Category Archives: Urban Fantasy
There can only be one alpha.
Bryn is finally settling into her position as alpha of the Cedar Ridge Pack—or at least, her own version of what it means to be alpha when you’re a human leading a band of werewolves. Then she finds a teenage boy bleeding on her front porch. Before collapsing, he tells her his name is Lucas, he’s a Were, and Bryn’s protection is his only hope.
But Lucas isn’t part of Bryn’s pack, and she has no right to claim another alpha’s Were. With threats—old and new—looming, and danger closing in from all sides, Bryn will have to accept what her guardian Callum knew all along. To be alpha, she will have to give in to her own animal instincts and become less human. And, she’s going to have to do it alone.
Bryn faces both the costs, and the rewards, of love and loyalty, in this thrilling sequel to Raised by Wolves.
Trial by Fire (Raised by Wolves #2) by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
I’m disappointed by this sequel. I don’t feel I should be. Objectively speaking, the plot is a good one. It’s based on an ethical dilemma with no obvious answer and where gaining advice is problematic. The struggle, Bryn’s journey as alpha is what this is about but I just couldn’t seem to care. It was slow for the most part and I became bored.
Despite Lucas’s situation being a sympathetic one, I didn’t like him. I didn’t necessarily want to see him dead but I needed a reason other than his ultimate death to care about Bryn helping him at the possible detriment of her pack.
I’m also disappointed that Barnes didn’t use this sequel as an opportunity to bring depth to certain characters, Chase in particular. He was the main reason I didn’t give Raised By Wolves a higher rating i.e. 5 stars, simply because he was an unknown. We knew nothing about him and I was hoping his story would unfold here. It didn’t. I know little time has passed between books and Bryn is busy caring for the pack but they still spend time together, mostly in silence which was maddening.
The part of the book that I found intriguing was the ending simply because it meant Bryn was forced to make a life and death decision, and she chose death. It was the right choice but it was a painful one which resulted in the loss of a valuable pack member.
Callum’s warning in the form of a horse carving meant nothing until the end so I understood Bryn’s frustration with him even though his hands were tied by fate and politics to do more than he did to help.
I am glad the Bryn has acknowledged the need to one day become wolf because even though she is strong as human, she’s vulnerable, too.
Overall, I believe the writing lets this book down. Trial By Fire could’ve easily been a five star read if the writing had been tighter, faster paced with more character development. I’m not eager to read the next book but if my library order it I probably will in the vain hope these problems will be addressed.
Doubletake (Cal Leandros #7) by Rob Thurman
Chris is the cover artist for many of our favorite series, in addition to Rob’s Nightlife series.
Release date: 6 March 2012 | Publisher: Roc
“This is a new war…”
Underworld: Awakening, starring the beautiful Kate Beckinsale, will air in US theaters on 20 January 2012. In this edition of Underworld, Selene wakes up to a “new world” where the humans are at war with vampires and lycans. From the preview clip, Selene is on the hunt for Michael (played by Scott Speedman), the vamp-lycan hybrid from Underworld: Evolution. Read ShockTillYouDrop.com’s report on their visit to the set.
Synopsis from Comingsoon.net:
“Underworld Awakening” brings a stunning new dimension to the epic battle between Vampires and Lycans, as the first film in the franchise to shoot in 3D.
Kate Beckinsale, star of the first two films, returns in her lead role as the vampire warrioress Selene, who escapes imprisonment to find herself in a world where humans have discovered the existence of both Vampire and Lycan clans, and are conducting an all-out war to eradicate both immortal species.
“You spin me right ’round, baby, right ’round…” ~ Dead or Alive
When an author spins off a series you love, the excitement to read that new series increases.
Release Date: 7 September 2011
Risa Jones is as extraordinary as her heritage. Born from a lab-enhanced clone mother and an Aedh father, she can not only talk to the souls of the dying and the dead, but she can see the reapers and walk the gray fields that divide this world from the next.
They are skill she rarely uses, however, preferring to concentrate on the business she shares with her two best friends. But when her mother asks her to help the parents of a little girl locked in a coma, she reluctantly agrees. What she discovers scares the hell out of her. Because the little girl’s soul no longer resides in her body, and it wasn’t death and the reapers that took her.
Someone had ripped her soul from her flesh.
As it turns out, a creature consuming the souls of the innocent–and not so innocent–is the least of her problems.
Because someone wants to rip open the gates that divided hell from earth, and Risa is a key component in their plans.
And the only person standing between her and disaster is a reaper who isn’t exactly on her side.
*Book #2, Darkness Rising is due the following month on 25 October!
Shaman-for-hire Eugenie Markham is the best at banishing entities trespassing in the mortal realm. But as the Thorn Land’s queen, she’s fast running out of ways to end the brutal war devastating her kingdom. Her only hope: the Iron Crown, a legendary object even the most powerful gentry fear…
Who Eugenie can trust is the hardest part. Fairy king Dorian has his own agenda for aiding her search. And Kiyo, her shape-shifter ex-boyfriend, has every reason to betray her along the way. To control the Crown’s ever-consuming powers, Eugenie will have to confront an unimaginable temptation–one that will put her soul and the fate of two worlds in mortal peril…
“Curiouser and curiouser!” ~ Alice
“Twinkle, twinkle, little bat! How I wonder what you’re at.” ~ Mad Hatter
We pick up where Thorn Queen left off. Dorian and Eugenie are united in their fight against the Rowan Queen. Eugenie sets out on a quest to find the Iron Crown in an attempt to end the war. That’s where the story starts to get … odd. I was happily surprised to find I was actually beginning to like Genie’s sister, Jasmine. Dorian remains my favorite character throughout this series. He is who he is and you know what to expect from him. Genie on the other hand was all over the place in this installment. She was frustrated with her “unwanted powers”, but equally paraded it about shouting how powerful she is as the Thorn Queen. There was also a lot of back and forth between the two worlds. While I enjoy a pop-in to check on the roomie, business, etc, this one had me wishing she’d stick to the fae realm.
“What is the use of a book, without pictures or conversations” ~ Alice
“That’s just it. If you don’t think, then you shouldn’t talk.” ~ The Hare
Honestly, I am not quite sure how to rate it. Since I’m undecided on 2.5 or 3 demons, I’ll round up to 3 since I haven’t fully given up hope for Eugenie.
“Take care of the sense, and the sounds will take care of themselves” ~ The Dutchess
“We are all mad here.” ~ The Cheshire Cat
So, this book receives the Cheshire Cat award for characters who evoke such strong reactions from fans – whether good or bad.
I have a love/hate relationship with anthologies.
Kitty’s Greatest Hits by Carrie Vaughn
Release Date: 16 Aug 2011
The first-ever story collection featuring Kitty Norville and her companions from New York Times bestselling author Carrie Vaughn, including two all-new works.
Enthralled: Paranormal Diversions by Melissa Marr (editor), Kelley Armstrong (editor), Rachel Vincent, Sarah Rees Brennan, Jeri Smith-Ready, Mary E. Pearson, Jennifer Lynn Barnes, Jessica Verday, Claudia Gray, Jackson Pearce, Carrie Ryan, Rachel Caine, Kami Garcia, Margaret Stohl, Ally Condie and Kimberly Derting
Release Date: 20 Sep 2011
Sixteen of today’s most popular writers of paranormal tales present stories with the common theme of journeys. Authors such as Kelley Armstrong, Rachel Caine, and Melissa Marr return to the beloved worlds of their bestselling series, while others, like Claudia Gray, Kami Garcia, and Margaret Stohl, create new landscapes and characters.
Whether they’re writing about vampires, faeries, angels, or other magical beings, each author explores the strength and resilience of the human heart.
Supernatural by Larissa Ione, Alexandra Ivy, Jacquelyn Frank and G.A. Aiken
Release Date: 30 Aug 2011
In this tantalizing collection, four New York Times bestselling authors invite you into the alluring worlds they’ve created in the Demonica, Guardians of Eternity, Nightwalkers, and Dragon Kin series. Each mesmerizing page will leave you craving more…
“Vampire Fight Club ” by Larissa Ione
When a wave of violence forces shapeshifter Vladlena to go undercover, her first stop is a haven of vice—with a dangerously sexy vamp in charge. Both Vladlena and Nathan are hiding something, but they can’t conceal the lust that simmers between them…
“Darkness Eternal ” by Alexandra Ivy
After being held captive by one vampire for four centuries, Kata had no intention of taking another one to the underworld with her. Yet even in the pits of hell, there’s no ignoring the intoxicating desire awakened by his touch…
“Kane ” by Jacquelyn Frank
Kane knows Corrine was meant to be his. . . just as he knows that truly possessing the lovely human is forbidden. But on the night of the Samhain moon, the beast in every demon is stronger than reason, and Kane’s hunger is more powerful than any punishment…
“Dragon on Top ” by G.A. Aiken
Escorting the highborn Bram through deadly Sand Dragon territory will try Ghleanna’s patience. . . and her resolve. For Bram is determined to enhance the journey with a seduction no female could resist…
Home Improvement: Undead Edition by Charlaine Harris (editor), Toni L.P. Kelner (editor), Patricia Briggs, James Grady, Heather Graham and Melissa Marr
Release Date: 2 Aug 2011
The editors of the New York Times bestselling Death’s Excellent Vacation bring home a new collection…with a never-before- published Sookie Stackhouse story!
There’s nothing like home renovation for finding skeletons in the closet or otherwordly portals in the attic. Now, for any homeowner who’s ever wondered, “What’s that creaking sound?” or fans of “how to” television who’d like a little unreality mixed in with their reality shows, editors Charlaine Harris and Toni L. P. Kelner return with an all-new collection of the paranormal perils of Do-It-Yourself.
Sookie Stackhouse resides in these pages, in a never-before-published story by #1 New York Times bestselling author Charlaine Harris. And New York Times bestselling authors Patricia Briggs, James Grady, Heather Graham, Melissa Marr, and nine other outstanding writers have constructed more frightening and funny fixer-upper tales guaranteed to shake foundations and rattle readers’ pipes.
The Wild Side by Mark L. Van Name, Diana Rowland, Tanya Huff, Caitlin Kittredge, Gina Massel-Castater, Toni L.P. Kelner, Sarah A. Hoyt, Ticia Drake Isom, Dana Cameron and John Lambshead
Release Date: 2 Aug 2011
Take a walk on the “wild side” of urban fantasy. When the werewolf cubs are asleep and the baby vamps are tucked into their coffins, the adults come out to play! Feeling a bit undead and dying to shuffle off your toil and troubles and get it on? You’ve come to the right place! Spend some quality time lolling in the moonlight shadows with a love that only comes out at night. From light-spirited romps to black-hearted noir, from steampunk London to the bleeding edge of the present, tales of love, eros, betrayal and seduction in a beguiling vein. Best-sellers Tanya Huff, Caitlin Kittredge and Toni L.P. Kelner join Dana Cameron, Sarah A. Hoyt, John Lambshead, Diana Rowland and editor Mark L. Van Name create a dazzling cast of vampires, werewolves, witches and zombies, oh my. Oh my.
The Urban Fantasy Anthology by Peter S. Beagle (Editor), Joe R. Lansdale (Editor), Patricia Briggs, Neil Gaiman and Charles de Lint
Release Date: 15 Aug 2011
Star-studded and comprehensive, this imaginative anthology brings a myriad of modern fantasy voices under one roof. Previously difficult for readers to discover in its new modes, urban fantasy is represented here in all three of its distinct styles—playful new mythologies, sexy paranormal romances, and gritty urban noir. Whether they feature tattooed demon-hunters, angst-ridden vampires, supernatural gumshoes, or pixelated pixies, these authors—including Patricia Briggs, Neil Gaiman, and Charles de Lint—mash-up traditional fare with pop culture, creating iconic characters, conflicted moralities, and complex settings. The result is starkly original fiction that has broad-based appeal and is immensely entertaining.
“It’s a Kinda Magic” ~ Queen
Here’s a book which has managed to stay on our TBR list for a while, though not because of a lack of interest, and book #2 was just released July 5th.
Grave Witch (Alex Craft #1) by Kalayna Price
Release Date: December 2010
Not even death can save her now.
As a grave witch, Alex Craft can speak to the dead-she’s even on good terms with Death himself. As a consultant for the police, she’s seen a lot of dark magic, but nothing has prepared her for her latest case. When she’s raising a “shade” involved in a high profile murder, it attacks her, and then someone makes an attempt on her life. Someone really doesn’t want her to know what the dead have to say, and she’ll have to work with mysterious homicide detective Falin Andrews to figure out why…
Grave Dance (Alex Craft #2) by Kalayna Price
Release Date: 5 July 2011
After a month of down time, Grave Witch Alex Craft is ready to get back to solving murders by raising the dead. With her love life in turmoil, Alex is eager for the distractions of work. But when her new case forces her to overuse her magic, it might be the last mystery the Grave Witch ever gets to solve…