This was one of those “I finished the last thing I was reading and I’m bored, what’s already loaded on the iTouch?” reads. It was on there because the anthology includes Lori Handeland’s “Cobwebs Over the Moon” (Nightcreatures, #10) and I read all of that series a while back. I didn’t care to read the rest of the anthology at the time, but I hadn’t gotten around to deleting the book. Ah, happy digital packrat am I!
If I’ve read anything by Susan Sizemore other than “Tempting Fate” (Primes #6.5), it was eminently forgettable. I’m absolutely sure that I haven’t read anything else in her Primes series, because I probably would have thrown said material firmly into the nearest hard surface (or whatever the equivalent is with bytes) because of the insanely annoying number of times Sizemore feels it necessary to remind us that her vampires are Primes! Alpha Primes! They are! Really! And that means they fight a lot! Especially over women! Otherwise, it’s a Mary Jane story set in New Orleans. I have a strong feeling that most of the Primes series is Mary Jane-ish, but I may at some point be trapped and forced with the prospect of staring at the inside of my eyeballs or reading more of Sizemore’s stuff. I’m not sure which would be worse right now. I’ll get back to you on that.
“The Darkness Within” by Maggie Shayne feels terribly familiar, although I’m sure I haven’t read it before. I have, however, read other Shayne novellas in other anthologies, and this story follows a familiar pattern. Sexy gal who doesn’t think she’s attractive has had a run of hard luck and may lose the house she has bought relatively recently and loves. Said house has a spooky past that she didn’t know about when she bought it. Stalwart too-sexy-for-her man gets involved somehow, preferably in a way that allows her to question his motives. They are inexplicably drawn to each other and screw like bunnies (or near as makes no difference), then blame their lapse in judgement on whatever weirdness is going on in the house. (Yep, that’s what they all say — and no safer sex anywhere! Does paranormal activity preclude discussion of sexual history and prevent STD transmission?)
“Cobwebs Over the Moon” by Lori Handeland (Nightcreatures, #10) isn’t the most logical entry in that series. Neither is it the most illogical — but by the tenth entry, the series’ mythology has gotten a bit ridiculous, so I don’t know why I even bother bringing up something as irrelevant as logic. Silly me! In every book, we’re introduced to a woman who is in some way tangled up with werewolves, then to a man who is tangled up with her and/or the creatures and, of course, whose loyalties are uncertain. There is always an element of danger to add spice to the romance that has to grow between the two. The formula never changes at all. There are always evil werewolves, but sometimes there are also good ones. If you like predictability in your paranormal romance, Nightcreatures is a great series for you.
I suppose Caridad Piñeiro’s “Crazy for the Cat” isn’t technically any better or worse than any of the other three stories. There’s more variety in the shapeshifting and the main setting is the Amazon jungle. I couldn’t get past the bigotry and colonialism, though. Dark is bad, light is good, of course! Those poor benighted natives couldn’t possibly handle a few rogues without that white woman, could they? Spare me.
Posted by Cyn | Filed under Reading
Sam Chupp has been after me to read this book for weeks, so as soon as I finished All Clear, I started it. This book is different from anything else I’ve read in years. I hesitate to say it’s more literary than most fantasy, because I don’t like “literary” books — they’re usually stuffy, dry, and presumptuous.
After the first few chapters, there’s no slowing down, because you’re as caught up in what’s happening as the characters are. I was transfixed by White’s descriptions, which can make even ugliness fascinating.
We are traveling into time, burning two hours for every one I endure beside this babbling, cursed child of Greece. I see them all the time, these bastard half children of stories and mortals, trapped between worlds, the genetic lineage of myth reasserting itself across the inextricable ages. Helen of Troy is born the socialite child of a partial Zeus mated to half of a swan-loving Leda, the mythic DNA in each of them dormant until they breed and damn their offspring with its expression.
White’s vampire mythos is like no other I’ve encountered. I found it far more believable than most of what’s being printed over and over and over again. Another refreshing thing about the book is that there’s no feeling of a set up for a series. Oddly, though, I’m now seeing the book identified as the first of a series called Harrowing, at least on GoodReads, but as far as I can tell, the second book has no characters in common with the first. Perhaps it’s simply set in the same universe?
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Blood Oath is an interesting and fairly refreshing variation on the vampire riff. Most of the current tales give us a suave, sexy predator who mesmerizes his or her prey, leaving humans pining for their presence. They might even fall in love with a human. Nathaniel Cade, however, refers to humans as food, saying, “Would you have sex with a cow?” That makes much more sense to me. It’s a good thing he isn’t interested, either, as the typical reaction people have to encountering him is utter panic, often involving the loss of bladder control. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted by Cyn | Filed under Reading
The Outlaw Demon Wails, book 6 of Kim Harrison’s Hollows series, was a very fun read. I’m afraid I whipped through it in one day. Granted, it was a day that involved a fair amount of waiting here and there, then collapsing at home to recover, which gave me lots of time to read.
I liked Rachel much better in this book than in the others. She has grown up a bit, and that’s encouraging. While there’s a big plot question left to answer, it felt a little bit like Harrison is almost done with this series. I hope that she does come back and wind up that last detail, at least. Even if Rachel goes on to live happily (in the) ever after at some point, the world itself is so rich that I would think there are many other stories to be told.
If you’ve read the other books in the series, you definitely want to read this one. If you haven’t, catch up first! I have read them, and I got a wee bit lost regarding some references to past events (due to a bad memory and fibro fog on my part, not any fault of Ms. Harrison’s).
Posted by Cyn | Filed under Reading
<A Rush of Wings was a random “that looks interesting” choice from the library’s new books shelves. I was somewhat surprised to find that the book was just published this January, because the copy I checked out has obviously been read many, many times. It seems as if Adrian Phoenix’s first novel is a hit.
It wasn’t bad, especially for a first novel. It’s yet another urban fantasy/horror vampire story, but it didn’t feel too derivative. I did wonder if Phoenix has read much of Nancy Collins’ work, but she still has a reasonably different spin on the genre.
I liked the main character, FBI Special Agent Heather Wallace. Her love interest, Dante, didn’t do much for me, but then I’m not into bad boys or goth kiddies. I didn’t quite buy the attraction between them, but happy Wallace did (mostly) continue to live by her values.
I think I would have been slightly happier if I didn’t feel like the book was being set up for sequels if it sold well. Whatever happened to standalone novels? Phoenix’s website says that her next book, In the Blood, will be released next year. I didn’t find anything that says it’s about Dante and friends, but I have a feeling that it is.