Tag Archives: vampire

Wind and Shadow by Tori L. Ridgewood

19 Nov

Wind and Shadow

The Talbot Trilogy #1

author : tori l. ridgewood

pages : [paperback] 228

summary :

Rayvin Woods, photographer and natural witch. She just wanted to start her life over again after a series of misadventures. She didn’t count on rekindling a lost love when she came home to Talbot…or battling a malevolent vampire and his coven for her life.

Grant Michaels, police officer. He thought Rayvin was a murderer. He will do whatever it takes to protect the community he loves from danger…but will he learn to trust his heart, and the word of a witch, before it’s too late?

Malcolm de Sade, cunning vampire, imprisoned underground for a year by Charlotte Fanning and Pike Mahonen (“Mist and Midnight”, Midnight Thirsts). His accidental release unleashes his hunger and ambition on a small, sleepy town…

***

Facing the past can be a nightmare. It’s worse when a vampire is stalking you.

review :

I really didn’t know what to expect from this book because it seems like there are so many books about witches circulating these days, yet Rayvin manages to make an impression. She’s not your typical witch and she’s not willing to just sit by and let other people take charge, either. I loved reading from her perspective and knowing that she was going to get things done as well as take care of the people she cares about. Rayvin has been hurt, several times, in the past, but I like that she doesn’t dwell on that or let it get in her way.

That said, I don’t feel like I really connected with the book until about halfway through. There was a lot of build-up and I thought that I could see where the plot was going, though some points were confusing and I thought that some of the decisions Rayvin was making didn’t make much sense. But as the action began to pick up in the last half of the book, so did my interest, until I ended the book wondering when I could get the next one. I’m really interested in what happens next to these characters, especially because there were a few twists in there that I hadn’t expected. Because the plot at first seemed so predictable I think they were even more unexpected and made the impact even greater, which might account for why my interest suddenly switched.

There wasn’t much said about Charlotte and Pike, the people who originally trapped the vampire, in this book, so I really hope there’s a lot more about them in the sequel. I think it’d be interesting to see if there are other creatures out there, too, because Rayvin didn’t know for certain that vampires existed until one was trying to kill her! There are so many ways the next book could go and I think, if it picks up the way this book ended, it’ll be fantastic.

I recommend this book to people who are fans of supernatural creatures, romance, and an interesting story.

4/5 stars

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black

1 Sep

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown

author : Holly Black

pages : [hardcover] 432

favorite character : tana &

summary :

Tana lives in a world where walled cities called Coldtowns exist. In them, quarantined monsters and humans mingle in a decadently bloody mix of predator and prey. The only problem is, once you pass through Coldtown’s gates, you can never leave.

One morning, after a perfectly ordinary party, Tana wakes up surrounded by corpses. The only other survivors of this massacre are her exasperatingly endearing ex-boyfriend, infected and on the edge, and a mysterious boy burdened with a terrible secret. Shaken and determined, Tana enters a race against the clock to save the three of them the only way she knows how: by going straight to the wicked, opulent heart of Coldtown itself.

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is a wholly original story of rage and revenge, of guilt and horror, and of love and loathing from bestselling and acclaimed author Holly Black.

review :

I’ve been over the entire vampire idea in books for a while but I have to say that Julie Kagawa’s new series involving vampires has given me renewed hope and has kept me from looking down on awesome books just because they happen to have vampires in them. I think that so many people have an aversion to them because of Twilight and similar books. Today I’d like to say that if you’re having that problem, pick up this book and you’ll feel renewed hope for vampire novels everywhere!

First of all, Tana, the main character in this book, doesn’t romanticize vampires at all. Her mother was infected by one when Tana was a little girl and she’s seen firsthand how that changes a person from who she’s known into a blood-craving monster. I do like how this book addresses the inevitable group of people  who do wish to become immortal, beautiful, deadly creatures. With all of this ‘feeds’ coming out of Coldtowns, where they stick all the vampires and infected they can catch, the entire thing is glamorized to the extreme. All aspects of this are addressed in the books.

Second, there is no romance in this book. I repeat, none! Sure, it’s hinted that maybe there could be something in the future books but I love how in this one the main character actually sticks to her plans and doesn’t allow herself to get distracted just because of some guy. All of the characters are great, from the manipulative to the strange to the downright scary. It’s obvious that the vampires aren’t the only things to fear in this book and things aren’t safe even before they reach Coldtown.

There were so many parts of this book that I loved that I can’t even hope to describe them all here without spoiling you completely. Just trust me when I say that you’ll find something to enjoy about this book. It’s such a refreshing voice and story on an idea that’s been overdone and I can’t wait to read more!

5/5 stars

If you like this book, you should read The Immortal Rules

Into the Night by Shannon Pearce

25 Aug

Into the Night

author : shannon pearce

pages : [paperback] 298

summary:

Vampires, she can handle. Werewolves…No problem! Demons? Nothing a little holy water can’t fix. Damien and his hunting partner? Well that’s a whole other story! Misty West knows the rules, and has been taught them her whole life. When given a chance to escape, she takes it, knowing better than anyone that her past won’t stay buried forever. After years of a so-called normal life, Misty is confronted by the news that her brother, Damien, is missing and that it’s up to her to find him. With the aid of Xavier Connor, her brother’s tall, dark, and handsome hunting partner, Misty is thrown deep into the supernatural underworld, fighting vampires, other hunters, and her desire for Xavier, all the while discovering things about her family that even she finds hard to believe.

review:

This book had a really great premise and I liked the way that the supernatural world was presented alongside the human one throughout the novel. Unfortunately this book didn’t have the butt-kicking heroine that I anticipated from the summary. Misty comes from a long line of hunters; her entire family has hunted throughout their lives and she’s been on hunts before. I understand her being a little rusty or reluctant to fight just because she was trying to get herself back into a normal life. But, honestly, looking back over the book, most of the scenes were just instances of Misty getting into trouble and some guy or another coming to get her out of it.

I really, really don’t like books like that. It’d be a little more understandable if she’d known nothing about this world and was suddenly thrust into it that way . . but everyone kept going on about how the Wests were incredible hunters and everyone should be afraid of her because of that. I wasn’t impressed.

Unfortunately, this was a book I knew could have benefitted from a little more editing. Not just because of misspellings and things like that but because in most of the book there were awkward phrasings and the dialogue was so distracting. Often the characters would talk and commas were used where periods might have been better, to make the words flow together more realistically. That took away from my overall enjoyment of the book and frustrated me.

The main characters had an insta-love, which I never really go for. They knew each other for a few days before actually telling each other about their love. It was really unbelievable for me.

I might be interested in continuing this book series only because I liked the world it was set in, have a little faith for the characters, and like how the ending was set up.

2/5 stars

The Vampire Psychologist Series!

14 Mar

Looking for a new vampire series to read? I know, there seems to be an endless amount of vampire lit coming from everywhere these days, so it’s hard to know what will be worth picking up. I’d definitely recommend checking out the Vampire Psychologist series, starring. Dr. Kismet Knight as she accidentally gets herself involved in a real world filled with blood-sucking creatures when she thinks she’s only looking into the newest teen craze.

The Vampire Shrink is the first novel in the series and it’s just been rewritten, expanded, and re-released!  Here’s the summary:

Kismet Knight, PhD, doesn’t believe in the paranormal. She especially doesn’t believe in vampires, but she begins to wise up when she is introduced to a handsome man named Devereux who claims to be 800 years old. Kismet doesn’t buy his vampire story, but she also can’t explain why she has such odd reactions and feelings when he is near. Then a client almost completely drained of blood staggers into her waiting room and two angry men force their way into her office, causing her to consider the possibility that she has run afoul of a vampire underworld. Enter FBI profiler Alan Stevens, who warns her that vampires are very real, and one is a murderer—a murderer who is after her.

The Vampire Shrink is filled with fantastic characters, from Kismet to the vampires themselves to Alan the FBI agent, who seems to know more about these vampires than he should. The writing is great, plus the plot is action-packed and filled with plot twists . . . And, of course, romantic moments.

You can’t ignore those book covers, either. I was looking through the old editions of book books and really prefer these. I feel like they relate so much more to the series as a whole. Plus they look awesome!

Once you read the first novel, you won’t be able to resist picking up the second right after you’re finished. Here’s the summary, just in case you aren’t sure you’ll be hooked:

Blood Therapy is a dark contemporary fantasy with humor, mystery, romance and adult situations.

Kismet Knight knows exactly how to handle her clients, but when it comes to her love-life, she’s on less steady ground. That was until she met master vampire Devereux, an 800-year-old hunk, who not only managed to convince the entirely rational shrink that vampires really do exist – he also persuaded her to start dating him.

Kismet’s still having nightmares after being kidnapped by Lucifer, a psychotic vampire. From a therapeutic perspective she finds his split personalities fascinating – but she’s constantly terrified. And Dev’s become obsessed with finding Lucifer – before he comes after Kismet again.

So much for her nice, ordinary life…

-  -  -

Need I say more? Try out this series now-you won’t regret it, and you’ll have a new favorite vampire series to read!

Supernaturally by Kiersten White

10 Nov

Supernaturally

Paranormalcy #2
Book 1: Paranormalcy

author: kiersten white

pages : [hardcover] 336

memorable quote : “Sometimes I wanted to take a memory – one perfect memory – curl up in it, and go to sleep.” 

favorite characters : lend & evie

summary :

Evie finally has the normal life she’s always longed for. But she’s shocked to discover that being ordinary can be…kind of boring. Just when Evie starts to long for her days at the International Paranormal Containment Agency, she’s given a chance to work for them again. Desperate for a break from all the normalcy, she agrees.

But as one disastrous mission leads to another, Evie starts to wonder if she made the right choice. And when Evie’s faerie ex-boyfriend Reth appears with devastating revelations about her past, she discovers that there’s a battle brewing between the faerie courts that could throw the whole supernatural world into chaos. The prize in question? Evie herself.

So much for normal.

review:

I love this series so much! The first book, Paranormalcy, is a book that surprised me with how much I ended up loving it. I’ve been dying to read the sequel ever since, though I didn’t end up getting to it until I bought a copy of the first book for myself. Now I’m so glad that I got to read more about Evie, Lend, and the other paranormals and can’t wait to move onto the third book of the trilogy! Though I’ll be sad to say goodbye; these are fantastic characters!

I was afraid that Supernaturally wouldn’t live up to the expectations that I was left with in the last book and I’m thankful that those fears never became reality. I loved the way this book flowed, showing how Evie’s attempt at normalcy isn’t blending with her contacts in the paranormal world. While it wasn’t as action packed as I might have liked, that was only to be expected to get all of the information in, and I’m hoping that the final book will kick it up  a notch. Though this book does do what most sequels do and serves as less of a significant impact, more like a swift transitional novel.

I can’t wait to see the characters learn and grow even further. While there were a few things I might have changed about Supernaturally, I still enjoyed it so much and really recommend it to anyone who’s already started the series. To those who haven’t, read Paranormalcy now and you’ll fall in love with it like I did!

5/5 stars

The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa

25 Jul

The Immortal Rules

Blood of Eden #1

author : julie kagawa [also wrote the Iron Fey series]

pages : [hardcover] 485

memorable quote :
You don’t dwell on what you’ve lost, you just move on.

favorite characters : zeke & allie

summary :

“In a future world, vampires reign. Humans are blood cattle. And one girl will search for the key to save humanity.”Allison Sekemoto survives in the Fringe, the outermost circle of a vampire city. By day, she and her crew scavenge for food. By night, any one of them could be eaten.

Some days, all that drives Allie is her hatred of “them.” The vampires who keep humans as blood cattle. Until the night Allie herself is attacked–and given the ultimate choice. Die…or become one of the monsters.

Faced with her own mortality, Allie becomes what she despises most. To survive, she must learn the rules of being immortal, including the most important: go long enough without human blood, and you will go mad.

Then Allie is forced to flee into the unknown, outside her city walls. There she joins a ragged band of humans who are seeking a legend–a possible cure to the disease that killed off most of humankind and created the rabids, the mindless creatures who threaten humans and vampires alike.

But it isn’t easy to pass for human. Especially not around Zeke, who might see past the monster inside her. And Allie soon must decide what–and who–is worth dying for.

review :

I fell in love with Julie Kagawa’s writing style and fantastic world building as soon as I first picked up The Iron King, the first book in the Iron Fey series. Ever since then I knew that I was hooked, although this is the first of her novels that I actually own. Until now I’ve either gotten them from the library or through NetGalley, but I finally decided I needed something from one of my all-time favorite authors in my collection. While I wasn’t entirely certain I would be as captivated with The Immortal Rules, the premise seemed awesome and I haven’t read a good vampire book in ages. I figured it was a solid guess thinking I’d like it . . . But I was wrong.

I love it.

From the beginning, Allie had me wanting to be her best friend. She’s a survivor through and through, making decisions that she never thought that’d she’d make until she’s faced with the actual decision, knowing that she wants to live on above all else. But unlike some of the other street kids, she isn’t cruel. She still has some sense of humanity inside of her, which comes out at first when she’s helping Stick, a kid who can’t seem to survive on his own. While he annoyed me to no end, I was proud of Allie for putting up with him.

I knew where the book would be headed toward during the first hundred pages or so. In a nearly five hundred page novel (I had no idea it was this long when I ordered it!) that still leaves a large chunk of space for anything to happen. I loved facing the unexpected, seeing the challenges as Allie faced them and not knowing who might be a friend or foe.

I also appreciated how inquisitive Allie is. I usually dislike it in a book when they’ll give you a hint of some secret and the character with all of the information will say that it’s unimportant at the moment. We’re able to see glimpses of the world as it once was, how it collapsed, and what it’s become now. We can see what has survived and what is slipping off into ruin. And we can see the new prejudices among people and creatures, the challenges the human race has to face, and overall we’re led to think about what it really means to be human. Because what if the bravest, kindest, or most selfless person isn’t a person at all?

Don’t be deterred by the fact that this is a vampire novel. It’s fantastic. It’s dystopian. It’s different and unique and amazing.

5/5 stars

Teeth: Vampire Tales edited by Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling

25 Mar

Teeth

Editors: Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling

(Because I’m too lazy I’m not going to list every author because there are like 20 but suffice it to say they’re all equally talented and awesome. Yeah, I know right? You’d think with this many stories they wouldn’t all be that good. But they were. I’m getting ahead of myself.)

Pages : [paperback] 452

memorable stories: things to know about being dead, all smiles, vampire weather, &  best friends forever

summary:

Sink your teeth into these bite-sized tales exploring the intersections among the living, dead, and undead. Features stories by Neil Gaiman, Melissa Marr, Cassandra Clare, Holly Black, Garth Nix, and many more.

review:

I ended up randomly choosing to check this book out at the library last week, not expecting much from it as I haven’t been very into vampires lately. Not because of a specific book, just . . . tired of it all, I guess. But I was sucked in by seeing the great authors mentioned on the cover (which I suppose was the intended purpose of them doing such a thing) and ended up not just enjoying but loving this!

I listed a few of my favorite stories above and it was hard to even narrow it down to four out of . . . nineteen? I think there is something like that many stories. I liked every one of them. Really. How often can you pick up a collection and say that? And one where every story is about vampires! And they were all unique! I loved how some of them took the idea of a vampire from various cultures around the world, all slightly differing from one another, and made it their own. There were funny stories that had me laughing uncontrollably, devastating ones that made me want to cry, ones that were hopeful and ones where you lost all hope . . .

Altogether, a great mix. There wasn’t too much of any one thing. Male and female protagonists and antagonists, first person narration as well as third and a bit of second thrown in one. (Read it to see what I mean. Come on. Do it.) Love and romance and betrayal and creepy creatures that will definitely give me nightmares.

It’s hard to find many things to be critical of because each short story was so unique and interesting and I definitely can’t analyze each in turn. Maybe I can just say that I was sad that it ended? This anthology really surprised me in the best way, coming up and getting me addicted. Just goes to show that once you think you’re done with a certain topic, authors unite to drag you back into it. I’m not going to complain.

FANG-TASTIC. 5/5 stars

The Good, The Bad, and the Undead by Kim Harrison

20 Nov

The Good, the Bad, and the Undead

Author: Kim Harrison

Pages: 453

Book 2 in The Hollows series
Book 1: Dead Witch Walking

memorable quote:
You cry you get angry then you do something about it.

favorite characters: Rachel & Jenks

summary:

Former bounty-hunter Rachel Morgan has it pretty good. She’s left the corrupt Inderland Runner Service and started her own independent service. She’s survived werewolves, shape-changing demons, bad-hair days, and sharing a church with her vampire roommate Ivy. She even has a cute (if human) boyfriend, what more could a witch want?

But living with a reformed vampire isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, particularly when your roommate’s very bad ex-boyfriend wants her back, and wouldn’t mind you in the process. And especially when he’s six feet of sheer supernatural seduction, and you’ve got a demon mark that makes vampires literally hotter than hell….

To save herself and Ivy, Rachel must confront the vampire master and the dark secrets she’s hidden even from herself.

review:

I loved the first book of this series, and got the second one as soon as I was finished. This book is exactly the same, and really makes me wish I had book three already. In this sequel, Rachel is back. This time, with her own business as a runner, now without a death threat hanging over her head. But someone out there is killing ley line witches. And from what Rachel’s been doing, she fits the target profile perfectly. She just might be the next victim.

As fast-paced, viciously funny, and gruesomely addictive as Dead Witch Walking, this book had me interested from the first page. The first few paragraphs. All of the wonderful characters were back again, with new problems to face, and a few others were introduced-both allies and super creepy, very evil bad guys. I don’t envy Rachel for having to go up against that. But she keeps on fighting with as much spunk as I’d expect, after getting to know her.

There weren’t any lagging moments, which I loved. But it wasn’t one of those books where you never have a chance to sit back and catch your breath. There was a perfect balance here that is one thing I really look for in a book. And while it annoys me that I may have to wait for a while to get to reading more, that’s about the only negative thing I can come up with.

I recommend you read this book, even if it isn’t something you usually go for. It’s definitely worth it.

WHAT A WONDERFUL WITCH. 5/5 stars

Dead Witch Walking by Kim Harrison

5 Nov

Dead Witch Walking

Author: Kim Harrison

Pages [paperback]: 416

Book 1 in the Hollows series

Memorable Quote: Most of the upper management of I.S. were undead. I always thought it was because the job was easier if you didn’t have a soul.

Favorite Characters: Jenks & Nick

Summary:

The underground population of witches, vampires, werewolves—creatures of dreams and nightmares—has lived beside humans for centuries, hiding their powers. But after a genetically engineered virus wipes out a large part of humanity, many of the “Inderlanders” reveal themselves, changing everything.

Rachel Morgan, witch and bounty hunter with the Inderland Runner Services, is one of the best at apprehending supernatural lawbreakers throughout Cincinnati, but when it comes to following the rules, she falls desperately short. Determined to buck the system, she quits and takes off on the run with an I.S. contract on her head and is reluctantly forced to team up with Ivy, Inderland’s best runner . . . and a living vampire. But this witch is way out of her league, and to clear her name, Rachel must evade shape-changing assassins, outwit a powerful businessman/crime lord, and survive a vicious underground fight-to-the-death . . . not to mention her own roommate.

Review:

Rachel Morgan is one tough witch, and she’s really got me wanting to continue this series. I actually already have book two sitting beside me… The faster this review is done, the faster I can get to reading! (:

Dead Witch Walking is set in a sort of parallel universe where during a time called the Turn, several decades before the book is set, a great majority of humanity’s population was wiped out as a result of a great virus, originating in . . . tomatoes. Although it might be an odd way to have a disease introduced, this does lead to several funny scenes involving tomatoes. Anyway, the non-human species-witches, vampires, pixies, etc.-all decided to reveal their presence in the world, because, being immune to the virus, their numbers were near equal to the humans. What better time would they have to make sure the humans wouldn’t be able to freak out and kill all of them?

Ever since then, both humans and creatures have been working to subdue some of the nastier creatures. That’s where Rachel comes in. She’s been working to help with this for a while, but has decided to quit. And the organization doesn’t exactly let people out of their contracts. Now that she has assassins coming for her, life isn’t looking too well.

The plot in this book is so quick, it had me hooked immediately. Some parts had me wincing, wondering what could possibly happen next. Others had me laughing aloud. I loved the versatility, pulled off smoothly and effortlessly. I fell in love with all of the characters-and can’t wait to see more of the bad guys. This is one series I’ll be following for a while. There’re about a dozen books out so far, I think. That’s enough to keep me happy.

BEWITCHINGLY FANTASTIC. 4/5 stars

Blue Bloods by Melissa de la Cruz

12 Aug

Blue Bloods

Author: Melissa de la Cruz

Pages: [hardcover] 320

Blue Bloods #1

Memorable Quote: Black is the color of night. White is the true color of death.

Favorite Character: Oliver

Summary:

When the Mayflower set sail in 1620, it carried on board the men and women who would shape America: Miles Standish; John Alden; Constance Hopkins. But some among the Pilgrims were not pure of heart; they were not escaping religious persecution. Indeed, they were not even human. They were vampires.The vampires assimilated quickly into the New World. Rising to levels of enormous power, wealth, and influence, they were the celebrated blue bloods of American society.

The Blue Bloods vowed that their immortal status would remain a closely guarded secret. And they kept that secret for centuries. But now, in New York City, the secret is seeping out. Schuyler Van Alen is a sophomore at a prestigious private school. She prefers baggy, vintage clothes instead of the Prada and pearls worn by her classmates, and she lives with her reclusive grandmother in a dilapidated mansion. Schuyler is a loner…and happy that way. Suddenly, when she turns fifteen, there is a visible mosaic of blue veins on her arm. She starts to crave raw food and she is having flashbacks to ancient times. Then a popular girl from her school is found dead… drained of all her blood. Schuyler doesn’t know what to think, but she wants to find out the secrets the Blue Bloods are keeping. But is she herself in danger?

Could those vampire legends really be true? Steeped in vampire lore and set against the glittery backdrop of New York City, Blue Bloods will be devoured by Melissa de la Cruz’s legion fans.

Review:

 I started and finished this book with mixed feelings. I’d heard from a friend that I really needed to start this series, but I wasn’t sure it was something I’d enjoy. So because I had nothing else to read, I picked this up and started reading. It was slow to get into, but the plot was interesting, and that was really the only thing that kept me hooked.

I detested the writing style of Blue Bloods. It was as if someone took something like The Clique and added vampires, making the characters a few years older. There was too much obsession over clothes, with every new scene dropping brand names like the author was getting paid for every mention, or it was supposed to impress me, or something of that sort. Even the one character, Schuyler (and I could not for the life of me figure out how to pronounce this until someone in the book called her ‘Sky’) who dresses like she doesn’t care what anyone thinks, is embarrassed whenever someone makes fun of the way she dresses. What? Not only that, but she is content to lust after a guy who keeps ignoring and being quite rude to her. What’s attractive about that?

Ahem. Anyway, there were things I really liked about the book, too. The plot was really interesting, and I liked the whole concept of ‘Blue Bloods’, although it came in gigantic information dumps of telling, not showing, which could be aggravating. Some parts of it I didn’t understand, but there was no further information, and I’d end up confused. But, the second half of the book especially, the plot was enough to see me through. With a mysterious monster on the loose and several things happening at once, I was flipping the pages to see what would happen next. That’s all I really want in a book.

Despite being unsure of how I feel about  Blue Bloods, I think I’ll continue on with this series, even if the writing tends to annoy me. I really want to know what’s going to happen next, although I’ll make sure to rent this from the library, instead of buying it. It’s not great enough for that. I give this novel 3.5/5 stars.

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