Category urban fantasy

2013: #7 – Ever After (Kim Harrison)

everafter

Title: Ever After
Author: Kim Harrison
Series: Rachel Morgan #11
Format: ARC Paperback
Pages:  448
Release Date: January 22, 2013
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Source: ARC from Amazon Vine
★★★★½ 

The ever-after, the demonic realm that parallels our own, is shrinking, and if it disappears, so does all magic. It’s up to witch-turned-daywalking-demon Rachel Morgan to fix the ever-after before the fragile balance between magic users and humans falls apart.

Of course, there’s also the small fact that Rachel is the one who caused the ley line to rip in the first place, and her life is forfeit unless she can fix it. Not to mention the most powerful demon in the ever-after—the soul-eater Ku’Sox Sha-Ku’ru—has vowed to destroy her, and has kidnapped her friend and her goddaughter as leverage. If Rachel doesn’t give herself up, they will die.

Forced by circumstance, Rachel teams up with elven tycoon Trent Kalamack—a partnership fraught with dangers of the heart as well as betrayal of the soul—to return to the ever-after and rescue those she loves. One world teeters on the brink of interspecies war, the other on the brink of its very demise—and it’s up to Rachel to keep them both from being destroyed.

My thoughts:

Every time I read one of these books, I get a little sadder because I know this series is winding down to its end. It’s evident in Rachel’s personal story arc. In this book, she doesn’t have any of the people she normally leans on available to her – Ivy’s out of town, Jenks can’t go to the ever-after, and even Al is out of commission. Trent’s help is unreliable, due to other circumstances. So Rachel is left to save not only herself, but the entire ever-after – and magic – as well. Just the fact that she attempts it without a complete breakdown shows tremendous growth in her character. Her actions may seem more reckless, but she’s trying her best to limit the danger to herself.

There are a lot of old familiar faces in this book, some welcome, some not. A few loose ends are tied up, a few long-asked questions are answered. But the book wasn’t perfect. There was some major action, including the death of a significant character, that occurs “off-screen”, and I thought it was a real disservice to that character.  It’s very unusual for such an important plot point to be un-witnessed by Rachel. So why would Harrison do that? Was the book too long, and she needed to cut something? Or is the character not really dead at all? Perhaps that last idea is just wishful thinking.

I’m excited for where this series will go in its last couple of books. Will the ever-after finally stabilize? Will Rachel find a way to save Ivy’s soul? How will her success (or failure) change their relationship? What will happen with Jenks as his children continue to grow and leave the nest? And what the heck will happen with Rachel and Trent? Who will sabotage their truce first?

This is one of the few series (maybe the only!) that still has me waiting anxiously for each book, dieing to read it as soon as possible. The fact that I still feel this way after 11 books is a true testament to the strength of Harrison’s world and character building.

Available from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound | WorldCat

Other reviews:

  • “Kim Harrison’s latest in The Hollows series, Ever After, is a spectacular read, combining everything I love about paranormal fiction between two covers is a mean feat but yet again Harrison has come through.”philicityk
  • “Fans are in store for some unexpected things with Ever After and perhaps even for something highly anticipated.My Shelf Confessions
  • “The book as a whole is fabulous. The series arc is moving at a good pace and the book arc was an action packed page turner.”I Smell Sheep

2012: #60 – Into the Woods (Kim Harrison)

intothewoods

Title: Into The Woods
Author: Kim Harrison
Format: Hardback
Pages:  528
Release Date: October 1, 2012
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Source: personal copy
★★★★☆ 

Enter the woods . . . if you dare

For centuries, the woods have been a pivotal part of the wonder and danger of fairy tales, for once you enter anything can happen. Elves, druids, fairies—who knows what you will find once you dare step into the forest?

And now, New York Times bestselling author Kim Harrison ventures into these mysterious, hidden lands of magic and mystery in her first short-story collection. Into the Woods brings together an enchanting mix of brand-new, never-before-published stories and tales from Harrison’s beloved, bestselling Hollows series.

The tales here include an original Hollows novella, Million-Dollar Baby, about Trent Kalamack’s secret elven quest in Pale Demon; two original short stories, “Pet Shop Boys” and “Temson Woods,” that explore just what happens when humanity and the supernatural collide; and two novelettes, “Spider Silk” and “Grace,” set in new worlds of imagination and adventure. Into the Woods also contains all of the previously published Hollows short stories—together in one volume for the very first time.

Step into the woods and discover the magic for yourself.

My thoughts:

This book is a collection of already published short stories together with a few new ones. As a big fan of Kim Harrison, I couldn’t resist. I hadn’t read any of the already published stories yet (I don’t read many anthologies), so everything was new to me.

Most of my favorites were, of course, the Hollows-related stories. I liked seeing things from other characters’ perspectives, because normally we see everything through Rachel’s eyes. But the other star of the show was “Grace”, which was a completely new world including a different sort of ability — electricity manipulation. This is the sort of story that I would love to see her turn into an entire series, because it’s unlike anything else I’ve read in urban fantasy. Much preferable to yet another fae story, which is what “Pet Shop Boys” boils down to. I didn’t dislike the story, but it really didn’t excite me like “Grace” did.

On the other side of the coin, dryads don’t ring my bell like they obviously do Harrison’s. I found her dryad stories rather boring, and skipped most of “Temson Woods”  and “Spider Silk” entirely.

Overall, this did a great job of filling in the time gap between one Hollows novel and the next for me. And my ARC of Ever After arrived shortly after I finished, so the timing couldn’t have been better!

Available from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound | WorldCat

Other reviews:

  • “Into the Woods is an enjoyable anthology. Fans of Kim Harrison’s Hollows series will love having all the short stories in one place. Recommended.”Badass Book Reviews
  • “In general it’s a nice book I enjoyed yet, whether from my personal dislike of short stories or simply from the stories within, it felt like a rather unnecessary book.”Fangs for the Fantasy
  • “I may be biased, but I think Into the Woods is an absolute must buy for fans of The Hollows, as it gives deeper looks that we don’t get to see in the main series.”A Book Obsession

2012: #33 – The Taken (Vicki Pettersson)

taken

Title: The Taken
Author: Vicki Pettersson
Series: Celestial Blues #01
Format: Paperback
Pages: 432
Release Date: June 04, 2012
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Source: ARC from the publisher
★★★☆☆ 

Griffin Shaw used to be a PI, but that was back when gumshoes hoofed the streets . . . and he was still alive. Fifty years later, he’s an angel, but that doesn’t make him a saint. One small mistake has altered fate, and now he’s been dumped back onto the mortal mudflat to collect another soul—Katherine “Kit” Craig, a journalist whose latest investigation is about to get her clipped.

Bucking heavenly orders, Grif refuses to let the sable-haired siren come to harm. Besides, protecting her offers a chance to solve the mystery of his own unsolved murder—and dole out some overdue payback for the death of his beloved wife, Evie.

Joining forces, Kit and Grif’s search for answers leads beyond the blinding lights of the Strip into the dark heart of an evil conspiracy. But a ruthless killer determined to destroy them isn’t Grif’s biggest threat. His growing attraction to Kit could cost them both their lives, along with the answer to the haunting question of his long afterlife…

My thoughts:

This was the first Vicki Pettersson I’ve read, and I did so on a recommendation from Kim Harrison, whose books I LOVE.

This wasn’t bad, but she’s no Kim Harrison. There were a number of things about this story that set it apart from the usual paranormal/urban fantasy books out there. The angel stuff was new and interesting, and I also liked the focus on the rock-a-billy lifestyle. Really, the rock-a-billy stuff was necessary in order for Grif to be accepted with few questions, and I liked the “film noir” feel it gave the story. The mystery went in directions that I didn’t expect, so that was good. Las Vegas is also the perfect setting, because there no one raises an eyebrow at things that would be considered quite odd elsewhere.

But I wasn’t overwhelmed. Things moved quite slowly at times, and it took me a long time to get into the story. I found I was more invested in Grif than in Kit, when it should have been at least equal.

I would definitely read Ms. Pettersson again, but I’ll be hoping her other books are a little stronger.

Available from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound | WorldCat

Other reviews:

  • “Fans of Pettersson will certainly enjoy THE TAKEN, but with its toned-down fantasy and more cheerful heroine giving the story broader appeal, I think many more readers will be taken with Pettersson.”Urban Fantasy Land
  • “Definitely for adults, due to the violence and some sexual situations, The Taken is a unique voice in the paranormal mystery/romance genre.”Bibliophilic Book Blog
  • I thoroughly recommend this to fans of dark & gritty Urban Fantasy lovers with an engaging plot that keeps so on your toes failing to solve the mystery. – Miss Vain’s Paranormal Fantasy

2012: #9 – The Dead Girls' Dance (Rachel Caine)

Title: The Dead Girls’ Dance
Author: Rachel Caine
Series: Morganville Vampires #02
Format: Kindle
Pages: 256 (2012 total – 2,470)
Approx. Word Count: 64,000 (2012 total – 695,504)
Release Date: April 03, 2007
Publisher: Signet
Categories: young adult, urban fantasy, vampires
Source: personal copy
Rating: 4 out of 5

Back of the book:

Claire has her share of challenges. Like being a genius in a school that favors beauty over brains; homicidal girls in her dorm, and finding out that her college town is overrun with the living dead. On the up side, she has a new boyfriend with a vampire-hunting dad. But when a local fraternity throws the Dead Girls’ Dance, hell is really going to break loose.

My thoughts:

This book picks up exactly where the first left off. This is both a good thing and a bad thing. It’s good if you’ve read the first book recently, because it means no waiting! But if it’s been over two years (like with me), it leaves you a bit disoriented until you can get up to speed again. I actually wonder if these first two books were actually just one that the author was forced to split in two.

But, once you do get up to speed again, this is a decent little book. Claire and her roommates really only want one thing — to be left in peace. But Shane’s father has other ideas, and once the  vampires find out his plans, someone has to pay. I like the group of roommates, though Claire does tend to get on my nerves a bit. She makes some really stupid decisions. I do have to give her a little benefit of the doubt. Just because you’re smart doesn’t necessarily mean you have common sense. (I might just know this from experience.)

Overall, I think this is a good series. I’m interested in seeing where it is going. Maybe this time I won’t wait two years to read the next one.

Available from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound | WorldCat

Other reviews:

  • “DEAD GIRLS’ DANCE is one of the best books in the series and the shocking ending will leave you panting and begging for the next installment.”Karin’s Book Nook
  • “This review has probably come across as a bit harsh and while I didn’t enjoy The Dead Girls’ Dance as much as Glass Houses I didn’t totally hate the book either so don’t let me put you off reading it if you are so inclined.”Love Vampires
  • “The Dead Girls’ Dance was an interesting book that moves the story and the characters forward.”Fluttering Butterflies

Past reviews:

2011: Charm City (Laura Lippman)
2010: Forbidden Falls (Robyn Carr)
2009: Amelia Peabody’s Egypt (Elizabeth Peters)
2008: The Copenhagen Connection (Elizabeth Peters)
2007: Birthright (Nora Roberts)
2006: Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden)
2005: E is for Evidence (Sue Grafton)

2012: #1 – A Perfect Blood (Kim Harrison)

perfectbloodTitle: A Perfect Blood
Author: Kim Harrison
Series: Rachel Morgan (The Hollows) #10
Format: Paperback (ARC)
Pages: 448 (2012 total – 448)
Approx. Word Count: 134,400 (2012 total – 134,400)
Release Date: February 21, 2012
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Categories: urban fantasy, witches/magic
Source: Publisher (via Amazon Vine)
Rating: 5 out of 5

Back of the book:

New York Times bestselling author Kim Harrison returns to the Hollows with the electrifying follow-up to her acclaimed Pale Demon!

Ritually murdered corpses are appearing across Cincinnati, terrifying amalgams of human and other. Pulled in to help investigate by the I.S. and the FIB, former witch turned day-walking demon Rachel Morgan soon realizes a horrifying truth: a human hate group is trying to create its own demons to destroy all Inderlanders, and to do so, it needs her blood.

She’s faced vampires, witches, werewolves, demons, and more, but humanity itself might be her toughest challenge yet.

My thoughts:

New year, new format! I’m trying this on for a while to see how it feels…

I was super excited to get my hands on this advanced copy. This is my absolute favorite paranormal/urban fantasy series, which is why I have a hard time giving it anything other than full marks.

The book opens with Rachel and everyone else in her life trying to adjust to the new “normal”. Rachel, now an official demon, is finding that even the most mundane tasks are next to impossible when you aren’t considered to be human anymore. Even worse, she has voluntarily cut herself off from the ley lines in order to hide from the demon collective, leading her to rely on only potions and her wits to get by. And, to make things more complicated, her mother has sent a bodyguard to live in her tower, and Trent is acting strangely… familiar. Jenks is also adjusting to live as a widower and unwilling protector of a wingless fairy, and Ivy continues to try to find balance in her life, this time with FIB agent Glenn.

Rachel is unexpectedly recruited by the IS to find out who is killing witches in rather demonic ways. It’s not long before she discovers that the culprits are a human hate group, twisted enough to use the very things they hate in order to reach their ultimate goal — the destruction of all Inderlanders.

If Rachel is going to survive without her ley lines, it’s going to take every last wit and resource she has, even the ones she wishes she didn’t have to use.

This series could very easily have become stale by now, but Harrison has kept it fresh by giving us fully-realized, complex characters that continue to grow and change throughout each book. No one escapes unscathed, and the possibilities are endless.

A Perfect Blood will be released on February 21, 2012.

Available from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books A Million |IndieBound | WorldCat

Other reviews:

“It’s good enough to make me want to re-read the series and is a worthy successor to Pale Demon.” – Book Goggles
“A Perfect Blood is romantically charged and brimming with action” – Fiendishly Bookish
“Perfect Blood is exactly what fans want and love about the Hollows” – Diary of a Book Addict

Past reviews:

2011: Senseless (Mary Burton)
2010: The First Rule (Robert Crais)
2009: Eclipse (Richard North Patterson)
2008: Innocent in Death (J.D. Robb)
2007: Acceptable Risk (Robin Cook)
2006: Conspiracy in Death (J.D. Robb)
2005: The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver)

2011: #73 – Dead Beat (Jim Butcher)

deadbeatBook #73 was Dead Beat, the seventh book in Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files. The back of the book reads:

Harry Dresden must save Chicago from black magic and necromancy — but first, he must locate the Word of Kemmler. Just as soon as he figures out what that is. It’s all in a day’s work for the city’s only professional wizard … assuming he can live to see the end of the day.

I listened to this WAY back around Halloween, when zombies were timely. Thankfully, there’s really no wrong time to listen to a Harry Dresden book.

When the book opens, Harry has found himself in a bit of a weird place in his life. His newly-discovered half-brother is still sleeping on his couch, one of his hands is essentially non-functional, and Murphy is jetting off to Hawaii with none other than the mercenary Kincaid. Harry is still dealing with that last piece of news when vampire queen Marva pays him a visit and saddles him with a nasty piece of blackmail: if Harry doesn’t find a mysterious book called the Word of Kemmler, Marva will frame Murphy for murder.

It’s hard to define what follows as anything other than a "romp". Harry is chased throughout the city by various unknown wizards and various undead things. With him is the medical examiner Waldo Butters, who is in danger because he has unwittingly learned too much. And they are on the clock, because the big bad is going down on Halloween. Harry once again is at the end of his rope and frankly, this ending is one of the most entertaining in the series.

I like to read about Harry’s personal life as much as his magical one, and I was glad that he had a bit of a love interest other than Murphy in this book (though he continues to feel conflicted about her). It’s too bad that his new lady wasn’t quite what she appeared to be.

I have especially enjoyed this series since I switched over to listening to the audiobooks. If this is a series you have been the slightest bit lukewarm about, I really recommend them.

Other reviews:

Fangs For The Fantasy: Review: Dead Beat by Jim Butcher, Book 7
Dead Beat (The Dresden Files) by Jim Butcher : Book Review
Bitten by Books » Dead Beat by Jim Butcher
What Cheesy Reads: Dead Beat by Jim Butcher

Audiobook length: 15 hrs 14 min | Word count: 144,413 (’11 total: 7,234,048)

2010: Metro Girl (Janet Evanovich)
2009: Naamah’s Kiss (Jacqueline Carey)
2008: Undead and Unwed (MaryJanice Davidson)
2007: Something From the Nightside (Simon R. Green)
2006: The Penultimate Peril (Lemony Snicket)
2005: Cause of Death (Patricia Cornwell)

2011: #42 – Moon Called (Patricia Briggs)

mooncalledBook #42 was Moon Called, the first book in the Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs. The back of the book reads:

Mercy Thompson’s life is not exactly normal. Her next-door neighbor is a werewolf. Her former boss is a gremlin. And she’s fixing a VW bus for a vampire. But then, Mercy isn’t exactly normal herself.

I didn’t know much about this series when I started this book, other than a few mentions here and there about it being good. It definitely lived up to the good things I’ve heard.

The world Briggs has built is a little bit different than the typical urban fantasy/paranormal universe. There’s vampires and werewolves, but there is also a whole class of fae that includes creatures other than faeries. There’s goblins and all sorts of "lesser" fae, and then there’s Mercy, who is a skinwalker. She’s sort of like a werewolf, but she turns into a coyote and she can do it whenever she wants; she isn’t slave to the moon.

Mercy was raised by werewolves, so she quickly spots the young man who comes to her shop looking for work for what he is — a were on the run. It’s her understanding of the weres and their politics that helps her survive the events of the novel.

Mercy is a strong lead, but she’s not reckless. She doesn’t take unnecessary risks, which puts her above some other strong leading ladies. Usually they’re assertive, but have a tendency to think with their emotions rather than their head.

The book was a little heavy on world-building and were politics, but that’s not unexpected in the first book of a series. Overall, I really enjoyed this book and I will definitely be reading more in the series.

Other reviews:

Patricia Briggs: Moon Called – Book Review
strange and random happenstance: Book Review – Patricia Briggs Moon Called
Book Review: Moon Called « Obsessed With Books
Book Review – Moon Called (Mercy Thompson, book 1) by Patricia Briggs
REVIEW – Moon Called by Patricia Briggs — Babbling Book Reviews

Page count: 336 (’11 total: 10,665) | Word count: 97,103 (’11 total: 4,069,953)

2010: Strawberry Shortcake Murder (Joanne Fluke)
2009: Tribute (Nora Roberts)
2008: Curse of the Spellmans (Lisa Lutz)
2007: The Fiery Cross (Diana Gabaldon)
2006: The Footprints of God (Greg Iles)
2005: Into Thin Air (Jon Krakauer)

Used in these Challenges: Countdown Challenge 2011; 2011 E-book Challenge; New Author Challenge 2011; Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge 2011;

2011: #41 – Dead Reckoning (Charlaine Harris)

deadreckoning Book #41 was Dead Reckoning, the 11th book in the Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris. The back of the book reads:

With her knack for being in trouble’s way, Sookie witnesses the firebombing of Merlotte’s, the bar where she works. Since Sam Merlotte is now known to be two-natured, suspicion falls immediately on the anti-shifters in the area. Sookie suspects otherwise, but her attention is divided when she realizes that her lover Eric Northman and his "child" Pam are plotting to kill the vampire who is now their master. Gradually, Sookie is drawn into the plot-which is much more complicated than she knows…

I felt pretty good about this book. I’ve been lukewarm about a lot of the books in the latter half of this series, but here we had a little bit of an old fashioned whodunit, rather than a lot of vampire/fae politics. Of course, we can’t get away from the politics altogether. I’ve always preferred action over talk in this series, and there was plenty of action here. Sookie makes some interesting decisions in this book, and I quite enjoyed the return of Bubba. It was enough to keep me interested in the next novel.

Other reviews:

Dead Reckoning (True Blood) by Charlaine Harris : Book Review
Book Review: Dead Reckoning by Charlaine Harris
Candace’s Book Blog: Book Review: Dead Reckoning
Review of “Dead Reckoning” by Charlaine Harris « Rhapsody in Books
Dead Reckoning by Charlaine Harris « Book Monkey

Audiobook length: 10 hrs 23 min | Approximate word count: 84,000 (’11 total: 3,972,850)

2010: So Much For That (Lionel Shriver)
2009: Drop Shot (Harlan Coben)
2008: Creation in Death (J.D. Robb)
2007: Final Jeopardy (Linda Fairstein)
2006: All Through the Night (Mary Higgins Clark)
2005: The Count and the Confession (John Taylor)

Used in these Challenges: Countdown Challenge 2011; 2011 Audiobook Challenge; Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge 2011;

2011: #36 – Blood Rites (Jim Butcher)

bloodritesBook #36 was Blood Rites, the 6th book in Jim Butcher’s Harry Dresden Files. The back of the book reads:

For Harry Dresden, there have been worse assignments than going undercover on the set of an adult film. Still, there’s something more troubling than usual about his newest case. The film’s producer believes he’s the target of a sinister curse-but it’s the women around him who are dying.

Harry’s even more frustrated because he only got involved with this bizarre mystery as a favor to Thomas-his flirtatious, self-absorbed vampire acquaintance of dubious integrity. Thomas has a personal stake in the case Harry can’t quite figure out. But Harry is about to discover that Thomas’ family tree has been hiding a shocking revelation that will change his life forever…

I had burned out a little on this series, but thankfully, there’s a cure for that ailment: a fantastic audio production. James Marsters (known by some as Spike from Buffy/Angel) is the narrator, and he does a superb job. He breathed life back into Harry.

Another thing that helped is that this book departs a bit from the giant “save the world” tasks of the last few novels. Harry’s looking for a way to pay the bills, so when his vampire “friend” Thomas comes to him and asks him to help his porn-producer friend, Harry finds it hard to resist. Even though the chivalrous side of him isn’t very comfortable with learning how porn is made.

But don’t worry, it doesn’t get very hot and steamy for Harry. Instead, he ends up in the middle of a family squabble turned turf war, and he’s connected to it more than he ever expected.

I’ll definitely be continuing the series on audio. I can’t resist a great narrator.

Other reviews:

Blood Rites (The Dresden Files) by Jim Butcher : Book Review
Sunday Review: Blood Rites by Jim Butcher (Orbit) | NextRead.co.uk
Strategist’s Personal Library: Blood Rites by Jim Butcher
What Cheesy Reads: Blood Rites by Jim Butcher
Bitten by Books » Blood Rites by Jim Butcher

Audiobook length: 13 hrs 11 min | Word count: 121,290 (’11 total: 3,526,450)

2010: Dark Entries (Ian Rankin)
2009: Matilda (Roald Dahl)
2008: The Unlikely Spy (Daniel Silva)
2007: Trouble in High Heels (Christina Dodd)
2006: The Mummy Case (Elizabeth Peters)
2005: North and South (John Jakes)

Used in these Challenges: Countdown Challenge 2011; 2011 Audiobook Challenge; Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge 2011; Four Month Challenge – Part 6;

2006: #24 – Micah (Laurell K. Hamilton)

micah

Title: Micah
Author: Laurell K. Hamilton
Series: Anita Blake #13
Pages:  288
★★★☆☆ 

There are lots of reasons to raise the dead-some private, some public. In this case, the feds have a witness who died before he could speak on the record. They want him raised so his testimony can be taken. So here I am, on a plane to Philadelphia, flying off to do my job.

But I’m not alone. Micah is with me. Micah, head of the St. Louis were-leopard pard. King to my Queen. The only one of my lovers who can stir my blood with just a glance from his chartreuse cat’s eyes. I was happy to have him at my side.

Until he mentioned that this will be our first time alone together. No Master Vampire. No Alpha Werewolf. Just me and Micah. And all my fears and doubts…

My thoughts:

Book #24 was Micah, a stand-alone book in Laurel K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake series.

I have mixed feelings about this. Not really because of the content, but because of the delivery. A novel this was not. It was a short story printed with 14pt type and double-spaced, with full page chapter headings to add some bulk to the book. Not really worth the $8 I spent on it (man, I remember when paperbacks were $3.50). I read it in about an hour and a half Saturday night. I’m expecting big things from her next real book in the series, which is due out in June.

Book count: 24
Pages in book: 288
Page count: 9,946
Words in book: 43,804
Word count:2,816,025

1,000,000 words surpassed — 2/2/06
2,000,000 words surpassed –
2/14/06

2006: #21 – A Caress of Twilight (Laurell K. Hamilton)

caresstwilight

Title: A Caress of Twilight
Author: Laurell K. Hamilton
Series: Meredith Gentry #02
Pages:  348
★★★☆☆ 

I am Princess Meredith, heir to a throne – if I can stay alive long enough to claim it. My cousin, Prince Cel, is determined to see that I don’t. As long as we both live, we are in a race for the crown: Whichever one of us reproduces first gets the throne. So now the men of my royal guard – frightening warriors skilled with blade, spell, and gun – have become my lovers, auditioning with pleasure for the role of future king and father of my child. And they must still protect me from assassination attempts – for unlike most of the fey, I am part human, and very mortal. All this royal back-stabbing makes it very difficult for me to pursue my living as a private investigator in Los Angeles, especially since the media made sure the whole world knows the Faerie princess is alive and well in sunny California.

Now, in the City of Angels, people are dying in mysterious, frightening ways. What the human police don’t realize is that the killer is hunting the fey as well. Havoc lies on the horizon; the very existence of the place known as Faerie is at grave risk. So now, while I enjoy the greatest pleasures of my life with my guardians, I must fend off an ancient evil that could destroy the very fabric of reality. And that’s just my day job.

My thoughts:

Book #21 was A Caress of Twilight, the 2nd book in Laurell Hamilton’s Meredith Gentry series.

Just cleaning the rest of the Laurell K. Hamilton books out of my to-read list. This series is alright — I don’t like it as much as the Anita Blake series. This storyline in this book wrapped up a little too quickly for my tastes.

Book count: 21
Pages in book: 348
Page count: 8,970
Words in book: 115,078
Word count:2,574,143

1,000,000 words surpassed — 2/2/06
2,000,000 words surpassed
– 2/14/06

2006: #18 – Incubus Dreams (Laurell K. Hamilton)

incubusdreams

Title: Incubus Dreams
Author: Laurell K. Hamilton
Series: Anita Blake #12
Pages:  752
★★☆☆☆ 

No one is as good at stripping bare the dark desires of the inhuman soul as Laurell K. Hamilton, something she has proven time after time in her New York Times bestselling Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter novels. Now, in Incubus Dreams, Anita’s life is more complicated than ever, as she is caught between her obligations to the living and the undead.

A vampire serial killer who preys on strippers is on the loose. Called in to consult on the case, Anita fears her judgment may be clouded by a conflict of interest. For she is, after all, the consort of Jean-Claude, the ever-intoxicating Master Vampire of the City. Surrounded by suspicion, overwhelmed by her attempts to control the primal lusts that continue to wrack her as a result of her passionate contacts with vampires, werewolves, and the shapeshifter Micah, Anita does something unprecedented: She calls for help.

My thoughts:

Book #18 was Incubus Dreams, the 12th book in Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake series.

I thought I was done with Ms. Hamilton for a while, then I realized that I got this for Christmas. I had to track it down, it wasn’t where it was supposed to be! Same complaint still applies. Somewhere along the way she started to sacrifice plot for a lot of sex. I miss the plot! Please, tone down the sex and give us some story!

Book count: 18
Pages in book: 752
Page count: 7,835
Words in book: 230,217
Word count:2,248,794

1,000,000 words surpassed – 2/2/06
2,000,000 words surpassed -
2/14/06

2006: #17 – Cerulean Sins (Laurell K. Hamilton)

ceruleansins

Title: Cerulean Sins
Author: Laurell K. Hamilton
Series: Anita Blake #11
Pages:  416
★★★☆☆ 

Once a sworn enemy of all monsters, Anita is now the human consort of both Master Vampire Jean Claude and leopard shapeshifter Micah. When a centuries-old vampire hits St. Louis, Anita finds herself needing all the dark forces her passion can muster to save the ones she loves.

My thoughts:

Book #17 was Cerulean Sins, the 11th book in Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake series.

I still like these books, but like I said when I blogged about the last ones, they’re starting to contain a bit too much sex. With this book, it seemed like the first 100 pages or so was Anita moving from one sexual scene to another. I think the series lost something when Hamilton saddled Anita with this supernatural sexual appetite that has to be satisfied (or what, I don’t really know).

Maybe I’ll understand more when I read the one I’ve skipped, Narcissus in Chains. Don’t have that one yet. You may noticed that I also skipped over book #9, but that was actually the first one in the series that I read, which happened to take place during a time when she’s not really having *any* sex at all.

I’ll continue to read the series, I just hope that Hamilton recaptures some of the formula that made the first 6 books or so of the series so great.

Book count: 17
Pages in book: 416
Page count: 7,083
Words in book: 171,442
Word count:2,018,577

1,000,000 words surpassed – 2/2/06
2,000,000 words surpassed
- 2/14/06

2006: #16 – Blue Moon (Laurell K. Hamilton)

bluemoon

Title: Blue Moon
Author: Laurell K. Hamilton
Series: Anita Blake #08
Pages:  418
★★★★☆ 

“Richard was an alpha werewolf. It was his only serious flaw. We’d broken up after I’d seen him eat somebody.”

Still, you never forget your ex-fiance. And when Richard calls Anita Blake at three in the morning, she knows it won’t be good news. It seems Richard had gotten himself thrown in jail on a rape charge. But Anita knows that though he is a monster, Richard’s no rapist. And it’s up to her to prove his innocence — before the blue moon creates even bigger problems for Richard…

My thoughts:

Book #16 was Blue Moon, the 8th book in Laurel K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake series.

First of all, yes, I have been reading a lot.

Second of all, I do enjoy these books. However, some of the focus on sex is getting a little out of hand. Especially in the one I’m reading now (though I guess I shouldn’t talk about that one until I’m finished).

Book count: 16
Pages in book: 418
Page count: 6,667
Words in book: 155,027

Word count:1,847,135

1,000,000 words surpassed — 2/2/06

2006: #15 – Burnt Offerings (Laurell K. Hamilton)

burntofferings

Title: Burnt Offerings
Author: Laurell K. Hamilton
Series: Anita Blake #07
Pages:  400
★★★★☆ 

While a pyrokinetic arsonist targets the havens of St. Louis’s legal vampire population, Anita Blake–the local expert on supernatural creatures–finds herself embroiled in a dangerous and deadly game of undead politics in defense of her lover, the city’s Master Vampire. The sixth installment of Hamilton’s popular “Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter” series exposes the more vulnerable side of its tough-talking, hard-as-nails heroine.

My thoughts:

Book #15 was Burnt Offerings, the 7th book in Laurel K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake series.

First of all, yes, I have been reading a lot.

Second of all, I do enjoy these books. However, some of the focus on sex is getting a little out of hand. Especially in the one I’m reading now (though I guess I shouldn’t talk about that one until I’m finished).

Book count: 15
Pages in book: 400
Page count: 6,249
Words in book: 133,614

Word count:1,692,108

1,000,000 words surpassed — 2/2/06

2006: #14 – The Killing Dance (Laurell K. Hamilton)

killingdance

Title: The Killing Dance
Author: Laurell K. Hamilton
Series: Anita Blake #06
Pages:  368
★★★★☆ 

Dating both a vampire and a werewolf isn’t easy. But just to complicate Anita’s already messy life, someone has put a price on her head. Love cannot save her this time, so she turns to Edward, hitman extraordinaire, for help. But finding the person behind the threat won’t be easy, because as both a vampire hunter and zombie reanimator, Anita has made a lot of enemies-both human and otherwise.

My thoughts:

Book #14 was The Killing Dance, the 6th book in Laurel K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake series.

First of all, yes, I have been reading a lot.

Second of all, I do enjoy these books. However, some of the focus on sex is getting a little out of hand. Especially in the one I’m reading now (though I guess I shouldn’t talk about that one until I’m finished).

Book count: 14
Pages in book: 368
Page count: 5,849
Words in book: 133,039

Word count:1,558,494

1,000,000 words surpassed — 2/2/06

2006: #13 – Bloody Bones (Laurell K. Hamilton)

bloodybones

Title: Bloody Bones
Author: Laurell K. Hamilton
Series: Anita Blake #05
Pages:  336
★★★★☆ 

In Laurell K. Hamilton’s New York Times bestselling novels, Anita Blake, vampire hunter and animator, takes a bite out of crime-of the supernatural kind. But even someone who deals with death on a daily basis can be unnerved by its power…

When Branson, Missouri, is hit with a death wave-four unsolved murders-it doesn’t take an expert to realize that all is not well. But luckily for the locals, Anita is an expert-in just the kinds of preternatural goings-on that have everyone spooked. And she’s got an “in” with just the kind of creature who can make sense of the slayings: a sexy master vampire known as Jean Claude.

My thoughts:

Book #13 was Bloody Bones, the 5th book in Laurel K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake series.

First of all, yes, I have been reading a lot.

Second of all, I do enjoy these books. However, some of the focus on sex is getting a little out of hand. Especially in the one I’m reading now (though I guess I shouldn’t talk about that one until I’m finished).

Book count: 13
Pages in book: 336
Page count: 5,481
Words in book: 126,043

Word count:1,425,455

2006: #12 – The Lunatic Cafe (Laurell K. Hamilton)

lunaticcafe

Title: The Lunatic Cafe
Author: Laurell K. Hamilton
Series: Anita Blake #04
Pages:  344
★★★★☆ 

Anita Blake has fallen for the leader of a local pack of werewolves. She’s survived a lot, but this love affair may kill her yet.

The local pack of werewolves comes to prenatural expert Anita Baker for help after a number of their pack come up missing–probably because she is dating the leader of the pack. Anita has survived a lot, from jealous vampires to killer zombies, but this love thing may kill her yet.

My thoughts:

Book #12 was The Lunatic Cafe, the 4th book in Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake series.

I really like this series. I’ll probably read a couple more before I move on to something else. When I first read them, I’d never read anything that mixed vampires/werewolves/etc with modern day life.

Book count: 12
Pages in book: 344
Page count: 5,145
Words in book: 108,357

Word count:1,299,412

1,000,000 words surpassed — 2/2/06

2005: #40 – A Kiss of Shadows (Laurell K. Hamilton)

kissshadows

Title: A Kiss of Shadows
Author: Laurell K. Hamilton
Series: Meredith Gentry #01
Pages: 480
★★★☆☆ 

“All it would take was my true name being mentioned after dark, and it would float back to my aunt. She was the Queen of Air and Darkness, and that meant that anything said in the dark was hers to hear, eventually. The fact that spotting the missing Elven American Princess had become more popular than spotting Elvis helped. Her magic was always chasing blind leads. Princess Meredith skiing in Utah. Princess Meredith dancing in Paris. Princess Meredith gambling in Vegas. After three years I was still a front-page story for the tabloids, though the latest headlines had been speculating that I was dead as the King of Rock and Roll . . .”

Three years ago, Princess Meredith fled the court of her cruel Aunt Andais, the Queen of Air and Darkness, leaving that garden of decadent delights and backstabbing intrigues for the comparative calm of Los Angeles. Using her magic to pass for human, Meredith began a new life as a private investigator specializing in supernatural crime. But now Doyle, the Queen’s chief bodyguard and assassin, has been dispatched to fetch her back–whether she likes it or not.

The product of a marriage designed to cement peace between the rival Seelie and Unseelie courts, Meredith has always been scorned by both factions in spite of her royal blood. But that blood is behind the Unseelie Queen’s surprisingly urgent summons.

For ever since the fey’s exile from Europe to America, their power and purity have been fading. Desperate to renew her race, Queen Andais now pins her hopes on a contest between Meredith and her own son, the sadistic Prince Cel. The first to produce a child will win the throne.

The loser’s reward will be death . . .

Book #40 was A Kiss of Shadows, the first book in Laurell K. Hamilton’s Meredith Gentry series.

This book is best categorized as “light on plot, heavy on sex”. It wasn’t bad, if you like to see how many different characters can have sex in the same book, sometimes under quite extraordinary circumstances. However, I like Laurell K Hamilton, so I’ll probably read more of these.

Book count: 40/50 — 80%
Pages in book: 480
Page count: 14,057/15,000 — 93.71%

2005: #37 – Circus of the Damned (Laurell K. Hamilton)

circusdamned

Title: Circus of the Damned
Author: Laurell K. Hamilton
Series: Anita Blake #03
Pages: 329
★★★☆☆ 

In Circus of the Damned a rogue master vampire hits town, and Anita gets caught in the middle of an undead turf war. Jean-Claude, the Master Vamp of the city, wants her for his own-but his enemies have other plans. And to make matters worse, Anita takes a hit to the heart when she meets a stunningly handsome junior high science teacher named Richard Zeeman. They’re two humans caught in the crossfire. Or so Anita thinks…

Book #37 was Laurell K. Hamilton’s Circus of the Damned, the 3rd book in her Anita Blake series.

These books fall in my “quick and entertaining to read” category. I like a good vampire story once in a while…

Book count: 37/50 — 74%
Pages in book: 329
Page count: 12,937/15,000 — 86.25%

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