This is the third book in the Chicagoland Vampires series and my favorite so far. This book had a more solid plot than previous books and things escalate both between Ethan and Merit and between the shapeshifters and the vampires. Definitely a must read if you enjoyed the first couple books of this series.
I listed to this on audiobook and the audiobooks for this series are incredibly well done. This is one of those series that I think sounds even better than it would read; the narrator just does such a wonderful job.
Shapeshifters are meeting in the Windy City and they meet to decide if they will return to their homeland or stay for the oncoming supernatural war. Ethan lends out Merit's services as a bodyguard to the shapeshifter's leader Gabriel-Keene. As the time to the Shapeshifter Convocation draws closer it becomes clear that someone has put a hit out on Gabriel. Merit continually finds herself in the line of fire. Not only that but she is trying to navigate treacherous politics between the shapeshifters and vamps while also doing one on one training sessions with Ethan to try to improve her lackluster sparring skills.
This was the best book in this series so far. Things are really building to a climax in multiple ways. The shapeshifters are on the edge of either staying of fleeing as war approaches the supernatural community and the way they choose will tip the balance one way or the other. The tension between Merit and Ethan is constantly building and it was absolutely killing me to know what would happen between them. Merit is starting to understand her own powers and finally figuring out way to break down the wall she keeps hitting when she tries to spar.
Romance is a huge driver in this story. The tension between Merit and Ethan is absolutely sizzling. This is one of those books where I loved Ethan and then I hated him. Seriously he jerks Merit around so much; yet he does it in a strangely understandable way. The only other series I can think of that has had me as emotionally involved as this one is the Night Huntress series by Jeaniene Frost. I swear there were parts of this book where I was holding my breath to see what would happen.
Beyond that a lot of other neat stuff happens in this book. Lots of action in this one, Merit finds herself in a number of combat situations and performs admirably. The addition of the shapeshifters raised the stakes and ratcheted up the tension in this book, really driving the plot forward. So much depending on their decision to stay or leave. I continue to love the fun and witty banter between all of these wonderful characters.
The story wraps up well, but will have people a bit frustrated I am sure. I am very eager to see where both the building-war and the Merit-Ethan thing ends up going. I am dying to read Hard Bitten now. I was a little disappointed that Mallory wasn't in the story more, she always adds a lot of fun. Hopefully we will see her more in future installments.
Overall the best book in this series, absolutely stellar. If you liked the first few books in this series you'll love this one. Tons of action, building tension between the shifters and vamps, and lots of Ethan-Merit moments. This was a super engaging and fun read. Highly recommended to fans of urban fantasy. Reminds a bit of the Night Huntress series; so if you like that series I think you will love this one as well.
I got this audiobook for free as part of Audible’s Christmas giveaway. I had never actually listened to the original tale of The Snow Queen and ended up enjoying it quite a bit.
When a nasty gremlin takes an evil mirror into the heavens it shatters into a million pieces. One of the pieces, small as a grain of sand, falls into the eye of a young boy. The young boy grows cruel and is eventually snared by the Snow Queen. Meanwhile his best friend Gerta goes on a magical quest to find and save the young boy.
This was a well done reading of this Hans Christian Anderson tale. The narrator does a wonderful job with voices and narration and it was a joy to listen to.
I have read a number of Snow Queen retellings, but have never read the original tale. It was interesting to finally read the source for all of those retellings. There is a lot of magic and adventure in this tale and I think it is something readers of all ages will enjoy.
Overall this was a short, yet very well done listen. I would recommend if you are interested in listening to the original tale of The Snow Queen. If you are interesting in reading a wonderful retelling of The Snow Queen I would recommend Breadcrumbs by Anne Ursu or Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy by Karen Foxlee.
This is the 2nd book in the Tiger’s Curse series. This is expected to be a five book series but a release date for the 5th book, The Tiger’s Dream, has yet to be announced. I didn’t enjoy this book quite as much as the The Tiger’s Curse. It starts out a lot slower and just wasn’t as exciting.
I listened to this on audiobook and it was very well done. The narrator does a wonderful job with all of the different accents and making character voices very distinct. She also did a great job conveying emotion as she was narrating. I really really think the narration of this series is excellent.
Kelsey is back in Oregon trying to get back to her old life. She’s started college classes and is living on her own. However her thoughts constantly return to Ren. When the evil mage from the first book tracks her down she flees back to India. There her and Ren’s brother, Kishan, continue on the quest to break the curse.
This book started out quite a bit slower than the first book of this series. There is a lot of Kelsey bemoaning the fact that she left Ren behind and trying to get past that by dating three guys at once. We hear a ton about her dating misfortunes and about how no one can compare to Ren. It was incredibly boring.
About halfway through, the story really picked up pace and was exciting again. For the second half of the book it is Kishan and Kelsey trying to figure out the next part of the curse. I really enjoyed these parts with all the adventure, traps, and riddles. Pretty much those elements of the story are the reason I keep reading this series.
I really enjoyed Kelsey’s level-headed behavior in the first book. I don’t know what happened to that in this book; she makes a lot of dumb decisions and is completely dense where Ren is concerned.
Kishan is in the story a ton and, although he is an okay character, I just didn’t like him that much. He spends a lot of time mooning after Kelsey even though Kelsey is obviously in love with his brother Ren. I think the whole scenario makes Kishan kind of an icky character.
There is a “twist” at the end involving Ren that you could see coming a mile away. It was soooooo predictable. I rolled my eyes and sighed when it happened. I mean seriously it is one of the lamest plot devices ever and I was really disappointed that that was the direction that Huock decided to take the story.
Despite all my complaints I do really enjoy the adventuring, the tomb-raiding, and the interesting curse. I love the mythology throughout as well. I just felt like the story was very unevenly paced and parts were outright boring. This book could have used some serious editing.
Although I didn't like this book as much as the first book there were parts that I did enjoy. I would recommend to those who enjoy young adult reads that include adventure and mythology; just be warned there is a bit of teen angsting in here...especially in the beginning that drags the story down some. Even give that I will continue to read this series.
This was the final book in the Bloodlines series by Mead. It ties everything up very nicely and I enjoyed it. You definitely need to read previous books in this series to understand what is happening in this one.
I listened to this on audiobook and the audiobooks for this series have been very well done. They have a narrator for Sydney and a narrator for Adrian; both narrators do an amazing job.
Sydney and Adrian are still being forced to hide out in the Moroi court in order to avoid the wrath of the Alchemists. However they are both desperate to find Jill as well. When Sydney gets a mysterious note her and Adrian hatch a plan for her to leave court to check it out. Meanwhile at court Adrian is trying to help track down Olive, a dhampir who went missing, and is having to use Spirit to do so. As both mysteries are unraveled the results are very unexpected.
This book does an excellent job of tying up the majority of the loose ends in this series. There is another storyline involving Olive that wasn’t fully resolved, I am guessing this will be the subject of a future spin-off series.
I really enjoyed how Sydney and Adrian have both grown as characters throughout the series. Sydney is becoming more and more powerful in her human magic and has learned to accept help from others. Adrian still makes mistakes, but he is learning to better temper his Spirit use.
I always have a bit of trouble reviewing final books in a series. This one is pretty much what you would expect. Nothing crazy happens, I think in general the ending will please most of the readers of this series. I enjoyed some of the new magic we got to see and loved watching Adrian wield Spirit in new and unexpected ways.
Overall this was a great ending to this series. I think fans of the Bloodlines series will enjoy it. I would definitely recommend this whole series to those who enjoy young adult paranormal books with magic and romance.
This is the third book in the Night Prince series, an offshoot from the Night Huntress series that features Vlad and Leila. There were so many things wrong with this book. Additionally, although this story wraps up the Szilagyi storyline, it starts a whole new storyline. So, this is definitely not the last book in the series.
I listened to this on audiobook and the narrator gives Leila a somewhat shrill voice (which is nothing compared to the voice she gives Leila's sister...whenever her sister Gretchen talks my ears actually hurt). This didn’t add to my enjoyment of this book. A lot of the Romanian males also sound very similar as well. This is the same narrator that did the Night Huntress novels, but in this book she just isn’t as good.
Leila and her family are still in hiding from Vlad’s greatest enemy, Szilagyi. Until they can finally hunt Szilagyi down and destroy him none of them will be safe.
Yep, the above is about the extent of this storyline, not much more to it than that. Oh wait, I should mention that Leila gets kidnapped...again. Is anyone surprised?
Although I have always enjoyed Vlad as a character, I have really never liked Leila. She just seems so overly dramatic, whiny, incredibly ditsy and annoying (her electricity power is cool though).
I was happy to see that Vlad and Leila do grow in their relationship some. However, I did feel like Vlad was a domineering jerk still and that Leila was way too accepting. Also Leila’s angst over her actions while she was held captive (yes she is kidnapped yet again because that is the only storyline that works for this series I guess) was absolutely ridiculous.
I had huge issues with things like the one I mentioned in my update on Goodreads. For example potential rape is portrayed as being more devastating than actually being skinned alive. I agree rape is awful...even being threatened with rape is awful, but being skinned alive will kill you (okay maybe not if you are a vampire)...but as far as torture goes I feel like they are kind of on different scales. I also had problems with a scene involving Leila, Maximus, and duct tape; way too much time was spent on this scene, there is just too much detail, and I just didn't care all that much...seriously this was like a 40 minute scene in the audiobook.
All in all I thought most of this book was more campy than interesting or engaging. Some of the scenes are just so over the top. The dialogue between the characters also came off as awkward, stilted, and just plain ridiculous at times.
Overall this was an awful book. I understand I am in the minority here...but come on...nothing about this book was good. The storyline was similar to all the other storylines in this series, the characters were annoying, and the plot pretty much wasn’t there. To be fair I didn't really like the second book in this series either. I just read this one because it was supposed to wrap up the series...which it did not do. I definitely won't be reading any more books in this series. I would personally recommend skipping the whole Night Prince series. The Night Huntress series was great, the Night Prince series was a great idea that has been poorly executed.
This is the first book in The Tiger Saga. There are currently four books in this series, with a fifth book (The Tiger’s Dream) planned to release in 2015 sometime (although it seems like this book has been pushed back quite a few times). I have had this book forever to read. I was actually surprised at how much I loved this book. The Indian mythology incorporated throughout the story is very cool and something I haven’t read much about before. I also loved the tomb-raider style adventures.
I listened to this on audiobook and the audiobook was very very well done. The narrator does an excellent job with the accents of different characters, adds a lot of emotion to the characters’ voices, and had very distinctive voices for all of the characters. This is definitely a series I can recommend listening to on audiobook if you love audiobooks.
Kelsey is looking for a temporary summer job and finds one at a circus helping to care for the animals there. This is how she meets Ren, a white tiger in the circus who seems lonely. Ren and Kelsey strike up a tiger/human friendship of sorts. Then to Kelsey’s surprise a man shows up to buy Ren and asks if Kelsey would be willing to accompany Ren back to India to a wildlife reserve. This is when things get strange. Kelsey finds out that Ren is really a young man cursed to be a tiger and he needs her help breaking a 300 year old Indian curse.
I was impressed with Kelsey as a character and really enjoyed reading about her. She was so level-headed and took things in stride so easily. She is smart and practical and very mature for her age. I did have a bit of problem with the whole “Oh, sure I’ll fly off to India and go on tomb-raider quest, no problem!” thing. I thought it was a bit improbable especially considering how practical Kelsey is in other areas of her life, but once I got past that I really enjoyed the story.
Ren was a wonderful character and the romance between him and Kelsey is very well done. I will admit I wanted to smack the two of them at points. But they have great chemistry together and are dealing with some very unique relationship issues. I really enjoyed that Kelsey had a great relationship with Ren the tiger, but that is was a lot different from her relationship with Ren the man. That totally makes sense and I love that Kelsey and Ren the man had to have time to get to know and like each other as well.
There is a lot of wonderful tomb-raider style adventure in here which I absolutely loved. The traps and trials that Kelsey and Ren had to go through were very interesting, exciting, and creative (and definitely things I am happy I will never have to do).
I also really loved the Indian mythology woven throughout the story. This is a mythology I don’t know a lot about, so it was very cool to read about it in this book.
Overall I really loved this book to pieces. It’s definitely a well done young adult fantasy, with a number of elements I really enjoyed. I look forward to reading the next book in the series. This is a young adult book I think adults will enjoy too. There is a lot of adventure and mythology and mystery, as well as some romance and fantasy elements. Definitely recommended; I wish I had read this sooner!
I got this as a free audiobook from Audible.com. This the sequel to Sanderson’s book Legion. This was an interesting and engaging book. It follows a different investigation and story than Legion did, but uses some of the same characters as we saw in Legion. I enjoyed the story.
I listened to this on audiobook and it was narrated by the same narrator as the Monster Hunter International books (which honestly confused me a bit at first, I thought I was listening to an MHI book). The narrator does an excellent job and I really enjoyed this as an audiobook.
Stephen Leeds is a genius who has packed knowledge into other people or Aspects. He can summon these aspects to obtain the knowledge he needs in certain situations. Leeds is hired by I3 to recover a missing corpse. The corpse is not just any corpse though, it is a scientist who has modified his cells to hold information. It’s a very valuable corpse and potentially a dangerous one, a side effect of this potentially viral genetic modification is that people lose parts of their DNA and develop cancer.
This was an investigative thriller with some paranormal elements. It was a well done and engaging story. You get a lot of story for the short length of the book.
I love the idea of someone having multiple aspects or people that are only visible to them. I love how Leeds uses these aspects to hold his vast repository of knowledge but still has to treat them like normal people. So, for example they need a place to sleep and need to be transported places, etc. If Leeds aspects aren’t with him he can’t access the knowledge they hold.
We get a little more insight into how Leeds’ aspects work in this book, but there are still a lot of questions around that. We also get to meet some new aspects.
Overall this was a well done paranormal thriller. Leeds is a fascinating character and solves an engaging mystery in this book. The Legion series is very different from anything else Sanderson writes. And, although I don’t like these books as much as his fantasy novels, it is a very well done and engaging series. I would recommend both to Sanderson fans and to fans of paranormal thrillers.
I am a huge fan of Correia’s Monster Hunter International (MHI) series. I have been wanting to read the Grimnoir Chronicles for some time and just finally got around to it. This book is more of a paranormal alternate history of sorts than a horror. It was really well done, but I still enjoy the MHI series a bit more.
I listened to this on audiobook and the narrator did a great job with having distinctive voices for all of the characters and portraying their emotion well. I did have a couple problems with the narration. The narrator talks really really slow; so I ended up listening to this at 1.5x on Audible. Also a couple voices for the characters (primarily Jake Sullivan’s voice) are really really low in tone; this made it very hard to understand what Jake was saying. I listen to these while driving and I really had to crank up the volume to hear these low toned voices over the background road noise...and then the other parts were way too loud. So I might recommend skipping this on audiobook unless you are going to listen to it in a quiet area.
Jake Sullivan is finally out of prison on a deal. He needs to help the government solve a certain number of crimes involving magic before he is let go on a shortened sentence. Jake himself is a magic user or active and can control gravity and density aka a “Heavy”. During one of his government jobs he finds out that one of the Actives he’s hunting down is an old flame of his and he just can’t believe she would kill people. He’s troubled by this and when the government renegs on their deal with him Jake is pretty pissed. That’s when he gets an offer to join a secret Organization called the Grimnoir who is in an eternal struggle with the Chairman. The Chairman is an evil entity set on destroying the world as we know it.
This book, like many books being release now, is a mish mash of a whole bunch of genres. There’s a ton of action and gun talk which is very typical of Correia’s book. There are also a lot of superhero elements to the story since all of the characters have very superhero-like abilities. There’s a bit of a gangster feel to the whole story as well. Additionally there are some paranormal aspects with the whole magic thing and the Chairman. There’s also a lot of adventure and some steampunk elements (dirigibles, experimental medicine, etc) and the story is very much of the alternate history variety.
There was a lot I really loved in this book. I loved the idea of magic abilities that are founded in principles that bend science (manipulating mass, gravity, density of objects). I really loved some of the characters as well. Faye is a lot of fun as a character; she is a teen that is a Traveler and can travel through space. She is so happy go lucky and funny and so darn strong; she is a hoot to read about. I also really enjoyed Delilah, she is a petite women who is a Brute and can pretty much muscle anything or anyone into submission. I also really enjoyed the mysterious and evil Chairman; he is a wonderfully complex villain.
There were also some things I didn’t like about the book. I never really enjoyed Jake as a character; he was just so serious and he reminded me a lot of Owen Pitt from MHI. He’s super big, super smart but always underestimated because of his size, and has a special connection to magical powers (all characteristics very similar to Owen). I just never really clicked with him and didn’t really enjoy his parts of the story. I also thought the story was a bit predictable. There were some twists and turns in here, but I kind of saw where everything was going from pretty early on.
Overall this was a very well done action packed alternate history/fantasy from Correai. I would definitely recommend, although I will admit I didn’t enjoy this book quite as much as the MHI books. I did really enjoyed the magic system in this book and all of the action. There are some awesome character in here as well. I will definitely continue reading the sereis. Recommended to those who enjoy action packed alternate history with fantasy and magic.
This is the first book in the Clockwork Heart trilogy by Pagliassotti. I have had this book in my to read pile for a very long time and was excited to finally get around to reading it. It was a very enjoyable steampunk fantasy with a lot of mystery and some romance.
I listened to this on audiobook and it was well done. The narrator did an excellent job of conveying emotion and I enjoyed her voice. There were a few spots where it was hard to tell who was talking (the voices just weren’t different enough between characters) but aside from that I enjoyed listening to this.
Taya is an Icarus, she wears giant metal wings and flies messages around the great city of Ondinium. Her life changes when she spots a failing in the wire ferry lines and ends up rescuing a woman and child from the Exalted caste of citizens. In an effort to thank her the Exalted draws Taya into her life and Taya gains a celebrity-like status. Suddenly Taya finds herself not only embroiled in high level politics but also trying to solve a mystery involving murder and theft.
I really enjoyed this steampunk mystery. There are some wonderful steampunk elements in the story, the characters are engaging and interesting, and the world-building is well done. There is a complex caste system that was well described. I also really loved the city of Ondinium and how is has multiple layers and runs off of analytical engines.
The book is mostly a mystery. Taya is following a series of accidents and coincidences to try and figure out what is going on. There is a bit of a romance as well, but I didn't really feel like this book was a romance per-say (not sure why it is advertised as such).
Taya is an awesome character. She is curious and determined but never gets too serious. She doesn’t know when to stop and constantly runs herself into the ground trying to solve problems.
I also really enjoyed the character of Cristoff. He is an Exalted that left the caste to become a clockmaker among the lower caste. He is such a noble, honest, and geeky type that I just loved him.
This was an engaging read that I enjoyed. My only complaint would be that the story went a bit long, I think it would have worked better if it had ended earlier. There is some humor in here as well, which was fun.
I also have a very specific complaint as a chemist. At one point the character smells an ammonia-like smell and identifies it as methanol...totally not accurate. Methanol smells a lot like rubbing alcohol and absolutely nothing like ammonia. I know...I know a small quibble but it bugged me.
Overall this was a great book and I really enjoyed it. This book had some fantastic world-building, lots of fun steampunk elements, and very engaging characters. It is mostly a mystery with a bit of romance. I would recommend to fans of steampunk novels that involve a lot of political intrigue. I definitely plan on reading the last two books in this series.
This is the first book in the Stormwalker series. The fifth book in that series will be titled, Dreamwalker, and is expected to release in June 2015. This was an action packed paranormal romance with a story that was incredibly flawed.
I listened to this on audiobook and it was okay. It was nothing spectacular but the narrator did a decent job distinguishing between character voices.
Janet Begay is a Stormwalker whose mother is a Goddess from Beneath. Janet moves back to her hometown to face her mother once and for all and to investigate the disappearance of a young woman. Right after her arrival things start to get tricky. Janet is being attacked by Skinwalkers and her ex-boyfriend (the mysterious Mick) shows up to help. Janet hasn’t seen Mick in five years but is still drawn to him. Together they try and track down the missing woman, all the while dodging evil attacks from Janet’s mother.
I was intrigued by the idea of a character, Janet, who can harness the power of storms. The idea ended up being cooler than what was actually done in this book. I actually struggled to finish this book, it was just so ridiculous. Considering I was listening to this as an audiobook while I languished in traffic, that’s saying something...I hardly ever stop reading an audiobook.
There were a lot of problems with this story and a lot of things I didn't enjoy about the story. My main issue was the relationship between Mick and Janet, which left a lot to be desired. Pretty much if they have any problems they just have sex and then everything is good until they have problems again. So silly.
Sex is a huge part of this book, Janet is pretty much obsessed with sex. Which I don’t have a problem with...except the sex scenes were very poorly done. They are boring and not at all creative. I feel like if you are going to make a book that features sex, you should be able to write about it in a way that is engaging.
Even sillier is the part where Mick tells Janet that he's not sleeping with her again until she decides that she really wants Mick in her life...then...you guessed it...a couple chapters later they get pissed at each other and have sex. Huge eye roll here.
When Mick reveals his big secret Janet gets all whiny and immature about it all. I swear she acted like a two year old throwing a tantrum. I mean is she seriously that blind that she didn’t see something was going on with Mick? I understand she is pissed about the secret thing, however she is the one who lets this guy walk all over her without ever questioning his motives. In general Janet's character is extremely immature and makes a lot of bad decisions throughout the book. I hate dumb heroines.
There was some good action scenes in here and the fight scenes are decently done. However, there were also a lot of parts where things don't quite make sense or are over-explained. There is some awkward dialogue as well.
Overall this was a paranormal romance (PNR) that epitomizes a lot of things I hate about poorly done PNR. There is an abusive relationship (that is pushed as being a loving one), a stupid and dense heroine, lots of sex that is poorly done, and an underdeveloped world. The book does have a bit of an urban fantasy feel to it because there is a lot of action, but there is also a lot of relationship drama and sex that reminded me more of a PNR. I pretty much detested this book and won't be reading any more of this series.
I got this as a free audiobook from audible.com. I am a chemical engineer/chemist by trade and thought this sounded like an interesting read. The book is narrated by the author Candace Pert.
The very first thing I noticed is that the author is incredibly conceited, she spends a lot of time bragging about her accomplishments right away. This book is more of an autobiography than an actually book behind the science of emotion.
There are some interesting theories in this book, that I think many people would agree with. The main theory is that emotional state is caused by a variety of chemicals, particularly peptids. These molecules not only have an influence on your emotions but on your overall physical health as well, you can't really separate the two. I think this theory was groundbreaking at the time, but much more widely accepted now.
There is a also a lot of discussion about the male domination of science and how hard the author had to work to get recognized. I think maybe this might have been more true in the 70's than today. The author also comes to the realization by the end that maybe it was her aggressive attitude and combativeness that caused some of her issues with her male cohorts and I couldn't agree more.
Working as a female in a male dominated field I have found that the opinion of those around you (male or otherwise) is fed by your attitude towards them. I have never had a ton of issue with my male coworkers respecting me and treating me as an equal. I had some issues in college, but now that I am working with the people I want to work with and in a field I am comfortable in it just hasn't been an issue. If you have an attitude of competence, but aren't completely arrogant, I don't think you will have much of an issue.
Okay stepping off my soapbox now...
Overall this was an interesting read, but not exactly what I was hoping for or expecting. It is more an autobiography of Pert’s work and a treatise on the struggles of female scientists than an explanation behind the chemicals that guide our emotional and physical health. It was free so I can’t really complain, but I wouldn’t really recommend it either.
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