Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Cassie Alexander: Moonshifted

This is the second novel of Cassie Alexander's Edie Spence series. You will need to read the first book, Nightshifted, before this one as the first book sets up where Edie's life is, with  her world, work and relationships.

In the second book Edie not only has to worry about the Vampires but the Were have also come to call:

Y4 nurse Edie Spence is just looking forward to getting back to work after surviving a vampire attack, she expects things to just get back to normal; Well as normal as working with paranormal creatures can be. When Edie witnesses a hit in run that just happens to involve the leader of the wolf pack, Edie does everything to help him survive but things are looking very grim. This starts a battle for not only the power within the pack but also with the paranormal within the city and all the targets seem to be posted on Edie's back as she now has connection to both. Edie doesn't know how she is going to survive attacks on all fronts especially to top it all off Dren is back and he is looking to settle a debt with Edie as she cost him his hand and his hound. With no one to trust or rely on, Edie better watch out everything in her life is about to be tested to the extreme and only time will tell if she can survive it all.

This book is another easy read like the first, which is sure to entertain but I feel like this series is going to be more for those who like paranormal romance than those who just want the paranormal genre. I do not think that this book is as good as the first. I found that this book was not as funny as the first book and lacked the action that occurred within the first book. I think it took about half of the book before there is really any sort of action and for the mystery aspect within the plot to actually start, so I was often left wonder okay when is it going to get good, when is everything going to start. However, I will say the mystery and action within the second half of the book was really good and interesting, I just would have liked it to be more constant throughout

I still really like Edie as a character. She has complex relationship with everyone around her in both the normal and paranormal world. I question whether she is actually able to have a normal relationship, possible the closest one is with some of the people at work that seem to be developing but when you work on Y4 how normal can those relationships be. I love that Alexander keeps Edie as human as possible, and it does not seem to be anything that is going to change. Having Edie be human and it appears with no plans to change that, is what sets this series apart from other books in the paranormal genre where the human either end up as food, or have some form of power(s). It's nice to have the human aspect stay constant and it is funny how that it the unique characteristic within this series.

I'm not sure what changed in Alexander's writing style but I found that there was a lot more sex in this book than the first one and all of a sudden Edie is very sexually charged/promiscuous. I know in the first book there was talk and one sex scene, I just found that in this book every paranormal male that Edie ran into she all of sudden wanted to sleep with them. I just found this counter to what Edie was like in the first book or at least Alexander began to expand on the scenes sex now.

I do not think that this book was as good as a first and that there was just something missing overall in the book, I think that those who liked the first will also enjoy this book if they like more of the paranormal romance genre. I will continue to reading this series as I personally like Edie and her attempt to stay human at all costs, which is very refreshing, but I do not think that I will continue reading if the sex turns into something like the Laurell K. Hamilton Anita Blake series did.


If You Like This,
Check This Out Too:

Monday, June 10, 2013

Layton Green: The Diabolist

Layton Green is one of my favorite indie authors who I first started reading in 2011. While I do think that overall this book could be read as a standalone novel, as there are very few references to the previous books other than a few sentences here and there, it is the character development in the previous books that would be missing in this series as well as quite a bit of Grey's back story. Plus I enjoyed both of the first two novels, so I personally think that you should pick them up. The first two books are The Summoner and The Egyptian.

 In the third book in Green's Dominic Grey series, Layton had Grey and Viktor traveling all over the world in order to solve murders of Satanic leaders.

There are some bizarre murder occurring on the religious scene, however, these are not your typical religious figures. First, a satanic priest in San Francisco, where witnesses claim that a robed figure appeared out of now where and set him on fire. Then another satanic priest of a highly secretive cult is murdered under very strange circumstances Dominic Grey and Viktor Radek, private investigators of cults, are brought in to assist in the investigation. Nothing that Grey and Viktor have done before will have fully prepared them to what lays ahead and Viktor is forced to face his past, that he wished to keep buried in order to keep his sanity as absinthe becomes more and more his friend. Grey and Viktor will have to questions everything they believe in as the lines between good and evil, black and white and real and paranormal become more and more blurred as the body count raises, Grey and Viktor must rely on each other in order to survive.

This is the best Dominic grey book yet, once again Green was able to hook me in right from the very first chapter. The mystery, thrills and action are unsurpassed within this book as Green keeps them coming, but even with all the action (which I will say Green does an awesome job with fight scenes that you feel like you are there and they are not unrealistic, he knows the limits of his characters) he is able to produce well round, interesting and realistic characters that you will instantly become attached to.  Furthermore, you will find yourself learning something about history, cults, psychology and the cities that Grey and Viktor visit, that the book will hold your interest just with these aspects. If you think that this seems like a lot to take in or occur within a book, do not worry, Green combines them all together without the book feeling over whelming to create a sit in the edge of you seat novel that you will keep you wanting more.

Green has really developed and learned from his first book the Summoner. He now is able to meld the information he needs to portray within religion, history, and cults smoothly into the plot that it does not seem slow. The information is well placed, informative, interesting and you can tell that Green has done his due diligence in the portrayal of the information about cults. Speaking of the Cults, Green's imagination for cults is unsurpassed in any other cult based book that I have read and each book has a different take on a cults that I have personally never heard of. Green lays out the cults in a very scary way that never actually leaves you feeling like they are fake or made up. Although all the books within the Grey series have some sort of "paranormal" aspect to them, I like how Green is able to eventually explain what is happening either through science or the power of thought/mind. I think that this is even more creative (and more research needed) than just relying on the paranormal to remain unexplained.

I love love that the further Green gets into the series the more we get to know about  another main character Viktor Radek. I am personally happy that Green decided to make both Grey and Viktor main characters as they each bring entirely different aspects (both strength and weaknesses) to the mystery, thrills and overall plot within the book as the reader gets to view what is happening from two different point of view, trains of thought and experiences that Grey and Viktor have had. While in the previous books the main focus as been Grey and his past (which was not pleasant and we do get a few more tidbits from his life as a street fighter), this book we get to divulge into Viktor's past and all of it is interesting, but not all of it is pretty. Viktor is really a man of mystery before this book as it is only hinted that he has a dark past especially with his constant need for absinthe. I find both Grey and Viktor as very fascinating characters and probably one of my favorite duo in the books I read, as they both bring something very different to the plot and story.

This is a great book that leaves me wanting more from Green and his Dominic Grey Series. If this is the first time you have heard of this series I suggest you run out and get started. Green's books are going to become a household favorite to those who want to delve into the darker side of society, those where the morals of people are skewed very far to the left, and where cults survive with a flourish. If you are looking for the next up and coming author in the thriller/mystery genre Layton Green is the author you are looking for and Green will give you everything you have been asking for. As you can probably guess I highly recommend this book and the first two within this series, so get out there and pick them up.


Note: As this book does involve satanic cults, there are scenes that some readers may find disturbing as there are some descriptive parts in regards to sacrifices and ritual.

If You Like This,
Check These Out Too:

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Jo Nesbo: The Bat

I was really really excited to see that this book had been translated to English as I was searching for it for a long time when I first started seeing reviews of Nesbo's books the Snowman. I always like to start at the beginning of a series to see how a character changes and progresses over time so I was shocked that it took this long for the Bat to be released in English.

The very first Harry Hole novel, Jo Nesbo takes Harry all the way to Australia to help solve a gruesome murder:

Harry Hole is sent to Austrialia where a young Norwegian girl who was living and working there has been murdered. Harry is definatly the outsider looking in in the police department, but Harry has the past and cases under his belt to be a great help to this case. Harry is able to find a key piece of evidence that links cases together that even the Austrialian police did not see but jsut as Harry becomes involved in the investigation the murder numbers are going to start climbing. There is someone out there that has a thing for young blonde women and no one is truely safe from this serial killer.

I so want to fall in love with this book and Harry, but I am not going to lie it was a struggle to get into this book. I found the over all pace of this book slow and at times fragmented as Nesbo goes back and forth between the murder investigation, to Harry’s personal life and Harry’s past that I felt there was not consistency in the book. Part of me even questions why Harry was sent to Austrialia in the first place. Yes there was a death of a young Norwegian girl, Inger Holter, but did the Norwegian police really think that the Australian police were incapable of solving it themselves? Not exactly a flattering depiction of the Australian police.

I had a hard time connecting to Harry as a character, I just couldn’t seem to get any form of connection to him. I find that often his emotions were down played, except for the ones that involved in his dreams or his past. I really think that this had to do with the slow beginning of the book that I really could not become invested in him as a character as there were times when I would put the book down and read something else. I guess I never put the consistent time into the book to get invested in him. Yes he has addiction problems and is portrayed as a somewhat flawed character that is trying to make a change, but this nothing new in this genre; it actually seems more typical now more than ever. I just never found anything overly interesting in Harry as a character.

I think that Nesbo does an amazing job of showing what it would be like for a Norwegian detective who comes to Australia. How he would act, how the detective in Australia would act with a stranger in their mist, all these points were well done. It was interesting to see how Harry dealt with cultural shock that awaited him. You can tell that Nesbo put a lot of effort into explaining the aboriginal cultures and history within Australia and racism that still exists there. It was almost like Nesbo put so much into this research and wanting to explain Australia (maybe because his target audience when this book first came out was in Europe) that the mystery, suspense and thrillers are not introduced till more than half way through the book. It almost felt like that Nesbo was trying to redeem the first half of the book where it was lack luster with the second half of the book where all the blood is spilled.

Overall you can tell while reading this novel that it is this is a debut novel and I'm undecided about continuing to read this series. I have heard nothing but great things about the later books in this series and I think that maybe Nesbo is an author that got better with time (which really only makes sense) but as a debut novel I only found this book okay at best. If Nesbo had not built up his name before this I would be willing to let Harry Hole go, but there may just be something here that I might be missing. I think people who have loved Nesbo and Harry will be disappointed with this book and I don’t think that people who are reading about Harry Hole for the first time will be encouraged to carry on.

If You Like This,
Check These Out Too: