Tag Archives: Ilona Andrews

Hexed by Ilona Andrews, Yasmine Galenorn, Allyson James & Jeanne C. Stein

Overview
Hexed

Title: Hexed
Author: Ilona Andrews, Yasmine Galenorn, Allyson James & Jeanne C. Stein
In: Hexed (Ilona Andrews, Yasmine Galenorn, Allyson James & Jeanne C. Stein)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal fantasy, Short story collections, Urban fantasy
Dates read: 6th – 23rd January 2019
Pace: Fast
Format: Anthology
Publisher: Berkley
Year: 2011
5th sentence, 74th page: If I can.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide
Synopsis

‘Four bestselling names in romance and fantasy come together in this collection of thrilling novellas featuring powerful women who know how to handle a hex or two…

New York Times bestselling author Ilona Andrews spins “Magic Dreams.” Shapeshifting tigress Dali Harimau finds herself in deep waters when she must challenge a dark being to a battle of wits or risk losing the man for whom she secretly longs.

In “Ice Shards”, New York Times bestselling author Yasmine Galenorn returns to the Otherworld as Iris Kuusi, a Finnish house sprite, journeys to the frozen Northlands to confront the crazed shadow of her former lover and break the curse that is keeping her from marrying the man she loves.

National bestselling author Allyson james takes you to Magellan, Arizona, where Stormwalker Janet Begay and her friends are trapped by a powerful curse. It will take every bit of magic simmering beneath her skin for the Stormwalker to survive being “Double Hexed”.

From national bestselling author Jeanne C. Stein comes “Blood Debt,” in which bount-hunter-turned-vampire Anna Strong is visited by three witches who ask her to right an old magical wrong. Anna will have to live up to her last name to make it through alive.

Thoughts

I absolutely adored this collection of novellas. And was wondering why I didn’t pick this up much, much sooner. After all, it’s been sitting on my bookshelf for a few years. Although, since I now have another two series that I need to buy (I already had two), I’m beginning to think that that may have been my reason for not sinking my teeth into this series too early on.

There was a healthy addition of romance throughout these urban fantasy stories. But, mostly they featured kick ass women, curses and pasts that they were trying to overcome. All of which are some of my favourite themes and topics in any kind of story. The fact that I got to read four novellas with these themes, well, that just made me even more happy. And made this collection all the more difficult to put down so I could do something grown up and productive.

 <- Blood Debt ReviewMagic Dreams Review ->
Image source: Ilona Andrews

Must Love Hellhounds by Charlaine Harris, Nalini Singh, Ilona Andrews & Meljean Brook

Overview

Must Love HellhoundsTitle: Must Love Hellhounds
Author: Charlaine Harris, Nalini Singh, Ilona Andrews & Meljean Brook
In: Must Love Hellhounds (Charlaine Harris, Nalini Singh, Ilona Andrews & Meljean Brook)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Easy reading, Paranormal fantasy, Short story collections
Pace: Fast
Format: Anthology
Publisher: Berkley Books
Year: 2009
5th sentence, 74th page: She might control his cock, but nothing else.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Synopsis

Follow paranormal bodyguards Clovache and Batanya into Lucifer’s realm, where they encounter his fearsome four-legged pets in The Britlingens Go to Hell.

Seek out a traitor in the midst of a guild of nonlethal vampire trackers, one intent on eradicating members of the species of bloodsuckers, in Angels’ Judgment.

Find out why the giant three-headed dog that guards the gates of Hades has left the underworld for the real world – and whose scent he’s following – in Magic Mourns.

Embark on a perilous search for the kidnapped niece of a powerful vampire alongside her blind – and damn sexy – companion and a hellhound in Blind Spot.

Thoughts

I feel so much love for this collection. Not only does it feature two of my already loved series, but it has introduced me to two more that I just have to get my hands on. The fact that all four novellas also feature a hellhound of some description… well, it just made me all the happier. And giddier. And just in general thoroughly enjoying this collection.

Although there was a great common thread throughout these four novellas, the styles and tales were completely different. I liked that they might all be paranormal fantasy, and they all had something to do with hell and demons, but they didn’t actually have all that much else in common with each other. I both loved and hated the fact that each of these tales is also part of a greater series – loved it because I have more books to fill my shelves now. Hated it because I can’t really afford to be purchasing said books.

 <- The Britlingens Go to Hell Review Blind Spot Review ->
Image source: Goodreads

A Mere Formality by Ilona Andrews

Overview

A Mere FormalityTitle: A Mere Formality
Author: Ilona Andrews
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Easy reading, Science fiction
Pace: Medium
Format: Short story
Publisher: Ilona Andrews
Year: 2008
5th sentence, 74th page: He pushed past the Duke and drew her outside.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Synopsis

Warning: this story is one big dirty joke. There is no actual sex, but there is a lot discussion about it. It was written on a dare. Someone told us that we couldn’t write a short story around one particular phrase, and we did. So I recommend this for people 18+. Because you know, we wouldn’t want to corrupt your minors.

Thoughts

You know that a short story is going to be good when there is a smut warning at the very beginning. And when it’s going to be science fiction. And just generally when it is written by Ilona Andrews. Which this was amazing. And fun, and not at all what I would have expected from the title and cover of this short story.

A Mere Formality reminded me a little of the world building in Clean Sweep – the idea of universal and planetary politics playing against one another. And the idea that there are a multitude of groups who all have their own agendas, well, it’s familiar to us, but far more fun when the different parties have fur and weird, alien rituals.

Although there is a smut warning at the beginning of this, the smut is not what I was expecting. At all. And at first I was like, huh. But then I loved it. And laughed, and just had a great time enjoying this tale. Definitely worth going and reading it from Andrews’ website. Something I’m a little disappointed that it took me so long to get into such a tale.

 <- Small Magics Review Of Swine and Roses Review ->
Image source: Ilona Andrews

Dark and Stormy Knights edited by P.N. Elrod

Overview

Dark and Stormy KnightsTitle: Dark and Stormy Knights
Author: Ilona Andrews, Jim Butcher, Shannon K. Butcher, Rachel Caine, P.N. Elrod, Deidre Knight, Vicki Pettersson, Lilith Saintcrow & Carrie Vaughn
In: Dark and Stormy Knights (P.N. Elrod)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Dark fantasy, Easy reading, Short story collections
Pace: Medium
Format: Anthology
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Year: 2010
5th sentence, 74th page: Even today’s cleverest smiths are no match for the magic of the fomor.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Synopsis

It was a dark and stormy knight, and nine dark defenders are about to embark upon a perilous quest…

They’re the shadowy defenders of humanity – modern-day knights committing the darkest of deeds for all the right reasons. In this all-star collection, nine of today’s hottest urban fantasy authors bring us thrilling, all-new stories of the supernatural brimming with magic, mystery, and mayhem.

An unlikely hero goes head-to-head with a ruthless cantrev lord in Jim Butcher’s “Even Hand”. Kate Daniels is called upon for bodyguard duty to protect Saimen, a shifter she trusts less than her worst enemy, in Ilona Andrews’s “A Questionable Client”. At all costs, Cormac must stop a vicious werewolf before it attacks again on the next full moon in Carrie Vaughn’s “God’s Creatures”. And in Vicki Pettersson’s “Shifting Star”, Skamar reluctantly enlists the aid of her frustratingly sexy neighbor when she takes on a vengeful creature kidnapping young girls.

When everything’s on the line, can these sinister guardians complete their missions and live to fight another day? Find out in Dark and Stormy Knights!

Thoughts

I loved this collection. I loved it so much that I really didn’t want to put it down. And bought almost every series featured in this collection. Which has cost me a fair bit of money in the last few days… yes, I am well aware that I have a problem. And I’m a little bit concerned by how quickly and easily I fall into these amazing literary worlds.

I loved the variety of stories, genres and tales throughout this. I loved the fact that the dark fantasy common thread ran through seamlessly. And I loved that each time I turned the page something exciting and thrilling was leaping out at me. There’s actually not much negative that I can say about this collection. After all, it took me through the scale of emotions, a number of whirlwind adventures and made me feel like I never wanted to put this book down again. For any fans of fantasy, this is definitely one to add to your shelf.

 <- A Questionable Client Review God’s Creatures Review ->
Image source: Goodreads

One Fell Sweep by Ilona Andrews

Overview
One Fell Sweep

Title: One Fell Sweep
Author: Ilona Andrews
Series: The Innkeeper Chronicles #3
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Easy readingParanormal fantasyParanormal romance
Pace: Fast
Format: Novel
Publisher: Ilona Andrews
Year: 2016
5th sentence, 74th page: “You know what, Jim, we are some distance away,” a male voice said through the mild static.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide
Synopsis

Dina DeMille may run the nicest Bed and Breakfast in Red Deer, Texas, but she caters to a very particular kind of guest… the kind that no one on Earth is supposed to know about. Guests like a former intergalactic tyrant with an impressive bounty on her head, the Lord Marshal of a powerful vampire clan, and a displaced-and-superhot werewolf; so don’t stand too close, or you may be collateral damage.

But what passes for Dina’s normal life is about to be thrown into chaos. First, she must rescue her long-distant older sister, Maud, who’s been exiled with her family to a planet that functions as the most lawless penal colony since Botany Bay. Then she agrees to help a guest whose last chance at saving his civilization could bring death and disaster to all Dina holds dear. Now Gertrude Hunt is under siege by a clan of assassins. To keep her guests safe and to find her missing parents, Dina will risk everything, even if she has to pay the ultimate price. Though Sean may have something to say about that!

Thoughts

This series just keeps on getting better and better. The expansion of Dina’s world and the ways in which she is constantly challenged help to open up a greater world that I can’t help but sink my teeth into. Again, this only took me a day to read and, although the writing style helps to give fluent breaks and pauses throughout the story, I still found it impossible to put down.

Following Sweep in Peace, Dina finds Sean returned to her in slightly damaged condition, but it is obvious that there is some true romance going on. Yet, instead of focusing on the joys of a blossoming new relationship, she is forced to travel to the Australia of the cosmos (yes, I went there), and find her sister. What she finds is nothing like she expects – a hardcore, assassin woman who has literally survived hell on earth. The fact that Dina’s cute (and a little unhinged) five-year-old niece is thrown into the mix makes it one hell of a family outing. That, and Arland’s able to make a new appearance with some very interesting consequences…

Although Dina starts this story with a bit of inter-planetary travel, it’s mostly about her ability to keep the victims of a holocaust alive. The Hiru come seeking help and asylum in her inn, and this leads to a race of Nazi-like aliens knocking on her door. Dina and the inn are able to survive almost anything, but with the challenges that she is forced to face, it is certainly a close call this time.

 <- Sweep in Peace ReviewSweep of the Blade Review ->
Image source: Ilona Andrews

Steel’s Edge by Ilona Andrews

Overview

Steel's EdgeTitle: Steel’s Edge
Author: Ilona Andrews
Series: The Edge #4
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal fantasyParanormal romanceStrong women
Pace: Fast
Format: Novel
Publisher: Ace Fantasy
Year: 2012
5th sentence, 74th page: Whatever it was, she could use a distraction, and he was the man for the job.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World WideSynopsis

The Edge lies between worlds, on the border between the Broken, where people shop at Wal-Mart and magic is a fairy tale – and the Weird, where bludblood aristocrats rule, changelings roam, and the strength of your magic can change your destiny…

Charlotte de Nay is as noble as they come, a blueblood straight out of the Weird. But even though she possesses rare magical healing abilities, her life has been filled with nothing but pain. After her marriage crumbles, she flees to the Edge to build a new home for herself. But when Richard Mar is brought to her for treatment, Charlotte’s life is turned upside down once again.

Richard is a swordsman without peer, the future head of his large and rambunctious Edger clan – and he’s on a clandestine quest to wipe out slavers trafficking humans in the Weird. So when his presence leads his very dangerous enemies to Charlotte, she vows to help Richard destroy them. The slavers’ operation, however, goes deeper tahn Richard knows, and even working together, he and Charlotte may not survive…

Thoughts

This was a great finale (so far, I hope) to The Edge series. I’m still hoping that more books will be written based in this amazing world, but if it doesn’t, then this is a pretty damn good story to end with. Following Richard Mar as he tries to right the wrongs of Sophie’s past and heal his own wounds. This novel gave everyone a happy ending and a hope for a better future, something that all good series should end with – a sense of hope.

Although Steel’s Edge keeps in the strain of the rest of the series, it’s a beautiful urban fantasy, paranormal romance that follows two dysfunctional characters as they slowly fall in love. Yet, Charlotte’s position as one of the bluebloods, the upper echelon of Andrews’ worlds gave it a nice new spin. Both Richard and Charlotte have had past marriages and past tragedies, in a way that I don’t understand, they are damaged. Yet, the united cause of stopping slave traders helps to bring them closer together and finds a way in which they can both overcome their horrible pasts.

Of all The Edge books, this had the best finale and ending to the story. Richard and Charlotte’s admittance of their feelings and the ways in which they show their love is completely different to the other three couples in this series. Yet, I found their relationship that sweetest and the ending with the family that they create the most endearing.

Steel’s Edge helps to tell more of Sophie’s story. Her, George and their compatriots have more of their adult life told in Sweep in Peace, but how Sophie becomes a master swordswoman isn’t really told. Sophie’s relationship with Charlotte is really sweet, but her attitude towards her surrounds is a little overwhelming and intimidating.

 <- Fate’s Edge Review On the Edge Review ->
Image source: Goodreads

Fate’s Edge by Ilona Andrews

Overview

Fate's EdgeTitle: Fate’s Edge
Author: Ilona Andrews
Series: The Edge #3
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal fantasyParanormal romanceStrong women
Pace: Fast
Format: Novel
Publisher: Ace Fantasy
Year: 2011
5th sentence, 74th page: His voice trembled slightly.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World WideSynopsis

The Edge lies between worlds, on the border between the Broken, where people shop at Wal-Mart and magic is a fairy tale – and the Weird, where bludblood aristocrats rule, changelings roam, and the strength of your magic can change your destiny…

Born into a family of con men, Audrey Callahan left behind her life in the Edge for an unmagical existence in the Broken. Audrey is determined to stay on the straight and narrow, but when her brother gets into hot water, she takes on one last heist and finds herself matching wits with a jack-of-all-trades.

Kaldar Mar is a gambler, a lawyer, a thief, and a spy with some unusual talents that guarantee him lucrative work. His latest assignment has him tracking down a stolen item, and Kaldar doesn’t expect much of a challenge – until Audrey turns up to give him a run for his money.

But when the missing object falls into the hands of a lethal criminal, Kaldar realizes that in order to finish the job and survive, he’s going to need Audrey’s help…

Thoughts

I always love it when there is a character that is cheeky, mischievous and a bit of a trickster. Kaldar’s presence in Bayou Moon filled this urge perfectly – he’s a bit of a trickster, but with a deadly edge to his every move. The fact that he spent the majority of Bayou Moon purposely going out of his way to irritate William just made me love him even more. So, an edge novel all about him – and his partner… I was ridiculously excited to jump into this series.

Audrey was an interesting change from Cerise and Rose – she isn’t a killer or able to physically defend herself. Instead, she is constantly finding ways to con herself in and out of situations. Which, surprisingly at the end of the story, is what helps to save the day. Although Kaldar’s humour shines through in his past appearances, it’s his deadlier side which is highlighted in Fate’s Edge, and it is this aspect of himself that I took a little while to understand. Not in his characterisation, but in how Audrey and he would be able to end up together. After all, he’s a spy and although a conman, it’s his swordsmanship and cutthroat familial ethics that shine the brightest. But, somehow, it all just works. Audrey is able to see through his bullshit, and, although she isn’t able to fight, she still has an amazing tough inner-core.

George, Jack and Gaston have a great role to play in this story – predominately George and Jack. I love the brothers, the fact that they are polar opposites (like myself and my sister), but also have this same inner core. The fact that they actually make an appearance as adults in Sweep in Peace just made my jaw drop and I am completely, totally and utterly in love with their storyline now. I actually want to find out more about their lives and hope that they show up in Steel’s Edge a little more. But, even if they don’t, the ways in which they’ve already grown throughout this series has been fun – beautiful and effortless.

 <- Bayou Moon Review Steel’s Edge Review ->
Image source: Goodreads

October 2017

October 2017

October has been a super weird month, I’ve had a tonne of assignments due (finals here we come), quit a job and just generally felt a little lost and aimless. It’s meant a bit of reading since I tend to read when I’m overwhelmed, but I’m still feeling a little lost…

Image source: Van Vorst Park Association

Magic Binds by Ilona Andrews

Overview

Magic Binds

Title: Magic Binds
Author: Ilona Andrews
Series: Kate Daniels #9
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves:
DystopiaParanormal fantasy, Shapeshifters
Pace: Fast
Format: Novel
Publisher: Ace fantasy
Year: 2016
5th sentence, 74th page: “Yes.”

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Synopsis

Mercenary Kate Daniels knows all too well that magic in post-Shift Atlanta is a dangerous business. But nothing she’s faced could have prepared her for this…

Kate and the former Beast Lord Curran Lennart are finally making their relationship official. But there are some steep obstacles standing in the way of their walk to the altar…

Kate’s father, Roland, has kidnapped the demigod Saiman and is slowly bleeding him dry in his never-ending bid for power. A Witch Oracle has predicted that if Kate marries the man she loves, Atlanta will burn and she will lose him forever. And the only person Kate can ask for help is long dead.

The odds are impossible. The future is grim. But Kate Daniels has never been one to play by the rules…

Thoughts

As always, Ilona Andrews has created an amazing story in the world of Kate Daniels. I was so disappointed that it was over. And now I have to wait I don’t know how long for the next story in this series. I waited for this one though, so I think I can wait for the next one… plus, there’s a few other Ilona Andrews series that I have in my shelf to start…

Kate continues to experience personal progress throughout this book. In this case, she not only has to battle the new desire to conquer the world, but also the restrictions placed on her by others. Although the battle with the need to conquer is more terrifying, I found her feeling of rubbing up against her restrictions all the more powerful. After all, she has continuously put herself in harms way to protect others, and now that she is expanding in her role as city’s protector, she is being warned to not do what she has always done. There is a beautiful point that she makes in the story that it is okay to almost kill herself when others need it, but the rest of the time, she is expected to not use her considerable powers. Rather than being treated like a person by certain members of her circle, she’s merely used as a tool that can be bought out when needed and hidden the remainder of the time. This double standard echoes in all of her relationships and is a reminder that it’s important to accept people – all of them, or none of them, not just the bits that work for you.

As with the other Kate Daniels books, this is kind of a dark story. But the books seem to constantly get darker as the series continues. This time Kate isn’t only forced to face her own demons in a battle to save herself and her city. But she is also in a race against time to save Curran and their unborn (unconceived) son. The stakes continue to get higher and higher as the battles rage around and through her.

<- Magic StarsIron and Magic ->

Image source: Penguin Random House

Bayou Moon by Ilona Andrews

Overview

Bayou MoonTitle: Bayou Moon
Author: Ilona Andrews
Series: The Edge #2
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal fantasyParanormal romanceStrong women
Pace: Fast
Format: Novel
Publisher: Ace Fantasy
Year: 2010
5th sentence, 74th page: A tiny light flared in her eyes.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World WideSynopsis

The Edge lies between worlds, on the border between the Broken, where people shop at Walmart and magic is a fairytale–and the Weird, where blueblood aristocrats rule, changelings roam, and the strength of your magic can change your destiny…

Cerise Mar and her unruly clan are cash poor but land rich, claiming a large swathe of the Mire, the Edge swamplands between the state of Louisiana and the Weird. When her parents vanish, her clan’s long-time rivals are suspect number one.

But all is not as it seems. Two nations of the Weird are waging a cold war fought by feint and espionage, and their conflict is about to spill over into the Edge—and Cerise’s life . William, a changeling soldier who left behind the politics of the Weird, has been forced back into service to track down a rival nation’s spymaster.

When William’s and Cerise’s missions lead them to cross paths, sparks fly—but they’ll have to work together if they want to succeed…and survive.

Thoughts

 

I loved the love story of Rose and Declan in On the Edge. It was sweet, and like all of Andrews’ lead females, filled with someone who wasn’t willing to just give herself away to a man and love. And Bayou Moon wasn’t any different. Cerise is competent, capable and incredibly independent. She is the matriarch of her family and completely driven to find a way to rescue and restore them. Plus, Cerise’s family is kind of insane and mental. Everything that you both want and don’t want in a family – large, loud and filled with love. The perfect place for William to finally find his own family.

Although On the Edge was about Rose and Declan, William really plucked at my heartstrings throughout their story. He was so obviously alone and an outcast. It was nice that he gets his happy ending in Bayou Moon. Plus, it was a great way to not only discover more about his past, but also to understand his loneliness and drive. His quest for revenge may start out a little dark, but, Andrews manages to weave in the humour and wit that makes her work so enjoyable.

The Edge is an interesting dichotomy between worlds. There are the laws that we all recognise, but they are overlayed by a lawlessness and savagery that goes beyond my understanding. It was overwhelming enough in On the Edge, but Cerise’s home in the Mire is much worse and more cut throat. It’s a fantastic method through which to deliver the idea of what could happen in a lawless world. The Broken is about the rules and guidelines that govern us in this life, the Weird is a throw back to ancient understandings of honour, mages and knighthood (with a modern twist). But the Edge? It’s an intimidating and cutthroat world that raises the stakes of any story.

 <- On the Edge Review Fate’s Edge Review ->
IMAGE SOURCE: Ilona Andrews