shifters

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…)

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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…)

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…)

“Daughter of Dusk” Falls a Bit Flat

22678141Daughter of Dusk by Livia Blackburne
Disney-Hyperion: August 4, 2015 (Young Adult; Fantasy)*

Beach Vacation
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Daughter of Dusk is the sequel to Blackburne’s Midnight Thief, featuring Kyra, who is now a reformed thief. After falling in with a bad crowd in book one (yeah, training with the Assassin’s Guild was probably not a good idea, especially if you’re squeamish about killing people), Kyra now finds herself in an uneasy alliance with the Palace. This alliance is tense as Kyra has learned the truth about her parents. It just so happens that Kyra’s related to the Demon Riders that the Palace is trying to take down. Secrets and intrigue, folks. Bonus points for a girl that changes into a cat-like creature.

Working with Kyra is Tristam, a disgraced palace guard who happens to know Kyra’s secret. Of course there’s a lot more going on than Kyra’s secret as a cat shifter. There’s politics at work and Kyra and Tristam have to make a decision about what side they are on. Will Kyra betray the Makvani or will she stand with the Palace as they try to destroy them? And just what exactly is Kyra going to do about Tristam? So many feelings! (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…)

‘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.

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Solid addition to a favourite series: “Vision in Silver”

21457243Vision in Silver by Anne Bishop
Roc: March 3, 2015 (Urban Fantasy)*

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The Others looked at humans and did not see conquerors. They saw a new kind of meat. (p. 6)

Vision in Silver is Bishop’s third installment in The Others series and it continues to impress. I’ve been hooked on this series since book one, Written in Red and Vision in Silver continues to delve into the complex world of the Lakeside Complex and shows how the new way of life that they have adopted has repercussions for both those within the complex and those observing it.

In the third book the focus is mainly on the development of larger story arc of the humans trying to create bad press for the terra indigene, which only serves to anger the very powerful beings. Due to the plot-heavy nature of this installment, I didn’t find the character development to be as strong as it was in the previous books. In particular, Meg and Simon seem to have stagnated a bit as characters. The development of the larger conflict is essential and the fact that the terra indigene have to make some decisions was compelling, but I can’t help but miss my favourite characters just a bit. (more…)

Meet your new Heroine, the ‘Midnight Thief’

17566814Midnight Thief by Livia Blackburne
Disney-Hyperion, July 8, 2014 (Fantasy; Young Adult)*

My rating: Beach vacation (3/5)

Midnight Thief is a teen fantasy debut by Livia Blackburn and her homage to Tamora Pierce. I loved Tamora Pierce as a teen, so I was pretty excited for this one. And while there were elements of The Midnight Thief that I liked, I ended up feeling rather dissatisfied with this one. I was hoping for more, and when I finally did start getting invested in the story, it wrapped up and I was left feeling a bit at sea.

Kyra is a former street kid, and now makes her coin as a thief. When the two girls she looks out for need more help than she can provide, she finds herself agreeing to a new job: working for the Assassin’s Guild. They’ll pay her, and pay her well. Of course, the Guild promises that they just want her thieving abilities, but it’s not long before Kyra is asked to do more than she’s comfortable with. Will her desire to protect her makeshift family and bring down the palace override her sense of morality?

The other point of view readers get is of Tristam, who is a young Palace knight, making him Kyra’s enemy. He stands for everything that Kyra’s against. He’s the have, while she’s the have-not. But somehow Tristam finds himself questioning the Palace for the first time and wondering if what he’s doing is the right thing. Will Tristam sacrifice his humanity in the name of duty? (more…)

Duel Review: ‘Murder of Crows’

17563080Murder of Crows (The Others #2) by Anne Bishop
Roc, March 4, 2014 (Urban Fantasy)

The Book…

After winning the trust of the terra indigene residing in the Lakeside Courtyard, Meg Corbyn has had trouble figuring out what it means to live among them. As a human, Meg should be barely tolerated prey, but her abilities as a cassandra sangue make her something more.

The appearance of two addictive drugs has sparked violence between the humans and the Others, resulting in the murders of both species in nearby cities. So when Meg has a dream about blood and black feathers in the snow, Simon Wolfgard—Lakeside’s shape-shifting leader—wonders whether their blood prophet dreamed of a past attack or of a future threat.

As the urge to speak prophecies strikes Meg more frequently, trouble finds its way inside the Courtyard. Now the Others and the handful of humans residing there must work together to stop the man bent on reclaiming their blood prophet—and stop the danger that threatens to destroy them all.

The Conflicting Opinions…

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Book Review: Shadow’s Curse

17191535Shadow’s Curse by Alexa Egan*
Pocket Books, September 24, 2013 (Historical Romance / Paranormal Romance)
Series: Imnada Brotherhood, Book 2
Rating: Beach vacation.

Shadow’s Curse is the second in a historical paranormal romance series (whew, what a genre mouthful!). I should preface this review with the fact that I have not read the first book in the series, and after finishing Shadow’s Curse I have to recommend that you read the books in their proper order to really understand the world and the larger conflict that binds the books together.

The world of Shadow’s Curse is an interesting one. There are shape shifters and fae creatures, all hidden from the general masses in Regency England. David St. Leger is one of those shape shifters, cursed after being exiled from his clan. David stalks the stews of London and helps those in need, but it’s certainly not for altruistic purposes, rather he just needs something to do. And he finds a whole lot more trouble than he bargained for when he comes to the aid of a young woman.

Callista Hawthorne is the young woman rescued by David, although she’s unaware that it’s actually a “rescue” at the time. Callista is being used by her brother for her ability at necromancy; she can contact the dead and her brother has been using this as a money making scheme. Callista wants out of this life and longs to escape to her aunt in Scotland. Unbeknownst to Callista her brother has sold her off to an underworld crime lord that plans to marry her and use her powers for his own purposes, and he will resort to any means necessary to make that marriage come about. Understandably Callista’s none to happy about this and when her path crosses again with David, she strikes a bargain and gets an escort to Scotland. Of course, the crime lord is not so keen to let Callista go and David’s got his own problems trailing behind them as well. The course of true love never does run smooth…

Essentially, what we have in Shadow’s Curse is an on-the-road romance. Callista and David are both on the run and they band together because of common goals. At first they don’t like each other all that much (Callista did inadvertently help capture David); however, they quickly become attracted to one another. I liked the romance aspect of this book, I just didn’t feel like there was enough of it. The main focus of the book was the adventure and the greater conflict that had started in book one. If I had read book one I think I would have been more invested in what was going on, but since I had not I was really reading it for the romance and I didn’t get enough of it.

In the end, I felt a little confused when I finished the book. I was missing something, and it was that first book. I liked the writing style and I thought the world had potential, but I think the confusion that I felt reading Shadow’s Curse really hampered my enjoyment of this one. Ultimately, I’m not sure that I’ll be back for the next installment in the series since I don’t feel invested in the outcome of these characters. I’m also not really a fan of the fae in fiction. Don’t really have a reason why, I just find them odd creatures, and I tend to stray away from books with these characters in them. I think had the romance taken more of focus I would have enjoyed this one more; however, I think those looking for more plot in a romance will enjoy this one a lot more than I did. Overall, not a bad book, just not my favourite.

*e-ARC provided by NetGalley

Read-Alikes:

Shadow Kin (The Half-Light City, #1)Steam & Sorcery (Gaslight Chronicles, #1)Legacy (The League of Illusion #1)