Monday, May 31, 2010

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

(The Wolves of Mercy Falls Book #1)
by Maggie Stiefvater

Genre: Paranormal Romance / Young Adult

Grace, 17, loves the peace and tranquility of the woods behind her home. It is here during the cold winter months that she gets to see her wolf—the one with the yellow eyes. Grace is sure that he saved her from an attack by other wolves when she was nine. Over the ensuing years he has returned each season, watching her with those haunting eyes as if longing for something to happen. When a teen is killed by wolves, a hunting party decides to retaliate. Grace races through the woods and discovers a wounded boy shivering on her back porch. One look at his yellow eyes and she knows that this is her wolf in human form. Fate has finally brought Sam and Grace together, and as their love grows and intensifies, so does the reality of what awaits them. It is only a matter of time before the winter cold changes him back into a wolf, and this time he might stay that way forever.

Sam can only remain human during the warm months, so he doesn't have much time with Grace before winter arrives. Grace, on the other hand, is instantly drawn to Sam because of his eyes and their chemistry continues to grow throughout their story. Both are truly believable characters and Maggie Stiefvater's creation of the werewolf lifestyle is quite unique. The story is seamless and you find it hard to even close the book once you begin.

I really enjoyed the alternating story telling from both Grace and Sam throughout
Shiver. Grace is obsessed about the wolves in her backyard and vise versa, Sam is passionate about getting to know "his human" - Grace. It's a perfect love story! They're both torn in different directions, but together . . . they make sense. It's also so heart wrenching at times to watch them try so hard to remain together and know, regardless, that the outcome is against them. Make this book a permanent part of your library and mark your calendars for Linger, coming out July 20th.

Likes: I love the fact that Sam works part-time at a book store . . . adorable.

Dislikes: The story will make you tear-up! I find that's always sad knowing that fact going into a book, but it's well worth it with
Shiver! Enjoy!


Sunday, May 30, 2010

Beastly by Alex Flinn

by Alex Flinn

Genre: Fairy Tale / Urban Fantasy / Paranormal Romance / Young Adult

A beast. Not quite wolf or bear, gorilla or dog but a horrible new creature who walks upright—a creature with fangs and claws and hair springing from every pore. I am a monster.
You think I'm talking fairy tales? No way. The place is New York City. The time is now. It's no deformity, no disease. And I'll stay this way forever—ruined—unless I can break the spell.
Yes, the spell, the one the witch in my English class cast on me. Why did she turn me into a beast who hides by day and prowls by night? I'll tell you. I'll tell you how I used to be Kyle Kingsbury, the guy you wished you were, with money, perfect looks, and the perfect life. And then, I'll tell you how I became perfectly . . . beastly.
This modern fairy tale focuses on Kyle, a New York rich kid. He's got a swanky penthouse, his father's a famous national broadcaster, he's got model-good looks, and is one of the most popular guys at school. He doesn't think of anyone else but him, that is until the new goth girl begins to rub him the wrong way. Now, one of his cruel actions has become his last and since being called "Beastly" . . . that is now what he'll become as well - literally.
I picked up this book thinking it'd be a quick read, but it actually ended up surprising me. I liked it . . . really liked it! At times it's very realistic and other times "way out there" - a real fairy tale. It was cute, unique, and I enjoyed the modern curse placed on Kyle. It also had the whole Phantom of the Opera feel to it, since you a rooting for the monster to win throughout. I am excited to hear Alex Flinn just put out a new book as well, A Kiss in Time, which is a modern retelling of Sleeping Beauty. I'm definitely checking that one out!
Likes: I'm glad Alex Flinn kept the importance of roses in the story.
Dislikes: His father's reaction that even their money isn't enough to find a cure, so he banishes his son.


Saturday, May 29, 2010

Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews

Magic Bites
(Kate Daniels Book #1)
by Ilona Andrews

Genre: Urban / Dark Fantasy

Atlanta would be a nice place to live, if it weren’t for magic…
One moment magic dominates, and cars stall and guns fail. The next, technology takes over and the defensive spells no longer protect your house from monsters. Here skyscrapers topple under onslaught of magic; werebears and werehyenas prowl through the ruined streets; and the Masters of the Dead, necromancers driven by their thirst of knowledge and wealth, pilot blood-crazed vampires with their minds. In this world lives Kate Daniels.
Kate likes her sword a little too much and has a hard time controlling her mouth. The magic in her blood makes her a target, and she spent most of her life hiding in plain sight. But when Kate’s guardian is murdered, she must choose to do nothing and remain safe or to pursue his preternatural killer. Hiding is easy, but the right choice is rarely easy…
Kate Daniel's story begins with her learning that the only family she has left -Greg Feldman, the city's knight-diviner- has been murdered. Normally, Kate works for the Mercenary Guild, doing odd jobs to get by, but she takes on this new mission of discovering what she can through the Order of the Knights of Merciful Aid, the guardians of the city. Along the way, she meets up with Curran, the Beast Lord, and gets a peek into his world.

I thought I might enjoy this series since I'm a fan of Jeaniene Frost's
Night Huntress books, but Kate Daniel came off as a little too overpowering for me. I don't like the "kick-ass" female characters that much and the setting has a very "destroyed world" feeling to it, but also too futuristic for my taste. The magic wasn't that interesting . . . almost too scientific with boring facts and I found myself having to re-read sections to fully understand where we stood. Overall, this book just rubbed me the wrong way & I couldn't really loose myself in the story, but I may move on to the most recent book just to see if it'll improve and to find out where Kate and Curran's relationship goes.

Likes: The doctor Crest. He came off as the most realistic character.

Dislikes: The whole concept of magic rising, falling, and affecting modern technology.


Friday, May 28, 2010

Blood and Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause

Blood and Chocolate
by Annette Curtis Klause

Genre: Paranormal Romance / Urban Fantasy / Young Adult

Blood and Chocolate chronicles the longings and passions of Vivian Gandillon, teenage werewolf. Her pack family, recently burned out of their West Virginia home by suspicious neighbors, has resettled in a sleepy Maryland suburb. At her new school, Viv quickly falls for sensitive heartthrob Aiden, a human--or "meat-boy," as her pack calls him. Soon she is trying to tame her undomesticated desires to match his more civilized sensibilities. But Vivian's animal ardor cannot be stilled, and she must decide if she should keep Aiden in the dark about her true nature or invite him to take a walk on her wild side.

Vivian's unsettled about where her life is : the guys she grew up with now annoy her, she avoids her home since most pact meetings go on there, her Mother is barely around. So, when she meets Aiden at school, he peeks her interest. Secretly she begins to approach him in hopes that her pack never catches on. She wishes not to follow the rule "to love your own" so when Aiden returns her affections, she keeps up the Happy Human appearance. Not all stays well for long and Viv debates if she can reveal her true self without consequences.

What does it take to truly know oneself? Vivian comes off as a very strong and self-assured women. I liked that as times her story was a lot of fun to read and others quite dark. She fumbles throughout the tale, but learns from her mistakes and moves on, but you go through the whole emotional roller-coaster right along with her. It's truly a great werewolf book and very different from the yucky movie version - so definitely grab this one of a rainy day . . . you'll get entranced!

Likes: I was happy with who she ended up with in the end.

Dislikes: You may be able to figure out the ending before you get there . . . but you won't want to miss how the story reaches it.


Thursday, May 27, 2010

Beauty by Robin McKinley

(A Retelling of the Story of Beauty & the Beast)
by Robin McKinley

Genre: Fairy Tale / Fantasy

Beauty has never liked her nickname. She is thin and awkward; it is her two sisters who are beautiful. But what she lacks in looks she can perhaps make up for in courage.

When her father comes home with the tale of an enchanted castle in the forest and the terrible promise he had to make to the Beast who lives there, Beauty declares she must go to the castle, a prisoner of her own free will.

Having two older sisters named Grace and Hope, Honour is nicknamed Beauty and it sticks. While her sisters grow into their names, Beauty feels just the opposite. Upon a financial disaster, the family moves from their comfortable rich life in the city to a small cottage in the country to begin anew. After her father's return from the city, a single enchanted rose is gifted to Beauty. BUT you know the tale--the father met the Beast who demanded one of his daughters in exchange for his life, because he dared to pluck a rose.

I adored this story. I remember attempting to read it when I was much younger, but I loved reading it again years later. No lie,
Beauty and the Beast is my favorite fairy tale, but this retelling is wonderfully romantic and full of charm. Lots of magic and castles, Beauty truly brings to life a sweet relationship. I especially enjoyed how Robin McKinley didn't alter the tale and kept it as original as possible and her expansion of the characters made the book even more wonderful!

Likes: That Beauty is known more for her brains & guts than just a pretty face.

Dislikes: Her answer to the Beast asking her every night for her hand in marriage . . . so sad!


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Spirit Bound by Richelle Mead

Spirit Bound
(Vampire Academy Book #5)
by Richelle Mead

Genre: Paranormal Romance / Urban Fantasy / Young Adult

After a long and heartbreaking journey to Dimitri's birthplace in Siberia, Rose Hathaway has finally returned to St. Vladimir's-and to her best friend, Lissa. It is nearly graduation, and the girls can't wait for their real lives beyond the Academy's iron gates to begin. But Rose's heart still aches for Dimitri, and she knows he's out there, somewhere.

She failed to kill him when she had the chance. And now her worst fears are about to come true. Dimitri has tasted her blood, and now he is hunting her. And this time he won't rest until Rose joins him... forever.

Rose has returned back to the academy, after her hunt in Siberia, to pass her Guardian test with flying colors and graduate. Things are finally looking up, she has a rich and royal boyfriend (Adrian) who surprisingly she has come to care for, she's on good terms with her best friend (Lissa) and even the Queen of the Court has taken a stranger-than-normal liking to her. Yet, she's receiving haunting letters from her lost love, Demitri, and she begins to realize just how serious he is about hunting her down for a change.

I have to say . . . book #5 didn't grip me as much as book #4. I think I enjoyed the tale before more since Rose was on her own for the majority of it and we all had our doubts of who
or what Demitri was going to be! But, NOW we know all that going into this continuation and I feel Spirit Bound didn't expand on the characters or tale as much as I would have liked. I do LOVE Adrian (I'm a big FAN!) and I feel bad that Rose doesn't appreciate him as much as she should, but the story does flow smoothly and finally brings to light the "turn" everyone has been waiting for in the series. A "turn" that really wasn't as big or as complicated as I believe it should have been - it was almost too easy. Overall, the Vampire Academy series continues on with a bang that I believe all followers will enjoy.

Likes: The interactions between Rose & Demitri, no matter how dangerous or heartbreaking and of course,
my funny and witty ADRIAN!

Dislikes: Sadly, I felt some of the story was totally implausible.


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Fallen by Lauren Kate

by Lauren Kate

Genre: Paranormal Romance / Young Adult

Luce must spend her senior year at reform school after her boyfriend dies in a mysterious fire. She suspects that the dark shadows that have tormented her all her life had something to do with it. When she meets supernaturally gorgeous Daniel, she feels a familiar longing, making her believe they have met before. Although Cam is clearly interested in her, Luce only wants Daniel, who runs both hot and cold. He tries to keep Luce at a distance, telling her that the truth would kill her as it has many times before.

Luce begins Sword & Cross, a run down boarding school, due to a troubled past. Upon entering, she is instantly drawn to bad boy Daniel and secretly continues to deal with her constant hallucinations of shadows. Throughout the tale, she begins to learn about her past which in turn reveals frightening glimpses of what her future brings.

I listened to this story via audio book during a long journey. If I would have been reading along in an actual book, I may not have finished the tale. It was quite predictable throughout and during other times . . . quite boring. I had hoped to get caught up with MORE of why she had such a
strong "love" for Daniel, but it didn't go there. The characters were somewhat flat, the overall story not engaging, and the main struggle at the end weak. Surprisingly enough, it's being made into a movie.

Likes: Daniel's remembrance of Luce's past lives.

Dislikes: Not really enjoying any of the secondary characters.


Monday, May 24, 2010

The Clearing by Heather Davis

The Clearing
by Heather Davis

Genre: Paranormal Romance / Fantasy / Young Adult

In this bittersweet romance, two teens living decades apart form a bond that will change their lives forever.

Amy is drawn to the misty, mysterious clearing behind her Aunt Mae's place because it looks like the perfect place to hide from life. A place to block out the pain of her last relationship, to avoid the kids in her new town, to stop dwelling on what her future holds after high school. Then, she meets a boy lurking in the mist--Henry. Henry is different from any other guy Amy has ever known. And after several meetings in the clearing, she's starting to fall for him. But Amy is stunned when she finds out just how different Henry really is. Because on his side of the clearing, it's still 1944. By some miracle, Henry and his family are stuck in the past, staving off the tragedy that will strike them in the future. Amy's crossing over to Henry's side brings him more happiness than he's ever known--but her presence also threatens to destroy his safe existence.

A new Town, a new School, new Friends, and a new Life. Amy's story begins with her moving in with her Aunt into the country; away from the busy hustle of the city and her old self. Adjusting to this new lifestyle is changeling until she meets Henry. Of course she thinks everything is normal and he'll be her first friend, but she doesn't see him at school and her Aunt doesn't know who he is. Then their visits become odder and odder, until Amy realizes what is really happening. Henry, on the other hand, shares this book with Amy. His story begins with a life that is separated by the thick fog that surrounds his home/family and the sad reality beyond. Despite their differences, the two begin a courtship that is very bittersweet.

It was a cute read! I adore time travel tales and this was very easy to get caught up in. Henry's point of view was very realistic (but a little odd in how it began) and very heartbreaking and lonesome at times. Amy's character starts off as a girl who is "running" away from her past problems and remaining almost weak in how she handles situations, but it was nice to see her develop into a stronger person by the end. Overall, it's a book to curl up with and enjoy. It's emotionally cheesy (I cried at the end) and yet, a beautifully unique love story.

Likes: The simple way of life during WWII.

Dislikes: Amy's attitude at times toward her past abusive relationship.


Sunday, May 23, 2010

Lover Mine by J. R. Ward

Lover Mine
(Black Dagger Brotherhood Book #8)
by J. R. Ward

Genre: Paranormal Romance / Urban Fantasy

John Matthew has come a long way since he was found living among humans, his vampire nature unknown to himself and to those around him. After he was taken in by the Brotherhood, no one could guess what his true history was- or his true identity. Indeed, the fallen Brother Darius has returned, but with a different face and a very different destiny. As a vicious personal vendetta takes John into the heart of the war, he will need to call up on both who he is now and who he once was in order to face off against evil incarnate.

Xhex, a symphath assassin, has long steeled herself against the attraction between her and John Matthew. Having already lost one lover to madness, she will not allow the male of worth to fall prey to the darkness of her twisted life. When fate intervenes, however, the two discover that love, like destiny, is inevitable between soul mates.

For me - this book had a very similar plot to Zhadist and Bella's tale of the female being kept prisoner, tortured, and having a minion fall in love with her & then the head-strong male determined enough to come to her rescue no matter what to only afterwords both realize they are truly meant for each other. It's sad to actually see the outcome of these books before finishing the first chapter, but I feel Lover Mine was a sad spin-off of Lover Awakened.

Like most fans, my favorite book of the series was Book #3 (
Lover Awakened) and then the series, I believe, began to all go down hill after Book #5 (Lover Unbound). Being a loyal reader, I followed through and somewhat enjoyed John Matthew & Xhex's tale. It was hard seeing JM as a grown man when not too long ago he was still a weakling in training and I haven't been that big of a fan of Xhex before, but her transition in this book changed my opinion of her slightly. It's nice (regardless the crappy read) catching up with the gang and I think that's the main reason I continue with the Black Dagger Brotherhood in the first place. Sadly, as I've been writing this review, my rating of this book has crept lower and lower due to my disinterest.

Likes: Zhadist & Bella with little Nala.

Dislikes: Where to begin?


Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Dead-Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan

The Dead-Tossed Waves
(Forest of Hands & Teeth Book #2)
by Carrie Ryan

Genre: Post-Apocalyptic / Young Adult

Gabry lives a quiet life. As safe a life as is possible in a town trapped between a forest and the ocean, in a world teeming with the dead, who constantly hunger for those still living. She’s content on her side of the Barrier, happy to let her friends dream of the Dark City up the coast while she watches from the top of her lighthouse. But there are threats the Barrier cannot hold back. Threats like the secrets Gabry’s mother thought she left behind when she escaped from the Sisterhood and the Forest of Hands and Teeth. Like the cult of religious zealots who worship the dead. Like the stranger from the forest who seems to know Gabry. And suddenly, everything is changing. One reckless moment, and half of Gabry’s generation is dead, the other half imprisoned. Now Gabry only knows one thing: she must face the forest of her mother’s past in order to save herself and the one she loves.

Gabry is satisfied with her life by the ocean. Sure she has to deal with the zombie bodies coming upon shore and sure she has friends that test her patience by going beyond the barriers, but overall - she has a Mother, a best friend, a boy she sees a future with, and a community that embraces her. All is okay . . . until one night when everything changes. Now her future is not as bright as she had hoped, friends/family are leaving, and the village is starting to ask questions she doesn't want to answer. She soon realizes that to find the truth, she must face her fears and go outside into a world she has ever known.

Being part of the millions who devoured The Forest of Hands & Teeth in one sitting, I couldn't wait to begin The Dead-Tossed Waves. Though I would have liked to not have such a time jump in between the two stories, it was enjoyable to see past characters emerge and witness that life really does carry on, even in post-apocalyptic times. Gabry was a brave soul (since their are many scary moments) and I was heartbroken right along with her throughout all her pit-falls. Unfortunately, since the audience is already use to the world that is baricades, curfews, religious freaks, and crazy zombies - the book doesn't make you cling to it as the first one did. Yet, it definitely makes you interested in what's to come . . .

Likes: Carrie Ryan's spook factor and how she can make your heart beat rapidly.

Dislikes: The time gap. The readers had to get to know all NEW characters before getting back into the setting again.


Friday, May 21, 2010

Generation Dead by Daniel Waters

Generation Dead
(Generation Dead Book #1)
by Daniel Waters

Genre:  Paranormal Romance / Young Adult

Phoebe is just your typical goth girl with a crush. He’s strong and silent…and dead. All over the country, a strange phenomenon is happening. Some teenagers who die aren't staying dead. They are coming back to life, but they are no longer the same—they stutter, and their reactions to everything are slower. Termed "living impaired" or "differently biotic," they are doing their best to fit into a society that doesn’t want them. Fitting in is hard enough when you don’t have the look or attitude, but when almost everyone else is alive and you’re not, it’s close to impossible. The kids at Oakvale High don’t want to take classes or eat in the cafeteria next to someone who isn’t breathing. And there are no laws that exist to protect the differently biotic from the people who want them to disappear—for good. With her pale skin and Goth wardrobe, Phoebe has never run with the popular crowd. But no one can believe it when she falls for Tommy Williams, the leader of the dead kids. Not her best friend, Margi, whose fear of the differently biotic is deeply rooted in guilt over the past. And especially not her neighbor, Adam, the star of the football team. Adam has just realized his feelings for Phoebe run much deeper than just friendship. He would do anything for her, but what if protecting Tommy is the one thing that would make her happy?

Phoebe's an open-minded high school goth student whose best friend/neighbor is one of the football teams top players, Adam. Their Connecticut school comes into the media spotlight when it beings to allow the highest ratio per capita of "living impaired" (really zombie teenagers, but the word "zombie" is a derogatory term in the story and everyone usually refers to them as DP = differently biotic) to attend classes. This unique acceptance is met with much tension, but a new Hunter Foundation "learning lab" is started to include both kind of students in hopes of projecting a more positive image. Throughout it all, Phoebe begins to develop feelings for the new "living impaired" student Tommy and realizes not everyone is as tolerant as she. So on top of having the responsibility of teaching her community about what DP people have to offer, she also has to deal with prejudices against her latest crush.

I admit, it took me awhile to get into this book. I would start reading, put it down, then a week later pick it up again. But after about getting a third of the way into it . . . I was intrigued. I'm a HUGE zombie fan, so that was the main reason for reading this, but overall, I liked it. It's defiantly got its undertone meanings, but you really begin to see the DP students side of their new way of "life" and some of their stories are just so heartbreaking. The ending was a bit shocking for me, so I cannot wait to begin the 2nd book in the series -
Kiss of Life.

Likes: I enjoyed Adam & Phoebe's Frisbee sessions, very therapeutic.

Dislikes: How the zombies speak annoyed the heck out of me, but not so much towards the end.


Thursday, May 20, 2010

Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins

Hex Hall
by Rachel Hawkins

Genre: Paranormal Romance / Fantasy / Young Adult

Three years ago, Sophie Mercer discovered that she was a witch. It's gotten her into a few scrapes. Her non-gifted mother has been as supportive as possible, consulting Sophie's estranged father--an elusive European warlock--only when necessary. But when Sophie attracts too much human attention for a prom-night spell gone horribly wrong, it's her dad who decides her punishment: exile to Hex Hall, an isolated reform school for wayward Prodigium, a.k.a. witches, faeries, and shapeshifters. By the end of her first day among fellow freak-teens, Sophie has quite a scorecard: three powerful enemies who look like supermodels, a futile crush on a gorgeous warlock, a creepy tagalong ghost, and a new roommate who happens to be the most hated person and only vampire on campus. Worse, Sophie soon learns that a mysterious predator has been attacking students, and her only friend is the number-one suspect.
When a love-spell goes wrong, Sophie Mercer is sentenced to a disciplinary school (Hecate Hall in Georgia, known as Hex Hall) for paranormal students until 18 years old. Having a mortal mother and a warlock father, who she has never met; Sophie is torn from her "normal" existence and thrown into a society of only witches, werewolves, fairies, and vampires. Not familiar with the history of the school or even the student's own survival skills from those (The Eye of God) who hunt down magical beings, Sophie has to quickly learn to adapt in a new world with all new rules.

It's a interesting supernatural mystery, full of teenage angst, usual school crushes, and beautiful bullies which is definitely written for the younger side. Even though it's a quick read and Sophie's attitude toward her new environment is funny at times (I like a protagonist with a little sass), sadly I wasn't all that impressed. I highly anticipated reading this book, was on a long wait list at my library for it, and even thought it was okay at times, but for some reason, it just didn't catch my attention as I had hoped. Yet, I'm not one to give up on a series. I felt this way beginning the Blue Blood books by Melissa de la Cruz and once the second of the series came out, I was hooked. So here's hoping Rachel Hawkins can capture my attention better the next time around.

Sophie's smart remarks like "I had an incredibly nasty retort ready that involved his mother and the U.S. Navy . . ."

Dislikes: I found it silly to make the famous poet, Lord Byran, into the school's Vamp teacher. It just struck me as odd and didn't really add much to the story. Plus, the whole witches on broomsticks - some originality please!


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

Before I Fall
by Lauren Oliver

Genre: Mystery / Young Adult

What if you had only one day to live? What would you do? Who would
you kiss? And how far would you go to save your own life? Samantha Kingston has it all: the world's most crush-worthy boyfriend, three amazing best friends, and first pick of everything at Thomas Jefferson High—from the best table in the cafeteria to the choicest parking spot. Friday, February 12, should be just another day in her charmed life. Instead, it turns out to be her last. Then she gets a second chance. Seven chances, in fact. Reliving her last day during one miraculous week, she will untangle the mystery surrounding her death—and discover the true value of everything she is in danger of losing.

Samantha Kingston begins her day like any normal Friday, sure she may have a few regrets here or there and maybe wishes she would have handled situations a little differently, but that's not who she is. Out of sight, out of mind, right? Except, later that evening . . . she's in a horrible accident and tragically dies. From then on out, it always beings with a dream of falling into the darkness and the same Friday morning over and over and over again.

I couldn't put this book down! I praise Lauren Oliver's writing style for making this story so realistic, so emotionally disturbing, and so enjoyable. Yet, I couldn't find myself giving it a perfect rating because Sam's tale really haunted me, but it's a damn good read regardless. Once you get caught up in Samantha's repeat Friday, you can't NOT remember the movie
Groundhog Day. The brilliancy of this book is that the whole tale really begins to revolve and by the end, you see Sam redeem herself for past mistakes but still remain who she is. Be warned : It's an addicting & heartbreaking story that makes everyone evaluate there own lives!

Likes: Sam's growing awareness to Kent.

Dislikes: The blunt honesty of how cruel high school can really be.


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Changeless by Gail Carriger

(Parasol Protectorate Book #2)
by Gail Carriger

Genre: Urban Fantasy / Paranormal Romance

Alexia Tarabotti, the Lady Woolsey, awakens in the wee hours of the mid-afternoon to find her husband, who should be decently asleep like any normal werewolf, yelling at the top of his lungs. Then he disappears - leaving her to deal with a regiment of supernatural soldiers encamped on her doorstep, a plethora of exorcised ghosts, and an angry Queen Victoria. But Alexia is armed with her trusty parasol, the latest fashions, and an arsenal of biting civility. Even when her investigations take her to Scotland, the backwater of ugly waistcoats, she is prepared: upending werewolf pack dynamics as only the soulless can. She might even find time to track down her wayward husband, if she feels like it.

Connall Maccon & Alexia Tarabotti are now Lord & Lady Woolsey and that's not the only thing that has boosted Alexia's status in society . . . she now personally works undercover for Queen Victoria, but that fact, and who she truly is, remains a secret from most. Now the independent Alexia must figure out her husband's reason behind his sudden departure to Scotland while continuing her appearance of newlywed bliss. Only the ones closest to her know her plans about looking into her husband's past, but sometimes it's the ones closest to you that you have to learn to watch out for.

It's funny. I began reading this series because I feel in love with the book cover of Soulless and it only helped that I got sucked into the story as well. This being book #2 in the series made me even happier to get lost yet again with all the characters of Gail Carriger's Victorian U.K.. Overall, it's a highly enjoyable sequel with a cliffhanger ending that I LOVED (but be warned : many fellow readers didn't) and I personally cannot wait to continue this tale into Blameless later this fall.

Yummy Lord Woosley (who's
loud, messy, gorgeous, and alpha)

Dislikes: Lord Akeldama
's over-the-top pet names for Alexia.


Monday, May 17, 2010

The Reckoning by Kelley Armstrong

The Reckoning
(Darkest Powers Trilogy Book #3)
by Kelley Armstrong

Genre: Urban Fantasy / Young Adult

My name is Chloe Saunders. I'm fifteen, and I would love to be normal. But normal is one thing I'm not. For one thing, I'm having these feelings for a certain antisocial werewolf and his sweet-tempered brother—who just happens to be a sorcerer—but, between you and me, I'm leaning toward the werewolf. Not normal. My friends and I are also on the run from an evil corporation that wants to get rid of us—permanently. Definitely not normal. And finally, I'm a genetically altered necro-mancer who can raise the dead, rotting corpses and all, without even trying.As far away from normal as it gets.

Still on the run from the Edison Group, Chloe and the gang try to figure out the next move in their chaotic escape for a life that offers some protection from harm. Having figured out that they themselves were cruel experiments; they turn to the only safe place they have left - a friend of Simon & Derek's dad, Andrew . Having the chance to stop running, rest, and practice their frightfully emerging powers, Chloe (necromancer) and her friends Simon (sorcerer), Derek (werewolf), and Tori (witch) along with help from Liz (poltergeist) finally decide to fight for their right to live freely in the future.

I read the first two books of this series quite quickly, so when this one came out, I dove right in as well. Even up until the end of the book, I had no idea this was a trilogy and sadly I wanted more at the last page. We were just getting to see the 'sun come out of the clouds' for these kids and finally Derek & Chloe were admitting their true feelings and more. The story moves pretty quickly, so you'll get caught up in the book from the beginning. I enjoyed the whole series and Armstrong's writing really helps the reader feel trapped or alone in the world when the gang gets stuck in tricky/deadly situations. Plus, she creates that perfect spook factor, which I just adore! Even though I'd love to read more about these guys, I'm satisfied how the Darkest Power's Trilogy ended. Overall, I'm still a fan of Kelley Armstrong (ever since I first feel in love with her writing through "Bitten") and will remain so.

Likes: Derek & Chloe's growing romance and Derek's growth into his werewolf self.

Dislikes: Still not a big fan of Tori, I had hoped she would change a little bit more throughout the series, but o'well.


Sunday, May 16, 2010

Her Vampire Husband by Michele Hauf

Her Vampire Husband
(Wicked Games #3)
Michele Hauf

Genre: Paranormal Romance

An arranged marriage between a werewolf and a vampire. There will be blood. She may resist his bite, but she can't resist his charms... Werewolf princess Blu Masterson won't allow her seductive vampire husband to consummate their marriage with his bite, marking her forever. Alone in a secluded estate with her sworn enemy, Blu curses the marriage arranged to bring their rival nations together, especially since Creed Saint-Pierre calls out to her most feral desires. When Blu uncovers her pack's secret plot to destroy the vampire nation—and Creed—she is forced to confront her growing feelings for her sexy undead husband. Will she choose the only life she's ever known or accept his vampire bite?

In hopes of creating a peace pact between two enemy nations, a wedding is arranged for Blu, an eccentric princess werewolf who has a passion for colorful wigs, and Creed, a 900 year old French vampire who cannot say no to a challenge. Neither is fully willing to jump into a "farce" marriage, but eventually they both begin to forget their past prejudices and learn that their playful bickering has somehow developed into a friendship/trust/love that is their own. Yet, just because their feelings have changed doesn't mean their own nations will.

This was my first time reading Michele Hauf and, honestly, I'm not familiar with any of her past works either. I did enjoy her development of the characters and how she gave Blu & Creed time to get over their reluctance a
nd work on their relationship as a newly married couple before throwing in too many side tangents. I was worried starting this book (as the third of a series) that I may have been a bit behind or lost, but I was 'good to go' the whole read through, so it's a great stand alone tale. I'm now tempted to check out Creed's Michelob beer drinking vampire friend Alexandre Renard's story next - Vampire's Tango. (Except I'm NOT a fan of Dancing With the Stars, so it'll probably go on my TBR pile.)

Likes: The food references from Chili Chocolate to Count Chocula.

Dislikes: Blu's ditsy attitude at the beginning and that there didn't seem to be too many decent & respectful werewolves.