Thursday, August 29, 2013

Review: Biting Bad (Chicagoland Vampires #7)

She and her Master, centuries-old Ethan Sullivan, have risked their lives time and again to save the city they love. But not all of Chicago is loving them back.

Biting Bad, by Chloe Neill, is the eighth installment in the Chicagoland Vampires novel series. While Caroline Merit has only been made a vampire for less than a year, she has already seen a lifetime's worth of troubles. Despite risking her life to save and protect the city she cherishes with, dangerous enemies don't appreciate her kind's existence in Chicago.

Anti-vampire riots are erupting all over town, striking them where it hurts the most. Rioters armed with Molotov cocktails and deep-seated hate have targeted the allies of the vampire houses, including a relative of Merit. As the riots continue, the vampires quickly group together to find a solution to the mayhem. Merit and her allies rush to figure out who's behind the attacks, who will be targeted next, and whether there's any way to stop the destruction.

Biting Bad was another fantastic addition to a series I have come to enjoy in the last two years. Since I lived in Chicago during my undergraduate years, it gives me great pleasure to revisit sites and cultural tidbits that I once engaged in on a daily basis. Neill is a gifted writer who knows how to portray Merit as the ultimate heroine--smart, strong, athletic, funny, and just. Her personality also reminds me of my time in graduate school, which probably explains why I enjoy this series very much. I can't wait to read what other mystery Neill has in store for her fans in the next novel. Chicagoland Vamipres is currently one of the best adult paranormal series in the market, which makes it quite a nice transition from Charlaine Harris' Sookie Stackhouse/Southern Vampire series.

Stay tuned for the ninth novel in the Chicagoland Vampire series, Wild Things


Sunday, August 18, 2013

Review: Magic Rises (Kate Daniels #7)

Atlanta is a city plagued by magical problems. Kate Daniels will fight to solve them--no matter the cost.

Magic Rises, by Ilona Andrews, is the seventh novel in the Kate Daniel series. Mercenary and Pack Consort, Kate Daniels, and her partner, Curran aka the Beast Lord, have an unprecedented crisis at their hands. Many of the Pack's shape-shifting children fail to survive to childhood and the number of loupism cases is at an all-time high in Atlanta. While there is medicine (panacea) to help the children, it is closely guarded by the European shape-shifters. Since the development process of panacea is still unknown, there is little available in North America.

Kate can't bear to watch more innocent children suffer and die. Then, a rare opportunity arises that Kate and Curran simply cannot ignore that may forever turn the tides against loupism. However, the solution to their problem turns out to be more dangerous and threatening than they could possibly imagine. The European shape-shifters, who once outmaneuvered Curran, have requested him to arbitrate a dispute---and they'll pay him with panacea. With the young people's survival and the Pack's future at stake, Kate and Curran know they must accept the offer---but they have little doubt that they're heading straight into a trap. Furthermore, Kate will soon discover that she can no longer hide her ancestry when a foe more menacing and dangerous is watching her every move.

Magic Rises is one of the most exciting novels to have in your collection. The plot psychologically and physically challenges Kate Daniels as she faces a number of challenges that will force her to address her past, fight her archenemy, and determine her future with Curran. Although Andrews uses panacea as a plot device to force the Pack to travel to Europe, it becomes minimized as the plot shifts to the world of shape-shifter politics. To the delight of fans, Kate encounters the archenemy she vowed to avoid in Europe. The action was splendid, and what happens in the end is genius. Magic Rises is undoubtedly the best novel in the series, and I look forward to reading the next novel!

Stay tuned for the next novel in the Kate Daniels series, Magic Breaks.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Tenth Anniversary of my 'The Vampire Files' Collection

This month marks the tenth anniversary that I began my first adult paranormal series written by P.N. Elrod. She is best known for writing the The Vampire Files, a series about a journalist-turned vampire detective Jack Fleming whose first case is to solve his OWN murder! There's 12 books and counting, as well as a number of short stories about his adventures in 1930s Chicago.

Since I was a major fan of the cult 1990s TV series, Forever Knight, I felt lucky that I found another author who also loved the show. I stumbled upon one of her books during vacation when I happened to walk into a discount store that sold mass market paperbacks. I saw one of her titles, became intrigued with the plot and characters, and purchased the book. I became so fascinated with the history of Chicago that I eventually relocated and completed my undergraduate studies in the Chicagoland area! The rest is history.

This series would also help me learn about other famous paranormal/fantasy authors, such as Tanya Huff, Charlaine Harris, and Lynsay Sands. As of July 2013, I have read over 125 fantasy/science fiction books by sixteen authors. Since I launched this blog in 2008, I have read and reviewed every The Vampire Files novels and novellas. Because I loved this series throughout college, I will share links where you can access the books for purchase below. Please take advantage of this wonderful opportunity to learn about an amazing (but often overlooked) historical paranormal series you will want to have in your collection!

List of novels by omnibus:
  • Volume 1: Bloodlist, Lifeblood, Bloodcircle

  • Volume 2: Art in the Blood, Fire in the Blood, Blood on the Water

  • Volume 3: Chill in the Blood; Dark Sleep

  • Volume 4: Lady Crymsyn; Cold Streets

  • Volume 5: Song in the Dark; Dark Road Rising

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Review: Archangel's Kiss (Guild Hunter #2)

New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh returns to her world of angelic rulers, vampiric servants, and the woman thrust into their darkly seductive world.

Archangel's Kiss, by Nalini Singh, is the second novel in the Guild Hunter series. Vampire hunter, Elena Devereaux, survives the most horrific case in her career. She awakens from her year-long coma only to suddenly learn she has been healed from the injuries and reborn as an angel--an immortal! She turns around and finds two beautiful wings (the colors of midnight and dawn) grown from her back. No human has been Made into an angel in centuries. However, she must take conditioning lessons to regain her full strength if she wants to test her gorgeous wings in flight -- especially with her stunningly dangerous archangel lover, Raphael.

Both lovers have barely learned to understand each other when Raphael receives an invitation to a ball from the ancient archangel, Lijuan. To refuse would be a sign of fatal weakness, so Raphael must prepare Elena for the flight to China--and the nightmare that awaits them there. To their dismay, Lijuan holds a power that lies with the dead--zombies, to be more precise. And she has organized the most perfect and vicious welcomes for Elena...even if it includes a bounty for her head in the world of angel politics.

This was another excellent romance and mystery novel by Singh. The author was able to masterfully craft a splendid series about trained human warriors (some of whom are blood-born--have the trait of sensing vampires) who learn how to navigate the complicated world of angels and vampires. As vampire hunters, these humans track down rogue vampires and return them to their angel masters. Elena, caught in the most epic battle of her life, transforms into an angel during the process by Raphael's deep love for her. Now, she must transition from being a human in awe of those magnificent wings in the sky to being an angel possessing her own pair and immortality. I love the main cast, and look forward to more Guild Hunter novels.

Stay tuned for the third novel in the Guild Hunter series, Archangel's Consort.