Publisher: Ace

Rapid Reviews – Foundryside, Diamond Fire, Night and Silence, Magic Triumphs

September 21, 2018 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Rapid Fire Reviews, Read in 2018 3 Comments

Sometimes review writing is hard. Sometimes you don’t have a lot to say. Sometimes you’re just lazy as fuck. These are Rapid Fire Reviews.

Rapid Reviews – Foundryside, Diamond Fire, Night and Silence, Magic TriumphsFoundryside by Robert Jackson Bennett
Series: Founders #1
Published by Crown Publishing Group (NY) on August 21, 2018
Pages: 505
Genres: Fantasy
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Audible
Goodreads

Also by this author: American Elsewhere

Short Summary: In the city of Tevanne, a thief gets embroiled in more than she bargained for when she steals an item of imaginable power and the individuals she stole it from will stop at nothing to get it back.

Thoughts: I thoroughly enjoyed American Elsewhere and absolutely planned on reading Bennett’s The Divine Cities trilogy, but Foundryside fell in my lap first and, oh man, Bennett is such a spectacular storyteller. Everything from the world building to the characters to the magic was vividly imagined, felt fresh and new, and was incredibly thrilling to read.

Verdict: I never would have thought I’d say that a talking key was my favorite character in a book but a talking key was absolutely my favorite character in this book. I LOVED this and I’m so anxious for the continued stories in this fascinating world.

five-stars

I received this book free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

 

Rapid Reviews – Foundryside, Diamond Fire, Night and Silence, Magic TriumphsDiamond Fire by Ilona Andrews
Series: Hidden Legacy #3.5
Published by Avon Impulse on November 6, 2018
Pages: 160
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
Goodreads

Also by this author: Magic BitesMagic RisesBurn for Me

Short Summary: *This is #3.5 — Spoilers for the first 3 installments!* Nevada’s sister, Catalina, is the new star in this novella and the upcoming trilogy of the continued Hidden Legacy series. The plans for Nevada and Rogan’s wedding are well underway but when the family tiara is discovered to be missing, Nevada’s future mother-in-law requests that Catalina conduct the investigation behind it because it’s clear there’s at least one family member that doesn’t want this wedding to happen.

Thoughts: I was worried that this spinoff wouldn’t work after the latest spinoff fiasco I read and I was worried that I wouldn’t love Catalina as much as I loved Nevada but my worries were completely unfounded. Catalina is going to be an exceptionally strong lead and I can’t wait for the story to further explore her powers.

Verdict: This was a fantastically fun snippet of future Catalina stories and fans of the author duo are definitely going to be pleased.

four-half-stars

I received this book free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Rapid Reviews – Foundryside, Diamond Fire, Night and Silence, Magic TriumphsNight and Silence by Seanan McGuire
Series: October Daye #12
Published by DAW on September 4, 2018
Pages: 368
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Audible
Goodreads

Also by this author: IndexingRosemary and RueA Local Habitation

Short Summary: Toby is once again faced with the kidnapping of her mortal daughter, Gillian, terrified that she’s once again responsible for her daughter being in danger. During her investigation, she manages to uncover a few jaw-dropping mysteries that will no doubt play a role in Toby’s future.

Thoughts: I swear, just when I feel like I couldn’t love this series more, McGuire manages to sneak in a new facet to the story that opens up whole new avenues and makes the anticipation for the next installment even worse. I have no idea how far she plans to take this series but even with twelve installments under her belt, this series doesn’t seem to be heading towards an end anytime soon, and I’m certainly not complaining.

Verdict: I read the first two installments in 2017 and the remaining nine this year so I could finally be caught up in time for the new release of Night and Silence. I now have to wait for the next release of this ridiculously good series like a PEASANT. BAH.

four-half-stars

I received this book free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Rapid Reviews – Foundryside, Diamond Fire, Night and Silence, Magic TriumphsMagic Triumphs by Ilona Andrews
Series: Kate Daniels #10
Published by Ace on August 28, 2018
Pages: 327
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Audible
Goodreads

Also by this author: Magic BitesMagic RisesBurn for Me

Short Summary: In the final installment of the husband and wife co-authored Kate Daniels series, Kate is battling an ancient enemy that almost succeeded in destroying her family once before and this time seeks to raze Atlanta and everyone in it.

Thoughts: This series began back in 2007 and while I was late to the party (finally started in 2011), Kate Daniels will always be one of the integral series that turned me into such a diehard Urban Fantasy fan. As a final installment, Magic Triumphs still manages to throw in some unexpected surprises, new monsters, and an open enough ending to pave way for future stories (or spinoffs more likely).

Verdict: While the story started off with the standard formula with Kate researching a crime, it was far from what I was expecting from a final installment (I assumed it would be full of verbal sparring between her and Roland — I would have been a-okay with that). The first 2/3 felt like the story was dragging its feet (yet still managed to read very clipped and rushed somehow?), the final 1/3 was full of the action I would have appreciated reading about for the entire book, yet the end was ultimately satisfying and fans of the series will no doubt be pleased with the ending the duo writers bestowed upon her.

three-half-stars

I received this book free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

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Short & Sweet – The Chronicles of Alice

February 3, 2017 Bonnie Book Reviews 5 Comments

Short & Sweet – The Chronicles of AliceAlice by Christina Henry
Series: The Chronicles of Alice #1
Published by Ace on August 4th 2015
Pages: 304
Genres: Horror, Fairy-Tales/Retellings
Format: eBook
Source: Gifted
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Audible
Goodreads

Also by this author: Lost Boy: The True Story of Captain Hook

four-stars

A mind-bending new novel inspired by the twisted and wondrous works of Lewis Carroll...

In a warren of crumbling buildings and desperate people called the Old City, there stands a hospital with cinderblock walls which echo the screams of the poor souls inside.

In the hospital, there is a woman. Her hair, once blond, hangs in tangles down her back. She doesn’t remember why she’s in such a terrible place. Just a tea party long ago, and long ears, and blood…

Then, one night, a fire at the hospital gives the woman a chance to escape, tumbling out of the hole that imprisoned her, leaving her free to uncover the truth about what happened to her all those years ago.

Only something else has escaped with her. Something dark. Something powerful.

And to find the truth, she will have to track this beast to the very heart of the Old City, where the rabbit waits for his Alice.

‘Alice hardly recalled when she was new and whole. That girl seemed like someone else she’d known once, long ago and far away.’

When Alice was sixteen-years-old, she snuck out of New City and into Old City with her friend Dor. She returned home changed irrevocably: she had a cut across her face that would no doubt transform her beautiful face into a scarred one, she was covered in blood, and she couldn’t stop talking about Rabbit. Her parents are determined to quiet any negative gossip that could be associated with their family so they place her in a mental asylum in Old City and there she remains for ten years. Drugged daily, memories of the Rabbit still haunt her and her only companion is Hatcher, a man that she speaks with through a small mouse hole which connects their two rooms. When a fire consumes the asylum and something powerful within is released, her and Hatcher escape together. Together they must work to contain what was released and Alice intends to find the truth of what happened to her all those years ago.

“I feel the night crawling up all around, blotting out the moon. I feel blood running down the walls, rivers of it in the streets below. And I feel his teeth closing around me.”

This book was mad. Completely and utterly mad. It’s this bizarre mix of fantasy and horror but is one outrageously insane nightmare. So, if you’re looking for some variation on the original Disney tale? hahahaha…. Look elsewhere. I read this entire book with this look on my face:

All the characters from the original tales are included in this retelling, except their roles are vastly different (and they are men, not animals). We see Chesire, Caterpiller, the Carpenter, and Walrus who are all crime bosses in Old City. But instead of just silly illusions we’re dealing with fighting rings, sex trafficking (massive trigger warnings here in terms of rape), cannibalism, some horrifying depictions of slavery and magical body modifications… (refer to above gif once again for my response). Honestly, this book is extremely disturbing and the incredible amount of non-stop violence felt like a complete assault on my being at times. Even if it was a difficult read, it was quite remarkable how the author managed to take the basis of a story yet transform it so drastically so as to render it nearly unrecognizable. What didn’t work quite as well was how the actual characters themselves were written. Whether it’s because the author chose to focus completely on the world itself or because she chose to have us rely on our recollections of the characters from the original tale, either way, the characters themselves were lacking in both personal detailing and their general motivations.

This story isn’t going to be for everyone and it’s definitely going to take someone with a higher threshold for reading some seriously messed up shit. It’s grotesque yet in that captivating way that keeps you reading while simultaneously thinking: “What the hell else could possibly happen?”

This fantasy horror mashup will definitely appeal to fans of unconventional fairytale retellings.

Short & Sweet – The Chronicles of AliceRed Queen by Christina Henry
Series: The Chronicles of Alice #2
Published by Ace on July 12th 2016
Pages: 304
Genres: Horror, Fairy-Tales/Retellings
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Audible
Goodreads

Also by this author: Lost Boy: The True Story of Captain Hook

three-half-stars

The author of Alice takes readers back down the rabbit hole to a dark, twisted, and fascinating world based on the works of Lewis Carroll…

Alice and Hatcher have escaped the Rabbit, Cheshire, and the Jabberwocky, but they are still on a mission to find Hatcher’s missing daughter, a quest they will not forsake even as it takes them deep into the clutches of the mad White Queen and her goblin or into the realm of the twisted and cruel Black King.

The pieces are set and the game has already begun. Each move brings Alice closer to her destiny. But, to win, she will need to harness her newfound abilities and ally herself with someone even more powerful—the mysterious and vengeful Red Queen…

“Once, there was a girl called Alice, and she lived in the New City, where everything is shining and beautiful and fair. But Alice was a curious girl with a curious talent. She was a Magician.”

After Hatcher and Alice discovered the truth of their pasts, they set out in search of Hatcher’s daughter Jenny who was believed to have been sold and sent East. On their journey, they stumble upon a small village near the woods with the horrifying stories of the children that they must sacrifice to the White Queen. Alice believes she can be of help to these people despite her inability to consistently use her magic and when Hatcher disappears, Alice is left on her own to take care of herself and make things right for the village.

‘There were monsters in the night but there were monsters in the day too, and monsters inside people who smiled and showed you all their teeth like they were nice.’

Reading this duology back to back was like shifting from fifth gear down to second without slowing down. If Alice was 100% horror, Red Queen is more like 30% and has all the building blocks to make it feel more like the fairytale these stories are based on. Creepy woods that contain unknown creatures that hunt at night, a White Queen and a Black King and the mysterious story of their pasts, magical villages that possess untold rules, a goblin that can fool you with illusions, and giants who were transformed from normal men by a malicious queen. For the majority of this story, Alice is the sole character presence and we get an inside look at her thought process which at first is hesitant and insecure at her ability to do anything on her own. Alice is not only besieged with her personal identity crisis but also with getting a grasp on her magical abilities. The build-up to her gaining confidence is a bit of a plodding process but is a necessity to make her change a realistic one.

The fairytale aspects of this story take center stage when it comes to wrapping up this magical adventure by cleaning up loose ends in a bit of a rapid and unrealistic (but realistic in fairytale standards) style. While I was glad to get a respite from the brutality of the first installment, I think there should have been more included in Red Queen so it felt less like a completely separate story instead of a continuation of the first.Christina Henry certainly knows how to mix up a fairytale and turn it into something awe-inspiring though and I look forward to next reading her take on Peter Pan and Captain Hook in

Christina Henry certainly knows how to mix up a fairytale and turn it into something awe-inspiring though and I look forward to next reading her take on Peter Pan and Captain Hook in Lost Boy.

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Early Review – Magic Binds (Kate Daniels #9) by Ilona Andrews

August 26, 2016 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Early Review, Read in 2016 1 Comment

I received this book free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Early Review – Magic Binds (Kate Daniels #9) by Ilona AndrewsMagic Binds by Ilona Andrews
Series: Kate Daniels #9
Published by Ace on September 20th 2016
Pages: 336
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
Goodreads

Also by this author: Magic Bites, Magic Rises, Burn for Me

four-stars

The latest novel in the New York Times bestselling series that “stands apart.” (Library Journal)

Kate and the former Beast Lord Curran Lennart are finally making their relationship official. But there are some steep obstacles standing in the way of their walk to the altar…

Kate’s father, Roland, has kidnapped the demigod Saiman and is slowly bleeding him dry in his never-ending bid for power. A Witch Oracle has predicted that if Kate marries the man she loves, Atlanta will burn and she will lose him forever. And the only person Kate can ask for help is long dead.

The odds are impossible. The future is grim. But Kate Daniels has never been one to play by the rules…

Kate Daniels series

Magic Bites (Kate Daniels #1) [Review]
Magic Burns (Kate Daniels #2)
Magic Strikes (Kate Daniels #3)
Magic Bleeds (Kate Daniels #4)
Magic Slays (Kate Daniels #5)
Magic Rises (Kate Daniels #6) [Review]
Magic Breaks (Kate Daniels #7) [Review]
Magic Shifts (Kate Daniels #8)

style-3 (3) review

Kate is back!!

It pleases me to no end how fantastic and thrilling this installment was. Things got a little rocky for me in the Kate Daniels fan club with installments 6 and 7 so if any of you happen to feel the same, don’t give up hope. While the tenth installment will be the last, you heard me, Magic Binds is the PENULTIMATE installment, I’m still oh so very excited to see how the chips fall. But yes, very soon, Kate Daniels’ story will be coming to an end.

Image result for crying gif

This both breaks my heart and reinforces just how fast time flies. Kate Daniels was one of the very first Urban Fantasy series I read and I only discovered it after joining Goodreads (in 2011!) and making friends with people who recommended some excellent books. It will be most sad to see this come to an end because this is hands down one of the top five best Urban Fantasy series of all time. This series has elaborate world building bringing total fantasy to the real world, complex characters that make it easy to grow to love them over time, exciting storylines in every installment, and I can’t forget to mention the unbelievable chemistry between Kate and Curran. It’s some steamy shit, people. If any of these descriptions seem mildly entertaining to you, get on it. But I’m getting sidetracked, back to Magic Binds.

I already said this, but this was one action-packed and exciting installment. We’ve got wedding planning shenanigans, we get to see Kate and Curran work through their relationship drama (showing a lack of perfection which is always appreciated), an oracle that comes bearing quite a bit of bad news, Kate’s ongoing understanding of her vast powers and fighting against the lure of becoming exactly like her father, and the hilarious dynamic between Kate and her father, Roland. Sure, Roland is setting up a future war between him and Kate, but their banter back and forth is laugh out loud funny.

“Father, you are sending mixed signals. You dispatched a woman to murder me today and now you’re upset about my wedding reception?”

There’s additional amusing banter between Kate and… well, it’s a bit of a spoiler. But just be aware that there is much banter. And it’s oh so good. There’s also a Pegasus named Sugar that is QUITE a character.

‘At least I had stopped worrying about Sugar flying off and leaving me to fend for myself. She seemed to find me amusing and stuck around. I’d learned to sneak off before taking a bathroom break, however, because she decided that pawing at me with a hoof after I found a secluded spot to pee was the funniest thing ever.’

We’re given a bit of a cliffhanger which was honestly to be expected with the second to last installment but it left me feeling CONFLICTED.

Image result for nervous or excited gif

Both. Definitely both.

We’ll see how it all plays out… sometime in 2017. Until then, let’s all start hoping and wishing for a spin-off series.

bonnie blog signature

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Waiting on Wednesday – Magic Binds (Kate Daniels #9) by Ilona Andrews

February 10, 2016 Bonnie Waiting on Wednesday 0 Comments

Waiting on Wednesday – Magic Binds (Kate Daniels #9) by Ilona AndrewsMagic Binds by Ilona Andrews
Series: Kate Daniels #9
Published by Ace on September 27th 2016
Pages: 384
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Format: Hardcover
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
Goodreads

Also by this author: Magic Bites, Magic Rises, Burn for Me

The latest novel in the New York Times bestselling series that “stands apart.” (Library Journal)

Kate and the former Beast Lord Curran Lennart are finally making their relationship official. But there are some steep obstacles standing in the way of their walk to the altar…

Kate’s father, Roland, has kidnapped the demigod Saiman and is slowly bleeding him dry in his never-ending bid for power. A Witch Oracle has predicted that if Kate marries the man she loves, Atlanta will burn and she will lose him forever. And the only person Kate can ask for help is long dead.

The odds are impossible. The future is grim. But Kate Daniels has never been one to play by the rules…

About Ilona Andrews

Ilona Andrews is the pseudonym for a husband-and-wife writing team. Ilona is a native-born Russian and Gordon is a former communications sergeant in the U.S. Army. Contrary to popular belief, Gordon was never an intelligence officer with a license to kill, and Ilona was never the mysterious Russian spy who seduced him. They met in college, in English Composition 101, where Ilona got a better grade. (Gordon is still sore about that.)

Gordon and Ilona currently reside in Oregon with their two children, three dogs, and a cat. They have co-authored two series, the bestselling urban fantasy of Kate Daniels and romantic urban fantasy of The Edge.

It’s been a while since I’ve read (and loved) Urban Fantasy, but in the last few weeks I’ve been on a UF binge read and it’s all Ilona Andrews fault. Read Burn For Me, then read the two Kate Daniels books I was behind on, and just yesterday the newest short story. And now news of the next book! So unbelievably excited I can’t even stand it.

What are you waiting on this Wednesday?

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Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine

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Book Review – Magic Breaks (Kate Daniels #7) by Ilona Andrews

February 4, 2016 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2016 2 Comments

Book Review – Magic Breaks (Kate Daniels #7) by Ilona AndrewsMagic Breaks by Ilona Andrews
Series: Kate Daniels #7
Published by Ace on July 29th 2014
Pages: 418
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
Goodreads

Also by this author: Magic Bites, Magic Rises, Burn for Me

three-half-stars

No matter how much the paranormal politics of Atlanta change, one thing always remains the same: if there’s trouble, Kate Daniels will be in the middle of it…

As the mate of the Beast Lord, Curran, former mercenary Kate Daniels has more responsibilities than it seems possible to juggle. Not only is she still struggling to keep her investigative business afloat, she must now deal with the affairs of the pack, including preparing her people for attack from Roland, a cruel ancient being with god-like powers. Since Kate’s connection to Roland has come out into the open, no one is safe—especially those closest to Kate.

As Roland’s long shadow looms ever nearer, Kate is called to attend the Conclave, a gathering of the leaders from the various supernatural factions in Atlanta. When one of the Masters of the Dead is found murdered there, apparently at the hands of a shapeshifter, Kate is given only twenty-four hours to hunt down the killer. And this time, if she fails, she’ll find herself embroiled in a war which could destroy everything she holds dear…

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‘There is a storm gathering on our horizon. We will make a stand, but I wonder if it will matter in the end.’

In the world of Kate Daniels, the return of magic has left technology an unreliable resource in a dangerous world where vampires, werewolves, witches, and other paranormal beasties roam. Kate Daniels has always been able to hold her own, however, a being more powerful than her has just learned of her existence and he’s coming for her: her father, Roland. When Curran is forced to leave the Keep for a diplomatic trip, Kate is left in charge and struggles to not only maintain control but to keep everyone around her safe from the warpath Roland is on to get to her.

I positively adored the first five installments in this series, which I read pretty much read back to back, all to end up being massively disappointed with the sixth installment in 2013. There was a bunch of unnecessary drama that seemed so out of character for those that I’ve come to know and love and there’s nothing I love less than unnecessary drama. It was still an entertaining installment but enough to make me go on a Kate Daniels hiatus. I’ve been trying to catch up on some series and I’m on a major Urban Fantasy kick lately so I took the plunge and while I felt this was far better than Magic Rises (because no unnecessary drama), it still amounted to nothing but filler for me. But damn was it full of action and full of some of the best side characters that I sure hope get a bigger share of the spotlight in future installments (I’m looking at you Desandra). We might have been short Curran for the most part, but Kate, Desandra, Derek, and Ascanio were one hilarious bunch when you threw them all together.

Desandra shrugged her shoulders. “Hey, Kate? Have you thought of walking up to Hugh and telling him that he’s got the biggest dick ever?” She spread her arms to the size of a baseball bat.
“No, you think it would work?” I asked.
“It’s worth a try. May be he’ll be so happy you noticed his pork sword, he’ll forget all about trying to kill us.”
Pork sword. Kill me now. “I’ll think about it.”
Ascanio began patting his clothes.
“What?” Derek growled.
“Looking for something to take notes with.”

Can’t forget to mention Cuddles either.

“What the hell is this?” Desandra asked
“This is Cuddles. She’s a mammoth donkey.”
Derek grinned, leaning on the fence. “Do you have any self-respect left?”
“Nope.”

So while this group is trying to survive vampires, Hugh, and even a random Wendigo, they were still such fun to read about. For the most part, this installment just felt like a bunch of strategical maneuvering to get everything in its proper place and while I understand the ultimate importance of it, it felt far more long and drawn out than should have been necessary. We get more info into Kate’s lineage that only makes you wonder just what she is capable of with the proper teachings. I don’t think I’ll be staying away from Kate Daniels anymore because it was damn good to be back.

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Waiting on Wednesday – Free Agent (Grimm Agency #1) by J.C. Nelson

February 25, 2014 Bonnie Waiting on Wednesday 10 Comments

Waiting on Wednesday – Free Agent (Grimm Agency #1) by J.C. NelsonFree Agent by J.C. Nelson
Series: Grimm Agency #1
Published by Ace on July 29th 2014
Pages: 304
Genres: Fairy-Tales/Retellings, Urban Fantasy
Amazon
Goodreads

When it comes to crafting happily-ever-afters, the Agency is the best in the land of Kingdom. The Fairy Godfather Grimm can solve any problem—from eliminating imps to finding prince charming—as long as you can pay the price…

Working for Grimm isn’t Marissa Locks’s dream job. But when your parents trade you to a Fairy Godfather for a miracle, you don’t have many career options. To pay off her parents’ debt and earn her freedom, Marissa must do whatever Grimm asks, no matter what fairy-tale fiasco she’s called on to deal with.

Setting up a second-rate princess with a first-class prince is just another day at the office. But when the matchmaking goes wrong, Marissa and Grimm find themselves in a bigger magical muddle than ever before. Not only has the prince gone missing, but the Fae are gearing up to attack Kingdom, and a new Fairy Godmother is sniffing around Grimm’s turf, threatening Marissa with the one thing she can’t resist: her heart’s wishes.

Now Marissa will have to take on Fairies, Fae, dragons, and princesses to save the realm—or give up any hope of ever getting her happy ending…

Holy crap, YES. Urban Fantasy + Fairy Tales? Sign me up.

What are you waiting on this Wednesday? Leave me a link to your post and I’ll be sure to stop by!

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine

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Book Review – Magic Rises (Kate Daniels #6) by Ilona Andrews

August 27, 2013 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2013 9 Comments

Book Review – Magic Rises (Kate Daniels #6) by Ilona AndrewsMagic Rises by Ilona Andrews
Series: Kate Daniels #6
Published by Ace on July 30th 2013
Pages: 355
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Format: Paperback
Source: Library
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: Magic Bites, Burn for Me, Magic Breaks

three-half-stars

Atlanta is a city plagued by magical problems. Kate Daniels will fight to solve them—no matter the cost.

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…

Kate Daniels series

Magic Bites (Kate Daniels #1)
Magic Burns (Kate Daniels #2)
Magic Strikes (Kate Daniels #3)
Magic Bleeds (Kate Daniels #4)
Magic Slays (Kate Daniels #5)

*Considering this is the 6th installment, it’s highly possible there are spoilers for the previous books in the series. Beware!*

 

I’ve been highly anticipating this latest installment forever. I blew threw the first five books practically all in a row and I’ve been hurting since. While this is quite possibly my least favorite of the series it’s STILL good. This series is why I love Urban Fantasy as much as I do and even though it had it’s flaws this is still one solid series. So, now for the details:

What I enjoyed: The inclusion of mythological and biblical aspects was awesome. It might not have been 100% believable (but then again this is UF, so whatevs) but it was an absorbing and fascinating concept and definitely welcome to mix things up.

What I hated: The stupid girl child thrown into the story just to create drama was borderline rage inducing. The drama was rampant in this installment and I ultimately felt it was all just entirely unnecessary. I was enraged for the vast majority of this book and it was a constant battle trying to calm myself.

And another note on the drama: Curran. Dude. You could’ve handled that so much better than you did. And that’s the second thing that bothered me the most… if drama can be avoided and it’s NOT then you’re an idiot and I hate you. Don’t be dumb. Avoid the drama. If I was Kate, your head would have been on a spike. I assumed it was going to end fine but that still didn’t make going through the drama any easier because his actions were so. freaking. irritating.
And my biggest issue with the storyline: Kate and Curran didn’t need to go through this in order to prove their relationship is everlasting and durable and all other adjectives that best describe tupperware. Kate is a badass chick and is supremely confident in herself and didn’t need to be transformed into an insecure maniac for me to believe that their relationship is solid. Again, to repeat myself for the nth time… the drama was supremely unnecessary and I really could have done without.

The ending was exhilarating, shocking and I loved it… if the drama llama hadn’t trounced on the other 300 pages this would have garnered a higher rating from me. As it stands though this is still one of my favorite UF series, ever, and I will be anxiously awaiting future installments.

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Book Review – Deadlocked (Sookie Stackhouse #12) by Charlaine Harris

May 2, 2012 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2012 0 Comments

Book Review – Deadlocked (Sookie Stackhouse #12) by Charlaine HarrisDeadlocked by Charlaine Harris
Series: Sookie Stackhouse #12
Published by Ace on May 1, 2012
Pages: 336
Genres: Paranormal, Romance
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Amazon
Goodreads


one-star

It’s vampire politics as usual around the town of Bon Temps, but never before have they hit so close to Sookie’s heart…

Growing up with telepathic abilities, Sookie Stackhouse realized early on there were things she’d rather not know. And now that she’s an adult, she also realizes that some things she knows about, she’d rather not see—like Eric Northman feeding off another woman. A younger one.

There’s a thing or two she’d like to say about that, but she has to keep quiet—Felipe de Castro, the Vampire King of Louisiana (and Arkansas and Nevada), is in town. It’s the worst possible time for a human body to show up in Eric’s front yard—especially the body of the woman whose blood he just drank.

Now, it’s up to Sookie and Bill, the official Area Five investigator, to solve the murder. Sookie thinks that, at least this time, the dead girl’s fate has nothing to do with her. But she is wrong. She has an enemy, one far more devious than she would ever suspect, who’s set out to make Sookie’s world come crashing down.

Everyone knows that Charlaine Harris books are not serious works of fiction, I don’t expect them to blow me away with their awesomeness. That is not why I read them. Up until this book I have considered this series to be a guilty pleasure of mine because despite the consistent ridiculous nature of these stories they were still fun and entertaining and I love them for no realistic reason.

I was not a huge fan of book 11 either but it wasn’t as downright awful as this installment (which is quite surprising, believe me.) If I hadn’t become such a dedicated reader over the years I wouldn’t have been able to make it past the first 10% of this one.

The problem with these books is that they seem to be produced so rapidly that absolutely zero thought seems to be put into their creation. In Deadlocked there is no new story, it seems like the same old shit just keeps happening again and again and too many details are put into the daily life of Sookie. Honestly? I couldn’t give a shit less if she shaved her legs or not. And the writing? Charlaine Harris, as stated above, does not write serious fiction – HOWEVER, she’s taken it to all new lows. Let me share with you a few lines that really had me wanting to rip my hair out:

‘Even I, who had already seen the whole package and knew how disagreeable Claude could be – even if I was feeling a little jolt of excitement down where I shouldn’t.’
(Claude. Her COUSIN. Barf.)

“You haven’t got the right to question me,” Niall said, in his most royal voice. “I am the only living prince of Faery.”
“I don’t know why that means I can’t ask you questions. I’m an American,” I said, standing tall.
(Sookie? I hate you. You’re an idiot.)

“I’m sorry I’ve upset you,” he said, even more miserably.
I felt guilty again.
(She felt guilty. Because she finally decided to tell her great-uncle that she would no longer sleep in the same bed as him. Even though they don’t have sex, well, it’s just become too weird and they should stop. Have I mentioned Sookie is an idiot?)

‘I stayed gossiping at the bar for a few minutes, and on the way home I filled up the car with gas. I got a chicken sandwich from the Sonic and drove home slowly.’
(Really? We really needed to know you went to Sonic? Really don’t care for the extra detail. In fact, it’s more annoying than informative.)

“Horst, don’t mistake Miss Stackhouse’s cheerful looks for any mental deficiency.”
(Why not? I do.)

Then there was the time when she referred to her great-uncle as ‘Sexy Farmer’ and another time when she had a conversation with her toes… and it pretty much stayed consistently horrible throughout the remaining pages.

What happened to this series?! Sookie is barely tolerable and she used to be a fun and interesting character. I loved when she finally got together with Eric because I loved Eric and the two of them together was so exciting. I think that died a long time ago though (or at least when the ice pack was introduced in the last book). Their relationship has grown dull and I’m sick of it all. Deadlocked was seriously disappointing.

I know that book 13 is supposed to be the final nail in the coffin of this series but I can’t even bring myself to get even mildly excited for it. So when you see that shit on my Currently Reading list be sure and point and laugh at me. I’ll deserve it.

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Book Review – Magic Bites (Kate Daniels #1) by Ilona Andrews

December 30, 2011 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2011 1 Comment

Book Review – Magic Bites (Kate Daniels #1) by Ilona AndrewsMagic Bites by Ilona Andrews
Series: Kate Daniels #1
Published by Ace on March 27th 2007
Pages: 260
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Vampires
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: Magic Rises, Burn for Me, Magic Breaks

three-half-stars

Atlanta would be a nice place to live, if it weren’t for magic…

One moment magic dominates, and cars stall and guns fail. The next, technology takes over and the defensive spells no longer protect your house from monsters. Here skyscrapers topple under onslaught of magic; werebears and werehyenas prowl through the ruined streets; and the Masters of the Dead, necromancers driven by their thirst of knowledge and wealth, pilot blood-crazed vampires with their minds.

In this world lives Kate Daniels. Kate likes her sword a little too much and has a hard time controlling her mouth. The magic in her blood makes her a target, and she spent most of her life hiding in plain sight. But when Kate’s guardian is murdered, she must choose to do nothing and remain safe or to pursue his preternatural killer. Hiding is easy, but the right choice is rarely easy…

’Magic could not be measured and explained in scientific terms, for magic grew through destroying the very natural principles that made science as people knew it possible.’

So I finally got around to reading about this ‘Kate Daniels’ I’ve heard so much about. I found the world building to be extremely choppy and confusing, but by the end it started coming together and making more sense. I won’t bother trying to explain it to you though; I would only fail miserably so instead I’ll just tell you what I thought about the book.

This story was quite a bit more gruesome than I was expecting! Quite a few eww moments. I’ll share a few with you:

’Garbage fell, revealing yellow bones and shreds of rotting oozing putrid juices.’
‘The flesh and cartilage parted before the blade and I pulled her rib cage open like a bear trap.’
‘The vamp must have been turned on its side to allow the stringy clot of its nearly atrophied intestines to fall out.’
And my personal favorite:
‘Slayer sliced through decaying tissue in a spray of putrid sluice.’

I think by now you get the picture.

The author(s) also had an interesting and original take on vampires.

’Homo sapiens immortuus, a vampire. The vampires knew no pity and no fear; they couldn’t be trained; they had no ego. On a developmental level they stood close to insects, possessing a nervous system and yet incapable of forming thoughts.’

Definitely a diversion from the norm, and like Maja stated in her review, it was not one that I particularly enjoyed as I’m quite the vampire lover (the normal vampires that is).

I loved the characters and oh how wonderful it is to find another snarky and spirited female character in the world of Urban Fantasy. Kate is my new best friend; definitely my kinda girl. Despite the fact that ‘snarky’ is slowly becoming commonplace is many novels I read these days, I must say, I’m not getting tired of it at all. Derek was also an enjoyable additional character.

“Derek, never ever tell a woman that someone is prettier than her. You’ll make an enemy for life.” “You’re funnier than she is. And you hit harder.”
“Oh, thank you. Please, continue to reinforce the fact that she’s more attractive. If you say that I have a better personality, you’ll find out how hard I can hit.”

And of course I could never forget Curran. 🙂 Rawr. I took an immediate liking to him, despite the fact that he can’t hammer for shit. 😀 I look forward to seeing what happens between the two of them. AND finding out what the hell Kate is! Ack!

I must say I was quite impressed overall and am really looking forward to continuing the series.

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Book Review – The Shadow Reader (McKenzie Lewis, #1) by Sandy Williams

December 3, 2011 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2011 1 Comment

Book Review – The Shadow Reader (McKenzie Lewis, #1) by Sandy WilliamsThe Shadow Reader by Sandy Williams
Published by Ace on October 25th 2011
Pages: 320
Genres: Romance, Urban Fantasy
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: Shades of Treason

four-half-stars

Some humans can see the fae. McKenzie Lewis can track them, reading the shadows they leave behind. But some shadows lead to danger. Others lead to lies.

A Houston college student trying to finish her degree, McKenzie has been working for the fae king for years, tracking vicious rebels who would claim the Realm. Her job isn’t her only secret. For just as long, she’s been in love with Kyol, the king’s sword-master—and relationships between humans and fae are forbidden.

But any hope for a normal life is shattered when she’s captured by Aren, the fierce and uncompromising rebel leader. He teaches her the forbidden fae language and tells her dark truths about the Court, all to persuade her to turn against the king. Time is running out, and as the fight starts to claim human lives, McKenzie has no choice but to decide once and for all whom to trust and where she ultimately stands in the face of a cataclysmic civil war.

I was ridiculously hooked to this book from the very first page. Great characters, exciting storyline, and more important an original storyline.

McKenzie is a hot commodity in the faerie war. She’s a shadow reader who is able to track faeries that fissure out. She’s been assisting the faerie King since she was 16; it’s now been 10 years. For those past 10 years McKenzie has also been pining over Kyol, the king’s swordsman, who is forbidden from being with a human. They share kisses and private moments but they’ve never gone further as Kyol’s loyalty to the King keeps him from doing so. McKenzie herself has been loyal to the King for the last 10 years and when she is abducted by the faerie rebels and discovers pertinent information that’s been kept from her for all these years her loyalties begin to divide.

The emotional bonding with a captor or an abuser known as Stockholm syndrome was referred to in this story after McKenzie began having feelings for Aren. I felt that the fact that she could have had Stockholm syndrome would have been better left implied rather than stated so bluntly. Also, do victims even realize they have Stockholm syndrome? McKenzie kept referring to it almost like it’s a third person. Open for discussion on that because I’m really not sure.

’Damn this Stockholm syndrome. There’s got to be some cure for it.’

Other than that, I really didn’t have any problems with this story.

I’m sure we all know by now how much I despise love triangles and I know I’m not the only one that feels this way. This one wasn’t the worst by far; I believe it was one of the most well-handled love triangles I’ve read to date.

I loved the originality of the story. I feared that this would end up being a variation of the Iron Fey series, just with adult alterations. I ended up being quite wrong in that assumption, quite wrong and pleasantly surprised. I also loved how it wasn’t your typical badass heroine stories where she’s unbelievably powerful, super-hot, and can kick everyone’s ass. This was not the case. McKenzie may have had a super awesome power that came in handy and made her super important to a large number of people, but she was still vulnerable and real. At first I was kind of irritated at the fact that she seemed to be a major weenie, but it made the story and McKenzie more realistic in my opinion.

I look forward to the next book in the series coming out. The author already released the name of the next book in the series… ‘The Shattered Dark’. Sounds fabulous! I can’t wait! 😀

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