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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.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Eternal Kiss of Darkness cover and excerpt


Jeaniene Frost posted the cover shot for Eternal Kiss of Darkness. She's also posted a very short (two paragraphs and one sentence) excerpt, which can be found here.

Eternal Kiss of Darkness is scheduled for release July 27th. Another four months.

Is he scary enough to be Mencheres? Considering he's probably not trying to be scary here... probably. He's always seemed so much bigger than life to me.

Review: Silver Borne (Mercy Thompson, Book 5) by Patricia Briggs


The blurb for Silver Borne tells us the story will be about the book Mercy borrowed from the Fae during Bone Crossed.

What the blurb doesn't tell us is that there are two major plots and one substantial subplot in Silver Borne, and that there is so much going on that you'll stay up until 3:00 in the morning to finish the book, even though you must get up at 5:30.

Here is the blurb:
When mechanic and shapeshifter Mercy Thompson attempts to return a powerful Fae book she'd previously borrowed in an act of desperation, she finds the bookstore locked up and closed down.

It seems the book contains secret knowledge-and the Fae will do just about anything to keep it out of the wrong hands. And if that doesn't take enough of Mercy's attention, her friend Samuel is struggling with his wolf side-leaving Mercy to cover for him, lest his own father declare Sam's life forfeit.

All in all, Mercy has had better days. And if she isn't careful, she might not have many more to live...

Obviously the pacing is excellent. If there had been a lag in pacing then perhaps I could have gotten more than two and a half hours of sleep last night. But from 11:00 on, there was simply no place I even considered to be an appropriate place to put the book down in order to finish it later.

And Mercy has grown so much in five books, which is one of my tests for how good a series is. You have to learn from what life throws at you, and that means changing and growing. Mercy is smart, and she's picked up more than a few life lessons in her adventures. I liked her in the first book, but I like her so much better now. I know her a lot better now, of course. But I like that she's survived what she's been through, without letting it destroy her. After some of what she's been through, I'm not sure I wouldn't have gone running back to the safety of Bran's pack. But she didn't. She stubbornly stayed put and fought the battles that came to her. And made a lot of friends in the process.

I don't remember how I found the Mercy Thompson series, though I do remember that it was a new series when I first found it. With an established series that you find, you get to breeze through a number of books all at once. But when you find a new series you have to wait for the books to come out. I probably should have re-read the series before Silver Borne came out. I will certainly start over with book one a few weeks before the next book is released next year, and I'm really looking forward to starting over with Mercy again.

I think that the later books in the series are even better than the first books, and the first books were pretty darn good. You don't often get that, but it seems that Patricia Briggs is also learning and growing, and getting better and better at what she does: giving us a great character who has some fantastical adventures with nice secondary characters.

I'm not going to be able to talk about Silver Borne specifically too much, because I don't want to give spoilers. I will say that I was thrilled with the way the book ended. We see a lot of Samuel, a lot of Adam, and a decent amount of Zee. Mercy has to deal with the Fae, with Samuel's issues, with phone calls from Bran, and with some problems going on within Adam's pack (which at some point will need to be Adam and Mercy's pack, but she's a coyote, and you can guess how some of the wolves feel about that). There is also a decent amount of relationship stuff going on between Mercy and Adam - nothing terribly annoying, it's mostly what you'd expect for a couple at this stage of a relationship.

We see a repeat character that has now shown up briefly in two books, and who I'm betting will play a larger role at some point. And we get a new character that I know will be playing a larger role in future books.

As for what I rate Silver Borne, it easily gets a 10 of 10. I've given the series a 10 of 10 in the past, and it will remain so.

Book Rating: Silver Borne: 10 of 10
Series Rating: Mercedes Thompson: 10 of 10

In the past I've rated the Mercy Thompson series my 7th favorite series on my Series Ratings at a Glance posts, but I'm thinking that after Silver Borne that the next time I compile my list, this series will be moving up to a higher ranking.

According to Patricia Briggs' site, the next Mercy book is still unnamed, and isn't scheduled for release until the spring of 2011. The next Alpha and Omega book will be out in the fall of 2011. Bummer.

Mercedes Thompson Series 
1. Moon Called (2006)
2. Blood Bound (2007)
3. Iron Kissed (2008)
4. Bone Crossed (2009)

5. Silver Borne (2010)

Alpha and Omega Series:
 . On the Prowl (Anthology)
1. Cry Wolf (2008)
2. Hunting Ground (July 2009)



Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith


I've seen some reviews for Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter that made it look promising, but it's a hardcover, and it didn't look that promising. But then someone at work read it and offered to let me read their copy.

As it turns out, I'm not sure it would be worth the price of a paperback, either.

Don't get me wrong, the concept of the book is a really, really, really, good idea. And I did enjoy parts of it.

I'll let the blurb speak for the concept, and then I'll talk about what I liked and disliked about Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.

Indiana, 1818. Moonlight falls through the dense woods that surround a one-room cabin, where a nine-year-old Abraham Lincoln kneels at his suffering mother's bedside. She's been stricken with something the old-timers call "Milk Sickness."

"My baby boy..." she whispers before dying.

Only later will the grieving Abe learn that his mother's fatal affliction was actually the work of a vampire.

When the truth becomes known to young Lincoln, he writes in his journal, "henceforth my life shall be one of rigorous study and devotion. I shall become a master of mind and body. And this mastery shall have but one purpose..." Gifted with his legendary height, strength, and skill with an ax, Abe sets out on a path of vengeance that will lead him all the way to the White House.

While Abraham Lincoln is widely lauded for saving a Union and freeing millions of slaves, his valiant fight against the forces of the undead has remained in the shadows for hundreds of years. That is, until Seth Grahame-Smith stumbled upon The Secret Journal of Abraham Lincoln, and became the first living person to lay eyes on it in more than 140 years.

Using the journal as his guide and writing in the grand biographical style of Doris Kearns Goodwin and David McCullough, Seth has reconstructed the true life story of our greatest president for the first time-all while revealing the hidden history behind the Civil War and uncovering the role vampires played in the birth, growth, and near-death of our nation.

The problems, for me, were:
  1. Pacing - I put the book down more than once, with the idea that I wasn't sure whether I would pick it back up. I did pick it back up, but when I finally finished it, it was because it was in my car during my daughter's softball practice, and the battery on my netbook was starting to get low.
  2. Length - This story could have been told in half the words used to tell the story. In fact, if that had been the case, then I think it would have received a much higher rating from me. The story itself is a good one, it's the way it is told that is the problem.
  3. Prose - it was written to be a dry retelling of someone's life. And I get what the author was trying to do with that. I think he was attempting to go for the irony of the dry and factual way it was told, versus the fantastical tale of what was actually being told. But it didn't work for me. Again, if it had been done in half as many words it may have worked.

But my biggest disappointment was in a lack of closure. The book starts with the author being approached by a man who lends him Lincoln's journals, for the purpose of the author writing a book based on the journals. Once the author had told Lincoln's story, I expected him to tell us about the people he interviewed, and I expected him to tell us about the subsequent conversations he would have with the man who lent him the journals. We didn't get any of that.

I understand that the book is being turned into a screenplay, and will eventually be a movie. I think that this is going to be one of those cases where the movie will be a whole lot better than the book.

Book Rating: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter: 5 of 10

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Wicked Appetite (Diesel, Book 1) by Janet Evanovich

Janet Evanovich has been publishing "Between the Numbers" books, starring Diesel alongside Stephanie Plum. These books are kind of silly urban fantasy, with most of them revolving around a holiday and the characters from that holiday.

There are reports that Diesel is going to get his own series, and Stephanie Plum will not be in these books. The theme of each book will be one of the seven deadly sins. The first book will be titled Wicked Appetite, and will deal with Gluttony. It will take place in the North Shore area of Boston.

Carl the Monkey will join Diesel in Wicked Appetite. I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing.

Wicked Appetite is scheduled for release September 14, 2010.

Some of the "Between" books were beyond silly. I hope the Diesel books don't go in that direction.

Update: You can download an excerpt of Wicked Appetite at Janet Evanovich's website.

Update: Read my review of Wicked Appetite.


Friday, March 19, 2010

Sizzling Sixteen Excerpt


Janet Evanovich has finally uploaded the first portion of the first chapter of Sizzlin Sixteen.

You can go here to download the pdf. All 9 pages of it.  With big margins. And there isn't that much on the last page.  It does give us a really good idea of what this book is going to be about, and that's a good thing.

Tempest Rising (Jane True, bk 1) by Nicole Peeler

This seems to be the time for me to begin new series. In the old, "Don't judge a book by it's cover" mantra, I'd have skipped this book based solely on the cover. But after reading a few positive reviews, I decided to give it a try.

And once again, I'm really glad I did. It was an enjoyable book, the kind that keeps me up later at night than I intended to be awake.

The world building is interesting, especially since I tend to favor worlds where there are supernatural beings that humans don't know about. In this world some supernatural beings are good, some aren't. Some appreciate humans, some feel that humans are far below them. That's become a pretty basic part of the Urban Fantasy genre, but an interesting part of this world has to do with half breeds, or halflings. In most urban fantasies it isn't possible for a supernatural and a human to mate, but it is possible in this world.

An example of the worldbuilding has to do with someone Jane had always thought was "slow". An adult man who bagged groceries at the local grocery store. She was surprised to see him with the supernaturals once she is made aware of them, and she's told he isn't slow, he's a rock. She's told that somewhere close there is a boulder he's attached to, that he lives within, but a few decades every centuries he leaves the rock to try to find a mate. Sometimes, things resonate with you in a way you can't describe, and that was one of those things.

Mostly though, Tempest Rising was good because the main character is so different. In some ways her simplicity reminds me of Sookie Stackhouse, or of Stephanie Plum. So perhaps not so different from all urban fantasy series, but definitely different than, say, Anita Blake or Mercedes Thompson or Rachel Morgan. Tempest Rising started slow for me, but the writing was good and I didn't consider putting it down. I think they knew it started slow, which is probably why we get a teaser at the beginning, showing us where things are going. Once things get going, the pacing is well done.

The other reason the book was good? It's funny. Laugh out loud funny. As in, my husband gave me strange looks as I laid the book down to get a good laugh in a few times.

Tempest Rising has the distinct feel of a first book in a series. A portion of the plot gets wrapped up, but there are more loose strings than there are neatly tied up bows at the end. There were no cliffhangers, but we have a good idea of at least some of the events of the next book.

Oh, and there promises to be a possible love triangle, too. I'm actually not so much looking forward to that.

Here's the official blurb, then I'll give my rating:

In the tiny village of Rockabill, Maine, Jane True—26-year-old bookstore clerk and secret night swimmer—has no idea that her absent mother’s legacy is entry into a world populated by the origins of human myths and legends.  It is a world where nothing can be taken for granted: vampires are not quite what we think; dogs sometimes surprise us; and whatever you do, never—ever—rub the genie’s lamp.   For Jane, everything kicks off when she comes across a murder victim during her nightly clandestine swim in the freezing winter ocean.  This grisly discovery leads to the revelation of why she has such freakish abilities in the water: her mother was a Selkie and Jane is only half human. With this knowledge, Jane soon finds herself mingling with supernatural creatures alternately terrifying, beautiful, and deadly—all adjectives that quite handily describe her new friend Ryu.  When Ryu is sent to Rockabill to investigate the murder, he and Jane fall hard for each other even as they plummet into a world of intrigue threatening to engulf both supernatural and human societies.  For someone is killing half-humans like Jane.   The question is, are the murders the work of one rogue individual or part of a greater plot to purge the world of Halflings?

I've wavered back and forth between a 10 of 10 and a 9 of 10, but in the end Tempest Rising gets a 9 of 10 from me.

Book Rating: Tempest Rising: 9 of 10

As always, I won't give a series rating after only one book.

And now I will point to the second book in the series, Tracking the Tempest. Here is the blurb:

Tracking the Tempest begins four months–and one eyebrow sacrificed to magical training–after the close of Tempest Rising. During that time, Jane’s been busy honing her supernatural powers and enjoying her newfound sense of confidence. Rockabill may not yet be heaven, but she’s realized it’s home. Valentine’s Day is fast approaching, however, and Ryu–Jane’s bloodsucker boyfriend–can’t let a major holiday go by without getting all gratuitous. This time his shenanigans involve a last-minute ticket to Boston and a hefty dose of direct interference in her life. But Ryu’s best laid plans inevitably create more upheaval than even he can anticipate, and Jane winds up embroiled in an investigation involving a spree of gruesome killings committed by a being of tremendous power . . .

. . . who, much to Jane’s surprise, happens to be another halfling.

Just three and a half months until this one is released. I'd love to get an ARC to review ahead of time, though. That would make my day.

Tempest's Legacy book cover (Nicole Peeler)

1. Tempest Rising
2. Tracking the Tempest (July 1, 2010)
3. Tempest's Legacy (January 1, 2011)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Shadow Blade (Shadowchasers book 1) by Seressia Glass

I've read several really good first books in a series over the past month. I heard some good things about Shadow Blade, so I figured I'd check it out as well. And I'm glad I did.

The worldbuilding is exceptionally well done, with magic users, psychics, psychic vampires, gods and goddesses that interact with humans, and Egyptian mythology come to life. Along with a few other mythologies in small doses here and there. It's basically a good vs bad thing, or the "light" versus the "shadow", those who stand for the light and those who stand for chaos.

The characters are three dimensional and likable. The pacing is excellent, and the plot was engaging and entertaining.

I also appreciated that the series takes place in Atlanta, and that I've been to many of the places in the book. I particularly enjoyed that her friends have a shop in Little Five Points, and that even the Junkman's Daughter got a mention. Very cool.

Did I mention the worldbuilding was very well done? Yeah, I did. Doesn't hurt to say it again.

The series does hit on one of my pet peeves, the one that asks why so many fictional characters have to be orphans... but I already know the answer to that, especially in this case, where not knowing her heritage is likely to be a major part of a plot arc. So, I'll overlook it. Again.

Here's the official blurb:

For Kira Solomon, normal was never an option.

Kira's day job is as an antiquities expert, but her true calling is as a Shadowchaser. Trained from youth to be one of the most lethal Chasers in existence, Kira serves the Gilead Commission, dispatching the Fallen who sow discord and chaos. Of course, sometimes Gilead bureaucracy is as much a thorn in her side as anything the Fallen can muster against her. Right now, though, she's got a bigger problem. Someone is turning the city of Atlanta upside down in search of a millennia-old Egyptian dagger that just happens to have fallen into Kira's hands.

Then there's Khefar, the dagger's true owner -- a near-immortal 4,000-year-old Nubian warrior who, Kira has to admit, looks pretty fine for his age. Joining forces is the only way to keep the weapon safe from the sinister Shadow forces, but now Kira is in deep with someone who holds more secrets than she does, the one person who knows just how treacherous this fight is. Because every step closer to destroying the enemy is a step closer to losing herself to Shadow forever....

I'm giving Shadow Blade a 10 of 10. I won't rate it as a series after only one book.

Book Rating: Shadow Blade: 10 of 10

Book two will be called Shadow Chase and is scheduled for release July 27th of this year. I couldn't resist putting the cover for it up, especially since Amazon doesn't have it yet, and seeing the cover makes me want to read the book now - not four months from now.

Here is the blurb for book two, Shadow Chase:

As a Shadowchaser, Kira Solomon has been trained to serve the Light, dispatch the Fallen, and prevent the spread of chaos. It’s a deadly job, and Kira knows the horror of spilling innocent blood. But now she has a new role, as the Hand of Ma’at, the Egyptian Goddess of Truth and Order, and an assignment that might just redeem her.

A fellow Shadowchaser has gone missing, and so has a unique artifact imbued with astonishing magic. Unless the Vessel of Nun is returned, it will cause destruction beyond anything the modern world has seen. Kira’s got a team at her back, including Khefar, a near-immortal Nubian warrior who’s already died for her once. But as complicated as her feelings for him are, they’re nothing compared to the difficulties of the task she faces. And the only way to defeat the enemy is to trust in a power she can barely control, and put her life—and her soul—on the line.

I'm looking forward to learning more about Balm, and Nansee. I'm looking forward to seeing where a relationship may go between Kira and Khefar. I'm really looking forward to seeing where the series goes from here.

1. Shadow Blade
2. Shadow Chase

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Pleasure of a Dark Prince (Immortals After Dark book 8) by Kresley Cole

I'm a bit late reading Pleasure of a Dark Prince, I normally read this series closer to the release date. I think I'd grown a bit lukewarm about the series. Each book is written to sort of be a stand alone, as well as being part of the series. There is an overall plot arc that we are heading towards, and I get the feeling that the pieces we are gathering along the way are pretty important, but I also think that reading the books so far apart, that I'm not retaining enough for the pieces to mean as much. This series might be better if I'd waited until it was complete and then read all of the books at once.

With that being said, I really enjoyed Pleasure of a Dark Prince, and I'm looking forward to the next book, Demon from the Dark, with a bit more enthusiasm. It's due out August 24, so we've only got five months left to wait.

One of the interesting things that happens with this series is that occasionally we go back in time, so that we see what was happening to someone else at the same time the events from a previous book happened. Pleasure of a Dark Prince is one of those books, where we finally see Lucia and Garreth's story. We've been aware of them in previous books, and Pleasure of a Dark Prince lets us see exactly what happens between them.

I read Pleasure of a Dark Prince in two evenings, staying up later than planned on the second night in order to finish. There is humor, romance, suspense, intrigue, and travel to interesting places. The prose is (as always for this series) good, the plot is excellent, the pacing is well done, and it was an enjoyable read.

I'm giving Pleasure of a Dark Prince an 8 of 10, and I'm keeping the series at an 8 of 10 as well.

Book Rating: Pleasure of a Dark Prince: 8 of 10
Series Rating: Immortals After Dark: 8 of 10

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
7. Deep Kiss of Winter
8. Pleasure of a Dark Prince
9. Demon from the Dark

Sunday, March 14, 2010

A Mermaid's Ransom (Daughters of Arianne Book 3) by Joey W. Hill

I first discovered Joey W. Hill when she was actively writing her Nature of Desire series. I fell in love with her writing in that series - the characters, the emotions, and the trust she brought to the table in the relationships.

I have enjoyed her more mainstream books, but I've felt that they are missing the fire that was in her earlier books. After reading A Mermaid's Ransom I wondered if perhaps I'd imagined the difference, so I went back and read Rough Canvas again. I wasn't imagining it. The depth of character and emotion was better back then.

With that being said, I mostly enjoyed the story in A Mermaid's Ransom. It was a nice third book to the series. But was it a great book? Sadly, it was not.

While Alexis' character was drawn out in fairly good detail, I didn't really feel that I knew her. And I had a hard time seeing her as Jonah's daughter.

I did feel that we were given more of Dante, eventually. And I appreciated the fact that he wasn't just given a free pass, that he ended up being held accountable for his past actions. Even though part of me wanted to give him an excuse, a free pass. Ms. Hill did not, and I appreciate that.

Book Rating: A Mermaid's Ransom: 6 of 10
Series Rating: Daughters of Arianne: 8 of 10

1. A Mermaid's Kiss
2. A Witch's Beauty
3. A Mermaid's Ransom (Dec 2009)

Friday, March 12, 2010

Roadkill (Cal Leandros, Book 5) by Rob Thurman

The Cal Leandros series has not been one of my favorites in the past. After Deathwish I rated the series a 6 of 10. Even at that low of a rating, I've continued to read it, because I've enjoyed the worldbuilding, the clever use of old mythologies, the closeness of the brothers... though there were problems that bugged me.

But Roadkill? Oh. My. Goodness. This is the best book, by far, of the series. I laughed - a Lot. I cried a little. And there were philosophical points that I read and re-read and allowed to soak into my psyche.

Oh, and there was a plot, and an adventure or two (or three) along the way.

The weird thing? I read some of the book while at my daughter's dance class. And there was a 13 year old talking about Flowers for Algernon, right while I was reading the parts of Roadkill that... well... there are parallels. I stopped reading and talked to her for a bit, even showed her that my book had mentioned the book she was reading. She thought that pretty cool, though she looked at me strange when I started talking about werewolves. Her definition of werewolves is defined by Twilight at this point in her life.

But I hated Flowers for Algernon when I first read it, because I couldn't stop crying. I cried for days after I read that book. I think I was 8 or 9, and I just wasn't emotionally ready for it. I still can't read it without going into a depressed funk. Thankfully Roadkill didn't affect me quite so dramatically, there were some tears and sniffles and I needed to blow my nose a few times, but now that I've finished the book, I'm good.

Cal and Niko and Robin are back, and we get Rafferty the healer along with his cousin Catcher. And as you can tell from the cover, Delilah plays a decent part as well. We do not see Promise, or Georgie. Promise does at least get a mention, but George does not.

The dialogue and prose in Roadkill is excellent. Roadkill is written so well that it would be interesting without a plot. If you enjoy Dexter then you'll enjoy the Cal in this book, the thoughts that run through his head are laugh out loud funny at times. I've complained in the past about this series being too dark even for a dark fantasy, but Roadkill has enough humor and lightness to keep the darkness from being so overpowering.

Here is the official blurb:

Niko could have died because of her. I don't forget things like that...not ever. I wanted a little payback for those she'd cheated in the past. For those she'd cheat in the future. For what she'd allowed to happen to my brother.

For good old fashion revenge.

Once, while half-human Cal Leandros and his brother Niko were working on a case, an ancient gypsy queen gave them a good old-fashioned backstabbing. They barely made it out alive. Now, as their P.I. business teeters on insolvency, guess who shows up with a job?

The gypsy crone wants them to find a stolen coffin. Cal would rather help her into one, but this coffin contains an evil known as the Plague of the World--and it makes the Black Death seem like a fond memory.

But the thief has already left town, so the Leandros brothers are going on the road. And if they're very, very lucky, there might even be a return trip...

I'm going to give Roadkill a 10 of 10, and I'll raise the series to an 8 of 10.

Book Rating: Roadkill:  10 of 10
Series Rating: Cal Leandros series: 8 of 10

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

* Series Ratings at-a-glance

Listed below are the most recent ratings (shown to the left of the series name) for the series I've reviewed, listed in alphabetical order by genre. Click the series name to go to my reviews of the books in the series.

Urban Fantasy, Dark Fantasy, Romantic Urban Fantasy, Fantasy
. 8 of 10 Alpha and Omega series by Patricia Briggs
. 9 of 10 Anita Blake series by Laurel K. Hamilton
10 of 10 The Black Sun's Daughter series by M.L.N. Hanover
. 8 of 10 Blood series by Tanya Huff
. 6 of 10 Cal Leandros series by Rob Thurman
. 6 of 10 Dante Valentine series by by Lilith Saintcrow
. 8 of 10 Dark-Hunter series by Sherrilyn Kenyon
. 6 of 10 Delilah Street series by Carole Nelson Douglas
. 7 of 10 The Dresden Files series by Jim Butcher
. 8 of 10 The Edge series by Ilona Andrews
10 of 10 Elemental Assassin series by Jennifer Estep
. 7 of 10 Felix Gomez series by Mario Acevedo
10 of 10 Guild Hunter series by Nalini Singh
10 of 10 The Hollows / Rachel Morgan series by Kim Harrison
. 8 of 10 Immortals After Dark series by Kresley Cole
. 3 of 10 Iron Elves series by Chris Evans
10 of 10 Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews
. 9 of 10 Kitty Norville Series by Carrie Vaughn
10 of 10 Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs
10 of 10 Meredith Gentry series by Laurell K. Hamilton
10 of 10 Night Huntress series by Jeaniene Frost
. 8 of 10 Nightcreature/Moon series by Lori Handeland
. 5 of 10 Phoenix Chronicles by Lori Handeland
10 of 10 Psy-Changelings series by Nalini Singh
10 of 10 Riley Jensen, Guardian series by Keri Arthur
10 of 10 Sookie Stackhouse / Southern Vampire series by Charlaine Harris
. 9 of 10 Soul Mates series by Jourdan Lane (also listed under Erotica)
. 9 of 10 Succubus Diaries series by Jill Myles
10 of 10 Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer
. 9 of 10 Women of the Otherworld series by Kelley Armstrong

Paranormal Chik-Lit
. 6 of 10 by Madelyn Alt
. 8 of 10 Bronwyn the Witch series by Candace Havens
. 7 of 10 Caruthers Sisters by Candace Havens
. 7 of 10 Psychic Eye Mysteries by Victoria Laurie

Crime Solving Women

. 8 of 10 Izzy Spellman series by Lisa Lutz
. 6 of 10 Kinsey Millhone Alphabet series by Sue Grafton
. 9 of 10 Nadia Stafford series by Kelley Armstrong
. 8 of 10 Nikki Heat series by Richard Castle
. 6 of 10 Scarpetta series by Patricia Cornwell
. 7 of 10 Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich

Erotica and BDSM
10 of 10 Butterfly Unpinned by Laura Bacchi and Bonnie Dee
. 9 of 10 Chaos Magic series by Jay Lygon
. 7 of 10 Dark Elves series by Jet Mykles
. 8 of 10 Jarheads series by Sean Michael
. 7 of 10 The Master Chronicles by Jamie Craig
. 9 of 10 Masters of the Shadowlands by Cherise Sinclair
. 9 of 10 Daughter's of Arianne by Joey W.Hill
10 of 10 Nature of Desire series by Joey W. Hill
. 9 of 10 Soul Mates series by Jourdan Lane (also listed under Urban Fantasy)
. 6 of 10 Trattenbourgh Affair series by JJ Giles

I realize that there are a good number of 10 ratings in the Urban Fantasy genre, which means I really, really, really, like those series. But, which do I like the most?

  1. Night Huntress series by Jeaniene Frost is in first place.
  2. The Hollows / Rachel Morgan series by Kim Harrison is in second place, but barely, because
  3. Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews is really good, and might possibly beat The Hollows once it has as many books
  4. Riley Jensen, Guardian series by Keri Arthur is wonderful and I am looking forward to the next books in the series
  5. Meredith Gentry series by Laurell K. Hamilton - what a wonderfully creative view of the Fae
  6. Psy-Changelings series by Nalini Singh
  7. Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs
  8. Sookie Stackhouse / Southern Vampire by Charlaine Harris - this would have been rated higher a few books ago, and it's still a fantastic series, but is no longer at the top of my list.
  9. Guild Hunter series by Nalini Singh - a new series that may very well be closer to the top once we get a few more books
  10. The Elemental Assassin series by Jennifer Estep is another one that could easily move up the list once there are more books
  11. The Black Sun's Daughter series by M.L.N. Hanover is quite promising, and I think the third book will be pivotal in how far this series can continue.
  12. Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer - once upon a time the author talked about writing other books in this series, to tell someone else's story. But she no longer talks about that, so it appears it is now a "dead" series, with no new books forthcoming. It's still a 10 of 10, but without the anticipation of new books, it's hard to place it higher in my ratings.
And then come the 9 ratings, which I'll put in this following order:
13. Anita Blake series by Laurel K. Hamilton
Kitty Norville Series by Carrie Vaughn
Women of the Otherworld series by Kelley Armstrong
16. Soul Mates series by Jourdan Lane (also listed under Erotica)
Succubus Diaries series by Jill Myles

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

* Excerpts, First Chapters, and Sneak Peeks

Some of the books on my Anxiously Awaiting list have excerpts available at the author's or publisher's websites.

* Excerpt and blurb of The Spellmans Strike Again (Spellman Files, Book 4) by Lisa Lutz. 3/6.
* Chapter 1 of Werewolf Smackdown (Felix Gomez 5) Mario Acevedo 3/9
* Chapter 1 of Voices of Dragons (new YA series) by Carrie Vaughn 3/16
* Excerpt and excerpt of Warriors (Anthology) George RR Martin, Carrie Vaughn, etc. 3/16
* Chapter 1 of Silver Borne (Mercy Thompson, Book 5) by Patricia Briggs. 3/30
* Chapter 1 of Changes, (Dresden Files book 12), by Jim Butcher. 4/6
* Prologue, Chapter 2, & trailers of Radiant Shadows (Wicked Lovely Bk 4) Melissa Marr 4/20
* Chapter 1 (pdf form) of Dead in the Family (Sookie Stackhouse #10) by Charlaine Harris 5/4
* Excerpt of Vampire Mistress (Vampire Queen, Book 5) by Joey W. Hill 5/4
* Prologue, snippet, and teaser of Magic Bleeds (Kate Daniels #4) by Ilona Andrews 5/25
* Excerpt of Web of Lies (Elemental Assassin Bk 2) by Jennifer Estep. 5/25
* Excerpt of Infinity (Chronicles of Nick Book 1) by Sherrilyn Kenyon 6/8
* Excerpt of Bonds of Justice (Psy/Changeling #8) (Max's Book) by Nalini Singh 7/6
* Snippet, Snippet, Snippet, Snippet, Cover, & Discussion of Bayou Moon (The Edge series Book 2), by Ilona Andrews (Oct)

Lori Handeland has a page up for Chaos Bites, hopefully she'll post an excerpt in the near future, until then, there is a blurb up at the MacMillan site. Book release 4/27.

Keri Arthur has a page up for Moon Sworn (Riley Jensen Bk 9), but so far there is only an image of the cover. Just knowing the title of this book kind of gives us an idea of what may happen, though. Book Release 5/25.

Janet Evanovich's website says they will begin posting excerpts to Sizzling Sixteen (Stephanie Plum 16) on March 1st, it looks like the excerpts will be here when it's put up, but as of March 8th, it isn't up yet.. Book release 6/22.

Kelley Armstrong has a page up for Waking the Witch (Savannah story, Women/Otherworld Bk 11), so far there is just a blurb and cover art. Book Release 8/3.

Sherrilyn Kenyon has a page up for No Mercy (Dark Hunters #19), there is a blurb and some info about Dev and Sam, but no excerpt yet. 8/3

Kresley Cole has a page up for Demon from the Dark (Immortals After Dark Bk 10), but just blurbage, no excerpt yet. 8/24

In case you haven't read them yet, there are also some excerpts up for books released in 2009, and so far in 2010:
* Chapter 1 of At Grave's End (Night Huntress, 3) Jeaniene Frost, 12/30/08
* Excerpt of Kiss of a Demon King (Immortals after Dark, 6) Kresley Cole 1/20
* Excerpt of Kitty & the Dead Man's Hand (Kitty Norville, 5) Carrie Vaughn, 1/27
* Excerpt of Men of the Otherworld Kelley Armstrong, 1/27
* 1st chapter of Bone Crossed (Mercy Thompson, Bk 4) Patricia Briggs, 2/3
* 3 chapters of Made to Be Broken (Nadia Stafford) Kelley Armstrong, 2/24
* Excerpt of White Witch, Black Curse by Kim Harrison, 02/24
* Excerpt of Kitty Raises Hell (Kitty Norville, 6) Carrie Vaughn, 2/24
* Excerpt of Jailbait Zombie (Felix Gomez) Mario Acevedo, 2/24
* Excerpt of Angels' Blood (Guild Hunter, Bk 1) Nalini Singh, 03/03
* Excerpt of Deadly Desire (Riley Jensen, 7) Keri Arthur 03/24
* Excerpt of Magic Strikes (Kate Daniels, 3) Ilona Andrews, 03/31
* Five chapters of Turn Coat (Dresden Files, 11) Jim Butcher 04/07
* 2 chapters of Curse the Dawn (Cassandra Palmer, 4) Karen Chance, 4/7
* Excerpt of Doomsday Can Wait (Phoenix Chronicles, Bk 2) Lori Handeland 4/28
* Chapter One of Skin Trade (Anita Blake) Laurel K Hamilton, 6/2
* Excerpt of Undead and Unwelcome (Queen Betsy, Bk 8) MaryJanice Davidson 6/2
* Excerpt of Finger Lickin' Fifteen (Stephanie Plum) Janet Evanovich 6/23
* Excerpt 1 and Excerpt 2 of Branded by Fire (Psy-Changelings), Nalini Singh, 7/7
* 1st chapter of Destined for an Early Grave (Night Huntress, Bk 4) Jeanine Frost 7/28
* Excerpt of Bad Moon Rising (Dark Hunter Series) Sherrilyn Kenyon, 8/4
* Excerpt of Beloved Vampire (Vampire Queen) Joey W. Hill, 8/4
* First two chapters of Hunting Ground (Alpha & Omega, Bk 2) Patricia Briggs, 8/25
* Excerpt, excerpt, & excerpt - Must Love Hellhounds (Anth) Ilona Andrews, Charlaine Harris, Nalini Singh 9/1
* First chapter of On the Edge (The Edge bk 1) Ilona Andrews, 9/29
* Prologue, Chapters One & Two of Frostbitten (Otherworld) Kelley Armstrong, 10/27
* Excerpt of Bound to Shadows (Riley Jensen, Guardian, Book 8) Keri Arthur 10/27
* Excerpt of A Deep Kiss of Winter (Anthology) Kresley Cole, Gena Showalter, 10/13
* Excerpt of Blaze of Memory (Psy-Changelings, Dev's book), Nalini Singh 11/3
* Excerpt of Skin Game by Ava Gray, 11/03
* Excerpt of A Mermaid's Ransom (Daughters of Arianne Bk 3) Joey W Hill 12/1
* Chapter 1 (pdf) of Divine Misdemeanors (Meredith Gentry #8) Laurell K. Hamilton 12/8
* Excerpt of Kitty's House of Horrors (Kitty Norville Bk 7) by Carrie Vaughn 1/4/10
* Chapter 1 of Archangel's Kiss (Guild Hunter, Bk 2) Nalini Singh 2/2
* Excerpt of Flirt (Anita Blake novella) by Laurell K Hamilton 02/02
* Excerpt, excerpt, and excerpt of Laced with Desire (Anth) by Jaci Burton, Jasmine Haynes, Joey W. Hill, etc. 02/02
* Snippet and first 20% of First Drop of Crimson (Night Huntress World, Bk 1) Jeaniene Frost 2/9
* Excerpt of Branded Sanctuary (Nature of Desire series) by Joey W. Hill 2/12
* Excerpt of Black Magic Sanction (Hollows / Rachel Morgan, Bk 8) by Kim Harrison 2/23