Category Archives: Dark Urban Fantasy
Old habits die hard. And I plan on murdering someone before the night is through.
Killing used to be my regular gig, after all. Gin Blanco, aka the Spider, assassin-for-hire. And I was very good at it. Now, I’m ready to make the one hit that truly matters: Mab Monroe, the dangerous Fire elemental who murdered my family when I was thirteen.
Oh, I don’t think the mission will be easy, but turns out it’s a bit more problematic than expected. The bitch knows I’m coming for her. So now I’m up against the army of lethal bounty hunters she hired to track me down. She also put a price on my baby sister’s head. Keeping Bria safe is my first priority. Taking Mab out is a close second.
Good thing I’ve got my powerful Stone and Ice magic — and my irresistible lover Owen Grayson — to watch my back. This battle has been years in the making, and there’s a chance I won’t survive. But if I’m going down, then Mab’s coming with me…no matter what I have to do to make that happen.
Spider’s Revenge (Elemental Assassin #5) by Jennifer Estep
A novella’s worth of content in a full-length novel. What was done with the rest of the pages, I hear you ask? Were they blank? I would’ve preferred them to be.
My name is Gin Blanco…
I know! I’ve been reading about your life for four books now.
…and I’m an assassin
Yes, you’re a hitwoman, we know this, can we get on with the killin’ now?
This is Finn. He’s my foster brother.
I do have a memory, no matter how dysfunctional it sometimes is, it’s never THAT bad.
And this is Bria…
You can see where I’m going with this, can’t you? Every character is reintroduced to us along with their backstory and history with Gin. Lots and lots of repetition. And yet more repetition. Ironically, eye colour-love, the most repeated thing in the first few books was toned down.
Character histories aside, the plot is a wash, rinse and repeat too.
1) Gin gets in a bind.
2) It gets worse.
3) Her friends rally round to do anything to keep her alive because they’ve all benefited from Gin’s talents in the past.
4) Gin gets in huge fight which she barely survives.
5) Jo-jo heals her.
6) Some happy stuff happens then we learn of what Gin plans to do next. The End.
The trouble with #6 concerning this book: the drawn-out story arc is now complete. Am I willing to stick around for another? I’m not sure. One positive about this one, it was skim-city so it took only a couple of hours to read. On the other hand, I shelled out hard cash for the privilege. Venom and Tangled Threads were good reads. I like the characters, the way elemental magic is used, the pretty gory fight scenes and Gin’s unapologetic violent ways but based on the pros and cons, By a Thread is likely to go unread unless I see some stellar reviews.
In a world where magic is real and the supernatural is almost normal, bodyguard Celia Graves has survived a vampire attack which made her a half-vampire and awakened her latent Siren abilities. She’s battled a Siren Queen to the death and twice faced down a demon that wants to kill her–slowly. She’s also had her heart broken–twice–by her old flame, magician Bruno DeLuca.
Perhaps the worst thing was the discovery that Celia’s life has been warped by a curse laid on her during childhood–the cause of everything from the death of her little sister to the murder of her best friend the same night that Celia became an Abomination.
An ancient rift between the demonic dimension and our own–sealed during the destruction of Atlantis–begins to open, threatening to loose all the demons of hell on humanity (including the one personally bent on destroying Celia). Celia’s hellish recent experiences have given her the unique combination of abilities needed to close the rift. But to overcome the curse, which nearly guarantees her failure, she’ll need to join forces with people she no longer trusts…and put people she has come to care about directly in harm’s way.
Demon Song (Blood Singer #3) by Cat Adams
Demon Song, the 3rd book in Cat Adams’ Blood Singer series, finds Celia still coping with her fight to not go full vamp, while also dealing with the demon that just won’t leave her alone and her recently discovered heritage. Troubles a brewin’ and she finds herself smack in the middle of it.
The action in this series is non-stop. Trouble follows Celia around, but the girl carries some major weapons, many hopped on magic and always gets the job done. This edition to the series has a bit more romance than the previous books, although not like you’d expect. As with everything in this series, it’s fresh, unique ~ just like Celia herself. For the first time, she finds herself in the midst of a hottie triangle. Neither mage seems anywhere near close to backing down and each one of the men evoke different emotions for Celia. Unlike most triangles, this one proves to be interesting. I look forward to seeing how it plays out in future editions.
This is definitely one of my favorite urban fantasy series to date. I continue to be impressed with each book, each better than one before it. I am anxious to read The Isis Collar in March 2012.
This series is hard to review without spoilers, but I believe I blocked the only one I’ve included in my Goodreads review. Please note that each book’s blurb tends to provide spoilers for the previous books in this series. So, it’s best to read only the blurb for the next book in your TBR list.
Series Reading Order:
The final book in Carolyn Crane‘s Disillusionists trilogy
has a name and release dates!
We may not know what the cover looks like, but we do know what it will be called …. HEAD RUSH. Carolyn posted the great news on her website, “The third and final book in the Disillusionists trilogy, HEAD RUSH, will release as an audio book in early November (all 3 books will come out at once in audio). It will release as an ebook on December 6th (Samhain) and as print in 2012 at some point.”
The first two books in the Disillusionists trilogy are some of the most unique I have read in a long time. I have had so much fun meeting and following Justine and her merry band of Disillusionists. I am THRILLED to hear the trilogy will finally be complete later this year. I am looking forward to Head Rush.
Mind Games (Disillusionists Trilogy #1)
JUSTINE KNOWS SHE’S GOING TO DIE. ANY SECOND NOW.
Justine Jones has a secret. A hardcore hypochondriac, she’s convinced a blood vessel is about to burst in her brain. Then, out of the blue, a startlingly handsome man named Packard peers into Justine’s soul and invites her to join his private crime-fighting team. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime deal. With a little of Packard’s hands-on training, Justine can weaponize her neurosis, turning it outward on Midcity’s worst criminals, and finally get the freedom from fear she’s always craved. End of problem.
Or is it? In Midcity, a dashing police chief is fighting a unique breed of outlaw with more than human powers. And while Justine’s first missions, including one against a nymphomaniac husband-killer, are thrilling successes, there is more to Packard than meets the eye. Soon, while battling her attraction to two very different men, Justine is plunging deeper into a world of wizardry, eroticism, and cosmic secrets. With Packard’s help, Justine has freed herself from her madness—only to discover a reality more frightening than anyone’s worst fears.
Double Cross (Disillusionists Trilogy #2)
SOME SECRETS COME BACK TO HAUNT. OTHERS COME TO KILL.
Justine Jones lived her life as a fearful hypochondriac until she was lured into the web of a mysterious mastermind named Packard, who gifts her with extraordinary mental powers—dooming her to fight Midcity’s shadowy war on paranormal crime in order to find the peace she so desperately craves.
But now serial killers with unheard-of skills are terrorizing the most powerful beings in Midcity, including mastermind Packard and his oldest friend and worst enemy, Midcity’s new mayor, who has the ability to bend matter itself to his will.
As the body count grows, Justine faces a crisis of conscience as she tests the limits of her new powers and faces an impossible choice between two flawed but brilliant men—one on a journey of redemption, the other descending into a pit of moral depravity.
Wild & Steamy Anthology (Disillusionists Trilogy #2.5)
Kitten-tiger & the Monk by Carolyn Crane – A Disillusionists novella of 20,000 words: Sophia Sidway, Midcity’s most dangerous memory revisionist, seeks out the mysterious Monk in the wasteland beneath the Tangle turnpike, hoping for redemption…but it turns out that the Monk is not all that pious, and the turnpike is no turnpike at all.
Format: eBook only
Release Date: 2 August 2011
Excerpts for each novella within the anthology (Other novellas authored by Meljean Brooks and Jill Myles)
Buy Now: Kindle | All Romance Ebooks | Smashwords | Nook
Who said bad things come in threes?
I am an admitted series whore, but trilogies are great too.
Not every story needs to go on past three books.
Release Date: 6 September 2011
Description from Goodreads:
On one side, the Night World, rules by the Blood Lords and the Beast Kind. On the other, the elusive Fae and the humans, protected by their steadfast mages…
Born a wraith, Lily is a shadow who slips between worlds. Brought up by a Blood Lord and raised to be his assassin, she is little more than a slave. But when Lily meets her match in target Simon DuCaine, the unlikely bond that develops between them threatens to disrupt an already stretched peace in a city on the verge of being torn apart…
The author has posted a preview of Chapter 1. In her post called “The Story Behind” she states, “I don’t know if any writer can truly explain where their ideas come from. For me, books are triggered by lots of things. By a mood or an image or by thinking about something I’ve read (a myth, a phase, a story). But some books just arrive unannounced.
Shadow Kin is one of those books. I knew I needed another book idea but was working on something else at the time. But there I was, lying in bed one night, drifting off to sleep when a voice in my head said “Revenge is silent.” At which I kind of half-woke up, thought “hmm, random writer thought” and rolled over, fully prepared to go back to sleep. But the voice was having none of that. “Revenge is silent”, she said again (she was a she now) and gave me a glimpse of her standing outside a door, getting ready to kill someone. That woke me up. And the brain started to whirl, wondering why revenge was silent, who this gal was and who was she going to kill. That was pretty much a clear signal that this wasn’t a random sleepy writer thought, and that I needed to get up and haul my butt to the computer and start writing.
Which I did. Got up, wrote about twelve pages in an hour then staggered back to bed. At first I thought I was writing an urban fantasy. But then, I realised they weren’t wearing modern clothes and when the first gun appeared it was an old fashioned, wooden handled, beautifully ornamented pistol. Things only got weirder from there. I believe I told my agent something like “I’m writing this weird book with mages, assassins, vampires, Fae, secrets and oh yeah, kind of quasi Victorian level culture.” She wisely said nothing discouraging and let me carry on. And thus Shadow Kin was born…”
Parting is Such Sweet Sorrow
When a series or trilogy ends, it’s always hard to say goodbye to characters you’ve come to enjoy.
These are a couple we’re looking forward to reading.
Burn the Night (Dark Days #6) by Jocelynn Drake
Release Date: 28 June 2011
The Great Awakening approaches . . .
After eons in exile, the naturi have broken their chains and now roam the Earth bent on revenge. It is the sworn duty of Mira, the Fire Starter, to protect the nightwalker race—though even she may be powerless to withstand the horrific onslaught. As Mira and her brave lover, the vampire slayer Danaus, stand ready to do battle, thousands of winged shapeshifters darken the skies. The war of ultimate extermination has begun, and the battleground is Mira’s home turf.
The humans don’t yet recognize the doom descending upon them. And the nightwalkers will surely perish unless they unite with outcast naturi who claim to want peace. But these unexpected “allies” are the same demons who have long worked for Mira’s destruction—and in these darkest of days the lines between friend and foe will blur treacherously before the bloody end of all things.
Something Deadly This Way Comes (Madison Avery Trilogy #3) by Kim Harrison
Release Date: 24 May 2011
I’m Madison Avery, in charge of heaven’s hit squad . . . and fighting it all the way.
When Madison died the night of her prom, she knew her life would never be the same. Now she has a powerful amulet, a team of rogue angels by her side, and the ability to flash forward into the future to see the shape of destiny. And of course, now she’s finally with Josh—a perfect boyfriend who doesn’t even mind that she’s dead.
But being dead has its disadvantages, too. Madison feels caught between the light and the dark, and between her real life and her timekeeper status. When Madison has the opportunity to get her body back—to be alive again—she faces her most difficult decision yet. If she claims it, she could return to being a normal girl—and have a chance at a real relationship with Josh. But would having the one thing she wants most in the world also mean giving up everything she’s worked so hard for?
Do you have a series ending soon?
Was it time for it to end or do you wish it could’ve continued?
Are you suffering from True Blood Withdrawal?
There’s help available.
TBWithdrawal: Makes Waiting Suck A Lot Less
HBO has started their True Blood withdrawal campaign because “True Blood addiction is no laughing matter. It’s the leading cause of television-related withdrawal in America today.”
Here are my two favorite clips from past seasons. ENJOY!
Who could forget, in Season 2, when Eric, all foiled up, loses his cool over a little blood splatter? 😉
Or the amazing booty shot in Season 3 where he questions Bill’s stamina? 😉