Review: Circle of the Moon by Faith Hunter

Reviewed by Jen

Faith Hunter is such a master craftsman of urban fantasy. All of her books in her Jane Yellowrock/Soulwood world are just so dense and layered… in plot, in backstory, and in the characters. The Soulwood books are the spinoffs and if you have not read Dark Queen, the latest Yellowrock book, be prepared for some spoilers because there is some overlap.

Nell, our heroine, has grown so much over the course of this series. She started off as this— I don’t want to say backward, but off-grid woman who has never known I truly modern life. She grew up as part of a polygamist cult and lives in the middle of the woods in a house off the power and water lines. But while she may never truly be free of her upbringing and the impact of its effects, she has now embraced a lot of the modern world in her job as a probationary Psy-Led agent. Not only that, she is bringing her sister, Mud, along with her. Nell is working towards adopting the 12-year-old, but has to make a few more changes to her lifestyle in order for that to happen.

[Read more…]

Review: Shades of Wicked by Jeaniene Frost

Reviewed by Sara

Shades of Wicked by Jeaniene Frost is a Paranormal Romance, book one in her Night Rebel series and set in the world of her highly acclaimed (at least by me) Night Huntress series. It is the story of Master Vampire, Ian, and vampire Law Guardian, Veritas. The two characters are as different from each other as oil and water; Ian being a hedonist of the highest order and Veritas an employee of what is essentially the vampire community’s version of a police force. What they do have in common is a demon named Dagon.

Thousands of years ago, Veritas was the prisoner of Dagon and forced to do horrible things in his name. Now, she sees an opportunity for justice, but needs a way to get Dagon’s attention when her plan is ready. When Ian sold his soul to Dagon he made it possible for Dagon to teleport to him any time the demon wishes. Veritas sees Ian as a means to an end and hopes to use him, but she wasn’t expecting him to be such an accomplished magic user, something illegal in the vampire world, or to be so honorable. Soon what starts as as her using Ian becomes an uneasy alliance and then a partnership as Veritas begins to development feelings for Ian. [Read more…]

Review: Impulse by Dannika Dark

Reviewed by Jen

Dannika Dark continues to enthrall me with this third book in her Mageri series. This installment dips a little more into the romance than the first two did. Maybe because Silver is finally getting a chance to explore a real relationship with just one man. Let me just say again how much I adore Logan and the dynamic between these two. It is really the heart of this book, even though there is some action on the side.

Logan is slowly and methodically courting Silver now in the ways of his people. They do not take physical intimacy lightly. It is a commitment. He wants Silver for a lifetime. Meanwhile, though, the yearly gathering is about to take place. For the Chitah, it is an opportunity to look for a soulmate and Silver worries that she is keeping Logan from his destiny. [Read more…]

Review: Full Moon Rising by Keri Arthur

Reviewed by Elise

Full Moon Rising is the first in the Riley Jensen series by author Keri Arthur. Keri comes from my neck of the woods, good ol’ Down Under. She is Melbourne based and I’m a bit higher up the coast where the weather is a bit more stable. It’s nice to read a story from an Australian author, more about that later.

The book tells the story of Riley Jensen. Riley is a half werewolf, half vampire crossbreed working for the Guardians in a not too distant future Melbourne. She is a liaison and happy with her job.

The story starts simply. Riley’s guardian brother goes missing. Riley sets out to find him, only to uncover genetic experimentation, betrayal and, like every good urban fantasy novel, a little steamy action. [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: 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…]

Review: Shadow’s Bane by Karen Chance

Reviewed by Jen

It’s been six years since the last book in this series was released. Six. Years. And yet, when I jumped back into the world of Dorina Basarab, I remembered right away why I always enjoyed it so much. That’s not to say I remembered everything that was going on. To say that would be a lie, so if you’re wondering if you should do a re-read of the series, I would not advise against it. And why not? Those books were awesome. And so is Dory herself.

As the story begins, Dory’s life is in a place she never expected it to be. She has been tapped to join the vampire Senate. She is in love with Louis Cesar. She has vampires she is responsible for, as well as trolls, her roommate’s baby and her own sort of adopted child, albeit one that is pretty far from human. The bottom line, she has family. People who love her and depend on her. She is not everyone’s enemy. [Read more…]