This is the story of who Neferet, high priestess of the Oklahoma House of Night, was before becoming a high priestess.
Set in Chicago in 1893 as the city prepares for the World’s Fair, sixteen-year-old Emily Wheiler should be enjoying her last few days as a carefree youth of a prosperous family. But her whole life changes when her mother dies leaving her the adult responsibility of being Lady of Wheiler House as her father, a powerful bank president, needs her to entertain and conduct the house as her mother would to help him keep his social standing and influence among the city’s wealthy and powerful and the designers and leaders of The White City: The Chicago World’s Fair.
As Emily tried to adjust to her new role and it’s many responsibilities that she is unprepared for she realizes that her father has a dark violent side she’s never seen before and she reaches out to a handsome young man and his family at one of her father’s parties. But then she is marked by a vampyre and once again her whole world changes.
Head Librarian, Francesca Barnes, has discovered a treasure cache of sorcery books in a secret room in the sub-basement of the old city library. When a monster starts attacking cats and then children, she uses the knowledge to track down and kill the beast.
This alerts the evil ones to the growing presence of a new gifted “Golden One” coming into her powers. Ryan, and his keeper Paul of the Order (the good side), are trying to track down this cache of books. Since Ryan is half-demon/half man, lacking a soul, he cannot trust himself around women, and especially not around sorceresses.
However, his horn-dog handler/keeper Paul takes off on a false lead, because this other woman is good looking and Ryan ends up investigating Chess (Francesca), keeping tabs on her, rescuing her, and before its too late, he is hooked/imprinted on Francesca.
This book was a quick enjoyable read, nothing taxing or extraordinary.
I was tempted to stay home and use a personal day to finish reading this book (but I did NOT), I did end up staying awake late into the night/morning though.
All Things Urban Fantasy said “Written in Red isn’t just the best urban fantasy of the year, it may be one of the best ever.”
It is a captivating tale of a young woman escaping enslavement and finding a new community composed of Others (werewolves, werebears, vampires, medusa, werecrows) aka terra indigenous who live bordering humans, and tolerating them. The humans come with an attitude of superiority akin to the Europeans confronting the Native Americans, however, in this world the Humans do Not hold the upper hand, just the arrogance.
cs759, names herself, Meg Corbyn – she is a blood prophet or Cassandra Sangue – and is kept locked up to be cut for her prophecies which pay her Controllers big bucks, thus when she escapes they will want her back. Great characters, world-building, and fast paced.
” Ignatius Perrish spent the night drunk and doing terrible things. He woke up the next morning with a thunderous hangover, a raging headache . . . and a pair of horns growing from his temples.”
At first he thought the horns were a hallucination. He had spent the last year in a private hell following the death of his girlfriend, Merrin Williams. She was raped and murdered and everyone in town thinks Ig was responsible. A breakdown is to be expected but horns? And now the horns give him a mysterious new power.
Ig had been born into wealth and security. His father a renowned musician and his younger brother a rising late-night TV star. Then one summer he made a new best friend and met the girl of his dreams. He had it all. But Merrin’s death changed everything.
This is a dark, dark story with twists and turns. A compelling story and true to life characters and the reader sees what our main character is able to see… the worst side of people. But the reader also gets to see Ig’s family and friends as he’s growing up. You can feel his love for Merrin and his family and friends which makes it all the more crushing that they’ve turned against him. If you’re looking for a tale of evil and revenge with a touch of the supernatural this fits the bill.
Alexia is different from the rest of her family. She’s a spinster whose father is both Italian and dead. Her mother has remarried and her step-sisters and step-father all tolerate her but think she’s odd. But they have no idea that she has no soul and can render supernatural beings powerless with a touch.
Where to go from there? From bad to worse apparently. At one of the biggest social events of the year, she is attacked by a vampire which breaks all standards of social etiquette but Alexia accidentally kills the vampire defending herself. Then the appalling Lord Maccon (loud, Scottish, and leader of a werewolf clan) is sent by Queen Victoria to investigate.
With unexpected vampires appearing and expected vampires disappearing, everyone seems to believe Alexia responsible. Can she figure out what is actually happening to London’s high society? Will her soulless ability to negate supernatural powers prove useful or just plain embarrassing?
The year is 1918. World War One rages on while the Spanish Influenza outbreak reaches epidemic proportions. Mary Shelley Black has been sent to live with her aunt in San Diego in an attempt to keep her out of the flu’s reach (and because her father has just been arrested for his anti-war efforts). Once there, she is reunited with old friends, in particular, a pair of brothers named Stephen and Julian. Stephen and Mary have some history together and quickly begin a relationship. Until Stephen has to leave for war, having signed up before Mary’s return to San Diego. Julian, on the other hand, has been taking the war and flu outbreak in stride with his photography business, which is making quite the income with its new direction: spirit photography. Mary, being the clever young lady she is, has serious doubts about the entire spiritualist movement in spite of her aunt’s insistence on Julian’s talents. Stephen dies just months after leaving, which prompts Julian to pressure Mary to sit for another photograph, claiming that Mary has unique spiritual magnetism. Mary is dubious until she gets herself struck by lightning and finds that her senses are now telling her that everything she thought she knew may, in fact, be completely in question.
This book is a very interesting mix of historical fiction, mystery and paranormal intrigue. Mary as a character is utterly charming and witty, which is so very necessary given her context. 1918 was indeed a very scary year for many Americans. Loved ones went off to fight in a brutal war, while those left at home dealt with the constant threat of the flu. So many had already died from both that spiritualism made a giant comeback (having been popularized in both the Civil War and Victorian eras). Mediums and photographers made a living off of the desperate survivors of both tragedies. The setting makes perfect sense for a supernatural spin as well. Both the historical and the paranormal contexts are aided by period photos throughout the book. Even the cover is absolutely contextual, which I love. “In the Shadow of Blackbirds” is a fascinating mashup of history, romance, the supernatural and mystery. Highly recommended.
Moving and thought-provoking. Definitely not two words I thought I’d ever use to describe a zombie novel.
It didn’t dwell on the gore of a zombie attack and killing zombies though some of that action is described. Instead it is a collection of first person accounts from doctors to soldiers to individual citizens and political leaders in a variety of countries and cultures. It clearly brings home the emotional, social and economic damage caused by world-wide plague conditions or even an individual country laid low by a plague outbreak. It deftly combines the two (war and plague) never completely forgetting that the enemy were once other human beings often neighbors and friends or family who did not choose to become the enemy but for your survival and the survival of the human race and the human spirit — they all have to die.
Archaeologist Verity Grey is working at a site in Scotland when she hears what sounds like horses galloping outside her window. Since there aren’t any horses in the area she isn’t surprised when she feels that someone is watching her at the dig site. It’s an ancient Roman campsite that has it’s own Sentinel ghost protecting it. There are other strange things happening that involve paranormal activity and romance. I enjoyed the Scottish slang used by the locals and Verity has to buy a Scottish book to help her translate.
On Christmas Day in 1893, every man, woman and child in a remote gold mining town disappeared, belongings forsaken, meals left to freeze in vacant cabins; and not a single bone was ever found. One hundred thirteen years later, two backcountry guides are hired by a history professor and his journalist daughter to lead them into the abandoned mining town so that they can learn what happened. With them is a psychic, and a paranormal photographer—as the town is rumored to be haunted. A party that tried to explore the town years ago was never heard from again. What this crew is about to discover is that twenty miles from civilization, with a blizzard bearing down, they are not alone, and the past is very much alive.
Book 4 of the Iron Druid series with lots of Oberon! Atticus and Granuile fake their deaths so he can escape from the angry Norse gods and have 12 undisturbed years to train Granuile to be a druid. But first he has to payback Coyote, the Navajo trickster god, for his help in faking Atticus’ death and Coyote always has a way to trick you into doing more than you realized you were signing up for. And Leif shows up to complicate matters even more.
Death…the final rider of the apocalypse. Breath is the story of Death, but also the story of life. Death has never been like the other riders. He isn’t human even though he takes a human shape. He doesn’t feel things like we do, but today he is feeling like the end is near. He is ready to say goodbye to the world and the world needs to get ready to say goodbye. The other riders are concerned of course. What happens when Death dies? He is the source of all life not just death so can the world continue without him? This is also the story of Xander, a young man in love and ready to start his life. Or is he?
This series is a great one. I love that it tells a different kind of story. It makes you think and it is fun to read. I have enjoyed each and everyone of these books. I really enjoyed that we got Death’s backstory in this book. He has been a fascinating character throughout the series, but one we hardly knew. Now that we know him, he is just as fascinating. I liked that this book resolved all the other Horsemen storylines. We do know what happened to them in the end.
Xander’s story is a little confusing. You have no idea what is really going on until the very end. You keep getting hints and flashes of things, but it doesn’t all tie together. I loved his interactions with Death and how that turned out though.
The ending? What happened here? I am not going to spoil it, but it does leave you with big question marks.
The further adventures of druid, Atticus O’Sullivan, his apprentice Granuaile and faithful wolfhound, Oberon. For twelve years Atticus has been training Granuaile and the world believes he has died. Now that he has to come out into the open to bind Granuaile to the earth and complete her training as a druid a whole host of supernatural beings are upset that he’s still alive.
As former Alchemist Marcus Finch pushes Alchemist Sydney Sage to rebel against the people who raised her, Sydney finds that breaking free is harder than she thought. There is an old and mysterious magic rooted deeply within her. And as she searches for an evil magic user targeting powerful young witches, she realizes that her only hope is to embrace her magical blood–or else she might be next.
I love companion series, they make the original series so much fuller and you get to see more of that world! Sydney begins to realize that she no longer embraces the Alchemist rules like she used to, the more she is with the Moroi and dhamphirs she is assigned to. Finding out you have been lied to can also be unappealing to someone with the brains to figure it all out. A good continuation of the Alchemist side of the story.
Harper Kane Olympic Swimmer gets caught up shady government operations, when her microbiologist brother Bobby is killed after he develops a serum that gives people psi-onic powers. Now the government that funded these experiments wants her dead, and they send in their best op Rome Lucian. Unfortunately, for the government, Rome realizes something is fishy, and decides to aid Harper.
This was a fun quick read. However, the plotting could be more credible, with less coincidences. Like why would Bobby be shot, the very day, the very minute, Harper arrives for a visit?
School Spirits is Rachel Hawkins spin off series from Hex Hall. This book centers around Izzy Brannick who we met in the Hex Hall series. Izzy is one of the last of a long line of Brannicks who fight monsters, except it is now just her mom and her. They are now working for the Prodigium Council tracking down monsters instead of just killing them. A case leads them to Ideal, Mississippi and Izzy’s first stint in high school. She quickly becomes friends with the teen’s in the Paranormal Management Society (PMS–horrible acronym). They are interested in a ghost named Mary who is supposedly haunting the school. She has been a ghost for over a hundred years, but has recently amped up her activity. Izzy, along with Romy (peculiar girl extraordinaire) and dreamy Dex (who may or may not be magic) have to figure out what Mary is doing before she hurts anyone else.
I love the Hex Hall series. They are fun and witty and entertaining. I think this is going to be another fun series to follow. The banter between Izzy and Dex was wonderful. I also enjoyed the ghost storyline, mainly because it didn’t turn out like I thought it would. I am intrigued by this new focus on the Brannicks and can’t wait to see where the rest of the series goes.
I received a copy of this from the publishers on Netgalley.com and thoroughly enjoyed it.
Abby is doing school project on her family tree and discovers that she is a descendant of Sarah Good, one of the accused witches at Salem. This discovery coincides with the strange dreams and blinding headaches she has been having. While researching in Salem, Abby meets dreamy Rem who seems to know a lot about her and can talk to her in her head. Back at school she is crushing on dreamy Travis, the popular, athletic, heart of gold senior who just happens to be dating the world’s meanest and worst person Megan. Abby’s research uncovers a book of spells which she just has to try; a love spell on Travis works like magic. Soon Abby is caught between Travis and Remy and an evil circle of witches who want to unleash revenge on Salem on prom night of course.
I found this book entertaining, but very cliche. It reads like your typical teen paranormal B movie. Everyone is pretty one-dimensional and predictable. The idea is intriguing, a girl descendant of the Salem witches coming into her power; however, the execution was not that great. For one thing, I found Abby fairly unlikable once she started practicing magic. She was all about self-gain and revenge, which doesn’t make a very good heroine. I found the circle of witches thing ridiculous. Seriously ridiculous. They wait hundreds of years so they can have witches of all four elements (earth, air, fire, water) so they can do a big spell and bring revenge on Salem, even though the people in Salem today have nothing to do with the original witch hunts. It seemed so contrived like the author really just needed more paranormal activity. I won’t spoil it, but the ending was definitely made for a movie…contrived and cliche. I feel like this has been done before and better.
I received this book from the publishers on Netgalley.com.
Sunny’s best friend and cousin Shiri commits suicide. Her family does not know how to cope with it. Sunny’s hippy parents seem lost and the tension between her Aunt Miri and Uncle Raymond just keeps getting worse. In the wake of the tragedy, Sunny starts experiencing weird flashes where she hears voices. It turns out she is hearing the thoughts of others and she learns Shiri had the same power/affliction from her journal. With this power, Sunny learns what her friends really think of her and that her Uncle Raymond is abusive. She finds a new group of friends but they just seem to want to exploit her powers. It doesn’t seem like anyone is on Sunny’s side.
I felt like this book had two different personalities. On one hand it was a moving story about a family coming to terms with a tragedy. How do you cope with your loved one taking their own life? You start questioning everything and you discover things you never knew. On the other hand it is about a girl with a secret power to hear thoughts. She has to learn to handle her power and she has to figure out who she can trust with the knowledge. I really thought the suicide storyline was the stronger story. I am intrigued by how the family copes with the tragedy and everything that came about because of it. I thought the underhearing, as Sunny calls it, was a bit of a stretch. We are given no reason for Sunny getting this power. Did she inherit it from Shiri when she died? How did Shiri get it? Why did it seem to come about during the late teens? Why does no one else have secret powers? If this was a world where the paranormal was more normal I think this part of the story might have been more believable. As it is, it seems like the author kind of thought “hey paranormal is really hot right now, I should throw it in my book”. I really liked the realistic aspects of the story and I think the author should have stuck to that.
I received a copy of this book from the publishers on Netgalley.com.
Michael Grant, you have sucked me into your world of the FAYZ for the last time and I leave as bloody and broken as everyone else. This series has been addicting and depressing and amazing. I am sad to see it end, but I devoured every page racing towards the end.
Grant pulls no punches in this last installment (as if he ever as). Life is brutal in the FAYZ. Sure the barrier is clear now, but you still can’t cross over. You can see your parents on the other side eating their doughnuts and Carl’s Jr. even while you are starving. The Darkness is now a little girl named Gaia, but she is just as powerful and evil as ever. Little Pete, the only thing Gaia fears, is a disembodied spirit. And everyone else is just trying to survive and wondering about life after. The endgame is here and no one will walk away unscathed.
This is a brutal and brilliant series. I have loved every minute of it as I have despised the characters and cheered them on. The FAYZ has always been about good versus evil and what you are willing to do to survive. In this book the characters start wondering what will happen when the dome falls? What will the outside world think of them? Will anyone be able to understand just what went on in the FAYZ? Who will be blamed for it? This series was a wild ride and the ending was a double loopty-loop with a steep drop. I may have screamed all the way down but I loved every minute of it.
Bijou and her grandmother have just moved to Sykesville. Bijou starts school for the first time after being homeschooled her entire life. At school she meets dreamy Sebastian and his twin Amina. Bijou and her grandmother have moved a lot; they never seem to settle in one place. And Bijou is not your ordinary girl. She can sometimes feel what others are feeling and everyone is scared to look into her eyes. Turns out she has a reason to feel different. She is the “chosen one” of prophecy. She is part djinn and supposedly the savior (or sacrifce) that will restore the powers of the djinn. Sebastian and Amina are her protectors and djinn as well. Weird things start happening at school with a teacher and mean girl Mandy. Then the djinn arrive and Bijou has to figure out what is really going on.
I almost gave up on this book. The plot was just all over the place. I found the idea of the djinn interesting, but I think this book could have really used some editing and maybe a plot outline. The characters were all over the place; I could never figure out if they were on the same side or enemies or what. One minute they were one and the next another. It was like everyone in the book had a split personality. And the djinn prophecy didn’t always make sense. It seemed like things changed every once in a while to fit whatever scene was taking place. Sometimes the djinn had powers and sometimes they were powerless. Sometimes Bijou acted like she knew what the heck was going on and others she was completely clueless (about the same things). And then there was the love triangle (or square). Bijou/Sebastian/Niko/Mandy. This was just ridiculous! I almost always hate love triangles and this one ranks at the bottom of my list (or the top of the most hated). The whole story was one convoluted mess.
I received a copy of this book on netgalley.com.