Tag Archives: urban fantasy

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.

tenor

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Bookstagram – Week 15

I’ve been slacking on updating this one. But then again, I’ve been reading slower as well. My bookstagram is not one with flowery photos of books. While those are fun and pretty to look at, I know as a reader that while I’m reading flowers are not spread next to the book with the perfect cup of tea and a pretty back drop. Not knocking the people who take the time to set that up though, I enjoy those photos as well. Just don’t expect that kind of effort from me. I’m lazy folks.

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“March is Women’s History month. I’m reading only female authors in celebration.”
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“Not sure it’s a ‘fair fight’ trying to continue this book..”
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“An author I can always turn to to distract me from life when it kicks me in the vagina.”
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“To get better; one part lots of sleep + 2 parts start new book.”
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“Dinner in the crockpot, book in the lap. “
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“This book is kind of just annoying me. There better be a damn good twist.”

Dead Heat – Book Review

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Published Date: March 3, 2015

Publishing Co.: ACE

Pages: 324

Synopsis link to Goodreads.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

If there is one author that can always distract me from life when I need it most, it’s Briggs. We recently lost one of our twin nieces the day she was born. It’s definitely not something that a person can describe but I can tell you just how thankful I was to have this book laying around the house this past weekend. It was a bit of sunshine on some very cloudy days.

This edition to the Alpha & Omega series was just timely for me. Charles and Anna vacation away to Arizona to spend some time together but also visit one of Charles’ few friends who is dying. Of course, there is some nasty fae causing havoc in the area, stealing children. Charles and Anna will abide no one hurting children. (See? Timely.)

Despite all of that, I can see how this isn’t the strongest edition to the series and may bore people who are not into horses. (The side story is that they are also there to buy Anna a horse and Charles friend breeds Arabians.) The author really pushes their horse knowledge into this book but I enjoy horses so I had zero issues with this.

Anna is also trying to convince Charles to have children. Werewolves cannot give birth so she’s working every possible angle around that to convince him that it would be okay. Charles has lots of reservations, as an old wolf with many enemies, he’s incredibly wary. I hope the author continues with this line in their story as I think it’s a different direction than some of her other novels and I would love to see where it goes.

Unclean Spirits – Book Review

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Published Date: Febraury 13, 2018

Publishing Co.: Abbadon Books

Pages: 320

Synopsis link to Goodreads.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

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

Demonic, murderous unicorns. Every god of every pantheon is real and banished to Earth. Despite living among humans, they still see themselves as better and play with human lives like toys. Mostly people don’t know it, but some sell their lives in order to save the ones they love from certain death. Like Cason Cole, his wife and son were stuck inside a burning vehicle after being hit by a drunk driver when time stopped itself and a being who was clearly not human offered to save them if Cason gave himself to a life of servitude.

Cason serves as bodyguard to the god for years, never getting to see his wife and child. Until one day, a bomb blows up the god and kills him permanently. Cason races to his family only for them to not know who he is. Meanwhile, the other gods are very angry. Humans should not be able to kill them. Cason must be found and punished, for they think he is the one who killed the god.

As they hunt Cason, he learns that there may have been a larger conspiracy against him. A conspiracy that took his family away. If one god can be killed, so can others. It’s just a trick of finding their weakness and then vengeance will be his.

An interesting concept. The writing outside of the dialogue could be tweaked a bit. Sometimes descriptions went on for too long or were repeated from a few chapters earlier. Otherwise it was a fast, different story.

White Hot – Book Review

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Published Date: May 30,2017

Publishing Co.: Avon

Pages: 389

Synopsis link to Goodreads.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

White hot is right. Nevada Baylor and Mad Rogan have a chemistry that burns your finger tips. Once again the two are backed into an explosive corner thanks to Prime politics. Someone is murdering Primes and Significants to keep secrets and brew a war between houses. Every lead ends with someone murdered and eventually Nevada and her family become the targets of a high paid hit. Their enemies learned a heavy lesson in their failed attempt to take out their biggest threats. One, never cock block someone who’s nickname is ‘the Scourge of Mexico’. Two, never attack the Baylor family on their home turf. They’ve got a lot of tricks up their sleeves and some heavy weaponry.

As if attempted murder, potential house war and falling in love aren’t all stressful enough, a powerful, previously unknown family member is moving in on the family. Nevada’s mother is willing to kill a Prime to keep Nevada and her sister’s identities a secret, she fears this person so much. To protect those she loves, Nevada may be forced to form her own House. A world she has little interest in, but affords protections for new houses for the first three years after they are formed. In order to form a House, she would have to reveal her sister’s burgeoning powers. One of them powers no other Prime has ever possessed. A power the military would love to obtain.

Nevada’s powers are growing as well. She’ll need them to throw down the gauntlet to protect those she loves. Mad Rogan included.

One of the major reasons I love Ilona Andrews novels is that it’s almost never the hero rescuing the damsel. All these ladies are strong and independent. Alphas. They don’t need a strong man to protect them, but if they want to stand alongside them and help, well that’s perfectly fine. The men might be tempted to try to tell them what to do, but the ladies shut it down. Either help her or stand aside, otherwise you’re just in her way and she’s got shit to take care of.

I was sad to learn that the next book in the series will be the last. With the Kate Daniels series coming to an end, Nevada and Rogan seemed like prime candidates to take on the helm of new, best loved Ilona Andrews series. I feel like there is so much to this world and characters that it could definitely expand past three books. But alas, I’ll just have to be grateful for what I’ve been given.

tenor

My review of the first Hidden Legacy novel: Burn For Me.

The King of Bones and Ashes – Book Review

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Published Date: January 23, 2018

Publishing Co.: 47North

Pages: 320

Synopsis link to Goodreads Here.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

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

First off, I would really like to thank the author and publishing company for accepting my ARC request despite having zero street cred on Netgalley. I tip my invisible top hat to thee.

The story surrounds three witches from different walks of life, watching as witches disappear and the elders fight to hang onto power. Alice has been locked away in an asylum for a number of years after witnessing her brother commit suicide. Evangeline runs a strip club and Lisette carries on her mother’s voodoo shop despite no longer carrying the faith herself. The witches in present day New Orleans are scrambling to retain their power, or any power really. Magic is slowly diminishing from the world and sometimes the only way to hang on to any power is to cut off parts of dead witches. Sometimes, witches don’t die quick enough and someone is getting creative.

The three protagonists bring together the various aspects of the story and together they may have to face the evil to save themselves and their families with power they didn’t realize they had.

This is mostly a family drama with some magic thrown in. I was surprised by how much I actually enjoyed myself. J.D. Horn writes very good characters, whether you love them or love to hate them. He also seems to have done an extensive amount of historical and occult research and that really added to the depth of the world building. It was an urban fantasy with a limited amount of the pop culture references that usually plague the genre.

The King of Bones and Ashes could almost stand on it’s own as the drama is wrapped up fairly well and there are only a couple unanswered questions remaining. However, I look forward to finding out where the next book takes our three magical ladies.

Kitty Goes to Washington – Book Review

Kitty Norville #2

3 out of 5 stars

Kitty Norville is a character that a lot of people seem to have a problem relating to, at least in the beginning of the series. To a point, it’s understandable. She’s a werewolf but not the bad ass she-wolf everyone is used to in virtually every urban fantasy werewolf story. She’s kind of a coward and rolls over easily. She’s jumpy like a cat instead of a fearsome predator. These attributes are actually why I keep reading. It’s a change from your usual she-kicks-all-the-ass-immediately-and-no-one-can-step-to-her urban fantasy trope.

This is the second book in the series and she’s slowly growing a little more backbone. She has been requested to speak in front of a committee in Washington D.C. on the behalf of vampires and werewolves. Creatures that were recently brought to public light. A scientist has been doing research on the virus’ that cause these different states of life and wants to continue to receive funding from the government to do so. As with all politics, there are others who hope to prove that vampires and werewolves should be exterminated. They are an affront to God. And yet others, who wish to use werewolves in the military as super soldiers.

Because Kitty is good at getting into trouble, she just might become a science experiment herself if she’s not careful.

Overall this series is okay. I keep reading because of the different type of heroine. The writing isn’t particularly strong but the action is interesting enough to see where this goes in the next installment of the series.

Home Improvement: Undead Edition – Book Review

3 out of 5 stars overall

I’m not a short story person, so I’m pretty proud of myself for reading this. It was nice having a book to just leave at work to read on my lunches and I found a couple new authors to look into.

If I Had a Hammer by Charlaine Harris
Sookie Stackhouse short story. Tara and JB are doing a little remodeling after their twins are born and release a negative spirit. Conveniently, their nanny is a psychic and helps to solve the mystery surrounding the spirit and how to get it to move on. 2.5/5 stars

Wizard Home Security by Victor Gischler
A wizard in a wizarding community has his house broken into and all his expensive spell materials stolen. This is the story of his funny failures at securing his place. (Example: a zombie bear sentry.) 3/5 stars
Continue reading Home Improvement: Undead Edition – Book Review

Fair Game – Book Review

Alpha & Omega #3

5 out of 5 stars

You see, the problem with Patricia Briggs and anything she writes in the Mercy Thompson world is that, it is so fucking good I don’t want to life. Work? Fuck it. Conversations notregarding these books? Fuck that. Sleep? Who fucking needs it. I have the next book in the series, and the temptation to pick it up immediately is practically irresistible. As I’m nearly caught up on both series, I have to convince myself to draw the books out more so that I’m getting my fix until the next installment comes.

People wonder about the obsession with werewolves, you wouldn’t wonder if you read about the wolves in these series. They make unmentionable, popular werewolves look like mother fucking chumps. It’s a testament to Briggs’ character building skills that I can say I love 90% of the wolves in either series. I think to myself, “Who is my favorite male werewolf?” and a minimum of 10 characters between the two series come to mind immediately. Picking one above the others is near impossible. Anna versus Mercy, who is better? I cannot pick. It’s a little like comparing fire and ice. They’re both awesome, strong females but each has an entirely different background and personality.

You can read the summary if you want to know the plot of this book, I’m just here to tell you to stop, shut up and read both these series.

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Midnight Riot – Book Review

3 out of 5 stars

Peter Grant is pretty damn chill for someone who just had their first conversation with a ghost and found out that there is a whole paranormal division of the police department. Is it an Englishmen thing? That seems to be the implication but I don’t know any Englishmen to ask.

It took me 14 days to finish this book. For a period of time, I kept telling myself that it was me, not the book. Life has been distracting and other things have been more important that sitting down and finishing a book. As much as it hurts me to say that, it’s true. However, eventually, I had to admit that it was partially the book’s fault as well. It feels much like a set-up to future installments. There isn’t anything necessarily wrong with it, it just failed to pull me back in for more. It was missing that riveting factor. At no point did I need to sit down and find out how the story was progressing.

A new cop, learning magic, while being thrown directly into the paranormal action obviously peaks ones interest and I’m sure I will continue with the series in the future. As of right now, I sit firmly on the “meh” fence. Many a great urban fantasy series begin with mediocre books so the potential is definitely there for something epic.