ice_of_dreams: (Default)
OMG. The book is very, very aptly named. It's a good thing a few bookstores outside US released this early or I would have gone on a Dresden starvation early.

What to say about the book. Wow. It was... just mroe than most of the other books. It was the "movie" of the Dresden Files. You saw everyone who was still breathing, a lot of things were given "Aha!" moments, and it quite literally was a very surprising, touching and crazy book all together. A lot of sad moments too and the first time that an ending from the Dresden files had me looking for the next release date of the book. (becuase yes, there is this weird cliff hanger at the end of the book! Argh!)

I love the pop culture of this book, and yes, I am always a fan of the sarcasm.

I am just thoroughly amazed at how many women fall at Dresden's feet. It's quite a growing number.

Changes, is truly a big leap, and a definite ending to the Dresden Files as we know it. I wonder what will be next. Damn it. April 2011, I better have time to read this book.
ice_of_dreams: (desolate)
I liked the characters in this story, and it answers a what if... what if after the war, some angels were discontent with God's verdict? I think that's mainly what Remiel's character is, an answer to that question. Discontent with the way that God has sentenced those who sided with Morning Star, Remiel willingly fell into the Earth to be human and fell in love.

The story is told in parallel lines of the past and the present and what the fallen angel Remiel is feeling along with another possibility, what if other angels followed his suit.

Although I do like the characterization, the way the other biblical beings were brought in the story, I didn't like the way that the story was written. For me it was dry-cut, with too many novels already coming out about private investigators of the supernatural, for it to stand out, it had to bring something special other than a new character.

Emotionally, the book was beautiful, how does an immortal come to grips with the feeling of leaving someone behind? However, I didn't feel it. I read it in Sniegoski's writing but I wasn't able to feel it. Could be a lack in me, but something in me didn't resonate with the feelings the book wanted to convey.

I probably could have liked it before I read the humor of Jim Butcher's Harry Dresden. The book itself isn't bad, however, I honestly think that there are better books in the market.

And for the angelic world building, well I loved the first book of Sharon Shinn's Samaria series, Archangel, before all the mythos got caught up with its quasi futuristic building(so... only book one), and sometimes Georgina Kincaid, with all of its other denizens would be worth a look too, but that doesn't focus too much on Angels being central powers as say, Nalini Singh's Angels' Blood (romantic fantasy, which I'd rather not repeat, but had that feel) oh and of course, Thorn St. Croix by Faith Hunter. All angel community centered books with good world building.
ice_of_dreams: (nabiki)
This is about Allie, who opened a door to hell at the basement of a diner, and how she and a hunter protecting the door decide to save the world... 'nuff said.

When I started reading this book, I thought the lead, Allie, was a little bit too ditzy for my tastes. But she was a rich girl from a New York family and I thought, what the heck, I could deal with a bit of the airheadedness of her comments. Later on, I decided to keep reading because they mentioned the Filipino equivalent of a vampire mandurugo (roughly translated, 'Bleeder', 'the one who bleeds', more accurately, a ghoul which causes something else to bleed) it is a myth so completely out into a Filipino ghost story, so obscure that even some Filipino readers would need to be told what it was. SO I kept reading, and I found out that, yes, at some point in the story, Allie does get a mature voice to tell her tale... even if it comes a bit late.

The hells that were built for the world was complex but too rushed. The entire doors system and the apocalyptic scenarios are well thought of but lacks fleshing out of a multi-series. I fear that they info dumped the doors to me at first go. I thought it would have worked more if there were a few chapters more to it. not just jumping into the fray where everybody knows everybody else, and the beginning was six years pre-book... or maybe more slowly spaced for all of the revelations.

Romantic tension with Ryan is... expected, and flat, and predictable, but I guess I could settle for it, as even though it's largely marketed as a paranormal romance it feels more like urban fantasy anyway.

All in all, still worth reading, but not worth spending my money on. Unless of course... I want to encourage people who mentions anything remotely Filipino in their books.

Quotable quotes:

I think it’s really cool that you guys are so into protecting humanity—which you clearly all hate and disrespect all the time.

I prefer ‘significant other’,” he says seriously. “ ‘Boyfriend’ is so trite.”

Do you or don’t you? What sort of person are you? What’s more important: your heart’s desire, or your desire’s heart?”
ice_of_dreams: (desolate)
*sigh* well, more appropriately urban fantasy is killing every other genre.

Well, I have noticed that once a person is starting to write in the Urban Fantasy genre, every other book goes on the backburner. I'm not saying it's the author's fault, becuase, hey the author is writing where the money is, or where the publisher wants her/him to write. But I am following several authors who have stopped writing traditional fantasy or even chick-lit, put it in the back burner and write urban fantasy every six months.

I am not complaining about the urban fantasy, I love the genre (when the writing is good... and it is quite easy to fuck up writing urban fantasy for someone who isn't experienced in writing fantasy in the first place), but sometimes I wish the publishers would allow a fantasy or a traditional chick lit book to be written in between all of that ass kicking chick. For example, Jim Butcher releases the Dresden files every year, but manages to sneak in a coupe of Codex Alera in between. (okay, so that's not ass kicking chick.. haha) or Moning still writes her traditional romance between writing the Fever series (although, I really am not a fan of her traditional romances, go figure).

I guess having less than 10,000 copies sold for the non-urban fantasy series weighed with a whopping more than 500,000 copies for a good urban fantasy would have an obvious winner. That said, publishers really have no choice but to buy the manscript that crunches the numbers. But still, it's sad for the other genres, especially since urban fantasy is starting to get so saturated, that most of the ideas are already flung in the open and enjoying a book depends on finding the best author to write down the good idea or the first author who wrote in the genre.
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: (Default)
My Christmas read this year turned out to be Karen Chance's Dorina Basarab Chronicles. Dorina, Dory to her friends, is the half vampire half human daughter of Mircea (yes, it's a spin-off Cassandra Parker series for those who read it.) And if you're not weirded out by the fact that the main romance lead in one book is the father of the other, Dorina Basarab will get you past the fact that the next Karen Chance book is off in the middle of 2009. Dorina is a bit rougher than Cassandra, and I keep wondering when the two leads will meet even if Dorina doesn't want to do anything much for her father, but that's for another book. This book is mostly about learning about the Basarab family ties, including Uncle Vlad the impaler and the bookish Radu and the only vampire, because in this book, Mircea pits Dorina against Vlad who, if I'm not mistaken, is actually alive due to the changes in time dealt by the Priya. There is also a subplot involving the Fey because, yes, every Urban Fantasy female lead needs a love triangle or, at least, another dominant male to shake up the attraction between Dorina and the leading contender. I like the tension present between Louis-Cesare and Dorina, in fact, I like the way the deal with each other. I am looking forward to the next book in this series and am happy that one of the other leads in the Cassandra Parker series was given a history other than what Cassandra knows. I really like the characters and am picking up the next book, but then, this is another Cassandra Parker book anyway
ice_of_dreams: (merry gentry)
The book I've been waiting for for a year has its ups downs and curveballs. Spoilers up ahead.

What I liked about this book is that there was action a whole lot of the way. A good deal of predictions came true, but not all of them. You get answers in this book, because obviously it's the final book in the series, unless someone higher up decides to milk it for all its worth and have a couple more in the future. But from the way the author wrote it out in the blod in the past, she was tired of writing of the series anyway, so yay for anita fans, probably more anita blake to churn out.

You get to answer in this book who gets to take the Unseelie sithen, you get the answer of will Frost come back. You get the answer of who killed Essus. For Doyle fans, there was an almost sex moment with him, interrupted viciously by a lot of talk between other people and Mistral's hurt feelings. I know, the world ends. NO the book didn't turn out like Mistral's Kiss, there was a lot of almost dying that it tended to get repetitive after a while.

I did not get to see more of Doyle's past, which was a bummer. Because all of the plot progression was crammed into one book and recap was crammed into chapter one. Honestly. You could not read chapter one if you wanted to. I would turn to fanfics except LKH has forbidden that avenue of entertainment due to weird fanfic world politics.

I need to read the entire series again, especially since I believe the entire Doyle-Merry thing was too rushed. Hey, I love the guy, just not the way it was executed. He was Merry's first guard, then in book two he didn't trust her, in book three he showed her grudging respect and wham bam in book five and six, they were in love and in seven they were cuddling. Honestly, it was strange to read the darkness in book 7 cuddling. Utterly strange but lovely because I liked him a lot anwyway.

I would have loved to see how this would have proceeded up to the point of birthing the twins but it's pouintless now. Unless we watch a series of murders and the guards scuttling around investigating, much like most paranormal series now, hwich I think was never the point of Meredith Gentry, even though she was a PI.

Meredith, Princess but never Queen.

*sigh* the world turns.
ice_of_dreams: (memories)
I finally landed a copy of the Dresden files and found out that it was precisely to my taste. Witty banter nerdy if somewhat lost wizard and a skull companion. And because I was sooo giddy about the book and I got semi-depressed on the ending of book 3, I went and found myself a copy of the series. Ugh. This is where making a series/movie is never as good as reading a book. Bob doesn't ever look like that, but then we have to ahve some corporeal body else the talking skull would be freaky most times, so okay. Susan was completely cut out of the picture probably due to money saving matters. And Harry Dresden looks more like the womanizing, brooding and rough wizard, which he isn't. He sounds more like an introverted, albiet clever, wizard. Bob lost all of his weird and sex crazed mind, and Harry got loads of girlfriends. And they didn't even get the diner right. *hmph* Serves me right to get excited over a series based on a book.

Which means, maybe Anita might be toned down in her TV series version... hmmmm. ;p

Anyway I'm off to read the fourth book.
ice_of_dreams: (Default)
Book 3 of the Fever series by Moning. *groans out loud* After waiting MONTHS and MONTHS for this book I end up with a cliff-hanger that wants me to bang my head against the wall. Not because it's bad, but rather, because it was too short! Argh. If I was the author I'd be happy with myself, it was a good way to end the third book and it had things that readers didn't expect. But Argh! Argh! Argh! As a reader I want to severely mutilate my copy in sheer anticipation and frustration for the next book. As always, I wanted to bang Mac's head along the wall with me because there are some things that you just don't do, even if you understand her motives all along. And yes the witty banter is back, and there was too scanty Barrons in this book and too much V'lane in my opinion, but that's just me.

Spoiling for Fae Fever... And lots of CHEEZE )

Faefever totally spoiled me from reading Succubus Dreams. [SPOILERS UP AHEAD] Good in its own right, just not better than the fever series. And as most books this month, apparently aims to do, Succubus Dreams also told me to rip its pages into little pieces. Again not because it was bad, but because of frustration. This time, not because of a humongous cliff-hanger, because the Georgina Kincaid Series doesn't deal in cliff-hangers, but rather, because the book, though told in first person is largely Georgina blind. From the onset, or rather, from book one, you have the sneaking suspicion that Seth is some sort of reincarnation of Georgina's husband, we don't know if humans that she cares for in the past have all been reincarnations of her husband that she has pushed away, but I'm 90% certain that Seth is. Unfortunately, because Georgina hasn't changed and hasn't learned from past mistakes, she ends up destroying her relationship. Even with all of the Carter advice. Honestly. Now I know that Georgina might still have a Seth in her future, and that some bad things must happen for her to change drastically her non-learning personality, but I am still this close to frustrated that all of my books ganged up on me to give me sad sad endings in my NEUROLOGY time when I needed cheerful happy endings.

I'm off to re-read the Fever series and the Gentry series before November four and Swallowing Darkness comes out. PLEASE, PLEASE tell me something good will come out of THAT book.
ice_of_dreams: (memories)
Another one for Lilith Saintcrow, with less baggage than the one with Dante Valentine. I'm hoping that she explores more of the demon world that she created this time.

Jill is a new hunter in town, taught by a (previously killed hunter), who made a deal with one of the "Traders" (AKA demon spawns from possibly hell again), so that she could gain the strength that she lacks to kill off other Traders. She is haunted by memories of her teacher (whom she had a fling with) and whose memory is obviously being replaced by the were (FBI) in town (who is actually more wifely than she is... Jaf, Jaf, is that you???). For me the story isn't predictable, although some say it is, and Jill makes a better damaged but determined heroine than Dante ever showed (but okay lets face it, she could turn out to be more deranged)

As with Dante Valentine, Jill Kismet is set in a world of good against evil. What I do admire about Saintcrow is that she doesn't recycle the world she creates. Although Dante Valentine and Jill Kismet seems to have a good deal of similar themes running, it just feels like I read another urban fantasy theme, not a recycled Dante Valentine story. Of course it's just the first book.

Saintcrow, however, seems to have deep interest with swords and fighting in dojos. Strange but livable. I'm looking through Hunter's night and hoping that I get it soon. Hopefully, the first book's well satisfied feeling bleeds into the next few books... then again I only started disliking Dante Valentine at Book 3 onwards, and the author herself confessed to hating Dante. We'll give it the benefit of the doubt and await the next installment.

In retrospect, it DOES have a lot of elements that run parallel to the Dante Valentine series, but not close enough to say that it's a rehass. And the worlds are distinctly apart, it's just that a lot of the themes (or maybe characterizations) are similar. If you liked Dante's first few books, then you'll probably enjoy Kismet too. As I said, she holds less baggage (be reminded that she still DOES hold baggage) As I said, we'll wait for the next installment.
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: (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 [ 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: (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)
This was one of my first urban fantasies. Initially I loved the story.

Unfortunately, right now I don't know why I put up with Rachel. She has more issues than Riley Jensen. She has the blood issue going, and she might have that issue with Ivy (which I'm still bothered reading) and now she has the added issue of guilt tripping for being happy when Kisten is dead. Along with missing Kisten.


Half of the first chapters, other than watching more demons approach Rachel, is watching Rachel dealing with her issues. The blood issue is frustrating enough, I just really don't want the entire issue with Ivy. I REALLY REALLY hate the issue with Ivy. Her issues with Kisten I could live with.

If Ivy and Rachel continue and Rachel becomes bi I am going to be seriously pissed. It's not that I don't like bi people, I just don't like it in my books. In the first person, when it says I etc with a GIRL. For example, if I actually went out and picked this book because I wanted to read on a Rachel Ivy relationship, I would be happy. Unfortunatly, I picked this book because I was following the Rachel Kisten arc, which has seriously been taken out anyway. Fortunately, I don't think it's going in that direction, because Rachel has put her foot down on the blood balance. But I never know with rachel. She changes her mind so much.

I LIKED Kisten. He was the nice beta male. A vampiric beta male, who would have thought.

He handled his own, he doesn't get pushed around and he was smart. He didn't have much air time because Rachel had too many a hectic job with all of the preternatural community, but hey, when he gets air time, it was great.

Unfortunately being offed in the fifth book kind of stops that for me.

As for the mystery, in this book it was more Rachel and her issues more than anything else. Most of the investigation was relegated to Ivy and David both of whom are not the POV's in The Hollows. Rachel only came in to bluff her way through. I suddenly realize that I would pick Moning's Fever and Frost's Dark Huntress over this series any day.

One good thing about this book is the introduction of Rachel's mom. She sort of comes off as a person half in Alzheimers and half out of it, but you'd get the reason for that in the book. BUT you get the answers to a lot of the family questions that have been haunting Rachel since day 1. Which I think is the reason why a lot of people like this book. For me, it was its saving grace. Without it, the book would have been bad.

I think another good thing about this is Trent and Quen. They're not just relegated to the political sidelines in this book, they're people and characters that you get to know. What exactly motivates Trent, how Trent thinks. Something that hasn't been shown before this.

I have to say though... the law on uncommon stupidity had me laughing.

Unfortunately for me the ending was good enough that I really want to see what happens next. Despite all the Ivy issues. *sigh* I took up the entire night to read and write this. Great no studying for OSCE.
ice_of_dreams: (poison)
I managed to get hold of a copy of Halfway to the Grave without Lucky me. Shipping would have taken forever and my parents are yet to leave for Indy. Besides Zelda: Twilight Princess has been eating my reading time (I've spent 30 hours on it... if you believe the save screen) The cover girl kind of reminds me of Kirsten Dunst... but enough of that.

Another urban fantasy. Lucky me. And all the better to gobble it up with. Catherine Crawford (Cat) is a half-vampire out for blood (okay, bad bad bad joke). She's hunting vampires in the secret hope she'd manage to stumble on to her vampire father who raped her mother and produced the extremely rare half-vampire her. (Halflings really are a great theme in a lot of things aren't they?). One night she ends up trying to stake more than she can handle, and she's given a deal, join forces with the vampire named Bones to kill bad vampires, or die.

First book in the series called the Night Huntress. And I am glad I picked it up. And that [ profile] shartyrant pointed me in the right direction. Cat is a character full of self-hate and prejudice. She lives at home where her mother constantly tell her that she is half a monster. And other than the fact that she'd rather stake first before asking questions, she's a great character, even with her flaws. I've read enough urban fantasy to know that most female characters in them have some anguish about who they are, about how they're chosen to be this and about how their lives are current wrecks. A good thing about Cat is, she may be a bigot in the beginning and she may have large doses of vampire hating (thus self-loathing) thrown into the mix of her character, but she shows a willingness to grow beyond that. She gets hurt, but she's not snippy, she's not whiny and she can hold her own. All in all she's one of the better characters that urban fantasy has produced. I give her bonus points for saying that the words "you're not dumb" is actually truth with her. She really isn't dumb. And her actions prove it.

Bones, as a vampire kind of reminds me of Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I have to agree. He's also a pretty well made character. Unlike most of the other characters, Bones does not have the silver spoon stuck in his mouth in the past. He wasn't an upstanding citizen before he was turned, and he wasn't nobility. (I find that most vampires born out of the 18th century tend to be noblemen and rich sods, not so with Bones) And the characterization works.

Some people didn't like the book after his appearance, probably of all that romantic tinge to it. (more than a tinge...) but I am after all a romance lover, and therefore don't really mind. If they want to skip all that read a male written urban fantasy, I always say, Romance there is underdone.

As for the mystery, they weren't really out to solve it. It's a bounty hunting story. Meaning there was a search for murderers but they were all pretty laid out already. All they had to do was follow the trail. There were little clues, and a whole lot of information gathering, but not really anything to sink your mystery teeth in. You know initially who's behind the murders, you're just out to get them. Pretty straightforwawrd. It's more a book about how Cat trained, how Cat is dealing with all of her self issues and her relationship. 'Nuff said.

I'm definitely waiting on the stands for the next book, One Foot in the Grave, out April 29 (oh God, oh God, my internship) and her part in the Anthology Weddings from Hell on May 27.
ice_of_dreams: (manga)
First in the Thorn St. Croix Series.

Buying it I was scared that this was going to be similar to Sharon Shinn's Samaria series (which I stopped reading after Book 2. I understood that the god they thought was god was a computer and that there was a god beyond that god, but the entire logistics of it was strange. A society that was God-fearing, suddenly introduced to modern science which to a medieval mind feels like God's miracles... but enough about that.) A few pages into it, I revised my opinion and thought it had the feel of Lilith St. Crowe's Dante Valentine series, such that mages (neomages in this book) were regulated and forced to wear bands with a GPS tightly monitored by the seraphs. But others are less tolerated in Faith Hunter's book than they are in St. Crowe's version. At somepoint, it also reminded me of Robin D. Owen's HeartMate especially since T'Ash, the lead male of the book is also a stone working/jeweler mage like Thorn St. Croix.

The POV in this book is a bit strange, shifting from first person perspective to third perspective when the heroine wasn't in the scene. Strange, I understood it was to keep the characeter blind, and the reader, more aware, but it was a bit disconcerting. If the author was going for the reader knowing all aspects of the story, then a third person all throughout would have been more consistent... But if it works for her...

Thorn is a neomage hiding in plain sight, in the middle of humans. While she's trying to remain inconspicuous, her ex-husband Lucas gets kidnapped. Suddenly everyone in her ex-husband's family is in danger, and she has to find a link between what Lucas was doing and the appearance of dark creatures. She has to do this, while keeping the higher ups away from her city, so she won't get discovered and sent to punishment by death.

As for story line... for me it had more politics than I want in my paranormal romances. Sometimes politics is good sometimes, it's just plain boring (or maybe it's because I picked this up hoping for a romance)... anyway... The mystery part, is intriguing. A lot of questions on a lot of coincidences popping up, and no close to solving it 3/4 of the way through.

As for romance, it doesn't deliver it (which leads me to a bang in the head, why the HELL is it classified as a romance if it doesn't have any? I wouldn't have procastinated with this had I known that because I would have known that I should stay away until I had TIME). There's a healthy dose of attraction, but nothing beyond that since it's that type of forbidden can't be together type of love. I was really sad that Thaddeus couldn't possibly end up in more books, which probably puts off reading the next few books for me for later. Although I'm hoping Raziel might be present for some more books in the future.

World building though, that is great. The setting is in a post-apocalyptic ice age. (After the angels came down and set the plagues upon the earth starting in Paris). There is no technology unless you recycle and recycle and religion and government is bound together as one. The otherworld includes mages, seraphs and dragons, but are kept away from humans for their own good. And god has declared that mages don't have souls. Similar to Shinn it deals with religious figures, unlike Shinn, she really does quote Bible verses and the like and uses it in some incantations. Mages are called prime-unforseen (unforseen by the prophesies) and a child, a halfbreed born of a mage and a human was called a second-unforseen. There'r kylins (sp?) too, which are children half seraph and half human. But inter-species relationships have been banned for some time now.

Finally, the book cover art. The angels are nice. But really, in this book the seraphs only appeared really late (chapter 18) and they aren't the story's protagonist. When I see a cover like that, you'd think epic battles. It wasn't not really. It was more urban fantasy or maybe dark fantasy. (SOmething I should never read for procrastination because I end up reading the entire series and forget about studying). Maybe it would work for book 2, but certainly not in book 1. I have to admit though, the covers get better looking seraphs as it progresses. Look at book 3: Host and book 2: Seraphs in to see. But still, doesn't really reflect content. ALTHOUGH, I take it back. After finishing the entire thing, the Angel cover was all right and in context. Pretty late in the context of all things, but still all right.

All in all I'm excited to actually finish this and start on the next book, but am stopping for a while because I really really need to study. (I'm in Chapter 19)

Quote from the book:
Portents never helped. They offered only a single moment to catch a breath before I was trounced by whatever they foretold.

You are a stone in my river of eternity.
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....


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: (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: 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: 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

November 2010

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