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Currently Browsing: urban fantasy
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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May
14

Review: Cry Wolf Vol. 2 Graphic Novel by Patricia Briggs, et. al

Review: Cry Wolf Vol. 2 Graphic Novel by Patricia Briggs, et. al Alpha and Omega: Cry Wolf Volume 2 Author: Patricia Briggs/ David Lawrence/ Todd Herman  Release Date: May 7, 2013 Publisher: InkLit Alpha & Omega Graphic Novels ISBN: #978-0425266281 Genre: Urban Fantasy, Graphic Novel Format(s): Hardcover (112 pgs), e-book Book Source: Publisher About the book: A world of shapeshifting wolves comes vividly to life in this collection of four comics based on Cry Wolf, the first book in Patricia Briggs’s #1 New York Times bestselling Alpha and Omega series.  Charles and Anna are on the hunt for a rogue werewolf in the Montana mountains. The creature has morphed into something so dark that it kills everything in its path: deer, elk, grizzlies…humans. But the wolf is the creature of something far more powerful. One of Charles and Anna’s own pack harbors a centuries-old secret that has come back to haunt him—and wreak vengeance on those around him. Charles and Anna—unaware of the truth—are two innocents who stand in the way. But even as members of their pack rally around them, Anna’s rare power comes into its own—and is unleashed… What G & U are talking about: WARNING: Please note that the series this graphic novel is based on is an ADULT urban fantasy series.  Sometime we can easily mistake a graphic novel for being an acceptable young adult genre, a comic book if you will.  That is not the case.  There are very serious adult themes that take place in this story that are not appropriate for young children.   Gikany and Una need to make sure you understand before reading our review: we are die-hard Briggs fans.  We have read her books numerous times over.  To us, seeing the graphic novel is a way to experience beloved stories in a new way. We read the last novel, Alpha & Omega: Cry Wolf Vol 1 and we are not surprised that the graphics remain as they were in Alpha & Omega: Cry Wolf Vol 2.  It would be odd to have a character look differently or have the world appear changed in the next installment.  That being said, we are still disappointed that Bran looks so much older than we feel he is characterized.  However, the other characters all feel true to character in their depictions.  We enjoy the way the artist captures the moments from the storyline. Although there are a few tweaks in the storyline in Alpha & Omega: Cry Wolf Vol 2 it remains true to the...
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May
13

Review: Bitter Disenchantment by Shawntelle Madison

Review: Bitter Disenchantment by Shawntelle Madison Bitter Disenchantment Author: Shawntelle Madison  Release Date: April 23, 2013 Publisher: self-published Coveted #0.4 (prequel) ISBN: #978-0988798519 Genre: Urban Fantasy, novella Format(s): Paperback (156 pgs), e-book Book Source: NetGalley About the book:      Werewolf Natalya Stravinsky’s outspoken sidekick, Aggie McClure, is featured in this prequel novella. Before Agatha set foot in South Toms River, New Jersey, she had the fight of her life to face. Destined to be the alpha female over her Manhattan pack, Aggie was fully prepared to take on her role until her father arranges a marriage without her consent. She wants out–but the only way is with money–something her new controlling husband won’t give her to escape. But such odds never kept a wolf like Aggie down. To sever the twisted tie, she finds herself pitted against raging wood nymphs and backstabbing brownies in an underground supernatural fighting ring. With every victory, the sweet taste of freedom is closer, but her husband isn’t willing to let her go that easily. Until the very end, Aggie must fight for the one thing she’s never had: a choice. What I’m talking about:      Shifter Agatha McClure, aka Aggie, is the only daughter of Desmond McClure, the powerful alpha of the Midtown wolf pack. Desmond is making changes at home, to include leaving Aggie’s mom and mating with a new wolf, one that will produce an heir to take over the pack someday. In addition, he’s also declared it is time for Aggie to marry, introducing to Aggie her intended, Victor. Not one to take things lying down, Aggie refuses to just sit back and marry Victor until she gets to know him better. Unfortunately for Aggie, it isn’t until after she marries Victor that she finds out he’s not the man she hoped he’d be.      While reading the first two books in Ms. Madison’s Coveted series, I’d grown rather fond of Nat’s best friend, Aggie. But after reading Bitter Disenchantment, I’ve learned to love Aggie. She is one tough wolf and full of amazing fortitude. She never complains and learns when to pick her battles, especially with her father and her husband. She stays focused on what is important, but remains flexible enough to roll with the punches (literally!). I hope that Ms. Madison pens another tale from Aggie’s POV.      Both Desmond and Victor are devilish antagonists. Desmond’s cruelty is overtly dominant, while Victor hides behind a polished exterior. The pair...
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Apr
26

Review: Blood Trade by Faith Hunter

Review: Blood Trade by Faith Hunter Blood Trade Author: Faith Hunter  Release Date: April 2, 2013 Publisher: ROC Jane Yellowrock Book 6 ISBN: #978-0451465061 Genre: Urban Fantasy Format(s): Paperback (368 pgs), e-book Book Source: Publisher About the book: Jane Yellowrock is a shape-shifting skinwalker who’s always up for a fight—even if it means putting her life on the line… The Master of Natchez, Mississippi has a nasty problem on his hands. Rogue vampires—those who follow the Naturaleza and believe that humans should be nothing more than prey to be hunted—are terrorizing his city. Luckily, he knows the perfect skinwalker to call in to take back the streets. But what he doesn’t tell Jane is that there’s something different about these vamps. Something that makes them harder to kill—even for a pro like Jane. Now, her simple job has turned into a fight to stay alive…and to protect the desperately ill child left in her care. What B is talking about: When a string of missing persons cases coincides with the rise of Naturaleza vampire attacks in Natchez, Mississippi, Jane Yellowrock makes a deal with the Master of the City to come in and fix the problem. But, when some of the missing turn out to be witches, and Jane has an encounter with a more deadly form of vampire than has ever been encountered before, the situation spins out of control fast, leaving Jane wondering if, this time, she’s really in over her head, and whether the events she’s set in motion will mean losing everyone she holds dear. When I first began reading the Jane Yellowrock series, I wasn’t sure what to think of Jane, except that I always liked her strength and determination, even though it often got her, as well as anyone close to her, in trouble. Jane has always taken big chances in these novels, and the consequences for everyone involved have often been severe. But, over the last couple of novels, Jane has grown a lot and learned plenty, and I’ve found myself enjoying these tales far more than I anticipated I would. In Blood Trade, Jane takes an outside job, seemingly against her boss’s wishes, and is quickly immersed in a battle that’s far more deadly than she was originally led to believe. On top of that, two former acquaintances from her childhood become involved, further upping the stakes. And, for the first time in as long as she can remember, Jane is surprised to find that she’s part...
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Apr
26

Review: Of Shadow Born by Dianne Sylvan

Review: Of Shadow Born by Dianne Sylvan Of Shadow Born Author: Dianne Sylvan  Release Date: March 26, 2013 Publisher: Ace Shadow World #4 ISBN: # 978-0425259801 Genre: Urban Fantasy Format(s): Paperback (336 pgs), e-book Book Source: Publisher About the book:      Spread throughout the dark corners of our world lies the Shadow World, a society of vampires who feed off the living. In Austin, Texas, one woman must rise from the ashes of tragedy and confront an ancient evil before it destroys everything she holds dear…      After a heartrending night of loss and blood, Miranda Grey-Solomon, vampire Queen of the South, now stands in the ruins of her life determined to pick up the pieces and move on. David, her husband and Prime, is missing and presumed dead, and Miranda is lost without her soul mate by her side…But she has little time to grieve as enemies both old and new emerge to test her yet again.      Between vampires trying to take advantage of a Queen without a Prime, incursions by a mysterious organization of humans calling themselves the Order of the Morningstar, and the continuing threat from those within the Shadow World who have already tried to destroy her, Miranda and her allies are running out of places to turn. In order to save her territory and the ones she loves, Miranda must look to the ancient past, to the first days of the vampire race, and uncover secrets about the Signets that could change the course of history… What G & U are talking about:      Gikany and Una have just finished the latest novel in the Shadow Worlds series, Of Shadow Born.  This book dawns on a definite new story arc; one that we are still trying to come to grips with. **Please note there are series spoilers in this review.  This series is best read from the beginning.      At the close of Shadow’s Fall, Miranda is seriously injured and David, well, we suspect he may be dead.  The Awakening has come and yet nothing seems different.  Except if David is indeed dead, why is Miranda still living – an unheard of situation between signets.  The first half of Of Shadow Born answers the questions of David’s status and Miranda’s continued existence.  The first part explores some of the heart-wrenching pain that Miranda experiences at David’s absence.  It is not surprising.  However, what is surprising is the care that is given to Miranda’s character and...
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Apr
24

Review: Rising Darkness by Thea Harrison

Review: Rising Darkness by Thea Harrison Rising Darkness Author: Thea Harrison  Release Date: April 2, 2013 Publisher: Berkley Game of Shadows #1 ISBN: #978-0425248454 Genre: Urban Fantasy, Romance Format(s): Paperback (304 pgs), e-book Book Source: Publisher/ NetGalley About the book:       In the hospital ER where she works, Mary is used to chaos. But lately, every aspect of her life seems adrift. She’s feeling disconnected from herself. Voices appear in her head. And the vivid, disturbing dreams she’s had all her life are becoming more intense. Then she meets Michael. He’s handsome, enigmatic and knows more than he can say. In his company, she slowly remembers the truth about herself…       Thousands of years ago, there were eight of them. The one called the Deceiver came to destroy the world, and the other seven followed to stop him. Reincarnated over and over, they carry on—and Mary finds herself drawn into the battle once again. And the more she learns, the more she realizes that Michael will go to any lengths to destroy the Deceiver.       Then she remembers who killed her during her last life, nine hundred years ago…Michael. What I’m talking about:       The story opens with a dream of a life from the very distant past, in a “galaxy far, far away,” although our heroine, Mary, doesn’t realize this until later in the story. She dreams of a criminal escaping and of comrades dying in one life to be reborn in another in order to find him and bring justice. To try and shake the dream and the stress of her life as an ER doctor in a nearby hospital, she goes for a run. When she thinks she sees and hears the wind talking, Mary becomes even more confused and a little concerned, starting to question her sanity. However, when her ex-husband (but still good friend) tries to get her to the doctor, she runs from the appointment and his help.       Rising Darkness unfolds slowly, giving the reader different point-of-views and sides to the same story. We learn about our hero, Michael and meet “Grandmother,” along with a few humans who know some of the secrets hidden among the naive population of Earth. I was a bit confused for a while, trying to piece together all of the sections and understand what had happened in the past and what it meant for this book. Although the story is revealed gradually, it...
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Apr
22

Review: Hot Blooded by Amanda Carlson

Review: Hot Blooded by Amanda Carlson Hot Blooded Author: Amanda Carlson  Release Date: April 23, 2013 Publisher: Orbit Jessica McClain #2 ISBN: #978-0316205214 Genre: Urban Fantasy Format(s): Paperback (336 pgs), e-book Book Source: Publisher/ NetGalley About the book:       It hasn’t been the best week for Jessica McClain.       Her mate has been kidnapped by a Goddess hell-bent on revenge — but Jessica is playing for keeps.       Because she’s the only female werewolf in town…it comes with its own set of rules…and powers.       Aided by two vamps, two loyal Pack members, and one very reluctant human, Jessica must rescue her man while coming to terms with what being a wolf really means.       All in a day’s work for a girl.       The second novel in the Jessica McClain series is a full on action adventure featuring one angry Goddess and plenty of monsters, demons, and a few newly risen beasties… What I’m talking about:       The second book in Ms. Carlson’s Jessica McClain series starts of in the thick of things just days after the conclusion of the first book, Full Blooded. Jessica is busy fighting an imp and discovers yet another prophecy supposedly about her. After discussing it with her dad, it appears there may be some truth that she is the One True Lycan who will overcome the world’s evil. Jessica and her dad have a wonderful rapport, and their heart-to-heart is just one of the many moments I thoroughly enjoyed in Hot Blooded.       Jessica, her brother twin Tyler, and friend Danny are preparing to search for Jessica’s mate, Roarke, who was captured by the evil goddess Selena at the end of the last book. They will be working with two vampire trackers (all part of a deal brokered in the first book). In addition, Jessica is responsible for a human police officer, Ray: a man who hounded Jessica when she was human. By pack laws he needs to be killed since he knows about the paranormal. However Jessica doesn’t feel that’s right and fights to allow him to live, but she has to convince Ray to join them willingly and work for the pack. It’s an excellent twist that allows Jessica to grow into a stronger, righteous woman that just may be the One True Lycan.       I really enjoyed Hot Blooded, especially after loving the premise but being a...
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Apr
19

Review: Sharp by Alex Hughes

Review: Sharp by Alex Hughes Sharp Author:  Alex Hughes Release Date: April 2, 2013 Publisher: Roc Mindspace Investigations #2 ISBN: 978-0451465047 Genre: Science Fiction, Urban Fantasy Format(s):  Paperback (339 pages), E-book Book Source: Publisher About the book: HISTORY HAS A WAY OF REPEATING ITSELF, EVEN FOR TELEPATHS.…        As a Level Eight telepath, I am the best police interrogator in the department. But I’m not a cop—I never will be—and my only friend on the force, Homicide Detective Isabella Cherabino, is avoiding me because of a telepathic link I created by accident.      And I might not even be an interrogator for much longer. Our boss says unless I pull out a miracle, I’ll be gone before Christmas. I need this job, damn it. It’s the only thing keeping me sane.      Parts for illegal Tech—the same parts used to bring the world to its knees in the Tech Wars sixty years ago—are being hijacked all over the city. Plus Cherabino’s longtime nemesis, a cop killer, has resurfaced with a vengeance. If I can stay alive long enough, I just might be able to prove my worth, once and for all…   What G & U are talking about:      Gikany and Una are so excited about this new-to-us series.  In order to start off on the right foot, we started with the first book, Clean in this Mindspace Investigations series.  Do yourself a favor and read the first book – it’s awesome!  It is also the best introduction into Sharp – a truly gritty and gripping novel.      This series is told from the first person perspective of the Telepath.  He is disavowed from the Guild (the group that trains and controls those with Ability) and barely holding on to a clean existence as it is.  If it wasn’t for Cherabino, Bellury, and Swartz, we feel he would dive into the abyss until he winked out of Mindspace forever.      Gikany and Una cannot stress what a fascinating world that Ms. Hughes has created.  We are riveted by this futurestic view of our world.  The past Tech Wars which has caused a reversal in the use of technology, the pollution, the seemingly precious real resources left (like fresh produce and meat) and the abundance of those with Ability.  This world is gritty and seen through the eyes of our recovering addict – who stays alive and sober by true grit and gumption.  Not to mention – his...
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