Because of YOU Karen Marie Moning!

Thanks to Kelly Clarkson and team for creating this song so I could change the lyrics and dedicate it to Karen Marie Moning. Because of HER I’m addicted to the Fever series after just reading all 4 published books in 2 days.

Original lyrics here and video below.

I will not read any other books besides yours
I will not let myself
Cause my heart so much misery
I will not break just like Mac didn’t
She fell so hard
She learned the hard way
To never lose her sidhe-seer hope

Because of you
I never stray too far from your
message boards
Because of you
I learned to play
Mac vs Shades; now I can’t do work
Because of you
I find it hard to trust not only Barrons, but everyone else around Mac
Because of you
I am addicted

I lose my way
And it’s not too long before you point it out
I cannot sleep
Because you write such cliffhangers in your books
I’m forced to read
your blog, your interviews for any hint
My heart can’t possibly take
Any other ending beside Mac & Barrons

Because of you
I never stray too far from the lights
Because of you
I learned a new vocab of Gaelic and Fae terms
Because of you
I find it hard to trust anyone besides Dani around Mac
Because of you
I am pri-ya

I watched the beast die
I heard a cry at night under the garage
Mac was so young
She didn’t know better than to lean on Barrons
She never thought of outside Georgia
She just learned of pain
And now she hunts in the middle of the night
For the same damn Book

Because of you
I keep rereading the lusty scenes from Dreamfever
Because of you
I learned to make up crazy theories so Mac ends up happy
Because of you
I try my hardest just to forget everything (that came before the Fever Series)
Because of you
I don’t know how to wait until
Because of you
I’m ashamed I took so long to read your books
Because of you
I am addicted

Future paranormal release excerpts and giveaway winner

It’s Lent and my Catholic guilt definitely extends to my recent abandonment of my blog, so despite the 60 hour work weeks and lack of a personal life I’m forcing myself to write ONE post a week. And this one is full of good news, well at least for 2 people: a lucky winner from my giveaway….and for me as I found some excerpts of upcoming series releases I’m highly anticipating!

First things first, from the winner of Jill Marie Landis’ new book Heart of Stone is…


Congrats, lady, please email me your snail mail address!

So…moving on from an inspy-Christian-Western-historical-romance to vampires, telepaths, boarding school, Russia, psychics, shapeshifting Changelings and futuristic worlds is an odd segue, but no one can argue that my reading tastes aren’t eclectic! 

Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy series totally grew on me (i have a half written blog about how the first book REALLY didn’t work for me but i already had the second from the library and it was a 3 day weekend so I read it for the heck of it anyway and i’m SO GLAD i did, Rose Hathaway is so fabulously cool *ahem* i should really finish writing that blog post huh? i def have a lot to say ) ANWAYS I’m very excited for the release of the fifth book in the series Spirit Bound this May. Check out the summary below and you can find the excerpt here. I’ve already read it 4 times in anticipation! (obviously this is all slightly spoiler-y if you haven’t read the previous books!)

Dimitri gave Rose the ultimate choice. But she chose wrong…

After a long and heartbreaking journey to Dimitri’s birthplace in Siberia, Rose Hathaway has finally returned to St. Vladimir’s—and to her best friend, Lissa. It is nearly graduation, and the girls can’t wait for their real lives beyond the Academy’s iron gates to begin. But Rose’s heart still aches for Dimitri, and he’s out there, somewhere.

She failed to kill him when she had the chance. And now her worst fears are about to come true. Dimitri has tasted her blood, and she knows in her heart that he is hunting her. And if Rose won’t join him, he won’t rest until he’s silenced her…forever.

Cue the *DUN DUN DUNNNN* music!


Secondly, I’m still going strong with the Sookie Stackhouse series, but if her romantic life doesn’t get straightened out soon…well I can’t say I’ll be looking forward to the books quite as much. I am just not a love triangle-unresolved-romance type of reader. It repels me like lemon juice does to fairies *fist-bump to other Sookie lovers for that inside joke*

Book 10, Dead in the Family is released May 4th. As an Eric+Sookie fan I highly enjoyed the excerpt but also really hope that we learn more about Sookie’s cousin’s secret baby who is also a telepath and he was totally skipped over in the last book! Summary below:

After enduring torture and the loss of loved ones during the brief but deadly Faery War, Sookie Stackhouse is hurt and she’s angry. Just about the only bright spot in her life is the love she thinks she feels for vampire Eric Northman. But he’s under scrutiny by the new Vampire King because of their relationship. And as the political implications of the Shifters coming out are beginning to be felt, Sookie’s connection to the Shreveport pack draws her into the debate. Worst of all, though the door to Faery has been closed, there are still some Fae on the human side-and one of them is angry at Sookie. Very, very angry…

I think that calls for more DUN DUN DUNNN music, these saummaries really don’t mess around with leaving you on the edge!


Last but DEFINITELY not least is *tamping my squeeing fangirl side down* Nalini Singh’s July 2010 release Bonds of Justice, 8th in her Psy/Changeling series. Now I have to be totally honest that after reading the first 7 books in the series I noticed a personal proclivity towards the books with at least one Changeling as part of the couple, and the 6th book with TWO changeling’s finding true love? *fanning self* well no WONDER Branded by Fire was one of my top reads in 2009!

But Bonds of Justice follows a character from a previous book, Max who’s in Enforcement and has slightly more psychic skills than other average humans, and a new type of Psy, a J-Psy (j for judicial? something?), who’s working with him on a case.

Totally spoiler free (this series is a slow-buildup with different H/H each book so there are rarely spoilers) summary below and excerpt here.

Max Shannon is a good cop, one of the best in New York Enforcement. Born with a natural shield that protects him against Psy mental invasions, he knows he has little chance of advancement within the Psy- dominated power structure. The last case he expects to be assigned to is that of a murderer targeting a Psy Councilor’s closest advisors. And the last woman he expects to compel him in the most sensual of ways is a Psy on the verge of catastrophic mental fracture.

I just love finding excerpts, it makes the wait for the next release just a teensy bit easier to bear. What about you, do you like reading excerpts months before a book comes out, or is it more frustrating or too spoilerish?


Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld

Title: Leviathan

Author: Scott Westerfeld

Published: October 2009

Pages: 448 pages (hardcover)

Genre: YA Fantasy

Standalone or series: The first and only published book in a new series. The next one, Behemoth, will be out in October 2010.

Why I read it: Oh the Book Smugglers of course *grinning* who else? (Their awesome review is here)

Source: The library

First things first, I have no knowledge of this “steampunk” business but thoroughly enjoyed this adventurous tale of two teens from opposing nations on the precipice of war. I loved the story and the language. It certainly wouldn’t be the same without the steampunk elements, but in terms of my reading preferences I could take it or leave it. Just personally I don’t get all excited about imaginative machinery possibilities or fabricated animals.

It was definitely cool, but other people will geek out over steampunk way more than me. I was more all about the adventure, action, and the heart of the story. Two teenagers destined for great things during war-time! Ahhhh the classic YA fantasy set up :)

And the heroine is disguised as a boy to stow away in the British (air) Navy! *closing eyes in bliss* I just love those spunky disguised heroines!

The language piece of this world building was so awesome with made up phrases, expressions, machines and animals such as the Monkey Luddites vs Darwinsits, fabricated animals vs Clankers, and I’m trying to introduce “barking” into my vocabulary, as in “you’re barking mad, hubby!”

While (supposing I was part of this world) ethically I’d be fine with fabricated animals made from spliced, combined, and twisted DNA strands, I definitely sympathised with some of the Monkey Luddites’ reactions to the “fabs” where I got a little nauseous at the descriptions of dogs with 6 legs, flying on the tentacles of a giant hydrogen filled octopus, and walking through the inside of a flying whale with skin, bones, and mucus all around you.

This was my best read in all of February coming in at an A-, and my first time reading anything by Mr. Westerfeld. I will absolutely be picking up the next installment in this series (from the library at the very least, the $20 price tag is a bit steep!) and am excited to read more about Prince Aleksandar and Airman (girl) Deryn Sharp.

Waving goodbye to Under The Dome

Waking up for an Under The Dome inspired nightmare at 5am today was the second to last straw. I tried to cuddle up on hubby for comfort but he was facing the wrong way (I can’t be the big spoon) and I didn’t want to wake him up to make him roll over.

But beyond the nightmare and loss of sleep, the very last, most wispy, tiny, yellow straw was the killing off of ANOTHER good guy. I dealt with the first 3 or 4 dying ok (by “ok” i mean i had nightmares about me being the next murder/rape/severed limb victim) as it is to be expected in dark/horror books. I mean heck, good people die in Sookie Stackhouse’s world all the time and I keep reading those!

But while I was reading it on the metro this morning these three plucky good-guy teenagers go out on their bikes to inspect the possible source of the Dome…and get radiation poising near the dead bodies of deer and a bear. I slammed the book shut (gagged a little to be honest) and vowed not to re-open it.

So I’m now waving goodbye to Under The Dome. I shall not be finishing it. Well…tonight, while I decide whether to watch my DVR’d American Idol, Real World DC, or the live Olympics I may try to skim the last 50 pages to find out if anyone in the Dome-covered-town survives the madmen, evil-police-force, air pollution, meth addicts, or radiation poisoning. But I have a feeling if the mysterious force-field-Dome ever lifts no one is going to be left. Certainly not any good guys.

The last time I read Stephen King was a bunch of short stories when I was about 12, now that I’m 26 I thought I’d be better able to handle it. But I was wrong. I’m like that dog that never learns about the electric fence and keeps getting shocked. Remember when I gave up on Michael Grant’s GONE series which is so super duper similar and so often compared to King’s Dome? Yeah I gave those up because they were too horror, gore, and sadness filled for me, I guess I needed another zap of the electric collar to make me learn.

I can’t decide of the electric collar analogy is the best for me or “curiosity killed the cat,” because I wanted to read Under the Dome due to my G*d-damn curiosity about how the force-field around the town came to be, how would people survive under it, and would it ever lift?


I’m still going to try and mix up my reading genres, because I know I can’t survive on a diet of just romance alone, but I won’t be venturing too far away for a while.

EDITED TO ADD LATE BREAKING NEWS: just skipped ahead 500 pages and read the last 50, thank goodness a few of the good guys made it. The ending and Big Reveal are so very very reminiscent of Ender’s Game if you read and loved that, then it’s totally worth pushing through Under the Dome.

Succubus Blues, sunburned, and satisfied


DC is welcoming us home with frigid temperatures, but my head is still spinning with beautiful memories of the beach, great food, and a fun reggae concert.

It’s also spinning with all the paranormal Seattle, historical London, and contemporary Texan settings, exciting plots, and unique characters from the three books I brought in my suitcase. But I really wanted to talk about the first one I read, Succubus Blues by Richelle Mead.

I fell in love with her YA Vampire Academy series, but for the life of me I CANNOT properly give a grade to or impartially tell you about Succubus Blues.

I know what a succubus is from previous exposures to this mythology: a female demon seducing men in their sleep. I knew the protagonist in this book was a succubus (obvi!!!!). I knew that meant she’d probably be having sex with lots of men/maybe not nice men/as well as her potential love interest, for demonic reasons as well as struggling with her morality.

I just didn’t really think this through in relation to my personal reading preferences. I was more like, “Oh, Richelle Mead, she’s great, I’ll read this random book she wrote.” And then about 15 pages in after the heroine, Georgina Kincaid, shape shifts into a dominatrix demon to have sex with a single, fat, ugly, 30-something living in his parents’ basement, I was squicked out.

I kept reading since I was on the plane, but that type of heroine is just not for me. I’ve blogged about it before, but totally non-human heroines with very different agendas/goals/morals/eating habits/life forces are a real turn-off. For example: 99% of the time, no matter how lauded the character, author, or series I will not pick up any book where the heroine is a vampire.

*putting my fingers in me ears* I can’t heaaarrr you! Don’t try to tell me how great x, y, or z is, I won’t do it. (Although I am this.close to trying Molly Harper’s Nice Girls Don’t series, but don’t try to push me on it!)

This is so personal and I absolutely KNOW it’s not true in the slightest for many readers. I will absolutely keep trying paranormal-different-species-heroines, and sometimes get pleasant surprises, like special-psychic-powers from-a-whole-new-race-of-beings Sacha from Slave to Sensation. Even though she was quite alien (her eyes are totally black with a field of white stars that sometimes turn into multi-colored fireworks) her personality, her desires, her ethical code, her reactions to others…all I could relate to. 

In Succubus Blues even though the mystery surrounding who was killing off other paranormals in Seattle, how and why did Georgina become a succubus, what secrets about the paranormal world hierarchy and beings are her superiors keeping from her, and can she fall in love with a human man? were alllll great story lines with fun fast-paced plotting I couldn’t get past Georgina herself.

So yeah. Sorry about that.


MOVING ON. As I recovered from my sunburn (yes I let some Twitterers see my chestal area) after our FIRST DAY in the sun, I really enjoyed my other two reads, Lisa Kleypas’ Blue Eyed Devil and Loretta Chase’s Don’t Tempt Me. I can’t say I adore Lisa Kleypas’ contemporary-set books nearly as much as her historicals but her past two following the Travis siblings finding love in Texas have been quite entertaining.

It was a very satisfying vacation, a big part in thanks to my reading materials being so good! Ugh, I can’t imagine enjoying a vacation where I didn’t like the books I brought! That wouldn’t make sense to a non-bookworm I’m sure, but for us readers I think it really makes a difference.

Library Loot: crossing state lines

It is amazing, for a girl (that would be moi) who has sworn off vampire books (except for the Sookie Stackhouse ones, and I am perilously close to saying sayonara to those too) I am absolutely bewitched, enthralled, and beguiled by Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy series.

So much so that in order to get the first three books in the series I crossed state lines!!!!


Ok that is not that unusual considering I can practically walk between DC, VA, and MD, or at least take a 20 minute metro ride to each. But for a lusty reader it is the best-case-scenario, with a DC driver’s license you can get a library card in any of the three states! So far I only have ones for DC and VA (where I live and work respectively) but pretty soon I expect the day to come when the Maryland library system just outside DC has the next book in a series that I just must get my mitts on immediately.

For this week’s library loot I present the following:

  • Vampire Academy (Book 1), by Richelle Mead (link to website with all books here)
  • Frostbite (Book 2)
  • Shadow Kiss (Book 3)
  • Captive Bride, by Johanna Lindsey (not sure if this counts for library loot, but it was 50 cents on the rack by check out. although ms. lindsey is one of my fave authors of all time i’d never read nor heard of this one before!)

I feel very lucky to live in an area with access to three library systems, but honestly I would settle for one absolutely amazing one. The DC system is absolutely abysmal.

How bout you? How far would you go to get a book you really wanted?

Library loot is a weekly meme hosted by Eva and Marg.

Three Days to Dead, by Kelly Meding

  • Title: Three Days to Dead
  • Author: Kelly Meding
  • Published: November 2009
  • Pages: 416 mass market paperback
  • Standalone or series: Debut novel and first book in Dreg City series. Next book As Lie the Dead will be released in July 2010.
  • Why I read it:  I can’t remember where I saw the first reviews but after several super positive ones popped up, and I lost several contests to win it, I had to go out and buy it.
  • Two things that I feel MUST be mentioned right away:

    1. If you like: Get this book into your little mitts IMMEDIATELY if you like Charlaine Harris or Anne Aguirre. Any fans of Sookie Stackhouse or Corine Solomon will just adore Meding’s Evy Stone and her supernatural adventures.
    2. Romance: this is not a romance novel. this is not a paranormal romance. just fyi. i saw it reviewed on a lot of romancelandia book blogs and had different expectation. it is straight urban fantasy.

    The premise of this book got me hook, line, and sinker. Seriously you could probably see a scar on my upper lip from where I was reeled in straight to the bookstore to buy it. The countdown to death, waking up in a new body, and solving a supernatural conspiracy just reached out and grabbed me.

    Here is the official summary:

    She’s young, deadly, and hunted—with only three days to solve her own murder…

    When Evangeline Stone wakes up naked and bruised on a cold slab at the morgue – in a stranger’s body, with no memory of who she is and how she got there – her troubles are only just beginning.  Before that night, she and the other two members of her Triad were star bounty hunters — mercilessly cleansing the city of the murderous creatures living in the shadows, from vampires to shape-shifters to trolls. Then something terrible happened that not only cost all three of them their lives, but also convinced the city’s other Hunters that Evy was a traitor . . . and she can’t even remember what it was.

    Now she’s a fugitive, piecing together her memory, trying to deal some serious justice – and discovering that she has only three days to solve her own murder before the reincarnation spell wears off. Because in three days, Evy will die again – but this time, there’s no second chance…

    I loved Three Days to Dead. I love the Sookie Stackhouse series and saw some of the same cleverness, detailed characterizations, and action packed adventure in this great debut novel. I think this is a new author to watch.

    Told in first person narrative by Evy Stone I enjoyed the rhythm of her thoughts, her spunkiness, and was happy to go along with her for the ride of why she died, why she woke up in a stranger’s body, and how she dealt with her new life…even though it was only going to last for three days. Set in an urban fantasy world we are introduced to the supernatural world of Dreg City filled with goblins who bleed fuchsia, bridge trolls who can sink into concrete, vampires with purple eyes, gargoyles who turn to stone in the sunlight, and an underground fairy paradise. The way we learn of the backstories of all the creatures in this fantasy world is injected subtly into memories, conversations, and observations by Evy. Every time she went to visit a new creature I got excited to find out what the story behind their mythology would be!

    As I mentioned at the top this is straight urban fantasy and as the Evy Stone series continues you can guess (SPOILER) that she doesn’t die after three days. But other than that you should be prepared for some sad scenes, people close to Evy dying and some pretty brutal violence and torture.

    I did think there was a lot of potential in the world building, in fact this book gets a A+ for potential, but B-ish for execution. I will readily admit that I am a speed reader, and sometimes miss out on details in my haste to get to the next page. However I had a hard time visualizing the city this is set in, I’m not even really sure what the name of the city was. I also had no idea what season it was, while great detail was given to the fight scenes, imagery of characters, and the legends of this supernatural world I felt that some detail was lacking in the physical surroundings. Something as simple as the weather or the season seemed to be missing for me which again made it hard for me to visualize everything and get totally into it. And then very last thing, supposedly the humans in [insert city name here] didn’t know about the supernatural world. But anything about humans was hardly touched on and the goblins and other “dregs” always seemed to be out in plain sight, I didn’t think enough detail was given to this part of the world building either.

    But like I said, I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough and loved Evy’s character. I would recommend this to any paranormal or fantasy fans and I will absolutely be buying the next book in the series! B grade for me.

    Kushiel’s Chosen, by Jacqueline Carey

  • Title: Kushiel’s Chosen 
  • Author: Jacqueline Carey
  • Published: Tor Fantasy, March 2003
  • Pages: 704pgs mass market paperback
  • Standalone or series: Second in Kushiel’s Legacy series.
  • Why I read it: Despite my reservations about the first in the series I wanted to try the next one since I had bothered to memorize an entire complex world, and the first book ended on such a cliffhanger! 
  • Thank you all for joining me in discussing the world of Phèdre and Terre D’Ange in my post yesterday on the first book in the series, Kushiel’s Dart. Part of the reason I couldn’t help but make it so long was because I felt like background on this fantastical land was too important to gloss over. So if you haven’t checked it out yet, please do before we get started today!

    While I did place so much importance on the mythology and religion Ms. Carey created, the plot was equally as fascinating and important. D’Angelines have much pride in their kingdom, not only is Terre D’Ange rich in resources and trade, but also wealthy in arts, culture, sophistication, beauty (they are descendents of fallen angels) and loyalty to each other. Thus other nations have turned their eyes and greed towards gaining some of Terre D’Anges many types of wealth for themselves.

    The final scenes of Kushiel’s Dart brought the ginormous cast of characters (what high fantasy doesn’t have this?) to the culmination of a epic war (again, what high fantasy doesn’t have this) with a traitor to the new, young queen apprehended. While the physical battle comes to an end, the traitor does not…thus the political intrigue continues into Kushiel’s Chosen.

    And that wasn’t the only cliffhanger-the budding romance between Phèdre and her valiant Casseline defender Joscelin that seemed doomed before it even began got hints of a potential future. But how, when he has sworn a vow of chastity and protection? And when Phèdre is driven by sexual urges, is a courtesan, and consistently puts her life in danger? Obviously I had to read the next book in the series, even though my fellow romance readers warned that most conventional romance novel lovers (aka moi) wouldn’t find the  romance for these two protagonists super satisfying.

    If I had a hard time keeping up with all the characters, their cities and countries, and belief systems in the first book, that was NOTHING compared to Kushiel’s Chosen. The good news is I finally got ahold of the world of Terre D’Ange, I feel like I memorized the bible in Swahili, but I got in down pat. The problem is this time Phèdre’s quest to find the traitor, and who was involved in the plotting, brings her to La Serenissima (modeled after Venice as we know it) and then to multiple islands throughout the “Mediterranean” and “Greece”, each with its own distinct language and characteristics. At points I sorta of gave up trying to keep peoples’ names straight and what language they were speaking, thinking more along the lines of “he’s the one with black hair, she’s the priestess who was nice, he’s gay but hiding it…etc.”

    But even when being lazy I couldn’t help but continue to admire the detail of this medieval fantasy world being interwoven with an exciting plot, in depth characterizations and growth, as well as symbolism and social commentary. Take this quote for example showing how a few lines of dialogue and a moment of introspection by Phèdre covers sooo much territory:

    “It is a fair day,” I mused in [his language of] Illyrian. “Is it not, Ushak?”

    “Y-yes.” He was red as a boiled lobster, and stammering with it. “Every day is f-fair, when it is graced with the sight of you!” He said all in a rush.

    I halted, gazing at him. “Is that why you came, Ushak”

    His throat worked convulsively. “It is…it is one reason, my lady,” he said stiffly. “I think…we do not have such things on Dobrek, such things as you…to die in your name, it w-would be an honor!”

    “To live would be a better one,” I said gently. “I am D’Angeline and Naamah’s Servant, yes, but beauty is not worth dying for.”

    He shook his head, blushing and swallowing fiercely. “Not that alone, my lady. You, you were kind to us, you learned our tongue, you laughed at our jests…even, even mine.” He swallowed again and added helplessly, “You were kind.”

    I thought on it, searching the empty blue skies. “Is the world so cruel then, that that is all that is required to move a man to risk his life? Kindness?”

    “Yes.” Trembling and gulping, Ushak stood his ground, holding manfully onto my arm. “Sometimes…yes, my lady,” he finished firmly.

    Ah, Elua! I bowed my head, overwhelmed by nameless emotion. I understood Kazan, and the debt he perceived; I understood the Ban and his kin, weighing merit against risk. Even those of Kazan’s men who had been my shipmates, I understood better; we had forged a bond, we had, during that dreadful flight, and the terrors of the Temenos. But this…this came straight from the heart.

    Love as thou wilt.

    They are fools, who reckon Elua a soft god, fit only for the worship of starry-eyed lovers. Let the warriors clamor after gods of blood and thunder; love is hard, harder than steel and thrice as cruel. It is as inexorable as the tides, and life and death alike follow in its wake.

    I continued to get goosebumps everytime I read Elua’s precept, “love as thou wilt,” such a powerful way to live your life. I also continued to have the same reoccurring issues, Phèdre so often says she feels “compelled” to keep scheming and strategizing and putting her life in danger and also “compelled” to damage any chances at a relationship with honorable Joscelin through continuing in her BDSM courtesan ways. Sometimes I just wanted to say enough already! Take care of yourself for once! It was noble of her to care for her queen and country so much, and certainly a D’Angeline trait, but too many awful things befell her, as soon as the escaped the clutches of one horrible situation, she was imprisoned in another. Maybe this was done on purpose as sort of a fate or destiny type thing, but I felt manipulated after time and time again her quest was elongated and she was put in even more peril.

    And don’t even get me STARTED on Melisande. The bitch just won’t go away, argh! (And she is in the THIRD BOOK that I’m reading now too). Yesterday in the comments I thought Carolyn Crane brought up an excellent point, would I find understand Phèdre’s love/hate/sexual attraction/sadomasochistic feelings for Melisande more understandable if Melisande were a male character? I don’t know, but that certainly made me think. I’m tempted to say NO WAY I will never empathize with Melisande, she is evil through and through and there is nothing to commend her. I can see that as a literary character at the very least she is “interesting” but I’m pretty blinded by my hatred for her and like Phèdre less for her feelings towards Melisande.

    In conclusion, I was much more engaged with the characters, plot and world Kushiel’s Chosen. Any grievances I have are more personal in terms of romance preferences, and difficulty accepting some of the morals and belief systems. And like I said yesterday, I’m investing in reading the next installation, a 704 page hardcover, only because I think it’s worth it. Or maybe I’m starting to be a bit masochistic too ;)

    Kushiel’s Dart, by Jacqueline Carey

    • Title: Kushiel’s Dart
    • Author: Jacqueline Carey
    • Published: Tor Fantasy, March 2002
    • Pages: 816 mass market paperback
    • Standalone or series: First in Kushiel’s Legacy series, which is made up of three related trilogies. The first of which follows protagonist Phèdre.
    • Why I read it: On a recent Smart Bitches recommended fantasy reads post this book was allllll over the comment thread. I had never ever heard a peep about it before, but as soon as I mentioned it on twitter I got so many responses I went out and got it from my library immediately.

    There is no way to summarize, reflect upon, or have even the most superficial discussion about Kushiel’s Dart without mentioning the religion of the world Ms. Carey created. The religion of Terre D’Ange is the foundation for all the characters’ personalities, actions, goals, culture, biases, and motivations.

    I found Kushiel’s Dart to be similar to Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Mists of Avalon or The Firebrand in general and for the significance placed on religion.

    More on their religion shortly, but you’ll have to bear with me for a few first. Also, this post is SOOOOO LOOOONG, consider yourself warned. Also I expect a discussion at the end from those of you who’ve read it!!!!!

    Check out all my thoughts after the jump… Continue reading

    My Soul to Take by Rachel Vincet

    my soul to take

    I received this book as an ARC earlier this summer from Harlequin, my first ARC ever! (Happy now FTC?) I was super intrigued by the summary:

    She doesn’t see dead people, but…

    She senses when someone near her is about to die. And when that happens, a force beyond her control compels her to scream bloody murder. Literally.

    Kaylee just wants to enjoy having caught the attention of the hottest guy in school. But a normal date is hard to come by when Nash seems to know more about the need to scream than she does. And when classmates start dropping dead for no apparent reason, only Kaylee knows who’ll be next…

    So our girl Kaylee has a bit of a problem, well several…Her mom passed away when she was a baby, her Dad ran off to Ireland, leaving her back in the US in the care of her Aunt and Uncle, and one cousin who she doesn’t get along with in the slightest. Oh yeah one more thing – she gets an unbearable and inescapable urge to scream at the top of her lungs when she’s close to certain people…people who end up dying shortly thereafter.

    This last part had me hooked, all the family internal drama is one thing, but the myth and legends of Banshees or bean sidhes was totally new to me, so I had no preconceptions and Ms. Vincent’s world enraptured me. From the very beginning I also loved the descriptive writing, I could almost feel how desperate and painful it was for Kaylee to hold back her screams in the first scene at a bar she sneaked into, surrounded by people, one of whom she knew was going to die.  The way she clenched her teeth, the internal agony she had to keep it in…I could almost feel it right along with her.

    Although she went through this agony a few times in the book I didn’t feel the description got too repetitive, enough new parts of what banshees go through and what she was feeling were revealed each time to make each experience subtly different.

    On the flip side I felt that too many areas of her powers, of the secret paranormal world, of her family history, of the dangers she was now exposed to were hidden from her too long. This lack of knowledge not only put her in needless danger from being put off from knowing more about her new situation, but also seemed to needlessly elongate the book. I feel like it could have been 50 pages shorter at least. Like her family and new boyfriend were withholding information from her on purpose to draw out events even longer.

    I mean if I found out I wasn’t a human, but a wailing banshee prompted by imminent death I would want to know as much as possible right away! Heck, let’s stay up all night talking about it! Maybe I should find out more about my parents and aunt and uncle since they might be banshees too! But Kaylee gets stonewalled a bit here which annoyed me.

    The suspense plot line of why so many girls were dropping dead in Kaylee’s town for no apparent reason kept me on my toes and also helped us the reader, to gain more insight into the paranormal world, as well as how Kaylee would handle difficult situations morally and personally. She came out on top every time, and not in a Mary Sue way.

    I also like Kaylee’s voice, to be honest I hardly ever EVER choose books in first person narrative if I can help it, but Ms. Vincent does a great job balancing Kaylee’s teenager thoughts while on the path to self discovery. And she’s a bit wry, a little matter-of-fact which really appealed to me. Take this quote for example (near the end, but 90% spoiler free!)

    My gaze fell to the room where ____  had died, ____ had been restored, and I’d whacked a psychotic grim reaper with a cast iron skillet. Weirdest. Tuesday. Ever.

    Ending on a bit of a cliffhanger with her budding romantic relationship, return of her father, and more lurking mysteries in the paranormal world I can’t wait to read more about Kaylee and her developing life as a banshee. I recommend this book for teens and adult alike, anyone looking to read a little bit of dark adventure! Final grade: A- for me!

    The next edition in the Soul Screamers Series, My Soul To Save will be released in January 2010.