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!)

Ill Wind By Rachel Caine (Weather Warden #1)

From Amazon.com:  Joanne Baldwin is a weather warden, who can control the weather and keep it from being more chaotic and destructive than it already is. She is on the run, though, for she is accused of killing a senior warden, which she did, sort of: a thread of corruption runs through some of the most powerful wardens, one of which put a Demon Mark on her and then died. Her only hope now is to get a djinn from her old friend Lewis, who stole three of them from the council of the wardens many years ago. As she runs, she picks up a hitchhiker who knows things an ordinary person wouldn’t, and who offers help. With djinns and other wardens, including those sent to arrest her, all giving her conflicting information, Joanne never quite knows whom to trust in this romantic escapist romp rife with danger, excitement, and even classic cars.

Me: Hmm…good description Amazon…since I don’t want to be redundant I will just skip to the part where we talk about my opinions on Ill Wind. 

Amazon: We know that’s all you want to do anyway.  Let’s lose the charade.

Me: So true.

The Good:  I am no stranger to dorkdom, I can dork out about the weirdest things for hours.  And now I can add weather to that list.  Joanne manipulates the weather around her by going into Oversight, which is basically leaving her body and magically traveling into the atmosphere to change weather patterns.  I loved reading about her manipulating molecules and energy, I thought the whole concept was just spiffy.  But to be fair, some might get bored with the lengthy descriptions of clouds and lightning.  (You have been warned.)  I also really enjoyed the Djinn, who basically exist to serve with weather wardens.  This was my first encounter with the Djinn (read: Genie), and I loved how they are basically a magical powers open canvas.  It’s like “Oh, no car keys? Let me crank that for you!” “Oh, you are sinking in quick sand? I happen to be able to travel through the ground to save you! We Djinn do stuff like this all the time!”  This may annoy some, but I thought it was pretty funny.  As for the plot, it was very fast-paced with lots of action, as Joanne spent the entire book on the run from the rest of the weather wardens.  There were some twists and turns I didn’t see coming, and overall it was just a fun, different book.  Some characters were introduced but not well developed, but this is a series, so I think they will have a larger role to play later on.

The Bad:  I can’t think of too much to say here.  Ill Wind was a quick, light read, so I didn’t really care too much that there were a few holes in the plot.  I thought the villain was a little predictable.  And the motives really didn’t make much sense, but Joanne actually points that out, so I can’t really complain.  My biggest issue with Ill Wind is: I liked this book, but do I really need to read the other 8 in the series?  I am getting kinda sick of making huge investments in characters for 7-10 books, then being a little lost at the end.  (We are going to ignore how pathetic that sounded, mmmkay?) But Ill Wind ended with just enough of a cliffhanger to keep me interested.  Sigh…what to do. 

The Bumpin’ Uglies:  When I purchase my beloved Kindle books, I always read the reviews on Amazon before I make the purchase.  The few I read hinted that Ill Wind is more PNR than UF.  I would have to disagree, and I was disappointed at how little romance there was.  (Slight spoiler) I mean, I was really excited to see what David the Djinn lovin’ was all about, but the good stuff was more of the “blink and you miss it” variety.  I felt a little cheated by the one major smutty scene because it started off really steamy (figuratively and literally) and then was kinda skimmed over.  What a smut tease!  Seriously, what is the female of equivalent of getting blue balled??  Anyway, there were three potential love interests introduced, but only David the Djinn is really developed.  I would have liked a little more depth in these relationships, but like I said, the series is on the 9th book now; these romances may have been explored. 

Rating:  8 if considered UF, 6 if considered PNR