Paranormal Romance & Urban Fantasy A Lunch Community <![CDATA[ Not Impressed]]> There are 5 more books, but I am struggling to get through the second one. 
I highly recommend you not read this book if you're fed up of typical teen sci-fi romances.
The ending of this book is also dreadful.

Side note- the casting for the film is appalling. The only character I think they nailed was the lead male, Jace, but that may be biased as I am in love with Jamie Campbell-Bower. I hate Lily Collins and she is totally not fit for Clary. I think they just picked her because she's pretty despite her lack of talent. ]]> Mon, 3 Jun 2013 20:16:41 +0000
<![CDATA[ not my favorite]]>
Any yet . . .

She is also possibly one of the most shallow characters I have ever encountered. At the beginning of the novel Mina is so busy lusting after her cute classmate Nathan as to be entirely oblivious to the true object of his affection. Matters only worsen when Mina starts her vampire classes and meets the even better looking Aubrey. At this point in the plot Mina has so many stars in her eyes that she once again misses the completely, painfully obvious fact that Aubrey's interest in her comes from motivations that are anything but romantic.

Sucks to Be Me features a popular vampire myth (and the vampire reality care of Mina) at the beginning of each chapter. Pauley had the potential here to create an entirely new set of vampire lore here. Instead the writing about the ins and outs of vampirism was remiss. Most of the new vampire facts (they can go out in the sun, they can eat food) are left unexplained either because Mina does not know the answer or because she tuned out while someone else was explaining it. While world building is more traditionally associated with sci-fi novels, it feels negligent to base a novel on so many facts while explaining none of them.

Pauley's inclusion of instant messages written in chatspeak was equally frustrating. I don't text message and I write instant messages in full sentences. I know that is not true for most people. But I feel certain that having lines like "& he jetted prtty fast outta there. didn't evn drnk the coffee" does little to add to the novel's authenticity or tone.

This book reminded me a lot of ghostgirl, another book with a promising plot whose writing fell short of expectations. It will also likely appeal to Twilight fans looking for a funny vampire story. For my part, I was excited about Sucks to Be Me when I first saw it, but by the end my enthusiasm was lukewarm at best.

Possible Pairings: Ghost Huntress by Marley Gibson, Ghostgirl by Tonya Hurley, Twilight by Stephenie Meyer, Buffy the Vampire Slayer (television series)]]> Mon, 23 Jan 2012 23:45:22 +0000
<![CDATA[ A paranormal/supernatural romance with werewolves. But, really, it is so much more]]>
Even though they have never spoken.

Sam has been watching Grace for years, waiting for her, making sure she was safe. Even when he couldn't remember her name he knew she mattered. He knew he loved her even if it was impossible because of what he was.

No matter how Grace and Sam might feel about each other there is always one insurmountable truth separating them: Sam is a wolf.

A werewolf more specifically.

Every year when the temperature drops, Sam changes into a wolf--Grace's wolf, the one always watching her from a safe distance--trapped in his changed form until spring when the temperatures rise and he can become Sam again.

That was Sam's reality, his unavoidable truth, and the one thing Grace never really believed. At least, not until she met Sam, the real Sam.

Once Grace knows the truth, sees her wolf made human, losing him is unimaginable.

Being with Grace is all Sam has ever wanted; the one thing he always held onto as a wolf.

But the temperature is falling in Mercy Falls and with the looming threat of winter Grace and Sam are running out of time in Shiver (2009) by Maggie Stiefvater.

Shiver is superficially a paranormal/supernatural* romance with werewolves. But, really, it is so much more than that.

Poetic and urgent, Stiefvater's writing is poised to exceed expectations and stay with readers. Told in chapters alternating between Grace and Sam's voices the urgency of winter's approach and the strength of our heroes' love are both tangible. Grace and Sam are a charmingly authentic couple in a town filled with well-developed and unforgettable characters of both human and lupine persuasions.

Shiver is, really, just a beautiful book. The physical design from the cover (with art by Christopher Stengel) down to the text printed in blue ink is just as impressive as Stiefvater's original take on werewolves in this complex, charming and extremely satisfying start to a what promises to be a stunning trilogy.

Grace and Sam's story continues in Linger (which is printed in green ink).

Possible Pairings: Fire and Hemlock by Diana Wynne Jones, Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, Sea Change by Aimee Friedman, Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta, Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier, Twilight by Stephenie Meyer, The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffeneggerº, A Well-Timed Enchantment by Vivian Vande Velde

*Are paranormal and supernatural different things in the publishing world? I don't actually know if they have different definitions or not.

ºIt kills me a little bit to pair this book with Shiver because I truly think Shiver is so much better and does everything TTTW should have done, but in a more masterful way. BUT if you don't have my issues with TTTW these books do have the same sense of urgency and tone of sweeping romance. Draw your own conclusions.]]> Mon, 23 Jan 2012 23:40:25 +0000
<![CDATA[ A clever reimagining of fairies]]>
Onward . . .

For the most part Laurel is your average fifteen-year-old girl. Yes she is lithe, agile, and movie star pretty. And yes, she was dropped on her parents' doorstep in a basket when she was three. And no she does not have an eating disorder, just unique eating habits. Nothing especially exceptional there. At least not until Laurel's back sprouts a mysterious set of wings.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. The story starts when Laurel and her parents leave their super small town for a small town. In addition to moving, Laurel also has to adjust to going to public school after ten years of homeschooling. Then, of course, there is the issue of the wings to contend with.

Understandably thrown by this development, Laurel turns to her new friend David to figure out what's going on. Afraid of becoming a walking, talking experiment, Laurel keeps the wings under wraps with David's help as they try to figure out what exactly is going on. This crisis makes the sale of her family's homestead seem rather mundane–even if the buyer, Mr. Barnes, seems unaccountably sinister.

However, as Laurel learns more about her wings and her home, it becomes apparent that the two events are intimately linked both to Laurel and Tamani, the mysterious faerie living on her family's land with his own shocking revelations about Laurel's current situation . . . and her past.

When I first started Wings, I wasn't sure how I felt about Laurel. Narrated in the third person, the story mentions early on that Laurel has no problem looking different (really pretty) compared to everyone else–a comment that rubbed me the wrong way. However, as the plot moved forward and I got to know Laurel better, she grew on me. The story, which was slow to get to the action, picked up at around the same time. By the end of the book I was a fan of both the story and Laurel.***

Some reviews have argued that the crux of the plot is slow in coming and tagged on to the end of the novel. I would counter that said readers were merely not paying attention to Pike's foreshadowing. I will grant that the novel was depopulated of ancillary characters, but Pike does a lot with the characters she does have, providing well-described and authentic companions for Laurel.

I'm a big fan of traditional fairy stories, but I also really enjoyed the spin that Pike takes on the usual fairy lore here. In addition to creating an utterly novel mythology surrounding fairies (and other mythical creatures), Pike explains all of her "facts"–something that is crucial to making a rich, vivid story.

* The praise from Meyer is actually more than strategic marketing. If you read the acknowledgments, Pike gives a special thank you to Stephenie which suggests that the authors do really know each other. Plus, I totally agree with Meyer's statement about the "ingenuity" and "loveliness" of this book.

** Okay, I'll give you one hint: Tamani, to me, has a lot in common with everyone's favorite werewolf.

*** I didn't love the "love triangle" aspect but for me that was more because there was never any contest to who I would rather hang out with. Maybe that's me . . .

(Totally Unrelated: I'm kind of feeling talkative and wanted to say that I really thought the cover by Ray Shappell was a clever, fun tie-in to the actual plot of the book even though my mom didn't like it.)

Possible Pairings: Twilight by Stephenie Meyer, Companions of the Night by Vivian Vande Velde, Generation Dead Daniel Waters.]]> Mon, 23 Jan 2012 23:29:58 +0000
<![CDATA[ The Hunted]]>
I'm a new author to Lunch and so far have really enjoyed reading everyone's reviews on all the books and TV shows that I'm particularly fond of. I would be really appreciative if those of you that are keen or the vampire/werewolf genre would take a look at my book and let me know what you think.
If you'd like more information you can find me at, Facebook 'The Hunted', as well as join me on twitter!
All books can be purchased from Amazon or your local bookstore. And thank you everyone, the support is greatly appreciated!!!

Kristy :)]]> Wed, 6 Jul 2011 11:47:36 +0000
<![CDATA[The Lovely Bones (book) Quick Tip by Adrianna]]> Sat, 18 Jun 2011 11:19:38 +0000 <![CDATA[ the beginning of the end for Morganville?]]> Wed, 8 Jun 2011 10:38:03 +0000 <![CDATA[Feast of Fools (Morganville Vampires, Book 4) Quick Tip by vampire_eyez]]> Mon, 6 Jun 2011 04:07:13 +0000 <![CDATA[Glass Houses (Morganville Vampires, Book 1) Quick Tip by vampire_eyez]]> Fri, 3 Jun 2011 01:26:34 +0000 <![CDATA[The Dead Girls' Dance (The Morganville Vampires, #2) Quick Tip by vampire_eyez]]> Fri, 3 Jun 2011 01:22:39 +0000 <![CDATA[ come for a bite??]]> Thu, 26 May 2011 01:53:52 +0000 <![CDATA[ Its the greatest show on earth!]]> Tue, 24 May 2011 03:40:16 +0000 <![CDATA[ More ick than laughter in this novel i think]]> Mon, 23 May 2011 04:52:25 +0000 <![CDATA[ a mysterious begining to what looks to be an excellent series]]> Mon, 23 May 2011 04:35:22 +0000 <![CDATA[Stardust: Being A Romance Within the Realms of Faerie (novel) Quick Tip by Count_Orlok_22]]> Stardust the book (widely available as both a graphic novel and a novel) is quite different in tone. The story is a creatively dark fantasy adventure for adults (there is some gruesome violence, a couple instances of sex, and brief strong language) that tells a fairly bittersweet story of romance and love. The main characters all experience a great deal of hardship and tragedy and while lessons are learned and they ultimately are better people for it, they aren't at any point guaranteed a happy ending.
As is to be expected, Neil Gaiman weaves the story with all of the skills he possesses as a storyteller, allowing the book to shift in tone and style from humorous and fun to stark and tragic. Charles Vess' illustrations (particularly the full page ones which were featured on the individual covers of the comics) are quite nice, though personally for me they never quite capture the world of Faerie as Gaiman describes it.]]> Sat, 9 Apr 2011 15:02:26 +0000
<![CDATA[ Closure, Closure.]]> Tue, 22 Mar 2011 22:55:23 +0000 <![CDATA[ over it but love the fonts]]>
I just couldn't get into this book, I wanted to but it just wasn't happening.

Mostly it's my fault: I'm burnt out on paranormal romances and I have my own problems with angel stories.

But it's also a little bit the books fault because I'm tired of books with smart, generally reasonable, heroines who seem to completely lose their minds and fall for not only a dangerous guy who spells trouble with a capital T (no, really, Nora says that in the book; his smile spells trouble), but a dangerous guy who spells trouble and starts off by acting like a complete jerk to her. The idea of a girl not being attracted to any of the local boys only to become attracted to an outsider jerk is troubling and problematic on many levels outside of the realm of this actual story. But getting back to Hush, Hush it was just kind of annoying.

Aside from that, and again this is something I should have known already, books about angels are necessarily religious because they borrow (duh) from biblical mythology and lore. Which is fine. But when you are not religious and don't have that foundation it tends to make for a problematic reading experience. I had similar problems with Halo by Alexandra Adornetto.

Problems aside, the writing here feels solid. There's suspense, action, romance (obviously and albeit problematically). Nora isn't completely annoying (except for the whole falling for a jerk thing), the book will have appeal--just not for me.

The book design (aptly done by Lucy Ruth Cummins is also worth mentioning. I don't love the cover art because it's a bit, well, scary. But the fonts on the cover and in the book are very attractive*. The book pages feature a reverse design with the title and author name at the bottom with the page numbers instead of the top which also made things interesting.

*I have no idea which is which but if anyone cares the fonts used in the book are Seria, Lunix and Aviano.]]> Tue, 15 Feb 2011 05:34:19 +0000
<![CDATA[The Princess Bride: S. Morgenstern's Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure Quick Tip by GlassofWin]]> Thu, 3 Feb 2011 22:59:07 +0000 <![CDATA[The Golden Compass (Northern Lights) Quick Tip by cpw1952]]> Mon, 17 Jan 2011 18:57:59 +0000 <![CDATA[ Fun and different]]>
Normal is good while it lasts, anyway.

Things go sideways when a man named Gerwulf Grimooire shows up at Lizzy's work and burns her skin. With his bare hand.

Turns out her encounter with Wulf is just the beginning.

Before she can say "buttercream icing" another man with weird abilities (and really good looks) named Diesel has wandered into Lizzy's life and enlisted her to help find a a magical stone before Wulf can get his hands on it. Then she also acquires a one eyed cat. And a monkey.

Lizzy's normal life has suddenly turned into chaos, most of which she can handle--except maybe for Diesel in Wicked Appetite (2010) by Janet Evanovich.

Wicked Appetite is the first book in Evanovich's new Unmentionable series. Diesel was previously seen in the author's "Between the Numbers" novels alongside Stephanie Plum.

My mom is a huge fan of Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum books. I like them but I stopped reading after the latest one*. When I heard she had a new series out, I got the book immediately for my mom. She enjoyed Wicked Appetite but thought it might be more my kind of book. She was right.

Wicked Appetite has all of the things readers loved from the Stephanie Plum books including humor, romance, wacky situations, and a clever story. But it also has fantasy elements. The premise isn't the best (I cracked up every time the word SALIGIA appeared in the story) but it's pretty good. So far there's not an annoying love triangle although there is a massive amount of tension between Lizzy and Diesel. The side characters are funny and not quite as cartoon-y as the crew from the Stephanie Plum books. It feels strange to say it about a fantasy but in a lot of ways Wicked Appetite felt like a subtler, somewhat more plausible (except for the magic parts) premise.

If you don't like Stephanie Plum, you won't like this book. If you don't like "soft" fantasy where magic bleeds into an otherwise normal world, you won't like this book. If you don't like snappy writing that is all about the story and less about coming off as literary prose, you won't like this book.


If you want an exciting story with fun characters, you might like it. If you want a book that will leave you not just smiling but laughing out loud, you might really like it. If you want a book that does all of that and is a good bridge into the wider world of fantasy books, you might love Wicked Appetite.

*I was also rendered apopleptic after hearing that Morelli--the Italianest Italian in New Jersey--is being played by an Irish-from-Dublin actor. But that's another story.]]> Mon, 27 Dec 2010 20:32:37 +0000
<![CDATA[ good but not exactly what I wanted it to be]]>
Every girl has a shiny pink taser strapped to her belt, right?

Sure, Evie's being harassed by a really persistent (and beautiful) faerie.

Then there's the fact that she's been working full-time since she was eight.

For the International Paranormal Containment Agency (IPCA).

Okay, so maybe Evie isn't really that normal what with the whole seeing-through-the-glamours-of-paranormal-creatures thing.

But when a mysterious Paranormal infiltrates IPCA and the faeries start to get shifty it's a sure sign that things are going to get pretty bleeping weird--even by Evie's standards in Paranormalcy (2010) by Kiersten White.

Paranormalcy is White's debut novel.

It's also a lot of fun. Evie's narration blends candor and a contemporary voice in a way that is authentic and enjoyable. Even though the book is an obvious fantasy, Evie really does sound like a normal girl and her everyday hopes and concerns add a lot to a storyline that is anything but ordinary.

This is a fun read for anyone looking for a new tough girl with a touch of glitter running through her veins. Paranormalcy is going to be a thrill for a lot of readers looking for a new story that can blend humor, action, adventure, and romance all while being witty, endearing and just a little bit campy.

Possible Pairings: A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray, City of Bones by Cassandra Clare, Ghost Huntress by Marley Gibson, Hearts at Stake by Alyxandra Harvey, Swoon by Nina Malkin, Sucks to Be Me by Kimberley Pauley, Alias (TV Series) Buffy the Vampire Slayer (TV Series)]]> Thu, 9 Dec 2010 03:18:55 +0000
<![CDATA[ Cupcake queen]]> Thu, 2 Dec 2010 03:31:19 +0000 <![CDATA[ Lots of smoke, not enough fire.]]> Fire Raiser, just what it was I liked about the first volume in the series (Spellbinder). I've enjoyed Melanie Rawn's work for many years, and while Spellbinder was a definite departure for her, on its own merit it was a decent book.

Spellbinder had its flaws, but there was a real story there, with suspense and romance and sex that integrates magic with the real world skillfully, one that kept me reading all the way through. Ah - so that's what Fire Raiser was missing!

Rawn even points it out in her short Author's Note, where she states that the character of Jamey in the book was unplanned, but he appeared on the scene with "something of an agenda" and refused to go away.

Yeah, tell me about it.

With Jamey comes an attempt at crafting a gay male relationship along the lines of Holly and Evan's rocky road in the first book. Now that Holly and Evan are happy with each other (delighted, actually, as we are repeatedly reminded), Jamey and Cam appear to have this book's conflicted relationship. The problem here is twofold.

First, I simply didn't buy the relationship. Page after page is devoted to explaining Cam and Jamey's history, but for all the explanation it doesn't hold up. I know gay men in healthy relationships and I know gay men who've been in troubled relationships, and none of them look as neurotic and mismatched and Cam and Jamey. They go from smoldering glances at one another's gorgeous bodies to barely speaking and back again with no warning or motivation. Rawn may know what gay relationships look like, but I couldn't tell - if Fire Raiser is any indication, she has no knack for portraying them on the page. For a woman who has built up some of the most believable and interesting male/female romances I've ever read, this came as something of a disappointment.

The problem with Cam and Jamey may have a deeper root than that, though. They may be casualties of The Author Who Has Something To Say (patent pending). Here comes the "agenda" Rawn mentioned - Cam and Jamey's relationship shows up very conveniently, as the book circles again and again back to the issue of gay rights and how poorly homosexuals are treated. It's an issue Rawn deals with hamhandedly, with characters who are so hateful they're almost laughable, and dialogue that sounds more like it came out of a high school debate tournament than an adult conversation.

Unlike Spellbinder, where the story is bound to magic, in Fire Raiser it feels tacked on and convenient at best. The characters from the first book, including Evan and Holly, are relegated to spectators and commentators more than anything, and don't seem to really do much in this story. Without the conflict that made them interesting in the first book, this bunch of witches seem strangely mundane.

Oh - but the story? There is one, but it starts late and is given short shrift. Slowly revealed over the course of a long cocktail party that starts the book (no joke), a series of mysterious church fires has stumped local police and witches alike, and the solution is a mess. The plot tries to weave human trafficking in with a magical undercurrent, largely unsuccessfully.  Another "issue," this one dealt with via a clumsy attempt at perspective shift halfway through the book and a slipshod connection to the characters. Again, Rawn had something she wanted to say and tried to work it into the story, losing both in the process.

I don't mind Rawn's politics. Gay rights? I support them, and have for years. Human trafficking? Undeniably evil. I agree with much of what she was trying to say, but I vastly dislike how she tried to say it. There are stories to be told around these themes, and they could be gripping, shocking, meaningful, heart-rending and maybe even mind-changing.

Fire Raiser is not one of those stories. Instead, it's a sub-par novel and a disappointment from a writer who has given me reason to expect far better.]]> Wed, 1 Dec 2010 08:04:15 +0000
<![CDATA[ An edge-of-your-seat read from start to finish]]>
I can't say I love the world that Stacia Kane has created with this series. Actually, its a pretty scary place but again, very believable. The Church of Truth continues to fascinate me. Chess looks at the Church as a safe haven and something she can rely on but it strikes me as something a lot more sinister. I have so many questions about the Church Of Truth and hope some of them are answered in future books in this series. 

This third book City of Ghosts finds Chess working with a member of the Church's Black Squad to look into another organization that has tried repeatedly in the past to seize control of the Church and is now active again. There is also some resolution to the Chess/Lex/Terrible love triangle. 

This story is another powerful fast paced look at Downside, really an edge-of-your-seat read from start to finish. I can't sing Stacia Kane's praises enough and absolutely cannot wait to read more from her!]]> Sun, 28 Nov 2010 22:01:22 +0000
<![CDATA[ A great addition to the Dark Hunter universe,]]> PJVs QUICKIE POV: A great addition to the Dark Hunter universe, No Mercy is hard hitting, sexy and intense. There were a few little plot flaws that had my brain churning, but nothing to sneeze at.

REVIEW: Samia is our Dark-Hunter of choice in No Mercy. An Amazon, she became a Dark-Hunter when her and her family were murdered. In the thousands of years that she has been alive she has lived a fast life with no affection, haunted by the love she lost so long ago and the power of Psychometry that she possesses.

Dev Peltier is a bear shape-shifter. Now the guardian of Sanctuary after his mother died. He has guarded the neutral bar for over 200 years but his restless spirit has him looking to move on - and then Samia speeds into his life. Who can resist a sexy Amazon on a motorcycle?

The problem lies in the fact that Samia can't touch anyone without seeing everything about them. Her feet cannot even touch the floor bare without being overwhelmed by past occurrences.This has left her abstinent in her long life and a bit on the prickly side. All her passions go into killing, which is why she is one of the elite of the Dark Hunters, the Dogs of War.

When it starts to become apparent that the daimons are in possession of new sources of powers, mainly the ability to walk in daylight, Samia must find out what is going on. In order to do this she tries to "read" Dev and comes up with nothing. He is like her "null". Could it be possible that she has finally found a man that she can touch and be touched by that she can't read?

Couple of problems. She's a Dark-Hunter, he's a were. That can't mix. Second, something wicked is brewing in Daimon world and they have Samia as a major target.

Kenyon's writing is as always spot on. She takes this Dark-Hunter world to a whole new level. Just when you think it should be getting boring she throws in a fun new character and it is great. This is what keeps this series great, a new character for each book, instead of the same characters over and over again.

I really enjoyed Devereux Peltier - I even like his name. Being from New Orleans I know a Devereux and a Peltier - how fun is that? I wonder how SK pronounces it - but we do it DEV - A - ROW, sometimes dropping the A. Peltier is PEL-SHAY.

Dev was a great character, funny, sexy and a bit crazy. Samia was a tough and broken and deep. Their pairing was an excellent read.

My problem arose with Samia's power. Psychometry. The ability to read objects with your hand or skin. Samia was so bad off with her Psychometry that she had to Archeron conjure all of her possessions that she touched without her gloves. Even if she rubbed up against something she would be overwhelmed by readings. So Archeron would conjure all her clothes and personal objects that touched her body and Samia would grow all her own food because she couldn't even eat things without getting a reading.

With this extreme case of Psychometry I over thought things. I just didn't think it was possible to live like this - and then began thinking, well poor Archeron had to be doing a lot of conjuring for Samia. Did he conjure her bed, sheets, bathtub, soap, towels, make-up? Then I got to thinking even worse things? Do Dark-Hunters have a monthly visitor? Does she have to ask Archeron to conjure feminine products? There were a few references to she can't have a man so battery power is how she handles things. Ummm...I can't imagine having to ask Archeron to conjure up a battery-powered man replacement. 

"Archeron...I'll take one like this...yeah the one in pink with the nodes all over it and the 4-speed setting."

That had me cracking up. But, kind of put a chink in the story for me. It really wasn't a big thing though, just thought I would mention it because I found it so hilarious thinking of all the things poor Archeron would have to conjure up for her. 

Great book though, and a must-read for SK fans. Her Dark-Hunter series seems to not have lost steam - keep 'em coming!

RECOMMENDATIONS: Adults only series. Fans of the Dark-Hunter should definitely read. You also really don't have to read early books in the series SK has a wonderful way of explaining the world without seeming redundant. This allows readers to pick up any of her books and just get immersed in the series. 
Here is the recommended reading order if you do want to start from the beginning though:

#1 Night Pleasures (Kyrian & Amanda)
#2 Night Embrace Hardback (Talon & Sunshine)
#3 Dance With The Devil (Zarek & Astrid)
#4 Kiss of the Night (Wulf & Cassandra)
#5 Night Play (Vane & Bride)
#6 Seize the Night (Valerius & Tabitha)
#7 Sins of the Night (Alexion & Danger) #8 Unleash the Night (Wren & Maggie)
#9 Dark Side of the Moon (Ravyn & Susan)
#10 The Dream-Hunter (Arik & Geary)
#11 Fear The Darkness (Nick)
#12 Upon the Midnight Clear (Aidan & Leta)
#13 Devil May Cry (Sin & Kat)
#14 Dream Chaser (Xypher & Simone)
#15 Acheron (Ash & Tory)
#16 One Silent Night (Stryker & Zephyra)
#17 Dream Warrior (Jericho & Delphine)
#18 Bad Moon Rising (Fang & Aimee)
#19 No Mercy (Dev & Sam)
#20 Redemption (Jess & Abby)]]> Sat, 13 Nov 2010 17:18:50 +0000
<![CDATA[ never really pulls itself together into a cohesive book]]>
Meghan does find magic on her birthday, but it's nothing like the stories talked about.

Instead of romance and happily ever after, Meghan finds her four-year-old half-brother replaced by a changling from the Nevernever. With the help of a very familiar fey, Meghan will have to venture into the treacherous world of fairyland to rescue her brother. Her mission will take her to the Seelie and Unseelie Courts. It will challenge everything she thought she knew about magic, fairies, and her own past. If Meghan can survive the Nevernever she might be able to save her brother, but there's no escaping the truth in The Iron King (2010) by Julie Kagawa.

The Iron King is the first book in Kagawa's The Iron Fey series.* It joins the ranks of many paranormal romances released for teens, not only by Harlequin Teen.** The blurb from the back of the book is filled with massively huge spoilers. You have been warned.

Kagawa's premise here is really interesting. She blends elements of urban fantasy, traditional fairy lore, and even steampunk in an original way with a lot of potential for a great story with truly exciting characters. But for all that promise, The Iron King never really pulls itself together into a cohesive book.

The story is interesting and will have a lot of appeal for anyone who loves paranormal romances*** and fairies. But, for some readers, the flaws will outweigh the appeal.

Meghan narrates the story in the first person and her voice is very erratic. It's also very repetitive with whole phrases being used verbatim again and again in the story. The descriptions seem to have too many adjectives to qualify things instead of just showing them to the reader.

Meghan herself is also very inconsistent. One minute she is completely believing everything she hears about fairies, the next she doubts the efficacy of fairy glamour. She is constantly told to be careful and follow certain rules and she constantly ignores them. She often contradicts her previous opinions throughout the story.****

The plot and Kagawa's depiction of fairyland is almost enough to let Meghan's inconsistency slide (the landscape of the Nevernever is one of the strongest aspects of the story). Almost. Until you get to the romance aspect of this story.

The Iron King is really thin on romance (like it doesn't come up until halfway through the story thin) and, once again, inconsistent. Meghan's supposed love interest is one dimensional and unconvincing. She keeps talking about how beautiful and sexy he is, but at a certain point you (or me anyway) begin to wonder who Megan is really trying to convince.

That isn't to say The Iron King won't have its fans. Indeed, it already does; this might be the only negative review you see out in the blogosphere. Inconsistencies and annoying aspects aside, The Iron King is reminiscent of Twilight and will find a lot of fans in readers looking for somewhere to go now that they've finished with Bella and Edward.

*I think this is a trilogy but it also might be a longer series and the third book is the only one in the works right now (the first two are already out).

**They published The Iron King if that wasn't clear.

***I'm starting to think I don't and actually just like the more traditional fantasy/urban fantasy tropes. But that's me.

****She also does an old fashioned about face as the story progresses. In the beginning of the novel, Meghan bemoans being poor, saying: "I wish we weren't so poor, I know pig farming isn't the most glamorous of jobs, but you'd think Mom could afford to buy me at least one pair of nice jeans" (page 11). Later, on page 141, Meghan completely contradicts her earlier frustration saying: "My whole life, I had worn ratty jeans and T-shirts. My family was poor and couldn't afford designer clothes and name brands. Rather then bemoan the fact that I never got nice things, I flaunted my grunginess and sneered at the shallow rich girls who spent hours in the bathroom perfecting their makeup." So that sneering would be everywhere except for on page 11 then?

Possible Pairings: Halo by Alexandra Adornetto, War For the Oaks by Emma Bull, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by C. S. Lewis, Wondrous Strange by Lesley Livingston, Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier, Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr, Twilight by Stephenie Meyer, Wings by Aprilynne Pike, A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare, The New Policeman by Kate Thompson, The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff]]> Sat, 13 Nov 2010 00:59:35 +0000
<![CDATA[Interview with the Vampire (The Vampire Chronicles, book 1) Quick Tip by Esmeraude]]> Thu, 11 Nov 2010 18:54:13 +0000 <![CDATA[Dracula (novel) Quick Tip by Esmeraude]]> As a kid Dracula was my First Vampire, for which I am grateful. Whatever archetypes the Vampire stirs in us Bran Stoker's original dark Count makes a direct hit.]]> Thu, 11 Nov 2010 18:44:20 +0000 <![CDATA[A Wrinkle in Time Quick Tip by PoseySessions]]> Sat, 6 Nov 2010 20:19:20 +0000 <![CDATA[A Wrinkle in Time Quick Tip by SheilaDeeth]]> Fri, 5 Nov 2010 00:02:01 +0000 <![CDATA[The Chronicles of Narnia (novels) Quick Tip by SheilaDeeth]]> Fri, 5 Nov 2010 00:01:30 +0000 <![CDATA[ Bridget's Review]]> Thu, 28 Oct 2010 12:00:00 +0000 <![CDATA[ Enjoyable by young and old alike!]]>
While the writing is straightforward, well crafted and obviously aimed at a younger audience, "A Wrinkle in Time" is nonetheless a fast paced enjoyable tale of good vs evil that combines elements of science fiction, fantasy and magic even adult readers will flip through relentlessly. But there are lots of life lessons, issues and moral themes sprinkled throughout - low hanging fruit just waiting for the eager child, the observant questioning teen, the confused parent or thinking adult to pick and chew on, as it were - the coming of age realization that parents are not infallible; the cruelty of malicious gossip; God and evil; the awkwardness of romantic adolescent relationships; the potential destructiveness of pride or vanity; the marginalizing of people who are different; the enormous difficulties of selflessness; the understanding that all life's questions will not be answered; and more.

While some readers criticize "A Wrinkle in Time" as being overtly moralist, I felt somewhat differently. It was clear to me that religion and, in particular, Christian symbolism was present but I felt that L'Engle let it sit quietly just beneath the surface and the story never became even remotely preachy.

It is little wonder that "A Wrinkle in Time" has been elevated to the status of children's classic and continues to be enjoyed by adults and children alike more than 40 years after it was first published for a grateful reading world.

Paul Weiss]]> Sat, 23 Oct 2010 22:42:06 +0000
<![CDATA[ Tension in the world of faerie finally boil over....and there will be death!]]> WARNING SPOILERS AHEAD!!                                                                                                                                                                        This is book number seven of the eight book (as of right now) Meredith Gentry series that follows the life of a real life faerie princess. I found this book to be very different than the previous books because it was so full of action. Where the previous ones have been more full of action of the adult kind this one has action of the war kind. This book starts out with Merry in a hospital once again, only this time it is her in the patients bed, having a DNA test run to prove what i'd suspected in the end of the previous book, that her uncle the King of the Seelie court had raped her to claim that the children that she carried where fathered by him. As if the knowledge that your own uncle has raped you is not enough Merry is attacked yet again by another family member (and not one of the usual ones) and once again comes very close to loosing people that she loves. Instead of her usual display of kindness and mercy Merry calls the Wild Hunt down upon another of her family members that caused the attack, and rides with the Hunt to see this persons death. Towards the middle of the book something most unexpected and unusual happens. While Merry is seeking refuge and healing in the sithen of the Slaugh she finds that the sithen will obey her orders as the Unseelie sithen does. Then the land of faerie its self makes the decision to wed Merry and Sholto making her Queen to his King of the Slaugh. Merry's attempts at pregnancy where to help her win her aunt's throne and in this book she finds herself pregnant and halfway to the Unseelie throne and sitting upon the throne of the Slaugh. This turn was quite pleasing to me because as i have said before i really like the character of Sholto and i think that he deserves not only the happiness that he may be a ruler of the Unseelie but to also have a queen for his kingdom. But as always Merry's happiness cannot be still for long. Soon after being crowned Queen the Seelie court is sent by their mad king to collect "the mother of his children" and return her to him. Merry then calls in a favor to get her and her guards out of the Slaugh sithen without apprehension from the Seelie and on a plane back to L.A. and to safety. When her plan to escape the Seelie seemingly is successful Merry encounters a major problem with the Unseelie court, being led by her cousin Cel. This is where the book kicks into full armor battle mode. But blood and guts aside the reader learns some answers to questions from previous books. Who killed Merry's father, prince Essus? and what was the real reason the Queen called Merry out of exile to take her place on the throne? Both answers where interesting and very unexpected. Just before it looks like it's over faerie shows its favor of Merry once more making her Queen of yet another court. A Queen-ship that she will deny after all her long hardships and losses spent to achieve it. The only thing that i can say that i really didn't like about this book was the way it ended. It was unexpected as Hamiltons's endings almost always are, but it just felt so wrong to me. I will have to see where the next book takes the story but i don't understand thus far how the land of faerie will survive without a fertile ruler on the throne of either court, it seems as though Merry leaving will condemn her people to death.]]> Sun, 17 Oct 2010 21:27:14 +0000 <![CDATA[ Left me lacking becuase of the selfishness of the characters]]> PJVs QUICKIE POV: The anticipation of this book was better than the actual experience. I was really looking forward to reading this one - probably the chick on the cover and that knife, she looks like she could kick my butt. Unfortunately expectations and delivery just didn't match and while Meding thought up a great Urban Fantasy world that was quite intense and had some good intricacies - it was just that her characters left me lacking because of the lack of emotional connections. It felt more like a recitation of facts and occurrences and not a story in the first person perspective.

REVIEW: In the world where Evangeline Stone lives their are goblins, vampires and halfies, along with a lot more creatures that go bump in the night. They hide themselves from the human population in general - but their is a group that knows of their existence and police them with ruthless justice and sadistic penalties. Evy is a part of the group, her team is called a Triad. It is made up of three "agents" and one handler. She loves her job, she's a killer, but from her perspective it is the right thing to do. Everything was on track in her violent life - until she has to kill her teammate and then ends up on the slab in the someone else's body with just three days to live.

So begin's Chalice/Evy's fight for survival and attempt at proving herself innocent of her teammates death. It is a wild ride with monsters, vampires and trolls coming from all angles. There is even a smidge of romance thrown into the mix.  It had all the potential to be a very hard hitting, nail biting Urban Fantasy but to me it just fell flat.

My first take on the staleness of the novel was Wyatt the handler and romantic interest #1. He was a total pansy - which didn't have me liking him much. And what guy would have done this to his "girl"? Sell his free will for three more days with his dead love? That just struck me as completely selfish, moronic and irresponsible.

Then there was the weird Chalice might still be there or some kind of weird body memory that had her clinging to Alex and hot in the pants for Wyatt. It was odd, what was that about? I wanted to slap Evy for even going back to Alex - how could she have done that to him? That just struck me as selfish, moronic and irresponsible. For such a tough chick, you sure don't like to be alone - so you have to ruin someone's life completely just to have Yeah, basically this book was about two really freaking selfish people doing screwed up things that could put the entire world in jeopardy.


I really was hoping by the end that one of them would have just killed themselves - you know last unselfish act and all that.

RECOMMENDATIONS: Adults only, has a lot of nasty themes. Violence, rape, sexual encounters, cursing. This one reminded me of Kelly Gay's Better Part of Darkness, with the ridiculously strong female character and the woosified male characters.]]> Sat, 16 Oct 2010 19:47:04 +0000
<![CDATA[ a unique story that had much more potential than was used.]]> Warning spoilers ahead:
This is the first book in a new series called The Immortals written by Alyson Noel. This is the story of a girl named Ever who is living in California with her aunt after having lost the rest of her family in a car accident. Ever has psychic abilities, she can read minds and emotions and read peoples auras. Nothing can block out these senses until she meets Damon, your typical tall, dark and handsome hottie, and discovers that when he touches or speaks to her everything goes quit. Damon is a really weird character i didn't know it i liked him or not through the first half of the book. On one hand i wanted he and Ever to be together because he helps her to be more normal and happy, and on the other hand he acts so weird and kind of mean that it makes me not want him in the picture. I started this book thinking it was some kind of a vampire book, hence the title the immortals. All through the first half of the book the author leads you to believe that Damon is indeed a vampire. He never eats, acts so inhumanly weird, and seems to know things that he shoulden't. He is walking around the school in daylight and is always described as tanned, but hey in today's vampire novels that's not totally out of the question. Aside from the psychic-ness Ever has one more weird thing going on in her life, she sees dead people, for the most part only her sister who died in the accident. Her sister plays a large role in Ever's life with their almost daily contact. Around the middle of the book is were the story gets really weird and hard to follow. Ever finds out that not only is Damon NOT a vampire, but rather an immortal, a concept that is not really explained very well other than the fact that they do not die and have been around for many hundreds of years. Ever then has to face off with Damon's ex-wife (also immortal) on more than one occasion,and she also discovers that she herself is an immortal. Apparently Ever's soul has been reincarnated several times throughout Damon's lifetimes and every single time has met an early demise. So when Ever is killed in the car accident with her family Damon can't bear the pain of her loss (even though she had never met him in this lifetime at the time of the accident) and decided to bring her back as an immortal (we are never told how this is done). This is why when she wakes up in the hospital she has these psychic abilities that she never had before. At the end of the book Ever is given the choice to embrace her life as an immortal and stay with Damon or turn away from it and continue her human life psychic-free. This book was fairly interesting to read although i thought that the way the dialog was written was kind of annoying to read. The idea for this book is so original and unique that i felt that there was a lot more potential for a great story had the author just elaborated a little bit more on certain points to make the story more clear. It is well worth the read if you are looking for a break in today's vampire-riddled world.

]]> Fri, 15 Oct 2010 00:57:32 +0000
<![CDATA[Spirit Bound (Vampire Academy, Book 5) Quick Tip by vampire_eyez]]> Tue, 12 Oct 2010 03:48:29 +0000 <![CDATA[Hourglass (Evernight) Quick Tip by vampire_eyez]]> Tue, 12 Oct 2010 03:44:00 +0000 <![CDATA[Frostbite (Vampire Academy, Book 2) Quick Tip by vampire_eyez]]> Tue, 12 Oct 2010 03:43:05 +0000 <![CDATA[Shadow Kiss (Vampire Academy, Book 3) Quick Tip by vampire_eyez]]> Tue, 12 Oct 2010 03:42:03 +0000 <![CDATA[Blood Promise (Vampire Academy, Book 4) Quick Tip by vampire_eyez]]> Tue, 12 Oct 2010 03:40:47 +0000 <![CDATA[The City of Ember Quick Tip by vampire_eyez]]> Tue, 12 Oct 2010 03:34:01 +0000 <![CDATA[The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (Collins Design Wisps) Quick Tip by vampire_eyez]]> Tue, 12 Oct 2010 03:33:01 +0000 <![CDATA[Angels & Demons Quick Tip by vampire_eyez]]> Tue, 12 Oct 2010 03:32:06 +0000 <![CDATA[The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings Quick Tip by vampire_eyez]]> Tue, 12 Oct 2010 03:31:11 +0000 <![CDATA[The Shining (book) Quick Tip by vampire_eyez]]> Tue, 12 Oct 2010 03:26:34 +0000 <![CDATA[ Murder in the sithen, and the awakening of an ancient magic....]]>
Though it was different than the previous books in the series, i enjoyed this one just as much as the others. The way that the author describes the magic of the fey is so captivating it makes it nearly impossible for me to put the book down, because i'm so excited to see what will happen next. Also just when i think that i have the storyline figured out and know whats to come i am totally blown out of the water and surprised by some unseen twist. Hamilton's imagination never fails to impress me. When i first started to read this series i thought that it would become repetitive because if each of the fey have their own individual hands of power and cultural differences. What i failed to see was that the authors world would unfold into something so amazingly complex and beautiful but also so easy to follow and non-repetitive in any way. Each of the races of fey are do different but so their own at the same time it makes for a interesting story. One of the only downsides i could find with this book was the part with the human investigators was never really finished. They found some evidence and told Merry and her guards their suspicions but no formal test reports where ever brought back to Merry, but it is possible that there will be closure on the subject in the following book, which i will be defiantly be reading.]]> Sat, 9 Oct 2010 02:32:02 +0000
<![CDATA[ Murder in the sithen, and the awakening of an ancient magic....]]> Book number four of Laurell K. Hamiltion's Meredith Gentry series, entitled A Stroke of Midnight was an excellent addition to the storyline, but proved to be slightly different than the previous books. There is less action in this book, no duels or fighting off untold evils, but it dosen't make the book any less exciting. Merry is still in the Unseelie sithen from the visit that began in the previous book. The book starts off with a bang when Merry and her guards are holding a press conference to discuss the attempt on her life that happened in the last book when directly after leaving the press there are bodies discovered in the sithen! One of them a human! The interesting twist is that instead of using typical magically-enhanced faerie justice Merry convinces the Queen to let her include human investigators in a forensic investigation to find the killer. To make up for the lack of action in this book there is a definite increase in magic being done. Towards the middle of the book Merry has an encounter with the Goddess that leaves her to realize that she has been given the power to revive the failing power of the fey. The power of the Goddess mixed with certain ancient faerie relics, and some of Merry's own powers are well on their way to bringing the life and power back to the Unseelie sithen.

Though it was different than the previous books in the series, i enjoyed this one just as much as the others. The way that the author describes the magic of the fey is so captivating it makes it nearly impossible for me to put the book down, because i'm so excited to see what will happen next. Also just when i think that i have the storyline figured out and know whats to come i am totally blown out of the water and surprised by some unseen twist. Hamilton's imagination never fails to impress me. When i first started to read this series i thought that it would become repetitive because if each of the fey have their own individual hands of power and cultural differences. What i failed to see was that the authors world would unfold into something so amazingly complex and beautiful but also so easy to follow and non-repetitive in any way. Each of the races of fey are do different but so their own at the same time it makes for a interesting story. One of the only downsides i could find with this book was the part with the human investigators was never really finished. They found some evidence and told Merry and her guards their suspicions but no formal test reports where ever brought back to Merry, but it is possible that there will be closure on the subject in the following book, which i will be defiantly be reading.

]]> Sat, 9 Oct 2010 02:20:45 +0000
<![CDATA[A Wrinkle in Time Quick Tip by fatherz]]> Fri, 8 Oct 2010 16:21:10 +0000 <![CDATA[ Entertaining but not that original]]> PJVs QUICKIE POV: I seem to go through fazes... the theme of the month are the Olympians. Always a big fan of those naughty gods and goddessess Naughton's Eternal Guardians had my interest piqued from the get-go. Pair in some huge manly warriors, seedy strip-clubs and a secret world - you might have a plot line that has been used a few times before - but it still had me entertained.

REVIEW: Casey is a restless spirit, never one to fit in, she went from place to place, job to job looking for companionship, a life, a meaning. She thinks she has found it, with a bookstore, a little house and a friend. Her little world though, is turned upside down when a highly attractive man comes into the bar she works, catches her as she trips - then ignores her and literally carries a gorgeous blond out the back door.

Theron is an Argonaut, from the line of Heracles. He is in line for the throne, set to marry the heir to the current ruler. While not thrilled with the idea, he is there to serve, he is a warrior, a protector and he will have to be a strong ruler for his people, because the princess while a good person is not strong enough to rule. When she sneaks away to the human world, Theron must find her and bring her back home. He doesn't plan on being ambushed by daemons or to be saved by a human woman - a human woman that he can't seem to keep his hands off.

Marked followed similar lines that most Paranormal Romance books follow - Clueless female that encounters paranormal male, is sucked into his world and then finds out she might be a part of that world. They find they are destined to be together but extenuating circumstances have them fighting more than f... well you know what I mean. The world was original, while the algorithm was not. I did enjoy reading though, I just didn't analyze it too much. I'm usually not a fan of "Fated Soul-Mates" but this one actually worked for me. They fought against it enough that the fall was worked for, and all the hidden truths and such made it almost seem an impossible love, thus keeping me on my toes. There was a bit too much teasing...I was screaming at some point "Just Get It On" to Theron & Casey, they sure did drag their feet enough. I will be reading the second book, but I don't know how quickly I will get to it, since I heard Naughton has switched publishers and the 3rd books release will be delayed. Like to read these babies back to back. Entwined (Eternal Guardians) covers Zander which is the one I was hoping for in the next one. The reason for my lower than usual rating is the unoriginal plot and the fact that the antagonist was a bit overdone. I mean really, what did Daddy not love you that much that you now have to exterminate an entire race???

RECOMMENDATIONS: Adults only, this is a PNR  and there are a few love scenes. Fan of Greek Mythology might enjoy, similar to BDB series - at least the big throbbing muscular men are ;)]]> Fri, 8 Oct 2010 15:34:48 +0000