Tag Archives: Rachel Caine

Working Stiff by Rachel Caine

Overview
Working Stiff (Revivalist, #1) by Rachel Caine

Title: Working Stiff
Author: Rachel Caine
Series: Revivalist #1
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal fantasy, Urban fantasy, Zombies
Dates read: 18th September – 23rd October 2020
Pace: Fast
Format: Novel
Publisher: Roc fantasy
Year: 2011
5th sentence, 74th page: Bryn tried the keys Fideli had given her, but they didn’t work.

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Synopsis

RACHEL CAINE, THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF THE WEATHER WARDEN NOVELS, TAKES THE ZOMBIE GENRE BY STORM IN HER BRAND-NEW REVIVALIST SERIES.

Bryn Davis knows working at Fairview Mortuary isn’t the most glamorous career choice, but at least it offers stable employment – until she discovers her bosses using a drug that resurrects the clientele… as part of an extortion racket. Now Bryn faces being terminated (literally) with extreme prejudice.

With the assistance of corporate double agent Patrick McCallister, Bryn has a chance to take down the bigger problem – pharmaceutical company Pharmadene, which treats death as the ultimate corporate loyalty program. She’d better do it fast before she becomes a zombie slave – a real working stiff.

She’d be better off dead…

Thoughts

So I had absolutely no clue what to really expect from this novel. But even if I had expectations… they would have been surpassed. This was completely, totally and utterly unexpected. In the best of ways possible. It was absolutely awesome and a lot, lot, lot of fun. I didn’t want to put this down. I didn’t want to look away. And I most certainly desperately want the final two books in this trilogy!

Bryn is a fantabulous lead. She is a little bit weak in some ways, but also has this great core strength that carries her through all of the insanity that this story entails. I mean, there is a LOT of insanity throughout this story. It is just one crazy moment after another… all careening through the pages in an unstoppable plot that has you on the edge of your seat. It makes it way too easy to feel seriously heart sore at her plight and makes you just hope for the best. I’m not all that optimistic to be honest, but that’s probably why I liked this so much.

This is a seriously unique and individualistic zombie story. Not that I’ve read many zombie stories. But the way in which zombies are created, and the whole plot line is just unfathomably unique and sheer awesomeness. It makes this story even more difficult to put down and put away. Because somehow, these zombies feel a little scarier and more plausible… and then you start dealing with big corporations and corruption… and well, the zombie story is just WOW.

Jo, Pat and Bryn are the absolute dream team in this story. They all work incredibly well together to create this team that is kind of personally interwoven, and there are heaps of secrets… and I just can’t wait to see what happens next to this little trio. Particularly with how Caine finished off their journey in this novel… there are SO MANY more questions left unanswered!

<- More Rachel CaineTwo Weeks’ Notice ->

Image source: Goodreads

Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine

Overview
Ink and Bone, Novels of the Great Library : Book 1 by Rachel Caine |  9780749017224 | Booktopia

Title: Ink and Bone
Author: Rachel Caine
Series: The Great Library #1
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Dystopia, Historical fiction, Steampunk
Dates read: 19th August – 5th September 2020
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Allison & Busby
Year: 2015
5th sentence, 74th page: You’d do well to spot the danger quickly.

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Synopsis

Knowledge is power. Power corrupts.

In a world where the ancient Great Library of Alexandria was never destroyed, knowledge now rules the world: freely available, but strictly controlled. Owning private books is a crime.

Jess Brightwell is the son of a black market book smuggler, sent to the Library to compete for a position as a scholar . . . but even as he forms friendships and finds his true gifts, he begins to unearth the dark secrets of the greatest, most revered institution in the world.

Those who control the Great Library believe that knowledge is more valuable than any human life—and soon both heretics and books will burn. . . .

Thoughts

I absolutely loved the foundational idea of this story – that knowledge is power. But, it takes it that little bit further – power always corrupts. So, in the instance of the world of The Great Library, knowledge and books = power = corruption. It’s a fantastic idea for a series and an idea which drew me in from the very beginning of the story. It was powerful, brilliant and just all around wonderful.

I didn’t connect to Jess as a lead character immediately, which sometimes happens when I read a book series. But I did eventually get there. And then all I could do was hope for the best for him. And I spent the whole time trying to figure out who was going to do the poor boy the most damage – his family, the library, his mentors, his peers…. The whole story was filled with potential pitfalls and warrens for Jess and once I felt a little in love with him, I was completely immersed in making sure he didn’t fall flat on his face.

I love how each chapter had a short excerpt from letters or correspondences written – it added a whole heap of context to the story that I would have missed otherwise. Not only with the corruption and secrets, but these excerpts helped me see into Wolfe’s history. It’s amazing, complex and beautifully intense. I absolutely adored that not only are you constantly worried about Jess, but you are also wondering what is happening with Wolfe and who is out to get him too… it was a wonderful and beautiful way to tell a story that has so many glorious twists and turns…

The plight of the Obscurists and Morgan completely broke my heart. It was seriously twisted and tragic. And this, more than anything else, makes me want to read the next book in the series as soon as I feasibly can. (Feasibly here means as soon as I have money). I loved this novel and can’t wait to read the rest of the series.

<- More Rachel CainePaper and Fire ->

Image source: Booktopia

The Mammoth Book of Paranormal Romance edited by Trisha Telep

Overview
Image result for the mammoth book of paranormal romance book cover

Title: The Mammoth Book of Paranormal Romance
Author: Trisha Telep, Carrie Vaughn, Cheyenne McCray, Kelley Armstrong, Anna Windsor, Anya Bast, Jean Johnson, C. T. Adams, Cathy Clamp, Holly Lisle, Mary Jo Putney, Eve Silver, Ilona Andrews, Dina James, Maria V. Snyder, Catherine Mulvany, Jeaniene Frost, Lori Devoti, Sara Mackenzie, Lynda Hilburn, Alyssa Day, Michelle Rowen, Rachel Caine, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Meljean Brook & Allyson James
Series: Mammoth Books
In: The Mammoth Book of Paranormal Romance (Trisha Telep)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal romance, Short story collections
Dates read: 3rd July – 30th December 2019
Pace: Medium
Format: Anthology
Publisher: Robinson
Year: 2009
5th sentence, 74th page: I also didn’t feel threatened, or that I should try to escape his firm but tender grip.

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Synopsis

Fall in love with someone out of this world

If love transcends all boundaries then paranormal romance is its logical conclusion. From the biggest names around, here are 24 tales to take you to another time and place.

Let Alyssa Day, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Cheyenne McCray, Jeaniene Frost, Ilona Andrews, Kelley Armstrong, Maria V. Snyder, Carrie Vaughn, Allyson James Marland and others show you powers beyond your wildest imaginings.

Within these pages mythical beasts, magical creatures of all shapes and sizes, heart-stoppingly handsome ghosts, angels, and mortals with extra-sensitive sensory perception play out the themes of extraordinary desires.

Thoughts

The thing that I love most about this collection is that it completely runs the gambit of supernatural and paranormal creatures. There are a number of standalone stories and tales that are part of series. But mostly, there’s just stories which feature vampires and werewolves; djinn and selkies. Some of the paranormal beings that feature in this are not ones that I normally come across. Which of course just made it all that much more exciting. You didn’t know what sort of paranormal creature would be next!

These stories were all sweet and incredibly easy to read. They’re tales which make you happy and kind of hopeful about true love. Something which I think everyone needs at some point in their lives. Having said that, there were a few unwieldy stories in this collection. They weren’t annoyingly so, but a few did need to be reread so that I could grasp what was really happening.

I recognised most of the authors in this collection. Which was good, because then I could turn to my shelves in some cases and grab down the books that will get me a further fix of their writing. There were a few that I need to add to my wish list. But mostly I got to enjoy the collection, without feeling the insane need to buy more, more, more books… which is probably a good thing for my bank account.

 <- The Mammoth Book of On the Road ReviewThe Temptation of Robin Green Review ->
Image source: Goodreads

Blue Crush by Rachel Caine

Overview
Image result for the mammoth book of paranormal romance book cover

Title: Blue Crush
Author: Rachel Caine
Series: Weather Warden #7.5, Weather Warden Universe # 13
In: The Mammoth Book of Paranormal Romance (Trisha Telep)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal fantasy, Urban fantasy
Dates read: 19th December 2019
Pace: Fast
Format: Short story
Publisher: Robinson
Year: 2009
5th sentence, 74th page: We can’t save them.

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Synopsis

Jo and David just want to spend a nice, leisurely afternoon at the beach. But a group of thugs, a near drowning and some not-so-pretty mermaids are about to mess with their plans.

Thoughts

The Weather Warden series is one of those that I thoroughly enjoy. Yet, I don’t tend to pick it up as quickly. Probably because the chapters are pretty much half the novel. Having said that, reading Blue Crush reminded me how much I love this series and how much I need to read the next one. There is just something about Jo’s spunk that draws me in. Even when it’s a short story about a day at the beach with her lover…

This short story reminds me of the reasons why I hate swimming in the ocean. There is just something about it that gives me the heebies. And considering this short story also has mermaids in the ocean who want to kidnap and kill unwilling swimmers… ugly mermaids. Although, it adds an extra layer to the mythos of the series. An extra paranormal race which could be potentially very interesting further along in the series.

This short story is a sweet, fun and not-so-easy read. It’s quick, but so much goes on in just a few pages. Probably one of the main reasons I love Caine’s work. So much is squeezed into such a few pages. Leaving you feeling in shock and completely disappointed that the story was over so quickly.

 <- At Second Bite ReviewThe Wager Review ->
Image source: Goodreads

My Big Fat Supernatural Wedding edited by P.N. Elrod

Overview
Image result for my big fat supernatural wedding book cover

Title: My Big Fat Supernatural Wedding
Author: P.N. Elrod, L.A. Banks, Jim Butcher, Rachel Caine, Esther M. Friesner, Lori Handeland, Charlaine Harris, Sherrilyn Kenyon & Susan Krinard
In: My Big Fat Supernatural Wedding (P.N. Elrod)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal fantasy, Romance, Short story collections
Dates read: 30th September – 30th November 2019
Pace: Medium
Format: Anthology
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Year: 2006
5th sentence, 74th page: “You and your” – his eyes flicked toward Ian, who was clambering over the railing – “your intended can wait up on the quarterdeck.”

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Synopsis

Werewolves, vampires, witches, voodoo, Elvis—and weddings

An “ordinary” wedding can get crazy enough, so can you imagine what happens when otherworldly creatures are involved? Nine of the hottest authors of paranormal fiction answer that question in this delightful collection of supernatural wedding stories. What’s the seating plan when rival clans of werewolves and vampires meet under the same roof? How can a couple in the throes of love overcome traps set by feuding relatives—who are experts at voodoo? Will you have a good marriage if your high-seas wedding is held on a cursed ship? How do you deal with a wedding singer who’s just a little too good at impersonating Elvis? Shape-shifters, wizards, and magic, oh my!

Thoughts

I started reading this collection just before my best friend got married. I kind of figured that it was just a suitable kind of anthology to be reading when I too, was experiencing much of the wedding insanity that tends to surround such a fun day. And, it was nice to know that no matter what happened… nothing could go as badly wrong as many of the weddings in this collection.

There is something about weddings that seems to bring out the best and worst in people. So much pressure and stress for just one day which always blows my mind… but most people don’t have to deal with the supernatural. The characters in these stories do. And some of the battles they face are just… well, ridiculous. And difficult. And so much fun to read about.

Most of the authors in this collection I have on my shelves. Which made this a really good collection to read. Not only did I not then add a hundred different books to my wish list, but I often had the pleasure of revisiting worlds that I already have on my shelves. And the few I didn’t recognise? Well, they’ve quickly found their way on my to buy next list…

 <- “…Or Forever Hold Your Peace” ReviewSpellbound Review ->
Image source: Amazon

Dead Man’s Chest by Rachel Caine

Overview
Image result for my big fat supernatural wedding book cover

Title: Dead Man’s Chest
Author: Rachel Caine
Series: There Be Pirates #1
In: My Big Fat Supernatural Wedding (P.N. Elrod)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal fantasy, Pirates, Urban fantasy
Dates read: 23rd October 2019
Pace: Fast
Format: Short story
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Year: 2006
5th sentence, 74th page: “Then why parade me around like this?”

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Synopsis

Cecilia thinks that she’s finally found a man worth her time. But, after just a few months he wants to get married on a pirate ship. Things quickly turn from romantic to downright wrong as her adventures progress.

Thoughts

I really wasn’t expecting this kind of wedding. I knew that something was bound to go wrong because it’s in a collection of stories about supernatural weddings, and they’re never simple. But I really wasn’t expecting cursed pirates, a con man and being thrown overboard.

One of my favourite moments about this story is when the bad guy realises that he’s got the wrong Cecilia. It’s more than a little awkward, and just downright hilarious. Especially when he’s gone to so much effort to gain some money… and then finds out that he needs to make amends, and quickly if he wants to survive. It made it quite hilarious to realise that after much careful planning, the “bad guy” had totally buggered everything up.

This story has a very Pirates of the Caribbean feel to it. From the plain fact that there are pirates, to the single woman aboard, right down to the curse placed upon the crew. It was like a funnier, cuter version of the famous movie franchise. But, I think that I like this one much, much better.

 <- Something Borrowed Review“All Shook Up” Review ->
Image source: Amazon

Prince of Shadows by Rachel Caine

Overview
Image result for the prince of shadows rachel caine book cover

Title: Prince of Shadows
Author: Rachel Caine
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Historical fiction, Historical romanceRetellings
Dates read: 29th January – 4th February 2019
Pace: Slow
Format: Novel
Publisher: New American Library
Year: 2014
5th sentence, 74th page: I was never as gaudy as Tybalt Capulet, but I could hardly leave the house without showing the wealth of Montague in some small way.

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Synopsis

Two households, both alike in dignity, in fair Verona, where we lay our scene…

In the houses of Montague and Capulet, there is only one goal: power. The boys are born to fight and die for honor and – if they survive – marry for influence and money, not love. The girls are assets, to be spent wisely.

Their wishes are of no import. Their fates are written on the day they are born.

Benvolio Montague, cousin to Romeo, knows all this. He expects to die for his cousin, for his house, but a spark of rebellion still lives inside him. At night, he is the Prince of Shadows, the greatest theif in Verona – and he risks all as he steals from House Capulet. In doing so, he sets eyes on convent-bound Rosaline, and a terrible curse begins that will claim the lives of many in Verona… and will rewrite all their fates forever.

Thoughts

I need to start this review by admitting that I’ve never actually read Romeo and Juliet before. I have read King Lear, but not yet had the chance to read the tragic romance… so there’s probably a few things in this retelling that somebody who had actually read the original play would have picked up on that I missed. Having said that, I still managed to pick up on many of the important moments in this story, and you know… fall madly in love with it.

It took me a few days to read this story, but only because once I read the prologue I realised that I wouldn’t be putting it down in any rush. So I waited to continue reading this when I had a few hours to spare. And then I basically read it from cover to cover. This was an amazing retelling, and amazing story and absolutely impossible to put down. And I liked that it didn’t rely too heavily on the reader knowing anything but the basics of Romeo and Juliet.

Although this is a beautiful historical romance, it isn’t just about the romantic aspects of the storyline. There are conspiracies and betrayals. Family ties and those of friendship. Everything you need in a fast paced, action packed historical fiction.

I’ve read a few stories by Rachel Caine now, and one of the things that I love about her work is the vividness with which she describes her characters. This amazing talent continues on in Prince of Shadows, but with an added benefit. Her description of the setting. Caine does such an amazing job of not only describing the streets of Verona, but also the political and social world in which the characters find themselves. I almost felt like I was walking alongside Benvolio as he deals with his cousin and best friend.

This is one of those beautiful, impossible to put down, heart wrenching, stunning stories. I couldn’t stop thinking about this story long after I put this story down. It is impossible to forget, and one of those books that I’ll forever remember reading.

 <- More historical fiction reviews More historical romance reviews ->
Image source: Penguin Books Australia

Even a Rabbit Will Bite by Rachel Caine

Overview

Dark and Stormy KnightsTitle: Even a Rabbit Will Bite
Author: Rachel Caine
In: Dark and Stormy Knights (P.N. Elrod)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: DragonsEasy reading, Fantasy
Pace: Slow
Format: Short story
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Year: 2010
5th sentence, 74th page: I checked every day, but it was pro forma, the work of thirty seconds, and then I went on with my life, such as it was.

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Synopsis

Two aging enemies are forced to face off one last time… but will they be able to triumph over the past?

Thoughts

I didn’t know what to expect from this story – especially when the heading is Even a Rabbit Will Bite. Actually, I was expecting a killer rabbit, like the one in Monty Python. But I didn’t get that… I got something SO much better. Which left me with the happy feelings at the end of the tale.

This is a story about a decrepit old dragon slayer, and the only dragon left in the world – also decrepit, old and cranky. They both understand that eventually there will be a fight to the death, but they also want to live out their lives in peace. This juxtaposition builds slowly until the final conclusion, which is actually kind of beautifully poetic and sweet… in a killing, battle to the death kind of way…

 <- The Beacon Review Dark Lady Review ->
Image source: Goodreads

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.

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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

No Love Lost by Rachel Caine

Overview

No Love LostTitle: No Love Lost
Author: Rachel Caine
Series: Weather Warden #1.5Weather Warden Universe #2
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal fantasy, Urban fantasy
Pace: Fast
Format: Short story
Publisher: Online
Year: 2013

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Synopsis

A Weather Warden short story.

Thoughts

This short is the tale of David’s feelings and interactions with Joanne. It actually explains a lot of why he does what he does and makes the choices he makes throughout Ill Wind.

This is one of those quick, deleted scenes that you can find in a lot of series. It doesn’t really have its own storyline, but rather, adds to the overarching storyline of the main series. The thing that I love about these, and No Love Lost in particular, is that it gives you a glimpse into another character’s point of view. Here, it is David’s process of falling in love and his view of Joanne. Reading this actually helped me to form a much better, overall picture of Joanne as well.

 <- Ill Wind Review Heat Stroke Review ->
Image source: Goodreads