Saturday, October 30, 2010

Elisabeth Naughton: Marked

In her debut into the paranormal romance genre, Naughton, has taken the Gods from Greece, transferred them to this day, and age and shown how even after thousands of years, some Gods are still be fascinated by Humans.

Casey (a Human) is just trying to find her place in the world, after her grandmother died and she is alone. She works two jobs to attempt to keep her grandmothers book stop afloat now which she feels is her only real connection to the world, to something. Theron is a descendant of Hercules and the leader of the Argonuats, who are sworn to protect the portal between the Human world, the Underworld and Aroglea (which is the barrier before one has access to Olympus). Casey and Theron meet by mistake as he travels into the Human world to retrieve his FiancĂ© who is curious about the Human world and it is hinted, the women. He is able to return her without harm to Aroglea but he is attacked by Daemons who are in service to Atlanta. Atlanta, in this book was granted immortality by Hades as well as control of Daemons, with the bargain that every Argonuat she kills their soul will go right to the Underworld and Hades will give her more power which gives Atlanta the ability to attack Aroglea where she believe she belongs. Casey comes upon Theron being attacked by the Daemons, becoming badly wounded and ends up saving his life. Theron will not let Casey take him to a hospital and she is forced to take him to her place, stitch up his wounds and hope he heals. Good thing for her and Theron, that he is a fast healer. When he wakes up, he feels a strange attraction to Casey, something he thought would not be possible as she is a Human. Casey does not understand this stranger in her home, or what has happened to her tonight, but she can’t fight her attraction to him and she really does not want to. But when Theron disappears suddenly, she does not even know if the night was real. There is also the strange man Nick, who always seems to just show up when she is in trouble, but she does not know if she can trust. When Theron returns to Aroglea, he cannot get Casey off his mind, but Casey may be more important to his world than just to him, she could be the key to protect his world from the Underworld and his clan’s extinction. Theron is going to be forced to make a choice, loyalty to his people, or loyalty to a woman that he thinks he could love and might be his Soul Mate.

This is an okay book (a good start to a new series), not too much sex, just enough action and intrigue to keep the reader interested. I appreciated Naughton’s use of the Gods, as I have not read too authors that have gone the route of Gods instead of the typical paranormal creatures. But there are some cheesy moment, like a line Theron uses on Casey, that he won’t be able to tell if she was his soul mate unless they had sex together, pretty sure I laughed at that point. I wish there was more involvement with some of the other Gods but since this is going to be a series I hope other Gods may will make a presence in some of the later books. I also appreciated that Naughton did not try to do too much in her first book, she kept the reader with her till the end, and left some intriguing aspects that I was wondering about at the end of the book, that do make me want to see what will happen next.

All in all, a not bad start to a paranormal romance series. I think those who normally read paranormal romance will enjoy this book. For those who do not normally like or read paranormal romance, it might be a nice change of pace from all the dark, more like a filler book for these people though.


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Saturday, October 23, 2010

Richard Kadrey: Sandman Slim

Dark, gritty, violent, Sandman slim is a true paranormal book. If you like books that have a definite edge and maybe a little bit of controversy (depends on your religious views) thrown in, this book is for you and part of the reason I liked it so much. This is definitely one for the guys who like the paranormal genre.

Jimmy Stark (magician, real, not Vegas style) can trace his ancestry back to the western days of Wild Bill, which he like to say explains his live for guns, and the past has been on his mind lately especially once he discovers his Alice has been murdered.  Did I mention that for the past 11 years he has been living in Hell, he was dragged there by some demons that his “friends” conjured up to take him there, oh and they did this on purpose. He was the only human that had ever entered Hell (or Downtown as Stark calls it), so he was quite an anomaly and sought after as a toy for entertainment. The main entertainment that he supplied was in the area, similar to gladiator days, where he would face hell beast after hell beast and for some reason he kept winning. Taking a trip to hell has given Stark the ability to heal fast and each new scar makes him harder and harder to kill. He even works his way up to being an assassin for one of Lucifer’s generals. But that has all come to an end, as he has escaped Hell, returned LA to take revenge on those who put him in Hell the first place and those who kill Alice. The world has changed a lot in 11 years, there are cell phones, and DVDs and Stark needs to adapt in order to fit in. Stark`s mission is revenge, but there are other powers at play as well, ones that could ruin all human life, and Stark may be able help stop it, but does he care? Nope, revenge is always first on his mind and absolution from God, is not even a close second.

Stark is the bad guy but you root for him like a good guy, I mean who wouldn't want revenge for having to spend 11 years alive in Hell. This book is fast paced, violent, funny, dark and supernatural all rolled into one. I liked the structure and balance that Kadrey displayed between Heaven Hell and Earth, and how Stark just walks through all three without a backward glance. This book really did give a look in at the power structure of both Heaven and Hell, which I had not read in a book before; I think this is where some people may turn up their noses at the book.

Kadrey also did some interesting things with Start as well, first he is not the smartest tool in the box, he does have some funny blonde esk moments (and yes I can make this joke because I am Blonde). Additionally, although Stark has aged 11 years since he was last on Earth, he has some 19-year-old moments, such as falling in love with every punk looking girl he sees. Kardey also introduces some different types of demons, powers, weapons and places, which only added to the story. For example, the Kissi, which are being that thrive on chaos so they try to create as much of it as they can, humans are unable to see them, but they are the things that the whisper crazy ideas into your head.

I read somewhere that this book is written similar to a Noir Film, and I could not agree more. This is definitely on of the best books I have read in 2010.


Thursday, October 21, 2010

Ray Garton: Ravenous

I was disappointed with this book as I had heard what a great horror writer Garton is. I would classify as Horror Light, as there was some disturbing scenes within the book, but I found that it lacked the suspense, and there seemed to be large part focused on rape.

The book is based in the small town of Big Rock, and there are strange happenings around the town. There is not only a serial rapist but there is also a strange creature that is not only raping some individuals but also mangling and devouring others. The small town Sheriff, Arlin Hurley, is unsure of what to do, and what to believe because the statements he is receiving from witnesses are of a creature that should not exist. However, a new man comes to town who has scars, stories and silver bullets. This man is trying to convince Hurley that he has a werewolf infestation within his town and if he does not act  soon, his town is going to become over run with werewolves. Hurley struggles with whether he believes the stranger or not, but he does know that there is something not quite normal happening in his town, and he has to make a decision soon before it is too late.

This book was predictable, I struggled to make it through the first half, as it was slow and it did not have the Horror aspects that I was looking for. However, I did like a few things about the book. It does give different points of view different individuals throughout the town and how they are affected by the werewolf infestation. I also thought it was a slightly different idea that becoming a werewolf is a sexually transmitted virus and that transforming into a werewolf is not linked to a full moon at all. Also it was interesting that the individuals transformed into more of wolf-men type creatures than actual wolves, which seems to be more common in the paranormal genre.

I know that there is a sequel to this book (called Bestial), but I do not think that I will be picking it up. I would just be worried that it would be too similar to the first and be just as predictable.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Jon Evans: Night of Knives

I know this website is dedicated to paranormal and fantasy book reviews, but that is not the only genre that I read, so here is an action adventure book I just finished reading and thoroughly enjoyed.

Veronica has nothing left for her in America. She has just gone through a divorce with a man who has taken everything from her, though he always had everything before they married. He had the money and the power. Veronica has decided that she needs a big change and challenge, so she moves to Uganda to help with Aids research. She has only been in Uganda a few weeks before she decides that she does not like it their either, she is too used to the luxuries that she had back home. Before she leaves she invited by a Derek, a man she met at an embassy party, to join a tour group to go see gorillas in their natural habitat. A trip that goes extremely wrong when their guides are killed and they are kidnapped by armed and brutal gunmen who make it very clear that they do not need all of them to survive. They are told they were taken to be ransomed back to the American government, but this is not just a random kidnapping and the people in the American government may be involved but not in a good way. The kidnapping turns out to be just one strategic move, in a deadly game. Now Veronica and the other who people were kidnapped and have been survive, have to decide if they are willing to embark on a deadly journey across Africa not only to escape their captures but unveil an malignant conspiracy that could destroy a African country again.

This book was fantastic. It kept you guessing the whole way through. There was no way to know who Veronica could trust outside of the people who were kidnapped with her. It really made me ask the question, would I want to know more if I was put in this situation. Would you just accept what you were told and go home or want to find out more. Evans does a good job of not giving Veronica or any of the other main characters too much know how outside of their normal life or occupations. It really seemed life like in the steps they took would be similar to a normal person bumbling through the spy and intelligence process. 

I found I really liked Evans writing style, though there are parts that do have some gruesome details, they did not go too far, as some authors I have read and they were not a constant within the book. Evans definitely knows how to keep you in suspense and continually guessing about who Veronica should trust and what she should do next. I also enjoyed that Evans did not keep everyone safe, no one was immune from being victimized, hurt, tortured or killed, this is often not seen within many action adventure novels. 


Note: This book, I believe, was only published as a free ebook at this website, so a it’s a good book and it’s free, that is defiantly a bonus! :)

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Julie Kenner: Tainted

This is the first book in the Blood Lily Chronicles and I know that I will be picking up the second one. This book has sat on my shelf for a few months and I think I kept passing it by, for its somewhat cheesy cover. But I am glad that I picked the book up, it was a good easy read, that was action packed and even some romance in there for you.

The book is based around Lily, who believes that she has never been good person. She has done bad things in her life, but they were all to protect her younger sister Rose, but still she has never been on the side of good. Lily's final act of protection is to kill Lucas Johnson, who was a constantly stalking Rose (but it is hinted in the book that he may have abused and/or assaulted her as well). Lily kills Johnson, but Johnson is also able to kill her. Now Lily has awoken in another girl's body (Alice) and is being chased by a demon who is trying to kill her. Enter Clarence (who looks like a frogman), he is Lily's mentor and he informs Lily that she is the chosen one, the assassin for the Light, the one who will defeat the demons and close the ninth gate (gate to the Demon world) forever as she is directly connected to the key for the gate. Lily begins training with Clarence who gives her information about the demons and Zane, an extremely Hot trainer who Lily cannot take her eyes off. Zane has some interesting training techniques, mostly involving letting a demon loose in the ring and seeing how Lily handles the situation. If all this was not enough, Lily needs to become Alice and move smoothly through Alice's life. Enter Deacon, who was a friend of Alice's before she had died, but he is also a Demon. Deacon makes her question Clarence's teachings about all Demons being bad, but she knows she has to focus on closing the gate, she wants redemption for all the bad things that he has done in her previous life. So ready or not, here she goes, trying to the save the world, but Lily soon realizes that she may be trying saving the world, but there are a lot of demons and people that would like to see her fail.

I really enjoyed this book. It was exactly what I was looking for to read. It is one of those good vs evil books, with all the gray area in between. It has twist and turns and you really don't know who she should trust and listen to and which guy she should go for.

 I really enjoyed Lily as a character and her need to seek redemption for her past actions, but never regretting them, other than her promise to keep Rose safe and being there for her. Lily also does not pretend to know it all or know how to fight. Kenner does a good job of explaining how Lily grows in her knowledge and fighting skills and in the first few fights scenes you can picture Lily bumbling through them. I also enjoyed some of the new abilities that Lily was given when she was "reborn". If she kills a demon with her own blade  (it has been anointed with her blood), she receives some of the demon's power, either good or bad. For example she kills a vampire like demon that was feeding on a girls blood and she now experience blood lust in one form or another.

I think this is one of the Next Series you need to get into.


Thursday, October 14, 2010

Keith Melton: Blood Vice

This is a great book. It is well written and it will have you hooked from the first line, "It was a beautiful night for murder, but wet work was wet work and had to be done regardless of conditions". If that does not bring you in I don`t know what will. 

The book is centered on Karl Vance, Religious, Hit man, Vampire (one of these things is not like the other), who is hired by the Mob to "take out" certain individuals from a rival family. Enter Maria Ricardi, Mafia Princess who wants respect within the family and eventually take over; however, this is hard/impossible because she is a woman. Maria's father however, likes her plan and decides to indulge her and higher Karl to fulfill Maria's plans. It`s time to go to the mattresses. But the war goes sideways when the rival between the two families attracts the attention of Karl's nemesis, Alejandro Delgado, who has his own ideas about what should go on in Boston, including what happens to Karl and Maria. It is now or never to settle the score(s) between Karl and Alejandro.

I really enjoyed this book, it was descriptive and dark at points, the Mafia and Vampires just work well together. A character I really enjoyed who was not mention above is Xiesha, (fairly silent, but deadly too) who is Karl`s guardian during the day, but who is a witch, I think, and I believe her past will be explored in future books. I also enjoyed the idea around the spirit wolf, and the order of the Thorn. There is romance in the book, but it is not what the book is based upon and appears to be part od the natural flow to the book (don`t let the cover fool you). The book was all about the story and not hindered by extra details or fluff.  It is dark, edgy and kickass at points, all things I love in a book. 

My only critique of this book, is that I feel like I have read the story before, the characters are different and the situations are different, but the backbones of the story are the same. I wish there would have been just a touch more imagination in that part. But I guess the mixture of Mafia and Vampires makes up for most of this point.

This a great book that has been released in 2010 and Melton is defiantly an author to watch out for.


Monday, October 11, 2010

Kathryne Kennedy: Enchanting the Lady

After reading the Drowning City, I needed something light and easy to read. Enchanting the Lady defiantly falls into this category. It is a paranormal historical romance, which for me is what I tend to drift towards when I do read a romance book.
The book takes place in London in the late 1800s and is centered on a Lady Felicity who is next in line to Duchess of Stonehaven (her parents died when she was young). However, in this day and age, the only way to achieve status within the monarchy is to possess a certain amount of magical ability. Felicity has gone unnoticed for her entire life, even so far as the servants will forget her or some people even sit on her at balls, she is convinced that she is not a very memorable person either in personality or looks. The great magic within her family has also seemed to have skipped a generation as Felicity seem to have inherited no magic at all but her cousin seems to have inherited magic above the status his parents, which he likes to flaunt in Felicity’s face by sending her scary illusions. So the day comes when Felicity is forced to take a test to prove she has the magic to hold the position of Duchess, but she fails, badly. She is now striped of her lands, title, everything and further humiliation, she is forced to attend the ball to celebrate all those who have passed. Enter Barnet Sir Terence Blackwell, a were-lion who is in service to the king. He immediately notices Felicity and smells something strange on her, relic-magic. Relic magic is deadly and forbidden within the kingdom. Weres are immune to all magic therefore, they are the perfect hunters of these relics, and Blackwell’s family have been relic hunters for the King for generations. Blackwell decides that the only way to discover the relic that Felicity possesses is it to court her and get her to trust him. It starts out of him just going to use her, but the more he is with her the more his beast side tells him Mate. But there is trouble, and it is set on these two not being together, and this force will stop at nothing to possess the relic.
This book is cute and full of whimsy. Kennedy defiantly has a sense of enchantment when she writes. From having carriages driven by sea horses, to the balls that Felicity attends there is defiantly a sense of fantasy. My favourite part in the book, and also part of the fantasy aspect, is the Dragonette, Daisy, I thought she was a unique addition that I had not read before. It was also different that weres do not change into a bigger version of their animal but to the exact size. Therefore, if someone was a were-bunny, when they changed into their animal size they would be an actual bunny (not too sure how safe that would be). It was also funny that weres did have some feature or habit that was associated with their were creature, Felicity was ever trying to figure out what an individual would turn into. For example Blackwell’s hair looked like a mane.
This was a good easy read, I would say another filler book, for me, compared to what I usually read, but I think those people who do like paranormal historical romance books will enjoy this trip back to the 1800s.
Note: The first book in this series is being offered for free on the barns and noble website (this is actually how I can across this book) all you need is a billing address in the states in order to get a copy of it, so find a family or friend who doesn’t mind you using their address, if you don’t live in the states already.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Amanda Downum: The Drowning City

This book, in my opinion, is a mixture of fantasy and paranormal. For the fantasy part it takes place in a different world that Downum has create as well as some different types of creatures, and the paranormal part comes from the use of mages, witches, necromancers, ghost and spirits. I really enjoyed this book, I have not been the biggest fan of fantasy books in the past, but I find the more I ease myself into the genre the more I am enjoying it.
Isyllt Iskaldur is a necromancer and a spy who has been sent to Symir, the drowning city, to help finance a revolution that is brewing within the city. The city is made up of outcast, pirates, smugglers and expatriates, but the city and surround area offers something that the Emperor seeks, he therefore, is unwilling to relinquish his hold over the city. Isyllt is sent to this city and mission alone, except for two mercenaries, Adam and Xinai, but she does not if she can trust them, as they are after all mercenaries. Once Isyllt is in the city she discovers that her mission will not be a as simple as it seems, the Emperor will not relinquish the city easily, there are two different revolutionary groups each with a different reason for wanting freedom from the crown and, neither of which is receptive to outsider out and Isyllt finds herself the center of attention, which is never a good place for a spy to be. Plus there is a strange man, Asheris, who she feels drawn to as his Heat counteracts her Cold, but she know that she shouldn’t trust him, but there is something about his Power, his Heat. But in this city of exiles you can trust no one, and one never really knows which path is the best one to take, but as the events unfold Isyllt is forced to make a decision between fulfilling her mission or saving the drowning city.
My first thoughts of the book were that it was slow. It took me a bit to get through the first part of the book, but I understand that Downum needed to set the stage of the world she was creating. It also did become a bit confusing with the different, yet all similar names of a few of the main characters, but that may have just been me. That said, I did like her writing style, it was quite descriptive, and she liked to use all the senses when describing something. I also like Isyllt as a character, for all her power over death and the dead; she does get weak if she uses too much power. She also was not the hardcore badass spy; there are times when she is frivolous about wearing a dress or numbing her pain so that she is able to wear shoes for dancing. There were also some different/new powers associated with necromancer, for example the ability to see the last event before an individual died, well as long as a person still had their eyes.... Additionally, the powerful Mages and Witches are associated with one of the elements or that of death, they did hint that there were mages that had the power of life as well but none of those were mentioned in this book. They also use Diamonds as a way to focus their power, or in the case of Isyllt the ability to trap ghost within her ring.
I know when I explain part of the book there is a bit of romance hinted there, but within the book that is all there is, a hint. This book is more of a political thriller book based in a fantasy and paranormal world.
All in all a Great New Start to the series, and I am excited and will read the next adventure in this series. This book is for you if you like paranormal or fantasy genre, defiantly an author to watch out for.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Donna Boyd: The Passion

Wow, Really Wow.  I really enjoyed this book. It is the first werewolf based book that I have read that gives one a complete look into a werewolf pack culture, or the best a Human can understand (you'll understand that line once you read the book). 

The book is told as one retells events that have happened to them in the past. It is a book where true historical facts, are interwoven with the fantasy world that Boyd has created (book is based in the late 1800s). The historical events and view is told from the main character Alexander Devoncroix, werewolf, for he has all the "facts" of what occurred at the time. The other main characters are Tessa, human, who has become part of the werewolf world who is struggling to find her place within it and to understand the werewolf culture; and Elisa Devoncroix, werewolf, who is the leader of the pack, but knows that all may not accept her views for the pack’s future. 

This novel is about the power of love, good and bad forms, betrayal, redemption, and finding what one is truly looking for.

This book was very engrossing and you really feel like you are living in the world of the werewolf. Yes there are times when the book is slow, more so at the beginning, but that is because the book is recounting history and to understand the story all the facts are needed. I found I went through every emotion while reading this book and I think that is a trait  of a true story teller. The world that Boyd has created is amazing, her great writing skills and use of description make the story that much better.

This book is a MUST READ for anyone who likes paranormal books.


Note:  the paperback version of this book is hard to find. The book was written in 1998, so you might be able to find it at the used book store (I was unable to though), I have found a few new and used copies available on the main website, such as Amazon, Chapters and Barns and Noble but you might want to check some used book sites like

Mira Grant: Feed

Hello, I think for my first review, posted on this website should be one of the best books in 2010, and it seems kind of fitting as Feed as is also about blogging.

FEED is a FANTASTIC read. Certainly one of the best books I have read in 2010. This book has everything that I love reading, great characters that you come to love and feel a part of, plot twists and turn, action and dry humor. If you want all those in the books you read this one is for you, even if you don’t want all those things you should still read this book, lol.

The year is 2039, blogging has become the main way individuals receive information. This stems to 2014  "Rising" where mainstream media outlets were reporting that nothing was wrong and everything was okay, when really the dead were coming back to "Life" as zombies. The bloggers broke the news about zombies and shared the best way to avoid becoming infected and to kill zombies.

The book focuses on two main characters, siblings Georgia and Shaun Mason, who are both bloggers in 2039. Georgia is a Newsie, who is there to spread the news and the facts about the events going on in the world, and everything pertaining to Zombies and the spreading of the infection. Shaun is an Irwin, which is an individual who is constantly putting themselves in danger in order to fight zombies and spread the word as to what works best and individuals who really enjoy going out and poking a zombie with a stick and to see what happens. Georgia, Shaun and their Fictional Writer and technical guru Buffy (so self named after Buffy the vampire slayer series), have just landed the exclusive of the Lifetime, follow Senator Ryan as he makes a run for head of the Republican party, and hopefully, eventually the presidency of the USA. But as Georgia, Shaun and Buffy spend more time on the road following the political party, they start to realize that not all is what it seems, and it's up the theses bloggers to discover and share the truth with the rest of the world.
I don't think I can express enough how much i loved this book. From Shaun's crazy need for adventure, to Georgia's constant search for the truth, no matter what, as Georgia says "Alive or Dead, the Truth Won't Rest". One thing I really liked about the book, is at the end of each chapter, there would be an article that one of the characters wrote about what had happened in the previous chapter. It was a great way to really connect and get to know each character and their point of view. 

 This book has been classified as a horror, but I personally would not consider this a horror book, I would consider it more of a political, conspiracy book with zombies.
As I said above this is a fantastic read and kept me guessing and engaged through out, I'm excited for the next book, but sad it doesn't come out till next year. So pick this book up next time you are at the bookstore.


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

First Blog Post Ever....

Hello All who may or may not read this message. I'm here to post reviews of books within the Paranormal and Fantasy genres of writing (but if I do read an amazing or horrible thriller, horror or murder mystery, I will likely post something about it too, sorry I cannot just read one genre). It is my intention to spread the word about books that you may or may not have heard of before, and give my honest opinion about that book. I strictly want to keep this as a review site only (for now). I have seen other sites that do a lot of interviews with authors and I am not opposed to that, I just feel that when I go to other individuals websites, I find that these interviews have taken up the space where there used to be reviews on books. Some of you may have seen some of these reviews before (I do have a backlog, lol) as I have posted many reviews on Chapter Community and I was posted on a different website, however, they never posted everything I sent.... So bare with me as I figure this whole blogging thing out.

So Here we go I guess...My first Blog ever....(I wonder if anyone will even read this)