Monthly Archives: November 2015

Shadowstorm by Skye Knizley

Raven Storm is back!

26187179Title Shadowstorm
Author: Skye Knizley
SeriesStorm Chronicles #4
Publish Date:  August 28, 2015
Genre:  Dark Fantasy
Source: Purchased

Publisher’s Description: In the spring of 1984, just before his daughter’s birth, Detective Mason Storm began an investigation into the ritualistic slaying of seven women, their bodies defiled and left covered in black rose petals.

The case ended with Storm suspended. The bizarre murders were left unsolved.

Thirty years later, the killer has returned and Raven Storm has been assigned to the case, tasked to succeed where her father failed. With two bodies on her hands and only a handful of cryptic clues in a thirty year old case file, Raven steps into the darkness, determined to catch the killer before another woman dies.

But how do you solve a murder in the shadow of your father?

Nervous Nellie’s nervousness necessitates knowledge of the novel (in other words, SPOILERS!)


Nervous_Nellie_100Nervous Nellie says…

Another kick ass Raven Storm book.  This one I liked much better than #3.  There was something missing in #3 for me.  I don’t know what it was, but whatever it was, it was found and I enjoyed it.

Raven is determined to solve a 30 year old mystery that was a primary case for her father, Mason.  This book was told from Raven’s point of view and also Mason’s.  I got to know Mason as a man instead of a ghost.  I really enjoyed that part.  Raven does not fall far from the tree.  Oh, she is definitely her father’s daughter.  Valentina and the dirty double crossing snake, Francis DuGuerre made small appearances.  This story was mostly about the killer that was ritualistically taking the lives of young women.  I learned a lot more about Raven’s young life and I appreciate the glimpse.  I met Rupert’s new girlfriend and Were-Eagle, Sloan.  She is awesome.  They make a great pair.  I hope she doesn’t get grossed out by the leftover condiments on Rupe’s suit and tie.  I was kind of bummed about <shriek – major spoiler ahead – shriek> Raven getting suspended and then being offered a job with the FBI.  What about Rupert?  If she moves, all the characters would change and I like the characters!

badge4v4I also had a “things that make me go hmmmmmm….. moment” was <shriek – spoiler ahead – shriek> Raven getting together with Aspen.  I really like Aspen.  She’s a great character, but to be totally honest, she doesn’t match with Raven.  I can understand Aspen falling in love with Raven – kind of a hero worship thing – but an equal relationship is hard to see.  It also feels weird because Aspen is Raven’s familiar.  Now, the relationship was not touched upon for very long because of the end of the story, but being Raven’s familiar, would that induce stronger feelings towards Raven?  I don’t know anything about it because….well…I’m not a familiar….but I’m hoping that the next book explores more of the relationship between Raven and Aspen.

One last thing.  Is it wrong to want Lord DuGuerre in the story?  I just love to hate him.  The jerk. 😉

Other reviews: 

If you like this book, you might try:

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Book Hunt and Audio News

Invested_Ivana_100Good Morning!  Hope all our American friends had a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving weekend, and that all our international friends had the same.

Nell’s still in a turkey coma, so I’m taking over the book hunt today, and I have two bits of news for you.

Rabbit Trick is Free

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000032_00009]Now is a great time to try out the Mindspace Investigations series by Alex Hughes.  The prequel short story, Rabbit Trick, is FREE from ebook retailers.  Nell and I both love the Mindspace Investigations series.  It feels like a noir mystery series, but is set in a futuristic Atlanta where telepaths of all varieties exist.  It’s a departure from our usual urban fantasy/paranormal reads in that it’s more science fiction, but the real focus is on the fantastic characters, so it will appeal to sci-fi, fantasy, and mystery fans alike.

Rabbit Trick has a great new cover, so don’t be confused if you had thought about checking it out before.  If you’re still not sure about the series, read our reviews for Rabbit Trick, the first book, Clean, and the latest novella, Fluid.

Now is a great time to start this series; the companion novella to Fluid will be out in the next few months, and the next novel will be out sometime this Spring or Summer.  If you’re an audio fan, everything but the most recent novella is available in audio as well.

Jim Dale’s Performance of Harry Potter Finally On Audible

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Jim Dale’s performance of the Harry Potter series was the launching point of my love affair with audio books.  Dale is amazing at voices!  Was anyone else a fan of the TV show Pushing Daisies?  The narrator was Jim Dale.  How about the audio of  The Night Circus?  Peter and the Starcatchers?  Yep, all Jim Dale.  I have bought audios of Winnie the Pooh, Peter Pan, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, and The Christmas Carol (my third copy of this tale) all so I could listen to Jim Dale’s voice.  He is just brilliant!

I’m grateful I bought all the audio CDs when they were available at the time the books were published, because I’m not sure if they’ve been available for a while, other than at libraries.  But just last week Audible announced that all the Jim Dale versions were up and available for purchase.  They all have new stylistic covers, too.  If you have not yet listened to these, now is the time to check them out.  They are amazing!

On a side note, I believe Jim Dale narrated the American audios of HP; but Stephen Fry narrated the British audios.  The Fry versions may be available through libraries, though.  I really want to hear the Stephen Fry versions of the books, too.  The HP world will always be told through Jim’s voice for me, since that is how I was introduced.  But I like Stephen Fry and want to hear those as well. 🙂

Mortal Wish by Tina Folsom

Welcome to Saturday Shorts, where we feature short stories and novellas.

26973544TitleMortal Wish
Author: Tina Folsom
SeriesScangards Vampires .05
Publish Date:  October 9, 2015
Genre:  Paranormal Romance
Source:  Purchased strictly for fun

Publisher’s Description: Jake Stone comes to an island with a magical spring to have his only wish in life fulfilled: to be mortal again. As a vampire, he’s tired of the lonely and unfulfilling life he’s been living. Then he meets Claire Culver, a woman whose trip to the island is her last hope. She wishes for a miracle to cure her of a terminal illness.

Will her wish be granted, or will this be her last Christmas?

Where does this novella fit into the Scanguards timeline?
It takes place several years before Samson’s story kicks off the Scanguards Vampires series in San Francisco with Samson’s Lovely Mortal. Jake is first mentioned in Quinn’s Undying Rose. Well-loved Scanguards characters—Gabriel, Zane, and Amaury—will make an appearance in this short novella.

Nervous Nellie’s nervousness necessitates knowledge of the novel (in other words, SPOILERS!)


Nervous_Nellie_100Nervous Nellie says…

I am a big fan of Tina Folsom’s Scangards Vampires.  I have been with them since first publishing and I look forward to every single release.  This novella has recently been published, but it technically comes before book #1.  You don’t have to read this novella first to start the series, so don’t worry about that.  The character that is involved in this novella is now the “vampire in charge” of the New IMG_0945York office of Scangards.  It begins with Jake wanting to be done with life.  He’s tired and has no purpose.  Until he meets Claire.  She captures him immediately and she is so full of life even though she’s nearing death.

This novella shows how Jake and Claire are recruited to Scangards Vampires.  I hope to see more of them in future books.

Other reviews…

If you like this book, try…

Broken Souls by Stephen Blackmoore

Dang. Eric Carter can’t catch a break, but it makes for a damn good story!

Broken SoulsTitle: Broken Souls
Author: Stephen Blackmoore
Series: Eric Carter Book 02
Publish Date: August 24, 2015 by GraphicAudio.net
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Source: Purchased

Publisher’s Description: When necromancer Eric Carter returned to Los Angeles after fifteen years on the run he knew things were bad, but he never imagined how bad they could get. Sister murdered, best friend dead, married to the patron saint of death, Santa Muerte.

And things are just getting worse.

His link to the Aztec death goddess is changing his powers, changing him, and he’s not sure how far it will go. He’s starting to question his own sanity, wonder if he’s losing his mind. No mean feat for a guy who talks to the dead on a regular basis.

While searching for a way to break Santa Muerte’s hold over him, Carter finds himself the target of a psychopath who can steal anyone’s form, powers and memories. Identity theft is one thing, but the guy does it by killing his victims and wearing their skins like a suit. He can be anyone. He can be anywhere.

Now Carter has to change the game, go from hunted to hunter. All he has for help is a Skid Row Bruja and a ghost who’s either his dead friend Alex or Carter’s own guilt-fueled psychotic break.

If things go right, he just might survive a week where everything is trying to kill him and nothing is as it seems.

Possible spoilers beyond this point.


Invested_Ivana_100Invested Ivana says…

What we learn from Broken Souls is that Santa Muerta is one sneaky witch. She seems interested in what Eric Carter, necromancer, can do for her (though we don’t know yet what that may be), but at the same time, she pulls some seriously nasty mind games on him. And then there’s her ex-husband, who would rather be a stone statue hidden underground than be married to her. Wow.

Considering Eric’s world, the Bruja he encounters seems *really* trusting. She seems paranoid enough, hiding her true identity for quite a long time. But she seems to expect Eric to be a “good guy.” I kept wondering why she wasn’t more suspicious.

Though his friend, Alex, is dead, I do like the way Blackmoore found a way to include him in this second book.

And can I just say… THE ENDING! The big reveal at the end? I had no idea, didn’t expect that at all. And the fact that you could reasonably say, “WHICH big reveal?” is pretty telling.

badge4v4I am really enjoying this series, especially in the Graphic Audio format, and can’t wait for Hungry Souls!

Nervous Nellie says…

To say I enjoyed this graphic audio book would be an understatement.  I finally tried this kind of audio book after listening to Ivana rave about them.  This is really a performance more than a narration.  I normally enjoy a good narrator with the voice changes and inflections, but this graphic audio really ramps up the experience.  Instead of listening to one person, there are a bunch of narrators speaking individual Nervous_Nellie_100parts.  It’s an incredible experience and a very nice change of pace.

Okay, on to the book.  I have been a Stephen Blackmoore fan since day one.  Eric Carter, like most of the characters that I fall for, is more than he seems.  He’s made a bargain with Sante Muerte and wants to get out of it.  I can’t blame him since she has orchestrated a lot of Eric’s heartache.  I still am not sure what she wants, Eric is not sure what she wants but rest assured it can’t be a romantic relationship with Eric.  She is one scheming bruja.

badge5v4There is a lot of violence, quite a little blood shed, plenty of “f” bombs and a lot of twists and turns.  There is no sex but there is no time for that.  Eric can’t even take time out to sleep let alone…you know…that!

Read our review of the first Eric Carter book, Dead Things.

Other reviews…

If you like this book…

… you might like We Are Not Good People by Jeff Somers, the Joe Pitt series by Charlie Huston, or the Felix Castor series by Mike Carey.

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Blue Noon by Scott Westerfeld

The teenagers of Bixby, Oklahoma that know time freezes at midnight and only they can exist within in it, are used to their blue world and even all the creatures within it. But nothing has prepared them for the events in the final installment of the Midnighters trilogy. Because this time – Midnight happens in the middle of the day. Small spoilers ahead.

Blue NoonTitle: Blue Noon 
Author: Scott Westerfeld
Series: Midnighters Book 03
Publish Date: February 6, 2007
Genre: YA Horror
Source: Purchased

Publisher’s Description: The darklings will hunt once again.

The secret hour when time freezes arrives every night at midnight in Bixby, Oklahoma. It’s a dangerous time, when five teenagers are the only humans awake and dark creatures crawl out of the shadows, but at least the midnight hour is regular and predictable.

Until suddenly, the blue time comes . . . in the middle of the day.

The noise of school stops. Cheerleaders are frozen in midair, teachers brought to a standstill. Everything is the haunted blue color of the midnight hour.

The Midnighters can’t understand what’s happening, but as they scramble for answers, they discover that the walls between the secret hour and real time are crumbling. Soon the dark creatures will have a chance to feed after centuries of waiting, unless these five teenagers can find a way to stop them.

A desperate race against time, a mind-blowing mystery of paranormal logic, a tale of ancient evil and spine-chilling sacrifice: blue noon is the exhilarating third volume in the Midnighters series by acclaimed author Scott Westerfeld.

Possible spoilers beyond this point.


Kat_Mandu_100Kat Mandu says…

The rip mentioned in the second book, Touching Darkness, is growing and swallowing everything it touches. People are going missing, Darklings are growing hungry, and time is running out. Rex, Melissa, Jessica, Johnathan, and Dess must put aside their differences and come together as a single force – even if it means one of their own has to sacrifice themselves.

The world Westerfeld has to offer is changing. Bixby is full of history and signs, some telling of prophecies and some telling of lies. Former Midnighters can’t be trusted – and maybe even one of the Midnighters now can’t be. Being half-Darkling has its advantages though and Rex isn’t above using them against his enemies. With Melissa at full power and finally comfortable with herself, the duo are ready for battle. Dess readies her toys. And Johnathan and Jess prepare themselves for a fight they didn’t want. The battle scenes are pretty epic.

And it all ends with a streak of lightning.

badge5v4This is a beautifully written book, though there is a sad note on the end. However, I don’t think it’ll last too long with how open-ended it was. Nothing is for certain except for the blue time now. But the Midnighters know they can face it. I love this series and give it a five for an exceptional ending.

Links…

See my reviews of the first two books in this trilogy, The Secret Hour and Touching Darkness.

Other reviews…

If you like this book…

…you might like Westerfeld’s other series, the Blue Blood series by Melissa de la Cruiz, or the Cold Awakening series by Robin Wasserman.