Tag Archives: Paranormal Fantasy

Your Coffin or Mine? by Kimberly Raye

Overview

Title: Your Coffin or Mine?
Author: Kimberly Raye
Series: Dead End Dating #3
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal fantasy, Paranormal romance, Vampires
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Year: 2007

Thoughts

Admittedly, it took me a few chapters to truly get into this. It’s not that the action didn’t start immediately. But I definitely don’t rate Lil as one of my favourite female leads. She’s fun and I love how unique she is in the vampire world. But she’s also heavily into things like fashion and such that I find tedious.

Ty’s evolving into the male lead has slowly been gaining traction in the last 2 books. Actually, I’m beginning to find it a little frustrating that Lil doesn’t just buck up and realise that he’s a good match. Plus, i do want more of him in the story. He’s the lead love interest, but most of the relationship is Lil questioning the relationship…

Introducing new paranormal like the Incubus was quite unexpected. There is this constant underlayer of sex throughout these novels (I mean, what do you expect, she literally runs a dating agency?). But that demonic presence definitely upped the ante. And I’m hoping that it continues to highlight the potential throughout the next books.

I did enjoy this book. And I’m looking forward to reading the next one in the series. But, I also am not racing to get the next book on my shelves… its good and definitely a book I would recommend. But also very simplistic and more of an easy read than anything.

<- Dead and DatelessLove Bites ->

Image source: Penguin Books Australia

These Rebel Waves by Sara Raasch

Overview

Title: These Rebel Waves
Author: Sara Raasch
Series: Stream Raiders #1
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Magic, Paranormal fantasy, Pirates, Young adult
Pace: Fast
Format: Novel
Year: 2018

Thoughts

Let me preface this review by saying that there is a surprise reveal in this that I DID NOT see coming. Not so much a twist that will shock and awe… but certainly a surprise unveiling of truth that I wasn’t expecting. It was one that suddenly made total sense and has me itching to read These Divided Shores… I just have to buy it first.

Jumping between points if view doesn’t always work so seamlessly. But Raasch is able to do it in a way that is not only enjoyable, but highlights the different voices of the three leads. In fact, she managed to have such great characterisation and relatable characters that I couldn’t wait to find out what was going to happen next. For all three of them. Not a feeling that I often have with multiple points of view.

This book had a very pirate-like feel to it. Almost Pirates of the Caribbean in some moments in fact. Add in the not so subtle splashes of botanical magic, and of course this was the kind of story that was up my alley. A dash of romance, plenty of action and violence… of course I fell for this.

The part that destroys me most about this story? The goddam ending!!! It is such a phenomenal cliff-hanger. One that I didn’t anticipate AT ALL. And it is one that I can’t stop thinking about… I really don’t relish the idea of waiting to buy the next book in this series…

<- More Sara RaaschThese Divided Shores ->

Image source: Goodreads

Witch You Well by Colleen Cross

Overview

Title: Witch You Well
Author: Colleen Cross
Series: Westwick Witches #1
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Cozy mysteryParanormal fantasy, Witches
Pace: Medium
Format: eBook, Novel
Year: 2016

Thoughts

When I saw that there was a paranormal cozy mystery series available through kobo plus… my sleep deprived brain went straight to its happy place. And I really wasn’t disappointed. This was fun and light. With just enough mystery and drama to make it incredibly difficult to put down.

Any mystery that has a culprit I didn’t see coming is going to make me happy. There were a few aspects of this story that I DID anticipate. But so much that took me completely by surprise. I loved this balance. And for that alone, not only do I plan to read the rest of this series, but I’ll probably reread this again. Find the clues that I missed before.

I love that this is an incredibly female driven story. Not just in the lead, her mother and aunt, but also the way she lives her life. There’s a fair amount of commentary about the fact that we shouldn’t settle. Her relationship is this perfect example of taking a step back and letting someone just take you for granted. And that is actually not okay.

Aside from all the joys if a fabulous, female driven, cozy mystery; I loved all the magic and mayhem throughout. Mostly the fact that there’s a crazy, witchy aunty making everything incredibly difficult. It had me laughing and cackling all the way through.

<- More Colleen CrossRags to Witches ->

Image source: Goodreads

Hopcross Jilly by Patricia Briggs

Overview
Patricia Briggs Mercy Thompson: Hopcross Jilly : Briggs, Patricia, Hoskin,  Rik, Garcia, Tom: Amazon.com.au: Books

Title: Hopcross Jilly
Author: Patricia Briggs
Series: Mercedes Thompson #7.5, Mercy-Verse #23
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Graphic novels, Paranormal fantasy, Strong women, Werewolves
Dates read: 30th September 2021
Pace: Fast
Format: Graphic novel
Publisher: Dynamite
Year: 2015
5th sentence, 74th page: No cops ever come out this way!

Synopsis

Mercy Thompson is a shapeshifting coyote and honorary member of the Tri-Cities werewolf pack. When the pack stumbles upon the buried bones of numerous dead children, she shapeshifts into a mystery of the legendary fae – a mystery that draws Mercy’s stepdaughter Jesse into the fray! The supernatural romance series Mercy Thompson continues in this all-new, original story by New York Times bestselling author Patricia Briggs, exclusively created for the comic book medium!

Thoughts

I’ve been hanging to get to this graphic novel since I bought it. But, since I was trying to do a full Mercyverse reread in order, I kept refraining. Well, I finally got up to it in my reread list. And wow. It was worth the wait. Not only is the storyline amazing, the graphics beautiful, and the pace fast. But this also features Jesse in a much stronger manner.

Jesse is slowly showing up more and more in the Mercedes Thompson books – I mean, it makes sense, since they’ve become a family unit. But there isn’t much that strongly features her by herself. Although this story isn’t just about Jesse, she is smack bang in the middle of the drama. And it just reminds me why I love her and want to see her more in the Mercedes Thompson books.

I love that this storyline shows Jesse in her difficulties at school. I mean, school is tough and kids are cruel. But more than that it shows how tough and honest she is in her ability to rise above all of the crap that is thrown at her.

This is a story that features the next fae that goes bump in the night. The next step in the escalating paranormal war that is sure to be filling the next few Mercyverse books. It highlights the difficulties that the pack face, but more than that it shows how being good can assist in overcoming the evil in the world. Or at least, that’s how I felt about Jesse and those around her.

<- RedemptionNight Broken ->

Image source: Amazon

Dead Heat by Patricia Briggs

Overview
Dead Heat by Patricia Briggs

Title: Dead Heat
Author: Patricia Briggs
Series: Alpha & Omega #4, Mercy-Verse #22
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal fantasy, Strong women, Werewolves
Dates read: 19th – 30th September 2021
Pace: Fast
Format: Novel
Publisher: Ace Fantasy
Year: 2015
5th sentence, 74th page: Unable to resist, she lent her song to his.

Synopsis

Transporting readers into the realm of mated werewolves Charles Cornick and Anna Latham, Patricia Briggs’s Alpha and Omega novels have been praised for being “the perfect blend of action, romance, suspense, and paranormal.” Now a pleasure trip drops the couple into the middle of some bad supernatural business…

For once, 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. Or at least their visit 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 have started a cold war with humanity that’s about to heat up – and Charles and Anna are in the cross fire.

Thoughts

This is one of those series that I always wonder if it’s actually not quite as good as I remember. It is WAY better. Each and every time. I mean, the hype in my mind is nowhere near equivalent to the hype and the amazingness of reading one of these books. And, I’m finally at that point in my reread when I’m up to the books that I haven’t actually read yet. Which of course meant that even though I read the prologue and then put this aside, I ended up reading pretty much the whole book cover to cover in one night. It is THAT amazing.

Charles is a beautiful enigma – and I like that this book explores some more of his past. Particularly the fact that it brings forwards some of his past friendships and relationships. Ones that are rare and far between. Friendships are so important, and it always breaks my heart that Charles really doesn’t have any in the Mercyverse. There were moments of tragedy throughout that did pluck at your heartstrings (which is always good in a book), but it was also really sweet and endearing to see the past and some joy in Charles’ life.

It was incredibly interesting that this story starts with Anna trying to figure out why Charles is resistant to the idea of children. I happen to be pregnant while reading this, and they’re discussions that are somewhat familiar. I love that throughout all of the mayhem and magic in this story, Anna slowly starts to untangle his resistance and his feelings. Feelings that even Charles doesn’t know that he has. It’s such a familiar discussion and wonder. Such a familiar untangling of emotions that I was driven by this alongside the actual action to find out the resolution.

The stories I’ve always loved of the fae are those which feature the… less kindly… of the fae. I’ve never really enjoyed tales which try and portray them as benevolent. That’s never really happened in the Mercyverse, but it’s now been taken one step further – with the purposeful release of all the not-so-kindly things that go bump in the night. It perfectly describes and portrays the fae in the ways that I think of them. And, more than that, it is perfectly setting up the next looming war on the horizon.

<- Unappreciated GiftsBurn Bright ->

Image source: Goodreads

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Overview
Red Queen: Red Queen Book 1 eBook : Aveyard, Victoria: Amazon.com.au:  Kindle Store

Title: Red Queen
Author: Victoria Aveyard
Series: Red Queen #1
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Dystopia, Paranormal fantasy, Young adult
Dates read: 5th – 18th September 2021
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Orion
Year: 2015
5th sentence, 74th page: Just bumbling officers who don’t know you.

Synopsis

This is a world divided by blood – Red or Silver

The Reds are commoners, ruled by a Silver elite in possession of god-like superpowers. And to seventeen-year-old Mare, a Red girl from the poverty-stricken Stilts, it seems like nothing will ever change.

But Mare possesses a deadly talent of her own. One that threatens to destroy the balance of power.

Fearful of her potential, the Silvers hide Mare in plain view, declaring her a long-lost Silver princess. Knowing that one false move will mean her death, Mare must use her new position to bring down the regime – from the inside.

Now Mare has entered a game of betrayal and lies.

This is Reds against Silvers, prince against prince, and Mare against her own heart…

Thoughts

This was one of those books that I felt really unsure of at the beginning. For starters, I’ve read a LOT of mixed reviews about this on the many online book clubs I’m a member of. And there was also the fact that at the beginning it all felt a little same same for YA dystopia stories. Having said that, once I got past the first 50 or so pages it stopped feeling so same same and really started to draw me in.

Mare wasn’t a painful protagonist, which, considering some of the YA books I’ve read, was a pleasant surprise. She wasn’t whiney and childish. Yet, she also wasn’t perfect. I like that she had all the insecurities of a fairly typical teenager – felt like a failure, the black sheep. And that all of this was underlined by an overwhelming love for family and Kilorn.

I knew that this story featured betrayal, but I wasn’t expecting the betrayal that actually happened. I kept flicking back and forth as to whom I thought the “bad” guy was. But I was still kind of seriously surprised when it all came out. Probably part of the reason that I ended up enjoying this book so much.

All in all this was a fantastic book. And the perfect beginning to a series. Now I’m intrigued as to where the story line is going to take me. There’s a sense of wonder and confusion in it all that I just can’t get away from.

<- Steel ScarsGlass Sword ->

Image source: Amazon

In the Future When All’s Well by Catherynne M. Valente

Overview
Image result for teeth ellen datlow terri windling book cover

Title: In the Future When All’s Well
Author: Catherynne M. Valente
In: Teeth: Vampire Tales (Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal fantasy, Vampires
Dates read: 31st August 2021
Pace: Medium
Format: Short story
Publisher: Harper
Year: 2011
5th sentence, 74th page: It’s all random.

Synopsis

Vampirism has become a daily occurrence – there are those in the high risk, those who just break the rules… but eventually a whole lot of people get turned. The future is showing us a whole new reality.

Thoughts

I liked the idea of this future world in which vampires are running free. And that they’re just kind of the next, logical evolutionary step to the pyramid. The fact that it’s also written all around the perspective of a teenager just works all that much better. After all, all of the stories at the moment surrounding vampires seem to be very young adult centred.

One of the aspects I liked most about this story was the idea that those in the “high risk” category were considered different and amoral. It’s the same fear mongering that you see again and again throughout society. Which made me smile. A great reflection on society as we know it.

All in all, I really enjoyed this short story. It was a unique idea, but one that I felt kind of had merit. After all, there is definitely scientific support for the idea that we are all evolving into a new version of “humanity”, who’s to say it isn’t going to be as blood suckers?

<- BabyTransition ->

Image source: HarperCollins

The Grendel Affair by Lisa Shearin

Overview
The Grendel Affair (SPI Files, #1) by Lisa Shearin

Title: The Grendel Affair
Author: Lisa Shearin
Series: SPI Files #1
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal fantasy, Strong women, Urban fantasy
Dates read: 18th – 21st August 2021
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Ace Fantasy
Year: 2013
5th sentence, 74th page: Because I’d failed.

Synopsis

We’re supernatural Protection & Investigations, known as SPI. Things that go bump in the night, the monsters you thought didn’t exist? We battle them and keep you safe. But some supernatural baddies are just too big to contain, even for us…

When I moved to New York to become a world-famous jounralist, I never imagined that snagging a job at a seedy tabloid would change my career path from trashy reporter to undercover agent. I’m Makenna Fraser, a seer for SPI. I can see through any disguise, shield, or spell that a paranormal pest can come up with. I track down creatures, and my partner, Ian Byrne, takes them out.

Our cases are generally pretty routine, but a sickle-wielding serial killer has been prowling the city’s subway tunnels. And the murderer’s not human. The fiend in question, a descendant of Grendel – yes, that Grendel – shares his ancestor’s hatred of parties, revelry, and drunkards. And with New Year’s Eve in Times Square only two days away, we need to bag him quickly. Because if we don’t find him – and the organization behind him – by midnight, our secret’s out ad everyone’s time is up.

Thoughts

I read the novella Lucky Charms a very long time ago. By the time I got this book, I’d honestly forgotten how much I liked the story and idea of Mac the seer and special agent. It didn’t take me many pages to regain that sense of happiness and intrigue inspired by my first taste of Lisa Shearin.

I always love stories that just drop you straight into the drama. The Grendel Affair does this – it starts with Mac hunting a gnome creature with booze. So yeah, it also started with a good, fun dose of humour. Nothing like some sass and off kilter hunting humour to start a novel and truly pull you in.

As the story unfolds, you can feel the partnership between Mac and Ian strengthen. It was really nice starting the tale with Mac being seriously insecure and a little uncomfortable around her partner. Then slowly building that trust between them. It makes me ridiculously keen to dig into the next book in this series so I can see how their relationship and partnership continues to grow.

I’ll admit, I’ve never read Beowulf (it’s on my very long list). But I immediately recognised the name Grendel. And I knew that it was Scandinavian. The way that Shearin uses this mythos and literature is incredibly fun and a perfect blending of lore and contemporary reality. I seriously loved this mix and can’t wait to see what happens next (although I might miss the mad Scandinavian Rolf in The Dragon Conspiracy).

<- Lucky CharmsThe Dragon Conspiracy ->

Image source: Goodreads

The Scarlet Woman: A Gemma Doyle Story by Libba Bray

Overview
A Universe of Wishes: A We Need Diverse Books Anthology by Dhonielle Clayton

Title: The Scarlet Woman
Author: Libba Bray
Series: Gemma Doyle Companion
In: A Universe of Wishes (Dhonielle Clayton)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Historical fiction, Paranormal fantasy, Young adult
Dates read: 17th August 2021
Pace: Fast
Format: Short story
Publisher: Crown
Year: 2020
5th sentence, 74th page: The bulk of my correspondence comes from my grandmama, who, in between complaining about various ailments, never misses an opportunity to remind me that, at nineteen, if I don’t find a husband soon, I will become unmarriageable – though, she remarks, she isn’t sure that I am marriageable at all.

Synopsis

Gemma Doyle feels like she’s finally moving on from the magic and mayhem of her past. But, then a confusing note sends everything crashing back down on her head.

Thoughts

I remember buying A Great and Terrible Beauty a while ago, but I still haven’t gotten around to reading it. This short story based in the world of Gemma Doyle has certainly made me feel tempted though.

I found a lot fo this story hard to understand and follow. Probably because I haven’t read the greater series and so I don’t have a lot of backstory. But, it was still a great adventure.

A good short story can have a seriously open ended ending. This is like that. It makes me think this takes place between books in the Gemma Doyle series… otherwise it is just way too… unsolved for my liking.

<- The Silk BladeCristal Y Ceniza ->

Image source: Goodreads

Sunbleached by Nathan Ballingrud

Overview
Image result for teeth ellen datlow terri windling book cover

Title: Sunbleached
Author: Nathan Ballingrud
In: Teeth: Vampire Tales (Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling)
Rating Out of 5: 3 (On the fence about this one)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal fantasy, Vampires
Dates read: 15th August 2021
Pace: Slow
Format: Short story
Publisher: Harper
Year: 2011
5th sentence, 74th page: That’s why it’s so easy for us to seduce.

Synopsis

Josh thinks he has the perfect plan – he’s got a vampire trapped, he’s going to be immortal and he’s going to get rid of his mum’s annoying boyfriend. But, as with all teenage plans, things just don’t quite go to plan.

Thoughts

I always want to yell at the silly children in vampire stories who make a deal with, well, a vampire… I mean, come on! Haven’t you read the stories? Don’t you understand that it NEVER TURNS OUT WELL?!?!?

This story was no different. I spent the whole time metaphoriy banging my head against an imaginary wall… I mean, seriously Josh? You expected any of this to end in any other way? Silly, silly boy…

Alright, even though I was constantly finding Josh frustrating and seriously silly in this… I did also enjoy the story. It was one of those that you knew things would end bad, but you kind of wanted to see HOW they would end badly…

<- Sit the DeadBaby ->

Image source: HarperCollins