Neil Gaiman is possibly to best writer of today’s literature.  Everything he writes is magic.  Neil writes another beauty in Trigger Warning a group of short stories to amaze and wonder about.  It is worth reading.

 

25. February 2015 · Write a comment · Categories: Adult Books, Fairy Tales and Folklore, Fantasy, Fiction, Kira, Paranormal · Tags:

Black Wings by Christina Henry, 295 pages, read by Kira, on 02/24/2015

Madeline Black is an agent of Dblack wingseath, guiding souls to the door of the afterlife.  Shortly after she rents out the lower rooms in her house, to hot-looking Gabriel Angeloscuro, demons wanting to kill her start showing up near her house, including her evil half-brother Antares.  The author does some interesting world-building, building a genealogy of residents of heaven, but mostly hell.  I picked up this title on accidB0351_BlackWings_coverent, thinking it was another by Barb Hendee – both have call # HEN.  Enjoyable enough of a read, but I doubt I’ll continue the series.fantasy-and-gothic-pictures-girl-with-black-wings-and-blue-dress

18. February 2015 · 2 comments · Categories: Adult Books, Angie, Fantasy, Fiction, Paranormal

Vision in Silver by Anne Bishop, 416 pages, read by Angie, on 02/13/2015

The cassandra sangue have been freed from the men who controlled them. They have been sent to live among the Inuits and the Simple Life Folk, but they are not adjusting as well as Meg has adjusted to life in the Courtyard. The Humans First and Last movement is still gaining support and causing even more trouble for the Others and the humans who work with and support them. Meg is trying to control her urge to cut and to find a way to help the other blood prophets survive on their own. Simon and the Others in the Courtyard are trying to find a way to protect their human pack and to put a stop to the machinations of the HFL.

I love this series. I think Anne Bishop is a master storyteller that just gets better the more she writes about her characters. The world of the Others is fantastic and unique and comes to the forefront in this book. We learn more about the Others outside of the Courtyards and just how much power they actually yield. The humans don’t seem to realize that they are are not the first to rebel against the rule of the Others and they will not be the last. To the Others in the Wild Country they are just insignificant creatures to be crushed when they become a nuisance. The only thing I don’t like about this series is waiting until the next book comes out.

I received a copy of this book through Netgalley.

07. February 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Fiction, Kira, Paranormal, Steam-punk · Tags:

Soulless by Gail Carriger, 373 pages, read by Kira, on 02/06/2015

alexia_tarabotti_and_conall_maccon_by_ulalah-d5jh1kz VictorianPaperDoll images hqdefault 89275d0c54278ce11844f73cb88ce2d3-d31xw43Ms Alexia Tarabotti age 25  is considered an unmarriageable spinster.  In an alternate steampunk Victorian England inhabited by werewolves, vampires, and a few gosts, Ms Tarabotti is able to neutralize these supernatural creatures of the night by touching them, because she is soulless.  After she is attacked by a vampire and kills him with her hairpin and parasol, she becomes a suspect in the disappearance of supernatural creatures.  She starts investigating.  I enjoyed this book.  I liked the humor, the fast pace, and the romance wasn’t overdone.

06. February 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Courtney, Paranormal, Teen Books

(Don't You) Forget About Me by Kate Karyus Quinn, 336 pages, read by Courtney, on 01/22/2015

Gardnerville is not like any town you’ve been in before. Not only is it so remote that it’s only accessible via train (and that only within the last few decades), its residents never get sick and they live far longer than the average person. Prospective residents travel from far and wide for a chance to live within the confines of Gardnerville; the only people accepted are those with life-threatening illnesses. In that sense, Gardnerville is a life-saving town. Something of a paradise. But nothing comes without a price and this town is no exception. There’s a four-year cycle of escalating calamity. In a first year, someone might be mad at someone else and accidentally turn them into an animal. In a forth year, one might see the kind of catastrophe that befell Skylar’s family. Skylar’s sister, Piper, led dozens of the town’s teens on a midnight parade down to the railroad bridge where they all proceeded to jump, many of them to their deaths. Piper now resides in the town’s correctional facility, a place known for taking in troublemakers and turning out hollowed-out husks of human beings. Skylar’s pretty sure that’s where Piper is, anyway.
As the book opens, it’s another fourth year. It’s also late in the year, which is making everyone extra nervous. Skylar’s been living in a drug-fueled haze ever since Piper went away. She takes a pill made from some of the Forget-Me-Not flowers that grow in Gardnerville. Within minutes of taking them, Skylar begins to forget. When she isn’t under the influence of the pills, she’s wishing she had more. Something is nagging at her though. She keeps finding the tape recorder that she and Piper used to use when they were kids. It’s not the only reminder of Piper that she keeps stumbling across, which makes her decide that it’s time to start remembering so that she can get her sister out of the correctional facility and start addressing some of the town’s darker secrets.
There is so much going on in this book that it’s really difficult to summarize. The mythology of the town itself is a bit messy and explanations come very late. Skylar is an unreliably narrator since she’s constantly taking the pills to forget everything. The main narrative alternates with flashbacks that are presumably recorded onto the tape recorder that seems to turn up wherever Skylar has been. The people that surround Skylar don’t seem any more reliable than she does, which only adds to the disorientation.
While I generally love oddball books, this one was just a little too convoluted to make me fall head-over-heels. I did enjoy it, but even with all the craziness, I was able to figure out the major twist, so that was kind of disappointing. I can’t help but think that the confusion is just a bit over the top. It takes forever for the book to get to the point and when there is exposition, it comes in big chunks rather than being seamlessly intertwined with the plot. I had a like/hate relationship with Skylar, who frequently frustrates as she continually drugs herself. She never asks the questions the readers want her to ask and it feels as though she alone is the one dragging out the plot. Still, the concept was intriguing and the writing was decent. Adventurous and patient readers will likely find this entertaining.

05. February 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Kira, Paranormal · Tags:

Witches of East End by Melissa de la Cruz., 273 pages, read by Kira, on 02/03/2015

Witches-of-East-End-Poster-witches-of-east-end-35808568-1200-1600 woee1  thA mother and her two grown daughters seem to live ordinary lives in the town of North Hampton.  However, they are immortal witches banned  centuries ago from using their magic.  Daughter Freya – the wildchild and local bartender – is able to create magic potions that can help.  Frey has found the love of her life, Bran, a little bit nerdy and nervous, but calm, philanthropic millionaire.  Then his brother, hunky bad-boy Killian, shows up and Freya and Killian have a tryst during her engagement party to Bran.   She swears it was a mistake, but can she stay away from Killian.  Her sister Ingrid serves as the towns librarian, but the major wants to develop the land upon which the library sits.  Will Ingrid be able to save her library?  Mother Joanne has other dilemmas to deal with.  Slowly each one begins using their magic for small things and nothing bad happens.  But evil is lurking around the corner.  Will they find it in time to save the world? or at least to save themselves from being sent to prison for practicing witchcraft?  89202450_oWill the council find out about their using their magic?

You think you’re reading a modern-day tale of witches, then you realize, no you’re in the Norse mythology saga.  It seems that more Norse mythology is making its way into current fiction (Runemarks American Gods) .  Its interesting to see Baldur’s narrative again (Giants of the Frost).  This is a fast paced, book, that I couldn’t wait to read more of.

04. February 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Fantasy, Fiction, Kristy, Paranormal, Romance, Teen Books

The Young Elites by Marie Lu, 355 pages, read by Kristy, on 01/29/2015

TheYoungElites.jpgAfter the blood fever, an often deadly sickness, spreads through the land, many infected died a painful death. The ones who don’t die are left with peculiar markings. Some of the survivors develop magical powers, including the protagonist of the novel, Adelina Amouteru.  When Adelina escapes from her cruel father, she finds herself in the midst of the Young Elites, a group of magical youth who seek to take the throne.

The Young Elites is a dark, sexy young adult novel that never has a dull moment. I loved watching Adelina develop her dark powers and her relationship with Enzo (the leader of the young elites).

29. January 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Brian, Fiction, Paranormal

Third Grave Dead Ahead by Darynda Jones, 310 pages, read by Brian, on 01/29/2015

thirdThird Grave Dead Ahead is the third book in the Charley Davidson series.  Charley is a grim reaper and paranormal detective.  In this book Charley is helping Reyes Farrow, part human, the other part supernatural as he is Satan’s son.  Reyes has escaped from prison and he wants Charley to prove his innocence.  What could possibly go wrong?

28. January 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Kira, Mystery, Paranormal

Cast-Off Coven by Juliet Blackwell, 336 pages, read by Kira, on 01/27/2015

WM2The second in the Witchcraft Mystery series.  I’m Not sure how the titles relates to the story.  Lily is helping to investigate a haunting at the Art College her employee Maya attends.  A big donor gets murdered the night they go to investigate.  Did the ghost kill the rich man? or was it the ghost?  This was a good tale, I was unable to guess the killer.  I enjoyed the story and getting to know a bit more of the main characters backstory (how Max’s wife
died).

28. January 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Children's Books, Fiction, Kira, Paranormal · Tags:

Over my Dead Body by Kate Klise, 116 pages, read by Kira, on 01/15/2015

klise dead This is the sequel to Dying to Meet You.  An evil idiot, Dick Tater, throws Seymour into an orphanage, I.B.Grumpy into an insane asylum, when he finds that Seymour is being raised without his parents, and that I. B. Grumpy believes in ghosts.  He also bans Halloween and has people burn books about ghosts.  Maybe, the initial charm has worn off a bit.  I liked th
is 2nd book, but Not as much as the first.

17. January 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Children's Books, Fiction, Mystery, Paranormal

Secret of the Mountain Dog by Elizabeth Cody Kimmel, 208 pages, read by Angie, on 01/16/2015

Jax lives at the bottom of a mountain in the Catskills. She loves exploring the mountains, but ever since her younger sister Kizzy almost drowned her mother hasn’t let her have the freedom she once enjoyed. Then one day a giant dog appears and adopts Jax. That same night she sees lights in the old building up the mountain. When she goes to explore she discovers Yeshi and Rinpoche, two Buddhist monks who are going to reopen the monastery. First they have to find a missing statue. The statue is a protector demon that was stolen from a monastery in Tibet. A mysterious man is also looking for the statue, but he doesn’t want to return it to Tibet. Jax ends up defying her mother and heading up the mountain in a storm to warn the monks about the mysterious man. Jax and Yeshi have to decipher the prophecy about the statue and find it before the man does and before he unleashes the demon.

This was a nice, quick read. The story is fast-paced with a lot of action and intrigue. I really enjoyed the fact that Yeshi and Rinpoche were Buddhist monks, that is not something you see a lot in middle grade fiction. It gave a nice introduction to the Buddhist faith and philosophy without being too much. There is a bit of a supernatural element with the demon that added a spooky element to the story as well. I liked how the friendship between Jax and Yeshi seemed to develop naturally even though it turned out Yeshi had a higher calling.

16. January 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Jessica, Paranormal, Romance, Thriller/Suspense

Never Never by Colleeen Hoover, 140 pages, read by Jessica, on 01/16/2015

9110wGT9g8L._SL1500_“How odd to be made of flesh, balanced on bone, and filled with a soul you’ve never met.”
   
Charlize Wynwood and Silas Nash have been best friends since they could walk.  They’ve been in love since the age of fourteen.
But as of this morning…they are complete strangers.
Their first kiss, their first fight, the moment they fell in love…every memory has vanished.
“I don’t care what our real first kiss was,” he says. “That’s the one I want to remember.” 
 
Charlize and Silas must work together to uncover the truth about what happened to them and why.  But the more they learn about the couple they used to be…the more they question why they were ever together to begin with.
“I want to remember what it feels like to love someone like that. And not just anyone.  I want to know what it feels like to love Charlie.”
 
Never Never: A Novella Series, Part One.
14. January 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Kira, Mystery, Paranormal · Tags:

Hexes and Hemlines by Juliet Blackwell, 336 pages, read by Kira, on 01/13/2015

B1050_HexesHemlines-137x137 imagesAnother enjoyable mystery by Juliet Blackwell.  Minor peeve, I wish that the main character, the witch Lily would NOT have so easily dismissed the danger happening to  various characters.  Sometimes there’s a fine line between courageous and foolhardy.  The mystery was Not crafted as well as the first book.  I did like the continuing background information on Lily’s childhood though.  Not as good as the first title in the series.  I hope to see more of Beowulf, the cat.

13. January 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Historical Fiction, Lisa, Mystery, Paranormal

A Sudden Light by Garth Stein , 416 pages, read by Lisa, on 01/12/2015

In the summer of 1990, fourteen-year-old Trevor Riddell gets his first glimpse of Riddell House. Built from the spoils of a massive timber fortune, the legendary family mansion is constructed of giant, whole trees, and is set on a huge estate overlooking Puget Sound. Trevor’s bankrupt parents have begun a trial separation, and his father, Jones Riddell, has brought Trevor to Riddell House with a goal: to join forces with his sister, Serena, dispatch Grandpa Samuel—who is flickering in and out of dementia—to a graduated living facility, sell off the house and property for development into “tract housing for millionaires,” divide up the profits, and live happily ever after.

But Trevor soon discovers there’s someone else living in Riddell House: a ghost with an agenda of his own. For while the land holds tremendous value, it is also burdened by the final wishes of the family patriarch, Elijah, who mandated it be allowed to return to untamed forestland as a penance for the millions of trees harvested over the decades by the Riddell Timber company. The ghost will not rest until Elijah’s wish is fulfilled, and Trevor’s willingness to face the past holds the key to his family’s future.

A Sudden Light is a rich, atmospheric work that is at once a multigenerational family saga, a historical novel, a ghost story, and the story of a contemporary family’s struggle to connect with each other. A tribute to the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest, it reflects Garth Stein’s outsized capacity for empathy and keen understanding of human motivation, and his rare ability to see the unseen: the universal threads that connect us all.

Description from Goodreads.com.

13. January 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Eric, Fiction, Paranormal, Thriller/Suspense · Tags: ,

The Third Gate by Lincoln Child, 306 pages, read by Eric, on 01/11/2015

Jeremy Logan has a highly-unusual profession- one which brings him to the strangest of places and experiences. He is an enigmalogist, an expert investigator of the bizarre and paranormal, and has been hired to work some of the most puzzling historical hauntings and mysteries in the world. When clandestinely hired by Porter Stone, the world’s most successful treasure hunter, he wonders why his expertise is needed. Porter believes he is about to discover the tomb of Egypt’s first unified pharaoh, Narmer, buried deep within the Sudd- a massive, nearly-impenetrable marsh on the upper Nile. The threat of what is protecting this tomb is what has prompted Porter to seek Jeremy’s help.

Lincoln Child is best known for writing as a team with Douglas Preston, but I’ve enjoyed his standalone adventures nearly as much. The setting and quest of this one couldn’t be much more up my alley. Porter’s base of operations in the Sudd is wonderfully inventive, and the search for the tomb exciting. Unfortunately, a twist in the tale is hinted at far too many times to be surprising, and the novel quickly fades at the end, offering frenetic action with little emotional impact, before fizzing out in the muddy Sudd. I was hoping for a little more.

08. January 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Courtney, Horror, Paranormal, Teen Books

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black, 419 pages, read by Courtney, on 12/01/2015

Tana didn’t want to go to the party in the first place, especially since there was a really good chance of running into her ex, Aiden. When she wakes up in the tub the morning after the party, she’s more than a little embarrassed. Embarrassment, however, turns to horror as she walks out of the bathroom to discover that everyone who had been at the party with her is now dead; their blood soaking into the carpets. The only other survivors are the ex that she didn’t want to see in the first place and a trussed-up vampire. Realizing that what killed her friends is likely still around the house, she begins to panic. Fortunately for Aiden and Gavriel (the bound-up vampire), Tana can’t stomach the idea of leaving them to a similar violent fate and helps them escape from the house. The only place she can think of to go to is the nearby Coldtown, a quarantined area for vampires and those who are obsessed with vampires. It is obvious that Aiden has been bitten, so he’ll need to go to the Coldtown for sure. Tana gets scraped by a vampire’s tooth and might have gone “cold” (infected with whatever it is that causes vampirism) as well. The vampire Gavriel? Well, no one really seems to know where he came from, but it would appear that someone is out to kill him and he seems like a nice, albeit odd, fellow, so why not help him? The strange trio makes their way to Coldtown, but not without some difficulty along the way. Things in Coldtown aren’t likely to be any easier, but at least if Tana goes cold while she’s there, she won’t be worried about accidentally killing her father or little sister.
The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is a ton of fun and a smart spin on the vampire genre. This is a world where vampires are known to exist and Coldtowns have cropped up all over the place in an effort to contain them. Since vampires aren’t allowed to leave a Coldtown, they’ve turned them into a giant, nocturnal party scene. Live streams and vlogs keep the general public intrigued by showcasing the most decadent of their parties while the humans who have chosen to live in Coldtowns willingly offer up their blood to feed their vampire hosts. Tana’s journey is a bloody and dangerous one. She has no desire to become a vampire; honestly, she just wants her life to get back to normal. Or what passes for normal for a girl who is now motherless thanks to a rogue vampire. There’s a surprising amount of character development for a person in Tana’s position, which is another refreshing change of pace in this novel. Other characters are diverse and well-written. The story moves fast and it’s not even a series, so there’s really no reason not to spend a bit of time with this one. It doesn’t even matter if you’re still burnt out on the relatively recent glut of vampire novels; this one’s a winner.

06. January 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Horror, Mystery, Paranormal, Paula, Thriller/Suspense

Revival by Stephen King, 403 pages, read by Paula, on 01/03/2015

hw7.pl“In a small New England town over half a century ago, a boy is playing with his new toy soldiers in the dirt in front of his house when a shadow falls over him. He looks up to see a striking man, the new minister, Jamie learns later, who with his beautiful wife, will transform the church and the town. The men and boys are a bit in love with Mrs. Jacobs; the women and girls, with the Reverend Jacobs–including Jamie’s sisters and mother. Then tragedy strikes, and this charismatic preacher curses God, and is banished from the shocked town. Jamie has demons of his own. Wed to his guitar from age 13, he plays in bands across the country, running from his own family tragedies, losing one job after another when his addictions get the better of him. Decades later, sober and living a decent life, he and Reverend Charles Jacobs meet again in a pact beyond even the Devil’s devising, and the many terrifying meanings of Revival are revealed. King imbues this spectacularly rich and dark novel with everything he knows about music, addiction, and religious fanaticism, and every nightmare we ever had about death. This is a masterpiece from King, in the great American tradition of Frank Norris, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Edgar Allan Poe”

King is still a master story teller.  This got my imagination going and I was scared half to death.  The suspense built like crazy towards the end.  Loved it!!

31. December 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Dystopia, Fantasy, Fiction, Graphic Novel, Horror, Marsha, Paranormal, Thriller/Suspense · Tags:

American Vampire Vol 3 by Scott Snyder and Rafael Albuquerque, 288 pages, read by Marsha, on 12/31/2014

download (2)This third installment in the American Vampire series takes place during World War II in the 1940s.  Follow Pearl and Henry as well as Cash and Felicia as they battle for their very lives.  Again, Skinner Sweet, the first American Vampire makes an appearance, though he doesn’t figure as prominently in this volume as the other 2.  Still, he does not disappoint.  Ever wonder what would have happened if the Nazis had vampires?  Find out in American Vampire Vol 3.  The story is beautifully written and the art is amazing.

 

31. December 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Becky, Drama, Fiction, Mystery, Paranormal, Thriller/Suspense

Haunted by Kay Hooper, 310 pages, read by Becky, on 12/28/2014

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When Deacon James’s younger sister Melanie calls him, terrified, he goes to her aid in the small Georgia town of Sociable. What he finds is a scared young woman in the grip of what she insists is a paranormal nightmare–and murder. Two local men have been killed under mysterious circumstances. And Melanie is the prime suspect. Trinity Nichols left a high-stress job for quiet, small-town life. But news of the murders has left her–and the town–on edge, especially when there is nothing remotely ordinary about how the men died. And her investigation is yielding more than she bargained for, including a group of strangers who have descended on Sociable, some with abilities Trinity finds hard to believe, and agendas she refuses to trust. For some reason, they know a lot more than they should about what’s happening in town. And what’s happening is growing stranger by the minute. Now Trinity, Deacon, and this odd band of FBI agents must work together to solve a series of disturbances so incredible that Trinity, and the town of Sociable, will be changed forever. She just isn’t certain who–or what–will be left standing when it’s all over

31. December 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Becky, Fairy Tales and Folklore, Fiction, Paranormal, Romance, Science Fiction

Blood Magick by Nora Roberts, 322 pages, read by Becky, on 12/02/2014

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County Mayo is rich in the traditions of Ireland, legends that Branna O’Dwyer fully embraces in her life and in her work as the proprietor of The Dark Witch shop, which carries soaps, lotions, and candles for tourists, made with Branna’s special touch. Branna’s strength and selflessness hold together a close circle of friends and family–along with their horses and hawks and her beloved hound. But there’s a single missing link in the chain of her life: love… She had it once–for a moment–with Finbar Burke, but a shared future is forbidden by history and blood. Which is why Fin has spent his life traveling the world to fill the abyss left in him by Branna, focusing on work rather than passion. Branna and Fin’s relationship offers them both comfort and torment. And though they succumb to the heat between them, there can be no promises for tomorrow. A storm of shadows threatens everything that their circle holds dear. It will be Fin’s power, loyalty, and heart that will make all the difference in an age-old battle between the bonds that hold their friends together and the evil that has haunted their families for centuries