Review: Night Blade

Reviewed by Jen

I knew something was up when I read the Dedication on this book:

Thanks to everybody who encouraged me to continue with Kit’s story. Be warned… she’s got a rocky road ahead of her. But I hope it’s worth it in the end.

I saw this and thought to myself, “Dammit.  Kit and Damon are going to break up.”  I dreaded it.  I steeled myself for it.  What I fool I was.  Suffice it to say, Shiloh Walker and I have a vastly different understanding of the words “rocky road.”

Let’s back up.  As the story begins, Kit and Damon are going strong, though they are both hard at work.  Damon is cleaning house in his pack, getting rid of the crazies who thrived under the old Alpha.  And Kit is solving cases for her investigative firm.  Things are actually kind of… good…. until Kit gets a call from her ex-boyfriend Justin.  The witch works for a powerful branch of law enforcement that is investigating Damon. They believe he is behind some unauthorized kills and if Kit can’t prove he didn’t do it, he’ll be slated for execution.  To make matters worse, Justin puts a spell on her that prevents her from talking about the case.  Kit has to work against the clock to clear the man she is falling in love with, while keeping her mission a secret.

I really, really like Kit.  She is tough, but she is also so very vulnerable. She endured so much as a child, and it’s clear we don’t even know the whole story. Entirely new atrocities are hinted at.  And the memories still plague her.  Still terrify her.  But she soldiers on. There is something like steel at her core. She will not break.  Her past makes her growing love for Damon even more poignant.  She’s always been afraid to love anything, for fear of losing it.  Damon shows himself worthy of her and makes me fall for him as she does the same.  The characters just strike such a chord.

And then it all goes to shit.  Not the book.  But everything in Kit’s life.

I won’t spoil it.  But I will tell you that dedication should have come with flashing yellow lights and perhaps a skull and crossbones.  This book gutted me.  Completely and utterly.  I cried.  I shook my head.  I talked to myself. And I cried some more.  As I write this, I still feel sucker punched and slightly hollow.

It was amazing, horrible, terrible, wrenching, and utterly consuming.  Worth reading, to be sure.  But have your Kleenex ready and a support group standing by. You’re gonna need it.

Rating: A-

*ARC provided by author for review 

Click to purchase: Amazon
Night Blade
by JC Daniels
Release Date: March 4, 2013

Review: Hard Bitten

Reviewed by Jen

I knew before I started this book that Something Big happens. I avoid spoilers like the plague and I didn’t even read this series when this book came out. But despite that, there was so much chatter that you’d have to live under a rock to have missed the outcry. And even knowing all that, I was still utterly and completely decimated by this book.

It all starts out innocently enough. The mayor is putting the screws to Merit and Ethan to put an end to the blood raves in the city. And the same time, Darius, a bigwig from the governing vampire council, comes to town to check out the Chicago vamps. Merit believes Celina has a hand in it all. But Darius essentially forbids any further investigation of her.

In the meantime, Ethan is working to redeem himself for his behavior in the last book. He now accepts how he feels about Merit and is trying desperately to win her back. It’s an intricate dance between them and their eventually acquiescence feels inevitable.

I’m not going to spoil the details of what happens, in the off chance you are one of the five people in the world who doesn’t know how the book ends. Suffice it to say, it left me feeling much like I did at the end of For a Few Demons More. I am emotionally empty. Heartbroken. Betrayed. It was an amazing book, but I don’t know how to forgive Chloe Neill.  And I don’t know how to rate this. How do you rate a book that rips your heart out and stomps it on the floor?

Click to purchase: Amazon or The Book Depository
Hard Bitten
by Chloe Neill
Release Date: May 3, 2011
Publisher: NAL

Review: For a Few Demons More

Reviewed by Jen

This book shredded me. I cried for the last 50 pages or so. And not just a silent tear or two, but out-loud crying… messy with used Kleenex all over the sofa. I will not spoil the why’s of it, but I can’t possibly talk about this book without acknowledging its enormous emotional impact.  I don’t know if I can ever forgive Kim Harrison.

With the ending weighing on me so heavily, it’s hard to look back to the rest of the book.  It starts out strong, addressing the repercussions of Rachel’s interaction with the demon Newt.  And as the story goes on, the focal point becomes a string of suspicious werewolf deaths. They turn out to be linked to the “focus,” that statue Rachel got from Nick in A Fistful of Charms. It has the power to create new werewolves from humans –and now everyone wants it. And Rachel becomes everyone’s target as they fight to get it. –I also have to mention… just when I though that maybe Trent wasn’t a total slimeball, I’ve changed my mind again. He is.

I always reread a series before a new installment comes out, but this is the book that made me dread re-reading the Hollows. Not because it’s a bad book. On the contrary, it is incredibly powerful. I just remembered the ache it put in my chest the first time around –and even knowing what would happen, didn’t ease the hurt the second time.  If you’re a fan of the series, you can’t skip this one. Just have your Kleenex ready.

5 stars.

Click to purchase: Amazon

For a Few Demons More
by Kim Harrison
Release Date: March 20, 2007
Publisher: Harper Voyager