Tag Archive | paranormal

Book Review: Switched by Amanda Hocking

Book Review: Switched by Amanda Hocking (Trylle Trilogy #1)

Format: ebook

Published:  July 12, 2010

Genre: Young adult, paranormal, urban fantasy, magic

Sensuality Rating: kisses

Synopsis (from Goodreads)When Wendy Everly was six-years-old, her mother was convinced she was a monster and tried to kill her. It isn’t until eleven years later that Wendy finds out her mother might’ve been telling the truth.

With the help of Finn Holmes, Wendy finds herself in a world she never knew existed – and it’s one she’s not sure if she wants to be a part of.

Review: 

At her sixth birthday party, Wendy Every’s mother tried to kill her with a cake knife. Way to kill the party vibe…

Since then Wendy has been living with her very over protective older brother, Matt, and her aunt Maggie moving every few months whenever Wendy gets kicked out of yet another school. When not another private school will take her Wendy enrols in a public school but her attitude hasn’t changed at all. Brawling with girls in the bathroom and sleeping her way though History class – that’s literally sleeping complete with drool. Nothing seems to have changed at all. Until she notices Finn Holmes – the only kid in the class that’s even newer than she is – staring at her. Constantly.

The only thing worse than his creepy behaviour is the fact that Wendy can’t help but notice how attractive Finn is. After a disastrous date to the school dance, Wendy isn’t even sure if she wants to see Finn again but he drags her into a world she’s knows nothing about complete with princesses, magical powers and trolls…

I really enjoyed this story. After reading many paranormal teen novels that follow the same formula (girl meets boy, they fall in love for no apparent reason, they have drama but end up happily ever after) I was glad to read a story where the romance isn’t the focus. Yes, Wendy does develop feelings for Finn but that’s by no means the focus in this story.

The world of the Trylle was fascinating. I love the idea of changeling children being “switched” out with the children of wealthy parents in order for the Trylle society to inherit generous trust funds that they then bring back to the society after Trackers are sent to find the changelings.

One of the few things that I did have issues  with in this novel was the pacing – there was a lot of world building and background information that was important to set up the series but I was 50 pages from the end and was waiting for the climax to start. 40 pages to the end I was still waiting. It wasn’t until twenty pages from the end that all the drama unfolded but it was all wrapped up within a few pages – it had to be because we were running out of pages before the novel ended.

I really enjoyed this story. It was a great YA paranormal story that offered me something new. I’d never read a troll story before but I will be reading another  – the sequel is already on my kindle and waiting for me! 😛

Rating: 

3.5 out of 5

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Book Review: Fractured Moon by E.R. Pierce

Book Review: Fractured Moon by E.R. Pierce (Steel #1)

Format: ebook

Published:  March 3, 2012

Genre: Paranormal Romance, Shifters, Paranormal suspense,

Sensuality Rating: Hot!

Synopsis (from Goodreads)Aurelia Fridell will always be a freak. Born to werewolf parents, her twin brother Ville can shift forms, but she can’t. Twenty-five years searching for answers yields nothing.

As her thirtieth birthday approaches, isolation creeps in, and worry settles in her gut. She accepted her existence long ago, and yet lately, she’s felt off-kilter. Eyes follow her, prickling her senses. Her headaches are getting worse.

Is she paranoid, or is there really someone, or something, stalking her? Watching. Waiting. Drumming fingers to a sinister beat she can’t hear.

Time will tell. 

Ceithin Starkley isn’t looking for a mate. Especially now. In fact, he doesn’t believe in true-matings at all. While he is being recruited for a new job, a scent on the wind stuns him, and he finds himself fighting an inner battle he never wanted, yet can’t ignore.

Sparks fly, as Ceithin and Aurelia fight fate and race against a clock neither knows is ticking. 

Will he claim Aurelia before he loses her for good?

Warning: This book is sexy. Contains a drool-worthy Alpha male wearing Beta clothing. A sassy and sweet heroine with brains and brothers you’ll adore. A best friend every girl would love to hate. I mean have. And an impossible road no one will see coming.

Review: 

From the very start I liked Aurelia Fridell. We meet her whilst she’s standing backstage at her brother’s bar waiting to be called out for a bachelorette auction that her best friend, Astrid (or Az for short) has roped her into participating in.  There were so many other things I should be doing with my Saturday night. Yet here I sat, nursing my Summer Ale, waiting for the current Barbie Bimbette to be sold. Soon it’d be my turn — I left my cheer meter at home. 

A little snarky and sarcastic – just how I like my heroines!

Aurelia is somewhat of an anomaly among werewolves – able to partially change her features and grow claws but not able to complete a complete shift into wolf form. This ‘defect’ makes her an outsider in her community and – despite their best efforts at being supportive – her family too. Depite this (or maybe because of it) Aurelia is a strong and capable heroine. She’s an incredibly smart, brave and passionate woman.

One year after the bachelorette auction, Aurelia comes face to face (quite literally as he tackles her to the floor of Az’s tattoo parlor) with Ceithin Starkley – a werewolf visiting the area on a business opportunity with Aurelia’s father. From the moment they meet they share incredible sexual tention – I could almost see the sparks flying! – but Ceithin sees himself as a little bit oldfashioned. He won’t cheat. Just Aurelia’s luck to meet the man who may be her fated mate and him be involved in a relationship with another woman. I admired Ceithin for that. I have to admit I get slightly annoyed when just because someone meets their fated mate – all rules and manners fly out the window.

I also relished in the chanced to see Aurelia jealous – and play a little dirty!

Just because Ceithin is in a relationship and trying to fight his werewolf nature and be faithful to his girlfriend doesn’t mean that Aurelia isn’t going to make a play for her potential mate! Her playful, sensual and jealous side made itself known when she was in the club. I didn’t expect it from her but it made me like her more. And made me realize that she wasn’t going to let circumstances stand between her and what she wanted in life. Her lack of shifting ability weighs heavily upon her and I was glad for her to see that she wasn’t going to give up. And this is fiction and a story of true mates! – so I don’t feel bad at all rooting for a woman trying to steal another woman’s boyfriend.

Ceithin unable and unwilling to ignore his desire for Aurelia, breaks up with his girlfriend and starts to court Aurelia. I loved the courting. Ever since I was 12 years old and read Jane Austen’s Persuasion for the first time, I’ve loved letters in novels. And whilst Ceithin’s emails weren’t quite as formal as Captain Wentworth’s, I loved them. He’s blunt and slightly awkward but I felt it was honest and that in itself was beautiful. Despite the chemistry and sexual tension between them – Ceithin and Aurelia got to know each other. The sex – when it happened – was hot but, for me, what made it ever better and that bit more intense was that the characters had fallen in love. This isn’t a story of instant love for no reason – these two knew each other. They knew their faults and their good qualities and genuinely cared for the other.

In addition to the romance plot, Aurelia has someone tormenting her with no apparent reason. Her tires are slashed and her house ransacked. Throw in some nearly incapacitating and blinding headaches

As the story goes on we get to find out more about why Aurelia can’t shift, her special mental bond with her brother, Ville. I thought it was an inventive and creative plot. I really enjoyed how everything unfolded. Many questions I had early in the novel were answered and I was satisfied with the ending. There was a shift in the point-of-view for a few chapters that I didn’t really like. I understand why it was necessary but the main reason why I liked this book was  Aurelia’s sassiness, her cheekiness and how at times she mentally berated  herself. She was a fantastic narrator. I missed that when we switched to Ceithin’s POV.

I really enjoyed reading this book. There is a lot to love about the characters and the storyline. It was interesting and sexy and highly enjoyable.

Rating: 

4 out of 5

Purchase book at:

Amazon (kindle version) / All Romance Ebooks (mobi, epub, html and pdf formats)

Click here to visit the author’s home page

Book Review: Succubus Nights (aka. Succubus On Top) by Richelle Mead

Book Review: Succubus Nights (aka. Succubus On Top) by Richelle Mead (Georgina Kincaid #2)

Format: paperback

First Published: May 5th, 2008

Genre: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy, Demons, Angels, Vampires

Sensuality Rating: Warm

Synopsis (from Goodreads)Georgina Kincaid’s job sucks. Literally.

Love hurts, and no one knows it better than Georgina Kincaid. If she so much as kisses Seth Mortensen, the shy, sexy, incredibly gifted Seattle writer she’s been dating, she’ll drain his life force. Georgina is a succubus-a demon who draws her power from other men’s pleasure. Admittedly, the shapeshifting and immortality perks are terrific, and yes, Georgina did choose to join the ranks of hell centuries ago. But it seems completely unfair that a she-demon whose purpose is seduction can’t get hot and heavy with the one mortal who knows and accepts her for who she is.

It’s not just her personal life that’s in chaos. Doug, Georgina’s co-worker at a local bookstore, has been exhibiting bizarre behavior, and Georgina suspects that something far more demonic than double espressos is at work. She could use help finding out, but Bastien, an irresistibly charming incubus and her best immortal friend, is preoccupied with corrupting an ultra-conservative talk radio star-and giving Georgina some highly distracting come-hither vibes. Georgina is going to have to work solo on this one-and fast because soon, Doug’s life won’t be the only one on the line

Review: 

She’s got a killer body… and a kiss to die for!

This story picks up a few weeks after the end of Succubus Blues with Georgina and Seth trying to have a romantic relationship despite the fact that Georgina could kill him at any moment. They are clearly in love butbecause of this they are unwilling to address the challenges of their difficult relationship. Enter Bastien – Georgina’s incubus best friend who is in town to take down a talk-back radio host and save himself from an eternity in Hell -or more specifically Guam… which in his opinion is just as bad.

On top of being roped in to help Bastien with his mission, Georgina has to deal with her friend and co-worker, Doug, who is acting even stranger than normal. Is something supernatural to blame for his currently behaviour and world record Tetris scores? And can Georgina manage to continue her relationship with Seth without accidentally draining him of all his energy and killing him?

I love Georgina as the heroine of this series. She’s modern and yet is centuries old. She’s mostly practical but still manages to be selfish. Her relationship with Seth amuses me. I can’t help but think that their relationship is living on borrowed time. But their love for each other is evident. I like the complexities of it. Yes they ended up together after the end of Succubus Blues but they are not having an easy time of being together. I also love that just because they are in love and currently together doesn’t mean and that everything is going to be okay. Georgina could still kill Seth with just a kiss and they both have to deal with their jealousy issues – him with her still being a succubus and having to have sex with men to supply her with the energy she needs to survive and her with his first love, writing, and him getting too involved with the world that lives inside his head.

The supporting cast are also a highlight of this series – and this book. Carter, the angel who’s best friend is an archdemon, the Vampires, Georgina’s co-workers and Bastien – they’re interesting and entertaining. Even Seth’s family bring a lot to the book. I love how they show the many sides of Georgina. Friend, co-worker, potential sister-in-law, demon. But they’re great characters in their own right too. Bastien was a great addition to the story. He is everything that Georgina is not in terms of a sex demon. He takes pride in what he does and does it well. I really hope he comes back later in the series.

I can’t wait to start reading Succubus Dreams (Georgina Kincaid #3). I’m really glad that I “discovered” this series.

Rating: 

4 out of 5

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Book Depository / Amazon / FishPond

My review for Succubus Blues (Georgina Kincaid #1) can be found here

Book Review: Succubus Blues by Richelle Mead

Book Review: Succubus Blues by Richelle Mead (Georgina Kincaid #1)

Format: paperback

First Published: March 1st, 2007

Genre: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy, Demons, Angels, Vampires

Synopsis (from Goodreads)“Something wicked is at work in Seattle’s demon underground…”

Being a succubus sounds pretty glamorous. Shape-shifting, killer wardrobe, what’s not to like? But Georgina Kincaid’s life is far from exotic. Her boss is a middle-management demon with a thing for John Cusack movies, and she can’t have a decent date without sucking away part of the guy’s life, which means her crush on sexy writer Seth Mortensen is going nowhere fast. But all of that pales in significance when an unknown entity “helpfully” begins killing her immortal adversaries. For once, all her hot charms and drop-dead one-liners won’t help, because there are some creatures out there that both heaven and hell want to deny…

Review: 

“Statistics show that most mortals sell their souls for five main reasons: sex, money, power, revenge, and love. In that order. I suppose that I should have been resassured, then, that i was out here assisting with numero uno, but the whole situation just made me feel … well, sleazy. And coming from me, that was something.”

From the first line, Georgina Kincaid was a heroine I could tell I was going to like. Novels written from the first person perspective usually aren’t my cup of tea but I enjoyed her self-deprecating humour and the way she approached life. Despite being a succubus (sex demon) on the side of dark and living for centuries, she savours the things she values in life – like reading only five pages a day of her favourite novels because there’s only that once you can read a book for the first time. I’ve read many novels with immortal main characters but Georgina stood out to me. She’s modern and takes care to keep up with the language and customs of the present day, very careful not to date herself.

This book had the potential to be quite dark but it managed to be light hearted. The idea of a sex demon with a personal code of conduct and a reasonably strong moral compass amused me. I loved the witty one liners Georgina threw around and her relationships with the males in this book. And there were a fair few male characters that complicated Georgina’s life – From Hugh the imp and Peter and Cody the vampires to Warren and Doug – co-workers of Georgina’s at the Emerald City book store – and can’t be forgetting Seth and Roman, they all seemed to complicate her life. It was amusing to see that a succubus who by profession was sexually in control to be so mixed up over men.

I found this book to be a little slow after the first chapter – a lot of groundwork to lay – but it picked up reasonably quickly and was a very entertaining read. I guessed who the villain was fairly early on but I was still looking forward to and was extremely eager to find out exactly how everything played out in the end. The characters are really what make this book as good as I found it – especially Georgina. I love the sex demon who was jaded regarding making love still just wanted to love and be loved in return. She’s incredibly sweet for someone who is as sexual and sensual as she is. I love the message that there’s always hope and that love is something that is attainable for anyone and everyone. One of my favourite quotes from the novel came from the angel Carter: “Love is rarely flawless … It is the imperfection that makes love perfect”. For a hopeless romantic like myself it’s lines like this that make me adore books. I have already bought the second book in this series.

Rating: 

3.5 out of 5

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Book Depository / Amazon / FishPond

Book Review: Unholy Ghosts by Stacia Kane

Book Review: Unholy Ghosts by Stacia Kane (Downside Ghosts #1)

Format: paperback

First Published: May 25, 2010

Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal,

Synopsis (from Goodreads)

The world is not the way it was. The dead have risen, and the living are under attack. The powerful Church of Real Truth, in charge since the government fell, has sworn to reimburse citizens being harassed by the deceased. Enter Chess Putnam, a fully tattooed witch and freewheeling ghost hunter. She’s got a real talent for banishing the wicked dead. But Chess is keeping a dark secret: She owes a lot of money to a murderous drug lord named Bump, who wants immediate payback in the form of a dangerous job that involves black magic, human sacrifice, a nefarious demonic creature, and enough wicked energy to wipe out a city of souls. Toss in lust for a rival gang leader and a dangerous attraction to Bump’s ruthless enforcer, and Chess begins to wonder if the rush is really worth it. Hell, yeah.

Review: 

In 1997 the world changed. Earth was overrun with ghosts and it very nearly didn’t survive the attack. The Church of Truth stepped in. The Church is not one of God but rather rejects faith altogether and embraces Fact. Fact is Truth. In return for saving the world the Church requests “free domination over [the people’s] bodies, [their] property, and their soul[s] (The Book of Truth, Origins, Article 230).

Enter Chess, a Church Witch – a Debunker trained in the art of banishing ghosts. Armed with asafetida, a ectoplasmarker and the skull of a psychopomp she works for the Church to rid the world of ghosts. Chess has complete faith in the Church. They saved her when she needed it. She has complete faith in the Church… and in the pills she’s addicted to.

I’ve never read a novel where the main character is so completely dependant on their addiction before. Drugs are the source of most of Chess’ problems – if she’d not been indebt to Bump then she never would have been at the airport, never would have gotten involved with Lex who supplied her with more pills, and never needed to so desperately to take on more debunking cases just so she would be able to fund a long weekend in the pipe room and have the chance to Dream. Her addiction is substantial and ever present – both in the circumstances Chess finds herself in and also in her state of mind. She’s incredibly paranoid, insecure and easily terrified. I found her a very hard character to like. She frustrated me. I didn’t like her motivation behind her actions and at times I couldn’t follow her train of thought at all – and whilst this made me dislike her character it did add to the realism that she was a confused drug addict and made the world Kane created all the more real.

Whilst I didn’t warm to Chess in the slightest, I did find myself drawn to Terrible – Bump’s chief enforcer. At first glance he was just a scary hit man but the more I got to read about him the more complex I found him. He was a scarred and tattooed bad boy who was more than just a gangster – he’s self educated and somewhat chivalrous (opening doors car doors for ladies and what not). I liked his own personal code of honour and found him to be a protector who seems to be unshakable but is also somewhat insecure with regard to his intelligence and his appearance. I loved that he became Chess’ trusted friend and protector and potentially something more romantic.

The speech of the street people (Bump in particular) is something that took a little getting used to. For the first half of the book it was irritating and annoying. But as I got more involved with the book and the story I started to notice it less and less. The descriptions in this book were beautifully written. I could almost believe I was there in parts, smelling the rotten stench of the tunnels. It was incredibly vivid.

I’m glad I persevered with this novel. For the first half I was just trying to get into it but couldn’t. I nearly put it down a dozen times but stopped myself only because so many of my friends had recommended it so highly to me. I couldn’t stand Chess’ constant need for drugs or the street people’s speech. And I felt like although things were happening, it felt like nothing was really happening. But then, around chapter 21, I was interested. Interested in what would happen to Chess, what was happening with the Church, what was happening with Terrible. The novel really picks up in speed and the things that were bothering me for the first 50% stopped being so noticeable. I still didn’t care too much for Chess but I did want to know what happened next.

The first half of the novel was necessary to set the scene or the ending wouldn’t have been nearly so powerful to read but it just took too long to hook me. If you can manage to get half way into this book, I’d recommend reading to the end. I will definitely consider reading the next book in the series – I just hope the lead up isn’t so painful to endure.

Rating: 

3 out of 5

Purchase book at:

Book Depository / Amazon / FishPond

Book Review: Stolen by Kelley Armstrong

Book Review: Stolen by Kelley Armstrong (Women of the Otherworld #2)

Format: paperback

First Published: December 24th, 2002

Genre: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy

Synopsis (from Goodreads)It was in Bitten, Kelley Armstrong’s debut novel, that thirty-year-old Elena Michaels came to terms with her feral appetites and claimed the proud identity of a beautiful, successful woman —and the only living female werewolf.

In Stolen, on a mission for her own elite pack, she is lured into the net of ruthless Internet billionaire Tyrone Winsloe, who has funded a bogus scientific investigation of the “other races” and their supernatural powers. Kidnapped and studied in his underground lab deep in the Maine woods, these paranormals—witches, vampires, shamans, werewolves—are then released and hunted to the death in a real-world video game. But when Winsloe captures Elena, he finally meets his match.

Review: 

This novel picks up a few months after Bitten ends. Elena Michaels is back and involved with pack life and her romantic relationship with Clayton. But for werewolves, it would seem, life is never with it’s complications.

Elena is kidnapped and taken to a high security facility who’s inmates include a half demon, a shaman, a vampire and even a witch or two.

It’s a similar sort of set up to the facility that of Kresley Cole’s Dreams of a Dark Warrior and Demon from the Dark novels involve. Hoards of otherworldly beings in one place… I’m starting to think it’s not a great idea for anyone involved.

I loved the Elena we saw in this novel. She’s scared but brave and fiercely determined. She’s a sociopath but lacks the insight to realise that about herself. I loved that she never gave up. And she wasn’t prepared to stop and wait for help to arrive. She could be her own hero. Clayton is deliciously dangerous, as usual, but because the majority of this novel occurs in the facility and the loved up couple have few scenes together, this novel is not so much a romance. In parts it’s down right violent – at times disturbingly so. If you’re at all squimish, this is not the book for you.

This book does lay the groundwork for the rest of the series. We meet Paige – a witch who is still learning to control her powers to their full extent who goes on to be the narrator of the next few books in the series. I’ll be sad to say goodbye to Elena but I’m excited to see what Paige can bring to the series. Although this book was gory and violent, it’s also funny and exciting. I love Armstrong’s version of werewolves and the other supernatural beings that have been introduced. The half-demons are extremely interesting. I hope there’s more pyromaniac Adam in the future along with Leah and the rest.

I can’t wait to read the next book in the series. I’m trying to pace myself and make the series last but my fingers are twitching with anticipation.

 

A link to my review for the first in the Women of the Otherworld series: Bitten

 

Rating: 

4.5 out of 5

Purchase book at:

Book Depository / Amazon FishPond