Jessica Rules the Dark Side Was Good!

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It’s one thing to find out you’re a vampire princess. It’s a whole other thing to actually rule. Newly married Jessica Packwood is having a hard enough time feeling regal with her husband, Lucius, at her side. But when evidence in the murder of a powerful elder points to Lucius, sending him into solitary confinement, Jessica is suddenly on her own. Determined to clear her husband’s name, Jessica launches into a full-scale investigation, but hallucinations and nightmares of betrayal keep getting in her way. Jessica knows that with no blood to drink, Lucius’s time is running out. Can she figure out who the real killer is —and whom she can trust— before it’s too late? (From Goodreads)

I loved the first book and the second one lives up to it (thankfully!) what I really liked about this one while reading was Jessica’s development as a character grows up. Dramatically. Considering she now has to rule and take Lucius place due to the circumstances she had to learn how to take control and she does it gracefully.

The plot itself wasn’t so bad although there could have been more substance to it. The reader already has a hunch as to who is behind the entire plot – a little mystery would have been appreciated and would have kept the plot a little more exciting. So the predictability of it sort of dampens the enjoyment of the book.

Nevertheless it’s the characters that keep the book going. Jessica and Lucius still have that great chemistry together. It’s the light banter Lucius has with Raniero that was also fun to read throughout the story.

Fun to read and it’s light, worth the time – from what I know there’s no more after this one. So to give the duology a nice closing, it’s a good one. (A story about Mindy would be great though.)

Bonus points to the cover. Love it!

I give it an 8 out of 10

 

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Jackaby is Eccentric but fun

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Newly arrived in New Fiddleham, New England, 1892, and in need of a job, Abigail Rook meets R. F. Jackaby, an investigator of the unexplained with a keen eye for the extraordinary–including the ability to see supernatural beings. Abigail has a gift for noticing ordinary but important details, which makes her perfect for the position of Jackaby’s assistant. On her first day, Abigail finds herself in the midst of a thrilling case: A serial killer is on the loose. The police are convinced it’s an ordinary villain, but Jackaby is certain it’s a nonhuman creature, whose existence the police–with the exception of a handsome young detective named Charlie Cane–deny. (From Goodreads)

 

This book was a little slow to start. However I find that because the characters are so interesting and have their own quirks you find yourself sticking to the story because they’re so fascinating.

When I was reading about Jackaby and his character he bears the resemblance of an unorthodox detective whose social skills are rather lacking (speaks his mind without realizing he’s offending) but who happens to be brilliant at what he does and those in the police force grudgingly accept his help because they have no one else to turn to. So in turn you can see why Abigail is needed in this partnership. She provides the social skills and provides insight on things that Jackaby might miss. Which is why they make an interesting team.

Although he’s eccentric and Abigail may come off as ‘normal’ they both are similar because they both don’t stick to the social norms that society at the time (18th century USA) which is why they make good teamwork. Not to mention, Abigail is also searching for adventure and working with Jackaby provided just that.

The world building is interesting and good. There’s supernatural elements and creatures throughout the city in hiding. Those with special vision (Jackaby) would be able to spot them whereas Abigail accepts this – a little too accepting but going with the notion that she needed to find employment right away to survive, I suppose beggars can’t be choosers. It still ended up being the right choice anyway.

Other secondary characters (Jenny and Douglas) are good fillers to provide more substance to Jackaby’s world. I enjoyed reading about Charlie and I hope he makes another appearance in the next novel.

I would say, stick to the story because of the characters that you end up liking as the book progresses. It does get exciting in the last third of the book despite the lack of momentum in the beginning. It was still an enjoyable read.

I give it a 7 out of 10.

#urbanfantasy at its’ finest #bookreview of Dead Things by Stephen Blackmoore

0316182885.01._SX142_SY224_SCLZZZZZZZ_.jpgNecromancer is such an ugly word, but it’s a title Eric Carter is stuck with. He sees ghosts, talks to the dead. He’s turned it into a lucrative career putting troublesome spirits to rest, sometimes taking on even more dangerous things. For a fee, of course. When he left L.A. fifteen years ago he thought he’d never go back. Too many bad memories. Too many people trying to kill him. But now his sister’s been brutally murdered and Carter wants to find out why. Was it the gangster looking to settle a score? The ghost of a mage he killed the night he left town? Maybe it’s the patron saint of violent death herself, Santa Muerte, who’s taken an unusually keen interest in him. Carter’s going to find out who did it and he’s going to make them pay. As long as they don’t kill him first. (From Goodreads)

This is a perfect book for you to get out of your reading rut and to get back into your reading groove! It’s got everything you needed. Lots of action, a protagonist that tries to have a heart but doesn’t because he still ends up looking like the jackalope of the year. Wow. Where do I start with this one.

Eric is the lone wolf type of character who although he tries to reach out and have some friends- sometimes it’s just not a great idea. Seems like everything around him likes  to crash and burn. Don’t mistake that for him being a tragic hero. He’s a jerk all right. Yet he’s a jerk because of what he’s gone through and what he’s put his loved ones through. That’s what makes his character readable and what makes the book a good one. Here, you don’t have the typical hero who’s out to save the day and you don’t have the sad sap that’s out to prove himself. He did some bad things, left town, and came back and is most likely going to do more bad things. It’s about time we read an anti hero like Eric.

Plot wise, it’s pretty straight forward. Lots of supernatural elements and magic. Lots of action and fighting. There’s not much guess work but it’s pretty much figured out who did what and why (although the revelation at the end paves the way for the next book). I rather like the Santa Muerte plot arc. I think there’s going to be more where that came from and can’t wait to read more. Setting wise, it’s generic but when it gets to the supernatural elements with the ghosts and how Eric can travel between both worlds makes it more interesting (the part where he goes to find Santa Muerte is even better it’s like alternative worlds with a supernatural twist to it)

Loved the book, and I’ll keep going with this series. If you’re into The Dresden Files, or Urban Fantasy with a jerk anti hero this is the book to read. It’s quick and fast paced if you’re fully immersed in the book as I was then this book will be finished in no time.

I give it a 9 out of 10.

(One mark off because I hated the romance in it. The dude was hurt and looked like a truck hit him and he still can have some booty? I think not. Ain’t got time for that when I want to heal up.)

 

 

Review of Texas Gothic by Rosemary Clement-Moore

0425184056.01._SX142_SY224_SCLZZZZZZZ_Amy Goodnight knows that the world isn’t as simple as it seems—she grew up surrounded by household spells and benevolent ghosts. But she also understands that “normal” doesn’t mix with magic, and she’s worked hard to build a wall between the two worlds. Not only to protect any hope of ever having a normal life. Ranch-sitting for her aunt in Texas should be exactly that. Good old ordinary, uneventful hard work. Only, Amy and her sister, Phin, aren’t alone. There’s someone in the house with them—and it’s not the living, breathing, amazingly hot cowboy from the ranch next door. It’s a ghost, and it’s more powerful than the Goodnights and all their protective spells combined. It wants something from Amy, and none of her carefully built defenses can hold it back. This is the summer when the wall between Amy’s worlds is going to come crashing down. (From Goodreads)

First I have to add, what a beautiful cover this is. Normally we never “judge a book by it’s’ cover” but this one is so eye catching and lovely so, yes, I am guilty of this. Just for this one.

It’s been awhile since I’ve had a book that made me laugh as much as this one! Amy is such a likable character, one that you can relate to and instantly befriend if she were in your class/neighborhood/work place. It makes the story enjoyable to read, and adds more personality to the book. Supporting cast around Amy also do a great job and are fun to read as well. Her sister Phin is such a great laugh and fun to read. Amy has a pretty kooky family to begin with which adds more to her imperfections and makes her all the more likable.

The romance aspect was cute and fun to read. To be expected as the main central theme is seen with a comedic light. Loved Amy and Ben hating each other first and then it grows to love. Yes it sounds pretty cliche and very Harlequin Romance. It’s over done isn’t it? I’ll accept it for this time. If it’s done with likable characters, then it makes the romance bearable.

Onto the plot itself. It was well done. A mystery with supernatural elements to it. It’s a well rounded book with plenty of other elements drawn in without making the plot confusing or all over the place. It’s well written, and enjoyable. I couldn’t really compare this with anything else that I have read in the past although Nancy Drew with supernatural powers comes pretty close. Although the plot was great and everything in it was a joy to read, 400 and more pages is just a little too much. Maybe there was just too many ‘fillers’ in the book added to make it this long. It’s not necessary. Short books are okay too, we have a huge pile to go through as readers. 🙂

Overall worth a read. Love it for the comedy factor and a well written murder mystery with paranormal elements. Also love it for the well written characters featured.

I give it an 8.5 out of 10.

 

Drink Slay Love by Sarah Beth Durst

Drink Slay Love

Drink Slay Love

Pearl is a sixteen-year-old vampire… fond of blood, allergic to sunlight, and mostly evil… until the night a sparkly unicorn stabs her through the heart with his horn. Oops. Her family thinks she was attacked by a vampire hunter (because, obviously, unicorns don’t exist), and they’re shocked she survived. They’re even more shocked when Pearl discovers she can now withstand the sun. But they quickly find a way to make use of her new talent. The Vampire King of New England has chosen Pearl’s family to host his feast. If Pearl enrolls in high school, she can make lots of human friends and lure them to the King’s feast — as the entrees. The only problem? Pearl’s starting to feel the twinges of a conscience. How can she serve up her new friends—especially the cute guy who makes her fangs ache—to be slaughtered? Then again, she’s definitely dead if she lets down her family. What’s a sunlight-loving vamp to do? (from Goodreads)

This was a joy to read! Pearl’s such a great character and she made the book entertaining. I loved her wit, it provided for the majority of the comedy parts in the plot. Her sarcasm and her attempt to try and fit into school life was absolutely hilarious.

The vampires in this book are well done as well. They’re bloodthirsty and ambitious. Just the way I like them! no sparkly ones here! The scheme to get Pearl into high school so she can lure the food to feed her fellow vampires was well done (plus Jadrien is quite the hottie!)

Although the plot was pretty good, there were parts that are predictable and cliched. However because of Pearl and her personality (which pretty much is the highlight of the book) it can be overlooked. You pretty much figure out who the unicorn is, and Pearl’s choice on who she decides to be with isn’t a bad choice (although, I’d rather prefer the bad guy, he was your stereotypical bad boy, but you couldn’t help but fall for him.)

Definitely recommended for YA lovers. Read it for Pearl! she’s one of the best protagonists you would ever find.

I give it a 9/10

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead.
So did his father before him, until he was gruesomely murdered by a ghost he sought to kill. Now, armed with his father’s mysterious and deadly athame, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat. Together they follow legends and local lore, trying to keep up with the murderous dead—keeping pesky things like the future and friends at bay. When they arrive in a new town in search of a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas doesn’t expect anything outside of the ordinary: track, hunt, kill. What he finds instead is a girl entangled in curses and rage, a ghost like he’s never faced before. She still wears the dress she wore on the day of her brutal murder in 1958: once white, now stained red and dripping with blood. Since her death, Anna has killed any and every person who has dared to step into the deserted Victorian she used to call home. But she, for whatever reason, spares Cas’s life.
(From Amazon.ca)

This book has everything you want in the paranormal genre. This book was slightly different as it has a male protagonist instead of a female one (that makes up the majority of YA paranormal books) so that was a nice change. Plus, Cas is everything you want in a protagonist. He’s got the personality, he’s got the wit and the humor. He’s like the high school version of the Winchester brothers from Supernatural (except there’s only one of him, and two sidekicks).

The plot of this book is quite dark and has its moments of creepiness but it lightens up whenever Cas puts in a thought or two (his humor really is quite good). The description of Anna’s house and Anna herself are well done, other beings are also included and they’re just as creepy. The paranormal aspect of the novel was also well done. Anna is a ghost with personality, and as you get to know her through Cas, you start to like her as well. I really liked how she was written, despite her being a ghost, she was ‘fleshed out’ and didn’t have a cardboard personality. The other characters in the book are also fun to read, and all are likable. (Of the secondary characters, I liked Cas’ mom.)

I loved the ending of the book and it did catch me by surprise. Which is why I can’t wait to get my hands on the second one. This book was a great read, and nice to see a male protagonist lead, with a well written ghost story to accompany it. Most definitely recommended for YA readers.

9.5 out of 10.