Tag: Urban Fantasy

Review: Hunting Ground by Patricia Briggs

Posted April 17, 2019 by Casee in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Hunting Ground by Patricia BriggsReviewer: Casee
Hunting Ground by Patricia Briggs
Narrator: Holter Graham
Series: Alpha & Omega #2
Also in this series: Burn Bright, Burn Bright, Alpha & Omega, Cry Wolf, Burn Bright, Dead Heat
Publisher: Ace
Publication Date: September 1, 2009
Format: Audiobook
Source: Library
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 286
Length: 8 hours and 24 minutes
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Reading Challenges: Casee's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
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four-stars

Anna Latham didn’t know how complicated life could be until she became a werewolf. And until she was mated to Charles Cornick, the son — and enforcer — of Bran, the leader of the North American werewolves, she didn’t know how dangerous it could be either...

Anna and Charles have just been enlisted to attend a summit to present Bran’s controversial proposition: that the wolves should finally reveal themselves to humans. But the most feared Alpha in Europe is dead set against the plan — and it seems like someone else might be too. When Anna is attacked by vampires using pack magic, the kind of power only werewolves should be able to draw on, Charles and Anna must combine their talents to hunt down whoever is behind it all — or risk losing everything...

I read Cry Wolf when we did the Summer Reading Challenge last summer. I don’t know why it’s taken me so long to get to the second book. I know part of it was that I wasn’t a huge Anna fan. She seems weak and meek, but in this book it is clear to see that she’s anything but.

Charles and Anna are attending a summit in Seattle to discuss coming out to the humans. One of the most powerful alphas is against coming out at all. He also has his eye on Anna. While Charles and Anna are mates, their relationship is anything but easy. Charles literally bristles with rage anytime Anna is threatened. When she is attacked by vampires who are wielding pack magic, all bets are off.

Anna feels stronger than she felt when she first met Charles. As an omega, she is revered by the werewolves, especially Charles. She can bring peace and calm to any enraged werewolf. She’s been learning to control it and has been doing a darn good job.

It’s clear that there is unrest between the werewolves. Most of them know it is time to reveal themselves to the humans. It would be better to do it on their terms rather than let the humans find out on their own. It is more than one alpha’s opposition that Charles has to face. It’s an anonymous person/werewolf/vampire that wants to get his hands on Anna. Charles will never let that happen.

I really enjoyed how Anna and Charles’ relationship has evolved. They are true partners. She’s never been valued as a werewolf, but Charles makes sure to show her how valuable she is to him. I really liked the whole “mystery” aspect of it. I was pretty clueless until almost right up until it was revealed. Then I was like “A-HA!”. Got you.

If you like paranormal, shapeshifting stories that actually have a plot, I highly suggest this series.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Alpha & Omega

four-stars


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Review: Magic Bleeds by Ilona Andrews

Posted April 9, 2019 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Magic Bleeds by Ilona AndrewsReviewer: Holly
Magic Bleeds by Ilona Andrews
Narrator: Renee Raudman
Series: Kate Daniels #4
Also in this series: Magic Shifts, Magic Shifts, Magic Binds, Magic Bites, Magic Strikes, Iron and Magic, Magic Triumphs, Magic Bites
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: May 25, 2010
Format: Audiobook, eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: First
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 349
Length: 13 hours and 6 minutes
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Reading Challenges: GoodReads Challenge, Holly's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
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four-stars
Series Rating: four-half-stars

Kate Daniels works for the Order of the Knights of Merciful Aid, officially as a liaison with the mercenary guild. Unofficially, she cleans up the paranormal problems no one else wants to handle—especially if they involve Atlanta’s shapeshifting community.

When she’s called in to investigate a fight at the Steel Horse, a bar midway between the territories of the shapeshifters and the necromancers, Kate quickly discovers there’s a new player in town. One who’s been around for thousands of years—and rode to war at the side of Kate’s father.

This foe may be too much even for Kate and Curran, the Lord of the Beasts, to handle. Because this time, Kate will be taking on family…

Magic Bleeds is the 4th book in Ilona Andrews’ Kate Daniels series. The world was once ruled by magic, until technology forced it away. Now tech has become too predominate and magic is forcing its way back in. It comes in waves, killing all tech, destroying buildings and allowing magical beings to dominate. Then it recedes, leaving tech in control once again.

For Kate Daniels, life is decidedly different than it used to be. She was trained to live alone, to hide herself and avoid friendships at all costs. Now she’s become the liaison between the Mercenary Guild and the Order of Knights of Merciful Aid, and has Friend of the Pack status – and what she thought was going to be the start of a relationship with Curran, the Beast Lord of Atlanta.

When Kate is sent out by the Order to deal with a new case, a whole new can of worms opens. Because this new enemy is older and more powerful than any she’s dealt with in the past…and this time it’s family. Between her song and dance with Curran, cleaning up magical messes and trying to keep her past and family ties secret, Kate has a full plate.

This series is so wonderfully drawn, I feel like I’m right there in Post-Shift Atlanta with Kate, Curran and all the rest. Kate is such a badass. She’s quick-witted, super smart, a font of magically related knowledge and, most notably, a trained, highly efficient killer. Every time she comes on page, warming up her sword, Slayer, I get excited. I have the biggest girl-crush on her.

This book shows us the best of Kate so far in the series. She’s strong and kickass, but also vulnerable and open in a way she hasn’t been before. As she opens her heart to more people, she has to make some hard choices about following the path her father set her on when she was a child, or choosing instead to live a fuller life. I love how she changes through the series, yet remains the same at her core.

Her relationship with Curran is complicated, and often frustrating throughout this book. The first few chapters made my heart hurt, but I loved the way things were resolved in the end. Still, I wanted to smack both Curran and Kate upside the head more than once.

I’d believed him. He was supposed to be different, to be more. He’d made me hope for things I didn’t think I’d ever get. When hope broke, it hurt. Mine was a very big, very desperate hope, and it hurt like a sonovabitch.

Though the overall tone of this series is dark and serious, there’s a surprising amount of humor. I laughed out loud on several occasions. It’s also heartwarming, and heartbreaking.

Derek nodded at the vehicle. “Who is that?”
“Your replacement.”
He led me away from the front gate to a narrow side door. “You replaced me with a shaved poodle?”
“He’s got mad skills.”
Derek’s eyebrows crept up.
“He can vomit and urinate at the same time and he doesn’t make fun of my car.”

We learn a lot about Kate’s past in this book, and her relationship with Curran really progresses. We also meet new characters and spend time with some old favorites.

“When I got there, Miss Nash was standing by the hot tub in a small bikini, pointing the business end of a SIG-Sauer P-226 at her fella and concerned members of the hotel staff, while dunking the scantily clad female’s head under the water and asking, ‘Who’s diving for clams now, bitch?’ ”

All-in-all, Magic Bleeds is an excellent novel, even after the umpteenth reread.

4.25 out of 5

Kate Daniels

four-stars


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Featured Review: Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews

Posted March 22, 2019 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Featured Review: Magic Bites by Ilona AndrewsReviewer: Casee, Holly, & Rowena
Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews
Series: Kate Daniels #1
Also in this series: Magic Shifts, Magic Shifts, Magic Binds, Magic Bites, Magic Strikes, Iron and Magic, Magic Triumphs, Magic Bleeds
Publisher: Ace
Publication Date: March 29, 2009
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: First
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 386
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2019 GoodReads Challenge, Casee's 2019 TBR Challenge, Holly's 2019 GoodReads Challenge, Holly's 2019 TBR Challenge, Rowena's 2019 GoodReads Challenge, Rowena's 2019 TBR Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
three-stars
Series Rating: four-half-stars

New York Times bestselling author Ilona Andrews invites you to experience the first novel in the “intriguing world” (Locus) of Kate Daniels with this special edition of Magic Bites...

Kate Daniels is a down-on-her-luck mercenary who makes her living cleaning up 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. Pressured by both sides to find the killer, Kate realizes she’s way out of her league—but she wouldn't want it any other way…

This special edition includes in-depth information about the world of Kate Daniels, with descriptions of its characters and factions. Explore Kate’s Atlanta like never before with answers to FAQ and a quiz to find your place there. And don’t miss the prequel story “A Questionable Client,” as well as scenes of events in Magic Bites from Curran’s point of view.

Magic Bites is the first book in Ilona Andrews‘ wildly popular Kate Daniels series. The world was once filled with magic, until technology came and drown it out. Now magic has returned in waves, killing tech and causing strange happenings. They call this the Shift.

Here we’re introduced to Kate in post-shift Atlanta as she tries to discover who murdered her guardian.

Holly: I have to be honest, this isn’t a great introduction to the series. I feel it’s necessary to the world-building and to establish Kate’s position in Atlanta and her relationship with Curran and the Pack, but it’s pretty slow and bogged down with a lot of info.

Rowena: I didn’t even read the blurb before starting this book, I only know what I’ve read about the series as a whole on Twitter and around Blog Land but yeah, I agree with Holly. There were times in the first half of the book where I was bored to tears with what was going on…which was a whole lot of nothing. I didn’t understand what was going on, only that Kate was trying to find her guardian’s killer in a world that didn’t make a lick of sense to me. Once I got over that beginning hump and Curran comes on to the scene, things pick up and I started to piece together a little understanding so I didn’t hate the entire thing but yeah, that beginning was boring af.

I will say that the second half really takes off and I’m curious as hell to see where the next book takes us and I’m excited to see it all. I really loved Kate and Curran and Derek. They were freaking great.

Casee: I am definitely going to continue with the series, but I was bored to death while listening to this book. If I had tried to read it instead of listening to it, I never would have finished it. There were parts that I actually enjoyed, but I mostly found it boring and tedious. The only reason I continued on was because I’ve heard that this book is necessary to read if you’re planning on continuing the series.

What did you think of Kate? I found her annoying at the beginning.

Rowena: I thought both her and Curran were annoying at first but that changed over the course of the book. Kate is badass and I loved that she had a soft heart for those in need of help…when she wouldn’t let Curran harm Derek? She won me over completely.

Holly: I agree, both Kate and Curran were annoying at first. As the book went on they improved. It’s funny to go back now and read where they started from. Especially after reading Curran’s POV.

Rowena:Did you guys think that Crest was the bad guy? I did. LOL.

Holly: No, I never thought Crest was the bad guy. I pegged the real villain right away. I still liked watching Kate puzzle it out.

Casee: I didn’t think Crest was the bad guy because that would have been too easy. That was the only reason. I also had no idea who it was.

Holly: Although the beginning of this book moves slow, I can’t deny the attraction to the world. Kate, Curran, Derek and others really come to life, especially in later books. I can’t wait for you guys to read the rest.

Rowena: I’m not going to lie, for a huge chunk of this book, I looked like this while reading:

I was confused with all of the magic short-circuiting cars and phones and then vampires being actual undead and the bad guys, it’s a really different paranormal world than I’m used to and by the end of the book, I was here for it. I didn’t blink at the exploding creatures and Kate cutting creatures heads off and taking them back to her kitchen to investigate them. I was one with this world and seriously, I’m looking forward to digging into this world some more.

Even with the really slow beginning, I enjoyed this one but not nearly as much as I thought I was going to with all of the Kate Daniels love this series gets every damn where. Still, this gets 3 out of 5 stars from me. What about you guys?

Holly: Had I not had so many others telling me this series was amazing, I’d probably never have continued after this book. I do think the events here are necessary to what’s coming, though, so I’m glad you guys read it.

It gets 3 out of 5 from me, too.

Casee: This book was basically an info dump. I’ve been meaning to read it and I’m glad I did because I’m looking forward to continuing on. Despite being yawn inducing, I could definitely see the potential when I was finished reading.

I also give it a 3 out of 5.

Final Grades

Casee: 3 out of 5
Holly: 3 out of 5
Rowena: 3 out of 5

Kate Daniels

three-stars


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Review: River Marked by Patricia Briggs

Posted February 20, 2019 by Rowena in Reviews | 4 Comments

This month’s prompt for the TBR Challenge was Series so I chose to read River Marked by Patricia Briggs because I am determined to get that entire series read this year. I want to catch up by the time the next book comes out so wish me luck on that. Anyway, on with my review…

Review: River Marked by Patricia BriggsReviewer: Rowena
River Marked (Mercy Thompson, #6) by Patricia Briggs
Series: Mercy Thompson #6
Also in this series: Frost Burned (Mercy Thompson, #7), Night Broken, Shifting Shadows, Blood Bound, Fire Touched, Silence Fallen (Mercy Thompson, #10), Moon Called, Blood Bound (Mercy Thompson, #2), Iron Kissed (Mercy Thompson, #3), Bone Crossed (Mercy Thompson, #4)
Publisher: Ace
Publication Date: March 1, 2011
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: First
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 337
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Rowena's 2019 GoodReads Challenge, Rowena's 2019 TBR Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Mercy Thompson is a shapeshifter, a talent she inherited from her long-gone father. And she's never known any others of her kind. Until now. As Mercy comes to terms with this new information, an evil is stirring in the depths of the Columbia River. Something deadly is coming, facts are thin on the ground and Mercy feels ill at ease.

Mercy Thompson brings the badass shenanigans again in River Marked. In this book, she finally marries hottie Alpha Adam Hauptman and they’re headed on their camping honeymoon where they will be completely alone and not have to deal with anyone’s problems…until they get to their campsite and have to deal with everyone else’s problems. The problem that they’re dealing with this time around is a river devil monster who is eating the people who are getting too close to her in the river. When Adam and Mercy happen upon an injured man in the boat and smell his fear, they can’t walk away and this river monster is unique and it is magic of the American Indian variety so Mercy and Adam find themselves getting acquainted with the local Indian tribes….and Mercy’s sort of maybe ghost of a father? Yeah, there’s a lot going on in this book and I thought Briggs did a great job of pulling this story together.

I really liked that there was a Charles and Anna partnership feel to Adam and Mercy in this one. They worked together to fight the bad guys and had only each other that they could trust completely and rely on. The wealth of love that they have for each other melts me at every turn and I just really love their love. Mercy’s letter to Adam at the end was the best way to end this book and honestly, I just can’t wait to continue this series. I’m low key annoyed at myself that I kept this on my TBR shelf for so long. But no more, 2019 is the year that I finish out this series. This was another fantastic addition to the Mercy Thompson series so I definitely recommend it if you started the series but haven’t gotten around to this one. It’s good stuff, I promise!

Grade: 4.25 out of 5

Mercy Thompson

four-stars


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Lightning Review: Storm’s Heart by Thea Harrison

Posted January 30, 2019 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Lightning Review: Storm’s Heart by Thea HarrisonReviewer: Holly
Storm's Heart (Elder Races, #2) by Thea Harrison
Series: Elder Races #2
Also in this series: Dragon Bound (Elder Races, #1), Storm's Heart (Elder Races, #2), Serpent's Kiss (Elder Races, #3), Oracle's Moon (Elder Races, #4), Oracle's Moon (Elder Races, #4), True Colors (Elder Races, #3.5), Lord's Fall (Elder Races, #5), Kinked, Lord's Fall, Kinked (Elder Races, #6), Pia Saves the Day & Peanut Goes to School, Dragos Takes a Holiday, Night's Honor, Night's Honor, Dragon Bound, Midnight's Kiss, Midnight's Kiss, Dragos Goes to Washington, Shadow's End, Pia Does Hollywood, Liam Takes Manhattan, Pia Does Hollywood, The Chosen: A Novella of the Elder Races, Planet Dragos (Elder Races, #9.8), Planet Dragos (Elder Races, #9.8), Lionheart (Moonshadow, #3)
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: August 2, 2011
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
Pages: 305
Add It: Goodreads
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four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

He's a Wyr warrior, a god of storms. She's the heir to the Dark Fae throne. But desire will bring both to their knees in this all-new Novel of the Elder Races.

During the rule of her murderous Dark Fae uncle, Thistle "Tricks" Periwinkle found sanctuary among the Wyr in New York. Her ethereal beauty and sparkling personality won the hearts of the public, but after her uncle's death, there are those who don't want to see her ascend to the throne.

Able to wield thunder and lightning, Wyr sentinel Tiago Black Eagle has ruled the skies for centuries. His massive build and thunderous power make him one of the Wyr's best weapons. And he's sent to protect Tricks when she's almost assassinated in Chicago.

Soon, both Tiago and Tricks will fall prey to the stormy hunger that engulfs them—a passion that will shake the very foundation of all the worlds.

Storm’s Heart by Thea Harrison is the second book in the Elder Races series. We met both Niniane (Tricks) and Tiago in book one, Dragon Bound.

Tricks is the rightful heir to the Dark Fae court. When she was a teenager her family was slaughtered by her uncle and she just barely escaped. For over 200 years she’s been hiding in plain sight in the Wyr demense, rubbing her uncle’s nose in the fact that she’s still alive every time she goes on t.v. as the head of PR for Cuelebre Enterprises, the Wyr King’s massive company. When her Uncle Urian finally steps over the line and Dragos finally kills him, Tricks has to take her rightful place as Queen.

As one of Dragos’ sentinels, Tiago has known Tricks for years, though he doesn’t have the same close relationship with her the others do. Still, he cares about the little shit and he isn’t about to let her into the Dark Fae court alone. Amid Fae politics, assassination attempts and life in the Dark Fae Court, Tiago comes to realize there’s more to Tricks than meets the eye.

Another excellent entry in Harrison’s Elder Races series. I really loved the dynamics between Tiago and Niniane (Tricks). They balanced each other well..supporting one another and giving just as much as they took.

Although I enjoyed it, I didn’t love it as much as the first. I think because the plot revolved more around the political intrigue of Niniane taking her throne and less around the romance. That isn’t to say the romantic development was lacking..it just wasn’t the full focus. Still, I enjoyed them both and the political intrigue.

3.75 out of 5

Elder Races

four-stars


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