Faith Hunter, Blood Trade (Jane Yellowrock #6)

Faith Hunter, Blood Trade - Jane Yellowrock #6

Faith Hunter, Blood Trade – Jane Yellowrock #6

I have long been a fan of the Jane Yellowrock series, Faith Hunter never disappoints me and she, once again, kicks some arse with the newest addition to the Yellowrock series.

Hieronymus, the Master of Natchez (or MOC for true fans), Mississippi calls in Jane to help him deal with an increasingly worrisome problem. Rogue vampires that follow the Naturaleza way of vampire are terrorizing the city. These are not your average crazy Naturaleza rogue vampires, these are your mutant cracked out on Lord knows what variety. 

Jane and her new partner s Eli and Kid, head to Natchez to help the MOC with his problem, Jane riding Bitsa of course. In the midst of it all Reach contacts her with request from a former orphanage buddy, Misha, who wants to interview her for a book she is writing. Little does Jane realize how Misha will become a part of what is happening in Natchez.

Bruiser a/k/a George Dumas  makes his way to Mississippi to help Jane with the rogue problem, per Leo’s instructions of course,  and there is undeniable tension between he and Jane as a result of his role in the bonding between Jane (or more specifically Beast) and Leo.

Rick LaFleur and PsyLED (the Psychometry Law Enforcement Division of Homeland Security,) also assist Jane in the investigation. We are reintroduced to his supervisor, SOUL (still unsure if she is a witch or?), the Beast (wolf stuck in werewolf form) and Pea (a juvenile grindylow).  Jane and Rick still make sparks fly, but it is bittersweet.

The story is fast paced.  Jane has the best toys and the best breakers (see Kid, I remembered!) and I love how Faith Hunter always incorporated Jane’s spiritualism and her Native heritage into the story.  I also appreciate that Hunter has stayed true to her characters and not gone the route of so many other authors who start to lose sight of who their characters happen to be.

Lisa Voisin, The Watcher

Lisa Voisin, The Watcher

Lisa Voisin, The Watcher

Upon finishing the reading of The Watcher, a Charlie Feathers tune immediately came to mind…”I’ve Been Deceived”.  I always denied that I could have my head turned by a pretty cover, but now I must admit, publicly, that I have a problem* hanging my head shamefully*.

The Watcher is the story of Mia Crawford, a high school senior who wonders if her eyes are ears are playing tricks on her. She sees things that none of her friends do – black dogs with demon-like eyes, winged creatures and mist. Are the voices in her head or is she actually hearing people talk? (After awhile, I didn’t even care if I learned the answer to those questions; I just wanted to finish the book so I could say I wasn’t a quitter.)

Entire the two boys who are part of the obligatory love triangle and all of its typical YA Fantasy glory – Michael (the good angel) and Damiel (the fallen angel). Yep and that’s all I have to say about them.

Readers, including myself, who have read the Fallen series by Lauren Kate, will immediately want to cry FOUL upon reading The Watcher. The stories are very similar and let’s admit the “story” has been done time and time again and almost beaten to death. Angels?  Check. Demons?  Check. Love Triangle?  Check. Girl who is beautiful, sweet and amazing, that doesn’t seem to know it?  Check. I was disappointed throughout the book, it was so cliché, but I think I could have stomached the disappointment if the book had included the ancient history that was touted to be tied into the story in a greater fashion.  

The Watcher …look at the pretty cover, but don’t open it.

C.L. Bledsoe, The Necro-Files $7.50/Hr.+Curses

C.L. Bledsoe, The Necro-Files $7.50/Hr.+Curses

C.L. Bledsoe, The Necro-Files $7.50/Hr.+Curses

Not to be confused with the Georg R.R. Martin book with a similar title, author C.L. Bledsoe takes a conjures a magical tale about a typical struggling college student, Daisy Janney, who takes a job at an atypical  funeral home .

Calvert Funeral Home is run by Lou and Magnus, the latter of which has worked at Calvert for three hundred years, give or take a decade. Daisy learns the hard way that Calvert is not simply a funeral home for the human dearly departed when she is death cursed by an evil witch. Daisy struggles to find a way to undo the curse in the time allotted but is aided in her quest by Nathan, a quasi-hunter of sorts, with a strong resemblance to Johnny Cash (circa Folsom Prison, not Hurt).

Despite the death curse Daisy endeavors to keep up with her college studies. She studies with several students in the evenings, one of whom may or may not be a demon who will take her soul.

I really enjoyed Bledsoe’s style of writing. I will admit that I was cruising the Barnes and Noble site desperately in need of a book to read and stumbled upon The Necro-Files.  At $5.99 I figured if it was painful to get into it, I could put it down and chalk it up to a lesson learned. Bledsoe captured me immediately by staying away from the typical fantasy-chick who kicks butt and can do everything on her own love-triangle garbage.  Daisy was funny, clever, spunky and easy to relate to. I look forward to the second installment of this series.

C.L. Bledsoe, The Necro-Files $7.50/Hr.+Curses

Shawntelle Madison, Coveted (#1)

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Coveted (#1) by Shawntelle Madison

Coveted, is the first title in the new urban fantasy series by author Shawntelle Madison.  We are introduced to Natalya Stravinsky, an OCD, holiday knickknack obsessed-werewolf.  Natalya had her world crumble after the love of her life, soon to be Alpha South River Toms Pack, Thorn walked out on her shortly after college.  In Coveted, Thorn has now returned, Natalya has been declared rogue and a pack of shifters from Long Island (yes, I did say Long Island, who knew there were werewolves with a Long Island accent?) is looking to take over and exterminate any weak links.

Natalya goes into psycho-therapy where she meets Nick, a white wizard with a hoarding disorder. While some readers may feel the author is poking fun at various compulsion disorders at times, what is underscored is the loneliness and helplessness that can go hand in hand with these afflictions.  As someone who cannot sleep unless my remote control is lined up on the coffee table just so, I could relate to some of the frustration that her therapy buddies (a Muse, a Deity, and a dwarf – who looks like Brad Pitt) experienced.

There is the traditional hint of a love triangle between Natalya-Thorn and Nick, a bad date with a necromancer, some Mean Girl type behavior from South River Toms pack members and fabulous hijinks behavior from her BFF Aggie.

I normally prefer my heroines to kick butt and take names, all while maintaining their femininity (is that even possible in real life?) I found Natalya to be quirking and endearing. In Coveted I think readers will discover that we are seeing flashes of strength that will grow as the series grows.

While the beginning started off a little shaky, Shawntelle Madison picked up steam with every turn of the page. Coveted was a good effort by the fledgling urban fantasy author and I look forward to seeing how the story develops in her sophomore effort, Kept (Coveted #2) due out in November of 2012.

Seanan McGuire, Ashes of Honor – An October Daye Novel

Ashes of Honor (an October Daye Novel) by Seanan McGuire

My first thought upon finishing Ashes of Honor…”how long do I have to wait until the next book????” . The October Daye series is one of my favorite series and I am never (knock on wood) disappointed.  In Ashes of Honor we find Toby is recovering from her losses a year later, but  buoyed by her  seeming inability to do great harm to herself and the friendships of her fetch, May, her squire, Quentin and the ever present, King of the Cats, Tybalt (dreamy sigh), she marches on.

Toby is called upon by Etienne, another of Sylvester’s Knights, to help locate and save his changeling daughter, Chelsea, who may bring about the end of Faerie as they know it. While Toby and her friends-at-arms are racing to save Chelsea and Faerie, Tybalt is in the midst of a coup, in the form of Samson, Raj’s bitter, power-hungry, uncle.

The action is fast-paced, the drama is intense, and there is smexiness and lots and lots of coffee.

Seanan McGuire, you are fanflippingtastic!  I adore you and would give up my coffee for you without fail, if you keep writing amazing books such as Ashes of Honor. Open roads ❤

J.C. Daniels, Blade Song (Colbana Files #1)

Blades Song by J.C. Daniels

Author, J.C. Daniels (pen name of Shiloh Walker), introduces Kit Colbana, a half-human/half-aneira (think Amazon), who is a jack-of-all-trades, master of none sort, with a soft spot for children, mainly due to her horrific upbringing at the hands of an abusive family.

Kit is given the task of locating a young shape shifter, whom has either been kidnapped or is on the run, by the local Cat Alpha, who happens to be a psychotic b* named Annette. It is here that we meet Damon, Were-Leopard extraordinaire, in all his brooding yumminess. (Picture the love child of Willy Cartier, LL Cool J and Joe Manganiello…*sigh)

We also are introduced to Jude; a non-sparkly vampire who we learn has assisted Kit in the past, and now uses this past assist as leverage in trying to cultivate a relationship with Kit.  

The investigation into the disappearance of the young shape shifter sheds light on other young shifters and witches who have gone missing and suddenly the race is on to uncover the group behind the disappearances.

Readers will undoubtedly draw strong parallels between author Ilona Andrews’ Kate Daniels series, and with good reason. There are many similarities, the kick-arse attitude of our heroine, her strong sword play and Alpha love interest, but after the aforementioned all similarities end. 

Some fans of Ilona Andrews and Patricia Briggs who love their women to practice kick-ass-ery (yes, I know it is not a word, but it should be) may enjoy Kit Colbana and welcome this new series into their queue, while other fans may lament that Kit Colbana is not strong enough for their taste.

I find Shiloh Walker’s writing to contain a little too much bom chicka wah wah for my taste, but as J.C. Daniels, I find the story and smexiness quotient to be just right.  IMHO, Blade Song was a fun ride and I look forward to the next endeavor with Night Blade, due out in the winter of 2012.

Willkommen, bienvenue, welcome!

Willkommen, bienvenue, welcome!
Fremder, etranger, stranger.
Glücklich zu sehen, je suis enchante,
Happy to see you, bleibe, reste, stay.Greetings from a self-professed bibliomaniac…thank goodness for E-Pub, I have so much more room now!  I finally decided to put all of those hours of reading into something creative, and review the books that I read. I welcome constructive comments and spirited discussion.
 
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Can’t wait to read you!