Review: Dead Heat by Patricia Briggs

From Goodreads:

For once, mated werewolves Charles and Anna are not traveling because of Charles’s role as his father’s enforcer. This time, their trip to Arizona is purely personal, as Charles plans to buy Anna a horse for her birthday. Or at least it starts out that way…

Charles and Anna soon discover that a dangerous Fae being is on the loose, replacing human children with simulacrums. The Fae’s cold war with humanity is about to heat up—and Charles and Anna are in the cross fire.


What the fresh hell is this?

Charles and Anna you say? No way, those books are awesome! This book was decidedly not.

I mean, do you really expect me to believe that the badass author who wrote the glory of Mercy Thompson wrote this nonsensical piece of boredom?

To my utter and complete fucking surprise: YES.

*What just the crap just happened?*

Anna and Charles travel to Arizona thinking it’ll be a relaxing trip visiting old friends and looking at pretty horses. But, lucky for them they get to solve a nifty little mystery. A dangerous faerie is stealing children. Charles and Anna set out to solve this mystery, going all Nancy Drew on our asses. Get out your notebooks and flashlights, ladies and gents ’cause we’ve got a mystery to solve.

There are some spoilers on previous books in the series:

 It all comes down to this: Did I enjoy it? Sure, there’s always going to be things I like or dislike in every book I read, but in the end it always comes down to whether I enjoyed it. I truly did enjoy things about this book, but overall I am saddened to say that I did not enjoy the book.

HORSIES!

They are majestic creatures.

Obviously.

Every once and a while, you ship a couple. C&A were one of my most shippable UF couples, next to Curran and Kate (We can’t be friends if you haven’t read them, fyi). I truly do love how Briggs built their relationship. I wouldn’t say that I love that Charles saved Anna from her previous pack, but I can deal with it. Plus, the use of rape (in the first book, just to be clear) AGAIN was just not to my favor. But, still I can get past that because at this point in Urban Fantasy it’s an anomaly if rape isn’t used. Although, it is suspicious how Briggs uses rape in both series. It must be a genre staple. Even so, I love how Charles gives Anna her space and doesn’t hover like most love interests. He just backs way up if she needs it. He’s a quiet guy. I just love the quiet mysterious guys. Again, with the mystery aspect. He’s just so chill. But, now I’m going to have to say that they have gone the way of the wind. The ‘Dead Heat’ title takes an entire new meaning, emphasis on the “dead.”

I never really realized this before, but Anna is not an interesting person. The only thing that makes her interesting is that she’s an omega and she has a traumatic past. Anna as a person? Not so much.

In this book, Charles completely dominated the book. This is not a good thing. I don’t care how much you have the hots for him, it is not cool with me when the woman takes a backseat in the story. Too often the guy seems to have a much larger presence than the girl. I’m not okay with this. It seemed like Anna had a presence in the beginning, then it became all about Charles, and then towards the end she showed up to save the day. What is this plate of ripe shit? Do not confuse me like this. I will not be tricked into thinking it’s about both Charles and Anna, when Charles has a more dominating presence (not a wolf reference, please) than Anna. Exit the ship, if you don’t mind me saying.

Briggs has a way with unweaving a mystery. She’s just so excellent at planting clues and teasing you the entire way through. The writing is quite nice and I enjoyed it. Dead Heat did not interest me as much as it should have. It was quite boring, as I’ve already stated. Patricia Briggs does tend to weave a book slowly and surely. But, there should always be something to interest me no matter how long it takes to unweave the story.

The sad thing about the horses being such a big part of the book is that a lot of the scenes had no purpose other than spew out horse facts. As much as I love horses, having grown up with them, I can’t see an actual purpose to many of the scenes. The horses are part of why Anna and Charles went to Arizona, so that’s why the horses are so important in the background of the story. But, I felt like the author gave us a little too much. It started to become a little obsessive on the horse info and descriptions.

The plot took so incredibly long to unravel that I cannot forgive the huge chunk of book it took to become known. It dragged on too much for my taste. I love it when stories take a while to unfold. Sometimes, I just love to sink into those stories. But, when the plot takes an entire section of the book to start? That’s when I start to consider watching Keeping Up with the Kardashians instead. Desperate times, my friends. I had them.

I don’t know why I do this to myself.

I will remember you Charles and Anna. We had some good times. I can honestly say that it could be me. That’s possible. But, let’s go with the possibility that it’s probably you. I’m a confident woman. I don’t need hesitate to say what I think. This is what I think.

I received an Advanced Readers Copy provided by Penguin Group Berkley, NAL through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book. 

4 Star Review: Dark Currents by Jacqueline Carey

Jacqueline Carey, New York Times bestselling author of the acclaimed Kushiel’s Legacy novels, presents an all-new world featuring a woman caught between the normal and paranormal worlds, while enforcing order in both. Introducing Daisy Johanssen, reluctant hell-spawn…

The Midwestern resort town of Pemkowet boasts a diverse population: eccentric locals, wealthy summer people, and tourists by the busload; not to mention fairies, sprites, vampires, naiads, ogres and a whole host of eldritch folk, presided over by Hel, a reclusive Norse goddess.

To Daisy Johanssen, fathered by an incubus and raised by a single mother, it’s home. And as Hel’s enforcer and the designated liaison to the Pemkowet Police Department, it’s up to her to ensure relations between the mundane and eldritch communities run smoothly.

But when a young man from a nearby college drowns—and signs point to eldritch involvement—the town’s booming paranormal tourism trade is at stake. Teamed up with her childhood crush, Officer Cody Fairfax, a sexy werewolf on the down-low, Daisy must solve the crime—and keep a tight rein on the darker side of her nature. For if she’s ever tempted to invoke her demonic birthright, it could accidentally unleash nothing less than Armageddon.


Why did I try out Dark Currents, you ask? Because of a little comment dearest Kat made:

Thanks to Kat, I picked up this glory of urban fantasy novelization (It’s a word. I’m sure of it).

I now bow to your great scepter-ness (according to my mind, this is also a word. I dare you to defy me) Kat. Your welcome.

*Kat and her sceptor-ness take no prisoners.*

She’s really a nice person, ignore Katy Perry’s bitch glare.


A half-demon.

A mermaid.

A goddess of the Norse mythology.

Some abs.

A shiny dagger.

A MURDER.

It’s all there. I did not expect the world to be this interesting, when I first went in. At first the book was a little slow. But then it really started to pick up. Don’t expect it to be a fast paced roller coaster ride, guys. It’s really good, but it’s written with plot and character development in mind. Be patient. I am so shocked at the intense creativity of the world. Daisy has the sad fortune of being the daughter of a minor demon. When she gets even a little angry things happen. She works really hard to control her temper. As the daughter of a demon, she’s very aware of the seven deadly sins. If I had a tail due to being the daughter of a demon, I too would be aware of my humanity and its fragility.

Daisy is Hel’s liaison and does the occasional supernatural job for the local chief of police. Hel is the Norse goddess of the underworld and daughter of Loki. She presides over the town in the connecting underworld Little Nieflheim. She has authority over the eldritch community.

Daisy’s job just got a lot harder. She and her old high school crush, Cody, are thrown together to try to solve the crime. I have to say that Carey handled the mystery very well. Mystery readers like to try to figure out for themselves. I love to try to look at the clues and speculate which sentences could have been a foreshadow. At a certain point, I was almost ninety percent sure I knew who it was and I think this was intentional on the author’s part. She had planted all the clues and to me they all pointed to a particular person. Jacqueline completely threw the ball out of the game. She manipulated the fuck out of me. And, I loved that she did. MINDFUCKED.

*MINDFUCKED*

Daisy is odd. She’s attracted to certain body parts and things that a human wouldn’t be. But as a half demon, she’s more attracted to supernaturals than she is with humans. Nothing gross or anything, don’t worry. She admits to being bisexual when it comes to the eldritch.

Dominant MC’s kick balls.

She’s a forceful person. She’s very assertive and does her job with intelligence, maturity, and strength. She doesn’t let people walk all over her. She doesn’t become silent when someone insults her. Daisy understands that as a woman working in a male workforce, she needs to be assertive. She has to look at her orders with maturity, without writing it off as that person being a jerk because she’s female. She has the strength and intelligence to not be offended by a demanding employer or co-worker. She doesn’t cry when someone calls her a name. I like this. She doesn’t take it personally because she knows it’s a hard place to work in. But she also doesn’t just write it off. When you work around a lot of guys who are very assertive and dominant, you learn to not take things personally. You learn to be as fucking bold and assertive as they are. Daisy has done this. She does what she had to do as Hel’s liaison. She doesn’t shy away from taking charge or killing someone.

*Emma Watson level of Badass*

A lot of urban fantasy books don’t include female friendships.

It’s one of the reasons I’ve strayed from the genre. You have this heroine who wears black and hates anything girly, right. She’s a loner. Kind of like a stray dog that bites anyone that goes near her. She gets along with guys, but whenever a female shows up she barks and bitches and barks and bitches ending with a big slut shaming end. I hate that shit. Daisy has female friendships.

I bloody (I’m not British but I’m using this work. SUCK IT) loved the relationship development between Cody and Daisy. When they’re thrown together as partners, they barely tolerate each other. Cody is a werewolf and is very secretive about it. He has preconceived notions about Daisy because she is half demon. As anyone would, really. Daisy has preconceived notions about Cody. She thinks that the rumors she hears about him are true, which is understandable until you actually ask the person whether they’re true.

Cody and Daisy slowly get to know each other. They go from tolerating each other, to friends, to having a friendship that could possibly turn into something romantic.

Hell yes! it’s not about sex or how hot the guys are. SMILES ABOUND.

*Holy Shit! Is the apocalypse coming?*

There’s some abs and pecks for sure, but it doesn’t dominate the story. It’s a very low key detail. This book is not about the romantic entaglements of the main character, it’s about her struggle as a half demon and the murder mystery. Her friendship with Cody is my favorite thing about this book because it shows that the best relationships develop from friendship. By the end of this book, I was incredibly happy that they stayed friends and that it didn’t turn into a romance. It stayed an urban fantasy with the possibility of including a slow burn in the future.

Carey presents us with religion, myths, supernatural creatures, and the struggles all those elements face when combined without preaching her own personal religious beliefs. She provides us with the elements as a story. She shows us a very real thing: overly religious individuals who try to preach another person’s faults based on their religion. Just because she makes religion a contributing factor in this book does not mean that she is pushing her own religious beliefs on her reader. Just because it’s there or that it’s presented in a certain way does not make this so.

The eldritch community (supernatural creatures) is not polar opposite to the very conservative and religious community. It would have been a cliché had they been non-religious atheists who detested religion with every fiber of their being. Many didn’t claim any religion, some didn’t comment on it, and some were very much religious. The characters in this novel were individuals when it came to their religion. They weren’t sectioned off by their species or race when it came to what they believed in. Even Daisy didn’t know where she stood when it came to religion.

I got some problems with the book, guys.

1. I hated that Daisy used the words: Gah! and Oh crap! so much. It was too  much. It threw me out of the book. Why? Those are words teens use, rather than an independent woman who is very aware of the dangers she faces. I would think a woman in her 20’s would be okay with using fuck or shit. I’m very fond of those words myself.

2. There’s a moment where Daisy takes it upon herself to judge 2 adults for their decision not to send their kids to public school because they feel it’s too dangerous for their kids. Okay, no one has the right to judge another parent’s decision on an important matter. I’m not a parent, but you need to respect that parent’s decisions especially if you don’t have kids yourself.

3. The drama between Daisy and her friend Jen over Cody was fake. I didn’t buy it. I loved that Daisy was quick to realize her mistakes and owns up to the fact that she fucked up. But Jen seemed completely oblivious to the fact that her friend had a crush on Cody. I know that me and my friends are always aware of who has the hots for who, even if we’re not told. It’s just how we are. You don’t break the code. Okay. You just don’t. Either Jen is just being immature or she is fucking oblivious to everything. Your choice.

And now, I leave you with an exploding Taco: Because that is what this book sums up to. It has it’s faults. You have to wait for the awesome. But, when that explosion hits it all comes together to form something intricate, interesting, and a little weird. It’s so pretty. Look! EXPLODING TACO!!!

Review: Shadowfever by Karen Marie Moning


“Evil is a completely different creature, Mac. Evil is bad that believes it’s good.”

MacKayla Lane was just a child when she and her sister, Alina, were given up for adoption and banished from Ireland forever.

Twenty years later, Alina is dead and Mac has returned to the country that expelled them to hunt her sister’s murderer. But after discovering that she descends from a bloodline both gifted and cursed, Mac is plunged into a secret history: an ancient conflict between humans and immortals who have lived concealed among us for thousands of years.

What follows is a shocking chain of events with devastating consequences, and now Mac struggles to cope with grief while continuing her mission to acquire and control the Sinsar Dubh—a book of dark, forbidden magic scribed by the mythical Unseelie King, containing the power to create and destroy worlds.

In an epic battle between humans and Fae, the hunter becomes the hunted when the Sinsar Dubh turns on Mac and begins mowing a deadly path through those she loves.
Who can she turn to? Who can she trust? Who is the woman haunting her dreams? More important, who is Mac herself and what is the destiny she glimpses in the black and crimson designs of an ancient tarot card?

From the luxury of the Lord Master’s penthouse to the sordid depths of an Unseelie nightclub, from the erotic bed of her lover to the terrifying bed of the Unseelie King, Mac’s journey will force her to face the truth of her exile, and to make a choice that will either save the world . . . or destroy it.


 

“That’s it. Fate’s a fickle whore. We’re not going. Take your clothes off and get back in my bed.”

 

Fate is a fickle whore. You heard the man, get going!

And yet: These two yell at each other for over five hundred fucking pages.

But seriously, I love slow burns and this is the epitome of good slow burn. It burns and burns and you wait for what seems like forever. Kicks fly. Remarks and comebacks become their ammo. Guns pointed at each other in that final duel. Challenges accepted. They always felt something for each other. Nothing is more satisfying than watching a good slow burn simmer and unfold for this long because it is so worth it. It’s so satisfying once you get what you want.


Silence. Mac is cold. Lonely. Miserable. She’s more alone than ever in this novel.

She see’s nothing but pain and irrationality is her best friend. She’s mean. She’s a got a plan. And she’s ready to burn the world. That last scene in book four was a terror to wait for (all ten minutes of it!), but it’s more painful to realize the reality of it.

She was once a pretty spoiled brat obsessed with pink and never giving a care in the universe. She no longer knows this woman. She’s long gone. No longer do we see the Too Stupid To Live heroine who rushes into situations. But what we never realized: there was a reason for her actions. Moning deceives us again and again. But she did it in a way that I can understand. It was always her plan. I may not like it, but I can get behind it. It was always going to be explained. Why is Mac the way she is? What is she, truly? What is her past? Where does she come from? These are questions that are answered.

Mac punches the air with exuberance when life craps right in front of her. She just walks over that shit pile every fucking time. The coolest thing about Mac is her bloodthirsty desire for vengeance. Most authors turn a previously bloodthirsty heroine into a regretful and remorseful heroine who at the last moment decides not to kill. Fucking sick of that. But no no, Moning does not give us the short end of the stick.

Deceive. Deceive. Deceive. DECEIVE. That is the book’s intent and apparently it’s also Moning’s

Now there is no possible way to review this book without spoilers, soooooooo…..I would advise you not to read this review unless you’ve read it. I repeat there are SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW. GET OUT! I was being polite about it first. But now I’m going to be an aggressive bitch about it: Get the fuck off my review unless you’ve read this book. Because when I say there are spoilers, I fucking mean it. I don’t mean there are teensy baby spoilers. I mean there are giant ass trolls of spoilers. My spoilers are trolls. Move. It.

Got it? THERE. ARE. SPOILERS. IN. THIS. REVIEW. Looks to the left. Looks to the right. Waits. Waits another minute. Quickly looks behind her. Okay. Coast is clear.

Let’s do this bitch.

Things are never what they seem. There can never be six words more true than those. Illusions are everywhere. Moning has dethroned Marchetta as the Manipulative Bitch. It’s no longer Marchetta the Manipulator, but Moning the Manipulator. She’s a genius at planting clues and foreshadows. Every single action, thought, description, discovery, emotion were carefully and wickedly plotted by Moning. No wonder her books take so damn long to write. She must have to go through every page and then go fact check them by reading previous books. She must have piles and piles of notes in order to carefully plant her clues so that everything would make as much sense as it does. I don’t think I’ve ever landed so flat on my ass before. But everyone has a first, right? I don’t think I’ve ever seen clues and conclusions plotted and planted so well and so deceptively before. Flat on my ass.

Delusions everywhere.

-First she thinks she knows who she is.

– She accepts it.

– Then: mind blown.

– Then: she accepts it.

– Then: Mind Blown.

– Again she grabs onto it.

– MIND BLOWN.

– FREAK OUT.

– FREAK OUT.

– WHAT IS LIFE?

-AM I ALIVE?

– AM I HUMAN?

– accepts it.

-MIIIINNNNDD BLLLOWWWN.

– Mac explodes.

At the start of this novel Mac is at a loss for her heart, it feels lost. Even in the face of pain and loss, she grabs onto life and grabs life by the reins. She moves on and lives. She finds a path. This is what I loved about her. That she didn’t just die in a whole like most heroines who have. She kills. She looks for blood. She joins the enemy and deceives him. I both hated and loved this part of Mac. I loved her thirst for power, but hated her irrational actions. Moning could have toned down the pity party. But then when I think about it, if she had done that Barrons’ death wouldn’t have been as earth shattering. It was already clear Mac loved him. But she hadn’t realized it yet. And if she had toned down the pity party, the discovery that he was alive wouldn’t have had the manipulative coercion that it did.

We all have our OTPs( One True Pairing). Despite my control: I think Jericho Barrons and Mackayla Lane just became one of my OTPs. Yes. I have several. I dislike many things about these books, but the overall genius of Moning and the utterly squishy heart strings I felt when reading their romance unfold had me.

BARRONS.BAR.RONS.BAR.RONS.JERICHO.JERICHO.JER.ICHO.JER.ICHO.

All I have to say is: sexy couch scene. *perv smile*

RAWR. CUE THE SEXY MUSICA.

“You’re Mac,” he says. “And I’m Jericho. And nothing else matters. Never will. You exist in a place that is beyond all rules for me…”

*whistles* look at that ass.

They had me. You got me. You made me feel things I didn’t want to feel. I didn’t want to like Barrons. But, I did. I didn’t want to like Mac, but eventually I did. I didn’t want to find their romance sexy. But, I did. While I didn’t like the lack of strong women and their lack of power in these novels, I loved the story. I loved how slow their romance evolved. I liked that Mac didn’t come to realize her true feelings for Barrons until very late in the series. I don’t even think she was a coward for it. Some people love late. And some people are hit with it in the face and still don’t see it until it’s staring at you and your ass is grass.

Things I didn’t like in this series:

I’m going to be a bit of a party pooper. I hated that a lot of the men made a lot of the important and powerful decisions. They always seemed to be in control of what would happen in the story. It’s as if Mac wasn’t at all in control of her story, but it was the men. Barrons made a lot of the plans that would be carried out. The Unseelie King even took control of what would happen to Cruce at the end. The Lord Master and everyone around Mac would manipulate and seduce Mac to make her actions based on what they did to her. All of the power was in their hands and she had to choose what the best decision was.

THAT IS SUCKY.

When you are a women in a world of men and you have to make the smart choice instead of being in charge or your choices. When one person is trying to get you to side his way, another his, and another his. What’s the right choice even when you aren’t in charge? Maybe this was a feminist idea of what it’s like to live in a world of men and still come out a strong woman? Even though I loved the story, I was saddened that Moning didn’t make the women equal power holders.

V’lane. Fucking V’lane.

I loathe that rat bastard. I always hated him for a reason. And now I know. I dislike that V’lane became the leader of the far, you know if he hadn’t been iced by the Unseelie King. In my mind it basically told me: even in the end men have all the power. He’s basically doing all the work for the Seelie Queen. He makes al the great decisions for her. The Queen is save by the King and taken away as if he’s her knight in shining armor. And it doesn’t end there. There are very few women that I felt were truly powerful and strong. The first being Mac. The second is Dani. The third is Kat. Three. Count them. Three people. That’s it. That’s a bit of a problem in this series. Men having all the power. Up until the end men were always saving Mac. I would’ve preferred she saved her own ass. I am in charge of my future no matter how many men try to get in my fucking path. That is what I want. I think she saved her ass a lot, but not at the end. The Unseelie King does. That’s totally…RAWR.

Throughout this entire novel Mac’s vagina becomes very important. That is: who gets in her pants. At the start of the novel Mac joins in with the LM to try to gain power for her own means. When she discovers Barrons hadn’t died after all, Barrons believes she slept with the LM. Long afterwards Barrons throws this in her face repeatedly. She never did sleep with the LM. This disappointed me since it came from Barrons. I know he’s not perfect. Far from it. He’s neither good nor evil. Many of his actions are seen as bad, but they are what he is. Part of what he is: a caveman. He and his men all act in a very old fashioned way in their view of women. It’s true. While he loves Mac and respects her opinions and strengths, he does claim her sexuality and body as his own. And she does the same for him. I was not okay with him slut shaming her for supposedly sleeping with someone that wasn’t him before they had committed to each other.

Barrons: 

Initially he used references to sex to shut me up. Then he used sex to wake me up. After I was no longer Pri-ya, he’d returned to using references to sex to keep me on edge. Forcing me to remember how intimate we once were.

This represents the difference in how Barrons treats sex as a way to keep Mac at a distance. He’s a caveman for sure, but he also uses sex as a device to keep her at bay from knowing that the does have feelings for her.

There’s also the way Ryodan and his men treat Mac’s sexuality: misochism? Perhaps. Or is it just part of their thousands of years old lifespan? Are they truly sexist or do they just view women in a different way? Do they view women as powerful, but appreciate their sexuality in a very old world way? Or do they truly see women as nothing but sex objects? And if this is true then why do they see Mac as a threat if all they see in her is a sex object? Why would they want to kill her to protect their order if she’s just a sex object? Perhaps there’s more to their character stereotypes than we’re seeing. One thing is for sure: I dislike how many of these men curb Mac’s ability to be a power holder in her own story:

His face hardened. “Strip if you’re coming up.”

I gave him a look. “I have on skintight clothes.”

“Non-negotiable. All of it. Nothing but skin.”

Lor folded his arms, leaned back against the staircase, and laughed. “She’s got a great ass. If we’re lucky she’s wearing a thong.”

Then:

He didn’t think I’d do it. He was wrong.

Bristling, I kicked off my shoes, tugged my shirt over my head, skinned off my jeans, popped my bra, and stripped off my thong. Then I put my shoulder holster back on, tucked my spear into it, and walked up the stairs naked. I put a little jiggle in my walk and held his gaze the whole time.

This example perfectly shows how these men take away Mac’s respect and power in this story. But what I do love is the way Mac handled it. She was confident in her actions and sexuality. She didn’t bow down to Ryodan or Lor, in their obvious desire, in their attempt to try to assert themselves in their manly macho power and lord it over her ass. She came out the victor here in her decision to walk proud in her sexuality and confidence as a woman. No matter how resilient they are in shoving their dongs in her face, she just came out just as resilient in showing her vag and didn’t care who the fuck knew it.

 

I will reread this series into the ground. B&M are officially going on my OTP list. I started out hating this series, I ended it crazed and happy.

Dreamfever by Karen Marie Moning


They may have stolen my past, but I’ll never let them take my future.

When the walls between Man and Fae come crashing down, freeing the insatiable, immortal Unseelie from their icy prison, MacKayla Lane is caught in a deadly trap. Captured by the Fae Lord Master, she is left with no memory of who or what she is: the only sidhe-seer alive who can track the Sinsar Dubh, a book of arcane black magic that holds the key to controlling both worlds.

Clawing her way back from oblivion is only the first step Mac must take down a perilous path, from the battle-filled streets of Dublin to the treacherous politics of an ancient, secret sect, through the tangled lies of men who claim to be her allies into the illusory world of the Fae themselves, where nothing is as it seems—and Mac is forced to face a soul-shattering truth.

Who do you trust when you can’t even trust yourself?


I’ve gone mad. I’m off the wall. I have no more sanity to give. No more happy chick. No more squishy hugs and fluffy dragons. It is apocalyptic rage. It’s the purest most foul type of rage. It is looking at the world with nothing but cynicism and distrust. It is lust at it’s most disgusting, shaming, and degrading form possible. It is this book. It is leather, gun wielding, pink hating, distrusting Mac 4.0. She’s lost her mind along with me.

The world is full of Unseelie. The world lies in darkness and death. Shades are everywhere. The Lord Master has succeeded. Mac….oh our dear Mac is not the same. She’s more different than ever.

She’s pri-ya. She was raped by Unseelie princes. She’s stark raving mad for lust. She’s an animal. She has no memory of who she is. She only knows animal instinct. Dani saved her.

And then there was Barrons. He saved her from staying pri-ya. He put up pictures of her sister, put on music from her iPod, painted her nails pink, and filled the room with all of her possessions and memories. He tried every fucking tiny little thing to help her get out of this animal state. She’s truly scary at this point. Her sentences don’t always make full grammatically correct sentences. She’s doped out on sex. She’s obsessed with Barrons’ red and black tattoos, as any woman would be. But eventually: she comes back.

Look I fucking loved this book. But I had an issue with Barrons sleeping with Mac when she was pri-ya. She was not herself. She was addicted to sex. It was as if she was on the most dangerous and insane type of drugs possible. He slept with her while  she was vulnerable and I have half a mind to fucking kick him in the NUTS!

I know that he helped her. I think he did a wonderful thing in helping her. I could see that he cared a lot about her. I saw emotions in him that I never knew he truly felt. I can see he puts on a facade for Mac. I’m even speculative on whether he’s in love with her. Because Barrons dancing and smiling with Mac naked just says: Hey. I got the feels for you. But, I had higher expectations. I did not think having sex with her during this state could be easily excused. He did good, but he also did something I thought he would be above. I’m disappointed in you Barrons.

You see, when Mac wakes the fuck up she feels like this:

“I was out of my mind. I’d never have done it otherwise.”
Really, his dark eyes mocked, and in them I was demanding more, telling him I wanted it to always be this way.
I remembered what he’d replied: that one day I would wonder if it was possible to hate him more.
“I had no awareness. No choice.” I searched for words to drive my point home. “It was every bit as much rape as what the Unseelie Princes did to me.”

I disagree that it should be compared to rape, because this was not rape. I think some readers may think that, but I think that’s illogical thinking. It’s rationalizing it into something it really isn’t. If you know anything about rape, you should know the difference. And this is not rape.

This was a stupid stupid thing on Barrons part. I think that in his mind he thought he was helping, when really he couldn’t help resisting her. I don’t think this was right. I think it was him deceiving himself. No. I am not making excuses for him. Rape comes in many forms. It can be harsh. It can be seductive. And it can be cruel. But, this was none of those. This was a man trying to help Mac, whom was in agonizing pain from being pri-ya, and convincing himself it was the right thing to do.

She was desperately trying to get out of the hell of her mind and she didn’t even know why or how:

I do not know what to call it, but it makes me pace. I stalk the room like the animal I am, smashing and breaking things. I scream until my throat is raw. Suddenly I have new words. Rage. Anger. Violence.

I loved the transition from Lustful Mac to crazy Mac to Mac 4.0: the badass version. I hated what Barrons did, but oddly enough: he’s still sexy. I’m insane. I know this. But fuck, that man:

In fact, when I open my mouth to speak again, he kisses me, hard. He shuts me up with his tongue, deep. He kisses me until I cannot speak or even breathe, until I do not even care if I ever breathe again. Until I have forgotten that for a moment he was not a beast but a man. Until the images that so disturbed me are singed to ash by the heat of our lust and gone. 

HEEEEEEEE! DROOLING. DROOLING. Who’s pri-ya now?

Mac 4.0: YESSSSSSS!

She used to be this:

And now she’s this:

I would always like pink. But there wasn’t anything pink inside me anymore. I might be back, but I was black Mac now.

If you think that Mac is going to go into a situation and not be prepared? You are an idiot.

You don’t go through shit like that and not learn your lesson. Mac goes through this book prepared, even over prepared. She thinks about every tiny little thing before she does it. She packs a bag full of things she might need. Her MacHalo. A gun. Her spear (of course!). Anything she might need to protect herself.

She no longer trusts a damn soul, but herself. She’s not stupid. She doesn’t rely on herself to get out of situations because that in itself is stupid. You don’t have to trust them. But, you can use them to your advantage to get out of a dangerous situation. That is where Mac is at. She know Barrons is resourceful in his intelligence to get her ass out of a situation. She’s trying to learn how to be smarter, better, stronger, and more resourceful like he is. But, she knows she’s not there yet.

Mac joins in on the fun, trying to kill as much Unseelie with Dani as possible. But that old hag gets in the way. THAT WOMAN. Meet Mr. Stabby why won’t you, Ro?

In this book, Mac is hurting. She’s embarrassed, although she doesn’t admit it. She’s angry at Barrons for seeing her at her most intimate and vulnerable state. She’s angry at the Unseelie Princes for raping, torturing, and using her for their own horrific purposes. She’s also angry that she might be in love with Barrons, but again she won’t admit it.

Mac is no longer PINK. SHE’S BLACK AS NIGHT. She’s no longer into rainbow outfits, fashion magazines, painting nails, or describing her looks. Only once in a while do you get her describing her outfit. But when she dresses it’s for practicality, not fashion:

I was wearing black leather from head to toe, not for the statement it made but for the practicality of it. With the right kind of leather, you can sponge off just about anything. Fabric isn’t blood-repellant. 

Mac also realizes that her own sister might have been TSTL. Thank you! God. That had been bothering me since book one. Luckily, Mac is exiting that state of mind herself:

Recently I’d begun to realize my sister had made some hedgy decisions. Like not telling me what was going on as soon as she learned about it and trying to handle it all herself without asking for help. Strength wasn’t about being able to do everything alone. Strength was knowing when to ask for help and not being too proud to do it. 

She actually listens to Barrons this time around. Even if you hate him, you can’t deny that he’s smart in his resourcefulness to get out of “oh fuck” situations. He knows what to do and Mac 4.0 realizes this.

Things we discover in this book:

  1. We may or may not have figured out what Barrons is. At least, I think I’m pretty sure what he is.
  2. More info on the world of the Unseelie; Hall of All Days, Druid magic, etc.
  3. More about Ryodan and the strange cult he’s part of.
  4. We find out Mac’s heritage.

And….we’re left with a lot of fucking questions. YAY MORE QUESTIONS!

The majority: around 80% of this novel was perfect. But I had a bit of an issue with extraneous detail in the Hall of All Days scenes. I felt like it could have been edited down extensively. I felt like a lot of the parts where unnecessary and didn’t need to be there. It really serves little point. I think it needed to be there, but that the majority of it didn’t. A good deal of the time, I was bored when reading those scenes. The only thing that kept me going were 1. Moning’s fast paced writing. 2. The secrets I would eventually learn the truth to.

DAT. ENDING.

Karen Marie Fucking Moning. WHY DID YOU DO THIS TO ME! No one fucking does this to me after ending the previous book with a heartbreaking ending to create an EVEN BIGGER PAINFUL ENDING! Yes. Those italics were intentional.

I will shit on you some day for doing this to me.

I resorted to listening to Black Widow by Iggy Freakin’ Azalea because of you. I am Miss Major Pissed Off. Fear me.

Who was that at the end? Who did she lose? Was it Barrons? Please tell me it wasn’t. Oh. My. No God Here.

And to top it all of, I decided to order the hardback copy of Shadowfever and it’s not here yet. This will be the end of me. I’m going to have to go to the store and buy some Vodka. Damn.

One last thing:

still think Jericho fucking Barrons is sexy:

“Once before I’d seen Jericho Barrons wearing jeans and a T-shirt. It’s like sheet-metaling a W16 Bugatti Veyron engine-all 1,001 horsepower of it-with the body of a ’65 Shelby. The height of sophisticated power sporting in-your-face, fuck-you muscle.”

*SHIVERS*

I am still insane. And he is still Mr. Sexy Pants.

Review: Faefever by Karen Marie Moning

He calls me his Queen of the Night. I’d die for him. I’d kill for him, too.

When MacKayla Lane receives a page torn from her dead sister’s journal, she is stunned by Alina’s desperate words. And now MacKayla knows that her sister’s killer is close. But evil is closer. And suddenly the sidhe-seer is on the hunt: For answers. For revenge. And for an ancient book of dark magic so evil that it corrupts anyone who touches it.

Mac’s quest for the Sinsar Dubh takes her into the mean, shapeshifting streets of Dublin, with a suspicious cop on her tail. Forced into a dangerous triangle of alliance with V’lane, a lethal Fae prince, and Jericho Barrons, a man of deadly secrets, Mac is soon locked in a battle for her body, mind, and soul.


Prepare to scream so loud that the bitch is thrown right out of you. I am dead serious. That ending was agonizing the first time. But this time….I will smash this beer bottle on someone’s head. No. I will lay this book flat on the driveway, borrow my friend’s giant ass truck, and run over this damn book until there’s nothing left but Mac’s thoughts and Barrons’ brooding facial expressions flying through the air as I speed away. This book I both loved and hated. I love it because of the whoas, holy fucks, and the kicking and screaming emos stuck in side me. I hate it because of that FUCKING ending. Why did you have leave me high and dry Moning? I swear, that woman….bitch glare. FIST SHAKING IS HAPPENING RIGHT NOW.

Oh yes. It is three in the morning and it is Bitch Time. You do not make this university student stay up until three a.m. during the last week of finals to finish your wonderful fucking good book and end it like that. I am sleep deprived. I’ve been drinking Corona. And I am pissed off. You. Me. My friend’s truck. THIS BOOK. It is on.

But first about the book and then I will turn the Bitch switch on for real.

In this book Mac and Barrons are still on the road to finding the Dark Book. But when we last left off, Mac was clutching her head from being so close to it. That comes to fruition in this book. Boy is that book weird looking. I won’t spoil it for you: but just when you think it’s just this ordinary thing, it’s not. Something is happening to the city, it’s becoming more chaotic. Crimes are building up. The police are going nuts. There are more Unseelie on the streets. Guess who it’s all connected to? That’s right. The Lord Master. So, not a spoiler guys. I swear.

Miss Mac is pissed off that she’s the one that has to deal with it. She has to deal with the repercussions of O’Bannion’s brother and his little addiction. She has to deal with Rowena’s sudden bitch fight and her team of sidhe-seers. She has to deal with the dominant horror that is Jericho Barrons and his never-ending obsessions. So many things, really.

On top of that:

Something is coming. It’s deadly. It’s chaos. The walls are coming down. For Mac, for Barrons, for everyone in Dublin. Turn on that MacHalo and get that rifle because an apocalypse is coming.

I think you didn’t need to be a sidhe-seer to feel the taut, expectant hush in the air, to hear the distant drumming of dark hooves on a troubled wind, moving closer, closer.

Closer.

Yes. That is the author. And yes, that scene where Mac dances with her pink MacHalo and Barrons laughs his ass off is the best and most hilarious scene in this book.

The bitching is coming. I promise.

Since the previous book Ms. Lane is not as resistant to her “job.” She’s doesn’t care as much what people think of her.

My MacHalo was for deep night work only. If the people passing by tonight thought it was bizarre that I was carrying lit flashlights, I didn’t care. I was staying alive. They could smirk all they wanted.

She’s becoming smarter in her decisions, not always, but more often than not. She’s thinking more about situations before she jumps into them. She’s more careful about making deals with people. She even tricks Barrons into a deal. Score one for Mac. She’s more responsible in her actions. Mac has some great realizations in this book that make her grow the fuck up.

…in my heart, I didn’t really believe he was evil. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t think he was good, either, but bad is potential evil. Evil is a lost cause. 

But still not enough to make me feel like she’s accepted what is and put her big girl panties on. The downfall is that she still has that annoying habit of constant ridiculous inner monologue. GO AWAY. I don’t need to hear about it anymore. Stop whining about the whether. It’s Ireland. Of course it rains.

Then, there’s that whole thing where she starts thinking about what Barrons is and then she decides it’s because he’s a bad person. You know. Just cause. She doesn’t need to have proof to back it up. She decided it and that is that. And then, she tries comparing some of his actions to rape. Okay. Look rape is bad. It’s really fucking bad. But that was not rape. And it had little to do with rape. It’s like comparing something with one similar detail to a huge issue that has little to with each other except for that one detail. That is stupid and uncool. Think logically, instead of getting all pissed off and saying something that makes no sense. I don’t like what Barrons did. I want to tie is dick into a knot. He was stupid. He made a mistake. I don’t think he should be forgiven easily (hence the dick knot), but it was one of those pissed off moments he frequently has.

The relationship between these two psychos has changed a lot. First they hated each, then they tolerated each other, and now they are really attracted to each other but are completely ignoring it.  There are jealous moments. Neither admits this. Throughout the entire novel, lies and truth becomes a contributing factor. They have these cute arguments:

“I didn’t call you Mac.”

“Yes, you did.”

“I called you Ms. Lane.”

“No, you didn’t.”

“Yes, I did.”

First Mac tells Barrons little but lies. But then she learns throughout the novel, and decides to confide in him. Okay good. Very good. This is good development. Just what I wanted. He starts to be more open with her, little things, but that’s something.

OH THE CAKE SCENE. WONDERFUL. He’s a jerk towards the end. But, as the reader it’s awesome because you get an insight on how Barrons truly views emotion.

He was still frowning at the cake, looking at it as if he expected it to sprout dozens of legs and begin scuttling toward him, thin-lipped, teeth bared. 

*baby voice* He doesn’t like feeling. He’s a big TALL monster. Runs away from all the feels.

BIG BARRONS CAVEMAN:

NO FEELING.

NO PINK CAKE MAC.

AGRESSIVE TALK.

DOMINANT DOOHICKIES.

DROOLS OVER MAC BOOBIES.

CAVEMAN BARRONS WEARS SEXY CLOTHES.

DO NOT SHOW FEELING FOR ME.

I WILL GLARE AT YOU MENACINGLY.

I AM HYPOCRITE. I DO REALLY SWEET THING FOR MAC.

And despite this: He is sexy. There is no reason or logic. He just is.

For those who haven’t read the book, it’s probably not a good idea for you to read this. Okay. Now that everything is clear. What the fuck was that ending. It was so painful to watch. I get why Mac wasn’t able to do anything. I can see other reader’s blaming her. But, really it’s not her fault that it happened. They were Gancanagh, or death by sex fae. These ones were much more determined than V’lane ever was with Mac. Bascially it was forced seduction. Which means that despite the fact that the Main Character doesn’t want to have sex or hasn’t said yes, they seduce her forcibly. It’s another version of rape. Frankly, that’s what this was. It’s sad. It’s terrible. But it’s not her fault. And I can’t see why other reader’s would even consider that it was her fault. Even though after she wasn’t able to resist them, she found pleasure, she didn’t want it.

It was sex that was life that was blood that was God that filled every empty orifice I had, inside and out. And it was killing me. And I knew it. And I had to have more.

If you’ve read folklore about these creatures, they are one of the most fucking scary creatures in those damn books. The idea that you have no choice is scary. The idea that you are seduced into something you don’t want is scary. The idea that once they are gone, you are in agonizing pain and death is the only way you can escape it is fucking scary. I never want to know what rape is like. I think this is the worst type of rape you can experience. Moning scared the shit out of me. But while a lot of author’s use rape as a device to make reader’s feel pain, I don’t think this was Moning’s attempt. I think she handled it well. She wasn’t too graphic. She described what was happening without being gratuitous about it. She made sure that it wasn’t just about the act, that there was deeper meaning and purpose to it.

I’m reading.

I’m scared.

My hands are shaking.

OMG. THOSE THINGS.

GLARES.

What’s going to happen?

Oh Mac. FUCK.

Footsteps. Footsteps. Holy…it’s……mother fucker.

NOOOOOOOOOO.

I’M GOING TO BITCHSLAP SOMEONE.

Oh…and Christian: I approve. But dude, what is with everyone wanting to know who Mac is sleeping with. Barrons wants to now. Christian wants to know. V’lane wants to know. It’s like a big fucking circle that never ends. Who she sleeps with or doesn’t sleep with is no one’s damn business. Period. No excuses. Get over it guys.

This book is like putting your hand in snow and keeping it there for a few minutes until it burns. You take it out and it’s got that nice pink color. It’s cold, numb, and on fire. You love it. But, you hate it. And then you sit by the fire pissed off and you leave satisfied with a warm body part.

Review: Bloodfever by Karen Marie Moning


I used to be your average, everyday girl but all that changed one night in Dublin when I saw my first Fae, and got dragged into a world of deadly immortals and ancient secrets. . . .

In her fight to stay alive, MacKayla must find the Sinsar Dubh—a million-year-old book of the blackest magic imaginable, which holds the key to power over the worlds of both the Fae and Man. Pursued by assassins, surrounded by mysterious figures she knows she can’t trust, Mac finds herself torn between two deadly and powerful men: V’lane, the immortal Fae Prince, and Jericho Barrons, a man as irresistible as he is dangerous.

For centuries the shadowy realm of the Fae has coexisted with that of humans. Now the walls between the two are coming down, and Mac is the only thing that stands between them.



Moning is the mother of good pacing. Just when you think things can’t get any more intense. Or just when you think you can’t get any more feelings out, your heart starts to explode out of your chest. Then, you have to pick up all the pieces. AND THEN: you are left sitting in that room alone staring at the wall because you just don’t fucking understand WHAT THE FUCK HAPPENED.

It’s like that.

All you can do is bitch to get everything under control. By everything, I mean those little things they call emotions. That is what it’s called right? Right.

Mac grows significantly in this book, from start to finish. Since the beginning of book one she’s grown some already. She’s not as prone to jumping into the mix without thinking about the repercussions. She still does have those moments i.e. deciding to stay on the beach with V’lane and making a deal with him without realizing the full truth of what she’s getting into. She’s still adamant that her life won’t change once she and Barrons find the Dark Book. I kept shaking my head the entire time. There’s just no fucking way that’s going to happen. Not after learning what she is, not after becoming Barrons OOP detector, not after realizing there’s an entire community of people like her, and so many other things that could affect her life even once they find that book. It’s just not realistic to think on those terms. She can’t think life is going to be what it used to be, even if Alina is out the picture.

Mac’s growth in this novel:

  • Mac grows a pair and stands up to Barrons.
  • She’s actually actively learning about the Fae world.
  • She’s being more safe by always having a weapon nearby.
  • She’s listening to Barrons instead of throwing a hissy fit.

I set up my laptop and tried to answer e-mails from my friends, but I couldn’t relate to anything they’d written about. Parties and Jell-O shots, and who was sleeping with who, and he-said/she-said just didn’t comp tin my brain right now.

Mac is becoming more mature not only by her actions, but by her attitude. Towards the end of the novel she realizes her life will never be the same. That she’s going to fight for that book because of what she is, because her sister would have wanted it, and because it’s the right thing to do. But more than that, Mac doesn’t seem to making as many stupid mistakes as she did in book one.

Mac’s faults in this novel are mostly centered on her lingering immaturity.

  • She’s still jumping to conclusions about Barrons without looking at this actions.
  • She’s saying things without really thinking about the reality of the situations and why he keeps secrets.
  • She’s paying more attention to what he’s not doing and then coming to wild conclusions instead of looking at what he is doing and then looking at what those actions mean.

She’s twisting information. Look, I totally fucking hate how he makes decisions without consulting her first. I DO. It pisses me off. But, Mac’s actions aren’t any better. She’s comparing him to V’lane, who tries to rape her at every fucking turn. Basically, what Ryodan tells Mac is very true. I’m very interested to see the woman she becomes and I can’t wait until I get to the fifth novel.

There were so many damn cool things in this book. THE HUNTERS. So damn cool:

Great, dark, leathery wings flapped from a great dark leathery body, with a massive satyrlike head, cloven hooves, and a forked tail. Its tongue was long and bisected down the middle. It had long curved black horns with bloody tips. It was black, but it was more than black; it was the absolute, utter, and complete absence of light.

I….I….I….Scaaarrryyy. INTENSE. So damn intense when reading this scene. That thing is so interesting. I really really want to know more about these hunters.

The relationship between Barrons and Mac changes int his book. I’m not sure if it’s a good thing or a bad thing. Because, they were fighting when the thing at the end of the book happens. Those who’ve read will have no fucking idea what I’m talking about. All I have to say is: DAMN and SEXY.

I both hate and love how closed off Barrons is. It’s so intriguing when he gives you those tiny bits of emotion once in a while. I never thought I would feel so much. I was reading, and Mac was being tortured, and all hope was lost. But then: I started to have tears in my eyes. I don’t how. I don’t why. I am not a crier. I’m still not sure I’m admitting this. I’m lying they weren’t tears. Yes, they were. No, they weren’t. Yes. No. Yes. No. Okay, they were. Seriously, I’m a dry well. I do not cry while reading. But for real: there was wet stuff coming out of my eyes. So either I need to see the eye doctor or they were tears.

Had I, in some tiny way, come to matter to this enigmatic, hard, brilliant, obsessed man? I realized he’d come to matter to me. Good or evil, right or wrong, he mattered to me.

Plus: We get to see Barrons freak out in this book. He has feelings for Mac. Mac and Barrons sitting in a tree. Blah blah blah. Blah blah blah. I don’t know the rest of the words to this song.

The inner girl in me is going: WHEEEEE!!!

I was about to look away when he reached across the seat, touched my jaw with his long, strong, beautiful fingers, and caressed my face. Being touched by Jericho Barrons with kindness makes you feel like you must be the most special person in the world. It’s like waking up to the biggest, most savage lion in the jungle, lying down, placing your head in its mouth and, rather than taking your life, it licks you and purrs.

The adult in me is ashamed that I like this dude. But a book is a book and that is that.

*stares at you longingly*

The world intensified, the characters become more faceted and detailed, the creatures knocked me out of my chair, the pacing is to die for, and the relationships became the death of me. On to the next book.

Review: Darkfever by Karen Marie Moning



MacKayla Lane’s life is good. She has great friends, a decent job, and a car that breaks down only every other week or so. In other words, she’s your perfectly ordinary twenty-first-century woman. Or so she thinks…until something extraordinary happens.

When her sister is murdered, leaving a single clue to her death–a cryptic message on Mac’s cell phone–Mac journeys to Ireland in search of answers. The quest to find her sister’s killer draws her into a shadowy realm where nothing is as it seems, where good and evil wear the same treacherously seductive mask. She is soon faced with an even greater challenge: staying alive long enough to learn how to handle a power she had no idea she possessed–a gift that allows her to see beyond the world of man, into the dangerous realm of the Fae….

As Mac delves deeper into the mystery of her sister’s death, her every move is shadowed by the dark, mysterious Jericho, a man with no past and only mockery for a future. As she begins to close in on the truth, the ruthless Vlane–an alpha Fae who makes sex an addiction for human women–closes in on her. And as the boundary between worlds begins to crumble, Mac’s true mission becomes clear: find the elusive Sinsar Dubh before someone else claims the all-powerful Dark Book–because whoever gets to it first holds nothing less than complete control of the very fabric of both worlds in their hands….


I curse every mother fucking day that I only spent only one day in Dublin.

Had I read this book back then, maybe I would’ve dug my heels in and demanded more time in that beautiful city. My time there was short, but memorable. And here’s my input: Moning got it right. She painted a Dublin that I remember. She was able to capture the people, the old buildings, the atmosphere, without making it into a cliche. The city of Dublin is a great part of the world building of the Fever series. It’s not until you’ve re-read this series that you realize how talented Moning is at world building.

Full dark had fallen and Dublin was brilliantly lit. There’d been a recent rain, and against the coal of night, the shiny cobbled streets gleamed amber, rose, and neon-blue from reflected lamps and signs. The architecture was a kind I’d seen before only in books and movies: Old World, elegant, and grand. 

Mac comes to Dublin searching for vengeance.She’s a barbie girl searching for death. On the outside she’s a pretty girl with pink nails and shiny silk outfits, but on the inside she’s hurt and looking for blood. She’s immature and innocent when she first meets Barrons, but by the end of this book she’s a little less so. She walks into Barrons Books and Baubles (he owns a bookshop for crying out loud!) looking for an ancient artifact her sister was looking for. I won’t repeat the spelling because the Irish language has some serious accents that I won’t even try to replicate. It’s a book and it’s more dangerous than she can even gather. Barrons wants nothing to do with her. But she gets into his hair, and then she discovers what she is. Then she’s angry for people telling this to her. HOW DARE THEY TELL HER THE TRUTH! Damn those realistic petunias assholes and their reality. But she changes and she learns how to be safe because of Barrons. Barrons is one smart motherfucker. He’s a perfectionist. He has a use for Mac and her special talent. She’s a Null, which basically means that she can track this artifact. He helps her find her sister’s killer and she helps him find the book.

The interesting thing about Mac and Barrons is that despite being very different people, they seem to be attracted to each other. Neither likes this fact and ignores it with every ounce of defiance. But eventually they begin to build a relationship that could almost be considered a partnership.

My relationship with this book is a headache and a half. I hated Mac and her pink nails. Her rants, her petunia cursing, her TSTL moments, her ever loving rendition of NONONONOSHUTUPIDONTWANTTOHEARIT!! But, I think in my re-read I began to understand her and why she’s the way she is.

She’s wasn’t as annoying this time, that’s a plus. But she still had her moments of annoying immaturity.

Mac is a sheltered, southern, sun girl. She comes from a small town in Georgia, born in a privileged family, and she had no ambitions. She’s very much a barbie doll, and the author smartly recognizes this. She’s very immature. But the reason is clear as the day is long: her upbringing. She is so fucking sheltered, it’s not even funny. Her life, before she got the call that her sister was murdered in Ireland, was perfect. All she had to think about was nail polish and what shiny silver sandals she was going to wear that day. She had no troubles in her life. And as such, I think it’s clear why she doesn’t want Barrons bringing that perfection and innocence to a rigid stop. She’s never lived a life where things are in a crap-pile. While I wouldn’t say I like her, I understand her. I don’t hate her as much as I used to. She’s immature, innocent, and doesn’t understand the reality of her situation. But in this one book, she grows a lot.

What I do like about her is her determination to find her sister’s killer. She wants vengeance and I respect that. A lot. I also really like that she’s not ashamed that she’s a girl. I like that she’s not the leather in pants cliche of a urban fantasy heroine. That gets old. I don’t care about the MC’s looks and I don’t care about Mac’s, but I do like that she’s a confident woman who is proud of the way she looks. Whether the way she dresses is the way a high school girl would dress or not, I can admire her confidence. I’m so sick of the demure and bashful main character that constantly tries to tell the reader how “plain” she is. Get over it. I don’t need to you to tell me you’re plain and then find out you’re gorgeous. It’s misleading and idiotic. Then there’s the scene at the end of the book where she really grows a pair and faces reality. She may not be kickass yet, but she certainly kicked some faery butt.

She doesn’t grow out of her immature attitude, but she does come to learn some important lessons. Moning’s development of her characters is no short of amazing. They are so flawed and they demand that you feel every inch of every possible emotion you could ever feel while reading this book. I recognize this now, while I didn’t before. The fact that Moning was able to make me feel so much is a great compliment to her skills. But that she was still able to make me feel so much the second time around is fucking incredible.

One of my favorite scenes is when Mac see’s Barrons walking through a dark alleyway. It gave me the shivers the first time, and it still does. She’s just so bloody brilliant at pacing. With the most insignificant scenes she’ll make you feel EVERYTHING!

First you shiver. Then you get goosebumps all along your arms. Then, your heart starts to beat faster. Then your eyes pop out. Then you put the book down and stare at the room to make sure all the lights are on. Lastly, you go get that DAMN BOTTLE OF VODKA FOR COMFORT.

Because shit, she’s good at making you scared. If it’s not the descriptions of the monsters:

its mouth–which consumed the entire lower half of its hideous face–wasn’t pink inside, it had a tongue and gums that were the same gray color as the rest of its rotting flesh covered with the same wet sores. It had no lips and double rows of teeth like a shark. 

It’s the dark alley:

The only sounds were the muted muffle of my footsteps and the slow dripping of gutters emptying into drainpipes.

If it’s not the dark alley, it’s the sexy Barrons:

His blood-red silk shirt was splattered with rain and molded to his hard body like a damp second skin. 

If it’s not Barrons, oh who are you kidding HE IS SEX ON A STICK.

He’s motherfucking Barrons, whom I wasn’t attracted to before but am now. He’s just so LICKABLE. That’s what she said. Licks. Lots of them.

I hated him when I first read this book. So much hate. I was so concentrated on all of his jerk moves, his annoying dominance, and his demands that I forgot how sexy he is. I’m usually not into the asshole guy, but Barrons is so sexy that he defies logic. He’s the type of guy you know you shouldn’t be attracted to, but you are. There is no reality when it comes to your attraction to Barrons. How did I not realize this? Who the fuck cares anymore? NO ONE. Either you like him or you don’t. Or you hate him the first time and then re-read the book and suddenly he is JOE MANGANIELLO.

He’s just okay, let me put this in perspective. He does this:

“But considering everything that’s after you, I don’t need to, do I, Ms. Lane? Which puts us right back where we started: Go to your room and do not come out again for any reason until I come for you. Do you understand me?”

No one deserves that you prick.

and then he does this:

Barrons bent his head over my hand, applying pale pink polish to my ring finger with exacting care. He looked big and muscular and male and silly painting my fingernails, like a Roman centurion decked out in a frilly chef’s apron. 

That is so damn sweet, if you know Barrons. He wouldn’t do this for just anyone. IT’S A BIG DEAL.

But then there’s the whole “who the fuck cares” side of Barrons that is just so damn appealing:

He studied me with his predator’s gaze, assessing me from head to toe. I studied him back. He didn’t just occupy space; he saturated it. The room had been full of books before, now it was full of him. 

GULP. VODKA. NOW.

And then you grab that bottle again because you hate that you’re attracted to him while at the same time YOU HAVE NO SHAME.

The cool thing about this book is Moning’s ability to plant clues. My original thought is that because I hated the characters so much, I din’t think Moning was that good of a writer. But, she is. She’s really quite talented. Her world building has very little nicks and cranies. Her world feels more real than the majority of the Urban Fantasy novels I’ve read. Her characters while annoying, they are incredibly developed in ways I never appreciated before. Her plotting in this book is a slow build, but an exciting one. You get to see the Faery lore first hand through Mac’s samplings of her journal along the way. She doesn’t info dump you through conversations, she gives you a dictionary.

I will not mention V’lane. I will not mention V’lane. I will not mention V’lane. Ah screw it! He is so scary. No I am not team who gives a fuck. He’s an ass. He’s scary. Forcing a girl to her knees and almost raping her IS NOT SEXY. I’ve read about the type of faery he is. They are called Gancanagh, or love talker. They have a sort of fae magic that has to do with putting a spell on women that makes them have incurable and forcible lust. That is scary. When you have no choice, but to be a attracted to someone. It’s sick. It’s sad. It’s disgusting. I don’t like him. Never have.

AHEM:

This book’s purpose is to get the reader to understand the characters and the world. Her characters hide so many things and I think that’s why it takes such a long time for you to learn their secrets. Barrons is not an open box. He’s a closed one with a bomb ready for anyone who opens it, with chains wrapped around it, and a big honking lock around the whole thing. His secrets are as sacred and hidden as the artifacts he hunts.

Damn me and my mouth. While in America my mouth is on a roller coaster, but in Ireland? I shut up and don’t say anything. I should have said something! I wanted to see more of it. This is what Ireland does. It dumbs you up. Next time, I want to stay in Dublin for good.

5 Star Review: Burn For Me by Ilona Andrews


#1 New York Times bestselling author Ilona Andrews launches a brand-new Hidden Legacy series, in which one woman must place her trust in a seductive, dangerous man who sets off an even more dangerous desire . . .
Nevada Baylor is faced with the most challenging case of her detective career—a suicide mission to bring in a suspect in a volatile situation. Nevada isn’t sure she has the chops. Her quarry is a Prime, the highest rank of magic user, who can set anyone and anything on fire.
Then she’s kidnapped by Connor “Mad” Rogan—a darkly tempting billionaire with equally devastating powers. Torn between wanting to run and wanting to surrender to their overwhelming attraction, Nevada must join forces with Rogan to stay alive.
Rogan’s after the same target, so he needs Nevada. But she’s getting under his skin, making him care about someone other than himself for a change. And, as Rogan has learned, love can be as perilous as death, especially in the magic world.


It’s going to be very hard not to run off, jump up and down, clap my hands, and act like a twelve year old in this review. I’m not a sparkly, I love pink, and my favorite thing to is squee type of girl. I am the roll her eyes, I will tell you what I think and you will sit your ass down and listen, hyped up on coffee, foul mouthed type of girl. I’m not a very serious person, but the fact that this book broke the inner rendition of that chick from Princess and the Frog, says a fucking lot.

To celebrate my crazy love for this book, Veronica Mars GIFS:

Ilona and Gordon are the gods of unique world building. They always come up with something weird, interesting, and different. Very very very different. The Kate Daniels world was different. It had this medieval/modern tech type world that baffled my mind when I first read it. Then they came up with the Edge books where there was a middle world between modern Atlanta and some a high fantasy medieval world full of magic. AGAIN WITH THE DIFFERENT. And now they came up with the world in Burn for me. A world where there are mages, people with different levels of magic, people who have names for their type of magic, people who are sorted into blue blood type families depending on their level of magic, and there are even magic houses. DIFFERENT. UNIQUE, COOL. All of the words.

The best thing about Gordon and Ilona’s books is the dialogue and characters. They create the coolest characters. They’re people either you want to jump in bed with or you want to go have drinks with. I love the heroine in this book. I loved the family aspect. Another thing fans will note is the importance of family. Her grandmother Frida is fucking badass. I love badass old ladies. They rock. Her mother is an expert with the sniper. She never misses a shot.

Nevada is so damn great:

Mad Rogan stood at my doorstep, holding a bouquet of carnations…
His eyes looked smug.
I looked at the flowers, looked at his face, and shut the door.
No, wait.
I opened the door, took the carnations from him, shut the door, and locked it.

Don’t blame the chick, I like flowers too. I think she’s awesome. She’s also nothing special in her world. No special snowflake here. She’s got the magic ability to tell whether people are lying or telling the truth. I would love to be able to do that. I think her ability also makes her very realistic about the world and how people think. Definitely a plus for a smart heroine.

Her history is not a happy one. Her dad died some years back and she’s taken over her family’s company. They run an investigative agency. They aren’t too big, mostly they just track people down. But her family’s company has a contract with a big guy, who has become her boss. Basically she has to take a very dangerous case that she doesn’t want to take because she could get herself and her family killed. The case centers on a rich spoiled boy who wants to burn the world: Adam Pierce. She has to find him and deliver him to House Pierce, his family. She’s not a happy camper.

Nevada is a realist. She and Rogan have eyes for each other. But she resists with an iron fist. She doesn’t even want to admit she’s attracted to him, at first. Then eventually, she admits that he’s one hot son of a bitch. Serioulsy, this guy is smoking. But the cool thing that Andrews does is they give a reason for why he’s so damn good looking. That’s a first. He’s a similar character type to Curran. He’s a psycho. He doesn’t like people. They annoy him. He’s very powerful. He protects those in his employment. But, as a character, he’s still a very different person. I would say he’s more dangerous than Curran. He’s definitely more psychotic. But damn he’s got a mouth on him. YESSSSS!

“What is that smell?”he said.
“It’s my jeans. A bag of food court trash broke when I climbed through the Dumpster.”
A minute passed. Another.
“So,” he said. “You come here often?”
“Rogan, please stop talking.”

Nevada doesn’t want to have a relationship with him, whether serious or just sexual because:

1. She doesn’t trust him.

2. She believes he would get bored too soon and she would be discarded like trash.

3. He’s dangerous, powerful, and a killer.

4. He’s a psycho.

5. He’s head of House Rogan, rich, and part of a socialite society.

If they were in a relationship, in whatever form, all eyes would be on her. Because she’s not a high level magic user, their potential relationship would be a scandal. She’s a professional woman, a realist, and smart. Thus, she doesn’t want to get into psycho-man’s pants.

It would be awesome. Just to see him naked, to see that honed, powerful body, to touch him, would be the highlight of my adult romantic life.
The other 50 percent of me would be livid. That jerk. No “Thanks for saving my life.” No “Are you okay?” No acknowledgement of a near-death experience. Oh no, no, he decided to critique my chalk drawing while I sat there on the pavement, bleeding and trying to catch my breath. I’d had it with all of them. I’d had it with their fires and their flying buses and exploding buildings. Had it.

I LOVE YOU NEVADA!!!

And I usually don’t go for the psycho crazy hunk, but man is Rogan sexy. He’s like a more psychopathic Curran. Oh baby. But you know what? Sometimes the Chemistry works and sometimes it doesn’t. But what I love about this novel is that they don’t jump into bed in the first book. They haven’t even started dating or having a real relationship. I feel a slow build coming. THE RIDE IS GOING TO BE AWESOME.

Ugh, yes! a smart chick in urban fantasy, let alone paranormal romance is like a white elephant.

Now there have been discussions, rants, and rages on whether this book is Paranormal Romance or Urban Fantasy. I will make this decision for you: IT’S A HYBRID. It is neither fully urban fantasy or fully paranormal romance. There’s no sex or a disgustingly sweet resolution. But on the other hand, it’s not a urban fantasy either because there’s a definite romance influenced sexy times, smoldering, and kisses abound that does not spell Urban Fantasy. There’s a definite increase in the sizzle department than in previous Andrews novels.

“But now I have something to prove to you,” he said.
“I promise you, I will win, and by the time I’m done, you won’t walk, you’ll run to jump into my bed.”
“Don’t hold your breath,” I told him.
All of his civilized veneer was gone now. The dragon faced me, teeth bared, claws out, breathing fire. “You won’t just sleep with me. You’ll be obsessed with me. You’ll beg me to touch you, and when that moment comes, we will revisit what happened here today.”

Remind you of someone? NUDGE NUDGE.

The plot was stellar, the world building was signature Andrews, and the dialogue had their usual fast and witty mark of excellence. I always turn into a big pile of mush whenever I read Ilona Andrews.

SIGH.

WHEEEEEEE!!!

OMG LOOKIE!

BOO-YA!

I’M DEAD FROM EXCITEMENT.

Review: Tempest Rising by Nicole Peeler

Blurb from the Author’s website:

In the tiny village of Rockabill, Maine, Jane True—26-year-old bookstore clerk and secret night swimmer—has no idea that her absent mother’s legacy is entry into a world populated by the origins of human myths and legends. It is a world where nothing can be taken for granted: vampires are not quite what we think; dogs sometimes surprise us; and whatever you do, never—ever—rub the genie’s lamp. For Jane, everything kicks off when she comes across a murder victim during her nightly clandestine swim in the freezing winter ocean. This grisly discovery leads to the revelation of why she has such freakish abilities in the water: her mother was a Selkie and Jane is only half human. With this knowledge, Jane soon finds herself mingling with supernatural creatures alternately terrifying, beautiful, and deadly—all adjectives that quite handily describe her new friend Ryu. When Ryu is sent to Rockabill to investigate the murder, he and Jane fall hard for each other even as they plummet into a world of intrigue threatening to engulf both supernatural and human societies. For someone is killing half-humans like Jane. The question is, are the murders the work of one rogue individual or part of a greater plot to purge the world of Halflings?


Am I missing something? I repeat: AM I MISSING SOMETHING?

I’m enraged by how disappointed I am that I didn’t like this book. It has selkies. No, they’re not mermaids. I’m glad about that. Because good mermaid books? They don’t exist. At all. But alas, I still didn’t love this book. Why couldn’t I have loved it? damn it.

This book would have been magnificent had it not included cliches, a creepy love interest, an obvious villain, a ridiculous reason for why the heroine hadn’t moved on from a past relationship, and more obvious shenanigans.

The goodie bag of Jane: 

Me and Jane hit it off right away. I enjoyed her snark, her honesty, and her witty thoughts. She’s curvy, without giving us too much description (I appreciate that Peeler). She works in a book store (score!). Jane has two best friends who are lesbians (double score). I love it when the MC has female friendships. There aren’t enough of those. Usually in Urban Fantasy, the main character just sulks along the entire time dreading the fact that no women like her. Then when we actually come across women, they’re total assholes. I’m so sick of that trope. I’m glad Peeler does not do that to us. Jane’s also truthful about how attracted she is to the male counterpart of the human race. Woooo!!!

The OH NO’s of Jane:

The bad part about Jane is that more than a couple times she pushes us down a pity party. I’ll admit: I’m not a fan of pity parties. I feel bad, but sometimes I just want a good story. You know what I mean? I came into this book wanting a break from schoolwork. It’s not that she’s whiny. She’s not. Her pain is genuine and I get that. But, telling me over and over how she’s responsible for her boyfriend’s death doesn’t need to be slammed into me. Enough, you told me once. Please stop the moping. Stop flinging crap at me.

I feel like Jane should’ve moved on by the time Ryu came around. It just seemed a little too prolonged. It was kind of like the author just inserted this info as a fake backstory for the reason why Jane was so depressed. I’m sure she would be messed up already, what with her mother’s betrayal and the town constantly jumping on her back. But, it felt convenient.

The love interest who is not a sparkly vampire:

Jane, oh Jane, why did you have to like Ryu? He’s so…..blech. I’m not complaining about his looks or anything. I could care less about that. He’s gorgeous, as all guys in urban fantasy are. Think about it, have you ever come across a love interest in UF that isn’t stunning? Ryu and I just couldn’t get along. It was inevitable. Just chemistry, I guess. He’s good looking. Plays games of wit with heroine. He’s even nice. But he’s creepy. I’ll come out and say it: He creeped me out. The entire time reading this book, i thought he would do something nasty or weird. I thought he’d end up being a pedo or something.

I’m not going to go into detail about Ryu. But let me just say: some times you like the guy and sometimes you don’t.

“I like my women like I like my steak–nice and rare. So try not to flambé yourself this weekend.”

Sometimes you find them gaspingly,

his giggle sounded like a Pomeranian choking.

horridly,

He had to gather power from feeding off humans…which meant that sex couldn’t just be sex, could it?

agonizingly,

You’re almost too cute to fuck, Jane. But that just makes me want to fuck you even more.

creepy.

Sometimes there isn’t a reason. Although…he did constantly want to have sex with her after discovering something violent or gross i.e. the dead ears discovery.

MUAHAHAhaha! the villain:

All too often the moment things start to pick up and said investigator go to figure out the problem, they come across at least one or two characters that look sinister. All too often one of those characters turns out to be the bad guy. Even worse, you’re usually able to determine the guy/gal who is the villain. But of course not! It can’t be he stalker-like guy staring longingly at the main character.

But Oh Dear, It Didn’t Work Out: 

Sigh…yet with all the things I did like about Jane, I still did not like this book. My friend Erica loved this book to pieces. So, naturally I wanted to read it. Because, people that woman has exquisite taste in books.

I may try out the second book. I really like Jane. I also really loved her friend Anyan. He’s a Barghest, which Wikipedia tells me is “a legendary monstrous black dog with huge teeth and claws.” I might read the third as well, since I’ve already purchased both follow ups. Not while I was reading this book, of course. I’m not that crazy. Heh.

3 Star Review: Magic Rises by Ilona Andrews

Kate Daniels takes on were-dolphins, eels, and dragon-like creatures in Magic Rises. She also kicks ass while her legs are essentially useless:

“What the fuck,” Hugh snarled. “Look at her, she’s half-dead. She isn’t even on her last leg. She can’t fucking stand and she’s cutting you down like you’re children.”

No other heroine does it like Kate Daniels. She’s tough, sarcastic to boot, and has a heart of ice; except when it involves His Furriness.
Magic Rises changes things in the world of Kate Daniels. Kate and Curran go through something in this book that will raise a lot of reader’s eyebrows. It’s not surprising, per say, but it definitely will test reader’s love for the beast lord. There are intensely sad parts, infuriating parts, and sweet parts in this novel.

It amazes me how much mythology and lore that team Andrews fills into their novels, and this one is no different. We get to meet new creatures and new history. We even get fed more information about Kate’s father from people who knew him. Some of my favorite parts in this series are the mythology segments that Ilona Andrews weaves throughout the novels.


Summary:

Kate and Curran have taken on another job, but not without their reasons. They’ve been asked to protect wolf princess Desandra, who’s in danger of being killed as a territorial dispute between two packs. Kate and Curran, obviously wouldn’t taken this job willy nilly. There’s something they want: Panacea.

Produced by European shape shifters, who guarded it like gold. The Pack had been trying to reverse engineer it for years and had gotten nowhere. The herbal mixture reduced chances of loupism at birth by seventy-five percent and reversed biotransformation in one third of teenagers.

Kate and Curran head across the Black Sea, to Georgia, with some of their most trusted Pack members to kick some werewolf butt. But when they get there not only do the packs resent their presence, but Desandra wants them out. The chick is the epitome of a doormat.Even Aunt B says it herself, if that tells you anything. They find her laying around her room in her own smells.

But in addition to the rotten smelling wolf princess, there’s someone there they know. Someone they’ve met before. Kate and Curran start to realize nothing on this job is a coincidence. There’s a connection between Kate and the Lord of the castle.

Every fucking shape shifter in the castle see’s Kate as weak and human. Fools. They see nothing of the warrior that Kate had been melded into.


Plot:

The plot was one thing after another. I never felt bored or exhausted of nothing happening. Often authors go on and on for chapters, without anything happening. More than once will this kind of thing make my imitate see red. This is one thing I love about Ilona Andrews. They never leave anything in the novel that doesn’t need to be in there. The book is never longer than it should be, and I appreciate that. I want the story straight-forward and to the point. I want to enjoy the ride, but I also don’t want to be invited to read things I don’t need to know.


Kate and Curran:

These two have become iconic amongst fans. No one mentions kick-ass without mentioning Kate. No one mentions sexy beast without mentioning Curran. But together, these two make other well known kick ass couples look like wimps. You can be sure by the end of the novel these two will be tumbling in their own blood and still survive.
Kate is put through hell by Curran and not in a way I’m happy about.

The anger and hurt inside me crystallized into an icy cage. I hid inside it, using it as my armor. Whatever punches Jarek Kral threw at me, they wouldn’t breach it. The ice was too thick.

I wanted to fucking kick the beast in the nuts. But….I’m glad Kate punched him for me. And the great thing is that he knows he fucking deserved it. She was absolutely in the right.

“I don’t want to go anywhere. I love you. You love me. We’re together. We’re a team.”

Suddenly my emotions sorted themselves out and anger finally ran to the front of the pack. “No, we’re not a team. You made me a patsy in your scheme. You treated me like I’m an idiot…”

I’m so grateful that Kate didn’t buy into his speech. She’s rational. Even though she loves him, she see’s things clearly. Most heroines would walk the blind walk of relationship death into his arms.

And yet…as much as Curran fucked up, they’re perfect for each other. I’m not saying I think Curran deserves forgiveness because I don’t think he’s earned it at this point. I think it’ll take a huge reason for that to happen.

“I can’t change who I am,” I told him. “Neither can you. I get it.
“I love you and you love me, and we’re both too fucked up for anyone else. Who else would have us?”
I sighed. “Well, clearly we’re both crazy and this relationship is doomed.”

I second this.


The Setting:

On behalf of Gagra, I’m here to extend the hospitality of my beautiful city to you,” Hibla said. “Gagra welcomes you with all its warmth, its lakes and waterfalls, its beaches and orchards. But be forewarned, if you come here with violent intentions, we will leave your corpses for the crows.

*cough cough* foreshadowing.

For the first time Kate and Curran go on a road trip to a distant land. I love it when books are set outside of the ‘states. It doesn’t happen as often as I’d like it to. There are books set in Britain, but that really gets dull after a while. How often do you get an urban fantasy novel set in Georgia (the country, not the state)? I thought the setting was a very unique touch to the novel.

The History:

Not many readers may be interested in the history and ‘lore detail of the novel, but I am. I’ve always loved the snippets and gems that the authors put into their books on history, mythology, or the creatures of their world.

“My father, my real father, walked the planet thousands of years ago, when the magic flowed full force. Back then he was a king, a conquerer, and a wizard. He was very powerful and he had some radical ideas about how a society should be structured…”


Conclusion:

I was both happy with the way this book turned out, as well as disappointed with Curran’s relationship stupidity. I’m interested to see where their relationship goes from here.

And last but not least, my favorite thing: Kate’s blood armor. That girl.