shapeshifters

Gunmetal Magic has guns, shapeshifters, and romance

12288282Gunmetal Magic by Ilona Andrews
Ace: July 31, 2012
Genre: Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance
Source: Free from Library

I’d go there again!
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It’s strange and interesting to read about Kate through different eyes, and to get into her best friend Andrea’s head. Andrea has her own voice, apparent from the very first page with her enthusiasm and expert knowledge about everything guns and weapons.

Andrea is a fun heroine, and a good match for Kate. She struggles with her past, with her feelings for Raphael, and with the bouda clan. Her determination for independence wars with her desire to save others. As beastkin instead of a shapeshifter, as a former Knight of the Order dismissed because she’s not human, she struggles to find a place where she belongs.

The big plot is very similar to the plots in the Kate Daniels books. An ancient Egyptian god decides now is an opportune moment to take back his power and become a god again in thousands of followers’ eyes. Another god opposes him and hatches his own schemes for world domination. As Andrea and Raphael, her estranged mate and the alpha male of the bouda clan, investigate the murder of several of Raphael’s metal reclamation employees, they uncover both gods’ plans and endanger themselves trying to prevent the slavery of thousands of people by said gods. (more…)

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Marked in Flesh: In Which War Breaks Out

22062202Marked in Flesh by Anne Bishop
Penguin/Roc: March 8, 2016
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Source: Free from publisher

I’d go there again!
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As I’ve read this series, I’ve enjoyed each book to a different degree. The first one drew me in, the second and third one let me down a little. And as you’ve figured out by now, I liked this one quite a lot.

Marked in Flesh brings the conflict between humans and Others to a disastrous climax. The fight between the bad humans and the Others turns into war in this book. (more…)

Kicking Butt in Atlanta: “Blood Trinity”

7775742Blood Trinity by Sherrilyn Kenyon & Dianna Love
Pocket Books: October 19, 2010
Genre: Urban Fantasy; Paranormal Romance
Source: Free From Library

I’d go there again!
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Thanks to the Kate Daniels series I’ve been more inclined to read urban fantasy of late and for whatever reason I somehow came across Sherrilyn Kenyon and Dianna Love’s Belador series. Blood Trinity is the first in the series and introduces readers to Evalle, an outcast in the larger brotherhood of the Belador warriors.

Like the other warriors Evalle has power and she uses those powers to fight against other paranormal beings. Unlike the other Beladors, Evalle is a half-breed and as such she is an Alterant, a person that can shift into beast form. Unfortunately, this transformation is unique to Alterants and the other Beladors fear that Evalle will lose control of her beast and kill without consequence; a fact that has been proven over and over again with other Alterants. Evalle has been successfully avoiding being caged by the Belador elite thanks to two loyal friends who have covered for her in the past. However, when a new player rolls into Atlanta is seems that Evalle might not be able to avoid being caged unless she can prove that she’s not responsible for a recent murder. Complicating matters is the impending apocalypse. Sigh. As if your day job isn’t tough enough. (more…)

Winterwood: Pirates, Magic, and Shapeshifters Oh My!

25489511Winterwood by Jacey Bedford
DAW: February 2nd, 2016
Genre: Historical Fantasy
Source: Free from publisher

I’d go there again!
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This book has so many of the elements I love in a good fantasy: pirates, fae, magic, a wolf shapeshifter, a heroine who disguises herself as a man, adventure, romance, an alternative historical setting… really, this book is just my thing.

Rossalinde (Ross) Tremayne, is introduced as she works her way to her mother’s house, where her parent lays dying. Ross and her mother have had a difficult relationship for as long as Ross can remember, and she goes reluctantly. When she arrives, she discovers that her mother sent for Ross to trick her into taking up their family’s heritage – a curse in the shape of a magical winterwood box. If Ross were to take up her destiny, she would restore balance to the world and in the process, drastically alter England., (more…)

An Oldie, But New to Me: “Magic Bites”

38619Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews
Ace: April 1, 2007
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Review Source: Free from library.

Beach Vacation
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I’ve heard good things about Ilona Andrew’s Kate Daniels series for years. My sister is a huge fan of this series and is always asking me to find her more books like this one. Considering that I’ve never read any books in this series, this was a bit of a challenge. Sigh. When you work at a library, your family members never actually come to the library and check out books. No, they expect you to do this for them and magically figure exactly what they want to read. Anyways, I picked up the first book in the Kate Daniels’ series, Magic Bites, in the effort to understand the appeal. I don’t read a lot of urban fantasy, so it’s a genre I’m not super familiar with. The end result of this experiment, well, lets just say that I’m reading book two as soon as I finish this review. (more…)

Duel Review: “City of Light”

25420415City of Light by Keri Arthur
Signet: January 5, 2016
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Source: Free from publisher

We often agree in our assessment of books, as our reviews of  Tower of ThornsI Spy a Duke, and Uprooted show. This time, we disagreed. Stacey loved it; Jaclyn barely finished it. We all know reading experience is personal, a relationship forged between author and reader.

Read on to find out what we loved and what we didn’t. Hit the comments and let us know how you feel about it.

The Book…

In a world still recovering from a war between shifters and humans, Tiger is alone. As a déchet, a creature created by humans to balance the field against the shifters, she alone remains among her kind. Despised or hunted by all races: shifters, humans, and vampires, she hides in a destroyed bunker with the ghosts of her past. Until the night she leaves her bunker on a supplies-gathering mission and hears the cry of a child. Unable to ignore the cries and leave the child, Penny, for the vampires to eat, she unwittingly becomes entangled in an attempt to save other kidnapped children like Penny. Penny’s uncle Jonas, a full shifter, and a woman named Nuri, are investigating the disappearances of these children, and need Tiger’s specialized skills to succeed.

(more…)

Pure Fun in “Beastly Bones”

Ritter_BeastlyBones_jkt_COMP.inddBeastly Bones by William Ritter
Algonquin Young Readers: September 22, 2015 (Historical; Paranormal; Young Adult)*

I’d go there again!
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“Follow my lead, Miss Rook,” Jackaby said, rapping on the ornately trimmed door to 1206 Campbell Street. Were my employer a standard private investigator, those might have been simple instructions, but in the time I’ve been his assistant, I’ve found very little about Jackaby to be standard. Following his lead tends to call for a somewhat flexible relationship with reality. (p. 10)

Beastly Bones is the wonderful follow-up to Jackaby in which readers are introduced to Jackaby, paranormal investigator extraordinaire, and his intrepid assistant Abigail Rook. The first book in the series was fantastic and its sequel does not disappoint – it was just plain fun reading. And totally justified as being one of my most anticipated reads of the fall.

After successfully solving the case in the previous book, Jackaby and Miss Rook are called upon to investigate the theft of a dinosaur head at a nearby dig in Gad’s Valley. Abigail, who once dreamed of being a paleontologist, is thrilled to be near an exciting new discovery. However, it soon becomes clear that this is no ordinary dinosaur. Something supernatural is disturbing the site and once again Jackaby and Abigail are on the case, aided by shape shifting police officer, Charlie Barker. (more…)

‘Vision in Silver’ treads familiar but entertaining ground

21457243Vision in Silver by Anne Bishop
Penguin Group / Signet Romance: March 3rd, 2015 (Urban Fantasy)*

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As a long-time fan of Anne Bishop – beginning with her Black Jewels trilogy and continuing through her Tir Alainn and, well, just about everything else she’s written – my reaction to each of the books in The Others series has been quite unpredictable. I loved the first book, Written in Red. The introduction of the world, uneasily balanced between humans and the Others who came before; Meg, the naive and uncertain heroine who has so much to learn about herself and the world; Simon, drawn to Meg and the progress she represents and at the same time, concerned about how he is changing in response to her.

(more…)

Dragon Territories in the Realms of Science Fiction and Fantasy

Our latest Reader’s Map is all about dragons. And there are plenty! Click on the image below to see a map full of dragon books, categorized by genre or dragon characteristic, e.g. Where the War Dragons Fight, The Kingdom of Magic Dragons, and The Empire of Epic Fantasy.

dragonterritories

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: