Magic Bites – Kate Daniels # 1 Review

Magic Bites

Synopsis (from Goodreads): 

Atlanta would be a nice place to live, if it weren’t for the magic…

When the magic is up, rogue mages cast their spells and monsters appear, while guns refuse to fire and cars fail to start. But then technology returns, and the magic recedes as unpredictably as it arose, leaving all kinds of paranormal problems in its wake.
Kate Daniels is a down-on-her-luck mercenary who makes her living cleaning up these magical problems. But when Kate’s guardian is murdered, her quest for justice draws her into a power struggle between two strong factions within Atlanta’s magic circles.

The Masters of the Dead, necromancers who can control vampires, and the Pack, a paramilitary clan of shapechangers, blame each other for a series of bizarre killings—and the death of Kate’s guardian may be part of the same mystery. Pressured by both sides to find the killer, Kate realizes she’s way out of her league—but she wouldn’t have it any other way…

Buy Now: Amazon

Many Urban Fantasy novels begin with a main character who is seemingly ordinary, a college student or waitress of private investigator, etc. Suddenly, this ordinary person is thrown into a situation that changes their whole world, everything they ever believed to be true and they discover they are somehow special and possibly needed to save the world.

This novel isn’t like that.

Kate, our lovely protagonist, has known about magic her entire life. She grew up being taught about magic and the different types of magical creatures that exist. In the world of this novel, magic isn’t a secret. Some might think that the world building in this novel is flawed, that it doesn’t explain how the world works properly. Personally, I liked the way things were presented. The novel is narrated from Kate’s point of view so she already knows how the world works. It would seem out of place if she were suddenly to start explaining things to the reader. Read between the lines (as the saying goes) and the workings of this world aren’t difficult to figure out.

The plot may seem a bit generic at first. Kate’s Guardian and mentor (the last person she considers family) has been murdered and she volunteers to investigate for her own personal sense of justice. Murder and revenge is a common story, but this plot doesn’t unravel the way you might think. During her investigation, she gets tangled up with Necromancers and Shapechangers while also being pursued by a human doctor. Despite the short length of the book, nothing feels rushed and there’s more than enough action to keep a reader satisfied.

Kate is a strong, independent, kick-ass female character. She knows exactly what she’s capable of and, more importantly, what she’s not. Though, that’s not going to stop her from trying. She may not be able to defeat 8 shapechangers at once but that doesn’t she won’t take down as many of them with her as she can. She will kick ass and shoot her mouth off at the same time.

As evidenced by the fact that the series is still ongoing, there is still a lot to learn about Kate and the world she lives in.

Overall, I give Magic Bites 4.5 stars out of 5. I would have given it 5 but some of the overbearing alpha male characters were a little stereotypical.

Have you read Magic Burns? What did you think?

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June 14 Top 5 Wednesday – Side Ships

T5W is a weekly book meme hosted by Samantha and Lainey over on YouTube. Each week there is a new book-related topic to answer! If you’re new to Top 5 Wednesday and want to participate, check out the Goodreads group for information and weekly topics!

This week’s topic is: Side Ships — Tell us your favorite relationships that don’t involve the protagonist!

  1. Griffin and Zeke – from the Trickster novels by Rob Thurman. Definitely the best side characters of any book I’ve ever read. Snarky and sarcastic, they deserve novels of their own!
  2. Niko and Promise – also from author Rob Thurman, Niko and Promise of the Cal Leandros series perfect for each other.
  3. Cormac and Amelia – from the Kitty Norville series by Carrie Vaughn. Though not technically a couple, they do make an awesome pair.

And…..I can’t think of any more lol

Crazy Idea!

I have this crazy idea! What if someone wrote a “romance” novel where the first two male and female characters didn’t instantly fall in lust with one another? What if it wasn’t completely obvious who the main character of a book series was going to end up with? Wouldn’t it be amazing if you couldn’t predict exactly how a romantic relationship was going to develop?

shocked

Mind blowing thought, isn’t it?

Some Girls Bite – Chicagoland Vampires #1 by Chloe Neill

Some Girl BiteSummary (from Goodreads) :

They killed me. They healed me. They changed me.

Sure, the life of a graduate student wasn’t exactly glamorous, but I was doing fine until Chicago’s vampires announced their existence to the world. When a rogue vampire attacked me, I was lucky he only got a sip. Another bloodsucker scared him off and decided the best way to save my life was to make me the walking undead.

Now I’ve traded sweating over my thesis for learning to fit in at a Hyde Park mansion full of vamps loyal to Ethan “Lord o’ the Manor” Sullivan. Of course, as a tall, green-eyed,
four-hundred-year-old vampire, he has centuries’ worth of charm, but unfortunately he expects my gratitude—and servitude. Right…

But someone’s out to get me. Is it the rogue vampire who bit me? A vamp from a rival House? An angry mob bearing torches?

My initiation into Chicago’s nightlife may be the first skirmish in a war—and there will be blood.

Buy now: Amazon

For a few weeks, I’ve had issues finding something that I really wanted to read. I’d pick up a book, read 50 pages or so, put it down and not pick it up again the next. So, I ended up with several books on the go at once (something I don’t normally do). Then, someone in one of my groups on Goodreads recommended Some Girls Bite. I decided to give it a shot and was instantly drawn in! This was what I was in the mood for! Having established that, I happily tucked in and continued reading.

Now, I’m not going to gush that this was the best book I’ve ever read just because it’s what I was in the mood for, however, this book is very good (in my opinion) and an excellent start to what has become a fairly long series.

Let’s start with what I liked. Merit is a great character. She is strong and independent but not so stone-hearted that she can’t cry or want to be loved. She has her vulnerable moments, her bitchy moments and her outright stupid moments too, where she causes trouble without meaning to.

The relationship between Merit and her best friend Mallory is amazing. They remind me of my own best friend and I. They’re comfortable with one another, have their own inside jokes and can tell each other like it is without getting into a big fight.

Now for what I didn’t like: Insta-lust. Merit and her new Master, Ethan, are instantly and intensely attracted to one another, but they don’t actually like each other. Ethan even offers to make Merit his consort despite the fact that he disapproves of so much of who she is and would use her to his own advantage at the drop of a hat.

Mallory is instantly attracted to Catcher, who feels the same for her and soon they can’t keep their hands off one another. Plus, other men are attracted to Merit and would have no problem with getting into her pants.

Now this is starting to border on PNR instead of Urban Fantasy. I could handle that except the book is found in the Fantasy section of the bookstore, not the Romance section. Well, thankfully, it isn’t too descriptive and I can take it in stride.

The plot wraps up nicely for the book, while also having the undercurrent plot that is present in many long series. While you could read this book by itself and be perfectly happy with a good read, I’m certain there is much more vampire fun to come as the series progresses.

Would I recommend this book? Yes, to those who enjoy vampire Urban Fantasy with strong female characters, I would definitely recommend giving Some Girls Bite a try.

Overall, I give this book 4 out of 5 stars and will be continuing on with the series.

Embers – Anya Kalinczyk #1 – Review

EmbersSummary (from Goodreads): Truth burns.

Unemployment, despair, anger—visible and invisible unrest feed the undercurrent of Detroit’s unease. A city increasingly invaded by phantoms now faces a malevolent force that further stokes fear and chaos throughout the city.

Anya Kalinczyk spends her days as an arson investigator with the Detroit Fire Department, and her nights pursuing malicious spirits with a team of eccentric ghost hunters. Anya—who is the rarest type of psychic medium, a Lantern—suspects a supernatural arsonist is setting blazes to summon a fiery ancient entity that will leave the city in cinders. By Devil’s Night, the spell will be complete, unless Anya—with the help of her salamander familiar and the paranormal investigating team—can stop it.

Anya’s accustomed to danger and believes herself inured to loneliness and loss. But this time she’s risking everything: her city, her soul, and a man who sees and accepts her for everything she is. Keeping all three safe will be the biggest challenge she’s ever faced.

Buy Now:Amazon

What can I say about this book? Well, for starters, I really enjoyed it. I’m not going to gush and rave that this is an amazing book and everyone should read it because everyone is different and not everyone may like it.

Unlike most Urban Fantasy novels, there are no vampires werewolves or fey in this book. There are ghosts, however, elemental spirits and witches. Anya is a Lantern, which means that, not only can she see and interact with ghosts, she can devour them as well with a sort of fire in her chest. She also has an unusual familiar: a fire elemental named Sparky that often behaves similar to a dog. He likes electronics and sleeps curled up in Anya’s bed with her. Any is a great character. Very real and enjoyable to read about.

The plot could be considered some what formulaic, but formulas exist for a reason: they work. I wouldn’t exactly call it predictable though. It was a fun read and exactly what I was in the mood for at the time.

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Marked – House of Night #1 – Review

MarkedSummary: (from GoodreadsAfter a Vampire Tracker Marks her with a crescent moon on her forehead, 16-year-old Zoey Redbird enters the House of Night and learns that she is no average fledgling. She has been Marked as special by the vampyre Goddess Nyx and has affinities for all five elements: Air, Fire Water, Earth and Spirit. But she is not the only fledgling at the House of Night with special powers. When she discovers that the leader of the Dark Daughters, the school’s most elite club, is mis-using her Goddess-given gifts, Zoey must look deep within herself for the courage to embrace her destiny – with a little help from her new vampyre friends (or Nerd Herd, as Aphrodite calls them)

Buy now: Amazon

Well, the synopsis kind of gives it all away, so no real need for me to summarize. I was drawn into this book based on the lore surrounding vampires in this story. In this world, vampire are not made by being bitten or sharing blood, they apparently chosen by their goddes, Nyx. i found this to be a refreshing concept as so many vampire novels tend to follow the same sorts of patterns when it come to the lore and mythology of the species. They have their own religion that is very much like the Wiccan religion. They worship a goddess and perform rituals for the full moon, equinox’s and solstices.

Other than the lore religion of the vampire, I wouldn’t say there was much remarkable about this book. It followed some fairly common YA troupes, including Zoey’s extreme specialness and the fact that the most popular boy in school is instantly attracted to her. And naturally the most popular girl in school hates her and sees her as a rival.

The characters weren’t overly remarkable either. You’ve got Zoey, the seemingly ordinary high school girl who suddenly discovers how special she is and that she has a destiny to fulfill; the most popular boy in school, who is, of course, gorgeous and instantly attracted to the new girl; the popular mean girl who needs to be taken down a notch; a male gay character, a cheerful roommate and two girls who are so alike they call each other “twin”.

After a mere few days at the House of Night, Zoey’s powers come to light and she learns part of the reason the goddess chose her (i’m guessing there’s more to it than was revealed in this novel) and the importance of friendship. The friendship bit actually made me roll my eyes at the cheesiness of it.  A little too “gather around the camp fire and sing” for me.

Overall, i enjoyed Marked for a light fluffy read. It wasn’t anything special but it also wasn’t terrible. I will likely read the next volume, mostly because I already own it but I don’t have high expectations.

Eragon – Inheritance #1 – Review

eragonSynopsis: (from GoodreadsOne boy. One dragon. A world of adventure.
When Eragon finds a polished blue stone in the forest, he thinks it is the lucky discovery of a poor farm boy; perhaps it will buy his family meat for the winter. But when the stone brings a dragon hatchling, Eragon realizes he has stumbled upon a legacy nearly as old as the Empire itself.

Overnight his simple life is shattered, and he is thrust into a perilous new world of destiny, magic, and power. With only an ancient sword and the advice of an old storyteller for guidance, Eragon and the fledgling dragon must navigate the dangerous terrain and dark enemies of an Empire ruled by a king whose evil knows no bounds.

Can Eragon take up the mantle of the legendary Dragon Riders? The fate of the Empire may rest in his hands.

Buy Now:Amazon

I’ve thought long and hard about what to say about this book. The problem, you see, is that I saw the movie first, and couldn’t help comparing the book to the movie the entire time I was reading it. Now, I know that no movie based on a book is ever the same as the book but the differences here were quite vast. However, this review is for the book, not the movie. I will try to refrain from comparing the two.

Going into this, I truly expected to like this book, if not love it. After all, I had seen and liked the movie and the movie was based on the book. Logical conclusion: I would like the book. It didn’t quite thrill me as much as I expected it to though. I felt the pacing of the story was too slow. Eragon and Saphira were supposed to be on the run for their lives from the King, but I never felt much of a sense of urgency in their travels. It was often like they were just out traveling, or like Brom was a mentor taking his apprentice for training by wandering the empire and teaching him things as they went along.

That’s not to say that I didn’t like this book. There were things I definitely like. For instance, Saphira is a fun and complex character. Though she is still very young, it’s clear that she must have been at least somewhat aware of her surroundings while still in her egg because she knows things about the past before she hatched and often speaks in a wise-beyond-her-years tone.

The bond between Eragon and Saphira is deep and very touching. It’s clear that they care for each other greatly. As they journey and deal with all the things that come their way, their bond strengthens and they have in each other someone to lean on and grow with.

I can’t adequately describe how I feel about this book. I didn’t dislike it, but I didn’t love it either. I suppose in the end, I would say it was okay. 2.5/5 stars.

Waiting on Wednesday #4 – The Weaver’s Lament – Paperback Edition

“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking The Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

 

Weavers LamentSynopsis: Acclaimed author Elizabeth Haydon returns with a heartbreaking tale of love and valor in The Weaver’s Lament, the ninth and final installment of her USA Today bestselling Symphony of Ages series that began with Rhapsody.

For a thousand years, the lands ruled by the Cymrian Alliance have been at peace. When the brutal death of a dear friend catapults the kingdom to the brink of civil war, Rhapsody finds herself in an impossible situation: forced to choose between her beloved husband, Ashe, and her two oldest friends, Grunthor and Achmed. Choosing her husband will mean the death of thousands of innocents. Siding against him will cost Rhapsody the other half of her soul, both in this life and the next.

In The Weaver’s Lament, the lines between the past and future are irrevocably blurred, and the strength of true love is tested in unthinkable ways. Bestselling author Elizabeth Haydon has delivered a spectacular conclusion to the Symphony of Ages.

 

Although this book has already been published in hardcover. I am eagerly awaiting the Paperback edition on June 27, 2017. This will conclude the Symphony of Ages series.

Top 5 Wednesday: April 26th: Authors You Want to Read More From

T5W is a weekly book meme hosted by Samantha and Lainey over on YouTube. Each week there is a new book-related topic to answer! If you’re new to Top 5 Wednesday and want to participate, check out the Goodreads group for information and weekly topics!

This week’s topic is: Authors You Want To Read More From.

5. Jenna Black

4. Rachel Vincent

3. Keri Arthur

2. Jim Butcher

1. Cat Adams

I was going to write a little blurb for each author, but they would have be pretty much the same. I read a book or part of a series or another series by said author and since I liked what I read i want to read more. I have so many “to read” books that I haven’t gotten to all of them yet, and of course I keep adding more.

What are your Top 5 authors you want to read more from?