Review: Heir of the Dog by Hailey Edwards

Reviewed by Jen

After a lukewarm introduction to this series, I wasn’t sure that it would be a good fit for me. But Hailey Edwards has come through again and I am happy to report this installment has made me a fan of the Black Dog books. It makes sense, in a way, when you consider that Dog With a Bone was an added prequel to what was supposed to have been a trilogy that started here. This book is much more engaging and made me care about the heroine in a way that I just didn’t before. And if you choose not to read Dog With a Bone, I’m pretty sure you would be totally fine jumping in here. [Read more…]

Review: Box of Frogs by Helen Harper

Reviewed by Elise

I stumbled across Helen Harper’s novels entirely by accident one day, and from the first page I was hooked. The stories are quirky, upbeat and riveting. She quickly became a ‘one click’ author for me and I get a little bit fan girly when I write about her books. When Box of Frogs came up on my TBR it was a no brainer.

In Box of Frogs we meet No Name. I say this because our quippy and random heroine wakes up on a golf course next to a headless corpse and with no memory of who she is. When she saves her own life using magic powers, she is convinced she is a super hero and wanders around downtown Manchester in a leotard and mask, looking out for people to save. Her actions bring her to seemingly innocuous places and troubles. As the story progresses, we find that the events of the novel are not as random as they appear and we slowly learn more about Madrone. [Read more…]

Review: Dog With a Bone by Hailey Edwards

Reviewed by Jen

You may have noticed that I have been tearing through Hailey Edwards’ backlist lately. I love her Foundling series and Necromancer books too, but this first installment in the Black Dog series left me a bit lukewarm.

An author’s note at the end tipped me off that this is something of a prequel more so than really the first book in the series, and that gives me hope that the next installment will be more satisfying. This is a novella and it lacked the — I don’t know — oomph that I am used to from this author. In her other books, she made me care about the heroine. She made me have longing and lots of feels for her love interest. Less so here. It’s not a bad book at all. Don’t get me wrong. It’s just a bit superficial, both from a character perspective as well as a world building one… Or even much of a mystery. [Read more…]

Review: How to Dance an Undead Waltz by Hailey Edwards

Reviewed by Jen

I’m not sure I have the words to tell you how much I adored this book. Hailey Edwards has skyrocketed to one of the top spots in my favorite author list and I’m now at the point where I will read anything she writes. Because it’s gold, guys. And as much as I love her Foundling books—and believe me, I do—this book has put the Beginner’s Guide to Necromancy series as my new favorite from her. One of my favorite urban fantasy series, period.

Spoilers from book three ahead. If you haven’t read the previous books already, stop and go read them now. They are best enjoyed in order and they are all fantastic.

So as this book begins, Grier is reeling from an awful betrayal from her boyfriend and her best friend. Boaz is engaged to another woman and Amelie knew he was doing it. These are garbage people and I want to set them on fire. But at the same time, I’m so very glad to have Boaz out of the picture as a love interest because it clears the way for the man Grier SHOULD be with… Linus. [Read more…]

Review: How to Break an Undead Heart by Hailey Edwards

Reviewed by Jen

Oh Hailey Edwards, you crafty crafty lady. You make me feel things.

This book kept me so riveted, I read it in one sitting. The kind of book that made me stay up way past my bedtime on a work night so that as I write this the next morning, my eyes are bleary but my insides are still squeezing tight over the events that transpired.

Read any reviews about this series and you’ll find how often people say the heroine, Grier, can’t catch a break. And it’s so true. It is a crappy, crappy world that she lives in. No one can be trusted. And I mean no one. The climax in the last book should’ve tipped me off. The title of this book should’ve tipped me off. And yet when everything came crashing down, I felt sideswiped. And that’s good writing, people.

You know what else is good writing? Subtly laying the groundwork for all of this, so that when it came together, it made complete and total sense. The downside I had about a particular character or the interest I had an another. Expertly played. [Read more…]

Review: Catwoman – Soulstealer by Sarah J Maas

Reviewed by Elise

Catwoman: Soulstealer is book three in the DC Icons series. Let me begin by saying I picked up this book because of the author, not because of the content. I have never really been a fan of the DC Universe so I wasn’t expecting to love the book as much as I did. Sarah J Maas is a phenomenal story teller and her retelling of Catwoman was no different.

For fans of the author, the premise may sound a little familiar. Young girl forced into the life of an assassin, turns into blonde, beautiful and frightening intelligent woman who makes men in her life frustrated and in desperate need of antacids. Name of Selina. Does this sound at all familiar? The similarities end at this superficial level and the book is all the better for it.

In the past, the author has been accused of lacking diversity in her work. This book is more representative of the real world and in a positive manner. None of the minority characters are killed off nor are their lives or relationships treated as anything less than normal. There is no ‘big reveal’, the relationships are what they are. Just as it should be. [Read more…]

Review: Night and Silence by Seanan McGuire

Reviewed by Jen

I never felt completely ok with the resolution of Toby’s relationship with her daughter. A few books back, Gillian made the Changeling’s Choice and she opted to become fully human. Toby honored those wishes and stepped out of her child’s life. But now, Gillie has been kidnapped again, and human or not, she will never be someone who Toby could turn her back on. So our heroine must put past hurts aside to help her ex-fiance and his current wife find the girl they’d raised as their own.

Right away, we know this kidnapping has a connection to the Fae. There are hex bags in Gillie’s room and someone is leaving clues that count on Toby’s special skills to track her through false trails and traps. The story follows her efforts to figure out who snatched her daughter and bring the girl home, all while mending the relationship with Tybalt so badly damaged by his kidnapping in the last book. [Read more…]

Review: How to Claim an Undead Soul by Hailey Edwards

Reviewed by Jen

This second installment in the Beginners Guide to Necromancy solidifies this series and as another winner from Hailey Edwards. If you haven’t read book one, stop now and go back to the beginning. This book would be best enjoyed after reading that one.

Our heroine, Grier, is facing all new challenges now that her place in society has been restored. She has money again–and the possibility of a relationship with her childhood crush, Boaz, but she is far from comfortable in her skin. She is still suffering from serious PTSD from her time in supernatural prison and she is waiting for the rug to get ripped out from under her at any moment, either by losing everything she just regained or by becoming a target again for the vampires who would use her for their own purposes.

She can’t get her old job back, seeing as how she disappeared for five weeks due to a pesky kidnapping. But there is a potential place for her on what will be a haunted cruise ship. As she helps renovate the ship, she stumbles upon a sentient ghost and learns of a new big bad in town, a devourer who is eating specters. And now, she may be a target as well. [Read more…]

Review: Magic Triumphs by Ilona Andrews

Reviewed by Jen

Ilona Andrews probably could have written Kate Daniels books for another 10 years and made a fortune. They are wildly successful and even after 10 books, fans love them every bit as much as they did years ago… if not more. I know I do. But that makes it all the more impressive that they decided to end this series on top. They finished Kate’s story and they did it in spectacular fashion, giving me everything I wanted and needed from an epic conclusion. I can’t imagine the kind of pressure they were under to satisfy their readers with Kate’s swan song, but somehow, they pulled it off with their trademark blend of humor, action, and heart.

There are so many things that make this book awesome, but the clearest front-runner is an adorable, fascinating, and powerful one year-old named Conlan Lennart. That’s right, Kate and Curran’s baby is born in the prologue and we scoot ahead in time a bit for the bulk of this book. It was a brilliant move, because Conlan has grown enough to feel like a real character here. He is clearly smart and extremely gifted with magic, but at the end of the day he is also a toddler that loves his mommy and daddy. And man, do they love him too. [Read more…]

Review: How to Save an Undead Life by Hailey Edwards

Reviewed by Jen

It can’t be easy to keep coming up with a fresh new take on urban fantasy. I read a lot in the genre and so many of the books carry similar threads or a common tone. I am finding, though, with Hailey Edwards that each one of her series has a unique flavor. This one is no exception. It is really, really good.

The heroine is Grier, a weak necromancer who has only recently been released from a supernatural prison where she spent the last five years for a crime she did not commit. This is a woman who has endured a lot. She was caged, drugged, and tortured all those years and is suffering now from a mighty case of PTSD. Add to that, she has no idea how or why she was released. She barely has two cents to rub together, but she does have the home where she grew up, a haunted house she calls Woolly, which feels like its own character in the story. [Read more…]