Review: Strange Angels (Strange Angels #1) by Lil St Crow

In Strange Angels, Dru Anderson has what her grandmother called “the touch.” (Comes in handy when you’re traveling from town to town with your dad, hunting ghosts, suckers, wulfen, and the occasional zombie.)

Then her dad turns up dead—but still walking—and Dru knows she’s next. Even worse, she’s got two guys hungry for her affections, and they’re not about to let the fiercely independent Dru go it alone. Will Dru discover just how special she really is before coming face-to-fang with whatever—or whoever— is hunting her?

I’d had this book on my TBR pile for quite a while. It was definitely something I wanted to read but something else would always catch my eye and I would forget about it for while. Well nothing else did this time.

I liked it right from the off. The tone and the pacing felt just right. I really liked Dru. She’s tough, savvy, and didn’t whine and moan like some lead characters do.

It reminded me of Supernatural, only with a female lead. Obviously there’s nothing wrong with that, I love Supernatural – I then read other Goodread reviews that said the same thing. I took to Graves right away as well, but I can’t believe that he took everything in his stride as well as he did. Dru’s reaction to her dad dying and then coping with the events afterwards were more realistic.

I would have liked more dialogue. This is my first time reading Lil St Crow so I don’t know whether this is just her style, but I felt that the long narration sometimes had me biting at the bit. Don’t get me wrong, I actually did liked the narration. Dru’s voice was great but so much of it in a continuous chunk was a little monotonous at times.

Then things started to go a little airy. Around 60% of the way in, so slightly over the halfway mark, it just kinda started to lose it. The characters started to really annoy me. It was like the Author got to a certain point and thought shit! What now? Then threw everything together no matter how ludicrous it sounded. It was either that or someone else started writing it. I really had to force myself to finish it. I couldn’t believe my quickly my feeling towards this book changed.

It was on it’s way to earning itself 5 stars, but I just totally disconnected from the characters and the story. It saddened me as I was really enjoying it. However, it did kinda settle again right toward the end. I liked it more than I didn’t so I’m definitely going to continue with the series.

Right, time to go empty the dishwasher 😉

Rating: 3/6 – it was ok

Review: A Touch of Crimson (Renegade Angels #1) by Sylvia Day

 Adrian Mitchell is a powerful angel leading an elite Special Ops unit of Seraphim. His task is to punish the Fallen-angels who have become vampires-and command a restless pack of indentured lycans. But Adrian has suffered his own punishment for becoming involved with mortals- losing the woman he loves again and again. Now, after nearly two hundred years, he has found her-Shadoe-her soul once more inhabiting a new body, with no memory of him. And this time, he won’t let her go.

It was the cover that attracted me to A Touch of Crimson, that and the fact that I have a real soft spot for angels.

I found it easy to get into the story, even though I seemed a little disorientated with the mythology at first. I don’t particularly like it when a book has a glossary at the beginning of the book… Okay maybe for subsequent books in the series for reference, but not the very first book. I just think that the information should be woven into the story. If I see a glossary I automatically think the story must be confusing, and to be honest I don’t actually take the time to read it either.

I liked Adrian. I loved the power that oozed from his every pore. Lindsay was easy to like and like her I did. The other characters were well rounded and interesting.

I’ve read reviews on Goodreads which complain that it was a slow burner, and it took them awhile to get into the story, but I can honestly say (not that I’d be dishonest, mind) I didn’t find that at all. The first meeting between Lindsay and Adrian had enough chemistry to keep to keep things interesting. Nor did the opening get bogged down with to much information either. I’m easily distracted and I wasn’t distracted reading this.

The sex had a little too much dirty talk for my liking. It kinda reminded me of bad porn dialogue, and I found that calling her vagina ‘her sex’ just as jarring as saying the dreaded C word. And It kinda got a little crazy there at the end.

I first thought I’d found another author, and series to compare with the Guild Hunter series, but I was wrong. The world building isn’t as impressive and the story not as intricate but I still enjoyed it and I will definitely be reading the next book, and continuing the series.

Rating: 4/6 – Really Liked it

Review: Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion

A zombie who yearns for a better life ends up falling in love—with a human—in this astonishingly original debut novel.
R is a zombie. He has no memories, no identity, and no pulse, but he has dreams. He doesn’t enjoy killing people; he enjoys riding escalators and listening to Frank Sinatra. He is a little different from his fellow Dead.
Not just another zombie novel, Warm Bodies is funny, scary, and deeply moving.

I was a little sceptical about reading a zombie romance. I first I thought that it was going to be some kind of zombie survivors romance, but no, it’s most definitely a Zombie romance.

R is a fresh zombie (just R because he can’t remember his name. Zombies don’t have great memories, ya know), which means that’s he’s not as ‘rotted’ as most; his flesh isn’t dropping off and his organs aren’t showing. Hot, right? He can speak a few one syllable words if he really, really tries (although practice makes perfect). R’s bestfriend is M. M likes porn and women, only he doesn’t quite remember what to do once he’s naked. None of them do. So he spends a lot of time standing around naked with zombies of the lady variety.

R is more coherent than the average zombie. He gets married and obtains 2 children (this was a shock to me too, and seemed to come from nowhere). He wants the 2.4 children kinda simple zombie life, but then he manages to complicate things by rescuing a young woman and deciding he wants to keep her ‘safe’ in a boeing 747.

Part of the story is told by Perry. This happens every time R nibbles at Perry’s brain; he get visions of perry’s life. I found this a little confusing at first, especially towards to end. I’d be reading then realise I didn’t have a clue what was going on.

There’s also a zombie school where they teach zombie kids how to properly kill a living human. We wouldn’t want them to starve would we! Again, like the marriage, I found this a little left field.

So, in between talking the kids to school and keeping the wife happy, R goes and falls for the stupid human. Taking her on ‘dates’ and entertaining her. Don’t feel too sorry for the wife tho, she’s at the church stepping out with some other rotter. In fact don’t feel too sorry for any of them. Emotions are a distant memory so they’re not really bothered.

Julie, the human, is a tough little cookie and gives off some serious attitude, which gets on my nerves a little (read quite a lot). I don’t know which is worse, romance between 2 zombies, or one between a human and zombie. No, actually I do… :/

However, even though I felt all kinds of icky I wanted to keep reading, I couldn’t stop.

The continuity was a bit baffling. At some point I was told that they don’t have sex because there’s no blood pumping through the body, so you know, it was kinda impossible. And even putting that aside, they can’t remember how to do it anyway. But then he’d wake up to his wife having sex with her ‘boyfriend’. I don’t want to know if he’s limp or that she’s dry. Yeah, I did say icky :s

I was a little confused when R had a vision and was able to talk to both Julie and Perry, and they him. And I was a little EWW when julie asked R if he wanted to sleep in the bed next to her, because, really?! Even when bugs crawl out of his mouth in the morning? Takes morning breath to a whole new level.

I tried but failed to take to julie for the first half of the story. She was just too hard faced for my liking, but she grew on me and by the end, and even though she kissed a zombie, I liked her.

The ick factor kinda faded as the story proceeded, and if you like the sound of the above this book is for you. I couldn’t bring myself to dislike it because of it. Over all it was a quick, fun read. I really did enjoy it.

Rating: 4/6 – I Liked It

Review: Divergent by Veronica Moss


Beatrice “Tris” Prior has reached the fateful age of sixteen, the stage at which teenagers in Veronica Roth’s dystopian Chicago must select which of five factions to join for life. Each faction represents a virtue: Candor, Abnegation, Dauntless, Amity, and Erudite. To the surprise of herself and her selfless Abnegation family, she chooses Dauntless, the path of courage. Her choice exposes her to the demanding, violent initiation rites of this group, but it also threatens to expose a personal secret that could place in mortal danger. Veronica Roth’s young adult Divergent trilogy launches with a captivating adventure about love and loyalty playing out under most extreme circumstances.

I read this in July 2011 and July was a great month for reading. I’d been seeing reviews for Divergent pop up here and there before I really took any notice (I’ve kinda developed a thing for dystopia since, and as of yet it’s never disappointed me), so once it was put on my TBR pile it wasn’t long before I picked it up.

I’ve only read a couple of Dystopic stories before this but I’ve really liked the few I’ve read and I had a feeling I’d like this too, but saying that I’ve been a pretty bad judge of new books lately (unknown to me authors). However, I wasn’t surprised to find my first thought was right. I loved it.

The story was engaging and I really liked the tone and pace. I settled into it quite quickly, then found myself carried along.

I liked Tris. Her attitude fitted her real well and was believable for someone in her situation. Both Four and Eric caught my attention early on. I thought Eric was interesting and Four intriguing. I really wanted to get to know both of them better. I liked that at first I didn’t know who to trust out of the two, or if in fact I could trust either of them.

I enjoyed reading about the other characters as well, and the world building was really effective. I don’t want to say much for fear of giving anything way. I loved that I didn’t know much about the story before I I started read it.

Divergent is the first in a series (I’m not sure how many are expected to be written), but it could be read as a stand alone. I hope it’s just the start though as I really do want to read more by this author.

Edit: Insurgent is just out (May 1st 2012)… very late posting review

Rating: 6/6 – Loved It

Review: Inside Out by Maria V. Snyder

I’m Trella. I’m a scrub. A nobody. One of thousands who work the lower levels, keeping Inside clean for the Uppers. I’ve got one friend, do my job and try to avoid the Pop Cops. So what if I occasionally use the pipes to sneak around the Upper levels? The only neck at risk is my own…until I accidentally start a rebellion and become the go-to girl to lead a revolution.

I went into Inside Out with no expectations whatsoever. I’d just finished Working Stiff (after much struggling I have to admit), and I’m pleased to say that, like with every other Dystopian story I’ve read so far, I really liked it. I found that it was just what I needed to get me back into reading after my little slump.

I found I flew through this book which I’m quite happy about. I hated being in a slump and watching the books I needed to read to keep up with my reading challenge go up and up was depressing. I think I’m currently behind by 17 (make that 25) 😦 but hopefully now I’m back I’ll get through quite afew of those.

The difficulty I have when I like a book and get into it is that I end up not writing any notes, so I then struggle writing the review. Not good. I have a soft spot for Dystopian fiction and haven’t yet read a book I didn’t like, or struggle to finish.

It was no different with this book. I liked Trella and took to her right away. I like that she was ‘The queen of the Pipes’. I thought that maybe I’d have trouble visualising the Cube they lived in but I didn’t. I had a clear picture in my head.

That’s all I can say really. Sorry about that! (Although it’s not like my reviews are ever essay like) I liked it. It was a quick, enjoyable read and I recommend you read it 🙂

Rating: 4/6 – I Liked It

Review: Ashes, Ashes by Jo Treggiari

A thrilling tale of adventure, romance, and one girl’s unyielding courage through the darkest of nightmares.

Epidemics, floods, droughts–for sixteen-year-old Lucy, the end of the world came and went, taking 99% of the population with it. As the weather continues to rage out of control, and Sweepers clean the streets of plague victims, Lucy survives alone in the wilds of Central Park. But when she’s rescued from a pack of hunting dogs by a mysterious boy named Aidan, she reluctantly realizes she can’t continue on her own. She joins his band of survivors, yet, a new danger awaits her: the Sweepers are looking for her. There’s something special about Lucy, and they will stop at nothing to have her.

As with a few of the books I’ve read recently, I was really looking forward to this book. I wasn’t very happy about the price of the kindle version though. £9.36 +_+ almost double the usual price, and a few pounds more than the physical copy. (Edit: the average price of ebooks has now gone up since I wrote this review, a lot of them are now £7+)

Although the price seemed extreme most of the reviews on Goodreads were really good, and even though I was still on my zombiefest I was looking forward to reading it. It was slow to get going, with lots of exposition and I found myself skim reading. Once it hit the halfway mark the info dumps petered out, and the story got going.

Alice is surviving on her own as the story opens. I liked Alice’s independence, the fact that at 16 years old and she survived on her own for over a year, this is thanks mainly to a survival book she had the savvy to pick up along the way. I liked Aiden but I felt that, as with Del and Sammy, he could have had a little more depth. All the face and hair touching was sweet but there needed to be more to him than the fact he liked Alice.

The book felt like a start of a series, and it would be a good book to start one, and although it does stand up on its own as well it definitely felt like it could have been the beginning of something. I really hope there is a second book because I wasn’t satisfied with the epilogue of Ashes, Ashes.

Over all not a bed read at all

Rating: 4/6 – I Liked It

Review: The Poison Diaries by Maryrose Wood and The Duchess Of Northumberland

Jessamine Luxton has lived all her sixteen years in an isolated cottage near Alnwick Castle, with little company apart from the plants in her garden. Her father, Thomas, a feared and respected apothecary, has taught her much about the incredible powers of plants: that even the most innocent-looking weed can cure — or kill.n the right dose, everything is a poison. Even love . . .When Jessamine begins to fall in love with a mysterious boy who claims to communicate with plants, she is drawn into the dangerous world of the poison garden in a way she never could have imagined 

I saw this reviewed on The Book Smugglers and quickly added it to my TBR list. It sounded really interesting and very different from the books I’d been reading recently.

I loved it’s tone and I really liked Jessamine. Weed was interesting but the father drove me crazy. You definitely got a feel for the era. It was easy to read, even when I was busy my stopping and starting didn’t jar the story. I felt it got a bit silly towards the end but all in all it was quick, easy and fun to read.

Rating: 4/6 – I liked It

Review: Street Magic (Black London #1) by Caitlin Kittredge

 Her name is Pete Caldecott. She was just sixteen when she met Jack Winter, a gorgeous, larger-than-life  mage who thrilled her with his witchcraft. Then a spirit Jack summoned killed him before Pete’s eyes—or so she thought. Now a detective, Pete is investigating the case of a young girl kidnapped from the streets of London. A tipster’s chilling prediction has led police directly to the child…but when Pete meets the informant, she’s shocked to learn he is none other than Jack. Strung out on heroin, Jack a shadow of his former self.  But he’s able to tell Pete exactly where Bridget’s kidnappers are hiding: in the supernatural shadow-world of the fey.  Even though she’s spent years disavowing the supernatural, Pete follows Jack into the invisible fey underworld, where she hopes to discover the truth about what happened to Bridget—and what happened to Jack on that dark day so long ago

I’d seen a review for this somewhere (most probably Goodreads) and it instantly caught my attention. It sounded dark and gritty, both of which I really love so I kinda had high hopes.

We meet Pete in the middle of a case where children are going missing. It felt like I’d been dumped in the middle of something and didn’t know what the hell was going on, but saying that, that can be a usual thing for me. And although I liked Pete right away I Initially I found the 3rd person narration a little confusing. I don’t normally, but for some reason I did while reading this.

I was disappointed to be honest. Street Magic had everything I like but it never got me excited. There was just something missing that I can’t put my finger on. I don’t know whether it was the fact that Jack was a heroin addict, or that there was no spark between the two, I just don’t know. And I don’t just mean a romantic spark SPOILER (scroll to see) incidentally, I really didn’t understand why she’d offer to die for him. Up to that point it came across as she really didn’t care for him at all END SPOILER. 

I need to mention the swear words. They were so distracting. On one page it would be all Wankstick, demon-buggering gits, then on the next it would be fucking cunts and dickheads. You either commit to swearing or you don’t. The strange mix of hard and soft swear words just sounded stupid. 

Also I never really believed that they were in London. The story could have took place anywhere really. I first thought that it was maybe it was London USA until Big Ben chimed. But I never really felt it but that could be just my predjuice. If I think of London I think dank and dark Jack the ripper London. 

I never connected with Jack and I know it’s not the actual drug theme as I never had a problem with the drug use in the Downside Ghost series. It’s because he’s a heroin addict. It’s just a dirty stanky drug. I think if he’d had an addiction to a fictional drug, or pills, or anything else but heroin I would have felt differently but I just didnt like him because of that drug, and couldn’t take to him on an emotional level. I’ve already said that I liked Pete, and I did at the start but Jesus H Christ what a nag she was. I felt like yelling for her just to stop. She didn’t shut up whinging and moaning and after a while it wore on my nerves a bit. 

I just didn’t become emotionally engaged in the two leads or the story at all. Not at any point of the story did I feel like I knew what the hell was going on, even the magic was confusing and wasn’t very visual. The second half of the book was much better than the first but it wasn’t enough. I will read the 2nd book in the series though. I thought it was okay (I did finish it) but I had issues with it. I’m sorry I didn’t like it as much as I thought I would

Rating: 3/6 – it was okay

Review: Kiss of Snow (Psy-Changeling #10) by Nalini Singh

Since the moment of her defection from the PsyNet and into the SnowDancer wolf pack, Sienna Lauren has had one weakness. Hawke. Alpha and dangerous, he compels her to madness. 

Hawke is used to walking alone, having lost the woman who would’ve been his mate long ago. But Sienna fascinates the primal heart of him, even as he tells himself she is far too young to handle the wild fury of the wolf. 
Then Sienna changes the rules and suddenly, there is no more distance, only the most intimate of battles between two people who were never meant to meet. Yet as they strip away each other’s secrets in a storm of raw emotion, they must also ready themselves for a far more vicious fight… 

A deadly enemy is out to destroy SnowDancer, striking at everything they hold dear, but it is Sienna’s darkest secret that may yet savage the pack that is her home…and the alpha who is its heartbeat…

It feels like I’ve waited for this book for so long. I adore this series. Nalini singh is the author I use to judge all other paranormal romance by. In fact she has spoiled me. I was introduced to this series at the start of my foray into PNR/Urban Fantasy by a friend and it set the standard. Sometimes I wish I’d read Christen Feehan first, because at least then I wouldn’t have something good to compare it too. No one can beat Nalini Singh. No one. Hers are the only books I don’t ever roll my eyes too (okay admittedly maybe once during the first book!). They are the only books I’ve come across that have great romance coupled with an interesting and kiss ass plot. No other series/book combines the two quite as well, no where near as well.

Hawke’s story is one that has been slowly burning away in the background from book one (Slave to Sensation), and one I’ve been desperate to read. I’d read excerpts/quotes on Singh’s website and on Goodreads and they only whetted my appetite.

I wasn’t disappointed. It was everything I’d hoped for and more. Hawke and Sienna’s history being what it is, every look and interaction was filled with sexual tension. Both of them were at breaking point. The second romance between the pack healer, Lara and, Walker Sienna’s uncle, was an added bonus but I do wish they had their own book. I think they deserved that. There was also the birth of Sascha and Lucas’s baby which was lovely, and I enjoyed seeing the Changelings reaction to this.

There are still a lot of questions that need to be answered surrounding the Psy, and to be honest I was far more interested in the Changelings this time round. I really need to reread the book again (maybe slightly slower this time 🙂 ) to enable me to take more information in.

A fantastic read.

Rating: 6/6 – It Was Amazing

Review: Grave Witch (Alex Craft #1) by Kalayna Price

As a grave witch, Alex Craft can speak to the dead-she’s even on good terms with Death himself. As a consultant for the police, she’s seen a lot of dark magic, but nothing has prepared her for her latest case. When she’s raising a “shade” involved in a high profile murder, it attacks her, and then someone makes an attempt on her life. Someone really doesn’t want her to know what the dead have to say, and she’ll have to work with mysterious homicide detective Falin Andrews to figure out why.

I saw this book a while ago on a book blog or Goodreads, I forget which and I managed to picked it up a few weeks ago. It was the cover that caught my eye originally but the story also sounded really interesting so I didn’t wait too long before starting it.

Alex is a grave witch. She can raise and speak to the dead but she goes near blind afterwards. I really liked that using her grave sight had a price -I not sure why I like the fact that she became vulnerable, but I did. She isn’t stupid and that is a big plus for me. There’s nothing I dislike more than an annoyingly stupid heroine (coughMacfromDarkfevercough). Okay she rushes ahead sometimes and that can get her into trouble, but you can see why she couldn’t wait around so it’s easy to let that go.

Death (a sole collector only Alex seems to be able to see), and Falin (a police detective) are the two love interests and I liked them both. I felt that Death could have played a bigger part in the whole scheme of things than he did but because there was a lot more of Falin, it was him I felt I ‘knew’ better so was rooting for him throughout.

It was very easy to get into and the writing was really good. Alex is a rounded character and very likable. Death was cool but Falin was sexy.

I couldn’t put it down. I really, really enjoyed it.

A great start to a promising series.

Rating: 5/6 – Really liked it