Review: Heart of Darkness by Lauren Dane

Reviewed by Jen

I had high expectations going into this book –A– because I have heard great things about Lauren Dane and –B– some of my other bookish friends gave it generally positive reviews. While I didn’t actively dislike it, unfortunately, this wasn’t a winner for me. The worldbuilding is solid and pretty interesting, but I failed to connect with the characters and I didn’t feel invested in their romance.

Meriel is a powerful witch and the heir apparent to her family’s clan. The only thing that is holding her back from reaching her potential is the fact that she has not found her bondmate and ascended with him. Finding her magical other-half happens pretty quickly, though, when she goes to investigate a loner witch who is using her family’s magical font without permission. [Read more…]

Review: Hunting Season by Annie Bellet

Reviewed by Joanna

Jade and Alek are just getting down to business after Jade rids her comic book store of a plague of cockroaches sent by the witches, when there comes a knock at the door. Seriously Jade, go stay somewhere else every now and again. Get some down time and snuggle with your big hunk of tiger man. Lord knows I’d read a novella on that alone. Anyhow, I digress. The visitor needs help with a badly injured unicorn, and our favourite sorceress can’t say no.

This is the fourth in the UF series I’ve been enjoying and Jade is still learning the extent of her powers, becoming more formidable by the book. I’m invested in Jade. I like her and I want her to succeed in securing the safe and quiet life she badly wants. And the nerdy references have me cheering. I love this. Firefly! Dragonball! [Read more…]

Review: Silence Fallen by Patricia Briggs

Reviewed by Jen

This was easily the best book I have read in ages. For a series that has been running as long as the Mercy Thompson one has, it has to be hard to maintain the quality that these books have, but Patricia Briggs somehow manages to do it and do it spectacularly.

Briggs does a few things different with this book. One, is that it is told in split point of view alternating between Mercy and Adam. Not only that, but the timeline between their respective chapters was a little bit off. From another author, this could be a complete train wreck. But it totally worked here. [Read more…]

Review: Etched in Bone by Anne Bishop

Reviewed by Jen

It’s hard to say goodbye to a series I’ve enjoyed as much as this one. So reading this last installment of Anne Bishop’s The Others series was bittersweet. It definitely feels like the end, but the world is big enough and in enough turmoil that Bishop will easily be able to pick up with her planned a spinoff series in the future. [Read more…]

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: Justice Calling by Annie Bellet

Reviewed by Joanna

Woo! I found a new urban fantasy kick to binge on. My happy face is engaged and I’m hunkering down.

This is the story of Jade Crow. She lives in the small town of Wylde among shapeshifters, a leprechaun neighbor and a few other odd magic types. Native American Jade is part of this secret magic side of the neighborhood, but she keeps her true ID under wraps – she’s a sorceress and a powerful one at that. Except because she’s on the run, she’s entirely unpracticed as she has to keep her power signature hidden. [Read more…]

Review: Eleventh Grave in the Moonlight by Darynda Jones

Reviewed by Jen

Somehow Darynda Jones manages to up the stakes with every single installment of this series. I will admit, there have been times that the shockers or cliffhangers frustrated me. But not this time. The end of this book left me hungry for more. I am already anxiously awaiting 12th Grave to see where the story goes next.

But I suppose I should back up and talk about what happened before the last few pages. This series lost a little something for me in the installment where Charley had amnesia. The book after that was an improvement and this one has all of the magic of my favorites in the series. Sometimes it takes me a minute to reacclimate to just how snarky and out there Charley’s internal dialogue is. But as I sink back into it, I really do enjoy her silliness and irreverence. That’s especially true now in juxtaposition to the power she has turned out to be. [Read more…]

Review: The Operator by Kim Harrison

Reviewed by Jen

It feels like it’s been a long wait since I finished the first book in the series. But it was worth the wait. I do think people who have not read The Drafter would I have a hard time jumping in with this second installment, though. It builds heavily on the events of book one which was very dense and full of twists and turns. [Read more…]