Monday, July 28, 2014

Iron Druid Chronicles

urban fantasy book reviews
Rated 4.7 out of 5 stars
By Kevin Hearne
Book 1: Hounded ~ Book 2: Hexed ~ Book 3: Hammered ~ Book 4: Tricked ~ Book 5: Trapped ~ Book 6: Hunted ~ Book 7: Shattered

Atticus O' Sullivan is an ancient Druid, 2100 years old with the ability to tap the power of the Earth herself. He has an Irish wolfhound named Oberon that speaks with him through a mental bond, and Oberon's humor alone is reason enough to read this series! Atticus is not normal by any means, but he is trying to be. Centuries ago, he created an iron amulet that he bound to his aura. This makes him invisible to divination, as well as lethal to any Fae that touch him. Magic will not work on him, which is probably the reason he is the last Druid on Earth. The Druid worships the Tuatha de Danann- the Celtic pantheon of Gods. Atticus has been chased by one of these Gods, Aenghus Og for centuries due to the fact that he stole an ancient Fae weapon of great power. Finally, the god knows exactly where to find the Druid. With the help of some friends, demons and fae alike, the god is waging a war against Atticus. Unfortunately, Atticus's plan and subsequently his life changes forever the day he decides to stay and fight instead of running again. It seems there are more people after the Druid than one disgruntled god. A coven of powerful witches, a few hundred demons, and a handful of Fae are just the beginning of Atticus's problems. With the help of his hound- Oberon, the Morrigan, a local pack of werewolves, and a powerful witch that resides in his favorite bartender's body, can Atticus defeat the rogue god or will his long life finally come to a close?

Gods, this series is wonderful- from start to finish. Although hopefully it's not finished since it left off with no conclusion to the small Loki problem. Ahem, Mr. Hearne...
This series brought me back to my childhood. I was raised by my grandparents- my grandda was Celtic pagan and I grew up listening to stories of the Dagda, Brighid, the Morrigan, and most of the characters in this series. It is incredibly well researched, more so than most fiction books that I have read, and the stories fit well into the general layout of the books. The blend of true history and fiction is accomplished seamlessly. The characters are incredibly written as well. Oberon makes me laugh constantly with his sarcasm and unwavering love of sausage and French Poodles. Atticus tends to "cock everything up", but his intentions are pure and he only wants the best possible outcome for everyone. The gods, as expected, are arrogant assholes, save for a select few. This series has everything- drama, humor, adventure... everything but romance Mr. Hearne! I'm not talking about creepy death sex with the Morrigan, chooser of the slain and eater of their dead bodies here. Shudder. Atticus does finally get it together though later in the series, and hooks up with his apprentice, Granuaile after she is bound to the Earth. I found myself never disappointed with how everything falls into place. From Atticus's attack on Asgard and the death of Thor, to crazy assassin skin walkers, vampires, dark elves, and insane gods- there are constant surprises and "WTF moments" galore. Kevin Hearne, you really are an amazing writer. Every urban fantasy nerd should read this series- for their own mental sanity and what not…

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Star-Crossed Series

Rated 4.2 out of 5 stars
By Rachel Higginson - On Twitter: @Mywritesdntbite ;; Amazon
Book 1: Reckless Magic ~ 2: Hopeless Magic ~ 3: Fearless Magic ~ 4: Endless Magic

Eden has never been the typical 16 year old girl. Thrown out of two high schools in as many years, she is set to attend the snobby private school known as Kingsley. Is she looking forward to switching schools again? Absolutely not. Will she blow this school up or flood the halls like she has done in her prior ones? Probably. Eden has electricity running through her veins that she cannot explain, a power beneath her skin that, at times, pushes her to believe that she is crazy. Certifiably insane. Her parents are nonexistent and she was raised by her Aunt, a surgeon that is rarely home. Eden is completely alone with the knowledge that her own blood is dangerous to herself and everyone around her. On her first day at Kingsley, Eden meets Kiran, who seems like an arrogant snob. Sexy as hell, with a dangerous smile and eyes that twinkle with constant amusement at the awkwardness she feels in her own skin. Not to mention the fact that every time their bodies make the slightest contact, she passes out. Totally attractive. Despite Eden's pleas that Kiran leave her alone, that she wants nothing to do with him- he does the opposite. Her growing feelings for him, and the jealousy she feels when he is with others baffles her. Eden begins to realize that Kingsley students are different than the average teenagers as well. There is something about them- they are too perfect, too beautiful, but she just cannot put her finger on the difference. Until the principal, Amory Saint informs her that she is Immortal. There is a whole other world that Eden has been oblivious to, that she belongs in. And Kiran is at the heart of it all. He is the crowned prince of the Immortal world. And he is engaged to the most popular girl at school. Perfect. When Kiran's life is jeopardized by an attack on a school camping trip- Talbott, his royal bodyguard and Titan, and Lilly, Eden's best friend join in a fight for the Prince's life. But it is Eden who saves them all, by extracting the magic of the men trying to kill Kiran. Everyone is stunned that she has this power, but no one more than Eden herself. What is this magic inside of her, and why is it so powerful? Her best friend- Lilly, while fighting those men revealed that she was a shape-shifter. Shifters are banned from the magical community, and are absolutely not allowed to attend school- especially one that the crowned prince attends. Even though she was fighting for his life, she is thrown into prison by the King- a hateful man that rules like a tyrant on speed. And Avalon, a new boy at school is pursuing her with a vengeance. He seems to only be interested in friendship, but why else would he follow her around like a lost puppy? Can Eden sort through all of the problems in her life- saving her best friend from death, getting over Kiran and his impending engagement, figuring out her magic and how to use it, and finding a place for Avalon in her life?

I thoroughly enjoyed this series. It was magical, romantic with more than enough heartbreak, and once I set foot on the adventure with Eden and Kiran- it was hard to pull myself away. The characters were well written and I found myself falling in love with each and every one of them. There were twists that I couldn't wrap my head around at first, and I felt the characters losses as my own. This is a beautifully written series, although Eden can be excessively whiny and dramatic... a lot. Kiran is a beautifully written character, and the reader witnesses his progress from a spoiled prince to a selfless and broken man. Avalon remains the same, smart ass antagonizing character as he always is. The smaller characters also play a huge role in the series, I enjoyed that it's not just about Kiran and Eden's love but something larger than all of them. I don't want to give everything away because I feel every urban fantasy nerd owes it to themselves to read this series! :)

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Splintered Series

4.3 out of 5 stars
By A.G. Howard - Find her on Twitter: @aghowardwrites , Her Site, Amazon, or Barnes & Noble.
Book 1: Splintered ~ Book 2: Unhinged ~ Book 3: Ensnared (TBR)


The series had me from the very first chapter thinking numerous times, "what the hell is going on here and why is this girl talking to bugs"? Alyssa believes herself to be insane, a 17 year old girl that can hear the whispers of bugs and flowers. Her own mother resides in an institution for the same disability, and in her heart, Alyssa knows that she will end up there eventually as well. It seems this is the curse of the women in her family, following the line back to her ancestor, Alice Liddell that inspired the original Alice in Wonderland novel. But for now, Alyssa is keeping it together. Until her mother's mental stability suddenly declines, and the only option is electroshock therapy. She is forced to come to terms with her illness and dive into the rabbit hole. Literally. With her best friend and the love of her life, Jeb at her side, Alyssa discovers the secret and not so wonderful world of Wonderland. Seriously. The real Wonderland is far more dark and twisted than the carefree world Carroll's original book portrays it to be. Upon reuniting with her long last childhood friend, Morpheus- who ends up being the hookah smoking caterpillar, Alyssa must pass a number of tests to have the family curse of insanity removed. The only way to help her mother is to set out on a crazy, danger filled trek through the depths of this terrifying world. From draining an ocean of Alice's tears, to waking the Mad Hatter from his slumber and defeating a rabid bandersnatch- can Alyssa fix Alice's mistakes and free her family?

My Thoughts

Mad. That is my first thought upon reading the first two books in this series. Reading felt similar to eating a few too many mushrooms and getting lost in the forest. This is one of the most twisted stories that I've had the pleasure of reading, so thank you A.G. Howard. A modernized version of Alice in Wonderland, with far more romance and creep factors going on throughout the story. I can't recommend this series enough, even if you weren't a fan of the original. The writing is almost lyrical and very polished. The characters are well written, and almost take on a life of their own. Alyssa tends to be a bit on the whiny side at the start of her adventure, but definitely grows into her role by the end of Splintered. Jeb is a selfless, and may I add, sexy grungy character that is deeply in love with Alyssa. Morpheus.. ah, Morpheus. The author compares him to Brandon Lee in The Crow but I cannot help but picture him as Johnny Depp in the Alice movie. He is wonderfully written- gentle yet powerful, mad yet perfectly sane in his logic. I don't want to give everything away because honestly, this is a must read for every urban fantasy nerd out there! The final installment in this series, Ensnared is set to release in the States in January 2015.

Excerp from book

“Of all the times you've undressed me in my fantasies, I never remember feeling this... unfulfilled." "Please, Morpheus," I beg upon hearing Jeb stir in the background. "Ah, but those delectable words," Morpheus says with a provocative smirk, "those are always in the fantasy." I glare at him. "You're unbelievable." "And that sentiment is reserved for the end. ” — A.G. Howard

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Guardian Trilogy

Rated 4.0 out of 5 stars
By Liz Schulte
Book 1: Secrets ~ Book 2: Choices ~ Book 3: Consequences

Olivia is a successful photographer with the closest best friend anyone could ask for. She stopped dating after a horrible break up over a year ago, and hasn't met a man that has interested her since. Until a random night at the bar when she runs into Holden, a gorgeous man that exudes sexuality and danger. Yes, this is the typical introvert girl meets bad boy novel- with a bit of a twist. She begins casually running into Holden in places she knows he wouldn't be- is he stalking her or is this fate intervening into her boring sex life? Olivia begins having lucid dreams where he shows up, and they feel so real. Could he be sharing her dreams with her as well? Stalker guy, totally nonchalant girl. So Twilight at the beginning, I was worried- but it does get better. Holden turns out to be a jinni, an employee of demons and hell. He sold his soul at a young age, he is a cold blooded killer. But Olivia sees so much more to him than his evil side. When her best friend commits suicide and Olivia finds the body, Holden is the only person there for her. He takes care of her while she mourns the loss of her "sister", and her ever increasing feelings are getting in the way of hating him. There is someone else out there, far more powerful than Holden, that wants her soul. Can Olivia and Holden together figure out who it is before it's too late to stop it?

This series is actually quite well written, with the exception of punctuation and spelling errors that irritate the hell out of me. It follows the typical lines of a paranormal romance, but there are a few crazy plot twists. Keep reading for spoilers...

There will also be a whole other trilogy in this series, called The Jinn Trilogy. I haven't read it yet, but it's definitely on my to be read list.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Penryn & the End of Days

4.2 out of 5 stars
By Susan Ee
Book 1: Angelfall ~ Book 2: World After ~ Book 3: TBR 2015

Penryn, the antagonist in this series is a 17 year old girl with more than the world on her shoulders. Her sister is paralyzed and is confined to a wheelchair permanently. Her mother is a paranoid schitzophrenic that caused her sister's condition; she is violent and suffers from delusions about the devil coming for her and her children. Penryn's father left a year earlier, and her life revolves around taking care of her family full time. And then there is the whole Apocalypse situation happening on Earth. Armies of angels have come to take over Earth, bringing with them earthquakes, tsunamis, and asteroids. The planet is completely destroyed, with humans either dead or struggling to survive. Food is scarce, gangs are rampant, and the angels want all humans dead. At least most angels do. Penryn meets Raffe, an angel who has had his wings cut off by his fellow angel buddies. Her sister gets kidnapped by the angels that removed his wings; now Raffe and Penryn are on a mission together- revenge and rescue, what could go wrong? Follow these two on their journey to save her little sister, and Raffe's wings through the wild of western America.

I completely enjoyed this series so far; it was a new take on angels that portrays them as not the white winged saviors, but the ones that we should all be in fear of. Raffe is a wonderfully written character with a corny sense of humor and more compassion than he knows what to do with. Penryn's character is backwards and socially awkward, but she can kick anyone's ass that bothers her. Definitely a twisted series and is worth a read. The third book is due out sometime in 2015, no release date has been announced yet..