Are you predator or prey?
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Quincie Morris has never felt more alone. Her parents are dead, and her hybrid-werewolf first love is threatening to embark on a rite of passage that will separate them forever. Then, as she and her uncle are about to unveil their hot vampire-themed restaurant, a brutal murder leaves them scrambling for a chef. Can Quincie transform their new hire into a culinary Dark Lord before opening night? Can he wow the crowd in his fake fangs, cheap cape, and red contact lenses — or is there more to this earnest face than meets the eye? As human and preternatural forces clash, a deadly love triangle forms, and the line between predator and prey begins to blur. Who’s playing whom? And how long can Quincie play along before she loses everything? TANTALIZE marks Cynthia Leitich Smith’s delicious debut as a preeminent author of dark fantasy.
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.
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?
Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thompson series is one of my favorite urban fantasy series. Mercy, the series protagonist tough chick who shape shifts into a coyote, is entertaining, relatable and is still, at times, surprising. Too often, urban fantasy heroines are too obvious. Mercy has some of those too-tough attributes common to the genre – she’s an auto mechanic, she runs with werewolves and vampires, she gets a little beat up. But Mercy will also throw readers a curve ball now and then – her motivations and vulnerabilities are realistically human. Mercy, unlike some stereotypical urban fantasy heroines, does not have to be a superwoman all of the time.
Frost Burned, the seventh in the Mercy Thompson series, is as entertaining and enjoyable as the rest of the series. I read the book in a day. I was absorbed in it, I loved it – but when I put it down, it ended for me. Mercy did not surprise me this time. The story was fun and exciting, but I can’t say it did much more. Perhaps Ms. Briggs has spoiled me, but I hope the next one gives me a little more to think about.
Kelley Armstrong has a series of books called the “Otherworld”. In this series, the reader will encounter all sorts of tales. I haven’t read them in order and didn’t have a problem following the stories. In this book, “Forbidden” focuses on three werewolves from the New York area. Morgan Walsh traveling to New York hoping to join the clan in North America. When he stops in a small town for rest and food his troubles begin and the leader of the pack, Elena Michaels and Clayton Danvers must come to his rescue. The small town isn’t what it seems and with a rash of disappearances and wolf tracks in the area the three must unravel the mystery before their pack is exposed.
Well this is the final book in this series and it goes out with a lot of action and appearances by all our favorite characters. 13 picks up right where Spell Bound left off. Savannah is still trying to get her powers back and the Supernatural Liberation Movement wants to infect people with a virus and out the supernaturals to the world. Of course, our valiant heroes must stop SLAM; so they all come together in one action packed sequence after another. We see Elena and Clay, Jeremy and Jaime, Hope and Karl, Savannah and Adam, Eve and Kristof, Lucas and Paige and a bunch of other random characters. The story is told through Savannah’s POV but there are chapters that allow some of the other voices to join in the storytelling.
I have really enjoyed this series since I read Bitten and am a little sad to see it end. However, I do admire authors who are able to actually end long running series. Do I think we will never see these characters again? Not really, I have a feeling they will pop up in Armstrong’s YA series or in future books.
As a finale to a series this wasn’t bad. We got to see and say goodbye to all our favorite characters even if they didn’t play a huge role in this book. I will admit that the changes in location and nonstop action sometimes got a little confusing; it seems like they rush from one disaster to another. However, it is a satisfying ending and everything seems to work out in the end. There are still loose threads though and room for Armstrong to revisit this world.
Book 3 in the Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy this beautifully written story of life, change, love and what it really means to be human. It ends with a mostly satisfying ending with just a couple questions left unanswered but isn’t that how life goes ever changing and without all the answers.
In Maggie Stiefvater’s SHIVER, Grace and Sam found each other. In LINGER, they fought to be together. Now, in FOREVER, the stakes are even higher than before. Wolves are being hunted. Lives are being threatened. And love is harder and harder to hold on to as death comes closing in.
Kelley Armstrong is one of my favorite authors and she is known for her “Otherworld” series. Hidden is book for the fan of the series as it a way to say goodbye to some characters. However, if you have never read an Otherworld novella then is a nice treat and fun to read. The story centers around Clay and Elena and their twins, Kate and Logan as they are in wilderness celebrating the Christmas holiday. The special thing about this family is they are werewolves [the twins are too young to know this] and Clay is the Alpha and Elena is his mate. Wherever these two go, trouble soon follows and personal time is hard to come by and this trip is no exception. Enjoying time with their family, Clay and Elena are thrown into mystery and mayhem when a mutt enters their family circle. Trying to keep their identities secret and protecting the family the couple go an investigation which leads them to mysterious deaths of some local citizens. This is a good quick read.
The saga of Clary and Simon and Jace and the rest continues. Its nice to be back with the characters themselves. Its nice to see Simon grow. However, the book drags toward the end and reads starts to read like a romance. Well my definition of a romance, where the protagonists are TOO STUPID to communicate and take risks with the person they like. Well, here the protagonists’ behavior is too stupid to believe. They continually run off without letting anyone else know – have you ever heard of teamwork? You have characters leaving their beloved (brother, s.o., friend, etc) a character filled with self-loathing and suicidal thoughts on the top of the rooftop with a corpse – seriously?
Then the book ends in a cliff-hanger, well it seems more like the start of another book, like a teaser, but that could have been more clearly stated.
Werewolves on the Titanic…seriously that was all I needed to hear to be sold on this book. And for the most part it delivered. There is a lot going on in this book. You have the drama of the Titanic story…we all know it is going to sink but how is that going to be brought into the story. You have a lot of Upstairs/Downstairs drama going on with the first/third class passengers. And then you have the werewolves and the Brotherhood.
First I will say that I thought the Titanic bit of the plot was seamlessly woven into the story. It didn’t feel forced into the plot like I was afraid it might. Sure Gray took a few liberties with characters but that was expected and worked ok. I thought she did a great job with historical accuracy and really made the voyage come alive.
The Upstairs/Downstairs plot works for the most part. It does show the differences between the first and third class passengers and their lifestyles. However, I thought the secondary characters were fairly one-note especially the family Tess works for. They don’t really seem to have much in the way of full personalities and a lot of the scenes with the family were pretty repetitive. The one shining star was Tess’s roommate Myriam who does have a bit more personality than the other characters.
Then you have the werewolves…and I did like this part of the story. Alec was a great character; he was nicely conflicted and torn about his condition and very well written. Mikhail was a wonderful bad guy; one of those bad guys you really like to hate. I liked the Brotherhood storyline. I thought it was unique and really brought the whole werewolf plot together. Alec and Tess’s romance was ok as well. I don’t think it was stellar, but at least it was believable; a little rushed maybe but the voyage only lasted so long.
My only real beef with the book was the ending…really hated the ending. I get that Gray wanted a happy ending, but seriously! I thought it went way beyond believable. She could have done so many other things. The ending is the last thing you read so when it is crap it does kind of spoil the impression of the rest of the book. So the first 312 pages were great…last 15 I could have done without.