Darth Scooter . . .

•April 18, 2007 • Leave a Comment

Cute dog. You’d think those Jedi tricks would slim him down a bit, though.

For A Few Demons More by Kim Harrison

•April 17, 2007 • Leave a Comment

for-a-few-demons-more.jpgAfter Harrison’s last novel, which unfortunately centered around my least favorite character, Nick, far too much, I wasn’t so sure I was going to continue reading this series. When I found out that For A Few Demons More was being released in hardcover, I REALLY had my doubts. Luckily, I had saved enough book store gift cards from Christmas (yep, my ideal Christmas gift) to, reluctantly, buy it.

Kim Harrison’s latest had everything I’ve come to expect in her Rachel Morgan books, and more. And yet, despite all of that, I wasn’t entirely satisfied. It took me a couple weeks to read it after putting it down several times even during some of the action sequences. I don’t know if that’s because I just lost interest after the last one, but I do know that despite a book that has everything I could expect, and thankfully no Nick, I just wasn’t as interested as I used to be.

In For a Few Demons More, we get not one, not two, but three demons, at least one of whom is psychotic. All the regular cast of characters that I usually enjoy were back: Jenks, Ivy, Trent- always my favorite, Ceri, and David, to name a few. The plot centered around the Focus, a powerful ancient almost sentient artifact which could forever tip the balance in the supernatural community if it got in the wrong hands. The shapeshifters want it, the vampires want it, the Demon Al wants it, Trent wants it, the Demon Newt wants it . . . or so we’re led to believe. And stuck in the middle is Rachel, who’s in way over her head just trying not to get killed. David, her alpha, has quite a sizable role this time around. He has possession of the Focus, and has unwittingly turned unsuspecting human women into werewolves- women who are soon after found murdered thus making David a suspect.

Some of the more enjoyable moments were the scenes with Trent. He and Rachel are once again at odds. He wants her to work as a bodyguard at his wedding and is willing to pay her a large amount of money to do so. When Rachel finds out that Trent has been killing people to get his hands on the Focus, she just want to see him go to jail. There’s a scene in the church on his wedding day that had me laughing hysterically. That scene alone was worth reading the rest of the book. Somewhere in between, Ceri asks Rachel to introduce her to Trent. When they meet, Ceri more than puts him in his place, leaving Trent unsettled and unsure of himself- definitely a first.

The Demon Al also makes several appearances. He has managed to possess his human Familiar, Lee, and walk around in the day time. Al ‘s on the run because the other demons are angry with him for teaching Ceri powers that no human should know. He tries to coerce Rachel into testifying on his behalf, but Rachel knows that if she were to go, she would never return. When she of course refuses, Al starts killing the innocent people of Cincinnati, and Piscary is released from prison to put a stop to the destruction.

Unfortunately, what made Rachel Morgan so enjoyable to read at first has become a little tedious. As the other characters point out, she is drawn to danger and dangerous people despite knowing better, despite how it may place her loved ones at risk. The balance that she is trying to keep with Ivy while dating Kisten was fine at first, but after several books, I’ve just grown tired of Ivy’s jealousy and Rachel’s protestations that she isn’t attracted to Ivy. Either she is or she isn’t, but why does this keep getting dragged out? Just have sex and find a blood balance already so we can go on to a more interesting topic! And when the Demon Minias appears and Rachel can’t help but notice how attractive he is?? I just wanted to shake her and yell: “How many willing sex partners do you need before you’re satisfied?” Like I said, frustrating.

Newt’s appearance in the book was also rather . . . pointless. What was the purpose of dragging that out, thinking Newt wanted the Focus, only to tell us at the last minute that she was after something else entirely, which we may or may not find out about in the next book? I don’t know. Maybe to introduce Minias, Rachel’s future romantic interest? I don’t know, that’s just my theory, but regardless, it’s frustrating.

Despite my frustrations and my complaints, there were several very enjoyable moments- Trent’s wedding, the ending with what Rachel does with the Focus, any scene Al is in- which will keep me reading the series, at least For a Few Books More.

To Be Read

•April 16, 2007 • Leave a Comment

kitty.jpgdisappearing-nightly.jpgleopard-prince.jpglover-revealed.jpghunters.gifnymph-king.giftouched-by-darkness-2.jpgorphans-of-chaos.jpglady-knight.gifchosen-prey.jpg warlord.jpg

This list just seems to grow and grow- and these are only a few.

Note to self: put down Brenda Joyce’s The Masquerade. You’ve read it three times already, crying like a baby each time. Try something new! J.R. Ward’s other books were great. Elizabeth Hoyt’s first one was awesome. How can you not want to finish the Warprize trilogy? No more excuses!

Drive Premiere

•April 16, 2007 • 2 Comments

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Drive premieres tonight. I’ve heard it’s being compared to Lost and Heroes, which may be good or bad (bad for me). The premise sounds interesting, but for the long run? Like Lost and Heroes, how are they going sustain the suspense without frustrating the viewers? At least Nathan Fillion is in it, love him. Melanie Lynskey is also great, the trailer with her just cracked me up.

Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews

•April 15, 2007 • 4 Comments

A fantastic book by husband and wife team Andrew and Ilona Gordon. I was curious about their writing process so I stopped by their website. As it turns out, they both think up the ideas, Ilona then does the writing and Andrew will do the reviewing and editing.

Magic Bites is endorsed by Patricia Briggs as an “edgy, dark fantasy.” It’s a good description from an author whom I was reminded of while reading this book. Magic Bites opens when Kate, an irritable, grouchy, tough as nails mercenary gets word that her guardian had been murdered. Her guardian, the knight diviner with the Atlanta chapter of the Order of Knights of Merciful Aid was brutally slaughtered while investigating a series of shapeshifter and vampire murders. Kate goes to the Order seeking answers to her guardian’s death, but is instead assigned the task of solving the bigger mystery that is plaguing both the shapeshifters and the Masters of the Dead.

While piecing the puzzle together, Kate meets several very interesting people, including my favorite, Curran the Beast Lord, king of the Shapeshifters. Some of my favorite scenes were the ones in which Kate opened her mouth without thinking and would send him into a murderous rage. I found myself gleefully flipping the pages in anticipation of the conversations between the two of them. Despite always being on the verge of fighting it out, Kate and Curran somehow develop a fragile trust by the end of the book. I’m looking forward to the next book just for their scenes alone.

What else was good? Just about everything. The modern setting and the uneasy balance between science and magic was very intriguing. I liked that vampires were nothing but mindless thoughtless blood sucking puppets controlled by the Masters of the Dead. I liked Kate which is good because she is the main character. She’s a loner, she hates responsibility, she’s terrible at accepting someone else’s authority, she doesn’t trust easily and she’s got a huge chip on her shoulder. I also liked that the mystery was well thought out. I like that the book leads you to think that the questions have all been answered . . . except for the fact that there are still a hundred pages remaining. I liked that the pace was tight but not rushed. And, finally, I liked that Magic Bites left me wanting to read more. The only problem? After looking at their blog, it appears that they have other books in the works instead of a sequel to Magic Bites. Let’s just hope they have one planned for the very immediate future.

Visions of Heat by Nalini Singh

•February 25, 2007 • 2 Comments

I’ve read Nalini Singh’s first book about the Psy, Slave to Sensation, twice now. The first time I read it, I was struck by how original it was. The second time, I was struck by how enjoyable it was. With that being said, I had high expectations for Visions of Heat, but also some doubts that Ms. Singh would be able to sustain the originality and fun factor that made the first so enjoyable. I’m pleased to be able to write that Visions of Heat is just as good if not better than the first.

What made Visions of Heat so enjoyable were the characters and the world building and the dialogue and the chemistry and . . . well, just about everything. The world that was already so fully developed and realized only became richer and fuller this time around. The fear I sometimes have is that an author will successfully create an idea and some interesting characters . . . at first, but those characters will then go on to appear time and time again in successive books, although disguised under a different name and description. That is not the case, here. Faith and Vaughn are completely different from Sascha and Lucas . . . and if I’m being honest, I think I liked them even more.

Faith is one of the rarest Psy designations: a Foresight Psy aka an F-Psy. On top of that, she is probably the most talented and most successful of all F-Psys. Her predictions are strong and accurate and have earned her and her family billions. Unfortunately, her gifts have a downside. She lives secluded and alone, sheltered from the outside world that would overwhelm her mind (or so she is told). Her only visitors are her emotionless father and the cold M-Psys who monitor her every word, her every move and every beat of her heart. Faiths’ façade of emotionless begins to crumble when her sister is killed and the murderer begins haunting her dreams. She sneaks away from her compound and sets off to find some answers with Sascha Duncan.

Along the way, she is held up by the protective Vaughn. His behavior is unpredictable, his attitude is predatory and he is perhaps the most dangerous of the DarkRiver Changelings. Vaughn’s own childhood was a terrible one. He remains haunted by the beloved sister he had to watch slowly die, unable to save her. Vaughn is immediately captivated by the very fragile Psy. He forces her to accept his touch little by little, alternating between patience and impatience in his desire for her. It’s Vaughn who notices one night, that the killer that plagues Faith’s dreams may be more than just a mental presence in her mind, and together they set out to find her sister’s murderer.

Visions of Heat starts off strong and stays that way right until the very end. Faith and Vaughn were two characters that at first seemed polar opposites- she: so fragile, he: so . . . borderline violent, but. . . Ms. Singh made it work very sucessfully. Their chemistry was great, but the emotional aspect, their love story, was very sweet as well. Faith’s evolution from a sheltered and fragile Psy to a strong and resilient woman had me applauding and the mystery of her sister’s killer kept me guessing. A couple characters were more fully developed this time around without taking the focus and interest away from our hero and heroine- there’s nothing worse than wanting to read more about the secondary characters rather than the main ones. Luckily, just enough, but not too much, was given to tantalize us for the upcoming books and characters. Visions of Heat is an enjoyable and unique sequel to an enjoyable and unique book. I enjoyed it a great deal and I definitely recommend it.