Saturday, June 29, 2013

Review: The Genesis by K.L. Kerr

Title: The Genesis

Author: K.L. Kerr

Series: A Blood of Ages #1

ISBN: 9780955984556

Synopsis (according to Goodreads):
An Uncontrollable Power. An Unstoppable Corporation. A Vampire God.

The vampires of Dayson city are preparing for war. Having lived in constant fear of the Archway Corporation for decades, desperation has forced them into action. Their solution is to bring the First vampire, Alistair, back from the dead, a warrior famed for eradicating entire armies in the name of his kind.

For fledgling vampire Catrina Malinka, the fabled return of some unknown deity falls low on her list of concerns. Between fending off strangers trying to kill her in her dreams and trying to rein in an uncontrollable power that no one else even understands let alone shares, Catrina is forced to fight her assumed role in the war against Archway, which threatens to send her down a path she doesn’t want to travel.

The first book in The Blood of Ages series, “The Genesis” is an urban fantasy about the inescapable nature of Fate and the corruption of power.

I received this e-book from the author about a month or so ago and just got around to reading it. The problem with e-books is that they tend to be uploaded onto my Kindle and then sometimes forgotten. With physical copies, I see books needing to be reviewed on a constant basis so they are there to remind me. I have started getting more into reading on my Kindle Fire since most of the books I have been getting offered for review or in giveaways are in the e-book format. In summary, I forgot I had this book to read and once finding it I decided to start perusing the e-pages. Boy, was I ever kicking myself for not reading this book sooner.

The story opens a little shakily on Catrina being chased by a man she refers to as her “mark” leading one to believe that she is a hired assassin from the beginning. With reading the synopsis I thought perhaps the gunman and the dark, mysterious stranger who leaps to Catrina’s aid may be a dream. After reading so much young adult romance and paranormal romance I expect the fight to lead to a steamy love scene. Not the case. Instead, the entrance of the stranger turnout to be the doorway to Catrina’s new world as a vampire.

Catrina is thrown into this understand that vampires are real, she is now one of them, oh yeah, and she is to be gateway for the god of all vampires to return to earth and save them from an evil corporation bent on exterminating vampires. No pressure! Poor Catrina has powers no other vampire has, so she not only has to realize what is to be a vampire, but what is to be a vampire with superpowers. No wonder she seems so lost throughout the book!

Throughout Catrina’s experiences in her new vampire life, there was no romance. Not an iota. Not a lingering glance, not a brush of fingertips, nothing. The romance addict in me whimpered, but I scolded her to hush up since not all characters have to be horn dogs all the time. There was a bit of a connection between Catrina and Fox, her maker, which could elude to some sort of romance later down the road, perhaps. But really, I kind of see Catrina and Fox as more of really close friends in “The Genesis”.

Since we are on the topic of Fox, let me just say, he is one stone cold man mountain that I wouldn’t mind scrapping with in the Tournaments, the vampire equivalent of fight club in Catrina and Fox’s Clan. Fox exudes this confidence that is palpable on the pages. He knows who he is, what his responsibilities are, and damned if anyone ever got in his way. I loved that about Fox. He also didn’t turn to man mush with Catrina’s appearance. He stayed true to who he was and was not swept away by a pretty face. Way to stay strong, Fox!

Catrina, on the other hand, was a bit of a conundrum for me. One minute I loved her feisty side and the next I just wished she would follow the rules and save others from further problems. Catrina was a troublemaker, even if she didn’t truly intend to be. She kept Fox and the others of the Clan on their toes, that is for sure.

Overall, this book was superb. The lack of romance did nothing to diminish its quality as a very well written vampire series. Kerr brought governmental control of the populace to the world of fantasy and weaved this story of mythology into existence. Who knew all those things would fit together so perfectly within the pages of “The Genesis”? Certainly not me. A book worthy of any shelf, my ladybug literates!

Purchase: Amazon  »  Barnes & Noble  »  Book Depository

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Thursday, June 27, 2013

Review: Dragon Bound by Thea Harrison

Title: Dragon Bound

Author: Thea Harrison

Series: The Elder Races #1

ISBN: 9780425241509

Synopsis (according to Goodreads):
Half-human and half-Wyr, Pia Giovanni spent her life keeping a low profile among the Wyrkind and avoiding the continuing conflict between them and their Dark Fae enemies. But after being blackmailed into stealing a coin from the hoard of a dragon, Pia finds herself targeted by one of the most powerful—and passionate—of the Elder Races.

As the most feared and respected of the Wyrkind, Dragos Cuelebre cannot believe someone had the audacity to steal from him, much less succeed. And when he catches the thief, Dragos spares her life, claiming her as his own to further explore the desire they’ve ignited in each other.

Pia knows she must repay Dragos for her trespass, but refuses to become his slave—although she cannot deny wanting him, body and soul.

I bought this book at my favorite local used bookstore, A Novel Idea, because it was featured in my Paranormal Romance Book Club that is also featured at the bookstore. From the cover, I was a little afraid there was going to be some beastiality of sorts featured in the book that was going to disturb me to the extent that it did in the Anita Blake series. I am a fan of were-animals (or Wyr in the case of this book) but I would prefer if their love scenes are between their human forms and not their animal.

I was surprised to find that there wasn’t really any of that in this book. I breathed a sigh of relief and allowed myself to thoroughly enjoy the book. I found myself finding Pia adorable and quick-witted and Dragos’s domineering persona was interesting to watch.

Pia and Dragos’s relationship was unusual.  Pia breaks into the dragon’s stronghold and steals from his possessions which throws Dragos into a rage. Then when he finally catches up with the fleeing Pia he basically falls head-over-heels in love with her. It was funny to watch the male protagonist in this story be the completely smitten party while the female was the more rational minded. Often it is the other way around in typical romance titles.

The story moved very quickly, in a matter of days the two are in love and fighting against the ultimate evil of the Dark Fae King. In fact, the story moved fast in all aspects. I would have liked a little more fluff in the story (yes, fluff). The transitions from one event to the next seemed jammed together and not well described. In one part a character gets knocked back off their feet in an attack and the next apparently it was an arrow that lodged in their chest and was the cause of the fall? Uhm, okay then. That could have been worked out a bit better. Also, the story had a lot of leading up to the climax of the story and then a really quick fall. Most of the story is rising action with virtually no falling action on the other end.

Aside from the quick and slightly confusing layout of the story, I loved the story overall. I liked watching Dragos learn to love (he didn’t even know the meaning of the word before Pia), I loved that there was a comic relief character, and I loved the introduction to the Wyr side of the Elder Races. I hope in the subsequent books I will get to see more of the other Elder Races such as the Light Fae, Dark Fae, and so forth.

This was a good little paranormal romance read. Although there were some criticisms and issues I had, I was sucked in quickly. I was thoroughly wrapped up in the love story of Pia and Dragos, the adventure of trying to find their way back home, and the mystery of Pia’s existence.  Thea Harrison weaved a masterpiece of a paranormal world the likes of which I have not seen before. “Dragon Bound” is a good book for were-dragon fans and paranormal romance lovers alike.

Purchase: Amazon  »  Barnes & Noble  »  Book Depository

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Thursday, June 20, 2013

Review: Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Title: Obsidian

Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout

Series: Lux #1

ISBN: 9781620610077

Synopsis (according to Goodreads):
Starting over sucks.

When we moved to West Virginia right before my senior year, I’d pretty much resigned myself to thick accents, dodgy internet access, and a whole lot of boring… until I spotted my hot neighbor, with his looming height and eerie green eyes. Things are looking up.

And then he opened his mouth.

Daemon is infuriating. Arrogant. Stab-worthy. We do not get along. At all. But when a stranger attacks me and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, well, something… unexpected happens.
The hot alien living next door marks me.

You heard me. Alien. Turns out Daemon and his sister have a galaxy of enemies wanting to steal their abilities, and Daemon’s touch has me lit up like the Vegas Strip. The only way I’m getting out of this alive is by sticking close to Daemon until my alien mojo fades.

If I don’t kill him first, that is.

I had heard marvelous things about the Lux series for some time now and had yet to allow myself to delve into their world. I was worried I would get too thoroughly enthralled in their world and would find myself unable to function normally, as some really good book series do. It turns out that I was right to be worried. “Obsidian” was, by far, one of the best books I have read this year.

Katy is a short, book blogger with a feisty attitude. Hmm, this sounds a little autobiographical. That being said, I connected instantly with Katy. She seemed to be the type of selfless heroine that was perfect for the story. She is a devoted friend and a morally upstanding representation of the human race. It is no wonder that our male protagonist would be curious about her. She came to West Virginia because her mother needed a change after the loss of Katy’s father. Katy herself was still wounded after her father’s passing, much as anyone would be. This painful back story may have been what caused Katy to be such a fighter in “Obsidian”. She was a delight to read.

Daemon was hard to like. Exactly how Katy felt about him was how I seemed to feel about him (seems I got sucked in so epically that I started feeling I was Katy). Sometimes I wanted to strangle him and other times he made me swoon. I only started to understand Daemon and the way he acted after I read some of the bonus material at the end of the book. Daemon is a very complex and brooding character. He is the direct opposite of Katy.

I have never been fond of books that show characters who instantly fall in love and start with the mushy talk early on in their relationships. Daemon and Katy’s relationship was fun to watch since it was a love-hate relationship from start to finish.

This book reminded me of the Roswell series that was on TV some time ago. I loved that show. “Obsidian” echoes Roswell in all the best ways. Running from an evil bent on destroying the good aliens and the humans they interact with, fighting developing emotions because interspecies dating is weird, and navigating teenage hormones and the social aspects of that age is what “Obsidian” is all about. I cannot wait to sink my teeth into “Onyx” and follow Katy and Daemon’s story as they attempt to overcome their insurmountable obstacles.

Purchase: Amazon  »  Barnes & Noble  »  Book Depository

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