The Emerald Lily

by Juliette Cross

3/5Fairy tale princesses and vampires.

I’m a total sucker for the re-telling of old classics, especially when it involves supernatural or magical creatures. This is actually the fourth and last book in a series, but I didn’t know that when I got it. It was only until I finished it that I saw the list of “other books in this series“. I totally agree with the author when she says that this story can be read as a stand-alone.

The Emerald Lily tells the sleeping beauty story, but they are all vampires. hat’s the easiest and most encompassing blurb I can give you, trust me. There’s a sleeping princess, who gets waken by a kiss. There is a power-hungry evil queen. And there is a strong handsome soldier/assassin who is totally my type. Not because of his physical description or his job, but because it is not common to find such a strong and unbothered second to a strong woman.

“You bring me to my knees with the strenght that is inside you. A woman whose external beauty s nothing compared to the powerful godess who resides witin. Ascend your throne? Oh, Mina. You are already a queen”

Usually, the man who saves the princes is the center of the story. I don’t even remember how many time I’ve read a story where the only purpose of a princess is to make the male character into a king. this is not that kind of story. In his one, both main character share in the suffering and in the glory. Both victor and heroes in their own right. That was one of my favorite parts about the whole thing.

Did I enjoy it? Definitely. Who doesn’t love a good epic battle? It was original, action-packed, sexy and I love a good queen coronation. And that ending was totally a surprise. A very GOOD book.

I was so happy with it, that I don’t really feel any urgency to read the previous three stories in this series. Maybe it is because I already know how it ends… Perhaps I will read all of them at some point, but definitely not any time soon.

 

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Blood Trails

Deadline


2/5It was about a witch. That was what got me to pick it up at first.
This witch wants to be a private investigator. Like Alex Craft? Of course, I had to see these mysteries she would be solving.

Someone stealing something from an impregnable vault? Definitely interesting. Skeptical FBI agent that is possibly seeing a ghost? This could be seriously interesting.

It was, somewhat, but I wasn’t impressed at all. Honestly, it’s NOT SO GOOD: there was a lot of that ”helpless chick at the mercy of more powerful creatures” thing that I hate so much.

For a moment there, I would have advised Shade Renard to forget this PI thing and stick to being a village witch. At least she didn’t suck at that!

I really like this blending of magic and modern tech-filled life. It really gets my imagination flying. I think that’s the only reason why I got through Deadline.

Monster

3/5But my curiosity got the better of me and there I was, starting Monster. I blame that title. Who wouldn’t be curious?

This one was better than the first one. Definitely.

There are werewolves and a murder. Shade does some actual investigative work, even when it becomes obvious that she’s not actually a trained investigator. She’s trying, that’s all it can be said in her behalf.

My favorite magic creature investigator, though, is Peasblossom. And she’s a pixie!

She would make an excellent PI, and possibly even a mind-blowing spy. She’s the best part of the story, no matter what you Bigjobs say about it. She totally stole the show.

To make a long story short: the tiny people make this book GOOD.

The Twenty-sided Sorceress (8)

Dungeon Crawl

By Annie Bellet

4/5For a whole minute there, after finishing Magic to the Bone, I feared that the story would end there and leave the loose ends to my imagination.

Then I remembered there was a book #8.

And while Samir is defeated, he’s not actually dead yet. He’s still wreaking havoc inside Jade’s mind, and something is bound to go wrong with carrying such a formidable foe on your neck.

Then, there’s also that whole owing-an-unknown-favor-to-a-vampire thing. Can he really be trusted? He helped her, true, but it wasn’t free.

Thankfully, Dungeon Crawl addresses all these little loose ends, although not all of them.

We get to see Jade’s recovery after the big confrontation with Samir, and how she hasn’t quite recovered. She’s still having nightmares and paranoid feelings, that you can see reflected in how she designed her house when rebuilding after the fire: Extra exits everywhere.

Of course, is it really paranoia when people ARE after you? She is living with what can be considered former law enforcement. There’s bound to be people trying to kill Alek after god-knows how many years of being a JUSTICE.

Thus, a sniper shooting him in the head.

Does he die? You will have to read the book. But do you honestly think I wouldn’t be raving and tearing things apart if my favorite character in this whole series would’ve died so nonsensically!?

I’m always up for getting more Alek. Extra chapters from his perspective are my absolute favorite. But I DO feel like I’m missing something. There’s this whole thing happening in New Orleans, that I don’t have my detail from and jeeps getting referenced. I need the deeds! Especially if they will answer all questions about the Council of Nine.

All in all, I really really liked this book. It was GREAT! Even with the zombies and other strange undead creatures.

And I’m not even bothered by the fact that this is NOT the end of the story yet. There are, at least, two more books coming out soon. I’m actually excited about it.

Definitely looking forward to reading more about Jade Crow and her band of friends.

PSI-Ops (2&3)

Act of Surrender

Mandy M. Roth

2/5I’m still waiting for the end of the month paycheck in order to get the last book from The Twenty-Sided Sorceress series, and I didn’t really want to get into another book series. Instead, I picked up the other short easy read I discovered the same fateful day I found Justice Calling and tried to follow that story.

Book #2, Act of Surrender, was less than impressive. It was basically the same story than the first one, with a bunch of stuff that repeats over an over again.

I don’t mind all the references to other adventures in previous books or even to the happening in other books from the same universe but in different series. It just makes me want to read all of those books when the author mentions shocking of mysterious adventures from other books.

But I have to roll my eyes when I get the exact same lines, obvious explanations, every two pages. It really annoyed me.

But I endured. I was even looking forward to following up on that cliffhanger at the end. 
And then… I got to the first pages f the next book, where the whole issue was resolved without any clues. Read this other book series message, instead.

That was not nice. Not nice, at all.

Book #3, Act of Submission, is not better at all. Again, all about the girl and how she’s the mate of one of the operatives. There was an interest new twist: Vampires. But then, there were no explanations, no background on the new bad guys. they are just there all the sudden.

And there’s even a new ally! That could have been a good moment for explanation and repeating introduction to this character, even if it was in another book. But no! He’s just there. And had all the answer. NOT SO GOOD.

I even took a peek at the first pages of Book #4, Act of Command. Not interested. At all. I’ll just get back to my new favorite sorceress.

Oldies but goodies

Have I mentioned before that I have terrible memory? I’m sure I have. I must have.

I haven’t? Well, let me mention it now…

I have a terribly bad memory.

Of course, that trait really isn’t conductive to reading different books in a series with long waiting periods in between.

It didn’t help with reading The Queen of the Damned, either.

Queen of the Damned by Anne Rice
Queen of the Damned by Anne Rice

It has been years since I read this series, and there were a lot of things that I wished I remembered better.

Not to say that I didn’t enjoy it. It made me feel quite nostalgic, and reminded me that the reasons I love some books are varied.

While I can come to love a writer’s style and way with words and worlds, it is also possible and common occurrence with me to love a book simply by the originality of its ideas.

The Queen of the Damned by Anne Rice falls under the second category. I think Rice‘s style of writing is sometimes a bit slow in comparison to other more recent authors, but the mythology she created about the origin of the vampires and The Legend of the Twins is one of my favorites.

There are very few things that can beat an original point of view… at least as far as I’m concerned.

Now, this series is a very long one, and I stopped at the third book back then when I first took it up. I don’t know if I will ever finish it, but I keep feeling like this book is the perfect stopping point. I might hold it for a few more years.

Another kind of Queen

Queen of the Damned by Anne Rice
Queen of the Damned by Anne Ric

I remember reading The Queen of the Damned, by Anne Rice, years ago. it was one of the first books that got me to really enjoy audiobooks. I used to listen to it on the way to an from school, while riding the subway and walking down the crowded streets in city that didn’t speak my language but I love anyway.

It brings me wonderful memories, and it feels like visiting with myself from years ago.

Some people say that the books you enjoy change over the years, and an be used as a measuring tool for how much YOU have change. Some other people say that the books that really grab onto you, will always remain a part of you.

Either way, I’m looking forward to getting into it with a new Queen, this time with printed letters instead of audio files.