Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Queen of Shadow - Dianne Sylvan

I read a lot of paranormal books. They all have their own special "quirks" that catch the attention and draw us in. But for the most part they're very similar, especially when it comes to vampires. Not this book. It was different from the start and ended differently as well. It drew me in, and had me reading non-stop. It is a violent book starting out, uncomfortably so if you're female, but necessary for the growth of the character. And grow she does, coming into her own power. You'll notice I never give too much away when I do these critiques. It's mostly because if this catches your eye, chances are you'll look it up on Amazon or somewhere else and learn all the plot you need to know. All I can say is-check it out! Dianne Sylvan is a fresh voice in an overrun paranormal world of stories. I am so looking forward to the next book in this series.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Lords of the underworld series by Gena Showalter

I have a tendency to zip through books or series like some people eat a bag of chips: non-stop until I run out of stories in the series. =) Gena Showalter's Lords of the underworld was no exception. Is it "high" literature? Well, no. BUT it's a hell of a lot of fun to read. No pun intended.

The Titan's created an elite group of soldiers to watch out for them. Demons were caught and put into a box watched over by none other than Pandora. The soldiers not liking the Gods choice of box watcher, killed Pandora and opened the box; thereby letting loose all the ills of the world. To punish the soldiers, the Gods then housed said demons in them as a form of punishment and sent them out into the world. After thousands of years, the Lords have come to terms with their inner demon and have tried to do some good in spite of who they house inside themselves.

Some of the Lords split off into their own groups and settled wherever they wanted in the world. This particular set of Lords live in Budapest, in a crumbling fortress complete with dungeon. All the Lords are hunted by a fanatical group of people called, the Hunters. The Hunters blame the Lords for all the ills of the world, rather than understanding that many of the ills of the world are caused by "free will". The Lords and Hunters are hunting for the now lost Pandora box, now made up of Pandora's bones and 4 artifacts that will help them to find the box. Visitations by Gods, Goddesses, Angels and lower level demons either help or hinder their search. Along the way, each of these Lords meets his match in a very special woman, with gifts or inner creatures of their own.

All told, it's an interesting story line and has kept me reading it for the last several days. There are some funny dialogues between the characters, and while the Lords do finally succumb to the special woman as they should, it's entertaining to read how they make that journey. Overall series stars- 4 out of 5

Friday, January 21, 2011

Fever series by Karen Marie Moning

5 books of non-stop action. Buy all 5 before you start reading because you will be mad at yourself if you don't have all of them on hand. MacKayla Lane is young women whose life is about to change in a very big way. After her sister Alina is murdered in Dublin, MacKayla travels to the Emerald Isle to find her sisters killer. Strange events start happening almost immediately after she arrives. The strangest yet- Jericho Barrons.

Filled with Fae, Seelie & Unseelie, a lost queen, a missing king and a book called the Sinsair Dubh, life for MacKayla just became a lot more interesting.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Skin Trade-Laurell K. Hamiton

Anita Blake receives a gift from an enemy still on the loose. This gift leads her to Sin City where she meets up with some old friends to hunt the killer. As always, Anita makes some new enemies as well.

I liked this book because there was less sex and more personal confrontation for Anita. She has gone through this long, arduous process as a character, that many of us go through-finding ourselves and where we fit in our lives. She is starting to question if she can do her job well due to the fact that she is now one of the "monsters". She is also pondering how she can juggle all the men in her life effectively while trying not to lose herself in the process of becoming whoever or whatever she is. Lots of action and a good story line keep this book moving at a decent pace.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Garden Spells & The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen

Garden Spells and The Sugar Queen were both a one sitting read for me. Both stories take place in the South, of which I am fond of, in small towns where everyone seems to know your business, and you, theirs.

Garden Spells tells the story of Claire Waverly, whose family has lived in their small town for generations. Claire is the newest resident and caretaker of a garden that is magical. An apple tree that throws apples, vines that entwine, fruits and vegetables that taste out of this world good.

The Sugar Queen is Josey Cirrini. A woman who is sure of three things in her life. A woman who is stuck in a big house catering to a mother who lived a life she didn't want, and is now a bitter and terribly demanding old woman to her daughter. One morning she awakens to find a woman in her closet. As the book progresses, the woman, who never leaves the closet, awakens Josie to life.

The stories are similar in that both main characters are women who have things in their pasts that hold them back from living life to the fullest. Who after some prodding and pushing come to the realization that life is passing them by and we can't always be held accountable about things/actions in our past. Either by us, or by others.

Both stories are funny, engaging, delightful and yes, magical. Pick up a bit of magic for yourself.

Cassandra Palmer series & Dorina Basarb series by Karen Chance

Cassandra Palmer leads a life of non stop adventure. In the first book, Touch the dark, we are introduced to this unlikely heroine and her friends and enemies. Few friends- lots of enemies. A person of the magickal persuasion, her gifts don't always work to her advantage.

Claimed by Shadow has Cassandra learning a bit more about her background. And making yet more enemies along the way. Including the Silver Circle (the supposed 'good guys') and the Black Circle. It's hell when there's a price on your head. Mircea, a vampire she met as a child, is causing her to second guess her feeling of friendship for something more. And then there's Pritikin...who is he really? The answer is most interesting.

In the third book, Embrace the night, we get more of an overview of her life within a vampire court. She was raised there after her parents deaths and find that while raised in luxury, it was nothing but a gilded cage. Cassandra met some interesting vampires while at court of whom she continues to be friends with even into adulthood. Additionally, the Pythia dies, and guess who is the new one? Can Cassies' life get any more hectic?

Curse the dawn, the fourth and newest installment, had me laughing almost all the way through. Still non stop adventure with Cassie and her friends. But there is a lot of humour in this one. The character of Cassie is more fleshed out with further insight into her parents and background. It has her questioning some of the things she does with regards to the men in her life, the ghosts in her life and her new status as Pythia.

Honestly I was meh about the 1st and 2nd books. But by the 3rd book I was hooked on this new addition to kick ass, fighting women who live in both the paranormal and normal world. Pick up this series and get started.

Midnight's Daughter, the first in the Dorina Basarab series. I LOVED THIS BOOK!!! Dorina is half human, half vamp. And daddy is....Mircea. Caustic, biting and tough as hell, (and this is on a good day) Dorina is a phenomenal character. Several characters from the Cassie Palmer series make an appearance, which makes for a great read.

If you are in need of some new reading material, with escapism, try either of these series.

Monday, April 20, 2009

I hate stereotypes.

With President Obama traveling the world, breaking down barriers and showing that no, not all presidents are blithering idiots, my hope is that the world now sees Americans in a better light. Or at least sees that we are not all the same. Most of us are not gun toting, hate mongering idiots. Not all of us our loud, brash and feel that you have to listen to our opinions just because we have some. We are not all inbreeders, sex offenders, listen to bad rap or any type of rap for that matter. Not all of us wear pounds of gold, track suits and sneakers. Not all of us hate others who are different than us, whatever those differences may be.

I'm a member of a forum, well several actually, that have members from all parts of the planet. For the most part I enjoy them a great deal. There is one person on one forum who makes me angry though because all he seems to do is high jack threads (and finds it oh so amusing) and U. S. bash. He's angered some of us U.S. citizens with the stuff that he posts. What bothers me is that even after we try and correct some of the things that he says, he continues to do it. Which now leads me to believe that probably most people from Australia are complete jerks and need to pull their heads out of their arse. A good will ambassador he 's not. If I was to base my opinions with regards to the Australian people from this guy; I'd have to say I would never want to visit your country. Based on the fact that I'm an American, I'd be afraid I might be fed to a crocodile. Or be hacked up with a knife. Or hit me in the head with a thrown can of lager. and I could be a jerk and say, well what do you expect from a country populated by the shipped out prisoners of England. You have to be an asshole if your own country ships you out because you're not wanted. (I'm making a point-I don't necessarily believe this.)

Yes, we have some rude Americans who should never be allowed to leave our country for international destinations. Unless deeply drugged and strapped up like Hanibal Lechter, only with a gag ball instead of a face mask. Yes, unfortunately our last president was a nonsensical idiot that apparently dropped some good shit in the 80's and saw mass weapons of destruction where there were none. (Ghost weapons apparently). Yes, some of us do like to tote guns, but do so responsibly. It is possible you know.

I cannot speak for my fellow Americans, but I can speak for myself. If you come across one of us, give us the benefit of the doubt with regards to whatever perceived stereotypes you may have of us. Who knows, perhaps you'll make a new friend, learn from /teach something to them. Stereotypes and profiling as a whole suck. But it can be stopped with a bit of effort on everyones part.