Tag Archives: Kelley Armstrong

Book Reviews
February 18, 2014 posted by Nichole

Chaotic (Otherworld Stories #5.2) – Kelley Armstrong

13177535Kelley Armstrong returns to the Otherworld with “Chaotic,” where a half-demon tabloid journalist’s boring date is saved…by a supernatural explosion? She’s off to save the day—if only her less-than-stellar date wouldn’t tag along! Luckily, the intriguing, infuriating, and just plain sexy werewolf/jewel thief Karl Marsten also appears.

 

I don’t know about everyone else, but ever since Bitten has premiered on Syfy, I’ve had a serious craving to read anything and everything by Kelley Armstrong. Made a little bit difficult by the fact that I actually have read most of her works.

Chaotic is about when Karl and Hope (two of my favs!) first meet. I’m really happy that this book was dedicated to them, because I didn’t feel that they got nearly enough face time in the series. It was so awesome to see how they met each other and the instant chemistry between the two of them. They were such a power couple from the very start! I feel that they have another story that could be told before their actual book in the Women of the Otherworld series. If memory serves, Karl and Hope were not on the best of terms in their book….and that’s not how this book ended. So, I would like to see more of that story. Or maybe I just need to reread their book to refresh my memory.

Chaotic was just as good as the rest of the books in the series, if not better than some. It was action packed from the very get-go. It also made me laugh several times! I loved the humor, mystery, and suspense that surrounded this entire novella. But, unfortunately for me, it just made my craving for all things Kelley Armstrong related that much worse.

I’ve always been a huge fan of Karl’s character, and he did not disappoint me in Chaotic. He’s rough around the edges, but he’s also very classy! And I adore the way that he melts around Hope….even when he first met her! I loved seeing the “this is my mate” thinking click in his head. Hope was also amazing. I’ve always been a huge fan of her, as well. I love how she stands up to Karl and doesn’t put up with his crap. They’re the perfect match.

If you are a fan of Kelley Armstrong and/or the Women of the Otherworld series, then I HIGHLY recommend this novella. It’s a quick read. It’s over 100 pages, though, so you aren’t left feeling like you missed something. I wish that this had been turned into a full length novella, though, because it was just flipping amazing. I loved it!

Go buy this book today!

 

Pages: 109

Source: Kindle ebook

Publication Date: January 31st, 2012

Publisher: Harper Voyager

Rating: : ★★★★★

 

Teaser Quote:

Marsten was sitting beside the guard’s prone body, surveying the burn damage to his own shirt. He looked over at me. I was poised Dirty Harry style, gun drawn, hair wild, still drowning in the oversized tux jacket, His lips twitched.

“I, uh, have the gun.”

“So I see.”

“And I see you have the situation, uh, under control. So I’ll just…”

I let the sentence trail off as I lowered the gun and moved from behind the table, ignoring his barely stifled laughter.

adult books
February 9, 2014 posted by Nichole

Personal Demon (Women of the Otherworld #8) – Kelley Armstrong

1541884Tabloid reporter Hope Adams appears to live the life of an ordinary working girl. But in addition to possessing the beauty of a Bolly-wood princess, Hope has other unique traits. For she is a half demon- a human fathered by a demon. And she’s inherited not only a gift for seeing the past but a hunter for chaos- along with a talent for finding it wherever she can. Naturally, when she’s chosen by a very dangerous group for a very dangerous mission, she jumps at the chance…
The head of the powerful Cortez Cabal- a family that makes the mob look like amateurs- has a little problem in Miami: a gang of wealthy, bored offspring of supernaturals is getting out of hand, and Hope is needed to infiltrated. As spells, astral projections, and pheromones soar across South Beach, Hope weaves her way through its elite hot spots, posing as upscale eye candy and reading the auras of the clientele- and potential marks.

 

Ever since the Bitten TV show has came out, I have been having the BIGGEST Women of the Otherworld craving. I’m trying to resist going out and buying all the ones that I don’t own. I’ve been putting them on hold at the library. Of course, I caved and bought this one…even though I would have sworn that I owned it. This was definitely a reread for me. I demolished the entire series a couple of years ago. Be prepared for me to do nothing but gush about this book.

This book was AWESOME! Not shocking since I love every single book in this entire series. Hope and Karl are the perfect couple…well…..almost as perfect as Elena and Clay. I love their chemistry. GAH. They just work so well together!

I loved the whole idea of Hope paying back her debt (explained in the novella) and entering a supernatural gang to be a little spy for the Cortez Cabal. I do wish that it would have focused a little more on the gang and not have strayed off in a couple different directions. It didn’t take away from the book at all, but I really wanted to see more from the gang. This book was totally action packed, though, and I did not at all feel deprived.

I really enjoyed how the relationship between Hope and Karl wasn’t the cliché boys meets girl and nothing can go wrong plot line. They actually have a lot of problems that are detailed both in the novella and the book. And it was really sweet to watch Karl come to terms with his feelings for Hope, and Hope work out if she was willing to accept him. They do a lot of talking and soul searching with one another. And they’re both always there to help one another through difficult times. I just…I adore them.

Some people will have a problem with the age gap between Hope and Karl. I believe that Karl is 50 and Hope is around 27. However, it’s stressed that Karl looks like a 30 year old male. That didn’t bother me at all. Most of the time I didn’t even think of it. However, it might bother some people.

Because this was a reread for me, I already knew who the murderer was and what was going on. HOWEVER……I NEVER saw that coming the first time around. It never even crossed my mind until like two seconds before it happened. Don’t go into this book expecting that you know what is going on. Hell, don’t go into any of these books expecting to understand the concept before it happens. What Kelley Armstrong did was absolutely brilliant. Brilliant!

The only thing that I would have changed in this book was Lucas’s POV. I thought that the entire book should have been dedicated to Hope and Karl. Also, I’ve never been the biggest fan of Paige and Lucas. Fans of Lucas, though, are really going to enjoy his voice. I was just annoyed that it was taking up my Hope and Karl time.

I have sad, sad new for fans of Bitten the TV show. I have heard from Kelley Armstrong that Hope will not be in the series. Nor will anyone else. They just want to do the werewolves. Karl was introduced in the 3rd episode. Since he’s one of my favorite characters, I’m really on edge nervous to see what they’re planning for him. I hope that they don’t stray too far off the plot line in the books. And hopefully they change their minds and bring in Hope for Karl. It’s necessary.

If you haven’t read this series, then you’re seriously lacking in life. This is my favorite series of all time. I’m planning on rereading it clear up until my 90’s. It’s amazing. You’ll love it. Go buy yourself the entire series because you’re going to reread it a million times!

 

Pages: 371

Publication Date: March 25th 2008

Publisher: Bantam

Rating: : ★★★★★

Teaser Quote:

“Too bad Guy interrupted,” I said as we snuck around the rear of the building. “Otherwise, I could have just walked you down here before you changed back.”

His look said he wasn’t dignifying that with a retort.

“I always wanted a dog,” I said, nearly running to keep up with his long strides. “My brothers were both allergic. Have I told you that?”

“Once or twice.”

“Maybe, someday, you could humor me and—

“Don’t finish that sentence.” 

adult books
August 20, 2013 posted by Nichole

Omens (Cainsville #1) – Kelley Armstrong

Omens jacket#1 New York Times bestselling author Kelley Armstrong begins her new series with Omens, featuring a compelling new heroine thrust into a decades-old murder case and the dark mysteries surrounding her strange new home. 

Twenty-four-year-old Olivia Taylor Jones has the perfect life. The only daughter of a wealthy, prominent Chicago family, she has an Ivy League education, pursues volunteerism and philanthropy, and is engaged to a handsome young tech firm CEO with political ambitions.

But Olivia’s world is shattered when she learns that she’s adopted. Her real parents? Todd and Pamela Larsen, notorious serial killers serving a life sentence. When the news brings a maelstrom of unwanted publicity to her adopted family and fiancé, Olivia decides to find out the truth about the Larsens.

Olivia ends up in the small town of Cainsville, Illinois, an old and cloistered community that takes a particular interest in both Olivia and her efforts to uncover her birth parents’ past.

Aided by her mother’s former lawyer, Gabriel Walsh, Olivia focuses on the Larsens’ last crime, the one her birth mother swears will prove their innocence. But as she and Gabriel start investigating the case, Olivia finds herself drawing on abilities that have remained hidden since her childhood, gifts that make her both a valuable addition to Cainsville and deeply vulnerable to unknown enemies. Because there are darker secrets behind her new home and powers lurking in the shadows that have their own plans for her.

 

This month has been extra special for me, because I finally had the chance to interview my favorite author, Kelley Armstrong. I first fell in love with her Darkest Powers series. Then, I became obsessive over her Women of the Otherworld series. From there, I read the Darkness Rising series. And now, I have come to Omens.

Omens is different than the rest of her books in the sense that there is nothing paranormal or fantasy like about it. It’s about Olivia who was adopted when she was just a toddler and now she lives a rich, plentiful life. She’s engaged, is going to inherit a bunch of money. Life is pretty good for Olivia. That is until it gets leaked that she is the daughter of two famous serial killers who are spending life in jail. From there, Olivia runs away and finds herself in Cainsville, a place full of mystery and secrets. With the help of Gabriel Walsh, her biological mom’s ex-lawyer, Olivia sets out to seek answers about the killings and whether or not her biological parents are truly behind those murders.

I admit, I went into Omens wanting it to be just as good as the Women of the Otherworld series. That was probably my downfall right there. I’m not over that series, and I just wanted more Elena/Clay and Savannah/Adam. The first 100 or so pages of Omens was really good. I like learning about her life and the initial stages of when she first ran from home. After that, though, it got pretty boring. So boring, in fact, that I had to skim a large portion of this book. The characters were flat, the plot was boring and unrealistic, and I just wasn’t interested.

It might have helped things if I had liked Olivia better, but I didn’t like her at all. I didn’t hate her, but there was really nothing that interesting about her. Gabriel’s character was a little bitter, but honestly, he was kind of sleazy. I don’t want to read about sleazy characters. Because when they eventually get together, I’m not going to be rooting for them! That’s another thing, there was absolutely NO romance in this book. Not a drop. There’s a tiny bit of Olivia and her fiancé at the beginning, but it’s really just about them getting it on in the middle of a function in a spare room. It doesn’t even go into details. The romance is definitely nonexistent in this book. Unfortunately, romance is something that I HAVE to have…even if it’s just a little bit! And since this book was already so boring and heavy to begin with that just made it worse.

The story itself was confusing, repetitive, and, yes, boring. I didn’t latch on to any characters, the weird visions and creepy things that were happening in the book didn’t catch my attention at all. Honestly, it just felt like Olivia and Gabriel were interview person after person after person, and then they were going to the prison and talking to the mom. And when they weren’t doing that, Olivia was either working at the restaurant or talking to her cat. I mean….I pretty much got to the point where I knew what was going to happen next because the same things kept happening over and over.

I think my biggest complaint about this book was how unrealistic it really was. Okay…it’s true that some girl could be adopted and later find out that her biological parents are serial killers. It could, I admit it. But, okay, WHY was Olivia adopted by someone who apparently didn’t even want a kid? And her biological mom had NO idea that Olivia’s biological parents were serial killers, but her adoptive dad did know. And her adoptive mom just abandons her and pretty much informs her that she’s not her child and allows Olivia to go running off and provide for herself. AND SERIOUSLY? Olivia’s family’s lawyer would have never gotten away with the shit he did, and everyone wouldn’t have turned their backs on Olivia like they did. I was constantly rolling my eyes, because it was ridiculous! And THEN, Armstrong was making it seem that if you’re not rich, then the real world is dirty and dangerous everywhere you go. I’m sorry, but I can’t go into town and even FIND a prostitute. How the hell did Olivia manage to do that within like the first day? How did she get herself into such messed up situations right away? Honestly? Life doesn’t work like that, and it was kind of insulting. I’m not rich, and I think my life is pretty damn good.

Overall, I didn’t care for this book. Hell, I didn’t even finish it. I think that Kelley Armstrong fans need to go into Omens knowing that it is nothing like her other series. This is an adult mystery book plain and simple. Do I think the YA crowd is going to enjoy this book? Probably not…..but there will be some! I definitely think this book is more focused toward mystery lovers who enjoy books without paranormal twists or romances.

 

If you like this book you should read:

Gameboard of the Gods by Richelle Mead

 

Pages: 486

Publication Date: August 20th 2013

Publisher: Dutton Adult

Source: Finished copy provided by publisher

Rating: : ★★☆☆☆

Interview with Kelley Armstrong
Author Interviews
August 19, 2013 posted by Nichole

Interview with Kelley Armstrong

You guys…I am so so SO SO SO excited to share with your my interview with Kelley Armstrong, author of the Women of the Otherworld series, The Darkest Powers and Darkest Rising series, The Nadia Stafford series, Loki’s Wolves, Sea of Shadows, and most recently the Cainsville series. I have made it no secret that Kelley Armstrong is my all time favorite author. I have read almost everything she has written, and I almost bawled my eyes out when the Women of the Otherworld series came to an end. When I had a chance to interview her?! OMG. It was fan girl central over here. If you haven’t read her stuff, I absolutely demand that you do so! Take a book below!

 

Kelley Armstrong credit Kathryn Hollinrake

Can you tell us about your upcoming book, OMENS?

It’s the first book of my post-Otherworld series, Cainsville. OMENS is about a privileged young woman who discovers she’s adopted…and the child of convicted serial killers. I call it modern gothic—it’s heavy on the mystery and suspense with light supernatural aspects.

Are characters from The Women of the Otherworld series going to be included in OMENS?

No. It’s a completely different fictional universe.

And what about The Women of the Otherworld series? Have you changed your mind about ending the series? Any future books or novellas?

The Otherworld went on hiatus with Thirteen. I am still writing Otherworld stories—and may even add a future novel or two—but I’ve ended the book-a-year schedule.

What was your favorite scene to write in OMENS?

Oh, there are so many! I’ll stick to a non-spoiler one—or a set of non-spoiler scenes. The main character is Olivia, 24 year old former socialite, Yale grad…and serial killers’ daughter. When she moves to Cainsville, she gets to know her new neighbour, Rose, who also happens to be the great-aunt of the lawyer Olivia pairs up with to investigate her parent’s crimes. Rose is a fortune-teller by trade. She has the second sight and pairs that ability with some serious con artist skills. She’s also an amateur folklorist who collects occult and folklore artifacts. Her scenes with Olivia were a treat to write. They play off each other very well and provided some really fun diversions into folklore and occult history. Olivia has grown up hiding her natural interest in that, and Rose forces her to explore it.

How is OMENS different from your previous books?Omens jacket

It’s almost a cross between the Otherworld and my Nadia Stafford books, which means the plots are more heavily mystery, but unlike Nadia, there are some paranormal elements. Lighter elements than in the Otherworld, though—omens, portents, Welsh mythology etc rather than werewolves and witches.

How long did it take you to write OMENS?

The first draft came quickly, as it usually does. But because this was the first book in a new series, it involved a lot more rewriting, as I saw elements that I wanted to expand on. I think the first draft was 140,000 words, but I then added another 20,000 words! That only meant, though, that I had more freedom to cut the flab. OMENS ended up at about 125,000. So lots of fussing around, as I explored subplots and then ruthlessly cut overall. The entire process took almost two years, double what it usually does.

And what about the Darkness Rising series? It ended with still a lot of questions. Are we going to eventually see those characters transition into an adult series?

I don’t know if it’s possible to transition YA characters into adults. If there’s one downside I see to the huge rise of the teen novel, it’s the clear delineation between the two, which seems odd, because the readerships overlap more than they ever have. But while readers seemed fine with taking Harry Potter from age 11 to 17, I’m not sure how readily a publisher would accept a teen series moving into an adult one. If I return to that world, it would more likely revisit the characters a couple of years later, when they’re 17 and 18.

You have another book coming out soon, Sea of Shadows. What can readers expect from that?

It’s a new trilogy called Age of Legends. It’s high fantasy, and tells the story of twin sixteen-year-old girls, one with the power to calm the dead, the other to fight them. They guard the Forest of the Dead, where criminals are exiled to their deaths. The story opens with their first solo attempt to give peace to the spirits of the dead convicts. As you might imagine, things go horribly wrong!

If you could be transported into any one of your books, which one would you choose and what fictional character would you take with you?

Oh, tough question. I’m going to say I’d go into the Cainsville world, because that’s what I’m currently writing (book 3) and I love it. As for what character I’d take, I’m not sure if you mean one of mine or not, but let’s say I need to take a character from one of my other series. I’d pick Maya from the Darkness Rising trilogy. I’m not sure what she’d make of Cainsville, but she’s very adaptable. She’d figure out all its mysteries—probably before I did!

I’m so so so so SO excited for the Bitten TV series. Is there anything new you can tell us?

They’re filming the final few episodes now. It starts on Space TV in Canada in January 2014. They’re hoping for US distribution, but it’s more common for a Canadian show to start here and be picked up by US networks later, if it’s successful.

What is the best book you’ve read recently?

Rick Yancey’s The Fifth Wave. My taste in books rarely seems to conform to “what’s currently hot,” but this is one case where I could definitely see what all the fuss was about.

What is currently in your TBR pile?

The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes. I picked it up as an ARC at a conference and forgot it. Now the book is out, and I started hearing good things about it and remembered I had a copy! So I’ll be reading that over the summer.

 

The Rising (Darkness Rising #3)
Book Reviews
June 18, 2013 posted by Nichole

The Rising (Darkness Rising #3)

11864728Things are getting desperate for Maya and her friends. Hunted by the powerful St. Clouds and now a rival Cabal as well, they’re quickly running out of places to hide. And with the whole world thinking they died in a helicopter crash, it’s not like they can just go to the authorities for help.

All they have is the name and number of someone who might be able to give them a few answers. Answers to why they’re so valuable, and why their supernatural powers are getting more and more out of control.

But Maya is unprepared for the truths that await her. And now, like it or not, she’ll have to face down some demons from her past if she ever hopes to move on with her life. Because Maya can’t keep running forever.

Old secrets are revealed and unexpected characters make a surprising return in this stunning conclusion to Kelley Armstrong’s New York Times bestselling Darkness Rising trilogy.

 

Have you ever just wanted to kidnap an author and keep them with you forever? Make them write constantly for your enjoyment? That’s my relationship with Kelley Armstrong. Creepy? Hell, yes. But that’s my love for her writing. I have a select few books that I can actually call my favorites, and Armstrong’s Women of the Otherworld series is at the top. Ever since I read that series, it has become my mission to read every single thing that Armstrong writes. I haven’t completely finished that goal (the lady writes a lot!), but I’m getting closer!

I read the Darkest Powers series a few years ago, and I fell head over heels in love with it. Seriously, if you’re looking for a series full of a mix match of supernatural powers and an awesome story that will hook your eyes to the page, then go read the Darkest Powers series. You won’t regret it. The Darkness Rising series is a spin off of The Darkest Powers series. I’ll admit….this series is my least favorite series by Kelley Armstrong. I don’t know what it is. The writing is as great as usual, but there’s something lacking for me. It might be the fact that I’m not the biggest fan of Maya or any of the supporting characters. Regardless, I was really impressed with this third and final book. It was, by far, my favorite in the Darkness Rising series. I still didn’t fall in love with it, but I did have a really hard time putting it down, which I think says a lot.

For those of you who haven’t read the Darkness Rising series, let me give you a brief description. Bear with me, I haven’t read the first two books in over a year, so I’m more up to date with the third and final book in the series. The Darkest Powers series is about a girl named Maya who discovers that not only is she a shape shifter living in a world full of supernatural creatures, but she and her friends are also part of a supernatural experiment. The St. Clouds, one of the four supernatural Cabals, created the town that Maya and her friends live in and have supplied them with everything they have needed since they were born. The series continues with Maya and her friends going on the run and multiple Cabals chasing them. The final book in the series, The Rising, continues with Maya and her friends trying to find out more about their history and trying to get out of the mess they found themselves in. There’s a lot more information about the supernatural experiment, family ties, and Maya’s shape shifting abilities. Later on in the story, we also see appearances from the main characters of the Darkest Powers series.

When I was reading The Rising, I felt a mixture of emotions. There were parts of the book that upset me and other parts that made me happy. Let’s start out with the annoying aspects of this book and then we’ll move on to a more happy note. My first complaint, and one that has stuck with me throughout the whole Darkness Rising series, is that I think it’s too confusing for readers who have not read the Women of the Otherworld series. During the first two books that complaint was minor, but this book pushed it over the edge. I’ve read the whole Women of the Otherworld series. I know every single character and plot and twist. It’s my favorite series in the world, so I knew exactly what was going on in the Darkness Rising series. However, the book doesn’t really explain much about the cabals, which could be very confusing and distracting to readers. The Rising also brings in characters from the Women of the Otherworld series. Not only are the St. Cloud’s chasing the kids, but now the Nast’s are, too. Sean Nast, Savannah, Lucas, among other characters are mentioned in this book. And not only was that confusing, but readers only here about Savannah and Lucas once. Readers who have not read the Women of the Otherworld series are going to be very confused about who those characters are. They’re mentioned…not introduced. I don’t think that characters should be brought into a story unless their character is going to be explained. And since this is the final book, readers will have to read the Women of the Otherworld series to completely understand who those characters are and what they become in that world.

My final complaint with The Rising was that I didn’t like the characters from the Darkest Powers series being brought in. I thought that I would enjoy it, and I got really annoyed when they weren’t brought into the second book, but I HATED what was done with them in the final book. The Darkest Powers series is absolutely spectacular, and I had a vision of what happened to those kids after the final book. Everyone who has read the final book in the Darkest Powers series remembers how horribly it ended. Nothing bad happened, but the ending wasn’t finished. In my mind, I created what happened, and Kelley Armstrong went and erased all of that for me. I didn’t like what happened at the ending of this book. Not only did the ending suck, but it was confusing. The Darkest Powers and the Darkness Rising series have very similar endings in the fact that they don’t really end. It’s just a major cliffhanger for the ending of a series. There’s not another book coming out. That’s it. That’s the end. And I’m going to have to decide for myself…again…what’s going to happen. Honestly, the only thing that makes sense is if Armstrong decides to write an adult book based on these kids. That’s the ONLY THING that makes sense! And right now, I don’t think she has plans to do so.

On a more positive note, I will say that The Rising was the absolute best in the Darkness Rising series. I still didn’t fall in love with it, but I never wanted to put the book down. I had a really hard time reading the other two. They weren’t bad….they just didn’t have the spark that the rest of her books had. I really liked this one, though. I didn’t like what happened between Daniel/ Maya and Rafe/Maya, but whatever. My guy won…I just didn’t like how he won. And I didn’t like how the relationship with Maya and the loser ended. It didn’t make any sense. I was not a fan of that. Other than that, I really enjoyed the book.

I’m sitting here talking about how much I enjoyed this book, but I’m sitting here destroying it. The only reason I’m doing that is because I’m SO in love with the Women of the Otherworld series. It makes me have to dish out everything that annoyed me. But I want you all to know that Kelley Armstrong is one of the best authors out there. I can’t even begin to tell you guys how much I love her. Is my gushing not reason enough to go read her work? Screw the young adult books…go read the Women of the Otherworld series! Then come back to her YA series. You’ll appreciate it a lot more [;

 

If you like this series, then try out:

The Otherkin series by Nina Berry

The Cassie Palmer series by Karen Chance

The Chicagoland Vampires series by Chloe Neill

 

Pages: 406

Publication Date: April 2nd, 2013

Publisher: HarperCollins

Rating: : ★★★½☆

Waiting on Wednesday (27)
Waiting on Wednesday
January 30, 2013 posted by Nichole

Waiting on Wednesday (27)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event that is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

 

Omens by Kelley Armstrong

Published by Sphere

To be released on August 1st, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (26)
Waiting on Wednesday
January 23, 2013 posted by Nichole

Waiting on Wednesday (26)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event that is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

 

Loki’s Wolves by K.L. Armstrong and M.A. Marr

Published by Atom

To be released on May 7th, 2013