Abarat by Clive Barker

        I am in a fiction writing class, and like all the past writing classes I have ever taken we are asked to bring in first lines from books that we really love. I always pick a line from this book because for some reason the teachers love the image of a storm crawling on lightening legs. They don't really like the rest of the books I read... oh well. But as I was reading the opening line to this book in class I realized that I keep using this book over and over but it has been at least 7 years since I have read it, and that didn't seem very fair to the story. So I decided to dust it off and take a shot. I felt that I passed through the YA reading phase of my life very quickly, but this book always seems so cool to me, it is so crazy!

         Candy Quackenbush is a troubled yet good-natured Minnesotan girl, but when she ventures into an empty field one day and meets John Mischief, a creature with seven extra talking heads on his antlers, she's rendered awestruck and knows she's bound for a heap of adventure.
         Soon the two are narrowly escaping a dark hunter sent by the evil Lord Carrion and diving into the Sea of Izabella, a vast ocean containing 25 islands that stand for each hour of the day, plus a mystical Twenty-Fifth Hour.
         As Candy embarks on her adventure throughout this mind-bending archipelago, she visits the average citizens of Yebba Dim Day, joins a clan of tarrie-cats and slothlike Malingo to battle the dastardly Kaspar Wolfswinkel, and even gets a horrific taste of the Twenty-Fifth Hour itself.
Click to view the book on Amazon: Abarat

          Before we start I just want to state that any pictures I put in this post belong to Clive Barker. Ok, I don't even know how to start with this one. I knew I had a reason to love this book so much. It. Is. Amazing.

          I've always loved fantasy, but this book takes fantasy to a whole new level. And I think out of all the adventures I have read over the years, if I got to live one, this is the one I would pick. Half of the stuff is totally absurd. I am not sure how is does it but Clive Barker must go to strange beautiful places when he write because the things he comes up with blows my mind. Like, just the idea of The Abarat itself: An archipelago of islands where each island represents an hour of the day, except for the 25th hour which is like a mystery hour. And when I say that the islands represent their hours, they really do! They have the lighting and the weather of that island.

          Another cool thing is that the books are illustrated by Clive barker with these amazing paintings. Ok, but basically in this book Candy Quackenbush lives a boring tedious life in Chickentown, and she can't stand it. Then one day a doodle gets stuck in her head and leads her into the fields on the outskirts of town where she notices that there are sea shells and the remains of fish and drift wood laying in the grass. Upon realizing this she sees the Johns, who are 8 brothers that share one body, the main brother John Mischief has antlers on his head that his other brothers live on. Well, he talks Candy into helping him escape an assassin, and in doing so she calls in the Sea of Izabella, which is this mysterious (possibly sentient?) ocean that is the mother of the Abarat. Well Candy dives into the sea and is swept off into this brand new world where there are creatures that people only dream of. There she is pursued by Lord Carrion, the prince of midnight, who rules over Gorgossium: the hour of midnight. She makes friends with a geshrat and starts to learn magic. And she feels as if she belongs in the Abarat.

    Carrion       (left)
Malingo the Geshrat  (Right)

         This book and its characters have a sneaky way of popping up in my head throughout the day. I can't stop thinking about them. When I first started the book I was kinda like, what is going on. I read some of it out loud to my boyfriend and he told me it didn't make sense. And I think that is one of the things I like most about Abarat. They do have rules, but to me it seems The Abarat thrive on chaos and things that don't make sense. 

        I love the characters too. I like Candy and how nothing really phases her and while the John brothers kind of freak me out I think they are extremely entertaining. Malingo is the sweetest being. Now as far as bad guys go it is set up for Carrion to be the bad guy, but as the story goes on and you see more of his life it is hard to see him as truly a bad guy, there are bigger powers at play and he has been a victim of them as well. (As the books go on I find I like him more and more). The absurdity of the story is what keeps you going, obviously the writing is amazing, otherwise this one be an extremely hard book to read, but I couldn't put it down and I feel like you guys will feel the same.

         Go read the book, then come back and read this! May contain spoilers!

         The 25th hour totally freaks me out. If women there are so important why are they being held like prisoners and what is up with those freaky clown brothers? That freaked me out more than anything Carrion did.  Though Carrion's nightmares are scary. People die from them, it gives me chills but i love it so much. This first book is more of an introduction into this world and the story really picks up in the next two books. This book lays a lot of the ground work.

        There was also some beautiful "Abaratian" poetry in the book that I just loved reading. I am not a big poetry person, I like it and I can write it, but I usually pick to read other things, but I stopped to read the poetry in this book and I loved it. Gosh, I really wish there was a portal or something that could take me into this world. I give this book a 5 out of 5. I will definitely be reading it again. I love it!

I selected this post to be featured on my blog’s page at Book Review Blogs.


Other Systems by Elizabeth Guizzetti

          I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I love Scifi and I love adventure and sometimes I get pissed that I can't just go off and train to fly away in a space ship to different planets and meet all kinds of different people. This book made me long for that.

         Ten large ships race toward Earth, broadcasting in every language: "Brothers and sisters, we come in peace and in need. We have found our way home." The fear of a coming invasion begins the worldwide riots of 3062.
         Yet, not all Earthlings fear attack. The newcomers, long lost descendants of Earth, speak of a paradise ninety-four light years away. Kipos is a land of plenty where there has never been hunger, murder, or war. However, they need more healthy young immigrants for the colony to thrive.
         Many accept their offer to be tested. After assessment, Abby Boyd Lei is among the chosen. She leaves the protection of her family with dreams of higher education, a good job, and a kind-hearted spouse.
         Will Kipos be everything she imagined? Abby is about to discover the cost of utopia.
Click to view the book on Amazon:  Other Systems

         Now, I was really excited for this book because something about Scifi makes me itch with impatience (Why haven't we achieved any of this stuff yet??). For the most part it was a fulfilling adventure about a girl who grows as she is thrust is circumstances beyond her control. She has to deal with leaving her planet and knowing that everyone she knew and loved on earth would die before she ever reached the new planet. Then once at the new planet she had to deal with being separated from her only family and basically made a slave. When she finds her way to freedom with a flight crew of hybrid humans she has to deal with the time space continuum and how she will stay the same while everyone she knows planet side could age decades while she is gone.

         While there was romance in to book, it wasn't what I craved from the book, from the way it was set up I was expecting something different than what ended up happening. But thinking back on it and looking at it from a mature angle instead of a sex crazed one, I realize that the way things are is probably how they should be, Abby needs time to recover and grow into who she truly is.

         The book was well written, though at times I felt myself drifting because sometimes it just seemed dense with the description of the space things. Or I would want to see the relationships develop between characters and instead I would end up with Abby on a new planet describing plant life. So I hope there is a second one because I want to see where these characters end up. I think that I would give this book a 3 out of 5 stars, because sometimes I just couldn't focus on it, it would lose me.

        Read the book, then come back and read this part! Spoilers Ahead!

         With all the focus on Mark and Abby it seemed like the author was setting them up to be together. I understand why they didn't get together... She was traumatized from her rape and he was getting over his relationship with Pat. But that was one of the things that pissed me off. This whole weird love triangle thing. They were so good together, but then Pat shows up and Mark takes him back after Pat had ditched him for a woman. I mean if he wanted to be a dad they could have adopted, there were so many humans that needed homes. But I mean thinking like a mature adult, I get it, though I wish that they were together I get it.

         Then for a crazy moment I was thinking that she was going to get with Harden, but then he took the role of her dad, which I really liked. But ho emotionally unstable is Harden, I mean Abby cries and he thinks she is going to go commit suicide, I know that happened to his wife but how fragile is his mind that he thinks everyone is going to do that. I also was a bit confused about the breeding laws and why so many pregnancies were terminated. If the planet was having a population problem (and they were, they were going to die out) then why were they terminating so many pregnancies and sterilizing people? I mean that is just dumb.

       Then finally there is the whole individual time line thing. Like, in space time passes differently so when you return planet side everyone you have known is either super old or dead. That is just hard to think about. Not because it is hard to grasp, but because that is such a painful thing to have to face. Like, when she contacts the planet to talk to her sister and Orchid is in her 30s and has kids and has grown up and has her own life, and Abby is still a teenager.

         It was a very cool story, and I will definitely keep looking for new books by Elizabeth Guizzetti.


Some Changes

         After by boyfriend read my blog he pointed something out to me and I decided to listen to him. I realized that in my reviews a give a ton of details about the book away that people might not want to hear until after they read the book. So I decided to split my posts up into two parts. Part 1: where I give you the synopsis and I give my over all (vague) impression of the book as well as a star rating.

         Then Part 2: This will be a section that is geared towards after you have read the book, because one of the main reasons I got involved in blogging about books was because I wanted get out what I thought about everything and I wanted to hear and see what other people thought about the same things. So the second parts is when I will go into more details that might be spoilers and I am going to change my description so that people know that there might be spoilers in this blog :)


Bleeding Hearts by Ash Krafton

        I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. (Is that what I'm supposed to say?)

         Sophie Galen is an advice columnist who is saving the world - one damned person at a time. Shy and sensitive Sophie has all but given up on love until she meets Marek, a mysterious stranger who seduces her with his striking good looks and his take-charge attitude. Yet the darkness she senses within him may be more than she is prepared to handle when Marek draws her into a world of vampires, werewolves, and treachery. Forced to leave behind the comfortable routines and certainties of her past, Sophie makes unbearable sacrifices and uncovers hidden truths about herself and the world around her.
Click to view the book on Amazon: Bleeding Hearts

         This book ended up being a lot different than I thought it would be. I read the synopsis and was like, hmm vampires, hmm dark side, cool. But I thought it would be just cool. I thought it would be just another vampire book in a long line of vampire books (not that I have anything against them, because I actually truly love vampire books.) But this book was nothing like that.

         First off, when Ash Krafton first described the vampire that Marek and Sophie saw on the roof I was totally grossed out, Ick. Usually vampires are sexy, right? Well here is the thing with Bleeding Hearts. It is the Demi Vamps that are sexy, because the full bloodlust Vampires are creepy monsters with teeth like Jaws (at least that is how I pictured them, especially when Sophie gets bitten).

         Something else that surprised me about this book was the emotional levels it made me reach, I kinda figured I would skim the surface of emotions in this book, but by the end I was crying. Like when Sophie went to see Marek after he attacked her. He basically told her that he was done with her, I cried. They had developed this beautiful relationship where they could depend on each others strengths, and it was ripped apart by some douche who smelled like rabbits and wore white leather pants... just to be clear I did say white leather pants (black leather = hot! take me now... white leather = where is the disco.) Now, I read some of the other reviews on this book and people were saying how it bothered them how quickly Sophie and Marek fell in love. I didn't have a problem with that at all, I fell in love with my boyfriend so quickly it left my head spinning. I actually thought it was cute how quickly it happened.

         That being said, when he told her what he was and she thought he had been stalking her like prey, my heart dropped. I was on a roller coaster. I am kind of a sucker for (temporary) unrequited love and for a second I thought this might be that, but it wasn't. And then throughout the whole book Marek never drinks from her, so I thought, who is he drinking from? All he would ever say about it was that he has "handled" it. Does that mean that he had been tempting other women to give him blood? I know that any woman he drank from wouldn't mean anything but, I don't know. It seems like that would be an intimate act. I know it is just Marek eating, but in order to get a woman to comply he would have to compel her somehow and the easiest way would be through desire, and that just made my skin crawl. And then when he drank from Sophie at the end and she said it was so painful, then I was thinking, is that because he is crazy with blood lust? Or because it just hurts a lot anyway? THEN! There was the part where Donna was always pale and sickly at work and for a while I was like, HELL NO. I was getting really pissed, because I thought that maybe Marek was using her as a blood donor.

         Something that bothered me about Sophie was her need to always be nice. We get to hear her thoughts, so we know that she can't stand certain things, but she was (almost) always nice. That drove me crazy, why couldn't she just tell people no? I understand that could be because she was the Sophia, but still. Speaking of Sophia, at the beginning Marek told her (in her head) that he wasn't going to let go of her now that he found her, and so that made me a little leery later in the book because I felt that he was only with her because she was the Sophia.

         I really did like this book though and Ash Krafton left off at a point where I really want to know more. Sophie was about to reach out to Marek even in the tiniest way, but they are still apart even though he follows and watches her. And she was thinking about moving, what would Marek do if she moved away??? So many things to look forward to! Because I am trying to start a rating system I would give this book a 4 out of 5 because I wanted them to stay together forever.


Ecstasy (Shadow Dwellers) by Jacquelyn Frank

         I have this problem where I always have to have at least 3 books waiting for me to read next when I start a book. This book was on that list. I was reading a book that I couldn't really get into and I was like "Fuck it!" and started reading this instead.
         Among the Shadowdwellers, Trace holds power that some are willing to kill for. Without a stranger's aid, one rival would surely have succeeded, but Trace's brush with death is less surprising to him than his reaction to the beautiful, fragile human who heals him. By rights, Trace should hardly even register Ashla's existence within the realms of Shadowscape, but instead he is drawn to everything about her—her innocence, her courage, and her lush, sensual heat.

         After a terrifying car crash, Ashla Townsend wakes up to find that the bustling New York she knew is now eerie and desolate. Just when she's convinced she's alone, Ashla is confronted by a dark warrior who draws her deeper into a world she never knew existed. The bond between Ashla and Trace is a mystery to both, but searching for answers will mean confronting long-hidden secrets, and uncovering a threat that could destroy everything Trace holds precious.
Click to view the book on Amazon: Ecstasy: The Shadowdwellers
         I think that the concept for this book was really good. It was a good idea, but I think it fell kinda flat. And it went at a crazy fast pace. I found myself skimming a lot of it, especially when it switched to follow characters other than Ashla and Trace.

         It was really cool how Jacquelyn Frank made the different dimensions and how it was bad to stay faded for too long, but I thought it was a little weird how quickly the euphoria hit Trace. It was just weird. I mean she never mentioned anything about soul mates or anything like that, so it's not like he was fated to need her. It just seemed a little out of the ordinary. And all of the other characters thought so too, they even told Trace that, but Frank never cleared up why Trace was acting that way.

        As for the characters there were a lot of things that I liked and disliked about them. Firstly I liked Ashla a lot, she was really strong and sweet at the same time. I also liked Trace most of the time, but sometimes he acted kind of dumb when he blamed himself for things. I didn't really like Magnus, I mean, I know that he cares for Trace and what not, but at the same time he was kind of a dick. And I didn't like Karra, and not because of the obvious reasons (You will have to read to see) but I hated her the most for implying that she had had some sort of relationship with Trace when Ashla was feeling insecure about not having sex training.

         That was another thing that I kinda got stuck on. I understand having an openly sexual culture, I even understand being trained for sex. But in the book it seemed more slutty than cultural. Like, how everyone is going to want to sleep with Ashla because she slept with Trace and vice versa. And I understand that even in real life sex is a competition, we all have to prove that we are the ideal mate for the one we love blah blah blah... But this just seemed different to me, and it kinda pissed me off. Ashla had gone through so much to be with Trace and now they were telling her she would have to start competing for him, and that it would be perfectly acceptable for someone to try and take him away. You guys know that I hate man stealers more than anything.

         But Ashla got pregnant and I love when the main characters have babies. And Frank left off with a cliff hanger so now, despite my mild dislike of the book, I feel compelled to read the next one just so I can figure out what was going on.

         My thing with this book was that because of the POV switches to characters I didn't care about I ended up skimming a lot of the book. I would say a 2 out of 5 on this. Maybe the next one will be better. I'll let y'all know.


Pharaoh's Son by Diana Wilder

         I really love history, not just historical romance, but I love historical fiction and even history books. and no period of time has ever interested me more than ancient Egypt. Sure I should have been born into Victorian England, but man, sometimes I can't stop thinking about what it would have been like to live back in the time of the pharaohs.
          The crash of Pharaoh's colossal statue into a throng of worshippers brings the festival of the good god Ptah of Memphis to a sudden, bloody end. Prince Khay, the High Priest, barely escaped being killed, himself. He finds clues in the wreckage that show that the collapse was deliberately set. Now he is confronted with questions that grow more alarming with every answer he finds as the great temple of Ptah is rocked by a chilling series of murders. Increasingly entangled in clues that lead to even more mysteries, convinced that the gods themselves are taking a hand in the disaster, he appeals to Pharaoh for help and is sent a powerful ally in his older brother Hori, Egypt's Crown Prince, whose courage and resourcefulness are surpassed only by his bluntness.
         The brothers fight against time as they try to unravel the mystery, knowing that there is more at stake than treasure, and the forfeit is greater than a man's life. Something great and terrible is stirring, something they must find, hidden deep within the temple, something they must bring into the light before those who walk in darkness take it and turn it to evil.
         PHARAOH'S SON is a historical novel set during the golden years of Ramesses the Great. It is a tale of murder, intrigue and hidden treasure that reaches back into Egypt's heresy-shrouded past.
Click to view on Amazon: Pharaoh's Son
         This book was hard for me to get into at first. Maybe I was having a hard time concentrating, but I don't know, it just took me a while to get there. But when I did I really liked it.

         One of the confusing things for me in the beginning was the names. So many of the names sound the same, but as I got further into the book it became easier to tell the characters apart.

         You know in history class you always hear that Ramses II had tons and tons of kids, but it really hit me in this book. When Hori is in the palace talking to his sibling, Oh my goodness, he has so so many! That pharaoh was busy.

         I'm not entirely sure why but I liked Hori from the start, something about his attitude I really enjoyed, and I think I remember reading somewhere that he died before his father did so he wasn't the son that eventually got to be pharaoh, and I know that this is probably not what he was like in real life, but if he was like this character in real life that makes me really sad, because he would be an amazing ruler, especially if he has his brother Khay by his side.

         I also likes how she showed the pharaoh. She showed him as a person, sure he has some moments where he was truly "other" because he was in fact perceived as a living god, but at the same time she showed him as an extremely loving father who wanted to keep his children close to him. I liked that image of him because we often see portrayals of royalty and cold and uncaring especially towards family members, like that they just need an heir and a spare, you know?

         Now the mystery was hard for me to grasp at first, and when they eventually found the "treasure" I was a bit confused. That was what all the fuss was about? That was the reason Rahotep was willing to kill his brothers? I didn't get it, but I also don't have any deep ambition like he did, nor do I think that I can truly relate to the Egyptian mysticism. I think it is beyond fascinating and I also think that if I could choose a religion it would be one of the top contenders.

         This was a pretty serious book, but I did like the highlights of humor that the author threw in. Like when Hori starts giving away all of his jewelry to the poor (which I thought was so charming and sweet) and his man servant starts freaking out about it. So cute. I also thought it was funny how the Pharaoh was arrested because of Hori's orders. So while this book was originally hard for me to get into, I did eventually start loving it, and would definitely recommend it.

         I also would recommend reading the Afterward. Now I am sure all you good readers always read the forwards and afterwards, but I am ashamed to admit that I do not. But (!) I did for this book and it is truly interesting, because Diana Wilder gives us historical background on all the characters in the book.

Justice (New Species, Book 4) by Laurann Dohner

         On to book four, Man, I am just flying through these books :) I really liked this one.

       Justice North is the face of New Species. Seeing him up close makes Jessie's heart race. He's the ultimate alpha male-big, muscular, exotically beautiful...and dangerous. Of course he's off limits. But then the sexy man purrs and all bets are off.
         Jessie Dupree is a mouthy, fiery human female who brings out the animal in Justice. She wants to show him how to relax, and he's all for anything she wants to do, but Justice has sworn to protect his people and to take a Species mate. He's torn between the woman he wants and the oath he's taken.
         Jessie knows a relationship between them probably won't end well; heartbreak is inevitable. But that won't stop her from freeing the wildness inside Justice and spending every moment she can steal wrapped around his hot body, making him roar with passion.
Click to view on Amazon: Justice

         I loved this book. I really like Jessie and I think it was really cool to get to see how Justice really is. We have seen him in all of the past books and he is always the calm collected one who has all the answers and he totally loses it in this book.  It's so great. I have always liked the idea of a guy losing control because he wants me so much. Jessie is a lucky girl.

         Drama. I love it. And there was lots of it in this book. Man, when he didn't want anyone to know about them, I loved that. That must be such a heart wrenching feeling, poor Jessie, and when he told her that he still planned on taking a New Species female as a mate I wanted to scream. I love it when I can feel pain and frustration right along with the characters I am reading about. And at the end when he finally claimed her in public. So cute and awesome.

         And Damn! Jessie is so fierce. She protects those she loves and I thought it was so awesome when she was defending justice in the hospital and she refused to give up the guns and she threatened to shoot anyone who came within 10 feet of him. I would be like that if someone had attacked my boyfriend so I respect that. Also, what is it with Laurann Dohner always having people walk in while the main characters are having sex, I get so embarrassed for them!

Valiant (New Species, Book 3) by Laurann Dohner

         Yay! Another New Species book! Haha, there will probably be a lot of these and other Laurann Dohner books on this blog, but what can I say? I love hot animal sex... no! Lolz, While that aspect is interesting, and I do get all my sexy skills from all these erotic books I read, I kinda like the stories.

         Tammy has always tried to be prepared for any calamity life might send her way but she never imagined a sexy, lion man-beast in her future. He's huge, got the most exotic, golden cat-eyes she's ever seen, and she's so terrified she's speechless for the first time in her life. He's stalking closer, growling at her, and she's too terrified to even flee.Valiant hates humans.
         But when he gets a whiff of the adorable human female who has invaded his territory, he starts rethinking. Her fear scents of pure, sweet temptation and the closer he gets, the more appealing she becomes. Once he's got his hands on her, he isn't about to let her go. One thought will change his life. MINE! Before Tammy can regain her senses, she's flat on her back in Valiant's bed.
         Now he just has to use every inch of his big, buff body to convince her that she should stay with him forever.Reader Advisory: While this book may be read as a standalone, the background story is best enjoyed when the books in this series are read in sequential order.
Click to view on Amazon: Valiant
         I like Valiant. I really do, but I don't know, this is not one of my favorite New Species books. I think it has to do with me having a hard time picturing what he looks like. I know that is a shallow reason, but truly I can't imagine him. I was already having a hard time picturing the normal New Species but he is supposed to look even less human than they do...
         I like Tammy, I like how she is such a smart ass. I mean I'll be the first to admit that sometimes mouthy, strong female characters get on my nerves, but she was ok. I liked her attitude. I also liked how  she was kidnapped. Meaning, I am not happy she was kidnapped but I was happy that we got to see how the New Species act in captivity. We saw a but of that in Fury, but now we got to see how they are kept after Mercile was busted.
         I love drama, and I think that Laurann Dohner does too. I'm off to write the review about Justice... I liked that book better.

Slade (New Species, Book 2) by Laurann Dohner

         I actually read this book before I read the Seventh book, because for some reason Amazon wouldn't let me download, it because it said it was banned in the US. But (!) I kept checking back, and it finally was okay for me to get it :)
         Dr. Trisha Norbit is flat on her back in a hospital bed, pinned under a really big New Species male. Though drugged out of his mind, he promises her ecstasy and is determined to deliver-but hospital staff intervenes.
         215 is a man Trisha will never forget. But, when she meets him again at Homeland...he doesn't even remember her. The nosy new doctor wants to know all about the breeding habits between humans and Species. Slade proposes a hands-on education, but she's not interested in a one-night stand. He can't offer more because he's haunted by the memory of a woman he once tried to claim. He's shocked when he realizes they are one and the same. He's blown it-she'll never give him a chance now. But, when her life is in danger, he's the only one who can save her.
        As they flee through the wilderness, their desire ignites and cannot be denied. Hot sex, on the run, has consequences that are even more dangerous and will change their lives forever.Reader Advisory: There is a scene of an attempted rape.
Click to view on Amazon: Slade

         The thing I like most about Slade is that he seems to have adjusted to life really well. Even when he was first brought into the hospital, after he was rescued, he wasn't raving and trying to kill people. He just tried to seduce Trisha. He has it together for the most part. And I like the fact that he was so devoted to this image of her in the hospital that he wasn't willing to be with anyone else. That being said... How the hell did he not recognize her? The New Species are all about scent and all that jazz, he spent so much time guarding her, how did he not recognize how she smelled? Maybe he was too drugged... I don't know, maybe I should learn how to suspend my disbelief better.

         I also want to say this... BABIES! Oh my goodness. I. Love. Babies. At least I love them in books. I love when characters have babies and though it hinted constantly throughout the book that she was going to have a baby (rereading it, she was hitting you over the head trying to clue you in) I was still so excited when she found out she was pregnant. And I also love when the male character is like, no way is that mine, and then he is a big jerk and almost blows his chances, but then he realizes the truth and tries to win her back. That happened here but I felt like it all happened so fast, I wish that part had been drawn out a little more.

         I am so beyond happy that the New Species can now have children, They deserved it so so much, and now they can start to build the families that they have longed for. Laurann Dohner has some writing issues, she kind of stated the obvious... how do I explain this, there were terms for this that I learned in my writing class, but it has been several months since then, and with chemo brain it is sometimes hard to remember stuff like that... Damn I can't remember, but sometimes her writing style would take me out of the story. Like she would say, "She experienced fear." Well, yeah she is being shot at of course she is feeling fear, you don't have tell me. But if memory serves her writing improves the further into the series she gets.

         Well, I'm off to start my next  book :)

Archangel's Kiss by Nalini Singh

         I loved Angel's Blood, and I super love this book. I'll just jump right in. So excited!

         Vampire hunter Elena Deveraux wakes from a year-long coma to find that she has become an angel-and that her lover, the stunningly dangerous archangel Raphael, likes having her under his control. But almost immediately, Raphael must ready Elena for a flight to Beijing, to attend a ball thrown by the archangel Lijuan. Ancient and without conscience, Lijuan's power lies with the dead. And she has organized the most perfect and most vicious of welcomes for Elena...

Click to view on Amazon: Archangel's Kiss

         First things first.... ELENA IS AN ANGEL! That made me so so so happy :) I always felt this sadness about Elena and Raphael falling in love because she would age and die and he would stay young and beautiful forever. But now they can be together forever. I thought it was so sweet that Raphael waited for her and then throughout the year that she slept he would constantly talk to her and check on her mind.

         There were two things that I really loved about this book: we get to see Elena and Raphael's relationship develop and we get some real insight into how angel society works.
Elena and Raphael really begin to trust each other in this book. Elena's nightmares about her past are becoming more frequent and more vivid and she turns to Raphael to help her and he begins to open up about his own child hood. You can really see the love start to bloom between them.

         Now that Elena has become the first angel made the recent memory things have been stirred up in Refuge. Michaela wants to kill her even more because Elena is now the center of attention (and she is wayyyy better than Michaela). There is an open spot for a new Archangel and someone thinks that by killing Elena they will get a free ticket onto the Cadre of 10. And (!) we get to meet little kid angels. So So So So cute. Sam is so cute and I was beyond pissed off that he was attacked. What kind of sick person pulverizes a child? (well, you will find out who in the book). And Lijuan is freaky, you find out all sorts of crazy (true) rumors about her and the dead. She also makes zombies.

         I think my favorite scene in the book is when they are in China and Raphael gives Elena her new knife and she gives him an amber ring. It is the best. You see him feel truly happy and how much he loves her and how he is slowly becoming conscious of how important it is to make other people happy. I also like the scene where Elena gives Sam the dagger that is made out of the dragon eye. It was so heart breaking when Sam got hurt, so to see him to happy about the dagger really got to me.

         I love that we get to meet the rest of the Seven in this book. My favorite is Aodhan, but I have always loved the damaged male characters, and I just picture his as so beyond beautiful in my head, and that moment when Elena asked him to kneel so she could use his sword. Gave me chills. We also meet Galen and Naasir who is a naughty boy and drinks blood from angels. I love this book :) and I am rushing so I can reread the next book in the series.

Angel's Blood by Nalini Singh

         I have always had a thing for angels. They are such interesting creature... kinda like centaurs, but I like angels better. They wing! I think that is so amazing, I am scared of heights but if I had wings I would fly everywhere. It would be so amazing and wonderful. And I have always pictured angels and powerful, cruel, inhuman begins... which actually just made me (In my imagination) want to find one and tame it.

         Vampire hunter Elena Deveraux is hired by the dangerously beautiful Archangel Raphael. But this time, it’s not a wayward vamp she has to track. It’s an archangel gone bad.
         The job will put Elena in the midst of a killing spree like no other—and pull her to the razor’s edge of passion. Even if the hunt doesn’t destroy her, succumbing to Raphael’s seductive touch just may. For when archangels play, mortals break.
Click to view on Amazon: Angels' Blood

          I don't know how well I can explain how much I like this book (I feel like I say that with every book). I really loved the idea of basically everything in this book.

         I love Elena, which is saying a lot because in books like this with a super strong heroine, I usually am a bit wary. I have nothing against strong female characters, I like them a lot, well I like the idea of them, but a lot of the time they are arrogant, and think they don't need any help from anyone. That drives me crazy. But that wasn't the case with Elena. She wasn't afraid to admit when she was out of her depth. She was willing to acknowledge that there was no way she could take Raphael on. She was brave, and strong, and she got her opinion out there without being annoying about it. I also loves the way she looked. Most of the time I kinda forget what the heroine (I mostly end up focused on the male lead) but Elena was so cool.

         Elena though has a lot of dark secrets buried in her past and that freaked me out. One of my biggest fear is serial killer (I know that it is totally irrational) but in this book a lot of the bad characters seem to be like serial killers. Elena and her family were the last victims of one of the best known vampire serial killers of their time and so when she is asked to help Raphael out and to look at the bodies she kinda starts falling into her worst memories.

         Raphael. Omg, so hot. But so scary. I have always had a thing for guys who are crazy powerful (not just magic powers, but powerful presence or strength works for me too) and Raphael has all those things. He is a bastard in the beginning and he really doesn't care too much about humans. But that is not really how he is. You can see how much he actually does care when he sees the victims of the crime and the longer he is around Elena the more he seems to care. That is what one of the other Archangels told him, that if he stays with Elena it will make him a little bit mortal. I really liked the idea of that. These angels have been alive so long that nothing seems new to them, nothing seems exciting or dangerous, and it would become easy to stop caring. But that is dangerous, because the people they rule over expect the angels to keep them safe, and all too often the humans and vampires get caught up in the pointless battles of the angels. But by becoming a little human, a little mortal, Raphael can see the cost of his every action, he can understand the pain that certain things would cause. Sure he can still be a cold hearted bastard, and he is at times, but even as he knows that that is a part of himself, so is this new human heart of his, and that makes him stronger and more dangerous than the other angels, because now he has compassion.

         I loved them together, I could have read about every aspect of their lives together forever and never have gotten bored. they were just so perfect for each other, they challenged each other and it was just so fun to read. And at the end ah! I was so scared that Raphael would lose her. I wanted to cry when she asked him for the secret of the angels. And when you see her lying in the bed at the end, AHHH it's just all so exciting!!

         I liked the idea of the toxin that creates the vampires and how the angels have to be careful to get it out of their blood stream. It seemed to me almost like a checks and balances system. Because humans are so fragile, and vampires have weaknesses too, but as far as anyone knew angels were pretty indestructable (which they pretty much are, their wings are fragile but they heal really fast) but this toxin is dangerous to the angels and if they let it build up it drives them crazy. I liked that.

         Ok, Bitchy Female time. Michaela... I don't give a fuck is she is an archangel, I hate her I want her gone and I want her and her over used girly parts to stay far away from Raphael. When she dusted him with her angel dust I was livid (yeah, I get pretty into books) ugh, how dare she. She is so horrible. And the fact that she wants Elena killed because Raphael wants her more... I mean how childish and petty can you be? And I hate those situations where the guy is forced to be around the bitchy rival. Because Raphael is required to see her on a regular basis and there is nothing He or Elena can do about it. And we all know that Michaela loves that. Hate her.

         And the angel dust thing. I think it is so beautiful. I love that Raphael made a special blend for her, and I love that he lost control of it the first time they had sex. It made me want to squeal. About the sex, I mean I liked it, but I wish it was a bit more detailed. I mean maybe I have read too many erotic novels, but idk, I wished there was more of it. That could have been because I loved all the interactions between Elena and Raphael.

         Now, supporting cast: ahh! I loved them and can't wait to read more about them and am so hoping that all of them get their own books. Dmitri has his own and Jason's is coming out in a couple of weeks. But Illium deserves to fall in love and have an adventure so badly. And Venom... I have read all the books in the series so far, and I still am not sure how I feel about Venom.

         But I love Love LOVED this book, and you should too.

Fury (New Species Book 1) by Laurann Dohner

          Now, I have to say this... The New Species series is one of my favorite. I just love it so much, so I decided since I was going through my old books that I would write about it. (I know my Boyfriend is going to read this post and make fun of me for it, but I don't care. Guys just don't get it :P)
         Ellie is horrified to discover the pharmaceutical company she works for is doing illegal experiments. Company scientists have spliced human and animal DNA, creating exotic new species. One such “experiment” captures her heart and she’ll do anything to save him—even if he hates her for it.
         Fury has never known compassion or love. He’s spent his life in a cell, chained and abused by humans. The one woman he allowed himself to trust betrayed him. Now he’s free and set on vengeance. He vows to end her life but when she’s finally in his grasp, harming her is the last thing he wants to do to the sexy little human.
         Fury can’t resist Ellie—the touch of her hands, her mouth on his skin, her body wrapped around his. He’s obsessed with the scent of his woman. And Ellie wants Fury—always has. She craves his big, powerful body and wants to heal his desolate heart.
         But loving Fury is one thing…taming him is another.
Reader Advisory: This story contains the heartrending aftermath of a rape scene involving a captive male. Another scene involves capture and forced touching by a hurt, vengeful Fury.
Click to view on Amazon: Fury
          Now, this is the first book in series and the writing is a bit choppy in places, which sometimes annoyed me, but (!) I really love this series. I'm not entirely sure that I can put into words the reason I love it so much.
          This mostly takes place after Ellie has smuggled out the information that is needed to shut Mercile Industries down, and the New Species have a new home base that Ellie has helped build because she is haunted by the thought of Fury being locked up in his cell. She is willing to do anything to make a safe place for the new species. There are also hate groups popping up all over the place who argue that because the New Species are part animal they don't deserve basic human rights. Idiots.they all also seem to be red necks who like to hunt, that made me giggle. They say that any human willing to associate with the New Species are betraying humans.
          I love the whole Alpha male, possessive protector thing... I know, I know... I should be a modern woman and shun such outdated modes of thought, but really... I think deep down every woman wants a guy as devoted as these New Species males are. Something that confuses me sometimes are the whole facial features thing... like the pronounced cheekbones and strange noses.. (The eyes are cool though) I cant really picture those features so I just imagine a super hot guy instead.
          Now, this is a "romance" (as in there is a love story) but it is mostly an erotic novel, so a lot of the story revolves around sex instead of the slow build of a relationship. I don't have a problem with this... but its very graphic so... yeah. And remember that these men had their dna spliced with that of wild animals, so they do have animal traits. Like the growling (always sexy) but the one that might seem out of the ordinary was the fact that Fury (who is a canine breed) has a knot. Like at the end of sex he would swell up and end of locked inside Ellie. Now, that made me a little uncomfortable at first, but I got over it. I mean it might be freaky in a "OMG he is part animal" way, but I also think its kinda a plus, Ellie was right, It would make him a cuddler. Who doesn't love cuddling? And just a quick note: when Fury told Ellie he was a shooter, I positively chortled. A shooter...lolz.
          Now, there is a woman in this one who tries to steal Fury away, but that plot line kinda falls apart in the end because she actually didn't want him... I don't know... it was weird. I did like how Fury wanted revenge on Ellie, because she kinda did pull a bitch move in the beginning of the book, I mean she could have just left the testing facility early and they would have known she killed the doctor but she would have already left. I mean she really didn't have to frame Fury. But then I think Fury took a little long to get over it, but hey everyone is allowed their character flaws.
          Now, Justice (The head New Species guy) kept walking in one Ellie and Fury having sex... Come on man, after the first time, learn to knock. It happened over and over. Everyone kept walking in on them, and they always seemed to think he was hurting her. Crazy people.

Beneath a Rising Moon by Keri Arthur

         Now, this is a newer book that was on my list for a while. I had just been waiting for it to come out. It was so frustrating, my memory is totally shot so I kept forgetting the date it was released and it seemed like every other day I was like, "Today is the day! It's coming out!" Then I would look and it would be another month, or another two weeks. But! (obviously) it finally came out and I finished it that night (much to the displeasure of my poor eyes, they hate me for reading so much).
         There’s no turning back for Neva Grant. To find a killer, she must seduce the boldest male in the Sinclair pack. Her twin sister lies in a hospital bed, fighting for her life, the fourth and only surviving victim of a vicious attacker. The werewolf rangers suspect the Sinclair pack, and the only way Neva can infiltrate their close-knit ranks is to unleash the wildness within and offer herself to Duncan Sinclair.
          Duncan’s appetite for women is legendary on the reservation. But when this new woman stirs his hunger, he finds his desire for her goes deeper than anything he’s ever felt before. When he realizes that she’s playing a game and he’s taken the bait, he is determined to push her to the breaking point. As Duncan and Neva engage in a dangerous dance, they must somehow find a way to join forces—before a cornered killer bites back.
Click to view on Amazon: Beneath a Rising Moon
         I liked this book :) Man.... Duncan.... He's kinda a jerk, but what is it about girls liking jerks.. I dont know. But he was a jerk for a reason, though he jumped to the conclusion that the killer sent Neva much too quickly for me, but he eventually saw the light and realized she was one of the good guys. I think him being jerky added to their relationship though... My boyfriend always tells me that I like being sad, and it made me so sad how he was just so nasty to her. But then when he realizes they are soul mates. Ah, how sweet that was, and he had that moment of insecurity that I'm sure a guy like Duncan never feels.

         Now, Neva. I liked her, and how she was willing to do anything to find the person who attacked her sister, but seriously, she needed to stop being to stubborn and naive. made me want to punch a wall sometimes. If you know that the moon makes you lusty (have felt this way your whole life) and you know that its normal to have sex (have even done it before) and you know there are such things as soul mates and (!) you are willing to do anything to help your sister... stop being a baby and complaining about it, I mean seriously. She goes on and on about how her parents taught her differently, but then she admitted that she had slept with men before during the rising moon. I don't know. Maybe I am a person who accepts things very easily. Like if I had to have mad sex with Duncan for a week to help find a killer I wouldn't whine about it. I'd be like ok lets do this! And then look for clues.

         Ok, another thing I don't like, but I do understand, is her attachment to her family. They are hypocritical assholes, but they are her family and I don't have to be a werewolf to understand that. BUT! Oh my goodness, come on! Her mom got crazy drunk and killed a bunch of people when she was young, yet she is too high and mighty to forgive Duncan for drinking and being a ladies man? and her dad was happier to see her suffer without her soul mate than to see her happy with Duncan. I'm sorry, I love my family, but I would totally ditch them if they treated  me like that. And she was so worried that if she left she wouldn't see her sister. Um... they are twins, right? They can read each others minds, right? Her sister is the crazy rebellious twin, right? Ugh seriously, obviously this girl doesn't know her twin that well. OBVIOUSLY her twin would stand by her!!

         And that skanky bitch? What was her name..... Oh Betise! That ho! Ok, sorry, let me explain.... I think the thing I hate most in the world are skanky hos that try to steal other women's men. I mean it doesn't even matter if the guy isn't interested... the fact that they think its possible makes me want to break things. I hate it, I hate it, I hate it! And this woman Betise seemed to think she was entitled to Duncan, ugh!!! And then she thought she could bond with him or whatevs... Oh my goodness I was foaming at the mouth reading that. I would go postal if someone tried that with my boyfriend. That said... as much as I hate women like this I do LOVE having them in stories. They always get me so worked up and so into the story, and I am always so satisfied when their reckoning comes. Now, in this one, oh man, when Neva attacked her, jeez I was so happy. But I wanted her humiliated and punished and making her brain dead, I felt, kinda stole my evil pleasure, it seemed a bit anticlimactic.

         But I did like this book, I love paranormal romance and I'll def have more of it on here. Read this and tell me what you think?

Desperate Duchesses by Eloisa James

         Now, this is another of my old books that I have been reading but obviously this one isn't YA. Now I love Historical Fiction. I have often been told that I was born in the wrong time period, so books like this really get me fired up and wish I was indeed living in the past.

         Welcome to a world of reckless sensuality and glittering sophistication . . . of dangerously handsome gentlemen and young ladies longing to gain a title . . . of games played for high stakes, including—on occasion—a lady's virtue.
         A marquess's sheltered only daughter, Lady Roberta St. Giles falls in love with a man she glimpses across a crowded ballroom: a duke, a game player of consummate skill, a notorious rakehell who shows no interest in marriage—until he lays eyes on Roberta.
         Yet the Earl of Gryffyn knows too well that the price required to gain a coronet is often too high. Damon Reeve, the earl, is determined to protect the exquisite Roberta from chasing after the wrong destiny.
         Can Damon entice her into a high-stakes game of his own, even if his heart is likely to be lost in the venture?
Click to view on Amazon: Desperate Duchesses

         Now, this book isn't at the top of my list for Historical Romance. I am sure as I go through my shelves of books I will find the books that make up the top of my list and I'll let you guys know then. But as far as this book goes it kinda just made me super uncomfortable.

         Now, it's been a while since I have read any other Eloisa James books (I'll def reread the ones that I have and get back to you with an overall opinion on them and see if this one was just a fluke). But this one def did not ring my bell. Now, I certainly believe in love at first sight, or extreme unwavering attraction at first sight (it happened to me so I have to believe) but in the case of this story it had me grinding my teeth. Roberta saw Villiers she was struck instantly by love, the reason for which seemed to be the cut of his coat, and I would be fine with that, I would even think it was funny if her whole basis for loving him were his outrages clothes, but it turns out the reason she fell in love with his was because he had total control over himself, and wouldn't embarrass her in public.

         That was not the impression I got from Villiers. I felt like he was not in control at all! He was this horrible crazy guy who wore embarrassing clothes and slept around with everyone. Then!! He wants to sleep with her "cousin" even after he proposes to Roberta. I don't know about you but even in that time period I would consider that pretty hurtful and embarrassing. I hated him, but he was supposed to be the bad guy so I guess that was well written.

         Now... The Earl of Gryffyn. I did like him. I liked how passionate he was about his son, but I kind of wanted him to be more, I don't know, serious or something. From the start he joked about marrying her and Roberta didn't like him but she let him ravish her at every opportunity. I don't know, maybe I just needed to suspend my disbelief better. Roberta also claimed to hate children, now we all know that she was being set up by James to fall in love with the Earl, so why make her hate children when he is raising his small son by himself? She never really says that she likes them, though she does at one point claim that the Earl's son is cute so I guess that is progress :)

         And the chess! I thought it was kinda cool how the chess was an integral part of the book and of the characters personalities. But I have known some pretty dedicated chess players (and even had to take chess lessons in school) but I have never met anyone as dedicated to chess as these people. I mean, no offense, but how can you only think of chess all day long? I can't even finish a whole game without being bored. But to each there own... there are stranger fetishes out there.

         I know the majority of my review seems negative but I did like this book as a fast read, or something to read on a road trip while your grandfather is blasting opera throughout the car (true story, that is totally how I read this book, not that I have anything against opera). Let me know what you think about it.

Snow Walker by Catherine Fisher

         Now, this isn't normally the type of book that I have been reading recently but in an effort to save money I have been going back and rereading my old books. I do like Fantasy books though so this fits right in with that.

             Since Gudrun came from the frozen mists beyond the edge of the world,  the Jarl's people have obeyed her in hatred and terror. But the enchantress has one weakness: a son, Kari, banished to a forbidding fortress in the north, never seen by the Jarl's people. In secret they wonder: Are the rumors true? Was he born a monster? Now Jessa and her cousin Thorkil have been exiled to the north, and if they survive the journey, they will find the truth: Is Kari a beast? Or the means to stop the sorceress?
Click to view on Amazon: Snow-walker (The Snow-Walker Trilogy)

           Now, this book is filled with strange names and places and I know that it is YA, which I usually don't read. But this book really grabbed me.

           Gudrun is this creepy witch who seizes peoples minds and controls them. She has taken control of the kingdom and as her husband dies she will have total control. She only has one weakness: her reflection. It is the reason there are no mirrors in the hold. Now, Jessa and Thorkil end up as traitors and she exiles them blah blah blah. You already know all that from the synopsis so here is important stuff that you don't learn from those handful of sentences. Kari is basically awesome! He is shy but super powerful and has these ravens that follow him everywhere. It's pretty basic in the way that he has to save the day and face off against his mom. but this book has three books in it. One where he confronts his mom, another where a monster attacks and he has to save the day and the last where he travels to the land where his mom is from and tries to save the day.

           Now, the things that bothered me: Jessa. The story basically follows where she is, which is fine. But she doesn't have much personality in the first book, she just kinda went along with everyone, but then all of a sudden in the second book everyone is saying how sassy and smart she is and it's like What The Hell??? She has never been either of those things. that just pissed me off a bit.

           I also hate it when people doubt Kari. I mean come on he ha saved you guys and you think he is trying to kill you? I mean come on.

           Now, let me just say again, I love Kari... I love how he is so serious and quiet but also so curious about the world. His mom kept him locked in a dungeon for all of his childhood so he just loves new things. I don't know. I'm not explaining this very well. I'll just leave you with this:
This is a great YA book that has a great male protagonist. It has magic and suspense. It's great... or at least I think it is.