Tag Archives: Paranormal Fantasy

Pattern Recognition by Dana Cameron

Overview
Murder and Mayhem in Muskego: Jordan, Jon & Ruth, Phillips, Gary,  Richardson, Kat: Amazon.com.au: Books

Title: Pattern Recognition
Author: Dana Cameron
Series: Fangborn #0.4
In: Murder and Mayhem in Muskego (Jon & Ruth Jordan)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal fantasy, Urban fantasy, Vampires, Werewolves
Dates read: 30th June 2021
Pace: Slow, Medium, Fast
Format: Short story
Publisher: Down and Out Books
Year: 2012
5th sentence, 74th page: And her brother; apparently he’d taken on Cesar’s men when they broke into the apartment.

Synopsis

Siblings Claudia and Gerry are fangborn, and when one of Claudia’s patients rings her with an odd experience… they realise that things are starting to enter the mythological realms of prophecy and ruin.

Thoughts

I know I’ve read a fangborn short story before. And I know that I enjoyed it enough to add the series to my wish list. And I remember that I loved the idea of Gerry and Claudia… werewolf and vampire siblings. This story was just as enjoyable and surprising.

I wasn’t quite surprised to find a story like this in the Murder and Mayhrm in Muskego book. I wasn’t really expecting a paranormal story in here. I’m not really sure what I was expecting expecting be fair as this is only my second story of the collection… but still. I like that there is a paranormal tale in here. Its incredibly fun and left a huge smile on my face.

I really liked the mayhem throughout this story. It didn’t quite touch on murder as much as I expected. But I really enjoyed all of the mayhem. And the blood. And the fact that there was impaling of the bad guys… I’m not bloodthirsty at all!

<- Hollywood LanesSlider ->

Image source: Amazon

The Iron Hunt by Marjorie M. Liu

Overview
The Iron Hunt (Hunter Kiss, #1) by Marjorie M. Liu

Title: The Iron Hunt
Author: Marjorie M. Liu
Series: Hunter Kiss #1
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Dark fantasy, Demons, Paranormal fantasy, Urban fantasy
Dates read: 22nd May – 19th June 2021
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Ace Fantasy
Year: 2008
5th sentence, 74th page: For the first time in my life, I did not care.

Synopsis

Silver smoke winds around my torso, peeling away from my ribs and back, stealing the dark mist covering my hands and lower extremities…tattoos dissolving into demon flesh, coalescing into small dark bodies. My boys. The only friends I have in this world. Demons.

I am a demon hunter. I am a demon. I am Hunter Kiss.

By day, her tattoos are her armor. By night, they unwind from her body to take on forms of their own–demons of the flesh, turned into flesh. This is the only family demon hunter Maxine Kiss has ever known. It’s the only way to live, and the very way she’ll die. For one day her demons will abandon her for her daughter to assure their own survival–leaving Maxine helpless against her enemies.

But such is the way of Earth’s last protector–the only one standing between humanity and the demons breaking out from behind the prison veil. It is a life lacking in love, reveling in death, until one moment–and one man– changes everything…

Thoughts

I’ve been hanging to fully get into this series since I read the first Hunter Kiss novella. But, for whatever reasons I’ve been putting it off. But, now I’m definitely going to keep diving into this series. There’s the whole intrigue of the end of the world going on. And a question of heart. A question of loyalty. There’s just a whole lot of wow going on.

I like that Maxine is the first if the hunter women to actually stop and put down roots. They’re still unconventional. But they are roots, nonetheless. It creates a wonderful, sweet and nice world that she is able to rely on. And, since this whole series seems like its going to revolve around the idea that maxine is special and last… it just adds that extra layer of mystery.

I really loved the feeling of mystery and world building that Liu was able to create. I know from some of the other works I’ve read by her that she tends towards a darker style of story. I know that my heart strings are going to be plucked drastically throughout this series.

The boys that surround marine are also adorable. I’m sure that finding demons adorable is a bit odd… but nevertheless, I still find them wonderful. And im not sure if I’m excited for Darkness Calls for the continuation of the storyline… or getting to spend more time with Maxine’s “boys”

<- Hunter KissDarkness Calls ->

Image source: Goodreads

Bloodcircle by P.N. Elrod

Overview
Bloodcircle (Vampire Files, #3) by P.N. Elrod

Title: Bloodcircle
Author: P.N. Elrod
Series: Vampire Files #3
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Gangsters, Paranormal fantasy, Vampire noir
Dates read: 18th – 19th May 2021
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Ace Fantasy
Year: 1990
5th sentence, 74th page: His pockets were turned out and a few stray coins littered the floor.

Synopsis

Detective-cum-vampire Jack Fleming’s quest for the mysterious woman who made him a vampire takes him to the palatial estate of a wealthy widow, where a two-hundred-year-old gigolo tries to throw him off the trail. Reissue.

Thoughts

I forgot about how much I enjoy P.N. Elrod’s writing. It did take me a little while to get into Bloodcircle, partly because I spent a lot of time trying to place who people were and the politics of the whole story line. But once I got everything straight in my mind’s eye… I couldn’t stop thinking about it. And I most definitely couldn’t stop turning the pages.

I love this vampire noir feeling throughout this story. Not that I’ve read many noir stories or tales which are set in this time. But with the vampire twist… this is just amazing. I’m transported into a world that I rarely get to spend much time in. One that I’m kind of eager to rejoin again.

I love that this story is a quest for Jack Fleming’s lost love. A quest for answers that he really needs. I feel a lot of Bobbi in this, because I have a lot of hope for them as a couple in the future. But it also shows how much care Jack has for those he loves.

This is a fantastic mystery that will hook you quickly. It may have taken me about 3 chapters to get hooked, but once I did… it was almost impossible to look away. Just what I want in a good mystery / noir genre novel.

<- Vampires Prefer BlondesArt in the Blood ->

Image source: Goodreads

Spark of Shadows by Rachel Madbury

Overview
Spark of Shadows by Rachel Madbury

Title: Spark of Shadows
Author: Rachel Madbury
Series: The Sevens #0.5
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal fantasy, Paranormal romanceWitches
Dates read: 6th – 13th April 2021
Pace: Fast
Format: ARC, eBook, Novella
Publisher: Rachel Madbury
Year: 2020
5th sentence, 74th page: I have to meet with the man on watch.

Synopsis

True love never forgets.

Demons are coming for Cora Gardner. A witch like her sisters, and all the women of her line before her, her existence is threatened not only by mortals who fear what they don’t understand, but by those who live in the shadows and thrive on the darkness.

But when a warrior is summoned to be her guard she’d almost prefer to meet her fate.

Liam Wolfe is not just any warrior, he’s a Seven, created by the covens to protect the most powerful among them. He and his team are the hard edge that keep the violence at bay, so the witches of the world can hold the earth in her balance.

But demons aren’t the only ones drawn to Cora. Despite an animosity from her he cannot comprehend, Liam finds his oath as a Seven tested in the face of temptation. And as evil approaches, secrets are revealed – a truth which threatens everything he’s ever known.

Their past holds the power to reshape his world, but only if he can protect the woman who holds the key.

Thoughts

I received this ARC in exchange for an honest and fair review.

It took me a little bit more to get into this than Splintered Stars. Probably because I had this horrible feeling all throughout the novella that Liam and Cora’s story was going to end in tragedy. After all, their love isn’t mentioned in Splintered Stars, so I felt it was an apt assumption. And whilst I like suspense, I don’t love that constant feeling of tragedy.

Yet, without any spoilers, I did actually love this romance. Its definitely about long lost lovers being reunited. Finding your way back to the one you love and want and just… being with one another. I can’t imagine spending eleven years without the one that I love, but I like the idea that we’d find our way back to one another eventually.

Although I didn’t like this novella prequel quite as much as the first novel in this series, I still seriously enjoyed it. And it just makes me itch all that much more for the second book, which I believe is due to come out soon… now I just have to exercise patience and maturity… two things which aren’t quite my strengths.

<- More Rachel MadburySplintered Stars ->

Image source: Goodreads

Where Nightmares Walk by Melissa Marr

Overview
Faery Tales and Nightmares

Title: Where Nightmares Walk
Author: Melissa Marr
In: Faery Tales & Nightmares (Melissa Marr)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Dark fantasy, Paranormal fantasy
Dates read: 31st March 2021
Pace: Fast
Format: Short story
Publisher: HarperCollins
Year: 2012
5th sentence, 74th page: It doesn’t stop me as I try to heave myself higher.

Synopsis

We all have nightmares, but some of us need to run a little further than others…

Thoughts

This is a ridiculously short, short story. To the point that I wasn’t even sure whether to count it as a story read… but then I really enjoyed it and realised that I wanted to write about it. So I figured that that was fine. I mean, even the collection didn’t number the pages of this short story, but instead, had the roman numerals on all of the pages.

Having said all that, I absolutely adored this short story. It felt like a nightmare somehow. Just as reading nightmares should feel and sound. Or at least, that’s how I would explain it / how it felt to me. There was just a great surreal and abstract feel to this tale. One that perfectly sets up the writing by Melissa Marr that I’m sure is about to follow.

All in all, this short story was very haunting and beautiful. I loved the feeling that reading these few pages inspired in me and it made me want to pick up the Wicked Lovely books all over again and actually get to the end of the series for the first time!

<- Faery Tales & NightmaresWinter’s Kiss ->

Image source: HarperCollins Publishers

Gap Year by Christopher Barzak

Overview
Image result for teeth ellen datlow terri windling book cover

Title: Gap Year
Author: Christopher Barzak
In: Teeth: Vampire Tales (Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal fantasy, Vampires
Dates read: 30th March 2021
Pace: Fast
Format: Short story
Publisher: Harper
Year: 2011
5th sentence, 74th page: Sometimes Retta just wanted more more.

Synopsis

There’s a vampire at the school assembly. And something about him makes Retta want to break the chains of her life and live… more. Maybe she should just join the vampires on her own Gap Year.

Thoughts

This was a wonderfully different premise for a vampire story – vampires that consume feelings instead of blood. I’ve kind of thought something similar in the past, but actually reading a story about it… well, I seriously enjoyed this.

I thought that Gap Year was a brilliant Coming of Age story. One that highlights the need to grow into your own skin and find your own future and reality – it’s also a great beginning of a Gap Year. I didn’t take one myself, but I know a lot of people who did, and I thought that this was the best beginning for one ever.

The aspect of this story that I loved the most, unique vampires, etc. aside – was the fact that Retta is able to leave behind a toxic situation. There can be that moment with childhood friends when you kind of have to break free because it’s just not quite healthy for you anymore. And Retta most certainly does this. But in the most calm and respectful manner possible.

<- All SmilesBloody Sunrise ->

Image source: HarperCollins

Splintered Stars by Rachel Madbury

Overview
Splintered Stars by Rachel Madbury

Title: Splintered Stars
Author: Rachel Madbury
Series: The Sevens #1
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal fantasy, Paranormal romanceWitches
Dates read: 28th February – 7th March 2021
Pace: Medium
Format: ARC, eBook, Novel
Publisher: Rachel Madbury
Year: 2021
5th sentence, 74th page: Her eyes went wide, the surprise and curiosity clear as she looked past him up the steps.

Synopsis

The greatest witch ever born doesn’t know she is one.

Some secrets aren’t best kept. Some powers can’t be contained. And for Haley Quinlan, when her sister is kidnapped she’ll learn that the life she’s built is a pale shadow to the one she’s meant for.

If she lives long enough.

He’s been watching her for three years but for the first time Lucas Turner sees the truth of who Haley is. It’s nothing he ever imagined. And it’s nothing he’s allowed to have. He’ll usher her into a world she’d been kept from and protect her life with his own, but when their connection sets them on a course filled with darkness and lies, will their greatest risk be each other?

When the world learns who she is, he’ll die for her without question, but what if she lives? What if he does?

Thoughts

I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.

I’m slowly getting used to reading books on my Kobo. And it’s stories like this that help draw me in and make me want to read ebooks. They may never be my favourite form of literary enjoyment, but they are definitely growing very happily on me. There was something amazing and wonderful about Madbury’s story and I can’t wait to read more tales of The Sevens!

I love that one of the drivers for Haley throughout this story is her love for her sister. Although they are somewhat estranged, she is still trying to find her and putting everything at risk just to save her baby sister. As an older sister, this was such a beautiful and realistic portrayal of what it is like to have a younger sibling. Even in the moments when I have felt distanced from my sister (which all siblings go through), just like Haley, I still would have moved heaven and earth to find her. And the fact that within the epilogue, it is clear that Penny also feels the same about her big sister… it’s just beautiful.

The immediate reaction between Haley and Lucas was nice. But what I liked the most was the way that they both got to know each other and worked towards each other in their acceptance of their attraction. Sometimes it can be a bit on the nose having a story in which immediate attraction means immediate love. In the case of this story, the immediate attraction was tempered by their willingness to get to know each other. It’s incredibly fun and beautiful.

At first I thought that this was a witch – vampire kind of story. The fact that it’s not, and the Seven find other ways to prolong their life was intriguing. I loved how Madbury built this amazing world and lore in such a subtle and unique way. It helps to draw you further and further into her world. I can’t believe that I didn’t get the chance to read the prologue before this novel though, I’d be interested to see how the world was built from the very first.

Splintered Stars is a fantastic paranormal fantasy story. it is filled with magic, mayhem and conspiracies. There is also that wonderful dose of lust and love throughout the story. this may be a paranormal romance story, but it was the conspiracy and sibling relationship that I loved the most… and I can’t wait to read the next story and find out what happens to Penny! And which Seven she falls for…

<- Spark of ShadowsSky of Ash ->

Image source: Goodreads

Things to Know About Being Dead by Genevieve Valentine

Overview
Image result for teeth ellen datlow terri windling book cover

Title: Things to Know about Being Dead
Author: Genevieve Valentine
In: Teeth: Vampire Tales (Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal fantasy, Urban fantasyVampires
Dates read: 7th February 2021
Pace: Slow
Format: Short story
Publisher: Harper
Year: 2011
5th sentence, 74th page: I tried to speak, but my throat was too dry; I lay quietly as she smoothed her fingers over my shoulders, my neck, the backs of my arms.

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

Synopsis

It’s not so fun being dead. But there are certain things that you should know…

Thoughts

There is something about Genevieve Valentine’s short stories that always make me smile. And this was no exception. Starting with a death, and then including anecdotes, lists and all sorts of other fun nonsense. I just smiled all the way throughout this short story. The fact that it is the opening story in a collection of vampire stories… well, that made it all that much better!

In all of the vampire books and stories that I’ve read, there hasn’t been much of a humorous aside in what it means to get used to being dead. A few have touched upon the adjustments that the characters have to make. And they’ve even sometimes touched upon the negatives, but mostly, it’s a “look at all the things I’ve gained” approach. This didn’t really do it. It didn’t place becoming dead as a negative endeavour either, just one with a steep learning curve.

There seem to be a lot of teenage vampire stories in the literature. It’s a bit of a trope that sometimes irritates me. But, the way that Valentine deals with this in her story was… not irritating. It was funny and light. And almost felt like it was pulling fun at the trope that can be a little bit overdone…

<- TeethAll Smiles ->

Image source: HarperCollins

The Bite Before Christmas by Lynsay Sands & Jeaniene Frost

Overview
The Bite Before Christmas Large Print :HarperCollins Australia

Title: The Bite Before Christmas
Author: Lynsay Sands & Jeaniene Frost
In: The Bite Before Christmas (Lynsay Sands & Jeaniene Frost)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Christmas, Paranormal fantasy, Paranormal romance
Dates read: 20th – 26th December 2020
Pace: Medium
Format: Anthology
Publisher: Avon
Year: 2012
5th sentence, 74th page: He’d worked with Mabel to try to find Elvi a mate, had planned and arranged local fairs with Elvi.

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

Synopsis

This holiday season, two of today’s most popular paranormal authors invite you into their worlds—where creatures are always stirring . . . and no one sleeps through the night.

Thoughts

I was surprised that this “collection” only contained two novellas. I had half expected it to have more like most of the other collections of this varietal. But somehow it just worked perfectly. I love that both stories are Christmas vampire stories. That they feature long nights and a whole lot of love. And lust. Because there should always be some lust involved…

Both of these stories are so different from one another. The Gift is a beautiful, slow burn romance that leaves you feeling very happy, and just a little bit tingly. Home for the Holidays on the other hand is a little bit more of an action-packed story. One that constantly gets your heart racing and leaves you turning the pages at record speed.

These two novellas were wonderful Christmas stories. They were fun and intriguing. Engaging and definitely a collection that I will be reading again and again in the future.

<- Home for the HolidaysThe Gift ->

Image source: HarperCollins Australia

Home for the Holidays by Jeaniene Frost

Overview
The Bite Before Christmas Large Print :HarperCollins Australia

Title: Home for the Holidays
Author: Jeaniene Frost
Series: Night Huntress #6.5, Night Huntress Universe #8.5
In: The Bite Before Christmas (Lynsay Sands & Jeaniene Frost)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Christmas, Paranormal fantasy, Strong women, Urban fantasy, Vampires
Dates read: 26th December 2020
Pace: Fast
Format: Novella
Publisher: Avon
Year: 2011
5th sentence, 74th page: By the time he’d crossed the room to Denise, her eyes were wide and staring into nothing, all without Ian even needing to speak.

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

Synopsis

Cat and Bones were looking forward to a normal holiday – at least as “normal” as it gets for vampires and their otherworldly friends and family. But their yuletide plans are shattered when a mysterious stranger shows up and reveals long-buried secrets that threaten to take a bite out of their holiday cheer – and lives.

Thoughts

I felt seriously, truly and deeply bad for Bones in this novella. After all, finding family after 200 years and then losing them would be incredibly difficult. Around the holidays and when you just don’t expect it… yeah, that would be seriously difficult and heart wrenching.

Cat and Bones may be two of my favourite urban fantasy characters. They are an amazing couple. One that is quirky and fun. And most definitely loyal. The crap that Cat goes through throughout this story to make sure that Bones is safe is extraordinary. I was both incredibly proud of, and kind of scared for Cat throughout this. Although, as with every Night Huntress story I’ve read so far, it did all end with a happy ending.

Every time I read a Night Huntress story; I want to read more. But I always seem to do it when I’m halfway through a whole other pile of books. So, I never quite get around to it. Maybe this time I will get to sink my teeth into another amazing tale before I get too distracted by another story…

<- The GiftThe Bite Before Christmas ->

Image source: HarperCollins Australia