Early Review: Snared by Jennifer Estep

, by Kt Clapsadl

Snared by Jennifer Estep
Elemental Assassin #16

If you don’t know Gin “the Spider” Blanco, you don’t know dangerous female heroines.

Irony 101—The Spider herself snared in someone else’s web…

Another week, another few clues trickling in about the Circle, the mysterious group that supposedly runs the city’s underworld. Gathering intel on my hidden enemies is a painstaking process, but a more immediate mystery has popped up on my radar: a missing girl.

My search for the girl begins on the mean streets of Ashland, but with all the killers and crooks in this city, I’m not holding out much hope that she’s still alive.

A series of clues leads me down an increasingly dark, dangerous path, and I realize that the missing girl is really just the first thread in this web of evil. As an assassin, I’m used to facing down the worst of the worst, but nothing prepares me for this new, terrifying enemy—one who strikes from the shadows and is determined to make me the next victim.

There is no better word to describe my feelings for this series then "amazed." It is simply amazing how Jennifer Estep is able to up the stakes with each new installment without things ever once feeling stale or too over the top. Each new "big bad" is worse than the previous, and fully unique. It's truly incredible to be honest to have 16 books in a series and being just as excited upon finishing as I was with the first book. This time around, the danger hits closer to home than it has sometimes in the past with Gin herself under the most threat by the end. While it was an awful turn of events, it did show a bit more vulnerable side to her, keeping that all so important realism to her character. You just can't go through everything she throughout this entire series and always come up on top and unscathed. So I really enjoyed the added depth it brought to the series with her being at full risk this time around.

What better praise can I say other than sixteen books in and I still want more? I hope there are many more Gin Blanco books to come in the future, and I can't wait to see what's next. Fans of the series will be more than pleased with this latest installment in this fantastic and action packed series!

(Received a copy from the publisher)


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Other Reviews:
     That's What I'm Talking About
     Floating Leaves
     The Linseyverse

Previous Books:
     1. Spider's Bite
     2. Web of Lies
     3. Venom
     4. Tangled Threads
     5. Spider's Revenge
     6. By a Thread
     7. Widow's Web
     8. Deadly Sting
     9. Heart of Venom
     10. The Spider
     11. Poison Promise
     12. Black Widow
     13. Spider's Trap
     14. Bitter Bite
     15. Unraveled

Early Review: Blade Bound by Chloe Neill

, by Kt Clapsadl

Blade Bound by Chloe Neill
Chicagoland Vampires #13

The thrilling final installment of Chloe Neill’s New York Times bestselling urban fantasy series sees a sinister sorcery advancing across Chicago, and it may usher in the fall of Cadogan House…

Since the night of her brutal attack and unwilling transformation to vampire, Merit’s stood as Sentinel and protector of Chicago’s Cadogan House. She's saved the Windy City from the forces of darkness time and again with her liege and lover, Ethan Sullivan, by her side.

When the House is infiltrated and Merit is attacked by a vampire seemingly under the sway of dark magic, Merit and Ethan realize the danger is closer than they could have ever imagined. As a malign sorcery spreads throughout the city, Merit must go to war against supernatural powers beyond her comprehension. It’s her last chance to save everything—and everyone—she loves.

Everything about BLADE BOUND felt like a satisfying progression towards closure. From the humans' animosity towards the supernaturals of Chicago, to Ethan and Merit's relationship, old prophecies, as well as closure of past threats. I was hooked from the first page until the very last word. Trust me when I say this is one action packed, emotional, and more than satisfying read. 

We finally get the much anticipated wedding that has been building since the very first page of this series. Sure, Merit and Ethan started out as all but enemies, but the writing was on the wall...and after 13 books I can say that it's FINALLY time. Let me just say it was everything I had hoped for and suited the characters and the vampires well. Of course, in true Chicagoland style, there's plenty of chaos and danger abound in-between all the wedding happiness, and it made for an excellent balance.

BLADE BOUND was one heck of a series ending book. While I'm sad to see this much loved come to a close, I couldn't have asked for a better send off. Chicagoland fans will absolutely love BLADE BOUND. Bravo Ms. Neill, Bravo!

(Received a copy from the publisher)


Order Links:

Other Reviews:
     SnoopyDoo's Book Review
     Beauty and the Beastly Books
     Fantasy Raiders

Previous Books:
     1. Some Girls Bite
     2. Friday Night Bites
     3. Twice Bitten
     4. Hard Bitten
     5. Drink Deep
     6. Biting Cold
     7. House Rules
     8. Biting Bad
     9. Wild Things
     10. Blood Games
     10.5. Lucky Break
     11. Dark Debt
     12. Midnight Marked
     12.5. Phantom Kiss

Review: Hunted by Meagan Spooner

, by Kt Clapsadl

Hunted by Meagan Spooner

Beauty knows the Beast’s forest in her bones—and in her blood. Though she grew up with the city’s highest aristocrats, far from her father’s old lodge, she knows that the forest holds secrets and that her father is the only hunter who’s ever come close to discovering them.

So when her father loses his fortune and moves Yeva and her sisters back to the outskirts of town, Yeva is secretly relieved. Out in the wilderness, there’s no pressure to make idle chatter with vapid baronessas…or to submit to marrying a wealthy gentleman. But Yeva’s father’s misfortune may have cost him his mind, and when he goes missing in the woods, Yeva sets her sights on one prey: the creature he’d been obsessively tracking just before his disappearance.

Deaf to her sisters’ protests, Yeva hunts this strange Beast back into his own territory—a cursed valley, a ruined castle, and a world of creatures that Yeva’s only heard about in fairy tales. A world that can bring her ruin or salvation. Who will survive: the Beauty, or the Beast?

Beauty and the Beast has always been one of my favorite fairy tales, so I knew HUNTED would be right up my alley. The author took this much loved familiar tale and gave it a fresh spin that I absolutely loved. I especially enjoyed the matchup of the Beauty lore along with the Firebird tale. It just gave the story something extra, and a new feel. Another difference, while Beauty is a rather strong heroine in the original story, in this version she's a fully kick butt version. She's firece and exactly my kind of heroine.

There was much less of a romance feel in HUNTED, which despite my normal love for all things romance, really worked for me. While there definitely a spark of attraction, the overall feel was more centered around the book's main feeling of wanting something more. And Beauty and the Beast both felt this sense in one another which led to a sort of kinship budding into more. Sure there's still a bit of Stockholm syndrome with her, but it's handled very well in my opinion.

All in all, I really enjoyed this fabulous retelling. HUNTED kept me captivated from the first page, and I highly recommend it!

(Received a copy from the publisher)


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Other Reviews:
     Between Dreams andd Reality
     Du Livre
     A Page with a View

Review: Immortal Unchained by Lynsay Sands

, by Kt Clapsadl

Immortal Unchained by Lynsay Sands
Argeneau #25

Ever since Domitian Argenis recognized Sarita as his life mate, he’s been waiting for the perfect moment to claim her. Those fantasies did not include him being chained to a table in a secret lab or both of them being held hostage by a mad scientist. Somehow, they have to escape…

Sarita has seen some crazy things as a cop, but nothing to rival Domitian. A vampire? Seriously? But his healing ability, incredible powers, and their mind-blowing physical connection—none of it should be possible, yet her body knows differently. Now, not only do they have to save each other, but other innocent lives are at stake. Failure is not an option, for Sarita intends that Domitian show her exactly what an eternity of pleasure feels like…

I really enjoyed reading IMMORTAL UNCHAINED. Books with the fated mates trope are always a favorite of mine, and this spun things up a bit. Domitian met his destined mate, Sarita when she was much too young for him, and has been quietly keeping tabs on her since. Then despite his instincts, he didn't even jump to "claim" her the moment she became of age, but still waited until she had time to live her life first. Of course the whole fate thing always is a bit tricky and he meets her earlier than he expected in the most unfortunate way, bringing in a second trope of forced proximity. And boy did that bring an interesting twist. Sarita gets one heck of a crash course on the Immortals, and I was amazed at how well this firecracker took everything. Her sassiness made for the perfect compliment to Domitian and boy did she give him a run for his money. Add in all the danger and craziness of the plot, and you have a heck of a read.

What better endorsement can I give this book other than to simply say it's the 25th book in the series and I am still completely hooked. Every book is full of romantic fun with a lot of humor, a bit of sass, and always some danger to spice things up, and IMMORTAL UNCHAINED was no exception. Definitely a favorite in the Paranormal Romance genre, the Argeneau series, is not to be missed!

(Received a copy from the publisher)


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Other Reviews:
     All Things Urban Fantasy
     Tome Tender
     Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews

Previous Books:
     1. A Quick Bite
     2. Love Bites
     3. Single White Vampire
     4. Tall, Dark, & Hungry
     5. A Bite to Remember
     6. Bite Me If You Can
     7. The Accidental Vampire
     8. Vampires Are Forever
     9. Vampire, Interrupted
    10. The Rouge Hunter
    11. The Immortal Hunter
    12. The Renegade Hunter
    13. Born to Bite
    14. Hungry for You
    15. The Reluctant Vampire
    16. Under a Vampire Moon
    17. The Lady is a Vamp
    18. Immortal Ever After
    19. One Lucky Vampire
    20. Vampire Most Wanted
    21. The Immortal Who Loved Me
    22. About a Vampire
    23. Runaway Vampire
    24. Immortal Nights

Review: Lifeblood by Gena Showalter

, by Kt Clapsadl

Lifeblood by Gena Showalter
Everlife #2

My Firstlife is over, but my Everlife is only now beginning.

With her last living breath, Tenley "Ten" Lockwood made her choice and picked her realm in the Everlife. Now, as the war between Troika and Myriad rages, she must face the consequences.

Because Ten possesses a rare supernatural ability to absorb and share light, the Powers That Be have the highest expectations for her future—and the enemy wants her neutralized. Fighting to save her Secondlife, she must learn about her realm from the ground up while launching her first mission: convincing a select group of humans to join her side before they die. No pressure, right?

But Ten's competition is Killian, the boy she can't forget—the one who gave up everything for her happiness. He has only one shot at redemption: beating Ten at a game she's never even played. As their throw-downs heat up, so do their undeniable feelings, and soon, Ten will have to make another choice. Love…or victory.

I have to admit while I still really enjoy the concept behind this series, Ten's character made this a struggle for me. To be honest, Ten bothered me in the first book as well, but I chalked it up to being a new series and all the growing pains involved with that. I had hoped since she finally made her big decision by the end of the last book, she'd be less wishy-washy. Unfortunately, I think she was actually worse in this book now that she's chosen a side, but her romantic interest is on the opposite warring side. I can't count the number of times I growled in frustration at her actions and choices. It just made it hard to fully enjoy the book when I spent most of the time annoyed at the main character.

That being said, I did find myself looking past those main character frustrations and enjoying the rest of the characters as well as the very fascinating world. I feel like I had a better grip of the various elements at play this time. Sure it's at its core a story about good vs evil, but it's told in an incredibly interesting way, with no clear answers to who is really good and who is really bad. Both sides had their pluses and minus, with Troika admittedly seeming more the *good* side. The dynamic between humans and the two afterlife warring sides are incredibly fascinating and should only get more so as things progress.

Main character woes aside, LIFEBLOOD was an intriguing read that added new depth to this rich series that I overall enjoyed. It will be great to see how things turn out next!

(Received a copy from the publisher)


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Other Reviews:
     (un)Convntional Book Views
     Shell's Stories
     Under the Covers Book Blog

Previous Books:
     1. Firstlife

Review: Etched in Bone by Anne Bishop

, by Kt Clapsadl

Etched in Bone by Anne Bishop
The Others #5

After a human uprising was brutally put down by the Elders—a primitive and lethal form of the Others—the few cities left under human control are far-flung. And the people within them now know to fear the no-man’s-land beyond their borders—and the darkness…

As some communities struggle to rebuild, Lakeside Courtyard has emerged relatively unscathed, though Simon Wolfgard, its wolf shifter leader, and blood prophet Meg Corbyn must work with the human pack to maintain the fragile peace. But all their efforts are threatened when Lieutenant Montgomery’s shady brother arrives, looking for a free ride and easy pickings.

With the humans on guard against one of their own, tensions rise, drawing the attention of the Elders, who are curious about the effect such an insignificant predator can have on a pack. But Meg knows the dangers, for she has seen in the cards how it will all end—with her standing beside a grave.

ETCHED IN BONE was an utter treat. I have to admit while all the happenings in previous books centering around the major changes in the world were interesting and gripping, I missed the lesser focus on the Courtyard and Meg/Simon. They've had a very slow burn building up in a romance and I really appreciate how it was all woven together in ETCHED IN BONE. The slower pacing allowed for much more character focus this time around and I thoroughly enjoyed it! Don't get me wrong, there's no massive movement in said romance department, but enough that it satisfied my inner romantic, while still staying true to the characters. Very well done!

The first half of this book felt like the aftermath of a storm, a storm in the name of claw and teeth. So while the first half doesn't have much action, it paves the way for how everyone is going to adjust to the new ways, and it was enjoyable to watch them all trying and figure things out. Even more interesting, we get a more personal look into the claws and teeth. You can imagine how well their direct interaction with the courtyard turned out, leading to both some very tense moments and also strangely hilarious ones as well. 

That being said, while the first half or so of the book was about new beginnings, the second half took off with a massive bang. Things literally hit the fan, and I couldn't turn the pages fast enough. I found the balance between the various pacings to be incredibly well done, with just the right amount of character focus, yet also adding in intense plot points to thrill. 

All in all this was a very good somewhat ending to a much loved series. The author has announced she'll be back to this world in the future. But for now, I'm more than satisfied with how everything played out. It was a perfectly fitting goodbye, and I know I'll be back to re-read this series again!

(Received a copy from the publisher)


Order Links:

Other Reviews:
     Between Dreams and Reality
     My Guilty Obsession
     Just Read

Previous Books:
     1. Written in Red
     2. Murder of Crows
     3. Vision in Silver
     4. Marked in Flesh

Early Review: Silence Fallen by Patricia Briggs

, by Kt Clapsadl

Silence Fallen by Patricia Briggs
Mercy Thompson #10

In the #1 New York Times bestselling Mercy Thompson novels, the coyote shapeshifter has found her voice in the werewolf pack. But when Mercy's bond with the pack and her mate is broken, she'll learn what it truly means to be alone...

Attacked and abducted in her home territory, Mercy finds herself in the clutches of the most powerful vampire in the world, taken as a weapon to use against alpha werewolf Adam and the ruler of the Tri-Cities vampires. In coyote form, Mercy escapes only to find herself without money, without clothing, and alone in the heart of Europe...

Unable to contact Adam and the rest of the pack, Mercy has allies to find and enemies to fight, and she needs to figure out which is which. Ancient powers stir, and Mercy must be her agile best to avoid causing a war between vampires and werewolves, and between werewolves and werewolves. And in the heart of the ancient city of Prague, old ghosts rise...

I had a lot of fun while reading SILENCE FALLEN. The author gives fair warning at the start to pay attention to Mercy’s notes at the start of the chapters, and that the timeline would be less than linear. This back and forth in the timeline made the book even more interesting in my opinion. Rather than detracting from the story, it added an interesting element to see how it all panned out. Very fun!

I’ll keep things vague to avoid spoilers, but I have to talk about my absolute favorite part of this book. There’s one hell of a twist near the end of MERCY BOOK that is simply utter perfection. I was thoroughly enjoying every moment while reading, especially all of Mercy’s penchant for trouble, but once we got to the twist part, I literally cheered out loud, disturbing my husband in his sleep in the wee hours of the morning. It just answered a long running question/issue for me with the series, and I couldn’t adore the author possibly any more for her choice in this matter. In fact, this twist was so incredible that as soon as I finished the book, I already made plans to start a re-read the next evening in order to catch all the clues that had been leading up to that incredible twist. If it says anything about the quality of this book, it was even better the second time.

I adore each and every Mercy book, but this one? It simply blew it out of the park for me. This book proves once and for all the Mercy series is by far one of the best there is. Run, do not walk, and get this book immediately!

(Received a copy from the publisher)


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Other Reviews:
     Books Over Coffee
     Just Read
     SnoopyDoo's Book Review

Previous Books:
     1. Moon Called
     2. Blood Bound
     3. Iron Kissed
     4. Bone Crossed
     5. Silver Borne
     6. River Marked
     7. Frost Burned
     8. Night Broken
     9. Fire Touched

Release Day Review: The Wish Granter by C.J. Redwine

, by Kt Clapsadl

The Wish Granter by C.J. Redwine
Ravenspire #2

An epic, romantic, and action-packed fantasy inspired by the tale of Rumpelstiltskin, about a bastard princess who must take on an evil fae to save her brother’s soul, from C. J. Redwine, the New York Times bestselling author of The Shadow Queen. Perfect for fans of Graceling and the Lunar Chronicles.

The world has turned upside down for Thad and Ari Glavan, the bastard twins of SĂșndraille’s king. Their mother was murdered. The royal family died mysteriously. And now Thad sits on the throne of a kingdom whose streets are suddenly overrun with violence he can’t stop.

Growing up ignored by the nobility, Ari never wanted to be a proper princess. And when Thad suddenly starts training Ari to take his place, she realizes that her brother’s ascension to the throne wasn’t fate. It was the work of a Wish Granter named Alistair Teague who tricked Thad into wishing away both the safety of his people and his soul in exchange for the crown.

So Ari recruits the help of Thad’s enigmatic new weapons master, Sebastian Vaughn, to teach her how to fight Teague. With secret ties to Teague’s criminal empire, Sebastian might just hold the key to discovering Alistair’s weaknesses, saving Ari’s brother—and herself.

But Teague is ruthless and more than ready to destroy anyone who dares stand in his way—and now he has his sights set on the princess. And if Ari can’t outwit him, she’ll lose Sebastian, her brother…and her soul.

I really enjoyed THE WISH GRANTER! Honestly it was a bit of a surprise for me as Rumplestiltskin never really was my favorite fairy tale, but the author has won me over with this retelling. I was fully hooked from page one until the very end. Not one moment felt slow or lagging, which is rather impressive as it's decent sized book. Sure it's not action, action, action the entire time, but there's plenty of time spent building the characters and the story. 

I especially enjoyed seeing how much Ari grew from the start until the end. In the beginning she's uncomfortable in her newfound princess skin, and it really shows. But as time goes on, while she'll never be a traditional princess (NOT a bad thing) she does truly start to find her way. Navigating court politics is tricky enough, without even adding in their troubles with the Wish Granter. Speaking of character growth, Sebastian, the love interest grew an incredible amount as well. He truly was rather admirable, and honestly the perfect match for the new found princess.

All in all, THE WISH GRANTER was a very enjoyable retelling, that kept me hooked from the start. C.J. Redwine is two for two in this fantastic series, and I can't wait to see what fairy tale she'll tackle next!

(Received a copy from the publisher)


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Other Reviews:
     The Eater of Books!
     Quite the Novel Idea

Previous Books:
     1. The Shadow Queen

Kirsten Reviews: Feedback by Mira Grant

, by Kt Clapsadl

Feedback by Mira Grant
Newsflesh #4

FEEDBACK is a full-length Newsflesh novel which overlaps the events of New York Times bestseller Mira Grant's classic Feed and follows a group of reporters covering the Democratic side of the Presidential campaign.

There are two sides to every story...

Mira Grant creates a chilling portrait of an America paralyzed with fear. No street is safe and entire swaths of the country have been abandoned. And only the brave, the determined, or the very stupid, venture out into the wild.

Step inside a world a half-step from our own in this novel of geeks, zombies, politics and social media.

Feedback by Mira Grant, aka Seanan McGuire is the fourth book in the Newsflesh series and picks up the story with an entirely new cast of characters.This isn’t the place for new readers of the series to start, as there are spoilers for other books, but it does connect with previous events, from a fresh perspective.

Following the Rising, there’s been a shift in journalism, that being, it’s now done through blogging. Aislinn, Audrey, Benjamin, and Matt are housemates who all happen to be bloggers. They cover different industries, from makeup to news and fiction. Events start to move quickly when they’re picked to cover the campaign of Susan Kilburn, the blue pantsuit-wearing Democratic presidential candidate. Covering the Republican nominee are the Masons, who readers will remember from Feed.

Of course, no presidential campaign has ever run smoothly, and a zombie outbreak is the kind of disruption that makes more than a few headlines. On top of that, there’s a bigger conspiracy at work, and the bloggers soon find themselves targeted for uncovering and telling the truth.

For anyone who wants to be up to date on the series and the world, start at the beginning of the series, but anyone who doesn’t mind potential spoilers can pick it up here and enjoy a story full of zombies, journalism, and an interesting cast of characters trying to report the news and stay alive.

(Received a copy from the publisher)


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Other Reviews:
     All Things Urban Fantasy
     Hot Listens
     Brad K. Horner

Previous Books:
     1. Feed
     2. Deadline
     3. Blackout

Early Review: The Turn by Kim Harrison

, by Kt Clapsadl

Early Review: The Turn by Kim Harrison
The Hollows #0.1

Can science save us when all else fails?

Trisk and her hated rival, Kalamack, have the same goal: save their species from extinction.
Death comes in the guise of hope when a genetically modified tomato created to feed the world combines with the government's new tactical virus, giving it an unexpected host and a mode of transport. Plague takes the world, giving the paranormal species an uncomfortable choice to stay hidden and allow humanity to die, or to show themselves in a bid to save them.

Under accusations of scientific misconduct, Trisk and Kal flee across a plague torn United States to convince leaders of the major paranormal species to save their supposedly weaker kin, but not everyone thinks humanity should be saved.

Kal surreptitiously works against her as Trisk fights the prejudices of two societies to prove that not only does humanity have something to offer, but that long-accepted beliefs against women, dark magic, and humanity itself can turn to understanding; that when people are at their worst that the best show their true strength, and that love can hold the world together as a new balance is found.

Oh. My. Goodness. THE TURN was so incredibly good, I'm going to have a very hard time writing this review without overly gushing like an utter fan girl. This book is everything I've been missing without my latest hollows fix. I have to admit I wasn't sure a prequel could live up to the epicness of Rachel, Ivy, Jenks, and Trent, but oh it does. Trisk is fierce and incredibly determined, but an outcast setting her up to be the obvious favorite, and Kal is a privileged slimeball to say the least making me loathe him at times. However, what made this a truly standout read is that neither character fits fully into those good/bad labels. There's just so much more to either of them, but I won't spoil things, just suffice it to say there's MUCH more than first meets the eye with both of them.

Now onto the plot, which while I knew what the outcome of THE TURN would be, the journey was a pleasant surprise every step of the way. I really enjoyed seeing how everything unfolded and honestly now I want to go back and re-read the entire series to see if some of the details in this book were hinted at in the original books. It definitely won't be a hardship. :)

I have searched everywhere to see if this prequel is a standalone, or the start of a new early Hollow series, but I can't find any info. I truly hope it's the latter because this book was utterly fantastic and I want so much more. Simply put, THE TURN was everything I had hoped for, just an utter treat. Fans of the Hollows should have this on their auto buy list pronto!

(Received a copy from the publisher)


Order Links:

Other Reviews:
     Between Dreams and Reality
     Tome Tender
     Hidden in Pages

Previous Books:
     1. Dead Witch Walking
     2. The Good, the Bad, and the Undead
     3. Every Which Way But Dead
     4. A Fistful of Charms
     5. For a Few Demons More
     6. The Outlaw Demon Wails
     7. White Witch, Black Curse
     8. Back Magic Sanction
     9. Pale Demon
     10. A Perfect Blood
     11. Ever After
     12. The Undead Pool
     13. The Witch with No Name

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