Review of Dirty Blood by Heather Hildenbrand
Summary from Goodreads:
I killed a girl last night. I did it with my bare hands and an old piece of pipe I found lying next to the dumpster. But that’s not the part that got me. The part that scared me, the part I can’t seem to wrap my head around and still has me reeling, was that when she charged me, her body shifted – and then she was a wolf. All snapping teeth and extended claws. But by the time I stood over her lifeless body, she was a girl again. That’s about the time I went into shock… And that was the moment he showed up.
Now, all I can do is accept the truths that are staring me in the face. One, Werewolves do exist. And Two, I was born to kill them.
Dirty Blood was an enjoyable read for me. Heather captured my interest from the beginning and I found that I looked forward to my “reading time” each day. The reader is pulled into the supernatural world rather quickly and I liked that. Tara learns more than she bargained for when she has a run-in with an angry wolf and her whole world quickly changes. She meets Wes, learns the truth about her heritage, and is forced into a hidden world all in the matter of a couple of weeks. Tara is a strong character that readily accepts her new fate and I’m looking forward to see what will happen with her. Let’s talk about Wes…I liked him. I think Heather did a nice job expressing his internal struggles to obey his orders or help Tara understand. That being said, I didn’t fully believe the connection between Tara and Wes. It started out exciting and good, but then very quickly turned to “I love you” and “I love you too” that I just didn’t believe. And then there were the talking wolves. I am a huge fan of fantasy (of all kinds) and enjoy reading books that challenge me to ignore the rules of reality…but I got stuck on the wolf-speaking-like-a-human thing. As creative and fun as the rest of the book was, I guess I’d hoped for more. However, the overarching plotline was well developed and set the stage for the series. Despite my hang-ups, Dirty Blood was a fun read and I’m excited to see how the series progresses.
I really liked the title. Oh, and the werewolves. I love them and it was nice to read a book revolving around that species.
Three major things for me: 1) the wolves spoke like a human when in wolf form; 2) insta-love that I didn’t feel fully invested in; and 3) a little Twilight-ish with the mind reading and the “protecting the virtue” type story lines.
4 stars. Looking past the talking wolves, it was a story that kept me reading and had me purchasing the second book right away.
Amber Garr spends her days conducting scientific experiments and wondering if her next door neighbor is secretly a vampire. Born in Pennsylvania, she lives in Florida with her husband and their furry kids. Her childhood imaginary friend was a witch, Halloween is sacred, and she is certain that she has a supernatural sense of smell. She writes both adult and young adult urban fantasies and when not obsessing over the unknown, she can be found dancing, reading, or enjoying a good movie.
Amber Garr is the author of our Indie Book of the Month, Promises. Promises is about a young Syrenka, Eviana, who has been cast out of her clan and has run off with the love of her life. Unfortunately for Eviana, things do not go as smoothly as she might have hoped, and she has to face many challenges, and many old faces along the way. Make sure you visit Amber Garr’s website and take a look at the rest of her books!
Reviewed by Amber Garr
The #1 New York Times bestselling author Kelley Armstrong delivers the novel her fans have been clamoring for:Thirteen, the epic finale of the Otherworld series.
It’s been more than ten years, a dozen installments, and hundreds of thousands of copies since Kelley Armstrong introduced readers to the all-too-real denizens of the Otherworld: witches, werewolves, necromancers, vampires, and half-demons, among others. And it’s all been leading to Thirteen, the final installment, the novel that brings all of these stories to a stunning conclusion.
A war is brewing—the first battle has been waged and Savannah Levine is left standing, albeit battered and bruised. She has rescued her half brother from supernatural medical testing, but he’s fighting to stay alive. The Supernatural Liberation Movement took him hostage, and they have a maniacal plan to expose the supernatural world to the unknowing.
Savannah has called upon her inner energy to summon spells with frightening strength, a strength she never knew she had, as she fights to keep her world from shattering. But it’s more than a matter of supernaturals against one another—both heaven and hell have entered the war; hellhounds, genetically modified werewolves, and all forces of good and evil have joined the fray.
I am a HUGE fan of Kelley Armstrong and wish I could be more like her (but not in a stalkery kind of way – well, not totally. Ha!) I have read everything she’s released and will continue to do so. What I wouldn’t give to have a few minutes to pick her brain…
Anyway…the Otherworld series has been an inspiration for my writing and I’ve loved the characters throughout the books. Thirteen is told in mostly in Savanah’s POV, and although I was hoping for more from Elena (I think I read Bitten like five times), I felt satisfied with this story. Thirteen is packed full of action, sexual tension, and tearful reunions. The Savanah/Adam storyline finally developed, although a little too YA for me, especially in comparison with the Elena/Clay relationship. Eve is great and gets a chance to do something I would have thought impossible. But it fit nicely with the plot and allowed the mother and daughter to spend some much needed time together. The group is faced with a lot of challenges in this installment and my heart almost stopped when it looked bleak for one of my favorites. That just goes to show how capable Kelley Armstrong is in creating relatable, loveable, and endearing characters.
And speaking of…it was nice seeing most of the main characters return. However, I will say that the series doesn’t feel totally complete to me. Good or bad, there are loose ends that give way for follow up short stories (which I understand is the plan). Jeremy and Jaime have more to tell, as does Cassandra. I would really love to see a Cassandra book! But in short, this is another great read by Kelley Armstrong. I am sad to see this series end, and thought there was enough closure to keep me satisfied (for now). I will be looking forward to the anthologies in 2014!!
Note from Nichole: I’ve never made a comment on someone’s guest post before, but I want to thank Amber Garr so much for reviewing Thirteen by Kelley Armstrong. This is my favorite series of all time…which means a lot coming from me. I was so sad to see the story end, and I did NOT know that there were anthologies coming in 2014?! You can bet I’m excited and about to go do a TON of research on that! Thank you so much for reviewing Thirteen!
Publisher: Penguin Group USA/ Dutton
Publication Date: July 24th, 2012
C.J. Redwine is the author of Defiance, which published in August, 2012. C.J. took the time out of her own schedule to do a guest review of Chime by Franny Billingsley. You can find out more information about C.J. Redwine on her website.
Reviewed by C.J. Redwine
Before Briony’s stepmother died, she made sure Briony blamed herself for all the family’s hardships. Now Briony has worn her guilt for so long it’s become a second skin. She often escapes to the swamp, where she tells stories to the Old Ones, the spirits who haunt the marshes. But only witches can see the Old Ones, and in her village, witches are sentenced to death. Briony lives in fear her secret will be found out, even as she believes she deserves the worst kind of punishment.
Then Eldric comes along with his golden lion eyes and mane of tawny hair. He’s as natural as the sun, and treats her as if she’s extraordinary. And everything starts to change. As many secrets as Briony has been holding, there are secrets even she doesn’t know.