Fans of both historical fantasy and vampires will love TRANSCENDENCE, despite the fact that neither are between it’s pages. With just the right mix of mythology, adolescent love, and adventure, Omololu’s story was both thought provoking and entertaining. While I would have liked a climax that relied a little less on bad decisions on the main character’s part, that was more than balanced by the wry wit and well written development Cole had displayed earlier. I definitely fell for our hero, from his credible reason for avoiding a romance with Cole to the very sexy potential of his powers, TRANSCENDENCE worked for me as both a romance and a paranormal YA.
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The conclusion to Jaye Wells’ Sabina Kane urban fantasy series; BLUE BLOODED VAMP was in a word; epic. This book was jam packed with complex characters, thrilling action, and startling realizations about Sabina and her heritage. I think just about every character from past books got at least a mention if not a small cameo which was nice as it felt like a kind of final curtain call. What I really enjoyed most about this book was that it constantly moved (we even begin the book on a moving train) towards a huge finale involving an intense confrontation with Cain, the father of vampires.
Filthy and profane and fabulous, DOUBLETAKE seduced me with it’s sly wit and cavalier heroes. Though this was my first Cal Leandros book, Thurman’s combination of recap and forward momentum meant I dove in without a hitch. Robin Goodfellow’s Panic flew by in a haze of hormones and g-strings, and by the time things moved on to murderous automatons and mummified cats, I was hooked.
NIGHTSHIFTED is like a dark and twisted version of Grey’s Anatomy with vampires, zombies, and werewolves taking up residence in County Hospital’s Y4 wing. I love the concept of a paranormal wing of a hospital which makes the already intense environment all the more crazy and dangerous… and not just for the patients. The story moves at a similar pace to a hospital setting where there are small lulls in action and with sudden, even frantic bursts of action. That sort of pacing made NIGHTSHIFTED an exciting read as I was constantly on edge, waiting to see what was going to happen next.
FATED brings another contender for the top of my favorite male urban fantasy hero list. Reading this book I got a very Dresden Files vibe which I loved as I gladly welcome more grizzled hardcore mages/wizards in my urban fantasy.
Neither as hard-boiled as most police procedurals, nor as arcane as pure urban fantasy, EVIL DARK is a blend that does justice to both genres without taking either too seriously. The dry police banter, methodical exploration of crimes, and a story and world that were easy to jump into make this a great introduction to the series as well as a satisfying stand alone.
The voice of THE MINORITY COUNCIL is tricky to slip into, both because of Swift’s plurality and the Beat poet run-on sentences that paint the city around him. I don’t think reading earlier books would have helped, other than giving me more pages to acclimate myself to the style, but finishing this story has me eager to go back and start at the beginning.
It was such a treat to be back in the Shadows Inquiries world, and LIES AND OMENS doesn’t waste a single page before ramping up the action. Almost invisibly, Benedict intertwined gentle reminders about Sylvie’s past without slowing down the current events one bit (though new readers should definitely put in the time to read prior books). By the time Sylvie was clinched in what is the absolute best shower scene I’ve ever read, I knew I was going to gulp this book down in one sitting (and I was right).
I thought BY THE BLOOD OF HEROES was going to be a simple ‘killing the undead horde of zombies with very large guns’ tale but it ended up being a much larger war story with very serious implications not only for the heroes but for the world if the wrong side won. The zombies, or shamblers as they are called, are used as weapons of war by the Germans against the Allied forces during WWI. Learning about the advancements in the corpse gas technology was very creepy as it went beyond just raising the dead. The experiments (done on both the dead and living) with the corpse gas elevated the horror to a frightening new level that was all too reminiscent of the Holocaust experiments carried out by the Nazis.
MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH felt like a massively lavish and gothic prologue to Edgar Allen Poe’s short story by the same name. In Bethany Griffin’s tale the rich are privileged enough to live in secluded areas and wear masks to protect them from the Weeping Sickness while the poor are left to await the corpse collectors to carry away their loved ones. While the masks are meant to be protection, I got a distinctly creepy vibe at the thought of people wandering the streets with half their faces frozen as if the living are wearing reminders of the death they were trying to avoid every day.