ice_of_dreams: (poison)
So I was reading over the weekend. a lot of Mai x Zuko Avatar goodness. And out of the blue Charlie x Draco pops up (and I can't even begin to explain the many ways that that's just plain weird... because... I stopped reading Potter at book 2, and the mere fact that I had to look up who the hell Charlie Weasly was in GOOGLE is a mere testament to its weirdness.)

That said, I actually read most of the CharliexDraco fics out there and then slid in to another weird shipfest, Supernatural Castiel x Dean. Oh Well, there, I just can't begin to imagine the ways that that's plain wrong. First off I ship them at the beginning of Season 4, where Castiel was just some ambigous sound and fluttering against the light and burns out Pamela's eyes. (And in this case, though I do KNOW who Castiel is, I had to google the guy to remember his face, becuase it's been a year since I last watched this show.)

Now well, I got into the ship (and my brain was blown into kingdom come) quite literally, and I had to WATCH Castiel in season 4 now, right? So anyway, though this show, Supernatural, is not really scary, and a lot of it is a bit overdone, I really really watch the show because of the humor in it.

I mean really, at the beginning, they pay homage to the X-files by Dean alluding that he and Sam were Scully and Moulder. And the references to a lot of TV shows and real figures are just so hilarious that you have to watch it for mere laughs.

My most FAVORITE episode, though has to be Season 4 Ep 18: The Monster at the End of this Book, wherein a writer ... well writes about them, and Sam and Dean find out. Oh GOD, just coming to terms with their fans was sheer winner. "Oh it gets better." "What's slash?" "You know, Sam SLASH Dean." .... "They do know we're brother's right???" Oh God, face-palm right there. And if in season 1 I didn't care much for the acting I so love it now. Bwahaha, they should have let the writer write up to Castiel. I'd want to know what Dean's reaction to a Cas SLASH Dean is. Bwahaha.

BUT the real winner for me is the prophet's words saying: "Writing yourself in teh story as one thing, but as a prophet? That's M. Night level douchiness."

And there.

That's why Supernatural is a winner for me. Because they're not scared to say the truth. And they're not scared of evil fan girl slash either. It's the entire reason why the show reached Season 6 even though they only planned for 5 seasons.

shippy ships )
ice_of_dreams: (desolate)
I just finished my fourth re-reading of the book yes, I know, I'm addicted to re-reading urban fantasy... I think I'm on my tenth re-read of Anne Bishop's Dark Jewels trilogy... which is not urban fantasy but anyway..., breaking my book fast to review for my USMLE and not knowing what to do with myself waiting for the FINAL book. I thought the fourth book was going to be the LAST drat it

I am quite happy with the way things turn out in the book, even if I got annoyed majorly most of the time with Dani (with an i) because she is quite an annoying kid, (yes, because everyone was like that at 13) and everyone is so permissive with her (because what do you do with a kid you can't follow?).

I liked the way Mac handled things in this book. Heroines that can't seem to trust the hand that feeds them (yes, I'm not into feminism) has angered me in the past, but for some odd reason, you understand it coming from Mac. She has reasons she doesn't trust the people, and it's not because she has some convoluted issues with her self-esteem. And Mac doesn't WHINE, she does something about what's bothering her. It may be the wrong choice, but she does something about it. She also shows that she can learn from her mistakes, and she doesn't blame anybody for them. There was a point in the book where Barrons makes it clear that if Mac had reached out to him, he could have done something about what was happening to her, and the next time she fights when again faced with a similar situation, she doesn't hesitate, she asks for help.

And yes, there is plot progression in the book, more intrigue if that is possible and yes, this book makes up for the sad lack of Barrons in the third book. (Or maybe, there was a lack of Barrons in the third book, because the author knew there was going to be an abundance of him in the fourth....), and though Barrons is still mysterious, brooding, and drily witty, you see his past in this book (in sad chopped up segments, but his past nonetheless), there is something OF him than just a mentor character for this Barbie turned GI Joe. You also see that though he NEVER explains himself in ANY way, that yes, Mac has been his priority, and it doesn't turn cliche and it doesn't make you feel like you're reading an urban fantasy turned into romance. There was some romancing in it, but the dynamics of the characters don't change because of it, status quo remained, where all the romance, once done was placed in a small lead box, tied to chains and kept close with a reinforced lock. Barrons doesn't suddenly turn all soft and caring, he exhibits that in one moment and one moment only and then when the need for it stops he resumes his walls. He doesn't act tender towards Mac, and he still doesn't explain. (And unlike other characters who pretends not to explain but explains anyway in the end, Barrons sticks to it, her really doesn't BOTHER to show that his actions may mean something else in the larger spectrum of things, Mac figures it out by herself)

And Ryodan, who appears in this book, is not quite what you expect. (And if I suspect right, after the entire fever series, if Moning is still going to continue with spin-offs, Ryodan is going to be his own spin-off... with DANI... PLEASE, NOOOOO.) He doesn't care more for Mac, and just because Barrons has tasked him with caring for Mac when Barrons himself can't, he isn't permissive with her.

Maybe the most hated part about the book (besides its non-ending) is the part where everything shifts to the surreal. (Yes, i remember that I am reading an urban fantasy book). This is largely a small post-apocalyptic event. You know that the walls of Faery have gone down in the previous book, and you know everything is shot to hell, and you've survived it, and you're living it. And you either, to coin a phrase from the book, crawl or walk away from it. And yes, everything is turning from the more mundane (pre-apocalyptic) to obviously the more surreal. Because you have to see the surreal around you now, it's part of the real. But honestly the last part of the book (without giving too much away) might have been to much... surreal-ness.

Spoils for the Dreaming )



All in all... need I say it? I am waiting in anticipation and pulling my hair out(please have pity on my hair roots) until the FINAL installment of the book.
ice_of_dreams: (desolate)
Quincey Morris, another paranormal investigation book with the basic premise that Quincey, a great-great-great (with lots of many greats in between) grandson of one of the hunters of Dracula is continuing practicing hunting around in the supernatural community for more than just vampires.

As a story, Black Woman is rich in everything, witches, loup-garous, voodoo and Salem. The first book revolves around the principle of descendants (long lines of them). As I mentioned, Quncey is a descendant of one of the hunters, the main antagonist came from a long line of black witches from the Salem Witch Trials and the victim, another long line of witches from the Salem witch trials.

Unlike most other paranormal investigations, it's not told in the first person, which took some time for me to get used to. There was more than one vein in the story, and more than one protagonist that I was looking the case over. You even read all the gory details of what's happening in the other side, because the story is not reader blind, with a hint(and yes the second book is already out) of who we will be contending with on the next book. Sometimes, not the thing you want to look for when reading a mystery.... because then the book is mostly a cops and robber book, how Quincy, Libby and the other characters (like the FBI who deserves a seat in the starring role too) fight the bad guys, and mostly the occult, how they work... and not trying to find out who exactly the criminal is. A paranormal cops and robbers type of book. Unusual for my type of reading material.

It is a relief that there are some characters in books nowadays that can be just friends on paper like Libby and Morris. Mostly, characters end up just being head-over-heels each other after the first few books. Then again, there han't been a 'first-few-books' yet, but it seemed clear that Libby and Quincy were strictly working on a friendship basis. (Although I'm not sure if Libby will be appearing in any more books... but... the next villain would probably warrant Morris consulting her.)

Well anyway, I'm going to give myself some time before I get the next book.
ice_of_dreams: (Default)
One of the main reasons why I picked up the book was because the main character is a lady doctor, which I could relate to. I realized later that the closer you are to reading inside your profession the closer it is you criticize something. I wonder just how sadistic they were that their dissection cadaver was filled with puncture wounds on the last day of gross anatomy. Here, although we dissect the cadavers, we never make any cut that isn't of learning value because we are taught to respect the human and bury the dead. Or maybe it was sarcasm that was lost on me. Of course it could have been hyperbole, but I really doubted it.

And yes, sometimes people bathed in blood do actually end up alive. It's one of the things I learned while I was rotating in one of the trauma centers here in the Philippines. A cut terminal extension of the external carotid, if the patient is extremely lucky, will bathe the patient in blood, but with quick vascular reconstruction, packing and cautery, can make a person lived. One of my cases here was like that. Miracles do happen. I have seen stab wounds live and die. So yes, something like multiple stab wounds (especially in the middle of dawn, on a darned Sunday drinking spree going to Monday) really do live.

What does run parallel with the profession is, that after a while in med school, after a while of treating impossible patients, even the nice ones, doctors, interns, they get dehumanized. Death is a toll way that we either hold our patients from or send them through. And the coldly impersonal touch sometimes one gets after treating patient after patient (especially the impossible ones) are depicted so well here. People don't go into the profession because of noble reasons. Hardly. Most people go because of their legacy, in this case, they go becuase of the moneY. Or maybe because of both.

AND, why the HECK do they boil BLOOD in KETTLES? Haven't they heard that warming it to body temp through body heat is better... although yes they don't have temperatures, but yeah, maybe water between blood would have been better... but direct to kettle? And that it probably denatures the RBCs hence it's not blood anymore but iron and lots of clumps? Heck, I should introduce them to dinuguan (a Filipino dish made with chicken blood mixed with vinegar and your choice of chicken or pork... don't write it off until you try it... and cooked blood with vinegar is BLACK not RED)


AND when you do CPR, you don't check for pulses at the wrist, you check for it at the carotid. Barring that, if the pulse is so weak, you check at the femoral. Any first aid lecture book would know the carotid at least.

The bad thing about the series again, is Carrie's and Nathan's personal issues with their fledgling relationship and their boyfriend girlfriend relationship. As with every other paranormal that includes romance in it, they always seem to make it a point that when one person is ready for commitment the other party isn't. Or that there are a load full of baggage in one person's side. Thankfully, it isn't the girl's side this time. You can't "hear" the guilt completely.

What I do appreciate about it is, that they did try with a doctor (an ER doctor at that, which I have experienced and definitely relate to especially since I've been to a trauma center.), that the author wasn't scared of touching sensitive details, and that the author stopped at five books. She knew when she was pushing it with three relationships, 3/4 of the story in first person view and the rest in 3rd person view, and the repetitiveness of the entire issue. (Ok, how many times can you resurrect the dead and how powerful the lead can become pushes close to Mary Sueish, but what can I say?).

As I said, I appreciate it that they finished it in time. Although I wasn't spared the repetitiveness and the melodrama, Ms. Armintrout finished it with a good and palatable ending.
ice_of_dreams: (desolate)
After one month sans books and 36 hour duties I finally settled down to read something from the paranormal genre. I picked up One Foot in the Grave because I liked the lead characters Cat and Bones... and yes the Spike undertones in Bones character was all right.

Spoilers...



However, I think I was mostly disappointed with the second book of the Night Huntress series. It mostly revolved around the sex that Cat and Bones missed out on the first book. I feel like most of the plot progression, finding Cat's father, solving the mystery in this particular book (mostly, it was just murder close to home) and challenging Ian for separation of loyalties, leadership to a house took a back seat to Cat and Bones' relationship... mostly a non-issue because I always knew she had hang ups when she left Bones, and we all knew that Bones, being the character that he was made out to be was never going to be a homicidal maniac nor would he betray Cat. And with the number of issues they actually finished in this one book, it was kind of surprising that they didn't spend more time with it (they found Cat's other side of the family, they tried to challenge and defeat her father, she found the man she loves etc etc... you kind of wonder at what else they could do in the next few books)

The way they resolved the entire issue ... marriage was something which was so EXPECTED I didn't expect it to come out. (Well look at it this way, I always knew they were ending up together, I just didn't think that they'd marry since most non-romance urban fantasies end up with 'mutual understandings' anyway... I don't know in that track it made it look more like a romance novel with paranormal stints rather than urban fantasy with some romance hitns.) Well, I'd buy the next book, but the next book would be the deciding factor for me. Most of the loose ends in book 1 were already tied up in book 2, hence me not knowing what a book 3 could accomplish... okay finding Cat's way in the middle of a vampire society for one, but how many ways could that go. She's married to the head of the house, and there's no divorce.

I would like to see how Bones adopts to the Cat's world, although I kind of know that it's going to be Cat's team adapting to his rather than the other way around. The sex was all over the place... so I was wondering half of the time if I was reading erotica or urban fantasy... I do applaud Ms. Frost in the way that she actually varies the sex at least, and the sex kind of fits Crispin's background as an ex-whore in London, sometimes some people forget the characteristics that they build into their characters.

But since there are only a few threads left to this book, I'd probably wish for one final book to tie the last few loose ends left in the plot before hoping Ms. Frost starts on another series all together.
ice_of_dreams: (manga)
Finally picked up Rob Thurman's series (if not the latest, Madhouse, then his first two books) because it was backed by majecki and [livejournal.com profile] shartyrant.

Cal Leandros is half-human and half-Grendal, (later on we'd find out what they were truly called in the paranormal circles, but hey Grendal it is). He was made in a demonic deal by his mother to his father so that his father could have a half-human child for reasons unknown. He had been watched over by Grendals all his life and had been taken when he was fourteen. Since then, he and his brother had been on the run from the Grendals moving from city to city to avoid any more paternal visists.

Cal isn't like most of the other heroes you managed to share POV's with. Not that he's amoral exactly, not the way that he's an anti-hero, because he isn't. He's more a mercenary, and I guess, prey... but being half-Grendal doesn't lend to that.

Unlike most female urban fantasies, male written urban fantasies don't lend into a male training a female what's happening. It's more of a brother-brother camaraderie. Haha imagine watching Supernatural with no bad acting and no overprotective father, and you have a similar version of Cal and Niko. They're close brothers, and they're trying to survive. Cal is the half-paranormal brother, but Niko is more dangerous. Cal is lazy while Niko is diligent... and the brains of the operation. I rather like their interaction (I don't have two brothers, and I'm really happy with the glimpse this is giving me on how two brothers would go with life when they're locked close together).

The references to classic literature and pop-culture in the book seems to be my downfall. Fortunately for me, google is my friend. I never actually read/watched Beowulf and it's a good thing I read some Shakespeare, way on the forced education here ;p

As for the supporting characters, I like Robin (what's not to like about Robin?) I could care less about Promise, and I really liked the way Cal handled George. (Niko is a given in the solid I like him department, there's something about unfailing family loyalty that gets me everytime... haha)

It took me three days to read the two books, not because it was a difficult read, and surely not because it was a bad read, but simply because the style was different from what I was used to, it exhausted me. Really exhausted me to read it.


No romance, fair action, and some really weird skips in the narration because of sudden fastforwarding in Cal's POV which gave me some huh, what was that again, but a must read in my book. Being female, I miss all the romantic interludes (am I giving my gender a bad name?), but what the heck... I'd still read it.

Okay. Enrollement tomorrow, I have to sleep. It will be the last day of my life to read tomorrow. I have to spend it on something fun.
ice_of_dreams: (desolate)
I played Zelda the entire day. That's why I could only read one book. That snow mountain? It's annoyingly easy to get lost in.

But enough of Zelda since I don't really write about what I play. (I should actually start writing that Epilogue 2 of rend soon, or actually end it, but inspiration hasn't been pouring lately. I do know how it ends, how it begins, it's all the connecting parts that are driving me woozy.)

But enough of that...

Read Sazi 03, was surprised that it was not in the first person POV (1&2 were) so it kind of threw me off balance. Again, firmly not in the urban fantasy genre and more on paranormal romance.

Antione Moniere representative of the cats stumbled upon Tahira sister to his equivalent in a ghost tribe of shapeshifters. He finds her in the middle of German police and was about to be sent to the zoo. He saves her (duh) discover a hidden power in her while he tries to figure out how he could get out of accusations of him not being a good leader to the weres and have a strong family enemy and rival underneath his roof. All in wintry Germany in the middle of christmas shopping.

The beginning of the book was extremely slow. I mean... really slow. But I did get to laugh at Councilman Ahmed again even if he's really .. you know the type to want to be misunderstood instead of explain (I really want that attitude, you know to hell with what everyone thinks? Unfortunately I have more pride than I have finesse).

I also loved the entire performing show thing. I learned a lot about training cats. ( I read about training cats once before in SEP's Angel... something but that's neither here or there). And we did get to see brief glimpses of Tony while Antoine calls him long distance and e-mails him.

I loved the way that the ceremonies in this book goes. It keeps surprising me. There was a cheesy part about choosing, but I guess it can't be helped. Sometimes, some things can only be accomplished with a whole lot of cheese. Some authors pull it off, some don't. SOmetimes I just don't buy the entire love solves everything bandwagon. They could have put it in less explicit terms and it would have gotten the point accross, and MORE IMPORTANTLY, would have been less cheezy but who am I to judge?

I am happy to say though that I am entirely extremely curious now about Antoine's sister Josette especially since a) she's the one who froze the snake people in the ceiling without effort and b) after the background given of the Moniere family in this book and c) the blurb at the back of the book of book 6. Let me just say that my EQ is apparently still working and 6 is soooo far off from 3.
ice_of_dreams: (merry gentry)
I started reading this because of the Sazi and I couldn't get hold of the latest Sazi book. I was pleasantly happy with the results. I must admit the idea of the vampire as a "virus" a genetic defect etc has all been run by me a time or two. I think I've read a few which had vampire as a parasite, but I'm not entirely sure.

Courier Job, reminds me of ... what was that shape shifter dragon thing again? With the green dragons? With the annoying stupid female?

Fortunatelythat was it for annoying things. The heroine, albiet female (haha) was actively trying to ignore a vampire even though she had a vampire bite (sort of like.... Rachel in the Hollows... I should just stop reading if I keep comparing them to each other haha). She's strong without being overly emotional and mule-headed without being annoying. Don't you just like that in female leads?

What I think I like best about a Touch of Darkness is that it was strongly about family too. I cried a lot during the book. Relationships between the siblings Kate, Joe and Bryan were close knit and palpable. You know Joe and Kate were annoyed with each other and the way they lived their lives but you can sense that they loved each other too. It wasn't a perfect relationship, it was a "real" relationship. Meddling, overprotective brothers with their own agendas but still loved you. The entire time when they were watching the VCR with Bryan's birthday party had me in tears. Tom (the authors have a knack of giving out common names, I'm just missing Harry) was also very family oriented. He talks about his sister and his family. I guess that's what's extremely strong and a must read in this book, the family ties.

The werewolves heirarchy was also good world building. The alpha is called Acca and it's matriarchal. Completely different from what most paranormal books write with regard to weres.

I also like a lot of the males in the book. I was envious that I don't have a Joe for an older brother, Mike for a priest and Tom for a potential boyfriend were equally good characters. Mary as an alpha and a minor supporting character in this book was also good. I can't wait to read more from the series. I have now to choose between the Sazi and the Thrall.

report no. 24905
ice_of_dreams: (Default)
I got it. I wrote a long spiel about it. I lost it. :(

But I must say I enjoyed this book too, and I really can see that it seemed more of an urban fantasy this time around. The Tony/Sue relationship was more of a background story to murders, serial killers, meeting new poweres (people wise and magic wise) and understanding the world of the Sazi.

I did like the idea of the seers not talking in a single tense too. It was a great idea and makes so much more sense. Confusing for other people though, but it made sense. It makes me want to skip books 3-5 in order to read book 6 which is about Josette, an ancient seer mentioned in this book, but I need EQ so I'd go through books 3-5 first, even if it kills me. Her story seems interesting and Tony might be in it, which is a PLUS, but still... told in a female perspective... it might be strange for me... Tony has spoiled me.

I find that a male POV in stories keeps it less emotional baggage, less issues, more focused on the investiagtion and less on the really annoying parts. Or maybe it's because authors tend to make weird females, trying to give equal opportunity and say, I am a female hear me ROAR. So strange and sad, because they want their female leads strong they end up with a whole ton of emotional baggage that these females lock up insade only to be read by readers like me who want to pull my hair out. Nuff said.

I like Tony as the anti-hero. Really, and he was really brilliant and funny. There were times that I just had to say ahhh, when I heard him think. Plus I like the way the authors deal with his ways, his assassinations and his lack of morals. Really, and the way he doesn't need to overprotect his mate, the fact that he's unique but not the most powerful wolf out there (a fact that he can be classified as an omega), that he has a bad mouth.

I was weirded about by the were-dragon, the were-snake and the were at the end of the book. Honestly. A were KOMODO dragon. It was strange. And they were also the other part of the romance in the paranormal romance class that made this book shelved under romance in Tor's opinion.

Anyway... off to pretend to study.
ice_of_dreams: (Default)
It's my first time readinga book in the first person POV with a male perspective. A refreshing change in all those urban fantasy things. Although I think mostly this would qualify as a paranormal romance more than an urban fantasy. The myth of choice: were-wolves.

Tony is an assassin, and on full moons, a wolf. His recent client to his door asks to take out a hit and the mark is none-other than the client herself. I think I tolerated the book a lot because I wasn't inside Suzi's head. Sue is suicidally depressed and has no courage to end her life but hires a hit man to do it. See? Anything that wacky and convoluted and disturbed, I don't want to be first person to. She begins as a clingy, dependent girl who can't move a step without her assassin turned bodyguard and sometimes boyfriend. I guess some character men like to be depended upon.

A good thing about this book is, even though Sue is dependent, and clingy and all of those Tony shows that he can be annoyed at her. Annoyed! I actually mirror a lot of the sentiments coming from him.

I also like the background of coming from the mafia and being an assassin. Most of those who were reading it for romance didn't like that, but I enjoyed it simply because he was a refreshingly new type of character. Not the alpha were-wolf, and not your typical run of the mill job. I think the reason the authors stopped after book two (although I haven't read book two yet, so I'd have to look for it and see if there was a definite ending to the Tony/Sue story on it or it trailed off for me to want another) on the entire Sue/Tony thing was because of a lot of the readership couldn't get past the idea that the lead guy killed for a living, and it was just business. Honestly I think all of the sqeamishness is largely because the POV was from the guy rather than the girl. I could name some books that although weren't really assassins, the lead guys killed. A lot. In a lot of gorier details. But you saw the female's POV and that the guy was willing to change for her forever. Please.

Another good thing about this book, is it was a taste. All of the hierarchy and world building aren't laid out in the first book. The characters themselves don't really know the heirarchy yet. And both of the characters are feeling their way in blind. (Unlike most of the paranormals/fantasy where in one of the characters, usually the male, knows a lot about the world they live in and start teaching the female so the female could kick ass... case in point Moning's Fever series and my newly discovered Frost's Dark Huntress series)

As I said this was mostly paranormal romance more than urban fantasy. (I classify weirdly, if I'd labelled it as urban fantasy I would have looked for a mystery somwhere... that seems to be the goal of most urban fantasy author's... or a treasure to hunt... or a death to stalk). This is pretty much a straightforward book. Kill this guy, hunt this guy, type of thing.

I want to see what happens next, unfortunately, I have exams on Electrocardiogram reading and multiple trauma tomorrow, both of which I can't skip studying *grins*. I have to hunt down more of the books especially since I suddenly trust TOR paranormal romances again (I read Jenna Black's vampire story published under Tor and was happy with it, but not exactly keeping material for me, and now I'm off to revisit it and see if I should change my mind and get hold of more of her books). Sometimes I trust the publishing houses, sometimes I don't.
ice_of_dreams: (desolate)
I've been a fan of Angela since she started writing The Forgotten Game. It was also a bonus that she adored Rendezvous with Fate so much ;p and that her site is fantastic. Her site is also updated a lot. (Unlike mine which gets updated when I'm free)

This is actually a little note to myself to read and review too. I haven't read this in a while (I haven't been haunting the FFML in ages. I haven't even posted Rend for RAAC archiving yet.), mainly because as I said, I've stopped reading Ranma fanfiction when my computer crashed.

Title: The Forgotten Game
Genre: Supernatural / Romance
FF.N: http://www.fanfiction.net/u/47880/
Status: 30% complete at 11 Chapters, last post November 2007
Site: http://ranma-romance.com/game.html

Summary:
Based off The Forbidden Game Trilogy by L.J. Smith
Ranma and co are transported into a twisted game where everyone must face their worst nightmare-- as ordained by Gabriel, the Shadow King, who seeks Akane as his prize.


Initially I confused her with June KaraOhki Geraci who wrote cinders... but anwyay...
ice_of_dreams: (Default)
Dragon shifters, another one of those things that I really hunt down until I find them (I've been gifted with some as of late). The book starts out with a meeting of dragons about prophesies and and foretelling (what's a dragon shifter story without foretelling?). There are two sides fighting and the Pyr (dragonshapeshifters) have their dark counterpart, the Slayers.

I like the concepts in this book, that a firestorm (definitely not what it sounds like... clever that) would be what leads a mate to a dragon (what else but fire would dragons use), that a coin could mark a dragon's territory (what else but treasure to signal property in a dragon's way... a western dragon myth anyway). And I like their genesis story... in the beginning there was Fire...

Although, I guess, something as simple as paranormal romance in shifters, is not so good as an urban fantasy for me nowadays. I was tempted to skip a good deal of this book even if it was fairly well written. (Due to my changing tastes again, I gather...) ... I must get new urban fantasy... I can't settle for less. Or maybe it was because the series had no secrets, it was entirely straightforward, I know what's going to happen before I read it plot that had me bothered.

Initially world building wasn't forced. It became a bit forced when leader of the Pyr, Erik, came into play trying to get Sara to read more about dragon culture. And then they all dropped the story of their lives in one conversation at the third meeting.

Plus, I could deal with heroines being idiotic (okay, I complain about them) but I deal wiht idiotic girls better than idiotic males. Probably because all the stereotype has dulled me, but honestly, a mule headed male is definitely something that I want to read and re-read. Males need to be passably intelligent else they're not worth reading.

As prophesies go... hmmm... the Seer and the Smith. OK, the Seer and the Smith as titles are extremely obvious, and the rhyme for the prophesy was bad. Then again, there are only a handful of people who can do a passably good prophesy written out. Most of them males. Females have a tendency to overindulge rhyming and their prophesies are too easy to interpret by half.

It has potential, but it's thoroughly in the corner of romance that I'm not really willing to read it again.
ice_of_dreams: (manga)
If the other books on the Riley Jenson series got a 2, this one gets a half star. I barely even read it. Okay, I read it, but I half skimmed it, finishing it in one hour. It probably has to do with the fact that the most interesting things in the series were not in the book namely psycho guardian Vampire and extremely old masochist vampire who keeps coming back for Riley.

Even the entire mystery/investigation the directorate was after in this particular book was half-assed. They had TWO investigations going on, unlike the other books where there was one investigation which was streamlined into an entire story arc.

This book seemed like an attempt to introduce more potential men into Riley's bed (which thankfully, hasn't happened yet. She has kept to the 'three men' rule ... or the author has anyway... in which there are only three significant men in one book and all the rest are one night stands...) and eliminate some of them.

Spoilers on issues on the clicky )
ice_of_dreams: (merry gentry)
While my father has been playing Wii and killing German Axis in the second world war, I have locked myself up again and started reading books. I picked up a couple of urban fantasy and settled for the Riley Jenson series... What can I say about this series....

hmmm...

I think it's probably the only urban fantasy series there that could parallel Meredith Gentry in the sheer amount of sex the lead girl gets. While Meredith got away with it stylishly, Riley can't because though she's a warewolf and has the wolf's urge to mate, her current love interest is a vampire who has human views on sex in general.

Which brings a lot of arguments that goes: you're a whore. No I'm not, I'm a warewolf. Which is an otherworld whore. I can't believe you're bringing human views to a non-human spcies. I'm a vampire who was once a human... type of crap. At least in Meredith Gentry, you only get absurd arguments like that when she's dealing with humans, which she rarely does, and you really don't want to lip it with the next queen of the fae.

Admittedly, there is more plot progression to Riley Jenson than there is with Meredith Gentry. An entire story arc was finished in four books after all, with a lot of curveballs thrown in your way that makes it the least bit predictable (and a lot more sex to it to label it half as porn). She also has at least only JUST a third of the men in Meredith's bed (at any one time anyway) which helps keep all the character straight if there is that.

However, the entire issues on the love squabbles is something I could really do without (they just rehash the old whore conversation over and over again with dominance mixed into the fight). Besides Riley and Quinn (said sometimes vampire lover) actually decide at different points that no they can't do this, yes, they should do this AT DIFFERENT POITNS IN TIME! So all they do is argue if Riley wants it and Quinn doesn't and argue again if Quinn wants and Riley doesn't. And the characters have loads of issues on their plates. Least of all is the entire whore issue. There's also the children they could have and becoming a killer, and whether or not they should trust each other. They would argue that the sun is in the sky if they could. And the recaps for everyone just makes my head hurt (especially since I've been reading one after the other and don't need the recaps).

All in all, I'd just borrow it from a friend. At least until Quinn and Riley get past their issues and actually decide on a course of action. Geesh.
ice_of_dreams: (Default)
OK... hmmm... juxtaposing this to the fever series, You Slay Me is less dark. And less well-written. It also shows a female lead (set in the first character perspective) transported to a different country, this time France instead of Ireland, where she has to investigate a murder. (It's mostly murders + romance + paranormals these days. They're reminding me of Philippine cinema) anyway... where she finds out she's actually a Guardian and a wyvern's mate. Unfortunately, You Slay Me's only plus factor for me are the shifters, (which barely come into play anyway) and the comedy. It was just too idiotically funny for words.

There was too much info dumping on the heroine as she wandered around lost in Paris. Like the Fever series, Aisling (I can't get over this, isn't this a guy's name? An Irish mother would name her son Aisling, not her daughter), is also new to the paranormal. But unlike Mac, she has a backround on demonology becuase it's her past time, and she reads it. Other than that, she's largely clue-less.

Thus the info dumping. I can't imagine a girl, a supposed guardian, wandering around Paris, looking for information and stumbling upon people who have extremely lose tongues about it. Magic practicioners seem to be a closed mouthed group to me, even with people who are of their 'kind' hence the entire mystifying process of finding Aisling walking around and finding two people openly telling her abour things they think she should already know.

(You could guage how irritated I am with a book the faster I write a blog about it. I started opening my laptop a few pages into the first chapter, unlike the Fever series, which I had finished in its entirety before writing.)

I also don't like the heroine Aisling, she's petty, childish, she lacks brains and has the vocabulary of a thirteen year old. And she vacillates between statements that make her sound like a believer of the paranormal and a non-believer. EARLY on in the book where she's supposedly firmly on the non-believer side. She also changed her views in all of four chapters. Without me understanding how she went through the thought process of: that's impossible, that may not be impossible, oh my god my reality wasn't really whole. argh

I have to admit though that her annoyance with Jim the demon dog sidekick is actually entertaining. (I am happy that an annoyhance is fully annoyed with someone. Ha.) And his "woof" and "bow wow" had me laughing.

Once you get around to finally thinking instead of being annoyed, the murderer in this tale seems pretty predictable (I say seem since I haven't reached the part that confirms my suspicions yet). OK, it's been confirmed. The murderer was easy to spot and the way the person misguided Aisling is just so obvious. There is a slight twist in that that I didn't actually forsee, but that was because of Aisling's lack of information about the world she infiltrated. I find h

I think I'm reading the second book, just to prove how annoying Aisling is. She gets into situations which are hilarious, extremely unlucky and ten shades of idiotic. Aisling is so dumb that there was a point in the story which I REALLY didn't want to see Drake's, green wyvern, reaction to her actions. I don't even understand how of all people in the world, Drake would end up with HER as a mate. It's absolutely disgusting. I want to strangle her in his behalf sometimes... make that most of the time.

Even though it's a series, you can pretty much finish with one book. I might be happier if I finish with one book, but I have to admit, the character situations are funny, and if I ignore the girl, I can settle for Jim and Drake watching. Pity Drake appears rarely and far between. Sort of like Japh in the Devil's right hand of the Dante Valentine series. But that's a completely different thing.

In book 2 I had hopes that she seemed to be less childish and less idiotic (although ... gah... she had the most annoying ability to prove me wrong when I think she's changed and another annoying ability to be hurt when there's no issue). She kind of reminds me of a less irritating Dante in Lilith Saintcrowe's Dante Valentine series. She's also less idiotic in the second book, although where she suddenly picked up wits, I don't know.
ice_of_dreams: (manga)
I read this book because it was recommended under ... if you like fae. I wouldn't have bought it for sheer cover alone... the cover is in extreme need of a rehaul since Moning writes for romance readers and the book was mostly urban fantasy like rather than romance. In fact in the entire book, there was attraction there were two attempted "rapes" although I think I wouldn't call it that... it's rather strange when paranormal things get mixed in the stories, and one 'possible' kiss. (Although I recently saw the new covers and they were decidedly better than the ones that I saw. I realized I had passed Blood Fever a couple of times in the bookstore and didn't buy it becasue I thought it was a mystery)

Unlike Laurell K. Hamilron, Moning was actually writing about the sidhe as bad guys this time. Possibly closer to their real inclinations, Moning wrote the sidhe closer to what Christians would classify as denizens of Hell. It's written in the first perspective (as most of the urban fantasies that can be found nowadays) and isn't about a girl who is a necromancer, a vampire hunter, fae, witch or any generic paranormal resident.

I have some trouble with teh way the story is told. Unlike the usual present first person POV, the POV is entirely past first person. Which leads to strange transitory scenes and a lot of, in retrospect, "I didn't know what I was thinking at that time" types of phrases.

The primary character, Mac (short for MacKayla) has gone to Dublin, in search for her sister's murderer, where she finds herself thrust in an entire story which is close to impossible and something she's not quite equipped to handle. By sheer luck and utter stupidity, she stumbles on one of the characters who uses her as a dector, with questionable trustworthiness, but finds herself unable to leave anyway. In exchange he teaches her about the world she doesn't know about to find her sister's murderer and execute her last "wish" to find the Sinsar Dubh.

I like the book, and have already picked up the next in the Fever series BloodFever (and will be awaiting the next when I finish my entire rotation this April... ugh). Unlike most urban fantasies, you aren't thrust into a world where the lead character knows everything initially, she is just as ignorant as you are. And because of it, you learn along with her. Jericho Barrons, who plays mostly her cynical, mysterious and reluctant mentor is actually fun to read becuase of his dry humor. And honestly, he does get into a lot of verbal fights with almost everybody he meets, intentionally.

I am happy that this series will be continuing on for at least 7 more books, (but please no more than that), and am so far enjoying it. It has promises to have more substance than Laurell K. Hamilton's Meredith Gentry novels (although, I admit, I am more than addicted to taht series).

edit I found I liked Dark Fever more than Blood Fever, the second book in the installment, but not because Blood Fever was any less of a book than Dark Fever, but because Dark Fever was the book that was needed to set the characters in place. As with any book in series, the first is usually something to remember.

I guess this is mostly because the first book had mystery and getting to know you. The second book was just establishment of Barrons and Mac's relationship and what is going to be normal routine for the two of them, and, introduction of the characters on the other side of normal. Mostly it was about finding more OOPs, and there was no plot progression. (They didn't find clues to Mac's sister's death because she thinks she already has the murderer and they didn't find out more about the fae crossing over, because Mac missed an entire month off human world, and since Barron is closemouthed and we're seeing entirely through Mac's eyes, we missed an entire chunk of the developments in the Unseelie fae walking around). This book didn't even deal with any how or why's of the "Lord Master" and what the big game plan was. I think the only progression that happened plot wise is the 'relationship' between Barrons and Mac, if you call that progression.

The second book strives to introduce the major players in the field to us. Moning has decided to ditch the past first person POV and moved on to a present first person. The style still needs a bit retouching since there are sometimes gaps in the story. I find myself doing a figurative double take at the scenes (what? she's chained to a post? did I miss that?) becuase most of the story happens in dialogue than in Mac's narration she misses out on these explanations and gives them away in the conversation. Maybe it's because Mac isn't the most observant person in the book and therefore the book suffers for it (does that make sense?). To make up for the mostly dialogue scenes, the dialogue is witty and drily humorous.

The ending of the second book also had me wishing it was september. It dropped enough hints of what Barrons was to watn to read the next book in frustration without giving it away. Mostly I think the series is just going to give away pieces of himself. *sigh* no excerpts nor summaries for book 3 titled fae fever yet. Although I saw the republished covers in the site: http://www.karenmoning.com/novels/index.html and the book site which lets you spray paint messages, leads you to her blog and her official site... I don't know what else it's supposed to do but that: http://www.sidhe-seersinc.com/. I do hope there's more plot progression in the third book, although I really wouldn't complain. I usually don't notice these things until it ends, and why am I to complain about one more book.... of course there is the wait.

*Sigh* the first book I've read in a week. I blame Exams, but I also blame the WII. Please. I've been logging 5 hours per day in that console. :p
ice_of_dreams: (x-files)
Come to me is the second book in a paranormal romance. The first book isn't really necessary to understand the second, and the second book is much better than the first.

It deals with incubi and succubi (ah, the favorite characters of fantasy romance authors anywhere). And though the story isn't much for world building in demon-sense (the hierarchies are not unique, the Night World almost one dimensional and the creatures in it, barely touched), the second book was more emotional than the first book ever was.

Probably because Theron (the incubi in the first book) was a megalomaniac who wanted to take over the world but ended up in love with the fiancee of the human whose body he was going to take over, and Samira, the succubi in the second book had more hardships.

Be warned though, Samira ends up complaining about being human half of the time (she was sentenced to humanity by Nyx). Nicolae seems too perfect, except he has scars from 3rd degree burns on 50% of his body and has a broken arm and a leg, which you don't get reminded of too many times in the story and the politics in the story is plotted out and panned out with conversations from the main characters. You see one battle scene and that's it. If you're looking for the kind of fantasy that dwells into world-building and details, this is definitely not the book to read.

It is a fair enough hand at romance though, exceedingly better than the first book, Dream of Me, that I wonder if her later books, Have Glass Slippers, Will travel would be better.

ice_of_dreams: (poison)
After finishing reading three chapters of a bad paranormal book (Dragon Heat by Allyson James) I had to read something ELSE. And since paranormal and fantasy when I was looking at a new author was hit and miss for me, I settled to go for romance. Never mind the fact that I was reading romance novels instead of a solid fantasy, urban fantasy or the like. Brain junk food. Yum. (I really must look for a new good urban fantasy that speaks to my soul)...

Witches and Dragons )
ice_of_dreams: (poison)
I wonder if I'll manage to finish 70 books before 70 days...

It's a futuristic sci-fi with a dash of paranormal into it. The psy is a race of people who close off their feelings from childhood. They are taught not to feel emotion. This entire program called "the Silence" was done in an effort to control insanity and serial killing in the populace.

As with most paranormal stories... it's a mystery. There's a serial killer on the loose. Unfortunately the serial killer is pretty much easy to guess. The only real reason why the serial killer was difficult to find for the psy lead was becuase she was conditioned earlier on. OR maybe I'm deluding myself in that.

The next mysterious thing is how a very powerful psy have no designation. That other story clue I also guessed half way through the second chapter. So honestly, this book isn't really readable because of the suspense or the twists.

It is however worth it for the world building. There were a lot of technical moments when the psy lead, Sascha, tried to explain the PsyNet (the network of psychic minds termed the "hive" by some non-psy people), but it was supposed to be technical and the mechanics of it was well thought out.

The entire heirarchy of the psychic communtiy, as well as the changelings (Nalini Singh's term for shifters, not the changelings of the fae) was where the world building was at strongest. (And of course the PsyNet theories). Especially since this was futuristic but doesn't spiral into predictable warewolf/shifter heirarchies.

Not an instant favorite, and not something I'd be re-reading any time soon. But I would be on the look out for her next books. This was better than reading Mona Lisa Craving and even rivals the latest works of Kenyon and Robin D. Owens in my heart.

November 2010

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