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Blood Song: Book 1 of Raven's Shadow (A Raven's Shadow Novel)
Blood Song: Book 1 of Raven's Shadow (A Raven's Shadow Novel)
Price: £5.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Basking in the afterglow of a thoroughly engrossing story, 25 Feb. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Whilst not my usual fare, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. A few pages in and I wasn't sure. Soooo many different (and difficult) names to remember, from characters to days of the week - this is a pet peeve of mine as, for me, it breaks the flow when trying to remember who/what is being referred to, but by the end of the sample I was hooked. Loved the story, the characters, the almost jedi-like sixth order, the world building and the twist at the end I wasn't expecting (I would've bet on the other one). Can't wait for book 2 :)

Magic Rises: A Kate Daniels Novel
Magic Rises: A Kate Daniels Novel

14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ilona Andrews can't write a bad book!, 30 July 2013
I adore - ADORE - the Kate Daniels series, but I'll admit I was a little worried about it losing it's spark now that our heroine and hero are all loved up. There was nothing to worry about, the book is fantastic. I devoured it in a day and it was so emotionally draining that I was left exhausted by the end.

***** beware spoilers ahead *****

The book is set away from Atlanta for a change, so not every regular character has a big part and we are also introduced to new characters, but the synopsis probably gives a better outline than I can.

Kate and Curran's relationship is believably put under strain (a difficult manouver for the authors to pull off convincingly) and not only did I believe it as a reader, I FELT it. Warning bells went off in my head before they did in Kate's and I shared the feelings of disbelief, loss and humiliation. As a reader they took me from a place of being 100% confident in a Kate/Curran HEA and turned that belief on it's head - not an easy task! I love Curran, but there were times in this book I could have cheerfully strangled him... Luckily it's impossible to stay angry with the Beast Lord.

The story arc is drawing to a close and so it's no great surprise that we meet Hugh again... but how we meet him is ;) Some VERY interesting developments on this front and there were times he absolutely stole the show. The big bad is looming on the horizon and we really start to appreciate how momentous Kate's task is. She felt very human in this book.

Last but not least, there was the unexpected death of a much beloved character - I'll admit it, I cried. Like I said at the start of my review, emotionally draining stuff. Take the day off to read Magic Rises, because once you start you wont be able to put it down and if you're new to the series don't start here because you have missed soooooo much character development, start with Magic Bites: A Kate Daniels Novel: 1 and enjoy the ride!
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 4, 2013 4:25 PM BST

Fifth Grave Past the Light (Charley Davidson)
Fifth Grave Past the Light (Charley Davidson)
by Darynda Jones
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Oh. My. Reyes., 10 July 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
*** some spoilers ***

I devoured the fifth Charley Davidson installment within hours and loved every second of it - definitely one for the fans. We finally get some quality, uninterrupted, Charley/Reyes page time with conversations and smexy time that scratched the itch that built up throughout the previous books for me. I was actually thinking as I read, "if Cookie bursts in now I'm gonna scream" :)

Speaking of which, there was a little less Cookie (a welcome change for me) but the text exchanges with Charley were hilarious. We see the true extent of the heartwarming bond between Charley and Ubie in heartbreaking circumstances and by the end of the book Charley proves she is capable of saving her own ass. Last but not least, Reyes's utter perfection is confirmed with the revelation that he can cook... although I'd want to be damn sure he cleaned his kitchen utensils first ;)

So why 4 stars? Hmmm, well as much as I loved it, I couldn't really justify 5 stars. Firstly, the arsonist - I guessed who it was in the last book, so I wasn't really feeling the 'mystery'. The girls in Charley's apartment were suitably creepy, but I felt that the resolution to this mystery was a bit of a flop in the end. Also, at the end of the book Reyes's actions seemed - and I hate to say it - a little *too* perfect. Reminiscent of Edward/Bella perfect. Bordering on Mary-Sue perfect. Of course, that could've been intentional... I hope so, because I hate when authors Mary-Sue their characters. I loved Reyes in the other 99% of the book though.

There were also a couple of things that by no means ruined the book, just niggled a bit, such as the naked old guy and Quentin's visit that felt like they didn't really serve a purpose. I'm guessing that along with the Captain's suspicions, Rocket's revelation and Garrett's discoveries they might be setup for following installments (unless sometimes a naked old guy is just a naked old guy!). Maybe that was the (slight) problem - this book didn't feel as self contained as the others, more like it was setting up things to come. Also, I sometimes feel like the back-story provided for new readers to the series is a copy & paste job and so repetitive that I could quote it verbatim, but I find that with a lot of other series too.

All in all, despite a few niggles, I really enjoyed it. I especially loved the Charley/Reyes scenes and can't wait for the next one!

Dead Ever After: A True Blood Novel (Sookie Stackhouse 13)
Dead Ever After: A True Blood Novel (Sookie Stackhouse 13)
by Charlaine Harris
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £16.20

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Did Charlaine write this the night before her deadline?, 23 May 2013
Appalling effort by the author. I'll leave it at that otherwise I will have put more thought into this review than Charlaine did into her final installment.

Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet
Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet
by Darynda Jones
Edition: Hardcover

5.0 out of 5 stars Crazy, Sexy, Cool, 3 Nov. 2012
TLC said it best! I adore this series - it's a funnier, sexier, Stephanie Plum with a good dollop of the supernatural.

If you haven't been following the series, start with book 1, First Grave On The Right: Number 1 in series (Charley Davidson) and if you have been following the series, I won't give away the plot, I'll just say Reyes is in it ;p

Iced (Dani O'Malley)
Iced (Dani O'Malley)
by Karen Marie Moning
Edition: Hardcover

20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable enough *mild spoilers*, 30 Oct. 2012
This review is from: Iced (Dani O'Malley) (Hardcover)
Firstly, I just want to say that KMM is my favourite author and I absolutely adore the Fever series so my review takes into account the standard of the previous books.

Overall this was an okay installment in an outstanding series. My expectations were not high, I didn't really like Dani but I trusted Karen to make it work - she had never written a book I hadn't enjoyed. I enjoyed Iced, but it really wasn't a patch on the previous books.

I don't want to spoil the story, so I'll just say what I liked and disliked. I liked the return to Dublin and the rich world KMM has created, as usual KMM's descriptions of anything fae were exquisite, dark and haunting (references to unseelie princes 'chiming' makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up) and the best parts of the book, for me, involved Christian and his transition.

As for dislikes... there were a few. The main one was Dani. She still irritates me and the story felt 'dumbed down' for having a fourteen year old protagonist. I was dubious about this going in, the idea of it didn't appeal because in all honesty as a grown woman I don't find fourteen year olds very interesting. However, I trusted KMM to pull a rabbit out of the hat... but I don't feel that she did. All the 'fecks' and 'dudes' were as annoying a presence as ever. The idea that Ryodan and Christian would be even remotely interested in her or the woman she would become just seemed unexplainable. I was at a complete loss to account for Christian's sudden infatuation.

Another dislike was, well, every other female character in the book. The other sidhe seers were just so two dimensional, weak and insipid that I had to stop myself skimmimg past their parts and force myself to concentrate repeatedly. KMM could do with taking a leaf out of Kresley Cole's book here - her Immortals After Dark series is full to the brim with interesting secondary female characters that jump off the page, without detracting from the main character. I was reminded of the early Black Dagger Brotherhood books when I just wanted to skip past the parts with the lessers.

I also felt that The Big Bad (responsible for the ice) turned out to be a bit 'meh' - although I did think the other baddie was cool.

Overall, it wasn't a bad book (it was written by KMM after all) but I had just completed a re-read of the previous books and this one did not scratch the itch that built up over the course of the re-read, it felt lacking in comparison. I finished the book longing for the return of Mac and Barrons and disappointed that there are two more Dani books before this happens. I'm still a die hard KMM fan... this is just my least favourite of her books.

*** EDIT ***
KMM has reached out to fans via her facebook page because of "tons of emails asking about the "over-sexualized" YA thing" asking them to comment in their reviews. I had deliberately left this aspect out in my initial post because it's a bit of a hornet's nest and ok, out of loyalty to KMM over what I feel was a bad judgement call (everybody makes them), but here goes. This is NOT a young adult genre book. It is an adult book that happens to have a fourteen year-old protagonist.

However... whilst Dani did not have sex in the book, she did witness sexual acts and (what I found disturbing) was lusted over by very grown, very sexual men who are vying to be her 'first'. A lot of it goes over her head, because she's only 14, so there isn't any sexual tension as such, but...Ew. Not only did this make me uncomfortable for the obvious reasons, but as a woman in my thirties I felt alienated. I wanted to be as drawn to Ryodan and Christian as I was to Barrons and V'lane but I didn't connect and I suspect this is because I struggled to find men who are attracted to 14 year old girls attractive. That being said, this is the story KMM wanted to tell, which is entirely her prerogative.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 25, 2015 9:42 PM BST

Secrets of the Demon (Kara Gillian)
Secrets of the Demon (Kara Gillian)
by Diana Rowland
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: £6.20

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Slightly too heavy on the police procedural in this installment..., 24 Jan. 2011
....Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the book and thoroughly recommend it, but I found myself a little disappointed that we did not see more of the demons, most especially my favourite Demonic Lord.

*** Warning: slightly spoilery if you haven't read the previous books ***

In this book, Kara learns that her position as Rhyzkahl's summoner has put her at risk and she starts to seriously wonder about his hidden agenda. The bulk of the book is devoted to Kara's police work and the solving of murders with a decidedly Arcane signature. Personally, I thought the book weighed too heavily on the case in hand at the expense of the over-arching story, but that's JMO.

Sadly, there is not much progression in this book with regard to what Rhyzkahl is up to, Kara/Rhyzkahl or Kara/Ryan which led to the book feeling slightly like filler at times (hence the overall 4 stars). That being said, the quality of Diana's writing is superb (5 stars for quality) and it almost seems as though Rhyzkahl is displaying affection towards Kara at times, which makes me wonder what would happen if she eventually gets together with Ryan, being committed as she is, to summon the Demonic Lord once a month... We do learn a little more about Zack and Ryan and this surprising revelation has me itching for the next book.

Please write faster Diana!

Vampire Academy: Last Sacrifice (book 6)
Vampire Academy: Last Sacrifice (book 6)
by Richelle Mead
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The 'Last' VA book was 'Sacrificed' for the new spin off :(, 8 Dec. 2010
I thought Vampire Academy, Frostbite, Shadow Kiss and Blood Promise were excellent and I'm not even going to qualify that with a 'for YA books'. I thought they were excellent full-stop. I was not in love with Spirit Bound, but hoped it was a blip and I was totally, well...bored, reading Last Sacrifice. To be honest, it felt like Richelle Mead got bored writing it.

I have been increasingly irritated with the use of Rose's bond to Lissa's mind as a story-telling device and it was present in abundance in this book. It felt clunky and amateurish. There also seemed to be too much description and not enough dialogue, which was boring to read and I did not find the political intrigue intriguing in the slightest.

Finally, my biggest problem with the book was that I really liked the VA series and this book was supposed to be the finale - I feel cheated. It felt like Richelle had already moved on from VA in her head and the book was more a prequel to the new series than a wrapping up of the current series. There was no purpose to Sydney and the Alchemists (whom I do not find in the least bit interesting) being in this book, other than to set up the spin off, but they were in it a lot and I found their presence annoying and out of place. Their inclusion did not seem natural at all and the old gang was not together throughout the book.

Basically, I'm disappointed because the quality was not there - it felt rushed and lacklustre and I can't help but wonder if that has something to do with the fact that Richelle had 3 series on the go at the same time. The title 'Last Sacrifice' was apt - the last book in the VA series was sacrificed for the new spin off :(

Grave Witch: An Alex Craft Novel
Grave Witch: An Alex Craft Novel

19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I need the next book NOW!!!, 1 Nov. 2010
The first installment of Kalayna Price's new Urban Fantasy series is thoroughly enjoyable - I couldn't put it down.

I loved the world-building, the main character is likeable, the story captured and held my attention and there are the beginnings of a love triangle where both options look very attractive ;)Whilst I would definitely class this as urban fantasy rather than paranormal romance, there are romantic elements to the book.

If I had to describe 'Grave Witch', I would say it has a good dollop of the early Anita Blake books, mixed with handfuls of Kim Harrison's 'Hollows' and Patricia Briggs 'Mercy Thompson' with a small pinch of Stacia Kane's 'Downside' books. In short, a recipe for success!

This book left me impatient for the next in the series and the only reason I gave it 4 stars instead of 5 is because I found some of the descriptions in the showdown at the end slightly confusing.

All in all, I thoroughly recommend this book.

City of Ghosts (Downside Ghosts, Book 3)
City of Ghosts (Downside Ghosts, Book 3)
by Stacia Kane
Edition: Mass Market Paperback

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All hail the new Queen of Urban Fantasy, 28 July 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I read Unholy Ghosts (Downside Ghosts, Book 1)and loved it. I read Downside Ghosts (2) - Unholy Magic and loved it more. I didn't think it could get any better - then I read Downside Ghosts (3) - City of Ghosts...

Firstly, I would just like to say that reading this book was a bittersweet experience - I really, really didn't want it to end. Downside Ghosts is now officially my favourite series EVER.

City of Ghosts itself deserves six stars out of five - the story was action packed, suspenseful, scary and perfectly paced. Despite this the show was stolen, yet again, by the excellent character development that I have come to expect from these books. Our heroine, Chess, is still facing the repercussions of her actions in previous books. Her journey is alternately heart wrenching and heart warming and the reader is churned through Chess's emotional mangle with her every step of the way. I am literally exhausted after reading it (and not just because I stayed up all night reading!). I won't repeat the synopsis and I don't want to give spoilers but I will say that fans of the series wont be disappointed and fans of Terrible definitely wont be disappointed...

As readers, Stacia Kane gives us everything we wanted and more that we didn't even know we wanted until we got it. Every once in a while the stars or whatever will align, or a butterfly will flap its wings halfway across the world and a series will come along that is the perfect story told at the perfect time by the perfect author - this is Stacia Kane's perfect storm of a book. I truly hope Stacia gets the recognition she deserves for this series - she is the new Queen of Urban Fantasy and that fact is Truth ;)
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 10, 2010 8:28 PM GMT

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