*I received a copy of this novel from Badass Marketing in exchange for an honest review.
Bodies wash up on the Silver City beach all the time, but this one is different. Detective Gerry Meyers is once again hot on the case with the help of medical examiner Dr. Ray Hunter and anthropologist Dr. Kinsey DanAllart. For this new case to be solved, they will need to uncover the dangerous secrets that led to the deaths at a popular new nightclub, Exotica. Will they deduce a logical explanation for the murders? Or will they uncover a darker and deeper conspiracy hiding the truth about what is lurking on the streets of the Silver City?
The hints and teases of a supernatural conspiracy hiding within the pages of this series is one episode away from making me insane with the thirst (haha) for knowledge and information about what the heck is going on! I must know how all of these weird happenings are all threaded together before I lose my mind. Whilst I still adore the three main characters, the absolutely stubborn-headed Gerry is going to be the death of me, just admit that there is something not normal going on ok, thanks. The writing is my favourite part of this series because it is always so vivid in detail in my mind, it really makes me feel like I am the director of it. I am really starting to feel the anticipation of a fantastic and awesome supernatural reveal, but it really needs to hurry up because my mind can't handle the jittery excitement!
In a world at war, a slave girl's lethal curse could become one kingdom's weapon of salvation, if the curse-and the girl-can be controlled. As a slave in the war-weary kingdom of Faelen, seventeen-year-old Nym isn't merely devoid of rights, her Elemental kind are only born male and are always killed at birth. She shouldn't even exist. Standing on the auction block and awaiting her fifteenth sell, Nym's hood is removed, revealing the pure white hair of an Elemental. Whilst the commoners fear her, Nym is snatched up by a court adviser and given a choice: be trained as the weapon Faelen needs to win the war, or be killed. Choosing the former, Nym is unleashed in a new world of politics, bizarre parties and rumours of an evil more sinister than she is prepared to fight. But what if she doesn't want to be the weapon they have all been hoping for? Set in a beautifully eclectic world of suspicion, mysterious powers and monsters, Storm Siren is a story of power. And whoever controls this power will win.
When I started this book I was expecting knights, horse-drawn carriages and over-the-top balls. What I got was an almost steampunk version of what I was expecting. The kingdom of Faelen is filled with man-eating war horses, flying ships and glamorous parties that even whilst reading seemed crazily eccentric. But all of these things, though strange, just kept drawing me more and more into this world of intrigue, politics, powers and monsters. Nym was a great main character who carried so much guilt over the horrific things she had done with her unpredictable power, but she was strong in that she was one of the most selfless characters I have read about. Whilst the story didn't suck me in straight away, by the end of it I realised that I didn't want it to end (cliffhangers are going to be the death of me). Storm Siren is a beautifully written story and a fantastical one at that.
Rating: 3.5/5 Titans
"I think some have to fight harder to choose good over evil because the evil's got it out for them. And maybe it's because those're the ones evil knows will become the strongest warriors."
Evil is dominating the constant battle-ground of good verse evil and is leaving mankind in destruction upon its wake. But with God's intervention, a creature is created that is destined to conquer and destroy the growing numbers of the Fallen Archangel's army. He gives earth Hellhounds to help fight back and reclaim their hope and freedom. Kasadya Levourne is one of these same Hellhounds who fights against evil to protect us. With each step she faces trials and pain, and yet she has a talent for giving it back ten-fold. Stubborn and courages, she begins to make her mark in the Fallen world and starts a battle that none can escape. Will evil prevail? Or will Kas and her Fallen friends succeed in protecting us against the sins and temptations that it brings?
Hellhounds have made a new name for themselves with this story. Forget the Greek Cerberus who guards the entrance to Hades and the slavering black dogs that we have come to proclaim them as, these Hellhounds are now God-sent creatures of retribution and a whole lot of smiting. The world of the Fallen and the Demons they battle in order to reclaim their place in Heaven after Lucifer's betrayal is such a fantastically imaginative story that I fell in love with the book half-way through its introduction. The characters are all amazingly different and yet all strong-willed and brave, especially the protagonist Kas, who, after the events of the book, went through a very realistic character development and made her even more of a likeable character than before. A definite must-read for all urban fantasy fans, Hellhound Awakened will leave you on the edge of your seat and begging for more.
Rating: 4/5 Titans
Other Books in the 'Kasadya' Series
Hellhound Awakened Hellhound Twisted Hellhound Born Hellhound Defined
Alyxandria is not your typical white-winged angel, in fact, you are much more likely to find her slicing into demons with her blades rather than plucking on harp strings. She trains harder than any other warrior angel in order to prove that she is nothing like the parents who abandoned her to become rogues, but after a series of confusing visions, Alyx saves Israel, a mysterious mortal who knows way too much than he should. After being selected as his Guardian, Alyx begins to unravel malicious plans that will change everything. An Elder's dark intent, a scattered key to unlock hell and a prophecy that warns of the greatest war this earth will ever know. Alyx's problems are multiplying and the war for earth is just beginning.
Well then, forget everything you know about angels because 'Angelfire' will blow all of your misconceptions out of the water, because these angels are all about swords, magic and blood. Peach has seemed to combine the wings of heaven with all of the magic that comes from being a witch and has produced a completely different and slightly terrifying way of writing about angels, and this for me, was the best part of the book because I love when author's use their own imagination rather than borrowing off of others. As the main protagonist Alyx was such a great character because she was so emotionally complex and I can hardly ever go past a heroin who uses a sword to smash misogyny several layers into the ground. Peach's world is filled with betrayals, mysteries, lies and tyranny, and I can't wait to find out where they will lead Alyx and Israel in the next book.
Rating: 3.5/5 Other Book in the 'Dark Angel' Series Angelfire Angelstone Angelsong Angelblood
*I received a copy of this novel from Badass Marketing in exchange for an honest review
Something unnatural is lurking within the shadows of Silver City, and when transsexual starlet Aisling is murdered, it is up to Detective Geraldine (Gerri) Meyers to find the culprit responsible for the perceived hate crime. But with the help of medical examiner Dr. Rachel (Ray) Hunter, Gerri realises that this is no ordinary murder and calls in over-eager anthropologist Dr. Kinsey DanAllart who, with her expertise in symbology, admits that there may be something 'weird' making an appearance within the city. As the three friends race to find the answers to the dancer's death, one thing is made absolutely apparent-something isn't right within their new hometown, and someone is doing everything they can to make sure the truth doesn't come out.
As soon as this book began I was absolutely and positively hooked. The rather genius idea of writing and publishing a story like a television show with cliffhangers and even some subtle screen directions and a couple of crazy advertisements is an idea that I really enjoyed, it made it a lot easier to actually fully picture everything that was going on within the book in my mind. I could see the character's facial expressions, the sets in vivid detail and even feel the subtle malice emanating from certain areas of the story. The characters fully came alive for me and I felt as though I was right along with them every step of the investigation. No character is similar in any possible way, they all have their own quirky attributes and behaviours, but my favourite thing about them was that they always have each other's backs (even if they are hiding their own freaky secrets). All of this mixed with the perfect combination of suspense, crime, horror and supernatural, makes this the perfect book for just about anyone who enjoys a good scare. I cannot wait for the next 'episode', because with all of these cliffhangers and discoveries, I am well and truly dedicated to the world of the Nightshade Cases.
"Follow the fear; only it will lead you to truth."
Shiarra Waynest is a detective whose work was dangerous enough when she was only dealing
with her strictly mortal client-base. But ailing finances have forced her to
accept a dangerous case that could save her firm, if it doesn't kill her first.
Now working for a high level mage to recover an ancient artefact with
horrifying powers, the job is hard enough without it being in the hands of
one of New York's most powerful vampires. But upon meeting Alec Royce, Shiarra
realises that this assignment is even more complicated than she thought. With
the added bonus of having an anti-Other group named 'The White Hats' trying to recruit her and mages
turning up dead, Shiarra needs the help of a were-wolf from her past and a
nerdy mage with surprising talents if she wants to survive. In a
city where the undead roam and magic rules, Shiarra has just become the secret
weapon in a battle between good and evil-whether she likes it or not.
I really didn't like this book to begin with, it was too much like a lot of other books I have read, except this one didn't really leave a very good first impression. Shiarra was such an annoying protagonist who despised other-worlders even though she really didn't have a reason to. But the worst thing was the gay jokes that, even though I know they were supposed to be funny, came across to me as a little bit homophobic...I mean there were at least four of them in 50 pages. But apart from the 'hero', I didn't absolutely hate the world-building or the supporting characters, and even though the world was not too original or unique to the urban fantasy genre, Haines brings her own unique narration and story-weaving into play. The saving grace of this story was the ending, due to the character development in Shiarra. It was one of the most extreme evolutions I have ever come across in a single character in one 300 page book, and I was both wary and yet pleasantly hopeful for the next books in the series. If you can get passed the first hundred pages, the face-palms and eye-brow-raising become less and less frequent and 'Hunted by the Others' wont end up being the worst book that you have ever read.
Rating: 2/5 Titans
Other Books in the 'H&W Investigation' Series
Hunted by the Others Taken by the Others Deceived by the Others Stalking the Others Forsaken by the Others Enslaved by the Others
"...We read fantasy to find the colours again, I think. To taste strong spices and hear the songs the sirens sang. There is something old and true in fantasy that speaks to something deep within us, to the child who dreamt that one day he would hunt the forests of the night, and feast beneath the hollow hills, and find a love to last forever somewhere south of Oz and north of
Shangri-La. They can keep their heaven. When I die, I'd sooner go to Middle Earth."
Isis Blake, an eighteen-year-old college student, hasn't fallen in love in three years, forty-three weeks and two days. Or so she thinks. The boy she maybe-sort-of-definately loves has disappeared off the face of the earth after the death of his ex-girlfriend Sophia, leaving a Jack shaped hole in Isis' life. But determined to be happy, Isis fills this hole with lies and puts on a brave face for her new life at Ohio State University. But how long can she smile when all her friends are gone, when she carries guilt over Sophia's death, and how long can it last when 'Nameless', the one person she never wanted to see again is at her school taunting her. Isis is pretty good at pretending she is ok, but not that good, and the cracks start to show. Isis Blake is good at pulling herself back together, but Jack Hunter is better.
The final book in the 'Lovely Vicious' series, 'Brutal Precious' did not disappoint. Whilst the series has been full of trials, lost love and vindictive battle of wills, you can't go past the beautiful courage, strength and humour that adorns Wolf's series. Isis and Jack have been through so much over the course of their story, and everything finally comes together for them, not through fate, but through determination and the bravery to finally let their guilt and sorrow go over not just Sophia, but past traumatic events that eventually led them to each other. A heart-warming ending to a beautiful series, Brutal Precious shows that to love is not to hurt, love is to accept every scar and every fault, no matter how big or how deep they go.
Rating: 5/5 Titans
"Living is really weird. You never get used to it. But is happens anyway. And sometimes you find things that make it a little more comfortable, and you try to hold onto those things, and the tighter you hold, the faster they slip away."
Kit Colbana- half-breed, assassin, thief and mercenary has a new job. But in an alternate universe where supernatural creatures are almost as common as the humans, these jobs can get a little hairy (literally) as well as mortally dangerous. But this last job has just raised the chances of imminent death to an almost 100% guarantee, because if Kit cannot find the runaway teenage nephew of the local cat Alpha, there will be hell to pay. It doesn't help that the Alpha is a bat-shit-cray-cray shapeshifter who everybody is too afraid to stand up to. Luckily Kit has friends in high places as well as witchy ones who can heal just about anything she comes home with. And lets not forget the infuriatingly arrogant cat shifter who has been assigned to her until the job is complete, he is to act as both her body-guard, baby-sitter, tattle-tale and executioner all rolled into one annoyingly pretty face.
Fascinating world-building, maybe a little something to be desired, but the amazing kick-ass heroin of the story made up for it. I loved Kit, loved her one-liners, but I especially loved that even though she had inner demons from her brutal past that she carried around with her, she was able to look past them in order to do her job and save everyone she could. The way she was raised did not define how she viewed the lives of everyone around her, nobody deserves to be hurt, no matter who or what you are, and that was the main message I took away from Daniel's story. Interesting minor characters, although sometimes they blurred in together, especially the witches, but overall they mostly had their own traits, voices and characteristics. I have been hearing that Kit Colbana is the new Kate Daniels (see review of Magic Breaks), and although there are some similarities in the main character a love for sharp, pointy things and a cat shapeshifter as the main love interest , they have such different plots, supporting characters, world-building and narration that there should not be any comparisons drawn between the two. A great adventure if you love everything fantasy, supernatural and magic-we are even introduced to a new spin off of a mythological creature, which I found very intriguing as there was just so many paths to take it down, rather than the generic vampire and werewolf powers that everybody knows about.
Rating: 3/5 Titans
"Child, you suffer from an excess of great stupidity or great bravery. I'm not sure which."
Other Book in the 'Colbana Files' Series
Blade Song Night Blade Broken Blade Edged Blade (not yet published)
In a futuristic America, all of the children aged from 8 to 14 are dying from a disease known as IAAN, but the government is not concerned about those who are dying, they are more afraid of the 2% of children who are surviving it. Because these children are no longer simply human, these survivors are harbouring different dangerous gifts ranged from the Green level of higher intelligence to the Red level of powers like pyrokinesis. Canada and Mexico have shut their borders to the Americans, sealing in not only the disease, but the desperate teenagers who are being rounded up into concentration camps for 'rehabilitation'. Ruby is an Orange (someone who can control minds) who at the age of 10 years old was taken from her family along with thousands of other survivors who are now being held at Thurmond, a camp widely known for its harsh and dehumanising treatment of the children. After six years of hiding amongst the Greens with the help of her power, Ruby has evaded the mass killing of the Yellows, Oranges and Reds as they were seen as a safety risk, but when the truth comes out, Ruby barely escapes with her life. Now she is on the run, desperate to find the one safe haven left for people like her, and the one remaining non-psychotic Orange left who can help to control her powers.
A story filled with hope, despair and love amidst a crumbling society and an even more corrupt government, Bracken's book left me crying from laughter and then crying from sadness, there was never a dull moment or one where I wanted to put the book down. I loved Ruby, a character who developed from a docile girl to a young women who put up with zero crap from the various people who wished to control her and her powers. The world building is fantastic, as if I was actually along for the ride with Ruby and her friends as they battled their way to a safe haven that may or may not even exist. The strength of the characters was astronomical after they were subjected to untold horrors and various losses, though not so strong as to make them seem un-human-like. Will be getting onto the next book ASAP because I cannot be left with that cliff hanger! Make sure you have a lot of time on your hands before starting to read this book because once you start you will not be putting it down until the very end.
Rating: 4/5 Titans
"Maybe nothing will ever change for us. But don't you want to be around just in case it does?"
Other Books in the Series
The Darkest Minds Never Fade In the Afterlight (not yet published)
Kate Daniels is back once again and stirring up trouble wherever she goes...but that's to be expected when you're the child of a power crazed god. As the mate of Curran, the Beast Lord of Atlanta, the former mercenary has more responsibilities than she ever thought was possible to juggle. Not only is she trying to keep her investigative business afloat, but she now must deal with the affairs of the Pack, and most of that nowadays is preparing for war, because now that the connection between Kate and Roland (a cruel ancient being with god-like powers) is out in the open, everybody she has ever come in contact with has a target painted on their backs. As Roland's shadow looms ever closer, Kate is called to attend a meeting of the leaders from the various supernatural factions in Atlanta. But when one of the Masters of the Dead (navigators who control vampires) is found murdered by a shapeshifter, she is given only twenty-four hours to bring them the killer. And if she fails, she will find herself neck deep in a war which could destroy everyone and everything.
My favourite series of all time, Ilona Andrews strikes again and after waiting an entire year for this book it not only lived up to my very high expectation, for superseded them. I absolutely love the entirety of Kate's story, the world building is beyond fantastic, the characters all have their own voice and the plot and twists are so unique and dramtic that I can never get enough of it. I love the heroes, I love the villans and every character in between. There are no black and white decisions and the grey is always different and perhaps not always morally acceptable, but that's what happens when the world is falling apart around you, as it is in Kate and Curran's dystopian Atlanta. With just the right amount of humour throughout the various tragedies, hardships and sword fights, I never want this series to end. And now I have to wait even longer for the next book! I need my next fix and I need it now!
Rating: 5/5 Titans
" 'Fortune favours the brave' I told her. It also kills the stupid, but I decided to keep that to myself."
"Some people bring out the worst in you, others bring out the best, and then there are those remarkably rare, addictive ones who just bring out the most. Of everything. They make you feel so alive that you'd follow them straight to hell, just to keep getting your fix."
In a world that is very much aware of the fact that supernatural creatures walk amongst them, Guardian Arianna Calin has sworn to keep the peace between not only the humans and 'otherworlders', but the various factions of the supernatural including the vampires, werewolves and the witches who are constantly battling each other for supremacy. But that's not the end of it, keeping up with the constant power plays within the nests, packs and covens can be extremely tiring for a Guardian who only seeks to keep everyone within her town safe. Luckily Ari has some help of her own in the form of her witchy fire powers and her human partner Ryan. But when vampires start acting up in random acts of violence and bodies start turning up at every turn, it is up to Ari and the enigmatic vampire Adrian, to figure out who-or what-has begun to make their play for the vampire throne in Riverdale.
Off to a slow start, Shield weaves a confusing yet intriguing story of the various sectors of supernatural who don't always get along with each other (shocking). Although I enjoyed 'Awakening the Fire' I found myself reading along without really seeing the words or grabbing the full meaning of what just happened. I like my stories action packed, and Shield's book just didn't give me this; too much sitting around talking and not enough ass kicking...you have the power over fire and you used it twice throughout the entire book! But I digress, a good story if you love murder investigations with a big dollop of supernatural themes, dark love interests, betrayal and blood.
Rating: 3/5 Titans
Other books in the series:
Fire Within Burning Both Ends Blood and Fire Fire Storm Wild Fire (not yet published) Eternal Fires (not yet published)