Posts Tagged: Vampires

Early Review – The Monsters In Your Neighborhood (Monstrosity #2) by Jesse Petersen

June 28, 2013 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Early Review, Read in 2013 2 Comments

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.

Early Review – The Monsters In Your Neighborhood (Monstrosity #2) by Jesse PetersenThe Monsters In Your Neighborhood by Jesse Petersen
Series: Monstrosity #2
Published by Pocket Star on July 29th 2013
Pages: 170
Genres: Mystery, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: Eat Slay Love, Shambling With the Stars, Married With Zombies

three-half-stars

As one of Frankenstein’s Creatures, Natalie Gray knows that unique parts sometimes make up a great whole. Still, leading a diverse support group for monsters—now including Cthulhu!—isn’t an easy task. Especially not since the internet arrived.

New York City embraces the different and the bizarre. Still, even for such a fun-loving city, the supernatural and monstrous might be a bit too much. It’s been six months since the members of “Club Monstrosity” overcame the most recent spate of anti-monster violence and they’ve reestablished their routine of meeting in a church basement once a week to (ugh!) talk about their feelings. Still, they also know a war against them is brewing.

Natalie and Alec (the werewolf) have begun dating, and the mummies Kai and Rehu are tighter than a bug in a…well, bandage. But when modern means (YouTube, Twitter, bits and bytes) are used to chilp away at the solidarity of these ancient monsters, it’s up to Natalie to save the day. #MonstersInNewYork may be trending on Twitter, but this girl’s trending toward saving the day…somehow.

The Monstrosity series
Short & Sweet – Club Monstrosity (Club Monstrosity #1) by Jesse Petersen

The Monsters in Your Neighbor picks up right where Club Monstrosity left off with the monsters set to anticipate an attack from the Van Helsings after killing of one of their own. But things have been silent, eerily silent, and they haven’t heard a peep from the Van Helsing’s until each monster finally receives the message they’ve been waiting for: “War.”

Club Monstrosity possessed a highly entertaining and original idea that I was immediately keen to. A group of monsters that attend AA-type meetings together to discuss their concerns with functioning in a society that isn’t aware of their existence? I love it. And I loved this installment even more than the first. The mystery has a lot of depth and twists and turns that managed to be quite surprising.

New characters have also been added to the gang: we’ve got Patrick, a Cthulhu relegated to living in the sewers because of the impossibility of masking his appearance and Igor, Natalie’s fathers old assistant who has a new Southern accent and after some modern-day plastic surgery has had his old hump removed. I was surprised to see how incorporated into the story both were, but they were entertaining additions.

The ending left you anticipating more installments and I’m definitely on board for more Monster-drama, and really hoping more interesting Monsters get added to the gang! This is a humorous and entertaining mystery series with plenty of paranormal and plenty of fun classic horror movie references.

Divider

Book Review – NOS4A2 by Joe Hill

May 17, 2013 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2013 10 Comments

Book Review – NOS4A2 by Joe HillNOS4A2 by Joe Hill
Published by William Morrow on April 30th 2013
Pages: 709
Genres: Horror, Paranormal
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: Twittering from the Circus of the Dead, The Fireman: A Novel, Strange Weather

four-stars

NOS4A2 is a spine-tingling novel of supernatural suspense from master of horror Joe Hill, the New York Times bestselling author of Heart-Shaped Box and Horns.

Victoria McQueen has a secret gift for finding things: a misplaced bracelet, a missing photograph, answers to unanswerable questions. On her Raleigh Tuff Burner bike, she makes her way to a rickety covered bridge that, within moments, takes her wherever she needs to go, whether it’s across Massachusetts or across the country.

Charles Talent Manx has a way with children. He likes to take them for rides in his 1938 Rolls-Royce Wraith with the NOS4A2 vanity plate. With his old car, he can slip right out of the everyday world, and onto the hidden roads that transport them to an astonishing – and terrifying – playground of amusements he calls “Christmasland.”

Then, one day, Vic goes looking for trouble—and finds Manx. That was a lifetime ago. Now Vic, the only kid to ever escape Manx’s unmitigated evil, is all grown up and desperate to forget. But Charlie Manx never stopped thinking about Victoria McQueen. He’s on the road again and he’s picked up a new passenger: Vic’s own son.

“Fantasy was always only a reality waiting to be switched on.”

I’m going to avoid my normal spiel about the basics of the plot because unfortunately, anything I say sounds silly. Truly. Imaginary bridges. Soul sucking cars. Creepy vampire children. Christmasland. I just can’t do it justice and describe the enormity of the plot sufficiently. It also fails to fall under a single genre. It’s classic horror, paranormal and even a bit of a fantasy. I will say though, this is one extremely well-told story that brings to life everything that’s considered out of this world and makes it real.

“No one had ever determined his age, but he looked older than Keith Richards. He even looked a little like Keith Richards–a bald Keith with a mouthful of sharp little brown teeth.”

The ‘bad’ guy was fantastically written. Charles Talent Manx has nothing but the best intentions for the children he takes to Christmasland. He believes that he’s taking them from broken homes and saving them from a life that will be less than satisfactory. How does he know this for sure? Well, he doesn’t But he’s completely convinced himself regardless. Charles Max is complex and fascinating and is undeniably one of the finest written bad guys I’ve ever read.

“But everyone also lives in the world inside their own head. An inscape, a world of thought. In a world made of thought–in an inscape–every idea is a fact. Emotions are as real as gravity. Dreams are as powerful as history.”

Another thing I loved was how the characters came to terms with the fantasy aspects. Vic has a gift for being able to find lost things by crossing a bridge that she brushes aside as a result of a hyperactive imagination. She had a brief stint in a mental institution but slowly came to terms with the fact that everything is in fact real. Vic is an amazing character and despite the implausibility of it all, it was given a slow and appropriate build before Vic finally believed it herself. I’ve read so many stories where characters have a gift or something impossible occurs and too many times it’s not flushed out and explained so when the character(s) accepts it completely almost immediately it makes the characters actions from then on illogical. Vic may have been damaged and imperfect but she was entirely believable.

This was a solid five-star book for me and was a complete delight throughout. The last 15 pages or so? Fell flat. It inevitably dropped that solid five star rating down to four. Despite that though, it was a pleasure. What I loved most about this was as creepy and full of horror as NOS4A2 is it still manages to produce an almost involuntary comicalness. It’s obvious that the author had an immense amount of fun writing this. Joe Hill is unquestionably one incredibly gifted storyteller.

Final Note: For those of you who have read Heart Shaped Box, did any of you catch the reference to it?
“There was Craddock McDermott who claimed that his spirit existed in a favorite suit of his.”
I take that to mean the world of NOS4A2 and Heart Shaped Box are one in the same.

I can’t resist matching up a Christmas cocktail to go with this book. This is perfect for the chilly atmosphere nestled in these pages and would even warm up Charlie Max and his little ‘pint-size vampires’.


Divider

Early Review – God Save the Queen (The Immortal Empire #1) by Kate Locke

June 22, 2012 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Early Review, Read in 2012 0 Comments

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

Early Review – God Save the Queen (The Immortal Empire #1) by Kate LockeGod Save the Queen by Kate Locke
Series: The Immortal Empire #1
Published by Orbit on July 3rd 2012
Pages: 360
Genres: Romance, Steampunk, Urban Fantasy
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley, the Publisher
Amazon
Goodreads


two-half-stars

The start of a thrillingly original new urban fantasy series—set in a dark alternate world where the Victorian age never ended...

The Year is 2012—and Queen Victoria still rules with an immortal fist.

She's the undead matriarch of a Britain, where the Aristocracy is made up of werewolves and vampires, where goblins live underground, and mothers know better than to let their children out after dark. A world where technology lives side by side with magic, where being nobility means being infected with the Plague (side-effects include undeath) and Hysteria is the popular affliction of the day.

Xandra Vardan is a member of the elite Royal Guard, and it's her duty to protect the Aristocracy. But things get complicated when her sister goes missing. Xandra will not only realise she's the prize in a dangerous power struggle—but she'll also uncover a conspiracy that threatens to topple the empire itself.

This is one of those hodgepodge of genres that is usually a catastrophic mess in my opinion. This wasn’t exactly catastrophic but it wasn’t anything excellent. In ‘God Save the Queen’ we’ve got vampires, werewolves, goblins, ‘halvies’, with steampunk and Victorian elements (think Gail Carriger’s ‘Parasol Protectorate series’…also worth note is a group of individuals contracted as guards for the aristocrats entitled the Peerage Protectorate. Hmm.)

I’ve grown to dread starting a brand new series because of the probability of huge info-dumps that occur when explaining a brand new world. When not done well it can really hurt the overall story. The massive info-dumps occurred in the beginning but were clumsily mixed with the actual storyline of main character Xandra so while you’re trying to figure out who she is, where she’s going, and why… you’re also trying to sort through the strange world and the society and the Prometheus protein aka ‘the plague’ and… it could have been done better in my opinion.

The writing in general left something to be desired; with the story set in Britain it was inconsistently ‘British’ with only the occasional British word thrown in for good measure, it wasn’t a true Steampunk in my opinion as there were just simply references to some gadgets and nothing more, and it had the feel of a YA novel except for a few dirty scenes. I wasn’t surprised to find out that the author ‘Kate Locke’ is also YA author ‘Kady Cross’.

The class system was a bit distasteful how the aristocrats were the supreme beings, then next were the halvies which basically were born to be protectors, and then the humans. It reminded me a bit of Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy series how the dhampirs were born to protect the Moroi’s but I don’t remember straight disliking the class system; I don’t think that it was made as blatant that they were beneath the Moroi’s. The halvies treated the aristos with a sense of awe that was a bit awkward.

The inevitable relationship with the two main characters was done all sorts of wrong. Sure, you ended up loving the two together but the whole introductory period was completely missing. If you’re going to have a character in a book have a one-night stand then treat it as such. It’s completely unrealistic and downright ridiculous that after sleeping together that you end up a couple without even having a discussion about it and he’s making you breakfast and meeting your family and… I had whiplash. And a headache from all the eye-rolling.

The one saving grace for me was that I felt a semblance of originality finally bloom before the book ended. I was left intrigued and I will say that it was an overall enjoyable story, but didn’t bring enough of anything ‘new’ to garner a higher rating. I will be interested to see how this series continues to develop in the second installment The Queen Is Dead.

Divider

Early Review – Soulbound (Legacy of Tril #1) by Heather Brewer

June 14, 2012 Bonnie Book Reviews, Early Review, Read in 2012, YA 0 Comments

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

Early Review – Soulbound (Legacy of Tril #1) by Heather BrewerSoulbound by Heather Brewer
Series: Legacy of Tril #1
Published by Dial on June 19th 2012
Pages: 304
Genres: Paranormal, Romance
Format: ARC
Source: the Publisher
Amazon
Goodreads


three-half-stars

Tril is a world where Barrons and Healers are Bound to each other: Barrons fight and Healers cure their Barrons' wounds in the ongoing war with the evil Graplar King. Seventeen-year-old Kaya was born a Healer, but she wants to fight. In Tril, and at Shadow Academy, where she is sent to learn to heal, it is against Protocol for Healers to fight. So Kaya must learn in secret. Enter two young men: One charming, rule-following Barron who becomes Bound to Kaya and whose life she must protect at all costs. And one with a mysterious past who seems bent on making Kaya's life as difficult as possible. Kaya asks both to train her, but only one will, and the consequences will change their lives forever.

This had several elements that have been done time and time again: sarcastic rule-breaking heroine, heroine is shipped off to boarding school without a choice, saved by cute boy (who just happens to be a total jerk… but… he’s cute. So it’s cool), meets another cute boy and the dreaded love triangle is born… need I go own? I must say though, it wasn’t JUST that badass looking cover that sold me originally, I actually did read the summary on this one before immediately adding it to my read pile so I was really truly interested in reading this story. Despite the immediate evidence that this was like every other book I’ve read, for some reason I was hooked and I attribute that to a part of me kept hoping that something un-normal would happen or at the very least something badass that lived up to that awesome cover. (Seriously, that’s one seriously kickass cover).

Regardless and despite all my seemingly negative comments down below, there was just something about this story that I really enjoyed. I was completely hooked on the story line and I really liked Kala even though she had some total dumb moments where I’d slap her upside the head if I could.

I had particular issue with the actual world of Tril. Love me some world-building, and once I hit around page 250 and realized I still had no clue where the hell this world was, whether it was an area on Earth, some floating planet like Atlantis, or a completely separate planet… no clue. There was one brief description where it was describing ‘the Outer Rim’ which is supposedly the most dangerous area in all of Tril ‘running through all three-continents – that is, Kokora, Haruko, and Kaito-in an oval shape.’ I would have appreciated some additional detail of what appears to be a fascinating world, and maybe a little earlier on because that brief description didn’t even come until page 271 (in my arc – may not be actual page in official edition).

I found the writing to be appropriate considering the main character is a 17 year old. The only issue I had was her form of cuss words… ‘fak’, ‘terked off’, (what’s so wrong with ticked off?) she would refer to people who were being jerks as ‘deks’ (which I personally found funny because fak is a substitute for ‘fuck’ but dek? A substitute for ‘dick’? lol Maybe not what it was truly meant to be a substitute for but that’s what it made me think.) Bottom line, I get the reason for not cussing but I would’ve just preferred it be left out entirely instead of this silly fake cussing business. But bonus points for inventing new words.

The explanation behind the Soulbounds was pretty awesome, how the two were born at the exact same moment and were thus paired together. The couples that were just ‘Bound’ were a little less interesting. I understand the significance between two that are Soulbound but being Bound doesn’t appear to be anything special, that just meant to me was even if you were unfortunate to lose your Soulbound he/she is replaceable. Obviously they couldn’t stay alone for the rest of their lives and sure the couples that are Bound don’t have as strong a relationship and maybe I’m just complaining because I’m a big sappy romantic and the concept of being Soulbound had me ‘awwing’ but despite that I did like the whole concept behind Soulbounds.

As far as the actual relationship between Kaya and Trayton… it was way too insta-love for me. And Trayton? Could not have been more perfect. It was kind of disgusting. The first place they go together is his ‘favorite place’ which just so happens to be this absolutely gorgeous library (there was even a chandelier). I mean come on. That shit doesn’t happen. (And if so, where the hell is my super fantastic dream guy who takes me to beautiful libraries on our first date?!) It was a total scene copy from Beauty and the Beast, except I’m going to assume Trayton was less fuzzy.

Bottom Line
I did enjoy this but not as much as I had anticipated. This had a lot of elements that reminded me of The Vampire Academy series and I think fans of that will enjoy this also. By the end there were almost too many questions that were left unanswered which left the book feeling a tad incomplete to me. (Not to mention the cliffhanger that was easily foreseeable) I understand that this is the first installment in a series but some resolution would have been nice. I am interested in seeing how this series progresses so I will definitely be picking up the next installment.

Divider

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.

Divider

Review and Giveaway! Timeless (Parasol Protectorate #5) by Gail Carriger

April 16, 2012 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Giveaways, Read in 2012 0 Comments

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

Review and Giveaway! Timeless (Parasol Protectorate #5) by Gail CarrigerTimeless by Gail Carriger
Series: Parasol Protectorate #5
Published by Orbit on March 1st 2012
Pages: 416
Genres: Romance, Steampunk
Format: Paperback
Source: Netgalley, the Publisher
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: Prudence

four-half-stars

Alexia Tarabotti, Lady Maccon, has settled into domestic bliss. Of course, being Alexia, such bliss involves integrating werewolves into London High society, living in a vampire's second best closet, and coping with a precocious toddler who is prone to turning supernatural willy-nilly. Even Ivy Tunstell's acting troupe's latest play, disastrous to say the least, cannot put a damper on Alexia's enjoyment of her new London lifestyle.

Until, that is, she receives a summons from Alexandria that cannot be ignored. With husband, child, and Tunstells in tow, Alexia boards a steamer to cross the Mediterranean. But Egypt may hold more mysteries than even the indomitable Lady Maccon can handle. What does the vampire Queen of the Alexandria Hive really want from her? Why is the God-Breaker Plague suddenly expanding? And how has Ivy Tunstell suddenly become the most popular actress in all the British Empire?

Parasol Protectorate Series

Soulless (Parasol Protectorate, #1)
Changeless (Parasol Protectorate, #2)
Blameless (Parasol Protectorate, #3)
Heartless (Parasol Protectorate, #4)

Timeless, the fifth and last installment in the Parasol Protectorate. And the final adieu to Alexia, Conall, Ivy, and all the other colorful characters we’ve grown to know and love. This was actually my favorite installment out of the entire series surprisingly enough. Usually I don’t care for when a series that I’m quite fond of ends; however, it was done so well and was so much fun that I was sold. If you haven’t picked up this series yet and are looking for something incredibly original this is it.

Timeless opens several years after Heartless with Alexia and Conall’s daughter Prudence having been adopted by Lord Akeldama in order to guarantee the safety of the entire family. Prudence had me laughing out loud on several occasions as she was such a handful but such a wonderful addition to the story. The entire family travels to Egypt when the God breaker Plague becomes an issue once again as it has started expanding at an alarming rate.

With Alexia and the family in Egypt, Lyall and Biffy are left behind in London so there are POV shifts between the two locations. I can understand the need for this in retrospect but at the time I couldn’t help feeling it took something away from the story, especially with the focus on the budding relationship between Lyall and Biffy. All in all though? Extremely well done and truly enjoyable. Hands down my favorite steampunk book/series I’ve ever read.

Luckily, we may not have heard the last of The Parasol Protectorate as there is a planned series called The Parasol Protectorate Abroad with the first story entitled ‘Prudence’. Sounds like Lady Alexia will be passing her Parasol along to her daughter – I can’t wait!

Sound interesting? Here’s your opportunity to win a paperback copy!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Divider

Early Review – The Immortal Rules (Blood of Eden #1) by Julie Kagawa

April 1, 2012 Bonnie Book Reviews, Read in 2012, YA 5 Comments

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 – The Immortal Rules (Blood of Eden #1) by Julie KagawaThe Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa
Series: Blood of Eden #1
Published by Harlequin Teen on April 24th 2012
Pages: 484
Genres: Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic, Romance
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: The Iron King, Winter's Passage, The Iron Daughter

three-half-stars

To survive in a ruined world, she must embrace the darkness…

Allison Sekemoto survives in the Fringe, the outermost circle of a walled-in city. By day, she and her crew scavenge for food. By night, any one of them could be eaten. Some days, all that drives Allie is her hatred of them—the vampires who keep humans as blood cattle. Until the night Allie herself dies and becomes one of the monsters.

Forced to flee her city, Allie must pass for human as she joins a ragged group of pilgrims seeking a legend—a place that might have a cure for the disease that killed off most of civilization and created the rabids, the bloodthirsty creatures who threaten human and vampire alike. And soon Allie will have to decide what–and who–is worth dying for…again.

Enter Julie Kagawa's dark and twisted world as an unforgettable journey begins.

‘There will come a time when the road before you splits, and you must decide your path. Will you choose to become a demon with a human face, or will you fight your demon until the end of time, knowing you will forever struggle alone?’

Allison Sekemoto was a survivor living in the Fringe struggling to survive on a daily basis. Now that she’s been turned and is now learning how to live as a vampire she’s struggling to maintain her fleeting humanity. Allison intrigued me in the first part of this novel with her strength and her constant persistence to stay as human as possible. The Immortal Rules compared to most vampire stories was vastly different as Allison was sympathetic towards the human race despite the fact that she relied on them in order to stay alive. In that same sense it reminded me a lot of Warm Bodies and how R cared for the human race, or Julie in particular. It’s an interesting and original take on a consistently similar story but, I didn’t fall completely head over heels for it. I think for me the main issue was that she was almost too humane to be a ‘credible’ vampire and I missed the typical bad-ass vampire.

I felt that after the interesting start, when Allison and Kanin part ways and she discovers a group of human survivors seeking a place they call ‘Eden’, what followed was easily the books lowest point as it was in desperate need of some excitement. The story really lost its hold on me during this time and it took me several days to get through it. After getting a small glimpse of Kanin in the beginning I kept waiting for him to make another appearance in order to spice things up. I just had a hard time understanding her attachment to this group of people and why she never decided to go back to Kanin. The group reminded me of some creepy religious cult-type group much like the one in Ashes. It was inevitable that she be discovered as a vampire and I didn’t understand the insistence that she stick around in order to make sure that the group remained safe since the majority of them were incredibly unlikable people and were constantly rude to her. I suppose this was just another facet of her attempting to keep a hold on her humanity.

The ending was a bit lackluster but fortunately didn’t leave off with an enormous cliffhanger. Will I continue this trilogy? More than likely. I went into this book naturally comparing it to the Iron Fey and was pleasantly surprised that it was nothing like any of the books in that series (which was a good thing as I wasn’t the hugest fan of that series) but I was still hoping for something more but more of what I’m not completely positive.

Divider

Book Review – Spell Bound (Hex Hall #3) by Rachel Hawkins

March 14, 2012 Bonnie Book Reviews, Read in 2012, YA 0 Comments

Book Review – Spell Bound (Hex Hall #3) by Rachel HawkinsSpell Bound by Rachel Hawkins
Series: Hex Hall #3
Published by Disney Hyperion on March 13th 2012
Pages: 337
Genres: Fantasy, Funny-ha-ha, Paranormal
Format: eBook
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: Hex Hall, Demonglass, School Spirits

two-half-stars

Hailed as “impossible to put down,” the Hex Hall series has both critics and teens cheering. With a winning combination of romance, action, magic and humor, this third volume will leave readers enchanted.

Just as Sophie Mercer has come to accept her extraordinary magical powers as a demon, the Prodigium Council strips them away. Now Sophie is defenseless, alone, and at the mercy of her sworn enemies—the Brannicks, a family of warrior women who hunt down the Prodigium. Or at least that’s what Sophie thinks, until she makes a surprising discovery. The Brannicks know an epic war is coming, and they believe Sophie is the only one powerful enough to stop the world from ending. But without her magic, Sophie isn’t as confident.

Sophie’s bound for one hell of a ride—can she get her powers back before it’s too late?

Man… where do I start. Big sigh for this one. Big disappointment for me. I’m very sad this series is over and there won’t be a chance to make something more of this series. I read the first and second books back to back when the second book was released and fell in love with Sophie and Jenna and Hex Hall and Archer and Cal and the world that Rachel Hawkins created. I was so eager to get my hands on Spell Bound that I had the release date marked on my calendar even. To say I was anticipating this like no other is an understatement.

I’m typically wary of the final books in series because they are rarely wrapped up sufficiently in my opinion and Spell Bound definitely fell in that category. For being such a short book and having so many loose ends that still needed tying up, I was extremely surprised that it took so long for anything to actually happen (plot-wise). Midway through the book I found myself bored and begging for something interesting to happen; it was really quite upsetting. Once the plot started actually ‘progressing’ I felt it was very forced, lacked sufficient explanation, and lacked in excitement.

I remember Sophie being a lot of fun and really funny in the first two books but despite the fact that there were some really funny moments her humor really fell a little flat for me. And her fluctuating maturity really drove me batty. One second she’d be acting like a mature young-adult making smart, rational decisions and the next moment she’s acting like a teen making immature statements. There were moments that still put a smile on my face and had me laughing but…I missed old Sophie in this one. As for the other characters I really enjoyed Jenna’s part but found myself really enjoying the scenes with the two new characters Izzy and Finley. Way too serious for their young age and pretty darn funny (but not an intentional funny. 🙂 )

There were some major ‘eh’ moments that I didn’t much care for. Don’t click if you haven’t read this! I don’t make spoiler tags for nothing.

View Spoiler »

View Spoiler »

View Spoiler »

View Spoiler »

Very sad this series is over and that this is how it ended. Nonetheless, I am very excited to see what Rachel Hawkins comes up with next!

Divider

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.

Divider

Book Review – Drink Deep (Chicagoland Vampires, #5) by Chloe Neill

November 2, 2011 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2011 0 Comments

Book Review – Drink Deep (Chicagoland Vampires, #5) by Chloe NeillDrink Deep by Chloe Neill
Series: Chicagoland Vampires #5
Published by NAL on November 1, 2011
Pages: 352
Genres: Romance, Urban Fantasy
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: Some Girls Bite, Friday Night Bites, Twice Bitten

four-stars

Clouds are brewing over Cadogan House, and recently turned vampire Merit can’t tell if this is the darkness before the dawn or the calm before the storm. With the city iself in turmoil over paranormals and the state threatening to pass a paranormal registration act, times haven’t been this precarious for vampires since they came out of the closet. If only they could lay low for a bit, and let the mortals calm down.

That’s when the waters of Lake Michigan suddenly turn pitch black-and things really start getting ugly.

Chicago’s mayor insists it’s nothing to worry about, but Merit knows only the darkest magic could have woven a spell powerful enough to change the very fabric of nature. She’ll have to turn to friends old and new to find out who’s behind this, and stop them before it’s too late for vampires and humans alike.

Chicagoland Vampires series

Some Girls Bite (Chicagoland Vampires, #1)Friday Night Bites (Chicagoland Vampires, #2)Twice Bitten (Chicagoland Vampires, #3)Hard Bitten (Chicagoland Vampires, #4)

Some Girls Bite (Chicagoland Vampires, #1)
Friday Night Bites (Chicagoland Vampires, #2)
Twice Bitten (Chicagoland Vampires, #3)
Hard Bitten (Chicagoland Vampires, #4)

*Keep in mind, this spoiler is intended for those of you who have read the first four books. Any spoilers for this book will be placed in spoiler brackets; however, I’m keeping spoilers from the previous books visible. You have been warned!*

The Storyline
As if Merit doesn’t have enough to deal with emotionally after the loss of her lover, partner, and Master, strange things are happening in Chicago and the vampires are automatically blamed. Lake Michigan has turned pitch black magical vacuum and is affecting all supernaturals in the area. As the book progresses more events are occurring around the Windy City but there are zero leads as to who could possibly be responsible and who could even be magically strong enough to be able to cause these incidents.

The Characters
I appreciated how the author didn’t shuffle Merit’s feelings under the rug regarding the loss of Ethan. I think it was vitally important to the story overall to show how affected she was by his absence in order to show how much he truly meant to her (as if we had any doubts). Thankfully, she didn’t turn into a super wimp and she still maintained the bad ass-ness that we all know and love.

Mallory turned into more of a minor character in Drink Deep and didn’t play as central of a role as she has in the past. Mallory is in the middle of taking her exams to become a sorceress and is naturally a bit stressed but it’s putting major strain on her and Merit’s relationship. I always found Mallory to be a major part of this series and I quite liked her. Oddly enough, I had a hard time even liking Mallory in this book.

Jonah has become a partner to Merit and is still trying to convince her of the reasons to join the Red Guard (RG). Jonah was a pretty awesome addition to an already great cast of characters if I do say so myself. Jonah is naturally a seemingly potential love interest for Merit and honestly, I was okay with that possibility. I liked him quite a lot.

Frank Cabot is a representative of Greenwich Presidium (GP) sent to evaluate Cadogan House. Naturally, he’s a huge pain in the ass. As Maja put it quite perfectly, he’s a ringer for Dolores Umbridge from Harry Potter.
He was an outsider sent to label us as nonconforming and pound us, square pegs, back into round holes.

What I Felt Was Missing
There were a few key things that I missed in this book. Naturally I missed Ethan as he was such a huge character in the previous books. Also, the whole storyline was extremely tense but nothing was really going on, it was kind of stagnant until the last ¼ of the book when the action finally started happening. I would have loved to see more action throughout the book. But what I missed the most was the humor. I think the banter between Mallory and Merit made for a witty and funny addition to the series and it was sorely missed in this installment.

What I Felt Should Have Been Left Out
So… this is one big major spoiler so you are warned!

View Spoiler »

And I’m done.

Final Thoughts
So regardless of the fact that I was ecstatic to finally be reading this, I went into this with some existing irritation after the loss of Ethan. By the time the ending rolled around I was appeased and of course still plan on continuing the series because I love me some Chloe Neill. Seriously. This is one of the most enjoyable series still running and I’m glad these stories are still as enjoyable as the first. But I’m still looking for one to top Number 3, also known as the current best in the series. 😀

Divider