Tag Archives: Vampires

Archangel’s Storm by Nalini Singh

Overview

Title: Archangel’s Storm
Author: Nalini Singh
Series: Guild Hunter #5
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: AngelsParanormal romance, Strong women, Vampires
Pace: Fast
Format: Novel
Year: 2012

Thoughts

From the first moment, I completely adored Mahiya. There is something kind of vulnerable about her. But underneath that vulnerability is a core of steel. I also love that although she fits into the world, she’s nothing like the other women hunters in this series that tend to act as the primary protagonist. And since I’ve been feeling a little soft and squishy lately… she made me incredibly happy and content.

There are many hints about Jason’s past in the previous Guild Hunter books. Finding out the actual details were far more excruciating than I had anticipated. But also incredibly rewarding. I love that he has a dark complex past, but is nowhere near as twisted and jaded as one would expect. It also gives him a level of understanding towards Mahiya that otherwise wouldn’t have worked.

The different cultures and worlds that the archangel courts create are part of the reason I love Singh’s writing. Actually, her world building is one of my favourite things about her writing. I enjoyed how she constructed Neha’s court. It is so different to the other two courts I’ve been intimately familiar with, and although I don’t necessarily want to go back there (that bitch is crazy), it was certainly a fun journey.

Yet again, Singh not only creates a wonderful romance filled with action that I just couldn’t put down. She also filled a story with a reality and dramas that I just didn’t expect. The Guild Hunter world and its battles are definitely gaining traction, and I’m looking forward to seeing how much further down this war hole the series will go.

<- Archangel’s BladeArchangel’s Legion ->

Image source: eBooks

Archangel’s Blade by Nalini Singh

Overview

Title: Archangel’s Blade
Author: Nalini Singh
Series: Guild Hunter #4
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: AngelsParanormal romance, Strong womenVampires
Pace: Fast
Format: Novel
Year: 2011

Thoughts

Although I have thoroughly enjoyed Elena and Raphael throughout the first three Guild Hunter books, it was nice to read one with a different lead. Focusing on another couple was definitely a good diversion. Although it still continued the main feelings of conspiracy and plots that have underlined every book thus far in this series. I mean, no matter where you turn… There’s a conspiracy.

Dmitri is all sex. He has been since his first appearance in this series. But, the more I got to find out about this amazing man, the more I fell in love with him. The capacity and loyalty that he has makes the heart skip multiple beats. Plus, he is just so… good dream inducing. Which may be why Singh is one of my favourite authors… she makes very dream worthy characters leap off the page.

Honor is peripherally in other stories within this series. And I knew that reading some of her journey was going to be a little painful. Yet, it wasn’t as horrifying as I expected. I mean, the whole aspect of her horrors and tragedies only come to light as she deals with them. So they’re viewed through a lens that is somewhat less painful to read. But dark enough that you feel pride with every milestone she beats.

It’s been a few months since I dug into a Guild Hunter novel. And as always when I pick up a Nalini Singh novel, I wonder why its taken me so long to pick up another one. Maybe because I find it hard to focus on anything else and be a productive member of society… there is just something so… wow about her work.

<- Angel’s WolfArchangel’s Storm ->

Image source: Amazon

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

Dark Lover by J.R. Ward

Overview
Dark Lover, The First Novel of the Black Dagger Brotherhood by J. R. Ward |  9780451468109 | Booktopia

Title: Dark Lover
Author: J.R. Ward
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #1
Rating Out of 5: 2.5 (Readable, but not worth reading again)
My Bookshelves: EroticaParanormal romance, Vampires
Dates read: 29th August – 5th September 2021
Pace: Slow
Format: Novel
Publisher: Berkley
Year: 2005
5th sentence, 74th page: Getting him out of a facility against medical advice was always a struggle.

Synopsis

The only purebred vampire left on the planet and the leader of the Black Dagger Brotherhood, Wrath has a score to settle with the slayers who killed his parents centuries ago. But when his most trusted fighter is killed – orphaning a half-breed daughter unaware of her heritage or her fate – Wrath must put down his dagger and usher the beautiful female into another world.

Racked by a restlessness in her body that wasn’t there before, Beth Randall is helpless against the dangerously sexy man who comes to her at night with shadows in his eyes. His tales of the Brotherhood and blood frighten her. Yet his touch ignites a dawning new hunger – one that threatens to consume them both…

Thoughts

I really, really wanted to like this novel. It’s got such a good rep and I’ve heard it spoken of multiple times… but I just couldn’t quite get into it. I gave it my nor.al 150 pages before realising that I had absolutely no inclination to read anymore. Which rarely happens, normally I’ll at least skim to see how the story turns out.

For me, a big part of not getting super involved in this story was the fact that I just couldn’t feel attached to the characters. Beth and Wrath did not having anything about them that drew me in. I didnt dislike them, I didn’t like them, I just nothinged them.

In the future I’ll probably give this book another try. But for now… no strong feelings either way.

<- More J.R. WardLover Eternal ->

Image source: Booktopia

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

Baby by Kathe Koja

Overview
Image result for teeth ellen datlow terri windling book cover

Title: Baby
Author: Kathe Koja
In: Teeth: Vampire Tales (Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling)
Rating Out of 5: 3.5 (Liked this)
My Bookshelves: Horror, Vampires
Dates read: 18th August 2021
Pace: Slow
Format: Short story
Publisher: Harper
Year: 2011
5th sentence, 74th page: I was pretty scared, and pretty mad, when I got home.

Synopsis

She’s growing up and leaving the past toys of her childhood behind. But in this case, that’s a little bit more difficult and dark than expected…

Thoughts

I find dolls creepy (I hope to god I don’t have a doll obsessed kid)… and, once I realised that the vampire like creature in this was, in fact, a creepy doll.. ick.

Honestly, I didn’t really love this story. I didn’t hate it… but it wasn’t my favourite. Probably the doll thing. There is just something about them that is… nope nope nope. Especially ones with glass eyes.

I did like the take on vampires, magic and familiars in this. It was a little dark and twisty, kind of convoluted and not what I expected at all. Which is what I truly love in a short story.

<- SunbleachedIn the Future When All’s Well ->

Image source: HarperCollins

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

Sit the Dead by Jeffrey Ford

Overview
Image result for teeth ellen datlow terri windling book cover

Title: Sit the Dead
Author: Jeffrey Ford
In: Teeth: Vampire Tales (Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Horror, Paranormal fantasy, Vampires
Dates read: 6th August 2021
Pace: Medium
Format: Short story
Publisher: Harper
Year: 2011
5th sentence, 74th page: “Let’s go in.”

Synopsis

All he wants is for his girlfriend’s family to accept him. Even if that means sitting next to the dead with the weird uncle that barely speaks English. But, as it turns out, that is the least of his troubles. They’re just about to begin…

Thoughts

I really like the way that this uses the hint of old world traditions and practices to build the storyline. The fact that it is written from the point of view of a boy that just wants to be with his girl… well, it all works out well.

Sometimes the open endedness of short stories is kind of irritating. But, I liked the way that this one ends. It’s open… but with a hint of more action and a life to continue living in the future. And more potential for romance.

This story was great. But, it does make me leery about coffins and dead people… the imagery throughout this is just far too intense and realistic.

<- Best Friends ForeverSunbleached ->

Image source: HarperCollins

Best Friends Forever by Cecil Castellucci

Overview
Image result for teeth ellen datlow terri windling book cover

Title: Best Friends Forever
Author: Cecil Castellucci
In: Teeth: Vampire Tales (Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal fantasy, Vampires
Dates read: 5th August 2021
Pace: Medium
Format: Short story
Publisher: Harper
Year: 2011
5th sentence, 74th page: She didn’t want to, it just happened, in an alley in New York City.

Synopsis

They met by chance – the dying girl and the one who was already dead. But that’s not what cemented them together in friendship.

Thoughts

This was actually a ridiculously sweet vampire story. There is something about friendship and that depth of love that I think gets missed in stories a lot. But Castellucci managed to capture it perfectly.

I love how this story took you on the adventure of forming an everlasting friendship. Not just that moment of connection… but also that moment when you realise that that friendship you’ve formed… its something special.

I loved this story about friendship. But what I loved the most was how it ended. It was kind of sad. But seriously sweet, all at the same time.

<- The List of Definite EndingsSit the Dead ->

Image source: HarperCollins

The List of Definite Endings by Kaaron Warren

Overview
Image result for teeth ellen datlow terri windling book cover

Title: The List of Definite Endings
Author: Kaaron Warren
In: Teeth: Vampire Tales (Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal fantasy, Vampires
Dates read: 27th July 2021
Pace: Slow
Format: Short story
Publisher: Harper
Year: 2011
5th sentence, 74th page: With the thought of Joel a dull ache and Ken very much on her mind, Claudia walked down to the seawall, enjoying the wind on her face and the smell of the salt.

Synopsis

Claudia never really fit in when she was human… now that she’s a vampire… well, she still doesn’t quite fit in. But at least she has her list.

Thoughts

This was a nice, easy duck out of water kind of story. I’m still not totally sold on the vampire fad. But stories like this are kind of fun. I loved all the ways that Claudia didn’t fit in. Because it was probably some of the same reasons I felt that way at nineteen.

A lot of information was packed into this very short story. Not only did it give Claudia a great characterisation. Buy it also told of her relationships, friendships, turning and morals in life. A whole heap of information in very few pages. But told in such a fun way that I couldn’t help but smile.

I’ve read a few short stories by Kaaron Warren. And honestly, I’ve enjoyed every one. They’re light, easy, but with a great moral core at the very centre of the story. Even when the story features a vampire out of water.

<– Late BloomerBest Friends Forever ->

Image source: HarperCollins