I'm coming in kind of late with a review here, but I just recently finished this series. Tainted is the first book in the Blood Lily Chronicles.
Lily...moreI'm coming in kind of late with a review here, but I just recently finished this series. Tainted is the first book in the Blood Lily Chronicles.
Lily Carlyle is a girl from the wrong side of the tracks. Her younger sister, Rose, is raped by a man named Lucas Johnson. When Johnson is released on a technicality and begins to stalk Rose, Lily takes matters into her own hands and kills Johnson. Unfortunately, Lily is also killed during the attack.
Lily wakes up in the body of Alice Purdue, a bar maid at the Bloody Tongue. The Bloody Tongue is owned by her uncle Egan, and, as it turns out, by Alice and Alice's sister Rachel. Lily is soon greeted by an odd creature who calls himself Clarence and who tells Lily that her mission is to assure that the Ninth Gate to Hell is locked before something called Convergence. At Convergence, which is imminent, the legions of Hell will be able to pass through to Earth. Part of what she will have to do is kill demons.
Lily begins her demon-killing training, but is curious about the life she has usurped. She begins to dig into Alice's background, all without giving away the fact that she is *not* Alice, and finds that Alice is an integral part of what is happening. Making things even more interesting is a demon named Deacon Camphire, who was originally befriended by Alice and who seems to have an intense interest in Lily-in-Alice's-body.
I thought this was an original take on urban fantasy. Lily was an engaging character. The story is told in the first person, typical of much UF, and although, Lily can be sarcastic, I still found that I liked her voice. She is smart and has a sensible knack for self-preservation.
I did think that Lily's acceptance of her new life came pretty quickly, but I can understand why she was ready to leave her old life -- except for Rose -- behind. I also wasn't completely sold on the seemingly instant transformation of Lily into a demon-fighting super-girl. Fighting is a skill acquired through practice -- lots and lots of practice -- and it seemed to come too quickly to Lily to be realistic.
The secondary characters were interesting. Deacon is a enigma, who we get to know better over the course or the series. I like that his secrets are revealed slowly. Can't say too much here, because it would be a spoiler.
Overall, this was a very enjoyable read, and I would definitely try other books by this author. (less)
Blood Cross is the second book in the Jane Yellowrock series. Jane is Cherokee, a shape-shifter with the soul of a mountain lion (or other large cat)...moreBlood Cross is the second book in the Jane Yellowrock series. Jane is Cherokee, a shape-shifter with the soul of a mountain lion (or other large cat) inside her, and a vampire-hunter for hire. This book picks up where the first book - Skinwalker - ended, and I think that this book will be much more enjoyable and understandable if Skinwalker is read first.
Jane's current assignment is to find the vampire who is creating rogue vampires and bring him or her to justice. Her life is complicated by the fact that Leo, the master vamp in New Orleans, has it out for her because he believes that she killed his son (this was the climax of Skinwalker). Jane's friend, Molly, a witch, and her two children have come to stay with Jane, and Molly's daughter has some scary powers herself.
I hate to say much more about the plot because I don't want to include spoilers. I really enjoyed this book. The action was awesome, and I liked that we learned more about Jane's background and got to hear more from Beast. Also the originality of Jane/Beast co-existence is refreshing in a market that is glutted with urban fantasy. The world in the book is well-detailed, and there's even a romance plot. The secondary characters of Molly and her children also get a larger role in this book.
The only thing that I didn't like so much is that Jane doesn't seem quite as strong in this book as in the previous one. Strong women are one of the things that appeals to me about UF, so this was a bit of a disappointment - not enough to dock a star, but something that folks should be aware of. (less)
Turned is the third book in the Blood Lily Chronicles. It is impossible to review this book without including spoilers for the previous two books. The...moreTurned is the third book in the Blood Lily Chronicles. It is impossible to review this book without including spoilers for the previous two books. The plot summary will also make a lot more sense if the reader is familiar with the first two books.
At the opening of this book, Lily Carlyle has obtained the Oris Clef and now faces an agonizing decision about the coming convergence. Should she wield the Oris Clef and become the demon queen (and thereby attempt to avert the apocalypse even though giving herself over to evil) or should she sacrifice herself to an eternity of suffering by throwing herself into the portal to Hell when it opens, which according to the angel Gabriel will permanently seal the portal? Instead, in the days leading up to the portal opening, Lily and Deacon, a demon seeking redemption, search for another legendary key – one that can lock all nine of the portals to Hell.
Deacon saves Lily and Rose, who is now in Kiera’s body, from Penemue, his former master, although he has to retake his demon form to do so. Lily is able to talk Deacon back to his human form, and together they go to Father Carleton’s (he was a character in the first book) church to see if one of his colleagues has any knowledge of the key. Lily does get a lead from an old monk, and in the days that follow, Lily finds out some shocking information about both Alice’s mother and her own father. In the end, she and Deacon face the opening of the portal and overcome the forces of Hell (that shouldn’t qualify as a spoiler; it was kind of a given that they would succeed).
I like that facts and elements of the story that were included/revealed in earlier books were relevant to the overall story and were tied into the action in this one. It made for a nice overall cohesive story, that was clearly well-thought out and well-plotted.
I also liked that all three of the female characters – Lily, Rose, and Rachel – faced their personal issues and overcame them during the course of the books. I find strong female characters very appealing.
I did have a slight problem with the consequences of Lily’s actions during the final battle; a very similar combination of action/consequence occurred on a popular TV show. While reading up to the final battle, I was really hoping that this book would not take the same route, and unfortunately it did.
I also wish that demon possession was better explained. How can they possess people? Is there any way to resist? There were times when having a demon possess one of the characters (if they could) would have been the smart thing for the demons to do, and yet they didn’t do it. They possessed others instead.
Overall, though, I very much enjoyed this book and will definitely be looking for other books by Julie Kenner. (less)
Others have provided synopses, so I won't rehash the story line here. I really liked Rob Thurman's Cal/Niko Leandros series, so I wanted to like this...moreOthers have provided synopses, so I won't rehash the story line here. I really liked Rob Thurman's Cal/Niko Leandros series, so I wanted to like this book as well. However, several things just didn't work for me:
The book is told in the first person (not necessarily bad), but the narrator, Trixa, is unrelentingly, annoyingly sarcastic. There were times when I wished I could reach into the book, shake her, and say "be serious for just *one* moment, please." I appreciate sarcasm, but all the time? It made her seem shallow, and I wasn't able to connect with her at all.
Griffin and Zeke seem like a gay, non-fraternal re-imaginging of Cal and Niko - the younger one, with a dark past and trouble adjusting, who is cared for by the older, handsome, competent one. This set-up didn't feel very...original.
The big surprise at the end, for the reader, is something that Trixa already knows - and has known all along. We've been in her head this whole time, and not once did she think about anything relating to the big surprise even though it was relevant to the story. As a reader, I feel deceived by Trixa, which only adds to my not liking her.
I don't know if there is going to be another book in this series, but I won't be reading it if Trixa remains as the narrator. I *am* looking forward to ROADKILL, the next in the Cal/Niko series. (less)