Shadow Of Night

This review contains spoilers. 

Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness

11559200

  • Genre : Romance – Historical – Supernatural
  • Date Started :  January 10, 2015
  • Date Finished : May 7, 2015

Description: You can read the full description from the author’s website. This is the 2nd book in the All Souls Trilogy.

I really wanted to like this book. I loved the start of the series yet this book felt like a chore. I was expecting a book much like the first one and most of this book was a slow and somewhat boring history lesson. That’s not all I got but the entire time they were in London I wanted to fall asleep and dreaded continuing. I was expecting a grand adventure since the whole reason for time walking was to get the manuscript/book and find Diana a witch to help with her powers. I know the reason they traveled back to this particular time but really, can you pick a worse time to travel back in time to find a witch? Maybe a time in history where witch burning and hunts were not all the rage?

Most of the new characters you meet when they first get to the past are either forgettable or highly annoying. I did like his friends that at least tried to make Diana feel welcome. I really liked the stammering Henry, Phillip grew on me and Gallowglass was amazing. I found it heartwarming for Diana to take in Jack and loved watching Jack and Matthew’s relationship grow. I also enjoyed Diana taking in Annie and making her feel like part of the family. Even if Annie was meant to spy on them for a vampire. I did not like either of the main characters personality changes when they time walked. Matthew’s change of character was way more overprotective and controlling and Diana seemed to get more annoying. I gave some leniency to Matthew because he was a different person in this time period and he needed to keep up appearances. Diana on the other hand knows about time periods and still tries to be a 21st century woman. They each got better the longer they were back in time so that helped, a little.

Another thing I didn’t like about this book is how many villains there are. I swear, every time Diana and Matthew were in a good place and sort of happy, some new horrible person pops up to ruin everything. It was incredible frustrating. I know that you need someone to be the bad guy in books but this book was crammed full of people who either wanted to kill them, get in their way or were too nosy for their own good. The bad guy could also be a “friend” who is so drugged on opiates that he kidnaps Diana and plans to kill her to get Matthew back! Ugh I really hated Kit and was not at all sad that he died a horrible death! I still have no idea how Matthew and Kit’s talk went and whether or not Matthew forgave Kit like Diana suggested.

The story starts to pick up when Diana finally meets the witches who help her discover what type of witch she is. Learning about Diana’s powers was fascinating and meeting the Jewish weaver was pretty cool. The witches Diana meets really made the story enjoyable. I was a little surprised that, even with all the crap they were going through and all Diana’s time spent with the emperor’s dancer/painter, etc, that she pretty much forgot about studying her powers. I know the manuscript/book was so close and they were focusing on that but it still surprised me.

Towards the end, they finally get the book, after the pages are ripped out of course. When they start preparing to travel back to their own time after spending MONTHS in Elizabethan London, they run into Diana’s father. He helps her discover more about her powers, with the help of the witches before he travels back to his time. He also tells Diana and Matthew that the book is going to have to stay back in time. So while they accomplished 1 of their tasks, the 2nd task, the manuscript/book is still incomplete and they have to leave it behind. The bright side, at least they got a chance to see the manuscript/book when it was whole, even for a brief time. They also discovered that the pages that were ripped out might be available back in their own time. The also learn that the manuscript/book is literally made from the flesh of dead supernatural creatures, creepy.

Then we get back to present day and find out Em, Diana’s aunt has died. No build up, no real explanation, just died during the birth. I better get an explanation about this in the next book! I also want to know how much trouble their 7 months back in the past effected the present. Every thing I’ve read about time travel says that small changes can throw the entire future out of whack.

I’m still trying to figure if I liked this book or not. I started reading this book back in January and had to switch to audio because reading it felt like a chore. The woman who reads the audio did a fantastic job and I’m so happy I switched. I would not have finished had I needed to read this book. For me, the main story is interesting and I wanted to know what would happen. The author’s description of the past make you feel like you are really there but at the same time, parts of the story felt unnecessary. It’s like listening to a friend who has a great story to tell but they won’t get to the point.

I’ve had a hard time deciding on what rating to give this book. If I would have read the book I probably would have given up but the story was interesting enough to find another way to get through the story. For me her writing just didn’t engage me enough but I don’t feel like this book deserves 1 star. I’m giving Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness  2 stars.

Tangled Taurus Book Review Rating 2 Stars

Magic Burns

This review contains spoilers. 

Magic Burns by Ilona Andrews

1811543

  • Genre : Urban Fantasy – Supernatural – Paranormal
  • Date Started :  April 30, 2015
  • Date Finished : April 30, 2015

Description: You can read the full description from the author’s website.

I’ve read this series before and am even more in love with it the 2nd time around.

This book starts off with Jim asking for back up on a Mercenary Guild gig. Towards the end of this gig, that has spun out of control, Jim gets called away on pack business and their mark is killed. Kate is forced to deal with the body and the object they were supposed to retrieve. She needs both to get the bounty and ends up cutting the head off the guy and grabbing the orb thing. Typical Kate Daniels, fast thinking and resourceful.

After dropping off her bounty, Derek, her amazing sidekick/babysitter makes a pretty simple request from the pack. The pack needs some help retrieving maps that were stolen from them. Sounds pretty simple and straight forward right? If you think about it, not so much. Even Kate questions how something like maps could be stolen from the pack, turns out the thief just disappears. Since Kate has followed in her old guardian Greg’s footsteps and has the honor of being friend of the pack, she feels obligated to help. Regardless of how much she wants to stay away from the pack and their leader Curran, she’s there to help. This straight forward task ends up putting Kate in the middle of a huge battle that could destroy Atlanta and with no one else there to help, it’s up to Kate.

After some investigating and tracking down clues, Kate finds herself tracking the same guy who killed her earlier bounty, a bowman named Bran. Turns out witches who worship Morrigan had their cauldron, a VERY special cauldron stolen from them by Morrigan’s greatest enemy. Bran is there to find the cauldron and while he is a pretty cool character, he’s also pretty secretive for 75% of the book. The enemy that stole the cauldron is also looking for one more thing and Kate keeps getting in their way. Things happen and they find what they are looking for. There is a magical dome over a part of Atlanta and the bad guys are filling it with an army. Kate, the witches and the pack defend the city in a bloody and brutal battle.

A lot happens in this book and we get to meet a few new characters. We learn more about the magic/tech issues going on. We learn that every 7 years there is a flare and that makes things go wonky for a while. I thought it was interesting that during these flares, the people shut down their operations. Learning about how the vampires are navigated was interesting as well. Made me think of a role playing game but way cooler.

We also get to meet Andrea who works for the order and is a beastkin. Her father was a hyenawere. When Andrea is injured we get to meet Clan Hyena. We also meet Red and Julie, Red is a power hungry jerk so I won’t talk about him. He gets what he deserves but you need to read the book to find out more. Julie is essentially an orphan that Kate is forced to take guardianship of. While I found it odd that Kate would form a bond so quickly with the kid, I loved Kate’s protectiveness of Julie. I’m assuming this bond is due to Kate’s own lack of a mother and her ability to be conscious of other people’s feelings. Ok so I just really like Kate Daniels. I love her wit, her bravado, her strength and her attitude. If I had a fictional hero it would be Kate. Speaking of Kate’s attitude, we get more banter, fighting and tension filled goodness from her and Curran. I’m reading this series again for my book club and it’s incredible hard to stop myself from reading the next book.

Overall this series has to be one of the most enjoyable series and author’s I’ve read. You get great characters, a growing and evolving world, plots that engage and an overall story that keeps you hooked.

I’m giving Magic Burns by Ilona Andrews a 5 star.

Tangled Taurus Book Review Rating 5 Stars

When do you decide to give up?

That is me every time I attempt to read Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness. I have a hard time giving up on books. My curiosity screams at me, “We must know what happens” and unless it’s a HORRIBLE book, I just can’t. This book is not a horrible book but It’s just so heavy with unimportant events and a slow moving plot and uninteresting characters. Hence my continued struggle to make it through Shadow of Night, I mean look at my updates…

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Since January I’ve returned this book twice to the library. I’m so over reading this book. I dislike giving up on pretty much anything so I decide to find an alternate route to get this book finished. Last night I found and requested the audio version from the library and hope that the audio will be easier to get through. As much as I want to know what happens and how things develop, I’m not reading another word! I’ve heard the lady who does the audio book is fantastic so that is a plus!

Question for readers. At what point do you let yourself give up on a book? Do you toughen up and just keep going or do you throw the book away and be done with it? If you did power through a book, did you feel like it was worth it?

Tiffany – The Tangled Taurus

*Spoilers* First Grave on the Right

First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones

8788554

  • Genre : Paranormal – Supernatural – Urban Fantasy – Romance – Chick Lit
  • Date Started :  March 9, 2015
  • Date Finished : March 9, 2015

Description: You can read the full description on the author’s website.

Charley can see dead people and has been able to since birth. Yes, that’s right, she remembers this because she can remember being born. Not like you and I know we were born because we have pictures or video and we are alive, but she can remember the doctors cutting her cord. Life is different for Charley and she is not your average human. She also happens to be a grim reaper, THE grim reaper, and the dead come to her because she is bright. Charley is also a Private Investigator and a consultant for the local police force.The dead come to her for help crossing over and if solving a murder helps get her father and uncle a promotion, why not right?

I enjoyed the story, the evolving case and how it wrapped everything up. I was not expecting that the case the police, Charley and Garrett were working on would intertwine and evolve into the big case it became. I liked that through her own abilities and her uncle believing her, they could work together and solve the case. In the forefront you have the cases they work and the dead clients that Charley helps, then in the background you have a much larger issue. The larger issue, a war between Heaven and Hell that the author barely touched on, that is bubbling to the surface.

Charley’s interactions with her dead clients are hilarious and great. It was interesting and kind of cool to see how they helped with her cases. Although I was surprised that the dead were not in denial about being dead for longer. I mean with the exception of the one ghost who would not leave his body, but even he got over it pretty quickly. Her interactions with real people on the other hand are a little less friendly, except with Cookie and her daughter. Charley’s reactions to people are totally understandable though since they tend to look at her weird or funny because of the rumors about her. I mean, look at how Garrett and Tate treated her. Garrett stopped being friendly toward her and Tate verbally attacked her. I do think her reactions are a tad extreme but I guess after the dozenth time of the same reactions, you get short with people. The woman has created some sweet sarcasm retorts though to cover up her insecurities. Her sarcasm spoke to me, probably because I’m pretty sarcastic too but it had me laughing out loud with how outrageous she is. It makes me want to get to know Charley even more and pick at her brain!

Now for the good part, her love interests. Obviously Reyes is the main love interest here, but I think this might either turn into the “can’t have them” sort of relationship or they recklessly love one another while Heaven and Hell battle it out and they live with death at their heels. I like their intense, sort of relationship, where they don’t really know each other all that well but are extremely lustful. I mean he’s like smoke most of the time and in a coma, so it’s not like they’ve had the opportunity to get to know one another. Yep, that sounds as weird as it does while reading the book but this book is filled with odd paranormal activity, so just go with it. Then we have Garrett. Charley thinks he is hot but it doesn’t seem like she is into him at all, maybe if he was not such an asshole, her words. Jones drops a few giant hints that Garrett is into Charley, flirting, getting jealous and worrying about her safety. I’m not a fan of either love interest yet but I look forward to learning more about each of them.

I was pleasantly surprised by this book and was not expecting so much humor. First grave on the right is a witty, paranormal, chick lit novel with some heavier undertones. If you like slightly raunchy humor, over-confident females (pretty sure this is just covering her insecurities), witty banter and mysteries, you will like this book. My only real irritation with this book is that there are so many attempts at jokes. I found some of them hilarious but it almost felt like Jones was trying too hard to make you laugh. I gave this book a 3.5 stars because it was a great read but book 1 is just not purchase worthy for me.

Tangled Taurus Book Review Rating 3.5 Stars

*Spoilers* Bound by Flames Review

Bound by Flames by Jeaniene Frost

22500564

  • Genre : Paranormal – Supernatural – Urban Fantasy – Romance
  • Date Started :  February 22, 2015
  • Date Finished : March 5, 2015

Description: You can read the full description from Jeaniene Frost’s website.

This is the third book in the Night Prince series about Vlad aka Dracula from the Night Huntress universe. Bound by Flames was supposed to be the conclusion to Vlad and Leila’s story but it looks like there will be 1 more. So short description, Bound by Flames is about the final battle between Vlad and his most hated enemy, Szilagyi, but we get a surprise new enemy at the end. Also, Leila gets captured again, Vlad is betrayed, people and places are destroyed by fire and yes, the bad guy dies. I’m still struggling with my rating on this book, even after rating it I’m like, but maybe it should be this instead. A part of me enjoyed the dialog and the characters but the other part was so bored with the story, it’s hard to give it a rating.

This book starts off with Vlad and Leila attempting to find the traitor in his line. Someone has been giving information to his most hated enemy and we all know Vlad is the wrong man to cross. It’s sad to say this but I don’t remember much of what happened during this book, it’s not at all memorable. Normally a book like this and from this author should have taken a day or two to read, but I was so bored. The most enjoyable part in this book was probably the last quarter of it and the dialog, Frost writes some great dialog. I loved Vlad in the Cat and Bones series but for some reason, his and Leila’s story doesn’t interest me as much.

I’d like to think Leila is the reason I don’t like this series as much but I think it’s the relationship as a whole I don’t like and the villain. At least most villains have a good reason to want to kill the hero but Szilagyi’s is pretty lame. Even the new villain’s reason, Vlad not loving him as a son, is a lame excuse to cause thousands of years of trouble and trying to destroy the guy. Besides the villains, Leila seems boring to me, although she does have her moments. A big annoyance in this book was the internal dialog Leila had with herself. I get that growing up she had a crappy life and has low self-esteem but a vampire like Vlad isn’t going to love you the way he does if he doesn’t think you are worthy. It just grated on my nerves. Another thing, I’d rather be reading this story from Vlad’s point not Leila’s. One of the best parts in this book though was when Vlad revealed one of his deepest secrets to her…he started the Dracula story.

Overall, I was disappointed in this book but I have hope that Vlad and Leila’s relationship will continue to grow and evolve in the next book. I am interested to see what happens in the last book and how Frost ends this series.

Tangled Taurus Book Review Rating 2.5 Stars

*Spoilers* Revenant Review

Revenant by Larissa Ione

19548127

  • Genre : Romance – Paranormal – Supernatural – Urban Fantasy
  • Date Started :  March 2, 2015
  • Date Finished : March 3, 2015

Description: You can read the full description from Larissa’s website.

I absolutely love this series and liked the way Ione ended it, satisfying end and wrapped up. Revenant is the sixth and last book in the Lords of Deliverance series and eleventh and last book in the Demonica series. This book is about a fallen angel, Revenant who gets his entire world turned upside down when he learns that he has a twin brother, he really is an angel, not fallen and he gets his memories back. He struggles with this information, especially since he is pushed away by his twin and heaven doesn’t seem to want anything to do with him. Rev is in a tough place because he wants to be welcomed into heaven but he is stuck with the taint of Satan. He might be the 2nd most powerful thing in hell but he still has to partially follow Satan’s commands. Now that he knows who he really is, he struggles with the guilt of being the evil fallen angel he used to be. Then he meets Blasphemy and it becomes even more difficult to do what Satan wants.

I enjoyed both of the main characters in this book. Ione creates such fantastic characters, both the good guys and the bad guys. I stared this book thinking, how the hell is Ione going to get Rev out of the mess that is his life and then how is she going to keep Blasphemy alive. The odds were against them both! Both main characters don’t really have a place in the world.They are lost and torn between the worlds they live in, with no place they feel like they can belong. Both struggle with trust, which is understandable because the world has been a hard place for them.

There are so many good characters to talk about but I’ll stick with the two mains. So Rev, oh boy was his life and path filled with horribleness. His early life growing up and what he had to do was heart wrenching and painful to think about. I felt sad for Rev’s twin, Reaver in the last book but holy hell, Rev’s life was so much worse. I mean the poor guy was literally living in hell.  After all that we have learned in this series about Lucifer, Satan and hell, we know his life was horrific. I’m glad they did not get too graphic about his experiences growing up because we already know from previous books what it can be like. While I was reading, I felt like Rev and Reaver had a similar dynamic to Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Acheron and Styxx. Although I did not come into this book with the same amount of dislike I had for Styxx.

As for Blasphemy, I loved her but was sort of disappointed that she was not involved with more of the action. She seemed like a strong character. Even though she doesn’t know who she really is (because she’s been living as something else) she has standards and a moral code. Especially since her cover is of a slutty false angel and keeping up that appearance didn’t turn her evil or make her start acting like a fallen angel. I just wish she would have been involved with saving herself more. All the other females in this series seemed to take a more prominent role in the solution than Blas did and that was disappointing. I did like how Ione slowly revealed who Blas was throughout the story. It was interesting to read about what she was and to learn about the ritual her mother completed to hide what Blas really was from the angels who would kill her because who she came from.

As for bad guys. I forgot how much I hated Gethel and Satan, serious psychopaths. I feel like the solution to getting ride of the bad guys was sort of pulled out of left field because I didn’t remember much about the prophecies mentioned in this book or previous ones, but I liked what Ione came up with. Also, a certain Angel gets what is coming to him!

I truly love this series and enjoyed this book. Although I feel like this story was focused more on the whole picture/wrapping up the series than being focused on developing Rev and Blas’s relationship. I would have liked to see a deeper relationship developed but I think that would have crowded the book. Regardless of what it didn’t have, Revenant was a can’t put it down book for me, the humor, the story and the characters had me hooked and I’m giving it 5 stars. I can’t wait to read it again even though I have plenty of other books to read. Maybe I’m just missing the Demonica series now that I know it has an end.

Tangled Taurus Book Review Rating 5 Stars