Archive for February, 2014


Night Owls by Lauren M Roy

night owlsNight Owls by Lauren M. Roy

Published February 25th 2014 by Ace

Buy this book at: Amazon / B&N / Books a Million / Book Depository

 

Synopsis:

Night Owls book store is the one spot on campus open late enough to help out even the most practiced slacker. The employees’ penchant for fighting the evil creatures of the night is just a perk.…

Valerie McTeague’s business model is simple: provide the students of Edgewood College with a late-night study haven and stay as far away from the underworld conflicts of her vampire brethren as possible. She’s lived that life, and the price she paid was far too high to ever want to return.

Elly Garrett hasn’t known any life except that of fighting the supernatural werewolf-like beings known as Creeps or Jackals. But she always had her mentor and foster father by her side—until he gave his life protecting a book that the Creeps desperately want to get their hands on.

When the book gets stashed at Night Owls for safe keeping, those Val holds nearest and dearest are put in mortal peril. Now Val and Elly will have to team up, along with a mismatched crew of humans, vampires, and lesbian succubi, to stop the Jackals from getting their claws on the book and unleashing unnamed horrors.

 

Rating: 5 star

 

Review:

I loved this book so much, it was a no brainer for it to be 5 stars for me. I loved the characters, I loved the setting, I loved the plot, I loved he bad guys, I loved the side characters, I loved everything! Yes, I literally mean everything. This is a series I will definitely be following. But let me break down for you just what made this so great.

Charaters: These characters were all so different and interesting that I had a different relationship with every one of them. Elly was a survivor who wanted so desperately to do everything right but got completely left in the dark with the death of her mentor. Val is a vampire who wants nothing to do with the life she left behind, she just wants to live in peace with her Renfield and run her all night bookstore. Chaz feels honored to be Val’s Renfield but is secretly in love with her. Cavale is the adopted brother of sorts of Elly who walked away from the hunter lifestyle but still does some of the work to pay the bills. Sunny and Lia are succubi and also lovers, and did I mention they are kick ass fighters too?

Oh and let me take a moment to say how much I fangirled that vampire’s assistants are called Renfields in this book. It was a lot.

Plot: This was multi faceted and yet everything fit together perfectly. That is a delicate balance to maintain but this book pulled it off. First we have the fact that Elly is hiding a book from the Creeps (aka Jackals, aka bad guys) and they want it more than anything. It gets hidden at Val’s bookstore and that’s where all hell breaks loose. But at the same time we have some of Val’s past coming back to haunt her. That part was not touched on quite as much but I still liked it and hope that it plays a bigger role in the future. Oh and that twist thrown in there with the Creeps and their hostages….bravo, I didn’t see it coming.

Bad Guys: My God, how creepy were the Creeps! They made my skin crawl. And every time we saw them I felt my stomach drop into my knees. And as their methods started to change and become more sinister it only added to the scariness that they brought to the story. I want to see more of them in the future books.

Random Fangirl:  Sunny and Lia were amazing! My favorite characters for sure. They were funny, sweet, loving, generous, and kick ass demons at the same time. I was very glad that romance did not play too big a factor in this book. Yes Chaz is all swoony for Val but it didn’t get in the way of the story, even though I kind of hope she falls for him at some point. The story moved too fast to spend time on a sappy love story, so I was pleased that it wasn’t a big deal.

Oh, I finally thought of something I didn’t like! The final battle scene at the bookstore. It hurt my heart. All those books, destroyed! I cringed every time the book mentioned the paperly carnage. It was an awesome battle scene to be sure but….the books!

 

Advertisements

broken wingsBroken Wings by Shannon Dittemore

Expected publication: February 19th, 2013 by Thomas Nelson

Buy this book at: Amazon / B&N / Books A Million / Book Depository

 

Synopsis:

Giant angels with metal wings and visible song. A blind demon restored from the pit of darkness. And a girl who has never felt more broken.

Brielle sees the world as it really is: a place where the Celestial exists side by side with human reality. But in the aftermath of a supernatural showdown, her life begins to crumble. Her boyfriend, Jake, is keeping something from her—something important. Her overprotective father has started drinking again. He’s dating a much younger woman who makes Brielle’s skin crawl, and he’s downright hostile toward Jake. Haunting nightmares keep Brielle from sleeping, and flashes of Celestial vision keep her off kilter.

What she doesn’t know is that she’s been targeted. The Prince of Darkness himself has heard of the boy with healing in his hands and of the girl who sees through the Terrestrial Veil. When he plucks the blind demon, Damien, from the fiery chasm and sends him back to Earth with new eyes, the stage is set for a cataclysmic battle of good versus evil.

Then Brielle unearths the truth about her mother’s death and she must question everything she ever thought was true.

Brielle has no choice. She knows evil forces are converging and will soon rain their terror down upon the town of Stratus. She must master the weapons she’s been given. She must fight.

But can she fly with broken wings?

 

Rating: 4 star

 

Review:

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.

In the interest of full disclosure let me start by saying that I did not realize this book was the second in a series when I accepted the ARC. So there are some things I didn’t quite grasp and was confused by, which I believe was because I have not read the first book. But, on the other hand, I enjoyed the book so much I didn’t care.

I loved Brielle so much, I kind of wanted to kiss her. She is such a fantastic heroine. She is pretty but she is neither conceited about it nor denies it. She is talented and multi-faceted, her love of dance reminded me of my own love of singing. Elle is not reliant on some guy to make herself feel valuable, rather her boyfriend is a compliment to her but she doesn’t wait around for him to rescue her because she is a capable young woman all on her own. I loved her, I want to be able to write characters this well.

On the opposite side of Elle is her boyfriend, Jake. I didn’t really feel like we got to know Jake that well and it disappointed me because he seemed like a great guy. We mostly see him in the context of spending time with Elle. So it was difficult to judge him on his own because we honestly only see him without her maybe twice. Jake has the ability to heal with his hands, apparently this makes him a target for the Prince of Darkness and his demons. And since Brielle can see the “celestial” world and God himself has decreed that the two will be married then they are a great two for one deal. So this is how we get introduced to them in this book and it was interesting.

I was hoping that we would see more of Helen and Canaan, but they were very fleeting characters. They came and went and then came back just in time to explain things…like why God wanted to thin the veil over this little town. Honestly I’m still not sure I understand that but maybe that’s the subject of another book in the future.

I really likes the plot but I felt like we were going in circles at times. The entire idea was trying to figure out what Jake was being warned about and fearing that Elle might be killed and taken away from him. Bad people arrive in town and then bad things happen. Somewhere along the line we learn shocking things about the death of Elle’s mother. I am, again, not sure what the point of that was but I hope it will be explained later.

All in all, this was a great book. It had everything going for it and hopefully the things I didn’t quite get answered will be the subject of the next book.

Blogger Backstage Pass BannerPrint

 

I am being featured this month on Hopelessly Devoted Bibliophile, check out my post here. I know, I should have gotten this post up yesterday but….well, I was busy doing things with my husband. Get your minds out of the gutter, that’s not what I meant…..or is it? I guess we’ll never know!

Anyway, check out the Hopelessly Devoted Bibliophile blog, it’s really awesome. And if you are seeing this because you saw my feature over there, welcome! Don’t be shy about posting, it’s a friendly place around here.

 

 

 

 

forever engine The Forever Engine by Frank Chadwick

Published January 7th, 2014 by Baen

Buy this book at: Amazon / B&N / Books a Million / Book Depository

 

Synopsis:

London 1888. His Majesty’s airships troll the sky powered by antigrav liftwood. Iron Lords tighten their hold on Britain choked by the fumes of industry. Mars has been colonized. Clockwork assassins stalk European corridors of power. Far to the east, the Old Man of the Mountains plots the end of the world with his Forever Engine.

2018 Jack Fargo, scholar, former American special forces agent in Afghanistan. Aided only by an elderly Scottish physicist, a young British officer of questionable courage, and a beautiful but mysterious spy for the French Commune, Fargo must save the future, the universe, from destruction.

 

Rating: 2 star

 

Review:

Disclaimer: I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you Baen!

I wanted to like this book, really I did. I am far more often reading and liking steampunk, so when I hear the words time travel, steampunk, and Nikola Tesla I was all over this book. But in the end it was just boring.

Time travel is a tricky issue in any book. It can be done well and in certain aspects this was done well. It plays with the idea of infinite universes, that somewhere out there is a universe where the exact opposite of every decision and outcome in this world has taken place. However, time travel can also be used as a crutch to aid lazy writing and suspense building. To a larger extent this book did that too. Toward the end I felt like the time travel aspect was the go-to answer to creating drama and tension. That was annoying.

The characters were very thin and had no real life to them. I had a hard time keeping track of who everybody was because they were largely so interchangeable. Even when we started learning more about Fargo’s past I just felt……confused I guess because it was so out of the blue.And I HATED that the author kept trying to give everyone an Asperger’s diagnosis. First off, you’re a history professor and a former soldier, not a psychologist or psychiatrist so shut up. And second, I don’t get it. These two characters seemed more Obsessive Compulsive to me. And believe me, I am speaking from personal knowledge here. I have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and my brother is an Aspie. Yes, there are areas where the two things overlap but I didn’t see the Aspie in these two characters at all. I think the author just wanted to use it to force us to see the similarities between the two characters, which didn’t make the ultimate connection he gave them any more realistic.

If the blurb didn’t tell me this was steampunk, I probably wouldn’t have known. There was a few pages in London where we saw steam powered airships, and coal engines, and everyone having to wear goggles out in public. But after that the entire cast of characters were in the middle of the desert with weapons that actually existed in that time and so…..that’s it? That’s my steampunk? Cause that’s a pretty poor effort if it is.

The ending was stupid. I felt like the final climactic finale was very contrived. The most obvious and logical course was discarded as a trick and the most complicated and unlikely to succeed course was taken, more than once. And the ending didn’t seem realistic to me. After 300 pages of Fargo going on and on at length about missing his daughter and being willing to do anything to get back to her, he totally screws over any chance he has of seeing her again and just happily moves on in the other universe without even mentioning her again. Wait, what? And what about his theory that him and Thomson could recreate the device and get him back to his own time anyway? What happened to that? I didn’t like or understand this ending at all.

Overall it wasn’t terrible, there were some enjoyable moments. But I felt the book was much too flawed for me to enjoy it enough that I overlooked the problems.