Grave Peril

This review contains spoilers. 

Grave Peril by Jim Butcher

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  • Genre : Urban Fantasy
  • Date Started :  July 6, 2015
  • Date Finished : July 9, 2015

Description: You can read the full description from the author’s website. This is the 3rd book in the Dresden Files.

This book in the Dresden Files series is about the spirit world crossing over into our world, Vampire politics and old enemies. This book is not as exciting as the first two but it’s still enjoyable. I did feel a little out of sorts when the book started though. I felt like I missed a few chapters and kept asking myself, who is this guy with Dresden? Were we supposed to know him or something? The whole book is based of an event that we were not there for. Little hints here and there about a case Dresden, Michael and Murphy and her agents worked. The entire book felt like I had missed out on something important. This really frustrated me.

So quick run down of the book. Susan and Dresden are apparently in a committed relationship. Bad guy breaks part of the spirit world while trying to take out people close to Dresden. Dresden frantically attempts to stop the bad guy before his friends are killed. Dresden goes into the spirit world to chase a ghost and runs into his grandmother/godmother, who wants to turn him into one of her dogs. Dresden attends the Red Courts ball with Michael to see if they can catch the person trying to kill people.  Huge big bad fight happens at the party, Susan shows up and annoys the hell out of me and we meet Thomas. Susan is bitten and then the bad guy makes a Dresden suit and wears it around to terrorize people and cause more problems for Dresden. The bad guy is defeated and Susan moves away.

Another quick and entertaining read. While the story was not the best and hard to follow at times, Butcher writes some fantastic characters and some not so great ones. Michael, a true Man of God, made me uncomfortable. I don’t do well around religious talk and it’s probably just me but his lectures to Dresden made me uncomfortable. If I met this man in real life, I would think he was nuts. Dresden handles him fantastically though. Towards the end of the book, he started to grow on me. Susan who is Dresden’s girlfriend is one of the characters that I can’t stand. I’m totally supportive of ambitious woman. I’m not supportive of woman who seem like they would do anything for a story. Every time Dresden and Susan talked I felt like she just wanted a story and not to mention what an idiot she is. I mean come on, why would you go to a Vampire’s party, uninvited and sneak in? Do you want to get yourself killed? I just don’t get what Dresden sees in her. The “love” they talk about is all talk and no substance. I’m glad she moved away. My last person I want to mention is Thomas and I loved him. Yes he is a vampire and I hope he does not become a totally asshole. I’d like to see and hear more from Thomas in later books.

I enjoyed Dresden in this one. His sense of humor makes me laugh and while his fighting style can sometimes bug me, his personality makes up for it. Attending the Vampire Custom party as a cheesy vampire, that’s pretty great. Overall the story was engaging and entertaining if not a little confusing. I don’t think I’d read this story again but I definitely look forward to reading the next book in the series. I’m giving Grave Peril by Jim Butcher a solid 3 stars.

Tangled Taurus Book Review Rating  Stars

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Night Veil

This review contains spoilers. 

Night Veil by Yasmine Galenorn

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  • Genre : Urban Fantasy – Paranormal Romance
  • Date Started :  July 2, 2015
  • Date Finished : July 8. 2015

Description: You can read the full description from the author’s website. This is the 2nd book in the Indigo Court series.

Night Veil leaves off where the first book ends. Grieve is still with the big bad, the indigo court and the vampires Cicely made a deal with constantly want her to do their bidding. Things at home are not that great, relationships mostly and things just keep getting worse. Kaylin starts off in the book in a coma and Cicely must wake him up by visiting the Bat People and deal with his demon, who decides now is the perfect time to come out and play. Cicely finds out who her father is, but that’s not really a surprise. I mean that was fairly obvious from the beginning. Cicely is betrayed, has her home blown up and forced to go on the run with a her rag tag group.

This is a tough one. Here is my dilemma with this series, I enjoy the concept of the book and story but I don’t like the execution. Night Veil was easy to read and it kept me hooked but I felt like this book could have been a novella. We do learn a lot of back story in this book and discover characters true sides. I still feel like most of this could have been added to the first book.

Some of the plot points felt forced, like Kaylin and his demon issue and pretty much every scene with the vampires. Every scene with the vampires makes me feel slimy and gross. Galenorn does a great job writing the vampires as freaky and ultra creepy. I’m still not convinced of the romance between Grieve and Cicely. I understand they have a bond and are destined to be together but it doesn’t feel real. Their emotions are not, they are not what I would expect from lovers destined to be together.

There were a few surprises, things I did not see coming, not at all. Leo snaps and in a burst of rage hits Cicely and all of a sudden he starts acting weird. This was so out of character, no build up to his switch in personality and now he has ulterior motive? All of the characters interactions with Lannan were odd. At first he is like he was in the first book and then he decides to help Cicely and her group. Lannan who apparently we can be sort of trusted now? One of the biggest shockers and out of left field was a ritual with Peyton’s mom to strip Cicely and Grieve’s bond in order to “protect” Peyton from her father. To do that sort of magic against the will of the person apparently is pretty horrible and the execution left me disliking Peyton’s mom. I think her betrayal was more of a shocker than anything else.

Like I mentioned before, this book is easy to read and has potential to be pretty good but execution is still lacking. We are reading this series for book club and at this point, I’m still entertained. I’m giving this book a 2.5 stars because it’s not bad, it’s entertaining but I probably won’t reread the series ever again.

Tangled Taurus Book Review Rating  2.5 Stars

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

*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

Night Myst Review *Spoilers*

Night Myst by Yasmine Galenorn

NightMyst521

  • Genre : Urban Fantasy
  • Date Started :  January 30, 2015
  • Date Finished : January 31, 2015

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

Night Myst is about a town being overrun by a “MYSTerious” (oooh) force. People are being kidnapped, humans and non-humans, and the police have no interest in finding them. This story is primarily about vampires, witches, fae and something new I’ve never read about, vampire fae. Wars are breaking out between multiple mythical races (Vampire fae vs vampires, vampire fae v fae, vampire fae vs everyone) and the people of New Forest are suffering the most! Our heroine and her friends are smack dab in the middle, being played as pawns (like infecting the vampire fae with a virus that backfires on them) between each of the warring races.

Cicely Waters, our heroine, has grown up away from her home town and only came back because her wind elemental informs her that her family in New Forest is in danger. That might sound strange to you but fear not, Cicely has wind powers and other powers I won’t give away. Although her wind elemental helps her out a great deal, moving objects, telling her things through the slipstream (you learn about that cool concept in the book) and all together saving her ass. People are being killed and kidnapped and when Cicely heads back to New Forest she is greeted by an unfriendly welcoming party. This basically kicks off Cicely’s adventures and they go down hill from here but not so bad that you get the “seriously, not again” feeling.

Long story short, Cicely teams up with both the vampires and the old fae queen of the ravine in order to stop the crazy vampire fae queen, Myst. We find out that Myst and her people are kidnapping the towns folk and why and Cicely and her friends challenge her and rescue one of the kidnapped victims. We also learn that Cicely’s old/current love interest was changed from fae to vampire fae when Myst took over control of the town. Myst is now using him against Cicely, since turning and trying to use her aunt against her was not working. Which by the way bothered me a lot. I know Cicely is a badass street kid but come on. I feel like there was no real emotion towards her aunt being changed and her cousin was not as emotional as I would have thought.

We learn A LOT about this world, about the people of New Forest, about witches, fae and vampires. It is a lot of information to take in, so many interesting characters! To me, it was a lot of information but not really the information I wanted. I’m going to assume we get more about her past/family and how it all connects later on, but I would have liked more now. I’m pretty sure others would disagreed and I’ve been told this first book might be a little heavy on world building for some.

I enjoyed this book and the concept/plot but I’m not sure if it’s one I would read again. Although I thought the same thing about the first Kate Daniels book and I LOVE that series. I’m going to continue this series, mainly because we are reading it for my book club but also because I’m interested to learn more and see where the story goes. I’m giving Night Myst by Yasmine Galenorn a 3 star.

Tangled Taurus Book Review Rating 3 Stars