Review: Succubus Blues by Richelle Mead

Review: Succubus Blues by Richelle MeadSuccubus Blues by Richelle Mead
Series: Georgina Kincaid #1
Published by Kensington Publishing Corp. on August 1st 2010
Pages: 368
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Add to Goodreads
Rating:
Also in this series: Succubus Dreams

When it comes to jobs in hell, being a succubus seems pretty glamorous. A girl can be anything she wants, the wardrobe is killer, and mortal men will do anything just for a touch. Granted, they often pay with their souls, but why get technical?

But Seattle succubus Georgina Kincaid's life is far less exotic. Her boss is a middle-management demon with a thing for John Cusack movies. Her immortal best friends haven't stopped teasing her about the time she shape-shifted into the Demon Goddess getup complete with whip and wings. And she can't have a decent date without sucking away part of the guy's life. At least there's her day job at a local bookstore--free books; all the white chocolate mochas she can drink; and easy access to bestselling, sexy writer, Seth Mortensen, aka He Whom She Would Give Anything to Touch but Can't.

But dreaming about Seth will have to wait. Something wicked is at work in Seattle's demon underground. And for once, all of her hot charms and drop-dead one-liners won't help because Georgina's about to discover there are some creatures out there that both heaven and hell want to deny...

Thoughts: Before I started Succubus Blues I had thought the following had to be true:
  • Books with a sex-demon lead would never turn out to be about love.
  • A succubus could never be funny hysterical.
  • I could never relate to a character that deals with sex casually.

Needless to say, Richelle Mead proved me wrong.  Succubus Blues is nothing like the book I thought it would be.  It’s hysterical and heart-breaking, filled with a thousand shades of ethical grey, and stars one of the most complex heroines I’ve ever read.  Georgina is far from perfect – she can be superficial and self-serving.  But she has so much potential for growth.  Even after 400+ years on the planet, she still has a lot to learn.

Mead has also created one of my favourite love-interests ever in Seth.  He’s your average best-selling novelist: introverted, smart, and extremely wity on paper.  I never expected to fall so quickly for this beta-hero, but everything about him had me clutching my heart.  The secondary characters in this book are stellar – complex characters who stride a blurred line between good and evil.  Every single one of them I wanted to read more about – especially the angel Carter and his demon!BFF Jerome.

Demon BFF? I told you, seriously blurred lines.

Alas, this book didn’t get a higher rating from me because of one very unfortunate character *cough* Roman *cough* who I just couldn’t like – no matter how suave.  And Georgina liking him made me want to shake her (and the book) in despair.

Bottom line?  Succubus Blues is brilliant.  Sitting firmly on the line between PNR and UF – it had me laughing, crying and occasionally disturbed by the paranormal evil.  Everything you could want in a book!

Review: Magic to the Bone by Devon Monk

Review: Magic to the Bone by Devon MonkMagic to the Bone by Devon Monk
Series: Allie Beckstrom #1
Published by Ace/Roc, Berkley UK
Pages: 368
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Source: Purchased myself
Add to Goodreads
Rating:
Also in this series: Magic in the Blood

Using magic means it uses you back, and every spell exacts a price from its user. But some people get out of it by Offloading the cost of magic onto an innocent. Then it’s Allison Beckstrom’s job to identify the spell-caster. Allie would rather live a hand-to-mouth existence than accept the family fortune—and the strings that come with it. But when she finds a boy dying from a magical Offload that has her father’s signature all over it, Allie is thrown back into his world of black magic. And the forces she calls on in her quest for the truth will make her capable of things that some will do anything to control...

Thoughts: In Magic to the Bone, Devon Monk has created a unique, magical world filled with mysteries I have a feeling will take books to sort out. Plot literally pours out of this book; I feel as though Monk knows her universe inside out and is already laying groundwork for books long to come. Seriously, this woman can plot like nobody’s business.

Although I am usually a character-driven reader, it was the plot twists-and-turns that kept me up all night. I tried to put it aside for a few hours – and then actually came home early because I needed more! Monk used a few great techniques that had me turning pages at break-neck speed: for example, she switched over to a mystery!POV every few chapters giving us just a bit more information than our narrator. Usually that drives me up the wall, but instead I was reading on tenterhooks trying to work out what was going on! Really great stuff.

My only complaint is with the characters. While I liked Allie and Zayvion just fine, I wasn’t too in love with them. Allie wasn’t always the brightest – not to mention that for someone so poor, she took an awful lot of taxis – while Zayvion… well, we never got know him. And their romantic tension was… lacking. You know that twisting feeling you get when your favourite couple finally kiss? Or the way you just want to clutch your chest and jump off a bridge because they just aren’t getting that they are friggin’ soulmates? Well, I get that a lot – even in books I don’t really like. But I got none of that in Magic to the Bone. There were some scenes that I knew were supposed to be heart-wrenching – but left me rather apathetic.

Still, this was a really good first book. I certainly plan on get the next book in the series, Magic in the Blood, and I am hoping that I learn to love Allie as much as I love the verse!

Bottom line? Magic to the Bone is a solid addition to the Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance shelves. If you are looking for a brilliant universe with plot-twists that will keep you up all night, look no further!

I read this for the Battle Royale New Author Mini-Challenge – Team Deadline Dames!

Review: Blood Bound by Patricia Briggs

Review: Blood Bound by Patricia BriggsBlood Bound by Patricia Briggs
Series: Mercy Thompson #2
Published by Orbit
Pages: 336
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Source: Purchased myself
Add to Goodreads
Rating:
Also in this series: Moon Called, River Marked
Under the rule of science, there are no witch burnings allowed, no water trials or public lynchings. In return, the average law-abiding, solid citizen has little to worry about from the things that go bump in the night. Sometimes I wish I was an average citizen...

Mechanic Mercy Thompson has friends in low places - and in dark ones. And now she owes one of them a favor. Since she can shapeshift at will, she agrees to act as some extra muscle when her vampire friend Stefan goes to deliver a message to another of his kind.

But this new vampire is hardly ordinary - and neither is the demon inside of him...

Thoughts: I absolutely loved Blood Bound. It had everything I could want in a good book – a great plot, a kick-ass heroine, a believable love triangle, and wolves.

But what makes the Mercy series so amazing is Mercy herself. Unlike a lot of protagonists – both male and female – she shows a fair amount of common sense. She doesn’t run in looking for trouble, errs on the side of caution, and refuses to sit around whining about her problems. Not to mention she has a work ethic I would pay good money for. Just because she was almost killed the night before is no excuse for not turning up to work the next day! Seriously. Mercy is one of the few characters whose judgement I trust implicitly.

Blood Bound focusses on the vampires in Briggs’ world – meaning Mystery-Machine-driving!vampire Stefan played a much bigger role than he had in Moon Called. Vampires are never good news in Briggs’ world, and Mercy finds herself thrown into the middle of yet another muddle she desperately wants to avoid. We learn so much about the verse in this book – and Mercy learns an awful lot about herself.

On the romance front, the triangle gets a bit of play while still remaining only a sub-plot. What I was most impressed at was Briggs’ ability to actually make me like Samuel. Even though I had long ago made my mind up that Adam was the one for Mercy, Briggs manages to make me understand Mercy’s hesitation in choosing. For me, this is pretty much a miracle (usually authors who mess with my OTP usually make me want to throw things.) The action in this book would have gotten it a 4.5 stars – but the romantic tension brought it up to the bloody spectacular level!

Bottom line? There is a reason this series is so damn popular. You need to start reading it… now.

DNF Review: Halfway to the Grave by Jeaniene Frost

DNF Review: Halfway to the Grave by Jeaniene FrostHalfway to the Grave (DNF) by Jeaniene Frost
Series: Night Huntress #1
Published by Gollancz
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Add to Goodreads
Rating:

Half-vampire Catherine Crawfield is going after the undead with a vengeance, hoping that one of these deadbeats is her father--the one responsible for ruining her mother's life. Then she's captured by Bones, a vampire bounty hunter, and is forced into an unholy partnership.

In exchange for finding her father, Cat agrees to train with the sexy night stalker until her battle reflexes are as sharp as his fangs. She's amazed she doesn't end up as his dinner--are there actually good vampires? Pretty soon Bones will have her convinced that being half-dead doesn't have to be all bad. But before she can enjoy her newfound status as kick-ass demon hunter, Cat and Bones are pursued by a group of killers. Now Cat will have to choose a side . . . and Bones is turning out to be as tempting as any man with a heartbeat.

I don’t like reviewing books that I haven’t finished – after all, how can I judge a whole book by only looking at part of it?  But sometimes there are books that people love, while I had to struggle to get through 50 pages (which is when I allow myself to give up).  So, I thought I would share my misery – a books that I was excited to read, have great reviews on goodreads, but I found utterly unendurable.

Feel free to snark back at me, as I haven’t been all that kind.

Average goodreads rating for Halfway to the Grave: 4.26
My rating: I could have bought Buffy DVDs with this money.

I was crazy excited to start this book.  There must be a few hundred praising reviews about Cat and Bones and their epic hotness.  What did I get from it?  Buffy fanfiction.  Now, Frost says that her character Bones is of absolutely no relation to Spike from BtVS.  Well, even if that is the case, Bones is still his literary twin.  People can come up with similar concepts independent from each other – I know.  But seriously?  A bleached, accented, cocky, luv’-and-darlin’-saying vampire?  One was enough.

Besides my issues with Bones, I had also not been so crazy about Cat.  She seemed angry at the world – especially vamps – when really she should have been pissed about her mother’s crappy parenting.  But that wasn’t enough for me to even dislike her.  Zero personality.

Review: Moon Called by Patricia Briggs

Review: Moon Called by Patricia BriggsMoon Called by Patricia Briggs
Series: Mercy Thompson #1
Published by Orbit
Pages: 288
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Source: Purchased myself
Add to Goodreads
Rating:
Also in this series: Blood Bound, River Marked

Mercy Thompson's life is not exactly normal. Her next-door neighbor is a werewolf. Her former boss is a gremlin. And she's fixing a VW bus for a vampire. But then, Mercy isn't exactly normal herself.

Thoughts: Moon Called was brilliant!

Mercy is fierce yet knows her limits, independent but understanding of Alpha (literally) males, sweet but sexy, funny and, well, just plain wonderful. It is so hard to find a heroine that you can love just for themselves – and Mercy is one of them. Whatever she says or does, I trust her because she is Mercy. Even if she did something I would never, ever do – instead of sitting there chastising her, I understand her. It really is a wonderful feeling to have, especially in a book told in the first person.

Lots and lots of plot. Romance comes very much in the background to this story, even though it is still there. Brilliant universe construction that in no way dragged – I was sucked into the verse without being yanked. Amazing, really.

A triangle is set up in the book – and while at first I was apprehensive – Briggs pulls it off. Neither one of her heroes is perfect, and Mercy is not willing to bounce back and forth between them. I know the triangle becomes more fleshed out in later books, but in Moon Called it was a rather minor role.

Bottom line? Amazing start to what is going to be a great series. I’d highly recommend this to everyone I know. If you are looking for a book to introduce you to Urban Fantasy – this would be a great one to start with!

Page 6 of 8« First...45678