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Murder of Crows (Other Novels)
Murder of Crows (Other Novels)
by Anne Bishop
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £15.46

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "The Others" series book 2, 9 Mar 2014
AB has again produced a winning dark fantasy populated by wonderful but scary characters. Leading lady Meg is still under the protection of the "terra indigene"; the supernatural indigenous population of the world known as "The Others" yet she faces a rough time ahead as she is still acclimatising to freedom, plus her ability as a blood prophet makes it difficult to maintain her sanity in the normal world.

Meg's relationship with Simon Wolfgard remains interesting. It is pretty obvious that Simon is falling in love with Meg, but as a wolf he doesn't understand this emotion; to put it in to context Simon is unsure if he is willing to share his excellent squeaky toy. But a new enemy as well as an old adversary threaten Meg, plus dissension in the human cities means there is a war fast approaching between The Others and the humans they allow to live in their domains.

This is again a magical read fraught with action and deep emotion as events escalate around the leading characters. There are dramatic scenes as The Others show the humans who is boss; beings with the power to end civilisations in a heartbeat are not to be trifled with. Meg's relationships with a number of The Others (particularly the vampiric Sanguinati, the Elementals and their aptly named ponies, plus of course Simon and his burgeoning feelings) certainly add to the plot, and they remain protective of her wellbeing and her compulsion to cut herself when her prophesies are needed. I wouldn't quite put this series in the same league as this author's "Black Jewels" trilogy, but it remains a fabulous read with the humour, emotional punch and vividly violent but loveable characters this author excels at creating.

Clean Sweep
Clean Sweep
Price: £2.49

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Clean Sweep" series book 1, 5 Mar 2014
This review is from: Clean Sweep (Kindle Edition)
Dina is the Innkeeper of a quaint Victorian B&B that caters to aliens visiting (or fleeing) to earth. With this position comes a large amount of power, wielded strongest within the confines of the Inn's domain. Her Inn isn't particularly well established, so Dina certainly can't afford any penalties should any guests complain or are harmed because of her actions; however she can't sit neutrally by as a predator starts savagely killing the local dogs. She's trying not to draw the attention of the local law enforcement; difficult when dragging around alien bodies before they can be discreetly disposed of, and she's finding it increasingly difficult to hide the strange goings on from her human neighbours. Despite her abilities, Dina needs help confronting this enemy, and she finds this in the luscious forms of alpha werewolf Sean and vampire Arland.

I'm a fan of this author and wasn't left disappointed by the start of this new series. Despite the alien sci-fi theme running throughout, there is an old school sword and sorcery feel to this book as heroine Dina brandishes about her handy morphing broomstick (which does everything but fly). In fact Dina's broomstick wielding abilities put Gandalf and his staff to shame. There's a good amount of humour amid the action and I particularly loved her little dog; the aptly named Beast who shouldn't be disregarded as posing no threat. The banter between Sean and Arland amuses; particularly as both are interested in Dina, but there isn't much action romance wise. Instead the focus is hunting down the creature responsible for some gory deaths.

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea (A Niki Slobodian Novel: Book 1)
Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea (A Niki Slobodian Novel: Book 1)
Price: £0.77

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "Niki Slobodian" series book 1, 4 Mar 2014
Nikita Slobodian is the heroine of a new dark urban fantasy series. She's tainted by the reputation of her notorious father (an Abnormal criminal prosecuted for the use of his supernatural ability) and when it became known she has the ability to communicate with ghosts, she's placed on the Abnormal Registry, out of a job, unable to work and in need of money fast.

When Niki drops into a little bar she's approached by the mysterious Sam. If she can help him out he'll ensure she's not only well paid, her name will also be removed from the Registry. It's a job offer she can't refuse, but despite help the body count is piling up. Niki may have to admit that although her father is locked away in prison, he may be responsible for the wave of gruesome and bloodthirsty deaths she's tracking.

Niki interacts with an array of supernatural and human characters, one of whom is an old flame she may yet have a future with. I liked Niki's gung-ho I'm grabbing my guns attitude, but she's sensible enough not to turn down help when needed. I thought her Ukrainian mafia family a little clichéd but overall the ideas are entertaining and the amount of deaths certainly gave the story line a sharper grittier edge than anticipated. 3½ stars

Alpen Chunky Nuts Trail Bar 46g x 3 (Pack of 11, 33 bars in total)
Alpen Chunky Nuts Trail Bar 46g x 3 (Pack of 11, 33 bars in total)
Price: £16.33

4.0 out of 5 stars Yummy but hard work, 3 Mar 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This trail bar is stuffed full of peanuts, cashews, oats, rice and wheat with a sweet layer of syrup keeping it all together. Surprisingly each bar contains only 15% roasted nuts - I would have said the concentrate of nuts to cereal was a lot higher as it certainly seemed jam packed with the former. This bar is crunchy, chewy and sweet but I did start to feel a little like a cow chewing the cud, and had an achy jaw by the time I finished only a couple of mouthfuls. It certainly energised me and if I was the type of person who enjoyed long rambling walks in the countryside or survival weekends living only on my wits and a handy Alpen trail bar, I'd certainly recommend this product. That said I'm the type to still enjoy them guilt free lounging on the sofa only to reluctantly move to pour myself another accompanying cup of tea.

Sparks and Shadows
Sparks and Shadows
Price: £3.20

3.0 out of 5 stars A good taster before exploring this author's full length books, 3 Mar 2014
I've enjoyed this author's "Spellbent" series so decided to give this anthology of short stories a go. I use the term short stories loosely as the majority of these offerings are only a few pages long, with only a few a length I would term as a novella.

There's a terrorist siege underway, but Wendy is more annoyed by the fact she is horny and she and her husband Juan are out of condoms. The streets may be unsafe, but Wendy may prove to be more dangerous in her quest for some nookie.

Camp Songs: Innocent Fun Or Diabolical Brainwashing Plot?
Every Girl Scout may know the "Smile Song" but LAS definitely puts a dirty spin on it and certainly has interesting and unusual ideas surrounding such classic nursery rhymes as Mary Had a Little Lamb or Humpty Dumpty.

Why Can't I Stay Out Of My Husband's Pants
Experience the delight of wearing your husband's trousers and discovering they are a better fit and cheaper to boot.

The Dickification of The American Female
Cassandra and Randi take penis envy to a whole new level.

Menstruation For Men
Imagine how a man would experience the menstrual cycle.

The Sheets Were Clean And Dry
Abused wife Kathy finds unexpected strength between her new satin sheets.

Burning Bright
In a futuristic world Nturi utilises the skills she has accumulated over the last 5 years to hunt down and face her husband.

Roses Of Gomorrah
A manufactured pleasure worker, all Kira wants is to be free to live her life with fellow prostitute Seth. She finds help in the most unlikely of places.

Flesh And Blood
When newly turned vampire Michael discovers some unexpected ties to his old human life, he may finally find an answer to his existence.

You certainly get a sense of this author's unique view point and quirky humour from this collection. Some of these stories may be extremely short, but they entertain and offer a wide enough range to suit most tastes; from contemporary romance to sci-fi to paranormal. An overall 3½ star read.

Bridge of Dreams (Ephemera)
Bridge of Dreams (Ephemera)
Price: £4.02

3.0 out of 5 stars "The Landscapes of Ephemera" series book 3, 3 Mar 2014
Following the events in book 2 "Belladonna", everyone is trying to come to terms with what has happened to Glorianna Belladonna and the impact this has on her family and loved ones. Particularly affected by the change in his sister is Lee, and soon his heart's wish to escape the proximity of Glorianna and not see her is manifested in an unlikely way by a world that listens to your wishes and can thrust you into a new world that reflects your desires.

Several new landscapes are introduced, the most intriguing being Tryadnea and its unique population. I say unique as the trio of personalities sharing the same core but manifesting as 3 different individuals are a new introduction in the world of Ephemera; however this has been done before (my favourite being Fate in Piers Anthony's "Incarnations of Immortality" series). Sholeh Zeela a Zhahar is trying to save her country of Tryadnea; attempting to keep it stable by linking to another landscape. She is the last Triad to remain in Vision City and should she leave, Tryadnea will lose its anchor and become adrift. Yet there are whispers of a 3 faced demon in the city, and suddenly the 3 sisters aren't safe anymore. When an old enemy begins a new wave of corruption, wishes result in Lee meeting Sholeh Zeela a Zhahar and falling in love with her Zhahar aspect. I predominantly liked the new characters introduced and thought they melded well with the established cast, yet the Sholeh aspect of Sholeh Zeela a Zhahar is remarkably childlike, ineffectual and sulky compared to her stronger siblings Zeela and Zhahar. As a result, she tainted my overall opinion of this new leading lady.

This series is a little hard work for me, but I pursue it because I love this author's "Realms of the Blood" books so much. It continues to be a complex read with some new characters that certainly add to the plot. The ideas are again strange, with the usual undertones of dark humour and hints of playfulness as Ephemera responds to certain conversations (how Ephemera warns Glorianna and co. of danger immediately springs to mind). Expect the level of retribution this author is also known to dish out, yet it is not Glorianna Belladonna who is responsible for the more gory deaths in this book. 3½ stars

Realm Walker
Realm Walker
Price: £1.45

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Realm Walker" series book 1, 27 Feb 2014
This review is from: Realm Walker (Kindle Edition)
Juliana is considered the best Realm Walker around, able to tackle the cases that involve the most unusual and powerful of supernatural beings that now mingle with humanity following The Rending. Juliana herself is clearly more than human; however she was found with no memory of her past or who her parents are. As a Realm Walker she faces danger frequently, and when high ranking demons start to possess both humans and supernaturals, they are making it clear their target is Juliana.

Our talented heroine is also dealing with the return of her mate; ancient vampire Thomas. They became United when she was only 20 and the next day he walked away and has kept out of her life for 7 years. Juliana is honest enough to admit she's never stopped loving Thomas, but she's not sure she can face a broken heart again, especially as any tears could reveal more of her heritage than she wants known.

Thomas is overbearing, arrogant and passionately protective of Juliana; it's a good job she's tough enough to take him on and not allow him to take control of a situation to ensure her safety. Their resulting arguments add to their heated relationship, until an event occurs that could force Juliana to choose between saving Thomas or saving countless lives.

Overall this dark urban fantasy thriller is slick, action packed and stuffed full of interesting characters. Yet the story line is a little chaotic and jumbled at times; perhaps to reflect the chaos surrounding Juliana. The characters are far more detailed than the world building, and I couldn't quite get the history surrounding The Rending and the introduction of the Altered into the human realm. That aside, Juliana is a fantastic heroine and I'll certainly be checking out her further adventures in book 2 "Death's Daughter".

Braun Silk-épil 7 Skin Spa Wet and Dry Cordless Epilator and Sonic Exfoliation Brush
Braun Silk-épil 7 Skin Spa Wet and Dry Cordless Epilator and Sonic Exfoliation Brush
Price: £99.99

4.0 out of 5 stars A 3 for 1 deal, 25 Feb 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
With 3 different attachments, this device offers a full range of de-hairing and exfoliation. The epilator worked well on my legs; even removing hair longer than the recommended length. It wasn't as painful as I thought it would be, plus the handy light showed any stray hairs I missed. Using the epilator though was a timely process; it taking me about 20 minutes to complete each leg thoroughly. That said, the results were great as my legs felt soft and smooth. There was a little irritation to those areas that I repeatedly used the epilator on to capture stubborn hairs, but I have exceptionally sensitive skin and any red marks faded quickly. I did attempt to use the epilator on my arm pits, and was surprised how painful this was compared to my legs. I thought I had a high pain threshold but clearly not and I have no intentions of ever using the epilator on my armpits and certainly wouldn't consider it near my face despite the additional facial attachment. The razor attachment does the same job as any standard electric razor and is useful for my armpits and pain free, plus the exfoliator attachment is handy with enough power to it to feel like a deep clean. I found this device had enough power to exfoliate both legs, epilate both legs and shave my arm pits, but recharged fairly quickly ready for the next session.

Stormrise (The Storm Chronicles Book 1)
Stormrise (The Storm Chronicles Book 1)
Price: £1.91

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Raven Storm" series book 1, 25 Feb 2014
Raven Storm is a hardworking cop with a knack for dealing with the strange crimes that happen in her city. As a Dhamphir, Raven has many skills that humans would envy, and although she is only half vampire, her mother is Mistress of the City and Raven has inherited many Mistress level abilities from her.

The case Raven is currently working on is becoming increasingly bizarre. The dead bodies are starting to pile up, Raven has to be careful liaising with the supernatural community as her new human partner has no idea of what is really going on, plus her mother has decided to meddle in her love life and is throwing gorgeous full vampire Francois at her with the subtlety of a brick.

I thought that the investigation was well done; it was creepy and gory and unravelled at a realistic pace. What wasn't so believable was Raven's head long dive into a full on relationship with Francois. In one sentence she is contemplating sleeping with him but is reluctant to date a full vampire, and in the next she is leaping into bed and referring to him as "love". Francois is equally quick to express his feelings, despite barely exchanging more than a few words with her. That aside, Raven is a great heroine who has a great range of skills and weaponry to take down the bad guys.

The Rise of the Gryphon: Belador Code Series: Book Four
The Rise of the Gryphon: Belador Code Series: Book Four
Price: £4.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Belador Code" series book 4, 25 Feb 2014
Evalle is in deep trouble and there are only a few people able to help her. She's still skating on thin ice with Celtic Goddess Macha, plus it looks like she's going to have to commit treason and become a walking target of every Belador warrior in order to save the lives of her fellow Alterants.

There is plenty of action and blood shed as Evalle enters the Achilles Beast Championship in the hopes of uncovering the threat against Queen Brina and the Beladors. She's hoping not to fight, but circumstances leave her with no choice but to face a number of contestants in the arena. Her love interest Storm features heavily and their relationship certainly deepens, but it is tested by the decisions Evalle makes to try to keep him safe, plus the witch doctor who holds Storm's soul captive is back on the scene and stirring up trouble.

The first 3 books have been led by the plot line of the magic using Medb invading the Belador island in order for the Medb Queen to avert a prophecy and gain immortality. There is final closure to this; however there is an electrifying twist that opens up further possible story lines. There is further information about Alterants, and we finally learn the history behind this species. ** spoiler alert ** There is also the surprising and dramatic death of a well-established character. Whilst some may not mourn the loss, I found this particular character intriguing as they battled with their commitments to their family and the people they love.

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