Review: Pack of Lies by Annie Bellet

Reviewed by Joanna

Onto book three and I’m happy again. As if by magic, Annie Bellet solved my issues with the direction of this series, in refocusing locally with the town and people I’d got to like in book one, and also upping the romantic stakes in this urban fantasy series. Sorceress Jade and shifter Justice boyfriend Alek actually talk about their relationship. It’s a Big Deal.

We open the story to an unhappy Jade. The events of book two, involving her estranged family in the shifter cult, upset her badly, and she and Alek split. They’ve not had a break-up conversation, but have neither seen nor called one another in a month. Jade is blue and mopey, but makes no effort to resolve the issue as she’s emotionally stunted, choosing instead to continue to improve her magic abilities (in case her evil ex ever shows up) and play role-playing games with her friends (cos she’s chill like that). [Read more…]

Review: The Turn by Kim Harrison

Reviewed by Jen

When you are away from a beloved series for a while, it’s easy to forget just how much you loved it. And boy, do I love The Hollows. I was so sad to see it end, but Kim Harrison did such an amazing and satisfying job it was hard to argue with the results. She ended it so well, in fact, that I questioned whether I wanted to give this book a try. What if it didn’t measure up? How could it measure up? I am so very happy to report that it absolutely measures up. And it has left me hungry to return to this world again and again. [Read more…]

Review: Murder of Crows by Annie Bellet

Reviewed by Joanna

This is book two of the urban fantasy series I was excited to start. Am I still excited? Maybe, though this story wasn’t as good as the first.

Jade is stretching and practicing her sorceress magic, ready for when her evil ex-boyfriend comes. We’re three months on from book one when her cover was blown, and her friends now know she’s more than the hedge witch she was pretending to be. They stick by her, and she’s decided to stay in town at her store, Pwned Comics and Games, instead of running. [Read more…]

Review: Magic Binds by Ilona Andrews

magic-bindsReviewed by Jen

The books in this series blow me away. Every. Time.  I don’t just say that because I’m a total fangirl who thinks Ilona Andrews can do no wrong. To be fair, I am a total fangirl, but there is a REASON for that.  Kate Daniels rocks my socks off. This book is the most satisfying and entertaining thing I have read all year.  Books like these are why I read. I didn’t want to stop reading to go to bed… to go to work… to feed my kids. (You get the idea.) [Read more…]

Review: The Sight by Chloe Neill

sightReviewed by Jen

After a kind of lukewarm feeling about the first book in this series, I have to say that I enjoyed this one quite a bit more. I think that’s because I finally started feeling more of a connection to the characters, which ultimately made me care more about what happened to them.

If you didn’t read The Veil, you’re probably going to feel lost jumping in here. This second installment picks up right on the heels of that one with very little rehash. A war between humans and supernaturals has turned New Orleans into a shell of itself. Supplies are scarce; the military is everywhere; and the magically inclined prisoners are housed in the nearby Devil’s Isle. [Read more…]

Review: Unbinding by Eileen Wilks

unbindingReviewed by Jen

I have wanted more time with Kai and Nathan since they were introduced back in “Inhuman,” so I was actually pretty excited about the chance to get some quality time with them as lead characters.  I wasn’t disappointed. This book has a different feel than the others, to be sure, but I think it was smart for Eileen Wilks to take a break from Lily and Rule. After all, they got their big moment at the end of the last book. It was the culmination of their romance. Anything that happened with them was going to be small potatoes after that. So Wilks sent them on their honeymoon, and switched her focus. [Read more…]

Review: Ritual Magic by Eileen Wilks

ritual magicReviewed by Jen

Remember when I said this series might have run its course for me? Scratch that. This book was a comeback in a big way. All of the disconnect I had been feeling was gone. All of the character focus I missed, was back again. I was engaged from the very beginning. The pacing was good, the plot moved fast, and I didn’t want to put it down from beginning to end.

One of the things that drew me in was the set-up. Lily’s mom, Julia, has lost her memory. She thinks she is still 12 years old. She can’t remember any of her life since that point, and that includes her husband and her children. Obviously, Lily thinks that whatever has magically targeted her mom, is using Julia to get to her. Then other people start popping up with memory loss all over the city. Something bigger is happening, but that Lily can’t shake the feeling that her mom is ground zero. [Read more…]

Review: Death Magic by Eileen Wilks

death magicReviewed by Jen

I struggled a little with this installment. It’s not bad. There is a lot happening to advance the main story arc. The problem I had was with a noticable lack of feels. The last few books really struck a fantastic balance between action and its character focus. This time around, I really missed the character and emotional elements. I missed the romance. And I felt the pacing was uneven. But the ending is big, so no way you can skip it. [Read more…]

Review: Blood Challenge by Eileen Wilks

blood challengeReviewed by Jen

I know it’s bad form to talk about the ending of a book first, but WOW what at ending this one has. It’s really the ultimate culmination of a fantastic book that builds and builds to a climax that is emotional, intense, and pretty much everything you could want. Not sold yet? Let me back up.

This book really gets back to the basics in what the series is about, and it picks up some dangling threads that have just been waiting to be pulled. The focus is on the lupi, specifically Nokolai, but not just them. Rule is trying to gather all the clans together to talk about the growing threat from their ancient enemy. It’s not easy, since his decision to become Rho of Leidolf while remaining heir to Nokolai has left the other clans on edge. [Read more…]

Review: Blood Magic by Eileen Wilks

blood magicReviewed by Jen

Finally! I have wanted to know more about Grandmother since the beginning of the series, and now we finally get a peek into her backstory and what it means for Lily in the present day. It was worth the wait, and was made even better as it tied into so many other threads we’ve seen woven over the last several books.

So it may seem at first like Rule and Lily’s surprise engagement would be a big deal in this book, and while there is a bit of fallout, it’s really quite a minor element of the story. That’s because someone nearly kills Cullen at his and Cynna’s baby shower and the stakes only go up from there. You see, the attack happens at Clanhome, which gives the Nokolai a major stake in the investigation, and the perpetrator uses magic, which drops the case squarely into Lily’s jurisdiction. [Read more…]