August 11, 2012

In the mail this week

I can't believe it's nearly the middle of August already.  I have been eagerly awaiting the new release from Ilona Andrews, and yesterday Gunmetal Magic arrived in the mail.  I started it as soon as I got back from the Post Office - it was great!  The bonus novella Magic Gifts was awesome.  I loved the ending, very much poetic justice :-)

The other book that arrived with Gunmetal Magic was Book 2 of the series, The Cold Kiss of Death, by Suzanne McLeod.  I haven't started it yet, but it's on my to do list today.  However I'm still waiting for Celebrity in Death to arrive... perhaps the mail fairies are reading it first?

And finally, I managed to find Seraphina by Rachel Hartman at my local Big W.  I snapped it up, and it is sitting on my bedside table looking very tempting indeed with that gorgeous cover.

So that's what I received in the mail this week.  Hope you found something good to read as well.

August 9, 2012


The Iron Druid Chronicles Book 1
Kevin Hearne

Back cover...

Atticus O'Sullivan, last of the Druids, lives peacefully in Arizona running an occult bookshop and shapeshifting in his spare time to hunt with his Irish wolfhound.  His neighbours and customers think this handsome, tattooed Irishman is about twenty-one years old when, actually, it's twenty-one centuries.  Atticus draws his power from the earth, possesses a sharp wit and wields an even sharper magical sword known as Fragarach, the Answerer.

Unfortunately, a very angry Celtic god wants the sword, and he's been after Atticus for centuries.  Now the determined deity has trackef him down and Atticus will need all his powers -  plus a seductive goddess of death, his vampire and werewolf team of lawyers, a sexy bartender possessed by a Hindu witch, and some good, old fashioned Irishluck - to kick some Celtic arse and deliver himself from evil.

Its a few days since I finished reading Hounded.  I wanted to give myself time to soak it in.  Now, as I start to write my review I'm reminded of how much I loved this book.  I just want to get my hands on the next book, but unfortunately my local library doesn't hold any of them.  So it's off to my family's place to raid the library over there.

As I have said in earlier blogs, I usually don't enjoy books written by men.  Don't ask me why, I don't really know?  But Atticus was so much fun.  He's a hip old Druid who has managed to make a living doing what comes naturally.  His lawyers are supernaturals (werewolf and vampire respectively), he's being harassed by a local coven, some faerie dudes tried to kill him, a Celtic God wants his sword, and his best bud is a throwback Irish Wolfhound who has a thing for poodles.  What more could a girl ask for?... I had a ball!

Hearne's world building is a joy.  I lost myself completely in the pages.  Our hero has to deal with all manner of difficulties, and he does it with grace and style.  And while the popping in and out of Celtic/Norse and other Gods and Goddess' could have been a stumbling block, it just seemed totally natural - like every guy has a hot Norse Goddess popping in for a bit of nookie.  It was so well written that I didn't even balk, I just took that as an everyday occurrence and kept on reading.  

For those of you concerned with graphic sexual content, rest easy.  While there is a bit of horizontal mambo, it's not graphic {nothing like LKH} so I feel confident in recommending it to all.  There is a little bit of violence at the end, and some characters don't make it in one piece - literally - but there is no real gore or horror to it.

After finishing the book, I tracked down and listened to the audio book sample online - SO GOOD! - and have placed it in my wishlist to order at a later date.  There is just something about Atticus that will keep me coming back for more.

A Wild Light

A Wild Light
Hunter Kiss #3
Marjorie M. Liu

Back cover:

Maxine finds herself covered in blood and crouched beside Jack's dead body,
with no memory of what happened.  Grief-stricken, Maxine isn't sure what to
believe - or who to blame.  Then an Avatar bounty hunter comes through the
veil into our world, investigating a death of his own.  Completely ruthless and
subservient to those who bred him, his mission is to find Jack - dead or alive.
Racing to stop the hunter, Maxine must also deal with the blood on her hands.
But the answers she uncovers will be devastating, and the earth's salvation
won't wait.

I haven't read a Hunter Kiss book in quite a while, so when I found this in a bargain bin at my mum's local bookshop, I snapped it up - and I'm glad I did.

It didn't take me long at all to fall back into the world of Maxine Kiss, although I'd recommend reading the previous books so you don't get stuck trying to remember what's what.  Maxine is wonderful, as always, and Grant just keeps getting more intriguing.  Grandfather Jack/Old Wolf, is in a bit of a pickle this time, and we finally find out why Byron was created by him.  My favourite characters are still the Boys, as Max calls her demonic looking protectors, and they always make me smile.  Our mysterious hair waving, hat wearing guy is back.  Oturu helps Maxine remember things, some of them I think she'd rather forget.

There are some new characters, some revelations regarding the Prison, and as you guessed it - you end up with more questions than answers so therefore you have to read the next book :-)  The world building is wonderful and you really get sucked into the world and lose yourself for the few hours it takes to read this book.  At 336 pages, Liu has packed a lot of story into this book.  The revelation of her tattoo/protectors identity, as well as that of her ancestors, is very interesting.  I can't wait to read the next book, Mortal Bone, to find out what happens.

On the plus side, unlike a lot of Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance books, there is no real swearing and no graphic sex scenes - which is quite refreshing actually - and while there is a little bit of violence, it isn't nearly as graphic as other books.  So if you're squeamish, then this book is a good book for you.

If you are a fan of Liu, or the Hunter Kiss books, then this is a must. A Wild Light sets up the next book extremely well.  This is the ideal size to just slip into your handbag/schoolbag - any kind of bag - so you can take advantage of every quiet moment to fall back into Kiss' world.  Great for any short travelling like a bus or train as well.  Just remember to get off at your stop!

Spending a cold night with a good book and a cuppa

Last night was so cold here in SE QLD.  For the 11th night in a row, I had to shiver through subzero temperatures - the lowest at -4°c (or about 25°f) - and it seems there's no end in sight.  At these temperatures I should be able to enjoy having some snow falling, but nooooo we don't get snow here.  So, when I heard the weatherman make his prediction that was it.  I was calling it a night and heading off to bed.  There was no way in hell I was sitting in a chilly room (that I can never seem to heat up) trying to watch the Olympics (the only thing watchable on TV, but that's another story).  Grabbing a book at random, I made a steaming hot mug of tea and scampered off to bed.  

It was so cold that my cat wanted to get under the blankets too!  That's when you know it's really cold.  Today it's fine and sunny but the wind is howling.  As I write this I'm curled up on the sofa, cat in lap, bundled up in winter woollies.  I'm even contemplating getting a throw rug to wrap around me.  I foresee another freezing night ahead of me... I wish I had a fireplace.

August 8, 2012

Something Wicked This Way Comes

Wicked As They Come
A Blud Novel #1
Delilah S. Dawson

Back cover:

When Tish Everett forces open the ruby locket she finds at an estate sale, she has no 
idea that a deliciously rakish Bludman has cast a spell just for her. She wakes up in a 
surreal world, where Criminy Stain, the dashing proprietor of a magical traveling 
circus, curiously awaits. At Criminy’s electric touch, Tish glimpses a tantalizing future, 
but she also foresees her ultimate doom. Before she can decide whether to risk her fate 
with the charming daredevil, the locket disappears, and with it, her only chance to return 
home. Tish and Criminy battle roaring sea monsters and thundering bludmares, vengeful 
ghosts and crooked Coppers in a treacherous race to recover the necklace from the 
evil Blud-hating Magistrate. But if they succeed, will Tish forsake her fanged suitor 
and return to her normal life, or will she take a chance on an unpredictable but dangerous 
destiny with the Bludman she’s coming to love?

I bought this book via an online recommendation and all I can say is WOW!  This is such an original book - and that's saying something these days.  As a new reader to the world of Steampunk, I fell in love with the world, and the characters.  

As a 20 something nurse, Letitia 'Tish' Everett - our heroine - has already had a hard road to hoe.  She's just come out of an abusive relationship, her parents are out of the picture, and her beloved Grandmother is dying of cancer.  Her world seems to be falling apart.  So, when Tish sees a locket at the estate sale of a former patient, she falls in lust with the gorgeous image within.  Little does she know that the blood she spills on the locket while trying to clean it, activates a spell a century in the making.  That night she is transported to the world of Sang, and the deliciously bite-able Criminy Stain (who finds her naked near an alter in the woods).

At first Letitia, as Criminy calls her, is certain that this is just a very vivid dream.  But when a cute little bunny turns into a blood-sucking furball, she starts to think that there just might be something wrong.  Now she finds herself at the mercy of Criminy Stain.  How will she get back?  Can she get back?

This book felt a little like Alice in Wonderland to me, so when Tish falls down the rabbit hole into Sang. . . OMG.  Having only read one Steampunk series previously, A Parasol Protectorate, I was expecting to find the same world-building as in Gail Carriger's books.  Well, I was half right.  Whereas the Protectorate books deal with a truly paranormal savvy techno-Victorian world, Dawson's world is truly in another realm altogether.  I loved the parallels drawn by Dawson, like the fact that some city names are the same, which makes the world seem somehow familiar and therefore easier to fall into.  The invention of blud-animals was fabulous.  I loved the bludbunnies, and if I had to catch a bludmare in a field I think I'd pass.

There are a few little plot twists that I didn't expect, but that just makes it more interesting.  Just who do you trust?

I loved the cover.  It was part of what made up my mind when I was deciding whether to purchase it or not. The dark colour scheme reflects the nature of the book, but while there are some dark scenes, there isn't anything truly violent.  There is no graphic sexual content for which I am grateful as I am getting quite sick of that as a story device, and whatever bad language there is, it's not very graphic.

If you want to read a book that found an voice of it's own, then grab this anyway you can.

I'm looking forward to the next book, Wicked As She Wants, available April 2013.

August 5, 2012

200th blog and I'm Dying for Daylight

Woo hoo!  200 blog entries.  Okay, it sounds like a lot, but looking back it just means that I haven't put fingers to keyboard as much as I should have.  Sorry.  There are times when real life just seems to get in the road, but I love being able to just put up my thoughts when I can.  Thankfully I'm on my last 2 units, and then I'm done with studying... well, maybe.

As I mentioned on Twitter yesterday, I stumbled across a Charlaine Harris computer game at my local EB store.  I was just browsing and couldn't believe my eyes when I happened to see her name splashed across the top of the DVD case.  Amazed, I snapped it up for $9, and headed home to play.  I do love a good strategy/hidden object game.  Anyhow, I got stuck into it was having fun.  I got through Days 1 - 3 and started Day 4 (Inked) when I decided that was 5 hrs enough for the day.  

What I didn't realize until a few minutes ago was that there was only 4 episodes on this disc.... WTF!  Yes, that's right.  Only half the game is on there.  Who ever heard of breaking up a game and not mentioning it on the case?  So now I have to wait impatiently for the next part to be released.  And yes I will wait, damn it , because the graphics and story is great.  This game had me hooked before the first 10 minutes were up.  I only have 1 criticism.  That the jumping from map point to map point can get annoying, especially when you have to do it about 4 times just for one clue.

However, I did love the little blood slurping bat that popped up when the game was loading new sections.  He was oh so cute.  The graphics in this game were just amazing.  Like graphic novels come to life.  The music was lovely, if repetitive after a while, and the dialogue was pretty good.  I liked Dahlia.  She had personality, and attitude, plus a serious desire to shop at Tiffany's during daylight hours.  The 'world' shown in this game is amazing.  Gritty streets, manky looking vampires and a seriously creepy child Vamp. I just wish you got to see more of the world than just one or two side games.  I also would have loved it if they could have incorporated a bit more of the Sookieverse in it, like posters for Fangtasia, or other well known locations from the books.  But that could just be me?

So, if you do happen to come across a copy of this game give it a go.  It's not terribly difficult and is a great way to spend a few hours since there are only 4 parts.  Anyway, I'm nearly finished Day 4, so I'd better get back to it and make Polly talk.