Tag Archives: Vampires

Driftwood by MaryJanice Davidson

Overview

Title: Driftwood
Author: MaryJanice Davidson
Series: Wyndham Werewolf #5.5
In: Over the Moon (Angela Knight, MaryJanice Davidson, Virginia Kantra & Sunny)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal romanceVampires, Werewolves
Pace: Fast
Format: eBook, Novella
Year: 2007

Thoughts

I always forget how damn funny and pithy Davidson’s writing is. She’s sassy and delightful, with enough lust and excitement to count as a great paranormal romance. Mostly though, I just really, really love the sass with which she writes female characters. Diving into this novella made me remember why I rushed to buy Undead and Unwed in the first place (and then haven’t quite gotten around to reading it yet…)

I must admit, Burke is a bit of an oddbod from the very beginning of this story. I mean, he’s eating class and then chewing on tires… I thought he’d get a little more normal as the storyline went on. But he really, really didn’t. And that total oddness totally grew on me. He was pretty entertaining, and totally down with vengeful murder. Which, again, I loved.

As somewhat of a klutz myself, I can totally imagine somehow falling into a hole. And then getting stuck, there. Sierra’s refusal to get out and her biting retorts to Burke when he tries to help just cemented my love for her. I mean, she falls into a hole and then out sasses the man who tries to rescue her? How could you not love this?

Reading this novella just reminded me how much I want to dive into The Undead / Queen Betsy series. I have loved all of the novellas that I’ve been able to read, but now I want a full-length version…

<- Between the Mountaina nd the MoonMona Lisa Three ->

Image source: Penguin Random House

Moon Dance by Angela Knight

Overview

Title: Moon Dance
Author: Angela Knight
Series: Mageverse #3.5
In: Over the Moon (Angela Knight, MaryJanice Davidson, Virginia Kantra & Sunny)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Camelot, Paranormal romance,  VampiresWitches
Pace: Fast
Format: eBook, Novella
Year: 2007

Thoughts

Although this is a story that takes place in the Mageverse series and gives a bit more context to the storyline. At its core, this is a great story about someone breaking the patterns of abuse. Not just finding her true love and a happily ever after but figuring out a way to escape the abuse of not only a stalker man, but her own damn father. I loved the romance in this, but I also loved how Elena is able to break a truly horrible cycle that doesn’t often get broken.

The use of werewolves and vampires in the Mageverse series is completely unique and awesome. I haven’t actually read any of the full-length novels as of yet, but every time I pick up a novella, I can’t quite figure out why I haven’t done that yet. The fact that werewolves were “created” as a check and balance for the vampires was incredibly fun. So not only do I want more of Elena and Lucas, but I just want more of the Mageverse werewolves in general.

I loved Elena for her strength of character in a ridiculous situation, but I also just loved Lucas. He is ridiculously yummy, and although I don’t necessarily subscribe to the whole idea of a man coming to my rescue… I can’t imagine not wanting Lucas to come my way… I mean, good man, yummy chest, set God… who wouldn’t want that?

The ending of this is completely predictable in so many ways. Particularly the Spirit Link. Although, I was surprised at a few of the conclusions to the other relationships in this. A wonderful novella, one that I seriously enjoyed.

<- Over the MoonBetween the Mountain and the Moon ->

Image source: Penguin Random House

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

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