Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Midnight's Daughter by Karen Chance

Whee! I love Karen Chance's books. This novel delighted me by tying a couple short stories I'd read recently into the plot. Of course, it took me a little while to realize why the characters seemed so familiar.

Dory is the daughter of Mircea who is the brother of Dracula. Her roommate has gone missing and her father has asked for her assistance in recapturing her uncle. Craziness ensues. Dory is a dhampir, and thus looked at as an outcast by the vampires. She gets tangled up with just about everyone from the supernatural community that you can think up.

I really had fun reading this book. If you've read anything by Karen Chance, then at least a few of the characters will be familiar. Some of the action scenes were more drawn out than I'd have liked, but that could have been more that I was anxious to find out what would happen in the end. Chance's descriptions are vivid and really stick with you. My husband was surprised to hear that there weren't any real sex scenes until very late in the book. He classifies all my fantasy as "vampire porn" these days - and he's often not far off. Midnight's Daughter, however, cannot be termed thusly. Sure there's sexual tension and the occasional tease, but there's *real* story in there, too.

If you like reading about vampires, fey, and other craziness, definitely check this book out (along with the Cassie Palmer series).

Monday, July 27, 2009

Storyteller by G R Grove

I was given a digital copy of this book through LibraryThing's Member Giveaway program.

This story follows Gwernin, a young man who seeks to become a bard. At first he is traveling with a companion named Ieuan. Each chapter is a new adventure on their way. I couldn't bring myself to like Ieuan. I found him to be a complete idiot and none of his pitfalls surprised me in the least. Gwernin took a while to grow on me. I think that as the story progresses, he matures greatly - even if it is only the matter of one year.

While I did not find the story compelling enough to keep me glued to the pages, I did enjoy it. Once I got past the literary devise of "...that, O my children, is a story for another time.." being at the end of every chapter, I found myself thoroughly interested in the outcome. I cannot speak for the print version of this book and, indeed, I cannot site exact examples, but there did seem to be some spelling errors in the text. I realize that this is not a reflection of the story at all. But I personally find it jarring to come across typos. It is difficult to remain immersed in a story when you are jolted back to your own reality by stumbling over words.

All in all, this was a great book. I look forward to reading the next book in the series as well. If you're fond of tales regarding Wales near the time of King Arthur, you might enjoy this book as well.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Dead and Gone by Charlaine Harris

Let's see. The Weres have "come out" to the world, leaving everyone confused. In Bon Temps a grisly murder is discovered at Merlotte's and Sookie is caught up in the middle of it. And to top it all off, the Fae have decided to pop out of the woodwork and wreak havoc. It's never a dull moment for Sookie Stackhouse.

When I started reading this book I realized that I didn't remember the previous book very clearly. This is, of course, because it's the only one I hadn't read multiple times. So there were some blank spots in my memory that had to be worked around. I, of course, enjoyed the book. How could I not? I'm admittedly a little flustered with the "formula" that seems to be developing in this series - Sookie is in mortal danger! Sookie has relationship problems! Bill still pines for Sookie! But I'm hoping that some of the developments in this story curb a few things in the next book.

I can't say this enough: the books are so much better than the television show. Duh! The hardcover comes with a "Don't miss the next season of TrueBlood" blah blah on the cover. The television show is amusing, yes. But so many things about it make me want to hurl things at the screen. If you haven't read these books, read them. They're yummy.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Undead and Unwelcome by MaryJanice Davidson

Betsy is returning the body of her friend Antonia to her pack. She and Sinclair are unsure of the welcome they will receive. Meanwhile, Marc is left at the mansion with Tina and Laura. Satanists have started following Laura around, begging to do her bidding. Marc suggests a crazy plan and the Devil's daughter begins to slide into darkness.

Is it just me or are these books getting shorter with each new addition? I read this in a few hours. What's up with that? It's unnatural to begin and finish a book whilt the Imp is napping. Anyway, the book was enjoyable enough. I seem to be drawn into the story despite how much I dislike them. The tone of the writing is too casual and irks me to no end. The characters are annoying and usually vapid. The plot is rinse-repeat to an extent. And yet, I read each new book as it comes out.

If you're looking for an extremely quick vampy read, this series is for you - just prepare yourself for some eye rolling, especially when it comes to the very cliched Betsy.

The Mammoth Book of Vampire Romance

I requested this book from my library because I knew it had a short story by Keri Arthur from the RIley Jenson series. Previously I had read The Mammoth Book of Paranormal Romance and I have to say that this one was more bearable. First, they should have named it "erotica" not "romance" - it's almost all what I term "porn on paper." A few of the stories made the whole book worth it, though (unlike the paranormal romance book). The stories by Karen Chance, Vicki Pettersson, Keri Arthur (though this one was mostly "porn on paper" as well), the first story by Lilith Saintcrow, Caitlin Kiernan were the most enjoyable.

Short "romance" stories just aren't my thing, I guess. It's all formula to an extent and it gets very old very quickly. Still, it wasn't the worst thing I've ever read.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Medusa Project: The Set-up by Sophie McKenzie

This was given to me by the lovely Ally at Simon and Schuster UK.

Nico is a student at his step-father's boarding school. While he was still in his mother's womb, he was injected with a virus thought to "unlock" psychic talents at the onset of puberty. He and three other children were given this treatment. Now they are all coming of age and their powers are manifesting. Nico is facing conflicting information concerning the use of his powers and ends up getting himself into trouble.

I had to keep reminding myself that this was a young adult novel - maybe I'm finally getting old. The story wasn't bad, though I had to let go of some preconceived expectations. I was anticipating a combination of the television shows Dark Angel and Heroes with a hearty bit of teenage shannanigans. It didn't quite work out that way. I expect that the following books will be more enjoyable since the background has now been laid. Being American, some of the British slang threw me at times, but I think I got the gist of it. I think this would be a great book for pre/early teens.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Sign by Raymond Khoury

Wow. Okay. This was not the book I was expecting. I've read Khoury's other two novels and really enjoyed them. I expected this to be more of the same. It wasn't. There was no history-mystery in this book. It was a politcal thriller, I guess you could say. And I didn't find it compelling in the slightest. I was actually just happy to be done with it so that I could move on to the next book on my list. That's not to say the story was good. It was, just not.. gripping.

The story is basically this: Global warming sucks, but no one seems to care. Insert conspiracy to "brainwash" people into caring. Throw in some war-mongers and religious fanatacism mixed with a good revenge plot. And there's the book.