Early Review: Archangel's Storm by Nalini Singh

, by Kt Clapsadl

Archangel's Storm by Nalini Singh
Guild Hunter #5

With wings of midnight and an affinity for shadows, Jason courts darkness. But now, with the Archangel Neha’s consort lying murdered in the jewel-studded palace that was his prison and her rage threatening cataclysmic devastation, Jason steps into the light, knowing he must unearth the murderer before it is too late.

Earning Neha’s trust comes at a price—Jason must tie himself to her bloodline through the Princess Mahiya, a woman with secrets so dangerous, she trusts no one. Least of all an enemy spymaster.

With only their relentless hunt for a violent, intelligent killer to unite them, Jason and Mahiya embark on a quest that leads to a centuries-old nightmare… and to the dark storm of an unexpected passion that threatens to drench them both in blood.


As Raphael's spymaster, Jason lives his life in the shadows as he goes undercover to garner the best intel. However, his latest charge will take him out of that comfort zone and into the light. The Archangel's Neha's consort has been brutally murdered and her rage is shaking the world. Neha was already quite unstable prior to his death from the pain of losing her daughter, and if she continues on the path into madness, millions will suffer. When offered aid in finding the culprit, Neha agrees in allowing Jason to enter her lands, but only with the stipulation that he bind himself to another of her bloodline, Princess Mahiya. As Mahiya and Jason team up to find the killer along the way they find a passion for one another so unexpected that it threatens to tear apart who they each are at the core.

All of the characters in the Guild Hunter series seem to carry a plethora of scars from their pasts. Each one is damaged, but expresses it in a different way. I had always wondered what made Jason so closed off from the world as he constantly hid in shadows. Throughout the book we are given glimpses of those harrowing events, but it is the reveal later in the book that brought tears to my eyes. Such suffering he endured, it truly is amazing he was able to function at all. Granted, he has survived by completely closing off his heart to everyone, not allowing anything or anyone close at all. Even Raphael is kept at a distance despite the many years of loyalty. I really have to applaud Nalini for her ability to write Jason's character so beautifully, showing his quiet and thoughtful strength and grace. It isn't often that we get to see a non-alpha male take the spotlight making for a rather refreshing read. Don't get me wrong, nothing about Jason is weak, he just doesn't have the arrogance and outwardly brash manner that most heroes do, and honestly, I loved him all the more for it.

I really enjoyed watching the interactions between Jason and Mahiya as they developed from just acquaintances to so much more. I don't think any other woman could have been more perfect for him. Her hidden iron will intrigued him enough to draw him in, but it was her pure heart and untainted kindness in a world of horror that kept him there. It is a true testament to her strength that she wasn't long ago corrupted by her circumstances. Also, Mahiya seemed to understand Jason's needs better than he did, and was able to give him so much with asking a single demand in return. The poor man didn't stand a chance against her giving heart, and and a result may finally know love in return.

The thing I love most about this series is that is the perfect blend between Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance. I'm a huge romance fan, so I really enjoy having that be a larger element in my books and it is nice to have that guaranteed happy ever after in Paranormal Romances. However that happiness also frustrates me as each couple is only featured for one book and then mostly forgotten and don't hold much page time in future books. That just isn't the case in this series as each new book is completely intertwined with the previous ones only adding more to the stories, yet each one also finishes with some sort of happy romantic resolution. In fact, I am honestly in awe at Nalini's ability to ensnare me even further into this amazing world and increase my love for these characters with each new installment. Simply put, Archangel's Storm is an absolute must buy for fans of the series!

(Recieved a copy from the publisher)

Rating:






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Other Reviews:
Previous Books:
  1. Angels' Blood
  2. Archangel's Kiss
  3. Archangel's Consort
  4. Archangel's Blade
    Angel's Flight (Novella Collection)

Kirsten Reviews: Seawitch by Kat Richardson

, by Kt Clapsadl

Seawitch by Kat Richardson 
Greywalker #7

Harper Blaine was your average small-time PI until she died—for two minutes. Now Harper is a Greywalker, treading the thin line between the living world and the paranormal realm. And she’s discovering that her new abilities are landing her all sorts of “strange” cases.

A quarter century ago, the Seawitch cruised away from her dock and disappeared with everyone on board. Now, the boat has mysteriously returned to her old berth in Seattle and the insurance company has hired Harper to find out what happened.

But Harper is not the only one investigating. Seattle Police Detective Rey Solis is a good cop, albeit one who isn’t comfortable with the creepy cases that always seem to end up in Harper’s lap.

As they explore the abandoned vessel, Harper and Solis discover a cabin containing symbols drawn in human blood, revealing the ghost ship’s grave history. As Solis focuses on the possible murder of a passenger’s wife, Harper’s investigation leads her to a powerful being who may be responsible for the disappearance of the Seawitch’s passengers and crew.

And while their searches lead Harper and Solis in different directions, they will need to put aside their differences to solve a deadly mystery twenty-five years in the making…


In some cases, death doesn't always stick, and Harper Blaine is proof of that. The latest book in Kat Richardson’s ‘Greywalker’ series brings back Harper, as well as an apparent ghost ship all tangled up in the Grey to investigate.

With so many female paranormal investigators out there, it’s important to note the ways in which this one is different. Harper is grounded, unpretentious and sometimes even resigned to what she can do as a Greywalker. She's careful, and thinks twice about leaping into danger, most of the time. Unlike some of the urban fantasy heroines, she isn't a wand-waving or guns blazing private investigator, and that makes her unusual.

The book is full of rich detail about the Pacific Northwest, which makes sense as the author is a native, and living in the region myself, I appreciated some of the sly digs at the local peculiarities and weather, which is a character in and of itself. In fact, the fog which is an important element of the story only adds to the air of creeping unease that becomes more evident as Harper and Detective Solis work together to solve the mystery of the Seawitch.

Solis takes on the role of the skeptic, but one that knows enough about Harper to realize that there is something more to her 'weirdness' than seeing things. He's not ready to just embrace the idea of the Grey, but he's not actively hostile, which is a pleasant change from most outsiders in this genre.

The two of them take slightly different routes to investigate what brought the Seawitch home, and who, or what is responsible for its absence as well what happened to its missing crew. Ultimately, though, this is one partnership that might stand the test of time, or the 'weirdness' that Harper tends to attract.

Solis isn’t the only one trying to figure out his place in light of new information. Quinton, Harper’s boyfriend is back, and he’s got some family issues of his own that promise to crop up again in future volumes.

Seawitch is an entertaining and engrossing read, with plenty of rich Pacific Northwest detail, enough to whet the appetite of any research buffs, and a crop of paranormal and mundane characters that readers will enjoy immensely.

(Received a copy from the publisher)

Rating:






Order Links:



Other Reviews:
     Ranting Dragon
     I Smell Sheep

Previous Books:
     1. Greywalker
     2. Poltergeist
     3. Underground
     4. Vanished
     5. Labyrinth
     6. Downpour

Early Review: Blackwood by Gwenda Bond

, by Kt Clapsadl

Blackwood by Gwenda Bond 

On Roanoke Island, the legend of the 114 people who mysteriously vanished from the Lost Colony hundreds of years ago is just an outdoor drama for the tourists, a story people tell. But when the island faces the sudden disappearance of 114 people now, an unlikely pair of 17-year-olds may be the only hope of bringing them back.

Miranda, a misfit girl from the island’s most infamous family, and Phillips, an exiled teen criminal who hears the voices of the dead, must dodge everyone from federal agents to long-dead alchemists as they work to uncover the secrets of the new Lost Colony. The one thing they can’t dodge is each other.

Blackwood is a dark, witty coming of age story that combines America’s oldest mystery with a thoroughly contemporary romance.

To this day no one really knows what happened to the 114 people who mysteriously disappeared from Roanoke Island so many years ago. The current inhabitants of the island have capitalized on this mystery and have centered things around it for the tourists. So when 114 people suddenly disappear, everyone thinks it is a publicity stunt at first. But two teens from very different backgrounds know different and they set out to find the missing. What the find will both shock and terrify as the age old mystery finally gets answered, even as they wish it had stayed firmly hidden. 

I've always been a sucker for unsolved mysteries from the past. From Atlantis to Roanoke Island, there's just something about the unknown that really intrigues me. So when I read the description of Blackwood, I knew I had to read it. Unfortunately, now that I have, I can't help feeling a little let down as it was nothing like I was expecting. Don't get me wrong, it was an interesting story, but at times it was rather bizarre, and too out there for me, especially as the mystery behind the 114 disappearances was revealed. This is one of those cases where the build up and mystery is much better than the reveal. I couldn't help thinking that's it? I felt like so much more could have been done with it and in the end I felt there was a lot lacking.

I did really enjoy the characters in Blackwood, especially Miranda and Phillips and felt the romance was handled well with a mostly natural progression. I do wish there had of been more time spent on their development rather than being overshadowed by the chaos of the disappearances since they wound up being so much more interesting in the end. Even so, their intertwined pasts were very intriguing, especially as it influenced the present, and I loved seeing them grow together.

The entire book had a rather disjointed feeling and lacked a clear focus. Perhaps if things hadn't of been so rushed and all over the place it would have felt a little bit more contained rather than undeveloped, leaving everything feeling chaotic and lacking that polished feel. I just feel like things could have been condensed to help pull in the plot threads and make everything go a little bit smoother. There was so much unrealized potential in Blackwood, but unfortunately, it just couldn't seem to come together and ultimately fell flat. It's just one of those cases where the story is enthralling, but the execution was severely lacking. 

(Received a copy from the publisher via Netgalley)

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Bargain Books & Kindle Deals (14)

, by Kt Clapsadl


I've decided to make my Bargain Book and Kindle Deal finds a weekly feature here at A Book Obsession.. If you guys are anything like me, your book addiction can easily get out of hand, so any sales/deals are a huge help. If you like any of the deals below, I would appreciate if you use the affiliate links below. All earning support the giveaways here on the blog. :)

(Prices accurate as of 8/21)

Bargain New Paperbacks/Hardcovers:















Kindle Deals:
$0.99 
 $1.59-$1.99
   
$2.24-$2.99
   
 $3.99
   
 $4.00-$5.99
 

Waiting on Wednesday (110)

, 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:

Fury's Kiss - Dorina Basarab #3
by Karen Chance
Publication Date: October 2nd, 2012
Pre-Order:

 

Dorina Basarab is a dhampir—half-human, half-vampire. Subject to uncontrollable rages, most dhampirs live very short, very violent lives. But so far, Dory has managed to maintain her sanity by unleashing her anger on those demons and vampires who deserve killing...

Dory is used to fighting hard and nasty. So when she wakes up in a strange scientific lab with a strange man standing over her, her first instinct is to take his head off. Luckily, the man is actually the master vampire Louis-Cesare, so he’s not an easy kill.

It turns out that Dory had been working with a Vampire Senate task force on the smuggling of magical items and weaponry out of Faerie when she was captured and brought to the lab. But when Louis-Cesare rescues her, she has no memory of what happened to her.

To find out what was done to her—and who is behind it—Dory will have to face off with fallen angels, the maddest of mad scientists, and a new breed of vampires that are far worse than undead…

Early Review: Primal Possession by Katie Reus

, by Kt Clapsadl

Primal Possession by Katie Reus
Moon Shifters #2

To protect her, he will unleash the beast within...

As his pack’s second-in-command, lupine shifter Liam Armstrong gives orders and takes what he wants—until he meets red-headed, blue-eyed December McIntyre. Liam knows the human beauty is his intended mate the moment he sees her, but December is far too strong-willed to accept his protection.

December, whose brother is the town sheriff, has every reason to mistrust shifters after one killed her youngest sibling. But the forceful and handsome Liam has gotten under her skin in a way she hadn’t thought possible, and the desire she feels for him is almost too much to bear.

When a radical hate group targets all humans known to sympathize with paranormal beings, December is attacked in her bookstore. Reluctantly, she turns to the only one who can help her: Liam. And he is going to take her to places within herself she never knew existed.

As the second in command for his pack, wolf shifter Liam Armstrong isn't used to hearing the word no unless it comes directly from his Alpha. So when he meets December McIntyre, a human, and realizes she is his mate he sets outs to claim her. Much to his surprise she proves extremely resistant to his advances, and making her his won't be a walk in the park. Meanwhile, danger heats up as she becomes the latest target of an anti-paranormal group set on eradicating the world of shifters, forcing her to turn to Liam for protection, even as she shields her heart.

I really loved the dynamic between Liam and December, especially as it changed. From the start, Liam is rather relentless in his pursuit of her being rather strong and almost overbearing at times. Luckily, he did seem to know just when to take a step back to keep him from going overboard, but he sure did stretch the limit to the max. December, on the other hand fights him tooth and nail, thwarting his every pursuit even as it pains her to do so. She's carrying around a lot of damage and guilt over her younger brothers death at the hands of a shifter. So, it is no wonder she fights against her attraction to Liam so hard. However, there was a point in the book where the tide started to change, and I really loved seeing the role reversal as December became much more secure in her desires, even as Liam became much less sure of himself. It was just fun to see her chase him for a change, even if he was being a knucklehead.

Just like the first installment, Primal Possession centers around the main couple, but also provides a good bit of set up for the next. Not only that, but the original couple from the first book also plays an important role, really tying these books together. This style makes the transition between books feel more like a continuation rather than an ending and has pushed this series high on my favorites list in the genre. A lot of my pet peeves in paranormal romances stem from the limited focus each book has. Even though I am a huge romance fan, I like to see characters develop over several books rather than jamming everything into one, resulting in never seeing them again except for cameo/small roles. I realize the books in this genre are generally written that way so they can be read out of order or as a standalone, but I very much prefer the closely knit pattern this series is following. 

Between the incredible cast of characters, the swoon worthy romance, and the incredibly high stakes, Primal Possession was a fantastic read from start to finish. Add that to the close knit nature of the books, and this series really stands a step above the rest. In fact, the next one is already on my most anticipated list for next year. So if you like your romance hot with plenty of build up and a plot that sucks you right in, Primal Possession simply is a must read!

(Received a copy from the publisher via Netgalley)

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Guest Post: Jocelynn Drake

, by Kt Clapsadl

I'm a huge fan of Jocelynn's Dark Days series, so I've been crazy excited to read her upcoming Asylum Tales series. I was lucky enough to receive early review copies of both prequel novellas. I didn't think it was possible, but after reading both of them, I'm only more excited. Check out my reviews: Bronx and Trixie to get a better idea of why I loved them so much.



Leaving Dark Days and Entering the Asylum
By Jocelynn Drake

In 2008, my first published novel hit the shelves. Nightwalker from the Dark Days series featured a red-haired vampire with a quick temper and a cocky attitude. She was nearly six hundred years old, allowing her to see changes in the world as well as see slow changes in herself as she was enveloped by nightwalker society. Over six books, Mira faced pain, anguish, and rage. She made several enemies, won a few reluctant friends, and found a lover who won her heart. Mira survived adversity because she’s a fighter, but she found the will to live because of Danaus.

The Dark Days series was a treacherous walk through a shadowy wood on a moonless night. There were few happy moments within the series, and those that appeared, you clung to with all your strength. I loved Mira. I worked with her and Danaus for nearly seven years. The Dark Days world wasn’t the first I had ever created, but it was the one I had spent the most time in. The series was my first attempt at something epic. The stories were always about a life and death struggle, with the fate of humanity hanging in the balance, even if mankind wasn’t aware of it.

The Dark Days series was a chance to play with dark, powerful creatures and study a person’s sense of humanity and identity under strange circumstances. I gave Mira the opportunity to travel to distant locales like Venice, Budapest, and Cuzco. And while I’m sometimes reluctant to admit it, the Dark Days was a trip into my own dark side.

It was a wild ride, but when I reached the end of the sixth book, Burn the Night, Mira and I came to an agreement that we were done. We had reached a point where we were content to say that we had said everything that we were going to say. She had found someone that she could trust and love despite overwhelming differences. Her world had changed drastically, but Mira was in a good place to handle it. I was ready for change as well.

When I stared at the blank page before me for the first time in several years, I was starting from scratch. I didn’t have a world already waiting for me to work in. I didn’t have characters with several books of background I had to keep in mind. The blank slate was exciting and a little terrifying. Where did I go next? Who did I want along with me on this journey? Who could I trust and believe in?

When I started making plans for The Asylum Tales, I knew I wanted this new series to be completely different from the Dark Days series. I wanted a male storyteller who didn’t have all the answers, who frequently got in trouble and made mistakes. I wanted a character who had friends he could rely on and who liked him. I wanted to create a positive atmosphere for my main character to work in.

But I think my first decision was that everything was out in the open. There were no more vampires hiding in the shadows and no more werewolves denying what they are. In this new world, the differences were widely accepted, if not celebrated. The Asylum Tales is my chance to play with all the creatures that have interested me over the years. I love the vampires, shifters, and elves. But I also love the trolls, ogres, incubi, minotaurs, pixies, hobgoblins, and lorialets. I wanted the opportunity to play with them all. So I created Low Town.

Another core change is Gage. My main character is a smart ass who can’t keep his mouth shut. He’s always got a sharp comment on the tip of his tongue and he usually says it. He’s just a normal guy who runs a tattoo parlor, has a girlfriend, and drinks with his friends. He has no plans to protect “his people” or take over the world. He just wants to work, drink, and laugh. As the series kicks off, I’m hoping that Gage gets to stay close to those three goals. I’m aiming to keep this series more grounded in the smaller picture of Gage’s life and friends. But hey (shrug)… things change.

To keep my mind locked in the Asylum Tales, I’ve made a habit of listening to entirely different music while writing. When I worked on the Dark Days series, I listened to lots of Korn, Nine Inch Nails, and Marilyn Mason. For the Asylum Tales, it’s more Foo Fighters, Blue October, and Shaman’s Harvest.

My reading habits have also adjusted. I needed to stay in a lighter mood, so I’m reading more humorous books than usual for me.

Surprisingly, the shift from the Dark Days world to the Asylum Tales wasn’t too hard to make. I keep pictures of Mira and Danaus close by as I work, but writing Gage’s stories has been like sitting down with an old friend and swapping tall tales. Besides, I think Mira and Danaus are still enjoying their honeymoon and could use the break.


Author Info:

Love comes in many varied forms.  There is the love of family, love of country, and love of chocolate.  But for Jocelynn Drake, one truly treasured love is the love of a good story.  

This Midwestern native spends the majority of her time lost in the strong embrace of a good book, whether she writing it or reading it doesn’t really matter.  When she’s not hammering away at her keyboard, frowning at her monitor, or curled up with a book, she can usually be found cuddling with her cats, Harley and Demona, walking her dog Max, or flinging curses at the TV while playing a video game.  Outside of books, cats, and video games, she is completely enamored of Bruce Wayne, Ezio Auditore, travel, explosions, fast cars, tattoos, and Anthony Bourdain (but only when he’s feeling really cranky).

The New York Times bestselling author has completed the Dark Days series, with six books and two novellas, and is hard at work on her new series, The Asylum Tales, which will release two novellas and one novel in 2012.


Find Jocelynn online:


Book Info:
The Asylum Interviews: Trixie
Asylum Tales #0.6






The second of two prequel stories to Jocelynn Drake's Angel's Ink.

Gage's ex-girlfriend is back in town and needs help escaping a master vampire.  While not the easiest of tasks, he certainly didn't count of getting help from a mysterious woman with a few secrets of her own.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

It's Monday What Are You Reading (110)

, by Kt Clapsadl


It's Monday! What Are You Reading, is 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.






Reviews for the past week:



Shift by Kim Curran (Early Review)
The Asylum Interviews: Trixie by Jocelynn Drake (Early Review)
Haunted by Jeanne C. Stein (Early Review)
Immortally Yours by Angie Fox (Early Review)

Shift had a really interesting concept behind it, but unfortunately the actual execution of it left a great deal to be desired. Add that to the pacing issues and the character detachment, and it just didn't work for me.

Trixie's interview only excited me even more for Jocelynn's new series. I cannot wait until it comes up next in my review queue!

Haunted was an action packed ride that kept my heart pounding the entire time. I still cannot believe the next book will be the last in the series!

Finally, Immortally Yours was a fun and sexy romp, that I absolutely loved. The characters and the mythology were simply astounding. I can't wait to read more in this series!

Kirsten's Book of the Week:


Live and Let Drood by Simon R. Green (Review)

Other Posts:

What's Left of Me by Kat Zhang was featured for Waiting on Wednesday

This week's Bargain Books & Kindle Deals

We received 9 books in the past two weeks. Check out our Stacking the Shelves to see which ones. 

Enter to win a prequel novella from Jocelynn Drake's new series and find out what it was like for her to make the change in writing.

Upcoming List:

Primal Possession by Katie Reus (Early Review)
Blackwood by Gwenda Bond (Early Review)
Archangel's Storm by Nalini Singh (Early Review) 

Kirsten Reviews: Seawitch by Kat Richardson



Stacking the Shelves (9)

, by Kt Clapsadl



Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga’s Reviews

Here's the books that I have received in the last two weeks:

For Review:



 
Thank you Ace, Berkley, NAL, and Signet Select!!


From Netgalley:

Thank you Orbit!!

From the Library:

(Audiobook) 
 


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