Tag Archives: Urban 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

Devils and Details by Devon Monk

Overview
Devils and Details (Ordinary Magic, #2) by Devon Monk

Title: Devils and Details
Author: Devon Monk
Series: Ordinary Magic #2
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Magic, Mythology, Urban fantasy
Dates read: 26th April 20
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Odd House Press
Year: 2016
5th sentence, 74th page: Thank you so much, Thor.

Synopsis

Caught between the devil and the deep blue sea…

Police Chief Delaney Reed is good at keeping secrets for the beach town of Ordinary Oregon – just ask the vacationing gods or supernatural creatures who live there.

But with the first annual Cake and Skate fundraiser coming up, the only secret Delaney really wants to know is how to stop the unseasonable rain storms. When all the god powers are stolen, a vampire is murdered, and her childhood crush turns out to be keeping deadly secrets of his own, rainy days are the least of her worries.

Hunting a murderer, outsmarting a know-it-all-god, and uncovering an ancient vampire’s terrifying past isn’t how she planned to spend her summer. But then again, neither is falling back in love with the one man she should never trust.

Thoughts

I forgot how much I enjoyed the world building in this series. I love the idea of gods on vacation and having a sheriff to try and control the insanity that will surely follow. I mean, after all, gods are known for being unpredictable, and well, frankly, nuts… so it makes sense that they need a sheriff to keep them all under control. The fact that it’s Delaney and her sisters just makes it all that much more likeable.

This story careens from insane moment to insane moment. It left me smiling and giggling all throughout. And, for most of the tale, I wasn’t really sure of where this story was going to take me… I mean, god powers being stolen, vampires being murdered, past loves trying to reconnect… there is a whole lot in this that is fun and sassy. And completely unpredictable. Which I think all stories of gods should be if I’m being honest.

I did kind of predict what Ryder’s secret and reason for breaking up with Delaney were. Even then, the actual explanation was a little more than I had hoped for (yay). I loved their dynamic throughout this. Alongside the protectiveness of Delaney’s two sisters – I mean, what are sisters if not beautifully and ridiculously protective?

This story ends with a war on the horizon, and a missing vampire. I can’t wait to see where they went / what happened and where the story is going to take us from here… bring on the next novel in this series!

<- Death and RelaxationGods and Ends ->

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.

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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

Blood Challenge by Eileen Wilks

Overview
Blood Challenge (World of the Lupi, #7) by Eileen Wilks

Title: Blood Challenge
Author: Eileen Wilks
Series: World of the Lupi #7
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Animagus, Paranormal romance, Urban fantasy
Dates read: 1st – 22nd January 2021
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Year: 2011
5th sentence, 74th page: I usually don’t, but patterning’s potentially a -“

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Synopsis

Lily Yu and Rule Turner’s engagement announcement is stirring up ugly passions in the Humans First camp. There’s hate mail. Death threats. Lily’s car is vandalized.

But professionally, things are running smoothly… until a lupus in Tennessee goes on a killing spree. Then Rule’s brother, Benedict, catches a lovely intruder – twice. The first time, she’s sneaking around the home of the leader of Humans First. The second time, she’s sneaking around Nokolai Clanhome.

It may not be possible to deal with the rapidly escalating situation the way Lily always has: through the law. Especially when she’s pulled off the case due to an alleged conflict of interest. Lily’s loyalties will be stretched to the breaking point when she discovers that the deaths in Tennessee were only the opening skirmish in an all-our war.

Thoughts

I had this on my TBR pile late last year. There is something about the World of the Lupi books that are brilliant, and always make me want to reach out for them. Plus, I read Human Error just before Christmas, which gave me that yearning yet again. It did take longer to get through than many of the other books of this size tend to do… but it was still thoroughly, beautifully enjoyable. I just tend to forget that these books are long, complex and filled with small writing.

The fact that Benedict gets a second chosen was kind of given away in Human Error, so that pleasant surprise was very quickly taken away from me. But, getting to know Arjenie a bit better as the insanity of this storyline unfolded was brilliant and fun. Particularly when the “getting to know” was taking place alongside all of the insanity of a very complex plot that just seems to keep getting more and more complex. It’s one of the reasons that I don’t just breeze through these books, but become completely absorbed in them. They’re beautifully, wonderfully intricate and, often, confusing!

The major conspiracies and backstory in this series has slowly been ramping up. And now, getting to the 7th book in the series, it is getting seriously, ridiculously intense. The characters are still brilliant, and the emotions that you feel alongside them are wonderful. But there is so much more going on with the battle that the lupi face now. It meant that once I got about a quarter of the way into this book, I was sunk. And couldn’t stop reaching for it, even when I needed to be productive.

I loved this book. And now I need to wait until I’ve finished a few books before sinking my teeth into Death Magic. Now that the plot is thickening with the characters and conspiracies throughout this story, I can’t wait to see what insane shenanigans are going to happen next. Plus, Cynna has had her baby, Benedict also has a chosen, and everyone is just thoroughly loveable and impossible to forget…

<- Blood MagicDeath Magic ->

Image source: Goodreads

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.

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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

First Light by Kimberly Frost

Overview
Tied With a Bow

Title: First Light
Author: Kimberly Frost
Series: Etherlin #0.5
In: Tied with a Bow (Lora Leigh, Virginia Kantra, Eileen Wilks & Kimberly Frost)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Christmas, Paranormal romance, Urban fantasy, Vampires
Dates read: 24th December 2020
Pace: Medium
Format: Novella
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Year: 2011
5th sentence, 74th page: “Kate, you’re trembling.”

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Synopsis

Kate has been dreaming about an angel since college. And now that he’s finally landed in her lap (almost literally), she’s just not quite sure what to do with him…

Thoughts

As a beginning of a new series that I’ve never heard of before, this novella completely rocks. It’s introduced me to a whole new world that is definitely getting added to my wish list. One that I was surprised by and intrigued by. After all, it’s the first series I’ve come across that features muses and vampires and angels in the same story. I found that completely perplexing, and wonderfully unexpected.

Kate is a wonderful lead in this story. Although, I can’t imagine pining after a dream man for as long as she does before their Meet Cute. Maybe I’m just not enough of the pining type… I’m not sure. However, even though she is completely swept away by him, Kate manages to maintain her independence and kick a fair amount of butt whilst doing it. She’s that wonderfully stubborn modern woman who is willing to give up everything and be vulnerable, but on her terms.

I imagine that it would be hard to write a likeable character who is from another time. What, with the whole sexism issue and everything. Yet, somehow Frost manages it. Don’t get me wrong, there are moments when you grit your teeth at his overbearing attitude, but, ultimately you get this sense of honour and love out of him that is a little redemptive. That, and the fact that he makes it clear that he is willing to try and improve.

I absolutely adored this novella. It’s most certainly one that I would like to read again. And a series that I can’t wait to sink my literary teeth into.

<- Upon a Midnight ClearHuman Error ->

Image source: Amazon

A Kiss Before the Apocalypse by Thomas E. Sniegoski

Overview
A Kiss Before the Apocalypse by Thomas E. Sniegoski - Penguin Books  Australia

Title: A Kiss Before the Apocalypse
Author: Thomas E. Sniegoski
Series: Remy Chandler #1
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: AngelsParanormal fantasy, Urban fantasy
Dates read: 8th – 16th December 2020
Pace: Slow
Format: Novel
Publisher: Roc
Year: 2008
5th sentence, 74th page: There was a leash law in Boston, but as long as it wasn’t crowded and the dog didn’t bother anybody, Remy didn’t see the harm in letting him run a bit.

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Synopsis

Boston PI Remy Chandler has a life any man would envy, with friendship, a job he’s good at – and love. But Remy is no ordinary man. He’s an angel who chose to renounce heaven and live on Earth. So he’s able to will himself invisible, hear thoughts, and speak and understand any language – of man or beast. Talents that will become invaluable to him when his angelic past returns to haunt him…

The Angel of Death has gone missing, and Remy’s former colleagues have come to him for help. But what at first seems to be about tracing a missing person turns out to involve much more – a conspiracy that has as its goal the destruction of the human race.

And only Remy Chandler can stop it…

Thoughts

Whilst I enjoyed this novel, I didn’t fall madly in love with it. Mostly I think that it was the style of writing. I actually thought that the storyline was brilliant. Even if it was quite religious (I have a tendency to freak a little bit over religious things). But, overall, I found this really enjoyable, with a few aspects I would love to improve upon.

Most of the fantasy stories I read which feature an immortal being are ones that focus on the benefits. I loved the fact that Remy’s one true love in this collection is already aged. He’s had his benefits and all of the positives that come with falling in love. But, now, in this story, there is more of a focus on the negatives that come with falling in love when you’re immortal. I also loved the way in which Madeline is completely accepting of not only Remy, but her own demise. In fact, she actually, ultimately yearns for it.

Recently, I read Hounded by Kevin Hearne. I love that this year I’ve managed to read two books which feature a dog as a sidekick who is able to communicate with their master. And they are both done beautifully. Marlowe, in fact, reminds me a lot of one of my dogs. He’s a big goof ball, kind of useless and totally loveable. Plus, there is a simplicity and honesty to his interactions with Remy that is just so damn pure. I mean, there is a reason why dogs are seen as man’s best friend after all.

Overall, I did really enjoy this book and will most definitely buy more books in this series. But it will probably be one of those series that I pick up and put down a little more frequently. Thoroughly enjoyable, but not entirely powerful enough to draw me in and pull me out of daily life like some of the other books on my shelves.

<- More Thomas E. SniegoskiNoah’s Orphans ->

Image source: Penguin Books Australia

The Good, the Bad, and the Undead by Kim Harrison

Overview
The Good, the Bad, and the Undead by Kim Harrison

Title: The Good, the Bad, and hte Undead
Author: Kim Harrison
Series: The Hollows #2
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal fantasy, Strong women, Urban fantasy
Dates read: 4th October – 28th November 2020
Pace: Fast
Format: Novel
Publisher: Eos
Year: 2005
5th sentence, 74th page: Brow furrowing, I looked down at my red blouse, black skirt, nylons, and ankle-high boots.

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Synopsis

It’s a tough life for witch Rachel Morgan, sexy, independent, bounty hunter, prowling the darkest shadows of downtown Cincinnati for criminal creatures of the night.

She can handle the leather-clad vamps and even tangle with a cunning demon or two. But a serial killer who feeds on the experts in the most dangerous kind of black magic is definitely pressing the limits.

Confronting an ancient, implacable evil is more than just child’s play – and this time, Rachel will be lucky to escape with her very soul.

Thoughts

Finishing this novel gave me a pretty major book hangover… there is just something about Harrison’s writing that has me absolutely, totally and utterly hooked. And in love. And just in my general, serious happy place. It took me a little longer than usual to read this, because I knew that once I allowed myself to sink into the story, I wouldn’t want to look away. Which is exactly what happened. And then, when I finished it… I didn’t really want to read any other stories…

Trent seems to me like he’s completely winning the battle of wits between Rachel and himself. It makes me wonder if he’s maybe not truly the evil, devil man that I originally thought. And, after reading The Turn, I have SOOOOO many questions about what happened to him between the two storylines… I mean, there are so many unanswered questions and… well, things to be answered! It gives me hope that maybe he’s not as truly, deeply evil as I thought, and just messed up and morally grey… although I can definitely attest to the fact that Piscary is most definitely evil. Which is nice. It’s always good to have at least one clear, cut, and dry villain.

Rachel is probably one of the most accident-prone characters that I’ve had the pleasure of reading in a long time. Not accident prone in the sense of physically… but circumstantially? Yeah. She tends to find herself in one horrible situation after another. It serves to not only be an entertaining read, but draws you further and further into the storyline. Completely powerful, completely unforgettable and so much damn fun.

Ivy and Jenks kind of felt like they stole the show a little bit in Dead Witch Walking. They didn’t so much in this, they fell strongly into the secondary character role. That’s not to say that they didn’t still shine. Jenks is still funny, witty and fiercely loyal and independent. I absolutely adore him for that fact. And Ivy? Well, Ivy is one of the most complex and tragic secondary / supporting characters that I’ve had the pleasure of coming across in quite a while. She’s also a terrifying best friend. I mean, who doesn’t want a best friend who kind of wants to eat you all the time?

I seriously loved this novel, and I can’t wait to get through the TBR that is currently sitting next to me so that I can sink my teeth into Every Which Way But Dead. I just need to finish the monster TBR piled next to me first… otherwise, it could fall on my head while I sleep…

<- Dead Witch WalkingUndead in the Garden of Good and Evil ->

Image source: Goodreads

Death’s Excellent Vacation edited by Charlaine Harris & Toni L.P. Kelner

Overview
Image result for death's excellent vacation book cover

Title: Death’s Excellent Vacation
Author: Charlaine Harris, Sarah Smith, Jeaniene Frost, Daniel Stashower, A. Lee Martinez, Jeff Abott, L.A. Banks, Katie MacAlister, Christopher Golden, Lilith Saintcrow, Chris Grabenstein, Sharan Newman & Toni L.P. Kelner
In: Death’s Excellent Vacation (Charlaine Harris & Toni L.P. Kelner)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal fantasy, Short story collections, Urban fantasy
Dates read: 4th June – 26th November 2020
Pace: Medium
Format: Anthology
Publisher: Gollancz
Year: 2010
5th sentence, 74th page: Still, appearances were deceiving.

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

Synopsis

An all-new anthology of vampire stories edited and with an introduction by Charlaine Harris and Toni L.P. Kelner.

Thoughts

I absolutely loved this collection. I normally love anything to do with paranormal fantasy anyway. But this is a particularly good one. After all, it’s all paranormal fantasy and urban fantasy stories that feature vacations.

It’s coming to that kind of year that I wish I got vacation time in y job. That I wish I could just take some time off and do whatever it is that people do on vacation. Which meant that it was really lovely to read a collection of short stories that feature vacations. All of which made me a little more thankful that I haven’t been going on vacation.

This is a collection that has a little bit of romance, a lot of humour, and generally anything that could possibly go wrong when you have vacation time does. It had me smiling and laughing throughout. I will most definitely be reading this one again.

<- Pirate Dave’s Haunted Amusement ParkTwo Blondes ->

Image source: Amazon