Kirsten Reviews: From a Drood to Kill by Simon R. Green

, by Kt Clapsadl

From a Drood to Kill by Simon R. Green
Secret Histories #9

Some call me Shaman Bond, but I was born Eddie Drood, the latest in a long line of folks who chase monsters out of closets for a living to keep humanity safe from all that is dark, demonic, and just downright evil. Needless to say, we’ve made our fair share of enemies over the centuries—and made some questionable bargains.

In exchange for the power to fight the forces of darkness, my parents signed over their souls. They’re not the only ones who’ve made deals with Heaven, Hell, and every otherworldly realm in between, but now the bill’s due for several big names in the supernatural community.

Including my girl, Molly. She, my parents, and other major players have been kidnapped so they’ll pay up—or participate in the “Big Game.” The rules are simple: get from one side of the pocket dimension to the other and kill your competitors. The winner’s debt is paid in full, and the losers get themselves permanently lost, body and soul, forever.

To save my loved ones, I’ve got to become a ringer in this deadly contest that’s undoubtedly rigged by the Powers That Be....

The ninth book in Simon R. Green’s Secret Histories series finds Eddie Drood, aka Shaman Drood, one of a family that works to keep humanity safe from darkness, demons, and anything evil. In this instance, Eddie has found himself entangled in a “big game” which consists of attempting to journey from one side of a pocket dimension to another by means of killing one’s opponents.

His object is to rescue his kidnapped girlfriend, Molly, which, considering her previous adventures takes a little convincing as she can certainly take care of herself. However, there is the matter of a debt, and no one, not even Drood and Molly can escape such consequences forever, and if Eddie cannot clear her debt, both of them will lose their bodies and souls. One huge hurdle is the fact that Eddie’s parents are also competitors in this contest, and there are no free passes in this game.

As with other books in the series, there is little need to have read the previous books in the series, and there are a number of long-standing questions which are finally answered. As always, new characters and gadgets are introduced, and Eddie is both good at his job and extremely destructive, which are hallmarks of the Drood family, something that comes into play.

As a whole the structure of the book is similar to all the others, and will be predictable, even if the specifics are not the same, and if a reader is looking for something entirely new they will need to try another book, but this series is a comfortable fantasy Bond-esque adventure.
(Received a copy from the publisher)


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Other Reviews:
     That's What I'm Talking About

Previous Books:
     1. The Man With the Golden Torc
     2. Daemons Are Forever
     3. The Spy Who Haunted Me
     4. From Hell With Love
     5. For Heaven's Eyes Only
     6. Live and Let Drood
     7. Casino Infernale
     8. Property of a Lady Faire

Early Review: Archangel's Heart by Nalini Singh

, by Kt Clapsadl

Archangel's Heart by Nalini Singh
Guild Hunter #9

One of the most vicious archangels in the world has disappeared. No one knows if Lijuan is dead or has chosen to Sleep the long sleep of an immortal. But with her lands falling into chaos under a rising tide of vampiric bloodlust, a mysterious and ancient order of angels known as the Luminata calls the entire Cadre together to discuss the fate of her territory.

Accompanying her archangelic lover Raphael to the Luminata compound, guild hunter-turned-angel Elena senses that all is not as it seems. Secrets echo from within the stone walls of the compound, and the deeper Elena goes, the uglier the darkness. But neither Raphael nor Elena is ready for the brutal truths hidden within—truths that will change everything Elena thinks she knows about who she is…

Nothing will ever be the same again.

I absolutely adored this book. I noticed a bunch of early chatter when this book was announed, complaining that it was another Elena and Raphael book, but I for one couldn't be happier returning to my favorite couple as the focus. There's just something about the two of them that's so enthralling. Some may say continually returning to the same couple feels like old hat, but Nalini Singh has a magical way of keeping everything completely fresh. I enjoyed Elena and Raphael just as much as I did in the first book, if not even more now. Digging deeper into Elena's heritage really enriched her story for me. Add that to the Lijuan and the Luminata plots, and this was one jam packed read both in action and emotional aspects.

Speaking of emotion, I have to admit that Aodhan about stole the show for me. He's made so many leaps and bounds in his recovery and I'm thoroughly enjoying watching his journey. Things happen in ARCHANGEL'S HEART that make him realize some things, and bring out a glimpse of the man he used to be. I feel like this book was a serious turning point for him and it makes me more than excited to see where things lead next. In fact, this entire book felt like a turning point for the future to be honest. There's a lot of long running questions and resolutions that we finally get the outcome to. That being said, not a single resolution felt like they were drawing the story or series to a close, but only further enriching the magnificent depth of the world and characters. It truly was impressive.

I cannot recommend this book, or this series any higher. Nalini Singh's writing is simply magical, and any fan of the series should run out and buy this on immediately. A guaranteed solid block of epic entertainment, ARCHANGEL'S HEART is not to be missed. 

(Received a copy from the publisher)


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Previous Books:
     1. Angels' Blood
     2. Archangel's Kiss
     3. Archangel's Consort
     4. Archangel's Blade
     5. Archangel's Storm
     6. Archangel's Legion
     7. Archangel's Shadows
     8. Archangel's Enigma

Review: Otherworld Chills by Kelley Armstrong

, by Kt Clapsadl

Otherworld Chills by Kelley Armstrong
Otherworld Stories Collection

Embrace the obscure. In the final installment of the Otherworld anthology series, New York Times bestselling author Kelley Armstrong once again opens the gates to the Otherworld. This collection of rare and never-before-published novellas and short stories brings the clever wit, dark twists, and intense suspense Otherworld readers have come to expect. Favorite characters return, secrets are revealed, and several important storylines reach their conclusions.

While almost all of these stories had been published previously, I've only read a few of them. So this was largely an enjoyable fresh read for me.

Brazen - I love Nick Sorrentino, so this one was a super fun read. Nick really steps up in this one, and throws off a lot of his playboy, boy toy exterior ways. I really enjoyed seeing the start of his relationship with Vanessa as well. Now to have a full length novel with the two of them... Well that would be perfect.

Chaotic - I'd read this one before, but it was just as fun the second time around. Seeing Karl and Hope meet and all the hijinx involved was a ton of fun.

Amityville Horrible - I have to admit this one wasn't quite as enjoyable as the rest. I felt a good bit of deja-vu while reading it despite never having actually read it. It just didn't bring anything fresh to Jeremy and Jaime's relationship or story in my opinion.

Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word - This one was super quick and just mediocre for me. Cassandra never was my favorite character, so it's not surprising it wasn't my favorite of the bunch.

Off-duty Angel - This was another I read, but Eve and Kristoff are another of my favorites, so I really enjoyed their adventure.

The Puppy Plan - I loved, loved, loved this one. In fact, Logan now has officially moved to my top favorite character of the entire series. There's just something so incredible about this little guy and I hope we get more stories from him (and Kate, Clay, & Elena) just so we can see the fine man he'll grow into.

Baby Boom - This one was the only newly written story of the bunch and it was a game changer. It's funny to think of something changing the game well after a series has ended, but this one sure did. Well worth the read to see the Cabel brew-ha-ha crazy. 

(Received a copy from the publisher)


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Other Reviews:
     Smexy Books
     Inside of a Dog
     Rabid Reads

Previous Books:
     1. Bitten
     2. Stolen
     3. Dime Store Magic
     4. Industrial Magic
     5. Haunted 
     6. Broken
     7. No Humans Involved
     8. Personal Demon
     9. Living With the Dead
     10. Frostbitten
     11. Waking the Witch
     12. Spell Bound
     13. Thirteen

Kirsten Reviews: The Cake House by Latifah Salom

, by Kt Clapsadl

The Cake House by Latifah Salom

Part mystery, part compelling coming-of-age tale, The Cake House is a riveting debut novel that re-imagines the classic story of Hamlet amidst the hills of suburban Los Angeles.

Rosaura Douglas's father shot himself when her mother left him . . . or at least that's the story everyone is telling. Now her mother has remarried and Rosie is trapped in a new home she calls The Cake House, a garish pink edifice that's a far cry from the cramped apartment where she grew up. It's also the house where her father died—a fact that everyone else who lives there, including her mother, Dahlia, and her mysteriously wealthy stepfather, Claude, want to forget.

Soon, however, her father's ghost begins to appear; first as a momentary reflection in a window, then in the dark of night, and finally, in the lush garden behind the house where Rosie spends most of her days. After he warns her that Claude is not to be trusted, Rosie begins to notice cracks in her new family's carefully constructed facade. Dahlia is clearly uncomfortable in her marriage; her stepbrother, Alex, is friendly one second, distant the next, and haunted by troubles of his own; and Claude's business is drawing questions from the police. And as the ghost becomes increasingly violent--and the secrets of The Cake House and her family’s past come to light--Rosie must finally face the truth behind the losses and lies that have torn her life apart.

The Cake House by Latifah Salom is the story of a family disintegrating, a mystery, and a ghost that only its teenage protagonist Rosaura Douglas can see.

According to her mother, stepfather and the police, Rosaura's father shot himself when her mother left him. That leaves her trapped in a new house, The Cake House, as she calls it, a pink building that's nothing like the tiny apartment where she spent her childhood. Suddenly there is plenty of money, her step father buys her mother all sorts of gifts, and she is told that things will be different now. Everyone else, from her mother Dahlia to her stepfather Claude would just as soon forget all about Rosaura's father's death, but she can't, because his ghost is haunting her, and he warns Claude cannot be trusted.

Soon Rosaura notices that things are not as perfect as Claude would like them to think, his relationship with his son Alex is tense, there are strange phone calls that nobody will explain, and Claude always has money, but no apparent job. As Rosaura deals with her own loss, she has to reconcile her family's history with their current trajectory and finds that a ghost is far from the most frightening specter she faces.

This debut will be of interest to anyone looking for a coming of age novel that is unafraid to delve into family dysfunction, greed, and the ways tragedy can linger, whether or not readers believe in ghosts.
(Received a copy from the publisher)


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Other Reviews:
     Coffee Time Romance
     Book Addiction

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