once again, faith hunter comes up with an actio-heavy, snappy story and interesting people to run around in it. our cherokee skinwalker heroi3.5 stars
once again, faith hunter comes up with an actio-heavy, snappy story and interesting people to run around in it. our cherokee skinwalker heroine is still in new orleans, tying up all the loose ends from the first novel - don't jump into this one without having read the first one. if vampire politics, a bit more of jane's origins & native american heritage, secret ancient vampire myths, and tuff cop friends make you happy, give this one a go. a lot of the sketched ideas from the previous 'skinwalker' get more fully fleshed out here, and all of the plot threads are satisfyingly closed, to the point that if this was the last novel in the series, you wouldn't feel cheated (good for people that hate cliffhangers).
and also, once again, hunter would benefit from a better editor. once more we're treated to two wordy descriptions of her motorcycle in the first few chapters, and the pair of descriptions of jane's shapeshifting are approximately word-for-word identical....more
trained from adolescence to be an assassin for the ruling vampire clan, half-vampire, half-mage Sabina has been brought up to be unquestioningly loyaltrained from adolescence to be an assassin for the ruling vampire clan, half-vampire, half-mage Sabina has been brought up to be unquestioningly loyal to kin and creed. when she's sent out on a spy mission against a subversive faction, she quickly gets in over her head in a situation of shifting and hidden political loyalties.
this book had wonderful potential to be much better than it ultimately was. the set-up and mythology for this world are great, and the quick pacing moves the story along compellingly. unfortunately, each of the characters aren't much more than cardboard standees: the future love interest at least has an intriguingly hidden backstory, but the roommate, sidekick, and handsome villain are all straight out of stock casting. for a worldly assassin, Sabina is awfully naive, and just wants to be loved. still, despite my lack of interest in the people, I was hooked enough into the story to want to know what comes next, so the good parts did outweigh the weak ones. ...more
this vampire series - unique and fun for it's rustic, earthy main characters instead of the usual vampire flash - is still going strong 6 books in. wathis vampire series - unique and fun for it's rustic, earthy main characters instead of the usual vampire flash - is still going strong 6 books in. warning, though: there's no way to cram 5 books' worth of back-explanation in. if you're starting with this one, you'll miss out on a lot. they're each light, breezy reads, not as silly as chick-lit, not as porntacular as many paranormal-romance novels are; worth perusing in general....more
Butcher is now on the 9th of his Harry Dresden books, and in a truly magical feat, the series is still going strong. there is NO point in starting theButcher is now on the 9th of his Harry Dresden books, and in a truly magical feat, the series is still going strong. there is NO point in starting the series with this book...new readers will be lost in the alluded-to but not explained background stories of each of the detailed characters. with a lot of authors balancing this many people, everyone's voices start to run together; not so here, so once you've caught up with the other books, there's no problem keeping up.
the whole series is a lot of fun, and each one is a pretty quick read. they're all well worth checking out.
the sci-fi channel started running a tv show based on these books in january 07, and while the show is pretty good, these books are worlds better....more
wow, skim the other reviews here: apparently, this is a real love-it-or-loathe-it sort of book. and i can feel that, because a lot of the same thingswow, skim the other reviews here: apparently, this is a real love-it-or-loathe-it sort of book. and i can feel that, because a lot of the same things that super annoyed the 1-star reviewers bugged me too, just not enough to take off any more than one star.
i ate this book in one day. as in, i bothered to get up and run some errands for a couple of hours this afternoon before sitting back down to finish it. any book that is that compelling, that fun and breezy (especially clocking in at a weighty 500 pages), i just can't dog too badly.
17-year-old bella moves up to a podunk-nowhere town in the pacific NW, and tries to fit in as the new kid in school. gawky and awkward, she gets to stand in as a metaphor for all the self-deprecating things every teenage girl has ever thought about herself. she soon falls deeply in infatuation with a stunningly handsome classmate, who turns out to be a vampire.
the book takes its time getting there - the nature of her crush's inhumanity isn't revealed to her until just over halfway through - but it doesn't feel like it's taking too long. Meyer has a gift for evocative writing; many scenes were playing as a lavishly detailed movie in my head. thought it certainly wouldn't be out of place in most books of this type, the ending is rather abrupt, probably because of the otherwise unusually tranquil pace. the biggest flaw is that the heroine spends far too much time waiting around for the men in her life to rescue or amaze her instead of just going off and being amazing herself. it you're ok with a Tanith Lee style of passivity in your heroines, though, it's worth overlooking to enjoy this way fun read....more
this book is slooooooooow. if you're ok with that, read on.
the unnamed narrator is the third generation to search through old letters & older tomethis book is slooooooooow. if you're ok with that, read on.
the unnamed narrator is the third generation to search through old letters & older tomes in an attempt to discover the whereabouts of vlad tepes dracula's tomb, with the underlying certainty that he is in fact the evil undead and must be destroyed. the story is mainly told from the point of view of a girl with a self-admittedly sheltered and highly educated childhood. the prose illustrates this at every opportunity - things slowly unfold in a decidedly old-fashioned way, and the story is told through intellectual pursuits and research, not flaming passions and sexy romps. all of which is quite the opposite to a typical vampire novel.
it succeeds in nearly living up to the massive hype surrounding it; it is indeed a lovely, richly detailed book. in fact, it's just the sort of thing that has you tearing through the wikipedia afterwards to glean more of the actual history. if that sort of brainy approach to what anyone else would have (and often has) written as a salacious horror novel sounds attractive, grab a copy and be prepared to spend a chunk of time with it. while ultimately liking it, i found that i absolutely had to be in the right mood to enjoy this book, otherwise, the charm of the old-fashioned meandering prose became an annoyance....more
for anyone looking to get into a tough, gritty sort of urban fantasy - don't start here. go back to book one. saintcrow is name-dropping from the prevfor anyone looking to get into a tough, gritty sort of urban fantasy - don't start here. go back to book one. saintcrow is name-dropping from the previous 2 books in the set, but at this point it's gotten dense enough already that the action (and maybe more importantly, the INTERactions between people) can't be re-capped in a quick one page summary, so new readers will be somewhat lost.
dante valentine has several screws loose. a survivor of both childhood abandonment and a brutally sadistic prep school for those with psychic & magical talent, girl's got some major trust issues. we spend a lot of time in her head here, agonizing with her over the loyalty of her demon boyfriend who's just negotiated a contract that has her working for lucifer himself for the next seven years. as other reviewers have remarked, this constant anguish starts to get a little old in short order, but it is refreshingly *real*. for those of us who've complained about the mary-sue-ism and increasingly godlike powers of various other paranormal chicks (laurell hamilton, i'm looking at you here), this is a nice change. our heroine is in over her head here, interacting with malevolent forces that could destroy her with a glance, and she doesn't escape from these things unscathed. the suspense is real and engaging - you don't have that automatic assurance that all will be neat & healthy at the end.
this novel, much like the second one, seems to be transitional, moving from the powerhouse first into a more series-adventure setup. i'm intersted, i'm hooked, and i'll be reading on to see if it starts to hit its stride in the next ones, but i do prefer things to be more "contained" (read: a complete story) in each individual book....more
it's been many a year now since the first time i picked up these super fun Anita Blake books, the words that launched a thousand imitators and were prit's been many a year now since the first time i picked up these super fun Anita Blake books, the words that launched a thousand imitators and were pretty well the start of the whole modern-times supernatural adult fantasy/horror/mystery genre (see also: Jim Butcher, Patricia Briggs, Lilith Saintcrow, Kim Harrison, etc etc). this is the first book-club edition of her stuff, comprising books 1,2, and 3 of the series, and up through book 6, this is the best it got.
the series deals with an outwardly-feisty but internally-prudish/shy/haunted animator (as in, she raises the dead for a living. go ahead and ask dad about that disputed clause in his will.) and the occasional work she does helping out the police with supernatural-based crimes. over the course of these first 6 books, our heroine is involved with bounty hunters, hit men, vampires, fairies, and a dizzying plethora of were-creatures of every stripe. it's every bit as fun and action-packed as it sounds, and each book is a breezy quick (nearly un-put-down-able) read.
while you don't have to read any of the first 6 strictly in order, there's solid story arc and character development going on over the course of these books. the world the characters inhabit is real in a matter-of-fact way, just different enough from ours to make you consider the fact that it might actually be that way in the next state over.
a word of caution: after book 6, the author started taking this series in a radically different direction (detour to porn-land) that just didn't work out so well with the established characters. so if you like a good story, read these first ones and then stop. if you like more erotica, pick it up at book 9 and go from there....more
ward's most recent pair of entries in this series (books 4 & 5) aren't as compelling as her first trio, but still well worth checking out if you lward's most recent pair of entries in this series (books 4 & 5) aren't as compelling as her first trio, but still well worth checking out if you like your romance novels to come with fangs. she sticks to her formula - interestingly enough, these all tend to be wounded *men* hitching up with relatively healthy & stable women, a reversal of standard romance novel cliché - and if it worked for you the first time, it's still here. huge bonus points for the interesting world & society she's built for her characters; there's a lot of places where the back story & supporting cast are as important as the main plot. other reviewers' issues with silly language are totally valid, but hey, these big boys are butt-kickers, not harvard scholars. ...more
THIS, dear readers, is total fluff. if the O-face in shadow on the front cover wasn't enough of a tip-off, let me clear up all doubts that this book iTHIS, dear readers, is total fluff. if the O-face in shadow on the front cover wasn't enough of a tip-off, let me clear up all doubts that this book is about much more than teh sexaytimes.
that being said, bonus points for Arthur by figuring out that the PNR/UF trope of making time for a quick shag while hiding from the bad guys is utterly silly...unless you have a compelling reason to do so. we meet heroine riley walking home from work (in 6" heels, natch) just about to start the "moon dance" phase of a werewolf's monthly cycle. see, when the moon's about to get big, so does all lupine sex drive, to a level of undeniable biological imperative: this book spends a lot of time with any and all of the characters romping through the sort of no-hang-ups friendly sex that would be the reasonable result of actually being in heat. in between all the supernaturally beautiful people bumping, uh, pretties? there's a mystery to be solved, involving megabillionaire secret cloning conglomerates & illegal designer drugs. it's a fast-paced, fluffy bit of cheesecake, with some touches of interesting worldbuilding that may make future installments in the series more interesting if the ratio of story:sex gets adjusted a bit.
i've never felt the need to put a TRIGGER WARNING in a review before, but there were a couple of things that most definitely qualify. (view spoiler)[this book has a lot of "grey" rape in it*. there's not so much stereotypical brutalization of women to be found here, since the heroine is herself a rather tough supernatural creature. however, she is drugged by a long-term consensual sex partner, which results in sex without her knowledge, and the "moon heat" being brought to life-threatening levels results in her having sex with this same jerk later, after she's said she wants nothing to do with him again. the heroine views all of these episodes as non-consensual, and never makes excuses for the weasel or justifies what he's done to her. at no point does her inner monologue touch on the self-loathing or terror of being traumatized, though, so we have a depiction of the actuality of rape without a lot of the horror that survivors often go through. everyone's experiences of such things are reasonably self-defined, and it's handled in a way here that's appropriate to the character.
*"grey" being used here the way that idiot politicians would. there is no doubt that this character is raped. (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
a lighthearted, breezy romp, typical of KM - her heroines aren't typically angsty or serious, they're ditzy & silly. if that's your cup o' tea (ina lighthearted, breezy romp, typical of KM - her heroines aren't typically angsty or serious, they're ditzy & silly. if that's your cup o' tea (in other words, you're going to laugh at your trashy romance novels anyway, might as well do it on purpose), you'll like this one.
a spoof on the formulaic, broody, alpha-male finds his One True Luv (tm) vamp romance typical of c.feehan, a pair of ditzy & silly chicks heads off to eastern europe for work and vacation. they're obsessed with the aforementioned dark & angsty vamp romance novels, so when they meet up with a handful of dark & angsty alpha-males, they have to figure out which one really is a vampire. hilarity & shenanigans ensue, along with a mystery you saw coming from a mile away.
i prefer my heroines a little more endowed in the brain department, and my heroes to have more going than just their endowments. but it is, after all, a farce on those same tropes of the genre, so it's fun. i laughed out loud at least a few times, and you can't ask for much more than that....more
this book is a jumbled mess. there's a good story in there somewhere, but it's buried under a bunch of repetitive, yet unclear, overly descriptive worthis book is a jumbled mess. there's a good story in there somewhere, but it's buried under a bunch of repetitive, yet unclear, overly descriptive word chunks. McKinley is a well-established author, so I don't know if this was just an early book or a rough draft, but there's a ton of "telling" instead of "showing". the urban fantasy/vampire that's not as bad as the rest of them/sorta romance/discovering one's hidden talents genre is full to the brim, so there's no need to waste time on an example this deeply flawed. ...more
6 books in, and we've probably just gotten the best entry in this series. KH ties up many of the dangling threads from previous entries...and almost n6 books in, and we've probably just gotten the best entry in this series. KH ties up many of the dangling threads from previous entries...and almost none of them in the obvious or expected way. in fact, it's solid enough that you would feel almost ok with the series ending on this book. while still being all about the character interactions, this one is non-stop action: when i went to bed at 3am the first night i spent with this book, it was only because of a chapter break, not because a good stopping point had appeared. the whole series is highly recommended. ...more
picked this up on a very strong recommendation from a friend i trust about such things, so i was expecting a wonderful read. what we get instead is mepicked this up on a very strong recommendation from a friend i trust about such things, so i was expecting a wonderful read. what we get instead is merely promising; this first book in the series isn't quite up to speed.
like the blurb up top will tell you, this series focuses on an ordinary teenage high schooler who's suddenly marked to be a "vampyre" and thrust into that strange new world. right from the get-go, vamp high school smacks of derivation from the 'harry potter' universe, from the odd classes to the looser-but-awesome cadre of friends. gratingly, the book is heavily written in teen-speak dialogue, to the point of caricature - our narrator sounds like the modern version of an 80s valley girl. the most annoying flaw, however, is the preachy, guilt-driven attitudes that crop up any time sexuality rears it's apparently ugly head. since this is a *vampire* high school peopled with amazingly beautiful *teenagers*, it comes up a lot. even relatively innocent budding flirtations get smacked down pretty harshly - a kiss from the hottie upperclassman (the cedric diggory character, natch) sends our heroine off into an internal monologue along the lines of 'OMG! i'm such a slut now! no boy will be safe around me!'
and yet, despite the deep flaws, this book ends up being a lot of fun. about halfway through, it really starts to hit its stride and move on into the meat of the plot. at this point, though we're still getting preached at occasionally about the evils of vice, it manages to become un-put-down-able and all kinds of interesting. importantly, don't pick up this book on it's own, as the ending is somewhat unsatisfying. set it down when you're done, and jump right on into the 2nd one....more