Step aside Rose, there's a new kickass heroine emerging proving brawn doesn't always trump brains.
Sydney cannot have imagined that the cushy posh post of Palm Springs could have entailed so much work. After an epic battle with the forces of evil she finds her duties downgraded to the mother henning of a misfit crew of vampire court exiles including one beautifully damaged playboy Moroi, one disgraced guardian, one princess in hiding, and a clueless country dhampi. Add on a research team of restored Strigoi, a stalker-like pushy fashion designer threatening her princess protection program, and it's a wonder that Syd has time for homework.
All of her extraordinary extracurricular activities aside Sage has no social life whatsoever. But that's about to change. Good thing Sage is a multi-tasker, because all hell breaks loose while hearts are broken as romance heats up like a bunsen burner and Sydney Sage proves even the most mundane aspects of life, like dating can be bazaar.
Unfortunately the little bit of normalcy and safety Sage and her friends gained after uncovering Keith's side business and Lee's betrayal is about to end as a new threat arises and the ramblings of a senile old vampire seem to hold more truth than paranoid fiction.
Sydney will be tested to her limits as she finds herself on the edge of a dangerous balance between her beliefs and the truths and understanding she's beginning to gain. But when it comes down to a choice of dedication versus desire, will it be her resolve or heart that gets shattered.
There are not enough stars in the night sky to rate this book, it was that good. Richelle Mead just keeps getting better. Mead's planning and forethought really come together in this installment solidly connecting all the threads like dots from Bloodlines to the VA series. The perfect puzzle pieces adds so much depth to an already enthralling story line that you don't want it to end. Mead also keeps her world fresh by introducing new and interesting groups like a sect of human vampire hunters.
Romance is front and center in The Golden Lily as Sydney gets a boyfriend and the attention of Adrian. It's a classic star-crossed lovers theme that will make many readers swoon even more for Mr. Ivashkov. Love triangles pop up left and right for The Golden Lily cast making it even harder to wait for the next installment.
After hearing Bloodlines I had to have the audiobook for TGL as well. Emily Shaffer does another outstanding job with her pitch perfect portrayal of Mead's wide range of personalities. Shaffer delivers a great mix of controlled type-A personality with enough quirk and naivety to make Sydney lovable. All her voices really stay true to how I read them in the books and Shaffer puts a lot into her narrations which makes me fell like she's as excited about reading them as I am.
I have nothing bad to say about The Golden Lily it was everything I was hoping for and more. Whatever your criteria is for a great book Mead is sure to have met and exceeded it with great story lines, wonderful characters, new and interesting aspects to the already established VA world, nice pacing, action, growth, and intrigue. The Golden Lily is a book that leaves you satisfied and longing for The Indigo Spell. Don't miss out on the Bloodlines series and The Golden Lily, its' a definite summer must have.
Day and June are the resistance's new Bonny and Clyde taking on the republic and inspiring a nation. But when the Elector Primo dies the fledgling couple finds themselves entangled in an assassination conspiracy that will test their loyalties and love.
Marie Lu delivers an engrossing followup to her debut novel. Prodigy takes all the intrigue and heartbreaking developments of it's predecessor to the next level. Day and June's past exploits and diverse backgrounds add complexities and questions to their relationship that exposes new layers to their characters and how they evolve throughout the story. Lu intertwines the plot and emotional development beautifully. The unlikely love in Lu's hands not only drives her characters but manages to create a lot of complications for them to overcome. The author's world gets a boast with a glimpse into the colonies and a surprising setting for the resistance. The story is mostly built on semitransparent threads. Yet a couple of huge twists I didn't see coming, and another heart wrenching ending will leave readers ready and wanting the third installment now.
The narration by Stephen Kaplan and Mariel Stern was a little stiff and formal but it grows on you and somehow manages to fit the world and personalities of the characters well. Kaplan and Stern have get voices for YA. I'm glad they returned to voice this installment and hope they continue to do so.
It's hard to live up to a Legend but Prodigy manages to entertain. The evil genius of Marie Lu will captivate readers and listeners alike while planting enough yummy possibilities to make fans groan over the long wait ahead.
For twelve years Atticus has enjoyed the relaxed less life threatening existence a presumed death inclines. The long process of training an apprentice has finally come and at the cusp of binding Granuaile to the earth, he's rudely interrupted by a few ghost from the not so distant past.
Someone's orchestrating a symphony of a set up, sending one supernatural after another trying to collect the bounty on the druids. Atticus will have to use all his two thousand plus years of experience to find a way to bind Granuaile and stay alive.
There is an upside to being turned down by publishers when you take the rejection and use the time to revise and rework the writing. I have to say that Tricked wasn't my favorite book in the series, it didn't have the same ease and edited air about it that Hounded, Hexed and Hammered had, so I was a bit hesitant about Trapped.
Fortunately I enjoyed this installment. I love Hearne's chic geek dialogue seamlessly blending fact, fiction, and pop culture to tell his stories. Coupled with his uncanny ability to commune with the canine mind, one can't help but laugh out loud. Hearne doesn't slack on the world building. I never feel anything but fully immersed in both the modern and imaginary. The author also manages to meld all the various mythologies and their worlds into a cohesive believable setting for his hero.
My only dislike is with the story line. I didn't feel the plot was challenging enough. There weren't very many alternate threads and the main story line didn't resolve for me. Trapped felt more like the first half of a book. But it was an entertaining beginning filled with lots of action, humor, and depth.
Luke Daniels never disappoints. He reads well, has an extensive stable of voices, you can tell he does his research, and really take the challenge Hearne provides with all the different cultures and languages and puts out a performance you want to listen to over and over again.
Overall I think Hearne is getting back into his stride and I can't wait for the next installment!
IPCA is in upheaval, the Unseelie Queen is after Evie, all the paranormals seem to want something from her, but first, prom committee. After all a girl's gotta have her priorities straight.
Endlessly lost it's luster for me from that first novel. I really loved the first two, this one not so much. Though I think it's notable to mention that Endlessly is the first in the series I didn't actually read, opting for the audiobook this go around.
Like in the previous installments I like how White tries to keep the story moving through Evie's segmented adventures. She wasn't always successful in holding my attention but there were a lot of funny moments and some great things happening with Reth and Jack. Unfortunately everything was resolved all nice and tidy. A little too perfectly.
My biggest pet peeve was Evie in this book. She was quite annoying and petulant, White wrote her in a way that was really unlikable ruining an otherwise interesting storyline. Evie comes across very childish, by the third book I expect more growth out of a character not less. Her character wasn't helped by the overly dramatic narration of Emily Eiden either. Eiden had an equally grating voice to match the heroine's attitude. Though she had a nice range of voices they where weird in a way, like she was making fun of the characters.
I'm not sure if Evie's immaturity translates so strongly in the print version. I don't recommend the audiobook edition. Emily Eiden is so overly everything in her performance, making a normally quirky clever series into a load of corn and camp. Flaws aside fans of the series will find a lot to like and a satisfying ending wrapped up neatly in a big pink sparkly bow.
Calder White has a score to settle. Though, his heart's not quite as into revenge as his marauding mermaid sisters' but a promise is a promise. And the only fair debt for a promise broken and the fate of their mother, is the death of Jason Hancock. If Calder plays his role right, a part he's confidently played many times before, he'll receive the freedom he desires. Unfortunately Lilly Hancock isn't like any prey he's lured before and Calder won't know what's got it's hooks in him until it's too late.
Lies beneath is not the typical mermaid fairytale. A lot of the choices Brown makes gives this book a refreshing facelift to the tried and used concepts surrounding the genre. My favorite part of Lies Beneath is the male perspective. I found Calder's voice interesting and different. It reminded me of a guy version of Cinderella with his evil stepsisters and good heart. Lilly was fun as well, not being the typical quirky artsy character, into fine arts or fiction but poetry. The only downside is the story line wasn't complex enough. You could very easily see where things were going. Yet the characters, romance, and Brown's unique take on the mythology keeps the reader's interest from focusing too much on any transparencies.
MacLeod Andrews has a great voice for YA, it's mature without being too old. I've gotten a few audiobooks featuring him and his reads are always a pleasure. Andrews voice is nice and deep, his acting is subtle with wonderful inflections that really guide a listener to a character's mood or intent. He also has a great range of voices. MacLeod Andrews is quickly becoming an impulse purchasing factor for me to buy now, find out what it's about later.
Anne Greenwood Brown's debut is a little something different with a lot of great things going for it. Lies Beneath is an entertaining read told by an unusual voice just in time for beach reading season.
A girl's gotta want more out of life, especially when your Prince Charming drinks out of the toilet and has his wardrobe imported from Petsmart.
Personally Alex's prospects aren't much better with one fey knight who's just as likely to kiss Alex as he is to kill her and one soul collector who's avoiding her, which with Alex's luck probably means that Death is just not that into her. Professionally the only constant is a perpetually empty bank account, and at this point Craft's main career goal is staving off blindness.
So naturally Tongues For The Dead is expanding, taking on more than just shade raising, adding a couple new investigators, and an only slightly rundown office in a sketchy part of the magic quarter. Good thing too, because Alex is going to need all the help and resources she can get for this case. Suicides are suddenly on the rise. Shades and ghosts have no memory of their last days or death. Craft is sure Nekros has a supernatural serial killer on the loose. And he's gunning for a certian plain weaving grave witch.
Kalanya Price wastes no time kicking things into gear. The pacing was great, even the various plot setups and in between dialogue are really engaging giving the story constant movement when the action isn't in play. Price has written another challenging and ambitious book full of story lines to match her dueling plains of reality. The focus shifts from the fey driven threads of Grave Dance to address Alex's ever evolving life on the human plain. I like how the existing format of the Craft's life and world are changing as much as the characters' are. So many series get stagnant and boring because the author doesn't let the story or characters grow together. The changes made by the end of the book make me feel like the real story is just beginning.
Can I say that I have never wanted a love triangle so badly as I do with this series. I have picked my team and Grave Memory has a bit more romance than the last book. It was nice to finally see Death make his case for Alex's hand. Of course Craft can't catch a break since her relationships seem to come with extra complications. Yet I can't help but enjoy Price's sense of timing. She's not in a rush with the romance and she has only really focused on one beau at a time, letting the readers get to know Death and Falin along with their unique situations. I don't know when the two will collide but I can't wait to read it. The author's romantic spacing also keeps Alex from being just another wishy washy heroine who can't choose between her two or three love interests.
The only downside for me was the narration. I felt like Emily Durante was just flat in her reading. The variety of voices were ok but the performance was lack luster. Regardless of the performance Grave Memory is my favorite in the series so far. The characters and world building have progressed so much that it seems like three books in and we are only just beginning the Alex Craft novels. My one complaint is that this series only comes out once a year and I'm primed and ready for this next chapter to begin.
Unlike it's predecessor in almost every way, Wild Thing is an entertaining merry-go-round of information expertly blended into a plot, filled with a blur of vivid imagery that will keep you guessing.
Ex-hitman turned hippocratic oath holder Lionel Azimuth, aka Peter Brown, aka Pietro Brnwa has been living with a series of unfortunate events hanging over him, like a cloud of crap constantly raining down on his existence. So when a job offer by a billionaire comes around to go on an expedition with a sexy paleontologist, it can only mean more trouble for Lionel.
As the plot thickens, Dr. Azimuth's sea creature safari quickly becomes a thrilling murder mystery chocked full of unsavory characters and edge-of-your-seat intrigue. Amidst all the chaos it seems someone's on to the good doctor, and it's only a matter of time before the mob comes calling. Lionel's luck sucks, but he beat the reaper once. Can he do it again?
Josh Bazell throws his readers a curve ball. The disorienting world of a well known character plopped into this strange almost paranormal situation feels like a complete departure from Beat the Reaper, and gives Wild Thing an air of being a fish out of water. But what starts out as a surreal hodge-podge of various blockbuster movie ideas is just the misdirection gravy Bazell builds his story under. The cloaking thread along with the deposition-like memoire style storytelling creates a collage of sequenced memories, tasks, trivia, and situations which are used to construct the plot lines, while masking the outcome.
This novel is an insane politically charged page turner. That may turn off quite a few readers. You definitely know where the author stands on several issues by the end of the book. Wild Thing was well written despite being heavily ladened with info dumps, which could have become boring or preachy. Paired with the exquisite narration of Robert Petkoff who's voice and portrayal of all the various characters brought out the life of even the most seemingly mundane monologues. Petkoff was perfection with his attitude and inflections, voicing Bazell's smart, funny, and gritty world wonderfully. He's my new favorite narrator. I read the first book but after hearing the second, I will only be enjoying this series through audiobook from now on. I can't recommend the sound version enough. It's truely what an audiobook experience should be.
With his exciting way of storytelling, Bazell doesn't fall into the usual traps and devices overused by many authors. His writing style is cleverly crafted, witty, and just as equally informative as it is entertaining, marking Wild Thing and Bazell a stand out among their contemporaries.
Being classified as dead, with a newly acknowledged demon status, and magically neutered like a dog, doesn't suck nearly as much as having to deal with the frustratingly idiotic bureaucracy of the DMV. Rachel Morgan isn't having a very good life, or afterlife according to the governmental powers that be. But when a low level department minion offers Rachel a case, she quickly finds herself entangled in the plans of a domestic terrorist organization known as HAPA or Humans Against Paranormals Association. The hate group's goal is to eradicate paranormals. Too bad Rachel's about as effective as a human right now with the binding cutting her off from the everafter and her magic. She'll have to bide her time until she can get the unbinding done. Unfortunately Rachel's blood is the key to their mission, and they're doing everything they can to get to her.
Kim Harrison's latest installment of the Hollows is simply seductive. A Perfect Blood draws you in and keeps you wanting more even after you've reached the end. Ten books deep into the series, Harrison has a firm grasp on the world and characters. The solidly established foundation allows her to focus on story lines and having a little fun with her writing. The plot was very interesting, I loved how inventive Harrison was in expanding everything she's built and incorporated real world concerns, then translating them into her paranormal world. It's always nice when an author avoids the well worn or expected story lines.
Rachel Morgan is feeling stuck, her roommates are moving on, but I think Morgan's acceptance is the next step in her growth. I like Trent's growth and direction, he and Rachel are still dancing around each other. I'm waiting for that love affair to explode into action. It can't be just me who'd love to see a demon elf baby. Though I'm not sure how much longer this series will continue considering the growing separation between Ivy, Morgan, and Janks which makes everything feel like it's ending.
This is THE series that got me hooked on audiobooks. There were about eight books out when I gave it a go and I really can't imagine experiencing this series any other way. If you've been thinking about trying audiobooks the Hollows is a great place to start. Marguerite Gavin is an amazing narrator, especially in this series. Gavin's voice is so belovedly associated with Rachel Morgan that there was a huge backlash when another narrator read the sixth book. In a way the switch just highlighted how good Gavin is, she really brings the books to life, and makes The Hollows one of my favorite series.
A Perfect Blood is another outstanding book, both written and read. So read it, or listen to it, either way don't miss out on this one.
Hijinks and hilarity ensue when the Grimm Reaper is on the case.
Charley's functioning on a diet of coffee, coffee, and coffee, at this point she's more likely to be a portal to Starbucks than the other side. Her self induced insomnia is due to one scorned son of Satan passionately haunting her dreams. Every time Charley closes her eyes she's bombarded with some transcendental loving via one smoking hot Reyes Farrow. Normally a little visit from the Prince of Darkness is welcomed but the Big Bad is angry and doesn't seem to want to be with Charley in her every unwaking moment.
Good thing there's work to fill in all her new free time not spent in bed. This go around Davidson is in search of a potential client's wife, but with Charley's semi coherent caffeinated skills she detects the good doctor isn't quite as good as he appears. Unfortunately he's also the least of Charley's man troubles. Davidson is having daddy issuses, along with running into problems with a motorcycle gang, a victim's very large brother, and a sadistic murder,on top of Reyes' big bad baby woes about being bound, leaving Charley in need of an industrial sized can of man repellent.
Charley's going to need a triple venti latte to save a few lives, uphold her portal duties, solve the case of the doctor's missing wife, help Reyes, and start to realize exactly what a Grimm Reaper can do.
The Charley Davidson books are probably my favorite audiobook series. The combination of Darynda Jones and Lorelei King is to die for. Third Grave Dead Ahead is another expertly narrated book. King infuses life into Jones' characters. I don't think anyone else could so genuinely portray Charley for the funny, quirky, completely oblivious, ADD prone heroine and make her even more lovable than King does. I truly believe the audiobooks provide the best experience for this series.
Darynda Jones yet again gifts us with another outstanding book. She weaves a world rooted in reality but filled with the paranormal. I seriously wonder about Jones' mental stability since she comes up with the craziest asides in the form of Charlie's solitary thoughts. She gives us great dialogue that's full of heart and hilarity. But all the fun is just a layer of frosting on top of a deceptively strong series of story lines. You don't realize it until the end because you're enjoying the journey Jones is taking you on but each book is filled with interesting threads and an amazing series plot. Her ideas are only supported by the great line up of characters, though sometimes I think their sense of humor is a little too symbiotic. I can understand her family and friends having that kind of connection but a newly acquainted FBI agent? The weird Stepford comedic sense is the only qualm I have. Everything else was wonderful.
Fresh off her heart breaking escape from Lena's love lobotomizing society, she discovers the freedoms of the Wilds. And all the chores that come with them. Turns out she was pretty pampered in the enclosed cured community. Life on the outside is hard, hard work, little food, and lots of casualties.
But as the resistance is rising, the cured have renewed their efforts in eliminating the invalids, forcing Lena and her new friends to re-assimilate into the Manhattan colony. Lena soon finds herself in the middle of a conspiracy and finding love in the most unlikely places.
Lauren Oliver's Pandemonium is an eloquently written mess of thoughts and details strung together to form a coherent character and world in a very unique way. I think the sequel exceeds Delirium in story and structure. I always felt the eradication of love as a main motivator a little flimsy, and it was the linchpin that held everything together in the first book. In Pandemonium the story focuses less on the cure, in favor of a more active plot line. Plus Oliver needed less time working on world building and character establishment so she could focus on a more complex plot without sacrificing the romance and lyrical flow of her writing fans of the series love. Some of the pacing in the beginning was slow, but it gained momentum as Lena grew stronger. A few lingering questions were answered, but with them came more inquiries that are sure to bring readers back for the next installment.
Sarah Drew's performance of Pandemonium was good. Her portrayal of Lena was nice, maybe a bit dramatic at times, but she really knows how to capture the angst of teenage melodrama. I think her choices in voicing Julian was better than how she speaks for Alex, but overall she does a fine job with the series.
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