Code Red by Amy Noelle
I’ll be honest it took me a little while to get into Code Red, and it had nothing to do with the story. It had to do with my issues with straight up romances and two reviews that I had to write up for new releases that came out before Code Red. I had started reading the first chapter but stopped to read the other books because I was on the fence – again. The beginning screamed romance and not the kick ass kind that I like, i.e. Night Huntress and the Accidental Witch Trilogy.
Now let me say I have nothing against romances but unless they have action (not all sexual) I just don’t get into them. As you guys have read from my others reviews. But I had to read this book for two reasons: one my sister-in-law suggested it and in effect I took that as her asking me to read an author she was interested in. She’d read some of Amy’s fan-fiction so I had the family obligation to check out this new author. The second after my sister-in-law’s request I told the author I’d read it. So here I am now that I know it’s a straight up romance dreading reading it because the last few hadn’t given me much hope.
I must say I was pleasantly surprised when I got past the first chapter. That’s right I enjoyed Code Red. It drew me in with its quips and sarcasm and it reminded me of the The Kitchen Witch and My Favorite Witch the two books I love in Annette Blair’s Accidental Witch Trilogy. Like those I couldn’t put the book down. I finished reading the book in two days while I had to stay home and rest with a stupid cold. I read through the night, and that’s saying something from a girl would doesn’t like many romances – two series that’s it. If Amy writes another book that’s anything like this one I’ll read it.
Now mind you I did have an ARC copy so I did find a few errors in the story that I’m sure have been fixed for the final release. Other than that I read Code Red read smoothly. Amy wrote two great believable primary characters and a handful of wickedly funny secondary ones. Her primary characters are funny too don’t get me wrong, you’ll be laughing threw the whole book.
Code Red is about Nicole, Nic for short, a twenty-six year old technical writer. Josh is the leading man, he’s a twenty-nine year-old salesman for the company Nic works for. Josh is out of the New York office and he’s one of the top senior salesman. The story takes place in Chicago since that is where Nic lives. Josh just landed a major contract with Starfire a company whose creating a MP3′s, smartphones, and other gadgets. Josh needs the best technical writer in his company and he found her, Nic however she don’t like writing about gadgets.
When the two meet there is chemistry but they work together and Nic has sworn off relationships since her college days. She has four great friends who are like sisters to her that she met in college. The five of them came up with an idea to save each other from heartache by having an intervention if someone might hurt their hearts. They called it a code red. Three of the five friends are married and used the code red when they met their husbands. Two of the girls aren’t married and Nic has just found her and her best friends match. No their not the same man. I’m telling you this much because besides the banter between Nic and Josh which is the heart thumping, jump our partners bones kind of fun, the interactions between Nic and her four friends. Nic’s four friends, Jen, Kim, Ashley and Mandy will have you laughing out loud and wanting to call your best friends too. These women have a friendship like the one I have with my best friend. I can call her anytime and she’ll be there. And all four girls are there for Nic. They call each other names, make lewd and crude comments and so much more.
You’ll have plenty of heat, excitement and laughter as you read Code Red. It’s a must read and I can’t wait to read it again. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
Renegade By Amy Carol Reeves
Renegade is the latest chapter in Amy’s Ripper series. She changed up her writing style when she created Renegade. Abbie doesn’t have many visions this time around; instead we have POV changes every so often, with a new character. The only time I got confused with the POV change was at the beginning when I’m expecting Abbie and get this new character. For the most part we always have chapter change or and ending of a scene before the POV changes. When Abbie does have visions they happen the same way they had in Ripper. It’s as if Abbie is the person doing the action in her vision.
As for the story its self, Renegade starts a few months after Ripper ends, roughly spring time in London. Abbie is still trying to come to grips with the fact she killed four members of the conclave. However, Max is still alive and well, which makes Abbie nervous and she’s keeps watching behind her and wondering when he’s going to strike. For the most part everyone goes on with their lives as if Max never existed. Even when it comes to the major members of the conclave, their not really missed. Abbie, William Siddal, and Simon St. John created a good cover story for why Dr. Julian Bartlett, Robert Buck, Marcus Perkins and John Brown had left the city the day their house burned down. This works because William and Simon run the hospital in White Chapel with the help of Abbie and the nurses.
Abbie of course is still trying to go to medical school and Lady Westfield still isn’t happy about it. Though that’s not the only thing Grandmother isn’t excited about. You’ll have to read the story to find out the others.
As you’ve gathered Max, William, Simon and Lady Westfield make appearances in this book as do Inspector Abberline, Christina Rossetti and Richard, grandmother’s butler. I mention Richard because we get to learn a little bit more about him in this book. Inspector Abberline if you remember was the lead inspector in the ripper murders. He has a new set of crimes to solve and he finds Abbie at one of the crimes scenes. She’s not involved but by the end of the novel she might have an idea on who’s behind them.
Abbie’s aunt Christina is able to make some arrangements for Abbie to meet Dr. Elizabeth Garrett Anderson. Dr. Anderson was the doctor, Dr. Bartlett wanted Abbie to learn from at the college that women could go to learn medicine. Interesting things happen during this meeting and everything that comes after.
Overall I liked and enjoyed reading this chapter in the series. We get to learn a little more about Abbie and we see her grow. In fact we see some of her memories become clearer as she revisits the past, the days leading up to her mother, Caroline’s death. The realization that she comes to are profound and they leave her a little shaky. I really liked this part because afterward I think the information she’s gathered rounds out he character and shows her growth.
On the flip side of that however is the turmoil between her and William. While I don’t mind love triangles I thought the one with Abbie, William and Simon ended in the last book. It popped it’s head up in this book and at first I was a little confused by it but I understood by the end. There are a few reasons why I get that it had to pop up. For one thing I had to remember that Abbie is still a teenager. At sixteen, even though it is the 1800′s, it’s not out of place to date or marry a older man at that age.
What did bother me, or probably confused is the better term, was that in Ripper Abbie seemed to be more mature about her relationships and didn’t really care what her Grandmother thought. In this book that’s not the case, she actually starts listening to her grandmother’s prejudice which then pushes the love triangle into the picture. Abbie however isn’t the only one to act a little out of sorts, both Simon and William in my opinion do considering their ages, and they only act different when it comes to Abbie. The one thing this confusion/ triangle does that I really liked was that we got to see the different sides of William and Simon. While William’s wasn’t surprising because we saw some of it in Ripper Simon’s was definitely insightful. We learn so much more about Simon and why he is the way he is.
With all that said I do highly recommend everyone read this installment and if you haven’t read Ripper you really should. I do love reading Abbie and right now this is the only YA I’m reading and from the way Renegade ended there will be a third book to this series. It’s going to be interesting to see where Amy takes Abbie from here and I can’t wait to read about it.
Frost Burned by Patricia Briggs
Mercy and Jesse go out shopping Thanksgiving night for the start of Black Friday sales… What could go wrong?
I know that’s a loaded question.
The Rabbit dies…
Writing this review has been difficult. There are many things I want to tell you about but I can’t, I’d give you spoilers and not a review. I’ll do my best to give you a review you can sink your teeth into and not give away too much information.
After two years we finally get to read book seven. I will say the Mercy Thompson series is getting a little more interesting, and Patricia added a few more twist and turns in her latest book. In the last book River Marked we saw Mercy and Adam married and going off on their honeymoon. We also learn about who Mercy is and where she came from, that is an important listen as we learn a little more about Mercy’s magic in Frost Burned.
It’s now Thanksgiving in the Tri-Cities and Mercy is out of the wheelchair. It seems like everything is going pretty well for Mercy and Adam, their mating bond is working itself out and Mercy hasn’t killed any of Adam’s wolves yet.
However, everything is not prefect in the Tri-City, the Fae have packed up and moved onto the reservations and the Gray-Lords have declared the Fae and their territories a sovereign nation. No one can get in or out, at least not without magic. And even then its highly frowned upon.
Frost Burned, book seven is an interesting and extremely funny book. I think I can say that its my favorite so far. Whether that’s because of the one-liners that a few of the characters have or that PB reference one of my all time favorite poems. I’m not sure. Parts of The Tiger by William Blake are quoted in chapter six. My favorite quotes from that chapter are:
Adam: “Tiger, tiger, burning bright in the forest of the night,”… “What immortal hand or eye dare frame thy fearfull symmetry?”
Warren: “We’re not tigers, we’re werewolves, boss. God didn’t make us, nohow. Just ask the dead guys where we come from.”
“Dead guys don’t get an opinion,” Darryl told everyone. “We’re the good guys. That we’re scary doesn’t mean we’re the villains.”
Besides my favorite poem being quoted Frost Burned has other great one-liners from an array of different characters. Some of the one-liners are other references to authors and movies. For instance in chapter one there are nine paragraphs that discuss misquoting Shakespeare’s Macbeth and then move into horror movies because you’re not supposed to say Macbeth you call it “The Scottish Play” or bad things can happen. Besides the discussion on “The Scottish Play” you’ll probably get a few good chuckles throughout the first six pages, PB was on a role.
You’ll see Bran channel Arthur Conan Doyle, and how he does it is a woot. There’s also a message that gets relayed through Ariana that’s from Bran to Samuel about a “disturbance in the Force.” I chuckled and thought of Flyboy who was in the next room, he watched Star Wars a few days ago. These are just a few of the one-liners that you’ll find in Frost Burned. There are a whole lot more and there funnier when you read them in context, trust me.
I’m sure you’ve gathered that Frost Burned is not a peaceful story and that the action most likely heats up from the get go, and you would be right. The pack, and I mean the whole pack, gets kidnaps at the beginning of the novel and Mercy is determined to find them and kill them. The group that kidnaps Adam and the gang have gotten in deeper than they realize and the outcome isn’t pretty. PB brings back a few issues that most of us probably hadn’t thought would come back, or at least I thought it was dead and gone but I was mistaken. And I’m sure we haven’t seen the last of it this time. Jerry Wallace’s drug is going to haunt the wolves for a long time. And there’s no way to turn back time to stop his betrayals.
With Adam and the pack in trouble and Mercy on the run again, she uses a vehicle that could land her in a heap of trouble. I mean its never a good idea for Mercy to uses anything that’s Marsilia’s. And borrowing/stealing her Mercedes AMG and driving it around so the “bad guys” can find you might get Mercy killed. I can’t tell you how many people chid Mercy about taking Marsilia’s car. Most calling Marsilia the Vampire Queen or we have Kyle’s “Queen of the Damned” and saying the “bad guys” should get Mercy first before Marsilia does. And that’s before all the damage happens.
Yes we actually do see Marsilia in the book. In fact we see/hear from a few of our favorite characters. Mercy even gets to meet one of the interesting characters from the Alpha Omega series. Bran sends Asil to help Mercy find the pack when he hears Adam and his wolves have been taken. And let me just say Asil adds a lot of twist and turns to the mix. Having his own brand of crazy makes Mercy’s life interesting and creates tension along with action for the reader. Asil has a lot of one-liners that I absolutely loved. The Moor has a history with our beloved Zee that we get snip-its of. I really hope we get the full story some time, and it seems that he might have a little insight on Marsilia as well.
As I said with Asil, who gave us twist and turns, he is not the only person or even within the pages to create them. Frost Burned is filled with action that has twist and turns that some times your not sure who the “good buys” are and some times the people we think are “bad guys” i.e. Marsilia, turn out to be the good ones.
One of the twist and turns is that Frost Burned starts out as a Werewolf novel but ends up being a vampire novel which was kind of cool. Yes we do get to see a few of our favorite crazy/psychotic vampires and with them you never know whose side their on.
There is so much more I could say about Frost Burned but if I do I’ll give so much away and I can’t/won’t do that. All I can say is that this is a must read, and be prepared to laugh your butt off throughout the novel. Also don’t drive during the first chapter if you’re listening to it. You might just end up in an accident like Mercy did.
I know a lot of us have seen a have looked at the books and labeled if they were werewolf, vampire or fae. In the grand scheme of things I think the tally is still about equal between the three supernatural groups in the series. Though I could be wrong the vampires may have one more, but at the rate its going I think we’ll see a Fae book next, even though we saw a fae issue in River Marked. With talks between Bran and the Gray-Lords along with the issues the wolves are having, Mercy will be helping the fae again soon.
I hope you enjoy this installment of Mercy as much as I did.
House Rules by Chloe Neill
Its been six months since the last time see saw Ethan and Merit. Malory has a love hate relationship with Berna and the world is good… well maybe not. As we know the house is revolting against the Greenwich Presidium rule after everything they did in Drink Beep. Everyone is coming down from the Tate’s and Mallory’s release of evil. The vamps are trying to keep a low key now that they have not friends or love in the Mayor’s office.
Now Cadogan House is preparing for its divorce from the GP and there’s a killer on the loose. When it rains it pours in Chicago. Not only will Merit have to use her head to help Ethan with the GP. She also has to figure out how to keep everyone she cares about safe. And the things she’s been dreading since she made her decision about the RG (Red Guard) comes to a head. In House Rules Merit uses every resource she has in her arsenal to help the house and I do mean “every”.
House Rules takes us back to the funnier books in the series, with Merit, Luc and others having one liners. We get things like Lucsey (Luc and Lindsey) and Methan (Merit and Ethan) just to give you a little taste of what you might find. I laughed and chucked throughout the whole book even with the series issues going on. We also see how Ethan’s death and resurrection have and are affecting and redefining him and the house. I know people don’t like or believe in the story because CN killed Ethan off and then brought him back. But I’m here to say the changes in Ethan blend whom he was and is together nicely. We get to picture what Ethan would have been like as a human if he’d come back from war alive. House Rules brings Ethan’s warrior training, nature and history together with his vampire strength, strategies and political ideals. He truly has become a man who can be Merit’s equal and lead a house of Rogues.
We get to see some of our favorite characters and not so favorite. We also meet some new ones that aren’t so likeable. McKetrick makes an appearance. We also see Kelley, Juliet, Luc and Lindsey. Margot makes some awesome food as always. Malik goes back to being second as he gives Ethan control of the house once again. Helen helps with the transition of the house. The librarian, Paige along with a new character named Michael Donovan and Lacy try to find loop holes the GP might use against the house. Merit gets to hang with Chuck “grandpa” Merit, Jeff Christopher and Catcher. She also gets to play cards with Gabriel and we get to meet a few more brothers Christopher, Ben, and Derek. With a murderer on the loose we meet up with Noah, Jonah, Morgan Greer and Scott Grey. And of course we see the GP Darius West who we’re met before and now we meet Harold Monmoth who was the man that helped Celina when she was human.
As the house becomes a house of Rogues we also see what help the RG will give the house. And the best part Ethan goes off on a few people, which has been a long time coming as far as I’m concerned.
I had a blast reading this latest installment and I hope the next six months goes by quickly. If this book is any indication the next one will be wickedly hilarious and one that you won’t want to put down. Put your reservations a side and take a chance to fall in love with Ethan and Merit all over again.
Ever After by Kim Harrison
Holy smokes batman, how can there only be two books left. I don’t know where to start, with this installment. I love this book, and I must say I think it’s the best one yet. The question is how to write this review without putting spoilers in it – I think I’m up for the challenge.
In Ever After we see the character dynamics change. At the end of A Perfect Blood we saw the dynamics start to change and now we see the fruits of KH’s labors. The character dynamics are changing because KH’s characters are growing up. Now just because our favorite characters are growing up doesn’t mean they have lost their quirks. On the contrary their quirks are alive and well and still causing issues.
As we know from A Perfect Blood Rachel has gotten over her issues she had with Trent but she still thinks about the reasons that had her hating him before. It’s refreshing seeing Rachel and Trent becoming friends, learning they can trust each other and not completely close themselves off like they’ve done with others. We can really see that as Ivy doesn’t have that big of a role in this book. As I said character dynamics are changing.
Ever After is a transition book but not like most. Most transitions are slow and kind of boring, this one is anything but. For the most part there is a lot of action, and don’t let the title confused you, we’re not talking about an ever after we’re talking about the Ever After. It’s time for Rachel to fix that which she broke – and then some. Rachel is put to the test and while the test is trying and emotional Rachel learns what she’s made of. Now I said her test was trying and emotional, its going to be trying and emotional for the reader as well. Once KH said no ones safe and she wasn’t lying. While this might be a transition book we will love and hate characters, events and the suffering Rachel goes through. Be prepared to cry.
Fixing the Ever After is going to take strength, faith, love, trust and patients some of which Rachel has every little of. Don’t be surprised when/if Rachel blows off some steam. Some people just deserve what they have coming. I say that because a few distasteful characters show their evil ugly heads in this book. Characters that I’d really like to see get killed off. Now I say that and some of the best scenes have them in it.
As I said above be prepared to cry but also be prepared to laugh – and always route for the underdog. In this case the underdog is Rachel, and she’s going to bring a smile to your face, I’m sure.
KH really out did herself in Ever After, and don’t get me wrong she’s always had great one-liners or Jenks and his antics. This time however has more than usual. There are one-liners and whole scenes that will keep you laughing. I even had to go back and read a few to make sure I read the whole passage correctly and didn’t miss anything. There are characters who’ve never really had a one-liner and its adding to their development, in a great way.
With all this growth and development however there is one thing that is certain and would be even if KH hadn’t said the series was coming to an end. You can really see the end getting close in this book and as I stated before we have two books remaining. No one but KH knows what the future holds for Rachel and the gang, but I can tell you this – its going to be a wild ride if Ever After proves anything. So sit back relax and enjoy the ride, book 11 has to offer. Its going to seem like a short one but I promise it isn’t. And remember I’ll be with you through the next two books. Thirteen will be our lucky number, or a sad one. Until next time dream big and read often.
Grave Witch by Kalaya Price
I know I owe you guys a load of reviews, one massive one for the first six Greywalker novels. One for the seventh novel, and massive one for the Night Huntress Series, then one for Once Burned. I even owe you one for the last Dresden Files. I’m sorry I haven’t gotten those done. I’m going to read/listen to all of them again so I can give you a detailed review.
In the meantime I found a new series that I like, the Alex Craft series, it’s been out since 2010 but I’ve been pushing off reading/listening to it. I wasn’t sure if I’d like it or not, and I really don’t like spending money on books/audibles I don’t like. Finally I decided to just go for it.
I liked Grave Witch the first book in the series because it has pieces of other novels I live in it, or I guess I should say the author’s style is similar to other authors I enjoy. It’s like Kalayna Price takes the best or funniest parts of the series I like and incorporates them into her own unique style that’s funny and emotional.
For instance whats a girl to do when she’s attracted two hot men, wait we’ve seen this right with Stephanie Plum? She’s in love with Morelli and Ranger, but what if we change Morelli into and mixed him with Ranger and make him a soul collector, and call him Death. Yes that’s right on of the hot men is Death, at least that’s what Alex calls him and we don’t know his real name. You may ask why I said Death is a mix of Morelli and Ranger. It’s because Death has known Alex since she was five years old and she considers him one of her oldest friends. However he’s not someone she could settle down with. Death is secretive and leaves before to much emotion is said. But he looks great in jeans and a t-shirt, in fact that’s the only thing Alex ever sees him in and she’s the only one that can see him without using her grave site. (I’ll get into shortly) Then we have Ranger mixed with Morelli, I know confusing. This character, Falin Andrews, is a blonde haired blue eyed Fae, and he’s also a cop. He works as a detective for the Fae run police force but is on loan to the NPD for this book. Here’s where things get freaky. The Fae run police department that Falin works for is the FIB. If you recognize those letters, I’ll tell you we aren’t in The Hallows series and humans don’t work there. However Falin isn’t just a cop, he’s also the winter queens knight and lover. (Do you see Dresden poking his head in? ) Let’s just say Alex has a strange and complex love life, and as you’ve probably guessed if her love life is this messed up how is her every day life. About the same.
Alex is what’s called a Grave Witch, meaning she can speak to the dead by lifting a person’s shade. She can also see and talk to ghost and to soul collectors which not everyone can do. Not even all Grave Witches can do what Alex does. A shade is a dead person true memory and an aspect of a person that can not tell a lie. A shade is not the same thing as a ghost, for a ghost can lie, move around or roam, and haunt things/ people. A shade can only be drawn out my a grave witch from a dead body and asked direct question. A shade doesn’t have emotion unlike a ghost. With Alex’s ability to talk to the dead I see a little Harper Blaine in her. Harper is the heroine in the Greywalker series and she talks to ghost. When Alex uses her gifts to obtain information for her clients or the police she uses her grave sight, this reminds me of Kim Harrison would call Rachel’s second sight. Just like Rachel, Alex can see different planes of reality, however when Alex uses her sight it takes more out of her, leaving her blind for about an hour depending on how long she uses it. Whereas when Rachel uses her second sight she’s fine right after.
Now you maybe wondering if Alex’s life could get anymore weirder, and the answer yes. When Alex was eighteen she legally changed her name and with her father’s help only a few people know her true identity, but a special someone was able to learn the truth. The reason Alex changed her name has to do with her father. When she was younger her and her father didn’t get along, especially when her gifts started to manifest and she wasn’t able to control them. Now she and her father don’t get along because he’s a part of a political hate group called the Humans First party. They are a political party that wants more control placed on magical begins, especially Fae but they don’t like witches much either yet they’ll use witch magic to make themselves beautiful and the like. In Nekros, a city in the south where Alex lives there are three types of beings, humans – those who can work magic, nolls – no magical people and Fae.
In this first installment of Alex Craft, Alex is asked by her little sister, who’s a part of the same political hate group as her father, to investigate the death of the Governor whom was shot two weeks ago. The Governor too is apart of the same group, but he is hiding a secret. While investigating, tried to raise the governors shade, Alex, meets Falin Andrews, right after their meeting Alex is shot at and Death saves her. Though in saving her, a good friend of hers on the PD gets shot. As she tries to save herself and her friend she learns the governor is a body stealing power crazed Fae out for revenge on the Fae courts which are a few, unlike Dresden.
Because of what Alex is she is the only person who can find the Fae and possibly save herself and her friend. However she had no clue how she’s going to pull it off. Her investigation is going to take her to places that she doesn’t want to return too. And once she saves those she cares about she’s left with the knowledge that she’s been changed but she’s unsure why, or now.
Notorious Nineteen by Janet Evanovich
Janet has done it again. She’s created new FTA’s for Stephanie to catch, and two of the three she’s after re creating bigger problems for her. Not to mention she’s working security for Rangeman. Stephanie’s Ranger’s security.
After I finished reading this installment a few Dolls and I were chatting about the story. They asked if the love triangle was still a major part of the story and I’d said yes. I’m now listening to the story, I would’ve listened to it sooner but Flyboy wanted to discuss Cold Days by Jim Butcher so I listened to that first. Now that I’m listening to Stephanie, I think my initial thought about the love triangle was incorrect.
I get the feeling that Stephanie is starting to realize who she wants to be with. She still finds both Ranger and Morelli sex as all get out and let’s be honest who of us wouldn’t. So I don’t think the sexual attraction she has for either man should be considered in the love triangle for this book. With that thought in mind and the decisions Stephanie makes brings me to the conclusion that she’s closer to ending the love triangle.
That being said Stephanie how has to see which guy wants her. We see in this book that either guy cold be considering Stephanie for a long term relationship. One maybe ready before the other but both are thinking about it. And if one says something first the other may have words to say about it.
Without giving away to much of the story I’ll let you in on a few details. At least three cars get destroyed. I’m sure you can guess who’s cars at least the owner of one of them. There’s one mental killer whom Stephanie has to deal with, and mental may not be the right work. He’s more sociopathic. She also has to deal with a crazy homeless man, who has done quite a few drugs in his day. There’s security for Ranger which Stephanie really isn’t excited about, but leads to a few chuckles from her and the reader.
You’ll find all of your favorite characters make an appearance. Overall the story is pretty good. If I had to rate it I’d give it three and three quarter points. It’s almost a four, but I didn’t laugh as much as I have before. Those are the ones I rate as fives. This one had a lot going on and I think that took away from my overall enjoyment. I think there were a lot more deaths in this book than others but I could be wrong. There was three major plot lines going it seemed, two for Stephanie’s job and the other working security for Rangeman. Because of that I feel the love triangle was secondary and at the bottom of that list.
I do think its worth reading, there are a few laugh out loud moments an it was a good read.
Biting Cold by Chloe Neill
Where could Chloe Neill go after Drink Deep that’s what we find out in Biting Cold the sixth book in Chloe’s Chicagoland Vampires series? As we know there’s not a lot Ms. Neill won’t put Merit and Ethan though, or us for that matter, and Biting Cold isn’t any different. Will someone die… of course we haven’t had a book yet that someone hasn’t died. This time I promise it’s not Ethan or Merit, but that leaves everyone else up in the air.
Biting Cold picks up hours after the end of Drink Deep with Merit and Ethan on the road to Omaha to catch Mallory. And if you’ve read the first chapter or have heard about it since it’s been posted on CN’s website, so this isn’t a spoiler, along the way (on the road) they meet an “old” friend. Nope it’s not Mallory, it’s mister evil himself, former Mayer Seth Tate. Oh yes, the Mayer is out and about, and he’s all about revenge among other things. Biting Cold is action packed from the get go and every time you think you’re going to catch your breath think again. I think I can count on one hand how many times Merit sleeps.
Since we all know hell is about to break lose as Ethan and Merit race off to save a black magic addicted Mallory what else could go wrong? That my friend’s is the billion dollar question? After Drink Deep‘sending we were left with so many questions. What’s going to happen with the House? Who or what is Tate? Can Mallory be saved? Will the Ombud’s office be able to help the sups as it did but from the shadows? What will happen to Merit and Johan’s partnership? Will Morgan grow a pair or remain a child? Who is the Master of Cadogan? Does Mallory control Ethan?
I know so many questions and I’m sure I forgot a few. Here’s the thing I can’t answer them. What I can say is you’ll find out when you read the book. I couldn’t put this one down and there were times I had too. I read Biting Cold in less than 24 hours (don’t tell Flyboy) because it was that good.
Chloe Neill’s latest story is going to have you all over the map both literally and emotionally, because let’s face it does anything ever go according to plan? There may be love in the air but it may not be from Merit and Ethan. You’ll have to read the book to find out. I’ll tell you this we do see some of our favorite sups come out to play and even hear from not so favorite ones. So much happens within these pages and we get many answers. This book pretty much closes all the issues that have been left standing open to date. I’m not saying there aren’t threads where we can’t still learn more as time goes by. This book just seemed to shed light on questions I’d had and issues I know others have had since Hard Bitten.
I will say I like where CN is going, as a writer I always have, and I don’t see an end in sight. This path she leading us down is the next step in the progression of the storyline. And let’s be honest without a path in the next direction the series would fall to the waste side. Now I’ll tell you, some may not like the ending because it’s left open-ended, but that doesn’t mean it’s a cliffhanger. Trust me there is a difference and it’s a big one. Yes the ending is suspenseful but it’s not very which is way open-ended works. The story doesn’t have a predetermined limit. Which is why this is a series and not six standalone books. So while we have one issue arise that is settled yet brings up new issues for the end of the book I’m sure House Rules will pick up the thread and run with it. We just have to wait until February 2013 and to be honest that’s not a long wait. So sit back relax and enjoy the action, it’s going to be a wicked hell of a time.
Kitty Steals the Show by Carrie Vaughn
Kitty Steals the Show picks up were Kitty’s Big Trouble ended. Kitty’s heading to London for a Scientific Paranormal Conference with Ben and Cormac in toe. During their trip over to London they make a pit stop in Washington D.C. to see an old friend, Alette. It was great seeing her again even if it was for a few paragraphs. Alette, however it’s not the only old friend or foe that we see throughout the story, from Washington D.C. and Denver.
Kitty as normal thinks her trip is going to be trouble free or I should say she hopes. Per usual this hope is not going to last. As if we’d be happy if it did. Kitty is a guest (keynote speaker) at the conference, yet she has a hard time compiling her speech, and what a speech it turned out to be. When Kitty and her companions land in London they are met by Emma, Alette’s however great daughter. She’s in London learning to be a vamp from one of Alette’s close friends and Master Vamp of London.
London, due to the conference, is filled with Paranormal creatures and protesters. So what could go wrong in the historic town? Lots.
Once Kitty, Ben and Cormac are settled they go out on their adventures. Kitty and Ben go to the conference, while Cormac ventures around London for his, body sharing spirit, Emilia. With Cormac off with Emilia, Kitty and Ben split up and check out the seminars they’re interested in. While at the conference a former flame of Kitty’s is about. Lois, the Brazilian were-tiger from D.C., had come to the conference with his sister. Lois still has a thing for Kitty and he flirts openly with her in front of Ben. Kitty and Ben also run into Dr. Shumacher and Joseph Tyler, werewolf and former US Army special forces.
Ben and Kitty also get invited to the vamp party were things get interesting even in a “free zone”. With the Conference in London, the Master Vamp, Ned, has said London is a no fight zone for the duration of the conference. Again things don’t go as plan; enter one longtime foe Mercedes Cook. Yes, she’s back and up to her old tricks and this time she has more backup. She has both vampires with their werewolf cronies and a human. Can you guess what human is working with Ms. Cook? Enter our even older foe, a human and scientist, Dr. Flemming. That’s right the man that kidnapped Kitty, locked her in a silver cage on the full moon and recorded her change on national T.V. (this happened during Kitty Goes to Washington).
It’s not so surprising that London didn’t remain a neutral zone, because as always Kitty can’t keep her mouth closed, around vamps or were’s. The end result Kitty rocked the boat and put the buzz out on Roman, so that everyone knows about the long game and those not aligned with him could be on the lookout and know their allies. War is coming and Kitty is making more friends, both vamp and were, and foes. She as always is shaking up the Paranormal world as she breaks the silence.
Into the Woods by Kim Harrison
Into the Woods is a collection of short stories created by Kim Harrison. The book is broken into two sections The Hallows and non Hallows. The majority of Hallows stories can be found in anthologies Kim Harrison has participated in over the years. Each story has an opening explanation, telling the reader where Kim Harrison was coming from when she sat down to write. Some of the stories came about because she was asked to write a story for an anthology while others she wanted to delve deeper into a characters psyche. There are others when she wanted something new to wrap her head around.
As an avid reader of KH I had read all but two of the short stories from the Hallows. Why? Because Into the Woods is the first book where they’ve been showcased, that’s right three new stories. “The Bespelled,” is a story about Al and Ceri, and how they came to be. This is the story that tells us about the blue “butterflies” from WWBC (White Witch Black Curse), the ones Al creates while he’s downtown with Rachel, Pierce and Green when they’re trying to capture Mia, the banshee. Not only do we find out what those are all about but we see a possible heart in Al. Remember I said “possible”. The short story “The Bespelled” will be featured in Demons a new anthology. One of the other new stories is “Million Dollar Baby,” Trent and Jenks’s adventure. The one they took in Pale Demon, when Trent steals his daughter. It makes me wish we could’ve seen Jenks and Quinn’s adventure back in AFOC (A Fistful of Charms), and AFDM (A Few Demons More). Having a story from Trent’s POV was enlightening, so was seeing how Jenks and Trent start bonding. We’ve always known Trent was a “cookie maker” and we go through the trials of Trent learning to let go of whom he is and whom he wants to be. We also see how Rachel influences his change, so many years after their fathers’ deaths. Trent shows how vulnerable he is and we truly see his change, growing up, in this story. “The Bridges of Eden Park” this is the last new story and it’s the last look into our favorite vampire before he dies. Here we meet Kisten’s family and we see what he’s willing to do for them and Rachel. Kisten’s love, strength and wit are shown within this story, and it makes you miss Kisten all the more. Kisten’s hero side comes to the fore front, as we’ve seen a few times when the people Kisten loves are endanger.
The other Hallows short stories are:
“Leyline Drifter” this is a dryad story where Jenks and Bizz’s work a case. It’s one of the first cases Jenks takes without Rachel or Ivy. It takes place after Matalina dies. The first time we see “Leyline Drifter” is in the anthology Unbound. In this story we meet Daryl, the nymph that lives in Glen’s house.
“Two Ghosts for Sister Rachel” this story comes from the anthology Holidays are Hell. In this story Rachel is young and still living at home with her mom. Here is where Rachel first meets Pierce.
“Undead in the Garden of Good and Evil” comes from the Dates from Hell anthology. Here is where Ivy frames her first boss in the IS to take the fall for something Piscary did. By the end of the story Ivy is saddled up with Rachel as punishment.
“Dirty Magic” is the story of Mia the banshee from White Witch Black Curse, this story can be found in the anthology Hotter than Hell. In this story Mia is “dating” Glen’s friend. We see inside Mia and that she could love someone but that she’d taken the wrong husband from the wish Ivy had given her.
Non Hallows short stories
“Pet Shop Boys” is a type of vampire short story, but one different than KH’s Hallows vamps. These vamps don’t live in the human world all the time. They live in what seems to be a different plane of existence and the two worlds cross for a few days around Halloween. During this time the vamps come thru a gateway so they can obtain food. In this story one of the vamps is looking for a husband and tries to persuade a human to cross over with them. It was an interesting story and idea. I’d love to read more about the characters, the different species and how this world works. It’s a great escape from the Hallows.
“Temson Estates” is another dryad story, it’s the first dryad story KH wrote. I wanted more from this story, or at least the next chapter. We are left with a great end but still it seemed like there needed to be more. Where were the characters going? This story is about family and the history that goes with it. It’s pretty up beat and light hearted than what we’re used to from KH.
“Spider Silk” is a dark dryad story. It reminded me of Puck from A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream, but scarier. I’m honestly not sure what to think. The ending is slightly terrifying, even with that said I want to know more. Yes I know I’m morbid. Just when I was really getting into the story and didn’t want to strangle Lilly, the story ended. Now I’m left with questions, and I can’t tell you what those are since this is a short story. I’d love to see KH do three stories from this, one go back from Emily’s POV, finish Lilly’s POV i.e. answer the cliffhanger questions, and last Meg’s POV. There is so much that could come from “Spider Silk” and while I don’t mind being left speechless. I can’t stop thinking about this ending.
“Grace” when I saw the name Grace, I was hoping to find a story about Grace the limerick guardian from Madison Avery. Grace always makes me smile with her mischievous exploits. But this short story is about a different Grace. Coming off of “Spider Silk” this story didn’t capture me for the first chapter. I was thinking about “Spider Silk’s” ending. Also while I like the characters I didn’t ready get what the characters were, at first. I think for this story we need a little more history about the powers some humans possess. My best guess would be tele-electric or telekinetic because they throw energy. I liked the ending it was really solid and while I did want to see where the ending would lead, it didn’t leave me with too many questions. But like I said the beginning needed more.
Deborah Harkness Shadow of Night
Time walking is a wild ride you don’t want a miss.
A few hours ago I finished reading my arc copy of Shadow of Night; book two of the All Souls Trilogy. Since I got an arc copy I’m not going to comment on the structure or writing issues I found. Why because this was an arc and I’m betting the issues I found will be corrected by July 10, 2010.
Shadow of Night is just as riveting as Discovery of Witches was, though this time I had to put the book down so I could help Flyboy with household issues before he takes off again. When Discovery of Witches came out I was staying at my Mom’s while he was deployed, so I had plenty of time to read and do nothing else. This time even with my late night/early sun rise reading, I had to put the book (iPad) down. So it took me a little longer than three days to read it. Even so I really didn’t want to put it down or sleep.
The last few weeks/months I’ve been re-listening to Discovery of Witches to prepare for the release of Shadow of Night. I think I’ve listened to it twice considering the other two book series I’ve been listening too. These other series are coming out this summer. Because of that I was ready whatever Shadow of Night threw at me. Shadow of Night begins right were Discovery of Witches left off, as it should have. One minute we are in the present, Discovery of Witches, and the next we are in the past, Shadow of Night. Pacifically Matthew’s past in 1590, and all that his life entailed. This trip, however, is not the trip of a life time that Diana had hoped. She had originally been excited to time walk, since it would be a historians dream come true to meet the most influential men and women of the time. Needless to say Diana didn’t get the warm reception she wanted. Many of Matthew’s friends welcome her though they are a little stand offish but one of his friends tries to bring Diana down. Some prejudice can never be overcome and some people will never change. As hard as Diana tried she couldn’t change the minds of a few, and she had to work hard to fit it. Even so some people never accepted her.
Just like in Discovery of Witches, Matthew and Diana keep secrets not just from everyone else but from each other. There were times because of these secrets that I wanted to scream. But something would happen and we’d have to move onto the next issue. There came times just like in Discovery of Witches where they had to “spill” the beans and tell each other their secrets, and some of these times were life and death situations.
Overall I truly enjoyed Shadow of Night, as I said before. My three true complaints would be that we don’t get any chapters from Matthew’s perspective, we have one perspective that I couldn’t figure out who’s it was and someone dies off screen. I understand why we don’t get Matthew’s perspective since he’s with Diana most of the time but it would have been nice to know his thoughts. Especially since Shadow of Night had so much going on. We meet even more people, though everyone we meet, for the most part, are from the past and will remain in the past. At least those with Matthew and Diana will remain in the past. We see how people and places are connected and how Shadow of Night brings us to Discovery of Witches and vice versa. The nice part about having other perspectives was we got to see what was happening in the present while Matthew and Diana were in the past. We got to see some changes that they made. As for the one time I wasn’t sure whose perspective we were in, we do learn a little, and we start to see the changing ripples as Diana and present day Matthew make their mark on history. I’m not going to talk about who dies, it’s a huge spoiler and as I said it’s off screen. I do hope we learn more about it in the next book though.
Shadow of Night does have a little more of a romantic take then Discovery of Witches but there is a lot of history in this book. We really start to see Diana grow into the witch she’s supposed to be. She learns so much about herself and about Matthew. We also see growth in Matthew, I think, and how his lookout changed now that he’s in love with a witch. Along with their growth and day to day lives we see the history, not just the history Diana has studied, but the history of witches. We see who they were as a posed too who they’ve become. It’s a first glimpse of the witch trials in Europe. Issues arise on who can be trusted and who cannot. 1590 is not an easy time and with friends and foes lurking trouble isn’t far from Matthew and Diana’s door. Shadow of Night is truly a time walking tale of our new lover’s life together, their past and their future. And it’s a story you’re not going to want to miss. So take a historical walk with Matthew and Diana and I’ll meet you on the other side.
Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith
OMG it’s been awhile since I did a review, let’s see if I still know how. Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter is brought to us from the mind of Seth Grahame-Smith. You may recognize the name from his bestselling novel Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. You may also recognize the title of Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter from a poster if you’ve been to the movies lately, or the trailers that have started to show. The novel was released back on March 2, 2010. Personally I was shocked I thought it had just been release, I’m a little behind can you tell . The movie however comes out June 22, 2012, I reckoned reading the book first. Flyboy and I didn’t “read” the book we listened to it on our trip home (to Texas) and back. In fact every time we got in the car together we listened to it. (I had to listen to music when we were apart so I wouldn’t lose our spot since we were listening to my iPod, Flyboy on the other hand could listen to his book, The Wheel of Time I think he was on book 6 or 7, he’s re-listening to the series since the final chapter/book is supposed to be released this year.) With this being said the major complaint we had may not be an issue when reading the book itself.
Our issue with the book, while listening to it, was the chapters. As the book went along we got use to the layout but at the beginning it was confusing. Abe Lincoln Vamp Hunter is set up like a paper or nonfiction where you have sections and different chapters within each section. The sections seem to follow Abe’s life his “real” life at is and the chapters are a combination of history and a creative imagination. Within the secretions there could be three different narrators: Abe, himself, the “author” who was hired to write the novel and Henry the vampire who commissioned the piece to be written. It works when you get the hang of it. If you’ve read his Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, this might be similar, but don’t hold me to that. I haven’t read that one. I can tell you Seth did his homework on Lincoln and he didn’t change much if any “real” life events. He just added a twist that we could/would never suspect.
What do I mean he doesn’t change Lincoln’s life when he made him a vampire hunter? All the events in Abraham Lincoln’s life are mentioned and unchanged. For instance his mother still dies when he is a young boy, though the way she gets sick is not what the doctors said she died from, thought this is explained in the book. He meets Edgar Allen Poe in New Orleans and they become friends. His dislike of his father, him becoming a politician and a lawyer are all in the book. The death of his son and Lincoln’s distaste of slavery are also see within the story. What Seth does change is little things like I said above the cause of Abe’s mothers’ death and other family members. What his father had to do with their deaths. How a vampire saved Abe’s from being drown by another vamp and how the two became friends/allies in the fight against vampires. This Vampire after saving his life teaches Abe how to kill vampires. Seth also changed the reason why slavery was so important in the south. He creates a story from these events that work alongside Abe’s real life.
The cool thing about Seth and how he wrote this story is that from the start we know this is supposed to be a work of fiction, and not just because of the title. Seth has the vamp enter act with a writer in 2010, a writer who hasn’t been published. He’d set aside his writing life not out of want but because life happened. One night the vamp asked this man to write a book for him, based off letters and journals he had, but he wanted it to be a work of fiction with bits of history thrown in. The vamp hands over Lincoln’s letters and journals as research material. The author uses these to create his book – his work of fiction. With a tale of fiction wrapped in tidbits of truth Seth and “his author” create an entertaining story of Lincoln and his life. The story takes us from childhood to Presidency and everything in between. I’d suggest taking Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter for a whirl; I think you’ll be glad you did. Even the movie due out this summer is sure to be a crazy ride. Though the movie, like most based off books, will miss a few storylines I’m sure. Flyboy and I, while listening, had to check IMDB to see who was playing the characters. We were excited by some and sad that some characters from the book won’t be in the movie. Either way you go I sure you’ll enjoy this novel.
A Perfect Blood by Kim Harrison
OMG…If you like/love the Hollows you can’t miss A Perfect Blood. Mrs. Harrison has taken Rachel past Pale Demon and into her new life. In Rachel fashion the hard way is the only way to go. Thankfully she has friends there to help when she falls. A Perfect Blood has us seeing new dynamics within the “Hollows” series and we can start to see the possible end in sight. No you don’t know what’s going to happen. You can just see things starting to come to an end. There are still twist and turns, as there always is, and I’m sure we’ll have more in the further. But we know Mrs. Harrison is going to finish the series either at book 12 or 13 and with us on book 10 it’s only fitting that we start to see idea’s that will take us to the finish line.
So what could/would Mrs. Harrison do to prepare us for the end to come? She could do a lot and she did it with grace and stayed true to her characters. This is why I love Mrs. Harrison, she doesn’t jeopardize her writing for what people want. She shows their growth, their strengths, and weaknesses. With that said I’ll get on with it.
A Perfect Blood brings back some of our favorite characters (not dead) and some new ones, good and not so good. If you’ve read the first five chapters that Harper Collins posted than you know who I’m talking about. If you haven’t I’ll clue you in… Rachel now has a bodyguard thanks to Mom and Dad aka Takata. They think she needs someone to protect her/ keep her out of trouble. Though I think we can all agree that “trouble” is Rachel’s middle name. She is always getting into it with or without help. Her bodyguard, Wayde, is a Were who worked for her father as security. Wayde has a hard time controlling Rachel, as if anyone could and it leaves us with some pretty good banter.
Besides the introduction of Wayde we learn about a hate organization called HAPA. HAPA is a human hate group who want to eradicate Inderlanders. Being human and reading about HAPA made me wish I was an Inderlander. Even though HAPA doesn’t like magic or Inderlanders they aren’t opposed to using it. The magic they use is demon magic and so the I.S. wants to pin the crimes on Rachel if she doesn’t help them find the criminals. It’s a catch 22, with Rachel’s butt in a sling. Thankfully Rachel is smart enough to bring in the FIB. It’s the first time both groups worked together.
With a run on you never know what’s going to happen. We have a lot of people in this book and it’s action packed, similar to book one Dead Witch Walking and White Witch Black Cures.This one though has Rachel with more friends at her back to help and some enemies. And she needs them since she is cut off from the ley lines still. The bracelet Trent made her at the end of Pale Demon is still on her wrist, as she decides what she wants to be, or who. It’s not an easy decision for Rachel to make. There are a lot of good and bad issues one both sides.
Another decision Rachel has to make is getting her Pack tattoo. She has a hard time going to the tattoo artist until she is forced into it. Wayde and David are the ones that force Rachel into it and getting her there by force is quite funny. The tattoo’s description sounds really cool and it made me what a new one. Rachel even gets a special tattoo that’s slightly different than the one the rest of the Pack has. David too has a slightly different tattoo though his doesn’t look like Rachel’s but since they are both Alpha’s they get special ones. Having the tattoo gives Rachel another group that will protect her if she needs it. She now has three groups that would fight for her. It was so happy when I read that she had so many friends to aid her and “Inderlanders” that supported her.
A Perfect Blood has other highs and lows that are heart breaking as well. No, no one dies, at least no one we know. But some situations are sad, while others make you want to cheer. Having the good with the bad might be why this is such a great book, we feel everything Rachel is feeling. You want everything she wants. There are also other funny parts especially as Jenks cures more in this one. He takes Tinker Bell‘s name in vain many times in this book and I love it. We also see his interactions will Belle which are both funny and heartening. He shows some real depth in this book as he’s moving way from the heartache of losing Matelina. It’s not just Jenks who is growing in this book both Rachel and Ivy do as while as they have to make difficult choices. We even see some growth from Trent and Al, which is shocking, though Trent started his grow in Pale Demon. It is within the growth that I think we can see where Mrs. Harrison might take us.
Mrs. Harrison can’t release book 11 soon enough. I know it’s going to be a year before the next one and than hopefully we’ll have two more books after that. I don’t think she’ll have everything tied up by twelve so my figures are crossed for thirteen, plus that’s just a witchy number. I can’t wait to see where Kim goes from here and I can only hope my idea’s on what I think I’m seeing is the true journey. A Perfect Blood met and beat all my expectations. Granted my expectations when dealing with The Hollows is always high. I’m grateful it was a wickedly written novel. Kuddos Mrs. Harrison.
P.O. Box Love by Paola Calvetti
P.O. Box Love was an interesting read. Even after two day I’m not sure how I feel about it. I’m not sure what I expected after reading the blurb we got from the author. It sounded interesting, and the story was. I just never fell in love with it. It needed more emotion.
P.O. Box Love is written as love letters and a story. Meaning part of the time you’re reading love letters between two characters and the other time you’re reading the story from the main female’s POV. The main characters are Emma and Federico. Emma’s a fifty something bookshop from living in Milan and Federico is a fifty something successful architect, working in New York City. Emma is divorced and has been for many years. She has a son, Mattie, whose graduating high school and about to attend University. Federico on the other hand is married and has been for twenty some odd years. He and his wife have a daughter, Sarah, who’s also a teenager.
Emma and Federico, in their youth, had been boyfriend/girlfriend and something happens to break them up. Now after all this time, Federico finds Emma in her bookshop, Dreams & Desires. Dreams & Desires is a bookshop designed and furnished for romantics. All Emma sells are romance novels, it doesn’t matter the size or shape. This is the part that confuses me, Emma is such a romantic, yet I didn’t get much feeling from her. She can remember just about every book she’s ever read, yet she forgets her personal history. She does this on purpose, which doesn’t make sense to me. I would’ve thought she’d care about her memories, since romantics usually do. (At least romantic writers that is, their memories give inspiration.)
When Emma and Federico decide to start corresponding with each other they do so by writing letters. These, hand written, letters are the only line of communication they have, because Emma has decided technology is a bad thing. She doesn’t own a cell phone and she dislikes the internet and computers. Needless to say she doesn’t touch either. So the story starts with former high school sweethearts becoming “pin-pals.” It’s truly a twist on You’ve Got Mail, without the technology. Emma and Federico us a P.O. Box to send, receive and store their letters so no one will find out. Their affair including the correspondence spans over six years during which Federico opens up to Emma about his life and emotions. Things he can’t share with his family. Emma begins to look at life a little different too as she adds architecture to her life. What I mean by this is that she starts looking at the beauty of buildings, whereas she’d never done that before. She seems to like hearing about Federico’s work on the Morgan and she tells him about different bookshops around New York City. They also talk about their lives but not too much. Federico stops in the stores she tells him about and he starts to enjoy the peace the stores and parks give him as he writes to her.
This affair isn’t just the letters that these two former sweethearts share. They actually do become lovers ad meet once a year on an island. The island fits their “prefect” affair since it doesn’t get any service for phones or internet. In these short encounters we get the most “emotion,” still I expected more. Don’t expect the details of their sex life, it’s not there, what we get is how they fit into each others life. That they enjoy each others company and the outside world means nothing. We the reader know this relationship is doomed even Emma knows it. She tells us so. Yet when Federico talks about his wife and his actions Emma basically says she’s okay with the status quo. She seems to like being a mistress. This is something else I don’t understand, because I don’t know why she’d want to be the other woman.
As the relationship heads to a close the book seems to skip or loss something. You find more spelling errors and sentences that don’t completely make sense. This also goes along with Emma somewhat losing herself. Plus we have the end of Federico’s letters which doesn’t seem like the right spot, especially when Emma references it within her letters. She states it’s been two weeks when it’s been two months almost to the day. Still she doesn’t make any call to see if everything is okay. There’s also a point when Federico asked to see her about a month or so before his last letter and we see nothing of that encounter. We don’t know if it happened or not, Emma doesn’t even respond to the invite if she could make it or not. Both of these events confused me. But I’d say the ending is what really through me and how we got there we don’t know. There needed to be more so that this ending made sense and could flow. As it stands you have an ending and something like an afterthought. The first would have been fine, the reader could’ve thought of their own “true ending”. What we get falls flat, and doesn’t seem to fit what had been going on.
Review on Tessa Armytage Bess, Nicholas and a Dog Named Bones.
At the end of Nov. the Dolls were asked to review a book called Bess, Nicholas and a Dog Named Bones. With so much coming in they sent out a call to their honorary Dolls for a little help, and I accepted their request. As many of you have probably figured out from other reviews I’ve given and if you’ve stopped by my blog, I rarely read romance novels. I have nothing against them; I just prefer mysteries and urban fantasies since I write in those genres. But the tidbit the Dolls gave me peaked my interest.
“Bess Saint Clair is about to lose everything and the only man who can save her is Nicholas Blake. It’s just a pity she can’t stand him.
Nicholas is a record industry hotshot with a reputation for being a Big, Bad Wolf. That’s okay by publicist Bess – she’s the sort of Little Red Riding Hood who eats wolves for breakfast. From the moment Nicholas and Bess clap eyes on each other they share a common bond: they want to tear each other’s throats out.
When Nicholas discovers that the man he has hired for the job is a woman, he’d like nothing better than to boot her out of his office. When Bess discovers he is one of those creatures of prehistoric legend – a male chauvinist – she’d like nothing better than to flip him the bird and turn on her heel.
But he needs her talent and she needs his money.
Each is hell bent on teaching the other a lesson. Both are about to learn a lesson they’ll never forget. The battle over who will wear the pants will be fiercest when neither is wearing any.
Funny, tender and deeply sensual, Bess, Nicholas & A Dog Called Bones is set in a picturesque valley vineyard and features a heroic, shameless sausage extortionist of a dog who is almost as human, and every bit as unforgettable, as Nicholas and Bess. “
Let me start by saying I finished reading this book in under 24 hours. I started in the late afternoon and read until 6 A.M. slept and finished when I woke. So yes I had a hard time putting the book down but that isn’t because I fell completely in love with it. I just wanted to see how it would end.
The story is about Elizabeth “Bess” Saint Clair and Nicholas Blake, Elizabeth gets a job interview as a PR rep at Nicholas Blake’s recording company Falling Star. At first these two are like oil and vinegar, butting heads and saying the wrong thing. Blake doesn’t want another female PR person after what happened with the previous three women he had in that position. Elizabeth won’t take no as an answer. Blake decides to take her on for one assignment. He sends her off to his property in the country.
This is where the story gets interesting as we watch their relationship develop. Well sort of, you never really know if they have a relationship. There is loads of sexual tension between them which after a scary night of hypothermia becomes what seems like a month long sexual affair. As we get into the affair the book takes on an erotic nature. While the two are alone and intimate their relationship is compatible, but when people are around Nicholas is cold and distant. He likes Bess, which he nicknamed her, to be dominated yet it turns him on when she pushes back. However he always has to have the upper hand and he can flip the switch between lover and boss, at the snap of his fingers. When Nicholas is in lover mode, I was drawn in, and the scenes are hot, erotic, and very tantalizing. You may want your significant other around when you read those. However when he’s boss, it’s a flip of the coin on if you want to finish reading or not. Granted Bess doesn’t help. At the beginning she’s strong, she’s even strong during the affair but when things go icy between them she loses himself. I understand this can/does happen to women after break-ups, but she takes it to an extreme.
And this is where the book starts to lose me. There were a handful of chapters were I thought it was going to end. Then Bess would do something or when and I expected her to kick the bucket and bite the big one. She wouldn’t go after what she wanted but she’d pine for it. I wanted to smack her. At times she would have her back bone but it didn’t last long. When you thought the outcome was about to change the chapter would end and she was back to crying in a new chapter. The last handful of chapters or more were jarring in this way. And I had to go back to see if I’d missed something. Granted those weren’t the only jarring bits but I‘ll get to that. Even at the end you thought Bess was going to go one way and then it seemed like she changed her mind until you were at the very last scene. All the while she seemed emotionless, like a wet noodle or dead fish, pick your poison. So when the book finished I didn’t feel for Bess. I had no emotion left for her. It ended up being emotionally draining, and I don’t think that’s Ms. Bennett intended. She had me invited for about half the novel, then lost me.
There were other things that lost me, along with jarring me out of the novel. At the beginning when scenes change she uses asterisks, which were fine but the scenes didn’t seem to make sense when they changed. Some I didn’t know why they were in the novel. It wasn’t until halfway through the book that you got the full content of the opening scene. There really wasn’t a clear breaking point the scene would stop suddenly and it file like it was just there to take up space. When I got past the asterisks and the story started to flow, the asterisks became small chapters. One pagers or a page and a half. These at least made a little sense as to why they were in the novel but they seemed to be lacking emotion and/or substance. I wanted more from them but we jumped to something different. The last thing that jarred me out of the story was the instants where there were blatant typos, wrong words or words missing. I’ve talked openly about being dyslexic here and on my blog; I say this, because there are times when I don’t notice these issues. But when I do, I have to say that’s a problem. If it’s jarring for me, and I can normally ignore those issues (I add and or leave out words all the time), it may end up jarring others out of the story too.
Don’t Bite the Messenger by Regan Summers
Pub date January 16, 2012
This review is a somewhat different kettle of fish. It’s a review and article all in one. Why am I writing this review this way, because I’m not sure how I feel about this story? I mean don’t get me wrong I enjoyed it but I wanted more. Don’t Bite the Messenger is only 32000 words and only six chapters long. It was more of a novella instead of a novel, which I’m okay with but at the end of chapter six there could have been more. I honestly didn’t understand why it ended.
In fact with this story being so short I can’t really tell you much about it without giving away the whole story. What I can tell you is that if you don’t like cliffhangers like my good friend and doll, Noa, than this isn’t something you’ll want to read until or unless another story comes out. Why because it has a major one. Here’s the thing that some of you may or may not know about me. I don’t mind cliffhangers as long as you don’t have fifty million questions afterward. I say this because when I really started reading “for fun” I started with Robert Jordan and his Wheel of Time series. In that series you knew there was going to be a cliffhanger at the end of every book. Why because the Dark One never dies and Rand is always fighting him in the end. Another author I like is Kim Harrison, and many people don’t believe she has cliffhangers but when it comes down to it she does. Because Rachel is never out of trouble and at the end of the books while one issue might have been solved there are more right around the corner. And the last author that does this is Chloe Neill; she like Kim Harrison gives you an end but lets you know more things are coming. The danger is not over. To me this is what series are all about some issues are solved while others are still lurking in the background. Even if you kill off a main character and hint at this issue isn’t over. The main plots were complete now the cliffhanger is to get you wanting the next installment. All of which I don’t mind I even write that way myself.
The difference I see between the authors I spoke of and Regan Summers is that there is more buildup. The reader has more story to get through before the end. And while I get the last line of Don’t Bite the Messenger I truly think there should have been more story. I mean the last line (and I’m not going anything away here) is “A test-drive”. So much can happen next and so much should. It’s not just will they make it? Who’s going to find them? What trouble comes next? There are a hundred more questions after those. I mean six chapters you’re just getting into the story and then it ends. It’s like the prefect date and the kiss goodnight is horrible. That’s not what you were expecting. Granted I should have known it could happen with only 32000 words, and the 32000 words were great. But the story really didn’t seem like it was meant to be over. It’s like Regan Summers got writers block and decided to end the story there. I so wanted to love this story and if Regan comes out with a second part I will read it. Because I want to know what happens next. The summary drew me in…
The vampire population may have created an economic boom in Alaska, but their altered energy field fries most technology. They rely on hard-living-and short-lived-couriers to get business done…couriers like Sydney Kildare.
Sydney has survived to the ripe old age of twenty-six by being careful. She’s careful when navigating her tempestuous clients, outrunning hijackers and avoiding anyone who might distract her from her plan of retiring young to a tropical, vampire-free island.
Her attitude-and immunity to vampires’ allure-have made her the target of a faction of vampires trying to reclaim their territory. Her only ally is Malcolm Kelly, a secretive charmer with the uncanny habit of showing up whenever she’s in trouble. Caught in the middle of a vampire turf war, Sydney has to count on Malcolm to help her survive, or the only place she’ll retire is her grave…
When I started reading I had a solid connection with the characters and the different take on vampires. Plus I got into the whole courier aspect since I’ve seen so many while working at the courthouse. It worked well and I could picture everything, especially when Sydney moves to Maui. It reminds me of my three trips over to the island from Oahu and how much faint had. But this cliffhanger for me didn’t work and that’s a first.
Ripper by Amy Carol Reeves
Ripper is set to be released on April 08, 2012
Ripper is another book I found while looking for books to review for Paperback Dolls. It caught my attention with its description.
A paranormal mystery involving London’s most notorious killer
In 1888, following her mother’s sudden death, seventeen-year-old Arabella Sharp goes to live with her grandmother in a posh London neighborhood. At her grandmother’s request, Abbie volunteers at Whitechapel Hospital, where she discovers a passion for helping the unfortunate women and children there.
But within days, female patients begin turning up brutally murdered at the hands of Jack the Ripper. Even more horrifying, Abbie starts having strange visions that lead her straight to the Ripper’s next massacres. As her apparent psychic connection with the twisted killer grows stronger, Abbie is drawn into a deadly mystery involving the murders, her mother’s shadowed past, and a secret brotherhood of immortals-who’ll stop at nothing to lure Abbie into its “humanitarian” aims.
While the description drew me in the novel kept me reading. It did keep me reading, though I did stop so for sleep (at a reasonable hour). I finished reading Ripper in a day. Ripper had everything mystery, history, the supernatural, the Romantics with the added bonus of The Pre-Raphaelites. What more could a pre-law/English major ask for?
Ripper is a young adult novel centered on a large cast of doctors. The main character is a seventeen year old female named Arabella “Abbie” Sharp. She’s the granddaughter to Lady Westfield and Abbie has come to live with her after the death of her mother Caroline Westfield Sharp. She moves to London in 1888, to live with a woman she’s never met. Abbie is a little rough around the edges and her grandmother wants her to become a proper lady. Abbie has different plans. She’s an adventurous young woman who isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty or get into trouble. However that being said she doesn’t like the continuances after she’s done something grandmother deems unlady like or that would mess with way Westfield’s status. As you may have guessed Abbie doesn’t like the lectures her grandmother gives her, and she’s always expecting to be thrown out. No she’s not always in trouble but she likes to do things her way which her grandmother (and others) wants to object too.
You may wonder why, after what I’ve told you, that I liked Ripper. It’s because it has mystery and a little magic. Both of which I love. Here’s the other reason it has history which is something my dad and I loved to discuss. As I’m sure you caught the history portion has to deal with the most famous murderer of all time… Jack the Ripper. Yes, I was stoked, I have three or four Jack the Ripper books as it is. They hit on all of my “callings” (legal and English). However Ripper is on a different level than most Jack the Ripper stories, where most look at the true history of Jack and or who he might have been Ripper has a new point of view. The premise was great, Abbie is sent by her grandmother to help out down in the East End specifically Whitechapel, at the Whitechapel Women’s Hospital, for a week. Lady Westfield thought this would help make Abbie, see her evil ways and the experience would put her on the right track for becoming the “proper lady” Lady Westfield wanted her to be. It backfires. Abbie loves working at the hospital with the doctors and being able to help those less fortunate than she. The longer Abbie works at Whitechapel Hospital and with the doctors there she decides she wants to become a doctor as well. Something Lady Westfield is not going to approve of. Though Abbie does have the approval of the three doctors she’s working with, Dr. Bartlett, Dr. Simon St. John and Dr. William Siddal. When the murders start it’s the doctors (Abbie’s friends) at Whitechapel who become the suspects. Why you may ask? It’s because of the brutality and the fine craving skills of Jack the Ripper. Skills only doctors would have the training for, or so Scotland Yard thinks. At this time, almost to the day when Abbie starts working at the hospital, roughly two and an half to three months after her mother’s passing, Abbie gains her mother’s gift of visions. Though I don’t think Abbie would call it a gift, she starts seeing the murders take place.
There are many twist and turns as Abbie tries to work her visions to save the women that she cares for. She also wants to true killer whoever that maybe to be brought to justice, so her friends will be left alone, especially Simon and William. To do that she must follow her instincts and use her visions to prove her friends aren’t Jack the Ripper. The only problem, she may not be ready for the answers she seeks, or the family secrets she will learn. They may haunt her, and closure may not come. Especially since Jack wants her as well.
I would be tickled pink if Amy Carol Reeves came out with a second book. I don’t think Abbie or the Whitechapel doctors have told their full story. The one thing that I wasn’t sure about for this book was if the voice (language) was the correct for this time I would gladly join their journey again. Amy Carol Reeves did a wonderful job of drawling me in and keeping me with Abbie the whole time… I can’t want to see what comes next.
The Wedding Gift by Kathleen McKenna
I found The Wedding Gift a few weeks ago while looking for book needed to read for PBD. The description sounded great.
Leann wasn’t good enough for her uppercrust in-laws, so they gave her the mansion none of them wanted. Years ago, something or someone in the house killed Leann’s brother. Will its violent secrets kill her, next?
” . . . a spine-electrifying supernatural tale where a huge Southern States mansion contains one of the most terrifying, violent and indeed psychopathic ghosts to haunt any town. It is also a murder mystery-why did Robina Willets apparently kill all five of her young children, and her husband, before stabbing herself to death? And, if you are in the camp of believing that ‘Justice . . . just is not,’ then this will have you frothing at the mouth with righteous social fury.”-Tim Roux, author of Missio and The Dance of the Pheasodile.
It was right up my alley… it had a haunted house and everything. It was too good to be true. I didn’t get that far. I only got to Chapter three and that was a struggle. The main character Leann was the narrator, and she was self-absorbed. It annoyed me to the point that I couldn’t read further. In fact the more I read the more I really didn’t like the girl. The part I did enjoy happened to be the beginning were Leann really didn’t have any part in. It was news articles about what happened in the house and Leann’s wedding announcement. Everything else I read of The Wedding Gift was written as Leann’s personal journal.
Leann is a young woman who’s about to marry into a wealth family in her small Oklahoma, town. She’s won all the beauty pageants she’s ever been in but “she’s retired because she’s getting married” or she’d try for Miss Oklahoma and Miss USA. More than half of the journal is about how pretty she is. And trust me I understand journals are supposed to be about one’s self but for a book it was a little much. At one point Leann actually say she doesn’t have much of an education because she’s so pretty she didn’t need to study. “No one made her study.” It floored me.
The worst part is, that I grew up in Texas and while we make fun of Oklahoma all the time this premise and voice didn’t ring true for me. I have friends that actually went to school there and they are educated. Giving a person a “Redneck Hick” mentality shouldn’t be directed toward a town or state and that was a direction it seemed to take along with pretty women being uneducated.
Killing Rites by M.L.N. Hanover
Killing Rites is book four in Hanover’s Black Sun’s Daughters series. I do love this series and I’m glad that it seems that it won’t come to an end. I can’t wait until next November to see if there will be a new book and to find out what Jayné Heller and her friends do next.
In every Black Sun’s Daughter book we see Jayné and the crew in a different city, in book one Unclean Spirits they are in Denver, book two Darker Angels has them in New Orleans, and book three Vicious Grace takes them to Chicago. Which brings us to book four Killing Rites where Jayné and Ex, one of her friends, go to New Mexico, to San Esteban to be exact. Killing Rites is darker than the first three to me. We see Jayné leaving friends behind in Chicago and trying unsuccessfully to deal with the aftermath of what she had to do in Chicago. Kill an innocent to save the world from madness. Not only is Jayné dealing with murdering someone but she has decided/figured out that there is a rider inside her. A rider is a demon who hides in a human’s body that sooner or later takes control of the human. We learn about riders in book one Unclean Spirits. When Jayné and Ex, Ex is a former priest, decide to remove her rider they try to Santa Fe and stay at one of the properties that Jayné inherited from her, bastard of an Uncle, Eric. Calling Eric a bastard is being polite as you’ll find out if you read the Series. If you’ve read it then you know.
In Killing Rites Jayné and Ex, come home to Ex’s former life. They left Chogyi Jake, Aubrey and Kim back in Chicago. Aubrey and Kim are working on getting back together after Eric split them apart. Chogyi Jake is/ was recuperating from the battle at Grace Memorial Hospital. With their friends out of sight they become intimate but not in a sexual way. Ex as we know has feelings for Jayné hasn’t figured out if she has the same feelings for Ex. However their feelings are just a subplot in this book, and it’s far from romantic because before Chogyi Jake arrives Ex puts Jayné through hell, literally. Ex was a priest who was in a group sanctioned by the Vatican to preform exorcisms. Ex as we learn was one of the best but something happened and he left the group. Yes we learn what happened within the pages, but it’s a biggie so I can’t give you that detail. Now he’s bringing Jayné to them too remove her rider. This doesn’t go the way they were hoping and hell pretty much breaks lose.
Before the shit really hits the fan Jayné meets up with an old friend Midian Clark, a vampire, and they have along conversation about everything that’s been going on. He gives Jayné some advice, but at that time it’s not, really taken as such. When Jayné returns to the church, Ex and the priests preform part of an exorcism trying to remove her rider unsuccessfully. This is when things get hairy and shit hits the fan. Here Jayné must turn away from her last remaining friend to save her life and others. She goes back to where she found Midian and finds that he has disappeared. Now she’s truly alone and has to make a plan when she doesn’t have money, id, a cell phone or a car, thankfully she’s able to get a hold of her lawyer for help. Jayné makes a plan, not a very good one, but at least she mat one and heads out to make Ex and his friends believe her even with a rider inside her. She does get a little luck when she learns that Chogyi Jake has arrived, even though he’s with Ex. Chogyi, however doesn’t tell Ex when he talks to Jayné and he sticks to Jayné’s side when he can. This is where things get interesting and while the book is full of action. At this part of the story we get the most kick ass action.
I can’t finish telling you what happens in the book, but there are more riders in this book than any other. We do find out who the rider in Jayné is finally and now things make a little more sense. The hider is who protects Jayné when trouble comes and they come to an understanding to save those who need saving. In the end not all conflicts are settled but that’s okay because we know what Jayné, Ex and Chogyi Jake are trying to do, and we have an idea on where they will most likely be traveling next. Since we know where they will go next, it seems like next November will be a good month. Hopefully book five will be released so we can find out what happens next for Jayné. Maybe she’ll find the answers that have plagued her or at least better answers. This truly is an Urban Fantasy you don’t want to miss.
Carrie Vaughn’s Kitty’s Greatest Hits
Let me start by saying Kitty’s Greatest Hits is a collection of short stories from the Kitty Norville Series. Some of the stories we have seen in different anthologies that Carrie has been involved with and some are new. None of the stories are vital to the series, so you don’t have to read them, but you will miss out on getting to know Carrie’s characters a little better if you don’t. Kitty’s Greatest Hits has thirteen hits within its pages and while I’m not going to review all thirteen short stories I’ll at least give you a taste or tease, J about who’s in the story and if it falls in the time line.
“Il Est Ne” – Is about Kitty helping another werewolf in the aftermath of Kitty Goes to Washington and before the events of Kitty Takes a Holiday.
“A Princess of Spain” – This is not a Kitty story and I’m not sure where it falls within the Kitty series. It does have a vampire who plays a part in a historical story involving Catherine of Spain and King Henry VIII.
“Conquistador de la Noche” – This is all about Rick, who never wants to tell Kitty is history, so now we get to learn a little.
“The Book of Daniel” – Not a book about Kitty but it does tie in to the Kitty series if you think about it, this takes place in Babylonia and we have seen weres and a vampire who were trying to bring back the culture.
“The Temptation of Robin Green” – This is the first Vampire testing centers and one of Carrie’s first Kitty stories, Rick is in this one but it’s not really the Rick we know though Rick is the name she used.
“Looking After Family” – This is a young Cormac and Ben story. This takes place after Cormac has to come live with Ben’s family when Cormac’s father dies.
“God’s Creatures” – This is another Cormac story, in this one Cormac is hunting a werewolf and it takes him to the most unlikely of places a Catholic Reform School and Church.
“Wild Ride” – Here we have T.J.’s story and how he became a werewolf. T.J. was Kitty’s best friend in Kitty and the Midnight Hour.
“Winnowing the Herd” – Kitty’s life before she started the Midnight Hour, it’s a good thing she came out of the supernatural closet.
“Kitty and the Most Pit of the Damned” – Kitty goes to a club gig to get interviewed with a band whose concerts are hell on fans.
“Kitty’s Zombie New Year” – Kitty attends a party with Zombies. Carrie does a twist on zombies.
“Life Is the Teacher” – Here we look at Emma’s story as she explores what happened to her after the events in Kitty Goes to Washington.
“You’re on the Air” – Kitty gets a call from a vamp that’s been down on his luck, from Kitty and the Silver Bullet.
“Long Time Waiting” – The story we’ve been waiting for, this is Cormac’s story from prison and where we meet Amelia.
As you can see most of the stories fall within the realm of the Kitty universe, but they are all standalone stories. And it was great getting to know some of Rick’s history and seeing in side Cormac’s methodical head (as scary as that may sound). So if you love the Kitty series as much as I do this is a must read.
Until next time have a wickedly awesome Thanksgiving and see you on my next flight.
Drink Deep by Chloe Neill
Drink Deep picks up two months after Hard Bitten. Cadogan House is just starting to recover and get back in the swing of things but the House is in turmoil, with the changes Ethan’s death/ murder caused and the GP spy. Needless to say the Cadogan vamps haven’t had time to mourn their master’s passing peacefully, but when are things peaceful in Chicago for the Chicagoland Vampires. If it’s not one group it’s another and Merit is the only one who can fair it out.
This time though Cadogan has their hands tired as the GP’s flunky is watching every move and reporting back very thing they do. And it’s not always the truth meaning Cadogan’s heads are literary on the chopping block, which never bodes well when things go hay-hire in Chicago. Of course the GP never thinks the vamps should get involved in anything that the humans see as a problem, even when they blame the vamps. Thank goodness Malik and Scott Grey don’t see the city of Chicago the same way.
Cadogan and Grey House, Merit and Jonah work together to figure out what is happening to their city. Jonah, you may remember is the captain of Scott Grey is guards, and his one of the RG = Red Guard. If Merit point the RG he would he her partner, and with the Cadogan House down a house guard they teamed up when Merit would investigate issues outside the house. He also helped with some training. We find out some interesting tidbits on John in Drink Deep, that explains some of his issues with Merit in earlier books. Personally I like when we find out personal tidbits about the characters it make them seem a little more real and their attitudes justified.
This novel is mostly about Merit’s growth as a character. She’s growing as a vampire, a person, and in her role as Sentinel with Ethan gone. In this book Merit really gets to become her own person, outside of Ethan’s power. We also don’t see Catcher or Mallory’s influence over Merit as other books have had. I really liked the independence Merit exerted. We see the Merit we loved from the very first book as she stands up to the GP spy as well.
New and old characters that Drink Deep introduces, I’ll start with old, as I’ve said we see Malik. He’s the new Master of Cadogan. We see our favorite cowboy Luc, the former Captain of Cadogan’s guard and new second. Kelley, Juliet, and Lindsey are all with Merit as the remaining guards of Cadogan House. Margo makes an appearance, but it’s not a happy one. When Merit is dreaming we see snippets of Ethan. I obviously can’t answer your big question, that’s considered a spoiler and you know I don’t put those in… Back to our favorite characters or maybe not.:) Grandpa/Chuck Merit is back and he actually has some trouble in this book, and with Chuck we have his office, Jeff, Catcher and Marjorie. Jeff has to work his magic with the Nymphs again, but this time the fight is over something bigger than a guy. Yes we have Mallory, but she’s not the Mal we love and this time we even get her teacher Simon, who Catcher doesn’t like. Because of the dark magic issue that started in Hard Bitten there is still a lot of stress and tension with Catcher, Mal and Merit. Those issues don’t go away in Drink Deep and you could say some of them are bigger within the pages, especially with Mal’s testing going on during this book. Others characters we love to hate, Merit’s father makes an appearance, he’s actually helping the city at the time. Mayor (former) rate, he’s in jail, but Merit speaks to him a few times, and we see Morgan. The appearances/visits with Mayor Tate are interesting frustrating and informative in ways that you’re not sure what Chloe is going to do with him. But you know Tate is playing chess with Merit in some way. He’s either the black king, or bishop and she’s the white queen. Tate will play this game out as far as he can. One Another important character is MacKetrick who is now working with a new character, the new Mayor. We also had the GP spy/receiver, Frank Cabot, who wants to take down the Cadogan House and vamps of Chicago.
Drink Deep is full of mystery and while many readers want events to happen in a different order the story wouldn’t have worked any other way. Merit needed to make her way in the world and in the way this book was written she was able to do just that. Also some aren’t happy with the turn of events of character actions which I don’t understand you could see that something might change with the character, power does change people. So I’m not sure why people are upset about this bump in the road. The other issue I don’t get is that people aren’t happy with the ending which ended but it leaves you ready for part of the plot for the next book. Many books have done this over the years and it doesn’t upset me, it just makes me want the next book. I guess don’t like pretty little bows when it comes to books.
The Help is a different genre of fiction than I usually read. It’s literary fiction whereas everything else is usually sci-fi, mystery, or urban fantasy or some mix of the three. And it’s taken me some time to figure out how I wanted to write my review. I looked at the negative reviews on amazon and that helped me make my decision. You may ask why it’s not because I didn’t like it, it’s because of the way they looked at the book compared to me. In this review I’m going to get a little personal because after reading those reviews, man is racism alive and well. Not that I didn’t know this, I did but all they could talk about was three things:
1) How this historical fiction got facts wrong. I personally never felt like this was a historical fiction, and I’ll explain why when I get into the review.
2) The dialect isn’t true to the characters, time, or South. All I wanted to say was really were you there.
3) The writer is racist for writing this book. Seriously, she wrote this book from her memories that she had of her maid/nanny, and that makes her a racist?
Some did say the characters where one dimensional but they were looking at the book as a historical fiction trying to be a non-fiction or a book about Civil Rights. Neither of which I got out of the book or the movie for that matter. Yes, there is discussion on the Civil Rights movement but the book itself is not about the movement.
So here is my personal insight not that I have much on “the Help” or the 60’s but I do know what it’s like growing up in the South and living in a racist family. Granted when I was growing up in the South with my mom and stepdad in Texas this is not the family I’m talking about when I say my family is racist. As many people know I’m a Northern Midwesterner and Southerner how is this possible because when you have two sets of parents and they live in different states, your born and live there until you move with one set of parents and then grow up and go to school in another. My northern family, especially my grandmother would be considered a racist. And this is something I’ve learned is more about the time frame that she was born and grew up in than anything else. It’s taken me thirty-three to understand her but we all learn. Grandma was born in 1918, talk about a world in turmoil, and to add to the fodder she comes from a wealth family and is still wealth, however she doesn’t have a maid.
When I was growing up in the South I didn’t hear the “N” bomb but I did hear it when I went up to visit my family, in fact Eddie Murphy was not allowed on the T.V. at Grandma’s without the “N” bomb being said. For many years I really disliked my Grandmother, because of this language. I feared my high school graduation, and I graduated in 1996, because I wasn’t sure what she might say about my graduating class being mixed, Caucation, Africian American, and Hispanic. Thankfully she was good , other vactaions she hasn’t been.
My point when I looked at a book any book that has to deal with racism or what others might think is racist and I compare it to Grandma The Help didn’t come close to Grandma, and there were times growing up when I had to leave the room due to her remarks. Like I said above now that I’m thirty-three and truly understand what it means, well sorta to be in your nineties and to have lived through all the crap she has I get what during most of her young life that was the way things were and it’s hard to change. The South had to change, because there were the worse offenders as a whole but predjuice is everywher. And this book only touches a sliver of what that predjuice was like in Jackson, Mississippi during 1963. Because that’s not the real topic, the book is much deeper than that but yes any book that is written with in the time frame of 1963 and in Jackson, Mississippi there is going to be predjuice/racism within it’s pages. If there wasn’t any there’d be a problem.
While I’ve hit on what The Help isn’t about I should tell you what it is about. The Help is a unique creation about the life of three characters and the novel they create. It’s a little more than that but that’s the major issues. These women become friends during a time when that wasn’t done, when a white women didn’t make friends with “the help.”
And that is how an unlikely trio begins on a journey into breaking down barriers with mistrust. All three characters have their own reasons for breaking the rules some are selfish. Some are to honor the memory of the dead and some are to say look what I did, but in the end the characters move beyond their first thoughts and they create something amazing, a bond, a friendship one that not many can say they have with the help.
The Help has three POV changes and the three main characters have a unique style of speach even though all three are from the South. Two of the POV’s are from the “help’s” prespective and even their speech is different. But who are these women? That is what we learn in this book… we have Aibileen, Skeeter, and Minnie, and they are the main women we come to care about in The Help. This book tries to cross a boundry that in Jackson was very hard during the 60′s and at the being there is mistrust from the help, they knew what could happen.
Aibileen, who starts off the novel, lost her son a few years back, he was the one who originally came up with the idea to write a book about his white employers. When he passed he was in his early twenties. The same as Skeeter, when the book The Help gets written. Aibileen is very kind, soft spoken and one that would never rock the boat. She likes taking care of young children and she prays for everyone, and her prayers normally help those in need. Aibileen, is the first maid to help Skeeter with the stories about her white employers, she also helped Skeeter with her Miss Mirna column. The column was all about house cleaning and Skeeter knew Aibileen was the best at her job. Aibileen worked for Skeeter’s friend Miss Elizabeth, but while they wrote the book she was always scared that Miss Elizabeth would find out and hire her or worse. Yet she is willing to take that chance to see this dream come true.
Skeeter is our only caucasion POV that is considered good though even she has moments where her young age shows and her wealthly up bringing comes out. She’s trying to change but some times she puts her foot in her mouth. Skeeter wants to be a writer, unlike her friends, she doesn’t want to just find a man and get married, now that she’s back from college, she wants to do something more with her life. When she gets a response letter from a New York editor telling her to write about things around her that move her, she sees many things. It took some time but she found the prefect thing. She just needs a little help, as it turns out the help of thirteen other people. Skeeter becomes their voice, since they aren’t able to have one. Though we don’t get to read what the others say, so don’t except to read all thirteen maids stories. You get a sense that some of the stories are sweet and some not so sweet. Some of the maids come clean about their relastionships with thier employers and its not always pleasant, yet there are some relationships that show the caring nature between the help and employers. Ones that the employer never knew mattered to the help and thanks to Skeeter her old friends were able to learn about the love and concern there is between them.
The last POV we have is Minnie, she is the strong black woman in the book. She’s also very sassy and speaks her mind, no matter who she’s speaking too. Minnie is Aibileen’s best friend and she tries many times to get her to stop working on the book with Skeeter once Aibileen decides to go for it. It’s not just that Minnie is scared for Aibileen, she also doesn’t like white people. She doesn’t think whites and colors should share information become friends, because her mother told her it was wrong. Plus Skeeter was/had been friends with Miss Elizabeth, Aibileen’s boss, and Miss Hilly, the daughter of Minnie’s former boss. Miss Hilly is evil and fires Minnie for no cause. But Minnie gets back at Hilly in a way that she doesn’t like to talk about until the end of the book. Hilly to try to get Minnie to work for her and after the “evil” thing that Minnie does to get back at Hilly puts her own mother in the old Lady’s home. Hilly then makes sure no one in town will hire Minnie after that. However with Aibileen’s help Minnie is able to find another job with the one person Hilly won’t talk too and the only “true” strong white character in the book Miss Celia.
Miss Celia and Minnie are the perfect pair of strong women getting put together in the book. Because you learn that a truly strong woman isn’t strong all the time and sometimes you need help in the most unlikely places. Celia and Minnie are just that an unlikely pair that work great.
Skeeter and Aibileen get a rhythm going during some scenes where you see Aibileen’s strength, instead of her shyness and it’s a wonderful sight. Those are times when you know she is seeing Skeeter and her son as one and writing the ook in his memory. During those times you also see growth in Skeeter, because these women are becoming more than just “the help” they are becoming her friends as she is pulling away from everything she was brought up to believe in from her parents. But not the love that her maid/nanny gave her. And that’s her driving force, she wants to learn the truth about what happend to Constaintine, the woman who loved and raised her, but is gone before she gets home from college and no one will tell her the truth. Aibileen, feels for Skeeter, and finally tells her what she’s been wanting to know. This is a big break through for these two characters and shows how close they become.
FYI’S: The dialect issues, both Aibileen and Minnie use Southern African American, let me rephrase that, they use Southern Jackson, Mississippi dialect. Skeeter may or may not, so some people may have issues reading it but if you’ve ever read Mark Twain, you’re good. _________________________________________________________________________________________
Blood Work by Kim Harrison
Blood Work is Kim Harrison’s journey into graphic novels, and I’ll be honest I’ve never been one for the normal graphic novels. I have an uncle that introduced me to the dark graphic novels but I only read a few of his when I visited him and my aunt. It’s no wonder that I got into the darker graphics look at how I write, . Kim’s venture into graphic novels was right up my alley. It was dark just the way I like it, granted it is a prequel to Dead Witch Walking the first book in the Hollows Series. However, Kim changes things up a bit in Blood Work with a POV change from Rachel’s, in the main Hollows Series to Ivy’s. Now we really get to see the change Rachel has made in her over the years as her character has grown.
In Blood Work, she truly was a hard as nails bitch attitude always following the rules the vamps set for her, especially Piscary. There’s a lot of history within the 166 pages, Ivy’s history. Kim wrote a six chapter graphic novel and it’s full of rich back story we’ve been dying to know and you don’t want to miss it. You’ll learn about Ivy and Rachel’s first run. How they bumped heads from the get go. Denton’s issues also there from the beginning. You’ll see Kisten in color, though in my head he was cuter. Watch Rachel work her magic and you even get a look at Trent though you don’t know its Trent officially. But who else is called “Sa’Han.” Sorry no Jinx maybe in the next one.
There’s also really cool information from pages 151 – 161 about how the graphic novel was created, the creators, sketches and much more. Kim chose the write artist to work with when she took on this project and with those artists they made a wonderful graphic novel. So make sure you check out this addition to the Hollow Series and add it to your collection.
Questions to be answered within Ghost Story: Who killed Harry Dresden? Does Harry remain a ghost? What happens to Chicago with Harry dead? What happens to the world with the Red Court gone? Do Dresden’s friends handle his death? Who do we meet in Ghost Story? Who do we not see in Ghost Story? What does Harry need to learn? What can he not do?
As you can see there are many question that get answered within Ghost Story. The story is not just about these answers it’s also about the story itself. The journey going on within the story is not like any other Dresden story thus far. So take a ride with me and find out what you’ll find within the pages without learning anything to spoil the story within.
As we know from Changes Harry has been shot and falls into the lake. He sees a bright light and hears the sound of a train. He’s dead; at least he thinks he is.
Ghost Story opens with Dresden standing on a set of train tracks with a speeding train barreling at him. He’s rescued by Sgt. Carmichael, an old colleague and former IS detective with Karen Murphy. Carmichael was Murphy’s partner, if you recall until he died during the loup-garou attack at the station during Fool Moon. In this other place, that Dresden soon learns is the in between Chicago, Carmichael takes him to his police headquarters so he can get the answers he needs. Answers which Carmichael cannot give him, and as we know Dresden always wants answers. And he’s not happy when he doesn’t get them. In Ghost Story Dresden isn’t happy a lot when it comes to getting answers.
And if you thought Changes was a dark chapter in Harry’s life Ghost Story is even darker. We see the Heaven and Hell side of Chicago when Harry is not alive to clean up the streets. You never know who might by lurking around the corners.
Dresden’s ghost has a mission to preform and if he fails it will endanger three of his friends, which three we don’t know. His mission is to figure out who murdered him. However Harry takes his mission without learning all the facts about what could happen to him if he should fail. Captain Murphy, that’s right Murphy as in Karen Murphy’s father, heads up police headquarters in the in between and is who tricks Dresden into taking the mission without all the information he needs. Once Dresden is committed to the mission Captain Murphy takes Dresden to the one man that will be able to help him in the mortal world, Mortimer Lindquist, ectomancer. Now here’s where things get a little dicey, Mortimer and Harry as you know have a love hate relationship and Harry is returning six months after his death. But the question is does Dresden go on this mission with all the knowledge that he needs to make good informed decisions. Not exactly, Harry doesn’t know half of what he needs to too make the right decision. Thankfully things work out for Harry or at least they somewhat work out.
This is one book where Harry can’t rely on magic. In fact for the majority of Ghost Story Harry is unable to use his magic an when he finally learns to use it; it’s like learning for scratch. Because of this we get to see Dresden raw, what I mean by that is that we learn about Dresden’s emotions and what powers his magic. Ghost Story has many aspects to it but the main issue is Dresden’s journey, he is learning about himself and his place in the world, with his friends, and the hereafter. It’s as if learning that he was a parent changed him and he now knows he has to grow up, think about his actions and do things because of Maggie, therefore he has to relearn his place in the world and where his magic comes from. How to bring it forth and how to control it, both of which Dresden seemed to have forgotten over the years as he defeated villain after villain.
On the flip side we also learn what the world would be like without Harry Dresden keeping Chicago’s streets clean of the big nasties. Chicago is not pretty without Dresden not that it was pretty with Dresden but it’s a Hell of a lot prettier with him alive protecting it. He’s friends are healthier/saner when he’s alive too if that makes any sense. Yea it’s good to know that the insane wizard makes everyone else sane, go figure. Dresden’s friends seemed lost without him which seems to say something about his friends and what he meant to them.
Now I’m sure you’re wondering how Ghost Story fairs since it has been getting mixed reviews. I don’t think it’s the best in the series and I don’t think it’s the worst. It is a book that was needed for Dresden’s growth, as a wizard and parent. He learned that he can’t always do things with guns blazing and that is something Dresden has always done in the past. It’s also a story where his friends had to learn that they couldn’t depend on Harry or his magic for everything. That he may not always be there to save the day, some of them may have a harder time understanding that than others will.
Kitty’s Big Trouble is book nine in the Kitty Norville series by Carrie Vaughn, and with nine books behind us I’m going to do this review a little different. One because with Carrie you could pick up one of her books and follow along with the story if you so desired. She does give a little background within each book so you know what’s happened before. I don’t recommend it but that’s because this series has twist and turns that you don’t see coming. Plus there is Kitty and her sarcasm that just makes you laugh and you just want to know what she’s going to say next or do for that matter. I mean, what other series, do you know that has the heroine out herself on national radio that she’s a werewolf or shift on national TV. Yes this one has it all, which is why I say you could start with a later book but why miss out on the past good stuff. This brings us to my second reason there are nine books and Kitty is always getting into trouble, she is a talk show host that talks about the supernatural community that wants to stay hidden and she outs them. Trouble is her middle name.
So to start this review off I’m going to pose my questions. Why because for this one the question are truly more important I think.
Does Kitty get into trouble? Does Kitty leave Denver? Does Kitty work with any of her allies? Do we see Cormac? Does anyone die? Do we see Rick? Do we meet any other vamps? Does Kitty try to hunt down any new stories? What famous people in history does Kitty think were Werewolves? Does Rick tell any of his stories? Does Kitty contact any other vamps to find out about famous Werewolves? Does Roman make an appearance? Do we meet any knew beings? Do we learn any history about one of Kitty’s allies?
Kitty’s Big Trouble opens like the majority of Carrie’s Kitty books do with Kitty on the hunt for information. Within a few paragraphs we find Kitty in the studio doing the Midnight Hour. Here is where Kitty gets her listeners on the hunt for information about famous werewolves in history as well to see if any of them have heard any stories. She wants to find out her history more or less well not hers as in her family history but her werewolf history. Since she came out and found out there was a government program that had run test on the supernatural community at one time she sure there must have been others that have hidden they’re true identity throughout history. So like always Kitty ask her listeners for help and she somewhat gets it, but the question is who in our young bloody history could she think could be a werewolf? One officer peaks her interests, General William T. Sherman but finding the truth is harder than it appears. When a werewolf wants to hide who and what he truly is he can. Of course this doesn’t stop Kitty and she does ask Rick if he knows, but he does not. Kitty talks with the only other vamp she know would could keep that secret and was on the east coast at that time Alette, master vampire of Washington, DC also a friend and ally. But alas Alette won’t tell Kitty that secret, just like a vamp. I can’t tell you if Kitty finds out the answer to her question by the end of the book you’ll have to read it to find out plus she has to put her search on the back burner for a while as she hunts for another historical figure.
Bummed by not learning the information about General Sherman Kitty has another talk with Rick the master vampire of Denver, her friend and ally. During this talk they talk about our young nation and how the vamps reacted to finding out about Rick being out West when they thought no other vamp was in the New World. Now Rick have never truly told Kitty any of his stories, he’s dropped a few names of historic people his known to give her hints on how old he is but she doesn’t know exactly how old he truly is. Like he traveled with Coronado and he knew Doc Holiday, he hasn’t given her much more to go on. This time he gives her a little more, but not much. Lol He does make her think about who/what one famous sheriff was and how he could clean up the West with all those nasty around. That’s right Rick not only new Doc Holiday, he knew Wyatt Earp. This information leaves Kitty wondering what Wyatt Earp was? Werewolf? Bound Hunter like Cormac? What? To find out we have our first road trip. And where do we go… Dodge City. Ben, Kitty’s husband, mate, (he became a werewolf in Kitty takes a Holiday no Kitty didn’t change him) and lawyer goes of course someone has to keep her out of jail, and Cormac goes. Now Cormac, for those of you that don’t know Cormac is a bounty hunter and when I say bounty hunter I mean he hunts werewolves and vampires etc for bounty not humans. However, he just got out of prison from a bum rap (read Kitty takes a Holiday to find out why) so he has to have permission to leave the state. He’s Ben’s cousin, he’s had a thing for Kitty since book one but never admitted it, now has a female witch’s soul inside him that he picked up in prison and is a part of Kitty and Ben’s pack. Pack of three as Kitty likes to call it. Ben and Kitty are their packs alphas and they have a big pack but their pack of three is more of a family. So the pack of three goes to Dodge City to find some answers. And here starts Kitty’s trouble.
Well she finds something, answers not really. She finds the place Rick had told her about that Wyatt Earp had destroyed but there is still a vampire living there. Earp had burned down the building but hadn’t killed all the vamps. The old vamp that hasn’t seen the moon in years dies as the three worked together. Kitty takes his Roman coin thinking it’s a clue and wants to have Rick look at it while Cormac picks up Wyatt Earp’s old steak which fit perfectly in his hand. A tool he can use now that he can’t handle guns. Poor Cormac, though the magic he uses from Amelia works just as well, but that gets into spoilers and I can’t do that. Let’s just say just because Cormac can’t use the weapon’s he’s use to doesn’t mean he doesn’t have another arsenal up his sleeve. As they are just about to leave the site two werewolves show up, yes trouble does seem to follow Kitty, and everyone does seem to think that they can push her around. Granted her sarcasm does get her into as much trouble as her being in the wrong place at times. They didn’t pound her; one of werewolves recognized her as Kitty Norville, because of her tongue no less, that didn’t make the one in charge happy. As she was invading another packs territory was told to yes “Get out of Dodge.” She didn’t like leaving the way she did considering she had found with a vamp but she didn’t want to fight another pack she had hers and one pack is enough. As the three head back to Denver Kitty gets a call from Anastasia, she needs Kitty’s help to stop Roman in San Francisco and she needs her there yesterday. But like all vamps Anastasia doesn’t give Kitty any information to go on just that she needs her help.
Kitty met Anastasia in Kitty’s House of Horrors, and they become allies, I can’t really say friends because sometimes you’re not sure if Kitty truly trusts Anastasia. They went through hell in House of Horrors but Anastasia doesn’t have a give and take like the other vamps Kitty considers friends, so allies but not fully friends. But when it comes to stopping Roman Kitty is willing to help any ally even if she doesn’t know all the details. This lands Kitty in trouble, and Kitty does talk to Rick before heading to San Francisco. He doesn’t recognize the golden Roman coin but he does tell her to be careful while she is out there and gives her a little insight into the pack and the master of San Francisco. As I’ve said trouble is Kitty middle name so it shouldn’t surprise you that after Kitty hits San Francisco we have not stop action and trouble. Well I take that back she has about four hours where she doesn’t get into trouble, but that’s about it. She’s supposed to stay low key and trust me Kitty always tries to stay low key no one lets her. Roman’s werewolves attack her and Ben, and when Cormac joins in to help. They get away from the trap after doing some damage to the three werewolves that attacked them. They walk around Chinatown searching for the place they’re supposed to meet up with Anastasia at and once they find her things get really interesting. She still doesn’t want to give out the information that is needed so the group can safely help her; the only person in the group that has any trust for Anastasia is Kitty. The new group of four goes on a treasure hunt for a magic gatekeeper (best way to describer Grace) who is whiny and very annoying. Just so you know. Once they find Grace who grips about what her family did centuries ago and it’s not her job she takes them to the underground tunnels which are more like a place that is another world. The object which Grace was supposed to protect has disappeared, which is the object of power that Roman is after and his Werewolves come to fight the group. Kitty sends the only human that can’t really protect herself off and the rest of the group fits the werewolves and they thankfully defeat them. However because Kitty had Grace run they don’t have a guide therefore they are lost in the tunnels. Trouble always follows her I tell you. Kitty is the first to find her way out by accident, and gets hurt in the process and meets an odd fellow. He helps her, but she doesn’t trust him when he leads her out to the street she sees Roman’s figure before he disappears. Then a new foe arrives or so she thinks, vampires and Ben in wolf form comes to her aid. The vamps are the Master Boss of San Francisco’s come to fetch the lot of them. Yes we meet the Boss of San Francisco and Kitty has so many questions and of course no one wants to answer those. But a few of the vamps know who she is by her sarcastic answers and her quest for knowledge. More the sarcasm, radio brings out the best in her. The Boss learns what he can and lets the group do what they came to do but he sends a solider with them. Henry gets taken by Roman, he’s the Boss’s solider, and we meet new beings that want to end the “long game” which is a chess game the vampires like to play. We learn Anastasia’s story and how old she truly is and what her part is in the long game and what she wants out of this mission.
The mission is put into place it has a few hitches when does anything go right, if it went the way it was supposed to Kitty wouldn’t get in trouble. And that is where I’m going to leave it for this review. Because I’m not going to give you an ending, I can’t that gives you a spoiler and I can’t do that. I will tell you that someone does die, someone always dies in a Kitty book, and I don’t just mean the evil people that you want to die. A good person dies in the book. Kitty does learn some interesting information that she didn’t know before. She had new contacts and new people to try and get stories out of, and she loves stories. So I hope you enjoyed this review I know it was long sorry for that but it was action packed and there was so much going on. I didn’t give away the spoilers though otherwise it could have been longer.
Something Deadly This Way Comes is the latest in Kim Harrison’s Madison Avery series. Now as you guys know Kim is one of my favorite authors and I do like this series but I do not think this was the best book in the series. It starts out a little slow and I did put it down, granted when it came out I was dealing with my father’s health issues so that could have a little to do with it but I finished two other books before going back and finishing this book. I’m glad I did though because Kim answered a lot of questions and we can imagine where the series might go from here.
So what we know besides that this is Kim Harrison’s young adult series. Madison’s story actually starts in the anthology Prom Night from Hell. This is where Madison dies and meets Barnabas for the first time. He’s her protector and a light reaper. Madison is the dark timekeeper, we know this from book one Once Dead, Twice Shy when Madison dies because the then current dark timekeeper wants to live forever. Madison takes his amulet so she is able to stay alive by keeping her soul without her body. The amulet makes it seem as though she has a body and it allows her to the job of a dark timekeeper.
What is a dark timekeeper you may ask? A dark timekeeper is the seraphs human bounty hunter more or less. The dark timekeeper sends out a dark reaper to server out fate to souls that are lost to the world before they are truly lost. There is also a light timekeeper that sends out light reapers to try and save the life of a person. The light reaper places a guardian angle on the person to protect it from dark reapers. These are stories about fate verse choice and what is the correct course of action. Madison has always believed in choice and she is the dark timekeeper who is supposed to dishes out a scything (killing) for fate. This has her wanting to change the way things in heaven are done and in book two, Early to Death, Early to Rise she tries to show the seraphs that the soul and life is important.
This brings us to book three, Something Deadly This Way Comes; Madison is still trying to change the way heaven does business, granted I haven’t given you a lot on the first two books, but in book three Madison gets into trouble in a big way. In Something Deadly This Way Comes Madison is starting to come into her abilities yet she still wants what she’s always wanted her body. So while Madison is trying to save a life and a soul she also pisses off the seraphs as she changes things. Madison has already changed Nakia, her dark reaper, and Barnabas her light reaper but she still has work to do and this is her toughest job yet. Why is this Madison’s toughest job? Because the seraphs put more pressure on Madison and they give her more insight. But they don’t give her any answers. We meet a new dark reaper, and a new light reaper that Madison may or may not help in later books. Grace, Madison’s guardian angel, makes an appearance and of course she has to create some poetry while she is around causing mischief as always to keep Madison out of trouble. Madison teams up with the future light timekeeper again on the down low so Ron the present light timekeeper doesn’t find out, which causes issues and gets Madison in trouble and could kill her is she’s not careful.
I can’t tell you more without giving away spoilers. But here are questions to think about… How does Madison piss off the seraphs that one you really have to read for yourself because she is a seventeen year old and believe me what teenager can’t piss off someone even a heavenly being? Does Madison finally find her body? Does it have anything to do with her powers and how she’s learning to use them? Do the seraphs have faith in Madison? Does Heaven want a change? Is there an ending that is sad? Now this is a question I can answer I did tear up while reading Something Deadly This Way Comes I can’t tell you why because it’s big and it is sad.
The Neon Graveyard by Vicki Pettersson is book six in the Zodic series. It’s also the last in the series, Pettersson is ready to move on but she didn’t leave her readers wanting as she closed out this chapter. The Neon Graveyard is filled with the information we’ve been dying to know, but I’m not going to give anything important away. This book closes the series the way I hoped the series would close and like all the other books in the series it is action packed. (I’ll hit the high points of those first.)
As we learned from book one The Scent of Shadows the heroine Joanna Archer is both light and shadow, she’s the daughter of Zoe Archer, who represented the Sagittarius sign for the Light Troop of the Zodiac. Zoe was one of the best Superhero’s of her day before she disappeared without a trace, not even the comic books could tell what had happened to her. As it turned out she used all her powers to hide her daughters scent so her father couldn’t find and kill her before she disappeared. After that it’s not until Joanna turns twenty-five that her powers and her world turn upside down and she gets thrown into a world she has never known. She knew the streets of Las Vegas we ugly but not like this. She is forced into a fate and position she’s not ready for and it puts the weight of the world on her shoulders. For Joanna is said to be the “Kairos” the first sign that change will come to the Zodiac, and everyone wants a piece of her. In book two The Taste of Night we learn that Joanna’s father, is the master of evil, the Tulpa himself, a creation from someone else mind who leads the Shadows or the Dark side of the Zodiac, he wants his daughter to either join him or die. Taste of Night is Joanna’s internal battle to come to terms with whom and what she is, especially since she fulfills the second sign that she is the “Kairos.” As she struggles with her changing world, her troop and herself she is also learning what her powers are and that she has both her mother’s powers and her father’s. Then we come to book three, The Touch of Twilight, where we find Joanna working more with her troop, but still getting into trouble as one of the Shadow agents try to take over her life and her doppelgänger shows up to eat her heart. As the mess unfolds Jo kinds she still loves her long lost love Ben but she is falling whether she wants to or not for Hunter, the Light Aries. While the third sign of the “Kairos” does come to pass and Jo does bring it, this book is all about the art of war and how women battle it. The fourth book in the series is City of Souls. Here Vicki takes Jo to a world were women are goddesses and Hunter’s ex is queen. Not only does Jo have to save her soul in this world but she has to save her skin in Vegas as well from her father. In two worlds she’s wanted. But to fix what she broke Jo is willing to lose her soul and find the answers that she needs. She does fix the girl and becomes mortal just as her mother did when she was a teen and for that Jo loses her troop and her life or at least the life she had. She becomes an outcast betrayed by her troop and asked to leave Vegas or they will hunter just like the Shadow does. This brings to pass the fourth sign of the “Kairos.” Cheat the Grave book five in the series has Jo weak and in a mortal state where she can die if something happens to her. On the positive side she can still touch and wield other Zodiac conduits that are not created just for her, which no one else has the ability to do. She’s still fighting her father, she’s fighting to save Hunter from Midheaven and she has turned gray. Jo does everything she can to stay away from a killer sent from Midheaven to murder her, she still does what she can to piss off the Tulpa and Warren just so they know she’s there. She makes friends with the outcast the grays and becomes part of that group which is a mix of both light and shadow.
Discovery Of Witches by Deborah Harkness
I really enjoyed the book, but I must warn you it is long. Granted I couldn’t put it down and it took me three or four days of doing nothing but reading. It has something like 47 Chapters and they are long chapters. But that’s not why I liked the book I liked Discovery of Witches because it has a different take on the whole witches, vampires, and demons. What I mean by that is that it takes a look at the different species like Darwin would have. It’s more scientific, than most and historical going into different scientific times when humans looked at the world differently and vampires, witches and demons weren’t feared as they are now. We also learn a lot or little or Matthew the leading male life and the different times and people he knew, some of them were great minds of the time. Diana is the female lead and she is a witch trying to hide who and what she is from herself and everyone one else and has been since she was seven.
Diana had a great loss then when her parents were murdered because of magic and she learns why during the book that their deaths where now by whom she though and for the reasons she though which turns her life upside down. Now only does this information have an effect on her but she learns other information that has her questioning her once simple life. As the book goes along there are choices both she and Matthew must make and they aren’t simple ones they will change the course history for all creatures and there are some creature that will do everything they can to stop them. Discovery of Witches is only book one it is a trilogy in a long bumpy ride for Diana and Matthew. But it’s a trilogy that should be one hell of a good ride, so if you like evolution, history, science, a good book, witches, vampires, demons and humans with some war thrown in you’ll love this.
Hard Bitten is the fourth installment in the Chicagoland Vampire Series; we take a slight turn in this book from the first three. I say this because in the first three Merit is learning to become a vamp. In book one she fights the fact that she’s a vamp and fights Ethan. In book two she’s coming to terms with the fact that she’s a vamp but she still doesn’t like it all that much. In book three she’s excepting the fact she’s a vamp and she’s learning all that she can as she has now fully become a vamp. She’s also excepting her role as Sentinel. However in all three books the storyline is mostly how Ethan and Merit work together to solve the issues at hand. Yes they have the help other secondary characters that we love but it’s mostly Ethan and Merit.
This is where Hard Bitten is different Merit has to step into her role as Sentinel, and leave Ethan at home. We see more of the secondary character which I think makes this novel a little more true to what life would be like for Merit. We get to the heart of what Merit has to do. So far she has played guard, this time she had to put the house above everything else and protect what she told by Ethan to protect The House. She has to go against orders to do so even. Now I can’t get into detail and I’m not going to give spoilers because I never do on here so if you want to know more about that you have to read the book, but I really did enjoy it.
I will warn you the ending is sad, and it did make me cry and miss my Flyboy. So make sure you have a box of Kleenex with you when you read it. There are some other things that happen at the end that make you wonder what’s going to happen next and I have my ideas, from tidbits from other books, but they are my thoughts and you guys know how my wicked mind works. I mean I have haunted houses in my stores. So give it a read I think you’ll like it but don’t go in expecting it to be some grand book it’s a good read, it made me cry but it is different from the first three. So if you want what we had been for yes you won’t be happy things are changing they have too. Merit is showing herself when she’s stressed and how she acts when she’s with her friends not when she’s with Ethan. People are different with different people; some readers don’t like that so be prepared. I never go in excepting to have an awesome book anymore with any author that way I’m pretty much always happy unless it’s really bad.
Hexbound is the second book in Chloe Neill’s Dark Elite series. The first book was Firespell. In Hexbound we meet up with Lily and the Adept’s as the face another dangerous plot that the Dark Elite have planned. This time however she gets some unlikely help from one of her enemies as Sebastian tries to teacher a little about the firespell that he has brought out in her from the first book.
As we learned in the first book Lily is worried and curious about what her parent have to do with the Adept’s and the Dark Elite and some of those questions get answered but we also alone with Lily are left with more questions.
This second book in the Dark Elite is more of a Lily learning about her new paranormal power of firespell and how to control it; it’s also her learning how she fits into the world of Adepts as it is and her role in the group. This time they have new leadership as the old couldn’t do what needed to be done to protect their people. Only the next book will tell if the new leadership can keep the Adepts safe, and if they can help Lily grow in her power and control it. Or if Sebastian is still needed.
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