Give me magic, gadgets, monsters, zombies, everything that seems impossible, and throw in some tough chicks with swords. That's the stuff.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Two New Reviews

I've got a YA with mythological roots, and an older (but still very good) sci fi romance. I was going to include the final book in a fantasy trilogy in this batch, but I think that one needs its own post.

Touch of Frost (Mythos Academy #1) by Jennifer Estep

I admit to loving the idea of a "special school where kids with magic powers go off to learn, love, grow, and fight the inevitable evil that has invaded their campus." Blame Hogwarts or Camp Half-Blood, but I am an absolute sucker for these kinds of books.

Mythos Academy is home to the future warriors and Champions of the Pantheanic gods and goddesses who try to keep Loki and his Reavers from unleashing Chaos on the world. We have Valkyries, Amazons, Spartans, Vikings, Celts, and so on. I like that Estep has opened the door to introducing many different mythological beings from around the globe. It makes this world very interesting, and we've only scratched the surface of it. Our heroine, Gwen Frost, is a recent addition to the school. A Gypsy, she feels completely out of place. She does have a gift, psychometry (she can touch something and know all about it and everyone who touched it). This gift can of course be a curse, but Gwen also really likes knowing everyones secrets. And she's not shy about using her gift to further her own aims. Luckily, Gwen does care about other people, so we don't have a megalomaniac on our hands, but I like that she has an edge to her. It felt a lot more realistic.

I'm not going to say more about specific events; there is action, danger, and the revelation of secrets that you should experience for yourself. There is a tiny bit of romance, and some angst, but it was definitely in the right amounts. I never felt like banging my head against the wall.

I will say this, though, as the book does contain the requisite smokin' hot bad boy - I am more than a little tired of the teen-boy-asshat-love-interest. There better be some damn good groveling in book 2, or maybe let Gwen meet an actual nice boy, like her new best friend did. Just sayin'.

Now is an excellent time to read book 1, because book 2 Kiss of Frost, is out November 29.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Re-Read Reminder & Interview

Just a reminder that we'll be starting the Mind Games (book 1 of the Disillusionists) re-read on Tuesday November 1. You can join in here on the blog or if you're a Goodreads member, you can join our re-read group.

This is also your chance to ask Carolyn Crane some questions. We'll be having an interview here later in November, so if you have any questions, leave them in the comments. Can't promise that every one can be answered, but I'll try to include as many as possible.

Have a wonderful weekend, finish anything else you're reading, eat boatloads of candy, and be ready for some high-cap action!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Must Have Books - November

Although my TBR-list already runneth over, there are always new books coming out that I WANT. Here's a few of them:

Saturday, October 22, 2011

The Kid Sidekick in UF

While motherhood is not a usual theme in Urban Fantasy (because, well, changing diapers is not fun but battling the forces of evil is), kids are still scattered throughout most of the beloved UF series. They can be used to show the maternal/paternal side of a lead character. They are a binding tie to a place/other people. And, lets face it, they make for gut-wrenching villain-kidnap fodder.

Sometimes they are the actual offspring of the lead (such as in the Charlie Madigan series by Kelly Gay), they belong to another important side character (Tink's brood in Harrison's Rachel Morgan series), the niece/nephew (Nancy Holzner's Deadtown), or the stray kid/teen befriended by the lead (Ilona Andrews' Kate Daniels series, for example). Sometimes they are annoying (as kids can be), a challenge, but they do have their place.

Here are a few of my favorites - kid sidekicks who have earned their spot among the other, more grown-up sidekicks.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Oh, UF, How I Love Thee!

The awesome Jaye Wells has declared October International Urban Fantasy Month! And she is holding a kickass contest to celebrate - seriously, this is one ginormous prize package. How do you enter? Write a love letter to Urban Fantasy. You can be serious or bring on the funny. Just tell the world what UF means to you (and make sure Ms. Wells can see it, of course). Check out her blog for the details. [Sidenote: if you aren't following Jaye Wells yet, you really should. She is funny as hell and has some good insights on writing.]

So, here is a little bit of why I love me some UF...

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A Giveaway!

Awesome news for those joining the Disillusionists re-read. Samhain is going to be giving away an ARC of Head Rush to one of the re-read participants! Details coming soon...

Hope you're all getting your books ready - re-read starts Nov 1!  

Want to know more about Carolyn Crane and the Disillusionists series? Check out her blog and her author website.   

Friday, October 14, 2011

Disillusionists Re-read

Head Rush, book 3 in Carolyn Crane's Disillusionists series, is finally coming out this December. WOOHOO! In preparation for this, I'm re-reading books 1 and 2. I even started a group on Goodreads if anyone wants to join me.

The Disillusionists series follows Justine, a severe hypochondriac in a city with skyrocketing crime and High-caps - people with fantastic (and deadly) mental abilities. She meets Packard, who tells her he can make her well. There's of course a price to be paid and Justine finds herself thrown into a whole new game. Danger, betrayals, action, romance  - yep, it's in here.

The Disillusionists series is an important one for me in terms of my personal growth as a reader. Prior to reading it, while I liked books that had dark tones, in the end, I needed my heroes and heroines to be, well, heroic. I needed to like them throughout. Tough, kickass chicks filled most of the books I read.

With the Disillusionists, we have one very screwed up heroine and a group of people who may or may not be doing good things (no matter what they tell themselves). Lots of grey areas.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Today I'm at...

Stellar Four talking about Halloween costumes. It might just involve my geeky, devious plans to get my son to dress up like a character from one of my favorite TV shows.

Catching Up...

Here's a few recent reads - 2 UF and 2 YA.

Grave Witch by Kalayna Price

First thoughts after finishing this one: "This was a damn good book."

Fast-paced, good tension, lots of interesting characters and really fantastic worldbuilding. I loved the magic system - witchcraft, ghosts, Fae, and Death is a character! (I seem to have a soft spot for books like that).

Alex Craft is neck-deep in debt, but an upcoming high-profile case should help. She's a grave witch, raising shades to answer the questions of the living.  Usually it's getting answers for families who want to know who should get Aunt Rosie's china, but soon there will be the first court case where a shade will confront her murderer. Then she gets a call for help from her estranged sister and her friend on the police force needs help raising the shade of a victim of a strange ritual. Let's just say things don't go well and I'll let you read the awesomeness yourself.

A little bit of romance but it isn't the focus. Need to read the next one.

Monday, October 10, 2011

I Miss Firefly...

Watched the last episode again last night. Firefly was just taken away too soon. I am thrilled that we got Serenity, but when I think about where the series could have gone, I still get a little pang.

I admit to watching none of this year's Fall lineup. Am I missing something?

Saturday, October 8, 2011


I've been a bit light on posts here because I've found I need to do a bit of housekeeping. Things like making it easier to find reviews for books and so on.

I have a whole mess of reviews coming, and I've got some awesome books I'm reading right now, so there will be good stuff soon.

Right now I'm reading:

Hellbent by Cherie Priest - neurotic vampire thief, oh yes!

Grave Witch by Kalayna Price - this one is quite good, wish I'd started the series sooner. Family angst, murder, and Death.

Voodoo Dues by Stephany Simmons - really fast pace; I think there is a lot of potential here for the characters

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Today I'm at Stellar Four

And yes, there was a mighty fangirl squee in my house that I got to contribute to one of my favorite blogs.

Today is my True Confession on being a Geek Mom.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

What's Your Treasure?

Brenna Yovanoff is having another contest for The Space Between (contest ends Oct 2 at midnight!).
So, so pretty... Out Nov. 15!
Last time, we talked about theme songs. This time around, we're talking about our treasures: they might be be precious, they might only be worth something to us.

My treasure has to be a charm bracelet I received from my grandmother. For years, every time my grandfather traveled (and he ended up flying all over the world testing runways) he would bring back a charm from each locale he visited. I loved looking through the different treasures grandad brought back - a giant collection of Buddhas from his many trips to China, beautiful Kimonos from Japan, but I always loved the bracelet most because I could go through each piece like a roadmap of his journey.

So what is your treasure?