Monday, April 30, 2007

#33 When Darkness Comes by Alexandra Ivy

My Rating: 5 out of 10 stars

Abby Barlow has unknowingly become The Chalice, a host body for The Phoenix, the Goddess designed to keep the Prince of Darkness and his minions at bay. Dante is a 341 year old vampire who's been bound by ritual to protect The Chalice from all the demons and minions now hunting her. With the death of the current Chalice, and it's transference into Abby, they're now running for their lives from the demons that hunt the Chalice, in the hopes of bringing the Prince of Darkness back into our realm.

This book struck me from the beginning because the main character's last name is very similar to mine, and then on the very first page of the Prologue, the Duke of Granville is mentioned, and Granville is my Dad's middle name, taken from what was once part of his last name before he moved to America from England as a teen. In any case, it just struck me as quite coincidental. :-)

This is Alexandra Ivy's first novel and though the story itself was fairly decent, it did have a bit too much romance for my liking. Also, I thought her style left something to be desired. She was constantly using incomplete sentences as entire paragraphs! I know authors often do this for emphasis sometimes, but I thought it was very much overused, such that as a reader, you couldn't stop mid-way through a chapter because you might stop at a paragraph that makes no sense standing alone. I didn't like that... but I often see a lot of quirky things I don't like in an author's first novel anyway.

The story itself was supposed to contain an element of danger, and it tried to, but for some reason, it just didn't come across that way, probably because Abby and Dante were stopping to have sex every 1/2 hour. We hear at least once per chapter about his silver eyes, and long dark hair, and gorgeous body, etc. It's this kind of thing that made it too romance-y for me, and caused my attention to wander. Once I got beyond all these things though, I did enjoy the underlying story. If I hadn't, I would've given up without finishing. So I'm guessing romance readers might appreciate some of it more than I did.

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Thursday, April 26, 2007

#32 Tithe: A Modern Faerie Tale by Holly Black

My Rating: 8 out of 10 stars

Sixteen-year-old Kaye is a modern nomad. Fierce and independent, she travels from city to city with her mother's rock band until an ominous attack forces Kaye back to her childhood home. There, amid the industrial, blue-collar New Jersey backdrop, Kaye soon finds herself an unwilling pawn in an ancient power struggle between two rival faerie kingdoms—a struggle that could very well mean her death.

When Kaye discovers she's actually a Changeling (changed at birth), her whole world starts to get really confusing, and some of the new friends she's met could possibly be her worst enemies.

I really enjoyed this book, which portrays the struggle between the Seelie and the Unseelie Court of Faerie. It is dark and suspenseful, and definitely doesn't refer to the light fairy which perches on flowers and flutters about. I'm anxiously looking forward to book 2, Valiant, which is also waiting here on Mt. TBR.

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Monday, April 16, 2007

#31 Vamps and the City by Kerrelyn Sparks

My Rating: 7 out of 10 stars

Darcy Newhart has only been a vamp for 4 years now, but every day she longs for her previous life: the sun, the beach, and the man of her dreams, an Apollo-like Sun God! Little did she expect to meet him on the set of her new reality TV show, The Sexiest Man on Earth. Now Adam, an Undercover agent for the Vampire Stake-Out team, has been accepted to participate in the competition, undercover of course. He falls hard for Darcy, not realizing at first that she's a vampire, and she's totally smitten with him as well. But can things work out between them when they're both from two separate worlds... and when one of them is actually a vampire slayer.

I'm not sure I enjoyed this second book in the Love at Stake series as much as the first, How to Marry a Millionaire Vampire. Some of the events were a bit too far-fetched to be believable, even in a novel based on fantasy such as this is. A few times I found myself thinking, "yeah right, as if that would happen". Beyond that however, there was some good action, the romance scenes weren't too sappy, and it was a pretty enjoyable read. :-)

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Wednesday, April 11, 2007

#30 Legend of the Jade Dragon: A Chintz 'n China Mystery by Yasmine Galenorn

My Rating: 7 out of 10 stars

The bad luck begins for Emerald O'Brien after a client leaves a statue of a jade dragon at her shop, and is then struck by a hit-and-run driver right outside her store. To thwart the statue's curse, Em and her friends will have to follow a trail of heartache which leads all the way back to China's Ming Dynasty.

I enjoyed this second story in the Chintz 'n China Mysteries as much as the first. The author herself is a Witch and Wiccan High Priestess, and uses her knowledge of Wicca and Paganism well in these stories, portraying Em's character realistically in integrating her magickal practices with her everyday life. And with just the right amount of the fantastical added in. :)

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Tuesday, April 03, 2007

#29 I Thirst for You by Susan Sizemore

My Rating: 6 out of 10 stars

Marcus Cage is on the run from some shady characters conducting experiments on him to discover the secret of immortality. The poor vampire has been driven mad and his heightened senses upon his escape lead him right to Josephine Elliot. Her empathic qualities, though psychically wounded, call to him in the night, and he goes to her craving what he needs to bring back his strength and sanity.

This is a story of love on the run, between an immortal "Prime" and his bondmate. For those who enjoy romances, this is a book worth reading. The writing was good, and there was a modicum of suspense added to the story line which made it more interesting for me. However, since the main premise pretty much revolves around the romantic relationship between Cage and Jo, it wasn't one of my favorites. But at least the sex scenes were a bit above the tame or lame-o-meater! (pun intended) LOL

I think Ms. Sizemore holds a lot of promise as a writer, so though I don't particularly care for this genre (the romance part, not the paranormal), I'm happy that I've got her Laws of the Blood urban fantasy series (also vamp) waiting here on Mt. TBR.

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