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Currently Browsing: urban fantasy
Aug
20

Review: Under a Spell by Hannah Jayne

Review: Under a Spell by Hannah Jayne Under a Spell Author: Hannah Jayne Reviewer: Gikany and Una Rating: B, 3 Stars What we’re Talking About: Under A Spell is the fifth book in the Underworld Detection Agency series.  Sophie is out to uncover a deadly coven and hopefully save a missing teen – by going back to her own personal hell, high school.  It is blatantly clear that the worse part of Sophie’s childhood was high school, and she has absolutely no desire to ever revisit that portion of her life again. First, we liked the last book, Under The Gun, even though we had jumped into the series with that novel.  We must stress again, to better enjoy this series, please start from the beginning.  Gikany and Una haven’t yet been able to go back and read the previous novels.  Because of this, we feel we are not as invested in the characters and are feeling a little lost to the references to previous occurrences.  There are numerous times that Sophie makes references to previous events that continue to be lost on us, although they continue to encourage us to go back and read the earlier titles. As we were reading Under A Spell, we kept comparing it to the previous novel.  It has some of the same cultural references and humor that we enjoyed.  Sophie has a unique personality and we enjoy her banter and current cultural references.  The first part of the book shows Sophie having an anxiety attack over returning to her high school, albeit as a substitute teacher.  It felt over-played, and we started interpreting her fears and anxiety as more of whining that she expected to be treated as she had in high school.  This seemed just a tad ridiculous to us.  She is going back as a teacher… why would she be treated as the pariah outcast student as she once was?  Once Sophie finally put on her big girl panties (at least the ones she could find…) we had the Sophie we enjoyed from the previous novel once again.  Something else that we wondered (that may be explained in previous novels) is how someone that is 100% human possibly related to Satan.  Also, how could spells affect someone whose sole reason for working for the Underworld Detection Agency is the fact that she is immune to magic?  This was never really explained. The continuing of the love triangle between Sophie, Will and Alex seemed to change a bit...
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Aug
12

Review: Possession by Kat Richardson

Review: Possession by Kat Richardson Possession Author: Kat Richardson Reviewers: Gikany and Una Rating: A-, 4 Stars What We’re Talking About: Gikany and Una found this series not too long ago.  Sadly, we started it with the sixth book, Downpour.  Despite this, we immediately enjoyed the Greywalker series.  Although Gikany has been able to go back and start reading the previous books (starting with the first novel, Greywalker) Una has not been able to.  Therefore for this review, there are a few distinctions in it, but overall we thoroughly enjoyed it! Possession picks up a few months after Seawitch ended.  Harper is spending some free time in a bookshop when a very desperate woman approaches her looking for Harper to help her sister.  It seems that her sister is suffering from PVS: Persistent Vegetative State… think of it as a prolonged deep coma.  There may be occasional twitches, but nothing that is cognizant. However, a strange phenomenon has taken hold of her sister; at random times her arm will begin to move.  She has started painting pictures…most of which are of the same subject over and over again.  It is as if someone (or something) is uses her as one would dance a marionette.  As Harper delves into the mystery, she discovers that these strange possession-like symptoms are occurring in two other PVS patients.  Considering the rarity of this condition, something nefarious must be afoot. Gikany and Una really enjoy the Greywalker series.  This paranormal private eye series is well written and the world is truly fascinating.  Since Gikany has read the previous novels, there are some references to world building that a faithful reader of the series would recognize and understand.  Being that Una is not familiar with the beginning of the series, these references to its mythology were lost on her (however they make her eager to catch up).  These lost references include some of the nuances between Harper and her lover, Quinton, and the connection between Quinton’s father and his mission to find, capture and use for his nefarious schemes any paranormal being he can get his hands on. As the story progresses, the plot thickens incredibly.  The ghosts of Seattle, the plight of the PVS victims, the schemes of Quinton’s father, and Harper struggling to make it all right and save everyone she can without it causing her permanent death make Possession a roller coaster of a nail-biting ride.  It was nearly impossible to put it down (sleep is really...
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Aug
7

Review: Biting Bad by Chloe Neill

Review: Biting Bad by Chloe Neill Biting Bad Author: Chloe Neill Reviewer: Guest Review: Wendy Rating: A-, 4 Stars What I’m Talking About: I wish I could say that I loved everything about this book, and – don’t get me wrong,  parts of it were great – but overall it felt… unfinished. The good stuff first: Merit and Ethan continue to be a fantastic couple. They’re funny and they’re sexy, and they’re two of the least broody vampires I’ve ever had the pleasure to enjoy on paper. I love their relationship. He’s kind of stuffy and uptight (because… you know… he’s 400 years old), and she’s just one of the girls. She loves pizza and chocolate and homemade pasta, and she can’t believe she has a boyfriend for Valentine’s Day. I will read these books as long as the author continues to write them, just because I love Ethan and Merit as a couple. About the rest of the book, though… it felt as though the author had a big book that she was planning to write, and instead, she kind of tapered off about halfway through the story. As usual, Cadogan House, with Merit as Sentinel, has a mystery to solve! Ethan, Merit and the gang are trying to track down the powers-to-be behind anti-vampire riots and attacks that are occurring all over the city. *Rut ro!* Cadogan House continues to come under attack from the GP. Unfortunately, this time the attack is physical instead of political. There’s also a new prophecy from Mallory, a new job for Mallory, a new serum which may or may not allow vampires to become human and a potential murder charge against Ethan yet none of these developments are really resolved before the end of the book. The mystery is kind of solved when someone runs into the house crying and says “I know who did it!”. It was pretty anti-climactic. I’m ready for a big commitment from this author. I’d like to see her blow up her format and really go deep into world-building and big, sweeping, dramatic events. She’s set it all up for us, now I would just love to see her really commit and tell us the big story you can see lurking around the corner! 4 stars: Enjoyed – recommend (A-) About the Book: Merit has been a vampire for only a short while, but she’s already seen a lifetime’s worth of trouble. She and her Master, centuries-old Ethan Sullivan, have risked their lives...
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Jul
26

Review: Magic Rises by Ilona Andrews

Review: Magic Rises by Ilona Andrews Magic Rises Author: Ilona Andrews  Release Date: July 30, 2013 Publisher: Ace Kate Daniels #6 ISBN: #978-1937007584 Genre: Urban Fantasy Format(s): Paperback (368 pgs), e-book Book Source: Publisher/ NetGalley Reviewer: Twimom227 About the Book: Mercenary Kate Daniels and her mate, Curran, the Beast Lord, are struggling to solve a heartbreaking crisis. Unable to control their beasts, many of the Pack’s shapeshifting children fail to survive to adulthood. While there is a medicine that can help, the secret to its making is closely guarded by the European packs, and there’s little available in Atlanta. Kate can’t bear to watch innocents suffer, but the solution she and Curran have found threatens to be even more painful. The European shapeshifters who once outmaneuvered the Beast Lord have asked him to arbitrate a dispute—and they’ll pay him in medicine. With the young people’s survival and the Pack’s future at stake, Kate and Curran know they must accept the offer—but they have little doubt that they’re heading straight into a trap… What I’m Talking About… NOTE: The Magic Rises book also contains the short story “An Ill-Advised Rescue,” which centers on the kidnapping and rescue of Saiman by Kate and Derek. The events in the story occur prior to the start of Magic Rises, and the authors recommends you read it first. The story starts on page 331 of the mass-market paperback. As a stand alone “short,” “An Ill-Advised Rescue” is a wonderful little story that highlights Kate’s talents, how she processes information, and the way she thinks. It’s a great warm up for Magic Rises. Now for Magic Rises… Our story opens some time not too far off from the end of Gunmetal Magic. Kate and her ward, Julie, are sparring, where we witness Julie being a teen, and Kate struggling with being a mom, never having had one herself. The scene quickly moves inside the Keep where Kate is accosted by a desperate mother trying to save her twin daughters who are going loupe. Loupe to shifters is the point when the animal takes over and the human never returns, and they are killed pretty much onsite. Although she’s witnessed loupism before, Kate experiences the destruction it has on a family first hand as the life of Julie’s best friend is in the balance. I have never read such a powerful and emotionally intense first chapter in my life! The raw pain and suffering by all involved was incredible and so well...
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Jul
25

Review: The Thing About Weres by Leigh Evans

Review: The Thing About Weres by Leigh Evans The Thing About Weres Author: Leigh Evans Release Date: July 30, 2013 Publisher: St. Martin’s Mystwalker #2 ISBN: #978-1250006417 Genre: Urban Fantasy Format(s): Paperback (464 pgs), e-book Book Source: Publisher/ NetGalley About the Book THE HEART IS A LONELY HUNTER  In the never-ending saga that is my love-hate relationship with Robson Trowbridge, I, half-Were Hedi Peacock, have had a change of heart. Ever since I shoved Trowbridge through the Gates of Merenwyn, I’ve been the leader of the pack—hard to believe, right? The thing is: I’m half-Fae. So even though my Were side is ready to heed the call of the wild, the other part of me is desperate to take flight. And much as it pains me to admit it, life without Trowbridge is really starting to were me down… I AM WERE, HEAR ME ROAR. To make matters worse, the wolves of Creemore want my blood—and the North American Council of Weres wants me dead. So I’m just counting the days until Trowbridge returns from the other realm…and comes to my brave rescue…and becomes my alpha mate. Wishful thinking? Of course it is. But given all the mess I’ve been through already, what’s the harm in doing a little bit of daisy-plucking? Besides, Trowbridge owes me bigtime. A girl can dream. What I’m Talking About… Over a half a year has passed since end of the previous book, The Trouble with Fate, when Hedi Peacock, half-were–half-fae, tossed her alpha wolf mate, Robson Trowbridge, through the portal to Merenwyn. Weres are forbidden to enter the Fae world, and now Hedi cannot reopen the portal to save him. As the alpha’s mate, she attempts to take over as leader of the pack, but no one really accepts her, mostly because of her Fae ancestry and the fact that she cannot shift into a wolf. When the shifter governing body (NAW) discovers that Robson is missing, they charge Hedi with treason, and attempt to kill her in front of her all-to-eager packmates. Luckily for Hedi, it is at that very moment the gate to Merenwyn reopens, and Trowbridge returns. While he may save Hedi from the NAW, too many things have happened and too much time has passed for life to return back to the way it was prior to Trowbridge’s disappearance. The Thing About Weres is the second book in the Mystwalker series. It is a lengthy read, both in volume of pages and the weight of the story...
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Jul
24

Review: Vicious Moon by Lee Roland

Review: Vicious Moon by Lee Roland Vicious Moon Author: Lee Roland  Release Date: July 2, 2013 Publisher: Signet Earth Witches #3 ISBN: #978-0451238269 Genre: Urban Fantasy Format(s): Paperback (320 pgs), e-book Book Source: Publisher/ NetGalley About the book: “A powerful witch might live a long time, but a single well-placed bullet could change that. While my preferred weapon was magic, I was not averse to shooting anyone or anything offering my sister or me harm.” Ex-soldier and earth witch Nyx Ianira is working as a PI in San Francisco when she sees the last thing she ever wants to see: the Sisters of Justice—the mysterious earth witch police force. A Triad of Sisters usually means an execution mission, but the Sisters’ only goal is to capture and escort Nyx across the country. Nyx is badly needed back in Twitch Crossing, Georgia, the place she ran away from ten years ago to escape the stiff rules and duties of being a true witch. She wanted a life of her own. Now she’s being dragged back to her swampy hometown because another life is in danger: Her little sister is missing, and Nyx is the only one who can track her down in Duivel, Missouri. But the key to finding her may lie with dark and tempting Etienne—a sinister criminal with a fearsome reputation, a ruthless attitude, and a total immunity to magic…   What G & U are talking about: Vicious Moon is the third installment in the Earth Witches series.  There were some surprises in the developing mythology and although it was a bit of a transitional novel, we liked Nyx and Etienne’s story. We feel that this story stood out a bit from the series but not truly in a positive way.  The first novel, Viper Moon, was fresh and powerful – the story of a woman whose calling is to save children.  The second, Vengeance Moon, gave us a feel for the flip side of the Earth Mother’s witches as we were introduced to the Sisters of Justice.  Now we encounter a new witch, one who turned her back on magic only to be summoned back against her will. Nyx is not like the previous two heroines.  She was a warrior and is now a private investigator whose magic has always been unreliable and is centered around fire.  The small hometown that Nyx grew up in was run by witches who also wanted to run her life, and Nyx was not one to...
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Jul
16

Review: A Cursed Embrace by Cecy Robson

Review: A Cursed Embrace by Cecy Robson A Cursed Embrace Author: Cecy Robson  Release Date: July 2, 2013 Publisher: Signet The Weird Girls #2 ISBN: #978-0451416742 Genre: Urban Fantasy Format(s): Paperback (368 pgs), e-book Book Source: Publisher About the book:       Celia Wird and her three sisters are just like other twenty-something girls—with one tiny exception: They are the products of a curse that backfired and gave each of them unique powers that made them, well, a little weird…       After Celia Wird and her sisters help master vampire Misha save his family, their powers are exposed to the supernatural community of the Lake Tahoe region. But fame comes at a price, and being “weird” isn’t always welcome.       To make matters worse, Celia desires the love of Alpha werewolf Aric, but his pack is bent on destroying their relationship to preserve his pureblood status. And once weres start turning up dead—with evidence pointing to the vampires—she must face the prospect of losing Aric forever. But the chaos only masks a new threat. An evil known as the Tribe has risen—and their sights are set on Celia and her sisters. What G & U are talking about:       Gikany and Una continue to enjoy the Weird Girls series.  With the latest installment, A Cursed Embrace, we were stunned by the ending and feeling a little lost.       This urban fantasy series is from Celia’s point of view.  In the last two books (well, the first novel, Sealed with a Curse and a prequel novella, The Weird Girls) we had a lot of interaction between Celia and her sisters; Taran, Shayna and Emme.  One aspect that we love about this series is the connection and bond between these four very different sisters.  Each one is not only unique in appearance, but in her particular curse (power) and personality.  The way the sisters are able to live with one another is powerful – they even take each other’s moods and abrasiveness in stride.  A Cursed Embrace, felt as if it didn’t have that.  In some ways it parallels the feelings of Celia as she feels not just divided from Aric, but since she is no longer with the powerful Alpha, that she is apart from her happy wolf-dating sisters.  The aloneness that comes across the pages is almost overpowering.  We understand it and it is a powerful tool that Ms. Robson wields – but we didn’t like it. ...
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Jun
27

Review: Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet by Darynda Jones

Review: Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet by Darynda Jones Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet Author: Darynda Jones Release Date: Oct. 30, 2012 Publisher: St. Martin’s Press Charley Davidson #4 ISBN: #978-1250014467 Genre: Urban Fantasy Format(s): Hardcover (320 pgs), Paperback, e-book Book Source: Purchased with my own funds About the book:       In Darynda Jones’s Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet, sometimes being the grim reaper really is that. Grim. And since Charley’s last case went so awry, she has taken a couple months off to wallow in the wonders of self-pity. But when a woman shows up on her doorstep convinced someone is trying to kill her, Charley has to force herself to rise above. Or at least get dressed. She quickly realizes something is amiss when everyone the woman knows swears she’s insane. The more they refute the woman’s story, the more Charley believes it.       In the meantime, the sexy, sultry son of Satan, Reyes Farrow, has been cleared of all charges. He is out of prison and out of Charley’s life, as per her wishes and several perfectly timed death threats. But his absence has put a serious crimp in her sex life. While there are other things to consider, like the fact that the city of Albuquerque has been taken hostage by an arsonist, Charley is having a difficult time staying away. Especially when it looks like Reyes may be involved. Just when life was returning to normal, Charley is thrust back into the world of crime, punishment, and the devil in blue jeans. What I’m talking about:       *Note: In this series, each book builds upon story lines revealed in the previous releases. Therefore, there will be spoilers from the prior three titles in this review. This series is best enjoyed when the books are read in order.       It’s been over two months of pajama-wearing, home-shopping-network-watching, never-leaving-her-apartment for our heroine Charley Davison. After being horribly tortured by a crazed killer, then abandoned by her sort-of boyfriend, and finally, at the request of her father, arrested while in the hospital, Charley has spent some downtime avoiding her problems, and who would blame her?       Charley’s life starts to pick up again, in baby steps, after she decides to take a case from a women who thinks someone is trying to kill her. Working on the mystery gets Charley out of her apartment, and we witness her spark begin to return once she starts using...
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Jun
11

Review: Werewolves Be Damned by Stacey Kennedy

Review: Werewolves Be Damned by Stacey Kennedy Werewolves Be Damned Author: Stacey Kennedy  Release Date: April 15, 2013 Publisher: Entangled Publishing Magic & Mayhem #1 Genre: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy Format(s): e-book Book Source: Publisher About the book:       Nexi Jones—part witch, part guardian, and wannabe kick-ass warrior—can’t throw a punch or conjure the simplest magic. But that doesn’t stop her from hunting the werewolves who slaughtered her human family. She’ll have her revenge, but only if Kyden, the elite guardian, would get the hell out of her way.       Kyden can’t decide if Nexi wants to get herself killed or if she just has no clue what she’s doing. But her father made it clear: keep Nexi safe…or else. Of course, the more Nexi runs toward revenge, the more she needs Kyden’s aid, and as she grows into her power and confidence, so does his desire to protect her. The only problem? She’d rather he dropped dead.       But when a vampire paints a bull’s-eye on Nexi’s back, she’s hard-pressed to deny Kyden and the help he’s offering. Even if it means getting her revenge will be a little bit harder. At least it will still be as sweet. What I’m talking about:       Nexi has lived her whole life unaware of the supernatural that surrounds her, that is until the day a rogue werewolf attacked and killed her adoptive parents in front of her. Nexi is rescued by half-naked warriors dressed in leather kilts (Guardians) who whisk her off to the Otherworld. It is there that she discovers her birth father is a Guardian and her birth mother was a witch. It was after her mother’s brutal death by a sadistic vampire that Nexi’s father placed her in hiding on Earth.       After a period of mourning, Nexi begins her journey of self-discovery. To help guide her are a handful of friends such as her “witch soul sister” BFF Haven, her birth father Drake, and a hunky Guardian, Kyden, who, we learn thanks to multiple POVs, has a major thing for Nexi. On a path to become a Guardian, Nexi’s sole motivation is revenge against the werewolf who killed her adoptive parents.       Werewolves Be Damned is an exciting new urban fantasy romance set in a unique world. Ms. Kennedy has created a distinctive new mythology, borrowing bits and pieces from traditional settings. There is a lot to digest (I had to...
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May
28

Review: Generation V by M.L. Brennan

Review: Generation V by M.L. Brennan Generation V Author: M.L. Brennan  Release Date: May 7, 2013 Publisher: Roc Generation V #1 American Vampire #1 ISBN: 978-0451418401 Genre: Urban Fantasy Format(s): Paperback (320 pgs), e-book Book Source: Publisher About the book:       Fortitude Scott’s life is a mess. A degree in film theory has left him with zero marketable skills, his job revolves around pouring coffee, his roommate hasn’t paid rent in four months, and he’s also a vampire. Well, sort of. He’s still mostly human.       But when a new vampire comes into his family’s territory and young girls start going missing, Fort can’t ignore his heritage anymore. His mother and his older, stronger siblings think he’s crazy for wanting to get involved. So it’s up to Fort to take action, with the assistance of Suzume Hollis, a dangerous and sexy shape-shifter. Fort is determined to find a way to outsmart the deadly vamp, even if he isn’t quite sure how.       But without having matured into full vampirehood and with Suzume ready to split if things get too risky, Fort’s rescue mission might just kill him.… What G & U are talking about:       Generation V is a new and exciting urban fantasy debut novel from M.L. Brennan. This engrossing new vampire mythos is a thrilling and engaging suspense that is tempered with humor.       Our hero, Fortitude, is an average guy.  That is… until he begins his transition into a vampire. In this world, vampires are born not made. As they mature, vampires are just like humans, except they must feed from their parent once a month until the transition begins. Fortitude is doing everything he can to postpone that transition for as long as he as he possibly can. Some of his methods are a bit akin to being a difficult child, but after being introduced to his older siblings, Prudence and Chivalry, we don’t blame him. As he is trying to make his own way in the world (staying human) he rejects living with his mother and tries to make it out on his own.  This is why he is living the life of a starved college student. His college degree in film theory seems to only get him so far, as he works for a dive coffee bar.       Something finally changes for Fort when a strange vampire enters his mother’s territory.  Fort sees this as his opportunity...
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