Home Series Ratings - Quick View Excerpts Anxiously Awaiting Review Policy Disclosure Policy

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

Friday, December 23, 2011

Raven Cursed (Jane Yellowrock, Book 4) by Faith Hunter


I've been looking forward to Raven Cursed since I finished Mercy Blade, and Faith Hunter did not disappoint.

There is a lot going on, and Jane is pulled in a zillion directions. It was a bit of a gamble, because it could easily have been too much, too frantic, too confusing. But it wasn't. Jane deals with the things thrown at her, mostly by choosing whatever her next step is going to be and then just blanking out everything else until she manages that task. 

I love that so much happens in and around the Asheville area. I've been to Hot Springs, to Paint Rock, to almost all of the places she talks about. I've driven the horrible scary road that Jane refused to do at night on a bike. Faith Hunter does a great job of bringing the landscape, the mountains, the forests, the rivers and streams... of bringing it all to life.

Here is the blurb:

The vampires of Asheville, North Carolina, want to establish their own clan, but since they owe loyalty to the Master Vampire of New Orleans they must work out the terms with him. To come up with an equitable solution, he sends an envoy with the best bodyguard blood money can buy: skinwalker Jane Yellowrock.

But when a group of local campers are attacked by something fanged, Jane goes from escort to investigator. Is it a rogue-vampire, shapechanger, or witch? Or something else magical? Unless she wants to face a very angry master vampire, she will have to work overtime to find the killer.  It's a good thing she's worth every penny.

As for the writing elements:
  • There are several plots, and they all get tied up by the end. Well, a few have some loose ends, but they are part of the ongoing plot arc and that's fine.
  • Pacing was intriguing. There is a lot of action, but it's not frantic. And there is down time, though not a lot.
  • Prose and dialogue were beautifully woven together.
  • Character development continues to be an active part of the series. Jane is a work in progress, and there are a lot of secondary characters that we are also getting to know.
  • World-building was consistent with previous books, and also added a lot of interesting bits about Jane's world. 
Raven cursed easily gets a 10 of 10 from me. The series will remain a 10 of 10.
    • Book Rating: Raven Cursed: 10 of 10
    • Series Rating: 10 of 10

    1. Skinwalker
    2. Blood Cross
    3. Mercy Blade (Jan 2011)
    4. Raven Cursed (Jan 2012)
    5. Death's Rival (Fall 2012)

    Tuesday, November 29, 2011

    * Anxiously Awaiting as of late November 2011

    Listed below are the books I'm anxiously awaiting. Anything with new information is shown in red. New information could be a link to the book's page on Amazon, a release date, an excerpt, etc.  I've also put an (e) next to the books that have an excerpt out, clicking the (e) will take you to my list of excerpts.

    11/29/11 Killing Rites (Black Sun's Daughter Book 1) by M.L.N. Hanover (e)
    11/29/11 Virtual Virgin (Delilah Street #5) by Carole Nelson Douglas
    11/29/11 Fate's Edge (The Edge series) by Ilona Andrews (e)
    ??/??/11 Unnamed Kate & Curran Novella from the Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews (e)
    12/06/11 Bound by the Vampire Queen (Vampire Queen Book 8) by Joey W. Hill (e)
    12/06/11 Head Rush (Justine Jones Disillusionist Book 3) by Carolyn Crane (e)
    01/03/12 Raven Cursed (Jane Yellowrock, Book 4) by Faith Hunter (e) (Review coming soon)
    01/10/12 Lothaire (Immortals After Dark book 12) by Kresley Cole (e)
    02/21/12 Celebrity In Death (In Death book 34) by JD Robb
    02/21/12 A Perfect Blood (Rachel Morgan / Hollows book 16) by Kim Harrison
    02/28/12 Angels' Flight (Guild Hunter short stories) by Nalini Singh 
    02/28/12 By a Thread (Elemental Assassin book 6) by Jennifer Estep (e)
    02/28/12 Trail of the Spellmans (Spellman Files #5) by Lisa Lutz
    03/06/12 Fair Game (Alpha and Omega Book 3) by Patricia Briggs
    03/06/12 Doubletake (Cal Leandros Book #7) by Rob Thurman (e)
    03/27/12 Back from the Undead (Bloodhound Files book 5) by DD Barant
    04/03/12 Magic Without Mercy (Allie Beckstrom Book 8) by Devon Monk
    05/01/12 Deadlocked (Sookie Stackhouse #12) by Charlaine Harris
    05/01/12 In Charm's Way (A Bewitching Mystery #8) by Madelyn Alt
    05/29/12 Tangle of Need (Psy/Changelings book 11, Adria and Riaz) by Nalini Singh (e)
    06/05/12 Kiss the Dead (Anita Blake #21) by Laurell K. Hamilton (working title Dead Sexy)                 
    06/26/12 Once Burned (Night Prince, Book 1, Vlad and Leila) by Jeaniene Frost
    06/26/12 Darkness Devours (Dark Angel #3-  Risa books) by Keri Arthur
    07/01/12 Tempest's Fury (Jane True Book 5) by Nicole Peeler  
    07/03/12 Lethal Outlook (Psychic Eye Mysteries, Book 10) by Victoria Laurie
    07/24/12 Thirteen (Women/Otherworld, Jaime story, Book 13) Kelley Armstrong
    08/07/12 Mammoth Book of Ghost Romance (Anth) with an Elemental Assassin story by Jennifer Estep (e)
    08/21/12 Widow's Web (Elemental Assassin Bk 8) by Jennifer Estep
    08/21/12 Shadow's Claim (Dacians) by Kresley Cole 
    ??/??/?? Cold Days (Dresden Files Book 14) by Jim Butcher
    ??/??/12 Liquid Fire (Dakota Frost / Skindancer series book3 ) by Anthony Francis (e)
    ??/??/12 Kitty Steals the Show (Kitty Norville Book 10) by Carrie Vaughn
    ??/??/12 Demons at the Gates (Phoenix Chronicles, Book 5) by Lori Handeland
    09/01/12 Daemon's Angel (Dark Hunters) by Sherrilyn Kenyon 
    09/01/12 Ashes of Honor (October Daye, Book 6) by Seanan McGuire 
    FALL/12 Death's Rival (Jane Yellowrock book 5) Faith Hunter
    11/??/12 Unnamed Allie Beckstrom, Book 9 (Final book) by Devon Monk
    02/??/13 Untitled (Kate Daniels #6)  by Ilona Andrews
    Spring/13  Unnamed Mercy Thompson Book 7 by Patricia Briggs
    09/01/13 The Chimes at Midnight (October Daye, Book 7) by Seanan McGuire
    10/01/13 Alpha (Dark Hunters, Daria's story) by Sherrilyn Kenyon

    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 to my knowledge they haven't said when, or given a title name. I've listed those series below.
    * Meredith Gentry series by Laurell K Hamilton (taking a few years off)
    * Bronwyn the Witch series by Candace Havens (teaser in email about upcoming news)
    * Caruthers Sisters series by Candace Havens (teaser in email about upcoming news)
    * Cat & Bones, Night Huntress series by Jeaniene Frost
    * Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich 
    * Black Sun's Daughter by M.L.N. Hanover  

    Below are series I follow, but it is unclear whether there will be more books in the series:

    * Nadia Stafford series by Kelley Armstrong (rumors of a self pubbed ebook to finish the trilogy)
    * Nature of Desire series by Joey W. Hill

    * Daughters of Arianne series by Joey W. Hill
    * Felix Gomez series Mario Acevedo
    * Nikki Heat series by Richard Castle
    * Bewitching Mysteries by Madelyn Alt
    * Dexter series by Jeff Lindsay

    You can read an excerpt of many of these books, to see my list of excerpts please go here

    If someone wants to send me an ARC of one of the books on my Anxiously Awaiting list, 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 send me a digital version at chained lightning at g mail dot com, or to send a hard copy you may contact me at that email address to ask for a shipping address. If you have an ARC you would like to send that is not on my Anxiously Awaiting list I will attempt to read and review it in a timely manner but it may not be placed topmost in my TBR pile. Feel free to email me to see if I'd be interested in reading something, as well. I've found a few authors this way that I may not have read had I not received a review copy -- and now I'm hooked on a few of those series, just waiting for the next book.

    Monday, November 28, 2011

    * 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. I've listed the excerpts and snippets below.

    I would love to have an ARC for any of the books on this list, or on my Anxiously Awaiting list. See my Review Policy for more information about sending books for review.

    Penguin has a page up for Fair Game (Alpha and Omega Book 3) by Patricia Briggs. No excerpt yet, but there is a nice long blurb.  2/7/12

    Kim Harrison has a page up for  A Perfect Blood (Rachel Morgan / Hollows book 16), with a promise that the excerpt will be up soon.   2/21/12

    Jeaniene Frost has a page up for Once Burned (Night Prince, Book 1, Vlad and Leila). She says she'll put an excerpt up at some point, but for now there is just a blurb.  6/26/12

    Nicole Peeler has a page up for  Tempest's Fury (Jane True Book 5) but so far there is just a blurb.  7/1


    In case you haven't read them yet, there are also some excerpts up for books released in 2010, and 2011 to date: