psychics

The Problematic, Yet Entertaining “A Promise of Fire”

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A Promise of Fire by Amanada Bouchet
Sourcebooks Casablanca: August 2, 2016
Genre: Fantasy Romance
Source: Free From Publisher

I’d go there again!
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A Promise of Fire is one of those books that’s a bit tricky to review. On the one hand, it’s a bit of a problematic read considering that it’s a romance and the so-called hero kidnaps the heroine. On the other hand, I found it an entertaining read that I couldn’t peel my eyes away from. So keep in mind that you too may be frustrated by some character’s actions in A Promise of Fire but you will ultimately enjoy this one for being a breath of fresh air in the romance genre.

Catalia “Cat” Fisa is a psychic who works in a circus. Cat is also in hiding from the powerful Fisa family. Cat’s powers make her unique; she can sense when a person is lying, which makes her valuable as a political tool. Due to her ability to sense a lie (just one of many fantastical abilities) Cat is known as a Kingmaker. Since escaping the Fisa family Cat has successfully hidden her abilities and carved out a life for herself in the circus. Naturally, that life is not mean to be and Cat is kidnapped by the Sintan warlord Griffin who wants to use Cat’s ability to solidify his sister’s leadership after overthrowing the previous leaders of the Sinta and bringing in a non-magical leader. Enter magic and mayhem and things get complicated very quickly. (more…)

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More from Nalini Singh in “Wild Embrace”

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Wild Embrace by Nalini Singh
Berkley: August 23, 2016
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Source: Free From Publisher

I’d go there again!
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After reading the fantastic Allegiance of Honor, I was ecstatic to get my hands on Singh’s new novella collection. Don’t get me wrong, I was happy to revisit some of my favourite characters from the Psy-Changeling series in Allegiance, but I did miss the emphasis on romance. Happily, Wild Embrace addressed exactly what I was missing from the novel. Each novella included in this collection offers readers a peak into the world, as well as answers to some questions that have been plaguing fans throughout the series. While all of the novellas are great, my favouite ended up being Flirtation of Fate. (more…)

Western Weird: “The Curse of Jacob Tracy”

19283155The Curse of Jacob Tracy by Holly Messinger
Thomas Dunne Book: December 1, 2015
Genre: Western; Historical Fiction
Source: Free From Library

Beach Vacation
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The Curse of Jacob Tracy is the first in a new series, featuring a former seminary student/soldier.

Death constantly lives in the shadow of Jacob Tracy. After surviving the Civil War, Trace discovered that he could see ghosts; this was not a gift that he wanted and each time he tells someone about this gift they die. So, when Miss Sabine Fairweather asks for his assistance and claims to be able to help Trace with his gift, Trace is understandably wary.

Trace has lived for years repressing his ability to see and speak with ghosts. Trace has always believed that his gift was a curse and does his best to ignore it. After starting to do the odd jobs for Miss Fairweather, Trace finds his powers increasing and changing all the while Miss Fairweather tempts him with her knowledge. However, Trace refuses to succumb to the temptation that Miss Fairweather presents, instead running off only to discover that he has been targeted by another man with powers, Merek. It seems that the mysterious and secretive Miss Fairweather is Trace’s only chance for answers, and she needs him just as much as he needs her.  (more…)

Returning to a Favourite World with “Allegiance of Honor”

26089799Allegiance of Honor by Nalini Singh
Berkley: June 14, 2016
Genre: Paranormal Romance; Urban Fantasy
Source: Free From Publisher

I’d go there again!
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Since my recent conversion to the cult of Nalini Singh a couple of years ago I have anxiously awaited each and every new addition to Singh’s Psy-Changeling series. Throughout this series Singh has created a rich futuristic world that is full of all kinds of race tension, but also fabulous romances. I can’t think of another series that so well combines complex world building with fully developed romantic relationships. Nalini Singh, she is a master, and this is again proven with her newest book, Allegiance of Honor and its shift for the entire series. Allegiance propels the series into new territory while also giving readers a glimpse into the lives of so many of the beloved characters of the series. (more…)

Joint Review: “Dreaming Death”

25476118Dreaming Death by J. Kathleen Cheney
Roc: February 2, 2016
Genre: Fantasy; Mystery
Source: Free from publisher

The last joint review we shared here ended up being a “duel” review. With City of Light, Jaclyn and I couldn’t have been further apart in our reactions to the book. This was absolutely not the case with Dreaming Death. In fact, we both want to go back to the world that Cheney has created.

The Book…

Shironne Anjir’s status as a sensitive is both a gift and a curse. Her augmented senses allow her to discover and feel things others can’t, but her talents come with a price: a constant assault of emotions and sensations has left her blind. Determined to use her abilities as best she can, Shironne works tirelessly as an investigator for the Larossan army.

A member of the royal family’s guard, Mikael Lee also possesses an overwhelming power—he dreams of the deaths of others, sometimes in vivid, shocking detail, and sometimes in cryptic fragments and half-remembered images.

But then a killer brings a reign of terror to the city, snuffing out his victims with an arcane and deadly blood magic. Only Shironne can sense and interpret Mikael’s dim, dark dreams of the murders. And what they find together will lead them into a nightmare…  (more…)

Doesn’t Quite Succeed in Going “NOVA”

23398742NOVA by Margaret Fortune
DAW: June 2, 2015 (Science Fiction; Young Adult)

The view was nice, but the food was bad (meh)
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I like books set in space. I like YA. I like reading about aliens. NOVA had all these things but unfortunately it did not live up to its namesake. What started out as an intriguing and mysterious read:

My name is Lia Johansen, and I was named for a prisoner of war. She lived in the Tiersten Internment Colony for two years, and when they negotiated the return of the prisoners, I was given her memories and sent back in her place.

And I am a genetically engineered human bomb (p. 10).

Turned out to be a lot disappointing. (more…)

The Seriously Awesome “Shards of Hope”

17159943Shards of Hope by Nalini Singh
Berkley: June 2, 2015 (Paranormal Romance)

Outstanding Adventure
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I’ve been putting off writing this review for awhile now, as I’m not really sure how to convey in intelligible writing how much I loved Shards of Hope. This book was seriously awesome and I think it just might be my favourite book in Singh’s Psy-Changeling series to date, and I can now say that with authority since after finishing this one, I went back and read each book in the series that I hadn’t read.

Shards of Hope is Aden’s story. Aden is the leader of the Arrows, the deadly, military arm of the Psy race. For years they were the personal assassins of Councilor Ming, and now that Silence has fallen, these men and women are now free to start new lives. Aden is at the forefront of this change. He wants something different for his family and he needs to model that for them, which is why he needs a partner. (more…)

Crime Fighting Psychic in “The Other Side of Midnight”

22467404The Other Side of Midnight by Simone St. James
NAL Trade: April 7, 2015 (Historical Fiction; Mystery)*

Outstanding Adventure!
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A psychic, if she is to have a career, must deal with both skeptics and believers. They both bring their own set of problems – skeptics with their endless needling questions, believers with their suffocating faith. My mother taught me that, in the middle of the storm, the medium herself must have one philosophy: Believe, or don’t believe. It is up to you.

Ellie Winters is a psychic, she doesn’t contact the dead, but she finds things, things that people have lost. She’s been living a lonely life for the past three years since a bad falling out with her close friend, Gloria, and the death of her mother. Ellie’s dreary, but safe life is about to be changed when Gloria is murdered, only leaving a note behind that Ellie can find her.

Gloria’s older brother pulls Ellie into the investigation of her death and soon Ellie also finds herself the target of a murderer. Joining forces with the James Hawley, the man who announced to the world that Ellie and her mother were frauds, Ellie and James investigate the final séance that Gloria presided over. (more…)

Return to Historic Portugal in “The Seat of Magic”

18693704The Seat of Magic by J. Kathleen Cheney
Roc: July 1st, 2014 (Historical Fantasy; Mystery)

I’d go there again! vintagesuitcase3vintagesuitcase3vintagesuitcase3vintagesuitcase3

A strange thing happened when I was reading The Seat of Magic. Despite feeling pretty mediocre about the first book, The Golden City, I totally fell in love with its follow up. The Seat of Magic was lush, romantic and mysterious and I couldn’t have been more engaged reading. I am so glad that I picked this one up. It would have been so easy to forget about this one since I wasn’t totally enthralled by book one, but the gorgeous cover grabbed my attention and I thought it was time to give this world another shot. I can’t remember what didn’t work for me the first time round, because I absolutely loved it in the second book.

The Seat of Magic picks up soon after the events of the first novel. Oriana has returned to her homeland, but has promised to return to the city. Duilio soon finds himself helping the police investigate another series of deaths; it seems that someone is killing non-humans, but to what end is anyone’s guess. While Duilio investigates these murders he can’t shake the feeling that Oriana is in danger, and after a daring rescue, Duilio and Oriana have to determine how the murders and her imprisonment is connected. (more…)

Howl with Werewolves (Halloween Special Part 2)

In the second installment of our Halloween Special series (see the first, on Vampires), we look at my personal favorite supernatural: the Werewolf. Check out some good, better, and best werewolf stories in the list below. Word to the wise urban fantasy reader: Werewolves are sexy, so beware – many of these are romantic to varying degrees.

Just reviewed this week, a witty take on supernaturals living among us.

 

The Silver Wolf. The book that got me started on werewolves: a young, poor orphan, in the decaying Roman empire, sold by her family in marriage for well, the usual – money.

 

In Written in Red, Meg Corbyn, a blood prophet, finds sanctuary from the humans who tortured her in an enclave of the terra indigine, creatures like vampires and werewolves and other shapeshifters. Simon Wolfgard, leader of the enclave, doesn’t know why she doesn’t smell like food, or why he and the others find her so interesting. As Meg learns what it is to live in the wild, Simon discovers how much he wants to protect this strange human.

 

So, this one – not my favorite. But that doesn’t mean you won’t like it! It’s a humorous story about a witch just trying to get by, when werewolves nose their way into her orderly life.

 

The Mercy Thompson books are some of my absolute favorite stories, series, werewolves, EVER. Witty, sometimes dark, romantic, spooky, and upbeat, this is one of the best in the genre.

 

By the same excellent author, starring a different kind of heroine. Anna, victim of a vicious werewolf pack, is an Omega. Yup, that means she’s special. While not as stunningly amazing as the Mercy Thompson series, it’s still worth a read. You’ll want to start with the opening novella, Alpha and Omega. It may or may not be part of your copy of Cry Wolf.

 

Just started Silver, a serendipitous library find, and it has a different focus: Silver is a young wolf who has been tortured, poisoned, and is flirting (pretty sure I meant flitting there) between reality and visions. When Andrew Dare, enforcer for the East Coast packs, finds her, he’s driven to protect her and find out what happened.

 

Admittedly, I’ve only seen the TV series. But it’s a fun show! Might be a good book, too…

 

This is the second in a series about a former cop, who left the force to become a private eye because she developed a degenerative sight condition. In this one, her new sort-of-partner, Henry Fitzroy, bastard son of King Henry VIII and vampire, head out to the country to solve a mystery involving werewolves. Tanya Huff writes superbly drawn characters and complex settings and plots. A longer haul than most urban fantasy, this is totally worth it.

 

Sort of a tongue-in-cheek comedy of manners set in a steampunk Victorian England where the Queen has werewolf investigators and deals with vampires, Soulless begins a fun series about a soulless young woman, Alexia, and her encounters and involvement with the supernaturals in the community.

 

Crimefighting meets werewolves again in this one by Eileen Wilks. Lily Yu, a police detective, needs the help of Rule Turner to infiltrate the werewolf clans and find a killer.

 

I nearly forgot this one, though I don’t know how! The Psy-Changeling series is a truly enjoyable series that mixes humans, weres (mostly panthers and wolves) and a psychic race, in an alternate, sort of futuristic United States. Each book pairs a new hero and heroine, so if you’re into urban fantasy romance, you’ll probably enjoy these. Start with Slave to Sensation.

And if you want to get your werewolf fix in 5 minutes or less, here is the famous music video werewolf: