Kirsten Reviews: Blood Oranges by Caitlin R. Kiernan

, by Kt Clapsadl

Blood Oranges by Caitlin R. Kiernan

My name’s Quinn.

If you buy into my reputation, I’m the most notorious demon hunter in New England. But rumors of my badassery have been slightly exaggerated. Instead of having kung-fu skills and a closet full of medieval weapons, I’m an ex-junkie with a talent for being in the wrong place at the right time. Or the right place at the wrong time. Or…whatever.

Wanted for crimes against inhumanity I (mostly) didn’t commit, I was nearly a midnight snack for a werewolf until I was “saved” by a vampire calling itself the Bride of Quiet. Already cursed by a werewolf bite, the vamp took a pint out of me too.

So now…now, well, you wouldn’t think it could get worse, but you’d be dead wrong.


Blood Oranges, the latest book by Caitlin R. Kiernan is written under the nom de plume of Kathleen Tierney, and is a departure from the rest of her novels in that it's pretty straightforward. There's no evil slowly revealing itself from the shadows or underneath the earth. Here, the adversaries aren't prehistoric, but familiar monsters, demons, ghouls, trolls, werewolves, and vampires.

If urban fantasy and horror have tried to romanticize the undead, then Kiernan's protagonist, Quinn, kicks mud in the reader’s face, and then spits blood to make sure they get the point.

In some ways, Blood Oranges is similar to The Five of Cups, an earlier novel of Kiernan's that can be summed up as being raw, nasty, and filled with unpleasant characters that happen to be vampires. Cups is rough, unpolished, and yet there is a certain ferocity to the voice of Quinn that hearkens back to Cups, and the monsters; both then and in Blood Oranges, feel much more honest than the way they’re portrayed in most media these days. What Kiernan does isn't an attempt to expand the genre of 'heroines who fight monsters but sleep with them too.' Instead, she's taken the sharp edge of her pen, and carved out a space, or reclaimed it for the kind of stories where these things aren't your prom dates, but creatures that will rip your throat out. There are a number of digs against popular vampire books and movies which will make readers laugh, and all the characters have their own flaws that sometimes overtake them, or, in other cases, end up saving their lives.

The protagonist, Quinn is a mess; a junky, a young woman who hunts monsters, more or less by accident, and has no special powers. But then there's a series of not-so-accidental- events, and she has to figure out where she stands, and who's behind what's happened to her. Of course, because this isn’t a pretty little story with a sweet heroine, or even one that is trying to improve her life, nothing is simple. Quinn swears, does drugs, might have a couple friends, and often inadvertently gets others killed or hurt in the course of finding answers. The fact is, she doesn’t have any leverage, and her planning skills could use a little tutoring, but all she’s doing is attempting to stay alive, and if she’s gotten this far, there’s a chance she might not die horribly. But then again, there are no guarantees.

Blood Oranges is a quick read, and will please anybody who was ready to stake all vampires out for the sun as a reflex.

(Received a copy from the publisher)

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Let's Talk: Question Reminder

, by Kt Clapsadl

Let’s Talk is a weekly meme that delves into the minds of bloggers and readers alike. *snort* Actually, we just talk about lots of entertaining and corny stuff half the time, but the meme is definitely meant to bring out conversation and meet new people. We talk about book-related things, as well as personal questions, always remaining respectful and never asking for too much detail. Each Friday, a different question will be posted along with a place to link up your posts and visit other people’s responses.

It’s FUN. It’s EXCITING! It’s COOL!

Well, it will be if you

JOIN US THIS FRIDAY! icon wink Reminder: Question for Lets Talk

This week's question:

Do you need romance in your books to read them? If not, what else “hooks” you? (Thank you, Rachel/Parajunkee!)

You can view all the Let’s Talk topics here, and if you have any fun topics to discuss, we’d love to hear them! You can submit your thoughts here.


Bargain Books & Kindle Deals (36)

, 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 2/27)

If you find one of these kindle deals that are expired, please let me know in the comments. Thanks!

Bargain New Paperbacks/Hardcovers:




























Kindle Deals:
$0.99 
  $1.99


$2.24-$2.99
   
 $3.49-$3.99
   
 $4.00-$5.99
 

Waiting on Wednesday (136)

, 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:

With All My Soul - Soul Screamers #7
by Rachel Vincent
Publication Date: March 13th, 2013
Pre-Order:

 

What does it mean when your school is voted the most dangerous in America?

It's time to kick some hellion butt...

After not really surviving her junior year (after all, she did die), Kaylee Cavanaugh has vowed to take back her school from the hellions causing all the trouble. She's going to the find a way to turn the incarnations of Avarice, Envy and Vanity and the rest on each other. And so she–and her gang–make plans to protect her friends and finish this war, once and forever.

But then she meets Wrath. And Kaylee realizes that she's closer to the edge than she's ever been. Especially when one more person she loves is taken...


Early Review: Mating Instinct by Katie Reus

, by Kt Clapsadl

Mating Instinct by Katie Reus 
Moon Shifter #3

As the beast within struggles to break free, he must learn to be what she needs...

Surviving for centuries, powerful lupine shifter Jayce Kazan managed to stay away from humans until he met Kat Saburova and was consumed by the need to protect her. But while Jayce shared his passion with the human seer, he refused to make her his bondmate—a refusal that caused the end of their relationship.

A year later, an attack that left Kat near death has resulted in another lupine shifter turning her. Furious that he wasn’t the one to save her, Jayce is determined to show Kat that he is the one she should rely on. But the newly turned shifter is still traumatized and worried that she’ll hurt those she loves, unless she can learn to control her inner wolf.

And as Jayce struggles to protect Kat from her own worst instincts and convince her to rekindle their love, the extremists who almost killed her are looking to finish the job… 

Jayce Kazan is a centuries old shifter and an enforcer who travels from incident to incident to clean up the mess, never staying in one place for too long. But all that changes when Kat comes into his life and turns his world upside down. But despite his need for her, he refused to make her his bondmate, so she kicked him to the curb. But then almost a year later, the unthinkable happens, and Kat is kidnapped and tortured nearly to death, and only saved by being turned into a werewolf like him. Jayce would have given anything to have protected her from that fate, so he's now determined to be there for her at any cost, even if he has to fight her tooth and nail every step of the way. She won't get away from him so easily this time as an old wolf only truly loves once. 

After reading the previous book and seeing the foreshadowing of the tension between Jayce and Kat, I knew this installment would be a good one. Every moment between them in MATING INSTINCT just sizzles right off the page. She is the softness to his gruffness, and yet, she's no wallflower either. It took an incredible amount strength for her to walk away like she did when he couldn't give her what she needed even though she loved him with all her heart. It took even more strength for her to hold her ground once Jayce came back around and was relentless in his pursuit of her. Of course, she couldn't have known that he had loved her all along, but was foolishly trying to protect her. So much heartache between them could have been prevented if he had only had been a little more open and honest. But then again, getting an Alpha male to open up can be next to impossible, and Jayce is about as alpha as they come. I really enjoyed seeing this very hard and loner male slowly start to open up even as Kat took it anything but easy on him. The hijinks between them made for an incredibly interesting ride and made MATING INSTINCT my new favorite in the series.

For me, the Moon Shifter series stands out a step above the rest in the Paranormal Romance genre as I love how each book only builds upon the next. In so many books in the genre, the focus is only on the current couple, and hardly anyone else. But Katie Reus does things a bit differently in this series as the upcoming couple(s) are given a decent amount of page time as well. This really helps to tie the books together and makes the transitions between each installment much more smooth in my opinion. By setting the stage in the previous book(s), there's less time spent being introduced to the new couple during their book, which allows for a slower build up in the romance that I really enjoy. This time around it was Erin and Noah who were introduced as an upcoming couple in MATING INSTINCT. Based on what I've seen so far, I'm really excited to see how things play out for them in the next book. The sexual tension between them may even be thicker than what was seen between Jayce and Kat, and trust me, that is saying something. But putting that aside, what's even better than the foreshadowing was the way the past couples play such a prominent role in the current novel. I love getting to spend time with everyone together and that no one is left behind just because they've gotten their happy ever after.

With each new installment in the Moon Shifter series, my expectations are not only met, but exceeded, which is incredibly impressive as the bar keeps getting set higher and higher. Prior to this installment, the Moon Shifter series was already shaping up to be a heavy hitter in the paranormal romance genre, but MATING INSTINCT has fully cemented that role. An absolute treat full of sexual tension, and danger, MATING INSTINCT is not to be missed!

(Received a copy from the publisher via Netgalley)

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Previous Books:
  1. Alpha Instinct
  2. Primal Possession

Book Birthdays: New Titles This Week (25)

, by Kt Clapsadl


I keep a Google calendar of all the books releasing each week that are on my radar. With all of the many books I am excited about it is so easy to lose track of when things come out. Since I'm already doing this research for myself, I thought you guys might like it if I shared.


Releasing 2/25 - 3/3
 


Beauty Awakened by Gena Showalter
Angels of the Dark #2
 
"Combining passion, humor, pulse-pounding action and just plain fun, Gena Showalter's books are always a refreshing escape!" - New York Times bestselling author Lara Adrian New York Times bestselling author Gena Showalter returns with another captivating Angels of the Dark tale, as a tormented warrior is brought to his knees by the most delicate of humans...

His name is Koldo. He is scarred, powerful, his control legendary-and he lives only for vengeance, determined to punish the angel who viciously removed his wings. But if he yields to the forces of hatred, he will be kicked from the heavens, eternally damned.

She is his last hope. Nicola Lane was born with a defective heart, yet this fragile human shows surprising strength as demons stalk her every move, determined to end her. She is the key to Koldo's deliverance...and his downfall. Though he fights duty, destiny and his first addictive taste of desire, his toughest battle will be the one for Nicola's life-even if he has to sacrifice his own....




Black City
Black Wings #5
 
Former Agent of death Madeline Black may have been stripped of her wings—but she hasn’t lost her purpose…

When Maddy finally killed her father, Azazel, she thought his depraved experiment died with him. But now Chicago has been infested with vampires immune to the effects of the sun, and the bloodbath is worse than she could have ever imagined. While the Agency refuses to interfere with other supernatural courts, Maddy is determined to do everything within her power to save her city—wings or no wings.

But when the leader of the vampires requests that she turn herself in or risk more deaths, Maddy becomes a target for the very people she’s trying to save. Left with no other choice, she turns to Lucifer, the one creature who has the power to help her. But her grandfather’s aid has always come at a price…




Dualed by Elsie Chapman
Dualed #1
 
You or your Alt? Only one will survive.

The city of Kersh is a safe haven, but the price of safety is high. Everyone has a genetic Alternate—a twin raised by another family—and citizens must prove their worth by eliminating their Alts before their twentieth birthday. Survival means advanced schooling, a good job, marriage—life.

Fifteen-year-old West Grayer has trained as a fighter, preparing for the day when her assignment arrives and she will have one month to hunt down and kill her Alt. But then a tragic misstep shakes West’s confidence. Stricken with grief and guilt, she’s no longer certain that she’s the best version of herself, the version worthy of a future. If she is to have any chance of winning, she must stop running not only from her Alt, but also from love . . . though both have the power to destroy her.

Elsie Chapman's suspenseful YA debut weaves unexpected romance into a novel full of fast-paced action and thought-provoking philosophy. When the story ends, discussions will begin about this future society where every adult is a murderer and every child knows there is another out there who just might be better.




Fragments by Dan Wells
Partials Sequence #2
 
Kira Walker has found the cure for RM, but the battle for the survival of humans and Partials is just beginning. Kira has left East Meadow in a desperate search for clues to who she is. That the Partials themselves hold the cure for RM in their blood cannot be a coincidence--it must be part of a larger plan, a plan that involves Kira, a plan that could save both races. Her companions are Afa Demoux, an unhinged drifter and former employee of ParaGen, and Samm and Heron, the Partials who betrayed her and saved her life, the only ones who know her secret. But can she trust them?

Meanwhile, back on Long Island, what's left of humanity is gearing up for war with the Partials, and Marcus knows his only hope is to delay them until Kira returns. But Kira's journey will take her deep into the overgrown wasteland of postapocalyptic America, and Kira and Marcus both will discover that their greatest enemy may be one they didn't even know existed.

The second installment in the pulse-pounding Partials saga is the story of the eleventh hour of humanity's time on Earth, a journey deep into places unknown to discover the means--and even more important, a reason--for our survival.




The Goddess Inheritance
Goddess Test #3
 
Love or life.
Henry or their child.
The end of her family or the end of the world.
Kate must choose.


During nine months of captivity, Kate Winters has survived a jealous goddess, a vengeful Titan and a pregnancy she never asked for. Now the Queen of the Gods wants her unborn child, and Kate can't stop her--until Cronus offers a deal.

In exchange for her loyalty and devotion, the King of the Titans will spare humanity and let Kate keep her child. Yet even if Kate agrees, he'll destroy Henry, her mother and the rest of the council. And if she refuses, Cronus will tear the world apart until every last god and mortal is dead.

With the fate of everyone she loves resting on her shoulders, Kate must do the impossible: find a way to defeat the most powerful being in existence, even if it costs her everything.

Even if it costs her eternity.





How to Seduce an Angel in 10 Days
10 Days #3
 
GOT ANGEL?

Drusilla “Tally” Tallow does. Both fallen and otherwise because she’s got ten days of Heavenly and Infernal Parole after knocking Falcon Cherrywood from his broom. All she wanted was to settle down with a nice warlock, have babies, and grow old together. But she’s got a bad habit of falling for the wrong warlock. She blames Cupid. Too bad her Heavenly Parole Officer is none other than the heart bandit himself—the newly appointed Cupid and current fixture in all her fantasies, Falcon Cherrywood.

After smiting Cupid with a fireball, Falcon Cherrywood must now play the Diapered Archer. He can’t think of anything more humiliating than flying around in pink wings shooting arrows into hopeless fools. Archery was never his strong suit and Falcon doesn’t even believe in love. But more troubling are the feelings his sinfully irresistible parolee sets off in him—for only Tally has the power to make him believe in things better left to fairy tales, like Happily Ever After.




Immortally Embraced by Angie Fox
Monster M*A*S*H #2
 
Even during a truce, Dr. Petra Robichaud has her hands full as the M*A*S*H surgeon to an army of warring gods—especially when Medusa herself turns up pregnant. Petra has no idea what to expect when a gorgon’s expecting, but she won’t let it turn her to stone. As the healer-hero of an ancient prophesy, it’s Petra’s job to keep the peace. But as the lover to a warrior demi-god, she knows how impossible some jobs can be…

Commander Galen is sexy, strong, and sworn to lead his team to hell and back. But when he announces to Petra that he can no longer risk her life for his love, the doctor is on her own…Until a mysterious new entity—in the form of a hot-blooded male—enters the picture. Can he be trusted? Can he be resisted? Meanwhile, an oracle delivers another prophesy that places Petra back on the frontlines with the man she may be bound to for eternity—in love, or in war…




Mountain Echoes by C.E. MurphyWalker Papers #8
 
You can never go home again.

Joanne Walker has survived an encounter with the Master at great personal cost, but now her father is missing - stolen from the timeline. She must finally return to North Carolina to find him - and to meet Aidan, the son she left behind long ago.

That would be enough for any shaman to face, but Joanne's beloved Appalachians are being torn apart by an evil reaching forward from the distant past. Anything that gets in its way becomes tainted - or worse.

And Aidan has gotten in the way.

Only by calling on every aspect of her shamanic powers can Joanne pull the past apart and weave a better future. It will take everything she has - and more.

Unless she can turn back time...





Pulse by Patrick Carman
Pulse Trilogy #1
From New York Times bestselling author Patrick Carman, a teen fantasy-adventure of epic proportions. In 2051, some teens have a “pulse,” the power to move objects with their minds. Compulsively readable, with thrilling action scenes and a tender love story.

The year is 2051, and the world is still recognizable. With the help of her mysterious classmate Dylan Gilmore, Faith Daniels discovers that she can move objects with her mind. This telekinetic ability is called a “pulse,” and Dylan has the talent, too.

In riveting action scenes, Faith demonstrates her ability to use her pulse against a group of telekinesis masters so powerful they will flatten their enemies by uprooting street lights, moving boulders, and changing the course of a hurtling hammer so that it becomes a deadly weapon. But even with great talent, the mind—and the heart—can be difficult to control. If Faith wants to join forces with Dylan and save the world, she’ll have to harness the power of both.

Patrick Carman’s Pulse trilogy is a stunning, action-filled triumph about the power of the mind—and the power of love.



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