Review: Archangel’s Storm by Nalini Singh

October 27, 2012 § Leave a comment

Star Rating:

Date released: 13th September 2012
Publisher: Berkeley Sensation
Author’s website: http://nalinisingh.com/
My source: Amazon Kindle Store
Part of a series: #5 in Guild Hunter series
Find it at: GoodReads | Amazon | B&N

GoodReads Synopsis

With wings of midnight and an affinity for shadows, Jason courts darkness. But now, with the Archangel Neha’s consort lying murdered in the jewel-studded palace that was his prison and her rage threatening cataclysmic devastation, Jason steps into the light, knowing he must unearth the murderer before it is too late.

Earning Neha’s trust comes at a price—Jason must tie himself to her bloodline through the Princess Mahiya, a woman with secrets so dangerous, she trusts no one. Least of all an enemy spymaster.

With only their relentless hunt for a violent, intelligent killer to unite them, Jason and Mahiya embark on a quest that leads to a centuries-old nightmare… and to the dark storm of an unexpected passion that threatens to drench them both in blood.

What I loved:

  • Jason. He’s always been one of my favourites among the Seven (scratch that, they’re all pretty fantastic) and this story highlighted his awesome factor. There’s just something so forbidden about him and that level of intelligence paired with the stealth that he carries like an extension of his body is very alluring.
  • The wedding and subsequent scenes with Honor and Dmitri. It was a great to come almost full-circle and see the continuation of their story, considering that at the end of Archangel’s Blade (Dmitri’s story) it felt like it was cut off abruptly – happily, but abruptly.
  • The level of intrigue in Neha’s court.
  • Nalini Singh can write. Her language is beautiful, lyrical and so bittersweet at times. I see Singh as the cook who can make creme brulee out of egg shells, she’s magical.

What didn’t work for me:

  • Mahiya. Sorry girlfriend, I may be the possessive book-girl/fan-friend of Jason, but I thought his love would be extraordinary.
  • The plotline and ‘twist’ with Mahiya’s family. I can’t say I didn’t expect it because I saw it coming a mile away. Also, after the epic battle between the sisters, I fully expected something tremendous to happen, but all the story details after that point is Mayiha’s getaway to New York. I mean… I felt like the story was cut short, and that it spent too much time laying foundation rather than having things happen.
  • Jason and Mahiya’s romance and relationship. For some reason, I felt it was very… sterilized, like I was touching with gloves. I didn’t feel the same amount of ebb-and-flow surges of passion like I did with the other Guild Hunter books.

Other Thoughts:

… Particularly with the continuation of the series. I think Singh made it very easy for herself to continue writing books in the Guild Hunter series because this particular installment leaves more questions than those answered. What will become of Nivriti and Neha? Will Lijuan play a part in the next book and how will her incorporeal manifestation adapt? What will the Archangels do with the emergence of their new powers, and what will they be?

I can already see power balances shifting with the new powers the Archangels are getting, and I predict that the next book will center on this particular aspect of the books. There will be discontent within the Cadre and I’m sure one Archangel or other will feel slighted, and boom! Out come the powers of epic destruction.

I wonder whose story will be next, however? I’m thinking it’ll either be Illium and a newfound love or the next Raphael and Elena installment. Aodhan seems unlikely, but I would love read Venom’s story.

Overall, a fantastic book that I did not love as expected, but enjoyed all the same. Solid 4 stars!

Review: Obsidian by Jennifer L Armentrout

October 18, 2012 § Leave a comment

Star Rating:

Date released: 29th November 2011
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Author’s website: www.jenniferarmentrout.com
My source: Amazon Kindle Store
Part of a series: Yes, #1 Lux series
Find it at: GoodReads | Amazon | B&N

GoodReads Synopsis:

Starting over sucks.

When we moved to West Virginia right before my senior year, I’d pretty much resigned myself to thick accents, dodgy internet access, and a whole lot of boring…. until I spotted my hot neighbor, with his looming height and eerie green eyes. Things were looking up.

And then he opened his mouth.

Daemon is infuriating. Arrogant. Stab-worthy. We do not get along. At all. But when a stranger attacks me and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, well, something…unexpected happens. 

The hot alien living next door marks me.

You heard me. Alien. Turns out Daemon and his sister have a galaxy of enemies wanting to steal their abilities, and Daemon’s touch has me lit up like the Vegas Strip. The only way I’m getting out of this alive is by sticking close to Daemon until my alien mojo fades. 

If I don’t kill him first, that is.

After my not-so-great experience reading my first Armentrout book, I thought I’d give her another chance and picked up Obsidian over the weekend. I’m so glad that I did!

What worked for me:

  • The chemistry between Katy and Daemon. Phew! I felt like I needed to get some ice packs to cool me down. And their kissing scene? Phwoar. Usually simple kissing scenes don’t do it for me, but I had to set down my Kindle and fan my face for a few minutes before I picked it up again only to scroll back to read from the start of that scene.
  • The familial ties of love that Daemon and Dee have between them. I think it’s so lovely, and being the younger sister in a two-child family, it’s something I can relate to.
  • The pacing. The teaspoon by teaspoon dosage of having the plot, mystery, Luxen history and personalities revealed to the reader. I love when stories are told teasingly, and Armentrout really showed rather than told us about it in Obsidian.
  • The quirk that our female heroine is a bookblogger! Her references to Waiting on Wednesday and the way she felt when she received new books was very amusing, speaking from a book blogger point of view. Thought this was a great quirk.
  • The dialogue. Especially the heated banter between Katy and Daemon. There were times when the story reverted back to descriptions and “what Katy is doing today” scenes where I thought I would lose interest, but then Damon rocks up and they have a fireball spitting conversation that has me laughing or admiring the quick wit. It was great!
  • Katy’s narrative voice. I’ve never met a character that sounds exactly as I do in my head. Saying things like Sweet baby Jesus, and a whole other array of weird expletives really called out to me. I love Katy as a heroine. She’s earthbound, level-headed, knows what she wants and isn’t a hothead (unless Daemon’s around), which I love.

What didn’t work for me:

  • The fact that Katy and Daemon just won’t give an inch! Come on! You guys like one another. Stop dancing around and have a hot make out session sans t-shirts against the wall or something.
  • And… that’s it.

Quotes I loved:

“Beautiful face. Beautiful body. Horrible attitude. It was the holy trinity of hot boys.”

Aha! So sassy. I love Katy’s internal mind-vomit.

“My palms itched to have a close encounter of the bitch-slap kind with his face.”

I loved every moment reading this book and I’ve already gotten Onyx lined up on my Kindle!

solid 5 stars!

Review: Half-Blood by Jennifer L. Armentrout

October 15, 2012 § Leave a comment

Star Rating:

Date released: 18th October 2011
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
Author’s website: www.jenniferarmentrout.com
My source: Amazon Kindle Store
Part of a series: Yes, #1 in the Covenant Series
Find it at: GoodReads | Amazon | B&N

GoodReads synopsis:

The Hematoi descend from the unions of gods and mortals, and the children of two Hematoi-pure-bloods-have godlike powers. Children of Hematoi and mortals-well, not so much. Half-bloods only have two options: become trained Sentinels who hunt and kill daimons or become servants in the homes of the pures. Seventeen-year-old Alexandria would rather risk her life fighting than waste it scrubbing toilets, but she may end up slumming it anyway. There are several rules that students at the Covenant must follow. Alex has problems with them all, but especially rule #1:Relationships between pures and halfs are forbidden. Unfortunately, she’s crushing hard on the totally hot pure-blood Aiden. But falling for Aiden isn’t her biggest problem–staying alive long enough to graduate the Covenant and become a Sentinel is. If she fails in her duty, she faces a future worse than death or slavery: being turned into a daimon, and being hunted by Aiden. And that would kind of suck.

This is a very difficult book for me to review. It’s sheer bad luck on Half-Blood’s behalf that I’d just recently finished reading Richelle Mead’s Last Sacrifice just a few weeks ago. A lot of people have been comparing Half-Blood to the Vampire Academy series, and… yeah. The similarities and parallels are almost too good to be true. So, I’ll try my best to review this in isolation.

Don’t get me wrong! I just thought I’d be a bit more engrossed… a little more caught up in the story. It was flashy, sure, there were some sweet and heartfelt moments but for some reason, I just wasn’t feeling it.

What worked for me:

  • Seth, as a character. I never knew what to make of him and his constant irritation of Alex should have made me, as the reader, dislike him automatically. But I liked his strangeness and his reserved, sassy manner.
  • Pacing. Both a good and a bad thing – the story started off full throttle and it pulled me in quickly.
  • The idea of Apollyons. Ingrained in the history of the Hematoi, it was a creative and unique element that I thought was great and separated Half-Blood from the Vampire Academy series.
  • The prose. It was well written, lyrical almost.

What didn’t work for me:

  • The (lack of) world building. The world of the Hematoi is blurry at best. Yes, we are told about the cultural differences, the hierarchy of society and the Hematoi aligned version of creation via the Greek Gods but I wasn’t satisfied. It seemed very here-and-there, and I would have liked to have seen more of it.
  • Alex, as a character. She was subliminally … stupid. Aiden called her “brave”, but everything she did had me rolling my eyes at the stupidity. You’d think that being on the run for 3 years would have made Alex a bit more stoic, a little more wary and on her guard, but nope. She would always rush into things without thinking, running off her mouth – damn the consequences, and not taking other people into consideration (that is, until she got nabbed and Caleb’s life was on her head).
  • Pacing. What I didn’t like towards the end of the book was that it stuttered and lost the momentum of the first few chapters after Alex’s return to the Covenant. Where was that fast-paced, got-me-on-the-edge-of-my-seat action that appeared in the beginning of the book? It was like it went fastfastfast, then a third in and almost right till the end of the book when Alex goes out to hunt her mom, it was sloooow and then it was ahhhquickquickfaster! kind of pacing.

Parallels with Vampire Academy:

I’m adding this in here nonetheless, and I know it’s absolutely sucky of me to, but I honestly can’t help but be bothered by it. A lot of people are reviewing on GoodReads that the similarities are huge and even to the extent that Armentrout should be sued for ‘stealing ideas’. I’m not going to go that far, but the resemblance in both circumstance and action taken by the characters are uncanny.

  • Capture and return to the Covenant. Living out in the mortal world only to be caught and dragged back to where they once were (Vampire Academy), similar especially as it was within the first few chapters.
  • Having a hot, bad-ass trainer. Aiden and Dmitri, and both of them falling for their pupils.
  • Taking on the responsibility of having to kill their loved ones: Alex and her mom and Rose with Strigoi-Dmitri. And escaping the confines of their respective schools, both Alex and Rose defied authority by seeking the one that they loved with the determination and burden of being the one to kill them.
  • Pures and Half-Bloods … and Dhampirs and Moroi.
  • Deacon and Adrian, as the troubled character who drinks for a reason other than the like of it.

I try never to compare books with others, but I just can’t with this one, hence the 2.5-3 stars. I’m sorry Armentrout, I tried desperately to love Half-Blood. Here’s to hoping that Pure, the second book in the Covenant series, has a lot more creativity and originality.

3 Stars

Review: Grave Memory by Kalayna Price

October 9, 2012 § Leave a comment

Star Rating:

Date released: 3rd July 2012
Publisher: ROC
Author’s website: www. kalayna.com
My source: Amazon Kindle Store
Part of a series: Yes, #3 Alex Craft series
Find it at: GoodReads | Amazon | B&N

Official blurb:

When the dead need to talk, Alex Craft is always ready to listen…

As a Grave Witch, Alex solves murders by raising the dead—an ability that comes at a cost, and after her last few cases, that cost is compounding. But her magic isn’t the only thing causing havoc in her life. While she’s always been on friendly terms with Death himself, things have recently become a whole lot more close and personal. Then there’s her sometime partner, agent Falin Andrews, who is under the glamour of the Winter Queen. To top everything off, her best friend has been forever changed by her time spent captive in Faerie.

But the personal takes a backseat to the professional when a mysterious suicide occurs in Nekros City and Alex is hired to investigate. The shade she raises has no memory of the days leading up to his brutal ending, so despite the very public apparent suicide, this is murder. But what kind of magic can overcome the human will to survive? And why does the shade lack the memory of his death? Searching for the answer might mean Alex won’t have a life to remember at all…

What worked for me:

  • This plot. How amazing was it? The mystery behind the ‘apparent suicides’ was fantastic, the big reveal of the murderer being the grave-entity of the ‘rider’ and how they managed to contain him in the end? Absolutely riveting. I was hooked.
  • Death (the character). My opinion and love for Death still stands. Smoking. Hot. Absolutely tender, masculine and totally amazing, my hopeless romantic heart practically flip flopped in my chest when I realized they had a chance.
  • That sex scene. Nowhere 50 Shades material, but come on, it was still hot. And it was so affectionate and warm between them! And the morning after? Sheesh. I wonder what we would have been reading had Tamara not interrupted. I also found it amusing that Alex has known Death since she was 5 years old, hopped into bed with him, and doesn’t even know his real name.
  • A deeper understanding of the mechanics behind being a soul collector. I have been dying to know more about Death’s contextual construct and Price managed to give me a scrap without making me angry and demanding more. And I love how she never really confirmed or denied that the ‘mender’ Alex met is or isn’t ‘god’. Pretty obvious though, right? I like that Price doesn’t treat her readers like they’re idiots.
  • The exploration of faerie politics during the faerie revelry celebration. How interesting is it! Usually, as I’ve mentioned before, I hate reading books about fae because most of the authors do a fantastic job of describing Faerie and its occupants and it creeps me out to the max, but this was well written. Had me shivering and cringing, to be honest, especially whenever the Winter Queen made an appearance. Heinous bitch.

What didn’t work for me:

  • Falin. Seriously, get out already. Okay, fine, I’m sorry for being harsh – I know you’re only doing the bidding of your bitch-queen, but seriously. Alex can’t trust you and your boss is plotting her demise. Guilty by association, I know, but Alex needs to trash your toothbrush and make some space for Death’s.
  • This love triangle! Come on Alex! Stop being a typical indecisive lover and just choose one (preferably Death, thank you). I’d like you a lot more as a character if you stopped dancing between Falin and Death and just make a decision. I know you’re heartbroken but you’re a glutton for punishment what with the way you’ve been carrying on. Again, like I’ve previously mentioned, I abhor stories that have love triangles without a clear ‘winner’.

Other thoughts:

Caleb and Holly: totally saw that coming, and I think it’s hella cute.

My thoughts for the next installment (can’t believe it’s coming out August in 2013!!) is that Alex chooses a lover (preferably Death, thank you) and that her powers manifest even further, or even better, she understands and is at least able to control her planeweaving. Remember the Shadow King’s Changeling? Perhaps she meets him again and learns some valuable lessons from him. And maybe a plotline that involves something perhaps with Alex’s faerie power inheritance, and perhaps some more secrets her darling of a father has been keeping? I’m curious if the ‘mender’ will also make an appearance. His parting words of definitely seeing Alex again sounded ominous!

Adored the third installment to this series and cannot wait till August 2013 for Grave Vision!

A solid 4.5 Stars.

[ Alex Craft Book 1 review | Alex Craft Book 2 Review ]

Review: Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

October 2, 2012 § 3 Comments

Star Rating: Date released: 27th September 2011 
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Author’s website: http://www.lainitaylor.com/
My source: Apple iBooks
Format: eBook
Part of a series: Yes, #1 Daughter of Smoke and Bone series
Find it at: GoodReads Amazon | B&N

GoodReads book description

Around the world, black hand prints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grows dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious “errands”; she speaks many languages—not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.

When one of the strangers—beautiful, haunted Akiva—fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?

What I liked:

  • The darkness in the book. You can almost feel it trickling out and seeping into your arms, your eyes. Taylor is a very talented author because she can really give that illusion of night, but at the same time assures you that you’re safe in her hands.
  • The worldbuilding. What a fantastical world! I’ve never read anything like it. It was magical, frightening, epic and absolutely interesting. The idea that there is a war being fought unbeknownst to humans is definitely not a new concept, but for some reason it feels like it is one when you’re reading.
  • Karou. As a character she’s totally multi-dimensional. A talented artist, a conflicted teenager and a budding woman, she’s everything you expect her to be but she still manages to surprise you. She is strong and independent, a girl who is walking the line between two worlds and actually able to handle it.
  • Karou’s family, and their relationships. As creatures borne from ‘hell’, you expect there to be a lot more… hmm.. how to say it? Violence? Maliciousness and cruelty? I’m not sure. I expected this from her family considering which side of good and evil they were on, but the love and kinship between them all was endearing and Taylor does a fantastic job of making the reader sympathetic to their side.
  • Themes of love. The passionate, the enduring, the star-crossed, familial love, and the forbidden. Daughter of Smoke and Bone has it all.

What I didn’t like:

  • The instant love between Karou and Akiva (for reasons I don’t want to completely spoil). As most YA books go, this happens almost everywhere and I find it irritating that this still happens.

Finally, a book that really lived up to its hype. The ending absolutely destroyed me, and I was literally left wide-eyed thinking wait… that’s it? Where’s the rest of it? No. No! It was so tragic, I actually teared up. I can’t wait for the sequel’s release. And check out that amazing cover! Delicious to read.

A solid and luminescent 5 stars!

Review: Grave Dance by Kalayna Price

September 30, 2012 § Leave a comment

Star Rating:

Date released: 5th July 2011 
Publisher: ROC
Author’s website: www. kalayna.com
My source: Amazon Kindle Store
Part of a series: Yes, #2 Alex Craft series
Find it at: GoodReads | Amazon | B&N

GoodReads synopsis:

Whoever said dead men tell no tales obviously never met Alex Craft.

After a month spent recovering from a vicious fight with a sorcerer, grave witch Alex Craft is ready to get back to solving murders by raising the dead. With her love life in turmoil thanks to the disappearance of Fae Investigation Bureau agent Falin Andrews and a shocking “L” word confession from Death himself, Alex is eager for the distractions of work. But her new case turns out to be a deadly challenge.

The police hire Alex to consult on a particularly strange investigation in the nature preserve south of Nekros City. The strange part: There are no corpses, only fragments of them. A serial killer is potentially on the loose, and Alex has no way to raise a shade without a body, so she’ll have to rely on the magic of others to find leads. But as she begins investigating, a creature born of the darkest magic comes after her. Someone very powerful wants to make sure the only thing she finds is a dead end—her own.

What I really liked:

  • The plot. The mystery with the severed left feet? Exhilarating, I was riveted the entire time.
  • The time spent in Faerie and the alternate magical realities within the Faerie realm. It was confusing as hell, but I enjoyed the way it was written and the complete lack of predictability the world help.
  • The character dynamics between Alex and her friends and associates, i.e. John, Detective Jensen, Holly, Tamara and Caleb. It’s good to know that these relationships aren’t set in stone and that Alex’s actions affect them deeply with even the smallest action on her part. I’ve read a lot of books where the hero or heroine do something stupendously idiotic, but the offended friend still continues along merrily like nothing happened.\
  • Death, the character. Smoking. Hot.

What I didn’t like

  • The love triangle. From what the gray man told Alex, it really sucks because it seems Death doesn’t even have a chance of being with Alex, that he’s already out of the running for her affection. I hate how these angsty love triangles make me feel – especially in this case because I’m actually rooting for Alex to be with Death, not Falin. Ugh!
  • The parallel of Alex and PC entering Faerie and Dorothy and Toto entering Oz. Alex’s almost fanatical devotion to her dog was so irritating.
  • Alex’s… indifference. I find her a hard character to relate to, she’s incredibly cold and inaccessible to me. She’s passionate about her friends and her job and her magic, but for some reason, that passion doesn’t translate to any particular affinity for me to like her.
  • The introduction of a lot of new characters closer to the end of the book that is obviously laying the foundation for the next book. It was a little irritating because Price obviously wanted the characters introduced, but a lot of them seemed superfluous to the current story (like the reject ‘king’ of the nightmare realm).
  • The scene with Maximillian Bell in the cemetery with his goons. I seriously thought that scene was useless and dragged out that part of the story for me (the part that was supposed to be all gung-ho, oh my god we’re approaching the climax kind of part).

Overall, I liked the second book because of the mystery and the plot. It got a little fuzzy towards the end, especially the parts where she enters Faerie and meets something like half a dozen new characters that we never end up learning a lot about. The romance in the book was considerably lessened because Alex was torn between two love interests, but it seems from the way the book ended that Alex will be staying with Falin for now because of what happened to Edana and the rogue reaper.

I feel really bad for Death, and wish we knew more about the soul collectors and what binds them. Seriously, I feel that Death is so amazing compared to Falin. I can’t even discern the two of them but my heart’s telling me to root for Death and Alex – and even with Edana’s demise and warning, I still want them to be together. Impossible? Fuck it. Even Alex’s relationship with Falin is doomed to failure because of his loyalty to the Winter Court and queen. She just can’t choose the easy way out, can she?

Solid 4 Stars.

My review of Book 1 in the Alex Craft series can be found here.

Review: Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews

September 30, 2012 § Leave a comment

Star Rating:

Date released: 7th March 2007 
Publisher: Ace
Author’s website: www.ilona-andrews.com/
My source: Amazon Kindle Store
Part of a series: Yes, #1 Kate Daniels series
Find it at: GoodReads | Amazon | B&N

 

 

 

GoodReads synopsis:

When the magic is up, rogue mages cast their spells and monsters appear, while guns refuse to fire and cars fail to start. But then technology returns, and the magic recedes as unpredictably as it arose, leaving all kinds of paranormal problems in its wake.

Kate Daniels is a down-on-her-luck mercenary who makes her living cleaning up these magical problems. But when Kate’s guardian is murdered, her quest for justice draws her into a power struggle between two strong factions within Atlanta’s magic circles.

The Masters of the Dead, necromancers who can control vampires, and the Pack, a paramilitary clan of shapechangers, blame each other for a series of bizarre killings—and the death of Kate’s guardian may be part of the same mystery. Pressured by both sides to find the killer, Kate realizes she’s way out of her league—but she wouldn’t have it any other way…

What worked for me:

  • Kate, as a character. She’s so badass, so cynical and possesses razor sharp wit and sarcasm, I loved her from the start. She’s independent, determined and stubborn to boot – all personality traits I identify with Alpha Females. I love that she can take care of herself and doesn’t go overboard with the “I’m badass, don’t even think about it” attitude. She talks big, but she can back it up.
  • The little folklore and mythology stories interspersed between the big picture. I loved learning little tidbits about other cultures and their mythos and I admire the amount of research that Ilona and her husband Gordon put in to give the book a bit more juice and credibility.
  • Curran. Oh my, Alpha Male personified. He was hot, and I loved the way his part was written, just fantastic.
  • The range of interesting characters. Saiman the metamorph, Jim the werejaguar and Derek the werewolf. They all added great elements to the book. The only one I’m not too keen on is Ghastek, but eh.
  • The dialogue. I’m big on dialogue and the snappy banter between Curran and Kate was swoon-worthy. And Kate’s thoughts were great too, one of my favourite quotes from the book:

He was describing that moment when you realize that you are lonely. For a time you can be alone and doing fine and never give a thought to living any other way and then you meet someone and suddenly you become lonely.

  • The relationship (or, the laying of bricks for the eventual foundation of a relationship) between Curran and Kate. It was torture, because we knew (probably from the very beginning) that Dr. Toothpaste wasn’t the man for Kate and that it was Curran she was heading for the entire time. You can’t help but root for the Beast Lord! The suspense Andrews was building towards an eventual get together between Kate and Curran was amazing, tiny little flickers here and there, so subtle.

What didn’t work for me:

  • The flow of the story. Even after reading it a second time, I still felt like the events of the story are disjointed, and Kate makes illogical leaps of intuition. The plot stumbles a lot, and I feel like the only reason why I liked reading this book in the first place is the isolated, personal scenes between Kate and other characters when she goes off to investigate.
  • Some elements of the world: i.e. ‘the magic fell’ and ‘tech was up’. It was just… strange. There was a logical explanation of it within the confines of the book, but it just didn’t work for me.
  • The upir. I just didn’t feel like there was enough juice behind this villain, and it seemed so… flashy? I’m not sure what word to use. Is it possible to say that the mystery and the eventual reasoning behind the upir’s crazy massacre was over the top and ridiculous? Anyway, I didn’t like it. Bono seemed too over the top, and the ‘final battle’ with the dragon and Nick from the Order almost had me dropping the book because it was just too much.

As the first book in a series goes, this one didn’t actually impress me as much. I was confused throughout most of it but lived for the action sequences, and the tortuous scenes between Kate and Curran because in my heart I knew they were destined. Kate is a character I can admire, most definitely. She’s a woman who feels comfortable in her own skin, knows how to relatively deal with her demons and isn’t shy to stand up for herself and others.

I felt that since it was the first in the series, Ilona Andrews tried too hard to make the plot epic when it didn’t really need it. The uniqueness of the heroine and her history, the world, and the other major players in the series kept the reader interested enough. Just by throwing the reader through a dozen twists and turns to make the plot development ‘exciting’ just served to confuse.

Kate and Curran are one of my most favourite couples in fiction and they made my Top 10 Fictitious Couples list and the Kate Daniels series made my Top 10 Paranormal Series list.

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