Category Archives: Urban Fantasy

Book Reviews
February 5, 2015 posted by Nichole

The Sorcerer Heir (The Heir Chronicles #5) by Cinda Williams Chima

The Sorcerer HeirThe delicate peace between Wizards and the underguilds (Warriors, Seers, Enchanters, and Sorcerers) still holds by the thinnest of threads, but powerful forces inside and outside the guilds threaten to sever it completely.

Emma and Jonah are at the center of it all. Brought together by their shared history, mutual attraction, and a belief in the magic of music, they now stand to be torn apart by new wounds and old betrayals. As they struggle to rebuild their trust in each other, Emma and Jonah must also find a way to clear their names as the prime suspects in a series of vicious murders. It seems more and more likely that the answers they need lie buried in the tragedies of the past. The question is whether they can survive long enough to unearth them. 

Old friends and foes return as new threats arise in this stunning and revelatory conclusion to the beloved and bestselling Heir Chronicles series.


Praise for The Heir Chronicles:
The Warrior Heir

*”Chima offers a pitch-perfect blend of high fantasy and small-town reality…” –The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books (starred review)

* “Twists and turns abound in this remarkable, nearly flawless debut novel that mixes a young man’s coming-of-age with fantasy and adventure.” –VOYA (starred review)

The Wizard Heir 
* “Chima uses her pen like a wand and crafts a wonderfully rich web of magic, while thankfully leaving some dangling threads for subsequent tales.” –VOYA (starred review)

“Chima is a talented storyteller…a strong choice for teens seeking a rousing read.” –The Cleveland Plain-Dealer

The Dragon Heir 
* “A superlative accomplishment.” –Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Chima spins a finely structured tale that roars to a satisfying conclusion.” –School Library Journal

The Enchanter Heir 
* “A smoldering story soaked in tears, sweat and blood, constantly threatening to blaze into an inferno. Spellbinding.” –Kirkus Reviews(starred review)

“Chima continues to excel at building tension and populating her well-told tales with new and returning characters we want to know better.” –Booklist

 

My Review:

I LOVED this book! There was nothing even remotely negative to say about it. The character were amazing; the plot line was off the charts; the magic was even more magical that could be expected. Then again, I never have anything negative to say about any of Cinda Williams Chima’s works. Just…amazing. I still haven’t even recovered from it.

The only thing that slightly confused me (and it was my own fault) was that I had some confusion over some of the characters who appeared in the first three books. Realistically, I should have reread them before I read books 4 and 5 (since there was such a long gap between them) but…I didn’t. I would definitely recommend that fans of this series (or any reader in general) read or reread the first 3 books before moving on to 4 and 5. Simply for your own sanity.

I didn’t understand how this was the finale to the Heir series. I had thought and expected that there would be at least one more book. Not only do I want to read more from this series, but I also thought that the ending wasn’t finished. There’s a lot that still wasn’t covered or was just kind of left open ended. Also, being such a fan of Emma and Jonah, I expected more from their relationship at the end of the series. So, I’m pretty disappointed that this is the finale (even though it was amazing!) Hopefully, Chima changes her mind down the road and continues the Heir series.

There were so many twists and turns that I didn’t see coming in this book. I had moments where my mouth was literally hanging open and I was like whaaaaat just happened?! There was never a dull moment. I felt that the action just kept right on pumping and I was entertained (and in love) the whole read through.

There’s absolutely nothing negative that I can say about this book. Cinda Williams Chima is one of my all time favorite authors, and I will promote everything that she writes with nothing but the highest regards. If you haven’t read any of her works yet, then I highly recommend that you do so! This was just so good!!!

 

Pages: 560

Publication Date: October 21st, 2014

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Rating: : ★★★★★

adult books
October 13, 2014 posted by Nichole

Magic Breaks (Kate Daniels #7) – Ilona Andrews

Magic BreaksNo matter how much the paranormal politics of Atlanta change, one thing always remains the same: if there’s trouble, Kate Daniels will be in the middle of it…

As the mate of the Beast Lord, Curran, former mercenary Kate Daniels has more responsibilities than it seems possible to juggle. Not only is she still struggling to keep her investigative business afloat, she must now deal with the affairs of the pack, including preparing her people for attack from Roland, a cruel ancient being with god-like powers. Since Kate’s connection to Roland has come out into the open, no one is safe—especially those closest to Kate.

As Roland’s long shadow looms ever nearer, Kate is called to attend the Conclave, a gathering of the leaders from the various supernatural factions in Atlanta. When one of the Masters of the Dead is found murdered there, apparently at the hands of a shapeshifter, Kate is given only twenty-four hours to hunt down the killer. And this time, if she fails, she’ll find herself embroiled in a war which could destroy everything she holds dear…

 

 

My Review:

It’s been awhile since I’ve read this book, but I haven’t had the chance to tell you all how much I adored this book! Unlike the previous book, Magic Breaks started out with a bang. I pretty much loved it from the first page and I was absolutely devastated when it ended. Thankfully there are at least two more books in the series!!!!

Kate and Curran were as strong as ever. I would have liked to see some more lovey doveyness between them, but I’m not really complaining either.

I really liked that Kate’s father was FINALLY introduced in this book. That whole plotline was dragged on for wayyyyyyyy too long…seeing as he was mentioned in the very first book. I was a little disappointed with him, though. I thought that he could have been a little bit more scary and a lot a bit more powerful. I just thought that, after waiting 7 books for him to finally make an appearance, he would have made me shake just a wee bit more.

As for the ending…..I’m on the fence. I wasn’t totally in love with how things played out and that made me pretty frustrated. I don’t really want to give it away for anyone, so I can’t really talk more in depth about it, but I just don’t know what I think about it.

This book was amazing. Hell, this whole series has been amazing and strong since the very get go. If you haven’t read the Kate Daniels series, yet, what are you waiting for? Get your butt to the book store!

 

Pages: 400

Publication Date: 7/29/14

Publisher: Ace

Rating: : ★★★★½

Book Reviews
September 29, 2014 posted by Nichole

Sacrifice (Elemental #5) by Brigid Kemmerer

SacrificeOne misstep and they lose it all. For the last time.

Michael Merrick is used to pressure. 

He’s the only parent his three brothers have had for years. His power to control Earth could kill someone if he miscalculates. Now an Elemental Guide has it out for his family, and he’s all that stands in the way. 

His girlfriend, Hannah, gets that. She’s got a kid of her own, and a job as a firefighter that could end her life without a moment’s notice. 

But there are people who have had enough of Michael’s defiance, his family’s “bad luck.” Before he knows it, Michael’s enemies have turned into the Merricks’ enemies, and they’re armed for war. 

They’re not interested in surrender. But Michael isn’t the white flag type anyway. There will be blood on the ground tonight…

 

My Review:

I had to take a couple of days after finishing this book to process my thoughts because I was left emotionally devastated and didn’t want to make any hasty comments or decisions on my review or its rating. I’m going to start this review by saying how amazing Brigid Kemmerer is. I don’t say that lightly. I mean, I don’t really fall head over heels in love with authors all that frequently. When I do, there’s usually a 3 star book thrown in the mix or the series goes downhill after too much time. Brigid Kemmerer is the exception to that rule. I have loved this series from book 1 and I loved this last book in the series. She’s just a writing genius!

This book was packed full of action from the very get go. I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I jumped, covered my eyes, and then bounced up and down from excitement. There was just so much going on. I loved the entire thing from page one.

One thing that I would have changed in this book is the amount of exposure the other characters had. I felt that, with this being the last book, the other characters should have had a lot more face time. I know that’s difficult since this is Michael’s book, but I wanted to see more of Adam and Nick…and I don’t think I saw Becca at all. And what about her relationship with Nick? For that reason, I feel that this series needs at least a couple more books to tie it closed because it’s not really finished. I’m going to be pretty let down if this is officially the end.

Another thing that was absolutely amazing about this book was the magic and powers. Woah, baby, was there a lot going on this book or what? I loved that the characters were really giving their powers a chance to shine and I really enjoyed the new characters (both good and bad) who made appearances.

Now let’s talk about the end because that’s what caused me to take some time before writing this review. The ending sucked. It literally crushed my heart into little pieces and left me breathless and shattered for days. I remember looking at the book and saying loudly out loud “Is she for real?!” The worst part is that there are a couple things that made me do that. On one hand, I liked the realism of the ending. On the other hand, it pissed me off that she messed with my characters. I still don’t have an official opinion on the ending, but I do know that it caused me to dock the book half a star.

Overall, I loved this book. I’m so sad that it’s over and I can’t wait to read everything else that Brigid Kemmerer creates! Go buy this entire series!!!!

 

Pages: 324

Publisher: Kensington Teen

Publication Date: 9/30/2014

Rating: : ★★★★½

 

adult books
August 16, 2014 posted by Nichole

DNF Review: House Immortal (House Immortal #1) by Devon Monk

House ImmortalOne hundred years ago, eleven powerful ruling Houses consolidated all of the world’s resources and authority into their own grasping hands. Only one power wasn’t placed under the command of a single House: the control over the immortal galvanized….

Matilda Case isn’t like most folk. In fact, she’s unique in the world, the crowning achievement of her father’s experiments, a girl pieced together from bits. Or so she believes, until Abraham Seventh shows up at her door, stitched with life thread just like her and insisting that enemies are coming to kill them all.

Tilly is one of thirteen incredible creations known as the galvanized, stitched together beings immortal and unfathomably strong. For a century, each House has fought for control over the galvanized. Now the Houses are also tangled in a deadly struggle for dominion over death—and Tilly and her kind hold the key to unlocking eternity

The secrets that Tilly must fight to protect are hidden within the very seams of her being. And to get the secrets, her enemies are willing to tear her apart piece by piece.…

FIRST IN A NEW SERIES!

 

My Review:

I honestly didn’t make it very far in this book. I maybe made it like 5 chapters. Normally I wouldn’t write a review for a book that I DNF’d so soon, but I kind of want to explain my reasoning. This book was confusing. I mean, seriously, I was confused from the very first page. It kind of felt like the book had already been in progress for quite awhile and I was jumping into the middle of it. There really wasn’t any build up or background/plot information. It just jumped into.

I didn’t understand the “stitching” or the different Houses. It completely went over my head. It also seemed like a really extreme concept. Now, I know that this is urban fantasy, so I’m trying not to be too judgmental about extreme concepts, but I just couldn’t process it. Was she a zombie? Was she a human? Was she a sewed up doll? It didn’t make sense and I just couldn’t get on board with it. Maybe if there would have been a little more explanation I would have liked it better.

Honestly, there’s not much to say about this book other than that it was really confusing and awkward to read.

 

Pages: 368

Publication Date: 9/2/14

Publisher: ROC

Rating: DNF

Blog Tour
May 24, 2014 posted by Nichole

Hexed by Michelle Krys

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HexedIf high school is all about social status, Indigo Blackwood has it made. Sure, her quirky mom owns an occult shop, and a nerd just won’t stop trying to be her friend, but Indie is a popular cheerleader with a football-star boyfriend and a social circle powerful enough to ruin everyone at school. Who wouldn’t want to be her?

Then a guy dies right before her eyes. And the dusty old family Bible her mom is freakishly possessive of is stolen. But it’s when a frustratingly sexy stranger named Bishop enters Indie’s world that she learns her destiny involves a lot more than pom-poms and parties. If she doesn’t get the Bible back, every witch on the planet will die. And that’s seriously bad news for Indie, because according to Bishop, she’s a witch too.

Suddenly forced into a centuries-old war between witches and sorcerers, Indie’s about to uncover the many dark truths about her life—and a future unlike any she ever imagined on top of the cheer pyramid

 

 

About the Author:

Michelle Krys

Hi there! I’m the author of the YA novel HEXED, slated for publication with Delacorte Press/Random House Children’s Books Spring 2014. I’m repped by Adriann Ranta of Wolf Literary Services. Visit me at michellekrys.com or follow @MichelleKrys on Twitter.

 

My Review:

I loved this book SO MUCH! Oh my goodness…..I’m so glad that I finally found a good witchy book! It had everything that I wanted in a book. It was snarky, funny, sassy, hot, romantic, witchy…it was awesome. The best part was that it was one of those books that hooked me immediately. I didn’t need that time to get accustomed to different characters and plot/setting. It was awesome from the get go.

The characters in Hexed were so much fun. I especially loved Bishop. Hello, new book boyfriend. The supporting characters were equally as awesome and provided more humor and entertainment to the book as a whole.

The magic itself was a lot of fun. Some of you may know that I have a big problem with witchy type of books in any genre. Why? Because usually the authors don’t do it right or they make it lean more toward MG than anything else. The magic in Hexed was very big and powerful. It was very entertaining to read about it…and I love that I finally found a witchy type of book that I could fall in love with.

Fans of Cassandra Clare, Rachel Hawkins, and Kara Taylor will fall head over heels in love with this book. It’s definitely one that I would recommend!

 

Pages: 384

Publication Date: June 10th 2014

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Rating: : ★★★★★

 

The Tour Schedule:

 

5/20 Me, My Shelf and I
5/21 Lose Time Reading
5/22 Books and Whimsy
5/23 Bumbles and Fairytales
5/24 YA Reads
5/26 Synchronized Reading
5/27 Winter Haven Books
5/28 Wondrous Reads
5/29 Rather be Reading YA
5/30 I Swim for Oceans
5/31 Gizmo’s Reviews
6/2 Christy’s Book Addiction
6/3 Daisy Chain Book Reviews
6/4 Anatea’s Bookshelf
6/5 Fiction Fare
6/6 The Unofficial Addiction Book Fan Club
6/7 Pandora’s Books
6/9 Moonlight Reader
6/10 The Book Monsters

 

 

Book Reviews
May 2, 2014 posted by Nichole

My Soul to Lose (Soul Screamers 0.5) by Rachel Vincent

6583427It was supposed to be a fun day, shopping at the mall with her best friend. Then the panic attack started and Kaylee Cavanaugh finds herself screaming, unable to stop. Her secret fears are exposed and it’s the worst day of her life.

Until she wakes up in the psychiatric unit.

She tries to convince everyone she’s fine–despite the shadows she sees forming around another patient and the urge to scream which comes burbling up again and again. Everyone thinks she’s crazy. Everyone except Lydia, that is. Another patient with some special abilities….

“An eBook exclusive prequel to Rachel Vincent’s SOUL SCREAMERS series.”

 

My Review:

I’ve been meaning to read this series for quite a long time now. I own like the first six or so books, but I’ve just never really gotten around to it. I thought that this was just an okay start to a series. Maybe I didn’t fall head over heels in love with it because it’s only like 61 pages. I just didn’t feel the connection and I was rather bored.

I can already tell that fans of the Mara Dyer series will really enjoy this series. For some reason, I just don’t dig the mental patient theme in YA fiction. I could definitely tell the resemblance and was instantly turned off. I’m slightly curious to see how that will progress through a huge series, though, so maybe it has some potential.

There’s not a whole lot to say about this little novella. What I can say, though, is that it’s not really a great to start to the series. After reading it, I really don’t have any strong desire to go read the first book. I mean, I’ll try it out, but my hopes aren’t very high. I’m curious to hear thoughts from fans of this series and what they thought of this novella and the series as a whole.

 

Pages: 61

Format: ebook

Publication Date: July 1st, 2009

Publisher:  by Harlequin Teen

Rating: : ★★☆☆☆

Author Interviews
April 28, 2014 posted by Nichole

Blog Tour: The Shadow Prince by Stacey O’Neale Review + Author Interview

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20542942This prequel novella is FREE and available on Goodreads, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble!

Every sacrifice has consequences.

Sixteen-year-old Rowan has spent most of his life living among the mortals—learning to control the element of fire, impatiently awaiting the day his vengeful mother, Queen Prisma, will abdicate her throne. When he finally returns to Avalon for his coronation, his mother insists he must first prove his loyalty to the court by completing a secret mission: 

Kill Kalin, the half-human, half-elemental daughter of the air court king. 

Willing to do anything to remove his mother from power, he agrees to sacrifice the halfling. He returns to the mortal world with his best friend, Marcus, determined to kill the princess. But as he devises a plan, he starts to question whether or not he’s capable of completing such a heinous task. And what price he will pay if he refuses?

Available for FREE on Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Also available in PRINT from Amazon

 

My Review:

The Shadow Prince started out really well done. It was full of detail and high fantasy elements that immediately captured my attention. I loved the whole concept of Avalon and elemental creatures. In fact, I would definitely say that The Shadow Prince was very similar feeling to the Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa and the Elemental series by Brigid Kemmerer

A slight problem that this novella had was that there was a little too much detail crammed into this tiny novella. On one hand that’s awesome because that means that the first book is going to be perfectly set up to just jump into action. On the other hand, that also means that the novella itself was a little too squished together for my personal taste. I did really enjoy the book, but I also feel that the novella should have just been a whole first books so that it had more room to grow.

I wish that the author would have turned this into a high fantasy book instead of more of a urban paranormal book. I say this because the high fantasy elements that were included in this book were amazing. What needed to be done is the modern day qualities needed to be completely wiped from this book and it needed to be more focused on a different world with unique creatures and powers. If it would have stuck to that field, I would be sitting here gushing about the Lord of the Rings qualities that the book had. However, the modern day qualities tended to give it a cheesy type of feel that did not appeal to me.

I really enjoyed the characters. I liked how there were the good guys and then the really bad guys. I kept having a slight problem with the main character, because he seemed a lot older than I think he was supposed to be portrayed as. I kept thinking he was around 25, but I think he was realistically supposed to be around 16 or 17. It’s not really a complaint of the book, but I kept getting confused why the main character was interested in a 15 year old girl. I think that he was just portrayed as a little too mature for his age.

Overall, I thought that this was a good book that definitely has the potential to be expanded. This series is going to appeal to many readers, especially high fantasy lovers!

 

Pages: 111

Publication Date: March 25th 2014

Publisher: Phoenix Reign Publishing

Rating: : ★★★☆☆

 

Author Interview with Stacey O’Neale

unnamed (1)Stacey O’Neale lives in Annapolis, Maryland. When she’s not writing, she spends her time fangirling over books, blogging, watching fantasy television shows, cheering for the Baltimore Ravens, and hanging out with her husband and daughter.

Her career in publishing started as a blogger-turned-publicist for two successful small publishers. Stacey writes young adult paranormal romance and adult science fiction romance. Her books always include swoon-worthy heroes, snarky heroines, and lots of kissing.

Stacey loves hearing from readers. Follow her on Twitter @StaceyONeale, look for her on Facebook, Pinterest, and GoodReads. You can also visit her blog at http://staceyoneale.com/.

Can you tell us about your novella, The Shadow Prince, in 15 words or less?

I think THE SHADOW PRINCE at its core is about friendship, making tough choices, and survival.

 What genre is The Shadow Prince?

Upper YA Paranormal

When will the first book in the Mortal Enchantment series be released?

May 20, 2014

Will the first book take place immediately after this novella or will some time have passed?

The first chapter of MORTAL ENCHANTMENT is basically the last chapter of THE SHADOW PRINCE, but it’s in Kalin’s point of view. It continues forward from there.

Do you intend to write more novellas for the Mortal Enchantment series?

I’ve been asked by a few reviewers to write Marcus and Ariel’s story. If I do, it will be something I offer to readers for free like THE SHADOW PRINCE.

 Is Marcus gone forever or can we expect to see more of him in the future? Will he ever get Ariel?

Marcus will be in MORTAL ENCHANTMENT. He comes back into the story in a really special way. It made one of my beta readers cry. I’m not going to tell you if he gets the girl. 😉

When The Shadow Prince took place, Rowan seemed to have some concrete decisions about what he wanted to do with his kingdom. Toward the end of the novella, though, he seemed to just abandon those thoughts. Did his punishment bring about that decision or was it something else?

He never abandoned those thoughts. By giving up the crown, he made the ultimate sacrifice. When he decided to watch over Kalin, he believed he was doing what was best for his people. Meaning, he thought he was acting as a king would. And, judging by the events in the last chapter, he was right.

What can we expect from Rowan and Kalin throughout the series?

Lots! It’s interesting because Kalin is completely unaware of what’s happened over the last year. King Taron told Rowan he never wanted her to know, so when certain events happen, their perspectives are quite different. There will definitely be lots of friction.

Are you currently working on anything else?

I’m halfway through an adult science fiction romance. It’s the first book in a trilogy. It reminds me a bit of the 90’s show, Roswell. After I finish, I have to write book two in the MORTAL ENCHANTMENT series.

What do you have planned after this series?

I’d like to bounce between YA and Adult Paranormal Romance. Once I finish the two series I mentioned in #9, I have a YA Urban Fantasy series I’m chomping at the bit to write.

 What is the best book you’ve read recently?

WHITE HOT KISS by Jennifer L. Armentrout! I absolutely love Roth and I will fight dirty if anyone tries to claim him. ;-p

What is currently in your TBR pile?

LOL! I have over 300 books on my TBR. I read anything YA or Adult in Fantasy, Paranormal, Steampunk, Dystopian, Science Fiction, and even Contemporary Romance! I try to read a book a week. The only time I don’t is when I’m close to a deadline.

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