So excited about this one! What a fun story to write, and my
first endeavor into an urban fantasy world.
My Rating: 3.5 Stars
#1 New York Times bestselling author Kim Harrison returns to her beloved Hollows series with The Turn, the official prequel to the series that will introduce you to a whole new side of Rachel Morgan’s world as they’ve never seen it before!
Can science save us when all else fails?
Trisk and her hated rival, Kal, have the same goal: save their species from extinction.
But death comes in the guise of hope when a genetically modified tomato created to feed the world combines with the government’s new tactical virus, giving it an unexpected host and a mode of transport. Plague rises, giving the paranormal species the choice to stay hidden and allow humanity to die, or to show themselves in a bid to save them.
Under accusations of scientific misconduct, Trisk and Kal flee across a plague-torn United States to convince leaders of the major paranormal species to save their supposedly weaker kin, but not everyone thinks humanity should be saved, and Trisk fights the prejudices of two societies to prove that not only does humanity have something to offer, but that long-accepted beliefs against women, dark magic, and humanity itself can turn to understanding; that when people are at their worst that the best show their true strength, and that love can hold the world together as a new balance is found.
When I saw that a prequel to Harrison’s very popular Rachel Morgan/Hollows series was coming out, I had mixed feelings. Yes, I read every one of the Hollows books, right to the end, but I might not have done so, had I started them after reading a lot of other urban fantasy books. (Thus having more experience with what the genre ought to feel like.) For me, the books were always a mixed bag. There were some story lines and some characters I really loved, and some I definitely did not. And sadly, several of the ones I truly didn’t like were supposed to be the good guys. Not a single book made me happy all the way through, I’m sorry to say. And yet I kept reading.
I think I stuck with the series primarily because I really enjoyed the character of Trent Kalamack, and wanted to watch his relationship with Rachel grow into something permanent. No way to tell you whether or not that happened, without spoiling the books for those who might still like to read them. I can say that the final book was not nearly as well done as I had hoped it would be, and the ending felt rushed and incomplete to me. (Ducking for cover, here, because Harrison’s fans are legion, and I don’t want anyone throwing things at me. Like lethal, virus-riddled tomatoes.)
I will say this. You have to be doing something right to keep a reader coming back for thirteen books, which I did, so my hat’s off to Kim Harrison for creating series that, to me, was flawed, but was still absolutely addictive. I will also add that the things I did like, I liked very, very much, and they mostly made up for the things I hated.
Now, comes the prequel. Did I like it? Yes and no. Was I engaged with any of the characters the way I was with some of the ones from the Hollows book? No. They weren’t badly done, per se. They just didn’t pull me into their stories as much as I’d hoped. The book isn’t bad, by any means, and since I seldom gave any of the Hollows books more than 4 stars, 3.5 for this one feels about right. I did very much enjoy finding out how the tomato virus happened. And I must say that meeting Kal explained a lot about what made Trent Kalamack the conflicted and complicated character he was in the Hollows books. Oh, my. Talk about the sins of the fathers.
All in all, I would recommend The Turn to anyone who enjoyed the Rachel Morgan books. You’ll have to decide for yourself how it stacks up against those. I believe that there will be more books in this new series, and I’ll probably read the next one, too, having come this far. If the characters start to engage me a bit more, I’ll continue, but if not, I’ve got a TBR list as long as my arm, waiting. So, you Hollows fans, read this one for yourself, and let me know how it works for you. Hopefully, you’ll enjoy it, and we’ll find out together if the next one is a bit stronger. Sometimes a new series just needs to get its sea legs under it, and then, it’s smooth sailing.
My Rating: 5 of 5 Stars
Stopping to help a motorist in trouble, Katie Lynch stumbles upon a mystery as elusive as the Mothman legend that haunts her hometown of Point Pleasant, West Virginia. Could the coded message she finds herald an extraterrestrial visitor? According to locals, it wouldn’t be the first time. And what sense should she make of her young son’s sudden spate of bizarre drawings—and his claim of a late-night visitation? Determined to uncover the truth, Katie only breaks the surface when a new threat erupts. Suddenly her long-gone ex-boyfriend is back and it’s as if he’s under someone else’s control. Not only is he half-crazed, he’s intent on murder…. As a sergeant in the sheriff’s office of the famously uncanny Point Pleasant, Officer Ryan Flynn has learned to tolerate reports of puzzling paranormal events. But single mom Katie Lynch appears to be in very real danger—and somehow Ryan’s own brother, Caden, is caught up in the madness, too. What the skeptical lawman discovers astounds him—and sends him into action. For stopping whatever evil forces are at play may just keep Katie and Caden alive….
I read and enjoyed A Thousand Yesteryears, and was eagerly awaiting another visit to Point Pleasant. Fascinated by the way Mae Clair made Mothman so much more interesting than he ever seemed to me before, I couldn’t wait to see what new developments were in store. I was not disappointed. While I enjoyed Yesteryears, A Cold Tomorrow ratcheted everything up several notches, and Clair knocks this one right out of the ballpark. The characters were truly engaging, the mystery intensifies, and an element of shivery danger overlays every page.
Not going to go into details here, because I never like to give away too much of any plot, but my favorite character this time around is Officer Ryan Flynn. Try as he might to disbelieve in the Point Pleasant paranormal shenanigans, Flynn can’t ignore a truth that becomes more and more clear to him every day: what seemed solidly real to him for most of his life isn’t, and a creature he’s never really believed in, is.
The tale makes me want to visit Point Pleasant, and take a look around for Mothman, myself. If you love a good, creepy mystery, with everything from Men in Black to flying humanoids, this book is for you. You can read it as a standalone, but I wouldn’t. The first book, A Thousand Yesteryears, gives you a more solid grounding in both the real life tragedy that occurred in Point Pleasant, and the mysterious mythology that haunts the little town. A Cold Tomorrow takes you to the next level. I recommend both books, and I’m looking forward to the final installment in this shivery trilogy.
I’ve had this book since the day it came out, but couldn’t work up the nerve to read it. Of everything Dean Koontz has ever written (and I’m a huge fan), the Odd Thomas series has been my very favorite. I found Oddie to be one of the most endearing and special characters I’ve ever enjoyed reading about, so I’ve been very reluctant to read the final book in the series, knowing I would have to say goodbye. Finally, I worked up my nerve and plunged in headfirst.
As always, Koontz’s writing touches me deeply. No matter the nature of the bad guys, horror or alien, four-footed & furry or merely evil to the core, what Dean Koontz does best is remind us that there is nothing more powerful than love. That’s why he’s my favorite horror/ghost/urban fantasy writer of all time. Bar none. This series has been no exception, and anyone who was surprised at the ending of Saint Odd hasn’t been paying attention. It ended exactly the way it needed to, even though it broke my heart to read it.
If you have followed Oddie from the beginning, you’ll want to read this, and see him come full circle, doing everything he set out to do. If you haven’t read any of these books, you really should. There’s no other character out there quite like Odd Thomas. And I doubt there ever will be again. I’m going to miss him.
Saint Odd is definitely NOT a standalone story. Do yourself a favor. Start with Odd Thomas, and read the entire series.
Jen Rasmussen is fast becoming a favorite author of mine. Her creativity and imagination are wonderful. I would give Rising Fury five stars for originality alone, but thankfully, I don’t have to do that. The plot is engaging, and the heroine, interesting. And the furies? Complicated, three-dimensional, and fascinating. Add to that the fact that Rasmussen’s story telling skills are excellent, and her books are well-thought out, well-edited, and well-written from start to finish. (I discovered this with her Lydia Trinket series, beginning with Ghost in the Canteen. One of the coolest concepts I’ve read in ghost stories in a long time.)
If you want to read about something just a bit different…like winged furies…no, make that PURPLE winged furies…Rising Fury is for you. Follow along with the flawed but very interesting main character, Thea Gideon, as she uncovers an organization, and a species of creature, she never knew about before, despite her own hidden talents. It’s a great ride. Umm…flight. Okay, adventure! Check it out! You might find yourself in need of the services of Hexing House yourself, someday. 😀
I’ve had this Kelley Armstrong anthology on my Kindle for months. Decided to read it this weekend, and I’m sorry it took me so long. I loved this book! It’s an anthology of sorts, but for me, it was mostly the backstory of one of the main male characters in Armstrong’s Otherworld series, Clayton. And, unlike some backstories which serve mainly to let you know a character’s history, Clay’s is riveting as a tale all on its own. A entire novel about his life would have worked for me, he’s that interesting.
The little boy werewolf–bitten, not born, and thus a rarity nearly unheard of–is completely endearing in all his fear, anger, and most of all, confusion as to the why’s of just about everything. His growing love and fierce devotion to the man who rescues him from near-certain death is heartwarming, risky, and even amusing at times, and his path to adulthood is filled with danger and frustration.
As always, Armstrong’s world building is solid and completely believable, and all of her characters are multi-dimensional, even the bad guys. Now I remember why I enjoyed the Women of the Otherworld so much, and am thinking I have to go back and re-read the entire series, including some more recent additions I haven’t gotten to yet. I highly recommend this anthology, though I do think it would make a lot more sense if you’ve already read the first few Otherworld novels. At least, the first one, Bitten.
Shifting Shadows is an anothology that includes every short story set in Mercy Thompson’s world from older collections, plus four brand new stories, two of which are actually novellas. For me, the new stories alone were worth the price of admission, but I also like having all of these stories in one very nice collection.
I enjoyed revisiting some of the older tales that I had forgotten about, and I like all of the new ones, but my favorite of all is “Silver,” a novella that goes hundreds of years back in time to tell the story of Bran and Samuel, and the witch who made them werewolves. It was sad and dark, but beautifully done, and I will look at each of those characters a bit differently in future books.
If you are a Patricia Briggs fan and already familiar with Mercy Thompson and friends, Shifting Shadows should be part of your library. Yeah, another cover I don’t like, but that’s an issue for some other time. I can overlook that in favor of the solid writing inside, and a chance to spend an afternoon with old friends, and new. Check it out. I don’t think you’ll be sorry.
If you decide to place an order with amazon, clicking through from my links will give me credit. If you are enjoying my reviews on Bookin It, its a great way to let me know! Thanks!
A day late, and a dollar short, as they say, but you’ll have to excuse me. A bad back has kept me away from my computer more than I like, so I’m running behind on everything. But another thing they say is, “better late than never,” right? So here’s Friday’s What Are You Reading post. For better or worse. And that’s entirely enough old sayings for one morning. 🙂
I’m well into D. B. Jackson’s 3rd book of the Thieftaker Chronicles, A Plunder of Souls, and enjoying it nearly as much as the first two. I won’t say it is the best urban fantasy ever, but I will say that Jackson’s mixing of real historical characters from the pre-Revolutionary days of early America, is deft, and a great deal of fun. (Not to be confused with “daft,” which is more what I am on any given day.) I really enjoy our conjurer, Ethan Kaille, as he tries to solve yet another magical assault on the city of Boston, while mixing it up a bit with the likes of Samuel Adams and other names from history. I’ll be reviewing this one in detail later, for sure.
Now it’s your turn, as always. What are you reading this week? Also as always, inquiring minds wanna know.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll no doubt say it again, the husband and wife writing team that goes by the name of Ilona Andrews simply can’t write a bad book. Only varying degrees of good. And this one has managed to vary its way up even higher than the last installment of the series. More action, more drama, more revenge (and so richly deserved), more sturm und drang between Kate, who is finally coming into some major, kick-butt powers, and His Furriness, Curran, the Beast Lord.
The title alone hinted there were about to be some important changes in the story line, and of course, the preceding book set us up for just that. I don’t do reviews that recap plots, so I won’t tell you what things are about to happen, but I will tell you that the dastardly Hugh D’Ambray shows himself once again, in full-on Evil Villain Mode, and the biggest, baddest of them all follows suit. Oh, my. The things that Roland can command are…well, just as awful as you might imagine. Kate and Curran have their work cut out for them, and the choices they make by the end of the book are surprising, but perfect for this time and place in their story.
Personally, I hope to see some of these changes be temporary, but whether they are or not, the story is fantastic, and the two of them, as always, so much fun. They really are doing just what they have to do, and taking names while they’re at it. (And don’t let anyone tell you that the book smacks of the end of the series. In my opinion, it blatantly set us up for the next installment, and left no doubt in my mind that their Happily Ever After hadn’t arrived yet.)
And one more thing. This book includes a Character List in the beginning, to describe each of the man characters in the books to date. I really loved having that reference. It also had a recap of the story line, cleverly told in a way that worked as part of the book. Both of these things were fun, and meant I didn’t have to skim through the last book to refresh my memory of where each character fit into the plot. Genius! I wish this type of thing were in the front of every long-running series out there, because my head is overcrowded, for sure.
In summation, when I read the first book, Magic Bites, I thought, okay, pretty good. Definitely has possibilities. Now, after reading Book 7, I thought, holy moly! It doesn’t get much better than this. My recommendation? If you are already a fan, but haven’t read this one yet, what are you waiting for? You should fix that now! And if you haven’t yet been introduced to the world of Kate Daniels, read that first book, enjoy it for what it is, and know that it gets better and better in each succeeding one.
It’s Friday again…LATE Friday, but still…it’s Friday, and Friday is What Are You Reading Day. Me, I’m about half way finished with Book 2 of The Raven Cycle, The Dream Thieves. I finished re-reading The Raven Boys a few days ago, and started right in on this one, and with every single page, I’m reminded yet again what a powerful writer Maggie Stiefvater is. Lots of folks write pretty good YA books and fun Urban Fantasy series, but very few people reach the level of writing Stiefvater does. She can lay open a character’s soul more efficiently than a boning knife, and often, with equally painful results. I want to say more, but I’m restraining myself. I’ll be reviewing these two books soon enough, so no need to go farther at this point.
Your turn, though. What are you reading, and are you enjoying it? Let’s ask that, too. *tapping my foot, here, eager to know*
My Rating: 5 of 5 Stars
It’s Moon’s Day, once again, and that means time to give away a book or two. Finished up giving away all the Odd Thomas books to date last week, so this week, I’m moving on to other recent releases you might be interested in winning. Read more…
It’s Friday again, and time for What Are You Reading once again. I know I’ve been remiss for a couple of weeks, but you’ll have to excuse me. The last six weeks or so have been totally out of control. Travel, illness, family drama, and other pressing issues got in my way, but…to paraphrase a certain spooky someone…I’m baaaaaaaa-aaaaaack. More or less. 🙂 So on to the burning question of the day.
I’m re-reading Maggie Stiefvater’s The Raven Boys, Book 1 in what I think is a trilogy. I have Book 2 waiting for me, but I realized I really wanted to revisit Book 1 before starting it. This is a complicated tale, and I had forgotten some bits and pieces. I also had forgotten how completely beautiful and compelling Chapter 1 of The Raven Boys is. Maggie Stiefvater is an enormously gifted writer. Not just capable of telling great stories, but of using words, phrases, and imagery like no other. She’s who I want to be when I grow up. Her words pull me into her books like no one else’s, and they just don’t let go. I can’t imagine anyone reading the graveyard scene in Chapter 1 and not being caught hook, line, and sinker. I’ve already reviewed this book here and as soon as I finish re-reading it, and then reading the second book, The Dream Thieves, I’ll be reviewing that one, as well.
Now it’s your turn. What are you reading? As always, inquiring minds want to know, so don’t be shy. Let me hear from you.
My friends Nick Taylor and Alisha Payne have just released their newest book, The Collector’s Treasure, synopsis below. Some of you may remember Nick and Alisha were featured in a Wednesday Author’s Interview a few weeks back, and I asked them to keep us posted on their upcoming releases. Hope you’ll check this out. I think the cover is great, and the book sounds like fun, and it can be read as a stand-alone, too. I’m adding it to my list! (Nick says to advise you it’s an adults only novel.) Read more…
Turn Coat by Jim Butcher
It’s Monday again, with my apologies for missing last Monday, and it’s time for my Monday giveaways. As I’ve been doing for the last few weeks, I’m offering a free download of either Jim Butcher’s Turn Coat, Book #11 of The Dresden Files, and Odd Apocalypse, Book #5 in the Dean Koontz Odd Thomas series. All you have to do is be the first to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org after 3:00pm Eastern Standard Time (to give the west coast a chance, too), and request the one you want. Be the first to ask for it, and it’s yours. Easy-peasy. One more time, here they are:
1. Turn Coat by Jim Butcher
2. Odd Apocalypse by Dean Koontz
Time once more to find out what everyone is reading this week. Me, I’m doing double duty, trying to catch up after having been sick for over two weeks. I was way behind on clearing out my TBR stack, anyway, and now I have to read two books at once to make up for it. 😀 Okay, I know that’s really not any faster, but sometimes, it’s fun. I’m half way through Anna Celeste Burke’s latest Desert Cities Mystery, A Dead Sister, and well into the newest Chicagoland Vampires book by Chloe Neill, Blood Games. It’s kind of nice reading a “normal” mystery in the morning, and switching to the world of vampire intrigue (and love, of course…let’s not forget the uber-sexy Ethan Sullivan & his Cadogan house Sentinel, Merit) at night.
Now it’s your turn. Stop by and tell us what YOU’RE reading this week. Inquiring minds wanna know. Come on, now…tell!!
Still working my way through the Dresden Files and the Odd Thomas series. For those who have missed out on either of these, you can get a free download today that will help you catch up. Just email me after 3:00PM Eastern Standard Time (to give the folks on the west coast a shot, too), and request the book you want. Be first to ask, and I’ll gift it to you. That’s it. Today’s offerings:
1. White Night: Jim Butcher’s 9th book in The Dresden Files series. (My favorite cover of all, btw. I bought a signed print of this one and framed it for my library. I’m a nerd.)
2. Brother Odd: Dean Koontz’s 3rd book in the Odd Thomas series.
You don’t want to miss out on these. Let me hear from you.
My Rating: 5 of 5 Stars
This might be the strangest book I’ve ever reviewed, in so many, many ways. First of all, I didn’t like Summoned at all when I started reading. I mean, I really didn’t. I pretty much hated the main character, Dimitri. I didn’t think much of the girl he picked up at a local bar, either, Syd. And I was really turned off by the instant (and frequent) graphic sex between them, without a shred of emotion connecting them. That lack of feeling between them nearly made me put the book right down. But I’m glad I didn’t. Read more…
I’m so happy to share Nick & Alisha’s excitement! Congratulations, Ladies! So many good things are happening to them. Just take a look! (BTW, you two…The Collector’s Treasure? Very hot cover!)
N&A: We are incredibly proud to reveal the next covers of A Spellbound Consortium. Our four novel series is an adult ride into the world of romantic Urban Fantasy.The Collector’s Treasure will release 10/1/14 on Amazon & Nook. In the meanwhile, add it to your to-read list at Goodreads!
Download the Prologue for a sneak peek! CLICK FOR PDF FORMAT.
What happens when the hunter becomes the hunted?
Griffin MacNeil makes his living as a treasure hunter, a magical adventurer with a knack for surviving against the odds. He travels the world, exploring tombs and ancient ruins for lost treasure. It’s a risky business, but usually the rewards make it worthwhile – until suddenly, his luck takes a turn for the worse, and the dangers become more lethal than ever before. Disaster strikes deep beneath the Egyptian sands, and Griffin’s entire life is turned upside down. Read more…
My Rating TEN out of 5 Stars!
Yes, it’s THAT good!
After waiting about a year and a half for Skin Game (Note to Jim Butcher: WRITE FASTER!), I had my doubts as to whether it could really live up to my hopes and expectations. I needn’t have worried. The book is flat out fantastic! I finished at midnight last night, and couldn’t sleep for two more hours, I was so worked up. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again (probably many, many times)–Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files is simply the best Urban Fantasy series out there, hands down. (And I read several very good ones, believe me.) It has everything you want in a series, including, but not limited to, bigger and better plot lines, an ever-growing cast of characters, and a hero who continues to gain more and more power, and grow as a person, as well. Read more…
My Rating: 5 of 5 Stars
Time for another Monday afternoon Giveaway, and today, I’m in exalted company.
After seeing the rush of folks wanting to win Jim Butcher’s newest Dresden Files novel, Skin Game, last week, and hearing from a lot of folks that they had “always planned to read the Dresden books,” but hadn’t done so yet, I thought it might be fun to start giving away some of the books from the beginning of the series. So here goes:
Today, I will give away THREE downloads of the first Dresden Files book, Storm Front.
I will also give away two downloads of my first novel, Wake-Robin Ridge, and two downloads of my second novel, Swamp Ghosts. (I’m offering these as well mostly because I like seeing my books listed on the same page as Jim Butcher’s! 😀 )
All you have to do to win any of the above is email me after 3:00PM, Eastern Standard Time, and ask for the book you want. The first person to ask for each book wins it. Easy-Peasy.
I’m sure I speak for a lot of us when I say I can hardly wait for next Tuesday to arrive! Jim Butcher’s newest Dresden Files book, Skin Game, will be released, and I’m heading straight to my local book seller to pick up my copy. I can’t even wait for it to be sent from Amazon! With the exception of Ghost Story, I’ve never been more eager to get my hands on a new Dresden Files book. Or any other, for that matter. Harry’s world gets bigger, badder, and more complex with every single book, and Harry, himself, has grown so much as a character, it’s hard to believe how it all started out. This one sounds like it is going to be fantastic, and after waiting over a year and a half for it, I really hope it is. And the GOOD NEWS is that someone will win a free download of this next Monday afternoon. Yep. I’ll be giving away a copy of Skin Game to one of my followers. And all you have to do to win, is ASK. Simply email me any time after 3:00pm EST. If you are the first person I hear from, the download is yours!
Mark your calendars! You know you want this one, and FREE…IS…GOOD! 🙂
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