Hellboy gone deliciously jaw-dropping (with a friggin’ medical degree, to boot) and a bad-ass slayer with hang-ups she doesn’t even know would require...moreHellboy gone deliciously jaw-dropping (with a friggin’ medical degree, to boot) and a bad-ass slayer with hang-ups she doesn’t even know would require a shrink (and no, it’s not the I-can’t-have-orgasm-oh-kill-me-now thingie)…
[FYI, Dr. Dreamy has brothers, too. No guesses needed on how they look. Dayum!]
Okay, so perhaps the only beef I have with this first installment is his name. Resorting to calling him “E” felt too much like BDB to me (and I kinda wanted those guys to remain just the tiniest bit untouchable, so…).
No wonder even Hellboy began to sound endearing. Not that terribly original, true, but it definitely beats having to say (or, as it applies during mind-numbing sex, hoarsely shout) the slightly tongue-twisting-inducing “Eidolon”.
I appreciate ms Ione for bringing in a new paranormal romance series that is not reliant on fangs jutting out at the slightest whiff of blood, gorgeous hunk of men that unfortunately cannot show off their fabulousity out in broad daylight (no sparklies, ¡por favor!), or those same men having to make regular body checks with either werewolves or their own breed who have gone rogue.
Sure, the whole premise of “Demons” actually being just as sane, dysfunctional, and, for some of them, possibly having a garish affinity for all things perky and pink (a crazier version of Acheron’s Simi?) as humans is perhaps TMI at first take. Having to be acquainted with their staggeringly complex demon classifications might just also take some getting used to. (As I type this, a pulsing, writhing mound of big, fat maggots just popped in mind.
Please… uhm… a moment…)
Okay. Sod it. I’m just damned glad that it’s not a rehashed plot.
So, yeah, I’m gonna put up with the concept of S’genesis, the intricacies of breeding between different kinds of demons and between demons and humans, the apparently blatant exhibitionist and philandering behavior of demonkind, and the vague dynamics of ‘bonding’.
The Aegis slayer Tayla’s slow incorporation into the world of demons and the soul-searching she is forced to go through in trying to ‘see’ these ‘monstrous’ foes in a new light were sketchy at times. Rightfully, she should have been expeditiously dispatched once she has accidentally infiltrated the not-at-all-awkwardly-named UGH premises. Her job as a demon-slayer should have been enough impetus for Hellboy and Co. to make sure she doesn’t live to tattle. I mean, c’mon, just this one time, shouldn’t the safety and secrets of their own brethren weigh more than whatever good Tayla’s existence might indirectly provide?
But heck, that’s just it. Hellboy and Co. are a different breed of demons. They have principles. And… and… honor. Even a dash of mercy. And, god help me, humor.
They may get cranky, they may all be ingrained with the fine art of slicing and dicing, they may have a fine thirst for revenge and gore, but it turns out that they have no hankering for any megalomaniac soul-sucking world domination, and that, indeed, just like humans, they feel that life is shitty enough as it is and that Beelzebub himself is more of a bogeyman than anything else.
Personally, this first installment is probably best enjoyed for its novelty in the overall idea, but not necessarily in the particular goings-on between Eido—pardon, Hellboy and Tayla. Sure, the sex is nice (that first mindless sexual foray inside the hospital pretty much outshone the rest, no?), but more often than not, it was the escalating tension (unfounded or no) between the Demons and The Aegis that made centerstage.
Am not exactly sure if that is a good thing or not. No, I’m really undecided about it. I mean it’s good that it’s not a sexcapade every 10 pages or so – even though that looked to be the likely possibility given the off-the-charts chemistry between Hellboy and Tayla – but neither did I relish having their relationship gain momentum only in the last quarter or so of the novel.
Or maybe it’s just me.
Seriously, though, for the lulz of it all, I would recommend this start to this new series. I’ll just have to see with the next book if this new line of paranormal romance is worth cozying up to ‘til the end. (less)
I’m sure other readers would have more flattering things to say about this new paranormal series (well, new for me...morePassably good, fairly entertaining.
I’m sure other readers would have more flattering things to say about this new paranormal series (well, new for me anyway); but coming on the heels of The Black Dagger Brotherhood, The Dark-Hunters, and even the Dark Carpathians series, not to mention a few more other vampire-romance titles dizzyingly vying for space on bookshelves by up-and-coming authors and even from established ones who have succumbed to the popularity of the genre (like Medeiros, Dodd, and Sands), Lara Adrian’s The Midnight Breed, in my opinion (for what it’s worth), faces a veritable burden. And that is of needing to have something spectacularly jolting and provoking for it to steal the attention of an ever-widening audience who may already be over-saturated with this popular culture of vampire-slash-paranormal romance.
Frustratingly enough, even though the last BDB I have read was over a year ago (hence, should have dulled my memories of it), Adrian’s Midnight Breed felt so much like it. And sad to say, not *really* in a good way.
Frankly, it felt a little bit like a pale version of Ward’s.
From the tech-gizmo Gideon (who acts a bit like Vishous), the brooding Tegan (who, surprise-surprise, felt and sounded a bit like Zsadist), to even the warrior-leader Lucan (who felt like…guess-who), the Breed Warriors might as well have been the next-door neighbors of the Black Dagger Brothers, regularly coming over to swap secrets of the trade…except that they (the former) come off less like a close-knit family and more like a small corporation with members just conscripted for the job. At its extreme…they sound a bit…uhm…well…boring. Just a tad, mind.
When I read over what I have been saying so far, it sounds so harsh and wholly unfair, I know. But I think that is precisely the pernicious nature of a reading audience—especially romance readers. We are a sensitive, even fickle, lot. And for authors to earn (and keep) our adulation, they have to continually, aggressively feed our need for fascination and novelty.
Adrian’s series somewhat fails me on that score. The plot of a band of vampires rounding off their kind who have become renegade, as well as humans who have been brain-washed by the latter is not terribly original. Dress it up in as many other nouns as you could—“rogue,” “fallen,” “daimons,” “lessers,” etc.—unless the storyline jumps out at you in a fresh way, these characters would ultimately run the risk of sounding just like any other personas from other books.
Certainly, however, this series does not deserve to be unconditionally written-off. I can personally vouch it to be better than other vampire novels which have lame plotlines and ridiculously over-the-top premises (you can understand if I’d rather not name them—I’m doing enough damage to this one author, I think). In fact, what could be a different ingredient in this series, and may even be lauded by those who wish to have the “formula” twisted, is that the male protagonists are not “heroes” or “protectors” of the human race.
There. Stew on that =)
Anyway, if you are really seeking a large dose of knee-weakening, envy-inducing romantic shenanigans, this book could probably be relegated to the lower rungs of one’s “to-buy/read” books.
Read it for entertainment but not much more. It’s not a regrettable I-wish-to-god-I-never-picked-this-book-up kind of story, but neither does it make you overly drool, pant, hanker, and itch to grab the next installment…which I’ve experienced before.
Oh, shoot. Too much info? *runs off in shame* (less)
So, I admit to having a smidgen of skepticism when I see a romance story claiming to be paranormal with words like "The Nightw...moreSensational new series!!
So, I admit to having a smidgen of skepticism when I see a romance story claiming to be paranormal with words like "The Nightwalkers,"--I mean, what the heck is new with vampires or even werewolves consorting with hapless humans?? None. They're almost as old as...well...as these supernatural creatures themselves. Er...you get it. The formula's old.
Certainly I was on the verge of saying "oh, no, not another one...sheesh!" when I read the first few passages of Jacob,--it felt too much like Lucian speaking (from Christine Feehan's Dark Guardian), being an enforcer of their species' law and justice and all that. And since Lucian is my favorite supernatural hottie, you can imagine how reluctant I was to be pulled in by another magic-wielding macho. He had better be good.
But then, once the scene shifts to Isabella's POV and her encounter with Jacob (did I mention he's supposedly handsome? No...make that, per Bella, "beautiful."), things start to become interesting. Jacquelyn Frank lays down all the lowdown (sorry, can't help it) on the Demon species. And even the characters of Noah, Elijah, Legna, and Gideon are instantly fascinating.
Though I found Bella's calm acceptance of being embroiled in Jacob's world sketchy at best, her quirky and quick-witted attitude makes her quite adorable to me, despite my better judgment--she's like a less acerbic Anita Blake. Half the time I forget that Bella's supposed to be a wisp of a thing.
And I have nothing but gushing and blushing things to say about Jacob--a true gentleman who thrillingly loses control over the woman he loves, who never loses sight of his role among his people, and is surprisingly funny as well at the most unexpected times. No clichéd brooding warrior in him.
And his yummy factor really need not be belabored.
Anyway, what really made me finish the book until well into the hours of dawn is the sizzling chemistry between him and Bella. In the back of my mind, I know it's going to be really scorching--Jacob is already shown as one of the most powerful Demons who turn out to possess a latent smouldering passion; ergo: "hot sex."
Beyond their bed scenes, though (which, for the sake of modesty I have to keep mum about), the attraction, pure need, and possession that arises between the two every time they are together, despite the presence of other people, are like goodies for a starving romance junkie. "Destiny" about the two of them aside, they really are two halves of a whole. And the author does not stint on making Jacob and Isabella voice their love for one another--without verging on the syrupy.
So, yeah, ms Jacquelyn Frank, you have a fan in me. Jacob is a thrilling, action-packed new beginning to another breed of paranormal heroes. Heck, his and Bella's story is even quite satisfactory enough for me. There's a really warm and giddy feeling by the end. But then, such is the thrill infused in these characters that I really am looking forward to Gideon.
(FYI, because of this overblown hype [and yes, I'm aware of the redundancy:], this previously held-as-a-favorite novel is now relegated to a 'good' re...more(FYI, because of this overblown hype [and yes, I'm aware of the redundancy:], this previously held-as-a-favorite novel is now relegated to a 'good' read. Damn it.)(less)
Normally I wouldn’t put too much credence over installments – especially if it was about paranormal romance – experiences in the past from other novel...moreNormally I wouldn’t put too much credence over installments – especially if it was about paranormal romance – experiences in the past from other novel series were seldom encouraging.
Even after reading Twilight, I was still skeptic about all the hype it was getting (strange really since I finished it in one day). So, when I bought New Moon, I was braced for disappointment.
One thing I can say about Meyer, she sure does know a trick or two.
Let me just say that I was not jumping up and down with the first half or so of New Moon. Though Jacob still made for an interesting character, some aspects of Bella’s attitude felt weird to me. And I just plain missed Edward. In fact, I missed the romance part so much that Victoria’s hand with all the killings, ostensibly to preserve the tension, teetered close to being just plain annoying. I was about ready to give up.
But then, on what felt like the last stretch, Meyer pumps up the suspense. She introduces a whole new coven of vampires with serious powers and hang-ups. And Edward comes back with a vengeance. Ultimately, despite all my pessimism, I found myself crying when he reaffirms his love for Bella (another measure of Meyer’s skill: I always forget that Bella's still just in high school and this is actually supposed to be a teen romance…).
But please! enough with this hysteria. It's verging on the ridiculous. And I hate that it's kinda soured me on the whole series.(less)
if i hadn't read a christine feehan vampire novel before, ms. kenyon's seize the night would have earned a higher rate from me. as it is, i just found...moreif i hadn't read a christine feehan vampire novel before, ms. kenyon's seize the night would have earned a higher rate from me. as it is, i just found it falling short of my expectations.
don't get me wrong--the characters were brilliantly portrayed. val is sinfully sexy, no doubt about that. his upright principles can even be described as adorable when pitted against tabitha's. their clash from the beginning was certainly intriguing. and the sex...well... just figure how it would be between an american vampire slayer and a roman immortal who looks good enough to eat in an armani...
the secondary characters were fine, too. having incredible abilities, they certainly are interesting enough (ash is really too perfect actually to be anything but a god). i guess what im frustrated about this story is how the "scenes" were orchestrated--which is to say, clumsily.
certain parts of the story simply left me confused and even irritated. case in point--too many mortals involved in supernatural matters (the slayers, the relatives of the slayers, the squires, and, come to think of it, almost half of new orleans, it seems) and everything is still kept under wraps. fancy that. too many characters, i think, has also led to some flawed scene shifts and inadequate character development.
then there's the olympian matter--the whole thing about the gods and goddesses--i think it was given too much emphasis that the story sometimes appears to be simply a battle between dark hunters and the egotism of gods. and is it only me, but after reading descriptions of dark hunters--how they are supposedly powerful and all that stuff--when it comes to actual battles they appear quite slow and even weak. no offense.
redeeming facets of the novel were val's traumatic past (that was certainly heart-wrenching), and the not-so-happy-ending-for-all element. a lot of protagonists died, but it made the story look more "realistic", relatively speaking, and not one-sided.
i hope to read another dark hunter novel and find my impression of kenyon rise a notch. suffice to say, this isn't one of her best. it stays with you about a day or two, but after a week you can forget you ever read it. (less)
my first novel by ms Ward. Thrilling, sexy, fast-paced, and, in some instances, surprisingly poignant. With a bitingly (!) gorgeous hero, and a heroin...moremy first novel by ms Ward. Thrilling, sexy, fast-paced, and, in some instances, surprisingly poignant. With a bitingly (!) gorgeous hero, and a heroine with a seemingly dark future, brought together in the sensual, exciting world of vampires. the Black Dagger brothers are addictive...love them!!(less)