Category Archives: Reviews

“You’re my bread.” THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS by M.R. Carey – Review

The Girl 3D

The Girl with All the Gifts by M.R. Carey
Genre: Adult horror
Publisher: Orbit Books
Release date: June 10 2014
Source: e-ARC from publisher via NetGalley
Pages: 407

five stars

What she thinks is: this could have been me. Why not? A real girl, in a real house, with a mother and a father and a brother and a sister and an aunt and an uncle and a nephew and a niece and a cousin and all those other words for the map of people who love each other and stay together. The map called family.

Growing up and growing old. Playing. Exploring. Like Pooh and Piglet. And then like the Famous Five. And then like Heidi and Ann of Green Gables. And then like Pandora, opening the great big box of the world and not being afraid, not even caring whether what’s inside is good or bad. Because it’s both. Everything is always both.

But you have to open it to find that out.

What a wonderful decision it was to read this book, which is now high on my list of 2014 favorites. There are so many things I’d like to tell you about The Girl With All The Gifts, but I don’t want to give away too much, because I want you to experience the surprises of the story for yourself. Luckily, the blurb doesn’t tell you much, but I sort of feel as if this is a hindrance, because as readers, sometimes we need to know at least a little of what we’re in for. So I’m giving it to you straight: this is a zombie story. I’m not going to tell you much else about the plot, but just in case you’re wondering, this is an awesomely wonderful, violent, terrifying, fascinating, beautiful and heartbreaking zombie story. You should read it if you love zombies. And you should read it even if you don’t love zombies, because it’s full of other great stuff as well. So in lieu of a normal book review, I’ve come up with my top ten reasons why you should drop everything and read The Girl With All The Gifts:

1. It’s a nail-biter of a survival story. Who knew? You certainly can’t tell that from the cover. This is a down-and-dirty survival story, no question about it. It will make you jump at shadows and hide under your covers. Somehow Carey combines thrilling action with terrible, creeping horror and it all works.

2. These are not your mother’s zombies. Carey takes zombies to an entirely new and mind-numbing level of scary. And he doesn’t stop there. These zombies are much more than the shambling undead, and you won’t be able to guess what they are until it smacks you in the face.

3. Fewer characters make for a better story. Instead of bogging down the reader with a cast of thousands (à la Stephen King, for example), Carey gives us five main characters and makes us care for them deeply. Each one, even the “bad guy,” becomes critical to the emotional development of the story. The action is fast and furious, but in this book, character is king.

4. There already exists, in the scientific world, the capacity for zombies to exist. Yes, folks, Carey delves into the scientific reasons behind his zombies, and he makes us believe them completely. I’m not a scientist myself, but I am now convinced (whether it’s true or not) that something like this could actually happen.

5. A zombie story can make you cry. Or sob, actually. Carey’s unassuming and spare writing style evoked heart-wrenching emotions. I grew to love and understand these characters so much, and each poignant moment snuck up on me. Tears, people, tears.

6. You’ll never take your childhood for granted again. Through Melanie’s eyes, you will experience the wonders of the world for the first time. Melanie is an innocent—and yet she’s not. Her wide-eyed appreciation of everything reminded me of my kids when they were little. Melanie’s entire world is built on the stories that Miss Justineau has told her. When things change, her world view must change as well. It’s a bit heartbreaking.

7. Zombies are violent, period. This story is no different. There are some spectacular gross-out scenes that rival The Walking Dead. Don’t let the innocent-looking cover fool you. Be prepared, people. That’s all I’m sayin’.

8. This story takes place in England. I didn’t know this when I started reading, and when I finally caught on it threw me a little. British zombies, yes, they are now my favorite!

9. The POV changes from character to character, and that’s a good thing. That’s how we get to know each one of them. You want to be inside each of their heads. It’s crucial to the story’s overall impact. To you naysayers who don’t like this form of storytelling, get over it! This time it works.

10. Oh hell yes, this would make an awesome movie. I hate turning books into movies as I’m reading them, but this one is so cinematic and perfectly plotted and paced, that the movie version unfolded in my mind unbidden as I was reading. (Oh, did I mention the author also writes screenplays?)

Have I convinced you? I hope so. This is storytelling at its finest, and I can’t wait to read what Mr. Carey comes up with next. I’ll leave you with a couple of my favorite quotes, quotes that won’t mean anything to you until you read the book:

“From now on, every day will be a Miss Justineau day.”

“You’re my bread when I’m hungry.”

That is all. Many thanks to Orbit for supplying a review copy. Quotes used in this review came from an uncorrected proof and may differ in the final version.

You can find The Girl with All the Gifts here:

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Filed under 5 stars, Reviews

Secrets & Lies: THE SOURCE (WITCHING SAVANNAH #2) by J.D. Horn – Review

The Source 3D

The Source (Witching Savannah #2) by J.D. Horn
Genre: Adult Paranormal
Publisher: 47North
Release date: June 3 2014
Source: e-ARC from publisher via NetGalley
Pages: 339

four stars

The nitty-gritty:  Witchy magic and grave danger, family secrets and lies, and enough action to satisfy any action-junkie.

My fear and anger bound themselves together and I poured my focus entirely into the blade in his hand. The knife glowed red and then blue, the metal losing shape and transforming into a molten glove that charred the flesh beneath it. He howled, and then grasped his wounded hand. Rage burned in his eyes. His jaw unhinged like a snake, and he vomited foul-smelling black orbs that fell to the floor. Unrolling, they revealed themselves to be horrible little creatures, rats with nearly human faces that scurried along the floor, surrounding me. Razor-sharp claws protruded from their very human fingers and ripped into the bar’s wooden floors.

I read the first book in Horn’s series, The Line, earlier this year and loved it. And while many of the same elements are present in book two, it didn’t have quite the same punch as the first book. Don’t get me wrong, I had a blast reading The Source and revisiting Horn’s family of southern witches, but I feel as if it suffered from Second Book Syndrome—it didn’t feel as tightly edited, as finely plotted, or as carefully focused as the first one. In many places I felt as if there was just too much story, and that Horn was trying to include every awesome idea he could think of in one book.

But what it did have were some pretty amazing characters and wonderfully developed relationships, and for me, this took precedent over the over-stuffed plot. I loved reacquainting myself with Mercy Taylor, young witch and newly appointed “anchor” of the line, a magical force that keeps bad things from crossing over into the human realm. I won’t give away too much of the plot (although it’s almost impossible not to include some spoilers if you haven’t read the first book), but I will briefly set the stage for you.

At the end of The Line, Mercy has discovered that she is pregnant with Peter’s child, and she now has something very important to protect, as her life is once again starting to spin out of control. When she runs into her presumed-dead mother Emily, Mercy’s world is turned upside down, and everything she’s been told by her aunt and uncle seems to have been nothing but lies. Emily says she wants to help and protect her daughter, but suddenly Mercy doesn’t know who to trust. A battle is about to be waged by those witches who uphold the sanctity of the line and those (like Emily) who want to destroy it—and Mercy and her unborn son are caught in the middle.

We are introduced to a whole slew of unsavory characters in The Source, many of whom mean to harm Mercy. First there is Emmet, an odd creature who was “made” from magic at the end of The Line, a man who has been tasked with protecting Mercy and teaching her how to use her magic abilities. On the surface he seems benign, but as the story progresses, I started to distrust him more and more. Plus there was the slight creep factor of his crush on Mercy (he’s one of those annoying men who just can’t take “no” for an answer.)

Then there’s Tucker, another creepy guy who stalked Mercy in the last book, and who is now dating Mercy’s Aunt Ellen (much to her disgust). I didn’t like Tucker then, and I still didn’t like him this time, although he surprised me (in a good way) and I ended up understanding him better by the end.

Once again, one of my favorite characters is Mother Jilo, an old woman who practices root magic and has become one of Mercy’s most trusted friends. She’s a tough old bat who seems mean and unpleasant on the outside, but who has a heart of gold buried underneath. Jilo and Mercy clearly love each other, and I loved that Jilo stands in as Mercy’s surrogate mother and becomes the one person in her life that she can trust.

Mercy herself is a wonderful character, and I thought Horn handled her pregnancy very well. She’s unmarried and not even sure how she feels about Peter, and despite everyone around her pushing for the two to get married, Mercy holds her ground and refuses. Even Peter’s mother Mrs. Tierney can’t persuade Mercy to do something she doesn’t want to do—and believe me, that woman was very opinionated on the subject!

In my review of The Line, I used the expression “soap opera on steroids,” and that’s exactly how I felt about The Source. The complex family relationships made my head spin at times, and they were even more confusing because I could never tell who was lying and who was telling the truth. Horn’s enormous cast of characters didn’t help with my confusion, and I think the story would have been tighter if he’d focused on fewer of these larger-than-life people.

The LineBut the author’s imagination is alive and well, and I loved many of the small details Horn brought to his story. He uses the color “haint blue” to great effect (click here to learn more) and incorporates many details about witchcraft, magic, and the fae. There is also a large house where some very unsettling but fascinating things take place—and the movie that came to mind as I was reading these sections was Eyes Wide Shut—I was alternately cringing and unable to look away.

This series isn’t over. The third and final (?) book, The Void, comes out this fall. I may not have loved this one as much as the first, but you can bet I want to finish this series to find out what happens to Mercy’s baby and the rest of the characters!

Big thanks to 47North for supplying a review copy. The above quote was taken from an uncorrected proof and may be different in the final version.

You can find The Source here:

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Filed under 4 stars, Reviews

Spookies and Sparklers: DEADLY CURIOSITIES by Gail Z. Martin

Deadly Curiosities 3D

Deadly Curiosities by Gail Z. Martin
Genre: Adult Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Solaris
Release date: June 24 2014
Source: e-ARC from publisher via NetGalley
Pages: 464

four stars

The nitty-gritty: An atmospheric tale filled with fascinating historical details, a protagonist with a very cool ability, and lots of scary ghosts and shadowy corners.

Chuck rolled his eyes. “You guys ever hear about how Hitler wanted to collect supernatural objects? You know, like in Indiana Jones?”

Teag put the kettle on to boil and came over to listen. I nodded in response.

“Yeah, well over the years, he wasn’t the only one. Every two-bit dictator and narco lord thinks he’s be so much more bad-ass if he just had a demon or two on his payroll. Or an old Egyptian artifact that makes enemies turn into cockroaches. You get the picture. Well, we were the guys they sent in to steal that shit back.”

This was my first outing with Gail Z. Martin, and I have to say it was lovely! This urban fantasy felt almost like a cozy mystery to me at times, although of course it has a strong supernatural element. The story takes place in Charleston, South Carolina, and Martin’s wonderful descriptions of the city were among my favorite parts of the book. She also adds lots of historical tidbits about Charleston, especially spooky details that pertain to the ghostly residents of the city. Add in well-developed characters and a tension-filled plot, and you have a winning story that has something for everyone.

Cassidy Kincaide runs an antique shop called Trifles and Folly, which has been in her family for generations. But the “shop” part of the business is simply a cover for what Cassidy really does: she uses her gift of psychometry to tell if an old object has bad psychic vibes, which she does by simply touching it. With the help of her assistant Teag and her vampire friend Sorren, Cassidy makes sure these objects never reach the hands of the general public.

But when ordinary objects start acting up in bizarre and frightening ways, Cassidy and her friends must try to figure out what’s going on. With mysterious murders happening to the homeless residents of Charleston, Cassidy knows it’s all connected somehow. And then there are the weird shadows that start following her. Things are getting spookier—and more dangerous by the minute.

The story is told in Cassidy’s first-person voice, and I really enjoyed her character. I was expecting some kind of romantic entanglement, and frankly I was expecting that guy to be Sorren the vampire, but I was pleasantly surprised that Martin decided to leave out the romance. And honestly, I didn’t really miss it. There was so much going on with the plot and the characters, that a romance would have felt tacked-on. Cassidy’s psychic gift was pretty cool, and the fact that she can “see” emotional impressions on old objects made me wonder if anything in my house has any psychic fingerprints, LOL! (But judging by Cassidy’s reactions to the worst of the objects, I don’t think I’d want that gift for myself.)

I also loved Teag, who has his own unique gift. He’s a “weaver” and can cast spells by weaving things together, like string or yarn. He also puts his talents to use on the internet and is able to access the Darke Web, a clandestine area where dark magic and secrets collide on the interwebs.

But I have to say my favorite character was someone who showed up way late in the story, but added so much despite his late arrival. Chuck Pettis is an older guy who is convinced that if the hundreds of ticking clocks in his house wind down, he’ll die. So he goes to great lengths to keep the clocks wound, and he even has a warehouse full of back-up clocks to replace the ones that die. (And this warehouse is very important to the story, which is how Cassidy and company meet Chuck.)  Chuck was full of life and humor, and I wish that he’d made an appearance much earlier, because I would have liked to get to know him better. Plus his story line had a very Twilight Zone feel to it.

Sorren, the 600-year-old vampire who is Cassidy’s partner and protector, was a bit of a puzzle to me. Strangely, he doesn’t really show up until about a third of the way through the story, and then he’s suddenly there without much explanation. His character fascinated me, however, and I wanted to know more about his previous life as a thief. I would love a Sorren short story or prequel to read!

The cozy feeling of the story eventually turns dark and dangerous as the group faces shadow monsters, a man named Moran who is trying to locate a deadly artifact that was supposedly lost in a shipwreck, and even a demon. There is a slow build up to the suspenseful parts, and by the time you reach the end, the tension is nearly unbearable.

I noticed a few places that could have used more editing, in particular the fact that Sorren’s teeth are described as “long eye teeth” over and over again. I also felt there were times when the characters did too much explaining in their dialog, and what should have felt natural began to feel stilted and awkward.

But small quibbles aside, I had so much fun reading Deadly Curiosities. There were some very special emotional moments with Cassidy, especially when she uses her dead Grandmother’s wooden kitchen spoon to ward off evil, and her dearly departed dog’s collar as a protective talisman. The ghost dog, named Bo, also shows up to help out the gang, and the story would not have been the same without him.

If you love southern charm, historical details and a ghostly tale, this book should go on your reading list. Big thanks to the publisher for supplying a review copy. The above quote was taken from an uncorrected proof and may differ in the final version.

Come back next week for my stop on Gail’s blog tour! I have a cool interview with her, and I’ll be giving away a copy of Deadly Curiosities as well!

Find Deadly Curiosities here:

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Filed under 4 stars, Reviews

Sexy & Thrilling: DARKNESS BOUND by J.T. Geissinger – Review

Darkness Bound 3D

Darkness Bound (Night Prowler #5) by J.T. Geissinger
Genre: Adult Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Release date: June 24 2014
Source: ARC from publisher
Pages:  432

five stars

The nitty-gritty: Another well-rounded entry into this fantastic series, with Geissinger’s trademark combination of sex, thrills, danger and heartbreak.

The air was warm and humid, redolent with the sweet perfume of flowers, heavy with clouds. The dragon sliced through them as neatly as a scythe. She climbed higher, breaking free of the clouds, then tipped to the left, following an updraft of heated wind. The earth below peeked through in patches of glistening emerald through the fluffy cloudscape. The horizon was aflame with the rising sun, bleeding scarlet into infinity.

Jack wanted to cry at the beauty of it. Instead she laughed, and screamed with exhilaration. The dragon turned back to look at her—grinning, its muzzle and lashes beaded with moisture—then surged forward with a powerful thrust of its wings and climbed higher still, until the air was so think it was hard to breathe.

I don’t think it would be a spoiler to tell you that yes, there is indeed a dragon in Darkness Bound. But it’s not what you think. Or who you think. (That is if you’re unfamiliar with this series. If you’ve read Geissinger’s other books, you probably know what I’m talking about.) Geissinger never fails to amaze me with her storytelling prowess, world-building and her deeply wrought characters. What they say is true: the more you write (or you can substitute “write” for whatever it is you love to do), the better you get. This is book five in her Night Prowler series, and simply put, I never want this series to end. When I finished Edge of Darkness, I was sure she wouldn’t be able to top herself. But she has. Darkness Bound puts a new spin on relationships (and if you’re a fan already, you know this series has seen some really unique ones!) and brings our friends the Ikati closer and closer to danger.

I usually say in my reviews that each of these novels can be read as a stand-alone, so if you’re new to the series, you can easily pick up the story without too much trouble. And I’m saying that again, although I am also begging you to start at the beginning, because there are certain characters and plot threads that do continue from one book to the next, and your enjoyment will be enhanced by reading the series in order. Each book focuses on a different couple—keep in mind that these are romance novels, and yes there is a lot of romance!—one person is usually introduced in the previous book and then takes center stage in the present story, and the other is usually an outsider whom we haven’t yet met.

This time around the outsider is a human, a gritty reporter named Jacqueline “Jack” Dolan who has been nominated for a Pulitzer Prize with her fervently written editorial in the New York Times decrying the existence of the Ikati, a group of shape-shifting creatures who have wreaked havoc on humans. Jack’s passionate hatred of the Ikati has gotten the attention of Alejandro, the Alpha male of an Ikati colony that is currently living in the Brazilian rain forests.  Alejandro’s plan is to bring Jack to live with the colony—by force, if necessary—in order to sway her opinion and get her to retract her hateful rant.

But Alejandro’s plan backfires in a big way, as soon as Jack arrives in Brazil. An Ikati male named Hawk has been assigned to watch over Jack during her stay, and Hawk is less than thrilled with that idea. And there’s danger brewing. Several enemies are out to either destroy or capture the Queen of the Ikati, and they’re all headed to Brazil on a deadly collision course. With their very way of life hanging in the balance, the Ikati must work together to protect themselves.

Let’s talk about the romance first. The first thing you should know is that if you are about to stop reading this review because eewww romance, Geissinger’s books are loaded with everything that makes a great story: a fantastic fantasy world, deeply developed characters, exciting action scenes, humor and nasty bad guys, all tied together with really good writing. And then there are the sexy times. And boy, are they hot, people! Having read her four previous books, I knew the sex scenes were coming, and yet she made me blush anyway. If I had to complain about anything with this series, it would be that the romance is a wee bit over the top (Hawk is about as alpha male as they come, Jack is about as stubborn but beautiful as they come, and together they practically split atoms with their love-making), but hey, it’s romance. And every other element makes up for the romantic stereotypes. What Geissinger does differently this time is throw in a couple of I-didn’t-see-that-coming twists into their relationship that make the romance feel fresh. And it certainly doesn’t hurt that Hawk is a gorgeous stud with a vulnerable side that will make everyone fall in love with him.

Geissinger brings the Brazilian rain forest to vivid life with her descriptions of the towering trees and unusual wildlife, and I thought it was a perfect setting for this story. Add to that the Ikati themselves, who are shape-shifters that can turn into black panthers, and the rain forest becomes a highly dangerous place to be. She contrasts this with several scenes that are set in Jack’s hometown of New York City, although I much preferred the parts set in Brazil.

The author also throws in a bit of social commentary about racism and accepting those who are different, when Hawk calls Jack a “bigot” for her unfounded hatred of the Ikati. There are some lessons imparted in Darkness Bound, including a subtle story angle about the decline of the rain forests, but the stars of this tale are definitely the complicated characters, who are simply trying to survive in a world full of hatred.

If you are looking to invest in a series with just about everything there is to love about paranormal romance, then this series is for you. I’m beyond excited that book #6, Into Darkness, will be released this October. Highly recommended. Big thanks to the publisher for supplying a review copy. The above quote is taken from an uncorrected proof and may differ in the final version.

J.T. Geissinger photoJ.T. Geissinger is an award-winning author of paranormal and contemporary romance featuring dark and twisted plots, kick-ass heroines, and alpha heroes whose hearts are even bigger than their muscles. Her debut fantasy romance Shadow’s Edge was a #1 bestseller on Amazon US and UK and won the Prism award for Best First Book. Her follow-up novel, Edge of Oblivion, was a RITA Award finalist for Paranormal Romance from the Romance Writers of America, and she has been nominated for numerous awards for her work.

She resides in Los Angeles with her husband.

Don’t miss the rest of the series:

You can find Darkness Bound here:

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Filed under 5 stars, Reviews

DARK METROPOLIS by Jaclyn Dolamore – Blog Tour + Review

DarkMetropolisBlogTour

Welcome to my stop on the Dark Metropolis Blog Tour, hosted by Itching For Books. You can read my review below.

Dark Metropolis - Cover Image - High Res

Series: Dark Metropolis #1
Release date: June 17th 2014
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Cabaret meets Cassandra Clare-a haunting magical thriller set in a riveting 1930s-esque world.

Sixteen-year-old Thea Holder’s mother is cursed with a spell that’s driving her mad, and whenever they touch, Thea is chilled by the magic, too. With no one else to contribute, Thea must make a living for both of them in a sinister city, where danger lurks and greed rules.

Thea spends her nights waitressing at the decadent Telephone Club attending to the glitzy clientele. But when her best friend, Nan, vanishes, Thea is compelled to find her. She meets Freddy, a young, magnetic patron at the club, and he agrees to help her uncover the city’s secrets-even while he hides secrets of his own.

Together, they find a whole new side of the city. Unrest is brewing behind closed doors as whispers of a gruesome magic spread. And if they’re not careful, the heartless masterminds behind the growing disappearances will be after them, too.

Perfect for fans of Cassandra Clare, this is a chilling thriller with a touch of magic where the dead don’t always seem to stay that way.

Find Dark Metropolis: Amazon | Goodreads

My review:

three and a half

The nitty-gritty: An unsettling story full of subtle magic, dark deeds, and the living dead, beautifully written, but confusing in some parts.

But how horrid to be glad, even for a moment, that her mother was gone, just so she had time to try on new hats. Mother’s words kept haunting her. I know he is alive! Suppose she was right all along. Suppose Father had lived through the battle, and the vision was a sign? If there was any chance at all, she had to find out. She owed it to Mother, who was now trapped behind the asylum walls, losing her precious memories.

If I had to sum up this book in one word, it would be “atmospheric.” There is a dark and brooding quality to this story, and it’s made even more dark and brooding by Dolamore’s beautiful prose. I honestly didn’t know what to expect when I started reading, as I had heard all sorts of words bandied about from “zombies” to “magic” to “LGBT characters.” Dark Metropolis has all of these things—sort of—but I certainly wouldn’t classify this as your standard zombie story, nor did the LGBT aspects stand out as such. (Which disappointed me a bit. I would have liked to see a more developed relationship between Sigi (the gay character) and Nan, the girl she falls for.) Although parts of the story were confusing and not nearly developed enough for my taste, what I did love about this book were the emotional situations the characters find themselves in as they try to cope during a very dark and depressing time.

Dark Metropolis is based on the 1927 movie, Metropolis, a movie I haven’t seen, yet felt compelled to research. There are definite similarities in the story lines, but why the author chose such a depressing subject to write about is anybody’s guess. The story takes place in an alternate history 1930s Germany, where the war has caused many people to fall on hard times and magic has been outlawed. Thea is a young girl who works as a hostess at the Telephone Club, an upscale venue where the rich enjoy extravagant stage productions and are served by beauties like Thea. But Thea’s real life is anything but exciting. Her mother is suffering from “bound-sickness” since her husband died in the war, but she insists that he isn’t dead at all because she can still “feel” him.

One evening Thea meets a young man with silver hair named Freddy, and when she accidentally touches his hand, she has a disturbing vision of her father, rising from the dead. Shortly after, her best friend Nan stops coming into work, and Thea knows something is terribly wrong. With Freddy’s help, she is about to discover a world she never knew existed, a dangerous world where the dead are forced into hard labor and will never see their loved ones again.

From the outside, this doesn’t really seem like a story about magic. So when the first offhand mention of it came up, I was caught off guard. It turns out that since the war, magic has become illegal, and we discover early on that Freddy has a very rare gift: he can bring the dead back to life with only a touch, although whether these people he brings back are actually alive or not, well, you’ll have to read the book and decide for yourself. (I did love Freddy’s magic because it reminded me of Torchwood and the resurrection glove—anyone?) But Freddy isn’t the only one with magical abilities. Thea’s friend Nan also has some magic in her, but here is where things fell apart a little for me. Nan’s magic is hinted at but never really explained. We also learn about a spell called “marriage-binding” which magically links two people together so that they can always find each other. It seems like a good idea but it has terrible consequences. I guess my feeling about the author’s use of magic is that it just didn’t feel as if all these types of magic belonged together in the same story.

The pacing felt slow to me in the beginning, as we’re introduced to all the characters and trying to uncover the mystery of why so many people are disappearing, but it picks up in the last third of the book, and I was racing to turn the pages (of my Kindle) to see what would happen. Dolamore gives us lots of emotional and melancholy moments, like Thea’s mother going crazy from the bound-sickness because she wants to find her husband, and the consequences of Freddy’s reviving magic and how he comes to terms with accepting that his “magic” isn’t natural and is only causing pain. Many of the characters are downright sad, lonely, and simply trying to get by in a harsh city, and it was sometimes hard to read page after page of misery with very little happiness to break up the sadness.

Dark Metropolis is the first in a series, although honestly I can’t figure out where the author will go next, since this book wrapped up quite nicely (and no cliffhanger in sight, thank god!). If you love your stories dark, your characters tragic, and your magic subtle, then this book may be just what you need.

Big thanks to the publisher for supplying a review copy.

About the author:

Jaclyn DolamoreJaclyn Dolamore was homeschooled in a hippie sort of way and spent her childhood reading as many books as her skinny nerd-body could lug from the library and playing elaborate pretend games with her sister Kate. She skipped college and spent eight years drudging through retail jobs, developing her thrifty cooking skills and pursuing a lifelong writing dream. She has a passion for history, thrift stores, vintage dresses, David Bowie, drawing, and organic food. She lives with her partner and plot-sounding-board, Dade, and two black tabbies who have ruined her carpeting.

Find Jaclyn: Webiste | Twitter | Facebook

Big thanks to Shane Morgan at Itching for Books for organizing this tour. Click the button below to visit all the tour stops:

Shane Morgan

 

 

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Lip-Smacking Fun: THE SAVAGES by Matt Whyman – Blog Tour + Review

Savages_Tour_Banner (1)

I’m so excited to be part of The Savages Blog Tour, hosted by Book Nerd Tours and Hot Key Books! This book was so much fun, so well-written, and a fun read that will appeal to both teens and adults.

About the book:

The Savages

They’d love to have you for dinner . . .

Sasha Savage is in love with Jack – a handsome, charming … vegetarian. Which wouldn’t be a problem if it weren’t for the fact that Sasha’s family are very much ‘carnivorous’. Behind the family facade all is not as it seems. Sasha’s father rules his clan with an iron fist and her mother’s culinary skills are getting more adventurous by the day. When a too-curious private detective starts to dig for truths, the tight-knit family starts to unravel – as does their sinister taste in human beings . . .

Find the book: Amazon | The Book Depository | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

My Review:

four and a half

The nitty-gritty: A delectable family tale with heart as well as bite, and a cast of larger-than-life characters that will make you laugh out loud.

The boy shifted uncomfortably from one foot to the other.

“We could always eat her,” he suggested.

Titus closed his eyes for a moment more than a blink.

“Ivan, we have no idea where she’s been.”

“But we have to do something,” he said.

Grandpa eased himself down to take a closer look.

“It would be a shame to let her go to waste,” he said, and gently grasped her bicep as if to evaluate the flesh. “At least that way we know there’ll be no evidence left.”

Titus glanced at his wife. Angelica looked down at the body, but Kat was back in her arms and wriggling to be set on the tiles.

“Normally this takes planning,” she said. “I’m all out of onions, for one thing.”

What’s a girl to do when the hottest boy in school asks her out? Why, bring him home to meet the parents, of course. But when your boyfriend is a vegetarian, and your family…isn’t, well things are bound to get interesting. Meet the Savages, a close-knit family with long-standing traditions and a taste for…human flesh? Yes, you read that right. The Savages may seem normal on the outside, but their celebrations at home include carefully and lovingly prepared meals of the cannibalistic variety.  When sixteen-year-old Sasha Savage decides to go vegetarian for a month in order to impress Jack, the family will never be the same again. The Savages is full of black humor of the hysterically funny kind, and will no doubt end up one of my favorite reads of the month.

In order for mom Angelica Savage to afford her expensive shopping sprees, she’s agreed to rent their house out to film crews for commercials. An unfortunate freak accident in the guest bathroom leaves actress Lulabelle Hart dead, and the Savage family wondering what to do with her body. When a private detective becomes suspicious about Lulabelle’s disappearance, the Savage family will need all their wits to stay one step ahead of the law.

Whyman’s writing style is snappy with perfect comedic timing. He does dialog so well, that despite the absurdity of the storyline, I could easily see this story playing out on the big screen. Each character adds something special to this book, and I loved all of them, even the bumbling and inept PI Vernon English, who spends most of the story trying to figure out exactly what the Savage family is hiding.

Grandpa Oleg was one of my favorite characters, a man who fretfully wanders the house in a state of confusion (he can never remember where the bathroom is). But he has a heart of gold and a soft spot for his granddaughter Sasha, who tries to explain to him why she doesn’t want to eat meat anymore, to which he replies: “If giving up meat makes you truly happy, then so be it. Just so long as you don’t give up on family.”

I also loved Sasha’s younger brother Ivan, a misunderstood boy whose talent is devising elaborate (and often dangerous) pranks that usually get him in trouble. And baby Katya, who is about to be initiated into the family’s carnivorous traditions once her teeth come in, has some very funny moments of her own, one of which involves a large chunk of tofu.

But as hilarious as the story is, Whyman throws in some social commentary about vegetarian and vegan lifestyles, but makes it all part of the plot without really taking sides. I’d love to hear from some of my vegetarian/vegan friends about whether there is actually a rivalry between the two groups. Sasha does pretty well when she decides to give up meat, but when her boyfriend Jack turns hardcore and gives up dairy and eggs, their relationship takes a turn for the worse. Whyman manages to poke fun of just about everyone in the story without going too far, which makes for a lively and highly entertaining tale.

Reading The Savages might just make you hungry for a perfectly prepared steak, or it might turn you off meat altogether. Whichever side you fall on, I guarantee you’re going to have a blast. Highly recommended.

About the Author:

Matt Whyman is a bestselling author, also known for his work as an advice columnist for numerous teenage magazines.

He has written two novels for adults, Man or Mouse and Columbia Road, as well as both fiction and non-fiction for teenagers, including Superhuman, XY, Boy Kills Man, XY:100, The Wild, the So Below trilogy, Inside the CageGoldstrike and The Savages.

His most recent books, Oink! My Life With Minipigs (also known as Pig in the Middle), and Walking with Sausage Dogs, are both comic memoirs about family life with problem pets, published by Hodder and Stoughton.

Matt has worked as ghost-writer for the recent autobiography of a celebrity dancing dog, and under the pen name of Carnegie-nominated mystery writer, Lazlo Strangolov, author of Feather and Bone and Tooth and Claw.

A graduate from the University of East Anglia’s MA in Creative Writing, Matt is often invited to teach the subject for writers of all ages. Recently, he has hosted workshops across Russia and the Middle East.

In 1995, Matt became the first agony uncle for 19 magazine, and has subsequently written regular advice columns for B, Fox Kids, AOL UK and Bliss. He often appears on television and radio in this role. Over the years he has co-presented a series of ITV’s cult Saturday morning show, Love Bites, and a live weekly phone-in on LBC. He is currently resident agony uncle on BBC Radio 1′s The Surgery

Matt is married with four children, and lives in West Sussex, UK.

Find Matt: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Big thanks to Book Nerd Tours for organizing this blog tour and supplying a review copy! Click the logo below to see all the other stops on the tour:

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Mean Girls Meets Carrie: THE MERCILESS by Danielle Vega – Review

 

The Merciless 3D

The Merciless by Danielle Vega
Genre: Young adult horror
Publisher: Razorbill
Release date: June 12 2014
Source: ARC from publisher
Pages: 279

four and a half

The nitty-gritty: A thrilling, terrifying and shockingly gruesome story that held me under its spell until the bitter end.

We walk past the living room, where the sleeping bags are rolled and stacked next to the pillows in a corner. None of the tea lights are lit, and it makes this place feel emptier than before. I realize how alone we are out here, with nothing but dirt and the skeletons of half-built houses surrounding us. Wind rattles the plastic at the windows. I imagine it rolling over miles of empty land to press against this house, and suddenly it seems strong enough to rip off walls.

As I’m preparing to write this review, I’m glancing over the notes I took while reading The Merciless, and they are very scant indeed. This was one of those rare reading experiences where I was so caught up in the story that I forgot to take review notes. This book will grab you by your throat and it won’t let go, even when you’re gasping and about to faint from lack of oxygen. Readers beware: on the back of the book is a warning that states “For Mature Audiences Only.” Take heed! I would not let my thirteen-year-old read this, and probably not even my fifteen-year-old. No, there isn’t any sex to speak of. But there are some extremely scary and heart-racing slasher-type scenes that are not for the faint of heart. And that’s all I’m going to tell you about the plot, other than to briefly set up the story. Going into this book blind is the best way to experience it, and I wouldn’t want to ruin anything for you. In fact, try to avoid reading the story blurb if you can (I feel like it gives way too much information.) Danielle Vega takes mindfuckery to a whole new level with The Merciless, and I can honestly say I was surprised by the twisty turns of events in this story.

We’ve seen this set-up before—the new girl in town awkwardly tries to fit in her first day of school—but you’ve never seen it done like this before. Sofia has just moved to a small town in Mississippi and is trying her best to make friends. She meets an interesting girl named Brooklyn, a cute boy named Charlie, and a group of queen bees named Riley, Grace and Alexis. All of these characters come together one very fateful night, and no one will ever be the same again.

And that’s all you’re getting from me, as far as the plot goes. Vega’s writing is as sharp and honed as a knife’s edge. Her present tense narrative is told in first person from Sofia’s POV, and even though each character is well-developed and I honestly would have loved to read this story from other points of view, I thought giving Sofia the reins was a good choice. Sofia transitions from “innocent new girl” to someone who is forced to make snap decisions that could mean life or death, and I loved her growing realization that her normally boring life has just become a nightmare.

Vega knows how to write a suspenseful story. Each scene builds steadily from innocent to slightly creepy to downright terrifying. It’s one of those reading experiences where you finally look up from the page and wonder “How in the world did we get here??” In the beginning I tried to guess where Vega was headed with the story, but after being wrong several times, I decided to just sit back and enjoy the ride. And boy, what a ride! Besides the build-up of suspense, she plants small but effective details into the story that make the reader uneasy—but you don’t realize why you feel that way. For example, at one point Sofia is walking up to her house after school, and a garden snake crosses her path. It’s not a big deal, but it seems to suggest that there are bad things to come.

At its heart, this is a story about secrets, and each character is hiding something. Riley, the girl with the perfect hair and make-up who is the instigator of most of the horror in this book, believes that each girl should confess their sins before God, in order to be cleansed. This religious fervor simply made the story more creepy for me, hence my comparison to Stephen King’s Carrie.

For the most part, this is realistic thriller fiction, although I was surprised at the end to find a twist that I wasn’t expecting. About three-quarters of the way through the story I started to wonder how Vega was going to wrap things up. The characters find themselves stuck in one dire situation after another, and I couldn’t think of any scenario that didn’t end tragically for everyone. But she surprised me yet again by taking the story in a direction that had me gasping and saying “WTF??”

There were only one or two plot contrivances that seemed more convenient to the story than realistic (and I can’t even tell you what they are!), but they are easily forgiven. If you love thrillers, and especially if you love horror, The Merciless will blow you away. I can’t wait to see what Danielle Vega has in store for us next.

Big thanks to the publisher for supplying a review copy. The above quote was taken from an uncorrected proof and may differ in the final version.

You can find The Merciless here:

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Severed Heads & Buckets of Blood: TECHNICOLOR TERRORISTS by Andre Duza – Review

Technicolor Terrorists 3D

Technicolor Terrorists by Andre Duza
Genre: Adult Bizarro/Horror
Publisher: Deadite Press
Release date: March 2014
Source: e-Book from author
Pages: 268

four stars

The nitty-gritty: Over-the-top violence, killer clowns with more to them than meets the eye, and a slew of carnival misfits that leave the carnival and venture out into the world, leaving chaos in their wake.

The bouncy ball named Louie had rolled further away and was watching from a safe distance and under the cover of heavy shadows. It was darker on this end of the block, but darkness suited Louie just fine. The congestion in front of Kurt Sadler’s house was as good a sign as any that it was time to move on from this place. But the limbo between haunts was the most agonizing part of being alone. Appeasing his lecherous proclivities was becoming secondary to finding a permanent haunt or, dare he dream, legitimate acceptance.

Author Andre Duza says in his bio that he is a leading member of the Bizarro movement in contemporary fiction. I’ll admit I had never heard of Bizarro until I read Technicolor Terrorists, but I won’t soon forget these odd and violent stories. This book is certainly not for everyone. The graphic violence is almost comical, it’s so ridiculously over-the-top, but it is graphic violence nonetheless, and reading it made my stomach heave more than once. What Duza does to justify this violence is frame it in a story about carnival clowns and other oddities, and seen in that light it works extremely well.

A collection of loosely connected stories, Duza starts the book with a tale about a traveling carnival, whose disgruntled clowns and the few remaining sideshow freaks are about to be thrust out into the real world. From there, we get to see the various characters out of their element and trying to survive without the constraints of the carnival. Some of the same characters pop up again and again, and I did like the fact that the first and last stories focus on the same character, a large stone statue of a weeping Jesus. I thought the stories ended rather abruptly, however, as though Duza was trying too hard to be clever by giving us a shock ending. And although each story features at least one character from the opening tale, I did miss the cohesiveness that a novel gives you. These stories are more like vignettes, snapshots of some very bizarre characters that are more mood pieces that a complete story.

But overall this is a well-written bunch of stories that will certainly go under the “new and different” category of genre fiction. Here’s a quick break-down of each one:

The Holy Ghost Claw—Harley Cooper, the head of the Toxic Brothers Traveling Carnival, has just acquired a new side-show act, one that he thinks is bound to get the carnival back on its financial feet. But the carnival’s clowns, a family group known as the Ton brothers, don’t like the way Marley’s been running things, and they want payback. The story starts out innocently enough, but soon turns horrific as the reader begins to realize that these are not your ordinary clowns.

Paper Cuts—After the terrible events at the end of The Holy Ghost Claw, the carnival freaks have been set loose on the world. One of them, an odd character named Louie 2D, turns up in a suburban real estate development called Utopia Springs Estates and begins to terrorize the people who live there. It doesn’t take long for this story to turn bloody, and after reading this you’ll never look at a rubber ball the same way again.

Technicolor Terrorists—The longest story of the bunch, this one focuses on the Ton brothers clowns, a bunch of the weirdest and scariest clowns I’ve ever met in fiction! A detective named Officer Mars gets caught up in a bizarre murder investigation and realizes—too late—that he is in way over his head. This whacked out story is crowded with murderous clowns who have more than one face, the mob, guns, and buckets of blood. Duza keeps the reader off guard by leaving us to wonder what is real and what isn’t.

Indo and the Killer Rockstar—This story features another oddity from the carnival, a creature named Indo who can turn into mist at will.  Indo sets out to help a rock star named Jason Sykes, whose music causes people to turn on and rip each other to shreds. When Jason is framed for a club fire that kills everyone inside, he finds himself on the run from various demented groups of people who want to bring him to justice. No clowns in this story, but plenty of Duza’s brand of graphic violence.

Drug Runnin’ Blues—The final, and shortest, tale in the collection, this is the only story that I didn’t really enjoy. Maybe it was just too short and ended way too abruptly. A man on a drug run is contemplating whether or not to finish the job—he’s worried about getting caught and going to jail—when some key events on the road help him make his decision.

Bizarro indeed. Technicolor Terrorists will pull you out of any reading rut you happen to be in, if only by shocking you with its blend of horror, dark humor and violence. Duza’s stories are an unfocused everything-but-the-kitchen-sink mixture that seems like it shouldn’t work at all. But in the end, I looked back over the book as a whole and caught a glimpse of the author’s vision. I’m not sure I understood everything he was trying to accomplish, but it was a fun ride.

Big thanks to Andre Duza for supplying a review copy.

You can find the book here:

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Filed under 4 stars, Reviews

Magic Carpets & Dragon Horses: THE SILK MAP by Chris Willrich – Review

The Silk Map 3D

The Silk Map (Gaunt and Bone #2) by Chris Willrich
Genre: Adult fantasy
Publisher: Pyr
Release date: May 6 2014
Source: ARC from publisher
Pages:  445

four stars

The nitty-gritty:  A finely detailed story of a quest, with subtle wit and humor, beautifully written, complete with thoughtful meditations on life and love.

It was among the more terrifying moments of his life, yet he would always treasure it afterward, the time he soared, more or less, on a magic carpet. That it was more of a whirling dive than true flight, and that he was hanging from Deadfall rather than standing atop it—these were quibbles. Earthy, dusty heat rose from below. Sunset dunes twisted with jabbing shadows, like persimmons spattered with ink.

 I am coming, Persimmon.

I very much enjoyed Willrich’s first Gaunt and Bone story, The Scroll of Years, and because it ended with many questions unanswered, I was anxious to find out what happened to Innocence and A-Girl-Is-A-Joy, the children of Gaunt and Bone and Snow Pine, who were trapped in a magical scroll at the end of the story. And I can tell you that some things were resolved in this follow-up, but not all, and I was relieved to discover that there will be a third book coming out called The Chart of Tomorrows, which will hopefully tie up all the loose ends. Willrich’s world is an interesting blend of East meets West, and his love of Asian culture is evident in both books. But even more than his world-building, I simply adore his writing style. Scattered throughout the story are poems written by Persimmon Gaunt, who is a poet (and she’s pretty good with a sword as well), poems that are startlingly good.

The Silk Map is not a book you should rush through, however. I found myself frustrated at times that the story was moving so slowly—mostly due to the fact that I am way behind with review books—but I realized when I finished that this story is meant to be savored.

The short version of the story is this: Gaunt, Bone, and their friend Snow Pine are trying to find the scroll where their two children are trapped. They stumble across a Great Sage who strikes a bargain: if they can locate and bring back ironsilk caterpillars, the Sage will help them find the scroll. The three friends set out to do just that, but a perilous and circuitous journey awaits them. For in order to locate the caterpillars, they must first find the missing pieces of the silk map, pieces that have been scattered around the world. And it turns out they aren’t the only ones looking for the map, as ironsilk is highly prized and a fortune worth killing for.

The characters of Gaunt and Bone are unusual in genre fiction, because they are a married couple with a child. This time around, Willrich shows the cracks that are beginning to show in their marriage, and honestly portrays such things as jealousy, anger, and losing a child. Although it may sound as if this is a serious story, that isn’t the case at all. Willrich subtly adds these observations and gives them a humorous twist, like the time that Bone dreams he is married to both Gaunt and Snow Pine, and wakes up in a cold sweat, thankful that it was only a dream.

There were many cool fantasy elements that made this story special, my favorite being a sentient magic carpet named Deadfall, who is on his own journey and meets up with Gaunt and Bone to help them at one point. I also loved the dragon horses, multi-colored animals that help transport the gang, and Gaunt’s sword Crypttongue, who imprisons the souls of its victims inside the gems that adorn the hilt.

The story itself is full of other stories: tale upon tale buried inside like Russian nesting dolls. I did like this idea, but I also felt it slowed down the pace quite a bit. I found myself getting caught up in a certain scene, only to have the action stop abruptly as one character or another felt the need to tell a story. Sometimes I even lost the story thread completely and found it hard to get started again, especially when the points of view were constantly changing. But upon finishing the book, I could see what Willrich had set out to construct: a carefully planned but meandering maze, with many starts and stops, and even places where reality shifts entirely. This is one case where you need to look past the trees to see the grandeur and beauty of the forest.

Willrich’s sly observations about relationships and life in general kept the tone light throughout, and I found myself chuckling and nodding my head in agreement. Some of the philosophical discussions between characters lost me at times, but I did appreciate the fact that almost every character in The Silk Map is intelligent and thoughtful.

If you’re looking for a page-turner, this probably won’t work for you. Which is not to say that The Silk Map isn’t exciting. There were some thrilling scenes, but they are interrupted by quiet and thoughtful moments, which lull the reader into thinking they are safe, before the author throws his characters back into danger once more. Willrich leaves poor Gaunt and Bone in yet another tricky situation at the end of the story, ensuring that I will be reading the next book to find out what happens.

Big thanks to Pyr for providing a review copy.

You can find The Silk Map here:

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Jane Austen Meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer: THE FALCONER by Elizabeth May – Review

The Falconer 3D

The Falconer (The Falconer #1) by Elizabeth May
Genre: Young adult fantasy
Publisher:  Chronicle Books
Release date: May 6 2014
Source: e-ARC from publisher via Edelweiss
Pages: 378

five stars

The nitty-gritty:  An irresistible mix of steampunk and Scottish faery lore, a feisty heroine with depth, a yummy male love interest, just enough violence for the boys, and just enough romance for the girls.

I’m about to double back to the gardens when the full taste of the faery’s power hits me. My head snaps up and I briefly savor the sensation. Honey and dirt and pure nature, a thousand flavors that are difficult to describe. The taste of the wild—running through trees with wind in my hair as my feet pound soft dirt. The sea on a misty morning, with sand and water swirling around my legs. A taste that conjures images that look real and significant. There is only one faery I’ve ever met with that signature.

The title of this blog post sums it up: Aileana is Buffy, except she’s Scottish and she kills faeries instead of vampires. Kiaran is Angel, but he’s actually more like Angelus, the bad Angel. (Apologies to those of you who are going “Huh?” right now.) In addition to all that Buffy goodness, May has the language of Austen down pat, and she somehow manages to add sprinklings of steampunk elements to the mix. And the entire thing works, believe it or not. I had the best time reading The Falconer, and if I could sum up this book in one word, it would be “charming.” Aileana’s first person voice was charming, May’s unique Scottish/Steampunk/fantasy world was charming, and the growing romance between faery killer Aileana and her bad boy faery mentor Kiaran was, yes, charming! In many ways this book reminded me of my reading experience with Stolen Songbird, two cases where the authors just got it right. They managed to pull all sorts of elements together in just the right way, and because of this, their books stand out from the crowd. (Although what’s up with the cliffhangers, ladies?? More about that later…)

We meet Aileana Kameron at a party straight out of Pride and Prejudice, as she is trying to blend in with the other girls her age, while stalking and killing an evil faery before he attacks. She is a Falconer, the last in a line of faery killers, and she’s out to avenge her mother’s death by hunting down the faery that killed her. But Aileana’s life is complicated by many things, including a father who wants to marry her off as quickly as possible, a faery named Kiaran who saved her life and now trains her to kill other faeries, and an annoying yet lovable pixie named Derrick who lives in her closet and mends her clothes.

But when a mystical seal that is preventing faeries from spilling out into this world begins to weaken, it’s up to Aileana to fix it, and she only has six days to do so. It’s a race against the clock as she tries to stop the end of the world, kill her mother’s murderer, and try to keep her secret life secret, all while battling her growing feelings for a decidedly improper man who just happens to be a faery himself. It is any wonder she’s exhausted?

The faeries in The Falconer are not of the Tinkerbell variety at all. They are vicious, evil creatures who come in all shapes and sizes and whose sole purpose is to kill humans and absorb their life energy. Most of them have long pointy teeth that can rip out your throat in an instant, as well as all manner of disgusting facial features that put them firmly in the “monster” category. And there is certainly no shortage of blood in this book. May’s fight scenes are almost gleefully violent and bloody, and Aileana spends most of the story trying to recover from one injury or another. I loved that one moment Aileana is a proper young lady in a billowing ball gown, and the next she’s ripping off her skirts to go chase after faeries.

At first I was a bit thrown by the steampunk bits, but May made them work. In addition to everything else Aileana is doing, she is also an inventor, and she spends her free time tinkering with mechanical devices to make weapons. I especially loved her flying machine, an odd contraption like a flying car that resembles a large bat as it flaps through the skies. I know what you’re thinking: Flying cars? Swords? Magical faery realms? High society? How could all these things fit into one story? Trust me, they do.

May incorporates the Scottish element by throwing in lots of terms from Scottish mythology, like the types of faeries that Aileana hunts. She clearly did lots of research, and even though I couldn’t begin to pronounce terms like baobhan sith or sgian dubh, I didn’t mind because they made the story that much more authentic.

But even though I loved May’s unique world-building, it was the characters that really stood out for me. I adored Aileana’s grit and sass, but I have to admit that her pixie friend Derrick was the character who stole my heart. He was like a male Tinkerbell who is loyal to his mistress but gets drunk when he eats too much honey. I mean, who wouldn’t want their own Derrick sitting on their shoulder, invisible to everyone else?

Buffy vs. Angelus

Yes, there is a romance in this story, because hey, it’s young adult. But I loved the subtle way the author handled it, and I’ve never said this in a review before, but I completely shipped Kiaran and Aileana. Kiaran is a delightful blend of bad-ass/dangerous/mysterious/loyal/protective/gorgeous, and I knew the moment he walked onto the page that I was going to love him.

Other reviewers have complained about the cliffhanger ending, and I’m no exception. It does end abruptly and right in the middle of the action, leaving us to wonder how on earth our characters will survive long enough to make it into book two. But other than that, and a few too many instances of Aileana biting her tongue (I actually started highlighting them because she does it so often!), there is little not to like in The Falconer. May’s writing is polished and practically dances across the page, and I fear it’s going to be a long wait for the next book in the series. Until then, watch your back and don’t get lured by a faery who may be after your life energy. And why don’t you read this book while you’re waiting? Please excuse me while I go binge-watch my Buffy DVDs…Highly recommended!

Big thanks to the publisher for supplying a review copy. The above quote was taken from an uncorrected proof and may differ from the finished version.

Find The Falconer here:

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Filed under 5 stars, Reviews