Ravings of a Book Junkie

An avid reader, if books were sustenance I'd be fat as a hog. I mainly read dark urban fantasies, but like to mix things up book-wise, just never enough time to read all the books I want to read!

Bitten: A Novel (Women of the Otherworld)

Bitten  - Kelley Armstrong Book 1 of my favorite paranormal series, this one is about Elena Michaels, the only female werewolf, coming to grips with who & what she is.

Stolen: A Novel (Women of the Otherworld)

Stolen  - Kelley Armstrong Not as engrossing a tale as Bitten, but it introduces us to several key figures of the series in an unusual situation. Grade: B-

Magic Burns (Kate Daniels, Book 2)

Magic Burns -  Ilona Andrews In Magic Burns Kate is enlisted to help the Pack, (an all-encompassing group with many different species within it), with retrieving a packet of map surveys from a bold thief named Bran. The maps keenly mark out areas of Atlanta by their magic and could be dangerous in the wrong hands. In the midst of this, Kate becomes involved with, Julie, a poor kid from the Gap, one of Atlanta's more crime-ridden areas. Julie's mom, an amateur witch, has disappeared along with her coven and is somehow connected with the thief, who can wink in and out of existence, Bran. A missing cauldron, a medley of long-forgotten gods and a bunch of foul-smelling demons called reeves round out this rousing read. In between battles, she and Curran, the lion shape-shifter leader of the militaristic Pack, continue their antagonistic style of flirtation. As more clues to Kate's mysterious past keep coming to light, it's uncertain whether these two will make a match of it, but it sure is fun getting to witness the sparks fly. Grade: B+

Skintight (Hqn)

Skintight - Susan Andersen An enjoyable book to spend an afternoon with, Jax & Treena are both believable and interesting as are the secondary characters. I'm looking forward to finding and reading the other books in thls series.

Under Cover

Under Cover - MaryJanice Davidson Though I'm usually a fan of MJD and enjoy her writing I was very disappointed with this book. So disappointed that I didn't even bother to finish it. In Under Cover the two rather annoying characters meet in an elevator and within moments are desperately trying to jump each others bones. I'm no prude, but c'mon, gimme a break. For what bit I did manage to hang tough with and read the bubble-head blond is jumping to conclusions and running away only to be easily found, and adding insult to my injured reader's soul, needing rescuing by the ultra-cute, unfailingly patient and understanding male from whatever crazy, perilous situation she'd put herself in. That over, within moments the ninny finds another reason to jump to her next erroneous assumption and goes running away AGAIN. I was like "Are you kidding me with this?" Nope, not kidding. Anyway, this schtick got old fast. So despite arguably hot "love" scenes and an interesting bio-espionage slant, I decided to retreat and go undercover from this book. :-p

Up in Smoke (Silver Dragons, Book 2)

Up In Smoke - Katie MacAlister Thought this book was adequate but that it lacked the wit and charm of the Aisling Grey series. The main problem, for me, was Cyrene who did not appeal to me at all. I kept hoping KM would kill her off, (sadly she doesn't and we're subjected to her again in book 2), or at least, send her to Abbadon. As for the protagonist, May, her occupation as well as her abilities were a decent plot point but it was still more than halfway through the book before things got really interesting for me. Seeing Aisling, Drake and Jim again was a nice plus, as was learning more about dragon politics and the very yummy Gabe. I do wished she'd not kept him doing the "want to pleasure you with foreplay, but I can't control myself" speech so much, it made him sound like an imbecile, and got so annoying that I started skimming their love scenes! Overall, this book's plot rates 2 and a half stars but because KM's one of my favorite authors I'm rounding up the rating to 3. :-)

Up in Smoke (Silver Dragons Novels (Thorndike Press))

Up in Smoke (Silver Dragons Novels (Thorndike Press)) - Katie MacAlister This turns out to be a MUCH better book than its predecessor, Playing w/Fire, but only after the first 25 pages. There we see May get wrenched to and from Abbadon several times only to accomplish some spit-swapping with Gabriel until he manages to keep his tongue out of her moth long enough to advise her to agree to Magoth's demands to become his consort (the no sex kind, that is). That settled, May & Gabe go to a weyr meeting to discuss the status of the blue and black septs. While there May becomes entangled in a brawl and draws the attention of Baltic, a powerful dragon long presumed dead, who tries to steal a phyldactery from around May's neck only it doesn't work and it instead becomes a part of her. Feeling that she's losing who she really is and gaining new and scary abilities May races to find the answers to her problems before it's too late. Good book, highly recommend it.

Men of the Otherworld [Hardcover]

Men of the Otherworld [Hardcover] - Kelley Armstrong Loved, loved, loved this book! Starting in 1946, it traces the origins of the werewolves and gives you an exciting glimpse into the world of Malcolm, Jeremy and Clayton Danvers. I could not pull myself away from these vignettes and finished them all in roughly 4 hours, it's that good!

Just One Sip (Dark Ones 5)

Just One Sip - Katie MacAlister, Jennifer Ashley, Minda Webber Three novellas are within this book, and to my surprise, I didn't enjoy the one by KM. However, the last one by Minda Webber is a delightfully funny hoot. I'm definitely planning to look up more by this author! Her story features a zany character named Lucy, who is modeled after a certain comedic redhead from 1950s TV, this story had me laughing and thoroughly hooked on the characters. I gives this a B+!

You Suck: A Love Story

You Suck: A Love Story (Vampire Trilogy, #2) - Christopher Moore About a third through "You Suck" I realized it was a sequel to "Bloodsucking Fiends" but despite that ut-oh moment, I still found this an easy and fun story to follow. As with his other books, "Lamb" and "A Dirty Job" (which is alluded to in Abby's diary) the story line in YS is both humorous and dark. I found myself chuckling the most when reading over Abby's diary excerpts. What a zany, lovable character she is! It's almost as if Moore channeled an angst-filled 16 year old girl. His imaginative and flawed characters are such fun to get to know that I hope we'll see some of these guys (the giant cat, Will, the Emperor, Animals) in other books, too. As it is, this is the 3rd book we've gotten to see the Emperor in. I have a feeling he and his loyal companions are more important than we've been led to believe, but even if they're not it's entertaining to see this character connection through the different books.

Moon Called (Mercy Thompson)

Moon Called (Mercedes Thompson, #1) - Patricia Briggs The 1st in the Mercy Thompson series. Mercy is a shape-changer, a magical creature from Native American lore, she can slip from her human form in which she works as a VW mechanic, to her animal form: a coyote. In her community, in north Washington-state, she's only one of several types of supernatural beings and though some have come out publicly, not everybody is happy with it. Mercy becomes embroiled within the warring factions of the Aspen Creek and Columbine Basin werewolf packs when she finds the body of a dead werewolf friend on her front doorstep. There's also a romantic dilemma involving her, her hardheaded neighbor, Adam, the alpha of the CB pack, and Samuel, Mercy's long-ago teenage crush who she encounters when she returns to Aspen Creek to ask the Marrok for help. Very engrossing book, the pack dynamics are interesting and it's nerve-wracking (exciting) reading about the clash of alpha males over Mercy who is not certain she's ready to be anyone's mate or girlfriend.

Memory and Dream (Newford)

Memory and Dream - Charles de Lint Memory & Dreams is my 1st time reading anything by Charles de Lint and though the tale of Izzy, Kathy and the numena is a well-written and intriguing story, it is very slow-paced and I found it a struggle to stay interested in and finally finish this book. It's definitely not for the casual reader but those who like a challenging read.

Heart-Shaped Box: A Novel

Heart-Shaped Box - Joe Hill A compelling horror novel about a retired heavy metal musician whose taste for the macabre gets him in trouble. An online ad says "I will sell my step-father's ghost to the highest bidder ..." and Judas Coyne, intrigued, makes the final bid sealing his ownership of a dead man's suit. Soon weird, scary things are going on in the house: rooms are freezing cold, there's a ghostly figure sitting in the hall and the dogs are barking their heads off. He discovers the ghost has a connection to him, through one of the young women he dated then sent away. A troubled woman who her sister says killed herself. Lots of great, spooky mayhem ensues and the misogynistic anti-hero Coyne develops into a decent guy right before our eyes and saves the day, too. A terrific debut for Joe Hill, I definitely recommend this and will be looking forward to his future works.

Blood Bound (Mercy Thompson Novels)

Blood Bound  - Patricia Briggs The best thing about Mercy Thompson, besides her penchant for getting into trouble, is her unwavering loyalty to her friends. In Blood Bound, we get a look into the history and the inner politics of the vampire seethe as Mercy tries to help her vampire friend, Stefan, rid their community of a demon possessed vampire who's gone on a killing rampage, a rampage that others are being blamed for. A fast-paced read with plenty of action and interesting romantic twists, this story kept me turning the pages!

Iron Kissed (Mercy Thompson)

Iron Kissed (Mercy Thompson) - Patricia Briggs The darkest book of the series, thus far, it touches on some difficult themes: i.e. rape and child molestation. Though Ms. Briggs handles both with sensitivity and compassion, Mercy goes through a very traumatic assault, one so brutal that her quick emotional recovery seems implausible. But, maybe it's just me. This is the same Mercy that's been on her own since 16, who never fails to bravely take on supernatural enemies twice her size. My favorite part is the support and love she receives from the pack, the scenes where they're all piled up in the bed like a litter of pups was very touching to me. That, and seeing the characters of Ben and Honey get more fleshed out. Ben's past behavior gets explained during a wrenching scene. Overall, Mercy is growing as a walker and is figuring out what she wants from both life and love. And though it takes til the last page, she finally makes her choice between Sam & Adam!!

Dead And Gone (Sookie Stackhouse/True Blood, Book 9)

Dead And Gone (Sookie Stackhouse/True Blood, Book 9) - Charlaine Harris A surprisingly dark segment of the Sookie saga but still a damn fine read. Though Sookie's romantic dilemmas are not still not resolved there are some sizzling scenes between her and my favorite vampire, Eric. This book spends most of its energies on the fairy's civil war and we get introduced to more of Sookie's fey relatives. The fairies are soon shown to be a twisted, evil bunch at the expense of several characters. Besides the continued fairy influx, I am worried that Mrs. Harris is gonna add Sam to the romantic mix. This is more confusion than these characters need. I think pulling her boss Sam into the Eric-Sookie-Bill triangle would be a shame as he has always been on the strictly friend side of things. I think the HBO series (True Blood) is influencing this "Sam as a potential lover" slant and I don't like it one bit. I got the 1st season on DVD this week and, omg, what a weird trip it was seeing my favorite chick-lit series brought to "life." My biggest gripe is the insipid actress picked to play Sookie, talk about a miscast. Worst of all, seeing Sookie as a flouncing air-head with a puritanical bent instead of how I've grown to think of her, took me aback. It also got me to to go reread the 1st book, and yep, Sookie's a ninny in it. She gets much better, thank goodness, in the later books, but still, seeing her as an simpering idiot on the show is hard for me. As to the rest of them on the HBO show - poor Tara is a veritable harridan, though granted, a very witty one. The Jason & Lafayette characters are both as I'd pictured them which gives me hope for this show.