Monthly Archives: July 2010

Magic Strikes (Kate Daniels, #3) by Ilona Andrews


Drafted into working for the Order of Merciful Aid, mercenary Kate Daniels has more paranormal problems than she knows what to do with these days.  Drafted into working for the Order of Merciful Aid, mercenary Kate Daniels has more paranormal problems than she knows what to do with these days. And in Atlanta, where magic comes and goes like the tide, that’s saying a lot.

But when Kate’s werewolf friend Derek is discovered nearly dead, she must confront her greatest challenge yet. As her investigation leads her to the Midnight Games—an invitation only, no holds barred, ultimate preternatural fighting tournament—she and Curran, the Lord of the Beasts, uncover a dark plot that may forever alter the face of Atlanta’s shapeshifting community… (from Goodreads)

These books just keep getting better and better.  The character development is ongoing and Saiman has definitely gone from one of the okay characters to how quick can he die.  I hope Kate takes care of that for me.

An entirely different type of creature is introduced who are connected in some way to Kate’s real father.  Needless to say, they are the big, bad guys.

And the relationship between Andrea and Raphael is heating up!


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Filed under Paranormal, Romance

Magic Burns (Kate Daniels, #2) by Ilona Andrews


When Kate sets out to retrieve a set of stolen maps for the Pack, Atlanta’s paramilitary clan of shapeshifters, she quickly realizes much more is at stake. During a flare, gods and goddesses can manifest – and battle for power. The stolen maps are only the opening gambit in an epic tug-of-war between two gods hoping for rebirth. And if Kate can’t stop the cataclysmic showdown, the city man not survive… (from Goodreads)

This is turning into one of my favorite series.  I have already contacted the author to find out when book five, Magic Slays, is due out.  Unfortunately, there is no release date yet.

The relationship, if you can call it that, between Kate and Curran continues to develop, but they still seem more interested in sniping at each other than becoming lovers.  Of course, due to her raising Kate has real issues with any type of relationship, whether friend or lover.  Her friends all seem to die on her and this one may not be the exception.

This book really fleshes out some of the other characters in the book.  There are some that I thought were okay at first, but now I really despise and others that I thought were “ewwww” who turn out to be okay.  Who knows what book three will bring?

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Filed under Paranormal, Romance

Hourglass (Evernight, #3) by Claudia Gray


After escaping from Evernight Academy, the vampire boarding school, Bianca and Lucas seek refuge with Black Cross, the elite group of vampire hunters led by Lucas’s stepfather. When Bianca’s close friend—the vampire Balthazar—is captured by Black Cross, Bianca knows she has to do whatever it takes to save him. But at what cost? (from Goodreads)

Talk about your love triangles.  Lucas and Balthazar both love Bianca.  She loves Lucas, but has strong feelings for Balthazar as well.  Oh yeah, Lucas is a vampire hunter, Balthazar is a vampire, and Bianca is in the process of turning into a vampire.  Sheesh!

Personally, I’m rooting for Balthazar.  Lucas has way too many issues with vampires.

Oh yes, let’s not forget about the wraiths that are trying to kill Bianca.  No one knows why they are targeting her, or if they do know, they’re not telling.

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Filed under Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult

Stargazer (Evernight, #2) by Claudia Gray


Evernight Academy: an exclusive boarding school for the most beautiful, dangerous students of all—vampires. Bianca, born to two vampires, has always been told her destiny is to become one of them.

But Bianca fell in love with Lucas—a vampire hunter sworn to destroy her kind. They were torn apart when his true identity was revealed, forcing him to flee the school. (from Goodreads)

You would think being in love with a member of a cult determined to kill you and all of your kind would be enough trouble, but no, Bianca also has wraiths after her.  What has she done to deserve this?

On the other hand, she also has two gorgeous guys in love with her.  Lucas, who is human and a vampire hunter, and Balthazar, who is one of her own kind.  Balthazar, who is gorgeous and kind and would do almost anything for Bianca.  How is a girl to choose?

I would recommend these books to anyone who loves vampire romances.  They are more like Vampire Academy and the House of Night series than Twilight, but should appeal to anyone who loves the paranormal.

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Filed under Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult

Evernight (Evernight, #1) by Claudia Gray



She’s been uprooted from her small hometown and enrolled at Evernight Academy, an eerie Gothic boarding school where the students are somehow too perfect: smart, sleek, and almost predatory. Bianca knows she doesn’t fit in.

Then she meets Lucas. He’s not the “Evernight type” either, and he likes it that way. Lucas ignores the rules, stands up to the snobs, and warns Bianca to be careful—even when it comes to caring about him.

I originally read this book when it was first published. There are three books in the series out now with the fourth, Afterlife, due in March 2011. With all the wonderful YA books being published, I somehow missed reading the third, so I am doing a reread of the entire series.

This is one of those books that it is hard to say much without giving away a major plot twist. I had actually forgotten I had read it until I started it again. I kept asking myself, “Isn’t this the one where . . .?” And it was!

I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys paranormal romances. There is a love triangle with a really nice guy and a “is he really a nice guy or is it all an act” guy.

I wish I could say more, but it would really spoil it for you.

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Filed under Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult

Magic Bites (Kate Daniels, #1) by Ilona Andrews


When the magic is up, rogue mages cast their spells and monsters appear, while guns refuse to fire and cars fail to start. But then technology returns, and the magic recedes as unpredictably as it arose, leaving all kinds of paranormal problems in its wake.

Kate Daniels is a down-on-her-luck mercenary who makes her living cleaning up these magical problems. But when Kate’s guardian is murdered, her quest for justice draws her into a power struggle between two strong factions within Atlanta’s magic circles.

I don’t know if it is because I am reading these so soon after Karen Marie Moning’s Fever series or if there is really a resemblance, but I keep confusing Kate and Mac in my mind.  Both of them are loners who are expected to save the world from a magical disaster.  Both of them have alpha males who try to control them.   Hey, they’re even both from Georgia!

Having said that, I much prefer this series.  Kate is a smart mouth, but she is also smart.  She has a serious attitude problem, but she also has the skill and training to back it up.

I didn’t think I was going to like the book to begin with, but halfway through I ordered the rest of the series.  Unfortunately, they won’t be here for a couple of days.

My only complaint is that there are so many characters, I feel like I should keep notes.  When the “bad guy” is revealed, I had to go back and figure out which one he was.  It made me want to re-read the book again just to get things straight.

Regardless, I can’t wait for UPS to come tomorrow.

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Filed under Paranormal

If I Stay by Gayle Forman


In a single moment, everything changes. Seventeen-year-old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall riding along the snow-wet Oregon road with her family. Then, in a blink, she finds herself watching as her own damaged body is taken from the wreck…

I had serious doubts about this book.  I don’t like what I call problem novels and I think YA fiction is inundated with them.  However, I was completely wrong about this book.  I am not sure how the author took what was a horrible premise and made something positive out of it, but she managed it.

This is not a paranormal book.  Mia is not a ghost.  She is, however, able to see what is going on with everyone around her while her body is in a coma.

There are a number of flashbacks in the story which explain her relationships with her friends and family.  This is not a story about a girl with a lot of problems prior to the accident.  It is the story of a girl who must decide if she can survive the accident.

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Filed under Realistic, Romance, Young Adult

Parallel Attraction (Midnight Warriors, #1) by Deidre Knight


Exiled alien king Jared Bennett is fighting for his people’s freedom. Now his rebel force has the one weapon that can turn the tide against their enemy: the key to the secrets of time. With victory at hand, only one human, Kelsey Wells, has the power to change everything. Kelsey is unable to deny the fierce attraction to Jared Bennett, but is unaware of the truth: although Jared is exactly what he says, he hasn’t told her everything. And when the future crashes into the present, Kelsey must decide if his deception will cost them the love that should have been their destiny.

Okay, I really wanted to like this book.  The series has been highly recommended and I normally  love science fiction/romance.  This was not the book for me however.

I thought the world building was slow, but my real problem was with Jared.  He is supposed to be a warrior and a king from an alien planet.  What he really is is a wimp.  The man whines continually about how bad his life as been.  Yes, there have been horrific things in his life, but a warrior is not supposed to whine.  Kelsey is the much stronger personality.  I actually liked her, but I kept expecting her to tell him to get over it already!

One of the secondary characters, however, has promise.  His name is Scott and I am sure there has to be a book out there for him.  Unfortunately, I have to return the rest of the series to the library because someone else is waiting on them.  Hopefully, they will like them better than I did.

I might return to this series one day, but I doubt it.

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Filed under Romance, Science Fiction

Back from vacation and information about a contest

I really do enjoy keeping this blog, but it is amazing how easy it is to become overwhelmed.  I have been on vacation for two weeks with little wifi access.  For some reason or another, I just didn’t feel compelled to type an entire blog post on my Droid!

Of course, now I am behind by fifteen books on my reviews.  I have been home almost a week and just now getting started.  I have Kate at Read This Book! to credit with getting me off my duff.  Kate is a Young Adult book reviewer with an amazing site.  She read 174 books in 2009 and is participating in the Debut Author Challenge hosted by The Story Siren this year.

Anyway, Kate is holding a $70 Giveaway for a gift certificate from CSN stores.  If I win, I plan on buying a new bookcase to go up in my bedroom.  Be sure and check it out.

Now to the book reviews!

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Sizzling Sixteen (Stephanie Plum, #16) by Janet Evanovich

Trenton, New Jersey, bounty hunter Stephanie Plum has inherited a “lucky” bottle from her Uncle Pip. Problem is, Uncle Pip didn’t specify if the bottle brought good luck or bad luck. . . . (from Goodreads)

These books have definitely hit their stride again.  They are always good, but I was not as pleased with books thirteen and fourteen.  However, with Finger Lickin’ Fifteen and Sizzling Sixteen, I feel like the Stephanie Plum I fell in love with is back.

Stephanie is in the “off” portion of her on-again-off-again relationship with Joe.  And as often happens, she ends up staying with Ranger for one reason or another.  Is the “lucky” bottle going to make sure she gets lucky?

Come on Stephanie, this is Ranger!!  How can you resist?

This book actually  made me think a time or two that the series was coming to an end.  There was all kinds of foreshadowing going on.  Fortunately, I was wrong.  There are clues for further plot developments though.

The only problem I have with these books is that it is so long between titles.  She has added another series starring Diesel, so I am afraid the wait may be even longer.  I wish there was a new book at least twice a year and I don’t count the “between-the-numbers” ones.

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Filed under Humor, Mystery, Romance