Rachel Reviews: A Gathering of Shadows

It has been four months since a mysterious obsidian stone fell into Kell’s possession. Four months since his path crossed with Delilah Bard. Four months since Prince Rhy was wounded, and since the nefarious Dane twins of White London fell, and four months since the stone was cast with Holland’s dying body through the rift…

Jim’s Bedside Table

Once again my bedside table has gotten so full of books that my eyeglasses case and alarm clock are threatening to move to some other bedside table. Lets see what’s on there. 1916: A Global History by Keith Jeffery When I picked up this book originally I thought, “oh goodie, another World War I book,”…

Jim Reviews: Immortals – Jordanna Max Brodsky

Brodsky’s Immortals is the first book in her Olympus Bound series, a fantasy of Greek gods and goddesses in present day New York City. It’s a great concept. As people gradually stopped believing in the gods of Olympus they started to weaken. Finally, hundreds of years ago, Zeus decided to throw in the towel. The…

Staff Review: Blood Song by Anthony Ryan

Reviewed by Drew Let’s face it, magic schools where callow youth learn to be wizards and accidentally end up saving the world a few times are the bacon of fantasy literature – delicious but overused. We’ve Potter’d around Hogwarts, can Kwothe the University’s motto by heart, and have sampled the Coldwater showers at Brakebills Academy…

Third Grave Dead Ahead – Darynda Jones

Reviewed by Kim Charley Davidson is back! Along with “Danger” and “Will Robinson”, and of course her trusty sidekick and best friend Cookie. In this third installment of the series, Charley is hired to find a missing wife of a suspicious yet seemingly perfect Doctor, and has to take on motorcycle gang and their rottweiler…

Ghost Story – Jim Butcher

Reviewed by Kim MAY INCLUDE SPOILERS FOR PREVIOUS BOOKS IN THE SERIES. When Changes ended Harry Dresden had surpassed his personal best for getting beat up, hurt, and tortured. Not enough, the closing chapter ended with him being murdered by an unknown assassin. But of course, being dead isn’t going to stop the mighty Harry. Especially…

While You're Waiting on…The Hobbit (Part 1)

Peter Jackson knows how to tease. Case in point: the third of his production videos (below) showcases the initial stages of whipping the Dwarves into fighting shape (or looks-to-be-more-out-of-shape, as the case may be), and gives us a brutally brief glimpse of Martin Freeman as Bilbo interacting with Andy Serkis’ Gollum. And, please, don’t get…

Excerpts from Jeaniene Frost & J.D. Robb

Publisher’s summary: “Having narrowly averted an (under)world war, Cat Crawfield wants nothing more than a little downtime with her vampire husband, Bones. Unfortunately, her gift from New Orleans’ voodoo queen just keeps on giving-leading to a personal favor that sends them into battle once again, this time against a villainous spirit.” Jeaniene Frost has posted…

Dreadful Skin – Cherie Priest

Publisher’s Summary: “Jack Gabert went to India to serve his Queen. He returned to London a violently changed man, infected with an unnatural sickness that altered his body and warped his mind. Eileen Callaghan left an Irish convent with a revolver and a secret. She knows everything and nothing about Jack’s curse, but she cannot…

Phule's Company ~ Robert Aspirin

Since Willard Phule (multi-millonaire) is tricked into being commander of the worst soldiers in the Space Legion, he uses all his influence and money to “straighten” out his men. There is Becker his proper English butler who accompanies Phule and seems to tell the story. As “off the wall” as this story is, it is…

Vampire Tapestry ~ Suzy McKee Charnas

Vampire Tapestry centers on a one of a kind, handsome vampire, posing as a college professor. He has lived many lives, is a lone vampire unable to remember his past but has thoughts of events he has lived through. His life takes many turns including being discovered twice as a vampire, shot, captured, caged, exhibited,…

The Color of Magic ~ Terry Pratchett

In the first book in Pratchett’s Discworld series, we meet wizard school dropout Rincewind. The Discworld is a flat disc held up by four elephants riding on the back of a giant turtle that wanders through space. Due to a bit of mischief, Rincewind has been imprinted with one of the 8 most powerful spells,…

Elfland ~ Freda Warrington

A tale about English villagers who are of elvish lineage. They are trapped in the human world because the gate to the other world is closed. The quest to open the gate has as many convolutions as a soap opera: there are star-crossed lovers, suspense and mystery. There is a good sense of place and…

Total Eclipse – Rachel Caine

Total Eclipse is the last book in Rachel Caine’s phenomenal Weather Warden series. As the book opens, the wardens and the djinns have all lost their powers and Mother Nature is on the warpath. Things have never been so dire. Joanne and David have also had their powers stripped and are helpless as they watch…

Discord’s Apple – Carrie Vaughn

Comic book writer Evie Walker returns home to spend time with her dying father and discovers that her family home in Colorado is not the only thing which will be left to her. Secreted away behind a basement door is a wondrous and magical storeroom where treasures from just about every myth ever told are…

Heart’s Blood ~ Juliet Marillier

Fleeing her home in Market Cross, Caitrin believes she has found sanctuary in the town of Whistling Tor. When villagers warn her of ghostly spectres that haunt the surrounding forest, Caitrin dismisses the stories as idle gossip. Haunted or not, she knows that she cannot return to her home, subject once again to greedy predators…

The Better Part of Darkness – Kelly Gay

Charlie Madigan is a single mom raising her daughter in post-Revelation Atlanta. She’s also an Integration Task Force agent for the Atlanta police, a position she takes seriously and, along with her partner, Hank, it’s a job she does well. When a new addictive substance, a drug known as ash, hits her streets, Charlie’s job…

New Blood ~ Gail Dayton

“In 1636, the last blood sorceress was burned at the stake. More than two hundred years later, her blood servant Jax has found her successor. Amanusa at first turns down the opportunity to learn what she perceives as an evil art. But she craves justice, and innocent blood cries out for justice. When Amanusa looses…

Cast in Courtlight ~ Michelle Sagara

In Elantra, a job well done is rewarded with a more dangerous task. So after defeating a dark evil, Kaylin Neya goes before the Barrani High Court, where a misspoken word brings sure death. Kaylin’s never been known for her grace or manners, but the High Lord’s heir is suspiciously ill, and Kaylin’s healing magic…

Cast in Shadow ~ Michelle Sagara

Seven years ago Kaylin fled the crime-riddled streets of Nightshade, knowing that something was after her. Children were being murdered — and all had the same odd markings that mysteriously appeared on her own skin . . . Since then, she’s learned to read, she’s learned to fight and she’s become one of the vaunted…

The Shadow Queen ~ Anne Bishop

Dena Nehele is a land decimated by its past. Once it was ruled by corrupt Queens who were wiped out when the land was cleansed of tainted Blood. Now, only one hundred Warlord Princes stand-without a leader and without hope. Theran Grayhaven is the last of his line, desperate to find the key that reveals…

Angels’ Blood ~ Nalini Singh

Vampire hunter Elena Deveraux is hired by the dangerously beautiful Archangel Raphael. But this time, it’s not a wayward vamp she has to track. It’s an archangel gone bad. The job will put Elena in the midst of a killing spree like no other-and pull her to the razor’s edge of passion. Even if the…

The Way of Shadows ~ Brent Weeks

For Durzo Blint, assassination is an art-and he is the city’s most accomplished artist. For Azoth, survival is precarious. Something you never take for granted. As a guild rat, he’s grown up in the slums, and learned to judge people quickly – and to take risks. Risks like apprenticing himself to Durzo Blint. But to…

Magic Lost, Trouble Found ~ Lisa Shearin

My name is Raine Benares. I’m a seeker. The people who hire me are usually happy when I find things. But some things are better left unfound. I’m a sorceress of moderate powers, from an extended family of smugglers and thieves. With a mix of street smarts and magic spells, I can usually take care…

Lament: The Faerie Queen’s Deception ~ Maggie Stiefvater

“Sixteen-year-old Deirdre Monaghan is a painfully shy but prodigiously gifted musician. She’s about to find out she’s also a cloverhand—one who can see faeries. Deirdre finds herself infatuated with a mysterious boy who enters her ordinary suburban life, seemingly out of thin air. Trouble is, the enigmatic and gorgeous Luke turns out to be a…

Cybele’s Secret ~ Juliet Marillier

For Paula, accompanying her merchant father on a trading voyage to Istanbul is a dream come true. They have come to this city of trade on a special mission to purchase a most rare artifact—a gift from the ancient goddess, Cybele, to her followers. It’s the only remnant of a lost, pagan cult. But no…

Lady of Light and Shadows ~ C.L. Wilson

Since her earliest memories, Ellysetta Baristani has feared magic, even as she has been inexorably drawn to all things Fey, especially the poetry and legends of Rain Tairen Soul. Now claimed as Rain’s truemate and no longer able to deny her own magic, Ellysetta is swept into the very center of a struggle filled with…

Storm Born ~ Richelle Mead

Eugenie Markham is a shaman for hire in Tuscon, Arizona. She’s called upon to exorcise the occasional shoe or drain pipe. At least, that used to be the main tasks in her job description. When word of her true name gets leaked in Otherworld, however, Eugenie finds herself in the middle of something much bigger:…

Twilight ~ Stephenie Meyer

As Shakespeare knew, love burns high when thwarted by obstacles. In Twilight, an exquisite fantasy by Stephenie Meyer, readers discover a pair of lovers who are supremely star-crossed. Bella adores beautiful Edward, and he returns her love. But Edward is having a hard time controlling the blood lust she arouses in him, because–he’s a vampire.…

Nightlife ~ Rob Thurman

In New York, there’s a troll under the Brooklyn Bridge, a boggle in Central Park, and a beautiful vampire in a penthouse on the Upper East Side. Of course, most humans are oblivious to this, but Cal Leandros is only half-human. His father’s dark lineage is the stuff of nightmares-and he and his entire otherworldly…

The Night Huntress Series ~ Jeaniene Frost

Cat Crawford is something of an anomaly: she is both human and vampire. Due to the circumstance of her birth and spurned on by her mother’s rage at the vampire community, Cat becomes a hunter, tracking down vampires and making sure that their next afterlife is of the permanent variety. She excels at her chosen…

The Study Series ~ Maria V Snyder

I’ve put off this post for weeks upon weeks now for two reasons: I love Maria V. Snyder’s Study series; we’re talking serious love here. I can never write about books/series I love because I can never adequately express just why it is that I do love them. (Who am I kidding? Sometimes I can’t…

The Nightrunner Series ~ Lynn Flewelling

Lynn Flewelling’s Nightrunner Series is a wonderful addition to the high fantasy/sword and sorcery genre. Though I came to the books late, I’ve found that it was in actuality an opportune time to meet Seregil and Alec as their adventures will continue this June with the fourth book in the series, Shadows Return, which comes…

House of Cards ~ C.E. Murphy

New York City’s only legal counsel to the fabled Old Races, Margrit Knight, is level headed in all matters extraordinary. But when she’s summoned to negotiate a peace treaty among rival factions, her own mortal world threatens to fall apart. Margrit’s been in hot water before, but reentering the underworld brings a new set of…

Tangled Webs: A Black Jewels Novel ~ Anne Bishop

The invitation is signed “Jaenelle Angelline,” and it summons her family to an entertainment she had specially prepared. Surreal SaDiablo, former courtesan and assassin, arrives first. But when she enters the house, Surreal finds herself trapped in a living nightmare created by the tangled webs of Black Widow witches…and if she uses Craft to defend…

Demon Night ~ Meljean Brook

Charlie Newcomb was plagued by addiction until a car crash cost her the one thing that she had always counted on: the ability to sing. Scarred by her past, she sets out to deny the dependency that had dogged her steps for so long, and had finally settled into a routine. One that came to…

A Patricia Briggs Double Feature

Technically, Patricia Brigg’s Mercy Thompson series has been on my radar for some time; those who know me kept insisting I read them. And, wouldn’t you know, when I finally got around to it I ended up devouring the first two (with the third in progress) in a matter of days. Moon Called 1st in…

Another One Bites the Dust ~ Jennifer Rardin

Jaz Parks has enough trouble in her personal life. What she doesn’t need is more trouble with her vampire boss and another mission. This time she has to retrieve a vital piece of biotechnology by killing the maniac who stole it: an ancient Chinese vamp. Their cover in this mission: professional entertainers at the Corpus…

Once Bitten, Twice Shy ~ Jennifer Rardin

I’m Jaz Parks. My boss is Vayl, born in Romania in 1744. Died there too, at the hand of his vampire wife, Liliana. But that’s ancient history. For the moment Vayl works for the C.I.A. doing what he does best–assassination. And I help. You could say I’m an Assistant Assassin. But then I’d have to…

Lord of the Fading Lands ~ C.L. Wilson

Once he had scorched the world. Once he had driven back overwhelming darkness. Once he had loved with such passion, his name was legend… TAIREN SOUL Now a thousand years later, a new threat calls him from the Fading Lands, back into the world that had cost him so dearly. Now an ancient, familiar evil…

Dancing with Werewolves ~ Carole Nelson Douglas

“It was the revelation of the millennium: witches, werewolves, vampires and other supernaturals are real. Fast-forward 13 years: TV reporter Delilah Street used to cover the small-town bogeyman beat back in Kansas, but now, in high-octane Las Vegas—which is run by a werewolf mob—she finds herself holding back the gates of Hell itself. But at…

Man With the Golden Torc – Simon Green

This is the first Simon Green book I’ve read and I thought it was absolutely brilliant! Being a huge fan since childhood of the original James Bond books, I was a little hesitant about trying a book that borrowed so liberally from that series, but Green’s wonderful writing and irreverent humor completely won me over.…

The Book of Joby ~ Mark J Ferrari

“Lucifer and the Creator have entered, yet again, into a wager they’ve made many times before, but this time, the existence of creation itself is balanced on the outcome. Born in California during the twilight years of a weary millennium, nine year old Joby Peterson dreams of blazing like a bonfire against the gathering darkness…

The Alchemyst, by Michael Scott

“The Alchemyst” is the first book in a new series called “The Secrets Of The Immortal Nicholas Flamel”, and it’s one of those Young Adult novels that will also appeal to adults. It introduces us to twins Sophie and Josh Newman who are destined to be the deciding factors in a war between “Humani” and…

The Siren Song, by Anne Ursu

“The Siren Song” picks up where the “Shadow Thieves” left off. Charlotte Mielswetzski and her cousin are still recovering from saving the world from an evil demigod named Philonecron. To make matters worse, Charlotte has been grounded by her parents and forced into therapy because she won’t tell them why she was out all night,…

The Black Jewels Trilogy ~ Anne Bishop

Characters and world building. Those two devices drive Anne Bishop’s remarkable dark fantasy trilogy. But if picking up an oversized paperback comprised of over 1200 pages seems a bit daunting, don’t worry; you can still enjoy the trilogy, novel by novel. Start with Daughter of the Blood – you’ll immediately find yourself in a complex…

Eclipse ~ Stephenie Meyer

Stephenie Meyer’s Eclipse. We waited patiently for it. We read it as soon as we could get our hands on it. ta calmly enjoyed it; kimb8 was quietly dismayed; and inkonvellum wanted to throw it across the room. Here is a collection of thoughts on the third installment in Stephenie Meyer’s best-selling young adult series……

The Harlequin ~ Laurell K Hamilton

Fear not! Laurell K Hamilton – and, therefore, Anita Blake – is getting back to her roots. Let there be rejoicing! But not too much; Jean-Claude isn’t in The Harlequin nearly enough. Ah, but let me backtrack a bit. First off, if you will, a synopsis: “Anita Blake is about to face the challenge of…

Night Life – by Elizabeth Guest

Once a pharaoh beloved by his people, but betrayed by someone close to him, Adrian King has awakened thousands of years later as a vampire. Now the owner of the Royal Palace in Vegas, he is falling in love with Egyptologist Christine Day. But, someone else has awakened who will not rest until Adrian is…

The Golden Compass ~ Philip Pullman

One day, ta and inkonvellum discovered that they were reading the same book: Philip Pullman’s The Golden Compass. Several days of rather, er, interesting discussions ensued. A sample: inkonvellum: “I don’t know if I like the bear. He’s kinda crabby.” ta: “But he’s so cool afterwards.” inkonvellum: “Yeah, well…” ta: “Well I think Mrs. Coulter…

The Scent of Shadows – by Vicki Pettersson

For a book that centers on signs of the zodiac with “superheroes” attached to each one, this a surprisingly dark fantasy in which there is no guaranteed happy ending. The story’s heroine, Joanna Archer, (can you guess what her sign is?) has survived a brutal attack at age 16 and has spent the last few…

The Dead Girls’ Dance ~ Rachel Caine

Technically, The Dead Girls’ Dance is considered a young adult novel. But don’t let that put you off. Rachel Caine knows how to tell a good story and she creates wonderful characters. If you’re a fan of either of those concepts (and you don’t mind vampires) give her Morganville Vampire series a shot. (In case…

Will it be life or death?

As you probably already know, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows will be released on Saturday July 21, 2007. For more on the story click here. What do you think? Will J.K. Rowling kill off her beloved main character?

White Lies by Jayne Ann Krentz

If you’re looking for a pleasant distraction, try Krentz’s White Lies. The publisher has apparently decided to name the books that involve parasensitives as Arcane Society Novels, so while the series name may be newish, the themes are not. White Lies was a very enjoyable romantic suspense novel with paranormal tendencies. Here’s a synopsis from…

The Dresden Files

Jim Butcher’s highly entertaining wizard P.I. series was optioned by the SciFi channel to become a t.v. series. In fact, it premiered last night, and as an avid reader/fan of the books, I have to say, they did an excellent job. (Even though it didn’t stay true to Butcher’s story.)   However, the books are…

The Weather Warden series by Rachel Caine

Rachel Caine knows how to write books that you can’t (or are unwilling) to put down. Great characters, fantastic premise – it’s all here! This is a series and it is necessary to read them in order, but once you do, you’ll be consuming the others at a fast rate. Here’s info (from B&N) on…

Ladies of Grace Adieu by Susanna Clarke

From the author of Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, comes this new collection of short stories. Only one of the stories features Jonathan Strange, but the rest of the stories feel like they take place in the same world. Clarke conjures up a version of 19th century England where magic and Faerie are historical subjects.…