The Rift By Drew Chase

Not long ago, Drew Chase contacted me and asked me to check out his blog, which features his online YA supernatural thriller, The Rift.  I thought this was a cool idea anyway, but then when I saw it takes place in my home town, I was really excited.  And I don’t mean Atlanta, I mean my little chunk of suburbia upbringing,  Lawrenceville, Georgia.  Small world, huh?  Anyway, the story follows Jason West, a kid with serious anger issues who is starting yet another private school that he will surely get kicked out of.  The school seems normal, until he meets his new roomies, and they are…well…not human.   Drew updates the story every Monday at midnight and is currently on chapter 9 of the story, where Jason is starting to get some answers about what is really going on at the school.  I can’t review this or anything because it’s still near the beginning of the story.  But I can say that I liked what I read so far (chapters 1-9) and I really like the idea of reading a book on a blog that updates weekly.  Its YA, but there has already been a really bloody scene, so it’s not THAT YA.  So check it out, add it to your google reader or whatever you use to blog stalk, and enjoy!

http://theriftstory.blogspot.com/

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Dark Obsession (Shadow Destroyers #4) By Sydney Somers

From Goodreads.com:  Scorching desire…fatal consequences.

Demon slayer Rae McAvoy refuses to let anything stand between her and getting the job done. Especially her ex. Loving Parker nearly destroyed her, and if partnering with him one last time means he’ll be reassigned and out of her life for good, bring it on.

If Parker was the only threat to her heart, tracking down one rogue scientist would be a snap. Except the scientist in question is Rae’s father, and his experiments are hitting much too close to home.

Parker Walsh hasn’t forgotten the passion that once burned between them, and he’s determined to remind Rae every chance he gets. But giving in to more than just lust could mean surrendering to the darkness inside him—the same darkness that once drove her away.

Riding the edge of their rising desire pushes them to the breaking point, until an explosion of passion raises the stakes even higher. Especially when long-buried secrets force them to break the last links to their past—or else be consumed by an obsession so dark it could tear them apart for good.

Disclaimerlicious: The author asked me to review this book.

Bare with me, since I came in on the 4th book of the series, my plot synopsis may not be great.   Shadow Destroyers are humans gifted with a gene that allows them to acquire a demon’s abilities once they are ‘initiated’ or first encounter a demon.  The abilities gained depend on the type of demon; lust, storm, telepath, etc.  Parker Walsh was initiated by a lust demon (rawr!), and he also happens to be Rae’s ex-live-in-boyfriend.  Rae is…something else entirely.  When Parker is reassigned to Rae’s area to investigate a string of missing children cases thought to be Shadow related, he decides he has to try to win her back.  Unfortunately, due to the HORRIFIC nature of their break-up, Rae is not interested.  Of course, when they start traveling cross-country following leads on the missing kids, Parker kind of makes himself…unavoidable. 

The Good:  Two Words come to mind for this book: Sexual Tension.  I felt like I could slice it with a knife it was so thick!  Parker and Rae’s history, jaded feelings and remaining (and unwelcome) lust is the heart of this book and I was very affected by it.  Actually, anyone who has ever survived a serious break-up will probably be affected by this book.  It was slightly more somber than the PNR I am used to because of the heavy break-up discussions, but I appreciated this, as it really made me pull for them as a couple.  There were some lighter bits, like Rae’s devil cat that hates Parker, that I loved.  Nothing sucks worse than your pet trying to take out your lover in his sleep!  I also really liked the whole humans becoming like demons thing, what a cool idea.  Best way to fight demons? Steal their powers! Makes so much sense! 

The Bad:  The only thing I can really say here is while the books could stand alone, I really don’t think they should.  I really only say that because there are several of supporting characters that I could tell hooked up in previous books, and it sorta drove me crazy wondering about them.  I got a little lost on the whole Shadow Destroyers mythos as well, I felt I really could have benefitted from more back story.

The Bumpin’ Uglies:  I could sum this entire section up by saying: Sex or almost-sex in inappropriate places.   🙂   Parker attempts to seduce Rae in the strangest places: Against the vending machine, kitchen floor, you get the gist.  I loved this! I thought it was hysterical and really HOT.  I think I remember public-ish sex being a problem in the Pendragon Gargoyles series as well, must be a running theme….one that receives the Kindlelicious Stamp of Approval.   And then after said PDA episodes, seeing Darcy the Telepath have to filter Parker’s thoughts was hilarious:

“He might have even gotten her up on the edge bar where he could have worked her pants off and started the whole process over again, much, much lower.

‘Parker!’

Yanked from his thoughts, he straightened in his chair.

‘Dial it down buddy’, Darcy tapped her temple.  ‘At least go with the PG version if you feel compelled to think so hard.”

I thought Parker and his lusty demon ways were really hot.  His confidence (arrogance?) and those silver eyes were yummy.  If you are looking for some fun, steamy PNR, then I recommend adding Sydney Somers to your list.

Rating: 8

 

Pendragon Gargoyles Review

Unholy Magic (Downside Ghosts #2) By Stacia Kane

From Barnesandnoble.com:  ENEMIES DON’T NEED TO BE ALIVE TO BE DEADLY.
 
For Chess Putnam, finding herself near-fatally poisoned by a con psychic and then stopping a murderous ghost is just another day on the job. As an agent of the Church of Real Truth, Chess must expose those looking to profit from the world’s unpleasant little poltergeist problem—humans filing false claims of hauntings—all while staving off any undead who really are looking for a kill. But Chess has been extra busy these days, coping with a new “celebrity” assignment while trying on her own time to help some desperate prostitutes.

Someone’s taking out the hookers of Downside in the most gruesome way, and Chess is sure the rumors that it’s the work of a ghost are way off base. But proving herself right means walking in the path of a maniac, not to mention standing between the two men in her life just as they—along with their ruthless employers—are moving closer to a catastrophic showdown. Someone is dealing in murder, sex, and the supernatural, and once again Chess finds herself right in the crossfire.

Okay.  *Deep Breaths*  I will not gush.  I will write a decent review of this book.  *Deep Breaths*

Unholy Magic picks up a few months after its predecessor.  We find that Chess is still pretty much just existing in a pill-induced haze, while still sleeping with Lex and being “friends” with Terrible.  She gets roped into to working for two different cases, one for the Church and one for Bump, her drug dealer.  The Church sends her to a TV celebrity’s house to invcestigate a haunting, while Bump wants her to investigate a string to dead hookers.   In typical Chess fashion, both cases get her in serious trouble.   Her lifestyle habits become a serious issue, she is caught in a very dangerous love triangle, and she continues to make bad choices. I don’t really want to say more about the plot because there are lots of twists and turns and I am trying to avoid spoilers. 

What I can say, is this is hands down the best book I have read so far this year.  Sometimes, overly dark and gritty books bother me, but these characters are just so fascinating, I cannot wait to learn more about them.  Honestly, if I met Chess, Terrible or Lex in real life I would walk the other way.  All 3 of them are essentially criminals, living in the bowels of society and yet, you just want something good to happen to them so badly it hurts.  I found myself cheering on Terrible as he beat some money-owing druggie senseless: “Go Terrible, you break his leg! …did I just think that??”  At one point, Chess is without her pills and I was all “Oh God! Someone get Chess her pills!! …wait what?”  There were times I wanted to strangle Chess, but then I wanted to give her a big hug and tell her it would be okay.  And Terrible! Oh, Terrible.  We learn so much more about him in Unholy Magic, and if I didn’t think I would confuse the hell out of people, I would proudly sport a custom made “Team Terrible” shirt.   I love him that much!  But oh did he break my heart in this one.  I want to quote him so badly but it would give it all away.  He made me cry not once, but twice!  Actually, the entire book was extremely emotional, I had a hard time sleeping when I finished.  So…seriously…guys, girls, trannies, whatever, you NEED to read this series.   It’s very dark (so much so that I don’t recommend eating while reading at some points), but so different, intriguing, gut-wrenching, thought-provking…okay I will stop.   Just know that the 3rd book, City of Ghosts, comes out July 27th.  Longest. Two Weeks. Ever.

Rating:  10

Hump Day Hotness

I have started taking requests for Hump Day Hotness, because sometimes, there are just too many options.  My friend Georgia requested Ian Somerhalder this week, and I wholeheartedly support this request.  Man…he is just…pretty.  I am SOOO loving him in that guyliner (hence the larger size *lecherous laugh*).  ::SIGH::  Enjoy!

Did Not Finish Friday

I have a confession to make: I am a cultural phenomenon whore.  If a book, movie, game, artist or trend is getting a lot of attention in the media, I have to know all about it.  It’s like a compulsion.  Sometimes, the results of said compulsion are great: Harry Potter, Halo, and Percy Jackson are a few that come to mind.  Sometimes, I waste hours of my life I can never get back: Twilight (and subsequently, The Host), Spiderman 2 & 3, Uncharted 2, and now The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.  I had been resisting this one for a long time because it just didn’t interest me.  But then I got my Entertainment Weekly with this book plastered throughout, and I was all “Alright, I get it! I will check it out!”   Sigh…and then I wasted more hours of my life.  I gave it a valiant effort, really, I did! I made it all the way to 40% before I wanted to claw my eyeballs out.  The level of benign detail in this book was unlike anything I have ever read.  The final straw for me was when I had to read about what computer programs one of the main characters was using.   I mean, really?? Isn’t this a murder mystery??  Blah. 

Anyway, from what I hear, I stopped reading just before “it got good” at 50%.  But IMO, 50% is WAY too long for a world-wide phenom to get good.  I read books on a daily basis that suck me in from start to finish, that make me ignore everything around me (including my poor husband and dog) and you will never see them on a best-seller list.  So what is it about this book that has the whole world smitten?  Are people too scared to go against the grain and admit that at least the first half was torture?  Or am I just too shallow to appreciate the level of detail necessary to describe 47 family members who may have committed murder?  I just don’t get it.  Thoughts?

Tracking the Tempest By Nicole Peeler

From Barnesandnoble.com:  Valentine’s Day is fast approaching, and Ryu – Jane’s bloodsucking boyfriend – can’t let a major holiday go by without getting all gratuitous. An overwhelming dose of boyfriend interference and a last-minute ticket to Boston later, and Jane’s life is thrown off course.

Ryu’s well-intentioned plans create mayhem, and Jane winds up embroiled in an investigation involving a spree of gruesome killings. All the evidence points towards another Halfling, much to Jane’s surprise…

 Jane is a half-Selkie, who is dating a vamp, spends most of her time with a Gnome and is now being stalked by another halfling who is convinced they are soul mates.  Needless to say, these books are different but in a good way.  Jane is hilarious, here is one of my fave quotes:

“Ryu knew damned well that humor could overcome any emotion, even lust.  I couldn’t help laugh s he helped to my feet and pushed me to the wet room.  Meanwhile, I began strategizing all the various ways in which I would destroy him later.  And he’s afraid of a little Gorgon, I thought as I wondered what, exactly, Iris has packed from my dirty drawer.  Game on Vlad, I thought, wriggling my own eyebrows at my vampire’s back as he went to get my suitcase.  I’ll show you an ‘impaler.

I also have to include this quote because I know one certain fellow blogger who will appreciate this:

 “Before executing my culinary genius, I first poked ay Ruy’s iPod, set in his state-of-the-art sound dock thingie, until I found the Killers and put them on shuffle.  I was officially obessesed with the Killers, not least because of the lead singer’s slightly spastic-yet-strangely-sexy dance moves.”

Tracking the Tempest was action packed and hilarious from start to finish, kind of like a summer blockbuster for books.  However, I have two complaints. First, I learned very quickly that the series is also forgettable.  I had a really hard time remembering supporting characters (besides the Gnome, who I am moderately obsessed with) from the first book.  It wasn’t a huge deal, and it didn’t ruin the fun, but since these are kinda short reads, they just don’t stick with you.  Second, Jane talks a big game about all the dirty things she has planned for Ryu, but then we skip over the actual scenes.  To this I say, BOOO!  You can’t refer to Jane’s dirty drawer repeatedly and then not show the contents in action!  Alas, I am not really crazy about Ryu anyway, so I was excited to see the little love-triangle brewing with Anyan.  I am firmly on Team Anyan at this point.  Ryu is just too pretty. 

Rating: 8 (with bonus love for the super cute covers!)

Magic Bites (Kate Daniels #1) By Ilona Andrews

From Goodreads.com:  When the magic is up, rogue mages cast their spells and monsters appear, while guns refuse to fire and cars fail to start. But then technology returns, and the magic recedes as unpredictably as it arose, leaving all kinds of paranormal problems in its wake.  Kate Daniels is a down-on-her-luck mercenary who makes her living cleaning up these magical problems. But when Kate’s guardian is murdered, her quest for justice draws her into a power struggle between two strong factions within Atlanta’s magic circles.
The Masters of the Dead, necromancers who can control vampires, and the Pack, a paramilitary clan of shapechangers, blame each other for a series of bizarre killings—and the death of Kate’s guardian may be part of the same mystery. Pressured by both sides to find the killer, Kate realizes she’s way out of her league—but she wouldn’t have it any other way…

The Good:  Let me start by saying after I made it through the first 50 pages or so, I liked this book more than I thought I would.  I liked most of the plot, espcecailly the fresh take on vampires and the need to be piloted by a human.  It was refreshing to see vamps as gross, not hot and/or sparkly.    I liked Kate, and I really liked Curran.   But what I liked most was the setting.  You see, I have lived in Atlanta my entire life, so reading about all these landmarks and even suburbs (I live very close to the Shifter compound, btw) of Atlanta was great!  There was also a quote that I just have to include because it was so nice to see: 

“‘Lovely morning isn’t it?” he said, the unmistakeable harmonies of coastal Georgia vibrating in his voice.

“Shouldn’t it be ‘ain’t it?'” I said.  My voice sounded weak.

“Only if you are an uneducated fool,” the man said. “Or if you wish to appear country.  And I’m too old to appear anything that I’m not.'”

THANK GOD.  I love this because it’s almost as if the authors were warning you up front to not expect any hick jackasses just because it’s based in Atlantan which I appreciated.

The Bad:  I think the worst thing about this book was the lack of explanation.  At some point, something happened and magic started causing problems for technology.  We don’t really know what happened, and it’s hard to understand why the “tech goes out.”  I just felt that there wasn’t enough background on the current atmoshpere as well as the characters to feel a connection.  It’s obvious that Kate has a lot of secrets, and I am sure we learn about them as time goes on, but I needed a little more for her.  The villain was confusing, I had to re-read sections to make sure I understood what exactly has was.  And be warned, his scenes are grusome and distrubing.  This is pretty dark urban fantasy.  The level of detail was a little much for me, I found myself skimming a lot in this one. Honestly, if I didn’t already know the series gets a lot better (and really enjoyed The Edge series), I probably wouldn’t continue reading.  Liked Kate and Curran, but don’t really care at this point.

The Bumpin’ Uglies:  Le Sigh.  No one bumps the uglies in this one.  I know it’s not PNR, so not required, but it might have been nice for Kate to have one lighter scene to break up all the darkness.   But I am keeping my eye on Curran, he has potential.

Rating: 6.5

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