Leaps and bounds better than the first two. The story wasn't as isolated - it was pertinent to the story of Kate and it involved the other characters...moreLeaps and bounds better than the first two. The story wasn't as isolated - it was pertinent to the story of Kate and it involved the other characters in a much more inclusive way. I was not bored at all and now I'm sooo glad I don't have to wait for Magic Bleeds.(less)
I enjoyed this book quite a bit but it took me forever to read for some reason. I'm hoping it suffered a little from "1st in a series" syndro...more3.5 stars
I enjoyed this book quite a bit but it took me forever to read for some reason. I'm hoping it suffered a little from "1st in a series" syndrome and the rest will pick up a little bit.
Jill is a Hunter - she keeps her city safe from demons, aka hellbreed. But in order to be the best Hunter she can be, she has made a deal with the numero uno demon in town. He lends her extra strength, power and uber fast healing ability in exchange for a couple hours a month of her time. He has a bit of a masochistic streak.
Bodies are piling up around the city, some of them cops, and Jill has to figure out what's going on. Pretty basic urban fantasy premise, and it never broke any molds. What's enjoyable about the series is Saintcrow's writing, and I anticipate that there's a lot she could do with this series.
This one fell short a little bit though, and here's why.
1. As mentioned above, this didn't really tread any new ground. 2. It was a little melodramatic. Everyone around Jill seemed to need years of therapy after seeing a glimpse of the stuff she dealt with, and she was constantly swallowing back bile and trying not to throw up, or she was shaking or having some over the top physical reaction to everything. I get that this was dark and it was meant to show a much grittier side than a lot of the lighter, more funny urban fantasy I've been reading, but after awhile I wanted to smack Jill and tell her to grow up already. 3. There is a hint of a romance, and it's interesting for what it is, but it was so underdeveloped it may as well not have been there at all. I know absolutely nothing about this guy that Jill was suddenly all interested in. If you're going to toss in a love interest, you could try to make him interesting instead of just sticking him in there because you think you need one. This book would have been just as good if he had been eliminated entirely. Hopefully he'll have more to do in future books.
I did enjoy this book and despite it's faults, I think it's a promising start. I'll definitely be picking up book 2 soon. Hopefully it can build on what's there and go somewhere good. Book 2 will be a deal breaker.(less)
So I would probably actually give this 4.5 stars, but I'm feeling generous so I'll round up. I felt like the first 90 pages or so were really slow, an...moreSo I would probably actually give this 4.5 stars, but I'm feeling generous so I'll round up. I felt like the first 90 pages or so were really slow, and then the last 60 with the exception of the final 10 really dragged on. But everything in between had me anxiously turning pages, so I guess can forgive it.
The only thing I wish she would have done differently is the beginning. I don't think Clay was mentioned at all in book 3, and I didn't remember much about him from books 1 and 2. And Talin was brand new. But Singh just sort of dumped us in the middle of their story without really introducing them first. I would have liked a little refresher about who Clay was, and a teeny bit more insight into Talin, and even their mutual history. I just didn't have enough information to work with during those first several chapters.
But once the story got going, it was rocking. The romance was good, but it was secondary to me. The overall plot was really engaging and I think Singh is one of the best at keeping you in touch with previous characters. I was glad to see Judd and Brenna again, if only briefly.
I have a theory about who the Ghost is... I'm really anxious to see if I'm right! (less)
I ended up liking this book a lot more than I expected to. I certainly read it faster than I thought I would.
This was a pretty average urban fantasy....moreI ended up liking this book a lot more than I expected to. I certainly read it faster than I thought I would.
This was a pretty average urban fantasy. Nothing ground breaking; as many other reviewers have noted, it was basically Bitten with cats instead of wolves. The story was fairly predictable and the characters pretty standard. There was really nothing to make this book stand out. So why did I like it so much? Honestly, I don't know. Despite the 618 pages, it moved pretty quickly. And I guess I really related to Faythe. A lot of reviewers have complained about Faythe being whiny and overly rebellious. I didn't feel that way. I think I would have reacted to the circumstances in exactly the same way that Faythe did. She was raised in a very controlling atmosphere and I would have bucked against that as well. I absolutely can't stand to be constrained or told what to do, and if I feel like I don't have absolute freedom to do what I want when I want, I tend to react in less than logical ways. Even when you know there's no reason to, it's just instinctual.
The only thing I didn't really like was that I felt like the romance between Marc and Faythe was not well explained/developed. I didn't know why they were ever together other than sheer proximity, really. There was a part where Marc says to Faythe: "You are so beautiful. Loud, stubborn, and infuriating at times, but almost too beautiful to look at." And that was the most explanation given for the romance, so I'm left to think that Marc only loves Faythe because she's beautiful and she's the only female werecat around for miles...? How romantic.
But I will definitely be picking up the rest of these books soon. I'm hoping for a romance between Jace and Ethan. ;)(less)
**spoiler alert** I have to admit, I was a little disappointed by this book. I have given all the Riley books 3 stars, but there was always something...more**spoiler alert** I have to admit, I was a little disappointed by this book. I have given all the Riley books 3 stars, but there was always something innately compelling about them that kept me reading. And I probably will still continue to read them, but this one lacked that certain je ne sais quoi.
I gave this a lot of thought while reading, and I think I figured out what it was. It's actually a combination of a few things.
1. While Riley has always been the central focus of the series, there was something about the other books that felt a touch more collaborative. Whereas in this book, she's pretty much by herself the entire time. There's not nearly enough Rhoan, Liander or Quinn in this book, and Kade barely makes a cameo.
2. Quinn and Riley are finally making a go of things. They are attempting to be monogamous, and are so far successful and very happy together. Unfortunately, this doesn't translate very well. As long as we've all been waiting for Quinn and Riley to finally just be together, it's kind of boring. Quinn plays no part in this book other than to satisfy Riley's full moon needs, and I think it would have been a better book if we'd gotten to see a more three-dimensional Quinn.
3. This is kind of embarrassing to admit, but all the things that irked me and rubbed me wrong about the series up until now - namely Riley's rampant horniness and penchant for nudity - are missing from this book, and I felt their lack. Riley's constant nudity was always distracting to me if for no other reason than that I was pretty sure she was going to hurt herself, and being a large chested girl myself, I know that it's not quite that easy to run around and get in fights with the girls loose. But apparently Riley's nakedness and public sex with random strangers added a certain zip to these books that left this one feeling a little lackluster.
4. The mystery itself was kind of blah. Riley's out solving a new crime, and it was sort of interesting at first, but the wrap up was really anticlimactic and predictable and yadda yadda. I did enjoy the zombies, though.
And finally, this isn't one of the things that made the book less than exciting, but it's something that bothered me.
And also why this review contains spoilers. Be warned!
Riley finally finds her wolf soul mate, an assassin named Kye that we apparently met in a previous book but I don't remember. He's kind of hanging around the whole time because he's also working Riley's case, apparently on behalf of a friend who was the father of one of the victims. Riley warns him off the case because he's not Directorate. He doesn't listen.
What bothered me was this. Riley spends the whole book saying how she doesn't like him, and when she discovers that he's her mate, she's really upset because she doesn't want him to be. Now, the idea of this was great. I think having Riley's soul mate turn out to be someone she has no interest in was really interesting and a great twist to the series. However, Arthur does a piss poor job of explaining why Riley doesn't like Kye. In fact, she never gives a reason at all other than that Riley doesn't like that he's a killer for hire. And in fact, when they're working together toward the end, they make a really great team. So what the heck? I can understand Riley resisting Kye because she's trying to be monogamous with Quinn. I'm cool with that. But she always told Quinn that she was still looking for her wolf mate, so what's the problem? This was a story element that could have been so much better but just left me kind of scratching my head and saying "but why?"
Overall, a very blah book and a disappointing addition to the series, though I'm sure I'll keep reading.(less)
Yep, it was a Mercy Thompson book! Just a quick disclaimer: if you have heard that there is more romance in this book, or that there's some smexin', th...moreYep, it was a Mercy Thompson book! Just a quick disclaimer: if you have heard that there is more romance in this book, or that there's some smexin', the rumors are not true. Though events that occurred in the previous book are further explored and things are a bit more set and less up in the air, there's not much more romance in this book than in previous installments, and any reports of smex have been greatly exaggerated.(less)
Reading this book took a monumental amount of perserverance on my part because every time I tried to read it I fell asleep. Even when I picked the boo...moreReading this book took a monumental amount of perserverance on my part because every time I tried to read it I fell asleep. Even when I picked the book up after a 7 month long hiatius, as soon as I reached the part I hadn't read before... snooze. It's not that the book is boring. It isn't. And I like the characters. I just, for some reason, had difficulty connecting with it. This was a good (if a bit disjointed and confusing) paranormal mystery. But the thing that keeps me reading is the Kate/Curran dynamic and there just isn't enough Curran in this book. I think this will continue to be a 3 star series for me - I like it, but I don't know if I'll ever fall in love with it the way so many others seem to have done. We'll see.(less)
The best in the series, in my opinion. It was a little more isolated than the others; the two main characters are a shifter and a vampire, so it didn'...moreThe best in the series, in my opinion. It was a little more isolated than the others; the two main characters are a shifter and a vampire, so it didn't take place all in the demon world like the others. In fact, a lot of the demons didn't really even make an appearance. (Some fans of the series may be disappointed by that, but I actually found it kind of refreshing.) I also thought Damien and Syreena were the most likeable hero and heroine so far, and I thought Frank dealt with the "soul mate" issue better in this book than she did in any of the others. I really dislike the soul mate device in paranormal romance, and it seems to be everywhere. But it can be okay if it's handled well, and in this case it is. I can't necessarily say that about the other books in this series, which is why I gave up after this one. (less)
Ilona Andrews has created an alternate universe; an Atlanta some time in the future where magic has begun to surge an...moreReally great urban fantasy novel!
Ilona Andrews has created an alternate universe; an Atlanta some time in the future where magic has begun to surge and change the landscape of the world as we know it. Now the world alternates between the magic and the tech. Kate is an independent mercenary working for the Guild, protecting people from nasty magical creatures. But she is hiding a power no one else can imagine. When her former guardian is murdered, she goes to the city to try to solve the murder and exact revenge. She gets pulled into an apparent war between the Pack, a group of shapechangers, and the People, or "Masters of the Dead" who control the vampires (very creepy.)
The first half of the book is very bogged down in the details of the world Andrews has created. It is so different from our own that it takes awhile to really get a feel for it and understand. I had hard time focusing for the first 100 pages or so. But once I sunk into the story, and started to really understand the world building, I no longer felt mired in the detail and suddenly was very engrossed in the mystery. Not only did I start to understand her world, I started to really enjoy it. It's creative and, well, magical.
The story itself is great. Andrews weaves a wonderful mystery full of twists and turns and surprises; a truly unpredictable novel.
The characters are just as good. Kate is a kick ass heroine, the kind who's brazen and tactless, confrontational and snarky. But unlike so many of her genre counterparts, you get to see that behind it all she's as scared as anyone would be in her shoes, and she can actually admit when she makes a mistake. Curran, the Lord of the Beasts, is an alpha male, plus some. He was so different from any other alpha male I've read. He's not super broody, and he's not the "king with the heart of gold." (He may have a heart of gold; he's just not that "type.") He's ruthless and cavalier, and does what he has to do to protect his people. And he hates peas.
Full of wonderful details, gruesome fight scenes, fascinating characters and a truly magical world, Magic Bites is a near perfect urban fantasy novel. I knock it down a star for the slow start, but once it gets going you won't be able to put it down.(less)
Just a warning to anyone who may be hoodwinked by the fact that this book and series have been labeled as paranormal romance - you will not find any r...moreJust a warning to anyone who may be hoodwinked by the fact that this book and series have been labeled as paranormal romance - you will not find any romance here. At least not by my definition. I would be more likely to call this way oversexed urban fantasy. The writing is average, the story pretty good, and the characters are interesting if not a little underdeveloped. But the core of the book (and series) is sex. It's kind of like the writer created this really interesting urban fantasy world, filled with creatures and mythology that fans of the genre will love, and then thought hmm... what is a way I could twist this so that it's perfectly okay for the main character to be a raging slut? So she made an incredibly high sex drive and incredibly low inhibitions part of the nature of the character's race, and boom, now she can have indiscriminate, emotionless sex with anyone she wants to. And she can just walk around naked all the time. It's totally cool. You get used to it after awhile, and it can be hot (although a little redundant. If you continue to read the series, you'll find that most of the sex scenes seem to have been copied and pasted in. The wording tends to be almost exactly the same from scene to scene.) The book is entertaining enough, and while I'm not a huge fan of the rampant sex, it wasn't enough to completely turn me off. I'm about halfway through the third book, and still no romance, and the writing keeps getting worse bit by bit, but the overall story keeps getting better and better, so if you're an urban fantasy fan, you will probably really enjoy this series. It's enough to keep me reading. Just wanted to warn people who thought they might be getting a love story... uh, no.(less)
Great book! I have a new series to follow. My two favorite things about this book: 1. Mercy. Mercy is a great heroine! She is smart and sensibl...more4.5 stars
Great book! I have a new series to follow. My two favorite things about this book: 1. Mercy. Mercy is a great heroine! She is smart and sensible and uses her head most of the time. She is not one of those "too-stupid-to-live" heroines in leather pants running out to kick ass all the time without thinking and putting herself and everyone else in danger every five minutes. It was really refreshing. She was down to earth and easy to like. She's not a mercenary or a bounty hunter or a police detective or anything like that. She's an auto mechanic, who just happens to get involved in some sticky stuff because of her circumstances. 2. A good chunk of this book took place in Montana, which never happens. I was so excited! I get really homesick. MT's a little too rural for me right now; I've gotten used to the conveniences of my current, slightly more urban location. But that's really the only thing keeping my from moving back; I LOVE Montana and miss it a lot. So reading about it in a UF book was awesome and I hope they have plenty of opportunity to go back.
Also, I think this is a good book to recommend to your slighty more conservative friends who don't read UF or PNR. There was no sex, very little language (in fact, there are a few instances of men curbing their language because they were in the presence of a lady...) and Mercy may actually be the first UF heroine I've ever read about that was religious. (Don't worry, she's not scary religious and if you're not into that, you'll still be okay with this book.) I may make my sister read this one and see what she thinks...(less)