Thursday, February 25, 2010

Destined for an Early Grave by Jeanine Frost

Destined for an Early Grave (Night Huntress, Book 4)
From the book: Since half-vampire Cat Crawfield and her undead lover Bones met six years ago, they've fought against the rogue undead, battled a vengeful Master vampire, and pledged their devotion with a blood bond. Now it's time for a vacation. But their hopes for a perfect Paris holiday are dashed when Cat awakes one night in terror. She's having visions of a vampire named Gregor who's more powerful than Bones and has ties to her past that even Cat herself didn't know about. 
Gregor believes Cat is his and he won't stop until he has her. As the battle begins between the vamp who haunts her nightmares and the one who holds her heart, only Cat can break Gregor's hold over her. She'll need all the power she can summon in order to bring down the baddest bloodsucker she's ever faced . . . even if getting that power will result in an early grave.

I have loved this series from reading the first book as you can tell from my reviews. This was the book I couldn't wait for, but when I finally got the book, I had several books to read before it. Finally I just pushed the position to number 1 and here you find my review. ;)

This was probably the most frustrating book for me in the series. It was the first time I really got angry at Bones and I was frustrated with Cat's insecurities. Without giving much away... I will say that even though there were times I wanted to scream at both of them, the story does finally find it's way to making the whole thing fit. Frost has a great way of handling it even though I must admit, my faith was shaken for a bit. Looking back, I'd say that was good writing since I rarely worry too much about things coming together and making sense and giving me an ending I'd love. Did I give too much away with that bit? I doubt it. I didn't doubt that Bones and Cat loved each other and they would find themselves searching for each other, if not in this book, but the next. Anyone who is a fan of the series, I'm sure, would find themselves in the same position.

This is a great book with lots of tension, drama, action, humor and love. I gave the book 5 stars. I love this series and I can't wait for the next installment of Cat and Bones' story.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Black Dagger Brotherhood, #2 and #3

Lover Eternal (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 2)"Lover Eternal" is from the Black Dagger Brotherhood series #2. Summation from the book: Within the brotherhood, Rhage is the vampire with the strongest appetite. He's the best fighter, the quickest to act on his impulses, and the most voracious lover-for inside him burns a ferocious curse cast by the Scribe Virgin. 
Possessed by this dark side, Rhage fears the times when his inner dragon is unleashed, making him a danger to everyone around him. When Mary Luce is unwittingly thrown into the vampire world, she must rely on Rhage's protection. Knowing that Mary feels the same intense animal attraction, Rhage must make her his alone...

This book sort of reminds me of a vampire variation of beauty and the beast. The variation is that the beauty and the beast are both within Rhage, one of the vampire brothers. Within this paranormal romance Mary appears and Rhage finds himself for the first time feeling calm in centuries. She captivates him and he discovers his own insecurities are just below the surface. Mary, being sick, has a hard time opening up to the possibilities in letting someone close and having to later deal with her illness as it takes it's course. The both slowly learn to trust one another and eventually themselves. This book also leads directly into the next book which is why I decided to review them together.

My criticisms for this book are the cover (I've never been a fan of these covers as I stated in my review of the first book, "Dark Lover"). I also just hated the names of the brotherhood. It didn't bother me so much in the first book, but I think that was because JR Ward really focused on the two main characters and the rest of the brothers weren't really involved in a big way. In this book, however, the brothers come more into focus and when reading their names it sort of drew me out of the story. The slang they used also did that to me. I thought if I was going to hear one more, "you feel me?", I might scream.

I also had to laugh when the beast came out and had more of a role in this book. I think it had more to do with the fact of another blogger's review. I am so sorry that I cannot remember who wrote that review, but I do vividly remember that they likened the beast to Godzilla (it was also mentioned in the book) and had a cartoon of Godzilla saying that he loved Mary. Couldn't get that out of my head and had to laugh when I got to those parts.

I did give this book 4 stars. The story line was good despite the little things that drew me out of the book. The good stuff drew me right back in. The book ends with a cliff hanger and that is where you find yourself in the next book, "Lover Awakened".

Lover Awakened (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 3)From the book: Even within the vampire brotherhood, Zsadist is feared. Still bearing the scars from a tortured past, he is renowned for his unquenchable fury. Anger is his only companion, and terror is his only passion-until he rescues a beautiful female from the evil Lessening Society.

I think I enjoyed this book a bit more. The things that drew me out of the last book didn't seem to have as much power in this one. I did notice that while the slang was still there, it was lessened a bit... or at least enough that it didn't make me want to scream.

Zsadist was always the most interesting character of the brothers. His past was silent in the other books, but in this one we see how tortured he really had been. As he find himself slowly opening up to his future mate, Bella, some of the past starts to finally heal. The question becomes if he can finally think about someone else besides his empty, painful life? Can he really open himself up to love someone at all? Not just Bella but his twin and constant companion, Phury?

So far I think this has been my favorite book in the series. It has drama, action, romance, and a few scary bits as well. This book was well rounded and thankfully did not end in a cliffhanger (mostly because I don't have the next book ready to be read yet). I would really recommend this one, but would suggest at least reading "Lover Eternal" first to get the beginnings of this story. I gave this book 4 stars.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Spider's Bite by Jennifer Estep

Spider's Bite: An Elemental Assassin Book
From the book: My name is Gin Blanco. They call me the Spider — the most feared assassin in the South (and a part-time cook at the Pork Pit BBQ joint.) As a Stone elemental, I can hear the whispers of the gravel beneath my feet and feel the vibrations of the soaring mountains above me, though I don't use my powers on the job unless I absolutely have to. Call it professional pride. 

After a ruthless Air elemental double-crossed me and killed my handler, I'm out for revenge. And I'll exterminate anyone who gets in my way. I may look hot in a miniskirt, but I'm still one of the bad guys. Which is why I'm in trouble when irresistibly rugged Detective Donovan Caine agrees to help. The last thing a coldhearted killer needs when she's battling a magic more powerful than her own is a sexy distraction ... especially when he wants her dead just as much as the enemy.

"My name is Gin and I kill people." Those first words of this book draw you into a thrilling urban fantasy with a side of elemental magic. Gin is a very confident and swift assassin with ethics. These rules or ethics that she holds to allow her to stay cold and continue her work. She is known in her profession as the Spider who can meld with the shadows, take her victim and quickly disappear without a trace. You might think that someone like this would be hard to like, but she becomes the heroine you cheer for even in the beginning of the story. 

The elemental abilities people have in this book are quite interesting. Fire, ice, stone, and air are the major elements. They all have good and bad sides to their abilities just depending on how and who uses the ability. This ability plays a major roll in Gin's life as well as the mystery she is determined to solve.

This is a fast paced and at times a bit gory read. Don't let that stop you, however. Jennifer Estep has written a great book with a lot of action, sexual tension without interfering with the plot, a side of magic and interesting characters. If you like urban fantasy or want to give it a try, this book is a must. I also loved the way that Gin would always describe an unknown person as the pronoun "her" instead of the usual "him". Gin sees her world in the terms of the feminine even though her profession is often seen as more of a man's job. That little tidbit in itself was enjoyable and I just had acknowledge it. 

I gave this book 5 stars. Go read it. You will enjoy it. I received this book from Kelly Gay's book contest and it is a signed copy. Yep, it is going on my permanent shelf while I wait for the next installment to be published. 

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

"Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" Illustrated by Camile Rose Garcia

Alice's Adventures in WonderlandThere is a new twist on an old great story. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Louis Carroll has been given a new look by illustrator, Camile Rose Garcia. I have seen various versions from many illustrators, and this is one with a definite dark edge.

Here is a little video that stars Camile herself...

There is also a portion of the book on-line. Just click below to check it out. Even if you are like me and have a hard time reading long stories on line, I still enjoyed looking at the pictures. She has a very interesting take on the book. Check it out!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

"Poltergeist" by Kat Richardson (Greywalker #2)

Poltergeist (Greywalker, Book 2)
From the book: Harper Blaine was your average small-time PI until she died-for two minutes. Now she's a Greywalker-walking the thin line between the living world and the paranormal realm. And she's discovering that her new abilities are landing her all sorts of "strange" cases. 

In the days leading up to Halloween, Harper's been hired by a university research group that is attempting to create an artificial poltergeist. The head researcher suspects someone is faking the phenomena, but Harper's investigation reveals something else entirely-they've succeeded. 
And when one of the group's members is killed in a brutal and inexplicable fashion, Harper must determine whether the killer is the ghost itself, or someone all too human. 
I enjoyed the this second book in the greywalker series more than the first. The book seems more cohesive than the first and I attribute this to only solving one case instead of several in one book. Much of the paranormal "stuff" was also described in the first, so the book also took off much quicker. It is still a detective novel first, and a paranormal book second. Still, it works.

The poltergeist could have made this book very scary, but fear not (pun intended) this book isn't scary at all. This could be a downfall for those who love the horror genre, but a plus for those that love detective stories. It does not get in the way of clues given along the way.

I give this book 4 stars and recommend this series especially for those that love a mystery.