Archive for the ‘Urban Fantasy’ Category

Spider's Bite (Elemental Assassin, #1)Spider’s Bite by Jennifer Estep
 
 
Book Stats:
 
Reading Level: Adult
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Format Reviewed: E-book
Publisher: Pocket Books
Release Date: January 26, 2010
 
Series: Elemental Assassin #1
Source: Personal Purchase
 
My name is Gin, and I kill people. They call me the Spider. I’m the most feared assassin in the South — when I’m not busy at the Pork Pit cooking up the best barbecue in Ashland. As a Stone elemental, I can hear everything from the whispers of the gravel beneath my feet to the vibrations of the soaring Appalachian Mountains above me. My Ice magic also comes in handy for making the occasional knife. But I don’t use my powers on the job unless I absolutely have to. Call it professional pride.
Now that a ruthless Air elemental has double-crossed me and killed my handler, I’m out for revenge. And I’ll exterminate anyone who gets in my way — good or bad. I may look hot, but I’m still one of the bad guys. Which is why I’m in trouble, since irresistibly rugged Detective Donovan Caine has agreed to help me. The last thing this coldhearted killer needs when I’m battling a magic more powerful than my own is a sexy distraction…especially when Donovan wants me dead just as much as the enemy.

Why I Read this book?:  I had been wanting to read this series for a long time.  I saw that The Book Vixen was co-hosting a read along for this series and though I’m not actually participating I decided to start reading this series.

What I Liked about this Book?:  I loved pretty much everything about this book.  I really was sucked in from the first line “My name is Gin, and I kill people.”  It’s catchy and it had me extremely excited to see what was going to happen next.  Gin is a very like able character even though she has a pretty despicable job.  The host of secondary characters were really great too.  Besides Gin I loved her makeshift family very much – Fletcher, Finn Sophia and Jo Jo, and in my opinion bring a little something extra to this story.

I really enjoyed reading about the relationship between Donovan Caine and Gin.  He’s a straight laced cop in a police force pretty much owned by Mab Monroe, one of the villains of the book.  Gin did something in the not so distant past that Caine can’t seem to see past and that mixed with his morals makes the whole relationship VERY interesting.

The action in this book was AMAZING!  Right from the very first couple of pages through the end it was an action roller coaster.  One thing that really attracted me to the story initially was that the REAL bad guy wasn’t obvious.  You think you have it figured out and then things change and you weren’t even close.

Overall, I’m really kicking myself that I’ve waited as long as I have to start reading this series.  Gin is an AWESOME heroine who has her own set of issues.  I can hardly wait to see how Gin and her family grow through the rest of this series.  If you haven’t started this series yet I definitely recommend Spiders Bite.

What I didn’t like?: At time’s I thought there was a little bit too much detail when Gin was doing her thing.  That was really the only fault that I could find with the book and it was only on a couple of occasions.  Other than those occasions I can’t really think of anything else that I didn’t care for in this book.

Rating: 5/5

 

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A Brush of Darkness (Abby Sinclair, #1)

A Brush of Darkness by Allison Pang

Book Stats:
Reading Level: Adult
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Format Reviewed: E-Book
Publisher: Pocket Books
Release Date: January 25, 2011
Series: Abby Sinclair #1
Source: Personal Purchase

The man of her dreams might be the cause of her nightmares.
Six months ago, Abby Sinclair was struggling to pick up the pieces of her shattered life. Now, she has an enchanted iPod, a miniature unicorn living in her underwear drawer, and a magical marketplace to manage. But despite her growing knowledge of the OtherWorld, Abby isn’t at all prepared for Brystion, the dark, mysterious, and sexy-as- sin incubus searching for his sister, convinced Abby has the key to the succubus’s whereabouts. Abby has enough problems without having this seductive shape-shifter literally invade her dreams to get information. But when her Faery boss and some of her friends vanish, as well, Abby and Brystion must form an uneasy alliance. As she is sucked deeper and deeper into this perilous world of faeries, angels, and daemons, Abby realizes her life is in as much danger as her heart—and there’s no one she can trust to save her.

Why I read this book?: I saw a review for this book on Mindful Musings and decided that it was something that I wanted to try.

What I liked?: Abby Sinclair! She’s just full of awesome as well as piss and vinegar. Abby is the TouchStone to the Protectorate and is suddenly put in charge when Moria, the Protectorate, goes missing. I also enjoyed all the mystery that was included in the book. When Moria goes missing more disappearances are brought to light AND THAT is when things get a little crazy. Oh and let’s not forget all the humor that is through out this book as well. I really enjoyed the host of secondary characters as well. Especially Phineas, the horny little unicorn.

What I disliked?: I didn’t really care for Brystion. I don’t know what it was exactly about him that I didn’t like but it definitely had an impact on my overall feel for the book. As a result of me not really liking Brystion, I really did “feel” the romance between Abby and Brystion. I also didn’t care for how Moria really let Abby down. I didn’t really like how certain characters in the book treated Abby at the beginning of the book and then had a complete turn about at the end either.

Overall Impression: I really enjoyed this book. It’s chock full of humor and mystery. This book from what I can tell is classified as a Paranormal Romance but to me it read more like an Urban Fantasy. It just didn’t read like a PNR, if that makes sense at all.

Rating: 3.75/5
The Hunt

The Hunt by Andrew Fukuor

Book Stats:
Reading Level: Young Adult
Genre: Fantasy/Sci-Fi/Dystopian/Urban Fantasy/PNR
Format Reviewed: EGalley
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Release Date: May 8, 2012
Series: Currently Untitled #1
Source: Netgalley

Don’t Sweat. Don’t Laugh. Don’t draw attention to yourself. And most of all, whatever you do, do not fall in love with one of them. Gene is different from everyone else around him. He can’t run with lightning speed, sunlight doesn’t hurt him and he doesn’t have an unquenchable lust for blood. Gene is a human, and he knows the rules. Keep the truth a secret. It’s the only way to stay alive in a world of night—a world where humans are considered a delicacy and hunted for their blood.
When he’s chosen for a once in a lifetime opportunity to hunt the last remaining humans, Gene’s carefully constructed life begins to crumble around him. He’s thrust into the path of a girl who makes him feel things he never thought possible—and into a ruthless pack of hunters whose suspicions about his true nature are growing. Now that Gene has finally found something worth fighting for, his need to survive is stronger than ever—but is it worth the cost of his humanity?

Why I read this book?: I recently saw that this book was in a lot of IMM’s and I really thought that the premise of the book was very interesting. I found that it was available on Netgalley and put in a request to read the egalley.

What I liked?: I really enjoyed that the premise of this story was completely different than anything I have read recently. Usually we read about us humans being the hunters and the paranormal beings being the hunted, the roles are completely reversed in The Hunt. I think that I was able to connect with the characters of this book because it was so different. In the beginning of the book we don’t now what our main character’s name is, he’s known by a number really, it isn’t until later in the book that we learn that his name is Gene and he’s spent the vast majority of his life trying NOT to act like a human just so he can continue living. The announcement of the last heper (human) hunt, humans are virtually extinct now, set’s the ball rolling for an action packed fast paced YA debut. I think my favorite part of the whole book was the author took some shots at the Twilight franchise, I don’t know if it was intentional but I really liked it.

What I disliked?: In the beginning of the book was I was worried that The Hunt was going to be another version of The Hunger Games. There were a fair amount of similarities between both books but then there was a scene that changed my mind entirely. I’m glad that scene was there, if not it would have affected my review and rating. Have I mentioned that I have a growing dislike for cliffhangers?!

Overall Impression: My overall impression of this book is that I will for sure be buying a finished copy of The Hunt once it is made available to the general public. I LOVED this book and I think it is a wonderful beginning to this series.

Rating:  4.75/5
The Better Part of Darkness (Charlie Madigan, #1)

The Better Part of Darkness by Kelly Gay


Book Stats:
Reading Level: Adult
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Format Reviewed: Mass Market Paperback
Publisher: Pocket Books
Release Date: November 24, 2009
Series: Charlie Madigan #1
Source: Personal book purchase

Atlanta: it’s the promised city for the off-worlders, foreigners from the alternate dimensions of heaven-like Elysia and hell-like Charbydon. Some bring good works and miracles. And some bring unimaginable evil….

Charlie Madigan is a divorced mother of one, and a kick-ass cop trained to take down the toughest human and off-world criminals. She’s recently returned from the dead after a brutal attack, an unexplained revival that has left her plagued by ruthless nightmares and random outbursts of strength that make doing her job for Atlanta P.D.’s Integration Task Force even harder. Since the Revelation, the criminal element in Underground Atlanta has grown, leaving Charlie and her partner Hank to keep the chaos to a dull roar. But now an insidious new danger is descending on her city with terrifying speed, threatening innocent lives: a deadly, off-world narcotic known as ash. Charlie is determined to uncover the source of ash before it targets another victim — but can she protect those she loves from a force more powerful than heaven and hell combined?

Why I read this book?: I wanted to broaden my horizons and try reading Urban Fantasy. I saw the cover for this book on Goodreads and really liked it. Then I read the synopsis and I was hooked.

What I liked?: Charlie! Charlie Madigan is the epitome of kick-ass heroine! She’s a single mom who doesn’t take any crap off of anyone…including her partner Hank, who happens to be a siren. The world that the author created in The Better Part of Darkness in my opinion is just chock full of AWESOME. Since this is my first adult Urban Fantasy series ever, AWESOME is a good thing. I really thought that part of the storyline where Charlie was killed and then brought back to life was very interesting and worked well into the plot of the book. This book is so full of action that it was VERY difficult for me to put down. I had to know what was going to happen next. Besides Charlie, there is a host of characters that bring a vibrancy to the book, even the bad guys, who knew!? I think the most interesting part of the whole book for me was that there was ABSOLUTELY NO romance what-so-ever. Since I’ve been reading a fair amount of romance lately this was a refreshing sight.

What I disliked?: The only thing that I can come up with at this time is that it took me forever to find this series much less become interested in this genre.

Overall Impression: CHOCK FULL OF AWESOME! Thank goodness I have the other 2 books in my possession as well.

 
Rating: 4/5
Iron Kissed (Mercedes Thompson, #3)

Iron Crossed by Patricia Briggs

Book Stats:
Reading Level: Adult
Genre: Urban Fantasy/PNR/Fantasy
Format Reviewed: Mass Market Paperback, 287 pages
Publisher: Ace
Release Date: January 2, 2008
Series: Mercy Thompson #3
Source: paperbackswap.com

I could smell her fear, and it satisfied something deep inside me that had been writhing under her cool, superior gaze. I curled my upper lip so she could get a good look at my sharp teeth. I might only weigh thirty or so pounds in my coyote shape, but I was a predator… Mechanic Mercy Thompson can shift her shape – but not her loyalty. When her former boss and mentor is arrested for murder and left to rot behind bars by his own kind, it’s up to Mercy to clear his name, whether he wants her to or not.
Mercy’s loyalty is under pressure from other directions, too. Werewolves are not known for their patience, and if Mercy can’t decide between the two she cares for, Sam and Adam may make the choice for her…

Why I read this book?: I’ve read the last two books in this series back to back, which is an extremely rare occurrence, and I really wanted to keep up with what’s going on in Mercy’s life so I just kept going. I think I’m going to keep going until I run out of books:) 2013 you can’t get here fast enough!

What I liked?: As usual, Mercy! She’s got this almost obnoxious sense of loyalty and when Zee gets into deep trouble she just jumps in with both feet to clear his name. That is also the point when shit hits the fan as well. I really liked that in this book Mercy finally chose between Adam and Samuel. I really liked that in this book we learn more about the fae and their folklore, there were some pretty interesting stories that were mentioned in this book. The action and suspense were right up there with the last two books and I really liked how we were introduced to Adam’s “vengeful” side and more of the pack behaviors. Like in the first book, the bad guy wasn’t obvious until the very end and I was really surprised to see that Mercy was wrong about her suspicions.

What I disliked?: This book started off slower than I really liked. It took a fair amount of reading and setting the book down before I got to the point that things started happening and the book grabbed my attention. I also disliked that new characters and plot points were brought into the book but once introduced where never really expanded upon. Maybe they make appearances in upcoming books but I would have liked to see a little more detail.

Overall Impression: This book is considerably more gritty than the last two books. Even though it isn’t my favorite in the series I think it’s still a really good installment and I’m off to start Bone Crossed!

Rating: 3.75/5
Blood Bound (Mercedes Thompson, #2)

Blood Bound by Patricia Briggs

Book Stats:
Reading Level: Adult
Genre: Urban Fantasy/PNR/Fantasy
Format Reviewed: Mass Market Paperback
Publisher: Ace
Release Date: January 30, 2007
Series: Mercy Thompson #2
Source: paperbackswap.com

Under the rule of science, there are no witch burnings allowed, no water trials or public lynchings. In return, the average law-abiding, solid citizen has little to worry about from the things that go bump in the night. Sometimes I wish I was an average citizen… Mechanic Mercy Thompson has friends in low places-and in dark ones. And now she owes one of them a favor. Since she can shapeshift at will, she agrees to act as some extra muscle when her vampire friend Stefan goes to deliver a message to another of his kind.
But this new vampire is hardly ordinary-and neither is the demon inside of him.

Why I read this book?: I just recently read the first book in this series, Moon Called, and enjoyed it so much I immediately picked up the second book. Which is pretty amazing considering usually I have to read something different in between books in a series.

What I liked?: As always, Mercy Thompson is my heroine! What I really loved about her in this book is that she took her “devil may care” attitude and used it to kick even MORE ass in this book than she did in the first book. She’s so ”real” even though she is a shapeshifter. I feel I could be friends with her, if she existed in real life. In the first book the bad guys were bad but in this book the bad guy(s) were even badder than that! The action is fast-paced and the mystery is great too. Usually, I’m lukewarm on love triangles but I think in the case of this series it works really well. Though I’m growing increasingly lukewarm on Samuel. But at the same time I’m growing more in “book boyfriend lust” with Adam. I really like the road that Stefan is traveling down, storyline wise…I can hardly wait to see how it/if it plays out. A lot of the secondary characters are starting to grow on me, even Ben…maybe he isn’t so bad after all.

What I disliked?: I’m really starting to dislike the whole vampire seethe, with the exception of Stefan of course. Other than that I really don’t have much in the way of negatives for this book.

Overall Impression: I might just have to come up with a whole new rating for series/books like this! LOVE this series so much I’m going to go grab book three off of my shelf as soon as I post this review.

 
Rating:  4.75/5
Moon Called (Mercedes Thompson, #1) Moon Called by Patricia Briggs

Book Stats:
Reading Level: Adult
Genre: Urban Fantasy/Fantasy/PNR/Paranormal
Format Reviewed: Mass Market Paperback
Publisher: Ace
Release Date: January 31, 2006
Series: Mercy Thompson #1
Source: paperbackswap.com

Werewolves can be dangerous if you get in their way, but they’ll leave you alone if you are careful. They are very good at hiding their natures from the human population, but I’m not human. I know them when I meet them, and they know me, too.Mercy Thompson’s sexy next-door neighbor is a werewolf.

She’s tinkering with a VW bus at her mechanic shop that happens to belong to a vampire.
But then, Mercy Thompson is not exactly normal herself … and her connection to the world of things that go bump in the night is about to get her into a whole lot of trouble.


Why I read this book?: I’ve had this book sitting on my bookcase waiting to be read FOREVER! I finally got around to it and I completely DEVOURED it.

What I liked?: Mercy herself is now an addition to my “favorite heroine” list. She’s a walker, who shifts into a coyote. She was raised for the most part by a werewolf pack from Montana which explains why she knows so much about werewolves. I also LOVED Adam, he’s the Alpha who has a “thing” for Mercy and routinely threatens to eat her cat. Then craziness runs rampant and bad things happen to good people/werewolves. I also loved the host of secondary characters that made this book chock full of AWESOME! My personal favorite was Warren, you’ll have to check out this book to learn more about Warren. Even with all the high pressure situations that all the characters kept finding themselves in there was plenty of humor. I was very pleasantly surprised at how fast paced this book was. I really didn’t want to put it down at all. It sucks when real life gets in the way of my reading!

What I disliked?: I got nothing!

Overall Impression: I am kicking myself that I have waited as long as I have to read this series! It is full of AWESOME!

Favorite Quotes:

“A werewolf tossed me against a giant packing crate while I was trying to rescue a frightened young girl who’d been kidnapped by an evil witch and a drug lord.”

“MS. THOMPSON, it said in heavy block letters, PLEASE KEEP YOUR FELINE OFF MY PROPERTY. IF I SEE IT AGAIN, I WILL EAT IT.”

“I don’t like it when I outweigh my men.”

Rating: 5/5

First Grave on the Right (Charley Davidson, #1)First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones

Genre: PNR/Fantasy/Urban Fantasy
Format Reviewed: EPUB file
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Release Date: February 1, 2011
ISBN 10: 0312662750
ISBN 13: 9780312662752
Source: Nook Lending Group on Goodreads

Rating: 4/5

A smashing, award-winning debut novel that introduces Charley Davidson: part-time private investigator and full-time Grim Reaper
Charley sees dead people. That’s right, she sees dead people. And it’s her job to convince them to “go into the light.” But when these very dead people have died under less than ideal circumstances (i.e. murder), sometimes they want Charley to bring the bad guys to justice. Complicating matters are the intensely hot dreams she’s been having about an Entity who has been following her all her life…and it turns out he might not be dead after all. In fact, he might be something else entirely.
This is a thrilling debut novel from an exciting newcomer to the world of paranormal romantic suspense.

I had read so many great reviews for this series of books that I had to get my hands on a copy of them. When they were first released they didn’t really trip my trigger because I wasn’t reading a lot of PNR at the time but now I’m reading significantly more and I’m really glad that I gave this series a shot.

Charlie is the Grim Reaper. Meaning she can see the dead and they pass through her on their way to the other side. Charley is also a part-time PI and with her skills and “gift” has helped her father and her uncle, who are/were cops, solve numerous cases. Charley has a wicked sense of humor too. She’s been having some issues recently with someone invading her dreams and having their wicked way with her in dreamland.

Then there is Reyes. What is Reyes? Well I’m no going to tell you, you’ll just have to read this book to find out. Though I can tell you that he is TOTAL Alpha male and sex on two legs. And he keeps Charlie on her toes in dreamland.

Overall, I was beyond impressed with this book. I’m kicking myself for not getting to this series sooner. It’s chock full of humor, action and a kick ass heroine. I don’t know about you but I like my heroine’s strong and if they are kick ass that’s an added bonus! Each character in this book brought something to the table, even if they were little itty bitty secondary characters. Beside’s Charlie and Reyes my other favorite character was Angel. He’s one of Charlie’s partners in crime. Seriously, if you haven’t read this book pick it up NOW!