Sunday, August 30, 2009

Review of "Succubus Blues," by Richelle Mead:

Georgia Kincaid is yet another character we are endeared to because she works at a bookstore. And like so many of us book worms, she finds spending an evening with a glass of wine and a good book more enjoyable than many social outings. However, she does happen to also work for a demon as an implement to corrupt men's souls.

While are never given her actual age, there are sporadic flash-backs to her past as a human that imply she dates back to Roman times. So after thousands of years she's understandably weary of the game of seduction and corruption. She's kind of a vegetarian Succubus: she only feeds off of the jerks that were cheating on their spouses and the like.

There is a lot of biblical mythology in this book, because Georgia's boss is a demon (i.e. fallen angel) that hangs out with an angel. And the main conflicts involves offspring of angels and human women. But it's not as melodramatic as you would think. The main plot line of the novel is Georgia's dilemma that she can't date or be intimate with men she cares about because it would sap years off of their life. So when her favorite author moves into her area and the two start and on again and off again flirtation she's between a rock and hard place.

I really liked this intro to this series. I'll admit that when I read Mead's Vampire academy series I was kind of bored with it. But this is a compelling but upbeat read. I finished it quickly . Which is one of my indicators of how good a novel is for me. Although Georgia has an interesting habit in the book about reading books that she is really looking forward to: she only reads 5 pages a night, comparing it to eating a pint of hagen-daas in one sitting. It's a nice idea for books like the Sookie Stackhouse and House of Night books that only come out once a year and are over too fast. Realistically? I'll probably still have those books done in record time when they come out every year. But for those of you with more self-control might have luck with it.

Book two: Succubus On Top I'm still trying to acquire. But once I do, I'll do a follow-up for this review.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Synopsis: Set in the sleepy Connecticut town of Swoon, Malkin's novel is narrated by Dice (short for Candice). Dice is a New York native with family roots in Swoon. She quickly integrates herself via her cousin, Pen (short for Penelope). But after her cousin suffers a bump on the noggin after falling of an Ash tree, the slightly psychic Dice begins to sense another presence in her barbie doll cousin. Soon Pen is acting on impulses she never had and doing wanton and violent things as though they were the most normal thing in the world. Dice manages to manifest the presence in Pen and learns that he is a ghost who was unjustly hanged in the 1600's by a lynch mob after he was framed for his beloveds murder. Thus begins an interesting love triangle, which Dice falling for Sinclair (referred to as Sin from there on out...aptly), who is stuck in Pen. But when Dice manages to separate Sin from Pen, the residents of Swoon start spiralling out of control and Dice as at a loss of what to do...

Commentary: I wanted to like this book. I really did. But first I must give a warning, even though this book is listed as Young Adult, there is excessive casual drug use (even crystal and coke are referred to by the main character, and not in a negative sense), gratuitous sex references and acts (the oddest being an orgasmic spanking session taking place in a corn maze with 7-year-olds in presence), and entirely irresponsible behavior by all characters. Now I'm not Conservative. I've read and enjoyed books with explicit sex in them. However, this book was meant for teenagers. The drug use bothered me the most, though.

Ignoring all that, the author seemed to have tried to use dialogue that she thinks youngsters nowadays use, but it just ended sounding like my grandma saying "Fashizzle," extremely awkward and out of place. And often the author uses obscure words that scream of improper thesaurus use. For example: "He stroked my cochlea..." First of all...what teenager knows what that is? Second of's a inner-ear tube, I don't wanna know the logistics of someone stroking the inside of your ear.

In all fairness, I did want to continue reading this book. It was engaging and at moments, decent. But at least half of the time I was just incredulous that parts of this book made it through an editor, and managed to get categorize and sold to young adults.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Jaye Wells

Red headed Step-child (Sabina Kane 1)

In Wells' world, vampires are red-heads. And she uses the mythology that vampires and mages are offspring of Lilith and Cain. (Both rejects from the garden of Eden) Vampires and Mages are like the genesis version of cats and dogs. They don't get along and are almost always tip-toeing the line of all-out warfare. But, most importantly of all, they do NOT interbreed. So Sabina, half-vampire, the black and red-headed sheep of the herd. The elders of the vampires, the Dominae (lead by her grandmother, Lavina) trained her to do their dirty work. Mostly, hunting down and killing anyone who questions or works against the best interest of the vampire race.

So granny sics her on Clovis, another half-breed vampire (only demon/vamp) and skeevy as all get out, who runs what appears to be a cult to unite all of the children of lillith. Ya know, kum-bay-ya and all that jazz. In the process and after a few encounters with a mysterious mage, she begins to doubt the ultimate wisdom of the ominae. So dear Sabina is caught between worlds and doesn't know what to believe or who to trust. At the conclusion of RHSC, Sabina is introduced to the world she was sheltered from growing up, and possibly a whole branch of the family tree she didn't know existed. Next on deck from Jaye Wells is the next book series, "Mage in Black," there is no release date as of yet.

Molly Harper

Nice Girls Don't Have Fangs (Jane Jameson1)

So I'm especially fond of Jane Jameson because she is of a most honorable profession. One we can all admire: a librarian. Or at least she was until she's unceremoniously canned with only a Shennanigin's gift certificate for her pension. She gets tipsy, wonders home, and is mistaken for a deer and shot by a red-neck. Enter Mister Tall-dark-and-dead, shake and bake, and Jane is getting a visit from the Undead Welcoming Committee.

Of course in death as in life, bad luck keeps finding her and someone ends up pinning murders on her, drawing scrutiny from the vamp elders. (One of the elders kind of sounds like Dakota Fanning...fanged.) All the while, Mr. Tall and Dark turns into Mr. Hot and Cold and her relationship with her sire remains undefined. Not to mention her southern family don't take kindly to their darling daughter being undead.

And...this coming tuesday, Augest 25th, Nice Girls Don't Date Dead Men comes out! Hopefully I can win myself signed copies of all three Jane Janeson books. (Nice Girls Don't Live Forever comes out late December).

Lucky 'ol me won signed copies of the complete Jane Jameson series! Now y'all go out and buy "Nice Girls Don't Date Dead Men!" I'll have a review posted when I get my oh-so-special copy.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Rachel Vincent's Werecat Series: I'm absolutely goo-goo ga-ga for Vincent's writing. The series is about Faythe Saunders and her pride of werecats. It's a refreshing change from werewolf series(nothing against Kelly Armstrong or Patricia Briggs and their lupine-centric series). If you're a Sookie Stackhouse fan like me, you're not a newb to werecats (were-panthers play a minor role in Charlaine Harris' Southern Vamprie Novels), but Vincent's cats are just so real and sleek and powerful.

The main character, Faythe, is stubborn, independant, and simply refuses to be put into the role as mother to a new generatinon. Although female cats (tabbies) are rare and vital to a prides survival, throughout the series she begins to fill out her role as the next Alpha (a historically male role). The latest book, Prey, steers through the tumultous world of feline politics as her father and Alpha is unseated in his role in the council of elders, her on-again and off-again lover Marc ends up missing, and Faythe must act as both enforcer and caretaker to the stray tabby. All the while her world is entirely upheaved and the end of the book is the beginning of what has the potential to be incredibly bloody war as her family's pride is threatened to be wiped out. I can't wait for book 5, Shift!!

Patricia Brigg's Alpha and Omega Series: Yes, another shifter series. I think we're all a bit vamped out. (I save most of my vamp-love for Edward Cullen). This series is a spin-off of the Mercy Thompson series, which is about a walker/mechanic (shape-shifter, not were, that changes into a coyote) who was literally raised by wolves. Well, were-wolves. Cry Wolf, the first book, is written from the perspective of Charles Cornnick, son of and enoforcer to the North American werewolves, and Anna, an Omega wolf (definition of Omegas are a bit sketchy, but it seems that they are a wolf that acts as a calming influence to wolves. Helping them repress their baser wolf instincts.). Anna was unwillingly changed into a werewolf by her astoundingly abusive former pack. Her and Charles meet as he comes in to clean up after her pack's corrupt Alpha. As fate has it, they are invitably drawn to each other as mates. You can practically feel the chemistry between Charles and Anna. I also really enjoyed watching Anna's character develop from a reluctant submissive to fulfilling her role as an Omega. Soon book 2 comes out, Hunting Ground. yay!

Jeaniene Frost's Night Huntress series: Okay...first off: Cat and Bones rival Edward and Bella in the steamieness, fog up your glasses, makes you squirm in anticipation department. I reeeeeally hope (and partly don't hope) that they option this series into a movie or 4. Because I wanna see a real live Bones.

Seriously, though. The series is narrated by Cat, a red-headed, rare human/vampire hybrid resulting from a roll in the sack with a human woman and a recently-turned vampire. (Some of his little soldiers were still swimmin' if you get my drift.) On a slightly misdirected vendetta, Cat dusts vamps indiscriminately until she chances upon Bones who calls her bluff. He further trains her to become the vampire boogeyman, The Red Reaper (cue dramatic music: dun dun daaaaaaa). In the process Cat and Bones fall in love despite the multitude of obstacles put in their way. In the lastest book (for which I pestered the local booksamillion for their earliest copy), Destined for An Early Grave, yet another old-as-dirt fanged-one wants to collect Cat as though she were a good vintaged wine or something. Of course, he is known as the dream-snatcher because of his power to nap people in their dreams. So Cat and Bones face a unique challenge because Cat's own dreams become dangerous. (a la Nightmare on Elm Street) A good portion of DFEG was the result of the stress that is put upon Cat and Bone's relationship, or Cat in a directionless daze so as not to dream and risk being snatched. But the end provided the satisfaction I was looking for. Next up, a series based off of an undeveloped character, Spade, named "First Drop of Crimson."

More addictive series to come...