Tag Archives: urban fantasy

Magic Binds (Kate Daniels #9) – Book Review

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Published Date: September 20, 2016

Publishing Co.: Ace

Pages: 328

Goodreads Synopsis.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Good man. Only two kinds of people drink their coffee black: cops and serial killers. Sit, sit.”

I wanted fun, adventurous and snarky to start the new year off right and as usual, a Kate Daniels novel always delivers.

The witch oracle is seeing visions of the future. A dark future that Kate is willing to do anything to stop. If she marries Curran, her father kills him. If she doesn’t marry Curran, her father kills their future son. Adding to her stress, her father is frequently poking their uneasy truce. Kidnapping people when they leave Atlanta, teaching Julie how to become a Herald and eventually a Warlord for Kate, making demands on the wedding, etc. The presence of war is a constant companion to Kate, all the while her best friend is about to give birth and Roman is constantly bugging her to pick things out for the wedding. Kate is a volcano of anxiety.

As the saying goes, desperate times call for desperate measures. Which means, doing some things that Curran won’t approve of and can’t know about because they’re so dangerous, he would definitely try to stop her. There are no lengths that Kate won’t go to to save his and their future son’s lives, and this means testing the magnitudes of her power while almost being consumed and controlled by it. She has to hang on to her humanity while fighting with every ounce of strength to stop her father.

As if that isn’t enough for one person to handle, there is also the personal truth that she wishes she didn’t have to kill her father, but when it comes down to him versus Curran, she’ll choose Curran every time. That doesn’t mean there isn’t a deep seeded sadness around the decision.

The emotional turmoil embedded with the happiness of the ones you love surrounding you and willing to come to your aid is real in this installation of the series. I can’t imagine the punch the last book in the series is going to have, while at the same time, I never want it to end.

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Best Books of 2018

Happy New Year friends and fellow book fiends! Each year I usually end up with a list of top reads only about 5 books long, 2018 brought a year of at least 10 to make the top so let’s get to it shall we?!

These are in no particular order because this girl can’t see fit to place any one of these above another:

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If I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a dozen times that Ilona Andrews is the way to go for Urban Fantasy. I was SO excited when I found out that this series would be longer than originally expected.

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A sub-genre of fantasy called flintlock fantasy, which I find that I like very much. Interesting world building and compelling characters.

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My favorite debut author of 2018. This was a side of fantasy you don’t see too often and the plot was riveting. How many times when the characters are stuck in one location do you start to become bored? Not here. It adds to the layer of desperation the characters are feeling and the political intrigue will make you forget that they never leave the city.

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My other favorite debut author of the year. I can’t push this book enough. Imagine cowboys but they ride hippos. Also, imagine an all inclusive cast of people you don’t see a lot of in any genre.

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This wins the award for DARKEST read of the year. If you’ve been hanging around this blog for awhile, you’ll know that I love dark. Not only is it darkest read of the year, it may just be darkest read YET.

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Historical fiction + pirates + kick ass heroine + paranormal = damn good time.

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My Kick Ass Sci-Fi Heroine of the Year award goes to Hail Bristol. Femme fatale queen of interplanetary war.

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My surprise favorite of the year. I expected to like it but not as much as I did. If lady scientist fighting against sexism while studying dragons doesn’t interest you than stay the fuck away from this book.

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Once a fan of the Red Rising universe, always a fan.

Did you read any of the books on this list? If so, what did you think? What books made your top list of the year?

 

Diamond Fire (Hidden Legacy #3.5) – Book Review

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Published Date: November 6, 2018

Publishing Co.: Avon Impulse

Pages: 160

Goodreads Synopsis.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

This was a fun little dip into the character Catalina. She’s become the to go-to person to make sure everything runs smoothly for Nevada and Rogan’s wedding. Unfortunately, this means being treated like a servant by Rogan’s crazy ass family. To top it off, someone has stolen Rogan’s mother’s antique tiara that she wants Nevada to wear at the wedding.

I loved this look into what Rogan’s family is like, especially his mother. I was surprised that Nevada was being such a bridezilla but that just added another layer of drama and fun.

Catalina proves that there’s no push overs in the Baylor family.

Wildfire (Hidden Legacy #3) – Book Review

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Published Date: July 25, 2017

Publishing Co.: Avon

Pages: 391

Goodreads Synopsis.

Rating: 5 out 5 stars

Grandma is coming to town.

Grandma is coming to town.

And she’s a mean ol’ bitch.

When we last left Nevada, she was considering forming a House in order to protect her family. This jumps right into the drama as they have a family meeting and decide how to move forward. The family’s biological, homicidal grandmother has found them and she’s demanding they join her house. Grandma is the last of the Tremaine line and she’s determined to force them to join her to save her own house. If there’s one thing you don’t do, it’s demand that anyone in the Baylor family do anything.

So with middle fingers firmly flipped in Grandma’s direction, they file to form their own house. At least two people must pass the trials and be determined as Primes, then they’re theoretically safe for three years while they form their power base. It’s the best plan to this particular problem.

But as is the life of Nevada Baylor, that’s only one problem. To add to the heaping platter that is the troubles of her life, she has fallen for Mad Rogan and his ex-fiance has hired her to find her missing husband. Oh, then there’s always the secret society that is trying to overthrow the current political climate of the Prime world to usher in complete anarchy. Let’s add to that, trying to keep her sisters growing powers under wraps and how to best explain to her cousin his peculiar magic. Add a dash of interest from other Houses for Nevada’s hand in marriage and you have Rogan fit to be tied.

The drama llama came to town and crapped all over Nevada’s life and it made for a fantastic, gripping read. I was so into it, I finished it in one sitting.

I have to note that when I reviewed book two, I mentioned that this was going to be the last installment in this series. I’m thrilled to announce (if you haven’t seen it yet already) that that is no longer the case. I don’t know how many are now planned but I’ll take everything I can get.

Burn for Me review

White Hot – Book Review

Early Christmas Book Haul

Mr. Cupcakes & Machetes isn’t very good at holding out when it comes to giving presents. To be fair though, he had me pick out the books so it’s not like I didn’t already know what I was getting. I’ll consider myself lucky that I don’t have to wait to dig into one of these bad boys if I so choose. Bookoutlet.com was having a 30% off sale on Black Friday and I was drooling in front of the screen so he kindly said, “Buy all the books!”

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Books I’m Thankful For

Well isn’t that a hard list to whittle down?! I’m jumping on the thankful for books bandwagon because really, can you thank books enough? I think not.

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I have accepted the fact that the only way I’m going to know how this story ends is via the tv show. I still have to thank GRRM though for getting me into epic fantasy. This one series has lead me to so many wonderful books that it would be supremely rude to ignore it just because I’m bitter that the next book still isn’t out.

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This isn’t the first Chuck Palahniuk book I read, but it is my favorite. The wonderful world of Palahniuk can’t be described, it can only be experienced.

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The first book in the series is not my favorite BUT this series is my absolute favorite Urban Fantasy world. This was also my introduction to the Ilona Andrews world and that is not something this girl regrets.

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From the start to finish, this is an excellent trilogy. It was also my introduction to Brandon Sanderson and he’s now on my Must Read Everything By This Author list.

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I am thankful for this book for it’s ability to be both wonderful fantasy and light, fluffy fun. The fact that it hardcore reminds me of World of Warcraft helps too.

Well that’s my list book fiends! What books are you most thankful for??

Three Things Tag!

Judas Priest, I have not felt like blogging lately. I sat down to do this last night and promptly decided, fuck that. My reading has been slow and I’ve had a damn hard time finding the supplies for my new hobby I’m trying to take up and it’s all making me incredibly grouchy.

Anywho, enough grouchin’. Onto this fun tag that Ignited Moth shared.

3 READ ONCE & LOVED AUTHORS:

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Patricia Briggs. This lady writes one of my favorite urban fantasies. The Mercy Thompson series. She also has a few other epic fantasy novels that I’m slowly working on. When I started the Mercy series, I read everything that had been released back to back, which something I never do with series.

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R.S. Belcher. I feel like this author is not very well known and he so very deserves to be. When I read The Six-Gun Tarot – Book Review, it knocked me on my ass. 

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Debut author Sarah Gailey really struck a chord with me when I read American Hippo. I just cannot wait to see what she comes up with next. (Although, I so very hope it is in the American Hippo world!)

3 TITLES I’VE WATCHED BUT HAVEN’T READ:

 

3 CHARACTERS YOU LOVE:

Prince Jorg Ancrath from the Broken Empire trilogy by Mark Lawrence. He’s the extreme anti-hero. The very best anti-hero I’ve read thus far.

Maude Stapleton from the Golgotha series by R.S. Belcher. She belongs to a secret order of female bad asses.

Darrow from the Red Rising series. He’s such a conflicted character. He makes a lot of mistakes but he learns from them. Great character growth.

3 BINGED SERIES:

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I don’t binge read series often, there is usually something in between every book but these three series are probably the closest I’ve come.

3 UNPOPULAR BOOKISH OPINIONS

  1. I’m going to steal Ignited Moth’s answer here. I’ve never understood people’s problems with prologues. To me, it’s just another chapter, on with the story!
  2. Don’t judge a book by it’s cover. I understand the reasoning, I really do. I’ve read some great books with horrible cover art BUT I still judged it hard before I read it.
  3. Erotica sucks.

3 CURRENT FAVORITE BOOKS COVERS:

3 GOALS FOR THE YEAR

Ooof, that took a turn to un-book related territory.

One, save enough money for our vacation in December to really enjoy ourselves and not have to worry about the bank account.

Two, get my hands on some pallets so I can start this damn woodworking project I’ve been dying to get into.

Three, start planning my goals for next year. It’s right around the corner!

Okay kids, this is where  you tag yourself to have a little fun and spread the tag love.

Kissing Sin (Riley Jenson Guardian #2) – Book Review

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Published Date: January 30, 2007

Publishing Co.: Dell

Pages: 390

Goodreads Synopsis.

Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

Well….uhm…huh.

Riley Jenson is a vampire werewolf hybrid. Such is rare but possible. She wakes up in a research facility but doesn’t remember entering or much about her time there. She escapes with the help of some horse shapeshifters. Then, has sex with one of them. Of course, the cock is the same ratio no matter in horse or human form. I think this is supposed to be sexy but I personally find it creepy.

For much of the book, Riley is running for her life but either she’s thinking about sex while running or having sex each time she stops. Then the bad guys catch up and she has to battle her way free, but don’t worry because she’ll still be thinking about the sex. I very much get that in this world sex is an integral part of werewolf life but how the fuck does she even have time for anything else? And quite frankly, I’m no prude but I was tired of reading about the fucking every couple of chapters or less. None of the sex scenes were really all that sexy. Minimal foreplay and then right to the action, done in minutes. If I’m going to read some erotic scenes, please make it worth my time.

There wasn’t much to make me connect with the main character, Riley. I much preferred all the male characters to her. The world building was different even for an urban fantasy novel, lots of attempted cross-breeding and strange scientific creations. There could be a lot to this world but it’s unfortunately filled with lame sex. The last third of the book was definitely the best. Lots of action and no time for sex. If more of the book would have kept that premise, I might consider continuing the series (especially since I have picked up several used copies of the installments over the years), but as it stands, I don’t care enough about the main character to continue the crusade within this world. The next book promises lots of unwanted sex with dangerous men while she’s undercover and if the sex was lame with guys she liked, I can only imagine the snooze fest that would be awaiting me if I decided to torture myself and pick up the next volume.

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The Book of the Unwinding – Book Review

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Publishing Date: June 26, 2018

Publishing Co.: 47North

Pages: 300

Goodreads Synopsis.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Witches of New Orleans #2

My review of the first book The King of Bones and Ashes.

I received this copy via the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Suffers from second book syndrome. It just doesn’t live up to the first but it’s not a bad read either. In fact, I’m certain I’ll still read book #3 when it comes out.

Four months after the events of book one, we’re given a view of how life has changed for our witches. Some for the better, others not so much and yet others still trying to find themselves in the aftermath.

The focus of the first half of the book is trying to free Alice from the Dreaming Road before she disappears forever. This was an incredibly slow build up with some things that really needed to be explained further. There’s some talk about a certain kind of destiny that isn’t fully examined. Perhaps it’s supposed to be self explanatory, but for someone not into ‘destiny’ talk, it leaves a decent size gap in the world building.

The second half of the book was kind of a cluster fuck of events. How did our new villain become a major player? One minute they were sterile and unable to do anything, the next they’re clearly here to fuck everyone’s shit up. How did this come to be? I’m still not sure. In some instances, the characters go into detailed flashbacks of past events, but current happenings are skipped over completely and almost left to the reader’s imagination of how they transpired.

Despite these complaints, I still love the characters. I’m still interested in what is going to happen to them and where all this drama will lead. Just please J.D. Horn, fill in some gaps for us.

 

Rosemary and Rue – Book Review

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October Daye, #1

Published Date: September 1, 2009

Publishing Co.: DAW

Pages: 368

Synopsis on Goodreads

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

I’ve come to find that the rule of thumb with all urban fantasy series is to try more than just the first book. I don’t think this one is going to be any different.

The October Daye series has been on my radar for a few years now. I was apprehensive for reasons I don’t remember but then I read a short story in an urban fantasy collection and decided it was time to give this one a try. I’m glad that I did. It didn’t knock me off my feet but I can see the potential.

Toby Daye was cursed by a fae while searching for missing persons. That curse turned her into a koi fish in some Japanese gardens. Time moves differently when you’re a fish that doesn’t necessarily always remember that it was once a changeling, half-fae, half-human. When the curse finally breaks, it’s fourteen years later. Her daughter is a teenager and neither her daughter or her lover wants anything to do with her. She rejects the fae community and lives a half-life, depressed and scraping by.

Then someone brutally murders one of the few friends that Toby has left in her life, that friend being full-blooded fae, who works a dying curse with her last breath. Toby must avenge her death or die herself. Nothing like the threat of death to kick start the will to live again. The quest reveals some ugly truths about other people Toby considered allies. Once again, her world is turned upside down.

I really enjoyed Toby’s character but had some issues with her choice in lovers. At the same time, I like a flawed character and I can see that growth is going to happen. I love that this series includes some fae types that you don’t read about in too many other series. I will be coming back for second helpings.

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