Early Review: House Immortal by Devon Monk

, by Kt Clapsadl

House Immortal by Devon Monk
House Immortal #1

One hundred years ago, eleven powerful ruling Houses consolidated all of the world’s resources and authority into their own grasping hands. Only one power wasn’t placed under the command of a single House: the control over the immortal galvanized....

Matilda Case isn’t like most folk. In fact, she’s unique in the world, the crowning achievement of her father’s experiments, a girl pieced together from bits. Or so she believes, until Abraham Seventh shows up at her door, stitched with life thread just like her and insisting that enemies are coming to kill them all.

Tilly is one of thirteen incredible creations known as the galvanized, stitched together beings immortal and unfathomably strong. For a century, each House has fought for control over the galvanized. Now the Houses are also tangled in a deadly struggle for dominion over death—and Tilly and her kind hold the key to unlocking eternity

The secrets that Tilly must fight to protect are hidden within the very seams of her being. And to get the secrets, her enemies are willing to tear her apart piece by piece.…

House Immortal started off as a bit of a slow read for me. Luckily after a while it really started to pick up. So, bear with me as I explain what didn't work in the beginning. I promise, the book turns around as the trade off of the unique world is more than worth the rocky start. That being said, the info dump beginning left me more confused and out of sorts than sucked into the story. Don't get me wrong, the world is very interesting and I love the concept behind it, but frankly it was rather complex and there was a whole lot going on. In fact, I'm still not really sure I grasp all of the different aspects, but looking back, I felt this same way after reading the first book in Devon Monk's Allie Becktrom series, disconnected and a bit overwhelmed, and that series is one of my all time favorites now. So, bottom line, what I'm saying is that even if the beginning of House Immortal is a rough read, it's more than worth hanging on and pushing through to get to the good.

So, negative stuff over, let's move on to Tilly. I really adored her. She's so strong and determined to take care of others despite her very very vulnerable position. And while she never rolls over quick to other's demands, she sacrifices herself over and over for others. It's really admirable, especially when you account for the fact that others don't even consider her to be human. I think one of the best parts of this book was how it made you question what it really meant to be human. Sure, Tilly was stitched together and "made" but she has a real human soul, and she shows more kindness and humility than most of the "real" people in this book. Some of their actions were atrocious, and yet they treat her as subhuman. Like I said, it really made you question the definition of humanity, and I love it for that. 

Now onto the good aspects of that world. The whole idea of eleven houses controlling the world, with each focusing on a different "trade" and immortal beings that were literally stitched together is absolutely fascinating. Add that to those immortal being selling themselves willing to the houses in slavery so many years to stop a war, and the rest of the structure and I was hooked. Again, the introduction into this world is a bit bumpy, but the uniqueness more than makes up for in my opinion. I love the urban fantasy world with a fierce passion, and this genre will probably always be my go-to books, but even so I still get tired of the same old same old from time to time. So it's so nice to read something completely fresh and unique like this. 

All in all, I'm rather pleased with House Immortal's start to this new series. A fresh and unique new world, House Immortal will appeal to fans of Urban Fantasy. Devon Monk once again proves she's a powerhouse in the genre. Major kudos!

(Received a copy from the publisher)


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Release Day Review: The Beautiful Ashes by Jeaniene Frost

, by Kt Clapsadl

The Beautiful Ashes by Jeaniene Frost
Broken Destiny #1

In a world of shadows, anything is possible. Except escaping your fate.

Ever since she was a child, Ivy has been gripped by visions of strange realms just beyond her own. But when her sister goes missing, Ivy discovers the truth is far worse—her hallucinations are real, and her sister is trapped in a parallel realm. And the one person who believes her is the dangerously attractive guy who's bound by an ancient legacy to betray her.

Adrian might have turned his back on those who raised him, but that doesn't mean he can change his fate…no matter how strong a pull he feels toward Ivy. Together they search for the powerful relic that can save her sister, but Adrian knows what Ivy doesn't: that every step brings Ivy closer to the truth about her own destiny, and a war that could doom the world. Sooner or later, it will be Ivy on one side and Adrian on the other. And nothing but ashes in between…

I feel like I should start off with a bit of a disclaimer, this is not a Cat & Bones replacement. It has a completely different feel and pacing. While I enjoyed The Beautiful Ashes, I have to admit that the tone confused me. The genre is listed as a New Adult, and while the character fits that age numerically, the tone seems much younger. Granted I haven't read very many New Adults, but I just was expecting something a bit different, older feeling perhaps. I guess I just wasn't expecting Ivy to sound and seem like every other YA aged character. Don't get me wrong, I read a lot of YA, but for this to be labeled something different, I was expecting to see that. This confusion plus my lingering attachment and hope for a Cat & Bones replacement, it did take me longer than I had hoped to get attached to the story and characters, but luckily that was only temporary. 

So, once I was able to put my preconceptions aside, I fell into the story and this new world. The world building was pretty incredible, and complex. Everything happened in a whirlwind, almost too fast, but it never tipped over that scale, which I loved. Once I fell into the story I was hooked, and I loved both the world and Ivy. She's both strong and yet so vulnerable at the same times. She makes the right choices over and over, and while they may not always be for the reasons the others want, she still grows and moves forward with each new step. Considering how much was thrown at her in such a short time, it's impressive that she wasn't a crumbling mess to be honest. That being said, she was dealing with so much, so I did appreciate how the romance was much more of a slow build. It just seemed more realistic that way. Even so, I really look forward to seeing more from her and Adrian in the next book.

The Beautiful Ashes is a whirlwind of a start to this new series from Jeaniene Frost. All indications point to this being one heck of a ride. I can't wait to see more of this world and how things will unfurl. If you enjoy a unique paranormal story with strong characters, then this one is for you. 

(Received a copy from the publisher)


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Book Feature: The Beautiful Ashes by Jeaniene Frost

, by Kt Clapsadl

the beautiful ashes

Title: The Beautiful Ashes

Author: Jeaniene Frost

Expected Publication: August 26th, 2014

  About The Beautiful Ashes In a world of shadows, anything is possible. Except escaping your fate. Ever since she was a child, Ivy has been gripped by visions of strange realms just beyond her own. But when her sister goes missing, Ivy discovers the truth is far worse—her hallucinations are real, and her sister is trapped in a parallel realm. And the one person who believes her is the dangerously attractive guy who's bound by an ancient legacy to betray her. Adrian might have turned his back on those who raised him, but that doesn't mean he can change his fate…no matter how strong a pull he feels toward Ivy. Together they search for the powerful relic that can save her sister, but Adrian knows what Ivy doesn't: that every step brings Ivy closer to the truth about her own destiny, and a war that could doom the world. Sooner or later, it will be Ivy on one side and Adrian on the other. And nothing but ashes in between…
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Check out my review here:

  About Jeaniene Frost: Jeaniene Frost is the New York Times, USA Today, and international bestselling author of the Night Huntress series, the Night Prince series, and the upcoming Broken Destiny series. To date, foreign rights for her novels have sold to twenty different countries. Jeaniene lives in North Carolina with her husband Matthew, who long ago accepted that she rarely cooks and always sleeps in on the weekends. Aside from writing, Jeaniene enjoys reading, poetry, watching movies with her husband, exploring old cemeteries, spelunking and traveling – by car. Airplanes, children, and cook books frighten her. For information on Jeaniene's books, reading the first 20% of each book free, book trailers, deleted scenes, creature mythology, and more, please visit: www.jeanienefrost.com

A familiar song was playing, but I couldn’t remember the name. That bugged me enough to open my eyes. A wall of black met my gaze, slick and smooth like glass. I reached up to see what it was, and that’s when I realized my hands were tied.

“Silent Lucidity” by Queensryche, my mind supplied, followed immediately by, I’m in the backseat of a car. One that was well taken care of, going by that flawless, shiny roof. With those details filled in, I also remembered what had happened right before I’d passed out. And who I was with.

“Why are my hands tied?” I said, heaving myself into an upright position.

For some reason Adrian didn’t have a rear view mirror, which was why he had to glance over his shoulder to look at me.

“Does anything make you panic?” he asked, sounding amused. “You’re tied up in the backseat of a cop-killer’s car, but I’ve seen people get more upset when Starbucks runs out of pumpkin spice flavor.”

Anyone normal would panic, not that it would do any good. Besides, I ran out of “normal” a long time ago, when I realized I saw things no one else did.

Speaking of which, why wasn’t I in pain? The lump where Mrs. Paulson had whacked me was gone, and my shirt was red from blood, but aside from a mild kink in my neck, I felt fine. When I pushed my shirt up, somehow, I wasn’t surprised to see smooth, unbroken skin on my abdomen. Well, that and a bunch of crumbs, like I’d eaten a dessert too messily.

“Why does it look like I have angel food cake on my stomach?” I wondered aloud.

Adrian snorted. “Close. It’s medicine. You were injured.”

“You can tell me how I’m not anymore,” I said, holding out my bound hands, “after you untie me.”

Another backwards glance, this one challenging.

“You may be the calmest person I’ve ever been sent to retrieve, but if I tell you now what you want to know, that will change. So pick—the truth, or being untied?”

“Truth,” I said instantly.

He let out a laugh. “Another first. You’re full of surprises.”

So was he. He’d just admitted that he regularly kidnapped people—which was how I translated “retrieve”—so I should be trying my damnedest to get free. But more than anything, I needed answers. Besides, I still wasn’t afraid of him, and somehow, that had nothing to do with him magically healing me.

“Truth, Adrian,” I repeated.

He turned once again and his gaze locked with mine, those odd blue eyes startling me with their intensity. For a moment, I could only stare, all thought frozen in my mind. I don’t know why I reached out, awkwardly touching his arm to feel the hard muscles beneath that bulky jacket. If I’d thought about it, I wouldn’t have done it. Yet I couldn’t make myself pull away.

Then I gasped when his hand covered mine. At some point, he’d taken off his gloves, and the feel of his warm, bare skin sent a shock wave through me. The touch seemed to affect Adrian, too. His lips parted and he edged over the back of the seats—

He yanked on the steering wheel, narrowly avoiding another car. A horn blared, and when the driver passed us, an extended middle finger shook angrily in our direction. I leaned back, my heart pounding from the near collision. At least, that’s what I told myself it was from.

“Dyate,” Adrian muttered.

I didn’t recognize the word, and I was at a loss to place his accent. It had a musical cadence like Italian, but beneath that was a harsher, darker edge.

“What’s that language?” I asked, trying to mask the sudden shakiness in my voice.

This time, he didn’t take his eyes off the road. “Nothing you’ve heard of.”

“I picked truth, remember?” I said, holding up my bound hands for emphasis.

That earned me a quick glance. “That is the truth, but you don’t get more until you meet Zach. Then we can skip all the ‘this isn’t possible’ arguments.”

I let out a short laugh. “After what I saw on Detective Kroger’s face, my definition of ‘impossible’ has changed.”

Adrian swerved again, but this time, no other car was near.

“What did you see?”

I tensed. How did I explain without sounding insane? No way to, so I chose to go on the attack instead.

“Why were you in my hotel room? And how did you heal me? There isn’t even a mark—”

“What did you see on his face, Ivy?”

Despite his hard tone, when my name crossed his lips, something thrummed inside me, like he’d yanked on a tie I hadn’t known was there. Feeling it was as disturbing as my inexplicable reaction to his clasping my hands.

“Shadows,” I said quickly, to distract from that. “He had snakelike shadows all over his face.”

I expected Adrian to tell me I’d imagined it, a response I was used to hearing. Instead, he pulled over, putting the car in park but keeping the engine running. Then he turned to stare at me.

“Was that the only strange thing you saw?”

I swallowed. I knew better than to talk about these things. Still, I’d demanded the truth from Adrian. It didn’t seem fair to lie in return.

“I saw two versions of the same B and B earlier. One was pretty, but the other was old and rotted, and my sister was trapped inside it.”

Adrian said nothing, though he continued to pin me with that hard stare. When he finally spoke, his question was so bizarre I thought I’d misheard him.

“What do I look like to you?”

“My appearance.” He drew out the words like I was slow. “Describe me.”

All of a sudden, he wanted compliments? I might have finally met someone crazier than me.

“This is ridiculous,” I muttered, but started with the obvious. “Six-six, early twenties, built like Thor, golden brown hair with blond highlights, silvery blue eyes…you want me to go on?”

He began to laugh, a deep, rich baritone that would’ve been sensual except for how angry it made me.

“Now I know why they came after you,” he said, still chuckling. “They must’ve realized you were different, but if they’d known what you could see, you never would’ve made it out of that B and B.”

“You can stop laughing,” I said sharply. “I get that it’s crazy to see the things I do.”
Lots of kids had imaginary friends growing up. I had imaginary places, though at first, I didn’t know I was the only one who could see them. Once my parents had realized that what I kept describing went far beyond childhood fancifulness, the endless doctor visits and tests began. One by one, diseases and psychoses had been crossed off until I was diagnosed with a non-monoamine-cholinergic imbalance in my temporal cortex.

In other words, I saw shit that wasn’t there for reasons no one could figure out. The pills I took helped a little, though I lied and said they got rid of all my hallucinations. I was sick of doctors poking at me. So whenever I saw something that no one else did, I forced myself to ignore it—until Mrs. Paulson and Detective Kroger had tried to kill me, of course.

Adrian did stop laughing, and that unblinking intensity was back in his gaze.

“Well, Ivy, I’ve got good news and bad news. The good news is, you’re not crazy. The bad news is, everything you’ve seen is real, and now, it’ll be coming for you.”     
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Early Review: Shifting Shadows by Patricia Briggs

, by Kt Clapsadl

Shifting Shadows by Patricia Briggs
Mercy Thompson World

Mercy Thompson’s world just got a whole lot bigger…

A collection of all-new and previously published short stories featuring Mercy Thompson, “one of the best heroines in the urban fantasy genre today” (Fiction Vixen Book Reviews), and the characters she calls friends…

Includes the new stories…

“Roses in Winter”

…and reader favorites
“Fairy Gifts”
“Alpha and Omega”
“Seeing Eye”
“The Star of David”
“In Red, with Pearls”

I feel I should start off this review with two disclaimers. One, I'm a huge fan of both the Mercy Thompson series and Alpha and Omega series, so I'm excited to read anything that has to do with them. Two, I'm not the biggest fan of short stories, especially the ones that aren't directly tied to characters that are well established in a series. I just don't think there's enough of a word count to fully develop things enough for me to get sucked into things. So that being said, I enjoyed some of these stories much more than others. I'll touch briefly on each of them.

Silver - I'm one of those readers who have been dying to see more behind the man that Bran is, especially a look into his past. This story tells the very beginning of his and Samuel's lives as werewolves. It was an interesting addition to the series, but in true to character form, it left more than a few things secret, and I'm not sure if I truly know anything more about Bran from this story than before. Samuel yes, but Bran know. I guess he'll continue to remain a mystery. Oh and P.S. this one's pretty depressing, but I pretty much knew that going into things. Their past had been said to not be a happy one...

Roses in Winter - This was another one that involved a character I wanted to know more about. The young werewolf from early in the Mercy series, Kira. I wanted to see what became of her after she went to the Marrok, and this tells that story, along with a better look into Asil. Very enjoyable.

Redemption - This one's about Ben. While he's a rude and messed up werewolf, and has very little respect for women, I've always loved his character. From the point where he stood by Mercy after the terrible thing that happened to her, I was forever sold on him. This story shows a bit deeper look into this surly man, and also showed him moving on the path towards healing.

Hollow - A Mercy story. What can I say other than I simply loved it. And when Adam came in while Mercy was yet again hurt and in the thick of things, well that just summed everything up perfectly for them. Loved it!

Fairy Gifts - This one was a bit harder to me connect to as the characters weren't anyone I was attached to from the series, but it did show an interesting journey between a vampire and a fae. Just a little bonus story as it were.

Gray - This was another that I didn't quite connect to as it wasn't any characters on my list of favorites, but putting that aside, it was an interesting story.

Alpha and Omega - This is Charles and Anna's beginning, and the story that completely sucked me into their series. I've re-read this opening and the entire series multiple times, and I couldn't help myself but to read it again. I forsee another re-read of their books in my near future.

Seeing Eye - I loved Moira and Tom in the Alpha and Omega books, so it was nice to see how they met. I do wish the story had been a bit longer however, as all we got to see was the attraction between them. I would have loved to have seen the beginning of their relationship, but this story was enjoyable nonetheless.

The Star of David - I really liked David's character from Moon Called, and I always wished to have seen more from him. That wish came true in this story, and I especially liked the way it ended, making it a good outtake in my book.

In Red, with Pearls - Ah Warren, I really adore him. He's so strong yet vulnerable all the same, and I loved seeing this extra story from him. The moral is not to mess with his mate, and it's a lesson hard learned.

All in all, if you are a fan of the world behind these two series, then you definitely won't want to miss this compilation. If you haven't read either series yet, you don't know what you are missing, but that being said, I wouldn't recommend starting here (with the exception of the Alpha and Omega story), as these stories would be better enjoyed with the full knowledge of the rest of the books. So either way, yet again the Mercy Thompson world earns my stamp of approval, and are a must read for any Urban Fantasy fan.

(Received a copy from the publisher)


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     1. Moon Called
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     3. Iron Kissed
     4. Bone Crossed
     5. Silver Borne
     6. River Marked
     7. Frost Burned
     8. Night Broken

Kirsten Reviews: Watcher of the Dark by Joseph Nassise

, by Kt Clapsadl

Watcher of the Dark by Joseph Nassise
Jeremiah Hunt #3

A spine-tingling new Jeremiah Hunt dark fantasy thriller.

New Orleans was nearly the death of Jeremiah Hunt, between a too-close brush with the FBI and a chilling, soul-searing journey through the realm of the dead that culminated with a do-or-die confrontation with Death himself.

But when he performs an arcane ritual to reclaim the soul of the magically gifted, beautiful woman who once saved him, he must flee the law once again, to Los Angeles, city of angels, a temporary sanctuary. In L.A., he has to contend with Carlos Fuentes, who sees in Hunt a means to obtain the mystical key that would open the gates of Hell. Fuentes knows Hunt’s weakness—his loyalty to the woman he loves, and to another “gifted” friend—and uses the real threat of torturing them as a way to get Hunt to help complete his dread quest.

Hunt has learned a lot since his life was irrevocably hijacked by fate months ago. But when his friends are threatened by the supernatural predator known as the Preacher, Hunt knows that all his newfound experience and ability will go for naught unless he can keep both the Preacher and Fuentes at bay long enough for him to somehow find a way to free his friends from mortal peril.

Watcher of the Dark by Joseph Nassise is the followup to King of the Dead in The Jeremiah Hunt Chronicle, and picks up after Jeremiah’s adventures and mishaps in New Orleans. Although Hunt survived his confrontation with Death, and has escaped the FBI, at least for the time being, things soon go sideways.

After performing an arcane ritual in order to reclaim the soul of a woman who, once upon a time, saved him, he has to hightail it to Los Angeles, again fleeing the law. There, he gets in touch with Carlos Fuentes, who thinks that Hunt has the ability to get ahold of a key that will open the gates of Hell. Fuentes manipulates Hunt through his loyalty to his friends and loved ones, and Hunt must cooperate, or risk them coming to harm. In addition to that, there’s the Preacher, a supernatural predator that nobody wants to encounter, and Hunt has to find a way to evade both and rescue his friends.

Most notably, this series has a protagonist that does not wield magic using a staff or other tools, but sacrificed his sight in order to see the world hidden from most people, that of spirits, ghosts, and all the things that prowl the dark. While there are plenty of obstacles and experiences that could have beaten Hunt down, he continues to evolve and progress, and the author has given him a sense of humor about things that lightens tone as he figures out how to better use his sight and get out of trouble.

The series has enough backstory at this point that new readers need to start with the first book, and it’s an interesting take on the Seer trope in urban fantasy, and in a genre sometimes bloated with more powerful beings, it’s refreshing to see a character who spends as much time looking where he shouldn’t, as he does running as fast as he can away from trouble.
(Received a copy from the publisher)


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Review: The Aftermath by Jen Alexander

, by Kt Clapsadl

The Aftermath by Jen Alexander

Sometimes, I dream that I'm someone else.

A girl with dark hair who doesn't worry about hunger

or thirst or running from flesh-eaters.

In her world, those sorts of things don't exist.

Since the spring of 2036, when the world changed forever, Claudia and a small clan of survivors have roamed the streets of a very altered Nashville: polluted and desolate, except for the ever-present threat of cannibal Hoarders. Together they must undergo punishing tests of endurance and psychological challenge sometimes with devastating consequences all just to live another day.

With food and water in dwindling supply, and with danger lurking around every corner, no one can be trusted. And as her world starts to make less and less sense, Claudia begins to realize something terrifying: she is just a pawn in some sort of game, and all of her actions are being controlled from afar by a mysterious gamer. So when she meets a maddening and fascinating outsider named Declan, who claims to be a game moderator, she must decide whether to join him in exchange for protection and access to the border.

If they play the game right, they are each other's best hope for survival and a life beyond the only world Claudia's ever known: the terrifying live-action game known as The Aftermath.

This was a different sort of book, and by that I mean, it stands out in the sometimes crowed dystopian YA genre. On one hand, there were the thriller and gamer aspects and on the other hand you have the heavy dystopian/post apocalyptic feel. It really made for an interesting read, not quite like anything else I've read, and trust me, when something stands apart like that, it's something worth some attention. Sure, the beginning was rather confusing, and answers were a bit slow coming at first, but it never reached the point of frustration. In fact, I think the opening confusion better allowed me to connect with Claudia directly early on as it felt like we were experiencing that same confusion together, ramping up my enjoyment even more.

That being said, while I was sucked in at first into Claudia's plight, so much of the book is about the game and the different aspects behind it along with the real world as well in the mix. The control vs non control was such a large part, that I think it eclipsed the character development just a bit. I mean compared to the world behind the story and the game itself, the characters almost seemed a bit secondary. So while I absolutely loved that really strong world building that kept me very sucked in, I would have preferred to have just a bit more depth to the characters so I could have grown more attached to them. That being said, I think with the next installment, this will become a non-issue as by the time I finish the investment of a second installment, I'm sure those characters will be fully cemented.

I'm not a gamer, but this book almost made me want to be. The twists and turns kept me more than hooked throughout and it wasn't easy to put this one down. THE AFTERMATH is perfect for anyone who loves dystopian YA but is looking for something a bit different than anything else they've read. And if you're a gamer to boot, then this one will be golden for you.

(Received a copy from the publisher)


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Kirsten Reviews: Half-Off Ragnarok by Seanan McGuire

, by Kt Clapsadl

Half-Off Ragnarok by Seanan McGuire
InCryptid #3

When Alex Price agreed to go to Ohio to oversee a basilisk breeding program and assist in the recovery of his psychic cousin, he didn't expect people to start dropping dead. But bodies are cropping up at the zoo where he works, and his girlfriend—Shelby Tanner, an Australian zoologist with a fondness for big cats—is starting to get suspicious.

Worse yet, the bodies have all been turned partially to stone...

The third book in the InCryptid series takes us to a new location and a new member of the family, as Alex tries to balance life, work, and the strong desire not to become a piece of garden statuary. Old friends and new are on the scene, and danger lurks around every corner.

Of course, so do the talking mice.

Half-Off Ragnarok by Seanan McGuire is the third installment in her InCryptid series, this time focusing on Alex Price instead of Verity, and if you like reptiles, this one is for you.

Alex, one of the human members of the Price clan is working as a visiting herpetologist at the Columbus Zoo with Dee, his assistant, who happens to be a gorgon. This is both a job and a cover, as he is, like the rest of his family, always working to safeguard humans from cryptids, (non-humans from what most people would term mythology), and protecting cryptids from humanity. At the moment, this includes overseeing a basilisk breeding program, which chiefly involves a lot of patience. In addition, Alex works with lindworms, gorgons, wadjets, and other creatures, some of which slither, and others that walk on two legs and can ‘mostly’ pass for human if they feel like it.

Shelby, the Australian visiting zoologist, and big cat specialist is Alex’s ‘sort of girlfriend,’ in that he keeps canceling dates with her in order to go out into the swamps and research cryptids. There are some obvious Crocodile Dundee jokes that might be made about the character, and McGuire makes them all so the reader doesn’t have to (“Australia. The only continent designed with a difficulty rating of “ha ha fuck you no,”) but Shelby is far from being one-dimensional or a caricature, and has quite a lot going that will have an effect on Alex and his family.

In the meantime, Shelby and Alex have just gotten some time alone together when they quite literally stumble over somebody who’s been petrified. There’s only so many ways to explain people turning to stone without the boundaries of Alex’s personal life and profession getting blurred. Unfortunately, as the petrifications continue, he’s running out of other options.

Part of the appeal of this series is the extensive detail given to the various cryptids, and the result of this means the Price family feel like any other group of professionals, albeit ones that might perform a field autopsy for ‘spare parts.’ There’s a great deal of information on gorgons and several other cryptids in this book, as well some charming appearances by the Aeslin mice:


In short, this book is enjoyable and fast-paced read, and while the obstacles are largely resolved, there’s certainly a surplus of material and potential problems for Alex and his family to face in future books.
(Received a copy from the publisher)


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Early Review: Night's Honor by Thea Harrison

, by Kt Clapsadl

Night's Honor by Thea Harrison
Elder Races #7

In USA Today bestselling author Thea Harrison's latest Novel of the Elder Races, a woman finds herself in need of protection—and seduced by honor…

On the run from her former employer, Tess knows that she’s vulnerable on her own amongst the Elder Races. That’s why she decides to audition to become the human attendant of a powerful Vampyre of the Nightkind demesne. But while her position affords her the safety she seeks, her protector turns out to be more than she bargained for.

The right-hand man of the Nightkind King, Xavier del Torro is both terrifying and alluring. While his true nature frightens Tess, she can’t ignore the appeal of his innate sense of integrity and self-restraint. Thrown into Xavier’s world, Tess must quickly learn to navigate the dangers—both to her life and to her heart. But the biggest threat comes from her own past….

Night's Honor was a slower read than I prefer. It just didn't seem to move anywhere fast and the big bag threat frankly didn't seem that bad at all. It was more of being told that he was so horrible rather than actually feeling that danger which kept me a bit apart from the story and made it difficult to identify with Tess's plight.

I'm a very character and romance driven reader. You can have a slower book and I'll still be completely satisfied as long as the characters are strong and the romance is there. Unfortunately it just wasn't there for me. It seemed to be another case of needing to show rather than tell just like the threat from the big bag. I just want feeling the attraction or connection between them at all. It just felt forced despite taking most the book for any forward momentum.

Overall this was just a mediocre read for me. Considering how much I love this series and look forward to each new installment, I really feel let down. I realize I've said that several times throughout this review but there's no better way to explain my feelings about this book. I have a feeling other readers  who are not so romance driven may wind up liking this book a lot more than I did. That being said, I am excited for the next book as based on the ending events of this one, the couple in that book, while still not wyr, have an explosive relationship and I always love to see that kind of romantic tension. So here's to hoping this series and I get our "mojo" back next time around.

(Received a copy from the publisher)


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Previous Books:
     1. Dragon Bound
     2. Storm's Heart
     3. Serpent's Kiss
     4. Oracle's Moon
     5. Lord's Fall
     6. Kinked
     6.5. Dragos Takes a Holiday
     6.6. Pia Saves the Day

So I Married a Werewolf Tour

, by Kt Clapsadl

Thank you so much for having me on your lovely blog! I’m happy to be here, especially on such a special day. What’s special about today, you ask?

It’s my birthday! Eeek!

I’m turning 30 for the fourth time! Isn’t that GREAT! I’d originally written a different post for today, but it didn’t feel right. It felt…impersonal. I should be doing something special on this special day!

Here we go!

Five things I’m thankful for

1. Readers like you!

2. Air in my lungs

3. Roof over my head

4. Love in my heart

5. Smile on my lips

(Personal side note: When I pray, I give thanks for those things. I’ll do it today too. Just for you.)

Five things on my bucket list

1. Skydive

2. Watch an iceberg break off the Humboldt Glacier

3. Travel to every state in the US (I’m at 46!)

4. Sail over the spot where the Titanic sank

5. Publish 100 works

Top five favorite movies

1. V for Vendetta

2. Inception

3. Pride & Prejudice

4. Bright Star

5. Notting Hill

Top five favorite books

1. Rebecca by Daphne DuMaurier

2. Darkness by John Saul

3. Knight in Shining Armor by Jude Devereaux

4. Lover Eternal by J.R. Ward

5. Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

Five things you’d never see/hear me do

1. Sing karaoke sober or alone

2. Drink tequila

3. Buy shoes over purses

4. Eat shrimp

5. Take for granted what a wonderful job I have! I get to make stuff up and meet wonderful people like you! I can’t think of anything better!

Thank you so much for spending a few minutes of your day with me! And thank you to A Book Obsession for hosting me today. Hope you all have a fabulous day! (I plan to!) I’m off to celebrate!

Author info:

New York Times and USA Today best-selling author Kristin Miller writes sweet and sassy contemporary romance, romantic suspense, and paranormal romance of all varieties. Kristin has degrees in psychology, English, and education, and taught high school and middle school English before crossing over to a career in writing. She lives in Northern California with her alpha male husband and their two children. She loves chocolate way more than she should and the gym less. You can usually find her in the corner of a coffee shop, laptop in front of her and mocha in hand, using the guests around her as fuel for her next book.

Find Kristin Online:

Book Info:

Carter Griffin, enforcing officer for the Seattle Wolf Pack, has a problem. He’s been offered the promotion of his dreams…if he can find a wife to prove he’s over his playboy ways. But Carter’s already walked the matrimonial road and bought the stinkin’ T-shirt. Besides, a werewolf only gets one fated mate. Been there, done that.

All werewolf dog trainer Faith Hamilton wants to do is earn enough green stuff to put her younger brother through college. Okay, okay, so she also totally wants Carter, her sexy next-door neighbor, to look at her as more than a friend. It’s too bad size 12 and plain isn’t his type. At all.

The two friends strike a deal to help one another out. They must face a variety of challenges from a psycho ex-girlfriend to a Yorkie with a shoe fetish...and that pesky problem of only having one-fated mate in a lifetime. Will a relationship ruin their friendship…or spark a love neither anticipated?

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Early Review: Trial by Fire by Josephine Angelini

, by Kt Clapsadl

Trial by Fire by Josephine Angelini
The Worldwalker Trilogy #1

Love burns. Worlds collide. Magic reigns.

This world is trying to kill Lily Proctor. Her life-threatening allergies keep her from enjoying many of the experiences that other teenagers take for granted...which is why she is determined to enjoy her first (and perhaps only) high-school party. But Lily's life never goes according to plan, and after a humiliating incident in front of half her graduating class Lily wishes she could just disappear.

Suddenly Lily is in a different Salem - one overrun with horrifying creatures and ruled by powerful women called Crucibles. Strongest and cruellest of all the Crucibles is Lillian . . . Lily's identical other self in this alternate universe. This new version of her world is terrifyingly sensual, and Lily is soon overwhelmed by new experiences.

Lily realizes that what makes her weak at home is exactly what makes her extraordinary in New Salem. It also puts her life in danger. Thrown into a world she doesn't understand, Lily is torn between responsibilities she can't hope to shoulder alone, and a love she never expected.

But how can Lily be the saviour of this world when she is literally her own worst enemy?

Oh my goodness, I loved this book! Once I picked it up, I could not put it down. It's been a while since I've had a series starting book suck me in like this, so I couldn't be happier. I'm a big fan of alternate reality books, and when you add in the magic elements this book was just simply perfect. There was a whole lot going on, but the author did a fantastic job of blending everything together and explaining things in enough detail without going overboard into the info dump territory, leaving me completely sucked into the story.

I absolutely adored Lily. Sure she did grate just a bit on my nerves at the start due to how clueless she was, but that doesn't last long at all. She's thrown into one heck of a mess and it changes her right off. In fact, you almost wouldn't guess that she's the same girl as the one that started the series. While I won't talk specifics because the entire book builds upon itself, so I don't want to spoil anything,  I will say that it really was amazing just how much she grew throughout one book. It didn't matter what was thrown in her path, she pushed through and I loved her for it. There were several other characters that I adored as well, but again to keep from spoiling anything, suffice it to say, the cast of characters are stellar in this one.

My only complaint about TRIAL BY FIRE was that it ended. Well and that the ending was a bit of a cliffhanger. Well cliffhanger isn't quite the right word, more of a massive game changer. I simply cannot wait to get my hands on the next book, it cannot get here fast enough! If you are looking for a fantastic read with a cast of amazing characters, an interesting world, and a plot that sucks you right, look no further than TRIAL BY FIRE. Trust me, you won't be disappointed.

(Received a copy from the publisher)


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Other Reviews:
     Jenna Does Books
     Love is not a triangle
     Musings From An Addicted Reader

Early Review: Visions by Kelley Armstrong

, by Kt Clapsadl

Visions by Kelley Armstrong
Cainsville #2

As #1 New York Times bestselling author Kelley Armstrong’s new Cainsville series continues, Olivia’s power to read omens leads to the discovery of a gruesome crime with troubling connections to her new hometown.

Omens, the first installment in Kelley Armstrong’s exciting new series, introduced Olivia Taylor-Jones, daughter of notorious serial killers, and Gabriel Walsh, the self-serving, morally ambiguous lawyer who became her unlikely ally. Together, they chased down a devious killer and partially cleared her parents of their horrifying crimes.

Their success, however, is short-lived. While Olivia takes refuge in the old, secluded town of Cainsville, Gabriel’s past mistakes have come to light, creating a rift between the pair just when she needs his help the most.

Olivia finds a dead woman in her car, dressed to look like her, but the body vanishes before anyone else sees it. Olivia’s convinced it’s another omen, a sign of impending danger. But then she learns that a troubled young woman went missing just days ago—the same woman Olivia found dead in her car. Someone has gone to great lengths to kill and leave this young woman as a warning. But why? And what role has her new home played in this disturbing murder?

Olivia’s effort to uncover the truth places her in the crosshairs of old and powerful forces, forces that have their own agenda, and closely guarded secrets they don’t want revealed.

I was completely ensnared by the first book in this series, so I was really excited for this installment. It had a slow build, and sure the lack of answers was a bit frustrating, but as I said, I was ensnared, particularly by the characters. I could deal with little to no answers as I loved the characters so much. So, that being said, despite that fierce love of the characters, namely Oliva and Gabriel, I was hoping for a bit more in the answers department this time around. Unfortunately that just didn't seem to pan out the way I would have hoped as while there were answers they only led to more questions and everything was presented in a vague and foreshadowing sense. Even when Oliva figured things out, she would still hide those thoughts from the reader, only adding to my frustration. I realize this could just be a stylistic issue as this is a bit outside of my genre preference, but it still made for a slower read for me. Typically I devour Kelley's books in one single setting, but with VISIONS, I found myself continually distracted by other things. Don't get me wrong, it's a very good book, and the characters and everything is written very well, I'm just not one for being left in the dark so much.

Despite my frustrations with all of the unanswered questions, I found it very easy to slip right into the characters lives. Oliva is so strong and yet more than a little stubborn, which I love her for. It's very clear she's through with letting others control her and all I can say is good for her. Gabriel on the other hand, boy is he a tough nut! He's so damaged and closed off, but in this installment we started to see that shell cracked. I'm still holding out hope for a romantic interest there, but I have a feeling that's still going to take some time as Oliva has to handle him with "kid gloves" in order to accomplish anything personal at all. And of course there's the matter of her current love interest standing in the way, but I have a feeling he's just a companion for now. Nothing against him as he seems to be exactly what she needs right now, but I don't see him lasting with her long term, but again that's just me.

I really hate rating and reviewing VISIONS as only a 3 star after my resounding enjoyment of the first installment, but it really time keeping me hooked. Again this may be a stylistic preference, but readers who prefer more answers rather than portents and hints leaving them largely in the dark may find the same frustrations that I did. I will still be continuing on with this series as I want to see where the characters end of next, but it's probably not going to top my most anticipated list.

(Received a copy from the publisher)


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Previous Books:
     1. Omens

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