Waiting on Wednesday (84)

, by Kt Clapsadl



Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights an upcoming release we are greatly anticipating.

My pick this week:

Fair Game - Alpha and Omega #3
by Patricia Briggs
Publication Date: March 6th, 2012
Amazon Pre-Order: Fair Game (Alpha And Omega)

Patricia Briggs, the #1 "New York Times" bestselling author of the Mercy Thompson novels, "always enchants her readers." (Lynn Viehl, "New York Times" bestselling author) Now her Alpha and Omega series-set in a world of shifting shapes, loyalty, and passion- brings werewolves out of the darkness and into a society where fear and prejudice could make the hunters prey... 

They say opposites attract. And in the case of werewolves Anna Latham and Charles Cornick, they mate. The son-and enforcer-of the leader of the North American werewolves, Charles is a dominant alpha. While Anna, an omega, has the rare ability to calm others of her kind. 

 Now that the werewolves have revealed themselves to humans, they can't afford any bad publicity. Infractions that could have been overlooked in the past must now be punished, and the strain of doing his father's dirty work is taking a toll on Charles. 

Nevertheless, Charles and Anna are sent to Boston, when the FBI requests the pack's help on a local serial killer case. They quickly realize that not only the last two victims were werewolves-all of them were. Someone is targeting their kind. And now Anna and Charles have put themselves right in the killer's sights...

Leap Into Books Giveaway Hop

, by Kt Clapsadl



I'm giving away a book from the Book Depository (up to $10). Winners choice. Good luck! Check out the other giveaways on the hop at I Am A Reader, Not a Writer

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Fated (Early Review)

, by Kt Clapsadl

Fated by Benedict Jacka 
Alex Versus #1 



Alex Verus is part of a world hidden in plain sight, running a magic shop in London. And while Alex's own powers aren't as showy as some mages, he does have the advantage of foreseeing the possible future--allowing him to pull off operations that have a million-to-one-chance of success.

But when Alex is approached by multiple factions to crack open a relic from a long-ago mage war, he knows that whatever's inside must be beyond powerful. And thanks to his abilities, Alex can predict that by taking the job, his odds of survival are about to go from slim to none...






Alex is a diviner mage, able to see threads of the future, and all the possibilities therein. Unlike other mages, he can't cast spells or other types of offensive magic. But he doesn't need to when he can see every possible outcome of a situation, allowing him to succeed where others would fail. Even so, for the most part his life is quiet as he operates his small magic shop in London. However, all that changes when he is approached by multiple fronts wanting to use his powers to open a relic that encases an object of untold power. Trouble is that none of them are saying no, and they don't particularly care how they get his cooperation, no matter how brutal the method. For a man who can see all the possible future threads, he knows just how unlikely his survival will be in the end.

While I was reading Fated, I couldn't seem to quite put my finger on why I couldn't seem to get attached to Alex. I mean he was witty and quite resourceful, as well as more than a little curious, traits I really enjoy in a main character. However, I just couldn't figure him out, as his motives weren't really clear. He wasn't good, nor bad, nor even a mercenary, open to both sides, he was just blundering through with no other motivator than plain curiosity and survival. In all fairness, I'm not really sure if he even knew what he was doing himself. It just made it hard to really care about his plight, as simple survival isn't really enough in these types of situations, especially since he could have taken the chance to stay out of the mess entirely. That being said, I do think there was some turn around in the department by the end of the book as he started to really "find" himself, making me hopeful for the future installments.
 
There were so many different angles and threats in Fated, that it was a little hard to keep them all straight at times. In all honestly, the excess of dangers made it a little hard to find any of them really threatening, especially since it seemed rather easy for Alex to talk himself out of trouble each time. Also, there was an apparent back story in Alex's history that I wished would have been expanded upon. As it was, we only got glimpses as it was alluded to as a nasty ordeal, but I think with more information I could have understood Alex a little better, as well as his history with some of the threats.

The mythology behind Fated was quite intriguing. I always love books where the supernatural operate right under mundane human's notice, it just makes it seem more real. Almost as if we were to only look at things a little closer, we would see so much more going on in our world, and Fated was the perfect example of possibilities. There was so much potential in Fated based on the mythology alone, so it is a shame that in the end I'm left with the impression of mediocrity at best. The pacing was rather slow, and there were a lot of long winded, and quite unnecessary descriptions that really kept me at an arms length. It wasn't enough to turn me away from the story, but I wasn't fully engaged either. Add that into my difficulty attaching to the main character, and I can't help feeling a little let down. However, even though Fated may have been a rocky start to the series for me, I'm not writing it off quite yet, as I am more than a little curious to see where things lead next.

(Received a copy from the publisher)

Rating:




Pre-order a copy from Amazon:
Fated (An Alex Verus Novel)

Other Reviews:

It's Monday What Are You Reading (84)

, by Kt Clapsadl






It's Monday! What Are You Reading, hosted by Book Journey, is where we gather to share what we have read this past week and what we plan to read this week. It is a great way to network with other bloggers, see some wonderful blogs, and put new titles on your reading list.






Here's what I read this past week:



Black Wings by Christina Henry (Review)
Black Night by Christina Henry (Review)
Black Howl by Christina Henry (Early Review)

Fly by post this week. My house is a wreck because I got a new Bookshelf, and we had to do a lot of furniture rearranging. I'll post pics soon of the new bookshelves. :)

My Upcoming List:

Fated by Benedict Jacka (Early Review)
Isle of Night by Veronica Wolff
Vampire's Kiss by Veronica Wolff (Early Review)

Black Howl (Early Review)

, by Kt Clapsadl

Black Howl by Christina Henry 
Madeline Black #3




Something is wrong with the souls of Chicago's dead. Ghosts are walking the streets, and Agent of Death Madeline Black's exasperating boss wants her to figure out why. And while work is bad enough, Maddy has a plethora of personal problems too. Now that Gabriel has been assigned as her thrall, their relationship has hit an impasse. At least her sleazy ex-fiance Nathaniel is out of the picture--or so she thinks...






The souls of the dead in Chicago are confused and damaged beyond repair, and it's up to Maddy as an Agent of Death to get to the bottom of things before the situation gets any worse. Meanwhile, her relationship with Gabriel is at a stalemate now that he is her thrall. To make matters worse, her ex-fiance Nathaniel is back with his own agenda. Can't a girl ever catch a break?

Black Howl seemed to be the book of discovery, hard truths, and unwanted revelations. While all of this kept me on the edge of my seat as I was shocked over and over again, it does make it quite hard to review without revealing some pretty big spoilers. Leaving all specifics aside, I will say that I was thoroughly impressed with Christina Henry's ability to completely catch me off guard, making for a very unpredictable read. I never know where things will lead next!

What a mess! Maddy and Gabriel's relationship has never been more complicated than it was in Black Howl. Yes, they had the messy business of her undesired fiance, and J.B.'s interest causing some jealousy issues, as well as the pesky problem of their love being extremely forbidden, due to his designation as a thrall placing him "below" her. However, now that he directly belongs to her, things are even worse. He has no choice but to follow her orders, and let me just tell you that the sparks are flying as a result. There has been so much build up between the two of them that a blow up past the breaking point was completely inevitable. Whether the ending result was positive or negative, well you will just have to read the book to find out.

I had to wait a few days after reading Black Howl to review it because I was too emotionally tied up in the ending events to be able to separate myself enough. I just wouldn't have been able to give the book a fair review. Black Howl was such a roller coaster of emotions with the highest highs, and the most devastating lows that left me feeling more than a little bereft. I'm holding out hope that Christina Henry has some brilliant master plan in store for the future books that will turn things around or somehow lessen the massive blow dealt in this book. Even so, Black Howl was an incredible read from start to finish that only further cemented my love for this series, and I highly recommend it.

(Received a copy from the publisher)

Rating:





Pre-order a copy from Amazon:
Black Howl (Black Wings)

Other Reviews:
Previous Books:
  1. Black Wings
  2. Black Night

Black Night

, by Kt Clapsadl

Black Night by Christina Henry
Madeline Black #2



Madeline Black is an Agent of death, meaning she escorts the souls of people who have died to the afterlife. Of course, not everyone is happy to see her...

If obstinate dead people were all that Maddy had to worry about, life would be much easier. But the best-laid plans of Agents and fallen angels often go awry. Deaths are occurring contrary to the natural order, Maddy's being stalked by foes inside and outside of her family, and her two loves-her bodyguard, Gabriel, and her doughnut-loving gargoyle, Beezle-have disappeared. But because Maddy is Lucifer's granddaughter, things are expected of her, things like delicate diplomatic missions to other realms.



To think Maddy used to think her life was complicated and unfair when she only had her Agent of Death duties to deal with. Now that she's learned about her heritage and the constant power struggle between the fallen angels, shes a little tired of always being a target, especially from her own family members. Yet she still manages to scrape by. At least that is until the two people she cares the most about go missing, Gabriel and her gargoyle, Beezle. Problem is, she has duties to perform for her grandfather, Lucifer, and she can't shirk them, no matter how much her friends may need her. She'll need to quickly brush up on her diplomatic skills, because she's on her own for this one.

When I had read the description for the previous books I had thought this series was going to be centered around the duties of a grim reaper. However, that aspect of Maddy's life has become a rather insignificant factor when compared to everything else that is going on, especially in Black Night. The intricacies of the world, especially in the political area between all the different powers, are almost staggering as we watch Maddy blunder through, breaking some unknown law at every step. It is a wonder she hasn't been smoted down by now. Then again, it hasn't been for a lack of trying, but that does lead into my biggest irritation with the book. Each new foe she faces is supposed to be some completely unbeatable force, and yet each time she miraculously triumphs. Of course she gets injured, even severely at times, but then one of her companions heals her before she even has a chance to suffer. It just all seemed to come a little too easy, so I never really felt the threat like I should have, which lessened the excitement factor.

While the action may have felt a little blase due to the ease at which Maddy dispatched her enemies, the characterization was anything but. Maddy really has come into her own in Black Night, and while she still has a wicked temper, she has made great strides in controlling it. She's learning when to mind her tongue and when to stand up for what she believes in. No one will be pushing her over anytime soon. As far as the other characters, well I love them almost as much as Maddy. The sexual tension between Gabriel and Maddy was almost palpable, and I can't help hope a miracle happens to somehow allow their forbidden romance. However even as I adore Gabriel, J.B. came to a new light in my eyes in Black Night. There definitely is a lot more to him than I had previously thought, and I genuinely think he does care for her. However there is one character that I love the most all, the ever-hungry, and somewhat surly Beezle, because, come on, who wouldn't love to have a gargoyle as a side kick?

It is books like this one that make choosing a rating very difficult. On one hand I was completely exasperated at the ease that the threats were destroyed, but on the other there is the fact that I am completely head over heels for the great cast of characters. Their interactions kept me thoroughly sucked in throughout the entire read, and made my frustrations much easier to ignore. So I think for the future installments I am just going to go with the assumption that Maddy is going to be outrageously powerful and always come out on top no matter the odds. Even so, Black Night was a entertaining read, and if you enjoyed the previous installment, then you won't want to miss it.

Rating:





Order a copy from Amazon:
Black Night  

Other Reviews:
Previous Books:
  1. Black Wings

Waiting on Wednesday (83)

, by Kt Clapsadl



Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights an upcoming release we are greatly anticipating.

My pick this week:

Nice Girls Don't Bite Their Neighbors - Jane Jameson #4
by Molly Harper
Publication Date: February 28th, 2012
Amazon Pre-Order: Nice Girls Don't Bite Their Neighbors

Just as Jane Jameson’s unlife seems to be stabilizing, fate sinks its fangs firmly into her butt. Despite her near-phobia of all things marital, her no-frills nighttime nuptials to her sexy boyfriend Gabriel are coming along smoothly. But the road to wedded bliss gets bumpy when a teenage acquaintance is fatally wounded in front of Jane’s shop and she turns him to save his life. The Council pronounces Jane responsible for the newborn vamp until he can control his thirst. Jane’s kitchen at River Oaks barely holds enough Faux Type O to satiate the cute teen’s appetite and maintain Gabriel’s jealous streak at a slow simmer. As if keeping her hyperactive childe from sucking the blood out of the entire neighborhood isn’t enough to deal with, the persnickety ghost of Jane’s newly deceased Grandma Ruthie has declared a war on the fanged residents of River Oaks. Suddenly, choosing monogrammed cocktail napkins and a cake that she can’t eat seems downright relaxing in comparison. Tensions inside the house are growing…and outside, a sinister force is aiming a stake straight for the center of Gabriel’s heart. Most brides just have to worry about choosing the right dress, but Jane fears that at this rate, she’ll never make it down the aisle for the wedding all nice girls dream of…

Black Wings

, by Kt Clapsadl

Black Wings by Christina Henry
Madeline Black #1
 
As an Agent of Death, Madeline Black is responsible for escorting the souls of the dearly departed to the afterlife. It's a 24/7 job with a lousy benefits package.

Maddy's position may come with magical powers and an impressive wingspan, but it doesn't pay the bills. And then there are her infuriating boss, tenant woes, and a cranky, popcorn-loving gargoyle to contend with.

Things start looking up, though, when tall, dark, and handsome Gabriel Angeloscuro agrees to rent the empty apartment in Maddy's building. It's probably just a coincidence that as soon as he moves in demons appear on the front lawn. But when an unholy monster is unleashed upon the streets of Chicago, Maddy discovers powers she never knew she possessed. Powers linked to a family legacy of tarnished halos.

Powers that place her directly between the light of Heaven and the fires of Hell...


Through an ability passed down by her mother, Maddy's duty is to help souls pass on the next world. She's got her own set of magical powers, and even a wicked pair of wings to boot. It is a demanding job that keeps her busy around the clock, unfortunately it doesn't come with a paycheck, and a girls gotta eat. So despite her reservations, she takes on a new tenant for the open apartment in her building. However, things start to get funny when Demons start showing up and Maddy starts to develop new powers. She'll learn more about herself and past than she ever wanted to know as she finds herself in the middle of an eons long power struggle that promises to change her life forever.

I really enjoyed Maddy's character as she is both strong and incredibly vulnerable at the same time. She is very flawed, and quite immature, but not to the point of annoyance as I understood the reasons behind it. She just lacks people skills and patience, which is understandable as she never had anyone to teach her these things, and no reason to ever learn them herself. She's been on her own with no other companions than a surly gargoyle, and her "job" keeps her isolated. She has a boss, but there aren't any real repercussions or threat of dismissal to keep her in "line." So whenever things don't go as she likes, well temper tantrums of epic proportions commence. Even so, as the book went further along, these episodes were far less frequent, showing some pretty major character growth. I look forward to seeing her become more adjusted to the changes in her world, as I think she shows an incredible amount of potential.

By far the best thing about Black Wings was the mythology. In a genre that almost over saturated with similar elements, it is always refreshing to read something that hasn't already been done to death. It really intrigued me how the grim reapers, things that are typically quite terrifying, were actually just regular people who happened to have a power passed down through their bloodline. Add in the Fallen Angels, Demons, and other nefarious creatures and Black Howl's world made for a smashing read. Definitely a fresh read!

Whenever a book has been on my TBR pile for a fair amount of time I am always hesitant to read it. It makes little sense, but I really have to almost force myself to pick up those neglected books as I am irrationally convinced that the book will be no good because I keep skipping over it. Of course, most of my fear is unwarranted because something made me add the book in the first place. However, it still seems to catch me off guard when the book turns out to be as enjoyable as Black Wings was. I just loved all the different elements of the book, and cannot wait to dive more into this world! 

Rating:





Order a copy from Amazon:
Black Wings

Other Reviews:

It's Monday What Are You Reading? (83)

, by Kt Clapsadl






It's Monday! What Are You Reading, hosted by Book Journey, is where we gather to share what we have read this past week and what we plan to read this week. It is a great way to network with other bloggers, see some wonderful blogs, and put new titles on your reading list.






Here's what I read this past week:





Queen of Shadows by Dianne Sylvan (Review)
Angels' Flight by Nalini Singh (Early Review)
Partials by Dan Wells (Early Review)

I had mixed feelings about Queen of Shadows, so I doubt I will be continuing on with the series.

I LOVED LOVED LOVED Angels' Flight. In fact I am desperate to re-read the entire series now, but alas, my reviewing schedule will not allow that. Soon though, Soon!

Partials was a really great read. I'm not usually a book sci-fi fan, but Partials really worked. Now if I could somehow get my hands on the the next installment.. Hrm..

Also, my mom and I went to the Breathless Reads tour, and it was a blast. Make sure you check out the recap post as I'm giving away some goodies.

My Upcoming List:

Black Wings by Christina Henry
Black Night by Christina Henry
Black Howl by Christina Henry (Early Review)

Breathless Reads Tour Giveaway

, by Kt Clapsadl

Last night my Mom and I went to the Breathless Reads tour stop in Bethesda to see Marie Lu, Andrea Cremer, Jessica Spotswood, and Beth Revis. We had so much fun, and all of the authors were really awesome!! I had had all of their books on my TBR pile for a very long time, but never got to them. So in the last two weeks I made a mad dash to finish all of them. I finished the last one VERY late Wednesday night, just in time. I didn't get a very good pic of all the authors because silly me forgot to take one while they were talking. Once the signing opened up, well it was a little chaotic.

So, here's the best one:

Here's my loot :)



Now onto the good stuff.



They handed out tour badges and posters, and I was lucky enough to get a pair of both to give away to you guys. The posters are signed by all of the authors. The badges have a code at the bottom that you can enter to win prizes. I think the grand prize is a new tablet, so that would be awesome to win! The codes have to be entered by March 1st though, so this will be a quick giveaway as I want to ensure you have plenty of time to enter the code. Just enter via the rafflecopter widget below, and good luck!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Partials (Early Review)

, by Kt Clapsadl

Partials by Dan Wells 
Partials #1
The human race is all but extinct after a war with Partials--engineered organic beings identical to humans--has decimated the population. Reduced to only tens of thousands by RM, a weaponized virus to which only a fraction of humanity is immune, the survivors in North America have huddled together on Long Island while the Partials have mysteriously retreated. The threat of the Partials is still imminent, but, worse, no baby has been born immune to RM in more than a decade. Our time is running out.

Kira, a sixteen-year-old medic-in-training, is on the front lines of this battle, seeing RM ravage the community while mandatory pregnancy laws have pushed what's left of humanity to the brink of civil war, and she's not content to stand by and watch. But as she makes a desperate decision to save the last of her race, she will find that the survival of humans and Partials alike rests in her attempts to uncover the connections between them--connections that humanity has forgotten, or perhaps never even knew were there.

After a terrible virus called RM, created in the war with the genetically engineered soldiers called Partials, decimated almost the entire world's human population, the survivors have retreated to Long Island. There have been no attacks for many years, but the danger still remains. Each day is an utter struggle to try to find a way to survive as no child has been born immune in over a decade. Laws have been passed making women little more than baby making factories in hopes of even one live birth, and not everyone is happy with this decision. As what left of society is on the brink of civil war, one young medic, Kira, steps up with the determination to change their fate. She'll have to make hard choices and sacrifices, even if it means losing everything she has ever known, for there are secrets to be found and harsh truths to be learned on the journey.

In any dystopian novel there always is going to be some sort of control and oppression. As Partials starts, you can see some of that control, but it has a pretty facade that makes it look like everything is being done in the people's best interests. However, the further you get into the story, the more that pretty facade starts to wear thin as Kira starts to see the ugly truth about the council. As I read an ARC copy, I won't directly quote the book, but one specific realization that Kira had really stuck with me. She questioned to herself whether the council could have been making the decisions they were if it had of affected their own daughters. A crucial element is missing in their leadership as no one has any familial ties left anymore. There are no sons or daughters, mothers or fathers, or any other sort of blood tie. Without those connections, it becomes much to easy to enact laws to control others. It was simply amazing to me that even with the threat of the complete extinction of humanity, everything would revolve around oppression rather than hope and determination to find a cure.

I found the Partials element to be completely fascinating. It almost reminded me of the Terminator franchise, but only in a biological creation rather than a mechanical one. There is such an element of fear on the human side, as these are the "people" they believe destroyed them all. However, after a ten year silence on both sides, you would think the survivors would have started to question why they would have been allowed to live if annihilation was the Partial's real goal. What could they possibly stand to gain? I would have thought it have been more likely for them to want a slave force. Of course a lot of the story revolves around Kira and her refusal to just accept what she is told. Her determination is nothing short of admirable as she is completely willing to sacrifice everything, even her own life, on the low chance at finding a cure. If more people like her had of been placed in power, then things would have been much different. Of course then there wouldn't have been a story to tell, and I would have missed out on an incredible book.

I'm a huge science fiction geek when it comes to movies, but for some reason, the same type of stuff doesn't typically appeal to me very much in books as I like to lean more towards the paranormal. However, Partials may very well have changed that tide for me as I absolutely loved it. I have a feeling a lot of that was due to the technology level being quite similar to our own, so it was quite realistic. Well, realistic in the sense of what could happen after 99.9% of the world's population died. Partials is the perfect blend of sci-fi goodness set in a dystopian setting that kept me utterly captivated from the very start. It will definitely be an agonizingly long wait until the next installment's release date.

(Received a copy from Netgalley)

Rating:





Pre-order a copy from Amazon:
Partials

Other Reviews:

Angels' Flight (Early Review)

, by Kt Clapsadl

Angels' Flight by Nalini Singh 
Guild Hunter Anthology

In Angel’s Wolf a vampire becomes fascinated with the seductive angel who rules Louisiana. But all is not what it appears to be in her court.

In Angels’ Judgment a hunter must track one of her own gone bad, while surviving the deadly tests placed in her way by the archangels themselves. Unexpected backup comes from a stranger who might just be the most lethal threat of all...

Plus FIRST TIME IN PRINT

In Angels' Pawn a vampire hunter faces off against two rival factions and the angel manipulating them both, and a vampire whose help is not entirely selfless...

And NEVER BEFORE PUBLISHED

In Angels’ Dance an angel trapped in the mountain stronghold of the Refuge finds herself under siege by a warrior angel from a martial court.

I'll be honest that I am little funny when it comes to anthologies. I love the glimpses the short stories give into other perspectives in worlds that I have come to love. However I do not ever read them to find new authors. In fact I have several owned anthologies that I have skipped multiple stories in. Of course, I come back to them once I've read the authors main books. I only want to read these types of stories as a supplement rather than an introduction. That all being said, when I saw that Angels' Flight was going to be four stories all set in the Guild Hunter world, I knew I had to get my hands on it. Even though I was worried about my favorite couple was not  being featured, I did not miss Elena and Raphael one little bit. It was truly wonderful getting to see so many different secondary characters shine. In fact while reading Angel's Flight I was overcome with the desire to re-read the entire series, and once my review schedule opens up a little I will be doing just that.

First up was Angels' Pawn which featured Ashwini and Janvier. I've always been intrigued by the dance these two have going on, and now that I have seen how it all got started I am even more desperate to have a full length novel that features them. There is just something about their cat and mouse game that really draws me in, and I'd love to see both of their hidden secrets become unraveled for one another. 

Angels' Judgement show Sara right before she became the Guild Director. It also shows how she came to be involved with her very yummy husband, Deacon. It showed just how strong the pair of them are, both together and as individuals, as well as some tough choices along the way. Very enjoyable.

I really enjoyed Angel's Wolf. My heart bled for Noel in Archangel's Kiss, for what he lived through. I hated to see him so broken and have been very curious about why Raphael sent him to Nimra's court in Archangel's Consort. That question was more than answered in this story, and I really loved seeing him come back to life one small bit at a time.

The heart and soul of this anthology belongs to Angels' Dance. It showed a much different time than what has been showed in the Guild Hunter books. It is set back when Raphael was first coming into power and establishing his territory. I loved seeing how everyone came together in their roles, especially as they tested one another. Prior to this point, Galen came across as only being very cold and harsh, fitting of his position, yet in this story we got to see another side of him as he courts Jessamy. I loved getting the insight into her character as well, especially since I realized her inner strength far surpasses even the toughest archangel. To be the only of her kind permanently unable to fly, and yet still able to overcome that debilitating longing, is nothing short of amazing.

In closing I would have to highly recommend Angels' Flight as it was a fantastic grouping stories in the stellar Guild Hunter world. Some of the content was previously published, but the gorgeous cover and the new material make this anthology more than worth the purchase. This is a definite must buy for fans of the series, and will make a great addition to your collection.

(Received a copy from the publisher)

Rating:






Pre-order a copy from Amazon:
Angels' Flight

Other Reviews:
Previous Books:
  1. Angels' Blood
  2. Archangel's Kiss
  3. Archangel's Consort
  4. Archangel's Blade

Waiting on Wednesday (82)

, by Kt Clapsadl



Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights an upcoming release we are greatly anticipating.

My pick this week:

By a Thread - Elemental Assassin #6
by Jennifer Estep
Publication Date: February 28th, 2012
Amazon Pre-Order: By a Thread (Elemental Assassin)

When killing people is your job, there’s no such thing as a vacation. Then again, how often does an assassin live long enough to enjoy her retirement? In this line of work, you either get lucky or you get dead. And since I destroyed my nemesis Mab Monroe a few weeks ago, all of Ashland’s lowlifes are gunning to make a name for themselves by taking out the lethal Spider—me, Gin Blanco. So I’m leaving behind my beloved barbecue joint and heading south with my baby sister, Bria, to cool my heels in a swanky beach town. Call it a weekend of fun in the sun. But when a powerful vampire with deadly elemental magic threatens an old friend of Bria’s, it looks like I’ll have to dig my silverstone knives out of my suitcase after all. Complicating matters further is the reappearance of Detective Donovan Caine, my old lover. But Donovan is the least of my problems. Because this time, the danger is hot on my trail, and not even my elemental Ice and Stone magic may be enough to save me from getting buried in the sand—permanently.

Queen of Shadows

, by Kt Clapsadl

Queen of Shadows by Dianne Sylvan 
Shadow World #1





Meet Miranda Grey-music and magic are in her blood.

Overwhelmed by her uncanny ability to manipulate people's emotions through her music, Miranda Grey comes to the attention of vampire lord David Solomon. Believing he can help bring her magic under control, David discovers that Miranda's powers may affect the vampire world too...







Each and every day is an utter struggle for Miranda. She must avoid contact with others at all costs or risks losing her mind and maybe even her life. She has the ability to manipulate emotions, but they also consume her, severely blurring the lines between herself and others. The only time she can control it is when she is performing her music, but even those precious moments are becoming hard to keep from slipping through her fingers. All that changes when she crosses paths with the vampire king, David. He can help her gain control over her abilities, and even teach her how to use them to her advantage. But this comes at a price, as coming into his world proves to be very dangerous, and she'll need every resource available to stay alive through the brewing war.

I'm not really sure how I feel about David and Miranda together. He seemed to fight their budding relationship tooth and nail even thought it was obvious he was borderline obsessed with her. I just found this to be odd considering the way their society works, and the fact that he knew he would find a queen to share his power. I'm just not sure why he stayed in such denial over the possibility that it might be more than just simple infatuation. As far as Miranda's end, to be honest, it seemed rather unrealistic. I'm going to have to put a slight spoiler in order to explain, so just be warned. SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER
Okay, so she was gang raped in the very beginning of the book, and understandably has extreme issues with any man coming near her afterwards. Yet somehow David flies right under that radar from the very start. She states many times that she doesn't think she'll ever let another mortal man touch her again, but even other immortal men cause her to panic, with only David being the exception. I could somewhat understand this if David had been overly supportive from the start, but he really came off as quite harsh towards her quite often. 

Queen of Shadows seemed to really push alternative lifestyles. Let me state up from that I have absolutely no problem with homosexuality. I firmly believe that you cannot choose who you love, and never should be judged for it. That being said, I still have this odd uncomfortableness in relation to gay men. Again I have no problem with their choices, but I just don't particularly want to see/read it. I'm a little better when it comes to women, but it still isn't at my full comfort level. To be honest I feel really bad about this, but it is what it is. As there wasn't any "action" in that department, the issue didn't bother me, but it definitely made me cautious and lessened my enjoyment a little. I will say that I will probably not be reading the next installment, because the reviews seem to point in a lot of "action" in that area. Again I feel terrible about these hangs ups, but I just can't justify reading something that will make me uncomfortable.

I'm pretty sure Queen of Shadows was marketed as an Urban Fantasy, but it read more like a Paranormal Romance. Yes there was an outside conflict, but that seemed to be only a backdrop to the romantic development (read: major tension and drama) between David and Miranda. In the end I was pretty disappointed with most of Queen of Shadows, which is a shame because there was so much potential, especially in the unique world. That being said, I still think I may check out future works by this author, just probably not in this series.

Rating:




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Queen of Shadows

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It's Monday What Are You Reading? (82)

, by Kt Clapsadl






It's Monday! What Are You Reading, hosted by Book Journey, is where we gather to share what we have read this past week and what we plan to read this week. It is a great way to network with other bloggers, see some wonderful blogs, and put new titles on your reading list.






Here's what I read this past week:




Unknown by Rachel Caine (Review)
Unseen by Rachel Caine (Review)
Raven Calls by C.E. Murphy (Early Review)

Tada :)

My Upcoming List:

Queen of Shadows by Dianne Sylvan
Angels' Flight by Nalini Singh (Early Review)
Partials by Dan Wells (Early Review)
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