Early Review: Vision in Silver by Anne Bishop

, by Kt Clapsadl

Vision in Silver by Anne Bishop
The Others #3

The Others freed the cassandra sangue to protect the blood prophets from exploitation, not realizing their actions would have dire consequences. Now the fragile seers are in greater danger than ever before—both from their own weaknesses and from those who seek to control their divinations for wicked purposes. In desperate need of answers, Simon Wolfgard, a shape-shifter leader among the Others, has no choice but to enlist blood prophet Meg Corbyn’s help, regardless of the risks she faces by aiding him.

Meg is still deep in the throes of her addiction to the euphoria she feels when she cuts and speaks prophecy. She knows each slice of her blade tempts death. But Others and humans alike need answers, and her visions may be Simon’s only hope of ending the conflict.

For the shadows of war are deepening across the Atlantik, and the prejudice of a fanatic faction is threatening to bring the battle right to Meg and Simon’s doorstep…

Frankly I'm not sure I can do this book and this series justice in this review, but I'm going to try. Sometimes, it amazes me just how much I love this series. I'm an unashamed romance addict and considering these have barely a hit of romance, you wouldn't think they would top my all time favorites list. But they do. They are simply that good, and VISION IN SILVER is no exception. From the moment I picked it up, I couldn't put it down, winding up reading until the wee hours of the morning just to find out how everything turned out. I cannot think of a single negative thing to say about this book, and that's a rare feat. Even when I love something, there still will be at least one part that wasn't the best for me, but that's not the case here. Serious kudos.

I really love how the world is ever expanding in this series, and yet it never looses focus on the characters that drew me in the first place. Meg has a new dimension added to her character as she realizes that she has reached her limit as her coping mechanisms start to fail. It frankly couldn't have come at a better time as this realization leads them to finding how to help her, and in turn the rest of the Sangue. She really is a pioneer and I adored her for it even as I had to watch her brutally struggle. On other expanding aspects, the political ramification have stepped up a notch, and the ending left me on the edge of my seat. I don't know how I'm going to wait until the next book to see where things go next.

I hope I've given this book and series the justice they deserve. Simply put this series, and VISION IN SILVER in particular is an absolute must buy for fans of Urban Fantasy. If you haven't tried this series yet, you just don't know what you are missing!

(Received a copy from the publisher)

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Other Reviews:
     Rabid Reads
     Between Dreams and Reality

Previous Books:
     1. Written in Red
     2. Murder of Crows

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Early Review: Dark Debt by Chloe Neill

, by Kt Clapsadl

Dark Debt by Chloe Neill
Chicagoland Vampires #11

A vampire never gets old. But neither do his enemies. When a figure from Ethan's dark past makes a splashy debut in Chicago, Merit and her Master don't know whether he's friend or foe. But they'll have to figure out soon, because trouble is brewing in the Windy City.

At an exclusive society soiree attended by the upper echelons of the human and supernatural worlds, Merit and Ethan barely stop the assassination of a guest. When the target turns out to be a shady businessman with a criminal edge, Merit suspects a human vendetta. But the assassins have fangs....

The connections to Chicago's Houses go deeper than Merit knows, and even one wrong move could be her last....



Oooh was this one a doozy. I wasn't quite sure what was going on at any moment right up until things hit the fan each time. It made for a very enthralling and edge of my seat read. So many times by the point you get to the 11th book in a series, things become more than a little predictable, but that wasn't the case here. Not only do you have the horror and utter messiness of Ethan's maker wreaking havoc, but there's also humans mucking up things as well. Now you would think "what kind of threat can a human be compared to centuries old vampire?," but trust me, this new player to the game is every bit as much of a risk as anything as Merit and Ethan have faced previously. As I said, it made for one heck of a ride.

I do have to express one small but of a frustration. Merit and Ethan's relationship seems to have gone a bit stagnant for me. I guess I just don't understand Ethan messing around with pretending to propose, and then on the other side, Merit's utter terror at the prospect. She's obviously 100% committed to him and based on the prophecy will bear the first vampire child with him, and yet the idea of marrying him makes her all but run for the hills. Frankly I don't get it, and it kind of lessens their relationship for me. But as the relationship is only part of this series, I can put those frustration aside as the plot and other character dynamics made up for it.

All in all, this was another enjoyable installment in the Chicagoland Vampires series. I always greatly look forward to each new installment, and this one didn't disappoint. Sure to please fans of the series, DARK DEBT is not to be missed!

(Received a copy from the publisher)

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Other Reviews:
     Rabid Reads
     Cocktails and Books

Previous Books:
     1. Some Girls Bite
     2. Friday Night Bites
     3. Twice Bitten
     4. Hard Bitten
     5. Drink Deep
     6. Biting Cold
     7. House Rules
     8. Biting Bad
     9. Wild Things
     10. Blood Games
     10.5. Lucky Break

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Early Review: Dead Heat by Patricia Briggs

, by Kt Clapsadl

Dead Heat by Patricia Briggs
Alpha & Omega #4

THE NEW CHARLES AND ANNA NOVEL

Praised as “the perfect blend of action, romance, suspense and paranormal,"* the Alpha and Omega novels transport readers into the realm of the werewolf, where Charles Cornick and Anna Latham embody opposite sides of the shifter personality. Now, a pleasure trip drops the couple into the middle of some bad supernatural business…

For once, mated werewolves Charles and Anna are not traveling because of Charles’s role as his father’s enforcer. This time, their trip to Arizona is purely personal, as Charles plans to buy Anna a horse for her birthday. Or at least it starts out that way...

Charles and Anna soon discover that a dangerous Fae being is on the loose, replacing human children with simulacrums. The Fae’s cold war with humanity is about to heat up—and Charles and Anna are in the cross fire.

I really love Patricia Briggs' books. Each new one feels like coming home to old friends, and I've never been disappointed. Dead Heat was no exception. While this series has a bit of a different feel to it than the Mercy Series, I look forward to these books every bit as much. Charles and Anna have something inexplicable that just draws you in. Charles is so gruff and hard on the outside and everyone has a hard time understanding how Anna is not terrified of him as well. It makes for rather hilarious moments when she sasses at him or teases him and anyone who is around, their eyes bug out of their head. It's just great to see this hard man in a newer, softer light for her alone. As much as I love how Charles is portrayed in this series, I have to confess that Anna really steals the show for me. She's come so far, and yet you still see the vulnerabilities from what she's faced. 

The plot behind DEAD HEAT was incredibly enthralling. It starts out calmer with Charles and Anna taking a much needed personal break to go horse shopping. This also brings them to a very old friend of Charles, which added another depth to his character. Previously we've only seen him be soft towards Anna, with a just a bit of affection toward his father, brother, and Mercy as well, but no further than that. So like I said earlier, seeing Charles care about someone else other than his very very short list was a treat to see. This book also showed why he is so reserved from caring about others, aside from the enforcer bit of course. It added a new depth to his character which I loved. But getting back to the plot, the Fae are at it again wreaking havoc. This time around was pretty horrific, and it kept me on the edge of my seat watching it all unfurl.

So all in all, this book and this series is the total package, great plot, incredible characters, and a swoon worthy romance that sucks you right in. I cannot recommend these books any higher!

(Received a copy from the publisher)

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Other Reviews:
     Dark Faerie Tales
     Carole's Random Life

Previous Books:
     1. Cry Wolf
     2. Hunting Ground
     3. Fair Game

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Kirsten Reviews: Another One Bites the Dust by Chris Marie Green

, by Kt Clapsadl

Another One Bites the Dust by Chris Marie Green
Jensen Murphy, Ghost for Hire #2

Jensen Murphy is back in the spooky sequel to Only the Good Die Young.
Some people think that ghosts are spirits that refuse to go to the other side because they have unfinished business. Take my word—that’s true. I should know. I’m a ghost.

I was an ordinary eighties California girl, dead before my time, until psychic Amanda Lee Minter pulled me out of the time loop where I was reliving my death over and over. Now I’m Jensen Murphy, Ghost for Hire. I decided to put my spooky talents to use in helping Amanda Lee track down bad guys and killers (including my own).

It’s taken time to figure out exactly how that will work (our first case was definitely a learning experience for all involved), so when a young woman asks Amanda Lee for help convincing her best friend to leave a dangerously hot-tempered boyfriend, I’m ready and willing to use our collective powers on her behalf. But some people are dangerous not only to the living—especially when there are darker forces involved...

Another One Bites the Dust by Chris Marie Green, the second installment in the Jensen Murphy Ghost for Hire series. In what is somewhat unusual in the urban fantasy genre, the protagonist is, as the title suggests, a ghost. Jensen was murdered by a serial killer and was trapped in a time loop, reliving her death endlessly until Amanda Lee Minter, who happens to be a psychic, pulled her out and they find they can help each other. People come to Amanda Lee when they have problems and need help finding people who are beyond the reach of most police departments or private investigators. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that Amanda is friends with a ghost, and that Jensen’s talents are geared toward being unseen and poking her nose into places the living often can’t go. In short, she tries to catch the bad guys, solve murders, including her own.

Their newest case involves a young woman who asks Amanda Lee to do help convince her best friend to leave her boyfriend, before she gets hurt.

In this series, ghosts have more than a couple useful skills that keeps them from being mere shades who can give people a bad scare. They can enter the dreams of the living, create hallucinations, and also get a sense of what people are thinking or feeling just by being in some kind of contact with them.

One large part of the story is Jensen’s search for the truth about who killed her, and there are enough details about her death to make the reader fully invested in her getting justice. Then there is the storyline about Heidi, Amanda Lee’s client, who is worried about her friend, the one dating a possible psychopath. Finally, there’s some time spent following up with Gavin and Wendy, the brother and sister from the first book, and Jensen has to resolve the feelings she has for Gavin.

Having several plotlines keeps the book moving at a quick pace, but it also makes it feel a bit scattered at times, and there isn’t much time spent on developing or getting to know some of the secondary characters better. In future books, it would be interesting to see more of Jensen’s fellow ghosts, as they definitely have their own stories that are worth exploring further.

This book has some definite strong points, a different take on ghosts, and also feels like it’s still learning to stick its landings. So far, it’s worth it to stick around and see where it all goes from a promising second outing.

(Received a copy from the publisher)

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Other Reviews:
     Between Dreams and Reality
     Bibliosanctum
     a GREAT read

Previous Books:
     1. Only the Good Die Young

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Early Review: Armageddon Rules by J.C. Nelson

, by Kt Clapsadl

Armageddon Rules by J.C. Nelson
Grimm Agency #2

Marissa Locks, newly appointed partner of the Grimm Agency, has a reputation for making a mess of magical matters—although causing Armageddon is a new low, even for her…

Marissa is due for a little happily ever after. After all, she did kill the evil Fairy Godmother, end a war, and snag a sweet promotion within the Fairy Godfather's magical-problem-solving Agency. But between maintaining a relationship with someone whose amorous advances can cause third-degree burns, dealing with a killer-poodle infestation, and helping her best friend, Princess Ari, learn to wield spells more powerful than curing a hangover, she’s not getting as much peace and quiet as she hoped.

When an enemy from her past appears to exact a terrible revenge, Marissa’s life goes from hectic to hell on earth. With Grimm inexplicably gone and Ari trapped by a sleeping spell, Marissa decides to fight fire with hellfire—and accidentally begins a countdown to the apocalypse.

With the end of days extremely nigh, Marissa will have to master royal politics, demonic law, and biblical plagues in a hurry—because even the end of the world can’t keep the Agency from opening for business…

This was such a fun book! I love Marissa's character. She's so quirky and sassy, plus has a backbone of steel to boot. And trust me, she needed it with everything that was thrown at her in this book. Considering what happened to her in the last book, it's impressive that the bag of nasty tricks this round was worse. But she handled everything in her usual quirky way. And let me just say, how she managed the apocalypse curses? Priceless. She kept me entertained throughout the entire book. If you are a fan of Darynda Jones' Charley Davidson, you'll love Marissa as well. And of course the rest of the cast is pretty fantastic as well. From Her best friend Princess Ari, to her dragon cursed boyfriend, and even the Fairy Godfather himself, Grimm, each one added another interesting layer to the series.

This series is perfect blend of modern fantasy, humor, fantastic character, and a killer plot. I loved every minute of this book and I can't recommend it any higher. If you looking for something fun, yet action packed, look no further than this terrific series. It's the perfect book to kick back and enjoy the ride. I'll be counting down the days until the next book releases.

(Received a copy from the publisher)

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Previous Books:
     1. Free Agent

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Kirsten Reviews: Sworn in Steel by Douglas Hullick

, by Kt Clapsadl

Sworn in Steel by Douglas Hulick
Tales of the Kin #2

It’s been three months since Drothe killed a legend, burned down a portion of the imperial capital, and unexpectedly elevated himself into the ranks of the criminal elite. Now, as the newest Gray Prince in the underworld, he’s learning just how good he used to have it.

With barely the beginnings of an organization to his name, Drothe is already being called out by other Gray Princes. And to make matters worse, when one dies, all signs point to Drothe as wielding the knife. As members of the Kin begin choosing sides – mostly against him – for what looks to be another impending war, Drothe is approached by a man who not only has the solution to Drothe’s most pressing problem, but an offer of redemption. The only problem is the offer isn’t for him.

Now Drothe finds himself on the way to the Despotate of Djan, the empire’s long-standing enemy, with an offer to make and a price on his head. And the grains of sand in the hour glass are running out, fast...

Sworn in Steel by Douglas Hullick continues the story begun in Among Thieves. As the story begins, it’s been several months since the protagonist Drothe killed a legend, burned down a fair amount of the imperial capital, and in doing so, managed to catapult himself upward into the ranks of the criminal elite. Now, as the newest Gray Prince of the underworld, he’s finding that rising to power is not so simple a life as she might have imagined. In killing a Gray Prince, Drothe is no longer Kin, and as a Prince, he has a great deal of additional responsibility, and he isn’t exactly sure how to best go about handling this new role.

Barely established as a Gray Prince, Drothe is already having to deal with challenges from other Princes, and when one of them is found dead, everyone believes that Drothe is the one responsible. The resulting power struggle, which finds the Kin choosing sides does not look to be the kind of situation which will end well for Drothe. At this critical moment, Drothe is approached by one of the Degans, Wolf has engineered a clever piece of blackmail, and who offers him the solution to his problem, and even more tempting, redemption. But, this offer isn’t for Drothe, and he has to journey to the Despotate of Djan, enemy of the empire, to make this offer to Bronze, from Among Thieves, all the while he has a price on his head.

Of course, there is the issue of the way Drothe and Bronze parted in the last book, and needless to say, there are other complications that arise. This includes a group of traveling troubadours and a number of other interesting characters.

Part of what keeps the story moving is the fact that Drothe is not same confident individual from the first book. As a newly-promoted Gray Prince, he is unsure of how to handle himself or these additional duties. Instead of being able to do everything himself, he has to learn how to delegate authority, work with other people, and so rather than planning out his moves, and anticipating what his enemies might do next, Drothe spends the majority of the book reacting to events as they occur. By the end of the story, he has had more than a few setbacks, and not only from people out to get him, but he does have an objective, and at least some idea of how to go about reaching it.

Beyond the plot and character development, the author does a substantial amount of worldbuilding, further explaining things like the Order of the Degans, the system of magic that is part of this series, and other information which readers will find interesting. The setup for the next book is clear by the last few pages, and there is quite a lot of room still to be explored, both for the characters, and the world they inhabit.
(Received a copy from the publisher)

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Other Reviews:
     The Bibliosanctum
     Staffers Book Review
     Open Book Society

Previous Books:
     1. Among Thieves

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Early Review: Seeker by Arwen Elys Dayton

, by Kt Clapsadl

Seeker by Arwen Elys Dayton
Seeker #1

Quin Kincaid has been put through years of brutal training for what she thinks is the noble purpose of becoming a revered ‘Seeker’.

Only when it’s too late does she discover she will be using her new-found knowledge and training to become an assassin. Quin's new role will take her around the globe, from a remote estate in Scotland to a bustling, futuristic Hong Kong where the past she thought she had escaped will finally catch up with her.







Right off the bat I have to express frustrations with the marketing on this book. It was pitched to me as The Hunger Games meets Game of Thrones. When I read that I was sold 100%. Sure after reading the blurb, I was a bit iffy on it, but with that comparison, I figured I couldn't go wrong. Well, I was wrong. The book is nothing, and I do mean nothing like either comparison, and that false marketing really soured things for me, but even so I kept reading thinking it would turn around and I would see what the raving was about. Unfortunately it didn't.

At times it felt like only half the story was being told, leaving the reader to try and fill in the rest, which left me rather frustrated and unsatisfied. I just felt like there was so much going on that was never explained leaving me feeling a step behind pet much throughout the entire book. Granted, the world and concept were intriguing even if the cast of characters weren't exactly strong, so it was rather disappointing with the lack of real details or explanation. In fact all of it was rather convoluted which frankly was unnecessary. So much seemed to go on off page and only briefly mentioned then glossed over yet it was supposed to play this huge role in how the characters acted. That just didn't work for me. I still don't understand much of this works even after finishing the book, and it's frankly a shame. There was so much potential here that ultimately fell flat for me.

To be honest I'm not sure why I kept reading this one. I guess I kept waiting for it to turn around and I remember thinking, you made it this far, might as well continue to see what happens. Problem is that it doesn't really start going anywhere until about the 70% mark in this longer YA. That's a lot of pages to get through just to get involved in the story. It's a shame because there was potential here, but the end result just wasn't for me.


(Received a copy from the publisher)

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Other Reviews:
     The Starry-Eyed Revue
     The Eater of Books!
     The Reading Diaries

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Kirsten Reviews: Symbiont by Mira Grant

, by Kt Clapsadl

Symbiont by Mira Grant
Parasitology #2


THE ENEMY IS INSIDE US.

The SymboGen designed tapeworms were created to relieve humanity of disease and sickness. But the implants in the majority of the world's population began attacking their hosts turning them into a ravenous horde.

Now those who do not appear to be afflicted are being gathered for quarantine as panic spreads, but Sal and her companions must discover how the tapeworms are taking over their hosts, what their eventual goal is, and how they can be stopped.




Symbiont by Mira Grant is the follow up to Parasite, and the second book in a series which focuses on science, tapeworms, and the attendant horrors thereof. In a world where tapeworm implants are commonplace in order to enjoy a full, healthy life, the consequences are an inevitable transformation into zombies.

Sal, the protagonist and her friends must discover the reason the implants are malfunctioning, and if they can, how to stop it. In such a society, it is unsurprising that the government and scientists are working together, and their efforts to control the implants, a rising population of zombies, and Sal herself. This leads to a number of unpleasant encounters for Sal, including being held captive by the military, and learning exactly how dedicated some scientists are to maintaining the status quo, even at the expense of human life.

Without spoiling any of the story, readers should assume that these are not friendly scientists, and anyone who wants to ‘just take a blood sample’ should be avoided if at all possible.

There are both familiar characters, and a few new ones, from Fishy, a man who wrongly believes he’s actually in a video game, and therefore the world is not actually falling apart around him, and Ronnie, a tapeworm assassin who just so happens to be stuck inside a man’s body.

While all of the worldbuilding and focus on science gone awry is definitely interesting, this is a fairly substantial book, and not all that much happens. Sal finds herself in more than a few tight spots, but they don’t seem to move the plot along a great deal, although her character growth doesn’t stagnate, which is a good thing when the plot appears to be retreading some of the same ground of the last book.

As a cautionary tale, Symbiont is timely, at a time when science and technology are making huge strides, and any untested invention could conceivably, in the wrong hands, have similarly devastating effects.

Ultimately, one of the most unsettling aspects of Symbiont is not the zombies, but the companies, governmental agencies, and other authorities who, in attempting to offer a cure for disease, instead create an even greater threat to humanity.
(Received a copy from the publisher)

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Other Reviews:
     Happy Indulgence
     The Nocturnal Library
     Badass Book Reviews

Previous Books:
     1. Parasite


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Early Review: Lucky Break by Chloe Neill

, by Kt Clapsadl

Lucky Break by Chloe Neill
Chicagoland Vampires #10.5

In this thrilling new novella from the New York Timesbestselling author of Blood Games, vampire Merit bites off more than she bargained for when a romantic trip to a secluded Colorado town turns deadly.

Merit and Ethan are in desperate need of some alone time, far from the worries of Cadogan House, but trouble tends to follow wherever they go. Their attempt at a romantic getaway is quickly interrupted when one of Ethan's vampire friends shows up at their door--covered in blood and accused of killing her shifter husband.

Merit and her Master soon discover their vacation spot is far less idyllic than it appears. A centuries old quarrel between local vampires and shifters has made the town a perpetual supernatural battle zone, and this fresh blood has stirred the already volatile pot. Now, Merit and Ethan must put their passion on pause to figure out who's really responsible for the murder before all hell breaks loose...

This was a fun little extra for the Chicagoland Vampires series. A lot of times it seems like Merit and Ethan are always going in two different directions due to their own responsibilities. They just don't always get as much page time them getting to be just them due to the crazy that always surrounds them. So it was really nice to see them at least try to get away together alone. But of course, things wouldn't be that easy, and they land themselves in the middle of a mess. They handle it well, and I have to admit it was fun to see them working on their own without all the other Chicago players in the mix. While there weren't any game changing events in this novella, I have to wonder if the outcome will play a role in the vamp politics coming up in future books.  So all in all, this was a fun read that should please fans of the series.

(Received a copy from the publisher)

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Previous Books:
     1. Some Girls Bite
     2. Friday Night Bites
     3. Twice Bitten
     4. Hard Bitten
     5. Drink Deep
     6. Biting Cold
     7. House Rules
     8. Biting Bad
     9. Wild Things
     10. Blood Games

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Kirsten Reviews: Broken Soul by Faith Hunter

, by Kt Clapsadl

Broken Soul by Faith Hunter
Jane Yellorock #8

Jane Yellowrock is a vampire killer for hire—but other creatures of the night still need to watch their backs....

When the Master of the city of New Orleans asks Jane to improve security for a future visit from a delegation of European vampires, she names an exorbitant price—and Leo is willing to pay. That’s because the European vamps want Leo’s territory, and he knows that he needs Jane to prevent a total bloodbath. Leo, however, doesn’t mention how this new job will change Jane’s life or the danger it will bring her and her team.

Jane has more to worry about than some greedy vampires. There’s a vicious creature stalking the streets of New Orleans, and its agenda seems to be ripping Leo and her to pieces. Now Jane just has to figure out how to kill something she can’t even see….

Broken Soul by Faith Hunter is the eighth book featuring Jane Yellowrock, which means there’s quite a lot of history to keep in mind. This time, Jane has been asked by the Master of New Orleans to take charge of security improvements for an important visit from a delegation of European vampires. Despite Jane naming an exorbitant price, Leo agrees to it - because the European vampires are making a power grab for Leo’s territory, and Jane can help him prevent things from getting messy. But, Leo doesn’t go into any detail about how this job will put Jane and her entire team in a huge amount of danger. To anyone who’s followed the series for any length of time, Leo’s non disclosure of important information is nothing new, and it’s gotten a bit old.

In the meantime, Jane has other things to worry about besides vampire politics - something is stalking her, and she has to figure out what is going on in a hurry. This involves her delving into the history of vampires, while also working with her team, aka her chosen family, which nicely highlights the character growth Jane has undergone since the beginning of the series. The relationship with Beast isn’t neglected, and is strengthened by the events of the book, which bodes well for further books and plotlines.

In general, the Jane Yellowrock series has a great track record when it comes to the plot and overall worldbuilding. Of late, the romantic subplots have been scattered, if not a complete mess. Fortunately in this book, the romantic tangle seems to have turned a corner, in a dramatic way that helps to move things several huge jumps ahead.

Although there is definitely an antagonist causing problems, in some ways this book feels a bit like Jane and the rest of them are waiting for the European vampires to show up. That caveat aside, it moves relationships and plot forward competently, and sets up future conflicts in such a way that readers will want to pick up the next book in the series.

(Received a copy from the publisher)

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Other Reviews:
     All Things Urban Fantasy
     Red Hot Books
     Gizmo's Reviews

Previous Books:
     1. Skinwalker
     2. Blood Cross
     3. Mercy Blade
     4. Raven Cursed
     5. Death's Rival
     6. Blood Trade
     7. Black Arts

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