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: 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

Review: Magic Slays (Kate Daniels #5) by Ilona Andrews

Plagued by a war between magic and technology, Atlanta has never been so deadly. Good thing Kate Daniels is on the job. 

Kate Daniels may have quit the Order of Merciful Aid, but she’s still knee-deep in paranormal problems. Or she would be if she could get someone to hire her. Starting her own business has been more challenging than she thought it would be—now that the Order is disparaging her good name, and many potential clients are afraid of getting on the bad side of the Beast Lord, who just happens to be Kate’s mate. 

So when Atlanta’s premier Master of the Dead calls to ask for help with a vampire on the loose, Kate leaps at the chance of some paying work. Turns out this is not an isolated incident, and Kate needs to get to the bottom of it—fast, or the city and everyone dear to her might pay the ultimate price.

I re-read the first 4 books in the Kate Daniels series in January (for the 3rd time). Mistakenly thinking this was due out the beginning of February. I was wrong and I was only slightly annoyed that I had to wait another few months (yeah this review is kinda old).

I love this series. I love Kate and Curran, and I love Ilona Andrews. Although I didn’t get ecstatic over the scenes from Curran’s pov, I did enjoy them.

Magic Slays was released on the same day as Kiss of Snow, the 10th Psy-Changling book, and another favourite series of mine. I ended up reading Kiss of Snow first because I’ve been impatiently waiting for that one for what felt like ages, but that’s neither here nor there regarding my preference.

The one thing about this series I’d forgotten about was the humour. In those short months I forgot how funny these books were. As with the other books, Magic Slay had me laughing out loud. I love Kate’s and Curran’s relationship and how they bounce off each other. The one thing that jumped out at me though was how violent they can be together when Kate is super angry. They get very physical and sometimes it’s hard to read.

As usual the story felt very visual. I love the world building of this series, and Andrew’s ability to put you in her world so easily.

A great read, and if you haven’t started this series yet, what are you waiting for?

Rating: 6/6 – It Was Amazing

Review: Hunted By The Others (H&W Investigations #1) by Jess Haines

Shiarra Waynest’s detective work was dangerous enough when her client base was strictly mortal. But ailing finances have forced her to accept a lucrative case that could save her firm – if it doesn’t kill her first. Shiarra has signed on to work for a high-level mage to recover an ancient artifact owned by one of New York’s most powerful vampires. As soon as Shiarra meets sexy, mesmerizing vamp Alec Royce, she knows her assignment is even more complicated than she thought. With a clandestine anti-Other group trying to recruit her, and magi being eliminated, Shiarra needs back-up and enlists her ex-boyfriend – a werewolf whose non-furry form is disarmingly appealing – and a nerdy mage with surprising talents. But it may not be enough. In a city where the undead roam, magic rules, and even the Others aren’t always what they seem, Shiarra has just become the secret weapon in a battle between good and evil – whether she likes it or not.

I’ve been in a bit of a slum these past few days, flitting from book to book. I’d read a few pages of one then quickly leave it for another. Then the cover of Hunted by The Others caught my eye on Goodreads, I saw all the good ratings and thought why not. I’m kinda glad I did, at first.

Shianna is a PI, a PI whose business is in trouble and both she and it, are running in the red. Needing money fast she takes a seemingly easy job for a lot of money and bites of way more than she can chew.

I don’t know how I feel about this book. It started off good but slowly turned into Darkfever #2.

The weapon cave made me think of Batman but nowhere near as cool. There was lots of mundane dialogue, no humour and not very exciting. I don’t get why she was so special that everyone wanted a piece of her. I didn’t feel the attraction/spark between her and Royce either.

I quite liked Shianna but I’d like her more if she’d shown some loyalty instead of switching sides so easily. I get the she was struggling with the fact that there wasn’t a side she wanted to be on, but wow a show of fangs/a slight hint of a threat and she was anyones. A pair of balls wouldn’t have gone a miss.

With frequent info dumps, no excitement and a dull protagonist, I not so much struggled to finish this, more that I wasn’t really interest. After taking 3 days to read the first half of the book I finally seemed to settle into it around chapter 19. I still found the plot up to this point a little lame but I knew if I could get past all the setting up of the story/characters I’d start to enjoy it more because the writing was good.

I did hate the fact the belt could ‘talk’ but I guess I’m nic-picking now.

Chaz was boring and I didn’t trust him, in fact I didn’t really care for any of the characters and I guess that was one of the main issues I had with it.

I may get tempted to read the next installment in the hope of it getting better, but I don’t hold out too much hope.

Rating: 3/6 – It Was Okay

Review: The Restorer (Graveyard Queen #1) by Amanda Stevens

My name is Amelia Gray. I’m a cemetery restorer who sees ghosts. In order to protect myself from the parasitic nature of the dead, I’ve always held fast to the rules passed down from my father. But now a haunted police detective has entered my world and everything is changing, including the rules that have always kept me safe.

It started with the discovery of a young woman’s brutalized body in an old Charleston graveyard I’ve been hired to restore. The clues to the killer—and to his other victims—lie in the headstone symbolism that only I can interpret. Devlin needs my help, but his ghosts shadow his every move, feeding off his warmth, sustaining their presence with his energy. To warn him would be to invite them into my life. I’ve vowed to keep my distance, but the pull of his magnetism grows ever stronger even as the symbols lead me closer to the killer and to the gossamer veil that separates this world from the next.

I’d been looking forward to reading this after seeing the cover a few times on various book blogs (I can’t actually remember where). I love the cover and it sounded really interesting. The concept of a cemetery restorer really intrigued me.I hoped it wouldn’t let me down like The Demon Trapper’s Daughter and it didn’t 🙂 from the first sentence to the last, I was hooked.

It’s really well written, and the characters felt real. I liked Amelia and took to her right away, but even though I liked Devlin, I didn’t really feel connected to him like I did with Amelia. I can’t wait to see what happens between them.

It didn’t seem like I was reading an urban fantasy book. It reminded me somewhat of a Dan Brown novel; the symbolism, secret societies, intrigue and suspense, and with an interesting but non sexual relationship.

I liked it even though it wasn’t what I was expecting to read. I will definitely read the next book in the series, The Kindom, which is expected to be released some time in October.

Rating: 4/6 – I Liked It

Review: Hell Fire (Corine Solomon #2) by Ann Aguirre

As a handler, Corine Solomon can touch any object and know its history. It’s too bad she can’t seem to forget her own. With her ex-boyfriend Chance in tow-lending his own supernatural brand of luck-Corine journeys back home to Kilmer, Georgia, in order to discover the truth behind her mother’s death and the origins of “gift”. 

But while trying to uncover the secrets in her past, Corine and Chance find that something is rotten in the state of Georgia. Inside Kilmer’s borders there are signs of a dark curse affecting the town and all its residents-and it can only be satisfied with death.


I was eager to start reading Hell Fire after finishing Blue Diablo. It starts off shortly after Blue Diablo, just long enough for Corine not to have to answer Chance at the end of the last book. I had hoped that we’d have some kind of resolution during some point of this book, but the love triangle was still there, although maybe not as all consuming as previously, but it was there, with no resolution in sight.

I was quite perplexed as to why Chance had done a total 360. If Corine had left him because she didn’t think he loved her, then why was she able to keep him dangling like a love sick puppy in this and the previous book?

I don’t know. Ann Aguirre left me with lots of questions by the time I finished reading Hell Fire, questions that I didn’t really mind not asking during the last one. I think maybe I wasn’t bothered by them in the first book.

The plot was again a little ropey at times, events seemed to come out of the blue, and the world building… Well the world building was slightly off. I don’t know if this is just me but I wasn’t left with a solid grasp of the world Corinne lives in, even after reading 2 books. The good thing about that is that there’s no info dumping, and instead, a fast pace story. Maybe the world is being slowing introduced and more is to come. It is only book three after all.

Sometimes the characters seemed to be bundling along aimlessly, not really knowing what to do, or why they were doing it and that distracted me at times. You know I like to moan about books I really like, and I do like this series, and I did really like this book. It was an enjoyable read, all be it one that leaves me all kinds of heartbroken. (My current mantra: there’s still time, there’s still time, there’s still time…)

Rating: 5/6 –  Really Liked It

Review: Venom (Elemental Assassin #3) by Jennifer Estep

What kind of assassin works pro bono? 

It’s hard to be a badass assassin when a giant is beating the crap out of you. Luckily, I never let pride get in the way of my work. My current mission is personal: annihilate Mab Monroe, the Fire elemental who murdered my family. Which means protecting my identity, even if I have to conceal my powerful Stone and Ice magic when I need it most. 

To the public, I’m Gin Blanco, owner of Ashland’s best barbecue joint. To my friends, I’m the Spider, retired assassin. I still do favors on the side. Like ridding a vampire friend of her oversized stalker—Mab’s right-hand goon who almost got me dead with his massive fists. 

At least irresistible Owen Grayson is on my side. The man knows too much about me, but I’ll take my chances. Then there’s Detective Bria Coolidge, one of Ashland’s finest. Until recently, I thought my baby sister was dead. She probably thinks the same about me. Little does she know, I’m a cold-blooded killer . . . who is about to save her life.

I really need to stop star rating books on goodreads immediately after I finish reading the book. I’m way too involved and often give a 5 when really it should be a 4. I want to give this book a 5 though. :/ but I have issues with it. Notably the re-capping of previous events which I moan about below. And also the fact that Gin kept saying “don’t worry I kill him/them. You’ll never have to worry about him again” then she’d mess up, but she’d keep on saying it so that I stopped believing her. It’s a little thing but still :/

After reading Spider’s bite and Web of Lie in quick succession, I couldn’t wait to get stuck into this 3rd instalment, Vemon. I’m loving this series. Gin is still kick ass but we’re starting to see a little beneath the surface now.

Again, it’s action packed and fast paced. One of the many reasons I love this series. The only thing I don’t like (and I’ve already mentioned) is the way Estep re-caps everything that happens in the previous books. Everything! All the time. It’s like the start of a TV show “previously on…” but throughout. I find it jarring, and it makes me skip ahead a lot and I don’t want to do that. This happens in every book and by the 3rd book I wanted to pull my hair out. Okay, it didn’t bother me that much and the fact that it’s a great series makes it up a little but I wish it would stop. I know there’s a reason for it but it’s getting repetitive, and to be fair, if you’re going to start a series in the middle, or 3rd book in you deserve to not know what the hell is going on (IMHO).

All in all Vemon is a great read. You get everything you expect from Gin and more, although, please start at the beginning of the series 🙂

Rating: 5/6 – Really 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 (cuss) 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.

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. To me, rightly or wrongly, they are only ever dirty smackheads. It’s just a dirty stanky drug. I think if he’d had an addiction to a made up drug, or pills, or anything else but heroin I would have felt differently but I just didnt like him 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