Tuesday, October 28, 2008

ARC Review: Hope's Folly by Linnea Sinclair

Title: Hope's Folly

Author: Linnea Sinclair

Published: February 2009

Genre: Romance, Science Fiction

Stand Alone/Series: Book 3
Book 1: Gabriel's Ghost
Book 2: Shades of Dark

From the Author Site: Admiral Philip Guthrie is in an unprecedented position: on the wrong end of the law, leading a rag-tag band of rebels against the oppressive Imperial forces. Or would be, if he can reach his command ship—the intriguingly named Hope’s Folly—alive. Not much can rattle Philip’s legendary cool—but the woman who helps him foil an assassination attempt on Kirro Station will. She’s the daughter of his best friend and first commander—a man who died while under Philip’s command, and whose death is on Philip’s conscience.

Rya Bennton has been in love with Philip Guthrie since she was a girl. But can her childhood fantasies survive an encounter with the hardened man, and newly-minted rebel leader, who it seems has just become her new commanding officer? And will she still be willing follow him through the jaw of hell once she learns the truth about her father’s death?

Plot: The story opens with Admiral Philip Guthrie getting ready to assume command of his new flagship, Hope’s Folly, once known as the imperial Styker-class cruiser the Alric Stockwell turned fruit freighter after decommissioning, as the new and only admiral of the Alliance. Admiral Guthrie arrives at Kirro Station and runs into former ImpSec Sub-Lieutenant Rya Talyor Bennton and with her help escapes on board a shuttle bound for Seth Shipyard and Hope’s Folly. Once aboard they must get Hope’s Folly up and running and get to Ferrin in order to have hope for the future Alliance. While battling the endless number of system problems on the ship, both Phillip and Rya fight a more personal battle of attraction.

Hero: Admiral Philip Guthrie was totally not what I expected. After reading Gabriel’s Ghost, I thought stodgy was the best description for him. After Shades of Dark, he was a bit more interesting but not hero material to me. But in reading this book he became the "long-lost always-forever dream hero" one always hopes for but very rarely encounters.

Heroine: Rya “the Rebel” Talyor Bennton is a no nonsense, ass kicking, and stubborn weapons toting woman. There is so much to like about her, her constant internal thoughts about her weight (would like to drop 30 pounds, like who wouldn’t), her no nonsense attitude and pride in her work makes her very easy to relate to.

Review: Those who have enjoyed Linnea's many other wonderful books will definitely enjoy this one as well. She, once again, has written a wonderful hero, a strong heroine and a suspenseful action filled story that grabs the reader’s attention and doesn’t let go until the very end. I just don't know how Linnea Sinclair does it but this is sure to be another best-seller.

The romance was a slow burner with an explosive finale. For most of the book, Rya and Philip fight their rising attraction. For her, he is her “long-lost always-forever dream hero” from her youth but now is her commanding officer whom she is determined to protect from all harm and besides that she thinks that he does not find her attractive. For him, she’s the daughter of a friend who’s death sits heavy on his soul and a subordinate who is 16 years his junior that he has sworn to protect even from himself. But as they enter a life or death struggle, their attraction bursts into flames. Their burning looks and intense attraction has the “paint peeling off the walls”!

In addition to writing a wonderful hero/heroine pair, Linnea has included many wonderful secondary characters. Captain Folly, the ship’s namesake, plays a supporting role but is definitely a star that shine. Lieutenant Constantine Welford is another that I hope we will see more of in the future along with Sparks, the chief engineer. And let’s not forget “Mr. Nice Ass” Alek Dillon on the list of hoped for future appearance.

Keeper?: Definitely

Recommendation: Would recommend that reader read Gabriel's Ghost and Shades of Dark first, but isn't necessary to follow the storyline or to enjoy this wonderfully crafted tale.

Rating: 4.5 of 5

Monday, October 27, 2008

Meljean Brook's Demon Bound

In honor of the release of Demon Bound and the national election on Tuesday Nov 4th, Meljean's running a contest and prize voting. Check it out!

Sunday, October 26, 2008


Hello All! Sorry I that I have been invisible for the last couple of weeks. First it was migraine hell then preparing for new contract starting this week. Talk about headaches!

Yup, that evil that seems to creep up on me unawares has struck again. And this time I was lacking my meds. *sigh* Then had to spend much $$ with doctor for nasty, butt-hurting shots then more appointments to transfer prescriptions and get them re-filled so that this does happen again! Some days I really hate the whole medical community!

In Summary: Shots hurt! Medicines are much $$ but they are necessary for poorer me.

Ahh... that lovely thing that we all can't seem to keep up with our book habits without... WORK! Lately I have been hunting for work (again) and now have secured another contract! Yeah and Boo! So I have been up to my neck in negotiations on the contract (hours and rate) then filling out the endless stacks of paperwork to get settled with a start date and time. Now have a tentative start date (Wednesday or they tell me, it was supposed to be Monday so we will have to wait and see).

In Summary: Work is good because it make $ flow in the + category. Work is bad because it causes the TBR to grow since book input doesn't get slower but the output gets slower since no time for reading.

And on top of all that... DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME SUCKS! I really hate having to reset all my clocks twice a year! It's not like we are a farming society anymore so this whole DST thing totally messes with everything. And now my phone (thus lifeline) has wrong time and I can't figure out how to get the correct time set! *pout*

WTF... now I find out it's not until next week... Freakin' calendar has it wrong. All the online stuff (thanks Alice) says next week. Guess I can live with all the clocks being off by an hour for a week 'cause I'm NOT doing this again next week (not counting resetting them to the right time for this week)

On to more positive things...

Coming to this blog soon...

Drum roll please...

ARC review of Hope's Folly by the wonderful Linnea Sinclair!

In the meantime... ENJOY... Supernatural certainly has nothing on Rocky.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Hosting Three Days over at the DIK blog

Hello All... I've taken over the DIK Ladies Rule blog for the next three days. Come by and have a drink and oogle our books and heroes.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Review: Pegasus in Space

Title: Pegasus in Space

Author: Anne McCaffrey

Published: December 2000

Genre: Science Fiction, Young Adults

Stand Alone/Series: Book 3
Book 1: To Ride Pegasus
Book 2: Pegasus in Flight

From the Back Cover: For an overpopulated Earth, there is only one place to look for relief: straight up. With the completion of the Padrugoi Space Station, humanity has at last achieved its first large-scale permanent presence in space. But there are those who want Padrugoi to fail. Standing in their way are the Talented, men and women gifted with extraordinary mental powers that have made them as feared as they are respected - and utterly indispensable to the colonization effort. Now, as sabotage and attempted murder stike the Station, it's up to the Talented to save the day. Only who is going to save the Talented?

Review: This picks up the story from Pegasus in Flight and completes the building of the universe for the Rowan universe. The final chapter in the story of Peter Reidinger, first Tower Prime, and the beginning of the FT&T (Federated Telepath & Teleport). The world has become over-crowded, and the human need to explore, pushes exploration into space. First its the space station, Padrugoi, then the moon and Mars and beyond. It also provides Anne McCaffrey’s answers to the questions all space-exploring authors must face, how is space travel conducted and how do people stay in touch. Again Anne McCaffrey’s wonderful story-telling style keeps the reader turning those pages to see what happens next.

This book also points out the fact that the only place we have to go is up as we are faced with over-population and decreasing resources. Of course this means that people will have to work together and pool what resources we have, but it could be possible. Instead of wasting time and money on fighting, people should take a good look around. They would see that we are running out of space and resources. Sure conservation will help us but sooner of later we are going to have to face the fact that the planet as only so much space and resources.

Space the final frontier, to quote Star Trek. It really truly is the final frontier. This book always tends to bring out the little astronaut explorer in me (and not to mention the trekkie).

Keeper?: Yes

Recommendation: Yes, this story completes the world building for the Rowan universe.

Rating: 4 of 5

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Review: Pegasus in Flight

Title: Pegasus in Flight

Author: Anne McCaffrey

Published: October 1990

Genre: Science Fiction, Young Adults

Stand Alone/Series: Book 2
Book 1: To Ride Pegasus

From the Back Cover: As director of the Jerhattan Parapsychic Center, telepath Rhyssa Owen coordinated the job assignments for psychically gifted Talents. And though she had her hands full dealing with the unreasonable demand for kinetics to work on the space platform that would be humankind's stepping-stone to the stars, she was always ready to welcome new Talents to the Center.

Feisty and streetwise, twelve-year-old Tirla used her extraordinary knack for languages to eke out a living in the Linear developments, where the poor struggled to make ends meet and children were conscipted or sold into menial work programs. Young Peter, paralyzed in a freak accident, hoped someday to get into space where zero gravity would enable him t ofunction more easily. Both desparately needed help only other Talents could provide.

With the appearnce in her life of one extraordinary man with no measureable Talent at all, Rhyssa suddenly found herself questioning everythin she thought she knew about her people. And when two Talented children were discovered to have some very unusual - and unexpected - abilities, she realized that she would have to reassess the potential of all Talentkind...

Review: After reading some great new (to me) science fiction, I had a hankering to re-read one of my old favorites. And in science fiction, who hasn't read at least one Anne McCaffery.

This story is the middle part of the trilogy that precedes the Rowan series (Rowan, Damia, Children of Damia, Lyon's Pride, and The Tower and the Hive). The first book in the trilogy (To Ride Pegasus) didn't do much for me so I never kept it. Its series of short stories on the discovery of psychic abilities and the founding of the Parapsychic Center which is featured in the other two books of the series. Its very loosely tied into the rest of the trilogy and doesn't add much to the overall trilogy storyline was written nearly 20 years prior to the release of this book. This is really the story of Peter Reidinger and the beginning of the organization which will become the FT&T (Federated Telepath & Teleport).

As with most Anne McCaffery books, this is light reading with plenty of action to keep the story going. It takes a look at a society where the poor and unskilled live in underground dwellings and children are currency while the wealthy or skilled live in the sunlight and in luxury. Both side of this world are shown through the eyes of children. Tirla, whose birth was illegal (as the fourth child of a single mother), and Peter, who is paralyzed. Both have unusual skills and must find their place in the world.

Anne McCaffery is a wonderful story-teller and I love all the different world she’s created. This one is fascinating since it was one of first that I read that had people with paranormal powers set in modern day. Even though I’ve read this several times, it still keeps my interest.

Keeper?: Yes

Recommendation: Good for all ages. One of my oldies but goodies.

Rating: 4 of 5

Friday, October 10, 2008

Page 56 Book Meme

Tracy at Tracy's Place tagged me for this book meme:

So here are the rules:

Grab the nearest book. Open the book to page 56. Find the fifth sentence. Post the text of the next two to five sentences in your journal/blog along with these instructions.

Don't dig for your favorite book, the cool book, or the intellectual one: pick the closest. Tag five other people to do the same.

Okay so the book closest to me didn't have five sentences so I grabbed the next closest:
"She has refused out of fear, and her Lord is bitter enough over the recent attacks that he supports her refusal"
"Has news of these raids reached Celieria City?"
Any guesses about what it is? And its one of my favorite books. Okay... you guys are so lucky that the American Heritage Dictionary (which usually closest to the computer) was buried under a stack of books. But for your enjoyment, page 56:
bark n. The short , harsh sound characteristically made by a dog. -v. 1. To produce such a sound. 2. To speak sharply; snap. -idiom, bark up the wrong tree. Informal. To wastefully misdirect one's energies.

Ok - I'm tagging the following people but they are under no obligation to play.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Review: Shades of Dark

Title: Shades of Dark

Author: Linnea Sinclair

Published: September 2008

Genre: Science Fiction / Romance

Stand Alone/Series: Sequel to Gabriel's Ghost

From the Author Site: Before her court-martial, Captain Chasidah “Chaz” Bergren was the pride of the Sixth Fleet. Now she’s a fugitive from the “justice” of a corrupt Empire. Along with her lover, the former monk, mercenary, and telepath Gabriel Ross Sullivan, Chaz hoped to leave the past light-years behind—until the news of her brother Thad’s arrest and upcoming execution for treason. It’s a ploy by Sully’s cousin Hayden Burke to force them out of hiding and it works.

With a killer targeting human females and a renegade gen lab breeding jukor war machines, Chaz and Sully already had their hands full of treachery, betrayal—not to mention each other. Throw in Chaz’s Imperial ex-husband, Admiral Philip Guthrie, and a Kyi-Ragkiril mentor out to seduce Sully and not just loyalties but lives are at stake. For when Sully makes a fateful choice changing their relationship forever, Chaz must also choose—between what duty demands and what her heart tells her she must do.

Review: Linnea Sinclair takes us back aboard the Sully’s Boru Karn. It’s been three months since the destruction of the jukor lab and subsequent escape from Marker. And the crew has come to respect Chaz and accept her as one of their own. What riffs were caused by Sully’s mind-probe of the crew have been mostly mended. And Chaz is slowly adjusting to the ky’saran bond between her and Sully. Now its just the matter of finding the second mobile jukor lab and destroy it.

Or at least that what it seemed, until word reaches the Boru Karn of the arrest of Chaz’s older brother, Commander Thaddeus Lars Bergren, for treason and for aiding and abetting the dangerous terrorist, mercenary Gabriel Ross Sullivan escape Marker after his terrorist attack. Along with the arrest comes the alarming news that Thad is cooperating and telling all he knows about Sully. Mainly that Sully is one of the feared and much hated kyi-ragkiril.

With that information hanging over them, Sully and Chaz make the meeting with the mysterious Del, who turns out to be a Stolorth kyi-ragkiril prince in exile. As a lesser of two evils, they agree to bring him on board so that he can help them find and destroy the jukor lab. But it seem Del has other plans. He helps Sully gain control over his powers and shows him how to use them but he wants something in return.

Again this is an action packed adventure with a lot of twists and turns to keep the reader flipping the pages to see what happens next. Again Chaz is presented with a seemingly endless series of problems with her ex-husband on board (after being rescued from the Fleet ships out to kill him), a Stolorth kyi-ragkiril that seems to want to add her to his list of conquests, and a husband who can’t control himself or the Stolorth and is simply trying to keep the crew together and save the empire from disaster.

This wasn’t as light-hearted as Gabriel’s Ghost. This book definitely takes a darker turn. Sully struggles with what he is as his powers grows. Chaz has to deal with Sully’s fears of turning into the monster everyone thinks kyi-ragkiril are and keep him balanced while Del is pushing and testing both of them for mysterious purposes of his own. A definite page-turner but is not for someone looking for a HEA all wrapped up and pretty at the end.

Keeper?: Oh Yeah... For sure.

Recommendation: Yes. But you MUST read Gabriel's Ghost first or the first book will be mostly spoiled for you. Also will make this terminology used in this book easier to grasp.

Rating: 4.5 of 5

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Banned Books And I Love Your Blog Award!

Look what happens when one hides in one's cave for awhile.

I got tagged by Alice (for the Banned Books).

And CJ gave me an AWARD *faints*!

Okay first the banned books... in honor of the banned books month (ah... I think it was actually last month *g* oh how the time flies). I've colored the ones I've read in RED.

1. Scary Stories (Series) by Alvin Schwartz
2. Daddy’s Roommate by Michael Willhoite
3. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
4. The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
5. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
6. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
7. Harry Potter (Series) by J.K. Rowling
8. Forever by Judy Blume
9. Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson I was on such a roll...
10. Alice (Series) by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
11. Heather Has Two Mommies by Leslea Newman
12. My Brother Sam is Dead by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier
13. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
14. The Giver by Lois Lowry
15. It’s Perfectly Normal by Robie Harris
16. Goosebumps (Series) by R.L. Stine
17. A Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Newton Peck
18. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
19. Sex by Madonna Its a really naughty picture book *giggle*. My mom bought it for my sister then gasped at what she had actually purchased for her teenaged daughter. Hmm... maybe she should have fingered through it first.
20. Earth’s Children (Series) by Jean M. Auel okay... this is assuming it's that Clan of the Cave Bear series
21. The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson
22. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
23. Go Ask Alice by Anonymous
24. Fallen Angels by Walter Dean Myers
25. In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak
26. The Stupids (Series) by Harry Allard
27. The Witches by Roald Dahl
28. The New Joy of Gay Sex by Charles Silverstein
29. Anastasia Krupnik (Series) by Lois Lowry
30. The Goats by Brock Cole
31. Kaffir Boy by Mark Mathabane
32. Blubber by Judy Blume
33. Killing Mr. Griffin by Lois Duncan
34. Halloween ABC by Eve Merriam
35. We All Fall Down by Robert Cormier
36. Final Exit by Derek Humphry
37. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
38. Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
39. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
40. What’s Happening to my Body? Book for Girls: A Growing-Up Guide for Parents & Daughters by Lynda Madaras
41. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
42. Beloved by Toni Morrison
43. The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
44. The Pigman by Paul Zindel
45. Bumps in the Night by Harry Allard
46. Deenie by Judy Blume
47. Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes oh so sad... *sniff*
48. Annie on my Mind by Nancy Garden
49. The Boy Who Lost His Face by Louis Sachar
50. Cross Your Fingers, Spit in Your Hat by Alvin Schwartz
51. A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein oh my... really? If that one then I thought Uncle Shelby's Book of ABZ's would be on this list for sure...
52. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
53. Sleeping Beauty Trilogy by A.N. Roquelaure (Anne Rice) Erotica at work on a classic... hehe
54. Asking About Sex and Growing Up by Joanna Cole
55. Cujo by Stephen King uh... probably read it but don't remember there for not colored
56. James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl okay so don't get this one
57. The Anarchist Cookbook by William Powell
58. Boys and Sex by Wardell Pomeroy
59. Ordinary People by Judith Guest
60. American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis
61. What’s Happening to my Body? Book for Boys: A Growing-Up Guide for Parents & Sons by Lynda Madaras
62. Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume Really? It's a must read for all teenage girls!
63. Crazy Lady by Jane Conly
64. Athletic Shorts by Chris Crutcher
65. Fade by Robert Cormier
66. Guess What? by Mem Fox
67. The House of Spirits by Isabel Allende
68. The Face on the Milk Carton by Caroline Cooney
69. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
70. Lord of the Flies by William Golding
71. Native Son by Richard Wright
72. Women on Top: How Real Life Has Changed Women’s Fantasies by Nancy Friday
73. Curses, Hexes and Spells by Daniel Cohen
74. Jack by A.M. Homes
75. Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo A. Anaya
76. Where Did I Come From? by Peter Mayle and What's Happening to Me?
77. Carrie by Stephen King
78. Tiger Eyes by Judy Blume
79. On My Honor by Marion Dane Bauer
80. Arizona Kid by Ron Koertge
81. Family Secrets by Norma Klein
82. Mommy Laid An Egg by Babette Cole
83. The Dead Zone by Stephen King
84. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
85. Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
86. Always Running by Luis Rodriguez
87. Private Parts by Howard Stern
88. Where’s Waldo? by Martin Hanford hmm... This one confuses me. What's so objectionable about this book?
89. Summer of My German Soldier by Bette Greene
90. Little Black Sambo by Helen Bannerman
91. Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
92. Running Loose by Chris Crutcher
93. Sex Education by Jenny Davis
94. The Drowning of Stephen Jones by Bette Greene
95. Girls and Sex by Wardell Pomeroy
96. How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell haha... I remember this one.
97. View from the Cherry Tree by Willo Davis Roberts
98. The Headless Cupid by Zilpha Keatley Snyder
99. The Terrorist by Caroline Cooney
100. Jump Ship to Freedom by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier

Okay there were some surprises on the list (like Where's Waldo? Still a bit confused on that one, and who knew Judy Blume was so objectionable) but then on the other hand some people will ban anything. It does bring to question whether or not they've actually read it before banning it.

I think there are some notables that seem to not have made this list but I just have the feeling that they've been banned SOMEwhere...
a. The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown maybe its just too new to have made it onto any official list
b. 1984 by George Orwell
c. Animal Farm by George Orwell
d. The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
e. And Tango Make Three by Peter Parnell, Justin Richardson, and Henry Cole

Just to name a few...

Now the question of who to tag...
I vote for CJ of the Thillionth Page!
and whomever else wants to do this!


And WooHoo! CJ of the Thrillionth Page awarded me an I Love Your Blog award. My first every. Thanks CJ! So honored! I'm so happy, giddy even. It was a really nice thing to wake up to.

The rules for this award are that you need to:

1) Add the logo of the award to your blog
2) Add a link to the person who awarded it to you
3) Nominate at least 7 other blogs
4) Add links to those blogs on your blog
5) Leave a message for your nominees on their blogs!

So I'm officially awarding this award to:
Alice of Peaceful Days and Dreamy Nights... my first blogging friend!
Ana and Thea of the Book Smugglers... my other book-crack dealers
Ciara of Ciara Stewart... 'cause she always has something interesting to read and ponder
DIK Ladies of the Desert Island Keepers... 'cause I can't blog without you all
To whomever runs Judge a Book by Its Cover... 'cause its always good for a laugh
Kristie and Kate of the Ramblings on Romance... my favorite book-crack dealers
Nalini Singh... not only does she write great books, she runs a great blog too!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Review: Gabriel's Ghost

Title: Gabriel's Ghost

Author: Linnea Sinclair

Published: October 2005

Genre: Science Fiction, Romance

Stand Alone/Series: Book 1

From the Author Site: After a decade of cruising interstellar patrol ships, former Captain Chasidah Bergren, onetime Pride of the Sixth Fleet, finds herself court-martialed for a crime she didn’t commit—and shipped off to a remote prison planet from which no one ever escapes. But when she kills a brutal guard in an act of self-defense, someone even more dangerous emerges from the shadows.

Gabriel Sullivan—alpha mercenary, smuggler, and rogue—is supposed to be dead. Yet now this seductive ghost from Chaz’s past is offering her a ticket to freedom—for a price. Someone in the Empire is secretly breeding jukors: vicious and uncontrollable killing machines that have long been outlawed. Gabriel needs Chaz to help him stop the practice before it decimates imperial space. For Chaz, it’s a matter of survival. For Sully it means facing the truth about who—and what—he really is. The mission means putting their lives on the line—but the tensions that heat up between them may be the riskiest part of all.

Review: From the very first page, the story grabs your attention and doesn't let go until the very end. The book opens with our heroine, Captain Chasidah “Chaz” Bergren, the former pride of the 6th Fleet, standing over the lifeless body of a Takan security guard who had just tried to rape her on the prison planet of Moabar on which she is serving a life sentence for crimes she did not comment. While trying to recover her balance from that attack, a ghost from her past appears in front of her in the form of a very live and very sexy Gabriel Ross Sullivan aka Sully. Though he has been thought dead for the last two years, he appears very much a live and is offering Chaz a way of the planet if she’ll help him. From there this “little” mission blossoms into something that could create a civil war within the Empire. And as they get closer to their goal, the danger increases and so does the passion between Sully and Chaz.

Gabriel Ross Sullivan aka Sully, the poet, and mercenary on a mission to stop the illegal breeding jukors (monsters designed and breed to kill anything that moves). But he needs the information on the Fleet and their protocols. So he rescues Chaz from Moabar (against the advise of his advisors) or that least that is the story he tell Chaz. But the truth of his unshakable trust, love and lust for Chaz soon becomes apparent. While there are many mysteries about Sully, even those that scare him, Chaz finds that she can’t resist Sully (and his wicked Sully grin)

Captain Chasidah Bergren aka Chaz, the once pride of the Sixth Fleet, and according to Sully, the best interfering bitch in the universe. Chaz is no faint flower. She is used to being in command knows what has to done in order to get the mission accomplished. Besides the luscious distraction of Sully, she does maintain her control and uses cool logic to solve problems. But when push comes to shove, she’ll shoot first and ask questions later.

I have to say I loved the story. The action was nonstop and it was one surprise after another as Chaz discovers things about races and people that she thought she knew. All the characters are quite complex and that makes them seem more alive. Sully, the mostly time flamboyant gambler hero also has a deep streak of self hate and fear of discovery, especially when it come to letting Chaz know what and who he is. Chaz spends most of the book being frustrated with Sully’s tendencies to hide facts from. The whole dynamics of the growing relationship was fascinating.

Keeper?: Yes. And since I borrowed it from a fellow lovely DIK lady (thanks Sarai), I had to go out a buy my own copy.

Recommendation: Yes. A lovely story full of action and romantic tension. Super yummy hero and a kick ass heroine. What more can you want.

Rating: 5 of 5

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Review: Magic Burns

Title: Magic Burns

Author: Ilona Andrews

Published: April 2008

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Stand Alone/Series: Kate Daniels #2
Book 1: Magic Bites

From the Author Site: Down in Atlanta, tempers - and temperatures - are about to flare...

As a mercenary who cleans up after magic gone wrong, Kate Daniels has seen her share of occupational hazards. Normally, waves of paranormal energy ebb and flow across Atlanta like a tide. But once every seven years, a flare comes, a time when magic runs rampant. Now Kate's going to have to deal with problems on a much bigger scale: a divine one.

When Kate sets out to retrieve a set of stolen maps for the Pack, Atlanta's paramilitary clan of shapeshifters, she quickly realizes much more at stake. During a flare, gods and goddesses can manifest - and battle for power. The stolen maps are only the opening gambit in an epic tug-of-war between two gods hoping for rebirth. And if Kate can't stop the cataclysmic showdown, the city may not survive...

Review: Its back to the adventures of Kate Daniels. So its been a couple of months since the death of her Guardian and she's still working for the Order as the liaison to the Mercenary Guild. Still having a hard to making ends meet and taking on the odd jobs for the Mercenary Guild. But for the most part things have settled down to a somewhat happy routine for Kate.

Then of course its the late night call for an assist that turns into more trouble than the norm. Kate not so happily goes to the aid Jim, the panther shapeshifter mercenary, (for a fee of course) and one thing leads to another and the next thing she knows the Pack wants her help to:
... track down a supernaturally fast sniper who can disappear into thin air, retrieve your maps, and do it so nobody finds out what [Kate] is doing or why...
So the adventure starts. And one thing leads to another and before she can do anything about, Kate is once again wading neck deep in trouble. Not only does she have to deal with a sniper who can poof anywhere and has more wandering hands than an octopus, she's has to protect a helpless kid looking for her mom, deal with demons that just won't die and go away, and she's helping the Beast Lord's ex-lover by arranging her marriage to Kate's almost boyfriend, Crest.

Like Magic Bites, this book gets it claws into you and doesn't let go until the end. We're introduced to some intriguing new characters, Andrea, a Knight of the Order who has some serious problems and Julie, the abandoned street kid. We get to catch up with Derek, Kate's former wolf shifter body guard, who has matured some and has moved up a bit in the Pack hierarchy. Ghastek, the Master of the Dead, also makes appearance as does Saiman (still don't know what he is other than a bit strange) and of course Curran, the Beast Lord. And the revelation of the true depth of Kate's powers and more hints about Roland.

And the book leaves us with some intriguing questions: 1.) Just who and what is Roland (other than Kate's possible father) and just how powerful is he? 2.) How powerful is Kate? After the glimpse of her raw strength, it leaves one to wonder. Also the continued references of waiting until she is more powerful to kill someone, possibly Roland, makes one think that she only going to get more powerful as time goes by. And the biggest question of all 3.) Will Kate and Curran ever get together? Curran is a definite YES with:
Not only will you sleep with me, but you will say 'please'.
Ooh... the shivers. Love that whole alpha-male thing. And Kate is a definite NO with:
You've got to be insane. All that peroxide in your hair has finally did you brain in, Goldilocks.
You gotta love that smart mouth remark especially considering he can turn into a lion. Oh the possibilities. Can't wait to see how it all plays out.

Although the story is very satisfying it leaves you flipping pages helplessly at the end shaking your fist saying... "wait there's gotta be more, I NEED more" then wailing "What do you mean I have to wait until April 2009 for the next book!" And of course drooling for the next book. Can't wait for Magic Strikes!

Keeper?: Definitely.

Recommendation: It was definitely a great read. Anyone who loves a mouthy, kick-ass heroine will enjoy this book greatly. It going on my best of 2008 list for sure!

Rating: 5 of 5

Copyright 2007 ID Media Inc, All Right Reserved. Crafted by Nurudin Jauhari