Sunday, July 31, 2011

Put These on Your Radar- 2012

Third Grave Dead Ahead (Charley Davidson #3) by Darynda Jones
Charley Davidson—grim reaper extraordinaire, private investigator . . . meh—is practicing her profession under the influence, caffeine and copious amounts of it, due to an extreme desire to induce insomnia. Every time she closes her eyes, Reyes Farrow, the part-human, part-supermodel son of Satan, is there. Only thing is, he’s a tad peeved. She did bind for all eternity, so it’s hard blame him. But 13 days without a wink is bound to bring out the crazy in a girl. So, when a man hires her to find his wife, Charley accepts the job with one goal in mind: Put the man behind bars, and not the wet kind. She can sense the guilt waft off him and vows to find the woman’s body and prove he’s a murderer. 
In the meantime, Reyes is back in prison and none too happy about it . . . so Charley thinks, until she is carjacked by the dark-haired rake, who swears the very man he went to prison for killing is not only alive, but close by. And he wants Charley to find him. 
While a visit to her old friend Rocket sheds no light on Reyes’s situation, Charley finds out the man’s wife is still alive and time is running out. Finding her before she dies would be a miracle, but she has to try. Together with the help of a fashion-impaired receptionist named Cookie, Charley sets out to bring the bad guys to justice. She just hopes Reyes is not one of them. And that she’s not hallucinating from her self-induced bout with insomnia.
Drops 1/31/2012

Wrong Side of Dead (Dreg City #4) by Kelly Meding
Monster hunter Evangeline Stone woke up on the wrong side of dead this morning—and now there’s hell to pay. 
Barely recovered from her extended torture at the hands of mad scientist Walter Thackery, Evy can use a break. What she gets instead is a war, as the battered Triads that keep Dreg City safe find themselves under attack by half-Blood vampires who have somehow retained their reason, making them twice as lethal. Worse, the Halfies are joined by a breed of were-creature long believed extinct—back and more dangerous than ever. Meanwhile, Evy’s attempts at reconciliation with the man she loves take a hit after Wyatt is viciously assaulted—an attack traced to Thackery, who has not given up his quest to exterminate all vampires . . . even if he has to destroy Dreg City to do it. With Wyatt’s time running out, another threat emerges from the shadows and a staggering betrayal shatters the fragile alliance between the Triads, vampires, and shapeshifters, turning Evy’s world upside down forever
Drops 1/31/2012

Friday, July 29, 2011

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Pardon My Appearance

You may have noticed that the colors keep changing on my blog.  That's because I stumbled across another book blog that design-wise looks very much like mine AND it is also about speculative fiction.  So I'm futzing with the design of this blog.  Hopefully I'll get it figured out soon and settle on a look.
Just in case you were wondering...

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Bitty Reviews: 4 Urban Fantasies

Last month, my reviews focused on books that had zombies in them because... well...  I had received a shitload of books about the walking dead at BEA.  Zombies are the hot new trend and they are popping up across genres.  But woman cannot live on zombie books alone (at least I can't), and I managed to squeeze in a few non-zombie tomes to cleanse my palate.  Below are several short reviews of the latest urban fantasy offerings from some of my favorite authors.

Kiss of Snow by Nalini Singh.  Book 10 of the Psy/Changeling series and Hawke and Sienna's story.  I was not disappointed by this story, a testament to Singh's skill as a writer because most open-ended series lose me somewhere around book 5.  Sienna and Hawke are well matched, despite there being a 15 year age difference between the two but this is one of the few times where I wasn't rolling my eyes.  He's the alpha who can never love and she's a living weapon who's control is fracturing apart.  But the two can no longer deny the attraction between them. Their courtship progresses nicely in the book, never feeling too rushed, allowing them to work through their inner obstacles so that when they finally come together, it's as equals.  It's also smoking hot.  There is a lovely secondary romance as well, between Walker and healer Lara.  Despite being part of a series, this book works as a stand alone.  But if you haven't been reading this series, don't start with this one.  The whole series is super.  Start at the beginning.  Grade: A

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Review: Magic on the Hunt by Devon Monk

Allie Beckstrom is back, ready to fight against magical evil and I, for one, was… underwhelmed. Too be honest,  I am getting tired of this series, which is a shame 'cause the first book had so much promise.

Magic on the Hunt picks up shortly after the previous book, Magic at the Gate.  Allie and Zayvion have just spent the last three days in bed, ahem, reaffirming their relationship.  That’s pretty damn good considering Zay only came out of a coma four days ago.  I guess nothing says hot sexy time like waking up from a coma.  (Which is weird ‘cause when my mom woke up from her coma, all she wanted was a cigarette.)  Anyway, their fun is interrupted by rogue Authority member, Dane, looking for information from Allie’s father.  (You remember Allie’s dad, right?  The dude who has taken up a post-death vacation share in Allie’s body?)  What follows is a major ass kicking by Dane and his minions in order to force Allie’s dad to reveal the whereabouts of JingoJingo, who has kidnapped the local Authority leader, Sedra.  Zay gets the crap beaten out of him, Allie is shot twice, and things are looking pretty dire.  Luckily, Allie has her own personal deus ex machina, aka her dad; he bangs out some super spell stuff and the bad guys are forced to flee.  Meanwhile, the shadowy Leander has made it topside and is looking for a body to inhabit so that he can unleash a shitload of crazy on the world because... he’s bonkers and -as we have learned from comic books- the insane are all about world domination. Everyone is still vying for possession of the magic discs created by Allie’s father and everything seems very important, with folks disregarding orders left and right - because dammit, there’s a madman running loose!  This is no time for rules! - and I am like, wtf is going on again?  And do I care?

Monday, July 11, 2011

Quick & Dirty Reviews: Salad Reads

Look, I'm all for artistic, literary books that promise an enriching experience but sometimes... I just want to be entertained.  Especially during those lazy, hazy days of summer when it's too hot to focus.  Or to put it another way: literature is like a fine gourmet meal, course after course, richly sauced.  In cool weather, it's satisfying and fulfilling but in the summer heat, it just makes me sleepy.  I'd much rather have a salad.  Light and tasty but just as gratifying.  Below are a couple of recommended salad reads.  
The first by Melissa de la Cruz, who is branching out from the young adult world, where she is known for her popular Blue Bloods series, (at least it says on the galley I received that is popular, I'm not actually familiar with the series myself...) and the second by Thea Harrison, who after a long sabatical away from writing romances, is now back with a brand new series.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Link Love

So you may have noticed that my regular Friday feature, Link Love, has been missing for the last couple of weeks and I'll tell ya why:  putting together a Link Love post is a lot of work.  I end up spending hours upon hours reading other blogs in search of interesting links to post and then even more time coming up with commentary.  It's enormously time consuming and pulls me away from readin' and reviewin'.
But... the whole reason why I started this feature was because I love when other blogs do link posts.  I have found it to be an incredibly useful feature and a great way for me to keep up with what is happening in the book world.  There are blogs I read just for the links.
So I've decided to streamline Link Love.  I'll still post it semi-regularly but I will now no longer give commentary on the links.  (Although, feel free to comment on them here, if you want.)  It will be just a straight list.  But each and every link will be awesome.  Or at least sorta interesting.

So without further ado, here are your links:

Friday, July 1, 2011

Review: Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion

Ok, first things first.  
I loved this book. 
Loved it. 
I wanted to clutch it to my breast and sigh in satisfaction at its conclusion.  It was not at all what I expected.  This is another book I received for free at the Book Blogger Convention.  I almost didn't take a copy.  I walked past the display several times before finally sticking one in my bag.  I thought I knew what Warm Bodies was - a young adult*, star-crossed romance novel about zombies.  Not something I was really interested in.  But, by that time, I had already decided I would do a zombie theme for the month of June since, without even trying, I had acquired several zombie novels at BEA.  I figured one more couldn't hurt.  Man, oh man, am I glad I took this one home.  Warm Bodies is much more than I ever expected.  

The story takes place – as they all seem to do - after the zombie apocalypse and collapse of society.  R, our zombie hero, is having a bit of a crisis; when not out hunting humans, he spends much of his time listening to old records and passively pondering the meaning of zombie life.  Things begin to change for him when he meets human Julie… right after eating her boyfriend, Perry. (They meet during a zombie attack which I guess is the zombie equivalent of “meeting cute”.)  When zombies eat the brains of the living - for a brief period- the zombies experience the memories of their victims.  R is overwhelmed by Perry's memories of Julie, the love and the need to protect her.  He is not only unable to eat her, he also saves her from the rest of the zombie horde, taking her back to his home in the zombie enclave at the airport. (See, the zombies live out at the airport while many of the humans live at the stadium in the city.)  As R and Julie spend time together, not only do Perry’s memories not fade but R begins to evolve; losing his desire for brain eatin', beginning to be able to string words together, and even forming simple sentences, (breaking his previous record of four syllables.)  His feelings for Julie also grow beyond those he has consumed, as does his need to keep her safe.  Knowing that she cannot remain at zombie central, R and Julie must make the trek to return Julie to the stadium and, in doing so, spark a metamorphosis that will change not only themselves but humanity.  This is a romance, yes,  but it is so much more than that. It’s an enchanting fairytale, with the zombie as metaphor, that asks what it means to be human, what it means to be truly alive.  It’s a story about hope and how the transformative power of love can change the world.