July 12, 2012 / 8:29AM 5 notes

Once Burned: a Night Prince Novel, by Jeaniene Frost
I will forgive the wonky Photoshop on that cover because guess what! That guy actually looks like the main character is described! Awesome, right?
Also awesome: that guy that you’re looking at up there? He’s Vlad Tepesh. Aka Vlad the Impaler. AKA DRACULA. THAT GUY IS DRACULA!!!!! Depending on how much you like Dracula stories or how many times you’ve read The Historian even though it’s not that great or how much you dig Gary Oldman swanning around as the Foxy Prince Vlad with the Blue Glasses (among other Draculas) in Bram Stoker’s Dracula, you will be either fucking psyched about this book or you will immediately know that this is not the book for you.
Targeted advertising works, because as soon as this book was released I saw ads for it on just about every website I visited, and it only took three or four views before I caved and bought this book. I was fucking psyched.
Jeaniene Frost is a great paranormal romance writer, and I was delighted to see that this new series will also be a part of her Night Huntress universe. I was also pleased that the heroine, Leila, was an ass-kicking take-no-shit supergirl, in the same vein as our beloved Cat. The hero, Vlad, has shown up a few times in the Night Huntress series, and has always been a delightful side character and he is an EXCELLENT romantic lead. But like I said, either the Dracula bit works for you or it doesn’t.
Leila has a spooky power over electricity and also some psychic abilities, which brings her to Vlad, and together they have to solve a mystery and find a guy who wants to kill Vlad, which doesn’t really narrow it down too much when about 50% of the vampire world wants to off him for one reason or another. Most of the book takes place in VLAD’S CASTLE, and if you’re like me, you’re freaking out a bit because OHMYGOD CASTLES, HOW COOL. The romance is fierce and exciting from the minute Vlad and Leila meet, and even though it shares some of the imbalances that the Cat/Bones relationship did, it works decently well. Most of the time. At least 60% of the time. 
One complaint: this is obviously the first book in the series, and it feels like Frost cut it off in the middle of the story. I KNOOWWWWW that that’s the point of a series, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Like many of the Night Huntress books, this does not feel like a complete story. The ending felt very, very rushed to me, and while I’ll pick up the next book in the series, this one went out with a fizzle rather than a Dracula-sized clap of thunder or rushing mist or chase to beat the sunrise.
Recommended for: come on. For Dracula fans. For Jeaniene Frost fans. For people who don’t like their vampires to sparkle.

Once Burned: a Night Prince Novel, by Jeaniene Frost

I will forgive the wonky Photoshop on that cover because guess what! That guy actually looks like the main character is described! Awesome, right?

Also awesome: that guy that you’re looking at up there? He’s Vlad Tepesh. Aka Vlad the Impaler. AKA DRACULA. THAT GUY IS DRACULA!!!!! Depending on how much you like Dracula stories or how many times you’ve read The Historian even though it’s not that great or how much you dig Gary Oldman swanning around as the Foxy Prince Vlad with the Blue Glasses (among other Draculas) in Bram Stoker’s Dracula, you will be either fucking psyched about this book or you will immediately know that this is not the book for you.

Targeted advertising works, because as soon as this book was released I saw ads for it on just about every website I visited, and it only took three or four views before I caved and bought this book. I was fucking psyched.

Jeaniene Frost is a great paranormal romance writer, and I was delighted to see that this new series will also be a part of her Night Huntress universe. I was also pleased that the heroine, Leila, was an ass-kicking take-no-shit supergirl, in the same vein as our beloved Cat. The hero, Vlad, has shown up a few times in the Night Huntress series, and has always been a delightful side character and he is an EXCELLENT romantic lead. But like I said, either the Dracula bit works for you or it doesn’t.

Leila has a spooky power over electricity and also some psychic abilities, which brings her to Vlad, and together they have to solve a mystery and find a guy who wants to kill Vlad, which doesn’t really narrow it down too much when about 50% of the vampire world wants to off him for one reason or another. Most of the book takes place in VLAD’S CASTLE, and if you’re like me, you’re freaking out a bit because OHMYGOD CASTLES, HOW COOL. The romance is fierce and exciting from the minute Vlad and Leila meet, and even though it shares some of the imbalances that the Cat/Bones relationship did, it works decently well. Most of the time. At least 60% of the time.

One complaint: this is obviously the first book in the series, and it feels like Frost cut it off in the middle of the story. I KNOOWWWWW that that’s the point of a series, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Like many of the Night Huntress books, this does not feel like a complete story. The ending felt very, very rushed to me, and while I’ll pick up the next book in the series, this one went out with a fizzle rather than a Dracula-sized clap of thunder or rushing mist or chase to beat the sunrise.

Recommended for: come on. For Dracula fans. For Jeaniene Frost fans. For people who don’t like their vampires to sparkle.

jeaniene frostonce burnedromance novelsparanormal romancereviewsnight prince series

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June 21, 2012 / 10:03PM 6 notes

Dark Prince by Christine Feehan (audio version)
WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS BOOK AND WHY DO PEOPLE LIKE IT?
I mean, hello. It’s been a while. In the time since I last posted, I’ve been busy, but still reading. Middlesex was fantastic, as you could have predicted. I finally got into A Week to be Wicked, and I’m sorry about those mean things I said before - it is turning out to be a completely wonderful book and I adore it. 
I also started a new job with an hour-each-way driving commute. So. I strolled down to my local library (I literally live close enough to stroll down there, isn’t that great) and demanded the longest, trashiest-looking audiobook they had. Behold, DARK PRINCE, the author’s cut, in 16 (!!!) CD’s. 
On the way home today, I was listening to CD 11. And girl, I am fucking DONE. Done done done done done with this whole ridiculous book and this series and this author and I am just going to up and quit. SBTB has a pretty good takedown of why these books can get repetitive and annoying, but I have one question: WHY DO PEOPLE KEEP CALLING THEM ADDICTIVE AND READ 18954879 BOOKS BEFORE QUITTING? You don’t have to do this to yourselves! There’s good paranormal romance series out there! Read those instead! 
Here’s the plot. I will describe it briefly, you can just pretend I spent 1200 pages telling you about it because this shit is LONG: 
Raven Whitney is a psychic girl who helps detectives find serial killers (in an unofficial capacity - this part is not really explained well. Do they know she’s psychic? Why do they know to come to her in the first place? It’s just as well this plot device is abandoned halfway through, because you never get any juicy procedural information). She just finished tracking a particularly nasty killer and is in the Carpathian mountains to recuperate.
… 
Yes, her relaxing dream vacation is apparently in the Carpathian mountains. Forget Bali or Tahiti or St. Lucia, Raven Whitney wants complete and total isolation, which means that she’ll fork over her hard-earned money (Do they even pay her to catch serial killers? This is of course never mentioned.) and head straight into the middle of vampire country. Except she has no interest in vampire myths. I really can’t commend her enough on her vacation choice here.
Anyways, she meets Mikhail, who is a big sexy Dark Prince and he sees her and knows she is his “lifemate” and he begins to feel emotions and see in color again. I’m not kidding, that actually happens. 
Mikhail and Raven hook it up, despite Raven having 100 existential crises, Mikhail using his magical vampire* juju to send her to sleep 100 times, and Mikhail using his magical vampire dick to sex her up a lot more times. You guys, I actually got BORED with the constant sex. I don’t even know myself anymore. 
*technically, Mikhail is not actually a vampire, but if it looks like a vampire and drinks blood like a vampire and is overprotective and broody and exchanges blood during sex like a vampire in a paranormal romance novel, it’s a vampire.
Raven is a total Bellaand even though she nominally opposes Mikhail and stands up for herself, she is weak and boring. She also has long legs despite being impossible small, and of course she has “full breasts” and a tiny waist. Those things are described a lot. Her family, her interests besides vacationing in the Carpathians and sexing vampires, her preferences, and her history are not described at all. At all. Her past is dismissed with “She had no real family back in the States” so … she might as well just hang out with a vampire prince? 
It could just be that the audiobook made the repetitiveness of the book more evident, or perhaps I didn’t really like the reader (I didn’t), but today something in me snapped and I decided that if I heard “But Raven … you are my lifemate" one more time I was going to run my car off the road. 
Read it if Twilight wasn’t sexy enough, or if Jeaniene Frost’s Night Huntress series wasn’t boring enough. 

Dark Prince by Christine Feehan (audio version)


WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS BOOK AND WHY DO PEOPLE LIKE IT?

I mean, hello. It’s been a while. In the time since I last posted, I’ve been busy, but still reading. Middlesex was fantastic, as you could have predicted. I finally got into A Week to be Wicked, and I’m sorry about those mean things I said before - it is turning out to be a completely wonderful book and I adore it. 

I also started a new job with an hour-each-way driving commute. So. I strolled down to my local library (I literally live close enough to stroll down there, isn’t that great) and demanded the longest, trashiest-looking audiobook they had. Behold, DARK PRINCE, the author’s cut, in 16 (!!!) CD’s. 

On the way home today, I was listening to CD 11. And girl, I am fucking DONE. Done done done done done with this whole ridiculous book and this series and this author and I am just going to up and quit. SBTB has a pretty good takedown of why these books can get repetitive and annoying, but I have one question: WHY DO PEOPLE KEEP CALLING THEM ADDICTIVE AND READ 18954879 BOOKS BEFORE QUITTING? You don’t have to do this to yourselves! There’s good paranormal romance series out there! Read those instead! 

Here’s the plot. I will describe it briefly, you can just pretend I spent 1200 pages telling you about it because this shit is LONG: 

Raven Whitney is a psychic girl who helps detectives find serial killers (in an unofficial capacity - this part is not really explained well. Do they know she’s psychic? Why do they know to come to her in the first place? It’s just as well this plot device is abandoned halfway through, because you never get any juicy procedural information). She just finished tracking a particularly nasty killer and is in the Carpathian mountains to recuperate.

… 

Yes, her relaxing dream vacation is apparently in the Carpathian mountains. Forget Bali or Tahiti or St. Lucia, Raven Whitney wants complete and total isolation, which means that she’ll fork over her hard-earned money (Do they even pay her to catch serial killers? This is of course never mentioned.) and head straight into the middle of vampire country. Except she has no interest in vampire myths. I really can’t commend her enough on her vacation choice here.

Anyways, she meets Mikhail, who is a big sexy Dark Prince and he sees her and knows she is his “lifemate” and he begins to feel emotions and see in color again. I’m not kidding, that actually happens. 

Mikhail and Raven hook it up, despite Raven having 100 existential crises, Mikhail using his magical vampire* juju to send her to sleep 100 times, and Mikhail using his magical vampire dick to sex her up a lot more times. You guys, I actually got BORED with the constant sex. I don’t even know myself anymore. 

*technically, Mikhail is not actually a vampire, but if it looks like a vampire and drinks blood like a vampire and is overprotective and broody and exchanges blood during sex like a vampire in a paranormal romance novel, it’s a vampire.

Raven is a total Bellaand even though she nominally opposes Mikhail and stands up for herself, she is weak and boring. She also has long legs despite being impossible small, and of course she has “full breasts” and a tiny waist. Those things are described a lot. Her family, her interests besides vacationing in the Carpathians and sexing vampires, her preferences, and her history are not described at all. At all. Her past is dismissed with “She had no real family back in the States” so … she might as well just hang out with a vampire prince? 

It could just be that the audiobook made the repetitiveness of the book more evident, or perhaps I didn’t really like the reader (I didn’t), but today something in me snapped and I decided that if I heard “But Raven … you are my lifemate" one more time I was going to run my car off the road. 

Read it if Twilight wasn’t sexy enough, or if Jeaniene Frost’s Night Huntress series wasn’t boring enough. 

dark princechristine feehanunpopular opinionsparanormal romancereview

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May 16, 2012 / 2:41PM 2 notes

The Demon’s Librarian by Lilith Saintcrow
GOOD LORD is that an awful cover. 
I got this book because I still don’t want to read A Week to Be Wicked by Tessa Dare. Sorry. Most of you will only have to take a look at the title to see why this book instantly appealed to me. And many of you will be delighted to hear that the main character, Chess, is really a librarian. She has an advanced degree and everything! Whether or not the lead guy, Ryan (or Orion, in case you thought you’d escaped from Paranormal Nameville) is ACTUALLY a demon is up for debate. He is half demon, or DRAKUL. If you’ve seen Bram Stoker’s Dracula 187 times like I have, this name will be familiar. If not, don’t worry. Lilith Saintcrow (don’t you LOVE that name?) packs a lot of exposition into this book. Unfortunately, said exposition is not exactly seamless. This is one of the few (only?) paranormal romances I’ve read recently that’s not part of a series, and Lilith Saintcrow (I’m just going to type that as many times as possible) has pretty lofty ambitions for a standalone book. There is an Order (there’s always an Order), and different kinds and classes of demons, and people called Maliks who are humans, and Maliks are protected by Drakul. Chess does not QUITE fit into the scheme of things. She discovered a ~*~SECRET LABORATORY~*~ in her library and is doing her best as an amateur demon hunter on her own. Can you believe how many parenthesis are in this review? I predict more. I don’t have all that much to say about this book. My two main complaints are that the exposition is a bit clunky, and also this is a romance that’s pretty lacking on the romance. They kiss. That’s it. You will probably find yourself saying “That’s IT?” I’ve read YA books that are more explicit. All in all, this was not a bad use of my epic train commute, and it’s pretty good if you like books and wish Buffy had read more. I’d be willing to check out more Lilith Saintcrow on the basis of her name alone, but she seems like a decent writer and I’ll keep an eye out for more.

The Demon’s Librarian by Lilith Saintcrow

GOOD LORD is that an awful cover. 

I got this book because I still don’t want to read A Week to Be Wicked by Tessa Dare. Sorry.

Most of you will only have to take a look at the title to see why this book instantly appealed to me. And many of you will be delighted to hear that the main character, Chess, is really a librarian. She has an advanced degree and everything! Whether or not the lead guy, Ryan (or Orion, in case you thought you’d escaped from Paranormal Nameville) is ACTUALLY a demon is up for debate. He is half demon, or DRAKUL. If you’ve seen Bram Stoker’s Dracula 187 times like I have, this name will be familiar. If not, don’t worry. Lilith Saintcrow (don’t you LOVE that name?) packs a lot of exposition into this book.

Unfortunately, said exposition is not exactly seamless. This is one of the few (only?) paranormal romances I’ve read recently that’s not part of a series, and Lilith Saintcrow (I’m just going to type that as many times as possible) has pretty lofty ambitions for a standalone book. There is an Order (there’s always an Order), and different kinds and classes of demons, and people called Maliks who are humans, and Maliks are protected by Drakul. Chess does not QUITE fit into the scheme of things. She discovered a ~*~SECRET LABORATORY~*~ in her library and is doing her best as an amateur demon hunter on her own.

Can you believe how many parenthesis are in this review? I predict more.

I don’t have all that much to say about this book. My two main complaints are that the exposition is a bit clunky, and also this is a romance that’s pretty lacking on the romance. They kiss. That’s it. You will probably find yourself saying “That’s IT?” I’ve read YA books that are more explicit.

All in all, this was not a bad use of my epic train commute, and it’s pretty good if you like books and wish Buffy had read more. I’d be willing to check out more Lilith Saintcrow on the basis of her name alone, but she seems like a decent writer and I’ll keep an eye out for more.

paranormal romancealthough this might really just be UFurban fantasylilith saintcrowLILITH SAINTCROWamazing author namesthe demon's librarian

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March 14, 2012 / 8:51PM 10 notes

A Few Words on the Alpha and Omega Series, by Patricia Briggs 
This is a werewolf romance series. There is basically no new ground to cover in a werewolf romance series, but Patricia Briggs does a pretty good job of refreshing the genre enough to make this worth reading. I waited for probably a year for the third book in the series to come out, if that says anything. You probably know Ms. Briggs from her Mercy Thompson series, who if I remember correctly is a coyote shifter somewhere in the Pacific Northwest and I read the first book of that series and was like, yeah okay whatever, and I didn’t feel the need to continue (though the Alpha and Omega books have a bit of overlap and the latest book indicated that Mercy hooked up with someone verrry interesting). 
The Alpha and Omega series is a lot more appealing to me personally, since I’m a sucker for alpha heroes, and the dude in this series, Charles, is basically one of the highest alphas to ever alpha. He’s half Native American and half Welsh, and his father is the leader of all North American werewolves. Charles himself is the pack’s executioner and justice dealer. He’s big, he’s strong, he’s fast, and he’s almost unbeatable. 
So, as it always goes in these kinds of books, he’s paired with his opposite. Charles finds Anna, a newly-changed werewolf, after she calls for help. Her pack alpha has gone insane, the rest of the pack has not fared much better. Anna, considered the most submissive wolf of the pack, has been horribly abused by her leaders. So she’s mistrustful of all people, not to mention men, double not to mention scary men like Charles.
Charles meets Anna, and he pretty quickly figures out that she’s not a submissive wolf, she’s actually something called an Omega wolf. In Briggs’ universe, Omega wolves are the counterpoint to the Alpha wolves. They are neither dominant nor submissive and they’re a sort of soothing emotional presence for all other wolves. It’s hard to explain, and I’m not doing a very good job, but it makes sense the way Briggs presents it. 
Series that follow one couple through multiple books obviously hinge on the strength of that couple, and in my mind, Anna and Charles get a solid A. They’re very different (… obviously), but their pairing is very sweet and steamy enough to keep it interesting but slow enough that it’s believable, particularly given Anna’s past. 
The books all involve a standalone mystery of some kind, and this is another aspect that I really enjoy. I looove a good procedural, and the fact that there’s a romance involved makes these books a rich treat for me. 
The third book, Fair Game, came out last week, and admittedly it was not as strong as the first two. I’m starting to wonder if one SHOULD read the Mercy Thompson series to fully appreciate the Alpha and Omega series, and the ending was rather rushed and was sort of clumsily paving the way for another book. 
That said, I guess I’ll be waiting however long it takes to read the next one. 

A Few Words on the Alpha and Omega Series, by Patricia Briggs

This is a werewolf romance series. There is basically no new ground to cover in a werewolf romance series, but Patricia Briggs does a pretty good job of refreshing the genre enough to make this worth reading. I waited for probably a year for the third book in the series to come out, if that says anything. You probably know Ms. Briggs from her Mercy Thompson series, who if I remember correctly is a coyote shifter somewhere in the Pacific Northwest and I read the first book of that series and was like, yeah okay whatever, and I didn’t feel the need to continue (though the Alpha and Omega books have a bit of overlap and the latest book indicated that Mercy hooked up with someone verrry interesting).

The Alpha and Omega series is a lot more appealing to me personally, since I’m a sucker for alpha heroes, and the dude in this series, Charles, is basically one of the highest alphas to ever alpha. He’s half Native American and half Welsh, and his father is the leader of all North American werewolves. Charles himself is the pack’s executioner and justice dealer. He’s big, he’s strong, he’s fast, and he’s almost unbeatable.

So, as it always goes in these kinds of books, he’s paired with his opposite. Charles finds Anna, a newly-changed werewolf, after she calls for help. Her pack alpha has gone insane, the rest of the pack has not fared much better. Anna, considered the most submissive wolf of the pack, has been horribly abused by her leaders. So she’s mistrustful of all people, not to mention men, double not to mention scary men like Charles.

Charles meets Anna, and he pretty quickly figures out that she’s not a submissive wolf, she’s actually something called an Omega wolf. In Briggs’ universe, Omega wolves are the counterpoint to the Alpha wolves. They are neither dominant nor submissive and they’re a sort of soothing emotional presence for all other wolves. It’s hard to explain, and I’m not doing a very good job, but it makes sense the way Briggs presents it. 

Series that follow one couple through multiple books obviously hinge on the strength of that couple, and in my mind, Anna and Charles get a solid A. They’re very different (… obviously), but their pairing is very sweet and steamy enough to keep it interesting but slow enough that it’s believable, particularly given Anna’s past. 

The books all involve a standalone mystery of some kind, and this is another aspect that I really enjoy. I looove a good procedural, and the fact that there’s a romance involved makes these books a rich treat for me. 

The third book, Fair Game, came out last week, and admittedly it was not as strong as the first two. I’m starting to wonder if one SHOULD read the Mercy Thompson series to fully appreciate the Alpha and Omega series, and the ending was rather rushed and was sort of clumsily paving the way for another book. 

That said, I guess I’ll be waiting however long it takes to read the next one. 

patricia briggsalpha and omegacry wolfhunting groundsfair gamemercy thompsonbooksreviewslitromance novelsparanormal romance

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March 8, 2012 / 9:49PM 9 notes

Timeless by Gail Carriger
So when was the last time you finished a series and felt completely satisfied by the last book? Oh, yeah. And I guess the series I read before that one ended pretty well. Okay you know what, are there ANY standalone romance novels anymore? 
Anyways. That is not the subject at hand.
Gail Carriger did a pretty great job with the Parasol Protectorate series. The first book, Soulless, is an exceptionally good paranormal romance. The rest of the books sort of zig zag back and forth between being okay and being GREAT and pretty good and then we’ve got this one, which is pretty good, but Gail Carriger even when she’s not at her best is still a highly enjoyable and amusing read. She writes in highly stylized but very jokey prose, and I probably cracked at least one smile on every page. 
In this book, Alexia Maccon, her husband, her daughter Prudence (who is an excellent character, btdubs), and a collection of actors go to Egypt for reasons that are way spoilery. Back in London, all of your old favorites investigate a murder (well, Lord Akeldama mostly watches and says italicsy things). Gail Carriger has always been LGBT-friendly, and I’m happy to share that there’s a M/M secondary romance that is very sweet. 
The end is a bit of a clusterfuck as Ms. Carriger ties together just about every loose end dangling throughout the whole series, but it’s a witty clusterfuck and in the end it’s tied up in a big fancy ribbon and served with tea and assorted pastries. 
There are no surprises here, but it’s light, relaxing reading and an airy finish to a lovely series. 

Timeless by Gail Carriger

So when was the last time you finished a series and felt completely satisfied by the last book? Oh, yeah. And I guess the series I read before that one ended pretty well. Okay you know what, are there ANY standalone romance novels anymore? 

Anyways. That is not the subject at hand.

Gail Carriger did a pretty great job with the Parasol Protectorate series. The first book, Soulless, is an exceptionally good paranormal romance. The rest of the books sort of zig zag back and forth between being okay and being GREAT and pretty good and then we’ve got this one, which is pretty good, but Gail Carriger even when she’s not at her best is still a highly enjoyable and amusing read. She writes in highly stylized but very jokey prose, and I probably cracked at least one smile on every page. 

In this book, Alexia Maccon, her husband, her daughter Prudence (who is an excellent character, btdubs), and a collection of actors go to Egypt for reasons that are way spoilery. Back in London, all of your old favorites investigate a murder (well, Lord Akeldama mostly watches and says italicsy things). Gail Carriger has always been LGBT-friendly, and I’m happy to share that there’s a M/M secondary romance that is very sweet. 

The end is a bit of a clusterfuck as Ms. Carriger ties together just about every loose end dangling throughout the whole series, but it’s a witty clusterfuck and in the end it’s tied up in a big fancy ribbon and served with tea and assorted pastries. 

There are no surprises here, but it’s light, relaxing reading and an airy finish to a lovely series. 

Gail Carrigerparasol protectorateparanormal romancesteampuktimelessbooksreviewslit

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March 1, 2012 / 2:14PM 4 notes

Two More Thoughts about the Fever Series

I’ve spent my lunch break at work today looking at Karen Marie Moning’s website, and there’s a great section on her impressions of the Fever series, how she wrote it, and some notes on the characters. I particularly liked this bit about Barrons:

When every other novel I was picking up in the bookstore announced: Vampire/Werewolf/Demon hero on the cover, and was marketing it on the basis of that paranormal creature’s mythic resonance, I wanted to write a story with a male center-stage character that defied labels, and wouldn’t permit one. I wanted to make the reader choose to take him or leave him without the convenience of a pre-packaged tortured-hero caricature to slap over his outline, and no easy answers about whether he was good or bad. I wanted to write a paranormal creature and never tell the reader what he was, because I believed they would ultimately see him more clearly in his everyday behavior, than through the distorted lens of someone else’s legend. 

My second thought is that the fan merch is hilariously terrible, although I did briefly consider a set of $30 Fever-themed tarot cards and you know what they say about people in glass houses throwing stones. 

Fever serieshypocrisyKaren Marie Moningparanormal romance

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February 28, 2012 / 10:37PM 11 notes

Shadowfever (and thoughts on the whole Fever series) by Karen Marie Moning
Phew. Picture me whistling right here, because this was one hell of a book, and one hell of a paranormal romance series. 
For those of you just joining us, you should probably go back to the first book and start reading there, because this is one of those series that is one big story spread across five books, and the last book is over 500 pages. It was long, sure, but I think I read this book even faster than my #1 Paranormal Romance Boyfriend Book, Lothaire.  
Okay, sorry, tangent. For those of you just joining us, MacKayla Lane journeys to Ireland to investigate the brutal murder of her sister and finds out that she’s part of an ancient line of sidhe-seers (people who can see fae) and oh, there are fae, and also one of them is an incredibly sexy prince who kind of goes Edward Cullen over her, then she falls in with an EVEN SEXIER AND MORE MYSTERIOUS bookstore owner named Jericho Barrons. These books are erotic (there’s no other word, I’m sorry, one day I’ll go into why I hate that word, but that’s what it is) even though sex doesn’t appear until the very end of the third book and even then it’s NOT what you’re hoping for. They’re exciting, and they’re well-written. This series has about twenty important characters, more recurring characters, and an incredibly convoluted and complicated plot BUT it’s still easy to follow. 
Can you tell I finished this book today? I’m still in gush phase. I JUST COULD NOT WAIT, YOU GUYS. 
MacKayla is a terrific character. She’s believable. Throughout the series, she made decisions that, even if I wouldn’t have made them myself, I understood. Even though she starts the series as naive and overly perky, she never once veered into Too Stupid To Live territory. 
Barrons … well, I gotta be straight with you. He can be a total asshole. He can be creepy. He is most definitely an alpha dude. If that floats your boat (I say, “Anchors away, Captain!”), then you’ll enjoy it. If you are really NOT into alpha dudes, stay far, far faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrr away because basically every dude in this paranormal world is BRVTAL. 
The worldbuilding is terrific. It’s not as seamless and gorgeous as, say, Daughter of Smoke and Bone, and there are times when it gets a bit infodumpy, especially in the last book. There’s a few scenes where villains do that whole movie villain thing where they wax their mustaches and say “DON’T YOU WANT TO KNOW EXACTLY HOW BRILLIANT MY EEEEVIL PLAN WAS?” But at the end of the day, Moning did a great job of incorporating fairies (or faeries, I guess) into modern Dublin, and an even better job after something INCREDIBLY SPOLIERY SO I WON’T SAY IT happens. 
There are times when the writing is strained, and there are a few metaphors that are just BAD (the peacock who’s lost its feathers and grown claws was a particularly clunky one), and there are points where something SUPER EXCITING happens and there’s a chapter break and some narrative introspection before we pick up the action again, and can I just say, that is a terrible writing device and let’s all send it back to Satan and whatever terrible thriller novels he’s writing in Hell and shipping up to Dan Brown. 
Still, I’d say this is a stellar paranormal romance series. There are 600+ Amazon reviews and also a FeverCon and people apparently love this series so much they get Fever-inspired tattoos on their body, so I can say that I am officially late to the game on this one. I’m kind of glad, because I didn’t have to wait a year or more between books, and since the series is really one long story it helps to have a clear memory of what happened in the last book. 
On the other hand, her next book isn’t coming out until Halloween. God dammit, what am I supposed to do until then? Someone talk me out of ordering $30 Fever-themed tarot cards. 

Shadowfever (and thoughts on the whole Fever series) by Karen Marie Moning

Phew. Picture me whistling right here, because this was one hell of a book, and one hell of a paranormal romance series. 

For those of you just joining us, you should probably go back to the first book and start reading there, because this is one of those series that is one big story spread across five books, and the last book is over 500 pages. It was long, sure, but I think I read this book even faster than my #1 Paranormal Romance Boyfriend Book, Lothaire.  

Okay, sorry, tangent. For those of you just joining us, MacKayla Lane journeys to Ireland to investigate the brutal murder of her sister and finds out that she’s part of an ancient line of sidhe-seers (people who can see fae) and oh, there are fae, and also one of them is an incredibly sexy prince who kind of goes Edward Cullen over her, then she falls in with an EVEN SEXIER AND MORE MYSTERIOUS bookstore owner named Jericho Barrons. These books are erotic (there’s no other word, I’m sorry, one day I’ll go into why I hate that word, but that’s what it is) even though sex doesn’t appear until the very end of the third book and even then it’s NOT what you’re hoping for. They’re exciting, and they’re well-written. This series has about twenty important characters, more recurring characters, and an incredibly convoluted and complicated plot BUT it’s still easy to follow. 

Can you tell I finished this book today? I’m still in gush phase. I JUST COULD NOT WAIT, YOU GUYS. 

MacKayla is a terrific character. She’s believable. Throughout the series, she made decisions that, even if I wouldn’t have made them myself, I understood. Even though she starts the series as naive and overly perky, she never once veered into Too Stupid To Live territory. 

Barrons … well, I gotta be straight with you. He can be a total asshole. He can be creepy. He is most definitely an alpha dude. If that floats your boat (I say, “Anchors away, Captain!”), then you’ll enjoy it. If you are really NOT into alpha dudes, stay far, far faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrr away because basically every dude in this paranormal world is BRVTAL. 

The worldbuilding is terrific. It’s not as seamless and gorgeous as, say, Daughter of Smoke and Bone, and there are times when it gets a bit infodumpy, especially in the last book. There’s a few scenes where villains do that whole movie villain thing where they wax their mustaches and say “DON’T YOU WANT TO KNOW EXACTLY HOW BRILLIANT MY EEEEVIL PLAN WAS?” But at the end of the day, Moning did a great job of incorporating fairies (or faeries, I guess) into modern Dublin, and an even better job after something INCREDIBLY SPOLIERY SO I WON’T SAY IT happens. 

There are times when the writing is strained, and there are a few metaphors that are just BAD (the peacock who’s lost its feathers and grown claws was a particularly clunky one), and there are points where something SUPER EXCITING happens and there’s a chapter break and some narrative introspection before we pick up the action again, and can I just say, that is a terrible writing device and let’s all send it back to Satan and whatever terrible thriller novels he’s writing in Hell and shipping up to Dan Brown. 

Still, I’d say this is a stellar paranormal romance series. There are 600+ Amazon reviews and also a FeverCon and people apparently love this series so much they get Fever-inspired tattoos on their body, so I can say that I am officially late to the game on this one. I’m kind of glad, because I didn’t have to wait a year or more between books, and since the series is really one long story it helps to have a clear memory of what happened in the last book. 

On the other hand, her next book isn’t coming out until Halloween. God dammit, what am I supposed to do until then? Someone talk me out of ordering $30 Fever-themed tarot cards

fever serieskaren marie moningparanormal romanceshadowfeverbookslitreviews

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January 18, 2012 / 8:29PM 4 notes

Destined for an Early Grave (Night Huntress #4) by Jeaniene Frost

In A Nutshell 

    • Genre: Paranormal Romance, Action, Adventure, Gore, Horror, Drama, Angst.
    • Notes: Weakest premise of all the series so far, but also some of the strongest moments of character development.
    • Recommended For: Fans of Frost, Fans of The Night Huntress Series, Fans of True Blood, Fans of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

If only Frost had laid more ground work for this books premise, it would have been the strongest in the entire series … This books plot line has so much to do with my critique that I’m going to put it first:

SYNOPSIS

Her deadly dreams leave her in grave danger

Since half-vampire Cat Crawfield and her undead lover Bones met six years ago, they’ve fought against the rogue undead, battled a vengeful Master vampire, and pledged their devotion with a blood bond. Now it’s time for a vacation. But their hopes for a perfect Paris holiday are dashed when Cat awakes one night in terror. She’s having visions of a vampire named Gregor who’s more powerful than Bones and has ties to her past that even Cat herself didn’t know about.

Gregor believes Cat is his and he won’t stop until he has her. As the battle begins between the vamp who haunts her nightmares and the one who holds her heart, only Cat can break Gregor’s hold over her. She’ll need all the power she can summon in order to bring down the baddest bloodsucker she’s ever faced … even if getting that power will result in an early grave.

Before I start to say what I found failing in the book I want to preface it by saying, that although I found the journey weak, the destinations were monumental. That being said, the entire plot line rides on the belief that Cat met a man name Gregor at the age of 15 and was whisked away conveniently to Paris all before she met Bones. But she doesn’t remember any of this because for some reason Mencheres was able to wipe her memories using strong green-eyedness and magic.

OK. Wait- what? The first time I read the beginning of this book I wondered if I could hire Sassy Gay Friend to go have a chat with Frost. I had that similar SGF thought at Frost, “What- What- What are you doing?!”

I can go along with a lot of plot lines – I mean I’m reading about a vampire-human hybrid that hunts vampires with her vampire husband and works for the government. Clearly I’m on board to stretch the realm of possibilities. But when you start to go so far off your own developed storyline to create a fresh villian, I have some problems.

It’s not that I don’t think the premise is a good one – It’s actually pretty interesting. The problem is it’s weak hold onto the rest of the canon. How can I believe that all of this back story happened when in earlier books Frost has gone out of her way to show that Cat can’t be “green-eyed”. The only hint Frost gives that there was any ground work for this exposition is that Cat has always disliked and distrusted Mencheres. So I’m not saying it’s completely impossible in canon, I’m saying that it seems a little too convenient. Like a sewed patch on a pair of jeans. It fits, kind of, but you know it’s patched on after the fact.

The first time I read this it took me awhile to get into the story. I couldn’t get over the critiques I’m mentioned, but let me say I am glad I did.

While I don’t applaud Frost’s method of getting to where she does in this book, I do applaud her outcome. This book has one of the most, if not the most important character development scenes in the Cat & Bones relationship. Many of their underlying issues, some of which as a reader I didn’t notice until they were named, are addressed in the way I like them to be – ANGST ANGST ANGST.

I’m an angst fan, I’ll admit. And I don’t mean Harry Potter Book 5 whiney-angst. I mean betrayal and heartbreak and what-ifs. That is the angst I find dramatic. Pre-pubescent bitching isn’t angst.

This book delivers in the angst category, but it also defends the purpose. While I am a fan of angst, I’m not a fan of poorly written, meaningless angst. There is nothing meaningless in the drama between Cat & Bones in this story. This may be the darkest their relationship gets – at least so far in the series.

Beyond the wonderful angst there is also a sub-plot that Frost develops in preparation for the next book. I’m not going to say what as it is a spoiler, but I wanted to bring it up to point out another amazing thing Frost does as a series writer. Frost is able to fully develop and maintain a rising action, while introducing a new exposition or introduction for the next book. Which is why I criticize so harshly the exposition for this book. She doesn’t introduce it at all or even hint at it in any of the previous novels. The reader is truly blind-sided by it, making it even more noticeably awkward in the scheme of the whole series.

Overall, my only complaint is the weak justification of the exposition, but I absolutely love reading this book after you get over the initial “WTF?!”

After all that I wonder – did anyone else feel it was shoddily constructed in the beginning? I’d love to know what you thought.

★★★1/2

Read more reviews by Katie at The Biblio Files

In general, I feel like I can see the seams of Jeaniene Frost’s world - by which I mean it’s not perfect worldbuildling and sometimes with the plots I’m like “Uh, what was that just now.” For example, in the first book, I did NOT buy that Bones had fallen in love with Cat. That said, I think that these books are better than the average paranormal series and Cat and Bones’ relationship was enough for me to keep reading.

submissionJeaniene Frostsassy gay friendwh wh what are you doingcoffeeisamustbooksromance novelsparanormal romance

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January 12, 2012 / 9:27PM 45 notes

Lothaire, by Kresley Cole
Holy smokes. This is going to be a disgustingly fangirlish and adoring review, so gird your loins.
The thing about series books is you sort of have to figure out if you’re loving a book because it’s part of an ongoing story that you love, or if it’s actually a great book. This is both. Let me just lay it out for you: Lothaire is one of the best paranormal romances I can remember reading.
To be fair, that’s in part because Kresley Cole’s spent ten or so books building such a fascinating and charismatic character. I know some of you have said that KC’s heroes don’t do it for you (… this is not a problem I experience personally), but come on. This is LOTHAIRE. He’s the famously nasty and arrogant vampire with all the good one-liners. He’s mysterious, fun, and dude. DUDE. Lothaire is unbelievably sexy.
The biggest question about this book was not whether or not Lothaire was going to be great, but whether or not Kresley Cole could find a heroine who could match him. She did it. And Kresley Cole managed this with a character who was a young mortal girl who’d grown up in backwoods Appalachia. Okay, to be fair, she’s been hosting a seriously evil bitch goddess for a year when we meet her, but STILL. Ellie herself is so smart, observant, and witty (without being Mary Sue Mountain) that she is more than capable of going toe to toe with the vamp legend himself.
In every other paranormal romance I’ve read in which a younger girl is paired with an ancient-as-dirt dude (including the first IAD book, A Hunger Like No Other), it’s ended up being weird, a little creepy, and totally unbalanced, no matter how many compulsory scenes in which Little Red Riding Hood stands up to the Big Bad Wolf.
It’s not often that I’m sorry to finish a book, but you guys, I don’t know what to do with myself. I did my best to slow down and read this book over a few days instead of over a few hours, and even though it’s long as fuck, I loved every single minute of it. The last two IAD books were way too angsty and filled with BRVTAL TORTVRE, and this was an amazing change of pace. Even though Lothaire and Elizabeth were facing some pretty serious obstacles, every page was fun.
By the end, the relationship between the two of them was so sweet and believable that I was holding back sniffles on the train (shut up, I’m over emotional this week).
I DO think that you’d appreciate this book best if you’ve read all the preceding books in the series, but this is absolutely my favorite one.
And yes, it has all your old favorites. Hag (last seen in Omort’s basement), Regin, Emma, Mariketa, and, of course. NIX.

Lothaire, by Kresley Cole

Holy smokes. This is going to be a disgustingly fangirlish and adoring review, so gird your loins.

The thing about series books is you sort of have to figure out if you’re loving a book because it’s part of an ongoing story that you love, or if it’s actually a great book. This is both. Let me just lay it out for you: Lothaire is one of the best paranormal romances I can remember reading.

To be fair, that’s in part because Kresley Cole’s spent ten or so books building such a fascinating and charismatic character. I know some of you have said that KC’s heroes don’t do it for you (… this is not a problem I experience personally), but come on. This is LOTHAIRE. He’s the famously nasty and arrogant vampire with all the good one-liners. He’s mysterious, fun, and dude. DUDE. Lothaire is unbelievably sexy.

The biggest question about this book was not whether or not Lothaire was going to be great, but whether or not Kresley Cole could find a heroine who could match him. She did it. And Kresley Cole managed this with a character who was a young mortal girl who’d grown up in backwoods Appalachia. Okay, to be fair, she’s been hosting a seriously evil bitch goddess for a year when we meet her, but STILL. Ellie herself is so smart, observant, and witty (without being Mary Sue Mountain) that she is more than capable of going toe to toe with the vamp legend himself.

In every other paranormal romance I’ve read in which a younger girl is paired with an ancient-as-dirt dude (including the first IAD book, A Hunger Like No Other), it’s ended up being weird, a little creepy, and totally unbalanced, no matter how many compulsory scenes in which Little Red Riding Hood stands up to the Big Bad Wolf.

It’s not often that I’m sorry to finish a book, but you guys, I don’t know what to do with myself. I did my best to slow down and read this book over a few days instead of over a few hours, and even though it’s long as fuck, I loved every single minute of it. The last two IAD books were way too angsty and filled with BRVTAL TORTVRE, and this was an amazing change of pace. Even though Lothaire and Elizabeth were facing some pretty serious obstacles, every page was fun.

By the end, the relationship between the two of them was so sweet and believable that I was holding back sniffles on the train (shut up, I’m over emotional this week).

I DO think that you’d appreciate this book best if you’ve read all the preceding books in the series, but this is absolutely my favorite one.

And yes, it has all your old favorites. Hag (last seen in Omort’s basement), Regin, Emma, Mariketa, and, of course. NIX.

LothaireLOTHAIREkresley coleIADparanormal romancelitbooks

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December 28, 2011 / 6:01PM 8 notes

Faefever by Karen Marie Moning
Okay I am really over paranormal romance series whose titles are all completely indistinguishable. Seriously. I’m going to give you a few examples.
Kresley Cole (we’ve covered this, I know)
No Rest for the WickedWicked Deeds on a Winter’s NightDark Needs at Night’s EdgeDark Desires After Duskalthough her later books are more distinguishable, like LOTHAIRE.
Ilona Andrews
Magic BitesMagic BurnsMagic StrikesMagic BleedsMagic Slays 
Jeaniene Frost
Halfway to the GraveOne Foot in the GraveDestined for an Early GraveAt Grave’s EndThis Side of the Grave
Nicole Peeler 
Tempest RisingTracking the TempestTempest’s LegacyEye of the TempestTempest’s Fury
Larissa Ione
Pleasure UnboundDesire UnchainedPassion UnleashedEcstasy UnveiledSin Undone (Okay, this was helpful because the main character’s name was Sin)
I CANNOT TELL THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ALL OF THESE BOOKS WON’T YOU PLEASE PLEASE GIVE ME SOME CLUES. Gail Carriger’s Parasol Protectorate series has titles that manage to be both repetitive AND give clues as to the plot (Soulless, Changeless, Blameless, etc. Heartless was getting a bit into the mysterious territory, but we have a good track record). Zoe Archer’s titles are descriptive of the main dudes (i.e. Scoundrel and Warrior). And here is where I have gone completely off the rails because I meant to talk about this book. Ahem.
Faefever, by Karen Marie Moning, the Part Where I Review It
Series is still going strong, although the ENDLESS! VIOLENCE! is sort of wearying and repetitive, to the point where I don’t even want to jump into the next book even though it was a major cliffhanger. Can I just have something CHEERFUL? God. It’s all rain and blood and The Dark Side of Mac and there was NO BARRONSEX and I’m disappointed but not surprised thanks to some helpful spoilers. I like that Mac is resourceful enough not to trust anybody completely, and I still think she’s a great character and enough fun that I don’t mind the first-person perspective.
Uh, that’s really all I have to say.

Faefever by Karen Marie Moning

Okay I am really over paranormal romance series whose titles are all completely indistinguishable. Seriously. I’m going to give you a few examples.

Kresley Cole (we’ve covered this, I know)

No Rest for the Wicked
Wicked Deeds on a Winter’s Night
Dark Needs at Night’s Edge
Dark Desires After Dusk
although her later books are more distinguishable, like LOTHAIRE.

Ilona Andrews

Magic Bites
Magic Burns
Magic Strikes
Magic Bleeds
Magic Slays

Jeaniene Frost

Halfway to the Grave
One Foot in the Grave

Destined for an Early Grave
At Grave’s End
This Side of the Grave

Nicole Peeler

Tempest Rising
Tracking the Tempest
Tempest’s Legacy
Eye of the Tempest
Tempest’s Fury

Larissa Ione

Pleasure Unbound
Desire Unchained
Passion Unleashed
Ecstasy Unveiled
Sin Undone
(Okay, this was helpful because the main character’s name was Sin)

I CANNOT TELL THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ALL OF THESE BOOKS WON’T YOU PLEASE PLEASE GIVE ME SOME CLUES. Gail Carriger’s Parasol Protectorate series has titles that manage to be both repetitive AND give clues as to the plot (Soulless, Changeless, Blameless, etc. Heartless was getting a bit into the mysterious territory, but we have a good track record). Zoe Archer’s titles are descriptive of the main dudes (i.e. Scoundrel and Warrior). And here is where I have gone completely off the rails because I meant to talk about this book. Ahem.


Faefever,
by Karen Marie Moning, the Part Where I Review It

Series is still going strong, although the ENDLESS! VIOLENCE! is sort of wearying and repetitive, to the point where I don’t even want to jump into the next book even though it was a major cliffhanger. Can I just have something CHEERFUL? God. It’s all rain and blood and The Dark Side of Mac and there was NO BARRONSEX and I’m disappointed but not surprised thanks to some helpful spoilers. I like that Mac is resourceful enough not to trust anybody completely, and I still think she’s a great character and enough fun that I don’t mind the first-person perspective.

Uh, that’s really all I have to say.

review turned rantbad book titlesparanormal romancekaren marie moningfaefeverfever seriesLarissa IoneIlona Andrewszoe archerGail CarrigerNicole Peelerkresley cole

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