Silver borne by patricia briggs
autumn bones by Jacqueline Carey
Ok, so I won't lie...I'm sick and tired of hearing about Daisy's creepy tail. Oh and in this book, we get a description of it! It's several inches long with blond hair that stands on end much like the hair on the back of your neck when you're alarmed.
All I can think about is a rat tail with some hair on it. Seriously...go Google a picture of a hairy rat tail. Actually, don't...who knows what you might end up seeing.
Other than the tail ...*shudder*... this was an OK book. I didn't love it...but I didn't hate it either. In Autumn Bones we delve a little deeper into Daisy's forays as Hel's liaison and her attempts to keep the eldritch under control in her little town. It doesn't help that her boyfriend Sinclair turns out to be descended from a line of obeah men/women (ie. a family of strong Caribbean withes)....a family that wants Sinclair out of the States and back on the Islands with them where they think he belongs. Soon Daisy is on a deadline to save her town from an evil duppy (ie. the ghost/spirit of Sinclair's dead obeah-man grandfather) before the veil between the living and the dead is torn down forever.
I remember really enjoying the first one (Dark Currents) and I definitely think a knowledge of the first installment is almost a must to really enjoy Autumn Bones. My biggest issue with the story was that it slowed w-a-y down right at the climax of the plot. I mean, why would it do that? The set-up chapters were really easily to read and moved fast...but when the plot really started to pick up, it just got tedious.
So tedious that I was ready for it to just be done.
Oh and there's a tail-waggin' love triangle as well. Not really original, but...whatevs.
That said...will I read the next one when it comes out? Yeah, I will. I don't know if I will it will be as "on top" of my reading list like this one was...and I still waited several months to read this one.
Lover Unbound by J.R. Ward
I think I've realized that the back cover blurb (BCB) on the back of the Black Dagger Brotherhood (BDB)books are only nominally descriptive. See, if we were to go by the BCB of this BDB book, we would expect a book dedicated to Vishous. And when a huge revelation about Vishous is discovered within the first fifty pages or so...you realize that yes Vishous needs an entire book to explore his background and progression within the main story arc.
As you read further, however, you realize that the BCB wasn't helpful at all. Yes, you do learn some more about Vishous. But an equal (if not more?) amount of time is spent on Phury and John. While I am looking forward to both of their books...this was a book about Vishous and I wanted to read about him. Instead, it seemed as though Vishous was relegated to the background for a lot of the book.
Because V seemed to be a "background character" at some points, his romance with Jane seemed about as deep as a parking lot puddle. And because the romance seemed contrived and based solely on lust (and, despite Jane's opinion otherwise, there may have been some Stockholm Syndrome at play here...), the big twist in their relationship at the end was kind of weird.
I don't mind that Ward tells a huge story in each of her books. And I understand that the books are going to feature all of the Brothers to some extent. I just wish that more time had been spent on V. Even compared to the earlier books...this installment seemed less focused and more of a filler novel.
And while I am looking forward to the next book which features Phury...I feel as though most of his story has already been told in Lover Unbound which makes me wonder if Phury's book will do the same as this one - focus on everyone but him.
The King by J.r. Ward
Available for purchase NOW.
Ok, so this one eeked through into the Weekly Newbie column. Just coming out this week, The King is J.R. Ward's latest installment in the extremely popular Black Dagger Brotherhood series.
Here's the Back Cover Blurb on this one (not really spoilery unless you haven't ready any of the BDB books...):
J.R. Ward's # 1 New York Times bestselling Black Dagger Brotherhood continues as a royal bloodline is compromised by a grave threat to the throne.
Long live the King…
After turning his back on the throne for centuries, Wrath, son of Wrath, finally assumed his father’s mantle--with the help of his beloved mate. But the crown sets heavily on his head. As the war with the Lessening Society rages on, and the threat from the Band of Bastards truly hits home, he is forced to make choices that put everything--and everyone--at risk.
Beth Randall thought she knew what she was getting into when she mated the last pure blooded vampire on the planet: An easy ride was not it. But when she decides she wants a child, she’s unprepared for Wrath’s response--or the distance it creates between them.
The question is, will true love win out... or tortured legacy take over?
I picked this as the Weekly Newbie since I am currently immersed in Lover Unbound (the tale of Vishous - son of the Bloodletter) and am trying to catch up in this series. Obviously I have quite a long way to go as I am on book 5 and book 12 just came out...but I'm giving it a shot. It seems the general consensus is that readers are glad Ward is returning to the original BDB members. I'm not sure how it will be returning back to Wrath...are we coming completely back around now? Time to tackle generation number two? Not sure where Ward is taking this...but then again I am only on book five. Can't wait to...at some point...get to this one!
Blood rights by Kristen Painter
Living her whole life in this form of slavery, Chrysabelle is ready to flee her master and escape her gilded cage...only to find, on the eve of her escape, her master murdered in their home. On the run and suspected of murder, Chrysabelle teams up with a rogue vampire named Malkom as they uncover a political web of lies that aim to tear down the veil that has been hiding the existence of supernaturals from ordinary people.
I apologize for that run on sentence.
Anyway, like I said, this book started out really strong. It has a beautiful cover and stays away from the recycled vampire plot and world. Painter's idea of the comarré is an interesting one and the twist she throws in about their world was quite good (let's just say they don't just feed vampires their blood).
But about a third of the way through things started to change. Oh, the world was still fun and the revelations were interesting...but Chrysabelle started to turn into a bit of a Mary Sue...she's the best comarré, she's the best fighter, she's the best blah blah blah. It got old. She's the best. At everything. Got it.
And the plot, which had been moving along quite nicely, devolved into political mush. Oh, there are other things happening in the story other than politics...but it seemed politics were the main focus with some fighting in between scenes.
Then it happened...Malkolm started his monologue about his past (which happens just under halfway through the book or so?) and I knew how the book would end. I hate that. I think if I had stayed immersed in the plot, the big plot twist at the plot climax would have been really great...instead, I felt disconnected from the story and had a general feeling of "yep...saw that coming".
I think this read is three stars because of the world building and it really did start out as an interesting read. Maybe I just read the book at the wrong time or something. As it stands at the moment, however...I don't plan on continuing the series.
Bone Crossed by Patricia Briggs
Another solid installment of the Mercy Thompson series. I was hesitant to start reading this one so soon after finishing Iron Kissed because I really enjoyed Iron Kissed.
Despite my reservations, Bone Kissed was pretty good! In this novel, Briggs takes us back to the vampire side of the Tri-Cities and we delve further into the mess made by Andre/Stephan/Mercy etc that was addressed in an earlier book. The vampire seethe Mistress, Marsilia, is upset at Mercy's actions that resulted in the death of Andre and seeks to punish Mercy...even if that means murder. As Mercy starts to deal with the fallout of murdering a vampire, however, she is introduced to a vampire that even other vampires call "The Monster".
Oh, and Mercy officially makes her decision -- Adam or Samuel?
I think, as of right now, I still prefer the fae side of the Tri-Cities story arc. The vampires are interesting and definitely more developed at this point in the plotline, but I am kind of tired of vampires. I know when the books originally came out, vampires weren't as cliche as they are now...but I'm still a little burned out on the vamps. Briggs does a great job, however, establishing interesting focal points within the vampire mythology that kept me interested in the plotline and the character development. Stephan is a great example - I liked him in book one, but I like him even more now that I am in book four. Briggs is excellent at developing rich, flawed characters.
Looking forward to book number five!
Undead and Unwed by Mary Janice Davidson
This one's a big bag of "meh".
On the one hand I liked it. It was a light read that had its funny moments. And the vampire mythology wasn't as stereotypical as your average book.
But on the flipside, the book was almost too light and too irreverent. When you take a step back and look at the plot, Davidson throws in some pretty heavy plot points...rape, child abuse, murder, etc. Yet, the book is so fast-paced you almost don't have time to process the "bad stuff" and instead get bounced around from joke to joke to joke. You're twenty pages on before it clicks - "oh, there was a rape reference there" or "oh there's horrific child abuse being attempted here.".
Let's be honest...Twilight aside, vampires aren't supposed to be sparkly high school students full of teenage angst. You expect an element of horror because vampires originated in the horror genre. I just didn't like that the elements of horror in this book were so glossed over that they lost their meaning. You could argue the "horror elements" were trivialized too much.
But, like I said...this is a quick read that does have its fun moments. I can see why a lot of people really enjoy this series. And I am not saying that a book can't be light and humorous while also dealing with heavier themes. I just wish the heavier themes in this book had been treated with more respect.
As of now I don't think I will pick up book number two.
Iron Kissed by Patricia Briggs
So, I really enjoyed this third installment in the "Mercy Thompson" series. The book is a tad formulaic:
Mercedes Thompson is a hardcore mechanic who can shift...
+ But someone needs her to use her shifter abilities...
+ Mercy uses said abilities but then...
+ Mercy gets into trouble...
+ Which causes the local werewolf pack to go beserk in her defense...
= Mercy saves the day and we move on to the next book
It seems as though those elements have been in all three books so far. Not sure if the rest of the series continues in the same fashion.
Despite it being formulaic and, one could argue, a bit predictable, Iron Kissed was excellent. I think Iron Kissed is my favorite one so far...despite the not-cool twist toward the end of the story. Briggs lets her readers get to know the characters so when something like that end-of-story twist happens...well, you feel awful right along with the characters.
I did enjoy that we explored the fae side of things in Iron Kissed. I like Briggs' vampires, however, I was ready to explore some of the other creatures. And learning more about the enigmatic Zee was excellent as well. I think the next book goes back to vampires...so I hope Briggs' revisits the fae in a future book.
Plus, on a personal note, I really enjoy that Mercy was a history major in college. As a fellow history major, I can really relate with the "historian humor" Briggs throws into the story. In this installment, Mercy complains about a job interview at a high school that she turned down....the school wanted her to coach a sport *and* teach history classes whereas she felt history should be valued enough to be taught exclusively and not by a coach who happens to teach the history class to supplement their coach's income. Trust me...this happens in the real world. And if you are interested in history and not interested in coaching a sport, it can make job hunting very irritating. But I digress....
I am really enjoying this series and am looking forward to the future books. This is one of the perks of being behind in series...it's kind of like Netflix - I can read and read and read and not worry about waiting for the next one to be published.
I have been putting off reading this book for some reason. Maybe I am overloaded on vampires? What I was *not* aware of, was how long the book had been out...I read the 10th anniversary copy of the book! That's some staying power...
All that to say, I don't know why I put it off - it was really enjoyable! It's a fast-paced story written in an engaging writing style which makes it a pretty quick read. At first I was concerned because I just didn't like Anita Blake. She struck me as a self-righteous...well...bitch. And I am still on the fence as to whether she is or she isn't one. But as I read the story I found myself warming up to her quite a bit. She definitely has some flaws which can ultimately make a character interesting.
There are about a million books in this series...don't know how far along I will get in the series before I throw the towel in, but as of right now? Bring on the next installment!
4.5 gnomes out of 5
A Hunger Like No Other by Kresley Cole
I don't even know how to begin writing a review of this book. Let's just say that it was not my cup of tea...but I knew it probably wouldn't be when I picked up the book.
In this first installment of the Immortals After Dark series, Kresley Cole introduces us to Emmaline - a half Valkyrie/half vampire young woman who is trying to break free from her sheltered past and learn more about her mysterious parentage. We also meet Lachlain - the uber macho king of the Lykae (werewolves) who has just recently escaped his own personal hell created for him by the king of the vampires. When Lachlain "scents" Emma and recognizes her as his mate, he swoops in and kidnaps her to his Scottish castle and attempts to woo her. Emma is not so easily swayed, however, and with the king of the vampires hunting them both down, things start to get interesting.
Or not interesting. Depends on what you're into, I guess?
Let me be frank - I only read the book because I spotted a book further down the Immortals After Dark reading list that I wanted to read and I *hate* jumping into a series in the middle. So, I picked up this installment which I think is the first in the series (there may be a novella that gives a prelude to the series? I don't know - Haven't read that one...) simply because it was the first story. I read the back...read some reviews on the book...and determined pretty quickly that this would not be one of my faves.
I was right.
Attempted rape? Yeah...SO not into that.
Caveman-ish Alpha Male? Yeah...not into that either.
More rape? Still not ok with that.
Annoying heroine? Yeah...not into that.
How about some more rape/rape attempts? ...........
I just felt uncomfortable reading this book. Lachlain was a little to dominant male for me and he definitely attempted some sexual acts without Emma's permission or consent. That's not ok...even if she "eventually gives in" or if he overpowers her and she "discovers" that she likes it...I would still argue that's rape since she initially said NO. The big sexy scene in the story starts with Emma trying to run AWAY from Lachlain...to escape her kidnapper...and then he catches her, overpowers her, and off they go like bunnies. She ends up having a grand ol' time...but to start out with her trying to flee her kidnapper and then just being like, "Well...the Instinct has kicked in so now it's ok to have sex" - yeah, not ok for me.
Because of the over-playing of the caveman alpha male and the weak, submissive female, I felt the characters were rather two-dimensional. (spoiler alert...you've been warned...) Even when Emma has a pretty kick-ass moment toward the end of the story, it fell kind of flat. I was more intrigued with some of the side characters which I think will get their own books...so maybe there's still hope that I'll make it to that book later in the series I wanted to read.
I am going to give the next few books a try in the hopes that things get better. We shall see...
[Read Oct. 2013]