Archive for February, 2012
Here is another Waiting on Wednesday, a bookish meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, which gives us all a chance to highlight the books we are eagerly anticipating. Just click the button above to learn more about how to join!
My choice for this week is:
BITING COLD (Chicagoland Vampires #6)
by Chloe Neill
Publication Date: August 7, 2012
SYNOPSIS via AUTHOR’s WEBSITE:
Turned into a vampire against her will, twenty-eight-year-old Merit found her way into the dark circle of Chicago’s vampire underground, where she learned there was more to supernaturals than met the eye—and more supernaturals than the public ever imagined. And not all the secrets she learned were for sharing—among humans or inhumans.
Now Merit is on the hunt, charging across the stark American Midwest, tailing a rogue supernatural intent on stealing an ancient artifact that could unleash catastrophic evil on the world. But Merit is also the prey. An enemy of Chicagoland is hunting her, and he’ll stop at nothing to get the book for himself. No mercy allowed. No rules apply. No lives spared. The race is on.
I am a big fan of this series. I love Merit and her supporting cast – especially Mallory, who should play a big role in this book. And, come on, the cliffhanger in the last one? Aren’t you dying to know what the hell is going to happen?!?
What is your WoW pick this week?
TITLE: Frost Moon
AUTHOR: Anthony Francis
PUBLISHER: Bell Bridge Books
YEAR: March 1, 2010
ARC received via NetGalley
SYNOPSIS via GOODREADS:
In an alternate Atlanta where magic is practiced openly, where witches sip coffee at local cafes, shapeshifters party at urban clubs, vampires rule the southern night like gangsters, and mysterious creatures command dark caverns beneath the city, Dakota Frost’s talents are coveted by all. She’s the best magical tattooist in the southeast, a Skindancer, able to bring her amazing tats to life. When a serial killer begins stalking Atlanta’s tattooed elite, the police and the Feds seek Dakota’s help. Can she find the killer on the dark fringe of the city’s Edgeworld? Among its powerful outcasts and tortured loners, what kind of enemies and allies will she attract? Will they see her as an invader, as a seducer, as an unexpected champion … or as delicious prey?
FROST MOON is Book One of the SKINDANCER fantasy series by debut author Anthony Francis. Filled with unforgettable characters, spine-tingling action, kinky rebellion and edgy love, FROST MOON is classic storytelling at its best, and Dakota Frost is an irresistible new star of fantasy fiction.
This book really has me on the fence. I am straddling the divide between three howls or two. By the time I finish writing this review, I hope to have my mind made up so please bear with me.
In reading books in the urban fantasy genre, I tend to look for two things: interesting world-building and good characters. Frost Moon does have some appealing world-building – the alternate reality called “Edgeworld” where the vampires, shifters, and magicians reign supreme was definitely interesting. I admit that I felt a little fuzzy on the details of this world but it was interesting nonetheless. And Dakota’s ability to ink magical tattoos was probably the single most unique thing about this story. In this world, magical tattooing is an art form and Dakota is the best in the business. Francis is strongest when writing the tattooing scenes and the detail and skill involved in creating a magical tattoo. He also has a terrific scene where Dakota “skin dances,” showing off the beauty and the power of her tattoos through the movement of her body and her designs. It is precisely these scenes that attracted me to the book but I felt the strong premise and the interesting world weren’t really enough to completely ignore the things that bothered me.
While Dakota herself is a somewhat compelling character – loyal, smart, brave but vulnerable — I can say without hesitation that I had very little interest in the supporting cast. An ex-girlfriend who is now a queen vampire after only being a vamp for a year or two? And her vamp name is “Lady Saffron”? A multitude of possible love interests including a martial arts instructor, a magician’s assistant, a rogue Nazi werewolf called “Wulf,” and a “man in black” complete with dark sunglasses and hidden helicopters…these all felt cliché. Then there is an orphan were-tiger, Cinnamon, who had potential as a strong character but for some reason I could not connect with her. I also became annoyed by the few times Cinnamon used a homosexual slur in front of Dakota, an openly bisexual woman, who does not call her on it. The only supporting character I was curious about was Jinx, a powerful witch who consults Dakota on her tattoo designs. There was so much unfulfilled potential in Dakota and Jinx’s friendship and the development of Jinx’s gifts and limitations but not enough time was spent with her. Maybe this is something explored in book two.
Frost Moon also had a number of subplots that detracted from the main plot – the search for a serial killer. It got to the point where looking for a serial killer seemed to be an afterthought. Francis manages to tie things together at the end a little too neatly, but not very satisfyingly. The reveal of the villain felt too theatrical.
In the end, while I loved the original premise of Frost Moon, I think it missed too many marks for me to wholly recommend it. I had such high hopes given all of the positive reviews the book has received and because I love the magical tattoo aspect of the story. This wasn’t enough for me. What it comes down to is whether or not I would read the next book in the series. The answer is no. Frost Moon left me a bit cold.
It’s another Teaser Tuesday, a bookish meme hosted by MizB of the blog Should Be Reading. The rules are simple – grab a book you are reading, turn to a random page, and post two teaser sentences from anywhere on that page. Click the button above to learn more!
Today, I am only selecting one quote from a book that I have not yet started but plan on starting right away – The Kingdom by Amanda Stevens. I thought I would go ahead and select the very first sentence in the book:
“The breeze off the water carried a slight chill even though the sun had barely begun its western slide. It was still hours until twilight. Hours until the veil between our world and the next would thin, but already I could feel the ripple of goosebumps at the back of my neck, a sensation that almost always signaled an unnatural presence.”
Okay, so maybe that was three sentences and not one!
I would love to know if you’ve read this series and what you think about it. I’d also just like to know what you’re reading these days so drop me line and fill me in!
Memorable Mondays is a meme hosted by Mari of Escape into a Book where readers share a memorable quote from a book they are currently reading. Click the button above to learn how to join the movement!
I am sharing something from a book I recently finished, Frost Moon by Anthony Francis (review coming soon). I think it is a nice example of the tone of the book.
“The moon hits its zenith at two minutes to midnight tomorrow, Dakota, and it will be ninety-nine-point-six percent full,” he said bitterly. Then his words began to speed up, tumbling over one another. ”Believe me, I know. That sliver of difference between full and not won’t make a difference. I know the moon. The first moon of November. It’s called a “Frost Moon,” did you know that Dakota Frost? The Frost Moon of November. The Frost Moon is always so strong. So strong. If I cannot find somewhere safe…somewhere safe…perhaps it is best I wait it out…wait out the Frost Moon…and hope.”
Ok, so that was more of an excerpt than a quote…
Do you have a memorable quote from something you are reading? Please share!
Ok, so I really shouldn’t do this. I told myself I would limit it to two challenges this year but I can’t help it. What’s one more?
This challenge is hosted by Christen at Goldilox and the Three Weres.
Here are the rules:
- Magic’s kind of interesting: 1 – 10 books
- I’d Pet A Werewolf: 11 – 20 books
- Take Me To the Fae Realm: 21 – 30 books
- Bite Me, I Want To Be A Vampire: 31 or more books
The Eclectic Bookshelf is hosting the 2012 Support Your Local Library Challenge and I am challenging myself to participate. I love my local library. As a kid, especially during the summers, the library was my primary source for books. I really hope that with the increased popularity of eBooks and the dominance of the internet, that people don’t forget what a resource our librarians are in research assistance, book recommendations, and in helping us encourage our children to love books!
Click the button to learn more.
I think I will start off slow – level 1, 12 books. Will you join the challenge?
Q: Take a picture or describe where you love to read the most…
Hmmm….without a doubt my favorite place to read is my bed. It is warm, soft, and cozy. The absolute best is on a weekend morning when my husband takes charge of our 11 month old and gives me an hour to myself to lay in bed and read. Can anyone say, “relaxation”? Close second is a good cafe where I can sit down for as long as I want with a hot cup of coffee and a book.
Where do you like to read? Leave me a comment. I’d really like to know.
TITLE: Nice Girls Don’t Have Fangs (Jane Jameson #1)
AUTHOR: Molly Harper
PUBLISHER: Pocket Books
YEAR: March 31, 2009
Purchased for the Kindle on Amazon.com
SYNOPSIS via AMAZON:
Maybe it was the Shenanigans gift certificate that put her over the edge. When children’s librarian and self-professed nice girl Jane Jameson is fired by her beastly boss and handed twenty-five dollars in potato skins instead of a severance check, she goes on a bender that’s sure to become Half Moon Hollow legend. On her way home, she’s mistaken for a deer, shot, and left for dead. And thanks to the mysterious stranger she met while chugging neon-colored cocktails, she wakes up with a decidedly unladylike thirst for blood.
Jane is now the latest recipient of a gift basket from the Newly Undead Welcoming Committee, and her life-after-lifestyle is taking some getting used to. Her recently deceased favorite aunt is now her ghostly roommate. She has to fake breathing and endure daytime hours to avoid coming out of the coffin to her family. She’s forced to forgo her favorite down-home Southern cooking for bags of O negative. Her relationship with her sexy, mercurial vampire sire keeps running hot and cold. And if all that wasn’t enough, it looks like someone in Half Moon Hollow is trying to frame her for a series of vampire murders. What’s a nice undead girl to do?
Vampires meeting at the Cracker Barrel? Dr. Seuss quotes? This was definitely my kind of read. Let me preface this by saying that the Sookie Stackhouse novels are what turned me on to Urban Fantasy as a genre. I loved the world-building, the characters and the great take on vampires being outed to the human world. Molly Harper’s Nice Girls Don’t Have Fangs shares some similarities to the Stackhouse novels – a setting in a small, southern town, vampires living openly among humans on synthetic blood, the idea of using the supernatural community to bring to light the pervasiveness of prejudice, and a small town girl as a lead character. The difference for me is the voice. Jane Jameson is a fantastic lead character. She is smart, witty (with a touch of snark that’s not over the top), and endearingly awkward at the right moments. She is a character you want to spend more time with and I highly recommend that you do.
In addition to the wonderful Jane, the supporting characters are also strong. In particular is Jane’s love interest, Gabriel Nightengale. He is a 154 year old vampire, a bit stiff and definitely old-fashioned. Harper does a wonderful job of building tension between Gabriel and the young, sarcastic Jane. This tension keeps the reader on edge, always wondering when and if these two are finally going to get together. What I also liked is that Harper was not afraid to make Gabriel imperfect. She makes a point to remind us about the true nature of vampires, something that Jane herself must come to terms with as well. There was a little twist close to the end that had me reassessing my view of Gabriel, and I liked that I had that moment.
The rest of the supporting cast is great – her best friend Zeb (reminiscent of Steve Zahn) is wonderful and the chemistry between he and Jane highlights a great friendship; a ghost for an Aunt; and a dysfunctional family round out some of the main characters. Finally, each chapter is headed by a quote from the Guide from the Newly Dead, a book Jane studies throughout the novel. These quotes are hilarious and add to the tone of the book. For example:
“While it’s tempting to try to resume your normal social activities with still-living friends, you must understand that some people will have difficulty adjusting to your new condition. Warning signs that loved ones may be planning to stake you include a sudden interest in carpentry and staring at your chest to gauge where your heart is located.
—-From The Guide for the Newly Undead”
The only minuses with Nice Girls Don’t Have Fangs are the mystery and the world-building. The mystery surrounding the murder of a vampire and a series of death threats made against Jane and her dog, is not really much of a mystery. I figured out who the villain was fairly quickly. Though I will say that the reveal has Jane uttering a couple of the best lines in the book. Also, while the world-building was not that original, I didn’t mind. It makes me curious to read the next books in the series to see how the world and these relationships develop over time.
All in all, I highly recommend Nice Girls Don’t Have Fangs. It is a fun, witty, take on the vampire genre with an endearing lead character who made me laugh out loud.
Thanks to My Bookish Ways for clueing me into to this series!
This is my first Waiting on Wednesday post! It is a meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. It spotlights the upcoming releases we are all eagerly anticipating so click the button above to learn how to join in on the fun.
Without a doubt, my most eagerly anticipated release is Patricia Briggs’ latest installment in the Alpha & Omega series:
Release Date: March 6, 2012
Synopsis from Amazon:
They say opposites attract. And in the case of werewolves Anna Latham and Charles Cornick, they mate. The son-and enforcer-of the leader of the North American werewolves, Charles is a dominant alpha. While Anna, an omega, has the rare ability to calm others of her kind.
Now that the werewolves have revealed themselves to humans, they can’t afford any bad publicity. Infractions that could have been overlooked in the past must now be punished, and the strain of doing his father’s dirty work is taking a toll on Charles.
Nevertheless, Charles and Anna are sent to Boston, when the FBI requests the pack’s help on a local serial killer case. They quickly realize that not only the last two victims were werewolves-all of them were. Someone is targeting their kind. And now Anna and Charles have put themselves right in the killer’s sights…
I love this series and have been waiting on pins and needles for Patricia Briggs to publish another book with Charles and Anna. One of my favorite things about this series, along with the Mercy Thompson books, is the world-building Briggs achieves around the werewolf mythos and culture. After finishing one of her books, I always feel like I want to be a member of the cool North American pack.
What book are you eagerly anticipating?
It’s Teaser Tuesday, a bookish meme hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. The goal is to tease the reader by selecting two quotes from a random page of a book you are currently reading. Sounds like a good time! Click on the button above to join in on the fun!
From Frost Moon by Anthony Francis
“I felt a hot electric shock ripple through my tattoos and fell back against the wall. Jinx jerked her hand back, tumbling out of her chair, knocking it sideways to the floor–and screaming, screaming the whole time in repeated, high pitched, full-voiced wails.”
Gotta love magical tattoos. Too cool.