Archive for June 2009

Review: The Mammoth Book of Paranormal Romance, edited by Trisha Telep

The Mammoth Book of Paranormal Romance The Mam­moth Book of Para­nor­mal Romance by Trisha Telep

My review

rat­ing: 4 of 5 stars
I’m extremely sur­prised by how much I enjoyed this anthol­ogy! I picked it up intend­ing to just read the sto­ries by authors I know I like—Kelley Arm­strong, Ilona Andrews, Car­rie Vaughn, Holly Lisle, Jeaniene Frost, Maria V. Sny­der. I had never heard of some of the other authors. A few names I remem­bered see­ing in other antholo­gies and not enjoy­ing their work.

I did, how­ever, delib­er­ately put myself in a tol­er­ant mind­set: this is a book of romance sto­ries. It wouldn’t be fair to judge them as any­thing else.

That worked rather bet­ter than it has in the past. I still got a lit­tle annoyed at hav­ing so much of each story ded­i­cated to cou­ples (and all het/​mono cou­ples, at that!) rather than some intrigu­ing world ideas, but man­aged to stay on track.

In the end, I only skipped one story—I just don’t like the Weather War­dens stuff at all. I found a cou­ple of oth­ers sub­stan­dard, but all in all, Telep chose very well. I def­i­nitely rec­om­mend this book to any­one who enjoys para­nor­mal romance (maybe even those who usu­ally stick to just romance), and most urban fan­tasy fans.

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Review: At Grave’s End by Jeaniene Frost

Cur­rent Mood:Happy emoticon Happy

At Grave's End (Night Huntress, #3) At Grave’s End by Jeaniene Frost

My review

rat­ing: 4 of 5 stars
Cat is def­i­nitely com­ing into her own now, and her rela­tion­ship with Bones is por­trayed far more health­ily than most in the para­nor­mal romance cat­e­gory. I love the fact that she demands that he per­mit her to stand as his equal, rather than treat her like a del­i­cate thing to be protected.

The plot is more inter­est­ing than I recall in pre­vi­ous excur­sions, while build­ing on the ear­lier books. I know there’s another vol­ume either planned or on the shelves, and I plan to read it. I wasn’t so sure after the last book, but I’m glad I gave this one a chance.

I still con­tend that the cover art, no mat­ter how lovely, shows a woman in a posi­tion that can­not be obtained by any human who wants to walk again. Cat is sup­posed to be half-​​vampire, but that hasn’t been said to give her more flexibility—increased strength, speed, and heal­ing power, yes, but not this sort of odd­ity. Yes, it’s a minor nit to pick, but it has bugged me since the first time I saw the cover.

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Review: Unusual Suspects, edited by Dana Stabenow

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Unusual Suspects: Stories of Mystery & Fantasy (Sookie Stackhouse, #8.1) Unusual Sus­pects: Sto­ries of Mys­tery & Fan­tasy by Dana Stabenow

My review

rat­ing: 3 of 5 stars
Another uneven anthol­ogy. I still have it in my hands, so I’ll try to hit each story briefly.

“Lucky” by Char­laine Har­ris — Sookie is much eas­ier to take in short form. I can’t help it, the woman grates on me (in the TV show even worse than in the books). The other char­ac­ters keep me reading.

“Bogie­man” by Car­ole Nel­son Dou­glas — Delilah Street does more than grate on my nerves in long form. She’s more palat­able in short form, too, but there are reminders of why I don’t intend to read more in that series.

“Looks are Deceiv­ing” by Michael A. Stack­pole — If I’ve read any of Stackpole’s work before, it’s been in antholo­gies, and I don’t remem­ber it. I did won­der if this short story is set in a uni­verse he uses in longer works, though. It wasn’t bad at all.

“The House of Seven Spir­its” by Sharon Shinn — I loved this story! And how often do you say that about a haunted house tale? I must track down and read some of Shinn’s nov­els. Any suggestions?

“Glam­our” by Mike Doogan — The Peas­antry Anti-​​Defamation League might be after Doogan if he isn’t care­ful at least, rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the male peas­antry). The story was cute, and it did make me laugh.

“Spell­bound” by Donna Andrews — This is another author whose books are going on my (groan­ing) to-​​read shelf. The story hit a few clich&eaute;s, but was fun enough to get away with them.

“The Duh Vice” by Michael Arm­strong — Ugh. A lit­tle too preachy, and way too much anti-​​fat prejudice.

“Weight of the World” by John Stra­ley — Where does Santa Claus go in the off-​​season? That’s the biggest ques­tion answered in this piece. The “mys­tery” was “solved” nearly as soon as it was discovered.

“Illu­mi­na­tion” by Laura Anne Gilman — Bonnie’s back story! I think a bit of this story is used in the first chap­ter of Gilman’s first PUPI novel, but I’ll know more when I get my hands on it. It’s a must-​​read for fans of the Cosa Nos­tradamus uni­verse, though.

“The House” by Lau­rie R. King — could we maybe call a hia­tus on the abused-​​kid sto­ries? Maybe I’m hyper­sen­si­tive, but I’m tired of them.

“Appetite for Mur­der” by Simon R. Green — another dark Night­side story. I don’t think I’ll ever need to read more in that universe.

“A Woman’s Work” by Dana Stabenow — I’m an unabashed Stabenow fan­girl. Despite that, I wasn’t sure how she’d do in a fan­tasy set­ting. She proved her­self, cer­tainly. I can only hope that we’ll see longer fan­tasy works from her in print at some juncture.

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Review: Wicked Game by Jeri Smith-​​Ready

Cur­rent Mood:Bored emoticon Bored

Wicked Game (WVMP Radio, #1) Wicked Game by Jeri Smith-​​Ready

My review

I give up. I just don’t care what hap­pens to any­body in this book. Back to the library with it!

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Review: Blue Diablo by Ann Aguirre

Blue Diablo (Corine Solomon, Book 1) Blue Dia­blo by Ann Aguirre

My review

rat­ing: 5 of 5 stars
I can’t think of a thing that wasn’t right in Blue Dia­blo. I can think of one thing that made it stand head and shoul­ders above much of what I’ve read lately: Aguirre knows that sex­ual ten­sion can be much sex­ier than explicit sex scenes! That is such a relief!

I’m look­ing for­ward to read­ing more about Corine and Chance. I’ve been wait­ing for more of her Grim­space series, so now I’m torn. Just give us more, Ann!

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