Saturday, November 27, 2010

Versatile Blogger Award

WOW, This is my first award and I would like to thank Ashley over at Bookaholic Does Blogging for honoring me with this award. Thank You Ashley!!! I'm very excited to be getting this award.

So there are some Rules associated with this award
1. Share 7 things about yourslef
2.Pass the award on to 15 other bloggers
3.Notify the blogger recipaints
4. Link to the blogger who gave the award

7 things about me (eek)
1. I have only been blogging or reviewing on just this website for almost 2 months now, and I had no idea what I was getting into when I started.
2.I will always start at the beginning of the series. There have been a few times where I picked up a book in the middle of the series and really regretted it.
3.My Gramma got an ereader before I did, this has changed. I now own a Nook and I love it (to all the other Canadians out there, a Nook will work just as well in Canada as it does in the States)
4. I am about to become a Home Owner, which is very exciting, We take possession of our house on Tuesday
5.One of my dreams for this house, is to use one of the extra bedrooms to create a Library (We are still having a debate about it).
6. I was never really a reader when I was growing up. I actually almost failed a few grades because I was unable to read, but look at me
7. When I look at a blog, I take in the overall feel of the blog, and how clean it is, plus is the blog an overall interest to me. That really is what determines if I become a follower or not. Really the Question of "Is this Blog and the books an interest to me"

And The Award Goes To.....

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Cat Adams: Blood Song

Cat Adams (aka C.T. Adams & Cathy Clamp),bring one of their first book writing under this name and this is the first book in their Blood Singer Series. 

Celia Grave, is a bodyguard with a great reputation and comes at a high price but she is worth the money but this means she gets her share of weird human and supernatural assignments. So when she is approached to guard one of the Princes of Rusland, while he has fun in his final days a bachelor, she isn’t too concerned, other than getting a funny feeling from the person who recruited her for the job the job should be easy. This time she should have listened to her gut. Betrayed by the people who employed her, Celia wakes up on a metal slab, happy to be alive but she has changed, she is now half vampire and the only survivor and witness to the attack. However, the people who betrayed her are using strong magic, maybe even demonic magic, as there is no evidence of a crime scene and Celia cannot remember what had happened the day before. Determined to find who set her up, and the vampire that attempted to sired her (so she can kill him), Celia knows she doesn’t have much time before her sire will come looking for her and for the people who betrayed to know that she survived the attack. But the more people Celia talks to the more she puts them all in danger and it is not just danger from her unknown foes but from herself as she can feel the Bloodlust rising in her.

First off, I will say I have never read anything before by Adams & Clamp so I was not sure what to expect or their writing style. I love the cover of this book, it is part of the reason that I picked the book up; however, I wish the book was as good as the cover. This is not to say that the book was bad, I just had a "meh" (or Okay) feeling while I was reading it. The paranormal genre is growing larger and larger each year, there is a plethora of books out there and authors need to do something different these days to stand out. I feel like there are many books on the market these days that follow a formula have A and B, introduce C and D and we have a plot and a story. So I guess what I am trying to say is that I have read this story before, the characters are different, and the paranormal aspects may be different, but the story is the same.

My other main complaint is that this is a short book (268 pages in my Nook) and it feels like I only really got half of a story and it was a rush to finish it at the end. It also seemed liked Adams was just trying too hard, I mean part way through the book, all of a sudden they decide to mention that the Celia  can be contacted by ghosts, especially her sisters ghost, you think she would have used this or mentioned this earlier.

All in all not my favourite book or debut, as I said more of a “meh” or okay feeling about it. It had some interesting aspects, but not enough to keep that interested in the series. I think the only way I would read the next book is if more than one person wrote a rave review about it, even then, there are some many other and better books and series out there.


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Cody McFadyen: Shadow Man

In his debut novel (this book came out in 2006, but it was still his debut) McFadyen creates an intense and very real feeling mystery thriller, that grabs hold of you and doesn’t let go.

FBI Special Agent and profiler Smokey Barrett (yes I said Smokey), is at a point in her life when she has to make a major decision.  Six months ago a serial killer attacked Smokey and her family within their home, murdering her husband, Matt, her daughter, Alexa, and disfiguring Smokey’s face and body. Now Smokey still lives within the same house and she has reached the time where she needs to decide whether to return to work at the FBI or bite her own gun. But the decision is taken away from her, as new serial killer has requested Smokey by name that she be the one to hunt him. According to this new serial killer she is his Abberline (detective who worked the Jack the Ripper case in London) for this serial killer says to be a direct descendant of the Ripper, the original Shadow Man and Jack jr. knows just how to get Smokey’s attention and bring her and her team into his challenge.

This book had me invested in it within the first few pages. The raw emotion that McFadyen is able to portray throughout the book is amazing. This is the BEST mystery thriller book I have read in a long time. It had me on the edge of my seat with suspense and there were points where I was crying because of all the emotion portrayed through Smokey’s character. I enjoyed Smokey as a character, broken, unsure but wanting to take up the challenge and hope that she and her team are able to survive through it. I also enjoyed how McFadyen lets the reader see tidbits of Smokey’s life before the attack, and how Smokey still dreams and talks to her family when she needs them, especially her husband Matt.

Additionally, the dynamics that McFadyen was able to create between Smokey and her team and Smokey and Jack jr. are what make this book. The book has twist and turns and it appeared to me what a real investigation would be like, and the despair that Smokey goes through is as real as any that I could think of. Her team members each have different personalities, and skills, which may clash with each other from time to time, but it helps get the job done. I also liked how Jack jr has evolved from the original Ripper and has modernized his techniques, selection, and hunting.  McFadyen definitely knows how to lead you on a chase, make you question all your thoughts and keep the killer just out of reach.

I would normally not quote another individual`s review on a book, but I think that this one describes how well this book was written and McFadyen`s attention to detail and in this case is very fitting because of who the review is coming from. According to John E. Douglas, (Author of Mindhunter: Inside the FBI`s Elite Serial Crime Unit, which I have also read, he was a profiler for the FBI), “Shadow Man is one of the most Powerful and Authentic portrayals of a serial killer and the people who hunt them I have ever read. It kept me riveted right to the last page. Cody McFadyen is the real thing.”

I guess some of you may be asking yourselves, especially if you have read some of my other mystery thriller reviews, if I was able to figure out this book, the answer is yes, I was able to, but I was never completely sure until the very end.  However, this did not take away from how much I enjoyed this book, because it was so well written

I would Recommend this book to anyone who wants a mystery thriller book that JUMPS off the page and takes hold of you the whole way.


Friday, November 19, 2010

M. L. N. Hanover: Unclean Spirits

M.L.N. Hanover's Unclean Spirits is for you if you are looking for something new and different in the paranormal genre.

 The novel is centered on a young women named Jayne (pronounced zha-nay, not Jane, no idea why you would make up a name like that, anyways, I just continued to read it as Jane.I don’t think how you say her name really matters), who has lost everything in her life. Her parents want nothing to do with her, she was just dumped by her boyfriend and the friends she had made in College don't seem to care what happens to her. To make it all worse is her Uncle, the only one who cared about her, has died. Only when she arrives for his funeral she discovers that she knew nothing about him. She has inherited his fortune and properties around the world. She cannot get around the fact that she knew nothing about his life, therefore, she decides to visit some of his properties around the city to attempt to discover who he was. Jayne enters into a downtown apartment, that has strange glass objects over the windows and stranger yet, a corpse (or an extremely bad burn victim) on the bed that opens its eyes and talks to her. Jayne has discovered someone who knew her Uncle but she cannot logically believe what she is being told. There is a different world out there with creatures called Riders and that are responsible for her uncle's death. While attempting to digest everything Midian (the burn victim) is telling her, the door is forced open and people are attacking her. Jayne fights back, with talents she never knew she had. Now there are bodies in her uncle's kitchen, a Corpse that can talk and one phone call brings three other men into her life, all of whom have worked with her Uncle. All these men believe the same thing that there is a group called the Invisible College, where the Riders that are attempting to grow in power and dominate the Earth. Jayne finds herself in the middle, wanting revenge for her Uncle's murder and attempting to believe in something she never thought possible and to top that all off, the leader of the Invisible College Cain, wants her eliminated. Jayne had better start believing in the impossible quick or she is going to find herself dead. 

Sorry the premise is a little long winded there, but I wanted to do justice to the plot, but not give everything away. This is a good start to a new series and it is nice to have something different in the Genre. I like the ideas of riders. Riders are a parasitic demon spirit that takes over a human body, and gives that body extra powers and abilities. However, the individual who is infected does not retain their personality they become someone completely different. In other words they take on the personality of the spirit parasite. Additionally, magic, werewolves and vampires are found within the book but the werewolves and vampires are second fiddle to the Magic and the Riders. There is quite a bit of action in this book too, which I really enjoyed and a little bit of romance for those who like that (but not that much). One of the main things I liked in the book was Jayne's character. She is extremely Real, in the way she acted and approached situations, she is not perfect, she's flawed, and unsure of herself and yet somewhere within her there is a heroine. It’s nice to have a heroine that does not always think that she is always right, kickass, and  sometimes a bitch to everyone around her.

I have picked up the second book and it is on my TBR shelf. I will post a review about the second one once I am able to read it. 


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Monday, November 15, 2010

Keri Arthur: Full Moon Rising

The majority of the individual who read paranormal romance books have probably already read this one. I have been putting off reading it, as I thought it would be a complete paranormal romance book, which are not my first choice these days. For this book, my thoughts were partially right. This is the first in a series of six, which I believe have all been released, so if you are looking for a new series to read through this one might be for you.

Born, along with her twin brother Rhoan, as half Werewolf, half Vampire, they have spent their lives together, never really forming outside ties for fear of rejection, scorn, and disgust from other individuals. But Riley and Rhoan have found a place outside of their pack (which kicked them out) at the Directive, which polices the paranormals. Rhoan is a guardian (similar to a cop with a side of assassin) while Riley chose to be, as she likes to call it, a pencil pusher. Riley has no desire to be a guardian, but is pushed into the role, when Rhoan goes missing while on mission, and she can feel that he is in Danger. Enter the mysterious Vampire Quinn, who Riley finds naked outside her doorway and claiming to be there to see her brother. Quinn cannot remember all the details before his attacked but he knew to come to Rhoan for help. Rhoan never mentioned Quinn before, and she is suspicious of him from the start, even though he is extremely good-looking and powerful. Riley and Quinn are thrown together in an investigation, to find Rhoan, the other missing Guardians and combat a cloning project that is attempting to create the perfect warrior. Along the way though, Riley becomes a target on more than one front, and to top it all off, this is taking place during the wolves week long moon heat, where all werewolves need to mate. Riley needs to control and satisfy her urges all at the same time. For one not looking for trouble, Riley is going to discover just how much trouble and danger the world is when you decide to go against evil forces.

This book had interesting ideas within the plot and it was able to keep me somewhat entertained throughout. I like Riley as a character, she has some very human, werewolf and vampire wants and needs, which she has to fight in order to achieve them. There were also some interesting abilities that I thought were different as well, for example Riley’s ability to switch her eyesight to infrared (or vampire eyes). The idea of the Directive was nice, but it is similar in aspects to other books I have read (such as the Order in Ilona Andrews Kate Daniels series, which is one of my Favorite Series). I did like the tension that does happen between Quinn and Riley and I wish this was the only place where there was sexual tension that involved Riley.

My main criticism of this book is large quantity of sex scenes. It seemed, to me, that every second chapter was about Riley having sex; it got predictive and boring. Too many sex scenes is the reason, I am no longer a fan of Laurell K Hamilton’s work. Although these sex scenes were not as long as Hamilton’s are, I just found that there were too many of them. I do understand that sex is part of the overall theme, and plot of the book, but I believe that the plot could have been achieved with fewer of them. I also understand that Riley is a part werewolf, and that this is just part of her nature in this book, but still, I find the book lacking because of them. It also seemed that every second conversation that Riley had was about sex or hinting about having sex or who she is going to have sex with. I personally just started skipping all these scenes, until there was some action or dialogue that was part of the mystery/case/plot of the book. (No, I am not a prude, lol)

I guess overall, I don’t think that this book (and possibly series) is really my cup of tea. That said, I did find the plot by itself interesting, but I am unsure if I will pick up the other books within the series (well maybe I would if I had nothing else to read). I will ask a quick question here to all people who have read the other books...Are all the books this involved with sex? Thanks if you are able to answer.


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Saturday, November 13, 2010

Alan Jacobson: The 7th Victim

I really enjoyed this book. I was unsure if I was going to read it, as I have found that mystery thrillers, these days, are not as interesting as they used to be, and rely too much, on how much they can shock you, than the actual storyline. This book does focus on the story and it has just enough to shock you as well.

Special Agent Karen Vail, is the only female profiler within the FBI’s profiling unit, which means she has to work twice as hard to prove that she belongs. Vail has been assigned to a task force, for a serial killer dubbed, by the press, as the Dead Eyes Killer. Sadistic, brutal, and ritualistic describe Dead Eyes method of killing, it is the likes of which Vail and the task force has not seen before. His victims are all brown haired and brown-eyed women, that have no connection to each other, and who seem randomly selected. With each murder there is a message that haunts the task force, “Its in the...” scrawled across the walls of the victims’ homes and ever increasing violence, begins to cause the public to panic and for the higher ups to get uneasy and wanting to have someone they can trust on the case. But Vail’s life is not going to get any easier. She is almost divorced from her abusive husband, but somehow she winds up with Him filing assault against Her, which forces the FBI to put her on leave (but her boss seemed all too willing to have her spot filled), and she has to look after her son, who she believes her husband could harm as well. All forces are determined to keep Vail from the Dead Eyes case, but Vail is determined to be part of the team, to stop the Dead Eyes murders. Vail knows that the 7th victim is the key to this serial killer’s puzzle, an individual that Vail had an unknown connection too, but there are secrets and lies surrounding everything in this case. In order to break the case, Vail has to unlock all the secrets and lies, some that may be too painful for her bear, put her life in danger and others that could destroy her.

I enjoyed this book. I appreciated the research that Jacobson put into his book (he has a few pages of acknowledgments for everyone who was able to help to make sure he used the right information, some from right in the FBI and profiling). He was able to create something that could be a detective’s real life. The case is always there but there are things happening outside of Vail’s life as well, that take her away from the case, but she can never really leave it. I believe that this really personalizes Vail, shows her character and just makes her more real. She is strong, passionate, and all about the law but put her ex-husband in the room with her and she just wants to fight. This makes her very real in my eyes; she has a range of emotions that are not just based around the Dead Eyes case. I liked how Jacobson had chapters that were from the point-of-view of Dead Eyes and that he showed the evolution of how Dead Eyes learned with each victim.

I love trying to figure out the who, how and why in mystery books, with just the information the author has given me. Trust me, more often than not, I figure things out before the end of the book; that said, with this book I was able to figure out most of the questions, which makes it a good book, because the author was able to think outside the box somewhat, which is always enjoyable.


Monday, November 8, 2010

Dakota Banks: Dark Time

This is a review that I wrote last year and it has been feature on other websites. I was finally able to get the second book in the series (some how it got lost in the mail, twice), and I knew I needed to get this review out there before I read the second Book.

This is a great book, that is really non stop action and quite a bit different from other paranormal books out there. So if you are looking for a change, something new and different this book is for you.

Susannah Layhem was just a wife in in the late 1600 with a some what loving husband and their first child on the way. One night she and her husband are awoken by men at the door who proclaim Susannah is a witch, therefore, she is sentenced to death. Susannah cannot understand what is happening and she is more upset that they will not wait for the baby to be born before they execute her. The night before she is to burned at the stake, Susannah gives birth to still born from the severe treatment she receives as she is incarcerated. The next day Susannah is tied to the stake and the fire is lapping at her feet, legs, hair. She dies...or does she. In her last moments Susannah sends up a prayer for someone to help her. The prayer is answered by a Demon named Rabishu. Rabishu questions Susannah on what she would do to live? Would she kill her own Kind? Susannah states that she wants to live and will do what it takes to live again, so begins her long slavery as Rabishu's assassin. Susannah served Rabishu for 100s of years and is haunted by all people she has killed. Susannah wants to be free of Rabishu and the only way is for her save as many people as she has killed, only then will she be set free. However, if Susannah thought that Rabishu would make it easy for her, she is sadly mistaken.

This book was great, I just really enjoyed that it was something different and had different ideas throughout. There are no vampires or werewolves within the book, just Demons and individuals who are called Ageless. The main character Susannah, who becomes Maliha, as she has to change her name through out the time she has lived, is a fairly believable character, who has flaws, and just has the desperate want to live a normal life, but knows that she cant. There are quite a few action James Bond/Dirk Pitt like scene within the book. I also enjoy that there are flashbacks to times where Maliha has saved an individual and how some of those people are part of her life now, even if they know that she saved them or not. There is a little bit of a love interest in the book, but it is not a priorityit is more in the aspect of Maliha wanting and trying to live a normal life. The priority in the book is for Maliha to save as many people as she can and protect those people around her, in order to balance the scales that control her life and body

This first book is one of the best new series that I have read in a long time. So i would reccomend that everyone pick it up, especially if you like paranormal books with a more action, character development and history. The books leaves a big cliff hanger at the end too and I cant wait for the second one, hope it comes out soon.

Defiantly an Author to watch out for.


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Saturday, November 6, 2010

Christopher Farnsworth: Blood Oath

This is defiantly not your typical vampire novel associated with the paranormal genre these days. It is a political thriller with a side of action adventure with some paranormal aspects. But these paranormal aspect defiantly set the tone of the book. This book as everything,  Vampires, a mad scientist (think of one the most famous ones), a shadow group/company, conspiracy and a naive human thrown in just for kicks, you know this is going to be a good book.

When President Andrew Johnson discovers a captured vampire on his shore, he knows that he has a weapon that can be used to the countries advantage. Even though Nathaniel Cade wishes the President would just kill him, Johnson hires a Voodoo Woman to put a blood oath between Cade and the President (and every president that follows) in which Cade must protect the President, follow his orders and protect the people of America from both foreign, domestic and otherworld threats. Cade has now lived to over 150 years old and each of which have been in service to each United States president since he changed into a Vampire. He has been given a Human agent to help liaise with the President and to help he keep some form of contact with the Human World. Zach Barrows, knows that he has screwed up big time. He has been working on his political career since he was a teenager and he had to throw it all away to have some fun with the President’s 19-year-old daughter. The President has just selected him for a new assignment, a new liaison between Cade and the President. Zach did not believe in Vampires before he met Cade, but once meeting him, he could tell that he was a predator. Along with the current Liaison, Agent Griffin, who is getting to retirement age, which means that Zach has to learn fast what it means to work with a Vampire (not just skim reading the brief). Zach and Cade are thrown into their first assignment that has an “old friend” of Cade’s stink all over it, and Cade is looking to get a little revenge. However, there is more to this conspiracy than what is just on the surface, there are threats both foreign and domestic that Cade is going to have to battle as well.

I know there have been other books written where Vampire or other paranormals are in service to the USA,  this to me stands out the most and is the Best one I have read, the other ones are not even in the same category as this one. I enjoyed all the characters within the book, Farnsworth does a great job of developing them separately and giving them life. You really get to know Cade and where he has come from. At the beginning of each chapter, there are parts of a special report about Cade’s past or experiments that were done on him; the information is part of the brief that Zach, should have, read.

This is a Page Turner of a Book. I could not put it down; I just wanted to know what happened next. From Cade’s struggle to fulfill his orders, even though some he does not want to, and his struggle with maintaining some connection to family and what it feels like to be Human; to Zach’s scared reaction to everything, though wanting to help, and be the smart guy to the government conspiracy and mad scientist. Farnsworth has created and developed a book that just grabs hold of you and you don’t want it to let go.

The only negative about this book that was the sex scene, Men just don’t write sex scenes right, at least from the books that I have read. It is brief scene only a page or two, which is good. I did like what the scene represented though, still that one attachment to Humanity. This scene is easily forgiven for the rest of the book was Fantastic and did I mention a Mad Scientist (lol), I’m not going to lie the scientist and what he does and can create, is just down right creepy.

Defiantly one of the BEST books released in 2010. I’m looking forward to see what is next from Farnsworth. You need to pick this one up!


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Thursday, November 4, 2010

Gemma Halliday: Spying in High Heels

Fun, sassy and all about Fashion this mystery will have you guessing to the end and laughing as Maddie bumbles her way through a murder, fraud and embezzlement investigations to prove that her Boyfriend is innocent.

Shoe Designer Maddie had great dreams of being a fashion designer in NYC, but is stuck designing children’s shoes, in LA, very far from NYC. But the one thing she is sure about in her life is her boyfriend Richard, who is the whole package. However, when Richard disappears along with 20 million dollars and murders start to occur, Maddie does not question Richard’s innocence but he took a bad time to disappear on her (lets just say that Maddie is LATE). However, the LAPD do not think that Richard is innocent , especially the lead (and very Hot) investigator Jack Ramirez, who just wants Maddie to mind her own business and leave the investigations to the professionals. As time ticks by (and a test still has not been taken), Maddie tries to find Richard and as more evidence comes to light against him, and prove that he is innocent. However, the farther Maddie undertakes her own investigation (she does end up at a porn studio), the closer she gets to Ramirez, and as she starts to put the pieces together she becomes a target. Now Maddie has to decide first to take the test, second if Richard really is innocent, third figure out Ramirez in general, and fourth figure out what she is doing.

Individuals who are fans of Stephanie Bond’s Body Movers series or books by Jennifer Cruise will also like this book/series. I had some laugh out-loud moments while reading and it was able to keep me entertained, interested and guessing till the end. I like Maddie as a character, she was fun, real and very like a Carrie Bradshaw, but with an amateur detective twist. Who knew fashion would come in handy in police investigations, along with her side kick Dana who is very much like a Samantha. I think all the characters within the book are fairly well developed for a mystery romance book, and the book overall was very entertaining.

This is a fun easy read and a great start to a new series. I am going to pick up the second book in the series. Definitely an author I would recommend for something funny, light and when you have the need to escape for awhile.


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Kelly Meding: Three Days to Dead

In her Debut novel and entrance into the Paranormal Genre Meding bring us a dark and gritty book that will have fans of, Lilith Saintcrow's series will also enjoy this book.

Evangeline Stone, Evy, has some problems. First she wakes up naked, second she discovers that she has woken up in the morgue (never a good thing), third she is not in her body and fourth she cannot seem to remember what happened to her before she died. Before Evy died she was a Dreg Hunter, she hunts rouge paranormals (anything ranging from vampire to fey to goblins), within a group called the Triads. However, once the Triads discover Evy is “alive” they are hunting her, alive or dead, with the focus on the dead, is the protocol that the Triads follow. Now Evy is attempting to piece together her last few days to figure out what happened in her last assignment and why she is on everyone's Hit list. But Evy is on a time limit she only has three days to piece together what happened to her and what is happening in her city and she has a feeling bad feeling if she dies before she figures out what is doing on, her city is not going to make it too.

I really enjoyed this book. It was action packed (which I like) with some twist and turns along the way, as Evy is unsure of who she is able to trust. It does have the normal para normals creatures, but there are also trolls, goblins, gargoyles and different kinds of Fey that do play a prominent part in the novel, so there are now some new ideas here, which is always a positive to me, as I find that the paranormal genre can become saturated with only Vampire and Werewolves. I really liked the Troll that lived under the bridge, defiantly reminded me of the old fairy tales. I really enjoyed Evy as a lead character she was kick-ass, witty but still had the human side of her, as she was afraid of failure and knew how much was riding on her shoulders. She only has three days (not exactly the longest time-line) to get revenge, and help save her city.

There was one aspect of the book that I did not like and that was the character Wyatt, you will have to form your own opinion about him, but he was not my favorite character. It appeared to me that as much as he said he liked her for who she was, he was always attempting to change her and coddle her and just not let her be her. Nevertheless, other than, Wyatt I really liked this book, and I am  Going to be picking up the second book.

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