Dec 31, 2009

Review--Demon Bound


Thirteen years ago, Jack Winter lay dying in a graveyard. Jack called upon a demon and traded his soul for his life...and now the demon is back to collect its due. But Jack has finally found something to live for. Her name is Pete Caldecott--and because of her, Jack's not going to Hell without a fight.

Pete doesn't know about Jack's bargain, but she does know that something bigger and far more dangerous than Jack's demon is growing in the Black.Old gods are stirring and spirits are rising--and Jack doesn't stand a chance of stopping them without Pete's help...

The second in the Black London series, Demon Bound, was a bit more entertaining than the first, Street Magic. Although having read the first made Demon Bound make more sense.

While the novel is told in third person it seems to come from Jack's perspective a bit more, and we get to see into his head in a way. I think this is why I found the book more entertaining for some reason. Jack is a very interesting character, he has many flaws, but he is working to remedy some of them with Pete's help. Jack is a fun character overall and he is in a deep load of sh*t when the demon returns to remind him his time is almost up.

He tries to keep this a secret from Pete because he doesn't want her to hurt for any reason, he has strong feelings for her--which might have been obvious in Street Magic, but it's been so long I cannot remember. He cares for her, but he can't bring himself to be completely honest which drives a wedge between them that Pete can sense, she knows there is something wrong and it drives her crazy that Jack won't share with her.

When they are assigned a simple exorcism case, things start to go wary, as the demon interrupts Jack to present a proposition for him that Jack willingly takes if it means he has a chance to save his soul. The terms were not clearly stated as such, but Jack is a crafty man and already the wheels are turning as he figures a way out of his bargain. Better yet, he is sent off to find a man that has managed to slip beneath his demon's grasp and the demon wants him back.

Jack flies to another country on a mission to find this man, only he hits several brick walls and people he thought he could trust turn out to be the opposite.

The ending leaves you wondering what is going to happen next, I will admit I got a little lost as to why this "thing" is happening or where it suddenly came from, but it is big. Lots of unexpected surprises turn up in the last few chapters. speaking of which, after Chapter 35, the numbers go haywire it was really weird. Seems like the copy editor slipped up because there are some major jumping around. I was afraid I was missing some pages, but the page numbers are all there in consecutive order, so don't worry about the chapter numbers, the novel still makes sense.

The characters are very interesting in this series because other than Jack and Pete--short for Petunia, you never know who you can trust, who's bad and who's good. Which makes the book slightly more entertaining in my opinion. Jack is still my favorite character for he is nowhere near perfect or 100% decent, but he still has a good heart for want of trying.

The relationship developing between him and Pete was also nice, it was a slow sweet start. Pete is trying to fight her emotions and not fall for Jack even though she cares and Jack is hopelessly in love with her, but cannot bring himself to open up about his deal with the demon, so it puts a wedge between them, as I mentioned.

Those weren't too spoiler worthy comments, so no fears. Pretty much done now. Some things that still left me confused was Pete's role, the Weir? I can't remember Street Magic and I know that's where it probably came up, but oh well. I'll post it on my list once I find out.

Hope everyone has a great New Year's Eve, for however you celebrate. Be safe! :)

Dec 30, 2009

Review--My Soul to Save


When Kaylee Cavanaugh screams, someone dies.

So when teen pop star Eden croaks onstage and Kaylee doesn't wail, she knows something is dead wrong. She can't cry for someone who has no soul.

The last thing Kaylee needs right now is to be skipping school, breaking her dad's ironclad curfew and putting her too-hot-to-be-real boyfriend's loyalty to the test. But starry-eyed teens are trading their souls: a flickering lifetime of fame and fortune in exchange for eternity in the Netherworld--a consequence they can't possibly understand.

Kaylee can't let that happen, even if trying to save their souls means putting her own at risk...

Had a set back in my reading schedule when My Soul to Save came out, so everything got pushed back by 1 book, not that it took me long to read it. But the second installment of Rachel Vincent's latest YA series was one that could not wait. And boy was it good!

It feels like forever since I read My Soul to Take, but for Kaylee it's only been a few weeks and a lot has happened to her since. Her father has decided he is actually going to be a father again after his long absence--which never really made sense to me in the first place. Kaylee is both happy about this and a little annoyed, for her father treats her like she is 6 and not 16.

For a 16 year old Kaylee has gone through a lot and continues to do so, since learning she is a bean sidhe--banshee--her life has become somewhat difficult, but she doesn't complain that much, since her boyfriend Nash, is still by her side and his mother, also a bean sidhe, is helping her learn about her heritage and talents, powers, etc. Which comes in hand when it is Tod who comes to ask for a big favor from Kaylee.

When the pop star Eden dies on stage during a performance, he fears that the opening act, Addison Page, is next. Addy was once Tod's girlfriend back when he was still human and alive. But there is a meaning behind Eden's death and he knows that Addy will likely go out in the same way in a matter of days. If that sounds complicated, then you will be surprised that even more happens by the end of the second chapter.

In order to save Addy, Tod tells Kaylee that she is going to have to travel to the Netherworld, a dangerous place for anyone, let alone a female bean sidhe. There are dangerous creatures, beings, and other things in this place that wish to do harm to anyone who enters who does not belong, so Kaylee has really gotten in way over her head to save the soul of another teen pop star. Sometimes people will pay anything for fame and fortune, even their soul. Which just goes to show you, always read the fine print in the contracts....and keep a copy for yourself. ;)

*That wasn't too spoiler worthy, and once you read the book, you'll understand, but then again it is a general concept for signing a contract with anyone*

I absolutely love Vincent's writing! Her YA series is as superb as her adult series, which is one of my all time favorites! Her writing is fresh and fun in this series and even with the mix of Irish lore with the bean sidhe legend, there is no confusing vocabulary or concepts. She creates this world so it can be understood simply and yet it still has the nice mystical feeling to it. The Netherworld she creates is equally intriguing for it mirrors our own world but yet there are telltale differences that she enhances with colorful settings. Even though the colors are gray--but that is not the point, the Netherworld isn't going to be all sunshine and rainbows. The name itself can tell you that.

*chuckles* The name reminds me of the Neetherworld--at least that's my guess to the spelling--the supernatural world from the cartoon Beetlejuice. Ah, the 90's...

This is a very intriguing series that I highly recommend, tired of sparkly vampires and werewolves? Then go for bean sidhes! This is really an awesome series.

The characters are well rounded and are intriguing, although I was slightly disappointed not to see more of Emma--Kaylee's best friend, she was there a little bit, but her and Kaylee's friendship from My Soul to Take touched my heart. They are really close and Emma can be very entertaining for she is a little more daring than Kaylee, but the two of them together allows you to see what true friendship is like.

Kaylee and Nash are still at those beginning stages of their relationship and it is sweet. While Nash may seem a little overbearing at times, he has a good heart and does everything he can to protect Kaylee, but there are times she still worries his old reputation may come back to the forefront.

The others, like her dad and Nash's mom, and Tod are also entertaining as well. The parents are decent parents, and Tod is...Tod. We see a lot more of him since it is request that Kaylee helps Addison and we get to see a different side to him because of this. Luckily Sophie, who is built up to be a spoiled brat and sort of a b*tch wasn't around too much, nor was her dad. From My Soul to Take, Vincent really developed Sophie's character well, because you pretty much hate her from the beginning, although there is some sympathy allowed for her at the end of My Soul to Take.

There are a slew of other developments I would love to talk about but they start turning towards spoilers, let's just say a lot more happens then you would think and the ending is SHOCKING! Read My Soul to Save today, you won't be disappointed and it was a relatively quick read for me.

Looking forward to the third installment My Soul to Keep coming June 1 2010, where according to a minuscule blurb at the end of My Soul to Save: Kaylee only thinks she's done fighting evil. What will she do when a Netherworld element infiltrates her high school?

Dec 29, 2009

Review--Three Days to Dead


When Evangeline Stone wakes up naked and bruised on a cold slab in the morgue--in a stranger's body, with no memory of who she is and how she got there--her troubles are only just beginning. Before that night she and the two other members of her Triad were star bounty hunters, mercilessly cleansing the city of the murderous creatures living in the shadows, from vampires to shape-shifters to trolls. Then something terrible happened that not only cost all three of them their lives but also convinced the city's other Hunters that Evy was a traitor--and she can't even remember what it was.

Now she's a fugitive, piecing together her memory, trying to deal some serious justice--and discovering that she has only three days to solve her own murder before the reincarnation spell wears off. Because in three days Evy will die again--but this time there's no second chance...

I happened to win this book in a contest not too long ago, prior to I had been considering getting it when I had the time. Problem was solved. And it was a fabulous read. I thoroughly enjoyed it and was able to conquer the 400+ book in about a day. Really it took the span of two days but counting the hours out it was less than 12 really. Just a matter of personal opinion I guess.

Anyway onto my review of Three Days to Dead. Once again I find myself reading a book that is the debut of a new series by a debut writer and am introduced to more than just vampires. In fact vampires aren't even that much of a central character role, I mean they do, but not a constant character, more of a sub-character. Basically Evy is a Hunter and her friend Wyatt was the one in charge of her Triad before the accident.

A lot has happened and Evy cannot remember it, to top it off she's in another body who was once a person too, someone with a life--a life with her own dark secrets. People from her life are still around and when they see her, thinking she was dead, heads roll! It gets complicated to explain without giving away spoilers, but Meding writes it smoothly.

As a debut author, Meding brings you into a world that already exists but we humans remain blissfully unaware of the creatures that stalk the night--aren't we always? But really, the story was good, because since Evy cannot remember the events leading to her death, she does not know who she can trust. Other than Wyatt, he was one of the last people she remembered seeing before she died and her instinct says to trust him. But even Wyatt is keeping secrets from her.

With only 72 hours to solve her murder, Evy has to work hard and fast, but that can be hard when whoever wanted her dead in the first place is still out there. Within the time limit Evy begins to remember some of the events leading to her death, some memories including a particular someone.....and then later on she remembers even more.

Teaming up with a few unlikely allies and trying to get fellow Hunters from other Triads to believe she's innocent for crimes she did not commit, are only the beginning of Evy's challenges. She will have a lot more to overcome, pain and grief and the return of some unwanted memories from the moments when she was still alive up until her death.

When she and Wyatt finally discover the truth it will leave them both shocked to their cores. Will they both be able to survive the next few hours when they finally reach the conclusion or will death reach Evy again? --Going for a dramatic effect here-- ;)

But seriously? This was an awesome book, there are so many more creatures involved, much like my last read, but it is told differently, in this series the majority of the supes are bad guys so they cannot be trusted. There are quite a few surprises and shocks throughout the book that it left me gripping the edges and wanting to read as fast as I could.

Three Days to Dead is a gripping novel that is fast paced and does not lag whatsoever. The plot is great and fully developed. Characters, both main and secondary and even the lesser ones were well developed and colorful. No one was cliched or fake feeling. I am really looking forward to the second novel in the series As Lie the Dead coming July 27 2010.

Dec 28, 2009

Review--Tempest Rising


During her nightly, clandestine swim in the freezing winter ocean, a grisly find leads Jane to startling revelations about her heritage; she is only half-human.

Now, Jane must enter a world filled with supernatural creatures that are terrifying, beautiful, and deadly--all of which perfectly describer her new "friend," Ryu, a gorgeous and powerful vampire.

It is a world where nothing can be taken for granted: a dog can heal with a lick; spirits bag your groceries; and whatever you do, never--ever--rub a genie's lamp.

Started this book on a whim, was thrown off by the cover when I first saw it because it was cartoon-y and I haven't really seen covers like this. I thought it was a kid's book or possible anime. But then I actually read the BOC, stumbled across a name drop by another author and became vastly intrigued. I started it before the holidays and just finished it this morning. It was very entertaining!

Nicole Peeler's debut Tempest Rising has absolutely everything in it. You aren't just getting the vampire boyfriend, but a whole slew of entities that many people probably did not know about. I knew of most of them since I am considered a geek, I guess--to me I'm just normal. ;)

There were selkies, succubus, shapeshifters, gnomes and oh-so much more! it was amazing. The supernatural creatures have their own society living in secret among humans. It was quite fascinating.

Peeler grabs you attention with the first chapter as that is where the action the BOC describes takes place and she reels you in with an unknown secret that drives you mad! At least it did for me, I was wanting to know!! I discovered said secret today when I was around the halfway mark, could have been a little past it too.

Jane is the absolute perfect character, she is simple Jane in the beginning--this has to do with her secret and why she does not fit in with the small town she calls home. There are monstrous secrets going on in little Rockbill. And there is still Jane's family secrets regarding her mother who left her as a child, some of it gets explained but there is a tiny door left open that more problems or secrets may come about from this tidbit.

Jane is introduced into the supernatural community fairly early in the book and takes most of it with stride. There are still plenty of surprises along the way to greet her. Such as a talking dog. That there has many-many surprises in itself.

Her romance with Ryu was sweet almost as it was her first relationship in awhile being an outcast in her own town. They had some pretty intense scenes together but they were not overly graphic either, which to me is a plus.

With a fascinating cast of characters, many of different species is enough to leave the reader gasping, but the plot was decently developed as well. It may have dragged in some areas, but it was mostly due to Jane being introduced to the new community. Those parts derailed her from the current problem that was the central focus.

Ms. Peeler has done her research well for all the species of supernatural dudes she has in her book and it was done superbly. I am anticipating the release of her next novel, Tracking the Tempest, coming July 1 2010. To quote Indigo from The Princess Bride, "I hate waiting".

Dec 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas! Merry Christmas!

Dec 23, 2009

Review--Dead and Kicking

Sadie Novak cleans up crime scenes for a living, and often finds herself face to face with the dead. Blessed--or cursed--with the gift of second sight, she can't seem to finish a job without being visited by an earthbound spirit.

Sadie's going through a rough time. When her dad passes away, she's left to juggle her widowed mother, her lying boyfriend, Zack, her struggling business--and the fact that her father's spirit is reluctant to move on. Now, on top of all that, Zack's former flame hires Sadie to dig out the home of her hoarder mother...and that's when things get messy.

Sadie finds some unexpected things in the cluttered house--including the seventeen-year-old mummified remains of an infant, along with a very angry ghost who seems determined to keep Sadie away. Then, aided by a team of her fellow psychics, she unearths something even more terrifying: a host of secrets that someone will kill to keep buried.

Another book down! Only 7 to go on my TBR list and 3 are supposed to be gifts that I hope I get on Friday and another I still have to wait for it to be released. I'm making good timing and it's only been 2 weeks of break with 2 more weeks to go. Although some of my other obligations for my break have been slacking.

On to the review. I just discovered the Ghost Duster Mystery series last year when I asked for the books for Christmas then and it has been a long wait to read this next installment which did not disappoint! The sneak peek that was in the back of Devil May Ride was pretty much the beginning with some minor add-ons. Sadly no sneak peek in Dead and Kicking. Oh well. Whenever I come across the info I'll post it in my 2010 reading list.

Anyway the plot was very engaging and well paced. There were a string of subplots and some of them tied into the main storyline and others did not, but they were still entertaining. Sadie has a very interesting job working as a trauma scene cleaner and being able to see the victims of those who had died, as long as it wasn't a suicide case.

As the BOC describes Sadie is having a rough time and I could really feel sympathetic for this character despite it being fictional, I tend to get wrapped up in these books, or any of my books that I enjoy reading. Right of the bat, Sadie is beginning to have relationship troubles with Zack and the problems run deep when she follows him on the sly to an ex-girlfriend's house, that is when the trouble really begins for Sadie and Zack take on a job at the ex-girlfriend's mother's house who is a hoarder. There are piles and boxes of junk and other items in the house, including, as the BOC says the remains of a mummified baby.

There are a string of deadly secrets in this book and everyone has one. Including the people Sadie loves most. Worst of all, while Sadie is trying to work the case she begins receiving death threats and she has not a clue as to who they are from or why.

I really didn't see the ending coming, like I said there are a string of secrets and Ms. Roberts does a wonderful job at writing the suspense and intrigue into her mystery series. I am personally not so great at the mystery writing, best to leave that to the professionals like Roberts and I'll stick to vampires and werewolves. ;)

Roberts' writing is very good--it sounds simple, but I find myself at a loss for better words. Roberts does not write in overly confusing ways like we see from traditional and older mysteries. Since I just took a Detective Fiction class this fall, I read a lot of mysteries and sometimes they were hard to follow because the language was different. Think older mysteries, like Sherlock Holmes and a string of others. So reading Roberts' mysteries was a nice refresh from the congested 19-20th century writing. Please note that I am not bashing this earlier writing style, I just do not prefer it all the time, I do occasionally find a story or novel that I like, but it's hard going, although I will admit I did read a few stories that were quite interesting and they were from the earlier time period.

The Ghost Dusters Mystery series is one that should not be passed over. There is always a nice central focused mystery, with some ghosts thrown into the mix and they are not all Casper-like. Plus there is intrigue and bits of romance thrown here and there from different people.

Sadie is a fully developed character and real, you can really feel her pain and emotions when it came to her wondering of Zack's faithfulness, because as it turns out he was hiding more than one secret from her....

Oh yeah, this was a really GREAT read!

I hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday. I am likely to return Christmas day just to say 'hi", but my next review won't likely be up until next week sometime. Hopefully early.

Dec 22, 2009

Review--Flesh Circus


When circus performers start dying grotesquely, Jill Kismet has to find out why, or the entire city will become a carnival of horror. She also has to play the resident hellbreed power against the Crique to keep them in line, and find out why ordinary people are needing exorcisms. And then there's the murdered voodoo practitioners, and the zombies.

Jill Kismet is about to find out that some games are played for keeps...

Just finished the latest Jill Kismet book, Flesh Circus, and was mildly entertained. I have to say when it comes to Saintcrow's adult writing I get a little confused with some of her vocabulary and after four books into the series you would think I could remember what these words are without the use of the glossary, but I'm not.

Other than being confused with her particular vocab, I still find myself enjoying the book. There is always so much going on that there is never a dull moment.

Jill's interactions with the other characters are very interesting, especially Saul. Saul returns this time after visiting with his family from the last book and comes back somewhat different. Even Jill notices that change in the way he holds himself. It seems there is a distance growing between them. Which Saintcrow writes very well. Of course, I thought some of the things a little obvious when it came to their arguments. Which may sound confusing, but I don't want to spoil things, so I once again turn to be being vague.

The mystery elements were also good, if sometimes a bit confusing, again there are a string of names that I cannot recall and when she hates talking to character A, I cannot remember why, because it might have come up in the previous books which I have not read since their releases. Perhaps if I had read all these books in a row back to back, I would not be so confused at times. Of course I have been feel rather tired lately and sometimes found myself drifting off while reading.

Please note that the book did NOT put me to sleep, I really was tired. I have not been sleeping to good lately and it's supposed to be my winter break, go figure.

Overall the book was still very interesting and I am looking forward to the next one, Heaven's Spite. Overall I would give the book about a 4/5 just so it is clear that I did not hate the book, the vocabulary always throws me through a loop when I read Saintcrow's adult books, but I still enjoy them. :)

Contest Alert--with Rachel VIncent

OMG just checked my email this morning and saw Rachel Vincent's newsletter had arrived and she's holding a contest to win the first two books in her Soul Screamers series! I loved the first one, as you can see by my review here. Can't wait to read the second one. Rachel is going to give away a signed set and you have a chance to win them here.

Good luck and hurry, contest ends tomorrow at 11:59pm (Central).

Dec 21, 2009

Review--Betrayals (Strange Angel Spoilers)

No more little miss nice girl.

The Real World is a frightening place. Just ask sixteen-year-old orphan Dru Anderson, a tough girl who has taken on her fair share of bad guys. She's armed, dangerous, and not going down without a fight. So it's gonna take her a while to figure out who she can trust...

Poor Dru. Her parents are long gone. Her best (okay, only) friend Graves has been bitten by a werewulf. And she just learned that the blood flowing through her veins isn't entirely human. Now Dru's strange and handsome savior, Christophe, has her hidden away at a secret Schola for djamphir and wulfen teens. Trouble is, she's the only girl in the place. The really bad news? Dru's killer instinct says that one of her schoolmates wants her dead.

With all eyes on her, discovering a traitor within the Order could mean lot more that social suicide...

Just finished Lili St. Crow's latest in her debut YA series that released just earlier this year. I adored this book just as much as the first. There is just so much action going on, so many secrets about Dru's family that she never knew, that it really keeps my interest. I forget at times that Dru is sixteen because she is dealing with so many difficulties that even an adult would feel like giving up, but Dru never gives up.

Plus there is a lot of tension between her and these two guys, her only friend Graves, whom she met in Strange Angels is her constant companion through her travels since the death of her father. She has come to lean heavily against him, needing to know that she is not alone. But of course then there is Christophe, a guy with a whole string of secrets, many that she learns in this book. One that possibly connects him to her mother.

I find myself at an impasse as to who I would like to see Dru be with, Graves is great because he is always there, but Christophe has the whole mysterious thing going on, and you can tell that he cares for Dru even though he just met her in Strange Angels. Unless that itself might have been a lie.....that is in no way a spoiler! I am merely speculating!

Anyway the title, Betrayals definitely fits the bill for this book because there is a traitor in the midst. There are so many suspects that I couldn't even come to a conclusion. I had one guess, but the events made me retract it. There is still one other person I thought might be it, but even now I wonder.

Much like in Strange Angels the ending leaves you desperately craving for more and there is even more left unsaid, just as we saw in the first book. So many secrets get built up and not all of them are settled. We have some characters returning from Strange Angels and a string of new ones. All of which are well rounded and colorful.

As was said on the BOC Dru is put into a school of all boys and something doesn't feel right about that, because since she learned of her mother's heritage and of her own, she should be training, not taking remedial classes. There is definitely something inkling going on at the school and Graves is so happy being surrounded by more of his kind. Dru just doesn't know what to do or who to trust.

Betrayals was very exciting since there is a traitor among Dru and her cohorts. The fact that the book ends with another massive cliffhanger is going to make the wait for Jealousy in July next year that much longer. I guess I should be somewhat happy that I read this book a month later, because now my wait is just one month shorter.

St. Crow writes in a very different way as a YA author compared to her adult books. Her adult books have the futuristic quality to them in some ways, and yet her YA books have more of the current setting and time to them. Neither is a bad thing, I like the change and I like her first form of writing--I just want to acknowledge their differences.

Very much looking forward to Jealousy on July 29!

Next up is Lili's adult book Flesh Circus!

Dec 17, 2009

Review--Magic in the Shadows

"Using magic wasn't as easy as the actors made it look in the movies. Every time you use magic, it uses you back. Sure, you could magic yourself a photographic memory for the big test, for that big interview, for that big stock market job. And all it cost you was a nice case of liver failure. Or the memory of your lover's name."

Magic is Allison Beckstrom's blessing and curse. As a Hound, she uses her gifts to track down practitioners who abuse their power, and then stops them from inflicting harm on unsuspecting innocents. Unfortunately her spells have taken a toll on her, physically marking her and erasing her memories--including those of the man she supposedly loves.

But lost memories aren't the only things preying on Allie's thoughts. Her late father, the prominent businessman--and sorcerer--Daniel Beckstrom, has somehow channeled himself into her mind. With the help of the Authority, a secret organization of magic users, she hopes to gain control over her own abilities--and find a way to deal with her father...

I actually surprised myself by finishing Devon Monk's latest Magic in the Shadows, in the Magic series, at least that's what I think the series' title is. Of course my reading will be slow going from here on out, for I have to work tomorrow and I have a busy weekend ahead of me and then I'm back to working more hours at my pt job. But I will still be reading when I can and veging out for the next 3 weeks of my break, watching movies, hanging with family and friends...

Okay onto the review. This was a stunning novel! I read Magic in the Blood awhile back this year, so my memory is a little fuzzy on the details, but some of the events were recapped in this book. Much like Allie's problems. As we found out in Magic in the Blood Allie was suffering some memory loss which is still a bit of a problem in Magic in the Shadows, but she is getting better at it. She may never regain some of the memories she lost, but she can definitely make new ones with Zayvion Jones, the man she supposedly loves. Even with her memory fuzziness she cannot deny that their is definite heat between them. But Zay is taking things slow with her, much to her disappointment.

Allie's love problems are not the only thing that trouble her. Her dead father has taken some sort of residence inside her head and it seems when moments are really tense and Allie's fear begins to override her, her father can take over and even speak through her. That definitely presents problems when she speaks to his late wife, Violet.

There is still the problem of having monster-like creatures somehow getting into her city and it's up to Allie and the rest of the magic users to try to put an end to them before humans begin to notice things they should not.

Throw in several surprises, such as an ex, a young man who dresses like a Goth, something else and Allie is beginning to wish she could take a vacation--at least that is my guess, she never says anything of the kind. But if I were here, I would definitely need a vacation, one with Zayvion too!

Monk writes extremely well. You don't get lost at all when reading about this world that is in fact our own, just a hidden part where magic occurs and exists. There is no complication in the language even when it comes to the magic bit, which can be difficult to write so the reader can understand.

I love this series, it's very enjoyable. Allie is sassy and says whatever she is thinking, like most characters I tend to like, even if what she is thinking isn't meant to be said in public.

With a stream of well-rounded characters and an incredible setting and a fan-tab-u-lous action filled, gripping plot, this book has everything! This is a must read for the urban fantasy fan, for it fits the bill wonderfully. An urban setting in the city in the northwest and deals with magic users, what more could you want??

Look for Magic on the Storm coming May 4 2010!

Dec 16, 2009

Review--Bite Marks

Jaz Parks here. But I'm not alone. I'm hearing voices in my head--and they're not mine. The problem, or maybe the solution, is work. And the job's a stinker this time--killing gnomes that are threatening to topple NASA'a Australian-based space complex. Yeah, I know. Vayl and I should still be able to kick this one in our sleep. Except that Hell has thrown up a demon named Kyphas to knock us offtrack. And damn is she indestructible!

Another book done! Yup this birthday girl spent her morning reading a book! I mean what else would a bibliophile do? ;)

The latest in the Jaz Park series was thrilling as are all Jennifer Rardin's books. They are so adventurous, you get to travel to so many different places and never have to leave home! Yeah, yeah, it sounds cliche, but it is true.

This time Jaz and her crew went to Australia to stop gnomes, and not the garden variety kind, from causing massive destruction. But as always, that is only the tip of the iceberg. There are many surprises in this book that will leave you gasping and not all of them are friendly. Jaz is hearing voices in her head, and not the usual kind, one in particular is an unwanted voice that has somehow gotten inside of her mind. No matter how hard she tries she cannot seem to get rid of it while it rides passenger inside of her, but it is fighting for total control of her as well. This makes things difficult for her and her team because they cannot be sure when to trust her. Although, that is not as major as a problem as I am making it seem, but it does come across Jaz's thoughts.

Plus Cassandra has a major problem that could cost her her very life and Jaz must do what she can to protect the woman who is like a sister to her. Cassandra has revealing news that she has been keeping secret, two secrets in fact. Both which are shocking...not necessarily in a good way for both.

Jaz is finally getting use to being in a fully committed relationship with Vayl, but the voice in her head is trying to mess it up which presents minor problems in their budding relationship. She also still has the problem of getting Cole to fall out of love with her, even though he says he's working on it, she doesn't know if he is trying really hard.

There are quite a few surprises as I said in this book, but I don't want to divulge into too many. One involves Cole and I cannot figure out if it is really real! Ah! So annoying. But not all surprises are good as a nasty one hits Jaz towards the end of the novel that sends her world off course.

Rardin does excellent research! In every book the crew goes somewhere foreign and Rardin writes about these places wonderfully through the use of her research. I met her once a few years ago, and I don't think she always gets to travel to these places, but I think that she has done some traveling. Although do not quote me on that for I really cannot remember. Either way she does a terrific job in making me think I was in Australia for this book. I just got back to the US today! Oh my, how corny I sound! Hey it's my birthday, give me break! ;)

I may not start another book until tomorrow, so you can except a review possibly Friday sometime before I have to go to work. Next up is Monk's Magic in the Shadows.

Bitten in Two is up next for the series, but I don't know the release date yet.


Dec 15, 2009

Review--Bound to Shadows

In the darkness, demons come out to play...and someone must bring their sins to light.

Part vampire, part werewolf, Riley Jenson knows what can happen when vamps don't play well with others. But she's never seen anything like this: a series of brutal murders surrounding the latest hot spot for the vampire-human hookups--and the victims aren't just killed, they're beheaded. Now Riley is launching into action, toying with a seductive--and highly suspicious--club owner, and finding herself in the middle of another mystery: women being killed one by one, without a trace of violence.

For RIley, solving multiple cases--in a world going mad with human and vampire passions--would have been tough enough. Instead she has two jealous lovers on her hands: Kye Murphy, the amber-eyed werewolf who makes Riley's wolf howl--and Quinn, the coll, elegant vamp who has over a thousand years' experience at fulfilling women's desires. While she's busy juggling these two sexy beasts, Riley's detective work takes a stunningly violent turn. Finding a murderer is now a matter of life and death. Especially since the killer has long since found her...

Yup, I finished another book. I may not get to the next one as soon since I have to work today and tomorrow is my birthday so my next post may not be until Thursday, but I might have one up tomorrow.

This is the second to last book in the Riley Jenson series and it was really shocking! In Deadly Desire, Riley had just found her wolf soul-mate and he has returned as the BOC said. Riley tries her best to fight the attraction between them, as does Kye, but it proves useless. Neither of them can fight the heat between them. Kye wants to possess Riley, and not in a real loving way, so Riley isn't too pleased with him on that front. Her soul-mate suddenly appearing just as she was getting things to work with Quinn present a dire problem for her, but that is only the beginning of Riley's problems.

There are murders afoot. Both vampire and human women and they are somehow connected as Riley discovers. Aren't they always? To top it off Kye, the hired hitman is somehow involved as well. Again, how is that really surprising? While I may sound a little sarcastic, I am being completely honest and have absolutely zero sarcasm in my voice as I type. Keri Arthur ties these things together beautifully. The cases were entirely different in the beginning and around the middle they get tied together. Which is something that can be seen ahead of time, if you think to look for it and think of how writers work their subplots into the main plot, hence my reason for asking is this really surprising? ;)

Riley not only has 2 lovers to deal with but a club owner who is very seductive and has his sights set on Riley. You would think all this attention from so many men, including Kade, who still likes to flirt with her on the job, would be a werewolf's dream, but it really is not for Riley. She wants to be committed to Quinn, but Kye presents a major problem in this want.

Arthur's characters are all well-developed. Seeing them is amazing and how their interactions with one another and Riley are amazingly real. Sal and Riley's constant snaps at each other are quite amusing and we even get to see a different side to Sal in this book, if only for a slight moment.

Risa, Dia's daughter is definitely her mother's daughter as she is slowly beginning to obtain her powers. Which ties into the plot towards the end of the book, some facts that may or may not be spoiler worthy so I shall end on that note here.

There are at least 2 MAJOR events that occur in this book that I cannot divulge in for they are spoilers. One is big and surprising and the other is more shocking and I cannot wait to see how Riley is in the last book after the events of this one. The first one is just as shocking and major and it will be good to see this in the last book as well, but the second and most major one in my opinion occurs at the very end, so no skipping ahead if you want to be surprised. Then again the other event gets summed up in the last sentence of the book as well, but it is mentioned on a few occasions throughout the book as well.

I cannot believe Riley's books are almost over. I remember finding the first one just a few years ago when it was in hardback. I loved the idea of a hybrid creature, I'm a big fan of Underworld too. I can only hope that things end happily for Riley since she has had a rough time these eight books. Until next time readers.

Contest Alert

There is a contest over at Dark Faerie Tales to win an awesome Firespell package that includes an ARC of the book! Head on over today to enter!

Check back later today and I should I have my review of Bound to Shadows up! I'm a on a role and it's only been 1 day!

Dec 14, 2009

Review--Grave Secret

"While Tolliver slept, I wondered if it was possible that Cameron might still be alive...At first, I'd thought she'd been abducted by a gang, sold into slavery, something lurid and horrible. Then I'd wondered if maybe she's simply been fed up with her life: the tawdry parents and the tacky trailer, the sister who limped and looked abstracted, the baby sisters who never seem to stay clean. Most days, though I was sure she was dead."

Lightning-struck sleuth Harper Connelly and her stepbrother Tolliver take a break from looking for the dead to visit the two little girls they both think of as sisters. But, as always happens when travel to Texas, memories of their horrible childhood surface...

To make matters worse, Tolliver learns from his older brother that their father is out of jail and trying to reestablish contact with other family members. Tolliver wants nothing to do with the man--but he may not have a choice in the matter.

Soon, family secrets ensnare them both, as Harper finally discovers what happened to her missing sister, Cameron, so many years before.

And what she finds out will change her world forever...

I'm back! Winter break has started so for the next four weeks I will be catching up on my reading! Yea! Very excited.

I just finished what may be the last Harper Connelly book this morning and it was awesome! I was so blown away by all the events that happened. Not only does Harper get involved in another mystery that leaves many questions, but she finally discovers what happened to Cameron and I was blown away!

After all the years she was searching for her sister while traveling the country she never could find her and in the last 2 chapters all is revealed about what happened. There was a reason to why Cameron disappeared and it gets tied in to the current mystery wonderfully! I love how Charlaine Harris did this, it was the perfect tie-in!

I don't want to divulge too much as always because by saying one thing I lead to a spoiler on another. Needless to say a woman hires Harper because she is curious to the death of her grandfather who died awhile ago. But Harper ends up revealing more than just the death of the grandfather in the little cemetery that she was taken to and this is where the mysteries begin in some aspect. More is revealed about the family than they all realized.

Grave Secret is the perfect title for this book because there are lots of secrets to unravel and be revealed by the end. And it all was done very nicely. Harris writes her Harper Connelly series just as wonderfully as her Southern Vampire Novels aka the Sookie series to some, the inspiration behind True Blood. Still need to get that second season...

Harris really develops the relationship between Harper and Tolliver well. Every time they present themselves to others, they are always shocked to hear that they are stepbrother and sister being together as a couple. The shock and somewhat revulsion of these people is real. But really they are not blood related at all, so their relationship is not as horrid as others think.

I am sad to see this series end so shortly, but I knew it was coming from having met Charlaine a few years ago when she came close to my home. The series ends rather nicely, it has an air of finality about it, so you know that the story is done. Harper can finally rest easy now that she knows what happened to her sister.

Overall a terrific ending to a terrific series. It was all very engaging and entertaining with a few chuckles here and there and lots of tension with the characters interacting with one another. Especially the interactions with Matthew, the druggie dad who comes back to make amends, but even he has another agenda that ties back to the mystery that I cannot speak of that relates to the family that hired Harper.

Needless to say that there are a lot of things that I cannot talk about. But when Harper goes to grave of the grandfather to see how he died, she does the same for a nearby tombstone which is when the chaos explodes open and the past is revealed. Deception and secrets long kept are revealed and they lead Harper on a race across the city with several close calls to her life and the lives of those around her.

Dec 3, 2009

Contest Alert--at Fantastic Book Reviews

I borrowed the image from Fantastic Book Review to tell you about the contest that is over at Fantastic Book Review. It's a really easy and simple contest telling which books that were released in 2009 you would like to have. I believe it is referring to YA, because the prize will be to win those 3 YA books that you asked for.

Head on over to Fantastic Book Review for all the details. Contest ends on December 17 2009.

Dec 1, 2009

Two Weeks

I am sad to say that I won't have any reviews up any time soon. I am still reading Grave Sight, got 4 Chapters in, but now has come the time where I must put my books aside and start to study for finals. I only have 2 tests, but one requires a lot of studying--identifying art slides and all and the other is just a pain because the tests are really hard.

So suffice to say I won't be able to read my books for awhile. I am very sadden by this. Because I am a reader and I love my books. So I won't be able to read again until December 10. I will begin my reading then and hopefully the reviews will be flowing. Some books that are on my TBR list are going to be gifts so those will have to wait. I think I only asked for 3, so that can be done easily after Xmas.

So this is my goodbye for now. I will be reading by next week and should have a review up sometime at the beginning of the following week; December 14-ish.