Tag Archives: Paranormal Fantasy

Battle for the Blood by Lucienne Diver

Overview

Title: Battle for the Blood
Author: Lucienne Diver
Series: The Latter-Day Olympians #4
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Easy reading, Mythology, Paranormal fantasy, Strong women
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Year: 2014

Thoughts

I’ve definitely left a little bit too long between reading the Third and fourth (this) books in this series. I mean, I eventually reminded myself of where I was in the series and what had happened. But it probably took half the book. I should probably make sure I don’t let quite as much time pass before I read the final part of this very fun series.

Tori has spent the first portion of this series in a pretty complex love triangle. And although Battle for the Blood does pretty much resolve this, there’s still a lot of lingering emotions. I’m not always a fan of the messiness of some love triangles. But I have enjoyed this one thus far. Plus, Tori’s reason for choosing who she finally does and that farewell… it was very well done and doesn’t make anybody out to be the bad guy.

Tori’s pretty insane transformation is a pretty big driver throughout this story as a secondary plot and mystery. I’m hoping that a few of the potential challenges and secrets are concluded in the next novel. Particularly the wings. I mean, how in the he’ll are you supposed to live with a pair of giant damn bat wings flapping out of your back?

Battle for the Blood was a great adventure. There was love and lust, lots of Greek mythology and a whole apocalypse waiting at our doors. I was unable to put it down from the moment I picked it up, because I just needed to know what was going to happen next!!! And now, deep breath, I need to dive right back in and find out what insanity is going to occur next in the world of Tori.

<- Rise of the BloodBlood Hunt ->

Image source: Kobo

Cursed Luck by Kelley Armstrong

Overview

Title: Cursed Luck
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Series: Cursed Luck #1
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Magic, Paranormal fantasy, Urban fantasy
Pace: Fast
Format: eBook, Novel
Year: 2021

Thoughts

There is a very good reason why I love Kelley Armstrong so much. And everything I pick up one of her books, I’m reminded again of just WHY I think she’s so amazing. Although, admittedly, some of her works are pretty dark. This is nowhere near as dark and heart rending as some of her other stories though… there is such a pithy, light, and fun tone to this whole story that left me smiling throughout.

Kennedy is a little too much like me. And I loved her. She’s impulsive, loyal and doesn’t always think things through when trying to help. Which, of course is what ends up placing her in awkward position after awkward position. That, and she’s obviously and needfully very driven to find her sisters. Mostly though, her impulsively doesn’t always necessarily lend itself to being helpful in her situation. Something I am all too familiar with…

Aidan is a great counterpoint to Kennedy. He is sweet and buttoned up, and really very cute. His rule-following nature and tendency to want to plan his way through everything sort of acts as the voice of reason to Kennedy’s insanity. Like Kennedy though, he is incredibly loyal to his sibling. I loved how both the leads in this are very loyal to their siblings. It means they get manipulated constantly by this motive… but it’s yet another reason to love them.

The surprise of motive and culprit was brilliantly done within this novel. There were some wonderful surprise reveals from the second half onwards. It had me diving into this story page after page. I love when authors are able to take a great story and make it even more phenomenal with all of their tricky little twists and turns. The fact that Armstrong was able to use this surprise to provide a totally unexpected motive… I definitely can’t wait to read High Jinx.

<- More Kelley ArmstrongGoddess of Summer Love ->

Image source: Amazon

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

Overview

Title: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer
Author: Michelle Hodkin
Series: Mara Dyer #1
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Mystery, Paranormal fantasy, Young adult
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Year: 2011

Thoughts

I’ve been trying to get through a few of the young adult books in my ever growing TBR pile at the moment. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer being one such novel. And, honestly, I was kind of expecting it to be fairly typical. Love triangle, hidden importance, overlooked girl that is actually beautiful and gorgeous. And it was that a little bit… but it also completely deviated from that form. By starting the tale with and then they were all dead…

I did take me a little longer to connect to Mara than some of the books I’ve been reading lately. Mostly because she wasn’t all that relatable for me. Normally if the lead isn’t super relatable, I don’t connect with her. But there was something about Mara’s love of family and determination to be a better person that made me genuinely like her. And now I want to find out what happens next in her story.

Where Mara managed to break the mould a little with her characterisation in young adult books, Noah was WSY too typical. Popular boy who notices the girl. Rich. Gorgeous. Knows the secret and isn’t as douche as he seems… I think I kind of want a male lead in a young adult book that ISN’T Mr. Popular… having said that, he’s not overbearingly stereotypical. Just not anything really unique…

The part that made me seriously love this novel was that final scene. The imagery that is so potent throughout just took my breathe away. It was well and truly terrifying. Dark. Twisted. And an amazing cliffhanger. I can’t wait to see where the character develops from here…

<- More Michelle HodkinThe Evolution of Mara Dyer ->

Image source: Simon & Schuster Australia

Winter’s Kiss by Melissa Marr

Overview
Faery Tales and Nightmares

Title: Winter’s Kiss
Author: Melissa Marr
In: Faery Tales & Nightmares (Melissa Marr)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Fae, Magic, Paranormal fantasy
Pace: Fast
Format: Short story
Publisher: HarperCollins
Year: 2012

Thoughts

I was expecting a little more darkness in this short story. Pretty much because in my experience, Marr tends to angle towards the darker side of the fae. Although that’s what I love about her writing, I WAS pleasantly surprised by the fact that this was a pretty light and positive tale.

I absolutely adored how what is seen as a curse at the beginning of the story, eventually gets twisted around so that it is seen as a gift. The ways that in some circumstances being a bit different can be a negative, but then, if you find the right people to surround you, your weirdness and uniqueness can be seen as a gift instead. Yet, even though the girl doesn’t quite fit in where she was from, her father still loves her unconditionally.

While reading this, I was reminded a lot of North Child. There was the bear, the north and the snow. Finding acceptance somewhere that you never thought you would and finding love in a silent, strong type. In fact, this was such a beautiful short story that all I can think of now is to dive right back into North Child for a nostalgic reread…

<- Where Nightmares WalkTransition ->

Image source: HarperCollins Publishers

Transition by Melissa Marr

Overview
Faery Tales and Nightmares

Title: Transition
Author: Melissa Marr
In: Faery Tales & Nightmares (Melissa Marr) & Teeth (Ellen Datlow)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Dark fantasy, Paranormal fantasy, Vampires
Pace: Fast
Format: Short story
Publisher: HarperCollins
Year: 2012

Thoughts

This was a wonderful short story, but not featuring the paranormal creatures I was expecting. Rather than being about the fae, this was a story of vampires. And it was brilliant. Nothing sexy and desirable about it, all blood and revenge. My kind of vampire tale.

This story had a very vampire noir feel to it. It was a totally different style to what I have been reading thus far from Marr, but I absolutely adored the dark and twisty nature of it. I’m not sure why, but as I read this, I was picturing the 20s flapper style clothing and hard-boiled detectives running around in the background. Even though neither thing was even touched upon in this story.

This whole story featured a ridiculously vicious cycle. Honestly, it started out as filled with the potential for a semi-decent relationship, but that quickly went away. Ending in a fairly dark and twisty conclusion which starts the vicious circle all over again.

<- Winter’s KissLove Struck ->

Image source: HarperCollins Publishers

Doomsday Can Wait by Lori Handeland

Overview

Title: Doomsday Can Wait
Author: Lori Handeland
Series: Phoenix Chronicles #2
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: AngelsDemonsFae, Paranormal fantasy, Urban fantasy
Pace: Fast
Format: Novel
Year: 2009

Thoughts

It’s been a long while since I read Any Given Doomsday. So it did take a little time to get into this… mostly because I kept forgetting what had happened in the past book. But, once I got my head back into the world building… I was hooked.

One of the things I still find weird about this series is the whole sexual empath thing. Its certainly enjoyably unique, but I’ve been mainlining contemporary romances lately. And this really doesn’t fit the bill. Again, something that took me a little while to get my head around. But, I am looking forward to seeing how that will evolve in the following book.

I liked the idea of Liz and Jimmy reuniting in Any Given Doomsday. But the more I got to know Sawyer in this, the more I enjoyed their dynamic. The complexities of the relationships in this world got very heavy very quickly in Doomsday Can Wait. I can’t wait to see how they will develop further into the series.

I was completely taken by the relationship complexities in this novel. But there was a lot of action as well. Liz’s desire to win the day, no matter the cost and the fight between good and evil was pretty intense. It added a brilliant and much needed element of darkness to this fantastic story.

<- Any Given DoomsdayApocalypse Happens ->

Image source: Goodreads

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