Sunday, April 28, 2013

Currently reading and other news

I've decided to re-read the Mortal Instruments series instead of Spider's Bite by Jennifer Estep. I now own it on my nook so carrying it around will be much easier. I love the series and I've been following Cassandra Clare's tumblr feed a lot. She's been posting tarot cards from her different series. This artist is really talented at drawing and she draws things for Clare including character from her upcoming Dark Artifices series and her TLH series. We haven't learned what TLH stands for but I'm pretty excited to hear about it. 

I recently gave City of Bones to a coworker and she has been eating the series up. She enjoys them and when we talk about the series I find myself wanted to read them again. She's just now starting City of Fallen Angels which has a completely different tone than the first three in the series. Once she finishes Lost Souls I'll send her on the heart wrenching story of Tessa, Jem, and Will. I love the Infernal Devices. Clare is a wonderful writer. I can rant and rave about her like I can with Ilona Andrews and J.K. Rowling and many other authors.

As I finish each book I'm going to write a review like I have been doing. I'm also re-reading Ilona Andrews' Kate Daniels series and I'll be reviewing them as well because I love them so much. I'm actually listening to Kate Daniels because I love Renee Raudman as a narrator. She does a wonderful job. I am usually listening to one book while reading another. It's a benefit of being allowed to listen to your ipod at work and it's great for long car rides. It definitely makes the drive less boring. Kate 6, Magic Rises, is coming out soon and I'm missing Kate. I hope I get an ARC. That would be wonderful. 

Here are some samples of the artwork that Clare has been posting. The artist is Cassandra Jean and  love what she's been doing. There is spoiler art for City of Heavenly Fire too. It's the last in the Mortal Instruments series and it's going to be awesome.

City of Heavenly Fire spoiler art 

Original post
Isabelle tugged her tank top back down and glared at her brother. “You don’t knock now?” 
“It’s my bedroom!” Alec spluttered. -Cassandra Clare 

City of Heavenly Fire spoiler art

Original post
Jace and Clary

Here are some examples of the tarot cards and the descriptions Clare has provided. 
Original post
The Lovers card! Its meaning is pretty self-explanatory. I felt like there are so many characters whose relationships could represent unity and love. So we decided to make it a flippable card, which worked either way up, and have Magnus and Alec represent love as well. -Cassandra Clare

Original post
Luke and Jocelyn take the Wheel of Fortune card, here renamed the Destined, as it represents stability amid chaos and change. Luke and Jocelyn’s relationship survived chaos, a war, a rebellion, her terrible marriage, his turning into a Downworlder, and much more. Theirs is a great if quiet love. :) -Cassandra Clare

Here's an example of a future character from her new trilogy TDA (The Dark Artifices) who will also be seen in COHF (City of Heavenly Fire)

- this also has Jace's card and description
Mark Blackthorn of the Dark Artifices takes the Chariot card, here called the Changeling. Mark has fey blood like his sister Aline, both of whom you’ll see in City of Heavenly Fire. He’s carrying a kind of bow and arrow known in mythology as an elf-arrow or elf-bolt. -Cassandra Clare

Can you tell I'm super excited? 

Monday, April 22, 2013

Skinwalker by Faith Hunter - 3.5 stars

Skinwalker (#1) by Faith Hunter
3.5 stars

I liked this book but it was a little slow for me. It took me longer than usual to read it. When I put it down I didn't always want to pick it back up. Once I got to the end however, it did pick up and I was really enjoying it. 

I really like Jane. I think her origins are very interesting. She's part Cherokee and a skinwalker. She's special in that she has another soul living within her. This soul is Beast. In the beginning of the book we don't know how Beast came to share Jane's body because Jane's early memories of her life are blank. Through the course of different things, Jane gains access to some of her memories and eventually remembers how Beast came to be part of her. It's a very sad thing and I can understand Beast's anger. 

There are several characters but they aren't hard to keep track of. Jane has a best friend, Molly, who is an Earth witch. She married a male witch and they've had two children. Apparently Molly's, Angelina daughter is a crazy powerful witch and it's extremely dangerous for anyone to know about her power. Beast feels that Angelina is her kit because she helped calm Angie down when her power exploded. Jane is hired by Katie, the first sane vampire she's ever met. I like how Jane handles herself and I like how good she is with her weapons. She's definitely a bad ass. Leo is basically king of the vampires in New Orleans and he is also the head of his Clan. Vampire politics are very complicated and Jane keeps finding herself on the sidelines watching it all pan out. 

What I really liked was how well Hunter wrote Beast's point of view. You can see her as an animal but also as an intelligent being. I like Beast a lot actually. There is also the curiosity about the vampires. Apparently they are cursed and it has something to do with God. I'm very curious about Hunter's take on vampires. Weres aren't well known but Leo confirms that they exist as well as the existence of elves. I do wonder if we will them in the future. 

This is not a love story but I do think there will be a love interest. 

I would recommend this book to someone who like urban fantasy. It was enjoyable and I will be reading the next books in the series eventually. 

Review on Goodreads.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Archangel's Storm by Nalini Singh - 5 stars

Archangel's Storm (#5) by Nalini Singh
5 stars

Previous Guild Hunter Series Reviews

This was great. Actually, I think it was better than Archangel's Blade. The main focus was on Jason, one of the Seven, and Princess Mahiya from the archangel Neha's court. But we also got glimpses of Dmitri and Honor and Elena and Raphael. I love that Singh did that because I wanted to still know what was going on in New York, especially with Honor.

Jason has a horrible past. His early childhood was great but then horrible things happened and he no longer had anything to live for. When Raphael took him on as one of his Seven, he made Raphael promise to kill him one day if he started to break. This is the direct quote. It doesn't give anything away:

"I was not...formed correctly. Part of me is damaged and may one day shatter. When it does, I ask that you execute me cleanly rather than allow me to erode from the inside out."

It just shows how well Singh writes. Jason is the angel who never sings but has the most beautiful voice. When Singh writes, I just want these things to come to life so I can actually see and hear her words inside of imagining them.

Mahiya is an angel adopted by Neha. Mahiya is actually Neha's niece. Neha's consort, Eris, had an affair with Mahiya's mother, Neha's twin sister. When Neha found out, she killed her sister and imprisoned Eris. Twins are rare in angels and rather than becoming inseparable, they became competitive and basically hateful towards each other.

When Eris is murdered, Jason is asked to come investigate. There are more murders which requires more investigation and for a long while I had no idea who the killer was. The ending was great. It wasn't what I was expecting and I love how it was written as well. Mahiya is a very strong character despite everything that she has gone through in Neha's court. Jason still has horrors in his past but Mahiya is great for him.

Overall this was definitely a 5 star read. As I talked about yesterday, Archangel's Legion is coming out October 29th. It seems so far away. I can't wait to read more about Raphael and Elena.

Review on Goodreads.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Books news and rantings

Ah I'm so excited. Archangel's Legion, the next book in the Guild Hunter series, is going to be about Raphael and Elena. I've really missed them in the last two novels and the novellas. Of course the cover looks awesome. Why do I have to wait until October? Also, Magic Rises, Kate Daniels #6 is coming out July 30th. I follow Ilona Andrews on their blog and was so sad when I didn't get to be a beta reader. I've been waiting for a very long time for Magic Rises. I'm going to reread 1-5 and review them but I had to share my excitement about the series. You don't even have to read a review by me for me to say GO READ KATE DANIELS. (Jess I'm talking to you.)

I finished Archangel's Storm on Friday. I'll probably post the review tomorrow. It was really good. I had to do my yesterday which involved watching a documentary from the History channel on the Apopcolypse and then I had to watch the movie The Rapture. It's a Life After Death class and the focus now is on the end of the world. While the History Channel thing was interesting, The Rapture was a little boring for me.

Now I'm reading Skinwalker by Faith Hunter. It's pretty interesting. The world is different but that is part of the norm for urban fantasy.

All kinds of good books have come out and will be coming out this year. I love it. As of right now, Ilona and Gordon are working on Kate Daniels #7. I'll explain that whole thing when I review the Kate books. 

This is what Goodreads has posted about Archangel's Legion and Magic Rises. Both covers are great. I love the fire on Magic Rises and man do I want Elena's wings.

"Angels are falling from the sky in New York, struck down by a vicious, unknown force.

Vampires are dying impossibly of disease.

Guild hunter Elena Deveraux and the Archangel Raphael must discover the source of the wave of death before it engulfs their city and their people, leaving New York a ruin and Raphael’s Tower under siege by enemy archangels.

Yet even as they fight desperately to save the city, an even darker force is stirring, its chill eyes trained on New York…and on Raphael. Rivers of crimson and nightmares given flesh, the world will never again be the same…"

"Atlanta is a city plagued by magical problems. Kate Daniels will fight to solve them—no matter the cost.

Mercenary Kate Daniels and her mate, Curran, the Beast Lord, are struggling to solve a heartbreaking crisis. Unable to control their beasts, many of the Pack’s shapeshifting children fail to survive to adulthood. While there is a medicine that can help, the secret to its making is closely guarded by the European packs, and there’s little available in Atlanta.

Kate can’t bear to watch innocents suffer, but the solution she and Curran have found threatens to be even more painful. The European shapeshifters who once outmaneuvered the Beast Lord have asked him to arbitrate a dispute—and they’ll pay him in medicine. With the young people’s survival and the Pack’s future at stake, Kate and Curran know they must accept the offer—but they have little doubt that they’re heading straight into a trap…"

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Angel's Flight by Nalini Singh

Angel's Flight (Novellas) by Nalini Singh

Other Guild Hunter Series Reviews

Angels' Flight is a compilation of Singh's novellas. It has four different stories revolving around four different characters from the Guild Hunter series. I really enjoyed all four stories.

Angels' Pawn (# 0.6)

5 stars

This novella was focused on Ashwini, another Guild Hunter who is also hunter born. She doesn't have the scent talent. Instead she can hear the thoughts and emotions of the people she touches. She gets into a contract with the angel Nazarach who we know from the series is one cruel angel. She asks the vampire Janvier. He's mentioned a couple times through the series as a love interest for Ash. They seem to have a love-hate relationship but she is also the only one who hunts him when he pisses off an angel.

This was not much of a love story. It had more action and showed a lot of the angel and vampire politics. But there is that chemistry between the two that makes you want to just say get on with it already. She needs to get over no dating vampires thing because they could definitely be good together. Now I want to know what has made Ash so haunted. There are little hints but nothing is ever fully explained. I'm hoping that as the series progresses we learn more about her particular back story.

Angels' Judgement (# 0.5)

4.5 stars

This is how Sara and Deacon come together. I think the only thing that made me give it 4.5 stars instead of 5 is because it felt a little bit of insta-love. Despite that small factor, I really enjoyed this story. This is set right before Sara becomes the Guild Director. She's given the task of hunting down another hunter who is killing vampires. She is getting help from the Slayer, a hunter of the hunter. It's a lonely job and he doesn't have to do it often so he is also a weapon maker. Let me tell you, when I first read about Deacon I could not picture him as the bad ass that he is portrayed in this story.

We got to see some of Elena and we got to see more of Sara and Deacon's personality. We also figured out where they got their dog Slayer from. I think this little novella was great in it's investigative aspect but it's also great to get some more detail on Sara.

Angel's Wolf (# 3.5)

4 stars

This story is about the vampire Noel and the angel Nimra. This is after Noel has recovered from his beating in Archangel's Kiss. I found this novella interesting. We didn't really know what happened to Noel other than the fact that he would survive. I liked that we got to see another angel and I think she's actually a really cool angel. Her power is crazy and I can see why she is powerful enough to keep her territory against Nazarach.

Noel is brought in because some tried to kill Nimra with Midnight, a special kind of drug that will incapacitate an angel for a couple hours and kill vampires. It has to be someone in her inner court and Noel is there pretending to be her lover so he can figure out the would-be muderer. What I loved about Nimra was passionate about her cats. I love animal lovers in books because I love animals.

The ending wasn't what I expected but it worked for me. Noel's attitude made me smile and I did enjoy it.

Angels' Dance (# 0.4)

5 stars

I loved, loved, this novella. I knew in Archangels' Kiss that Jessamy had a history and I had a feeling that Galen and she were together. Through the series we've had glimpses of these two and I was so happy to learn more. Jessamy is the teacher of all the baby angels and the keeper of the angels' history. She's an angel who can't fly because she was born with a twisted wing. I couldn't imagine that.

This story takes place 400 years ago right when Galen left Titus' court to become Raphael's weapons master. He was raised away from the Refuge so he had never met Jessamy before. He's very blunt and ends up insulting her and continues to accidently insult her. Of course they end up falling in love despite Jessamy's many attempts to guard her heart against his possible pity.

There are some angel politics in there also but mostly it's about their love. The best part is Galen takes her flying and they dance as angels do. We got to see Illium when he was in love with his mortal and we got to see Dmitri get taken down. Galen lives in the Refuge, which is actually necessary for Raphael.

This was definitely 5 stars and I quite enjoyed it. One more story about the Seven down.

Review on Goodreads

Monday, April 8, 2013

Frost Burned by Patricia Briggs - 4.5 stars

Frost Burned (#7) by Patricia Briggs
4.5 stars

Oh I really missed Mercy Thompson and her world. I reread Moon Called (#1) not that long ago and I was so excited to get my hands on Frost Burned. I love Mercy and Adam and their wonderful relationship. There was such a long wait between River Marked and Frost Burned and it was so frustrating. Now I've finished it and it was great.

Mercy and Jesse are Black Friday shopping when they suddenly get into an accident. This ends up being a good thing but at the time it's a big hassle. When Mercy calls Adam to come pick her up, he doesn't answer. She calls the whole pack but no one answers. She even calls Kyle, Warren's boyfriend, to no avail. She ends up catching a ride to her shop where she meets up with Gabriel and Ben. Ben is in bad shape because he was hit with the tranquilizer that was invented by Gerry. Ben eventually is able to tell Mercy that the pack was kidnapped. We don't know who or why or where the pack could possibly be.

I like that there were a variety of characters mixed in with this book. We don't have Sam or Bran but we do get Asil, a character from the Alpha and Omega series. I haven't read the latest book in that series so I don't know what happened exactly but apparently the government let a serial killer go because he was killing fae and werewolves. A fae murdered the murderer and then all the fae packed up and secluded themselves in the reservations. It's really unfortunate because I wish we could have had more Zee in the picture. But his son Tad was pretty awesome as well. We also got a lot of Kyle in the first part of the book. I really enjoyed that. He was always a secondary character but we got to see more of his personality.

There were some slow spots but we also got to two whole chapters from Adam's point of view. I think it would have been a little better if it was in first person instead of third but I was very happy with that change of pace. Mercy discovered a new talent and their mating bond grew stronger. A lot happened in this book and in the end we find out why the pack was actually targeted and who was behind the whole thing. I wasn't really expecting it until I had it spelled out for me which is unusual because I can normally figure it out. Maybe I was just being a bit slow.

I can't wait for the next book. It's quite unfortunate that it takes so long for them to come out.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Archangel's Blade by Nalini Singh - 4.5 stars

Archangel's Blade (#4) by Nalini Singh
4.5 stars

Sometimes I am amazed at my own speed of reading. It helps when I spend a day in a bed reading but still. Anyways, Archangel's Blade. I don't know what I was expecting for this book. I was excited for Dmitri's story. From what we have glimpsed in the past three books, we know Dmitri is a hardened warrior who was Made against his will. There have been mentions from Raphael of the angel Isis but now we finally learn who she really is and how she destroyed Dmitri's life.

Then we meet Honor. She's a hunter from the Guild who is recovering from a traumatic past. She's been kidnapped by vampires and tortured for months before finally being rescued by her fellow hunters. Honor has always had a special obsession when it came to Dmitri so when she's called upon for an assignment, she is nervous to be around this powerful vampire. There is a reason behind this obsession but I won't spoil that. Honor specializes in ancient languages and symbols and when Dmitri discovers the head of a vampire with a tattoo on his face, he needs her help is deciphering what it says.

Dmitri is moved by Honor. There is something about her that intrigues him. He decides to take a leading role in helping her find and get revenge on the vampires who tortured her. This is obviously a love story and obviously they do end up getting together in the end. That's not really a spoiler. However the circumstances are a bit different. I did enjoy the twist Singh included for Honor and Dmitri. It is a way of getting them the happy ending they deserved.

What I was surprised to find in this story was Holly, who has changed her name to Sorrow, from Angels' Blood. She is the victim of Uram's tortures. She consumed some of his blood and somehow became partially Made. Dmitri promised Elena to keep an eye on her and he is keeping that promise. He wants her to survive because he sees Holly as a child. I'm glad that Singh has kept her in the story even though she is a minor character.

I didn't enjoy this story as much as I enjoyed the previous three. I think it's because I missed Raphael and Elena. We did get cameos but that wasn't enough for me. It might be that I've just grown attached to them for the first three books so it was hard to switch from one couple to another. Next is Archangel's Storm. This story is about Jason so we will finally learn about his past. I'm glad Singh has decided to show us more about the Seven but it doesn't make me miss Elena and Raphael any less.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Archangel's Consort by Nalini Singh - 5 stars

Archangel's Consort (#3) by Nalini Singh
5 stars

I do love this series. I love Raphael and Elena. I love their story and the relationship that has grown between them through all the terrible things each has gone through. Elena is still plagued with her past horrors from her childhood and Raphael still has horrors that haven't been completely revealed either.

I read in another review that she was glad that Singh didn't make Elena's journey of becoming an angel easy and I have to say that I completely agree. After the big battle with Lijuan, Elena had to recover from some of the injuries she had gained. Now she is back in New York but things aren't going so well. Raphael's Seven still believe that she is too much of a liability for him. He is part mortal and easier to kill which becomes pretty vital for the ending of the book. Elena's family still can't accept her which is no surprise. But there is a little twist in that aspect of her life  now that almost made me laugh because of course, it would happen to Jeffrey.

Elena still has to master a few things including vertical take offs. She can't run as fast because she now has to account for wings. She can't fly as far or as fast as she needs to. She basically mortal because she can still easily die. Despite all these things and despite the fact that Raphael is so much more powerful than she is, she doesn't back down without a fight. I like her determination and her strength.

Signs of an Ancient waking begin to rock the world and there is only one who comes to Raphael's mind. His mother, Caliane. Vampires go crazy with blood lust and even the archangels are being influenced by it. There are a few twists and turns in there and of course Lijuan makes another appearance.

We finally got to see how angels dance. It wasn't what I was expecting. Actually, I don't know what  I was expecting in that area but it was interesting.

I loved this book much like I loved the first one. Next is Archangel's Blade which focus on Dmitri and Honor, a character we haven't met yet. From the description, it looks good but I think I will me Elena and Raphael. We shall see what it holds in store for me.