Tag Archives: Kicking It

Snakeskin by Rob Thurman

Overview
Kicking It

Title: Snakeskin
Author: Rob Thurman
Series: Trickster #0.5
In: Kicking It (Faith Hunter & Kalayna Price)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves:
 Easy reading, Mythology, TrickstersUrban fantasy
Pace: Fast
Format: Short story
Publisher: Roc
Year: 2013
5th sentence, 74th page: Billionaires are a special breed, and an old horny billionaire is going to want a young thing with tits done by Dr. Double D and the only lines on her skin the ones shown by her Brazilian wax.

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Synopsis

Trixa agrees to help a woman deal with her very rich husband. But, when she is double crossed, things take an interesting turn.

Thoughts

I love stories about Tricksters – they are completely amoral, always entertaining and beautifully symbolic of the balance between good and evil. Plus, where they travel, chaos follows. Which is always entertaining, and provides great conflict in and of itself. The introduction to Thurman’s Trickster series is no different.

Trixa is the very embodiment of chaos – she is neither good nor evil and, while straddling both realities, she is able to help keep the balance. The playful light and twisted humour within which she tells the story drew me in from the first point, and I was never quite sure what game she was playing. Until the very end that is. The tone of the piece perfectly reflects the chaotic and perverse way in which Trixa deals with the world and those around her.

<- More Rob ThurmanTrick of the Light ->

Image source: Penguin

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Ruby Red by Kalayna Price

Overview
Kicking It

Title: Ruby Red
Author: Kalayna Price
Series: Alex Craft #2.5
In: Kicking It (Faith Hunter & Kalayna Price)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Fae, Ghosts, Grim reapersParanormal romance
Pace: Medium
Format: Short story
Publisher: Roc
Year: 2013
5th sentence, 74th page: Excessively deadly dead things.

Synopsis

A pair of shoes are wreaking havoc in the world of Alex Craft, and its up to two detectives to stop them!

Thoughts

It was really enjoyable reading a book based in the world of Alex Craft. The multi-layered structure of a fae-infused world has always fascinated me, although, in the rest of the Alex Craft series, it is only viewed through her eyes. Altering the point of view gave me a refreshing insight into such an intricately created reality.

I haven’t had the chance to re-read the first three Alex Craft books since the fourth book came out (at the beginning of the year), but reading this short story has inspired me to pick them up and start all over again. Not only to revisit such an amazing world and strong characters, but to learn more about the other prominent characters in this series. All strong. All fascinating. All stealing our hearts.

<- Grave DanceKicking It ->

Image source: Penguin

High Stakes by Chloe Neill

Overview
Kicking It

Title: High Stakes
Author: Chloe Neill
Series: Chicagoland Vampires #8.25
In: Kicking It (Faith Hunter & Kalayna Price)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Easy readingParanormal fantasyVampires
Pace: Medium
Format: Short story
Publisher: Roc
Year: 2013
5th sentence, 74th page: “I love you,” I said, pulling back and putting my hands on his cheeks, making him look at me and see the emotion reflected in my face.

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Synopsis

Boot-loving Cadogan vampire Lindsey must team up with off-again, on-again vampire partner Luc when a woman from her past is targeted by supernaturals in “New York Times “bestselling author Chloe Neill’s all-new adventure. 

Thoughts

The name of this story is brilliant – high stakes, stakes as in vampires. I had way too much of a giggle over this. The story title, combined with the great and engaging plot line has inspired me to buy the first book in the Chicagoland Vampires series, and I can’t wait to meet the rest of the cast and crew of this interesting vampire series (and I don’t normally like vampire books, Twilight kind of ruined that for me…).

Reading about a girl with issues always tickles my happy literary place – if someone with issues is able to find love, then anyone can. The lack of perfection in a chief protagonist makes them a much, much better and more engaging character. I like that although Lindsey’s past is coming back to haunt her in a big way and she has huge trust and commitment issues, she is able to find someone who has her back, even when she is not being nice about it.

<- Biting BadHowling for You ->

Image source: Penguin

The Devil’s Left Boot by Faith Hunter

Overview

Blood in Her VeinsTitle: The Devil’s Left Boot
Author: Faith Hunter
Series: Jane Yellowrock #6.1
In: Blood in Her Veins (Faith Hunter) & Kicking It (Faith Hunter & Kalayna Price)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Animagus, Dark fantasy, Strong women
Pace: Fast
Format: Short story
Publisher: Roc
Year: 2013
5th sentence, 74th page: 
Everything fell into place with a little thump in Liz’s mind.

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Synopsis

Set in the world of Jane Yellowrock. Jane makes a brief appearance.

Twin witches Liz and Cia Everhart agree to search for a missing woman and are drawn into long-hidden secrets of vampires and blood magic.

Thoughts

I enjoy anything set in the Jane Yellowrock world – it is always sassy, strong and constantly reminds you that no matter how odd you may be, there is somewhere in the world that you can fit in. If anything, I found this short story easier to relate to than the others so far – the twin Everhart witches are not only trying to cope with their sad past, but they are forced to confront a school bully. For those of us who have been bullied, we all imagine that day that we are reunited and can show that person how wonderful we are now that we’re not in school. When you’ve found a place in society that you can actually fit into, you want to show others that all of the hurt in the past doesn’t matter anymore (even when it does). The Devil’s Left Boot allows the twin witches to do this. And it works brilliantly.

The idea of twins is a fascinating one, there are a lot of mythical and social beliefs surrounding twins, especially identical ones. Hunter uses this brilliantly in the description of their spells and rituals throughout this story. Yet, they are still starkly contrasted against one another – they have different sources of power, different desires and different obsessions. The play between the two girls, their similarities and differences built them up beautifully in my mind and there they continue to stay, fascinating me and drawing me further into the world of Jane Yellowrock and the Everharts.

<- The Girl With No Name High Stakes ->

Image source: Goodreads

The Girl With No Name by Chris Marie Green

Overview

The Girl With No NameTitle: The Girl With No Name
Author: Chris Marie Green
Series: Vampire Babylon #6.4
In: Kicking It (Faith Hunter & Kalayna Price)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Easy reading, Paranormal fantasy, Vampires
Pace: Fast
Format: Short story
Publisher: Roc
Year: 2013
5th sentence, 74th page: At first, he smile welcomed me.

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Synopsis

Chris Marie Green brings you an urban fantasy novelette that’s full of paranormal thrills and exhilarating action!

A young woman wakes up in a strange hotel room in New Orleans with no memory of who she is, where she’s been, or what she’s doing there. All she has are a pair of boots that she can’t seem to take off. As she takes steps to uncover her identity, she realizes that she might’ve stolen the shoes, and the bad-boy psychic she’s enlisted could be luring her into the clutches of a powerful, very ticked-off backwoods sorceress who wants them back….

Thoughts

A lot of stories rely on a character that is completely removed from their familial life. Whether it’s an orphan, someone who has been removed from their clan, or they’ve watched everything around them die and go up in flames, most good characters have nothing they can return to in their past. They either have nothing to lose, or everything. Lily in The Girl with No Name takes this one step further. This story is a literal journey of self-discovery – a girl who is unable to remember her own name, let alone her past.

The nature magic employed in this short story is phenomenal – it combines the giving of mother earth with the need for payment. After all, nothing is free. This unique combination of healing, giving and taking payment all at the same time led to a twist that I didn’t expect. Always something nice in a short story, I love when you are surprised by a plot, and I’m incredibly eager to see what this author can do to a full-length novel.

<- Stolen Goods Review The Devil’s Left Boot Review ->
Image source: Goodreads

The Parlor by Lucienne Diver

Overview

Kicking ItTitle: The Parlor
Author: Lucienne Diver
Series: The Latter-Day Olympians #3.5
In: Kicking It (Faith Hunter & Kalayna Price)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Easy reading, Mythology, Paranormal fantasy, Strong women
Pace: Medium
Format: Short story
Publisher: Roc
Year: 2013
5th sentence, 74th page: I’d find out soon enough.

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Synopsis

Tori takes what she thinks is going to be a simple job, and runs up against another member of the Olympian family.

Thoughts

I love to read about mythologies reimagined for the modern day, and this was an excellent way in which it was done. Where Riordan takes Greek mythology and spins it so that teenagers have a place in the world, Diver gives the tales of Olympus a much more adult and sensual twist. A tale of Apollo, Arachne and gladiators, there really isn’t much more that you could ask for in a short story inspired by the Gods of Olympus.

There were a lot of great things in this story, and I loved the heroine, she was tough, able to say no to a God, and wanted to do the good thing. However, the part of this story that I can’t get out of my head is the silver, reflective hot pants and knee-high boot get up that Tori is forced to wear when she goes undercover. Reflective hot pants. A thought to leave you with for the day.

<- Crazy in the Blood Review Rise of the Blood Review ->
Image source: Penguin

Red Isn’t Really My Color by Christina Henry

Overview

Kicking It

Title: Red Isn’t Really My Color
Author: Christina Henry
Series: Black Wings #2.5
In: Kicking It (Faith Hunter & Kalayna Price)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Angels, GhostsParanormal fantasy
Pace: Fast
Format: Short story
Publisher: Roc
Year: 2013
5th sentence, 74th page: I have been a fool.

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Synopsis

Agent of Death, Maddy Black, is sent on a mission by her many-greats grandfather, Lucifer,to retrieve the mythical Red Shoes. These shoes will force the person wearing them to dance non-stop. They are currently in the possession of Sammy Blue, ambassador for Maddy’s newest foe, faerie Queen Amarantha.

Thoughts

The writing techniques utilised throughout this short story were nothing short of phenomenal. And that doesn’t even begin to describe the storyline and phenomenal characters that are splashed across the pages with a brilliant vividity. Although I haven’t (yet) had the privilege of reading the rest of the series, this short provided a great gateway into the series and the very sassy character of Maddy.

I’m completely in love with the characterisation and creation of Beezle. He is like a hyperactive, supernatural, talking puppy with attitude.

Sassy characters and incredible supernatural powers, this story has it all and I can’t wait until my version of Black Wings arrives!

<- Black Night Review Black Howl Review ->
Image source: Penguin

Forked Tongues by Rachel Caine

Overview

Kicking It

Title: Forked Tongues
Author: Rachel Caine
Series: Holly & Andrew #3
In: Kicking It (Faith Hunter & Kalayna Price)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect),
My Bookshelves: Easy reading, Strong women, Urban fantasy
Pace: Fast
Format: Short story
Publisher: Roc
Year: 2013
5th sentence, 74th page: And that was when the devil dog opened its red eyes and stepped out of the shadows ten feet ahead of us.

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Synopsis

New York Times bestselling author Rachel Caine has modern-day potions witches Holly and Andrew facing off against a firebrand politician who wears literally killer boots in a Texas-sized rodeo of trouble.

Thoughts

I would love for this short story to be part of a much bigger series – it caught me and fascinated me in the first paragraph. I thoroughly enjoyed the urban fantasy setting and the idea of witches each having his or her own type of power – they have limitations, just like everyone else. Caine was able to build a wonderfully realistic world that sat perfectly within our own.

Holly and Andy are a gorgeous, simplistic couple. I love the simplicity of their relationship in this story and their acceptance of one another – they are able to work side by side to overcome obstacles in a self-efficient, unassuming manner. Combine this wholesome relationship with a gun-toting man of the West who also has witch powers and you have a winning blend.

There are so many stories that remind us that the ‘us vs them’ mentality can have severe consequences and truly hurt the innocent. Caine’s third Holly & Andrew short story is no different. The chief antagonist is the embodiment of using others’ fear of the different to attack and vilify a minority group. Writing about this from the minority’s point of view is a great way in which to remind us that just because someone or something is different, it doesn’t mean that it is bad.

 <- Holly’s Balm Review Kicking It Review ->
Image source: Penguin

Stolen Goods by Shannon K. Butcher

Overview

Kicking It

Title: Stolen Goods
Author: Shannon K. Butcher
In: Kicking It (Faith Hunter & Kalayna Price)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Easy reading, FantasyStrong women
Pace: Medium
Format: Short story
Publisher: Roc
Year: 2013
5th sentence, 74th page: She had no idea what the Fractogasts wanted with those stolen pieces, but the second machine she was in broke down, everything had snapped back into place, restoring her.

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Synopsis

Blacksmith Matthew Brighton wants to hire mercenary Simone Solange to help him retrieve a special hammer the Fractogasts are using to construct a portal. Once complete, the portal will allow more of these destructive creatures entry and it will be the beginning of the end for humanity. Simone is all business with her leathers and magical red boots. Matthew has his own skills as she learns when she accompanies him on the assignment.

Thoughts

I have an obsession with boots, so reading about a pair of hand-tooled, red, knee-high boots that make the wearer invisible was enough to draw me into this short story. The vividness of descriptions and characters bought this micro-world to life beautifully. I was so impressed with the way in which Butcher was able to bring an entire world to life in mere paragraphs.

Butcher crammed a lot of character information into few words – I have read very few pieces of writing that are able to divulge so much in such a short period. I think that this may be one of the reasons why I so thoroughly enjoyed this story. Although, as much as I want to read it again, I’m not entirely sure what drew me in so succinctly.

<- Forked Tongues Review The Girl With No Name Review ->
Image source: Penguin

Kicking It Edited by Faith Hunter & Kalayna Price

Overview

Kicking It

Title: Kicking It
Authors: Faith Hunter, Kalayna Price, Rachel Caine, Chloe Neill, Rob Thurman, Shannon K. Butcher, Lucienne Diver, Chris Marie Green & Christina Henry
In: Kicking It (Faith Hunter & Kalayna Price)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Short story collections, Strong women, Urban fantasy
Pace: Fast
Format: Anthology
Publisher: Roc
Year: 2013
5th sentence, 74th page: The dirt on the floor was too scuffed and smeared for her to make out any on distinct set of prints.

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

Synopsis

Featuring stories by FAITH HUNTER * KALAYNA PRICE * RACHEL CAINE * CHLOE NEILL * ROB THURMAN * SHANNON K. BUTCHER * LUCIENNE DIVER * CHRIS MARIE GREEN * CHRISTINA HENRY

New York Times bestselling author Rachel Caine has modern-day potions witches Holly and Andrew facing off against a firebrand politician who wears literally killer boots in a Texas-sized rodeo of trouble.

Boot-loving Cadogan vampire Lindsey must team up with off-again, on-again vampire partner Luc when a woman from her past is targeted by supernaturals in New York Times bestselling author Chloe Neill’s all-new adventure.

And New York Times bestselling author Rob Thurman features Trixa Iktomi from her Trickster series dealing with magical vengeance and magical footwear.

Taking kick-ass urban fantasy literally, USA Today bestselling authors Kalayna Price and Faith Hunter bring together the best of the genre to once again prove when you’re fighting supernatural forces, it helps to keep your feet on the ground.

Thoughts

This is one of the most brilliant collections of short stories that I have ever read. I mean, you can’t really go wrong with fantasy stories about strong women kicking butt in amazing shoes… nine stories from nine amazing authors, all featuring strong, independent women who are able to hold their own throughout the story.

Reading this collection of short stories was not only one of the most enjoyable ways I could think of to spend a Sunday afternoon, but also a fantastic way to discover some great new authors. I must admit that I went on a spending spree after reading this book, finding all new stories from the great authors that I had fallen in love with.

<- Ruby Red Review Forked Tongues Review ->
Image source: Penguin