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

Thursday, October 13, 2011

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.

Highborn by Yvonne Navarro

I think if we had spent more time just with Brynna, this would have been a 4-5 star read for me. The few times when the POV switched to Eran or another character, I found myself itching the whole time to get back to Brynna. That's not to say I disliked Eran (he was fine as the human counterpart/love interest), I just didn't glean enough about the world or the story from his time in the spotlight. The scenes with Klesowich gave a bit more perspective, but I think this is one that I would have really enjoyed as first person.

Brynna is just so different, so interesting, and I wanted to know more. She's a fallen angel, Lucifer's concubine, and she's escaped to earth, looking for redemption. I found everything about Brynna to be engrossing and believable. At first, she is indifferent to the humans around her - she hasn't thought of them as beings of worth for a very, very long time. But you see her start changing, small steps at a time, and I felt it was a very believable journey (that isn't done yet, of course).

There were some good fight scenes and the magic system was a plus as well.

For all that there are angels and demons, heaven and hell, this didn't feel too preachy for me. I did like the redemptive theme. I'll check out the next one.

Juliet Immortal by Stacey Jay

A very dark YA paranormal romance. I really disliked reading Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet in high school (it inspired me to read more Shakespeare, I thought that his plays had to be better if we still had to read them). I like Jay's mucking about with "the greatest love story ever told" (yes, that is me being sarcastic - I never bought R & J's "true love"). Romeo worked really well here as the tragic villain. Will be very interesting to see where Jay takes the next book.

Another case where the villain is more vibrant than the heroine, but that's because Juliet's carrying around a lot of hate and loathing (understandable when your "true love" betrays and kills you, then makes the world think you had the greatest love story of all time; but it's not the best for an agent of light trying to get soulmates together).

There were lots of Holy Crap moments there at the end. There is a lot of carnage for a book about love, but it also fit. If you are a hard core romance fan (and I mean you absolutely must have things end a certain way), I don't know how happy you'll be. Since I like romance, but also like when authors play around with it (and my expectations), this worked for me.

World was interesting, but it took most of the book to get a handle on what's really going on. Otherwise it was very easy to get into, and was a quick read. I'll check out the next one.   

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

The words "beautiful" and "heartbreaking" came to mind often while reading this book. I've been wracking my brain for a while thinking how best to review this one. I don't want to explain too much - this is a story that I got lost in, and part of the enjoyment was peeling back the layers of Karou's world as I turned the pages, each one taking me deeper into this magical existence that Taylor created. Gentle monsters, monstrous angels, horrible hunters, wonderful friends, beautiful enemies, war, prejudice, hope, sacrifice, love - it's all there. Karou's life is unique, to say the least, and I enjoyed learning about it, perched over her shoulder while she uncovered the truth about who she really is.

I spent the last part of the book on the edge of my seat, knowing fairly well what was going to happen, hoping I was wrong, not able to turn away. But the story isn't finished yet, and I can't wait to get the next one and be transported again.

This is a mature YA novel with romantic and paranormal elements. I will be checking out Taylor's other books as well.
[I received an advance readers copy to review for Amazon Vine.]         



  1. You're not reading enough. I expected at LEAST 6 reviews...


  2. I've added this one to my wishlist. I will be hoping for a sale, but if not, when I get through the next...8 on my list, I'll buy it!