Tag Archives: urban fantasy

The Brotherhood of the Wheel (#1) – Book Review

Published Date: May 1, 2016

Publishing Co.: Tor

Pages: 384

Goodreads Synopsis.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

She looked over the menu at her daughter. “How about this Ed Gein Bar-B-Que? That sounds good!”

“That name’s familiar,” Paul said. “I think he was a governor or something.”

A diner called Zodiac Lodge with entrees named after serial killers, may be a business venture that R.S. Belcher should look into. There are larger take-aways from this book but this may, perhaps, be my favorite.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, Belcher is the master of genre mash-ups. The Brotherhood of the Wheel comes off as a mix of horror, grimdark and urban fantasy. It’s a blend that worked together and in my humble opinion, an ample dosing of horror that should throw him the leagues of King and Koontz.

The United States transportation systems are the perfect hunting ground for all manners of killers. They provide access to victims, hiding places to commit their crimes and dumping grounds galore. Both evil humans and paranormal predators stalk these interstate super highways, leaving death and destruction in their wake.

Where there are horrors, there must also be heroes who lead the fight against evil. That is the purpose of the Brotherhood, a secret organization tasked with protecting the innocent. They are police, taxi drivers, truckers, bikers, etc. They come together from all walks of life to take down serial killers, rapists, and human traffickers.

Something ancient and hungry is working it’s way free into the world, turning children into mindless monsters and using human sacrifices to increase it’s power. It hides away in a hidden town, not on any map. The residents there are captive, they cannot leave to find help and the monster’s minions lurk about, prepared to make their lives a living hell for trying.

A renegade cop, biker, trucker, and a book worm are the only ones on this thing’s tail after looking into multiple missing teenager cases and it may just save all of humanity if they can take him down.

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Silence Fallen (Mercy Thompson #10) – Book Review

Published Date: March 7, 2017

Publishing Co.: Ace Books

Pages: 371

Goodreads Synopsis.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Several things happen at my house when I have a Mercy Thompson novel to read; dogs are taken out to do their business, the husband is shunned to the basement for video games, I shower and get into pajamas. Then it’s time to read undisturbed for as long as possible. Either it’s read in one sitting or two, this time it was two because I read until I couldn’t keep my eyes open any longer.

We enter on a fun pack video game night, Mercy’s game character has died so it’s time to bake some cookies. But alas, some of the most important ingredients are missing so she has to run up to the store. That’s when she’s abruptly kidnapped and carted off half way across the world by one of the world’s most dangerous players. Her bond to the pack has been cut off and she’s one her own with no one to back her up. She has no money and doesn’t speak the languages she hears.

The kidnapper is not being honest about why he took her and she’s been taught by Charles to escape at the first chance you have, so she uses her coyote wiles and does just that. She’s racing across Europe evading capture and searching for allies while Adam and friends race to meet this mysterious man and negotiate her release, not knowing that she’s already escaped his clutches.

Adam is barely keeping his wolf under control while he attempts to play nice with the monster that took his wife. Luckily, he’s brought along people that can help him be diplomatic when it’s the last thing on his mind. It’s going to take three werewolves, two vampires, and two goblins for cooler heads to prevail and rescue their favorite troublesome coyote.

In this case, besides the usual things I love about the series, I very much enjoyed the historical research and mythology of the Czech Republic. It’s not a history I’m familiar with so I really liked learning something new intertwined with everything else I enjoy about this world Briggs created.

Uncanny Collateral (Valkyrie Collections #1) – Book Review

Publishing Date: April 2, 2019

Publishing Co.: Self published (I believe)

Pages: 151

Goodreads Synopsis.

Rating: 4 out 5 stars

I received this ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Uncanny Collateral is a solid edition to a promising new Urban fantasy series that skips out on all the mundane details to bring you fast-paced action and entertaining characters.

I have already been seeing a lot of comparisons of this with the Dresden Files and I think that happens almost by default just because it’s urban fantasy and the main character is male instead of female. There may be some very small similarities but the glaring one is that this one contains a lead that is lacking that highly annoying ‘white knight syndrome’ that plagues the other series. That alone makes this story feel like a giant sigh of relief.

When someone sells their soul, a bargain is struck. Fame for your soul. Money for your soul. Love for your soul. Whatever the bargain, eventually you have to pay your part of the deal. Sometimes people try to weasel their way out of the deal and that’s where Alek comes in. He’s a reaper. He collects souls. He’s half troll, half human and a slave to a collection agency that bought him at birth. His only friend is the djinn trapped in the ring on his finger and his current case has Death himself as his client. Someone is stealing souls from Death, an imp war is brewing and somehow Alek finds himself in the middle of both.

I was pleasantly surprised by just how into this I was right from the beginning. Alek is an engaging character, in a well-built urban fantasy world that is action packed with an original story line. I could have easily sat and read this all in one sitting if it wasn’t for things like work and sleep getting in the way.

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.