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Reviews of books in a series, with a focus on urban fantasy.
Other genres include mystery, paranormal romance, and crime thrillers.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Kiss of a Demon King (Immortals After Dark, Book 6) by Kresley Cole

Last week I made a statement that I didn't think I needed to reread any of the Immortals After Dark series before I read Kiss of a Demon King. Let me go on record as saying I was wrong. I should have gone back and read the fifth book, Dark Desires After Dusk before reading number six. Kiss of a Demon King takes place during the same time period of the last book. In the last book we followed Cadeon, in this book we follow his brother Rydstrom. This means we have a general idea of a few things that happen, but we aren't sure exactly where in the timeline things are as they go along.

Over all it was a good book, but there were some slow parts here and there. I still liked it overall, but I put it down a few times to do something else, I didn't read it straight through.  Also, as with the series so far, there is some cheesy romance stuff. If you're the type who likes romances it's probably just fine. As I've said before, I don't mind some romance in the midst of an adventure but the sugary sweet romance stuff just makes me roll my eyes. In this series each book is technically a romance, but the series plot leading up to the Accession is a good plot and I'm enjoying it. I'm also enjoying the world building, the details of each species, and of The Lore in general.

The plot in Kiss of a Demon King was pretty predictable, we know that all of these books have a HEA, and we knew some pretty important plot points we picked up from the previous book. But the action was good, the conversations flowed, and I mostly liked the characters. Or at least understood them even if I didn't really always like them. We also have a few more characters brought in that I'm sure will pop up in future stories - Rok and Lothaire the vampire being two of many. Let's not forget there are several witches and Valkyrie still single, too. I can't want to see Nix's story, that might be as good as Acheron's once we finally get around to it. She's kind of the all-knowing bad-ass of the series, after all. There are also some kids of interest being brought in, not sure where the author is going with that - we've got Cade and Holly's babies, plus Puck, plus the eventual child of Rydstrom and Sabine who is supposed to somehow do something to the well of power. (Select the spoiler text to view it.)

I'm giving the book an 8 of 10, and keeping the series at an 8 of 10.

Book Rating: 8 of 10
Series Rating: 8 of 10

There will apparently be a short story in the anthology Not That Innocent. Other than that, I don't see anything on the author's site that gives details about the next book in the series. I look forward to the next book and will keep an eye on things to see when we might expect it.

1. A Hunger Like No Other
2. No Rest for the Wicked
3. Wicked Deeds on a Winter's Night
4. Dark Needs at Night's Edge
5. Dark Desires After Dusk
6. Kiss of a Demon King

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Kitty and the Dead Man's Hand (Kitty Norville, Book 5) by Carrie Vaughn

Amazon normally gets books to me on the release date, but this time they got it to me on the day after the release. Which was annoying, since this is a book I've been anxiously waiting for, having re-read the other books in the last couple of weeks. So, of course, I read it in one sitting last night.

I had a feeling that since two books were being released so close (Kitty Raises Hell is due out February 24), that the two books were probably written as one story and then split into two books when it grew too long. Having read this book, I'm pretty sure I'm right about that. That being said, the ending to this book does pretty neatly wrap up the Las Vegas portion of the adventure. Sure, there are some unresolved issues, but this is a series so I guess that's kind of to be expected. And, best of all, we've only got one month until the next book, so I'm okay with it.

Before I go any further, here is the blurb for Kitty and the Dead Man's Hand:

Already the alpha pair of Denver's werewolf pack, Kitty and Ben now plan to tie the knot human-style by eloping to Vegas. Kitty is looking forward to sipping fru-fru drinks by the pool and doing her popular radio show on live TV, but her hotel is stocked with werewolf-hating bounty hunters. Elsewhere on the Strip an old-school magician might be wielding the real thing; the vampire community is harboring a dark secret; and the irresistible star of a suspicious animal act is determined to seduce Kitty. Sin City has never been so wild, and this werewolf has never had to fight harder to save not only her wedding, but her very life.

As the blurb says, Kitty meets a few more bounty hunters in this book. With Cormac temporarily out of the picture I guess the author had to bring in the possibility of being shot with a silver bullet from somewhere else. Besides, I'm pretty sure that Cormac wouldn't shoot Kitty now that he considers her a friend, not even if she went off the deep end.

The author did some more world building in this book, which will only make things more interesting in the long run. There were at least two new kinds of supernatural stuff introduced and it will be interesting to see where the author heads with it. I saw some similarities to Obsidian Butterfly (part of the Anita Blake series), though we won't know for sure how similar until the next book.

I'm still confused about the title of the book, where was the dead man's hand? Maybe I'm being dense and missed something? Anyone out there want to help explain it?

In the past I've given this series a rating of 7, and I've gone back and forth about whether or not to raise that. In the end, I'll raise the series rating to an 8 of 10 even though Kitty and the Dead Man's Hand gets a 7 of 10. I do recommend the series, it's a good series and a good read. The characters come alive, the plots are good, the descriptions are well done, and the various societies (vampire society, wolf society) are fully fleshed out and well explained.

Book Rating: 7 of 10
Series Rating: 8 of 10

After reading the blurb (and first chapter) of Kitty Raises Hell, I have high hopes that the next book could be a 9 or 10.

1. Kitty and the Midnight Hour (2005)
2. Kitty Goes to Washington (2006)
3. Kitty Takes a Holiday (2007)
4. Kitty and the Silver Bullet (2008)
5. Kitty and the Dead Man's Hand (January 2009)
6. Kitty Raises Hell (February 2009)

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Re-Reading through a series

I've spent the last two weeks reading through the Stephanie Plum books again. All fourteen books, back to back. I highly recommend it. Reading them back to back gives a different perspective on some of the relationships. I reviewed the series here, it's not a super deep series. It's just pure entertainment. The next book, Finger Lickin' Fifteen, is due for release in late June.

Before I read the Plum series again, I re-read all of the Kitty Norville books by Carrie Vaughn since I'm eagerly anticipating the next two books in the series soon to be released: Kitty and the Dead Man's Hand and Kitty Raises Hell. I'm glad I read the first four books again, there was a lot that I'd forgotten. Of course, now I'm that much more anxious for the next two books, but it's all good. If you haven't read this series yet I highly recommend it (you can read my review of it here). I didn't read this series for a while because the titles sounded kind of fluffy. But this isn't a fluffy series, it's a very good series.

I started reading through the Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs again yesterday since the fourth book in this series, Bone Crossed, is due out next week. Again, I think re-reading is a good thing, as I'm almost through the first book and there are a whole lot of details I doubt I'd have remembered without the re-read. I reviewed this series here if you aren't familiar with it.

I will likely re-read Kelley Armstrong's first Nadia Stafford book, Exit Strategy, before the second book in the series, Made to Be Broken, comes out in late February. If you missed my review of the first book you can catch it here.

And finally, I haven't decided what to do about re-reading the Rachel Morgan / Hollows series. I don't want to give spoilers for those who haven't read the series yet, but I just don't have the heart to go back through some of it. I may end up just re-reading the last book, The Outlaw Demon Wails, in preparation for the next book, White Witch, Black Curse.

I haven't re-read any of the Women of the Otherworld books in anticipation of the Men of the Otherworld release this week. I also didn't re-read any of the Immortals after Dark series in anticipation of Kiss of a Demon King. I think I've got a good enough handle on both of those series to read the next book without a re-read of their respective series.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Anxiously Awaiting (late January 2009)

The following are books in a series I am Anxiously Awaiting. They are either part of a series I am already reading, or they are the first book in a new series by an author I already like.

If someone wants to send me an ARC of one of these books, I will read it within a day or two of it arriving (assuming I'm home and I'm not sick or anything), and will get a blog post up of it as soon as I've finished reading it. You may contact me for a shipping address at chained lightning at g mail dot com (remove all of the spaces, of course).

01/27/09 Kitty and the Dead Man's Hand (Kitty Norville, 5) Carrie Vaughn
01/27/09 Men of the Otherworld (Women/Otherworld) Kelley Armstrong
02/03/09 Bone Crossed (Mercy Thompson, Bk 4) Patricia Briggs
02/24/09 Kitty Raises Hell (Kitty Norville, Book 6) Carrie Vaughn
02/24/09 Made to Be Broken (Nadia Stafford, Bk 2) Kelley Armstrong
02/24/09 White Witch, Black Curse (Rachel Morgan, Bk 7) Kim Harrison
02/24/09 Jailbait Zombie (Felix Gomez) Mario Acevedo
03/03/09 A Vampire's Claim (Vampire Queen Series) Joey W. Hill
03/03/09 Deathwish (Cal Leandros Bk 4) Rob Thurman
03/03/09 Angels' Blood (Guild Hunter, Bk 1) Nalini Singh
03/24/09 Deadly Desire (Riley Jensen, Guardian, Bk 7) by Keri Arthur
03/31/09 Magic Strikes (Kate Daniels, Book 3) Ilona Andrews
04/07/09 Curse the Dawn (Cassandra Palmer, Bk 4) Karen Chance
04/07/09 Turn Coat (Dresden Files, Bk 11) Jim Butcher
04/28/09 Doomsday Can Wait (Phoenix Chronicles, Bk 2) Lori Handeland
05/05/09 Dead and Gone (Sookie Stackhouse, Book 9) by Charlaine Harris
06/02/09 Skin Trade, Anita Blake Series, Laurel K Hamilton
06/02/09 Undead and Unwelcome (Queen Betsy, Bk 8) MaryJanice Davidson
06/16/09 Finger Lickin' Fifteen (Stephanie Plum), Janet Evanovich
07/07/09 Branded by Fire (Psy-Changelings), Nalini Singh
07/21/09 Not That Innocent (Anthlgy) Sherrilyn Kenyon, Kresley Cole...
07/21/09 Mercy Thompson Homecoming (Comic) Patricia Briggs, Francis Tsai
07/28/09 An Early Grave (Night Huntress, Bk 4) Jeaniene Frost
07/28/09 Hunting Ground (Alpha & Omega, Book 2) by Patricia Briggs
08/??/09 Beloved Vampire (Vampire Queen Series) Joey W. Hill
08/??/09 Bad Moon Rising (Dark Hunter Series) Sherrilyn Kenyon
09/??/09 Apocalypse Happens (Phoenix Chronicles, Bk 3) Lori Handeland
09/??/09 Doom with a View (Psychic Eye Mystery) Victoria Laurie
11/??/09 Frostbitten (Elena & Clay) (Women/Otherworld) Kelley Armstrong
11/??/09 Blaze of Memory, Dev's book, (Psy-Changelings), Nalini Singh
Late /09 Bound to Shadows (Riley Jensen, Guardian, Bk 8) Keri Arthur

Not all of the series I keep up with have another book listed as coming out. The authors have stated there will be more, but they haven't said when, or given a title name. I've listed those series below.

* Meredith Gentry Series by Laurel K Hamilton
* Bronwyn the Witch series by Candace Havens