Archive for September, 2012

Dark Peril – Christine Feehan

Posted: September 29, 2012 in Review
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Dark Peril

Christine Feehan

Published by Piatkus

Supplied by Hatchette

Reviewed by Jan

Dominic is of the Dragonseeker line and has drunk the vampire blood that is infested with parasites, in order to infiltrate the enemy camp and learn its plans.  He has very little time once the parasites go to work and this will be a one-way mission.  He plans to go in fast, relay the information to the Carpathian leader living in the area and go out fighting.  Dominic is looking forward to ending his life in  an honourable way, and then he meets her.  His life mate.

Solange Sangria is the only pure-blood female left of the jaguar people.  The jaguar people are a dying species, with only brutal males left now.  They kidnap and brutalise women able to shift, in the hopes of breeding more jaguar people.  Solange fights to stop them, discovering their secret compound in the jungle.  They have made a deal with the vampires to compile a database of women with magical talents.  The jaguar men can find new breeders, the vampires can destroy Carpathians…..

Xavier has been vanquished but his evil survives.  The vampires are still committed to wiping out the Carpathians.  Her cousins being married to Carpathians, Solange knows their struggles and after meeting Dominic in the jungle, decides to fight with him in the final stand…..

The 18th book in the Carpathian saga is another exciting read from Christine Feehan.  There is action, adventure, good guys winning, a bit of romance but this is secondary to the story.  I’m still hunting down the first 16 to read – this series is great!

A short Carpathian vocab list is in the back, along with healing chants and short history of the Carpatian people.  Very detailed and interesting.

Changeless – Gail Carriger

Posted: September 29, 2012 in Review
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Changeless

Gail Carriger

Published by Orbit

Supplied by Hatchette

Reviewed by Stephen

Changeless is the second in the Alexia Tarabotti series of novels by Gail Carriger. Alexia is now Lady Maccon, and must put up with a stately home full of werewolves returned from the colonies, a husband who is running off on business, and Ivy Hesselpenny who arrives and announces her engagement. London is also suffering from a blight of preternatural activity, something both the vampires and werewolves think Alexia has a hand in. Alexia knows differently. Armed with a new parasol (an unstylish affair but suitable for close combat), she pursues her husband by dirigible to Scotland, alone except for Miss Hesselpenny, Madame Lefoux (a possible French spy), her half sister Felicity, and the trusty Tunstell, one of her husband’s pack’s servants. But the curse of preternaturalness has beaten them to Scotland, and Alexia and Lord Maccon must solve the problem of not being able to shape change, as well as settle a succession problem within his old pack, without recourse to the supernatural.

Carriger writes with her usual charm and wit. Once more I enjoyed being transported back to slightly different version of London, with its werewolves, ghosts and vampires and just a dash of steampunk. Alexia is a delightful heroine, not easily flustered, and subject to the unwanted attentions of assassins, spies and other ne’er-do-wells. The supernatural beings have their own little cliques, and Alexia fits none of them, even though she is married to a very powerful werewolf. But she is also good friends with a gay vampire, who is absolutely charming. For those who like a little bit of manners with their steampunk and fangs, this is the book for you.

The book ends with a death and a pregnancy and leads nicely in to the next in the series, Blameless. I have a signed copy waiting on the bedside table.

Lonely Werewolf Girl – Martin Millar

Posted: September 29, 2012 in Review
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Lonely Werewolf Girl

Martin Millar

Published by Piatkus

Supplied by Hatchette

Reviewed by Jan

Isolated and alone, Kalix MacRinnalch is living on the streets of London, dodging murderous werewolf hunters and family members while feeding her laudanum habit.  Her clan is in Scotland, plotting and planning how to drag Kalix back to face trial for attacking her father, the Thane, werewolf king.  Her sister Thrix is also in London, building up her fashion business, designing clothes for the Fire Queen and keeping out of werewolf politics.

Kalix is almost caught by hunters and manages to escape with the help of Daniel, a human university student.  He takes her to his flat where she is looked after by his flatmate, Moonglow.  They are shocked to find Kalix is starving and almost illiterate, and further shocked by her brother showing up and trying to kill her.  They persuade Thrix to help hide her sister, with the assistance of the Fire Queen.  Meanwhile, back in Scotland, the MacRinnalch clan plots to elect an heir for the Thane.

I was put off by the cover quote from Neil Gaiman, describing Martin Miller as writing “like Kurt Vonnegut might have written, if he’d been born fifty years later in a different country and hung around with entirely the wrong sort of people”.  I really don’t like Vonnegut, finding him too dark and weird.

I started this book slowly and by chapter 17 was convinced I didn’t like it (chapters being 2-3 pages).But then I reached the middle.  People around Kalix were drawing together, leaving her surrounded by friends.  I’m glad I kept reading, this is a very good story, with a theme of drawing together to beat adversity.  This is marketed at teens but can be read by adults.  Try it.  Stick with it.  It’s worth it.

Curse of the Werewolf Girl

Martin Millar

Published by Piatkus

Supplied by Hatchette

Reviewed by Jan

Kalix MacRinnalch is still in London with her laudanum habit.  She’s now living with human friends, university students Daniel and Moonglow, and she’s also enrolled in college in remedial classes. Vex, Queen Malveria’s soon-to-be-adopted niece, has also moved in while going to the same school, where she awards herself gold stars for her poems about life as a fire elemental.

Thrix, Kalix’s fashion designer/werewolf/sorceress sister has started a relationship with a member of the werewolf hunter guild.  Her brother, the new Thane, has a penchant for cross dressing and ends up juggling women and his official duties. Queen Malveria obsesses about fashion and her rival, while others plot to overthrow all them and steal their kingdoms.

The cousins are still making very poor music in London’s underground scene. And the white haired wolf is being stalked by a man she spurned in college. When Kalix’s former lover is murdered, it begins a chain of events that brings everyone together for a bloody showdown at a Scottish castle where a charity opera event is taking place

This is the sequel to ‘Lonely Werewolf Girl’ and you really need to read the first book as there are many characters. Kalix is still as angsty and depressed as ever and her college life, along with the drama of being hunted by some enemy werewolves is driving her anxiety level WAY up. Kalix is broody and gritty, a really nice change of pace for what a stereotypical main character should be.  This is a book for both teenage and adults, offering a fun ride in Martin Millar’s demented world.

Covet: Fallen Angel Book 1 – JR Ward

Posted: September 29, 2012 in Review
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Covet: Fallen Angel Book 1

JR Ward

Published by Piatkus

Supplied by Hatchette

Reviewed by Jan

Jim Heron is a drifter who has found a temporary construction job in Caldwell.  He has walked away from his past as an assassin for the US, only to find they’re not letting him go that easily.  Jim’s temporary construction job is building a house, Vin’s latest status symbol.

Vin Di Pietro started from nothing and is a self made man, having plenty of toys and an obscene amount of money.  He only had to sell his soul to achieve success…  Marie-Terese works at the Iron Mask, a job she abhors but she needs the money.  She’s on the run from her past – a past she’s terrified has caught up to her.

Jim is electrocuted on the job and dies, meeting a pack of arch-angel who have decided to use him in an epic battle of good vs evil.  To win he only has to convince seven souls to choose the path of righteousness over sin.  And Vin’s is the first soul.

Vin and Marie-Terese get to know and trust each other, only to have the shadow of Vin’s ex-girlfriend cast over them.  Jim knows she’s evil, so he and his two trusty sidekicks (who cast no shadows) must ride to the rescue on their Harley…

As a fan of JR Ward’s Brotherhood series, I was a little apprehensive Covet wouldn’t measure up.  I’m happy to say it does.  The Fallen Angel series is one to watch out for.  It has the good vs evil battles, the redemption of souls, angels, demons, and hot guys in black leather.  This is very good.  Read it.   I look forward to the next.

For Brotherhood fans:  No vampires – well, apart from a blink and you’ll miss him sighting of Phury.  Trez is the owner of the Iron Mask and shows his softer side.  It doesn’t matter though.  The angels are just as hot.

Changes: The Dresden Files – Book 12

Jim Butcher

Published by Orbit

Supplied by Hatchette

Reviewed by Jan

“I answered the phone, and Susan Rodriguez said, ‘They’ve taken our daughter.’

Harry is shocked to discover he has a child with his ex-girlfriend Susan.  Their daughter has been abducted by a vampire of the Red Court, Duchess Arianna Ortega, who blames Harry for her husband’s death.  She is planning to use the girl as a human sacrifice to gain enough power for the Red Court to rule the world.

Thanks to diplomatic wrangling, the White Council refuses to offer help.  Harry must rely on his own skills and cunning to outwit the monsters and save his daughter.  He has the help of many friends and familiar characters (cop Murphy; Harry’s half brother, vampire Thomas; Sanya the Knight; and Harry’s apprentice, Molly) as they risk everything to save Harry’s daughter.  The book ends with a cliff hanger on the last few pages.  I’m really anxious to read the next one now.  This CAN’T be the end!!!

Changes  is a great read, full of  action and with a clever plot that keeps you guessing.  The longest book in The Dresden Files series, there is never a dull moment in this book.  For Harry Dresden fans, this is a must read.  If you are a new reader, don’t start the series here, go back to Storm Front: Book 1.

Full Blooded: Jessica McClain Book 1

Amanda Carlson

Orbit

Supplied by Hatchette

Reviewed by Jan

Jessica McClain is shouldn’t exist, the only female ever born into a werewolf pack.  When she was born a prophecy was whispered; she was an instrument of evil and would bring about the destruction of the race.  Her life was a series of fight to defend herself growing up, until she escaped and built a new life using a new identity.  Now she lives as a human, working as a PI and specializes in supernatural matters.  Females can’t shift into werewolves so she’s relaxed, ignoring the Cain prophecy.  Then her Wolf wakes…….

Returning to the pack after her first shift, Jessica has the protection of her father (the alpha) and his inner circle.  Other wolves would see her as a threat so news of her shift and different powers are kept quiet.  Word leaks out though, and the Cain prophecy rumours are resurrected.  Now Jessica is a target and other weres, witches, a goddess, and vampires (scary ones, not the glittering type) are involved in the hunt.

The supporting character were strong and added a lot to the story.  The love interest  – wow!  an ancient werecat, he’s a mercenary who accepted a contract to gather information on Jessica.  I loved this book and was hooked from the start!  This book has a little romance, lots of action, and some very hot sex scenes. The first of the fantastic new Jessica McClain series, I can’t wait to read the next.  The cliff-hanger ending promises more excitement in the next book, Hot Blooded.