Tag Archives: urban fantasy

Xmas 2.0 Book Haul

New Year’s Eve was spent with our best friends, Ignited Moth and Mr. Moth at a mutual friend’s (from book club!) wedding. We had a nice dinner out, attended the party, celebrated midnight together and then promptly opened presents because we couldn’t wait until the morning. (That was followed by a Mario Kart tournament and us not going to bed until 4 am.) It was a fantastic way to bring in a new year and the Moths truly spoiled us.

Here’s my book/comic haul from the both of them:

I am so pumped about all of these and don’t know where to begin. I did start the new year with a different book from any of these for my first read of the year because I had been planning that for about a month but I’m sure that I’ll hit up one of these beauties next.

Clean Sweep (Innkeeper Chronicles #1) – Book Review

Published Date: December 2, 2013

Publishing Co.: NYLA

Pages: 225

Goodreads Synopsis.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Let’s flip the script and get a little weird.

Werewolves and vampires come from other planets.

Travel between planets is relatively easy. Therefore, aliens, werewolves, vampires, and all manner of creatures and humanoids can show up at anytime, anywhere, on any planet.

Dina Demille is an innkeeper on Earth. Inns are neutral territories. Innkeepers do their best to remain neutral so long as it doesn’t threaten their clientele. People come to them for sanctuary and protection.

Dina’s inn was once abandoned and almost decayed beyond repair. She’s been nurturing it back to health for awhile now but with only one resident, the process is slow going. With limited money coming in, she can’t provide it with all the materials it needs to rebuild itself. (The inns themselves are considered sentient by some. They have a symbiotic relationship with their keepers.) So, when trouble comes in the form of creatures killing neighborhood dogs, the local werewolf giving her attitude and warrior vampires showing up, demanding to be let in, Dina must decide whether to get involved. If she doesn’t, her inn may never earn a higher rating from the Council, which means more business, or she does and ruins the reputation herself. A bit of a catch 22. Piss off a faction of beings who can report her or have the secrecy of her inn exposed before she can make something substantial of the inn?

I enjoyed the hell out of this. It’s short, yet full of world building and action packed. I liked Dina and her little dog creature, Beast. I loved the concepts of the inns and the healthy helping of science fiction thrown in with magic. There is a possible love triangle beginning but even that cannot deter my enjoyment.

I’m super pumped to see where this series goes.

#SpooktasticReads : Nightwise (Nightwise #1) – Book Review

Published Date: August 18, 2015

Publishing Co.: Tor Books

Pages: 320

Goodreads synopsis.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

The banker was crucified on the wall of his Wall Street office, fountain pens rammed through both wrists, an Armani Jesus.”

Well hello there. You have my attention.

When that’s your opening sentence to the story, you just know you’re embarking on a dark and gritty ride.

Laytham Ballard was born a Wisdom, as his grandma called him. It ran in the family. She tried her best to instill the whole, “With great power comes great responsibility,” thing in him, but sometimes, life throws more at a little boy than he can handle. With lots of power swirling within him and a broken heart, Laytham lashed out on a level no normal parent has to deal with. He raised the dead and caused a slaughter.

That was only the beginning of his moral down slide. He spent his life hunting other people in the Life and building a legend of himself as the biggest bad ass in town. It doesn’t matter how dirty he has to fight to build that image, he’s sold half his soul already.

Even villains have their own strange loyalties, so when one of his only friends is dying, he makes a promise to avenge his wife’s brutal death. The one thing his friend was never able to do while living. But the target hasn’t been seen in nearly 11 years, and has some very big friends that Laytham will have to get past first. He’ll have to use every trick in his book to find him and then, will he even have the power to take him down?

It really hurts your pride when you doubt just how bad ass you are.

This is a dark urban fantasy with an anti-hero that you can’t trust but you also, can’t wait to see what he does next.

Blood Kissed (Lizzie Grace #1) – Book Review

Published Date: May9, 2017

Publishing Co.: ebook, no publisher listed

Pages: 330

Goodreads Synopsis.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

I was having a werewolf itch, so I perused some books that I already own and this was one of the options. It also had witches, another favorite of mine, so I sat down, ready for some good paranormal fun.

Lizzie and her witch familiar, Belle, moved and opened up shop on a werewolf reservation. Things are pretty quiet for a couple of months until Lizzie is asked to use some of her psychic ability to find a missing teenager. The quest leads to murder and the discovery of an extremely powerful villain. Lizzie helps the local werewolf Ranger (werewolf police) investigate and attempt to stop the bad guy before more people die.

Extreme lack of werewolf. Sure, the love interest is a werewolf, but the wolfiest he gets is sniffing the air and one howl, maybe two.

And Judas Priest, the amount of showers I had to read about Lizzie taking. I get it, you’re cleanly, let’s move on. Twice a day showers is a bit obnoxious and took up entirely too much of the story. If the showers were axed, there would have been more room for character development or world building.

I’ve read the first books to a couple of Keri Arthur series now and honestly, the main characters are all very similar. I feel mostly in appearance but in personality too. I have yet to be impressed with any of the series and this one is the same. It’s not bad but not something I’m likely to continue reading unless I’m bored and my options are limited.

Even White Trash Zombies Get the Blues (White Trash Zombie #2) -Book Review

Published Date: July 3, 2012

Publishing Co.: DAW

Pages: 312

Goodreads Synopsis.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Good thing I was a lying, untrustworthy bitch. ‘Cause there was no fucking way I was letting this shit go. Not as long as I was the one being slammed in the news. Both the zombie mafia and the rebel zombie alliance could suck my white trash undead ass.”

In her first life, before becoming a zombie, Angel Crawford was a loser. Now however, she’s working very hard at improving herself. After all, she could live a very long life provided she doesn’t run out of brains or get decapitated. She has a pretty steady relationship with a cop, her boss at the morgue enjoys teaching her and thinks she has great potential and her relationship with her dad is even improving bit by bit.

Then, a masked man forces his way into the morgue at gun point and steals a cadaver. She doesn’t resist….much because she knows there are cameras covering the entire property.

With luck much like her old life, the cameras haven’t been functioning for several days and so nothing is caught. The people who work directly with Angel believe her, but the higher ups that are running election campaigns have to lay the blame on someone since they have nothing to go on but Angel’s word. Her old life is brought to the forefront of the newspapers and she’s made to look like a drug addict who fell off the wagon and now some poor victim’s family doesn’t have a body to bury.

Even her boyfriend Marcus, thinks that she’s remembering things wrong or doesn’t know exactly what she saw. Thing is, she isn’t that junky bitch anymore and no one is going to treat her like it. If no one else knows what to do about it, she’ll figure it all out herself. She might be a high school dropout, but that was in a life that didn’t count.

Virtually on her own, a little help from friends here and there, she discovers that someone is experimenting on zombies. That someone convinced her old friend Ed to deliver zombie heads to them for research by fueling his hate of zombies he blamed for his parents death. But, it’s beginning to look like that person would like to have a ‘live’ zombie to experiment on and they know about Angel.

Scourged (Iron Druid Chronicles #9) – Book Review

Published Date: April 3, 2018

Publishing Co.: Del Rey

Pages: 268

Goodreads Synopsis.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

One of my favorite urban fantasy series of all time has come to an end. This was literally one of the books that sparked my interest in the genre and now that it’s over, it’s so very bittersweet. (Slomo said it best.)

After centuries of running, hiding, surviving and causing general chaos, Atticus O’Sullivan is facing Ragnarok. He caused it, so he must also try to prevent it from succeeding and destroying the earth. While he is fighting with the ‘good guys,’ he’s made many enemies there and the feeling that he won’t walk away from this battle even if they win, is riding his conscious.

While Atticus handles Ragnarok, Granuaile and Owen fight battles on other parts of the planet. Granuaile fights alongside the Monkey Kind in Taiwan, while Owen globe hops helping out where the planet needs it. He makes a super cute sloth friend in South America while convincing a vengeful nature goddess that destroying all humanity won’t save the earth.

Ragnarok was a very intense battle scene and I loved how everything played out. The multiple pantheons coming together to battle Loki and Hel was an exciting concept that worked beautifully. If there was ever a series that married various mythologies with such coherency, this was it and a large part of why I’ve loved it for years.

The ending was something that I really did not expect, which adds huge bonus points when you cannot predict something you’ve been involved with for a long time. I cannot honestly tell you if I’m sad or not about the way it ended. Maybe a mix of both. While it wasn’t what I was hoping/expected, it definitely fit.

This will remain a series that I highly recommend to people for the foreseeable future. Whether you’re looking to dip your toes into fantasy or specifically urban fantasy, or love mythology, or paranormal, or action and adventure, there is something here for everyone.

Besieged (Iron Druid Chronicles #8.5) – Book Review

Published Date: July 11, 2017

Publishing Co.: Del Rey

Pages: 235

Goodreads Synopsis.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Required reading before Scourged.

I’m always skeptical when something says it’s required reading before moving on with a series. (Also, it tends to annoy me. I don’t like when novellas become ‘required’.) In this case, it’s true. There are some relationship shake ups that you’ll have no clue about if you skip this.

Enough complaining about forced reading. (I know, I’m SO tortured. How dare someone force me to read.) This is a rather fun collection of short stories regardless. They are told from different perspectives. There is a story from Granuille and a couple from Owen, along with our MC Atticus.

Despite my bitching, I love when the short stories are about Atticus during times of historical significance and how he affected them. I think if I had to pick a favorite for this collection, it would be how he met Shakespeare and saved his life, Goddess at the Crossroads.

Slave to Sensation (Psy-Changeling #1) – Book Review

Published Date: September 5, 2006

Publishing Co.: Berkley Sensation

Pages: 334

Goodreads Synopsis.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

I read Singh’s first book in her Guild Hunter series years ago and really enjoyed it at the time. Rarely am I in the mood to read romance so when I found this at a used bookshop for $0.50, I thought I’d give the series a try.

There were aspects of this that I really enjoyed. The emotionless race of Psy and the network they linked their conscious to for information was a pretty fascinating premise and I could read about it for hours. I will always remain a sucker for shapeshifters so combining the two races and the hierarchy of the world they live in was another reason I should love this series. I even enjoyed the burgeoning relationship between the two main characters, and many of the side characters as well.

BUT, the gratuitous sex scenes just interrupted the more interesting parts of the story. I wouldn’t have minded that in and of itself but I didn’t particularly like the sex. I think a lot of it had to due with the naivety of the female MC. I guess I like a female that knows what she wants and has no problem demanding it of a man.

Unfortunately, after taking a peak at the summary of the next book, this is one of those series that each book focuses on a new couple and that just isn’t something I dig. Once I get committed to characters, I like to stick with them. If the series continued with the characters we were introduced to in this series, I would at least give the second book a shot, but since it doesn’t, I don’t think I’ll be continuing.

The Final Days of Magic (Witches of New Orleans #3) – Book Review

Published Date: June 18, 2019

Publishing Co.: 47North

Pages: 340

Goodreads Synopsis.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

The King of Bones and Ashes review.

The Book of the Unwinding review.

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

The Final Days of Magic was the most solid installment in the trilogy, which is a good way to end a story. In my reviews of the previous books, I complained that the author appeared to skip important parts or explanations and it left the feeling of an incomplete story. I’m happy to report that seems to have been cleared up in this addition.

Our three witches, Alice, Evangeline and Lisette have for the most part, gone their separate ways again. Each trying to both heal but prepare for whatever the world throws at them next. They don’t have to wait long until they’re tested by the dark force that wants back into their realm.

This time the action felt much more fleshed out and kept me entertained. There were definitely some dark moments for some of the characters that provided a more emotional connection. However, the deaths of a couple of characters felt a little rushed and we were not given proper time to mourn them.

Overall, this series was entertaining and provided a great atmosphere with interesting characters. It’s hard not to love a story set in New Orleans with witches, but I’ve seen it fail before. The author clearly spent a lot of time researching history, the occult and magic and it really paid off.

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.