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on 24 May 2017
Cheap and crap
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Zoe is an archaeologist who is also a werewolf. All her life her mother has kept her hidden from her family and moved her around. She has few friends and little knowledge about her family past and background. When her mother dies various things happen which mean that Zoe has to get in touch with her bestial side which scares her and to link up with people she doesn't know who can introduce herself to her true nature.

This is an urban fantasy combined with a quest novel in the style of "The Da Vinci Code" but sadly it didn't work for me. The archaeological background was well done and I felt in safe hands with the author when she was exploring this part of the story but the supernatural aspect of the book and the way in which Zoe acts didn't ring true.

Zoe becomes aware that people are following her and she knows instinctively that they are the enemy but when she bumps into more people who also seem to know about her werewolf side she trusts them - I am not quite sure how she knows the difference. She also seems to bump into a lot of people who know about the secret supernatural world and those who don't know before the story are very accepting of it. The story centres around the Pandora's Box myth and at every step in her quest Zoe finds people who give her information about this and help her to find it - she doesn't actually do much in the way of research or discovery herself. I could just about grasp the kidnapping/quest storyline but as Zoe pursues the Box around the world this aspect of the story became sillier and more unbelievable.

I didn't like the way in which Zoe has little knowledge about her nature, the werewolf culture or the quest. She has partial knowledge all the way to the end of the book and is very reliant on other people's help whilst she actually seems to know very little about them. I didn't get a full picture of how the supernatural community worked and the different species interacted but I think that this will come in future volumes.

In the end, the book didn't really work for me. There just wasn't enough that joined together and Zoe wasn't really in control of anything. The quest plot was unbelievable (even for a fantasy). I received a free copy of this book from the publishers via NetGalley.
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on 20 March 2017
This is the first book i have read by this author and decided to listen to it through audible. I loved this book, i didnt know what to expect with this as i am new to this authors work but i am definately a fan after listening to this book!

It is an extremely imaginative book that you would definately say is filled with action from the first page to the last thst keeps you hooked throughout the whole book and i loved the voice actor chosen to read this book, you could hear all of the different personalities aand opinions through the speaker. There is a lot to this book but not too much that you cant understand what it going on. I am dying to know what is going to happen in the next book after this one. You can tell theat there was a lot of cre put into every part of this book from the charaters, to the descriptions of the different kinds of beings to the different parts of the world that are written about. Greece is one of my favourite parts of the world and i hve visited many times so i was so glad this place appeared in a chunk of this book and the descriptions were that accurate i could see myself there, it was magical!

I adored all the different characters in this book, i even loved reading about the 'baddies'. I loved reading about Will, he is definately quite mysterious and you get the impression there is a lot to him that he keeps hidden and i loved listening to his interaction with Zoe...enough said on that one.

All i will say is that this is a must read and definate page turner and i would highly recommend this book!
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
As urban fantasy novels go, this should have had a lot to offer; it had an interesting, fairly original premise, but...

Cameron writes well with an easy, flowing style and has a wealth of archaeological knowledge to put to use, but her plotting structure really doesn't work that effectively. This is paced as a thriller - which is a bit different from most novels of this type and the breakneck speed in which the action moves from the USA to London, Paris, Berlin, Italy and Greece while introducing characters who are part of an international, clandestine group of shape shifters called the Fangborn just seems over-ambitious. Not enough time is spent developing any of the characters or establishing the plausibility of the various factions involved; the ultimate task - which the heroine, Zoe has to fulfil - is the retrieval of Pandora's Box.
For me, the cavalry appeared - with no proper explanation given - just rather too often when Zoe required rescue; the Fangborn seem to have access to considerable resources for such a clandestine organisation and I had some trouble taking some of the shape-shifting stuff seriously - I know it`s fantasy writing but credibility is still a requirement - a wolf running around in shirt and knickers...really? Was it meant to be funny?
I wanted to like this and Cameron does have real writing ability, but this just tries to do too much in one novel; as the first book in a series a more gradual unfolding of Zoe's predicament would have been - I think - advisable. As it is, I found it a bit of a hurried, un-engaging morass; it lacked that compelling, "what happens next" factor as good ideas were too hurriedly introduced and under-explored. I didn't find myself caring much about Zoe, which rendered reading this rather a chore.

Others have liked this book, but I`m afraid I don`t feel the same way; maybe the next instalment will have surer footing, but this novel only gets a tepid "okay" from me.
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on 11 August 2014
"This is a gift, it comes with a price
Who is the lamb, and who is the knife?" – Florence & The Machine, Rabbit Heart

“This belonged to my sister-in-law," Prometheus explained. "Pandora."

A lump formed in my throat. "As in Pandora's box?"

Prometheus shook his head. "I don't know how this box business got started. It was never a box. It was a pithos, a storage jar. I suppose Pandora's pithos doesn't have the same ring to it.” ― Rick Riordan, The Last Olympian

"You see what we do to each other over the slightest differences in religion or politics? We beat each other up over baseball games. We’ll kill over the wrong-colored bandana. What would we do faced with the Fangborn?" – Adam Nichols, Seven Kinds of Hell

One thing you must know about this book before walking into the story is this – you hold in your hand not some simple, See Jane Run, Run Jane Run novel. If you are looking for minimal world building, simplistic answers, and only two or three characters with clear-cut goals, this book isn’t for you. It is so far out of the “let’s just do mindless entertainment” wheelhouse you can’t even see it from the top of the Pharos Lighthouse. Instead, this is a book of complexities. Of unknown alliances, political convolutions, archeological mysteries, and xenophobic hatreds worthy of any Shakespearean play. Families destroy one another, blood is spilled, and there is avarice, sociopathy, vigilantism, viciousness, and political infighting enough to fulfill any Roman Senate chamber. No, if your idea of a good book is simplicity, walk away now.

Ah, but if you are like me – if you long for convolutions, for amazing world-building, a plethora of characters with both known and unknown agendas, a modern storyline with tentacles reaching back to the beginnings of time, a deep understanding of the history, archeology and stories of the cradles of civilization, rejoice, my friend! For Dana Cameron’s words will reach out to you, grab your mind and inject it with adrenaline, force you to pay attention, to learn, and to madly mark up whole paragraphs in order that you might research the lands and stories she portrays. It. Was. AWESOME!!!

Of course, the idea that there are creatures in this world, those who call themselves the Fangborn, calls to my love of all things fantasy. And Ms. Cameron’s concepts of fantastical creatures are not simplistic either. “Vampires” harken back to the snake goddesses of Knossos and Minoa rather than being the more Germanic wall crawlers popular in modern literature. There is no disturbing of the laws of physics as werewolves retain their mass when changed, and, gratefully, their clothes! Rather than burning in the sun, these vampires crave the sunshine, as do their snake cousins, and use their fangs to heal, and their powers of mind control to protect. Very different than what one normally would expect – but then, Ms. Cameron also makes grand use of various animal entities from history, from the Egyptian Anubis to the Greek Medusa.

"A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history." - Mahatma Gandhi

History is about to change, worlds are set to collide, and humans are, of course, acting like humans – and not exactly in a good way. No, you will not learn who all the characters are and what their alliances are in this volume of the story. Who exactly are the Fangborn who first approach Zoe? Who, or what, is Download and from where do his powers spring? Is Adam really to be trusted, or merely a mercenary, willing to change sides on a whim? More importantly, exactly who and what was Zoe’s father – and apparently more importantly, her mother? The book ends with the answers in Zoe’s hands, in a thin, coffee stained folder. Is it the truth? Is it a lie? Only time will tell. Well, and the next volume, should help of course! Pack of Strays comes out on April 15, 2014 (only a few days away, Hooray!) and my finger was hot on the preorder button. Shh, don’t tell anyone, but no matter what book is next on my spreadsheet, that one gets moved to the top!

I received this book from Justin Golenbock at 47North and Netgalley in return for a realistic review. All comments are my own and reflect my own interests. I want to thank Justin for this marvelous opportunity and look forward to reading the next book in the series!
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Zoe has led a pretty troubled life.

She is an Archaeologist, and her mother has recently died.

They have been on the run for pretty much Zoe's whole life, a story told her by her mother because her father is "bad people"

Of course when Zoe's mum passes way Zoe discovers a whole host of stuff that she didnt really know about herself, that oh yes she is a werewolf, she had of course been fighting the change since she was 16 with alcohol and drugs but calls it "the beast" and thought that she was crazy - well you would wouldn't you.

Anyway a whole bunch of crazy stuff starts happening to her and she gets introduced to The Fangborn, her people if you like, a generation of a different species, werewolves, vampires, snake shifters etc etc etc who live in secret.

Zoe of course runs, because of course you would.

Anyway she runs to a cousin Danny and an old friend Sean and that's pretty much when the whole story kicks off.

Cue a whole host of new characters, bad guys, jaunts to London, Berlin, Venice, Turkey, Greece etc and a hunt for Pandoras box.

Snore.

This is precisely the point where i lost total and utter interest.

As a huge fan of Gena Showalter's Lords of the underworld Series everyone knows that Pandoras box created the Arc for that storyline which has been massively successful and unfortunately people keep trying to capatlise on the same success.

Please stop. Get your own storylines, and find another object to base your book about because its getting boring.

Also the precise point where she finds Pandoras box and puts her hand in it was reminiscent of the exact moment where Sienna became well God in Darkest Seduction (Lords of the Underworld).

I understand that you are friends with Charlaine Harris and i loved how you created a new description of vampires being completely purple, i thought that was all kinds of awesome but sorry for me i thought that you needed to base the story about a different relic, even making one up would of been better because the minute you mention pandoras box and the paranormal everyone automatically refers to Genas work.

Anyway that was my take on it.

Up to you.
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on 29 April 2014
Zoe Miller has been on the run her whole life, running with her mother from her father's family but following her mother's death, her father's family come out of the woodwork and all hell breaks loose in her life.

Now I didn't know much about Dana Cameron's body of work before reading this but I can honestly say this, I am going to find out more.

Seven Kinds of Hell is a fast paced exciting novel, the kind of story that grips you from the start and doesn't let go until the last page is digested.

Zoe is an Archaeologist, never staying in the same town for long, her mother has been protecting her daughter all her life from her father's family always keeping on the move and out of sight.

Zoe also has a major problem one that she has kept to herself for a long time, she can turn in to a wolf and because of this she is worrying that she is losing her mind.

She loses her mother at the start of the book and following her death her father's family starts to come out of the woodwork, coming at her at every opportunity, she does the one thing she knows best, prepares to flee.

Her escape is hampered by her cousin Danny being abducted, and Zoe has to help the kidnapper retrieve a figurine, a figurine that is part of a set and Zoe has one of these hidden in her bag, she explores Europe looking for the rest of the set so she can get Danny back and along the way she finds out that these objects are linked to the mythical Pandora's Box.

As she progresses on her journey she realises she knows nothing about being Fangborn, she meets on her journey friends and foes who explain more about what it means and the history behind it.

This story reminded me a lot of Indiana Jones, a kick ass wolfy Indiana Jones!, I loved how the story explored beautiful parts of Europe and the details of the architecture in the cities was a lovely addition too.

This was a great story and I am pleased to say there is a book two in the series called Pack of Strays which I will be reviewing hopefully next month.

I have awarded Seven Kinds of Hell 4 out of 5
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VINE VOICEon 18 April 2013
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I realised the day after I first read this that I had no idea how to review it - I'd read it too fast, so took a week or so break then read it again.

This is a big book - 409 pages in my A5 format paperback - and it uses that length to develop a long story arc. Action takes place in Boston, London, Paris, Berlin, Venice, Mykonos, a Turkish island in the Med, and if the London bit is anything to go by, the location details are sound - the London underground station Zoe emerges from to find her friend is right where I used to live!
There's a bit of reminiscing and flashback at the start to set up Zoe's back story, but not too much, and it certainly establishes why she's grown into the young woman she is. Then other characters start being introduced, and initially I found myself wondering who was significant and who wasn't - altho' my second, more measured reading, reveals only 8 characters who become important -maybe its the Ben, Danny, Will, Adam similarity - all short, traditional names?! In a nutshell, her cousin is kidnapped to force Zoe to retrieve an artifact. The kidnapper seems to know nothing of her Fangborn heritage, just that she's an archaeologist who's recently nicked a little something he wants from the museum where she works.
And so she's off - aided and hindered by various good/bad/undecided individuals. She's a little too trusting for my liking at times, given what she learns about vampiric abilities (and these are unlike any vampires I read before - they love the sun!), and the introduction of some of the characters are a tad "hey how you doing, wanna join my adventure" at times. There's a twist concerning one principle character, some tragedy for another, some sex, although by the norms of the genre its pretty low key, a developing mystery over what the artifacts are, and some huge set ups for the next book. The question of her relationship with her father's people, a biggie at the start, sort of fades and isn't resolved at all.
The book ends, somewhat as it began, with Zoe essentially as alone as she was at the beginning, apart from one person she doesn't trust and what seems to be a ghostly companion - that or she's hearing voices in her head! She may know a bit more, and an awful lot of people now know about her, but there's one hell of a lot she doesn't know, and she knows she doesn't know it! - maybe that's the next book.
So - this needs with reading with a bit of care - then the extra bits of detail reward and add to the storyline.
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on 23 May 2013
Poor qaulity. Writing is infantile. Would not bother with it and certainly would not read anything by the same author
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on 12 May 2013
I'm familiar with Dana Cameron from FB and her other books. She has now stepped into the Urban Fantasy genre and boy howdy I'm glad she did. This is the first in I think a trilogy, but I hope I'm wrong. I'm terrible at synopsis, they've already done it read that. My reaction to reading this book, it's a page turner. I go to bed early to do my reading it relaxes me turns my brain off of recouping from knee surgery and what do next to fix the house. I'm owed some hours of sleep.

It's a terrific story, a woman hero you take to straight away. All the characters are 3D, the bad guys popped off the page and scared me. There were times I had to remind myself to breathe! I strongly recommend this book if you're looking for a new urban fantasy. The plot twists keep you going, what? But I thought he was a good/bad guy? I think we only have to wait until March 2014 for the 2d book. Not too bad, read slowly. ;-D
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