Early Review: Archangel's Viper by Nalini Singh

, by Kt Clapsadl

Archangel's Viper by Nalini Singh
Guild Hunter #10

Once a broken girl known as Sorrow, Holly Chang now prowls the shadowy gray underground of the city for the angels. But it’s not her winged allies who make her a wanted woman—it’s the unknown power coursing through her veins. Brutalized by an insane archangel, she was left with the bloodlust of a vampire, the ability to mesmerize her prey, and a poisonous bite.

Now, someone has put a bounty on her head…

Venom is one of the Seven, Archangel Raphael’s private guard, and he’s as infuriating as he is seductive. A centuries-old vampire, his fangs dispense a poison deadlier than Holly’s. But even if Venom can protect Holly from those hunting her, he might not be able to save himself—because the strange, violent power inside Holly is awakening…


I absolutely loved the plot and storyline of ARCHANGEL'S VIPER. I really enjoyed seeing how the Uram issue played out as we've had those threads dangling for many books now. I have to admit the outcome was a bit of a surprise, not a bad one, but interesting all the same. And Holly? I really love her character, mini claws, vulnerability, and sheer will of determination combined. Uram sure did a number on her and as you can guess the outcome with him fully involved Holly, and I really enjoyed this progression. So plot-wise, this one was stellar.

Now onto the romance. Unfortunately this area was not one of the book's strong suits due to an undeveloped feel in the romance aspects. There's plenty of wit, banter, and overall antagonism between the two that left me laughing more often than not at their antics. And yet, they never really had a sexual tension feel. Venom and Holly could have just as easily been best friends rather than lovers by the end. I just feel like things were written tamer taking Holly's past into consideration, but it just went too tame in my opinion. I just needed something more of a build up to be invested in their romance at the end and unfortunately I just didn't get it.

Romance aside and getting back to the characters, as I said I loved seeing Holly's progression in this book. But the show stealer was Venom, much to my surprise. I have to admit he's never been my favorite of the seven, more of an antagonist to Elena. But we get to see a whole new side of him in this book, and I really loved the added depth to his character. There are reasons he is the way that he is, and it was enjoyable to see his layers get peeled back.

All in all, romance woes aside, ARCHANGEL'S VIPER was a very enjoyable installment in the fabulous Guild Hunter series!

(Received a copy from the publisher)

Rating:



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Other Reviews:
     Angel's Guilty Pleasures
     KT Book Reviews

Previous Books:
     1. Angels' Blood
     2. Archangel's Kiss
     3. Archangel's Consort
     4. Archangel's Blade
     5. Archangel's Storm
     6. Archangel's Legion
     7. Archangel's Shadows
     8. Archangel's Enigma
     9. Archangel's Heart

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Review: Even the Darkest Stars by Heather Fawcett

, by Kt Clapsadl

Even the Darkest Stars by Heather Fawcett
Even the Darkest Stars #1

Kamzin has always dreamed of becoming one of the Emperor’s royal explorers, the elite climbers tasked with mapping the wintry, mountainous Empire and spying on its enemies. She knows she could be the best in the world, if only someone would give her a chance.

But everything changes when the mysterious and eccentric River Shara, the greatest explorer ever known, arrives in her village and demands to hire Kamzin—not her older sister Lusha, as everyone had expected—for his next expedition. This is Kamzin’s chance to prove herself—even though River’s mission to retrieve a rare talisman for the emperor means climbing Raksha, the tallest and deadliest mountain in the Aryas. Then Lusha sets off on her own mission to Raksha with a rival explorer who is determined to best River, and Kamzin must decide what’s most important to her: protecting her sister from the countless perils of the climb or beating her to the summit.

The challenges of climbing Raksha are unlike anything Kamzin expected—or prepared for—with avalanches, ice chasms, ghosts, and even worse at every turn. And as dark secrets are revealed, Kamzin must unravel the truth of their mission and of her companions—while surviving the deadliest climb she has ever faced.

I'm honestly rather torn on my thoughts about EVEN THE DARKEST STARS. On one hand the concept was incredibly intriguing, and I loved the characters. The pacing at the start through the first third of the book or so was fantastic and I found myself turning the pages as fast as I could. However, the middle is where things bogged down a good bit for me. While the book did pick up quite a bit at the end, it didn't compensate for the middle part dragging so much. Don't get me wrong, the detail of all of the climbing aspects was incredibly interesting, but after a while, it just slowed the pacing down too much for my tastes.

Another thing that left me torn was the predictability. The concept of the book seemed so unique and fascinating, but the further I read, the more I felt like it was just like so many other YA novels out there. From the super special heroine who is of course magical at her skills, to the love triangle between the long time best friend and the mysterious new bad boy and I was left just a bit, well bored. Don't get me wrong, I love a good tried and true YA book just as much as the next gal, but it needs a strong plot in addition. I think this coupled with the entire vast middle of the book nothing REALLY happens other than climbing and more climbing, and it left me putting the book aside for other things. It's a shame because it started off with such promise, and then the ending, wow what a bang, but the middle just held this book back in my opinion. I hope the next book in this duology continues with the bang this one ended on. 

(Received a copy from the publisher)

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Other Reviews:
     Addicted to Happily Ever After
     Gizmo's Reviews
     A Page with a View

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Review: Ride the Storm by Karen Chance

, by Kt Clapsadl

Ride the Storm by Karen Chance
Cassandra Palmer #8

Ever since getting appointed the chief seer of the supernatural world, Cassie Palmer has been playing catch up. Catch up on the training she missed being raised by a psychotic vampire instead of at the pythian court. Catch up on the dangerous world of supernatural politics. Catch up on the powerful, and sometimes seductive, forces trying to mold her to their will. It’s been a trial by fire that has left her burned.

But now she realizes all that was just the warm up.

Ancient forces that once terrorized the world want to return, and Cassie is the only one who can stop them. But to win, she needs help: from a friend lost in time, from a secretive lover, from every supernatural group that has ignored her up until now. And with the vampires and fey preparing to wage war across two worlds, Cassie's time is running out...

Cassie is an amazing heroine and truly astounding in her ability to take a "lickin and keep on tickin." I also love all of the characters and the very detailed world. Reading these books feel like coming home. Well home to a frenzied place, but home all the same. There is never a chance for a dull moment despite the incredible lengths of these books, RIDE THE STORM in particular. That being said despite never having said dull moments, this book was almost too much at times. I felt like a few of the plot threads weren't entirely necessary and they could have been removed to lessen some of the frenetic feel. Granted a Cassie book wouldn't feel quite the same without frenzy, but a little less wouldn't have hurt.

Karen Chance is a master at long running plot threads, sometimes so much so. So I was REALLY glad to finally see some of those threads get resolved/answered (PRITKIN!!). There also were some pretty big revelations on the Mircea side of things, but you'll have to read the book yourself to see how everything plays out. Unlike previous books, RIDE THE STORM doesn't end in a killer cliffhanger, but just enough of a tease to make you really want to read the next book. I greatly appreciated not being left hanging this time.

All in all Cassie fans will be more than pleased with this latest installment that will leave readers with a sigh of contentment in the end.

(Received a copy from the publisher)

Rating:




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Other Reviews:
     All Things Urban Fantasy
     Gizmo's Reviews
     Naomi's Reading Palace

Previous Books:
     1. Touch the Dark
     2. Claimed by Shadow
     3. Embrace the Night
     4. Curse the Dawn
     5. Hunt the Moon
     6. Tempt the Stars
     7. Reap the Wind

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Review: Ashes Reborn by Keri Arthur

, by Kt Clapsadl

Ashes Reborn by Keri Arthur
Souls of Fire #4

The clock is ticking as Emberly—a phoenix capable of taking human form—races to take revenge against the sadistic and mysterious Rinaldo. The elusive rebel leader threatens to keep killing until he is given all of the research about a plaguelike virus derived from vampire blood.

Forced to reach out to the Paranormal Investigations Team for help, Emberly and her partner, Jackson, must decide who to trust as they follow the trail of dead bodies. When classified information is leaked and their safe house is ambushed, Emberly’s suspicions are confirmed—someone at PIT has betrayed them.

A final battle looms and Emberly will need to command all her powers—or watch the world turn to ash...



Unfortunately this will not be a full review due to an event that completely overshadowed any enjoyment I had while reading other parts of the book. I will not spoil things, but suffice it to say that an incredibly horrifying sequence of events happens to Emberly that I couldn't get past. Actually it was more the aftermath and the way said events were all but brushed aside that left an incredibly sour taste in my mouth. It took me several days to finish the book, and honestly I really only continued reading due to a need to see if those events were ever really dealt with. Unfortunately they weren't. Furthermore, Emberly the victim, somehow got the least consideration, and the one who experienced the event as a by product got most of the focus and worry. I just couldn't, especially as the event did nothing at all to progress the story or plot. There were so many other outcomes and paths that could have been taken with a similar plot progression. It simply was unnecessary.

As much as I enjoy this series, and the characters, and Keri's writing overall, this book was just not for me. Perhaps I should be able to see past the event, but I just can't due to the way it was handled.
It almost pains me to rate one of my favorite author's books so low, but this one just was not up my alley. I will however hope to continue the series and just look past this book, giving things a clean slate.

(Received a copy from the publisher)

Rating:


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Other Reviews:
     Fangs for the Fantasy
     Tome Tender

Previous Books:
     1. Fireborn
     2. Wicked Embers   
     3. Flameout

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Review: Accidental Sire by Molly Harper

, by Kt Clapsadl

Accidental Sire by Molly Harper
Half-Moon Hollow #6

In Molly Harper's newest paranormal romantic comedy, Ben, Gigi's old boyfriend, must find a way to save his new love after a freak Ultimate Frisbee accident. But will she want to live after she finds out how Ben had to save her?

In this exciting addition to Molly Harper’s beloved Half-Moon Hollow series, the focus is on Gigi’s ex-boyfriend Ben. When his new girlfriend is killed in a freak Ultimate Frisbee accident, he’s determined to save her, no matter the cost, even if it means bringing her into the darkness of vampire life!






I absolutely adore both the Jame Jameson and Half-Moon Hollow series, and greatly look forward to each new installment. They just always make me feel amazing at the end due to their hilariously quirky nature. I always look to this series when I'm looking for a funny, witty, and overall feel good read to give a pick-me-up, and ACCIDENTAL SIRE once again delivers. There's just something about Molly's writing that is well, magical. Things can get so outlandish at times, and I find myself hopelessly giggling throughout. That being said, it's not just the humor that pulls me in, but the incredibly large cast of characters that are all fully three-dimensional, and the plot lines grab me hook, line, and sinker too. There's plenty of action and danger without stepping into too dark territory, balancing out that humor so very well.

As much as I enjoyed ACCIDENTAL SIRE, I have to admit the romance was not exactly its strong point. I've truly enjoyed each of the couples in all of the previous books from Half-Moon Hollow, but Megan and Ben just didn't have the same spark. It's a shame honestly, I really enjoyed Megan's character. And I always thought Ben was super adorable and a stand up guy in the previous books. But in this book, he was just a Jerk with a capital J. I understand the circumstances they were under were less than ideal, but he seemed to conveniently forget for most of the book that she had to deal with said terrible circumstances too. His behavior just really soured things for me in the romance department and I never quite forgave him even by the end. But luckily in all fairness the romance isn't really the focus here, so it's not a huge hit to the book, but more of a small frustration in the end.

Overall, ACCIDENTAL SIRE is a truly fantastic addition to the Half-Moon Hollow series that I thoroughly enjoyed! Fans of the series won't want to miss this hilarious new installment!

(Received a copy from the publisher)

Rating:




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Other Reviews:
     All Things Urban Fantasy
     Fangs, Wands, and Fairy Dust
     Smexy Books

Previous Books:
     1. The Care and Feeding of Stray Vampires
     1.5. Driving Mr. Dead
     2. A Witch's Handbook of Kisses and Curses
     2.5. Undead Sublet
     2.7. I'm Dreaming of an Undead Christmas
     3. The Dangers of Dating a Rebound Vampire
     4. The Single Undead Moms Club
     4.5. Fangs for the Memories
     5. Where the Wild Things Bite
     5.5. Big Vamp on Campus
   
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Release Day Review: Wildfire by Ilona Andrews

, by Kt Clapsadl

Wildfire by Ilona Andrews
Hidden Legacy #3

Just when Nevada Baylor has finally come to accept the depths of her magical powers, she also realizes she’s fallen in love. Connor “Mad” Rogan is in many ways her equal when it comes to magic, but she’s completely out of her elements when it comes to her feelings for him. To make matters more complicated, an old flame comes back into Rogan’s life…

Rogan knows there’s nothing between him and his ex-fiance, Rynda Sherwood. But as Nevada begins to learn more about her past, her power, and her potential future, he knows she will be faced with choices she never dreamed of and the promise of a life spent without him.

As Nevada and Rogan race to discover the whereabouts of Rynda’s kidnapped husband and are forced to confront Nevada’s grandmother, who may or may not have evil motives, these two people must decide if they can trust in each other or allow everything to go up in smoke.

Oh. My. Goodness. WILDFIRE was simply amazing. The Hidden Legacy series has been stellar, but this one? This one knocked it right out of the ballpark. This is one of those books where you finish, and you just want to start reading it all over again. It's simply that good. I'm a huge Ilona Andrews fan, particularly the Kate Daniels series, but The Hidden Legacy series takes things to a whole new level. 

Readers will be very pleased that nearly all of the running threads and unknowns in this series have been well wrapped up. From the secrets surrounding Nevada's sister's abilities, to all the political issues, and dangers to the family, and OF COURSE the romance between Nevada/Rogan, and so much more. It really is incredible just how satisfying this book was, and not one single wrap up felt forced or "too neat." It was perfect. That being said, the door is left open for more books and I could not possibly be happier.

All in all, WILDFIRE was everything I had hoped for and then some. Bravo, Ilona Andrews, Bravo!

(Received a copy from the publisher)

Rating:





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Other Reviews:
     Addicted to Happily Ever After
     Gizmo's Reviews
     A Bookish Life

Previous Books:
     1. Burn for Me
     2. White Hot


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Early Review: Spellbinder by Thea Harrison

, by Kt Clapsadl

Spellbinder by Thea Harrison
Moonshadow #2

Kidnapped while on tour, musician Sidonie Martel is transported to the mystical land of Avalon. A human without magical ability, she is completely vulnerable to the deadly forces surrounding her.

When she defies her captors and refuses to share her music, an act of violent cruelty leaves her broken, her ability to play silenced, maybe forever. Her only hope is a whisper in the dark, gentle hands that offer healing, and a man who refuses to show her his face yet who offers advice she dare not ignore.

One of the most feared and powerful sorcerers in history, Morgan le Fae serves a Queen he despises, Isabeau of the Light Court. Once a famous bard and an advisor to kings, Morgan has been enslaved to Isabeau for hundreds of years, acting as enforcer and the commander of her deadly Hounds.

Sidonie’s music touches Morgan in places he had abandoned centuries ago, and her fiery spirit resurrects feelings he had believed long dead. For Sidonie, trapped in captivity, passion offers a comfort she cannot resist.

But Isabeau holds Morgan bound in magical chains that only Death can break. And in the court of a cruel, jealous Queen, the only thing that burns hotter than love is revenge…

Oh my goodness did I love this book! You just can't go wrong with two of my favorite things meshed together, Thea Harrison's writing in the Elder Races world and Camelot. This take on the King Arthur lore has to be by far the most unique I've ever read and I enjoyed every moment of it. In fairness, it's not really set in Camelot, and really has little to do with it in these modern times, and yet there was plenty of that lore to keep me more than thrilled. It just was very well done, and I loved every minute of this book!

The characters, just like the world and premise were utterly fantastic. Morgan is truly a tortured soul held by unseen chains that to the outside world make him seem like the worst evil, and yet there's so much more than meets the eye to him. I thoroughly enjoyed watching the truth unfurl in this book. Moving onto the heroine, Sidonie, I loved her just as much. She was full of fire and spunk and yet all so vulnerable at the same time. She's not your typical kick butt heroine, and yet her inner core was astounding. I loved her just as much as Morgan! That being said I did have one small confusion about how her OCD was handled. Early on in the book it was all consuming, but towards latter parts of the book it barely played a role, sometimes only as an afterthought. Perhaps her having to find strength to overcome the obstacles led her to be able to suppress the OCD somewhat, but it was a bit jarring for me. It just seemed a bit off, and inconsistent. That being said it didn't really detract from the story, just struck me as odd, but worth mentioning even though this book is still earning a resound five star rating from me.

All in all, fans of the Elder Races will be absolutely delighted at this latest installment from Thea Harrison. If only she could write fast enough for my voracious appetite for this world and these characters. Bravo, Ms Harrison, Bravo!

(Received a copy from the publisher)

Rating:





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Other Reviews:
     The Genre Mix
     Tome Tender
     Smokin' Hot Book Blog

Previous Books:
     1. Moonshadow

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Release Day Review: Ash and Quill by Rachel Caine

, by Kt Clapsadl

Ash and Quill by Rachel Caine
The Great Library #3

Hoarding all the knowledge of the world, the Great Library jealously guards its secrets. But now a group of rebels poses a dangerous threat to its tyranny...

Jess Brightwell and his band of exiles have fled London, only to find themselves imprisoned in Philadelphia, a city led by those who would rather burn books than submit. But Jess and his friends have a bargaining chip: the knowledge to build a machine that will break the Library’s rule.

Their time is running out. To survive, they’ll have to choose to live or die as one, to take the fight to their enemies—and to save the very soul of the Great Library...




ASH AND QUILL starts off with a bang of action, right where things left off in the last installment. Jess and crew are prisoners of the burners and it's not an easy place to be. The concept of book burning is so horrific and the danger they are in as being part of the library even though they are trying to rebel... is intense. I was on the edge of my seat, reading the pages as fast as I could to see what happened next.

That being said, after the initial bang of the opening things did seem to slow down a bit. Don't get me wrong, their situation never lightens, and the challenges are astounding. And yet...it just felt like a middle book or sophomoric slump at times. Perhaps it's due to a lack of a feeling of forward momentum in the war against the library until the very end. As I said, there's an incredible amount of danger and intensity at all times, but the lack of the forward momentum in the overall series plot weighed things down a bit. Hopefully after the insane ending of this book, things will take back off with a fury in the next installment.

Surprisingly despite all that is going around them, and all the intense danger/action moments there's also plenty of character development, which I really enjoyed. For such a large cast of characters, each and every one is completely and fully three dimensional. You really care for each and every one of them.

All in all ASH AND QUILL was an enjoyable installment in The Great Library series, and after that ending, I'm desperate to get my hands on the next one!

(Received a copy from the publisher)

Rating:




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Other Reviews:
     Gizmo's Reviews
     My Guilty Obsession
     Carries Book Reviews

Previous Books:
     1. Ink and Bone
     2. Paper and Fire

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Early Review: Lost Boy by Christina Henry

, by Kt Clapsadl

Lost Boy by Christina Henry

From the national bestselling author of Alice comes a familiar story with a dark hook—a tale about Peter Pan and the friend who became his nemesis, a nemesis who may not be the blackhearted villain Peter says he is…

There is one version of my story that everyone knows. And then there is the truth. This is how it happened. How I went from being Peter Pan’s first—and favorite—lost boy to his greatest enemy.

Peter brought me to his island because there were no rules and no grownups to make us mind. He brought boys from the Other Place to join in the fun, but Peter's idea of fun is sharper than a pirate’s sword. Because it’s never been all fun and games on the island. Our neighbors are pirates and monsters. Our toys are knife and stick and rock—the kinds of playthings that bite.

Peter promised we would all be young and happy forever.


LOST BOY by Christina Henry was a though provoking read that was incredibly dark and twisted. that kept me horrifyingly hooked from page on. Did I mention dark and twisted? If it's not obvious, despite being a riveting story that kept me engaged from page one, I'm incredibly conflicted about LOST BOY. It was almost too dark. The violence just seemed so much more real and harsh since it involved children. The constant death and injury were brutal enough, but the way they are just ignored by certain characters as status quo, just left a sick feeling in my stomach. Which of course I'm sure was the point, and yet it just felt a little too much for this mother's heart to bear witness to.

Onto the characters. Oh my goodness did the author do a fantastic job with them. Jamie of course was the star of the show in my eyes, with Peter being delegated to a spoiled rotten brat. But even that was just the surface, with much more to Peter than met the initial eye. I won't spoil things, but suffice it to say with each new chapter it was almost as if layers of a veil were lifted from Jamie's eyes, and more of Peter's true colors were revealed. The rest of the cast, be they cannon fodder or well developed side characters, all lent well to this horrifying tale.

All in all, the story is amazingly well written and felt like a real prequel retelling in the truest sense. There's always two sides to a story and this one? THIS is the one I believe. So bravo to Ms. Henry for masterfully changing my perceptions of this well known lore!

(Received a copy from the publisher)

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Other Reviews:
     Gizmo's Reviews
     a GREAT read
     Carol's Random Life in Books


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Early Review: Grave Ransom by Kalayna Price

, by Kt Clapsadl

Grave Ransom by Kalayna Price
Alex Craft #5


Grave witch Alex Craft is no stranger to the dead talking. She raises shades, works with ghosts, and is dating Death himself. But the dead walking? That’s not supposed to happen. And yet, reanimated corpses are committing crimes across Nekros City.

Alex’s investigation leads her deep into a web of sinister magic. When Briar Darque of the Magical Crimes Investigation Bureau gets involved, Alex finds herself with an unexpected ally of sorts. But as the dead continue to rise and wreak havoc on the living, can Alex get to the soul of the matter in time?






GRAVE RANSOM had it's strengths and weaknesses, but the plot is where this one really shines. The whole concept of dead but alive people walking around, but NOT zombie or ghouls was really fascinating to me. The stakes are incredibly high in this one as aside from Alex, and the other few grave witches, no one would ever know these people are actually dead. It made for the perfect batch of thieves for the villain and I really loved watching all the twists and turns in GRAVE RANSOM unfurl. I won't spoil things too much, but suffice it to say this one doesn't head quite where you'd expect!

Now onto the not so strong parts. I have to admit considering the wait in-between books in this series, the overall lack of character development and momentum in this GRAVE RANSOM was a bit of a let down. Like I mentioned, the plot was incredibly enjoyable and kept me more than entertained, but the character department just left things a little to be desired. Don't get me wrong, Alex and crew are all fully fleshed and real characters, but their progression, particular Alex and her relationship with Death seemed stagnant at best. I just prefer at least some focus on characters and their progression in a series, but alas this one was fully plot focused rather than character driven. It's just a personal preference.

Overall, character momentum issues aside, I very much enjoyed this latest installment in the Alex Craft series. These characters and world hold a special place for me, and I can't wait to see more in the future!

(Received a copy from the publisher)

Rating:



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Other Reviews:
     The Novel Lady

Previous Books:
     1. Grave Witch
     2. Grave Dance
     3. Grave Memory
     4. Grave Visions

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