Monday, December 8, 2014

The Iron King by Julia Kagawa - 4.5 stars

Book 1 in the Iron Fey series

The Iron King by Julie Kagawa
4.5 stars

So I just did a reread of the series and I still found myself enjoying it immensely. Our main character is Meghan Chase. She's your average girl who has a crazy best friend, Robbie. She lives on a pig farm so she's poor and is an outcast. She's also a half-faery; daughter of Oberon himself. Robbie is actually Robin Goodfellow from Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. When he decides not to give Meghan the concoction that hides the fey from her sight, Meghan discovers her true identity.

Of course, not long after she finds out about the fey, her brother is kidnapped by fey. Meghan enlists the help of Robin, aka Puck, to find her rescue her brother from the clutches of the Iron Fey. These Iron Fey are dangerous to the realm because iron is toxic to them. Since Meghan's half-human, iron doesn't affect her.

There are a wide variety of characters. We have Oberon and Titania from A Midsummer Night's Dream as well as a lot of different fey creatures. The main cast include Meghan, Puck, a cait sith named Grimalkin, and Prince Ash of the Winter court. Meghan needs help from Ash to find the Iron realm and defeat the Iron King. They strike a deal: Ash would help find and destroy the king and then he would take Meghan to the Winter court.

It's quite obvious from the start that Ash is going to be the love interest in this series. He's the brooding type and distant. He has to be; to survive in the Unseelie court, you have to hide emotions. Emotions make you weak. I found that Meghan and Ash fell in love pretty quickly and I'm definitely not a fan of insta-love. It didn't exactly fall into the insta-love category but it was pretty close.

Meghan goes through many trials and many many fights to the death. She's not really able to defend herself very well so she has to rely on Ash and Puck (spoiler)*. We learn about the faery world through her eyes and it's definitely not a world for the weak at heart. I like how Kagawa introduced us to the world of the fey. There weren't info dumps and Meghan's reactions are very realistic. However, she is a very strong lead and nothing deters her from her mission to save Ethan.

I love Puck and Grimalkin. Puck provides some comic relief and it's obvious that he loves Meghan. He goes against Oberon's orders quite often on her behalf. He has some pretty cool powers and he never knows when to shut up. Some would find it annoying but I didn't. Grimalkin is a cat through and through. He is in it for his own interests as he helps guide Meghan. Of course everything comes with a price and he likes to collect favors. I like his sassyness. He's also not afraid of running from a fight. He disappears when trouble shows up. That's a cat for you.

The climax of the book was definitely interesting and it has lasting effects for the rest of the series (spoiler)**. The actions in the Iron Kingdom and the promises made between the characters add to the complexity of the series and makes everything so much better.

I like the how Kagawa wrote the characters, giving them history and not simply giving us flat characters to help the story along. I think she did a great job writing the story and having it in first person works well for the book. Obviously I recommend this book and the rest of the series. It's enjoyable and an easy read.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Burn for Me by Ilona Andrews - 5 stars

Book 1 in the Hidden Legacy Trilogy

Burn for Me by Ilona Andrews
5 stars

This book was great. I mean absolutely awesome. I loved it. It is so different than the books out there so that makes it even better. I love the writing and the characters and the world Ilona and Gordon created. It's so different than their other works yet it's still clearly written by the wonderful duo that is
Arcane Circle
Ilona Andrews.

Our main characters are Nevada and Mad Rogan. Nevada has a pretty cool but secret power. She can tell when people are lying. She's technically called a Truthseeker. It's the third rarest gift there is. She's kept her gift hidden for very good reasons. She uses it for her investigative work as she is a PI and she knows exactly what she's doing. She's very protective of her family. They mean everything to her and she will do everything in her power to make sure they're safe. I love this about her. She may be poor but she make sure the family gets everything they need.

Then we have Mad Rogan. Mad is the perfect term to describe this guy. He's super sexy and super powerful. He spent his time in the army destroying cities and leaving nothing standing. He's a Prime telekinetic. Primes are these super powerful mages (I don't have another word for it) who basically run the world. There are different houses with different Primes.

Nevada and Rogan have to work together to bring down Adam Pierce. Nevada has no choice because the firm who technically owns Baylor Investigative Agency. House Pierce wants Adam returned alive and  unharmed. Adam is a Prime pyrokinetic. He can control fire and he likes to use it. He's really just crazy. Rogan is thrown in there because he's trying to track down his cousin's son. Rogan has no qualms with hurting or killing people. Nevada becomes his moral compass in a way.

What I love so much about this book is the interactions between Nevada and Rogan. I love the witty remarks and comebacks. It's classic Ilona Andrews. There is humor and sarcasm mixed in with all the maddness going on in the characters' world. There is a Kate and Curran like quality to the relationshop but it's different enough to make Nevada and Rogan completely separate from Kate and Curran. Nevada doesn't take crap from Rogan and Rogan finds her amusing. It's just a really good relationship and it will definitely be interesting to see where it goes from here.

This will be a trilogy with a Happily Ever After. I finished Burn for Me in about four hours. I just couldn't put it down. I got the audiobook so I can reread it again and pick up the things that I might have missed in my rapid page turning.

Ilona Andrews created a website just for Burn for Me. It gives an overview of the characters, powers, and the world they created. I recommend checking it out because it gives an easy overview without being spoilery.

Obviously I recommend this book. I love Ilona and Gordon. They're brilliant writers and I can never get enough. If there were more stars I would give it to them. Now I have to wait for the next book to come out. I am very impatient when it comes to their books. Magic Shifts (Kate 8) is the next release and I'm so ready for it to be out now. I guess I just have to stick with the regular updates to the serial Sweep in Peace.
The first cover option. 

Monday, October 27, 2014

Master of Crows by Grace Draven - 4.5 stars

Master of Crows by Grace Draven
4.5 stars

I loved this book. I absolutely loved it. Draven writes wonderfully and she is able to immerse you in her world without confusing you. There were no info dumps and the characters were well developed. I like the type of magic that occupied this world and I like how the class systems worked because it gave the story some life.

The main two characters are Martise of Asher and Silhara of Neith. Martise is a slave and is sent to Neith as an apprentice. Her true purpose was to spy on Silhara so her master, Bishop Cumbria, could find an excuse to execute him. There is extreme hatred between the two and neither bother hiding it. Martise is a well and is able to translate old texts. Silhara is in need of her abilities so he can find a way to kill the false god, Corruption. Silhara also has to try to make Martise's Gift appear. It's obvious she had it but it doesn't want to show itself.

Silhara is an ass but there are good reasons for this. He is a powerful mage who lives in squalor. Neith is a ruin for someone of noble blood. The title "Master of Crows" is an insult because they associate crows with evil and death. In truth, Silhara only uses some dark magic and not for dark purposes. At the moment Corruption wants to use Silhara as his avatar to rule the human world. Silhara is doing his best to resist the evil god but he can't resist much longer. He needs to find a way to kill him.

Martise is an average woman but with a beautiful voice. She isn't beautiful; she is plain and unassuming. She is very smart and clever however and her role as a slave serves her well. She picks up information because who pays attention to a slave? She finds that she fits in at Neith. Gurn, the servant but truly Silhara's friend, is mute but uses sign language. He cares for Silhara and soon comes to care for Martise. I like Gurn. He's a giant with a big heart despite a dark past.

We do end up finding out about Martise's Gift but it is not the Gift anyone expected. It's actually a curse. It's quite sad actually but there is an excellent reason behind Draven's choice of Gift for Martise. I like that Silhara is extremely powerful and that he is a tortured soul that Martise comes to love.

This is a fantasy-romance so obviously the two fall in love. Their love isn't instant and it's obvious that it is a difficult thing to embrace. I like how their relationship grew through the book and the discovery's they find in each other and in themselves.

There is plenty of action and suspense. The ending is a HEA for which I am grateful.  I couldn't see it ending any other way. The entire book is just written brilliantly. Her words paint the picture in your mind and you find yourself completely immersed and up way late into the night when you should be sleeping.

I highly recommend this  book. I read it in the anthology "Darkly Dreaming." I just discovered that there will be a sequel coming out. Draven hadn't planned for one but she changed her mind and decided that it sounded like a good idea. I'm excited. There is no official date yet but Draven did provide a small snippet from the next book, "The Brush of Black Wings." You can read it here. But don't read it before you read Master of Crows. Seriously, there are spoilers and this is one book you don't want to spoil for yourself.

Friday, August 29, 2014

The Beautiful Ashes by Jeaniene Frost - 5 stars

Book 1 in the Broken Destiny Trilogy

The Beautiful Ashes by Jeaniene Frost
5 stars

First off, I love Jeaniene Frost. I follow her on Twitter and she's awesome. I love her Night Huntress series so I was excited to see what she would do outside of the Night Huntress world. The Beautiful Ashes is definitely much different than anything Frost has every written and it's fantastic.

This book is based on biblical characters. There are angels (Archons) and demons, minions, crazy pets, and then there are these very special people who can save the world. Special person #1 - Ivy. Special person # 2 - Adrian. In the beginning we are introduced to Ivy's dilemma with finding her sister and the death of her parents. Then she gets saved by Adrian and her world falls down around her ears.

Ivy is left in the dark for a while in the beginning of the book. Adrian's keeping secrets and no one will tell her the whole story. Sometimes I hate first person narrative because I want to know the secrets but since the character doesn't know, I don't get to know either! Frost did a good job easing into the world that she's created by using Ivy. There were no info-dumps and no insta-love. Sure, we know that Ivy and Adrian are made for each other but they fight it and the time period of their adventures is not over three days but weeks.

In order to save Jasmine, her sister, Ivy has to find one of three hollowed weapons. Adrian can take her to the demon world where she can use her power to sense the weapon. What I liked about the demon world was how well it was created. Since there is no sun in the demon world, everything is freezing cold. Humans are considered slaves and many of them are forced into cannibalism because no plants grow there.

There are many horrors Ivy witnesses and the things she faces definitely wakes her up to her new reality. Adrian is trying to fight his fate and Ivy is trying to save him. This is never easy. But they do fall in love and they are great. I can't wait for the next book. I really enjoyed it and I'm looking forward to the next adventures Ivy and Adrian will face together.

I didn't know what New Adult was until Frost started talking about her new book. It's a new genre and there aren't very many paranormal books within the NA genre. For some reason people don't seem to write books where the characters are between 18-25. Basically during the college years. But it's becoming popular now so I'm excited to see more. Hopefully more authors will be published and the genre can grow.

Watch the book trailer.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Magic Breaks by Ilona Andrews - 5 stars

First off.....AWESOME. Not really what I was expecting. Actually I didn't really have expectations. I knew this would be different and a game changer. Yes, it was definitely a game changer. I know some people won't like the ending. It wasn't what I was expecting. It came out of no where but I like it. Oh boy. The next book should be interesting. When is the next book coming out? Can it be out now? Can I just know what happens?

Anyways, now for my review.

Previous Kate Daniels Reviews

Magic Breaks by Ilona Andrews
5 stars (more like 10 stars)

In the previous book, Kate's lineage basically came out to the world. Really, only the important people know but it's only a matter of time before the rest of the world finds out and Kate can no longer hide. Also, Curran proposed at the end of the book and gave Kate part of the Wolf Diamond. According to the authors, Curran is showing Kate that he trusts her completely because the Wolf Diamond can basically kill him. That's pretty powerful and I'm glad they explained that in the interview. (The interview is great. It's about 50 minutes long and you can watch it here).

Now that they're back in Atlanta, they're preparing for war. It's going to come. Hugh d'Ambray knows who Kate is and now he desperately wants her. He also wants to sleep with her and fight with her and stuff. It's pretty gross actually. He is extremely powerful and has an amazing gift for healing. He can basically pull people back from the brink of death (spoilers)*.

Curran goes out of town to deal with a shapeshifter who wants to talk about the panacea that the Pack now holds a monopoly on. This leaves Kate to attend the Conclave by herself. It's a complete trap. We know this from the summary. Hugh enters and everything goes crazy. "You have until noon to turn over the murder!" It's basically a Catch 22 and it seems like war is unavoidable.

The Pack is at a disadvantage as at least half are out hunting, something the shapeshifters do in the winter months, and Curran has taken some of his good people with him. Jim, who's already paranoid is just going crazy. They know that war is not going to be a good thing but figuring out a way around it is difficult.

In the end they do find the murderer. She's an odd shapeshifter. When Hugh shows up with his army of vampires, Kate works around him. He's not too happy and he teleports her away along with Ghastek into a prison (spoilers)**. It's the prison cell from hell because they're in water and it's cold and they're starving. We do learn some interesting things about Ghastek and his back story. I liked it.

Kate gets rescued by Curran of course. Curran would tear apart the world looking for her. True love in all it's glory. Curran isn't alone. He brought along Jim, Andrea, Christopher (the man they rescued from Hugh in Magic Rises), Thomas, Robert, and a medmage, Nasrin. Thomas and Robert are the alphas of Clan Rat. The escape from the prison tower is difficult and full of surprises (spoilers).*** My heart broke at one point. I wanted to scream at the authors because how could they do that?! (spoilers)****

We meet Roland in the end. I so badly wanted to know his real name but everyone calls him Lord Roland or Sharrum (king). I was surprised by this confrontation. It definitely wasn't what I was expecting. But I think they wrote it perfectly. Roland is such a powerful character and how could they possibly end it all in one book? They couldn't and what they did was ten times better.

You'd think Kate coming face to face with Roland would be the craziest thing ever. But really, there is so much more. So much happens at the end of the book that you feel drained. A lot of things are explained in this book that we were wondering about: Nick, Naeemah, the words on Kate when she took the power word in Magic Bleeds, Kate's true power, and more. If I had been reading in the hardcover format versus the ebook, I would have paper cuts from how fast I was turning those pages. I enjoyed the ending however. I felt that it did so much for Kate and Curran's relationship and that this book has brought them even closer together. Roland is not completely dealt with but man, it's going to be great.

My absolute favorite part is Desandra using pork sword. This has been a thing for almost a year and a half going on between Ilona and Jeaniene Frost. I had to stop reading for a moment so I could stop laughing. Oh my goodness.

This review is pretty long so I'm wrapping it up. Basically, read the book. Enjoy it. Love it. It's amazing. I can't wait for the next Kate and Curran adventure.

Here are the tweets that started the whole "pork sword" thing.

Magic Breaks is out!!

This book is already intense. I've barely started and by the end of chapter 3 all hell has broken loose. It's so awesome. So very very awesome. I've been looking forward to it for so long.

UPDATE: I finished. This book. Omg this book. It's fantastic. It's wonderful. It's surprising.  I loved it. Seriously. Read. It.

Here's the summary:

No matter how much paranormal politics of Atlanta change, one thing always remains the same: if there's trouble, Kate Daniels will be in the middle of it...

As the mate of the Beast Lord, Curran, former mercenary Kate Daniels has more responsibilities than it seems possible to juggle. Not only is she still struggling to keep her investigative business afloat, she must now deal with the affairs of the pack, including preparing her people for attack from Roland, a cruel ancient being with god-like powers. Since Kate's connection to Roland has come out into the open, no one is safe - especially those closest to Kate. 

As Roland's long shadow looms ever nearer, Kate is called to attend the Conclave, a gathering of the leaders from the various supernatural factions in Atlanta. When one of the Masters of the Dead is found murdered there, apparently at the hands of a shapeshifter, Kate is given only twenty-four hours to hunt down the killer. And this time, if she fails, she'll find herself embroiled in a war which could destroy everything she holds dear...

Talk about craziness. Omg. I love it. It's absolutely awesome.

Here is the link to the Magic Break's page that includes chapter one

Monday, July 7, 2014

Blood of the Demon by Diana Rowland - 4 stars

Book 2 in Kara Gillian
Previous Kara Gillian Review

Blood of the Demon (#2) by Diana Rowland
4 stars

Let me start off by saying that I love this series. It's fantastic. I love the world and the characters and everything else. Rowland is very talented and she's able to get all the true aspects of the life of detective seeing as she used to be a detective herself.

This book was just as good as the first. I like the how the detective work is mixed in with the arcane. We have secrets that need to be discovered. Rowland creates these little secrets and hints to progress through the series, creating a little story arch. It's interesting and frustrating at the same time. You feel Kara's frustration at the lack of knowledge. The fact that you can feel this shows how much the reader sinks into the character. Kara is strong willed but isn't afraid to admit some of her weaknesses. She knows what she wants and she's very determined to get the answers, no matter how hard she has to work to get them.

In the previous book, Kara faced the Symbol Man, died in the demon realm, and returned to Earth. Now she's back to her regular life. Unfortunately, her aunt's essence was stripped for the Symbol Man's ritual and was lost. Kara has to find a way of getting her aunt's essence returned before her body dies. She enlists the help of Lord Rhyzkahl, the demon lord she accidently summoned in the first book and the one who saved her life in the end. The end of that book had me on the edge of my seat.

The current murders involve some pretty high ranking people in society. This causes definite problems for a a puny little detective like Kara. The two murders seem completely separate at first glance but with the othersight, Kara's gift of seeing the arcane, Kara can see that the victims' essences have been ripped out and eaten. This can cause problems in the greater scale of things but it's also very disturbing. Kara had never heard of a being that can eat essences other than a demon. Talk about intriguing.

Besides her crazy cases, Kara has to deal with Agent Ryan and his partner Agent Zack. She is definitely attracted to Ryan but he's also a bit crazy with certain things, especially with her relationship with Rhyzkahl which he thoroughly disapproves of. She also learns that Ryan's connections to the arcane is a little more than just being able to sense it. Her relationship with Ryan is a rocky one. They certainly know how to get under each other's skin but they also care about her other. I'm not sure how I feel about this certain relationship.

Then we have Rhyzkahl. He now wants Kara to be his official summoner. They would make a deal and she would summon his regularly. This is extremely problematic. Kara knows it's a bad idea but she also enjoys the sex she's having with him. He grants her a certain number of questions each time she summons him, one question involves getting Tessa's essence back. Rhyzkahl explains which ritual to perform to create a sort of beacon for Tessa's essence to follow in the void. Through this ritual, Kara discovers more secrets to the arcane that is extremely helpful (spoilers)*.

I like that we Kara's powers growing. I like character who seem normal but have more power than they realize. I like to see them grow into that power. In Kate Daniels we know Kate is super powerful but as the series progresses we see her power grow. Kara doesn't realize her potential and I like it.

Like I said, this is a great series that I will continue and I am looking forward to seeing where Kara goes next.

Previous Reviews

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Mark of the Demon by Diana Rowland - 4.5 stars

Book 1 in Kara Gillian

Mark of the Demon (#1) by Diana Rowland
4.5 stars

I've been meaning to read this book for the longest time. I bought it ages ago and then forgot about it. But I finally got to it and read it in about a day. It's so interesting and something I've not really read about before so I found myself enjoying the uniqueness. It was the perfect combination of a police procedure and urban fantasy.

This book is written in first person, from the view of Kara Gillian. Kara is finally a homicide detective and she gets her first case, the Symbol Man. 3 years previously, the Symbol Man killed 13 people and left their bodies covered in arcane symbols. The killer only chose victims who wouldn't be missed; drug addicts, prostitutes, etc. Kara had only been a street cop when Symbol Man was working but she did get a glimpse of something arcane on one of the bodies while she was guarding the crime scene.

Kara is a summoner. She summons demons from another sphere into this world. There are 12 different levels of demons and then you have the Demon Lords. Kara has finally graduated because she was able to summon a 12th level demon. Her Aunt Tessa is her mentor and taught her all about the arcane. Kara's parents died when she was really young and Tessa became her guardian. Kara has a tragic past that we learn about gradually. I think we will learn more.

That night, the Symbol Man hit again. Kara is given the lead on the case. While she examined the first body, she saw arcane symbols and runes hovering over the body with her othersight. The Symbol Man is definitely someone who knows the arcane.

Kara was trying to summon an 8th level demon when all of a sudden a gorgeous man lands in her circle. He's obviously a powerful demon because he easily brushes away all of her protections. He could have killed her but instead he seduces her and she has a super hot one night stand with him. We later learn that he is a Demon Lord and she is lucky to be alive.

Kara gets a little task team to work on the case. The Symbol Man is working up to something and his kills are becoming more frequent. Enter Agent Ryan Kristoff. He's from the FBI and he likes to work the weird cases. He's kind of the love interest in this story but not quite. It's obvious that he is attracted to Kara but since Kara lives such a crazy life, having boyfriends is not an easy thing. I like Ryan. Kara eventually tells him about her being a summoner and we learn that he has some of the othersight but not enough to be a summoner. I like Ryan. He's a great addition and provides some comic relief.

The ending part of the book was insanity. Seriously, there were so many twists that I was getting whiplash. I was thinking it was one thing and it turns out to be something different. It was a brilliant mystery and I love the surprises Rowland threw in there. The last chapter is pretty crazy and I can't wait to see what's coming in the next book.

Diana Rowland's website has a kind of glossary about the demons in her book to help with pronunciation if you want to check it out. The names can get pretty complicated.

Previous Reviews:

Monday, May 5, 2014

The Curse Breakers by Denise Grover Swank - 4.5 stars

Book 2 in The Curse Keepers
4.5 stars

Oy vey. This book was just as good as the first one. But it's also very different than the first one. However, the difference is not a bad thing. The writing is just as good and the plot is great. In Curse Keepers we are first introduced into the world and in Curse Breakers, we know about the world and we are seeing the consequences of the opening of the gate.

Claire and Collin are not in this book as much as the first one. I found myself missing Collin even though he's still an asshole who keeps trying to manipulate Ellie. What I love about Ellie is she has a backbone and will stand up for herself. She's doesn't let anyone push her around. She's a strong female character and I really like that.

We have a new threat in this book. Ukinim is angry at Okeus for taking his humanity. He is forced to live as a giant badger and can only appear above ground once a year. Since Okeus wants Ellie so badly, Ukinim now wants to kill Ellie and take her Manitou as revenge. About 2/3 of the way through the book, we learn why Okeus wants Ellie so badly (spoiler)*. It's such a plot twist and so freaking good. I was so shocked.

One of the main plot points is finding Ahone's mark so Ellie can claim herself. Ahone told her at the end of the last book that she could bear his mark but kindly didn't tell her what it was. The jerk. So now she has to go on a little quest to discover it. That's where we meet the new character, Dr. David Preston. David is an expert in Native Americans. He's also British. I love the English accent and you can tell he is British because of the words he uses. David and a team of other archaeologists are exploring the reappearance of the Lost Colony. I like David. He's a great guy who really cares about Ellie. He's a new love interest. I'm not sure how I feel about Ellie's relationship with him. I like David but I also like Collin. And it doesn't help that Collin's and Ellie's souls are bound together.

We also have the other threat from Marino. The creep is still after her and it's a sticky situation. It's about the Ricardo Estate and Collin refuses to tell Ellie anything. It's supposedly for her own safety. Well her safety is in jeopardy anyways so just tell her!

Tom, a cop and an old friend is really freaking annoying in this book. He has linked Ellie to all the weird things happening and she has to lie her way out of a lot of things. She ends up telling Tom about Marino and his guys that are after her but I got really annoyed with his constant appearances. Basically I want him to go away. I find his repeated inclusion a little too much. It's partly why I gave this 4.5 stars.

This book was great. I like the continuation of the plot but I also love the character development. We shall see what we have in store for the next book, The Curse Defiers.

I REALLY WANT THE NOOK BOOK. But it was published by Amazon and apparently they can't give it to Barnes and Noble. I guess I'll end up with the paperback. This is not a bad thing.

Recent Reviews

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The Curse Keepers by Denise Grover Swank - 4.5 stars

Book 1 in The Curse Keepers 

The Curse Keepers by Denise Grover Swank
4.5 stars

I received this book from NetGalley for an honest review.

This is one of those books that gave me a physical reaction around the end. The only reason I gave it 4.5 stars instead of 5 is because of how slowly it started off. I was annoyed with Ellie and Collin at first. Ellie's blatant refusal to believe in the curse was annoying at first but I grew to accept it.

Okay, I love this book. It's definitely gone on my favorites shelf. What I love about it is the absolute uniqueness of it. I've never read anything like it. It's urban fantasy, one of my favorite genres, but it's a completely different take on the urban fantasy/paranormal world. This story focuses on the Lost Colony of Roanoke. As many people know, the colony literally disappeared off the face of the earth. I've only read one other series, Blue Bloods, that worked with the mystery. This was ten times better.

In this version, the colony and the evil spirits were locked away behind a gate. It's basically what we would consider Hell. The Croatoan Native American, Manteo, locked the spirits and gods away with the help of Ananias Dare. The colony also gets sent behind the gates. It was a huge sacrifice and it is the reason that the colony disappeared. It's said that when the two Curse Keepers meet, the gates will open and they will have seven days to close it again.

Ellie is the current Dare Curse Keeper. She used to believe but when her mother died, she forgot everything and refused to relearn the everything she needed to know about being a Curse Keeper. Her mother didn't believe and she basically locked away her memories. It broke her father's heart because he was the Curse Keeper before her and she needed to know everything he knew. When all hell literally breaks loose, she can no longer go to him for answers because he has Alzheimer's. In the end, she does get her memories back and in a fantastic way. I love her character and her power.

Then we have Collin. He is the Manteo Curse Keeper. He's the typical smokin'
hot guy who is also a womanizer. He doesn't really care about anyone except himself. He's really an asshole in the beginning of the book and I seriously just wanted to punch him most of the time. But he is the Curse Keeper who knows the ceremony to close the gates and they need each other to close them. He's super secretive and he untrustworthy. Stupid gorgeous asshole. I love him and I hate him.

What's also great about this book is the multiple mysteries and plot lines. They aren't confusing and they add to the story. It's like Swank throws in real life with the fantasy. We get normal characters and real world problems. Ellie is broke and the family is is almost in foreclosure. Ellie also has a great best friend, Claire, and she adds to the story as well. I think it's a great little departure from the usual urban fantasies. I'll say it again, it's unique.

The ending. Oh my goodness the ending. I saw it coming but still. It was so intense and so heartbreaking and just, ah. I won't spoil it but it's just so hard to read. I seriously wanted to scream at Ellie and Collin. It was a really good ending and it set up a great story arc for the next book.

So far this seems to be a trilogy with three short stories. I'm definitely going to read the short story and I'm jumping into the The Curse Breakers as soon as I can. This is a definite recommend. Read it!!

If you want to read more about the series visit Denise Grover Swank's website and the Curse Keepers website.

Recent Reviews

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Burn for Me by Ilona Andrews Cover Reveal!

Ah! They've finally showed us the cover for Burn for Me. Ilona mentioned weeks ago that she saw the cover and she said she couldn't reveal it until the manuscript had been revealed. It's a fantastic cover and it looks like it's going to be a great series. Here is the post from her blog.

Burn For Me by Ilona Andrews

Hidden Legacy, Book 1
Release date: October 28, 2014
ISBN: 978-0062289230

#1 New York Times bestselling author Ilona Andrews launches a brand new Hidden Legacy series, in which one woman must place her trust in a seductive, dangerous man who sets off an even more dangerous desire...

Nevada Baylor is faced with the most challenging case of her detective career - a suicide mission to bring in a suspect in a volatile case. Nevada isn't sure she has the chops. Her quarry is a Prime, the highest rank of magic user, who can set anyone and anything on fire.

Then she's kidnapped by Connor "Mad" Rogan - a darkly tempting billionaire with equally devastating powers. Torn between wanting to run or surrender to their overwhelming attraction, Nevada must join forces with Rogan to stay alive.

Rogan's after the same target, so he needs Nevada. But she's getting under his skin, making him care about someone other than himself for a change. And, as Rogan has learned, love can be a perilous as death, especially in the magic world.


Ilona explained how they have had this story building slowly in the back of their minds every since they wrote a short story called Of Swine and Roses. It also built from their world of Kinsmen. Those two worlds helped them write this new novel.

I'm so excited. I can't wait to read it. Ilona Andrews is one of my favorite authors and the concept is just so unique and great. She's talked about it on her blog and over twitter. I can't wait to plunge back into duo's writing. Ilona and Gordon are very talented.

This Hidden Legacy series is going to be a trilogy and it's going to focus on the couple. It will be more like Kate Daniels in that fashion and not like The Edge. All of her fans exploded on twitter and on her blog. It's so exciting. And it's going to be a Happily Ever After series. Thank God! I'm just soooooooo excited!

What's also amazing is the price!
$5.99 for Paperback
$4.99 for e-book

Yes, I will own both.

Available from Indiebound | Powell's | Barnes & Noble | Amazon


This is what Ilona said about the cover:

"It's such a gorgeous, distinctive cover, melding together unique paranormal aspect of the world and the sizzle of the relationship between Mad Rogan and Nevada. It's rare when the cover captures a scene from the book exactly the way the author had imagined it. You learn to resign yourself to it. Covers aren't meant to be a literal representation of the narrative, but Burn for Me is. It actually shows a pivotal scene, especially when combined with the aerial view splashback. If you read the book, you'll know exactly what I mean. When I got the cover file, I sent it to a friend. She emailed back in minutes. The email said, "Who did you sacrifice to Cover Gods to get this?""

Erika Tsang, Ilona Andrews' Editor said:

"Burn for me is a slight departure from Ilona Andrews' other bestselling urban fantasy series. There's still the trademark snappy dialogue/narrative and action-packed scenes, but there's a stronger romance thread here that we wanted to get across right away with this cover. Our hero Rogan is not just hot and sexy, but he's powerful. Like kill-you-with-a-stare powerful. And Nevada is just as strong, only she doesn't realize her full potential yet. So I wanted to show off our couple, have that intimacy between them and not lose any kickass-ness (I know, not a real word, sorry). The background with the exploding buildings around them, the idea was Ilona's and the execution is just exquisite."

Tweets from Ilona:

And a short snippet about Mad Rogan via Twitter

Recent Reviews:

Friday, March 21, 2014

The Girl and The Raven by Pauline Gruber - 4 stars

The Girl and The Raven by Pauline Gruber
4 stars

I received this book for free from NetGalley for an honest review. I want to thank NetGalley and their awesomeness.

I really enjoyed this book. I'm very disappointed that I have to wait until December to read The Girl and The Gargoyle which I only found out about by checking out Gruber's website. The best part of this book is the uniqueness of it. Witches, demons, gargoyles, and the struggle between good and evil. It's so much fun. It's not something I've read before so I like the change.

Lucy is our main character and the book is told from her point of view with some chapters being told from other characters. These chapters tell us a little bit more of the world and about some of the things Lucy doesn't know about. It also sheds a little more mystery into the story and grabs your attention. I like Lucy. She's had it rough growing up. Her mother is an addict and that addiction eventually leads to her death. Because she died, Lucy is sent to live with her uncles in her grandmother's house. This house has to be huge or something because other people live upstairs in apartments. Persephone, Henry, Marcus, and Aiden all live up their. Marcus and Aiden in one apartment, Persephone and Henry in another. Persephone, Henry, and Aiden aren't really in the book much. It focuses more on Lucy, Marcus, and Dylan.

I don't know which team I am on. I really like Dylan and I can tell Lucy cares about him. Marcus is also a great character and he loves Lucy. This isn't really a typical love triangle and I found that refreshing. Most love triangles can be taxing. We have a little bit of a plot twist with Dylan which ended up surprising me.

I was extremely curious about Jude, Lucy's father. Jude is a demon and is responsible for making her half demon, half witch. He teaches her to use her demon powers and pushes her. But he does truly love her despite his being evil. This is something that really scares her. I like that little conflict and I'm looking forward to seeing how their relationship develops.

There is another demon who is after Lucy and tries to kill her multiple times. It's a bit of a mystery but not a major plot point until the end. I understand the need of this demon but I also found it out of place with the story. I think it could have been good if it was integrated better.

Overall this is a great book and an easy read. I enjoyed it and I do recommend it for those who wish to get a unique book that doesn't follow the usual cliches.

Recent Reviews

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl - 3.5 stars

Book 2 in the Caster Chronicles

Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
3.5 stars

Previous Caster Chronicles Series Reviews

When I first read this book, I found myself getting really annoyed. Mostly because of the actions of Lena. She just frustrated me. I understand the reasons why she acted the way she did but still, I just wanted to shake her and say "Get over it!" This has to be my least favorite book. As I mentioned in my review of Beautiful Creature, the next two books in the series are full of extreme angst. Don't get me wrong, the writing is good. Garcia and Stohl know how to write. I just found some of the plot hard to swallow. 

This book continues not long after Beautiful Creatures. Macon is dead and there is a funeral. His coffin is empty seeing as he in an Incubus and when they die there are no bodies. Obviously Lena is devastated over her uncle's death; especially since she's basically the one who killed him. Now every time she sees Ethan, she sees her uncle and how she killed him. Like I said, understandable. 

Ethan has no idea what is up with Lena. He desperately tries to get her to talk but she just runs away from him. She blocks him out, not allowing him to Kelt with her. Eventually Ethan learns why she is pulling away. Amma tells him what happened the night of Lena's Sixteenth Moon. But he doesn't want to give up on her seeing as he loves her. 

We get a few new characters in this book. Ethan is working in the library for the summer with Marion and he meets Liz. Liz is this crazy smart girl from England. She and Ethan become best friends and it's obvious that Liz really likes him. I really like Liz. She's just cool and she's a great friend to Ethan. Ethan runs across her in the tunnels with Marion. Turns out Liz is training to be a Keeper and she is studying with Marion. Ethan's mother had helped Ethan find his way through the tunnels to get to Liz and Marion. When Ethan told Liz and Marion that, they discovered that he was a Wayward. Wayward's a special mortals who guide Casters through their life. These Casters are important. They just aren't sure which Caster Ethan is supposed to be guiding.

When Ethan was at the graveyard for All Souls Day, Marion gives him a box with a small black sphere inside of it. Ethan's mother gave it to Marion and she decided to give it to Ethan. The stone is called an Arclight. It's the only weapon that can be used against an Incubus. It's basically a prison. Ethan begins
to have visions involving Macon and Abraham, the first Blood Incubus in the family. We learn a lot through the visions and that was one of my favorite parts.

The ending is huge and definitely has major effects. I like that Ridley and Link were included in their little adventures. Despite everything Ridley says, she loves Link just as much as he loves her. Poor Ridley and poor Link. Since the events of Lena's sixteenth moon, Link is now involved in the world of the Casters. He provide much needed comic relief. We also see how much of Gatlin actually is involved in the Caster world. It's shocking but also welcome. My favorite has to be Aunt Prue. I love that old lady.

This book does need to be read and it is still good. I just have a hard time when characters dwell on the same thing the entire time. It's understandable I guess but still, move on with the story already! Anyways, it's a good read but it drags on a bit. Things could have moved forward are little more quickly. Other than that, it was a good addition to the series and the consequences of the actions from the climax are seen in Beautiful Chaos. Exciting stuff right there.

Previous Reviews:

Monday, February 24, 2014

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl - 5 stars

Book 1 in the Caster Chronicles

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
5 stars

Beautiful Creatures is a fantastic book. I read it a long time ago and I've kept up with the series. I didn't have the chance to read Beautiful Redemption when it came out and then I completely forgot about it. Finally, Beautiful Redemption was released in paperback and I decided it was time to reread the series so I can read Beautiful Redemption.

I think this is my favorite book in the series. Usually that doesn't happen with the first book in a series. There is less emotional turmoil in this book and less angst. Don't get me wrong, I love emotions and how they're betrayed but at some points in the next two books I was getting tired of it.

Our protagonist is Ethan Wate. The story is told in first person which I like. It fits the story. Ethan lives in the small town of Gatlin in South Carolina with his dad and his second mom, Amma. Amma helped raise Ethan's dad and Ethan. A year ago, Ethan's mother died in a car accident. There are no secrets in this town. There is only one traffic light. There are no commercial stores like Wal-Mart or Target. All Ethan wants is to escape. Everyone is judgmental and a lot of them are bullies. If you don't conform then you are an outcast. Honestly, I wanted to punch most of them.

Ethan's been having extremely realistic dreams about a girl. When he wakes up he has scratches and dirt in his bed. He wakes up to a song playing on his iPod called Sixteen Moons. We find out the significance of that later. Sixteen Moons pops up throughout the book, sending out warnings.

On the first day of school, Ethan sees the girl from his dreams driving up in a hearse. Her name is Lena and she turns out to be the niece of Macon Ravenwood. Macon is the town shut in. He's the Boo Radley of Gatlin (his dog is named Boo Radley oddly enough). Already Lena is on the outside because of her relation. She does not get a warm welcome and everyone does their best to make it known that she is not welcome.

Eventually it is revealed that Lena and her family are Casters. Basically Casters are witches but they don't use that term. There are two types of Caster; Dark Casters and Light Casters. Easy enough to understand. On a Caster's sixteenth birthday they choose if they will be Dark or Light. Lena's family doesn't have this luxury. There is a curse on the family. This means the Casters can't choose, they get Chosen. This is a big deal. Lena does not want to go Dark and she's scared. Hell, I would be too. Through visions that Lena and Ethan share from an old locket, they learn the origin of the curse.

Link, Ethan's best friend, and Amma are probably my favorite characters. Amma is a superstitious seer. She talks to the Greats, her dead family members, and reads tarot cards. She uses charms to ward off evil. I like how she address Ethan. It's never "Ethan." It's always "Ethan Wate." Link is just a hilarious character. He provides some comic relief and he's just a good guy. He doesn't judge Lena and doesn't push Ethan away when everyone else in the school does. I like him.

This is a five star book. I highly recommend it. There is a lot of mystery and I like the world Stohl and Garcia created. It's not the usual paranormal world so I find it interesting. There are many twists and turns and some action that make this book fantastic.

They made this book into the movie but I'm so over watching the movies that have come from books so I refuse to watch it. I just can't see another book butchered.

Sixteen Moons

Previous Reviews:
Onyx (#2) by Jennifer Armentrout - 4.5 stars
Obsidian (#1) by Jennifer Armentrout - 4.5 stars
Clean Sweep by Ilona Andrews - 5 stars