Monday, August 15, 2011

REVIEW: All Together Dead (Sookie Stackhouse, Book 7) by Charlaine Harris

My Rating: 10 out of 10 stars

Sookie has agreed to accompany Vampire Queen Sophie-Anne Leclerq to the Vampire Summit in Rhodes. Also in tow are several of the other Louisiana vampires including Bill, Eric, Pam, and a few of the other area sheriffs. During the summit, the Queen is set to stand trial for the charges of killing her short-time husband, Peter Threadgill, King of Arkansas, and Sookie is prepared to serve as witness in the case. Unfortunately, due to the disastrous events of Katrina, the Queen's kingdom is in a much weakened state and so of course, many of the other vampires present are attempting to take advantage, and Sookie's telepath duties prove quite useful to the queen during all the wheeling and dealing and power struggles going on.

While in Rhodes (this is near Chicago, not the island in Greece), Sookie also meets up with the only other telepath she's ever met, Barry the Bellyboy, who now works for the Vampire King of Texas. Together, Sookie and Barry manage to uncover a deadly plot perpetrated by a group of haters wanting to take down a large number of vampires at the hotel where the summit is being held.

In addition to the summit events, there are several other sub-plots going on. Sookie's relationship with Quinn starts to get a bit complicated as he realizes how deeply she's tied to the vampires. In particular, her ties to Eric have grown stronger with the forced taking of more of his blood. (Yay!) One can only hope that Sookie and Eric wind up together from here on out, but of course Sookie will keep trying to deny their bond, even though it's apparent that Eric really cares deeply for her.

In the end, all is well, and Sookie saves the day, although several vampires (and humans) are indeed lost in another terrible tragedy. Though the main plot is wrapped up nicely, it's the underlying sub-plots which have you drooling for the next installment. I can't wait to see what happens next!!

Overall, this has got to be one of my favorite Sookie books in a long time! The action was non-stop and the underlying chemistry between Eric and Sookie is once again beginning to heat up. Woohoo!! Bring it on!! :)

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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

REVIEW: Definitely Dead (Sookie Stackhouse, Book 6) by Charlaine Harris

My Rating: 9 out of 10 stars

Sookie is headed to the Big Easy in this 6th book of the Sookie Stackhouse series. Summoned by the Vampire Queen and her lawyer, Sookie is charged with finalizing the settlement of her cousin Hadley's estate down in New Orleans. Hadley, once a favorite consort of the Queen, was murdered at the hands of another jealous vampire on her staff.

Unfortunately, the trouble starts for Sookie before she even leaves Bon Temps, with an attack by a couple of bitten weres as she's leaving the theater with new beau Quinn the weretiger, and then later when the sliced-up body of the half-demon messenger who was sent with Sookie's summons is found in her backyard. And then things only get worse after arriving in New Orleans where Sookie is no longer the only target. But who could possibly be after the Queen too? And are all these attacks even related?

In this book, we're also let in on Bill's grand revelation regarding his placement in Bon Temps by the Queen, a fact which has already been revealed in the True Blood television series. And it's from this point on that Sookie's feelings for Bill really take a nosedive. While the TV series and the books follow each other closely enough, there are certain characters that are either more prominent (Tara, Lafayette) or non-existent (Jessica, Bubba) in one place or another, and events don't always follow along on the same timeline. Plus there's always that little bit of manipulation that takes place for TV, to keep the action flowing quickly. I'm particularly happy they kept Lafayette around (he was killed off at the end of book 1) as he's definitely one of my favorite characters next to Eric. :)

And this is why after 4 years away from this series—while I caught up on several other books including Ms. Harris other series—I realized I best get caught up on these before True Blood overtakes where I am in the books! LOL While I found the previous book, Dead as a Doornail a little less memorable than the first 4 books for some reason, Definitely Dead picked right back up full steam and left me craving more. If you're a fan of the series, you've probably already read this one and so I don't have to tell you how it left me craving more. I'm sure you know exactly what I mean. If however, you haven't yet read this series, then what are you waiting for?! I've already started the next one!! Yummy!!! :)

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Friday, July 29, 2011

REVIEW: Personal Demons by Stacia Kane

My Rating: 6 out of 10 stars

Megan Chase is host to a new radio show that promises to help callers slay their demons. Too bad the demons are taking that literally and are now coming after Megan themselves. But there are some who would prefer to work with rather than against her, including a particularly hot, chiseled and sexy fire demon named Greyson Dante. He's helping Megan stand up to the personal demons who are after her, and along with his team of crazy, cockney guard demons, they're chasing down all the demons that get in her face. :)

This was a cute, fun read. What it lacked in substance, it made up for in quirkiness and humor. While I found a few parts to be a little predictable, the author put a few new twists on typical demon lore to spice things up a bit, like the whole Meegra "family" thing. Overall, I enjoyed the book, and once I get caught up on some of my other reads, I may peek in on Megan and Greyson again in their sequel. :)

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Thursday, July 21, 2011

REVIEW: Breaking Dawn: The Twilight Saga, Book 4 by Stephenie Meyer

My Rating: 7 out of 10 stars

The choice has been made and Bella and Edward are ready to start their life together. Bella's unusually strong connection to her dear friend Jacob has not diminished and it's making Jacob crazy to have to stand by Bella's choices.

Yet when Bella manages to conceive Edward's child--a miraculous event that the vampires didn't even realize could happen--things threaten to get even worse as the exceptionally strong fetus rips apart Bella's insides trying to get out. But Bella is committed to bringing this exceptional child into the world, refusing to abort despite the life-threatening risks, or the eventual consequences of the Volturi vampire council. Who will be left standing (or breathing) at the end?

Breaking Dawn is the final book in the Twilight Saga, and upon finishing it I found myself immediately looking forward to the movie, due in November. This final book wraps things up quite neatly, and I was also quite happy with how things turned out for Jacob. Though I probably liked it just a tad bit less than Eclipse, it was a fascinating read nonetheless.

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Friday, July 15, 2011

REVIEW: Eclipse: The Twilight Saga, Book 3 by Stephenie Meyer

My Rating: 8 out of 10 stars

This is the third of four books in Stephenie Meyer's Twilight series, one of several series which has helped push vampires and the paranormal into the mainstream. I've been a fan and avid reader of the paranormal & urban fantasy genre long before Twilight and True Blood came to the silver screen however, so by the time I finally got around to reading this particular series--which had been languishing on my TBR shelf for several years--I had lots to compare it to.

If you read my review for Twilight, the first book in the series, you'll see that I didn't care for it all that much. A bit too much romance for my taste and Bella's character seemed really superficial and shallow. However, by the 2nd book, New Moon, I was beginning to understand why that was and I liked that one a bit better than the first. By book 3, I was really starting to get into it and liked it even better than the first two, so much so that when I finished Eclipse, I immediately picked up Breaking Dawn, the 4th and final book in the series because I couldn't wait to see how it ended.

Bella is still torn between her love for Edward and her deeply-rooted friendship with Jacob. But now several new dynamics have come into play which make things even more difficult for her. The vampire Victoria--the mate of James whom Edward killed in the book 1--is still stalking Bella in an attempt to end her life, the same way Edward ended the life of her mate. And up north in Seattle, what appears to be a crazed serial killer is running around the city leaving a trail of brutal murders in their wake. The murders are ruthless enough to suggest vampire killings but who could possibly be behind it? With the deadline imposed by the Volturi Vampire Council looming over her head, Bella knows her life will be coming to an end one way or another; her only hope is that she gets to choose how she wants to die....

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Thursday, July 07, 2011

REVIEW: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J. K. Rowling

My Rating: 10 out of 10 stars

Ahhh the very last book in the Harry Potter series. How I will miss this series, and the movies that go along with. Like most Harry fans, I have watched Harry grow from a boy to a young man and shared in so many of his adventures that I feel he's one of my own friends. :) I only wish there was such a school as Hogwarts, where we could fly around on brooms, make potions, and predict the future all day. That'd be such a fun life! :)

I've dallied a long time in getting this review posted, seeing as how I actually finished reading this book a long time ago--and then took the time to reread it before the movie Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 comes out. I only hope I can still do it justice now that so much time has passed. :)

The death of Albus Dumbledore at the end of book six, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, has left a gaping hole at Hogwarts School of Wizardry & Witchcraft. Severus Snape is now the new acting headmaster and the Wizarding school is now under the control of Lord Voldemort and the Death Eaters.

Harry, Ron, and Hermione are on the run, and at the very top of the Most Wanted List. However, they're determined to honor Dumbledore's final wishes in finding the necessary pieces to destroy Lord Voldemort once and for all. Each distinct Horcrux is a physical object which holds a bit of Voldemort's soul, effectively rendering him immortal since all pieces would have to be found and destroyed in order for him to die. But the fearless and egotistical Voldemort doesn't believe that anyone else could possibly discover his secret, and by the time he discovers what's going on, Harry and his friends have already found and destroyed several of his Horcruxes. And then there's that one other little piece of information which Dumbledore neglected to impart to Harry: that in order to kill Lord Voldemort, Harry must die himself!!

This final installment in the Harry Potter series will keep you on the edge of your seat as many surprising truths are revealed. This was by far my favorite book in the series and I will miss it terribly. Fortunately, I have all the original hardcover books in my personal library and I think I'll have to buy the box set of movies now too once the final one is released. :)

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