Cherry Mischievous

for the love of SciFi/Fantasy

ETCHED IN BONE

 

The Others #5: ETCHED IN BONE

Etched In Bone by Anne Bishop
Book 5 of The Others series
Read by Alexandra Harris
Genre: urban fantasy
Format: hardback, ebook, & audiobookAudiobook

 

 

About Etched In Bone:

After a human uprising was brutally put down by the Elders — a primitive and lethal form of the Others — the few cities left under human control are far-flung. And the people within them now know to fear the no-man’s-land beyond their borders — and the darkness…

As some communities struggle to rebuild, Lakeside Courtyard has emerged relatively unscathed, though Simon Wolfgard, its wolf shifter leader, and blood prophet Meg Corbyn must work with the human pack to maintain the fragile peace. But all their efforts are threatened when Lieutenant Montgomery’s shady brother arrives, looking for a free ride and easy pickings.

With the humans on guard against one of their own, tensions rise, drawing the attention of the Elders, who are curious about the effect such an insignificant predator can have on a pack. But Meg knows the dangers, for she has seen in the cards how it will all end — with her standing beside a grave…

Source: Info in the About Etched In Bone was taken from http://happyeverafter.usatoday.com/2016/06/23/etched-in-bone-cover-reveal-excerpt-anne-bishop on 25/06/2016.

 

Excerpt :

Windsday, Messis 1

Eager to join his friends for an early morning run, Simon Wolfgard, leader of the Lakeside Courtyard, hurried toward the terra indigene Wolves who were using trees and shrubs for camouflage as they watched the paved road that looped the Courtyard. Actually, they were watching the man who was riding on the road at an easy pace.

[It’s Kowalski,] Blair growled. It was a soft growl, but the human suddenly scanned the area as if his little ears had caught the sound.

[On a bicycle,] Nathan added.

[We gave him permission to ride on the paved roads,] Simon said, a little concerned about their focused attention on a human they knew fairly well.

Karl Kowalski was one of the human police officers who worked directly with the terra indigene to minimize conflicts between humans and Others. Because of that, he had been labeled a Wolf lover and had had his share of conflicts with other humans. The latest incident happened last week when a car “accidentally” swerved and almost hit Kowalski while he was taking a bicycle ride before work. Because the terra indigene viewed that as a threat to a member of their human pack, Simon, Vladimir Sanguinati, and Henry Beargard—members of the Courtyard’s Business Association—decided to allow the human pack to ride on the Courtyard’s paved roads.

Simon had thought all the Wolves had been told about the Business Association’s decision—especially Nathan, who was the watch Wolf at the Liaison’s Office, and Blair, who was the Courtyard’s dominant enforcer—but this was the first time any of the humans had ventured to ride on a road that still had “Trespassers Will Be Eaten” signs posted as a warning.

[Bicycle, Simon,] Blair’s growl wasn’t as soft this time.

Must have been loud enough for human ears because Kowalski started to pedal a little faster.

Oh. Bicycle. Now Simon understood the real focus of the Wolves’ attention and excitement. Humans had ridden bicycles up to the Green Complex as well as a few other places in the Courtyard, and the Wolves had been intrigued by the two-wheeled vehicles. But those instances had been about transportation to or from a task. This could be something else.

[A game of chase?] Jane, the Wolfgard bodywalker, asked hopefully.

[Kowalski could be play-prey,] Nathan said.

[Does he know how to play chase?] Blair asked.

[He’s a police officer,] Nathan replied. [He chases other humans all the time.]

[Doesn’t mean he understands our game.] Simon thought Nathan’s opinion of police work was skewed more toward hopeful than accurate. Still, they could offer to play. If Kowalski didn’t accept, they would just enjoy a run. But…bicycle. Simon really wanted to chase one. [Let’s find out.]

The Wolves charged up the road, Simon and Blair in the lead as they swiftly closed the distance between the pack and their play-prey. But would they have a game?

Kowalski looked back. His eyes widened—and he pedaled faster.

Yes!

[We don’t catch, only chase,] Simon said.

[He’s fast!] Jane surged ahead of the males, pulling up alongside the bicycle’s back wheel in seconds.

[Don’t grab the wheels,] Nathan said. [If you catch a tooth in the spokes you could break your jaw or worse.]

[I was listening when Officer Karl told the puppies about the dangers of biting wheels,] Jane snapped, clearly offended by Nathan’s unwanted warning. She moved up a little more, now in position to play-bite Kowalski’s calf.

Kowalski glanced at Jane and pedaled faster. Instead of going over the bridge that would take them into the Hawkgard section—and commit the human to the big loop within the Courtyard’s three hundred acres—Kowalski turned onto the road that ran alongside the Elementals’ lake, heading back toward the Green Complex.

The Wolves ran, maintaining their distance even when Kowalski slowed down while going up a rise. They took turns pacing the bicycle and pushing their prey to run and run. Or pedal and pedal. As they reached the intersection with the Courtyard’s main road, Kowalski swung left toward the Green Complex instead of turning right toward the Market Square.

Most of the pack, having slowed to a trot as their prey tired, circled back toward the Wolfgard complex. Nathan headed for the Market Square and the Liaison’s Office where he would keep track of the deliverymen and guard Meg Corbyn, the Courtyard’s Human Liaison. Simon and Blair followed Kowalski until they reached the Green Complex. Then Blair continued on to the Utilities Complex while Simon dashed for the water trough in the common area that formed the open center of the Courtyard’s only multispecies complex. He lapped water, then shifted to his human form and dunked his head, flinging water as he stood up and tossed his dark hair away from his face. He splashed his arms and chest, then grinned when Kowalski parked the bicycle and approached the trough warily.

“That was a great game of chase!” Simon said happily. “You understand how to be play-prey.”

“I do?”

“Yes.” Simon cocked his head, puzzled by the human’s wariness. Hadn’t they just played, had fun? “Want some water?”

“Thanks.” Kowalski splashed water on his face and neck, then on his arms. But he didn’t drink.

Simon pondered the not drinking for a moment. Humans were clever, invasive predators who had recently shown the terra indigene once again why they could never be fully trusted—not even by each other. But physically they were so much weaker than other kinds of predators. This not drinking, for example. Nothing wrong with the water in the trough. Someone had already drained yesterday’s water, using it on the potted tree and other plants in the open area, and refilled the trough with fresh water for drinking and splashing. Humans would drink water pumped from the well if it was in a glass or a bucket or some other small container but couldn’t drink the same water from a shared outdoor container?

It made him wonder how they had survived as a species long enough to become such a problem.

“So who doesn’t understand about play-prey?” Kowalski asked, rubbing a hand over his face.

“The female pack. Every time we invited them to play, they stopped riding their bicycles and asked if they could help.” Simon spread his arms in a what’s that all about? gesture. Then he pointed at Kowalski. “But you invited us to play, and we all had a good run.”

Kowalski snorted a soft laugh. “Well, I sure had a good run.”

“Since the females can’t pedal as far or as fast as you, maybe they could play chase with the puppies.” The pups would learn how to run as a pack without the risk of being kicked by real prey.

Simon studied Kowalski, who studied him in turn.

“I’ll talk to Ruthie,” Kowalski finally said.

They both heard the clink of glassware and looked toward the screened summer room below Meg Corbyn’s apartment.

“Must be later than I realized,” Kowalski said. “I’d better go home and get cleaned up for work.”

Simon watched the man walk toward the bicycle—and the summer room. For a moment, it looked like Kowalski was going to go in and talk to Meg, and Simon felt his teeth lengthen to Wolf size as his lips pulled back in a silent snarl. But Kowalski just raised a hand in greeting, said, “Morning, Meg,” and rode away.

Simon walked around the trough, then stopped suddenly when he realized he was naked in his human form. It had never mattered until Meg came to live in the Courtyard. But humans reacted in various ways to seeing each other without clothing, even when clothing wasn’t needed for protection or warmth. Meg had adjusted pretty well to friends shifting to human form to give her a message or answer a question before shifting back to their preferred furred or feathered form, but it was different with him—maybe because their friendship was different from any other she had with humans or terra indigene.

Most nights, he slept with her in his Wolf form. They had their own apartments, but those places were connected by the summer room and a back upstairs hallway, and more and more it was becoming one den instead of two. But they weren’t mates in the same way Kowalski and Ruthie were mates. Then again, terra indigene Wolves only mated once a year when females came into season. Meg did the bleeding typical of human females but she hadn’t shown any physical interest in having a mate. Except…

She’d asked him to go skinny-dipping with her a couple of weeks ago. Both of them naked, in human form. She’d been nervous about being in the water with him, and she seemed scared after he’d kissed the scar along the right side of her jaw—a scar made by the cut that had saved the Wolfgard in Lakeside as well as many other Wolves throughout the Northeast Region and even beyond.

He’d kissed her before—on the forehead once or twice. But when he’d kissed that scar, he’d felt a flutter of change inside him, and in the days that followed he began to understand on some instinctive level that he wasn’t quite the same as the rest of the Lakeside Wolfgard. Not anymore.

Maybe it wasn’t just for Meg’s sake that, after the kiss, he’d invited her to play a Wolf game despite their both looking human. Then she wasn’t afraid anymore. And since then… Well, it wasn’t lost on him that, in summer weather like this, human males wore next to nothing in and around their own dens and no one thought anything of it.

“It’s hot upstairs,” Meg said, not raising her voice because she didn’t need to. His ears might look human, but he was still a Wolf and could hear her just fine. “I brought some food down here for breakfast.”

“I’ll take a quick shower and join you.”

He hurried inside and up the stairs to the bathroom in his apartment. Washing his hair and body didn’t take long, but he stood under the shower, enjoying the cool water falling over him as he thought about the complication that was Meg Corbyn.

He had brought her into the Courtyard, offering her the job of Human Liaison before discovering that she was a blood prophet, a cassandra sangue—a breed of human females who saw visions of the future when their skin was cut. She had escaped from the man who had owned her and used her, and Simon and the rest of the terra indigene in Lakeside had taken her in.

That sounded simple but it wasn’t. Nothing about Meg was simple. She was the pebble dropped in a pond that was the Lakeside Courtyard, and the ripples of her presence had changed so many things, including the terra indigene who had befriended her. Because of Meg, the Courtyard’s residents interacted with humans in ways that were unprecedented—or, at least, hadn’t been considered in centuries. Because of Meg, the terra indigene throughout Thaisia had tried to save the rest of the blood prophets who had been tossed out like unwanted puppies by the humans who had owned them. Because of Meg, the Lakeside Courtyard had a human pack that provided an additional learning experience for terra indigene who had a human-centric education and needed to practice those skills with humans who wouldn’t take advantage of mistakes.

Because of Meg, he had the uncomfortable feeling that a little bit of being human had become attached and inseparable from his Wolf form.

 

The Others #5: ETCHED IN BONE audio

My Thoughts:

In the world of The Others series, the names of the continents of their world sounds much like our own world, i.e., Afrikah, Brittania, Australis… but, what the heck is Felidae?! Sounds to me like a land full of cats…??

I am not quite sure why this book is titled Etched In Bone, though. A theme which is starting to plague this series lately. Titles that don’t really relate to the book! Whats that all about??! What in the world??…

I used to whinge about the narration of these books, and I still do, however this being book 5 in the series, I have already gotten used to it…. eventually. So that is probably why it is no longer as annoying as it used to be… probably…

 

Empirical Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 5
Character development = 5
Story itself = 5
Writing Style = 5
Ending = 5
World building = 5
Cover art = 5
Pace = 5
Plot = 5
Narration = 3.5

 

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5 cherries

 

Books In The Others Series:
 

         

 

The Author
Anne Bishop

Anne Bishop lives in upstate New York where she enjoys gardening, music, and writing dark, romantic stories. She is the author of fourteen novels, including the award-winning Black Jewels Trilogy. Her most recent novel, Twilight’s Dawn, made the New York Times bestseller list. She is currently working on a new series, which is an urban dark fantasy with a bit of a twist.

Crawford Award (2000)

 


 

FTC Disclosure:
This book, in all its formats, were purchased with private funds.
No money received for this review.

 

14/03/2017 Posted by | 5 cherries, audiobook, book review, Cherry's reviews, ebook, kindle ebook, review, urban fantasy | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

THE OGRE APPRENTICE (The Bowl Of Souls book 8)

 

The Ogre Apprentice by Trevor H. Cooley
Book 8 of The Bowl Of Souls series
Read by James Foster
Genre: epic fantasy
Format: ebook & audiobookAudiobook

 

 

About The Ogre Apprentice:

The Jharro Grove Saga: Part Three

Justan’s time in Malaroo isn’t going well. A deadly shape-shifting assassin seeks his life and he is struggling to win over Jhonate’s father.

Fist is the only ogre ever to train at the Mage School. He is determined to make the most of this opportunity, but his plans are derailed and his burgeoning powers tested when he receives a visit from the tribe he had long thought dead.

An army closes in on the grove, a new race of monsters emerges from the swamps, and a great evil grows in the mountains. The survival of the known lands may depend on the strength of The Ogre Apprentice.

Source: Info in the About The Ogre Apprentice was taken from GoodReads at https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25031213-the-ogre-apprentice on 06/03/2017.

 

My Thoughts:

Now Fist is my favouritest character. In The Ogre Apprentice we get to see a lot of Fist, and that made me very happy indeed! … Then the book ended with a cliffhanger… of course….… but even that could not take away the joy of reading about my favourite ogre. Then there is the beautiful world building and I like the way the plot is going even though it followed the same formulaic pattern as the previous story arc… but I like it just the same. Kudos to the author for making it interesting despite being similar. Even the cliffhanger ending didn’t bother me so much, maybe because of the fact that I already have the next book downloaded. The Ogre Apprentice, I believe is my favouritest in the series thus far.

 

Empirical Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 4.5
Character development = 4.5
Story itself = 4
Writing Style = 4
Ending = 4
World building = 4.5
Cover art = 4
Pace = 4
Plot = 3.5
Narration = 5

 

Overall Rating: 4.5 out of 5 cherries

 

Books In The Bowl Of Souls Series:
 

Book 1: EYE OF THE MOONRAT   Book: 1.5: HILT'S PRIDE   Book 2: MESSENGER OF THE DARK PROPHET   Book 3: HUNT OF THE BANDHAM   Book 4: THE WAR OF STARDEON   Book 5: MOTHER OF THE MOONRAT   Book 6: TARAH WOODBLADE   Book 7: PROTECTOR OF THE GROVE   Book 8: THE OGRE APPRENTICE   Book 9: THE TROLL KING   Book 10: PRIESTESS OF WAR

 

The Author
Trevor H. Cooley

Since putting out his first book: Eye of the Moonrat in May of 2012, Trevor H. Cooley has sold over 200,000 copies of his books in ebook and audio formats.

He was born in South Carolina and has lived all around the United states, including Utah, New Mexico, Michigan and Tennessee.

His love of reading started in the second grade with Lloyd Alexander’s Chronicles of Prydain series. He couldn’t get enough and continued with David Eddings, Tolkein, Robert Jordan, Stephen King, and many others. Since then, all he wanted was to become a published writer.

The characters and concepts that eventually became the Bowl of Souls series started in his teens. He wrote short stories, kept notebooks full of ideas, and generally dreamed about the world constantly. There were several attempts at starting a novel over the years.

Not long after he was married, his wife told him to stop talking about the story and write it down. Many years and rewrites and submissions and rejection letters later, he finally put the books on Amazon. In August of 2013 he quit his day job and started writing full time.

 

The Narrator
James Foster

James Foster was born in Björk’s house in Iceland and grew up on Easter Island, where his parents were giant stone heads. He has the ability to fire beams of tacos out of his hands and he can turn his legs into tigers. On Sundays, James enjoys reading Family Circus and traveling through time. His favorite color is greenish-transparent and his favorite movie is the one you just watched. James is in charge of uploading the staff bios to the website, and no one has checked over his work.

 


 

FTC Disclosure:
This book was purchased with private funds.
No money received for this review.

 

12/03/2017 Posted by | 5 cherries, audiobook, Cherry's reviews, ebook, kindle ebook, review, urban fantasy | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

MAGIC BINDS

 

Magic Binds by Ilona Andrews
Book 9 of the Kate Daniels series
Genre: urban fantasy

 

 

About Magic Binds:

Mercenary Kate Daniels knows all too well that magic in post-Shift Atlanta is a dangerous business. But nothing she’s faced could have prepared her for this…

Kate and the former Beast Lord Curran Lennart are finally making their relationship official. But there are some steep obstacles standing in the way of their walk to the altar…

Kate’s father, Roland, has kidnapped the demigod Saiman and is slowly bleeding him dry in his never-ending bid for power. A Witch Oracle has predicted that if Kate marries the man she loves, Atlanta will burn and she will lose him forever. And the only person Kate can ask for help is long dead.

The odds are impossible. The future is grim. But Kate Daniels has never been one to play by the rules…

Source: Info in the About Magic Binds was taken from GoodReads at https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17333174-magic-binds on 27/06/2016.

 

My Thoughts:

I like it when things nicely fall in together like pieces of a puzzle to reveal the picture. I was wondering what happened to Ana, Greg Feldman‘s ex-wife, who was first mentioned in Magic Bites. Then Kate mentioned in their dinner convention with Roland at Applebee’s [I. Andrews, Magic Shifts, (Ace, 2015), p. 290] that Ana, the clairvoyant ex-wife of Kate‘s dead guardian, no longer return her calls. Telling me that Ana is still there but just not in the picture anymore and explains why she wasn’t mentioned in so many books since Magic Bites.

However, I do not like it when the story lines contradict each other! In Magic Slays, Evdokia of the Witch Oracle told Kate that her mother, Kalina, came to attend Kalina‘s mother’s funeral. [I. Andrews, Magic Slays, (The Berkley Publishing Group, 2011), p. 120]. Then all of a sudden, Kalina‘s mother was alive again and living in Seattle in Magic Shifts. Roland tried to lure Kate out of Atlanta with the idea of visiting her grandmother (Kalina‘s mother) who was supposedly old and not long to live anymore in Seattle [I. Andrews, Magic Shifts, (Ace, 2015), p. 285]. Kate‘s other grandmother, Semiramis, is in Mishmar trapped between life and death limbo. So Kate has three grandmothers?!… *Sigh*

Speaking of unsolved issues, I am still wondering if Gene Monroe (wolf alpha who owned a silver-producing land in North Carolina) was really Roland‘s lackey or not. Or was there some other explanation? It was not very clear in Magic Breaks and I was hoping that we’d get a little clarification in this book… but no such luck…

This book… beautifully continued the complicated relationship between Kate and her father, Roland. Told in this authors’ trademark compelling story telling quality with a solid plot. What can I say? I am an old die hard fan… Can’t wait for the next book and read more about Kate and Roland‘s saga! Would the author end it with a bang??? What kind of HEA (happily ever after) would they get? Or is it an HEA?… Love, love, love, this series!!

 

Empirical Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 5
Character development = 5
Story itself = 5
Ending = 5
World building = 5
Cover art = 5
Pace = 5
Plot = 5

 

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5 cherries

 

Books In The Kate Daniels Series:
                                     

 

Thank you!

Thank you to the publisher for the review copy received.

 


 

FTC Disclosure:
This book was received for free from the publisher.
No money received for this review.

18/08/2016 Posted by | 5 cherries, ARC, book review, Cherry's reviews, Ilona Andrews, Kate Daniels series, review, urban fantasy | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Review: THE CARE AND FEEDING OF STRAY VAMPIRES

Book 1: THE CARE AND FEEDING OF STRAY VAMPIRES audiobook

The Care And Feeding Of Stray Vampires by Molly Harper
Book 1 of the Half Moon Hollow series
Read by Amanda Ronconi
Genre: urban fantasy
Format: paperback & audiobookSamsung Galaxy Note audiobook
 

PARENTAL ADVISORY: This book contains adult material.
About The Care And Feeding Of Stray Vampires:

Iris Scanlon, Half-Moon Hollow’s only daytime vampire concierge, knows more about the undead than she’d like. Running all their daylight errands – from letting in the plumber to picking up some chilled O neg – gives her a look at the not-so-glamorous side of vampire life. Her rules are strict; relationships with vamps are strictly business, not friendship – and certainly not anything else. But then she finds her newest client, Cal, poisoned on his kitchen floor, and only Iris can help.

Cal – who would be devastatingly sexy, if Iris allowed herself to think that way – offers Iris a hefty fee for hiding him at her place until he figures out who wants him permanently dead. Even though he’s imperious, unfriendly, and doesn’t seem to understand the difference between “employee” and “servant”, Iris agrees, and finds herself breaking more and more of her own rules to help him – particularly those concerning nudity. Turns out what her quiet little life needed was some intrigue and romance – in the form of her very own stray vampire.

©2012 Molly Harper White (P)2012 Audible, Inc.

Source: Info in the About The Care And Feeding Of Stray Vampires was taken from http://www.audible.co.uk/pd?asin=B008PEACE2 on 24/06/2013.

 

Book 1: THE CARE AND FEEDING OF STRAY VAMPIRES paperback

Review:

I am, by now, an old audiobook listener and I have heard many kinds of narrators in my time thus far. Some I swore I would never ever listen to ever again. Some I tolerated but would, maybe, rather read the paperback than listen to. (And that is not complimentary in the audiobook industry.) Some I became a die hard fan of and is an auto-buy for me, just like the authors I read. However, this is the first audiobook I’ve listened by Amanda Ronconi and I have to say that I am fast becoming a fan. Her words are clear and distinct. The diction perfect. And the quality of her voice is not aggravating to the ears. In fact it was sampling her reading in audible which lead me into buying this book! So I bought this book because I liked the what I heard in the audible sample. And plus the fact that this is in the urban fantasy genre. However if this book was presented to me on it’s own as a paperback and not as an audiobook sample I don’t think it would really ping my book-buying radar because the premise is very ordinary. True BloodAs in, it has been used a few times too many around the block already. Namely, True Blood series. So the audiobook sampling was, really, a good marketing strategy! The bad news is, like True Blood‘s Sookie Stackhouse, our heroine is also too stupid to live (TSTL). However I blame the plot rather than the character development here because it is pretty obvious that the character(s) deliberately acted stupid to create a dilemma in the story so that our heroes could show off and save the world. Pretty weak plot. Not to mention that it also has the annoying “character inconsistency” issues! But me being an urban fantasy geek, likes the vampires and the world building in the story! But even that wouldn’t make me spend money on a book in this series again. If ever, I would borrow it from the library.

 

Empirical Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 3
Character development = 2
Story itself = 2
Ending = 3.5
World building = 3.5
Cover art = 3
Pace = (8hrs and 55mins listening time)
Plot = 1
Narration = 4

 

Overall Rating: 2.5 out of 5 cherries

 

Books In The Half Moon Hollow Series:

04/07/2014 Posted by | 3 cherries, Amanda Ronconi, audiobook, book review, Cherry's reviews, Half Moon Hollow series, Molly Harper, review, urban fantasy, vampires | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Review: KILL CITY BLUES

Kill City Blues by Richard Kadrey
Book 5 of the Sandman Slim series
Read by MacLeod Andrews
Genre: urban fantasy
Format: hardback & audiobookAudiobook

 

About Kill City Blues:

James Stark, aka Sandman Slim, has managed to get out of Hell, renounce his title as the new Lucifer, and settle back into life in LA. But he’s not out of trouble yet. Somewhere along the way he misplaced the Qomrama Om Ya, a weapon from the banished older gods who are also searching for their lost power.

The hunt leads Stark to an abandoned shopping mall-a multi-story copy of LA-infested with Lurkers and wretched bottomfeeding Sub Rosa families, squatters who have formed tight tribes to guard their tiny patches of this fake LA. Somewhere in the kill zone of the former mall is a dead man with the answers Stark needs. All Stark has to do is find the dead man, get back out alive, and outrun some angry old gods-and a few killers-on his tail.

Source: Info in the About Kill City Blues was taken from GoodReads at https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15783828-kill-city-blues on 10/01/2014.

 

My Thoughts:

This is the best book yet in the series. I’m not so sure though whether that is because Kadrey‘s writing has improved or I am just becoming a besotted fan. Or maybe a little of both. Either way, I enjoyed this book a whole lot more compared the previous books. I have to thank Kdawg91 for vigorously recommending this book to me!! In turn I recommend this book to all of those who likes the Supernatural show. Both have a whacked-out ideas of heaven and earth. Whacked-out or not, both are believable enough so that audience and readers can very easily suspend disbelief. Which I think is one of the reasons that both stories, Sandman Slim and Supernatural, has such staying power. Why both are such compelling entertainment!

 

Empirical Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 4.5
Character development = 5
Story itself = 5
Ending = 5
World building = 5
Cover art = 3
Pace = 3.5
Plot = 5
Narrator = 5
 

Overall Rating: 4.5 out of 5 cherries

 

Books In The Sandman Slim Series:

28/06/2014 Posted by | angels, audiobook, book review, Cherry's reviews, demons, MacLeod Andrews, review, Richard Kadrey, Sandman Slim, Sandman Slim series, urban fantasy | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Review: DEVIL SAID BANG

Devil Said Bang by Richard Kadrey
Book 4 of the Sandman Slim series
Read by MacLeod Andrews
Genre: urban fantasy
Format: hardback & audiobookAudiobook

 

About Devil Said Bang:

Getting out of hell is just the beginning

What do you do after you’ve escaped Hell, gone back, uncovered the true nature of God, and then managed to become the new Lucifer?

Well, if you’re James Stark, you have to figure out how to run Hell while also trying to get back out of it . . . again. Plus there’s the small matter of surviving. Because everyone in Heaven, Hell, and in between wants to be the fastest gun in the universe, and the best way to do so is to take down Lucifer, a.k.a. James Stark.

And it’s not like being in L.A. is any better — a serial-killer ghost is running wild and Stark’s angelic alter ego is hiding among the lost days of time with a secret cabal who can rewrite reality. Starting to care for people and life again is a real bitch for a stone-cold killer.

Source: Info in the About Devil Said Bang was taken from GoodReads at https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13157246-devil-said-bang on 26/10/2013.

 

hellion harley

My Thoughts:

I looked for an image that would epitome my idea of a “hellion harley” that Stark rode but all I could find is this. Not quite “it”, but close enough…

Richard Kadrey knows how to spin a story. That, I have to give to him. And in this book that masterful story spinning has been made blatantly obvious. For that alone this book cannot get a rating of less than 4. And for that reason also, I can forgive his slightly unorthodox way of building a story and/or plot. A new dilemma seems to crop up every 5 or so chapters, metaphorically speaking, because the book does not seem to have chapters. There is no chapter numbering. And then these dilemmas gets resolved and moves on to the next. Books usually have an over-arc-ing plot where sub-plots could fit in. But not this serial-delimma situation. I find it a little odd. It’s like reading a serial comics where the dilemma gets resolved every after so many issues.

This is book four, right? So I ought to know this author’s voice by now. And in a way, I think I do. However, it still surprises me every time I take a break from reading the book. I don’t know what it is about the author’s voice, but I needed frequent breaks from it. Otherwise this book would have flown by. As it is, it took me sometime to finish it even with the convenience of the audiobook format. Don’t know. Don’t really understand it, why that is so…

I think I’ve said it before in reviews of previous Sandman Slim books, that this series becomes addictive as you read along. I wasn’t that much of a fan with the first three books. But by the end of this book, I was a well-entrenched follower. The cover art is still in need of an upgrade though. But being a fan by now, I am feeling a bit more forgiving.

 

Empirical Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 4.5
Character development = 5
Story itself = 5
Ending = 5
World building = 5
Cover art = 2
Pace = 2
Plot = 5
Narrator = 5
 

Overall Rating: 4.5 out of 5 cherries

 

Books In The Sandman Slim Series:

20/06/2014 Posted by | angels, audiobook, book review, Cherry's reviews, demons, MacLeod Andrews, review, Richard Kadrey, Sandman Slim series, urban fantasy | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Review: ALOHA FROM HELL

Aloha From Hell by Richard Kadrey
Book 3 of the Sandman Slim series
Genre: urban fantasy
Format: hardback

About Aloha From Hell:

Supernatural fantasy’s greatest anti-hero goes back to hell!

In Sandman Slim Stark came back from hell for revenge.

In Kill the Dead he tackled both a zombie plague and being Lucifer’s bodyguard.

Once again all is not right in L.A. Lucifer is back in Heaven, God is on vacation, and an insane killer mounts a war against both Heaven and Hell.

Stark’s got to head back down to his old stomping grounds in Hell to rescue his long lost love, stop an insane serial killer, prevent both Good and Evil from completely destroying each other, and stop the demonic Kissi from ruining the party for everyone.

Even for Sandman Slim, that’s a tall order. And it’s only the beginning.

Source: Info in the About Aloha From Hell was taken from GoodReads at https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/10439703-aloha-from-hell on 12/10/2013.

My Thoughts:

Here is a nice artist’s illustration of Sandman Slim by John McKenna. Although I think his left hand has more fingers in it than that crab-like pincers. He was pretty battered by the end of this book and he most likely kinda looked like that drawing. Speaking of which, maybe it is the violence. Or how the story is told. For whatever reason, I needed frequent breaks from this book. And that is why it took so long for me to read Aloha From Hell despite it being action after action all the way through. I don’t think it is the use of pop culture slang which slowed down the pace anymore because this being Book 3, I kind of gotten used to this author’s frequent use of pop culture slang even though I still don’t understand some of them, I just let it pass… On the bright side, this book, like all the books I’ve read in this series thus far, has a believable and wonderful world building which makes it very easy to suspend disbelief. That brought the rating of this book up a notch. It also has a solid plot with a well-structured story which I like in a book! By the end of Aloha From Hell, I became a Sandman Slim well-entrenched fan!

Empirical Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 4
Character development = 5
Story itself = 5
Ending = 4.5
World building = 5
Cover art = 1
Pace = 3
Plot = 4.5

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 cherries

Books In The Sandman Slim Series:

01/06/2014 Posted by | angels, book review, Cherry's reviews, demons, review, Richard Kadrey, Sandman Slim series, urban fantasy | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Review: VENOM

VENOM audiobook


Venom by Jennifer Estep
Book 3 of the Elemental Assassin series
Read by Lauren Fortgang
Genre: urban fantasy
Format: paperback & audiobook

 

About Venom:

What kind of assassin works pro bono?

It’s hard to be a badass assassin when a giant is beating the crap out of you. Luckily, I never let pride get in the way of my work. My current mission is personal: annihilate Mab Monroe, the Fire elemental who murdered my family. Which means protecting my identity, even if I have to conceal my powerful Stone and Ice magic when I need it most.

To the public, I’m Gin Blanco, owner of Ashland’s best barbecue joint. To my friends, I’m the Spider, retired assassin. I still do favors on the side. Like ridding a vampire friend of her oversized stalker—Mab’s right-hand goon who almost got me dead with his massive fists.

At least irresistible Owen Grayson is on my side. The man knows too much about me, but I’ll take my chances. Then there’s Detective Bria Coolidge, one of Ashland’s finest. Until recently, I thought my baby sister was dead. She probably thinks the same about me. Little does she know, I’m a cold-blooded killer . . . who is about to save her life.

Source: Info in the About Venom was taken from http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7614747-venom on 05/04/2013.

 

Review:

The world building is still beautiful albeit still has those pesky tiny little holes which I choose to ignore given the wonderful reading time I had with the books in this series. Another good thing about this book other than the beautiful world building is the fact that the main protagonist is not TSTL (too stupid to live) this time around. In fact Gin is not only kick-ass but out-wits the bad guys! I think this author is getting better as she writes along! The narrator though seems to take a bad turn compared to the previous two books which is kind of strange. Anyway, I could distinctly hear her struggling with Detective Bria Coolidge‘s lines. Lauren Fortgang just couldn’t strike the right note between soft spoken Bria and the hard cop that she is suppose to be. Nothing major. I could easily ignore that too! The plot is rather straight forward. The reader is told what the story is going to be from the get go and that is exactly what happened. Not much of a twist or surprises. Bland in a predictable sort of way. Not too bad but not great either.

 

Empirical Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 4
Character development = 4
Story itself = 3
Ending = 3
World building = 4
Cover art = 4
Pace = (12 hrs and 9 mins listening time)
Plot = 3
Narrator = 3.5

 

Overall Rating: 3.5 out of 5 cherries

 

Books In The Elemental Assassin series:

23/05/2014 Posted by | 3 cherries, audiobook, book review, Cherry's reviews, Elemental Assassin series, Jennifer Estep, Lauren Fortgang, review, Samsung Galaxy Note Audiobook, urban fantasy | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Review: DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE

Book 1: DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE paperback (UK 2012)

Daughter Of Smoke And Bone by Laini Taylor
Narrated by Khristine Hvam
Book 1 of the Daughter Of Smoke And Bone series
Genre: urban fantasy
Format: paperback & audiobookAudiobook

About Daughter Of Smoke And Bone:

Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grown dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real, she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious “errands”, she speaks many languages – not all of them human – and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.

When beautiful, haunted Akiva fixes fiery eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?

Source: Info in the About Daughter Of Smoke And Bone was taken from GoodReads at http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/8490112-daughter-of-smoke-bone on 30/08/2013.


[Image Credit: Wes-Talbott]

Fav Quote:

“Never repent for your own goodness, child. To stay true in the face of evil is a feat of strength.”
(Brimstone [from the book: Daughter of Smoke And Bone. 2012] p.406)

My Thoughts:

Another take on the “War In Heaven” christian mythology. Another spin on a tired old tale. But I read it anyway… because there’s so much publicity about this book and I wanted to see for myself what the fuss was all about. And I do not have any aversion to the “angels and demons” mytho. And I’m glad that I did because the world building was beautiful even though it took ages for the author to get to it. And even though it was not very original, Laini Taylor managed to make it interesting. Kudos to her for achieving that in what is, by all rights, a congested playing field! However I wasn’t very fond of the way she told the story that almost always hints that Karou is stupid. What was that all about??! Well, I blame it on the story telling style rather than a character development flaw. And it is majorly annoying! And is the main reason why I stopped reading this series with this book even though I already got Book 2 in my TBR (to be read) shelf. Maybe for a more tolerant reader, this book would be a better and faster read, but it was too annoying. However what really clinched it for me is the cliffhanger ending. Sooo not fond of cliffhangers!

I like Khristine Hvam. The words are clear and I couldn’t hear any slurring. But she reads a little bit too flatly for my liking. Not much inflections to anger lines nor sad lines. But the words are clear so can’t give her a less than a 3. It’s not her fault that I find the author’s story telling style annoying.

Empirical Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 2
Character development = 3
Story itself = 3.5
Ending = 0.5
World building = 4
Cover art = 3.5
Pace = 2.5
Plot = 3.5
Narration = 3.5

Overall Rating: 2.5 out of 5 cherries

Books In The Daughter Of Smoke And Bone Series:

16/05/2014 Posted by | 3 cherries, angels, book review, Cherry's reviews, christian mythology, Daughter Of Smoke And Bone, Laini Taylor, review, urban fantasy, war in heaven | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Review: WOULD-BE WITCH

Southern Witch #1: WOULD-BE WITCH

Would-Be Witch by Kimberly Frost
Book 1 of the Southern Witch series
Genre: urban fantasy
Format: paperback

About Would-Be Witch:

The promising debut of a hot new voice in paranormal romance — and the first of the Southern Witch novels.

The family magic seems to have skipped over Tammy Jo Trask. All she gets are a few untimely visits from long-dead, smart-mouthed family ghost Edie. But when her locket — an heirloom that happens to hold Edie’s soul — is stolen in the midst of a town-wide crime spree, it’s time for Tammy to find her inner witch.

After a few experiences with her dysfunctional magic, Tammy turns to the only person in small-town Duval, Texas, who can help: the very rich and highly magical Bryn Lyons. He might have all the answers — and a 007 savoir faire to boot — but the locket isn’t the only heirloom passed down in Tammy’s family. She also inherited a warning: stay away from Lyons.

Source: Info in the About Would-Be Witch was taken from GoodReads at http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/4703905-would-be-witch on 14/09/2013.

Mercutio

My Thoughts:

First off, I love the world building! There are vampires, werewolves and witches. The cover art might be cartoonish but it triggered my book buying radar so as a marketing tool, it has done it’s job. The plot… what plot? There wasn’t much of a plot. It’s fluffy at best. Like cotton candy. Not much of a substance but delicious non-the-less. And the story telling quality is compelling enough for me to read the book in a reasonable pace. What helds up the pace slow, is my need to have breaks from the “stupidity” of the heroine. I mean, she’s as stupid as Sookie! The very quality which finally made me stop reading the Southern Vampires series even before Dead Ever After (the finale) came out, no matter how good a story teller Charlaine Harris is. Now I like my heroine kick-ass and not stupid. Like Kate Daniels for example, of the Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews. Not all the characters in this book is stupid however, take for example Mercutio. He got his head screwed on right! It’s only the main protagonist who is stupid. And I find that really annoying! The pace of this book is inversely proportional to it’s annoying-ness. The book therefore is not a fast-paced one even though the story telling quality is good. And that is also the main reason why I probably won’t be reading any more books in this series or of this author.

Empirical Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 4
Character development = 2.5
Story itself = 2
Ending = 3
World building = 4.5
Cover art = 4
Pace = 1
Plot = 1.5

Overall Rating: 2.5 out of 5 cherries

Books In The Southern Witch Series:

02/05/2014 Posted by | 3 cherries, book review, Cherry's reviews, Kimberly Frost, review, urban fantasy, Witch | , , , , , , | Leave a comment