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Ramblings by Category

Ramblings by Year

Frost Burned

Frost Burned (Mercy Thomson, #7)
by Patricia Briggs

Mercy Thompson’s life has undergone a seismic change. Becoming the mate of Adam Hauptman—the charismatic Alpha of the local werewolf pack—has made her a stepmother to his daughter Jesse, a relationship that brings moments of blissful normalcy to Mercy’s life. But on the edges of humanity, what passes for a minor mishap on an ordinary day can turn into so much more…

After an accident in bumper-to-bumper traffic, Mercy and Jesse can’t reach Adam—or anyone else in the pack for that matter. They’ve all been abducted.

Through their mating bond, all Mercy knows is that Adam is angry and in pain. With the werewolves fighting a political battle to gain acceptance from the public, Mercy fears Adam’s disappearance may be related—and that he and the pack are in serious danger. Outclassed and on her own, Mercy may be forced to seek assistance from any ally she can get, no matter how unlikely. (goodreads.com)

** NOTE ** I started this post 2 weeks ago. I just can’t seem to find time to blog about the books I have been reading! Sorry for the lack of updates! 

I just couldn’t wait another year to read the latest Mercy Thompson novel, so I broke down and bought it for my Kobo. Yes. I bought an EBOOK when I have been so vehemently opposed to ebooks for so long. I am ashamed to say I am quite enjoying my eReader and have bought quite a few books for it with gift cards that I had. *cough* I totally plan on buying the paperback when it’s out though for my collection!

Now that I have my confession out of the way, I will tell you that I truly enjoyed this book. The last few installments have left me wondering if I wanted to continue on with the series, but Frost Burned reminded me why I loved this series so much.

There’s something about Mercy and how everything happens to her or she’s the one that needs to save everyone that doesn’t get old or annoying. She’s smart, strong, capable and gets into her fair share of fights and injuries. She’s also immensely likable and not a damsel in distress at all. Somehow when things happen to her they seem normal (well, as normal as paranormal type things can be.)

What made me laugh most was the Black Friday shopping experiences at the start of this book. I liked reading about Mercy doing something that wasn’t saving the world. She was doing something normal people do, with her step-daughter Jessie. (I say “normal” very loosely, because I don’t consider people who go out to Black Friday sales all that normal. I consider them insane.)

I thought it was super exciting to suddenly have an entire pack kidnapped without so much as blinking an eye. I liked the mystery and intrigue within this instalment of the series. It held my attention very well and I was so happy I finally caved in and bought the ebook. (Trust me, there was a huge internal debate over this. I still feel odd when I buy books for my eReader.)

The one problem I had with the book was the ending. I was sort of disappointed once the Big Reveal was announced. I had sort of hoped for more than what it was because I thought it was…lacking? Anti-climatic? It felt somewhat dissonant to the rest of the novel. Oh, well. I still enjoyed the book immensely.

I think fans of this series will be happy with the new book. Especially since it was a long time coming. I am looking forward to more from Mercy, Adam and the gang. I hope it won’t be another 2 years down the road though!

Mercy Thompson series

  1. Moon Called
  2. Blood Bound
  3. Iron Kissed
  4. Bone Crossed
  5. Silver Borne
  6. River Marked
  7. Frost Burned 

House Rules

House Rules (Chicagoland Vampires, #7)
by Chloe Neill

In a city full of vampires, trouble never sleeps.

At the tender age of 27, Merit became a sword-wielding vampire. Since then, she’s become the protector of her House, watched Chicago nearly burn to the ground, and seen her Master fall and rise. Now she’ll see her mettle—and her metal —tested like never before.

It started with two . . . Two rogues vanishing without a trace. Someone is targeting Chicago’s vampires, and anyone could be next. With their house in peril, Merit and her Master, the centuries old Ethan Sullivan, must race to stop the disappearances. But as they untangle a web of secret alliances and ancient evils, they realize their foe is more familiar, and more powerful, than they could have ever imagined. (goodreads.com)

You know what I am going to start with? I’m going to start with the cover. I mean, look at this cover. You might not notice much by just looking at the tiny image on my blog, but in real life this cover is just abysmal. The photo of the cover model is so horrible, it’s like someone made an Awkward Photo mock up cover as a joke and it accidentally got printed. The entire photo is just completely lacklustre. I know the UK covers for this series are sort of cheesy, what with the glowing cover model, but I kind of like them. This one is just so bland and embarrassing. Nothing about this photo says “Strong, sassy, Sentinel Vampire”.

*ahem*

And now on to what I thought of the story between the cover…

There are two stories going on in this book. One story about random killings of vampires and another about Cadogan House’s detachment from the, um, Grand, um… GP… the, you know, group of Vampires that keep everyone together. Wow. It’s been a while since I read the book and I can’t think of the name of the  governance body. Oops.

I was more interested in the random vampire killings than I was about Merit’s double life of being a Cadogan vampire and a member of the Red Guard and the politics of vampires pissing off other vampires. I do think that Cadogan house becoming rogue vampires was a pretty neat move to keep the story interesting, but I like how these books normally have some mystery to them and that wasn’t it. The mystery was the killing of rogue vamps and I felt like there was a whole lot of space between introducing that element of the story and then finally getting back to it.

I also found that the resolution to that mystery happened way too fast and sort of as if it was just tossed in there as an afterthought because there was a completely different story going on at the same time.

I didn’t exactly dislike this instalment of the Chicagoland Vampires series, but I didn’t love it, either. I did find it more enjoyable than the last book, but nothing beats the WOWZA! that was Hard Bitten. I feel like I am comparing each new book in this series to that one.

Regardless of my preference for which of the stories took the lead in this book, I am pretty sure that Cadogan House being rogue (in a way) is a huge turn for this series. I am very eager to see where the next two books take me because I am sure I’m in for some delightful supernatural shenanigans in the future!

Chicagoland Vampire series

  1. Some Girls Bite
  2. Friday Night Bites
  3. Twice Bitten
  4. Hard Bitten
  5. Drink Deep
  6. Biting Cold
  7. House Rules
  8. Biting Bad  – August 2013
  9. Wild Things – 2014

 

Ever After

Ever After (The Hollows/Rachel Morgan, #11)
by Kim Harrison

The ever after, the demonic realm that parallels the human world, is shrinking. If it disappears completely, so does all magic. It’s up to witch-turned-daywalking-demon Rachel Morgan to avert catastrophe and keep life from changing… for the worse.

While saving the world is important, it isn’t Rachel’s only motivation. There’s also the small fact that she caused the ley line to rip in the first place, setting off a chain reaction of unfortunate events. That little mistake has made her life forfeit unless she can fix it. It’s also made her more than a few enemies, including the most powerful demon in the ever after—a terrifying entity who eats souls and now has an insatiable appetite for her. He’s already kidnapped her friend and goddaughter to lure her out, and if Rachel doesn’t give herself up soon, they’ll die.

But Rachel has more than a few impressive and frightening skills of her own, and she isn’t going to hand over her soul and her life without one hell of a fight. She’s also got a surprise: elven tycoon Trent Kalamack. With this unlikely ally beside her—a prospect both thrilling and unnerving—she’s going to return to the ever after, kick some demon butt, rescue her loved ones… and prevent an apocalypse before it’s too late. Or, at least that’s the plan… (goodreads.com)

Oh, this series, why do you do what you do to me? It’s been such a roller coaster relationship for the last few books and I am starting to think perhaps the series should come to an end soon. That being said I did love the previous two books, even if I wasn’t really sure about books 7 and 8. I don’t know…

This book was Al and Trent-centric and really, I should have been ALL OVER THAT – but I wasn’t. I will be honest with you, I struggled through most of this book and was going to write it off completely until the ending. THAT ENDING! Ooooo!

When I think about what I didn’t like about the story (I think I just found it sort of boring), I realized that this is one of the few books where Rachel isn’t completely inept at something – even if she is still being blamed for something that wasn’t her fault, but if she couldn’t fix it she’d be killed, AGAIN. Rachel was strong and in control in Ever After and I should be jumping for joy about this, but I just couldn’t bring myself to care.

The book wasn’t horrible, but I found it sort of flat in comparison to the rest of the series. I will say this yet again – I miss Ivy. Why is Ivy always AWAY? Is it just me? It’s like Ivy has tiny cameos in the stories now and they can’t afford to hire the actress full time or something. I loved the start of this series with Rachel, Ivy and Jenks against the world. Now? If Ivy has anything to do with the story it’s all about her brooding over being a vampire, getting angry at Rachel for no reason and Rachel trying not to emote and arouse Ivy’s vampire senses…then? Ivy vanishes and it’s all Rachel all the time.

I want my urban fantastical trio back together.

I want Al to not be BFFs with Rachel and be a badass demon once again.

I did get a death in there I had wanted! But one I didn’t want happened, too. It made me sad.

I feel like I am reading this series out of loyalty to the first few books. Yes, there are some gems along the way, but I don’t feel like there is any progression to the characters anymore. I am super curious about how the ending of Ever After will come into play in the next book. If it’s just ignored completely I think I might give up and go on a break from this Rachel Morgan series because I can’t take it anymore. The ending of this book needs to be explored (and ooooo, hotness!)

I’m worried this series is becoming stale, and since it’s a series I have loved for so long, this makes me sad. I hope that there’s more awesome to come, but I also think it might be time to wrap things up sooner than later. What do you guys think?

The Rachel Morgan/The Hollows series

  1. Dead Witch Walking
  2. The Good, The Bad & the Undead
  3. Every Which Way But Dead
  4. A Fistful of Charms
  5. For a Few Demons More
  6. The Outlaw Demon Wails
  7. White Witch, Black Curse
  8. Black Magic Sanction
  9. Pale Demon
  10. A Perfect Blood
  11. Ever After

Vamparazzi

Vamparazzi (Esther Diamond, #4)
by Laura Resnick

Playing a scantily clad vampire victim in an off-Broadway play, struggling actress Esther Diamond now may be the target of someone who claims to be a genuine bloodsucker… (goodreads.com)

Where the heck was Lopez in this novel? Bah! I need more Lopez! I feel like I was robbed or something. Hmmph.

Once more the secondary characters were entertaining and well written, but this fourth book in the series was a little flat to me. Sure it’s funny and fun, but I found the pacing odd and I kept expecting more to happen than actually did. I thought there would be much more Lopez, but I feel like the character had another engagement in another series somewhere so all his scenes were shot in one day and quick & dirty-like. (You know how when an actor needs time off from a weekly tv show or something?)  And all this hinting at Lopez and the “more than he seems” is getting old. We’re four book in already – either deal with the Lopez issues (relationship? magic? ANYTHING?) or stop writing him into the books. I honestly thought there would be a little more resolution to his story line in this book, but instead he was around for a handful of pages.

I HAD NO TIME TO SWOON!

Rude.

There is, however, resolution to another recurring thing in the series and I won’t say more than that because then I’ll just spoil things for you. 😉

I did enjoy Resnick’s take on vampires though. This was not your typical vampire story line and coupling it with the obviously kitschy off-Broadway play with the strong cult-following, was priceless. I LOVED when Esther described the play she was in. The play was the funniest part of the entire book, in my humble opinion.

This wasn’t my favourite of the four books that are out, but it still hit the spot that this series has been hitting since I picked it up 2 weeks ago. I still maintain that Esther Diamond has become the heroine in my new favourite series. And I can’t wait until November 6th when Polterheist comes out. In fact – I pre-ordered it from Book Depository on Sunday when I realized I wanted to make sure I got my hands on the book AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. Because what if my bookstores didn’t get them right away? I would be DOOMED TO WAIT EVEN LONGER! Ack! Not going to happen!

But… what do I do when I am done reading the fifth book? How will I survive without Esther?

<Esther Diamond Novels

  1. Disappearing Nightly
  2. Dopplegangster
  3. Unsympathetic Magic
  4. Vamparazzi
  5. Polterheist
  6. The Misfortune Cookie

Unsympathetic Magic

Unsympathetic Magic (Esther Diamond, #3)
by Laura Resnick

Overdressed zombies, vicious gargoyles, a severed hand… and the night is still young!

Acting jobs don’t just grow on fire escapes… so struggling actress Esther Diamond is outraged when her guest role as a hooker on The Dirty Thirty, a controversial TV drama, is jeopardized by zombies, angry spirits, and a voodoo curse.

Meanwhile, the talented teens whom Esther is coaching at a Harlem cultural center are also being attacked by the sinister supernatural power that’s spreading through Manhattan. And Esther’s love life goes from bad to worse when her bed bursts into deadly mystical flames while her would-be lover, Detective Connor Lopez, is trying to get her into it!

Since the show must go on (and the rent must be paid), Esther boldly helps her friend Dr. Maximillian Zadok, a 350-year-old sorcerer whose day job is protecting New York City from Evil, combat the supernatural forces at work in Harlem during a sweltering summer heat wave. But will Esther’s courage lead her to becoming a human sacrifice on the altar of Evil’s voracious appetite? (goodreads.com)

Ok, I’m warning you now… I ended up buying all available books in this series each time I finished one. So, after this, expect my post on Vamparazzi and then you get a small break since the fifth book only comes out the first week of November. It really wasn’t my plan to buy all of the books within a week and a half, but they are so much fun and I needed a pick-me-up. Once I was finished with one I knew I needed to read the next one.

I don’t think I’ll spoil too much about the book, so if you haven’t read this series yet and want to, it should be safe. The cool thing about these Esther Diamond novels is how each book can be an individual entity. You can start anywhere in the series and still enjoy the book. There are quick recaps to previous books and (I have noticed) some foreshadowing to what the next book might be about. The secondary characters (not counting Max and Lopez) are always new to the story and since each book is its own mystery and mystical element, you’re not going to be confused or lost. Of course, I am reading them in order because I am OCD like that, and it’s certainly more enjoyable because you’ll get some of the one-liner references that are tossed out, but it’s not 100% necessary.

In Unsympathetic Magic we’re dealing with Voodoo and zombies. I was a little wary going into this one because I tend to not find Voodoo stories all that interesting. Whereas I will go crazy for witches or faeries, I’m not big on other supernatural creatures. But this story was actually pretty funny and there are some hot scenes between Esther and her cop-almost-boyfriend, Lopez. (But always in the PG rating… I love that there are no graphic sex scenes for the sake of having sex scenes in a book!) This lack of sex scenes in the books actually makes those scenes much hotter. But trust me when I say, if you’re picking up these books for love scenes and romance, you’re going to be sorrily disappointed because that’s not what they’re about at all.

Once more I laughed out loud quite a few times as I read about Esther’s mystic misadventures in NYC as she tries to help defend her city from Evil AND maintain gainful employment as an actor. I’m also a huge fan of Max and his familiar Nelli. Whenever they are in a scene I will inevitably giggle. And if Detective Connor Lopez is in a scene, I will swoon. He’s got the same sex-appeal as Ranger in the Stephanie Plum books, but Ranger mixed with Morelli. (Which leads me to believe that Stephanie might just dump both those men for Connor Lopez if she met him, as he’s the best of both worlds!)

I specifically went out at lunch on Tuesday to buy the next book since I’d read this one cover to cover on Monday. I don’t know how many more books there might be after the fifth, but I suppose I’m stuck waiting a year between novels like everything else I love. I am happy I decided to read this at this time of year though – not just because I only have a 2 week wait for the newest one to publish, but also because they are atmospheric enough to tie in with Halloween! This makes my OCD voices very happy. 😉

Esther Diamond Novels

  1. Disappearing Nightly
  2. Dopplegangster
  3. Unsympathetic Magic
  4. Vamparazzi
  5. Polterheist
  6. The Misfortune Cookie