I’ve been re reading a few favourite novels and come back to this series, which I bought a few months after I first had my kindle. Its an eight book series with a few shorts ( I haven’t read them) about Jaz and Vayl. at the time only books 1-5 were on kindle so I bought the last three as paperbacks, and now of course I can’t read print any more so I’ve just got them for my kindle. I’m on to book tow, and the magic I felt when I first read it is still there.
Loosely its about Jaz, who’s in her late 20’s and Vayl, a vamp who’s the CIA’s top assassin and a 291 yr old Vampire. Along the way of their latest assignment they collect into the group Bergman, a geek genius who invents some incredible tech stuff, Cole – who’s also a Sensitive like Jaz, and was a PI til his business blew up – literally – after getting involved with the duo, and Cassandra , a 1,000 yr old Seer. Each book builds on whats happened in earlier ones, with common threads running through and its full of details and plots that grow ever more complex. For the first book Jaz and Vayl are on a simple mission, but quickly discover their target is involved in something that has huge implications for the world and they need to know what is going on and how they can stop it. That brings in the other three and sets up the crew for the rest of the stories.
As well as Vampires, Seers and humans with extra abilities there are Demons in this series, and the adventures are carefully plotted and Jennifer does that thing I call Story Seeding, where some throwaway remark or tiny incident builds up until suddenly I realize its become a major part of the book. I like to try to pick out these seeds, and even though I read the books some time back I’d forgotten just how well she did it. Although there are vampires, its not one of those Alpha vamps and instant attraction stories, its clear both Jaz and Vayl are attracted but that’s a really minor part of the series and develops really slowly over the books.
Sadly Jennifer died after writing this series, at only 45, so sad for her family and friends, and for us readers to lose such a talented writer. 😦 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jennifer_Rardin
Stripped with the Vampire, Jax Garren
Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews
Genre: Romance, LBQTIA
I thought this sounded a fun read, and is was. It’s first in a new series, something that’s tough for a book. It needs to introduce characters and places, while delivering an interesting storyline and SwtV does all that. Why isn’t it five star from me then?
Well, though its got great potential I felt some of the actions bordered on overkill, and there were lots of characters and types to get used to. The Teen Queen reminded me of Jane from the Twilight series and the evil vamp with magic in one of the early Laurell K Hamilton Anita Blake books. In the same way the sheer numbers of cultures and types of characters were also reminiscent of the LKH books, though thankfully Jax hasn’t gone the sex with everything and anyone of those stories that so spoiled the later ones! There are those with Viking heritage here, Aztec Gods, and were-rats and jaguars as well as two different types of vampires, some with and some without magic, and of course a couple of witches….it makes for an interesting mix but did mean that at times I felt the plot became overly convoluted, and yet at others the solutions to what had been created were too simplistic. I had visions of Rhiannon holding a teacup full of some potion and flicking the hundreds of vampires with something like a pastry brush….after all the dangers and drama that seemed just plain wrong….
The characters were a mix. Vince is exuberant, flamboyant and exhibitionist, and the sort of character I don’t usually like but his enthusiasm, loyalty, the way he’d put himself in danger when he thought it was needed, and of course his love for Charlie made him a person I really enjoyed and wanted to be happy. Charlie – well he irritated me a lot of the time. I could see why he’d drawn back – didn’t agree and thought he was OTT but that’s the way it went, but then even when he learns more he’s still judgemental and couldn’t seem to see Vince POV. His timidity too annoyed me, the way he let others be outright rude to him, but I guess being Gay back when it was risking your life leaves one with that outlook and fear.He did get stronger towards the end though, and I began to see more qualities in him that attracted Vince. Emma – the constant baby bat reference and her endless inanities were irritating – maybe she’s got some saving grace somewhere but I didn’t see it Cash was a real star, enthusiastic, loyal, ready to give his life for his Queen and his friends, and yet as Rhiannon says he’s not got a lot up top… He really is a point and shoot missile and that made me smile.
Its a fun read, I wasn’t sure at first but slowly I got hooked into the story and pulled into the drama. I felt some of the battles were drawn out and complex compared to the solutions – its that pastry brush image again – but overall its a fun read and opens up a world that I feel could be a five star series.
Stars: Four, a fun read and a great start to the series.
ARC supplied by Netgalley and publishers
Psychic Storm, C.J. Ellisson , Deanna Chase , Dale Mayer , Heather Topham Wood, Hazel Hunter , Jesi Lea Ryan, J.C. Andrijeski , April Aasheim , Morgan Hannah MacDonald, Jordan Castillo Price
Psychic Storm, C.J. Ellisson , Deanna Chase , Dale Mayer , Heather Topham Wood, Hazel Hunter , Jesi Lea Ryan, J.C. Andrijeski , April Aasheim , Morgan Hannah MacDonald, Jordan Castillo Price
Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews
Genre: Thriller, Suspense Romance, Paranormal, Fantasy
Wow – these multi author bundles are a great way to try out new authors at a bargain price, over 2,000 pages in this one. Of course this one was a must for me as its got a new Allie’s War story, featuring the great Revik, that man is just so….well…anything that has more of him is a must read for me. I love the AW series, and the relationship between Allie and Revik is sensual and incredibly complicated. Here we see him while she’s still living and thinking she’s human and Revik is guarding her, watching over her unseen and slowly falling in love though he was determined not to like her. Her birth heralded his former relationship ending, as he and his lover were needed for different duties. He resented her birth, and yet having watched her from afar since she was seven he’s slowly become to love her. Its a tough job though, and as his attachment has become more personal its harder to keep to the policy of non intervention. The Seer Council want her to grow up feeling empathy with humans, and there’s one horrific incident where their orders conflict with what Revik wants to do, and thus starts a long and complex period for both of them. Its a fascinating world and yet though its futuristic it feels so real. Here I was thinking about this non intervention policy and wondering how far can you simply observe and let things go? That’s where Revik and the Council are different – they’re looking at Allie as a subject and thinking of the end result, the overall good, while Revik is seeing her as a person, who can be hurt both mentally and physically. What happened had such huge repercussions for him – that man has been through so much in his life already I really felt for him, and the conversation at the end with the lady at the uni function – ( Miranda?) comparing him to the Revik she met a few months previously shows just how much it had affected him. A great read and though JC classes these as Novellas they’re longer than many supposed full length stories. Great for those like me who want a story to get totally lost and engrossed in.
Of the other novels I’ve read Dale Mayer’s Tuesday’s Child, a long while back when it was first out, and now see there’s many more so they’ll go on my wish list, plus of course the fabulous Deanna Chase’s Haunted on Bourbon Street, same thing, read it back when it was first out, and it’s on my list to read the rest when time allows. I read the Ellison book but that one wasn’t for me sadly – that’s how it goes, and that’s what’s so good about the chance to try different authors and styles in bundles like this. I’d have been interested in the Castillo Price book if it was longer, but at under 100 pages its not for me, and the same for the Hunter novel. I’ve bought book one of Heather Topham Woods novel – its currently free and book two is on here so that’s a great start, and am intrigued by the Jesi Lee Ryan book, but think at 40,000 words that’s probably too short for me. I’m definitely intrigued by the Morgan Hannah Macdonald book too – its so great to see new ( to me) authors, where if I find I like their style there’s lots of new books for me to read. Time – that’s the biggest stumbling block so many books, so little time. I’d just got my TBR list down to manageable proportions and now its way back up again!!
Stars: Five, its a great bundle for anyone who loves fantasy/paranormal and a way to try out new authors at bargain price.
ARC supplied by authors.
So as you know I love the allie’s War novels, and in fact I’m currently re reading my way through them. I’m finding now I know the story I understand so much better what’s happening, and I’ve got my mind around the seer differences and the different groups involved. Its a fascinating, complex series, and if you love fantasy/sci-fi/supernatural reads that are looong ( each novel is around 4-600 pages and even the “novellas” are the length of most full books) you’ll love these, and of course they’re an excellent price. Anyway, until Jan 17th books one and two are free, just click image to be taken to amazon page.
Also out soon is another bargain bundle including a new Allie’s War novella,LONDON: ALLIE’S WAR EARLY YEARS, which isn’t yet avaialble elsewhere… I’ve read several of these already, and they’re a great way to try out authors new to you to see if you like their writing style and want to continue with a series. Money’s tight for everyone so these bundles really are excellent value for money at only 99p/99c. Again just click on link for amazon page
I’ve read HEATHER TOPHAM WOOD –– NEW REVELATIONS from the bundle, an author new to me . This is book two in the series and book one is currently free so thats a great start. I enjoyed these two and want to continue with the series. I read DALE MAYER –– TUESDAY’S CHILD some time ago and recall enjoying that – its on my reread list now there’s more of the series out. I love to read series back to back to really get into them so when there’s seven books ( as there is here) it’s a real treat for me. JESI LEA RYAN –– JUST A LITTLE NUDGE is one on my TBR list, as it sounds good, DEANNA CHASE –– HAUNTED ON BOURBON STREET is one I also read and enjoyed when it was first out and there’s now many more – also on my TBR list. ( I love her Crescent City series too) Of course this is my favourite – lots of lovely Revik ( swoon) JC ANDRIJESKI –– LONDON and we get to see just how long he’s been watching over Allie, and how he feels about her. It’s yet another side to a complicated character. APRIL AASHEIM –– ARMAND , JORDAN CASTILLO PRICE –– AMONG THE LIVING and HAZEL HUNTER –– TOUCHED TBR
What a rollorcoaster ride to the end, some laughter, some tears, some scary bits ( as ever!) and some light and tender moments. Looking back to the first book, how much more confident Perry is and how Dex has changed, grown into himself. Its that they’re a team, work on each others strenths and weaknesses, that make them so good together and you can feel their love. Agfter all they’ve been through to get this far they deserve it.
This picks straight up from the last book and plunges everyone – inclding Ada and Perry’s parents – into danger. Michael has come calling, and he’s got Dex and Perry in his sights, and doesn’t care who gets taekn down along the way…there’s some real tearjerking monents in store….
I love this series, its been a fabulous journey with Dex and Perry. To think I almost missed it as I didn’t think it was a series for me! I’m a wimp, so anything with a horror tag tends to get passed by, and the first book sat on my kindle for ages, I’d got it as it was free but…kept putting off reading it. Finally plucked up courage and found it was very different to what I’d imagined and LOVED it – bought the rest and have been waiting anxiously for this one. I’m torn between being happy they finally got a resolution and a HEA – they’ve been through so much together – and then again, no more Dex and Perry 😦
Still, Karina is one of my favourite authors and I’ve bought more of her other books now too – and I’m sure she’ll have plans for another series to hook us devotees in!
One thing I have to say – a HUGE thanks Karina from readers who love that you don’t take ages – years for some authors – between books. The quality of writing is always excellent, and yet she turns out books after just a few months – this series hasn’t taken long, not sure when Darkhouse was first out but I bought it ( free!) in december 13, and there’s been over a dozen in the series including the novellas…along with some other fantastic books.
Mysterious Depths, Mimizz Efemena Agwarota
Review from Jeannie Zelos Book reviews.
This is way off my usual comfort zone but its good to stretch reading into something different and this reminded me of the books I loved as a child, about the mysteries of life in other countries, the spiritual sides, and the cultural traditions.
Though I enjoyed this novel and it started well, leaving me wanting to know what was going to happen next, I did feel it became very long and drawn out as it went on. The beginning impetus where the story was moving at a good pace was lost, and I felt I wasn’t enjoying the tale so much as I had been. I was interested in the traditions, in times past we all relied much more on spirit portents and signs from nature. I think maybe its that need to have something or someone with a higher power to take the praise or blame when necessary. I don’t know – just seems that way to me. I’m thinking of how the Christians in the bible made and worshipped the Golden Calf, when their leader Moses was gone for a while. They had a need to believe in something other than just themselves.
Of course as this tale goes on we see its not just traditions being played out, but human manipulation to get revenge and the results greedy people wanted. That happens, and poor Mamuke – her journey was made so much harder because of it. Still, she stuck with it, stuck with the advice of her teachers and held steadfast in her trials despite her fear, wavering at times but not giving in. Sometimes the results seemed cruel and unfair, and the judgements and punishments harsh, but then other cultures have different ways of looking at the world and we need to put ourselves in their shoes (before passing judgement walk a moon in a man’s shoes as the Native Indians say )
Stars:three , an unusual and enjoyable novel, but a one off read for me.
ARC supplied by Author
Mojo Queen Sonya Clark
Review from jeannie zelos book reviews
I started this series by getting the terrific Red House to review – that’s the follow on book to this one. I loved it so much Sonya kindly gave me Mojo queen so I could start the series from the beginning ( and I’m hoping Sonya is busily writing more of Roxie and Blake. It was good to see the beginning of Roxie’s adventures and how she meets up with Blake. She a very talented witch using many different forms of magic but always with the ethos of “do no harm”. He’s a sorceror, definitely yummy and sexy but with an ambitious dark side that’s led him to become involved in demon summoning – unfortunately demons lie…as Blake finds out to his cost and Roxie gets hired to help despatch this particularly nasty one back before she can extend her killing spree.
Its edge of seat action from the start, and yet even when in the middle of a really tricky situation Roxie still has that great sense of snarky humour that makes her such a fabulous heroine. Its seems little really fazes her and she’ll always do what’s right regardless of the cost to herself. Sadly this leads to her car, home and office being damaged badly and her life being in danger. All in a days work for the fearless Roxie though. I loved the introduction to her Root magic, and found it a very interesting balance to the traditional spells and incantations so often used to describe magic.
Having seen how Roxie meets Blake and what results I can see why her cousin/ancestor vampire Daniel dislikes him so much. Daniel is very protective of Roxie and hates that Blake has put her in danger. Blake’s reaction at the end of the novel would make me feel the same way as Daniel and Roxie and he has a lot of ground to catch up on in the next book.
Roxie is a heroine in the best of traditions, smart and sexy, sassy and yet sympathetic, impulsive but also thoughtful and always on the side of Right. Daniel is the perfect foil, quiet and protective, strong yet smooth and always wanting to look after Roxie. He’s the only one of her family that accepts her for what she is, the rest are afraid of her magic and would rather ignore it regardless of the problems it would cause her. Daniel is just perfect and for a change there’s no romance between them, just a very intense feeling that they will protect each other no matter what. Daniel is shown as a real vampire with a need for blood and we see how he’s not just a typical PNR sexy vamp but also one that can be very dangerous when the vampire takes over even to those he loves. Blake – well – what can I say, you messed up big time Blake with the demon summoning but didn’t mean to, and generous hearted Roxie is ready to try to forgive that but then at the end – Just What did you think you were doing? I’m not going to spoil it – but just say that was a huge surprise for me and thank goodness book two is already out so readers can catch up with what happens next.
Stars: five – great book, well priced and one to join my favourites re read series.
Arc supplied by publisher
Demon Dance (A Sundancer Novel)
Arc supplied by publisher.
This is certainly an action packed novel, we jump straight into a scene where Nick is accosted by Coyote, who I know from fiction as a Native American spirit shape-shifter, and assume that Brian is using the same character. Coyote plays about with Nick, forcing him into a rescue and giving him a scale from a dragon…all very curious and that’s one of the problems I had with the book, the way everything just happens without any kind of background. I love this sort of book, where parallel worlds exist with gods and demons, spirits, vampires and shape-shifters, and a few select people with special abilities. The action was perfect, tightly written and riveting, but – and its a big but – I felt I was reading a later book in an existing series. I really struggled with all the different demons, angels, vampires and with Nick’s mysterious powers. None of it was explained and it meant I was constantly wondering how – why- when…I love this sort of fiction and Brain can clearly write it well but I just wish I understood more of the characters abilities and motivations. As it was I felt I was bumbling along finding out as the story unfolded. I don’t mean I need to know everything upfront, or be spoon fed each detail, but a bit more about Nick and the past incidents with his wife and sister in law would have made the story flow much better for me.
Its difficult to review in a way; as I said the writing style is great, full of action and scenes that are believable – or would be if I understood where the characters were coming from. Sadly I was lost – to the extent that I just couldn’t relate to the story as a whole. If I was reviewing on potential and quality it would be a resounding five, but the story itself had me lost and so I struggled to keep interested 😦
Priced at £2.68 for 334 pages/524kb is certainly excellent value if you can work out where the story goes better than I could 🙂 maybe your mind will work differently to mine. If Brian was to write a prequel explaining the events of the past then I’m sure this book would work far better for fantasy lovers, certainly it would for me! Sort of Sundancer 0.5 …..
“I came here,” I told the cat, “to get away from my life. Why did it have to find me?”
The cat’s emerald eyes sparkled with silent laughter. He seemed to know how stupid that sounded, and a thin, brittle smile came to my lips.
“You think I’m an idiot, huh?” I asked. The cat responded with a sharp meow. “Well, so do I.”
I sat up and stretched my neck. “I’m an idiot for throwing the glass,” I told him. “That was some premium Tennessee whiskey.”
The cat meowed again. “As for you,” I said, “you need a name.” The animal wore a dark blue collar I had missed when he came in. There wasn’t an ID, but the strip of cloth had a word printed on the front: Walker.
“OK,” I said, “Walker it is.” I scratched the cat behind his ears, and a rumbling purr vibrated my fingers.
Suddenly Walker’s ears perked up and he sprang from the bed. The hairs on my arms stood to attention, and I swung my legs over the side. My eyes searched the room, seeking a sign in the afternoon gloom of what was crawling across my senses.
That’s when the phone rang. “The Hall of the Mountain King,” made up of singular electronic notes, echoed through the apartment. I leaped out of bed and stood at the edge of the protective circle. The melody repeated itself three times and went silent.
I stood there at the edge of the circle, my heart racing. I strained to hear any movement, and my nose searched for a hint of sulfur. Nothing looked out of the ordinary.
The song blasted the silence again, the tones as simple as a child’s keyboard. With a deep breath, I stepped out of the circle and crept toward the bedroom door. Sensing nothing, I walked into the living room.
The cell phone became silent again, but only for a moment. I managed to snag it on the last ring with an annoyed, “Hello?” Away from the circle I was vulnerable, and I turned to go back to the bed, but the fearful breathing on the other end of the line stopped me.
“Nick?” Caitlin called, as if from a long tunnel. Static overpowered her voice, like energy on a high-voltage wire.
“Cate? I can barely hear you.”
“Nick! Thank God. I need your help!”
I sighed. I came away from my protection for this? “Look, Cate,” I said as I walked back into the bedroom and toward the circle, “we talked about this. You know my—”
“Just shut up and listen!” she yelled. I stopped again as a roaring filled the phone. Screams pierced the background. “I’m in a penthouse at One-Fifty-Five Second Street. Downtown. Get your ass down here!”
“Please, Nick!” Gunshots cracked the phone. “Jesus, the thing has no eyes, how can it see—”
The line went dead.
Amazon * Smashwords
Coming soon to: Barnes and Noble * Itunes * Kobo
You can run all you want, but the game’s in your blood. And blood never forgets…
Nick St. James was born different. His extraordinary gifts have saved him time and time again, but they couldn’t save the one thing he loved most: his wife.
Now he just wants to forget his old life, but more importantly, he wants to forget the magical underworld that lives beneath the “real” world. A place where a man’s faith can determine the very fabric of reality. Where ancient forgotten gods walk hidden among us, and angels and demons fight for our very souls.
But nothing stays hidden forever. Nick’s peaceful world is ripped apart when a demon slaughters his ex-partner and marks him for death. Now he must use all his gifts to find the one who summoned the nightmarish creature, but more importantly, he needs to find the one thing he lost long ago.
10/14/2013 – A Book Obsession – Spotlight
10/14/2013 – Not Everyone’s Mama – Review/Spotlight
10/15/2013 – RhiReading – Spotlight
10/16/2013 – Mad Hatter Reads – Interview
10/17/2013 – Jeannie Zelos Book Reviews – Review
10/18/2013 – Hopelessly Devoted Bibliophile – Review
10/21/2013 – Read Your Writes Book Reviews – Interview
10/23/2013 – Romancing the Readers – Spotlight
10/24/2013 – Urban Fantasy Investigations – Guest Post
10/25/2013 – Reading on the Rocks – Spotlight
10/26/2013 – JeanzBookReadNReview Interview/Spotlight
10/28/2013 – Chelle’s Blue and Sparkly Corner – Review
10/29/2013 – Book-A-Holic Anon – Guest Post
10/30/2013 – Racing To Read – Review/Spotlight
10/31/2013 – Always YA at Heart – Spotlight
11/1/2013 – Bestsellerbound Recommends – Interview
11/1/2013 – The Wormhole! – Spotlight
11/5/2013 – Reading Between the Wines – Guest Post
11/5/2013 – A_TiffyFit’s Reading Corner – Review/Spotlight
11/6/2013 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – Spotlight
11/7/2013 – Happy Tails and Tales – Review/Spotlight
11/8/2013 – Paranormal Haven – Interview
Brian Freyermuth, an 18 year veteran in the gaming industry, started his career at Interplay Entertainment, serving as designer and writer on a number of titles including the award-winning post-apocalyptic role playing game Fallout, where he helped craft the story and create some of its most recognizable settings.
Brian was also granted the pleasure of writing the missions and dialog for the best-selling game, Star Trek: Starfleet Academy. Working alongside William Shatner, George Takai and Walter Koenig gave Brian a new perspective on voice acting and dialog that influences his renowned style to this day.
In 2004, Brian ventured to the Pacific Northwest where he spent two years honing his design skills at Midway Games in Seattle. He then returned to Southern California, where he spent five years working on various influential brands under the THQ umbrella such as SpongeBob: SquarePants and WWE.
Brian’s passion for storytelling would eventually lead to a wonderful opportunity to get back to his writing roots by joining Disney and Junction Point in 2011. During his time there, he co-wrote the story and dialog for the WGA Award Nominee Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two, where he worked with comic book writer Marv Wolfman and industry legend Warren Spector to give Oswald the Lucky Rabbit a voice at Disney for the first time in 80 years.
Born in the quaint town of Manitou Spring, Colorado, where he grew up in the shadow of Pikes Peak, Brian moved to California as a teenager, eventually graduating from UC Irvine with a major in Comparative Literature and a minor in Computer Science, both of which he uses in his professional and personal careers. Brian is also a member of the Horror Writer’s Association, and loves to write and play video games in his free time. He currently lives in Atlanta with his wife, Juliet, and their son, Kyle.
Interviews and Articles: http://www.middark.com/middark_links.html
Spell Blind (The Witchblood Dossiers) Nicole J. Fawcett
I received this from the author in return for an honest review.
I’d read book one and loved it ( Spell Struck) so was looking forward to more from Rian and Co. This book picks up several years after the first, Rian and Cato are having one of what seem to be fairly regular spats and we don’t see so much of them. I thought I’d miss them but there’s enough to keep me happy and I just loved the new focus on a grown up Rhodry and Marco and Rian’s long time friend Elise.
Elise has come to stay after big problems in her career and personal life caused by the betrayal of her lover. She’s feeling vulnerable and in need of some rest and care – but she’s come to the wrong place! Witnessing the end of what seems to be an act of vandalism she mentions it to Rhodry as there were anti witch slogans daubed on the wall. Rhodry works for Rian at her detective agency, Wright Noble and Trew. ( what a mane 🙂 love it). Turns out that the vandalism is a bit more, one of the buildings owners disappears and the kidnappers seem to think Elise knows more than she does plunging into what seems an endless spiral of danger…along the way she becomes very close to Rhodry, though she worries about the age difference at first then finds that maybe his relationship to Marco could be a greater problem. The police are very unhelpful to the point where they are obstructing the agency’s enquiries placing Elise in more danger.
Its once again a riveting read, a romance with a twist (i’m not saying more but that scene after Elise has showered…hot!) and plenty of action. Nicole is spot on with editing and plot lines that flow seamlessly together – I’m always amazed at how tiny hints earlier in the story turn out to be major parts of a later plot . The trick is to look for them. This is one of those books – like the first- that has so much detail it bears reading over and over and will go into my favourites collection. If you love romance, a great adventurous storyline, witches vampires and fae (though they fae aren’t much in evidence here ) then you’ll love this book. Its fantasy and romance for the thinking reader – not one where you’re spoon fed each plot but one where you have to think and wonder whatever is coming next 🙂 Right up my street.
Its a good length too allowing Nicole to get in depth with the characters and spread the story over multiple plots to keep reader hooked. The end had me in tears of sadness first then tears of joy – I loved it. Great value for money at 362 pages for £4.84 on kindle as its one to re read so cost per read goes down considerably ( I am happy to pay more for books i’d re read – increases the value of them to me)
Stars: full five – its a terrific novel and I hope Nicole is on to book three ( please Nicole – we need more and I want to know how things continue for Elise as well as Rian….)
Bound by Night. Larissa Ione.
Arc supplied by Netgalley.
I loved Larissa’s Demonica series, but have to confess * shock * I’ve never read her Lords of Deliverance….I know, I know, disgraceful – but somehow I’ve just never got to them (or Wards BDB novels…)so when I saw this beginning to a new series – with vampires no less – I had to request it.
Larissa seems to take conventional supernatural creatures and give them a different spin. In this novel the vampires are of two sorts, Natural Born and Turned, and some- especially the Born ones – have special gifts. She manages to make the vampires just that bit different in this way and adds in Native American spirits and beliefs, and a bit of Demon blood…and it works to give us something new and fresh ,in a genre that is becoming swamped by sadly bland vampires. These ones kill though, they’re unashamedly tough and practical but there is a little morality there from some. They drink blood from humans too as well as from bags, eat food, and she links their needs for blood to a moon phase so each second moon either females or males have to drink and need sex from a vampire of the opposite sex. Sounds quite complex doesn’t it – but it’s necessary to move forward the story she’s created. It’s a great world, peopled with characters that feel real, and I started to anticipate what they’ll do next as if I really know them.
One of the strengths of Larissa’s writing ( and with most authors who’s work I enjoy) is that ability to take two people with diametric views, who on the face of it should hate each other, they always start that way, and yet they end up re thinking all their emotions and thoughts, and finding each other not only sexually attractive but mentally too. I admire so much the way this is done, as a reader I look at the two main characters and wonder how I’d get them together and – well – I just can’t! When they are rethinking so am I, looking at situations from anothers’ point of view leads to different conclusions usually.
Riker’s mate was captured by Nicole’s family, a leader in Vampire Slavery, and research, using vampires in all sorts of very profitable but horrific ways, some legal and some not so. Nicole has always believed Riker killed his mate, and that he’s a cruel person, his mate was her Nanny and she loved her dearly and was very close to her. Riker hates all her remaining family for their use of vampires, the cruel way they treat them, as commodities and not as people. Nicole has a vampire phobia after being attacked in a rebellion that killed most of her family. She been involved in the research side not knowing about the horrific treatment given to vamps, and assuming the company acts legally. Now she’s inherited the company and finds out all is not as she thought. How on earth will those two ever get together. Well, there’s a complex and riveting story to be read before you’ll find that out, and its one that had me gripped to the kindle, not wanting to put it down til the end. Larissa doesn’t dumb down her writing thankfully, its an intricate work, one that’s long, absorbing and full of detail. There’s not loads of descriptive waffle though, each word belongs and is part of the whole story. There’s the main plot of course but also I can see a myriad of smaller ones that link to things either in this book or presumably to come in later ones.
First novels in series have a hard task, they need to set the scene, show the world and people created and yet still tell an absorbing story. Few manage a five star read from me on a first in series as its difficult to get all three parts at the right balance but this one does. It’s one for my keepers file and at 400 pages for £4.41 it’s really good value.
Stars: five – all the way, and a series I’ll definitely be following eagerly.