the other aspects that don't always shine as well. The pace if the novel is fast and furious with the occasional slow-down for a sweet little aside. So many lush details and funny bits and even though I want to smack Harper and David's heads together far too frequently, I still really enjoyed the book overall and will read the sequel. This is the first in a series. Hawkin's first series, HEX HALL, is one of my favorites and this doesn't' quite measure up. Hopefully the series will get stronger as it goes along. ...more
When Adam's ex-wife, Christy, shows up and insists on moving in, it becomes clear pretty fast that she wants to replace Mercy and come back to the pacWhen Adam's ex-wife, Christy, shows up and insists on moving in, it becomes clear pretty fast that she wants to replace Mercy and come back to the pack. Unfortunately Christy's also got a psycho ex-boyfriend after her and worse still, he seems to be some sort of super-powerful supernat Mercy and pack have never encountered before. Bodies are piling up and the pack is in trouble as Mercy and Adam try to track down the bad guy and keep Christy from splintering the pack with her usual dose of drama.
Another fantastic addition to the Mercy Thompson series. There's a lot of action, some nice twists and a few more details about Mercy's past offered up. Christy's presence was a nice, unexpected complication. I love how Briggs keeps the story interesting even though the main love interests, Adam and Mercy, have gotten together. They say in TV and often in books, when the love interests FINALLY get together it's a death knell for the series. This book certainly proves that wrong for the Mercy Thompson series. I'm just as in love with the series now as I was when I first read Moon Called and there is nothing to disappoint in Night Broken. ...more
Kara was summoned against her will into the Demon world and now has to fight for her life, all while trying to figure out who to trust.
I hated this boKara was summoned against her will into the Demon world and now has to fight for her life, all while trying to figure out who to trust.
I hated this book. Hated. I really enjoyed the other books in the series so my disappointment with this one was fairly epic. The aspect that appealed to me most about the first several books in the series was the supernatural cop angle - that gets completely thrown out in this one. Moreover I just wanted to slap Kara so many times. She's a mostly passive, wishy-washy, whiny victim who allows herself to be manipulated and abused. She'll basically screw anything with legs and has the self-preservation instincts of a suicidal lemming. I forced myself to finish the book, praying it would get better. It didn't. The plot was painfully slow and tiresome. The big reveals (of which there were few) were tepid at best and not enough to keep my interest.
(view spoiler)[I've always had a problem with Kara being interested in Ryan and yet perfectly willing to screw a demon at the same time. I'm all for female empowerment but I'd be just as thoroughly disgusted with a male character who did this. If you are in love with someone, or falling in love with someone, you don't have a F***-buddy(a term freely used in the series) on the side. It's like a huge moral black-hole. Moreover- initially Mzatal is set up as a persecutor, then he flips heavily into a father-figure. That relationship is definitely painted that way, but wait no - because in the end Kara has to screw Mzatal as well and it's all good because hey Ryan would understand if he was in his demon lord guise. Arghhhhhh! I hate this so much. (hide spoiler)]
Female empowerment is not synonymous with becoming a slut. That, more than all the other crap in this book, pissed me off the most. Complete sub-genre shift aside (goodbye Urban Fantasy, hello High Fantasy) the main characters fell apart and the plot went to hell. I am done with this series and won't read any future books.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
In the second Kara Gillian book something is stealing the essences of people and killing them. At first, Kara is afraid the essence stealer is a demonIn the second Kara Gillian book something is stealing the essences of people and killing them. At first, Kara is afraid the essence stealer is a demon she's responsible for bringing over into this realm. But as more bodies turn up she begins to see a disturbing pattern emerging. Barely back at work a week after her medical leave following the Symbol Man case, Kara is plunged back into the world of the arcane and a political hot-mess unrolling in Bealac. To complicate matters Lord Rhyzkahl is back and propositioning Kara to become is summoner, a role she's not sure she wants to take on.
Another fun, fast read filled with nice twists, lovely world building and a cast of characters that I'm happy to spend time with. At times I want to smack Kara upside the head, especially in regards to Special Agent Ryan Kristoff and in her dealings with Rhyzkahl. The demon lord is rather ambivalent and I'm not sure if I'm supposed to like him or not - but perhaps that's because Kara feels the same and the book is from her perspective after all. I like that the relationships are drawn out a bit more in this book and it's not a straight up sexcapade read. The paranormal detective aspect is what appeals to me most and that's the part that delivers the most punch. I rather dread the coming love triangle with Rhyzkahl and Kristoff, which was patently obvious in the first novel and more so in this one, but at least it's developing slowly. I also like that Kara has a strong code of honor, stays true to herself for the most part and isn't a drop-dead-gorgeous amazing kick-ass heroine - she's flawed and normal, a bit pudgy until she stops eating from stress and while she does kick-ass it's with abilities that she earns and hones and not just because that's the way the author has decreed it with nothing in her background backing it up. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and will definitely be reading the next book. Probably some time this week - because I lack self control when it comes to a good read....more
The Taylors have been witches as far back as anyone can remember and they are the creme da la creme of Savannah magic society. Unfortunately, Mercy TaThe Taylors have been witches as far back as anyone can remember and they are the creme da la creme of Savannah magic society. Unfortunately, Mercy Taylor is a magical dud without a lick of magic at all. Her twin sister Maisie on the other hand got an extra huge helping of magical mojo and is the princess of the family - beautiful, talented and almost everyone's favorite. It's been that way since Mercy was a baby and she's use to her sister getting all the attention, she loves her sister and doesn't begrudge her the limelight. But she does lust after her sister's fiance. Ashamed of her feelings, Mercy turns to an infamous hoodoo root doctor - Mother Jilo, begging for a spell that will make Mercy love her best friend Peter and end her feelings for Jackson, her sister's intended. That one little spells sets of a chain of events that throws Mercy's entire world into turmoil, beginning most notably with the murder of her Great Aunt Ginny.
There's a ton of world building backed into this book with loving descriptions and lots of attention to a handful of characters. While the plot is fairly interesting and kept my attention I did feel like it dragged a little in the middle. More-over, while some characters were well fleshed out and fully detailed, others felt like thin caricatures without much detail - Jackson and Peter for example. Both are important character and yet they have little character development and don't really stand out. Overall it was an interesting book and yet just too drawn out. I probably won't continue with the series.
I have a couple of major pet peeves: (view spoiler)[First Maise's abrupt character reversal felt completely out of left field and unnatural. There were no hints early in the book that she was anything other than a loving sister so for her to abruptly turn out to be a villain felt contrived. Furthermore - the twist with Jackson turning out to be Ren was also completely out of left field with no earlier support in the book and contrived. The major plot twist, that Mercy was actually a powerful witch who's power was stolen, was predictable (or at least I had guessed that would happen halfway into the book). My only surprise was in who killed Ginny and that was cheapened by Ren turning out to be Jackson. Also the entire explanation that Mercy was in love with Jackson because he'd been absorbing her magic and part of her recognized that in him - that made me wince. So basically she's in love with him because she's in love with herself. Meh. The pregnancy bit at the end felt contrived as well and didn't seem to serve any real purpose. Mercy's sudden realization, literally in the very last moments of hte book, that she did love Peter also felt contrived and way, way too late. (hide spoiler)]
Overall, excellent world building, inconsistent characters and a plot the limps along for most of the story. Despite my gripes I am sure that many urban fantasy readers will enjoy this series. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
A collection of 13 short stories from the Jane Yellowrock series, including several new stories and several previously published pieces. I love all ofA collection of 13 short stories from the Jane Yellowrock series, including several new stories and several previously published pieces. I love all of them, though the new ones were obviously my favorites. This is the first time I've read stories from a perspective other than Jane's so that was an interesting take. Fans of the Jane Yellowrock books will love this collection and won't be disappointed. People who are new to the series should start with the books first, so they are well grounded in the characters and world before diving in to the short stories as you'll enjoy them more. A fun, fast read and just the perfect pre-holiday treat. ...more
Nathan Garrett is a sorcerer and a thief. He's also a man without a past - at least not one he can remember. When Nathan agrees to steal an ancient anNathan Garrett is a sorcerer and a thief. He's also a man without a past - at least not one he can remember. When Nathan agrees to steal an ancient and valuable book he stumbles into a plot that will reveal his past, endanger his friends and probably end his life.
Crimes Against Magic started out strong but quickly fell apart for me. The characters feel a bit thin and the underlying story, the conflict and Nathan's past stretched credulity to the breaking point. I read a lot of fantasy and I'm totally willing to suspend disbelief BUT I have to feel like the author is really selling the story and I didn't feel that at all with Crimes Against Magic. Instead it felt like a strange amalgamation of several archetypal tropes and cultural histories poorly stitched together.
(view spoiler)[The Arthurian legend, slapped onto the greek myths with a dash of other religions as well? It may have worked in American Gods by Neil Gaiman but that's because Gaiman created a credible world and shored up his characters with enough back story and support for WHY this gods were co-existing. This book's back story was just a mess. And the jumping between eras got a bit confusing at times as well.
In addition, Nathan's feelings for Jenny are patently ridiculous. He knew her for basically a day, had a one-night stand with the woman and suddenly he's all passionate about her and mooning around as though they've been dating for ages? Plus he's still got a thing for Holly don't forget. It's inconsistencies like that which kept me from really enjoying this book. (hide spoiler)]
It's not badly written per-say, the dialogue is fine, there's a decent amount of humor and the setting descriptions were good. The characters, though thin, were at least distinctive.
While this book wasn't for me, I'm sure others will enjoy it. I can see this book appealing to action fans and perhaps fans of the Iron Druid series as well. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Harry's return to Chicago isn't going well - Demon Reach is set to blow up, Molly's MIA and as usual shit is about to hit the fan. Buckle your seat beHarry's return to Chicago isn't going well - Demon Reach is set to blow up, Molly's MIA and as usual shit is about to hit the fan. Buckle your seat belts for another fun Dresden Files adventure.
I keep expecting this series to start petering out. I mean we're 15 books in and surely the writing has to be getting a bit stale at this point, right? Nope, not even a bit. The books are still fantastic and one of my favorite series ever. Skin Game delivers on all fronts with lots of great action, plot twists, humor and characters I've grown to love and adore over the years. I finished the book desperately wishing for a time machine so I could jump forward and start the next book. If you're a Dresden Files fan you're going to love this book just as much as the others. ...more
Jane's best friend Molly is missing and though their relationship has been strained for quite some time, Jane is on a mission to find Molly no matterJane's best friend Molly is missing and though their relationship has been strained for quite some time, Jane is on a mission to find Molly no matter what. But tracking Molly leads to a mysterious stranger who's powerful and deadly dangerous. Naturally Psyled has to get involved which means Rick is back in town as well. The complicated dance between Jane and Rick continues and meanwhile there's still Bruiser on the sidelines, in love and torn between his feelings for Jane and his loyalty to Leo, the bloodmaster of New Orleans.
Another fun, fast read. I love the Jane Yellowrock series because it consistently delivers a great read. The characters are complex and intriguing, the plots fast-paced, twisty and anything but dull and the world so well rendered it's hard not to get lost for hours in each book. This book was another great addition to the series and advances the series well. I like that Hunter doesn't give her characters easy choices or easy outs, they face real dilemas and often messy situations stay messy. I'm not sure who I'm rooting for between Bruiser and Rick but I know that whichever way it goes in the end, I'm going to love every chapter, page and word leading me there. Fans of the series will not be disappointed with this latest addition....more