vrijdag 31 oktober 2014

Faith Hunter – Broken Soul

The eighth book in the Jane Yellowrock series, published October 7, 2014.
Genre: urban fantasy
Cover: kick ass, love it

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Jane Yellowrock is a vampire killer for hire—but other creatures of the night still need to watch their backs....

When the Master of the city of New Orleans asks Jane to improve security for a future visit from a delegation of European vampires, she names an exorbitant price—and Leo is willing to pay. That's because the European vamps want Leo's territory, and he knows that he needs Jane to prevent a total bloodbath. Leo, however, doesn't mention how this new job will change Jane's life or the danger it will bring her and her team.
Jane has more to worry about than some greedy vampires. There's a vicious creature stalking the streets of New Orleans, and its agenda seems to be ripping Leo and her to pieces. Now Jane just has to figure out how to kill something she can't even see….

From the first page, I was straight back in Jane Yellowrock’s dangerous world of vampires and their devious politics. And I loved every page of it.
What can I say about this book that I have written about the previous books before? Very little I am afraid. I am just totally in love with this series. So, what is new in this one ...

Jane is being courted by Bruiser (George Dumas) as he is no longer completely beholden to Leo, the Master of the City. She has no idea how to react, she is no longer grieving over her previous boyfriend Rick however, but she is so very cautious not to have her heart broken again. Beast won’t have any of that, she wants him for a mate.

Of course there is hardly any time for Jane to sleep, with working to get the Vampire Head Quarters in top shape and the highest grade of security, as there will be some European Vampires coming over for a visit. Leo really doesn’t want them to come, but he can’t say no. They are after some secrets and artifacts they believe he has, or Jane has, so neither of them will be safe. But other enemies are in town as well, and even the biggest baddest vampires are afraid of them.
Jane finds out some of Leo’s darkest secrets when she gets into the bottom cellars of the building. And it is a very scary one. She also finds out more about the history of vampires and witches, and of herself and Beast. She discovers some new power that Beast got from the Angel in one of the previous books. It is a very handy power in a fight, but it comes at a very high price as well.

A book full of action and fighting. Jane gets hurt, and Leo again tries to kill her and bind her. To no avail, luckily. But he is so not happy when Jane chooses Bruiser over him. I do love the interaction between Jane and her housemates and business partners, Alex the Kid and Eli. They look out for each other and know how to work together very well.

This time, no scene with Jane’s best friend and her little o so precocious daughter, and I did miss that. But alien creatures reveal themselves, and I can’t wait to see what will happen in the next book. Faith Hunter is an awesome author, and her writing is never predictable. I love it.

I know people have fallen out of love with this series a few books ago, but I don’t think I ever will. And I do recommend it for all lovers of urban fantasy and real kick ass heroines. Jane doesn’t need to be saved, she is the saver herself. She makes the difficult decisions and lives with the consequences, no matter how hard it is sometimes.

I just have one complaint to Miss Hunter: only in England do they serve beer (ale) at room temperature. In the rest of Europe, it is chilled, as it should be.

10 stars.

Autobuy authorLove this book

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© 2014 Reviews by Aurian

woensdag 29 oktober 2014

Anthology – Kicking It

An anthology of stories edited by Faith Hunter and Kalayna Price, published December 3, 2013.
Genre: urban fantasy
Cover: awesome boots

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New York Times bestselling author Rachel Caine has modern-day potions witches Holly and Andrew facing off against a firebrand politician who wears literally killer boots in a Texas-sized rodeo of trouble.
Boot-loving Cadogan vampire Lindsey must team up with off-again, on-again vampire partner Luc when a woman from her past is targeted by supernaturals in New York Times bestselling author Chloe Neill's all-new adventure.
And New York Times bestselling author Rob Thurman features Trixa Iktomi from her Trickster series dealing with magical vengeance and magical footwear.

Taking kick-ass urban fantasy literally, USA Today bestselling authors Kalayna Price and Faith Hunter bring together the best of the genre to once again prove when you're fighting supernatural forces, it helps to keep your feet on the ground.

It is a really good anthology, and I finally read some stories by authors I have been meaning to read for years now, and whose books are gathering dust on my shelves somewhere. Getting this taste for their writing style has made me determined to pick up their books soon.
All the books feature boots, often really, really gorgeous boots. If I could wear boots, I would totally buy boots like those. So if you do love boots, and you love totally kick ass characters, this is the anthology for you.

Rachel Caine – Forked Tongs

This is a Holly and Andrew story, and though I have read a few of Rachel Caine’s books, this does not ring a bell at all.

It is a story about a witch who can temporarily bring murder victims back from the dead, so they can tell who their murderer is. Her boyfriend is an old West gunslinger, and their love keeps him in the here and now. To me, this story was completely unique with a demon trying to get rid of all the witches in the city so he can rise in politics.

I liked it, and I want to read more in this series.

Shannon K. Butcher – Stolen Goods

Another series I am not familiar with, but now want to read. A man who works with leather can enchant it too, to do the most amazing things. He has to team up with the woman who stole a pair of his boots, in order to fight a bunch of aliens who use people’s life energy to power up some devices, leaving the people like a bunch of zombies and totally under their control.
I loved the interaction between this unlikely pair, and am now very curious to this world. I want to know what will happen next.

Chris Marie Green – The girl with no name

A young woman wakes up in a hotel room in New Orleans, without knowing who she is, or how she got there. And with some really strange boots on her feet she can’t get off. Boots that give her strange powers apparently. Someone is hunting her, and a strange shop owner / psychic tells her about a woman in the swamp who can probably help her. She is the one who has made the boots she is wearing, and she does not normally sell her goods.
A bit confusing story, and the girl is not really a girl I think. Her family is looking for her, and she does not want to be found. The witch is helping her, but she looses her memory every night.

Strange story, I did like it, not love it, and I want to know more. So I will probably read the first book in the series. I am really not a fan of memory loss stories.

Faith Hunter – The devil’s left boot

This is the story I wanted to read the most, as it takes place in the Jane Yellowrock series. Liz and Cia Everheart, sisters of Jane’s best friend Molly, feature in this short story. It takes place after Jane killed their evil sister on national television.

An old enemy from high school desperately needs their help as her mother has gone missing, and the police won’t do anything about it. But she knows her mother did not run off with a man, or anything like that. For a high price, the sisters agree to try to help Layla. What they find is more than they bargained for however, and they need Jane to help them fix the problem when they stumble upon an insane vampire with a passion for shoes and boots.

I really loved this story. It goes without saying that I will read whatever there is written in this series.

Chloe Neill – High Stakes

I haven’t read anything yet about the Chicago Vampires series by Chloe Neill. And I am not really sure I want to, even though I do have the books. This is a story about Luc and Lindsey. There is a small part with Merit, the heroine in the series.
But it is the communication that bothers me, it sounds totally childish to me. I did get that Merit is a young woman, and a young vampire, but Lindsey is not.

It is basically a love story, with Lindsey afraid to commit and Luc determined not to let her get away. Lindsey tries to save her grand niece from some horrors of her own pasts and blindly walks into danger on her own. To be saved by Luc in the nick of time. I would have liked her better if she had saved herself of course.

Lucienne Diver - The Parlor

This story really did intrigue me, it had the ancient Greek gods like Apollo, and the heroine is the descendant of another one. She is a gorgon, and goes against some spiderlike woman, which sounded really creepy. I want to know more about this world.

Has anyone read this series/author? Is it good?

Christine Henry – Red isn’t really my color

And yet another series I have on my shelves and haven’t started yet. The heroine is Lucifer’s grand daughter, a couple times removed of course, with the name of Madeline Black. The fun thing is she has a pet gargoyle named Beezle, who fits in her pocket. He loves to eat junk food and watch bad t.v., is a genius with google and sleeps a lot.
Lucifer wants Madeline to find the famous Red Shoes, which makes the wearer dance until she dies and longer. But she will have to go up against the courtiers of a certain Fae Queen she made really angry recently, and she does not look forward to it. Madeline is only just learning to control her powers, but mostly she just reigns down mayhem and destruction around her, and now she is to visit the most swanky hotel in town to find the shoes ...

I really liked this story, so I will probably read the first book soon. Madeline is my kind of heroine, trying to do the right thing and getting in more and more trouble. She is also an Agent of Death, and I want to know more about that.

Rob Thurman - Snakeskin

This is a 10 year prequel to the Trickster series, and it sure makes me want to read more in this world. Trixta Iktomi is the “heroine” in this story, and I so want to know more about her. I get the impression she is not only Coyote, the Trickster God, but has also been lots of other gods during the times and in all kinds of cultures. I loved this story, it was original and new to me, and very surprising. I am sorry about those boots though ...

Kalayna Price – Ruby Red

I love the Alex Craft series, and I have been looking forward to the new book for a very long time now. This story is set in that world, but with new characters. Two agents of the Magical Crimes Investigation Agency are trying to solve a difficult case, with shadow monsters who leave people in a coma. Somehow, a diner waitress is involved.

I liked it, and I did like the last few sentences even more ... they will meet up with Alex Craft ...

Conclusions: lots of good stories in this book, and only one or two I did not like as much. Lots of new series for me to discover. Thank you again Melliane, for gifting me this book. I enjoyed it very much indeed.

9 stars.

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© 2014 Reviews by Aurian

maandag 27 oktober 2014

Jenn McKinlay – Death of a Mad Hatter

The second book in the Hat Shop Mystery series, published May 6, 2014.
Genre: cozy mystery
Cover: beautiful

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Scarlett Parker and her British cousin, Vivian Tremont, are hard at work at Mim's Whims—their ladies' hat shop on London's chic Portobello Road—to create hats for an Alice in Wonderland themed afternoon tea, a fund-raiser for a local children's hospital. It seems like a wonderfully whimsical way to pass the hat, and Scarlett and Viv are delighted to outfit the Grisby family, the hosts who are hoping to raise enough money to name a new hospital wing after their patriarch.
Unfortunately, the Grisby heir will not live to see it—he's been poisoned. When traces of the poison are found on the hat Scarlett and Viv made for him, the police become curiouser and curiouser about their involvement. Now the ladies need to don their thinking caps and find the tea party crasher who's mad enough to kill at the drop of a hat…

Another review I had no inspiration for writing, and now three months have passed, and writing a good review is not going to happen anymore.

And I really did enjoy this book. I love the main characters, and their English banter. Scarlett and her cousin Vivian own a hat shop. Scarlett has only recently arrived from the States after a love affair went bad (and viral on the internet!) and she has taken over the business side of the shop, as Vivian is a wiz at making the most amazing hats.

When a rich client asks Vivian to design the hats for an Alice in Wonderland tea for herself and her family, Vivian accepts. Dotty Grisby is an old friend of their grandmother, and she keeps mistaking Vivian for her old friend. It means a lot of expensive hats in a short amount of time. Not all the family are nice though, especially the heir, George, is a nasty piece of work with the way he treats his young wife and Vivian. But there are also some younger cousins, who really seem to take a fancy to Vivian and Scarlett.

So when George is killed during the tea party, Scarlett will have to clear her name. Unfortunately, there are many suspects. And will they all just talk to her? His widow seems to want to confide in her, and other people warn her away from the case.

Like Harrison, their accountant. Or is he something more after all? Scarlett certainly is not happy when she finally finds out about his involvement in the business ...

It is a really good mystery, I could not figure it out on myself. There are some big surprises, and some really evil characters are revealed in the end. I did not see that coming at all. All the characters are really colourful and lifelike, and I enjoyed reading about them. I sure hope there will be more books in this series to come.

8 stars.

Autobuy author

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© 2014 Reviews by Aurian

zaterdag 25 oktober 2014

Recommendations from Karin for October 2014.

In order to bring some more variety to my blog, I have asked some of my bookish friends to tell about the books they have in the past month, and to give us a recommendation. Today’s post is made by Karin from Austria.


I have read 23 new books this month. Impressive, isn’t it? But it’s all due to the fact that I was really sick and it took me a long time to recover so that I found I had a lot of reading time at hand. And admittedly quite a few of the books were very short. One would better call them novellas. Anyway the ones I would recommend most are:

1. Lindsay Buroker – Torrent

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2. Elizabeth Hunter – The Scribe

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3. Elizabeth Hunter – The Singer

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Lindsay Buroker – Torrent

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When Delia chose to major in archaeology, she imagined herself as the female Indiana Jones of the Southwest. She didn't imagine herself crawling through abandoned mine shafts, scrounging for rusty pickaxes and gold pans to sell on auction sites, but Indiana Jones didn't have to make student loan payments.
Scouring the mountains of Arizona with Simon, her best friend and computer geek extraordinaire, Delia dreams of turning their scavenging enterprise into a legitimate business. More, she longs to earn the respect of peers who shun her for turning into a treasure hunter. What she doesn't dream of is stumbling across a decapitated body in an old mine near Prescott.
Something dangerous has come to the mountains, and a pair of Harley-riding strangers are the only ones who seem to have a clue. They speak a language Delia has never heard and carry mysterious artifacts she's never seen. Investigating these strangers might lead her to discoveries that change the face of archaeology forever... or it might lead her and her best friend into a deadly monster's lair.

Linday Buroker’s book is a YA novel I’m afraid to say. But I also have to say that I greatly enjoyed this adventurous ride. There is action (some of it a little ridiculous to tell the truth) on every other page. I got caught up in the adventures around these three young people, the aliens, who may be aliens or elves – the jury is still out on the verdict – from the first page. There is a follow – up called “Thorn Falls” and it was just as enjoyable. I find I’m eagerly waiting for the next instalment.

I also would like to recommend the two books by Elizabeth Hunter. She impressed me with the “Elemental World” books which I believe I have recommended already. Now these two books offer a completely new world, a unique sight of something other. The first book ends with a terrible cliff hanger, but I was able to purchase the second book immediately. It continues this story nicely and it doesn’t end on such a cliff hanger. But I also thought it was not really as good as the first one.
I think that sometimes happens when the first book in a new series really breaks the ground. You find that you need to know how the story continues and then you find out that you know this new world already and you would like a little more action, or you want to see more of beloved characters which the author neglects in the next book.

I bought a few Kindle collections of books for € 0,89 to € 0,99. Although this time I purchased some books which I actually did not finish, I still got some winners out of them. So I would like to bring your attention to such a compilation called “Nine by Night”. I did not like all nine books but for such a price one won’t complain if not every book is freaking good. I don’t know how many of you read electronic books but I found out that I enjoy these collections as once in a while I pick out a real winner.

So this is it for this month. I wish you all a happy reading time!

Aurian: Thanks for the recommendation Karin! You sure read a lot, I hope I will manage to get back up to speed soon myself. Collections are indeed a great and cheap way to discover many new authors, but I confess I still prefer to read my paper books.

© 2014 Reviews by Aurian

vrijdag 24 oktober 2014

Jim Butcher – Academ’s Fury

The second book in the Codex Alera series, published July 5, 2005.
Genre: fantasy
Cover: good

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In Furies of Calderon, bestselling author Jim Butcher introduced readers to a world where the forces of nature take physical form. But now, it is human nature that threatens to throw the realm into chaos...
For centuries, the people of Alera have harnessed the furies – elementals of earth, air, fire, water, wood, and metal – to protect their land from aggressors. But no fury can save them from the dangers they face within. A mysterious attack from across the sea has weakened the First Lord. Should he fall, a bloody civil war is inevitable. The responsibility of fending off assassination attempts and treachery within the First Lord’s circle of spies falls on Tavi, the one man with no fury to call ...

As soon as I finished writing my review of the first book, I stared this one. Two years have passed, and all their lives have changed. Bernard is now a Count, and the militairy leader of the region. His sister is the very first female Steadholder and a Citizen in her own right. And Tavi has gone to the Academy, to study how to be a Cursor. Amara and Bernard have fallen in love, and when duty allows it, they spend some time together.

But when Tavi and Kitai were in the Wax Forest, they awoke a big evil, and it is on the loose now, killing people and taking their bodies over, creating an army for its own purpose. It made me think of the Borg from Star Trek. They are so difficult to fight, and lots of people die.
Doroga and his tribe set out to find and kill them. They are the ancient evil that has almost killed all of their people three times before. When he does not succeed, and loses most of his tribe, he comes to Bernard to warn him and ask for his help. They will have to find and kill the Vord Queen before she spawns more Queens who will fly out in one week time.

When his aunt Isana finds out that Tavi might be in danger from one of those creatures, she leaves at once to warn the First Lord of this danger, see Tavi, and also get some help back home to fight those creatures before it is too late. But Isana herself is in danger as well. As the only female Steadholder, she has a great political importance. And with the First Lord in danger of being de-throned, being her ally or causing her death is of a great consequence to the High Lords of the Realm.
With the help of a female Cursor, who is one of the most famous Courtesans in the country, and a retired Knight, Isana tries to get a hold of the First Lord and of Tavi. Unsuccessfully. As time is short, she has no choice but to go into the lions den to seek other people’s help in gaining an audience with the First Lord.

Tavi is doing well in the Academy, as the First Lord’s protegĂ©e, and his personal page. But he has made a nasty enemy out of one of the other students. Benis hates him for being a freak, being without a fury himself. Luckily for Tavi he has some loyal friends as well, who are also studying to become a Cursor. But when the First Lord becomes comatose after overextending himself with furycrafting, it is up to Tavi to keep it all secret to avoid a civil war. The First Lord still has no heir after all.

And then there is the Ambassador of the Cane, an enemy of the Alerans. He sure tries to tell Tavi something important, not acting in character at all. And when Tavi doesn’t listen good enough, or act quickly enough, he makes sure that Tavi has no choice but to come after him.

And the biggest surprise for Tavi is Kitai. He doesn’t know it yet, but he bonded with her in the first book when he saved her life in the wax forest. And now he finds her in the city, when he tries to capture a notorious thief. This is a good thing, as he really needs her help getting his friend Max out of jail.

I loved this book. It is so full of action and danger, and then those creepy creatures, the Vord. Bernard and Amara lose so many of their people, fighting them. And Isana faces so many dangerous situations, and necessity forces her to make a deal with the devil himself to save her brother. I really felt for her, but she is such a strong woman.
My suspicions about Tavi’s heritage are stronger than ever, it is almost confirmed at this point. But he still has no magic of his own, no fury to call. So I wonder if that will ever happen.

I really enjoyed the parts with Tavi and his friends, and of course with Kitai. I love where their storyline is going. Bernard lost so many good people in the fight, some characters I really did not expect to, died. But thanks to the waterfuries, they are able to mend the most grievous of wounds, so other people miraculously survive.

The bad guy in the first book appears in this one as well, he is still dedicated to his cause, and to the Aquitaines, even though they disregard his personal safety by ordering him to the capital and the Citadel. I liked his conversation with Isana as well, after he has kidnapped her/saved her life.

I will read book 3 very soon. I do recommend this series.

9 stars.

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© 2014 Reviews by Aurian

woensdag 22 oktober 2014

Jim Butcher – Furies of Calderon

The first book in the Codex Alera series, published October 5, 2004.
Genre: fantasy
Cover: amazing, love it

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For a thousand years, the people of Alera have united against the aggressive and threatening races that inhabit the world, using their unique bond with the furies – elementals of earth, air, fire, water, wood and metal. But in the remote Calderon Valley, the boy Tavi struggles with his lack of furycrafting. At fifteen, he has no wind fury to help him fly, no fire fury to light his lamps. Yet as the Alerans’ most savage enemy – the Marat horde – returns to the Valley, Tavi’s courage and resourcefulness will be a power greater than any fury, one that could turn the tides of war...

It’s been a while since I read some epic fantasy, but I was sucked into this world immediately, and I absolutely loved it. It has everything a good fantasy needs: intrigue to dethrone the king, treason, loyalty, war, fighting, magic (furies), a touch of romance, friendship, adventure, and some amazing main characters.

It has two main characters, whose adventures we follow and whose paths cross. Amara, a young Cursor, working for the First Lord in secret. Her mentor, Fidelias, has just betrayed her and his First Lord, but he believes to be working for the greater good, the prosperity of Alera. The First Lord is old and has no longer an heir, and his new wife does not seem to be getting with child. Before the country is torn apart by civil war, he will help put a new First Lord on the throne. Associating with the Marat horde to accomplish his goal, killing thousand of innocent citizens in the process, is a small price to pay in his opinion. But Amara does not agree with him, and she will do whatever is necessary to thwart his plans and save the First Lord. Escaping her capturers, Amara flees as far as her wind fury can take her, but Fidelias will not let her escape that easily. She knows too much of his plans, and too much of how he works. Amara is the best student he has ever had, and she just might foil up his plans. So with the help of the country’s best swordfighter Aldrick, and Odiana, a waterwitch, he sets out to Calderon Valley to meet with the Horde.

Meanwhile, Tavi is trying to find the missing sheep he did not bring in last evening, as he was busy picking rare flowers for a young maiden whose kiss made him forget his duty to his uncle. So now, instead of attending to some very important Hold matters, Bernard and Tavi are searching for the sheep. Tavi is mad at himself, his future hings on those sheep, as his uncle has promised to give him some if he performs his duties without fail. Tavi is the only furyless boy in the village, and he is bullied by the other boys because of that. But if he can sell those sheep, he will have enough money to attend the Academy in town, and learn a profession that does not require him having furyhelp.

But Bernard and Tavi don’t just find the missing sheep, they find something much more dangerous: a herdbane has killed some of the sheep. And where there is one, there is usually its mate, and of course one of the Marat. Together they manage to kill the herdbane before it kills Bernard, but Bernard is severely injured. With the help of his earth fury, they manage to get away, but the Marat is faster, and to draw attention away from his uncle, Tavi lures the warrior after him.

But night is falling, and the furystorm is just waiting to break loose. Dangerous furies are in the winds, and it will become freezingly cold. After escaping the Marat, Tavi will have to find shelter, and fast. But then he hears another voice calling for help and so he finds Amara.

And then there is an other evil man to deal with. Tavi’s aunt Isana finds out firsthand what her neighbour and his depraved son have been up to all those years, tormenting and abusing his slaves. But with some help from an unsuspected corner, Isana manages to escape, taking her fellow prisoner with her. It just shows that a common enemy makes strange allies in dangerous situations.

A very exciting story follows, where they have to reach the Garrison to warn about the upcoming Marat attack. Who will believe them, and who has already been bought by the traitors?
I was really captivated by this story, and I will dive into book 2 immediately. I sure have my suspicions about who Tavi really is though... Especially as Fade is revealed as not being an idiot after all ...
I would have like a little bit more information on how a young person acquires his of her furie or furies. And I did miss the part where Amara got rid of her slave collar that she wore as a disguise ...

I do recommend this series to everyone who loves fantasy and adventures. I enjoy Jim Butcher’s writing style, and it is very different from his Dresden File series.

8 stars.

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

© 2014 Reviews by Aurian

maandag 20 oktober 2014

New additions to my addiction

Stapel boeken

My 17th new additions post for 2014.

From Bookdepository:
Yasmine Galenorn – Priestess Dreaming
Susan Wittig Albert – The Darling Dahlias and the Texas Star
Erin McCarthy – Final Lap
Thea Harrison – Night’s Honor (I have already read Maia’s copy as I had forgotten to pre-order it myself)
Laura Childs – Gilt Trip
Alexis Morgan – Honor’s Price
Karen Hawkins – The Prince who loved me
Robin D. Owens – Ghost Layer
Catherine Coulter and J.T. Ellison – The Final Cut
Faith Hunter – Broken Soul
Bella Andre – The way you look tonight
Bella Andre – Kissing under the mistletoe

I think this list really showcases my wide taste in books. And I can’t wait to read them all.

Secondhand books:

John Grisham – Playing for Pizza

© 2014 Reviews by Aurian