Category Archives: Urban Fantasy

White Trash Zombie Unchained by Diana Rowland

The White Trash Zombie series is one of my favorites in audio. Rowland’s writing and McLemore’s narration are a perfect match. In this sixth installment, Angel Crawford pits herself against the ambitious and narcissistic scientist, Kristi Charish, to stop the spread of a zombie epidemic and find a cure. And along the way, she makes herself some new pets—zombie gators!

Title: White Trash Zombie Unchained
Author: Diana Rowland
Series: White Trash Zombie, Book 06
Publish Date: September 4, 2017, Audible Studios
Genre: Urban fantasy
Narrator: Allison McLemore
Cover: Tony Mauro
Source: Purchased

Publisher’s Description: Angel Crawford has finally pulled herself together (literally!) after her disastrous dismemberment on Mardi Gras. She’s putting the pieces of her life back in order and is ready to tackle whatever the future holds.

Too bad the future is a nasty bitch. There’s a new kind of zombie in town: mindless shamblers, infectious and ravenous.

With the threat of a full-blown shambler pandemic looming, and a loved one stricken, Angel and the “real” zombies scramble to find a cure. Yet when Angel uncovers the true reason the plague is spreading so quickly, she adds “no-holds-barred revenge” to her to-do list.

Angel is busting her ass dealing with shambling hordes, zombie gators, government jerks, and way too many mosquitos, but this white trash chick ain’t giving up.

Good thing, since the fate of the world is resting on her undead shoulders.

Possible spoilers beyond this point.


Invested Ivana says…

OMG, I love this series! Listening to it makes me giddy. I feel a series reread coming on. 🙂

Angel Crawford has come a long way from the pill-popping loser she was at the beginning of book 1. She’s drug-free, has a good relationship with her dad, excels at her job, is going back to school for a degree, has made some true friends, and is instrumental in protecting the zombies in her community.

So when it appears she accidentally creates a new batch of mindless, shambling zombies, she feels pretty bad about it. The whole town seems to be turning into shamblers—including Nick, her co-worker, friend, and perhaps more. In order to save Nick and everyone else, Angel has to figure out what the evil Dr. Charish is up to and help her own scientists find a cure.

I love that Rowland has Angel still battling with her self-esteem. Behind the zombie science and outrageous situations, Angel’s story is really one of reclaiming herself, working hard to drag herself up from poverty and substance abuse to have a full and productive life and role in her community. When a person’s life starts in poverty and tragedy, there’s a mentality that never really goes away, regardless of how far they may have come. Rowland doesn’t let it dominate the story or beat the readers over the head with it, but it’s there in Angel’s thoughts about herself and her limits. It’s great to see her work through it productively in this book, and it makes her a role-model, of sorts.

Unchained gets top marks from me. This installment seems to be a turning point in the series, and I’m very excited to see what happens next (particularly with the zombie gators!). I can’t recommend this series enough, especially if you enjoy audiobooks. The narration is such a treat.

Our reviews in this series…

Other recommendations…

Check out the Adventures of Owl and Kincade Strange series by the real, and not evil, Kristi Charish. If you haven’t read it yet, the Sookie Stackhouse series is about another Southern gal put in outrageous situations.

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Grave Ransom by Kalayna Price

Alex Craft is finding herself mixed up with a case that has a necromancy connection.  She hates what this person is doing to people and will stop them if it takes all her magic to do it.

I received an ARC or review copy of this book from the author/publisher. All opinions are my own.

Title: Grave Ransom
Author:  Kalayna Price
Series:  Grave Witch #5
Publish Date: July 4, 2017
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Source: Net Galley

Publisher’s Description:  Grave witch Alex Craft is no stranger to the dead talking. She raises shades, works with ghosts, and is dating Death himself. But the dead walking? That’s not supposed to happen. And yet, reanimated corpses are committing crimes across Nekros City.

Alex’s investigation leads her deep into a web of sinister magic. When Briar Darque of the Magical Crimes Investigation Bureau gets involved, Alex finds herself with an unexpected ally of sorts. But as the dead continue to rise and wreak havoc on the living, can Alex get to the soul of the matter in time? (less)

Nervous Nellie’s nervousness necessitates knowledge of the novel. In other words…spoilers.  *BEWARE*


Nervous Nellie says…  

This is an urban fantasy.  No sex, no cliffhanger, some violence and lots of seeing dead people.  This book was a page turner and one I could not put down.  The characters are defined and the worlds are vivid.

This is one of the best series ever.  It’s been a few years since the last release, but I swear that once I picked up book #5, Grave Ransom, and started reading it was like we were never separated.

Alex Craft is a grave witch, a fae and a plane weaver.  She is also under the watchful eye of the Winter Knight because the Winter Queen expressly ordered Falin Andrews to do so and he can’t refuse. The Winter Knight, Falin Andrews, is also the lead detective of the FIB.  Alex Craft is the lead investigator for the Tongues of the Dead agency.  Both are thrown into cases together even though they are ex-lovers.  Falin burned some bridges in books past and I was totally over him jilting Alex.  He was a jerk and broke Alex’s heart so I started rooting for the impossible relationship between Alex and Death.

Death is a soul collector.  Alex can’t contact him and he can only be with her when he’s not called to work.  Also, their relationship is totally forbidden.  He holds a lot of secrets from her so their relationship isn’t exactly much more than sex even though he claims he loves her.

In this story, someone is killing people and putting their soul into another dead person.  If that wasn’t bad enough, that someone is making those people do things for him/her, like robbing banks, with the promise of putting their souls back into their bodies.  Yeah. No, it doesn’t work that way.

Kalayna Price is a plane weaver of her own right.  She weaves the magic of Faerie and Alex’s world together with absolute genius.  She also made me like Falin again.  Dammit.  I flip flopped again.

There are very few authors that I would wait this patiently for a new book in their series, but this Grave Witch series is one of them.  I can’t tell if this is the series finale or not, so I’m hoping it’s not.  It certainly could be if Ms. Price wanted it to be, but according to Goodreads, there is a book #6 brewing.  The story was very good and the time reading was well spent.

Other reviews in the series:

Grave Visions

I received an ARC or review copy of this book from the author/publisher. All opinions are my own.

Doc Graystone – A Watery Grave by Nicholas Olivo

Murder, mayhem, and nefarious plots – all in a day’s work for gentleman necromancer Doc Graystone.

TitleA Watery Grave
Author: Nicholas Olivo
Series: Doc Graystone Adventures
Publish Date: April 10, 2015
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Source: Purchased by both reviewers.

Publisher’s Description:

Boston, 1932. Doc Graystone is contacted to evaluate security at a paranormal prison built by the U.S. Navy. Before he can begin, a hydromancer assassinates a naval officer to obtain information about the prison. Now Graystone has to track her down before she can break out a prisoner Graystone knows all too well…


Nervous Nellie says…

This is an urban fantasy with no romance, no graphic violence and no cliffhanger. There are five (5) shorts in this series and they are great for a quick evening read or a wait in some waiting room.

Dr. Graystone, or as he is nicknamed within the Boston PD- Doc Gravestone, is an alcoholic and a necromancer.  He’s a powerful necromancer with a guilt hanging with him about his fiancee’s murder.  He works with the police in Boston to solve murder cases.  That’s the premise overview.  This episode has to do with the Illuminati (oooooh) and Atlantean artifacts (ahhhhhh).  I love how this short incorporates both.  It’s fun and enjoyable.

I have only one complaint with this story.  If I have to read “gentleman necromancer” one more time…  It seems like that descriptor was over used – in my opinion.  Now, I’ve gotten the negative out of the way, I want to assure you that my complaint should in no way decide whether or not you should read this series. I enjoyed the introduction of a hydromancer in to my knowledge base of gifted individuals.  She was an incredible creature and if she’d only use her power for good instead of evil.  Doc took a lot of punishment this time around.  Grady didn’t do much investigating – it was all up to the good Doctor.  He was poisoned and electrocuted.  He was almost nearly drowned.  Poor old boy took justice seeking to a whole new level.

I am looking forward to reading the next in the series.

Kat Mandu says…

In the second installment of Doc Graystone’s adventure, the gentleman necromancer is pitted against a hydromancer (a being that can transform herself into water, not to mention control liquids in general) and an old “friend” who collects interesting artifacts he uses as weapons. Familiar characters from the first story, like Grady and his partner Parker, return; not to mention Joan, Graystone’s late wife.

There’s a lot of action in this, not to mention some magical fight scenes between two powerful beings – Doc being one of those. Plus, it’s got a few historical mentions – Prohibition, the USS Constitution, even hints at the later Nazi war. Oh, plus it delves into some conspiracy theories focused on the lost city of Atlantis and even the mysterious Illuminati.

I’m really drawn into this world of magical intrigue and Necromancy. It’s quickly becoming one of my favorite shorts to read. I hope everyone else can enjoy it as much as I do!

Our reviews in this series…

Other recommendations…

If you like this book, try…

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Purge City by Brad Magnarella

Watch out if you are a supernatural because the mayor of NYC wants to eradicate you with the help of his secret weapon, Prof Croft.

Title:  Purge City
Author:  Brad Magnarella
Series:  Prof Croft #3
Publish Date:  February 13, 2017
Genre:  Urban Fantasy
Narrator:  James Patrick Cronin
Cover:  Damonza.com
Source:  Purchased by reviewer in print and audio

Publisher’s Description:

If you can’t stand the heat…

When New York City unveils a program to roast supernaturals, I wonder if I should be sweating.

The bloodthirsty Arnaud thinks so, and he’s insisting that our survival depends on a wizard-vampire alliance. Never mind his history of wanting me dead. Or undead.

Meanwhile, the mayor wants me on his team—an offer that’s only slightly less unnerving given our recent clash. So who’s really behind the purge? City Hall? The werewolves? Or is it the brainchild of the fae, whose newest advisor to the mayor slipped from my bed and life four months ago?

I’m getting the cold feeling someone’s trying to manipulate the program, and me, to set off a larger war, one that could explode through the city.

One thing’s for sure. If I don’t get my head straight and my magic on, it’s going to be a hell of a summer.

Nervous Nellie’s nervousness necessitates knowledge of the novel. In other words…spoilers.  *BEWARE*


 

Nervous Nellie says…

This is an urban fantasy. No sex, plenty of magic, manipulation, and even what could be deemed a double agent or two…maybe more. There are creatures that are introduced that I’ve (veteran of reading Urban Fantasy) had never heard of –so that was fun. Everybody has an agenda. If you remember that, you’ll be ok.

I love Prof Croft. He’s not pretentious. He doesn’t know everything and is very willing to do the leg work to figure it out. His support staff is lacking, though…A LOT! The Order doesn’t help. His mentor is not exactly helpful and Vega? She’s got a stick up her butt and is still mad from last episode. Talk about a grudge holder concerning a grudge that doesn’t need to be held. Let it go already, woman!
Arnaud is back. What a slug. He may/may not cut a swarthy form in battle, but he’s a vampire. I knew that, I really did, but the sparkles got in the way and I nearly let him fool me. Seriously, I was nearly sucked in by his concern for Everson. Don’t. Just don’t.
Caroline is back. Still the wife of a fae, dang it. It’s rough to see Everson wade through whatever he may be feeling for her and while I have no inside information, I have to hope that this is not the last time we will see her. I’m looking for an HEA, though the Urban Fantasy genre doesn’t have requirements to give me one. Poop.

This story is mostly about a cat and mouse game where Everson is the mouse. There are adversaries where ever he looks. The police department. The stupid mayor whose idea to rid NYC of supers to get re-elected. The fae because he’s a threat to Caroline’s marriage. The werewolves because he put Penny into a bullet induced coma. Moronic Snodgrass because…well…because Snodgrass is an idiot. Every-freaking-body has it out for our wizard. Everson is chased across the city, threatened, imperiled and vulnerable. It’s like fate has it out for our dear Prof Croft or something. Or his author. That might be a more reliable theory. 😉

There are some surprises revealed, so hold on to your theories. There are motive reveals regarding a lot of things and while the ending helps put the puzzle together that doesn’t mean this is the end of the adventure or the grand scheme. While I LOVED the ending, I cannot wait for book #4 to be released because maybe just maybe Everson will finally get his closure. This epic tale was packed with action and was not a book I could put down.

One last thing. The narrator rocks. If you like audios, you’ll dig him.

Our reviews in this series…

  • Preq 0: Book of Souls (not reviewed yet)
    Book 1: Demon Moon
    Book 2: Blood Deal
    Book 3: Purge City
    Book 4: Death Mage (not read, reviewed or released yet)

Other recommendations…

If you like this book…
…you might try Boundary Magic by Melissa Olson , Hellequin Chronicles by Steve McHugh or Immortal Vegas by Jenn Stark

 

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Cold Reign by Faith Hunter

Yellowrock Clan is back to battle revanants, European Vampires, traitors, spies and conspirators.  Another day in the life of Leo’s NoLA Enforcer and her people.

Title:  Cold Reign
Author: Faith Hunter
Series: Jane Yellowrock #11
Publish Date:  May 2, 2017
Genre:  Urban Fantasy
Narrator: Khristine Hvam
Source:  Reviewer purchased book and audio

Publisher’s Description:

Jane Yellowrock is a shape-shifting skinwalker…and the woman rogue vampires fear most. Jane walks softly and carries a big stake to keep the peace in New Orleans, all part of her job as official enforcer to Leo Pellisier, Master of the City. But Leo’s reign is being threatened by a visit from a delegation of ancient European vampires seeking to expand their dominions.

But there’s another danger to the city. When she hears reports of revenant vampires, loose in NOLA and out for blood, Jane goes to put them down—and discovers there’s something unusual about these revenants. They never should have risen.

Jane must test her strength against a deadly, unnatural magic beyond human understanding, and a ruthless cadre of near-immortals whose thirst for power knows no bounds… 

Nervous Nellie’s nervousness necessitates knowledge of the novel. In other words…spoilers.  *BEWARE*


 

Nervous Nellie says…

Dang ninja vamp.

This is an urban fantasy with hints of sex – nothing descriptive, lots of blood and gore.  Plenty of scheming and manipulation – vamps are good at that and magic.  The ending isn’t a cliffhanger but the game has changed dramatically so it will be impossible to stay away from the next installment. There is only one word for this book and it has to be “EXCELLENT” or how about two words..”Solid Gold”.

I have loved this series since it began.  Jane Yellowrock has grown and grown into a force that no one can deny.  Even the fangheads have to respect her because she CAN and much to her independent nature WILL take them out.

This story threw me into the action right away with Jane and Eli fighting a revenant.  There are NCIS investigations into dead sailors and since the dead sailors were drunk dry, Yellowrock Securities or rather Leo Pellissier’s Enforcer were called.  That had me hooked from the get-go.  Seriously? NCIS and Jane Yellowrock in the same paragraph? I am SO in.

The action doesn’t stop there.  Nope.  Not even close.  The revenants are the main story line and why they are all of a sudden digging themselves out of their graves 200 years after they were put there is the million dollar question.  And then comes the riots.  And then the storms.  And then the attacks on Leo and his HQ.  The suspense and treachery reach a friendzied pitch and then back down just as I was on the edge of my seat.  When I finally relax a bit, here goes the action and mayhem all over again.  Jane and her team get thrown in head first time and time again while Leo sits back with his drink and his toys just waiting for Jane to fix things.  He’s such a jerk.

Leo doesn’t come out of this adventure unscathed, however.  He suffers some loss although the loss isn’t as great to a vamp as to normal people. They have games not relationships.  Now, I may be a bit biased because I don’t like Leo much.  I will concede that he does seem to treat his people well and he pays Jane well.  I hate the vamp politics and the long game they play to one up each other.  He’s just too devious for his own good.  And pretty.  And a schmoozer.  And a liar.  And just plain fangy.

Relationships expand in Jane’s household in this book.  She gets herself a Primo, a Secundo and to top it all off – an Enforcer.  Jane has worked dang hard for her place in vamp hierarchy and she deserves happiness.  Enter Bruiser.  *Swoon*  Yes, he is pretty and romantic as ever.  I think they make a super pair.  It makes me all warm and melty.  Of course I couldn’t get comfortable with that because THEN things so a bit sideways because Ricky Bo makes an appearance.  He makes it known that he wants Jane back and (this is the part that is cool) Jane is the one that tells him to…um…go jump in a lake.  Bruiser is not the one flexing muscles here and going all alpha protective over Jane because Jane can take care of herself.  Go Jane!

I cannot rate this any higher than 5 stars though I’d want to give it 20.  Faith Hunter’s writing is out of this world and her story line is one that is original and engaging.  Go Faith!

 

Our reviews in this series…

Other recommendations…

…you might try  Soulwood series by Faith Hunter

 

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