Thursday, 25 August 2011

TBR Thursday

Although I've not been reading as much as usual it's not stopped me adding to my forever expanding list. 
First up is Switched by Amanda Hocking. I actually added this some time ago but it has a new cover and I love it. I adore the colour more than anything.

Switched - the first book in the Trylle Trilogy...

When Wendy Everly was six-years-old, her mother was convinced she was a monster and tried to kill her. It isn't until eleven years later that Wendy discovers her mother might have been right.

With the help of Finn Holmes, Wendy finds herself in a world she never knew existed - a world both beautiful and frightening, and Wendy's not sure she wants to be a part of it.

Next up is The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater. I've added this because I've fallen in love with the story but I've experienced Maggie Stiefvater before. I really, really struggled with Shiver. In fact I've not even finished it. I started reading in January and finally abandoned it at some point in July. However, it has not put me off reading the aurthor's book, well it had before I read the synopsis for this story :)

It happens at the start of every November: the Scorpio Races. Riders attempt to keep hold of their water horses long enough to make it to the finish line. Some riders live. Others die.

At age nineteen, Sean Kendrick is the returning champion. He is a young man of few words, and if he has any fears, he keeps them buried deep, where no one else can see them.

Puck Connolly is different. She never meant to ride in the Scorpio Races. But fate hasn’t given her much of a chance. So she enters the competition — the first girl ever to do so. She is in no way prepared for what is going to happen.

So not as many as last week, or even the week before but considering the amount (or lack of) I've read these past few weeks it's not surprising 

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Review: Kiss of Snow (Psy-Changeling #10) by Nalini Singh

Since the moment of her defection from the PsyNet and into the SnowDancer wolf pack, Sienna Lauren has had one weakness. Hawke. Alpha and dangerous, he compels her to madness. 
Hawke is used to walking alone, having lost the woman who would've been his mate long ago. But Sienna fascinates the primal heart of him, even as he tells himself she is far too young to handle the wild fury of the wolf.  Then Sienna changes the rules and suddenly, there is no more distance, only the most intimate of battles between two people who were never meant to meet. Yet as they strip away each other's secrets in a storm of raw emotion, they must also ready themselves for a far more vicious fight… 
A deadly enemy is out to destroy SnowDancer, striking at everything they hold dear, but it is Sienna's darkest secret that may yet savage the pack that is her home…and the alpha who is its heartbeat…

It feels like I've waited for this book for so long. I adore this series. Nalini singh is the author I use to judge all other paranormal romance by. In fact she has spoiled me. I was introduced to this series at the start of my foray into PNR/Urban Fantasy by a friend and it set the standard. Sometimes I wish I'd read Christen Feehan first, because at least then I wouldn't have something good to compare it too. No one can beat Nalini Singh. No one. Hers are the only books I don't ever roll my eyes too (okay admittedly maybe once during the first book!). They are the only books I've come across that have great romance coupled with an interesting and kiss ass plot. No other series/book combines the two quite as well, no where near as well.

Hawke's story is one that has been slowly burning away in the background from book one (Slave to Sensation), and one I've been desperate to read. I'd read excerpts/quotes on Singh's website and on Goodreads and they only whetted my appetite. I wasn't disappointed. It was everything I'd hoped for and more. Hawke and Sienna's history being what it is, every look and interaction was filled with sexual tension, and both of them were at breaking point.

The second romance between the pack healer, Lara and, Walker Sienna's uncle, was an added bonus but I do wish they had their own book. I think they deserved that. There was also the birth of Sascha and Lucas's baby which was lovely, and I enjoyed seeing the Changelings reaction to this.

There are still a lot of questions that need to be answered surrounding the Psy, and to be honest I was far more interested in the Changelings this time round. I really need to reread the book again (maybe slightly slower this time :) ) to enable me to take more information in.

A fantastic read. 

Rating: 6/6 - It Was Amazing

Thursday, 11 August 2011

TBR Thursday

The first book that's going on my TBR list this week is Dragon Bound. I saw this on All Things Urban Fantasy and was like 'oooooh hot guy and dragons! I like' Reading the blurb (from Goodreads) made me hesitate but I'm going to try it anyway. I'm usually hit and miss with PNR but fingers crossed.

Half-human and half-wyr, Pia Giovanni spent her life keeping a low profile among the wyrkind and avoiding the continuing conflict between them and their dark Fae enemies. But after being blackmailed into stealing a coin from the hoard of a dragon, Pia finds herself targeted by one of the most powerful-and passionate-of the Elder races.

Next up is Alpha Instinct by Katie Reus. It's not out yet, and with a 2012 release it's a long wait. Alpha Instinct is the first book in the Moon Shifter series. I love a good werewolf series (I haven't found anything to knock Mercy Thompson off the top spot though). I found this book on Book Chick City's wishlist. Okay so the blurb isn't the best, hardly tells us anything, but I like the cover, even if other people dislike the 'girl with tattoo' cliché that Urban Fantasy covers are known for (although this title is classed as PNR, it sure does look lie UF).

The series all feature a pack of shifters battling a radical hate group intent on destroying all paranormal beings.

Alpha, Connor Armstrong, will do anything to protect his intended mate and newly founded pack. Unfortunately when he offers protection things don’t go quite as planned. His new mate is as stubborn as she is sexy and getting her to submit proves almost impossible.

Another book from Book Chick City is Avenger's Angel, book 1 of Heather Killough-Walden's The Lost Angels series. The cover is really pretty, and the review by Carolyn is very good indeed. With November 2011 release I'm still going to have to be patient. 

The first in Heather Killough-Walden's fantastic new paranormal series, the Lost Angels, features Uriel, the Angel of Vengeance Four thousand years ago, four archangels were cast down to Earth in human form. God's favourites, they came to find their mates, the other half of their souls made only for them, without whom they will ever be complete. Uriel, Gabriel, Azrael and Michael, however, were not alone. They were followed by another, determined to find the archesses for himself, and whose power cannot be underestimated. But after centuries of fruitless searching, the archangels -- and their enemy -- have all but given up hope. Until one day beautiful and gifted Eleanore Granger crosses paths with Uriel, the Angel of Vengeance. And as a storm rages, outside forces conspire together, initiating an age old battle of good versus evil to win the first archess.

That's 3 PNR books I've added to my TBR list so I think it's time I go look for some Urban Fantasy :)

Monday, 8 August 2011

Review: Magic Slays (Kate Daniels #5) by Ilona Andrews

Plagued by a war between magic and technology, Atlanta has never been so deadly. Good thing Kate Daniels is on the job. 
Kate Daniels may have quit the Order of Merciful Aid, but she’s still knee-deep in paranormal problems. Or she would be if she could get someone to hire her. Starting her own business has been more challenging than she thought it would be—now that the Order is disparaging her good name, and many potential clients are afraid of getting on the bad side of the Beast Lord, who just happens to be Kate’s mate. 
So when Atlanta’s premier Master of the Dead calls to ask for help with a vampire on the loose, Kate leaps at the chance of some paying work. Turns out this is not an isolated incident, and Kate needs to get to the bottom of it—fast, or the city and everyone dear to her might pay the ultimate price.

I re-read the first 4 books in the Kate Daniels series in January (for the 3rd time). Mistakenly thinking this was due out the beginning of February. I was wrong and I was only slightly annoyed that I had to wait another few months (yeah this review is kinda old).

I love this series. I love Kate and Curran, and I love Ilona Andrews. Although I didn't get ecstatic over the scenes from Curran's pov, I did enjoy them.

Magic Slays was released on the same day as Kiss of Snow, the 10th Psy-Changling book, and another favourite series of mine. I ended up reading Kiss of Snow first because I've been impatiently waiting for that one for what felt like ages, but that's neither here nor there regarding my preference.

The one thing about this series I'd forgotten about was the humour. In those short months I forgot how funny these books were. As with the other books, Magic Slay had me laughing out loud. I love Kate's and Curran's relationship and how they bounce off each other. The one thing that jumped out at me though was how violent they can be together when Kate is super angry. They get very physical and sometimes it's hard to read.

As usual the story felt very visual. I love the world building of this series, and Andrew's ability to put you in her world so easily.

A great read, and if you haven't started this series yet, what are you waiting for?

Rating: 6/6 - It Was Amazing

Saturday, 6 August 2011

I got the tells...

I'm a little late with this but hey, what's new :)

I've just read an excerpt of Stacia Kane's next book, Sacrificial Magic here. Sacrificial Magic is the 4th book in the Downside Ghost series and it is one of my favourites. I'm kinda desperate to see what the cover is going to look like.

While we're reading excerpts, I've finally read the first 3 chapters of One Grave at a Time (Night Huntress #6) by Jeaniene Frost. I love Cat and Bones. Read them here

Both of these have me very excited!

Review: Grave Witch (Alex Craft #1) by Kalayna Price

As a grave witch, Alex Craft can speak to the dead-she's even on good terms with Death himself. As a consultant for the police, she's seen a lot of dark magic, but nothing has prepared her for her latest case. When she's raising a "shade" involved in a high profile murder, it attacks her, and then someone makes an attempt on her life. Someone really doesn't want her to know what the dead have to say, and she'll have to work with mysterious homicide detective Falin Andrews to figure out why.

I saw this book a while ago on a book blog or Goodreads, I forget which and I managed to picked it up a few weeks ago. It was the cover that caught my eye originally but the story also sounded really interesting so I didn't wait too long before starting it.

Alex is a grave witch. She can raise and speak to the dead but she goes near blind afterwards. I really liked that using her grave sight had a price -I not sure why I like the fact that she became vulnerable, but I did. She isn't stupid and that is a big plus for me. There’s nothing I dislike more than an annoyingly stupid heroine (coughMacfromDarkfevercough). Okay she rushes ahead sometimes and that can get her into trouble, but you can see why she couldn't wait around so it's easy to let that go.

Death (a sole collector only Alex seems to be able to see), and Falin (a police detective) are the two love interests and I liked them both. I felt that Death could have played a bigger part in the whole scheme of things than he did but because there was a lot more of Falin, it was him I felt I 'knew' better so was rooting for him throughout.

It was very easy to get into and the writing was really good. Alex is a rounded character and very likable. Death was cool but Falin was sexy.

I couldn't put it down. I really, really enjoyed it.

A great start to a promising series.

Rating: 5/6 - Really liked it

Thursday, 4 August 2011

TBR Thursday

I first heard of The Demon Lover by Juliet Dark on Book Chick City's On My Wishlist. It was the cover that caught my attention, I love covers like this. I have quite a few on both my list and pile already.

I gasped . . . or tried to. My mouth opened, but I couldn’t draw breath. . . . His lips, pearly wet, parted and he blew into my mouth. My lungs expanded beneath his weight. When I exhaled he sucked in my breath and his weight turned from cold marble into warm living flesh.

Since accepting a teaching position at remote Fairwick College in upstate New York, Callie McFay has experienced the same disturbingly erotic dream every night: A mist enters her bedroom, then takes the shape of a virile, seductive stranger who proceeds to ravish her in the most toe-curling, wholly satisfying ways possible. Perhaps these dreams are the result of writing her bestselling book, 
The Sex Lives of Demon Lovers. After all, Callie’s lifelong passion is the intersection of lurid fairy tales and Gothic literature—which is why she finds herself at Fairwick’s renowned folklore department, living in a once-stately Victorian house that, at first sight, seemed to call her name.
But Callie soon realizes that her dreams are alarmingly real. She has a demon lover—an incubus—and he will seduce her, pleasure her, and eventually suck the very life from her. Then Callie makes another startling discovery: He’s not the only mythical creature in Fairwick. As the tenured witches of the college and the resident fairies in the surrounding woods prepare to cast out the incubus, Callie must accomplish something infinitely more difficult—banishing this demon lover from her heart.

Hunger by Jackie Kessler was added but I can't remember where I came across it. It's not even something I'd normally read but it looks interesting. I like the cover; dark is good :)

"Thou art the Black Rider. Go thee out unto the world."
Lisabeth Lewis has a black steed, a set of scales, and a new job: she’s been appointed Famine. How will an anorexic seventeen-year-old girl from the suburbs fare as one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse?
     Traveling the world on her steed gives Lisa freedom from her troubles at home—her constant battle with hunger, and her struggle to hide it from the people who care about her. But being Famine forces her to go places where hunger is a painful part of everyday life, and to face the horrifying effects of her phenomenal power. Can Lisa find a way to harness that power—and the courage to fight her own inner demons?
     A wildly original approach to the issue of eating disorders, Hunger is about the struggle to find balance in a world of extremes, and uses fantastic tropes to explore a difficult topic that touches the lives of many teens.

Next to be added to my ever increasing TBR list is Night Veil. I first saw it over at Urban Fantasy Investigations. It was the whiteness of the cover that caught my eye (it's looking like I'm a sucka for a good cover). I added it to my list then realised that it was the second book in a series so of course I had to then add Night Myst also.

Blurb for Night Myst: Eons ago, vampires tried to turn the Dark Fae in order to harness their magic, only to create a demonic enemy more powerful than they imagined. Now Myst, the Vampiric Fae Queen of the Indigo Court, has enough power to begin a long prophesied supernatural war. And Cicely Waters, a witch who can control the wind, may be the only one who can stop her-and save her beloved Fae prince from the Queen's enslavement.

Hush by Nancy Bush is next up. It's a little different from the usual books I read, especially from the books I've been reading lately, but again, it was the dark cover caught my eye.

In the summer before their senior year, Coby Rendell and her friends take a beach trip together. Around a campfire on a foggy June night, Coby, Rhiannon, Yvette and the others share their darkest secrets, before a tragic accident shatters the bond between them...Twelve years later Coby attends a birthday party reunion that ends in horror when Yvette's sister's lifeless body is discovered in a hot tub. Soon others in the original group of tale-tellers begin meeting similar fates-unfortunate 'accidents' shrinking their numbers one by one...Conflicted by her growing feelings for Danner Lockwood, the investigating detective, Coby races to unravel a mystery buried in the past. But someone is watching her every move - someone prepared to kill again and again to protect a shocking truth.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Review: Hunted By The Others (H&W Investigations #1) by Jess Haines

Shiarra Waynest's detective work was dangerous enough when her client base was strictly mortal. But ailing finances have forced her to accept a lucrative case that could save her firm - if it doesn't kill her first. Shiarra has signed on to work for a high-level mage to recover an ancient artifact owned by one of New York's most powerful vampires. As soon as Shiarra meets sexy, mesmerizing vamp Alec Royce, she knows her assignment is even more complicated than she thought. With a clandestine anti-Other group trying to recruit her, and magi being eliminated, Shiarra needs back-up and enlists her ex-boyfriend - a werewolf whose non-furry form is disarmingly appealing - and a nerdy mage with surprising talents. But it may not be enough. In a city where the undead roam, magic rules, and even the Others aren't always what they seem, Shiarra has just become the secret weapon in a battle between good and evil - whether she likes it or not.

I've been in a bit of a slum these past few days, flitting from book to book. I'd read a few pages of one then quickly leave it for another. Then the cover of Hunted by The Others caught my eye on Goodreads, I saw all the good ratings and thought why not. I'm kinda glad I did, at first.

Shianna is a PI, a PI whose business is in trouble and both she and it, are running in the red. Needing money fast she takes a seemingly easy job for a lot of money and bites of way more than she can chew.

I don't know how I feel about this book. It started off good but slowly turned into Darkfever #2.

The weapon cave made me think of Batman but nowhere near as cool. There was lots of mundane dialogue, no humour and not very exciting. I don't get why she was so special that everyone wanted a piece of her. I didn't feel the attraction/spark between her and Royce either.

I quite liked Shianna but I'd like her more if she'd shown some loyalty instead of switching sides so easily. I get the she was struggling with the fact that there wasn't a side she wanted to be on, but wow a show of fangs/a slight hint of a threat and she was anyones. A pair of balls wouldn't have gone a miss.

With frequent info dumps, no excitement and a dull protagonist, I not so much struggled to finish this, more that I wasn't really interest. After taking 3 days to read the first half of the book I finally seemed to settle into it around chapter 19. I still found the plot up to this point a little lame but I knew if I could get past all the setting up of the story/characters I'd start to enjoy it more because the writing was good.

I did hate the fact the belt could 'talk'. It was so cheesy but I'm nic-picking now.

Chaz was boring and I didn't trust him, in fact I didn't really care for any of the characters and I guess that was one of the main issues I had with it.

I may get tempted to read the next installment in the hope of it getting better, but I don't hold out too much hope.

Rating: 3/6 - It Was Okay

Monday, 1 August 2011

Review: A Fistful of Charms (Rachel Morgan/The Hollows #4) by Kim Harrison

Description (from Goodreads)

The evil night things that prowl Cincinnati despise witch and bounty hunter Rachel Morgan. Her new reputation for the dark arts is turning human and undead heads alike with the intent to possess, bed, and kill her -- not necessarily in that order.
Now a mortal lover who abandoned Rachel has returned, haunted by his secret past. And there are those who covet what Nick possesses -- savage beasts willing to destroy the Hollows and everyone in it if necessary.

Forced to keep a low profile or eternally suffer the wrath of a vengeful demon, Rachel must nevertheless act quickly. For the pack is gathering for the first time in millennia to ravage and to rule. And suddenly more than Rachel's soul is at stake.

I took a mini break after reading book 3 of The Hollows series, Every Which Way But Dead. I was rushing through them as per usual and I always end up regretting it, so I decided to read a different book in between. The book I chose took me a few days to finish so I was more than ready to get back to this series.

Jenks was kinda getting on my nerves at the beginning. I wanted to get hold of him, give him a rough shake and shout at him to get a grip. I didn't see the point of his sulking. Yes, small Pixies have massive egos but what was Harrison's point of having him run off at the last 1/3 of book 3 and just disappear? It didn't benefited the plot any, not as far as I can see anyway. It just made me annoyed with him. He's a blabber mouth, everyone knows it, even him and we love him anyway. He really needed to get over it more quickly. I forgave him not long after, though :)

I was a little shocked at how Kist went from bad ass to domestic kitten in the space of 5 months. Yes he's still dangerous (he's got sharp teeth, duh) but he just seemed like 'the boyfriend' and not a very interesting one at that. I want to see bad ass Kisten!

The first half was a little slow for me. In fact, it felt like it went on forever. It wasn't until I looked on goodreads that I realised how long it was (500 odd pages). I'm still liking Rachel but I'm noticing that she's really quite selfish (I may be late to party with this). I don't think she realises it, though, or that it's done consciously. She just is. It's most obvious with her treatment of Ivy.

And what the hell happened to Nick? Okay, fair dues, I didn't particularly like him anyway but wow he really did get the shitty end of the stick in this book. He went from being an okay kinda guy to a real slimy jerk. I also have to mention the weres. I love werewolves. I really, really do, but they are horrible in this book. Yes, okay they are the bad guys, but come on, really?!

Overall I did really like this book, although I do think it would have been better if the werewolves had more character. They could have been fleshed out better.

Rating: 5/6 - Really Liked It