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Fool Moon by Jim Butcher {2.5 Stars}

Fool Moon by Jim Butcher {2.5 Stars}

Fool Moon by Jim Butcher (The Dresden Files #2)
Published by Roc on Jan. 9th, 2001
Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy
Page Length: 342 pages
How I got my copy: BookLender
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Harry Dresden--Wizard
Lost Items Found. Paranormal Investigations. Consulting. Advice. Reasonable Rates. No Love Potions, Endless Purses, or Other Entertainment.

Business has been slow. Okay, business has been dead. And not even of the undead variety. You would think Chicago would have a little more action for the only professional wizard in the phone book. But lately, Harry Dresden hasn't been able to dredge up any kind of work--magical or mundane.

But just when it looks like he can't afford his next meal, a murder comes along that requires his particular brand of supernatural expertise.

A brutally mutilated corpse. Strange-looking paw prints. A full moon. Take three guesses--and the first two don't count...

2.5 Stars

Strengths:
[Read more…]

Silence Fallen by Patricia Briggs eARC {4.5 Stars}

Silence Fallen by Patricia Briggs eARC {4.5 Stars}

Silence Fallen by Patricia Briggs (Mercy Thompson #10)
Published by Ace on March 7th, 2017
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Page Length: 352 pages
How I got my copy: NetGalley
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In the #1 New York Times bestselling Mercy Thompson novels, the coyote shapeshifter has found her voice in the werewolf pack. But when Mercy's bond with the pack and her mate is broken, she'll learn what it truly means to be alone...

Attacked and abducted in her home territory, Mercy finds herself in the clutches of the most powerful vampire in the world, taken as a weapon to use against alpha werewolf Adam and the ruler of the Tri-Cities vampires. In coyote form, Mercy escapes only to find herself without money, without clothing, and alone in the heart of Europe...

Unable to contact Adam and the rest of the pack, Mercy has allies to find and enemies to fight, and she needs to figure out which is which. Ancient powers stir, and Mercy must be her agile best to avoid causing a war between vampires and werewolves, and between werewolves and werewolves. And in the heart of the ancient city of Prague, old ghosts rise...

4.5 Stars

Note: I received an advanced copy of Silence Fallen from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.

Strengths:
[Read more…]

Shifting Shadows by Patricia Briggs {4.5 Stars}

Shifting Shadows by Patricia Briggs is a collection of short stories from the world of Mercy Thompson, but most of the stories are about and from the point of view of some of our favorite secondary characters. I don’t normally like to read anthologies of short stories, but Shifting Shadows was everything I could want from an anthology and made me fall in love with both the Mercy Thompson series and the Alpha and Omega series all over again. The short stories in Shifting Shadows are all a bit darker than the main series, but also deeply moving because they are about Sam and Ben and Charlie and a little child turned to a werewolf at the youngest age in living memory. Don’t worry, Mercy also makes an appearance ;-). Also, even if you haven’t read all the way through Night Broken, you can safely enjoy most of the stories because there are warnings before each of what spoilers a story contains.

Note: I received a copy of Shifting Shadows from the publisher. This does not affect my review.

Shifting Shadows by Patricia Briggs {4.5 Stars}

Shifting Shadows by Patricia Briggs (Mercy Thompson)
Published by Ace on Sept. 2nd, 2014
Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy
Page Length: 450 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

Mercy Thompson’s world just got a whole lot bigger…

A collection of all-new and previously published short stories featuring Mercy Thompson, “one of the best heroines in the urban fantasy genre today” (Fiction Vixen Book Reviews), and the characters she calls friends…

Includes the new stories…
“Silver”
“Roses in Winter”
“Redemption”
“Hollow”

…and reader favorites
“Fairy Gifts”
“Gray”
“Alpha and Omega”
“Seeing Eye”
“The Star of David”
“In Red, with Pearls”

4.5 Stars

Strengths:
[Read more…]

Night Broken by Patricia Briggs {4 Stars}

Night Broken by Patricia Briggs continues the story of Mercy Thompson, the coyote-shifter, in a crazy world where Fae and werewolves have come out to the public, but much scarier monsters remain hidden away. If you haven’t read this far in the series, there will be some spoilers for the romantic plots and who is still alive, but each book stands on its own fairly well. The Mercy Thompson series is one of my top favorite series, so I highly recommend any urban fantasy fans to start it asap if you haven’t already. Night Broken continues with all the things we love about this series, including an awesome new monster myth and more building up towards what promises to be an epic series-long plot.

Note: I received Night Broken from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Night Broken by Patricia Briggs {4 Stars}

Night Broken by Patricia Briggs (Mercy Thompson #8)
Published by Ace on March 11, 2014
Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy
Page Length: 352 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

An unexpected phone call heralds a new challenge for Mercy. Her mate Adam’s ex-wife is in trouble, on the run from her new boyfriend. Adam isn’t the kind of man to turn away a person in need—and Mercy knows it. But with Christy holed up in Adam’s house, Mercy can’t shake the feeling that something about the situation isn’t right.

Soon, her suspicions are confirmed when she learns that Christy has the farthest thing from good intentions. She wants Adam back and she’s willing to do whatever it takes to make it happen, including turning Adam’s pack against Mercy.

Mercy isn’t about to step down without a fight, but there’s a more dangerous threat circling. Christy’s ex is more than a bad man—in fact, he may not be human at all. As the bodies start piling up, Mercy must put her personal troubles aside to face a creature with the power to tear her whole world apart.

4 Stars

Strengths:
[Read more…]

Night Owls by Lauren M. Roy {4 Stars} + Giveaway!

Night Owls by Lauren M. Roy is a new urban fantasy series starring a new take on werewolves (adding in some creepy zombie elements), a couple of awesome heroines, solid friendships and sibling bonds, and an all-around intriguing new world! Night Owls borrows from more traditional fantasy in that it has several characters who all tell the story through multiple points of view, making it a well-rounded book with primary and secondary characters with surprising depth. I’m generally a bit stingy when it comes to urban fantasy since I’m such a fan girl of my favorite series, but Night Owls has managed to convince me to add another UF series to my must-read list! So when is book two coming out???? >.> Make sure to enter the giveaway (US only, sorry!) at the bottom of the post so you can enjoy this new series too!

Note: I received Night Owls from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Night Owls by Lauren M. Roy {4 Stars} + Giveaway!

Night Owls by Lauren M. Roy (Night Owls #1)
Published by Ace on Feb. 25th, 2014
Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy
Page Length: 304 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

Night Owls book store is the one spot on campus open late enough to help out even the most practiced slacker. The employees’ penchant for fighting the evil creatures of the night is just a perk…

Valerie McTeague’s business model is simple: provide the students of Edgewood College with a late-night study haven and stay as far away from the underworld conflicts of her vampire brethren as possible. She’s lived that life, and the price she paid was far too high to ever want to return.

Elly Garrett hasn’t known any life except that of fighting the supernatural werewolf-like beings known as Creeps or Jackals. But she always had her mentor and foster father by her side—until he gave his life protecting a book that the Creeps desperately want to get their hands on.

When the book gets stashed at Night Owls for safe keeping, those Val holds nearest and dearest are put in mortal peril. Now Val and Elly will have to team up, along with a mismatched crew of humans, vampires, and lesbian succubi, to stop the Jackals from getting their claws on the book and unleashing unnamed horrors….

4 Stars

Strengths:
[Read more…]

Black Dog by Rachel Neumeier eARC {2.5 Stars}

Black Dog by Rachel Neumeier is a fresh twist on the werewolf and witch urban fantasies in the young adult genre. Black Dog focuses on the lives of three siblings as they run from Mexico to the northern United States, escaping from the stray Black Dog pack that murdered their parents. I loved the premise of werewolf myths actually coming from these black dogs with shadow magic and the idea of main characters from Mexico! However, Black Dog never pulled me in and I just couldn’t manage to connect with either of the narrators. Even when people were being eviscerated, I just didn’t care, making Black Dog a very slow read given its length.

Note: I received an eARC of Black Dog through Netgalley for an honest review. Some things may have changed in the final version.

Black Dog by Rachel Neumeier eARC {2.5 Stars}

Black Dog by Rachel Neumeier
Published by Strange Chemistry on Feb. 4th, 2014
Genres: Urban Fantasy, YA
Page Length: 448 pages
How I got my copy: NetGalley
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Natividad is Pure, one of the rare girls born able to wield magic. Pure magic can protect humans against the supernatural evils they only half-acknowledge--the blood kin or the black dogs. In rare cases--like for Natividad's father and older brother--Pure magic can help black dogs find the strength to control their dark powers.

But before Natividad's mother can finish teaching her magic their enemies find them. Their entire village in the remote hills of Mexico is slaughtered by black dogs. Their parents die protecting them. Natividad and her brothers must flee across a strange country to the only possible shelter: the infamous black dogs of Dimilioc, who have sworn to protect the Pure.

In the snowy forests of Vermont they are discovered by Ezekiel Korte, despite his youth the strongest black dog at Dimilioc and the appointed pack executioner. Intrigued by Natividad he takes them to Dimilioc instead of killing them.

Now they must pass the tests of the Dimilioc Master. Alejandro must prove he can learn loyalty and control even without his sister's Pure magic. Natividad's twin Miguel must prove that an ordinary human can be more than a burden to be protected. And even at Dimilioc a Pure girl like Natividad cannot remain unclaimed to cause fighting and distraction. If she is to stay she must choose a black dog mate.

But, first, they must all survive the looming battle.

2.5 Stars

Strengths:

  • I was so happy to see that Black Dog had POC characters narrating the story. This also added a fun twist with the potential to bring in more Mexican culture to the over saturated urban fantasy genre. Plus, the cover doesn’t look white-washed, woot!
  • I loved the spin on werewolves that Black Dog developed. Black dogs are people that can turn into hellhounds, basically, but the transformation comes from their shadow coming up and enveloping them. There is the same struggle with the human mind versus the black dog instincts, but with the added bonus of shadows and hellish influences. The Pure magic described in the synopsis is pretty much a spin on good witches, since they use pentagrams and other religious symbols to cast protective magic. I liked the dynamic between Pure magic and black dog shadows, plus the whole sibling thing worked all these concepts together well.
  • I took Spanish for a year or two when I was around five, so I definitely do not understand written Spanish. Black Dog did a fairly good job of incorporating Spanish words (since it’s narrated by Spanish-speakers), while still including enough English explanations so that I didn’t get lost.

Weaknesses:

  •  I was unfortunately not able to connect with either Natividad or Alejandro (the two narrators) at any point during Black Dog. While it was interesting hearing about the magic that both of them have, and Alejandro certainly has struggles with his Black Dog, they both felt like very bland characters to me. Natividad isn’t a girl that I would likely connect with if I met her in real life based on my impressions of her in Black Dog, and that is a big problem for me.
  • Black Dog takes place in an alternative world from ours as far as I can tell. There is mention of vampires previously keeping the general populace unable to see magical critters, but the vampires have recently been defeated so the humans are starting to figure things out. That’s about all I know about this world, however, since that’s all that is mentioned. It felt very strange for there to be these obvious disconnects from our world, but not much to fill in the holes left behind.
  • Black Dog was never able to make me feel tension for the characters’ fates, even during the action scenes. There are a couple of fairly large fights with the bad guys and people do definitely die, but I was never really worried about the main characters. There just didn’t seem to be any real risk in Black Dog in that I didn’t believe the author would let anything bad happen to our characters.
  • There is a really creepy arranged marriage vibe hinted at in Black Dog. The Pure women are protected by certain Black Dogs and considered highly desirable because they can have children with Black Dogs. Therefore, when Natividad shows up at this new pack, she is informed she will have to choose someone in a few months and one of the strongest men basically lays claim to her…. What the hell???

Summary:

Black Dog had a lot of potential but just ended up coming off stiff and dull. I was intrigued with the alternative world history that was hinted at, but we never got enough information to really understand what was going on in this world. I was excited to get to know some characters a little different from the typical young adult cast, but I was completely unable to connect to them for reasons I’m honestly still not able to pin down. When I finally looked at the page count of Black Dog in order to write this review, I felt a little bit better about how long it had taken me to read it, since it just felt like it kept going on. If the premise sounds really awesome to you, you might give it a try, but be prepared for a bit of a slow read.

2.5 Stars
Anya from On Starships and Dragonwings

– Anya

 

 Black Dog by Rachel Neumeier

Full Blooded by Amanda Carlson {2 Stars}

Full Blooded by Amanda Carlson is the first book in the Jessica McClain urban fantasy series. I previously had read the short story prequel, so I was excited to see Full Blooded on NetGalley. Unfortunately it wasn’t quite my cup of tea (or coffee at the moment *jittters*), but I’m sure many of you will enjoy it for the light urban fantasy element ;-).

Note: I received Full Blooded through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Full Blooded by Amanda Carlson {2 Stars}

Full Blooded by Amanda Carlson
Published by Orbit on September 11th, 2012
Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy
Page Length: 322 pages
How I got my copy: NetGalley
IndieBound - Book Depository - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog

Born the only female in an all male race, Jessica McClain isn’t just different—she’s feared.

After living under the radar for the last twenty-six years, Jessica is thrust unexpectedly into her first change, a full ten years late. She wakes up and finds she’s in the middle of a storm. Now that she’s become the only female full-blooded werewolf in town, the supernatural world is already clamoring to take a bite out of her and her new Pack must rise up and protect her.

But not everyone is on board. The werewolf Rights of Laws is missing text and the superstitious werewolves think that Jessica means an end to their race. It doesn’t help when Jessica begins to realize she’s more. She can change partway and hold her form, and speak directly to her wolf. But the biggest complication by far is that her alpha father can't control her like he can the rest of his wolves.

When a mercenary who’s been hired by the vampires shows up to extract information about the newly turned werewolf only days after her change, they find themselves smack in the middle of a war and there's no choice but to run together. When it’s up to Jessica to negotiate her release against her father’s direct orders, she chooses to take an offer for help instead. In exchange, Jessica must now swear an oath she may end up repaying with her life.

2 Stars

Strengths:

  • Urban fantasy is very popular genre these days, and Full Blooded fits into that popularity well. If you are eager for another UF series, then Full Blooded just might be what you are searching for.
  • There are a number of steamy encounters, always fun to read ;-).

Weaknesses:

  •  There are some annoying inconsistencies in Full Blooded. Jessica has grown up on a werewolf compound her entire life, and yet it seems she knows absolutely nothing about them. I realize some things were kept from her, but there is just only so much that could really have been kept a secret with a brother, father, and friends who are werewolves….
  • I really didn’t get any sense of character depth despite Full Blooded being in the first person. As far as I can tell, Jessica is the typical UF kick-butt heroine with a difficult past.
  • Insta-love! Yes yes, there is a reason for it, but honestly I’m sick of the true-love-therefore-insta-love excuse.
  • Full Blooded had so many info dumps! Even the dialogue was filled with info dumps! I never sit back and read off a Wikipedia article in the middle of a conversation and I find it annoying to read conversations like that. It’s okay to have some mystery as a story unfolds, I don’t need to know everything about werewolves immediately!
  • There are cliff-hangers and then there are non-endings. Full Blooded had a non-ending. There was an author interview at the end of my copy so I thought I still had 15 mins to go and then BAM ending!
  • There are a number of grammatical errors in what I assume was a finished eCopy (since it didn’t say ARC on it). In particular multiple times there was “an” before a word starting with “s”….

Summary:

I ended up disappointed by Full Blooded unfortunately. There is definitely potential with Jessica’s interesting circumstance, but right now I just can’t look past how her story was told. I’m pretty sure I’ve seen a number of more positive reviews for Full Blooded, so I would love to know what you thought about it!

2 Stars
Anya from On Starships and Dragonwings

– Anya

 

 Full Blooded by Amanda Carlson

5 Stars: Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

Scarlet by Marissa Meyer is the second book in the Lunar Chronicles installment and it rocks! Possibly it rocks harder than the first book, Cinder, though that is probably a matter of opinion ;-). Cinder introduced us to cyborgs, plague, and crazy Moon people (Lunars!). Scarlet ramps up the action with dual viewpoints of Cinder and a new character, Scarlet. The fairytale retellings continue, this time with Red Riding Hood, but don’t you worry, Scarlet is so much more than the classic storyline. While Cinder entertained me, Scarlet made me never want to stop reading. From here on out there will be spoilers for the first book and you can just read my review of Cinder if you want to avoid them but find out about this awesome world!

Scarlet by Marissa Meyer Goodreads Amazon | LibraryThing

Title: Scarlet
Author: Marissa Meyer
Length: 464 pages
Genre-ish: Dystopia/Sci-fi/Fairytale retelling awesomeness
Rating★★★– things are really getting going :D

The fates of Cinder and Scarlet collide as a Lunar threat spreads across the Earth…

Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She’s trying to break out of prison—even though if she succeeds, she’ll be the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive.

Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn’t know about her grandmother or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother’s whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner. — Goodreads

Strengths:

  • First off, the last third of Scarlet is dangerously awesome because I got white knuckles from holding my book too tight >.> I really wanted to know what was going to happen all right! There is no slow going this time: Scarlet is action-packed and amazing.
  • I really liked the way the Red Riding Hood retelling fit in, but Scarlet didn’t follow it precisely so you still won’t know what actually happens.
  • Wow, there were so many feelings while reading this one! Who can I trust? Such noble sacrifices! *melts in a puddle*
  • Iko is still around and she is possibly my favorite character >.> Go androids! I need a bumper sticker or something, haha.

Weaknesses:

  • The story lines of Scarlet and Cinder are separate for a loooooong time. I started getting impatient for them to meet up because I know it would be fun for them and me!
  • On that note, however, Scarlet and Cinder are fairly similar characters (strong, curious, dealing with an annoying guy, isolated from the world with secrets), which made it slightly hard to keep track of them and just annoying from a story perspective.
  • There are still so many questions! Why can’t my questions be answered ever???

Summary:

Many times second books aren’t as good as the first. No worries about that. I actually liked Scarlet far more than Cinder (well, a bit more, I still liked Cinder!). The magnitude of the world’s problems start coming to light and the action really gets going. We get a glimpse of just how epic the rest of this series is going to be and I love it; that aspect helped me get so much more invested in these characters’ actions. I’m also so excited that the next book, Cress, will finally be getting us to the desert! (I love deserts >.> as settings, not to visit probably, haha.)

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Anya from On Starships and Dragonwings – A

 

 Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

5 Stars: Frost Burned by Patricia Briggs

Frost Burned by Patricia Briggs is the seventh novel in the Mercy Thompson series. Hence there will be minor spoilers for the first six books because I can’t really remember what big twists there were previously. Each book stands on its own fairly well though, so unless you don’t want the romance aspect to be spoiled, you’re mostly safe. In any case, I love the world that Patricia Briggs has built with this series and its spin-off Alpha and Omega. My favorite part about Frost Burned, however, is that it breaks free of the formula that so many urban fantasy series fall into, and Mercy is thrown straight into the thick of a mystery all on her own.
Frost Burned by Patricia Briggs Goodreads Amazon | LibraryThing

Title: Frost Burned
Author: Patricia Briggs
Length: 352 pages (hardcover)
Genre-ish: Urban Fantasy
Rating★★★– rocking plot, characters and world

Mercy Thompson’s life has undergone a seismic change. Becoming the mate of Adam Hauptman—the charismatic Alpha of the local werewolf pack—has made her a stepmother to his daughter Jesse, a relationship that brings moments of blissful normalcy to Mercy’s life. But on the edges of humanity, what passes for a minor mishap on an ordinary day can turn into so much more…

After an accident in bumper-to-bumper traffic, Mercy and Jesse can’t reach Adam—or anyone else in the pack for that matter. They’ve all been abducted.

Through their mating bond, all Mercy knows is that Adam is angry and in pain. With the werewolves fighting a political battle to gain acceptance from the public, Mercy fears Adam’s disappearance may be related—and that he and the pack are in serious danger. Outclassed and on her own, Mercy may be forced to seek assistance from any ally she can get, no matter how unlikely. — Goodreads

Strengths:

  • Frost Burned pulls you (and Mercy!) into the action immediately. Things go from a little after turkey shopping to oh gawd what happened??? And you just never want to stop reading from there :D.
  • Between the most recent Alpha and Omega book and Frost Burned, there is so much epic brewing in the world that I just can’t take the wait. Frost Burned does an excellent job of telling a compelling story while dropping little hints about what is building for the series. I’m so excited!!!
  • Mercy has always been an odd duck in terms of her magical gifts, and we get to find out a bit more about what she can do now that she’s connected to Adam through their mate bond. It’s pretty awesome ;-).
  • I love cross-series appearances of characters that we know pretty well (if you’ve been reading Alpha and Omega), but these characters don’t! Mwahahaha.
  • I totally didn’t see the plot direction of Frost Burned coming. Yes, Adam needs to be rescued, but everything after that is just craziness (in a good way, haha).

Weaknesses:

  • Some phrasing was repeated multiple times; it was a bit odd and annoying. I remember you saying that one page ago!
  • There are switches between first person and third when we need Adam’s perspective. It takes a moment to get your bearing when that happens.
  • The magic developments were a bit too convenient even if they were cool….

Summary:

If you haven’t read the Mercy Thompson series (and you made it this far in the review….) but like urban fantasy, go read Moon Called now!!! I’ve gotten tired of a lot of UF’s repeated plot lines and familiar heroines, but Frost Burned shows that I will probably never get tired of this series. Patricia Briggs writes amazingly with characters you can’t help but adore (or hate, depending on what’s called for, haha) and a world that keeps getting richer. I half expect fae and werewolves to “come out of the closet” any day now after reading this series >.>.

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Anya from On Starships and Dragonwings – A

 

 Frost Burned by Patricia Briggs