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Archive for the tag “witches”

The Dark Witch & Shadow Spell – Nora Roberts

DarkWitch

My Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

The Dark Witch and Shadow Spells are Volumes 1 and 2 of the Cousins O’Dwyer trilogy, so I’m reviewing them together. I read these two books back to back, and couldn’t possibly separate where one left off and the other began, anyway. First, let me say that I haven’t read Nora Roberts in years and years. I thought I remembered that I wasn’t drawn to her writing way back when, but since a reviewer of one of my books suggested her fans would like my work, I thought I’d better get busy and check her out again. Secondly, let me say that said reviewer was being very kind. Only in my wildest dreams, would I ever become the popular author that Nora Roberts is, though I loved the compliment. And third, I want to say that whatever I was remembering from the book(s) I read years ago, well…it turned out to be total applesauce. Probably wasn’t even remembering the right author.

If you have guessed that I enjoyed these two books, you’d be right. I was pulled into this tale of good witches and evil sorcerers in Ireland by the end of the first sentence. And I remained engrossed straight through to the last sentence of the second book. The only reason I haven’t already read the third book is that it isn’t out yet. But it is marked on my calendar, believe me. And the reason I was so completely invested in the story is a simple one. Characters. They were engaging, interesting, and just quirky enough to make me enjoy watching them plot and scheme against their mutual ages-old enemy. I did read a few reviews from fans who were disappointed, saying the books were too similar to another of her series. I suppose that could be a problem for some readers, but since I hadn’t read the other books in question, it certainly was not one for me. The plot was solid, if not brilliantly unusual, the magic was well described and interesting, and again, the characters were fun. That’s enough to rate 4 stars in my book, and I recommend these books to you folks who love a little magic with your romantic suspense. No, better make that a lot of magic. 🙂 Oh, and it doesn’t hurt that the covers are cool, too, especially The Dark Witch. It has “Ireland” written all over it! Check ’em out!

ShadowSpell

My Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

The Dark Witch

Shadow Spell

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The Undead Pool by Kim Harrison

undeadpool

My Rating: 5 of 5 Stars

Okay, before I get too far into this brief (for me) review, I just want to get one thing out of the way, right up front. As much as I enjoy Kim Harrison’s series, and as fun as this image of Rachel Morgan is, the man in the background doesn’t even resemble the way that Harrison has described Rachel’s main Elf, Trent Kalamack, as looking. The most obvious discrepancy would be the lack of almost white, floating, fly-away, “dandelion fluff” hair. And for me, not much else looks like the Elf described through all of these books, either. Now everyone has their own take on how he should look, I’m sure. But without that hair, the fair skin, and the pointy ears, he just doesn’t look very…Elvish. Therefore, I have decided he must be…wait for it…an Elvish Impersonator. (Oh, hahaha. Sometimes I crack myself up.)

Seriously, the cover does bother me, but not enough to stop me from enjoying the book. I’m keeping this review on the short side, because I can’t think of a way to say what I want to without spoilers. What I will say is that the plot turned into something I wasn’t expecting at all, though given the Ins and Outs of The Hollows, the Ever-After, and the ley lines, plus demons, weres, vamps (both living and dead), elves, pixies, fairies, and even gargoyles, I guess I should have been ready for just about anything. But she still managed to surprise me.

In my opinion, Kim Harrison’s forte is in that same complex world-building I mentioned above. The history of elves and demons, the complicated rules they all live by, the way Rachel morphed from an “ordinary” witch into something quite extraordinary, able to converse with demons and goddesses–all of these things make for very entertaining reading. As for the one burning issue that has kept me coming back over and over again–the slowly evolving relationship between Rachel and Trent–well, all I can say is this book left me smiling…from ear to ear. 

If you’ve followed this series from the beginning, and you haven’t read The Undead Pool, yet, what are you waiting for. Get it! And get ready for the next book, which I believe is going to wrap up the series. (If I’m wrong on that, feel free to jump in here and let me know, anyone.) It’s been a long and wildly imaginative ride. The books haven’t all been perfect, and there are things (and characters) I don’t like very much, even though I’m supposed to. But overall, I’m really glad I picked up Dead Witch Walking way back when. If you love Urban Fantasy, I definitely recommend it to you.

The Undead Pool

Biting Bad by Chloe Neill

BitingBad_sm1-398x600

My Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

Chloe Neill’s Chicagoland Vampires series has had me hooked from book one. I like our heroine, Merit, and think she does fewer really dumb things than many female leading characters. Now and then, I want to knock her up beside the head, but mostly, Read more…

Dead Iron by Devon Monk

deadiron

My Rating: 5 of 5 Stars

I’ve only started reading steampunk in the last two years or so, but hands down, this is my favorite book in the genre, so far. Written with far more intelligence than most, Dead Iron is filled with characters who pull you in, a plot that is Read more…

Blood Trade by Faith Hunter

blood trade

My Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

I have been reading Faith Hunter’s Jane Yellowrock series from the beginning, and for the most part, it has been a fun ride. There are things I don’t like a lot, but generally, they don’t take away from the adventures Jane gets up to, and the interesting Read more…

Stardust by Neil Gaiman

stardust

My Rating: 3 1/2 of 5 Stars

I have very mixed feelings about Stardust, I’m afraid. It is a sweet, though short, fable with a mystical touch of fairy magic and a strange assortment of characters. There were surprises here and there that I really appreciated, and the ending was touching. Mostly. Our hero, Tristran Thorne, is off on a mission to collect a fallen star Read more…

Ever After by Kim Harrison

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My Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

I finally got back to Kim Harrison’s latest Rachel Morgan/Hollows book, Ever After. I had to take a break in the middle of the book because things were happening that had me really tense and nervous, and for some reason, I just needed to get out of that world for a bit. So I read a couple of other books, and then picked it up again. I’m glad I got back to it. The second half Read more…

A Hat Full of Sky by Terry Pratchett

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My Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

In keeping with my promise to myself to read the four Tiffany Aching stories before starting at the beginning of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series, I finished the second Aching book over the weekend. A Hat Full of Sky started a wee bit slower for me than The Wee Free Men, but it began to pick up pace rapidly, and I was soon Read more…

New Release – House Rules

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Just a heads up for those following Chloe Neill’s Chicagoland Vampire series…House Rules is here! Some of us who shall go nameless (me!) are totally addicted to this very clever series, Read more…

The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett

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My Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

Where have you been all my life, Terry Pratchett?  How could you have written so many books, and I am just now discovering you?  The bad news is, I have missed out on so much good reading, here.  The good news is, Read more…

Dog Days by John Levitt

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My Rating: 3 of 5 Stars

Well, I’m not sure what to say about this book.  It has good points. And it has bad points.  I’m still pondering them to see Read more…

Release Day!

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Released Today!

For those who haven’t been watching my ” countdown tickers” in the right sidebar, today is the release date for Kim Harrison’s  Ever After, the next book in the Rachel Morgan/Hollows series.  I’ve been eagerly awaiting this book, in the fervent hopes that a certain two characters who shall remain nameless, but whose initials are Rachel & Trent, finally figure out they are destined to be together.  Oh, and of course, there’s the whole “save the world, stop the wars between the elves and the demons, and make life happy for all of Mankind” thing, too.  But still.  For a romantic like myself, it’s all about those two unnamed characters.  I highly recommend this series to any Urban Fantasy fan.  It has everything you want in a good UF, in spades! Check it out, starting with the first book, Dead Witch Walking, and read the books in order.  It would be pretty much impossible to follow the goings-on if you didn’t.

I’ll be reviewing this book as soon as I receive my pre-ordered copy.

Ever After (Rachel Morgan)

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, it’s a great way to let me know!  Thanks!

Biting Cold by Chloe Neill

Chloe Neill's Biting Cold Cover

My Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

The Chicagoland Vampires of Cadogan House are at it again!  Tensions are at an all time high, as the vampires deal with betrayal of the highest order, and fight for the survival of their house, their place in the community, Read more…

Into The Woods by Kim Harrison

Kim Harrison's Into The Woods Cover

My Rating 4 of 5 Stars

I waited all summer for Into The Woods to come out, since in addition to several short stories set in Rachel Morgan’s Cincinnati “Hollows” neighborhood, it also featured a short novella about Read more…

Under My Hat: Tales from the Cauldron edited by Jonathan Strahan

Jonathan Strahan's Under My Hat: Tales from the Cauldron Anthology Cover

My Rating: 3-1/2 of 5 Stars

Anyone who’s visited this blog more than a few times probably knows that I’m very fond of good anthologies.  A well-written short story (which is rarer than you might think) is a treat to me, especially when I can enjoy one between reading bigger books.   In fact,  I enjoy collections of short stories enough to have devoted an entire Read more…

COMING SOON! Under My Hat by Jonathan Strahan

Jonathan Strahan's Under My Hat: Tales from the Cauldron Cover

“Under My Hat:  Tales From the Cauldron” is only a bit over 12 days away!  As you might guess from both the title and the cover, this is a new collection of short stories inspired by the mystery & power of witches.  Some of the best Read more…

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