Doug’s Review – Evernight

review iconSometimes I think that I spend too much time writing about books and not enough time reading them, because there are so very many series that I say “one day” about. And that list just keeps growing. One of the series on that list is Kristen Callihan‘s Darkest London, which I can honestly say I have never heard anyone say less than glowing things about. Even a friend of mine who doesn’t like PNR or UF loves it, which is a good sign in itself. Doug Meeks reviewed the lasted book, Evernight, which is due out on August 26th. As Doug pointed out, however, it is one of those titles caught in the Amazon/Hachette battle, so pre-ordering through Amazon isn’t available at this time.

evernightWhat Doug said…

Kristen Callihan seems to excel at bringing together couples who really don’t like each other at the start of these novels in the Darkest London series (which seems to get a bit darker as this series progresses).
 
William Thorn and Holly Evernight are a extreme example of that talent since their first meeting in this novel he is trying to kill her, not a great opening line in most instances since her feelings are close to his,  but this is Darkest London and it only raised the bar a bit higher than the others in this series.
 
You also do not get wilting flower heroines; the women are strong but still vulnerable.  Holly Evernight is possibly one of the strongest of these heroines and still the author was able to build a believable romance here.
 
What you get is a soaring romance that is wrapped in a mystery with a couple of subplots being moved along at the same time.  The lack of the legion of secondary characters that you saw in some previous novels is pretty much missing here and the emphasis is mainly on the main couple which is understandable since the distance from trying to get a couple from “I want to kill you” to “I love you” is an awful long way but Ms Callihan pulls it off right nicely but not without dragging the reader through some pretty emotionally gut wrenching situations and a surprising twist of an ending, throw in an almost Cinderella vibe and you have an amazingly great reading experience that will stay with you for a long time.  I would warn you to take nothing for granted in this story and the last page leaves you with a inkling for what I expect will be a series changing next novel along the lines of Acheron (sorry if you don’t know that reference).
Bottom Line:  An exceptional novel, well written, a romance that will roll around in your mind for days or longer, an alpha male, a exceptionally strong heroine and it all works together.  I only had one complaint, you left us in the dark on the maid, I expect some detail next novel.  The ending was a bit of a dark premonition for the next novel and left me a bit unsettled but I guess that was the purpose, hold on to your seat for the next one.  This may be the best book of the series to date so don’t miss it, the previous novel would give you some better background but is not a requirement I do not believe since most of the important things are revisited.
So, who else loves this series? There is at least one more book, Soulbound, which is due out next February, to look forward to.

This and That…Things Are Changing Edition

Not a biggie this time, but there are a few little things to mention…

  • Many thanks to Alexandra, who let me know that some info has come to light from Karen Marie Moning and her Fever series. It seems that the originally planned three-book Dani arc and two-book Mac and Barrons arc has in fact been condensed to three books in total, but that’s not all. Burned will actually be a return to Mac’s narrative, with some Dani POV, as well. I wondered why the official blurb hadn’t come out yet, but here it is…

Sidhe-seer MacKayla Lane may have finally managed to locate and bury the Sinsar Dubh, an ancient book of deadly black magic, but its hold on her has never been stronger, as it threatens to destroy the worlds of man and Fae alike. Meanwhile, a whole new breed of evil is being unleashed in Dublin, and the city is fast becoming a war zone. The only thing keeping Mac grounded is the unshakable, undestroyable Jericho Barrons, until a secret about their relationship forces her to question who she can trust if not the man she loves.

I have to admit, I am a bit bummed by this. I didn’t mind a condensing the five into three, actually, but I wanted at least one more to focus on Dani. And by Dani I mean Ryodan and the Nine. According to the author, the storylines themselves won’t be changing, just the way they are told.

  • As I said a while back, whenever I see the word “End” in a series I like, I get nervous. Such was the case the next Guardians of Eternity book, whose title is When Darkness Ends. I decided to go to the source, and Alexandra Ivy shot me back a quick answer.
“Right now I am finishing up the series with Kensington, but I promise that I have many more stories I intend to set in the Guardian world, although they will probably be self-pubbed.”

 

It was great of her to get back to me about it, but I was hoping I was just being negative. I don’t usually follow the self-pubbed as well as the traditional, but I will make a definite effort to on this series.

  • On the young adult side of things, author Kiera Cass has announced that her Selection trilogy…isn’t. It turns out that there will be two more full novels coming out, starting next May with The Heir.

So, that about covers it. Less than planned for one, a change of plans for the second, and more to come for the third. Things are a changing…

 

Archangel’s Shadows Tidbits and Reaction…

As I usually try to do on these types of posts, I have to start by saying that Nalini Singh is one of my favorite authors, to the point of it being a bit pathetic, actually. So does that mean that I go into anything she writes expecting it to be great? Yep. And she has never disappointed me yet. I was totally surprised to get an ARC of Archangel’s Shadows, and it was a one-sitting read. This will be a few spoiler-free glimpses, but I will assume that you are up-to-date with the events in Archangel’s Legion.

archangel's shadowSynopsis…

Return to New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh’s sensual and painfully beautiful Guild Hunter world in her new novel of sacrifice, loyalty, and the choices of love that can shatter the heart.

In the wake of a brutal war, the archangel Raphael and his hunter consort, Elena, are dealing with the treacherously shifting tides of archangelic politics and the people of a battered but not broken city. The last thing their city needs is more death, especially a death that bears the eerie signature of an insane enemy archangel who cannot— should not—be walking the streets.

This hunt must be undertaken with stealth and without alerting their people. It must be handled by those who can become shadows themselves…

Ash is a gifted tracker and a woman cursed with the ability to sense the secrets of anyone she touches. But there’s one man she knows all too well without a single instant of skin contact: Janvier, the dangerously sexy Cajun vampire who has fascinated and infuriated her for years. Now, as they track down a merciless killer, their cat-and-mouse game of flirtation and provocation has turned into a profound one of the heart. And this time, it is Ash’s secret, dark and terrible, that threatens to destroy them both.

I went into this thinking that it was going to be equal parts Raphael and Elena’s story and Ash and Janvier’s, and I was thinking that Ash and Janvier might get short-changed. I couldn’t’ve been more of the target. The story breaks down, as best as I can figure, to be about 75% Ash and Janvier, 15% Raphael and Elena, and 10% everyone else. Nice.

We start out seeing a little bit of role Ash, Janvier and Naasir’s trio played in the battle against Lijuan, and the bond they formed behind the lines. The recap of the battle is brief, but the impact of it continues throughout the book. When a new issue rises that threatens the stability of a city that has already been through so much, Ash and Janvier end up teaming up again to track a vicious enemy. There is lots of action, but that doesn’t overpower the romance at all. Their story has been simmering over the course of several stories, and it was worth the wait.

Illium and Aodhan make a few appearances, usually as comic relief. Change is coming for Illium, and I do believe his story will be heading our way (soonish). And I could totally see a novella for Ransom, too. Dmitri and Honor are settling into their new life, Aodhan is continuing to make progress coming back into the world, and the Legion is slowly beginning to find a place. But the scene-stealer, no doubt, is Naasir. I didn’t think anyone could outshine Bluebell, but Naasir did. Half feral, half innocent, and completely unpredictable, he made every scene he was in. We don’t find out exactly what he is, or what he isn’t, for that matter, but I can’t wait to find out. Elena continues to make the role of Consort her own, even if it sometimes a struggle for the fighter to handle the politics of the position.

So, that is about it. I thought it was a great story – strong on the romance, the action, and the set up for future stories. Oh, and as an extra bonus, there was an excerpt from the upcoming Secrets at Midnight, the Bastien novella that will be in the Night Shift anthology due out on November 25th.

Pick of the Week…

I have been really looking forward to my pick of the week for a while now, even though it isn’t quite my usual fare. Kelley Armstrong‘s Cainsville series is more of a mystery with paranormal elements rather than a full-on PNR like I usually read. This week the second book, Visions, comes out.

visionsSynopsis…

As #1 New York Times bestselling author Kelley Armstrong’s new Cainsville series continues, Olivia’s power to read omens leads to the discovery of a gruesome crime with troubling connections to her new hometown.

Omens, the first installment in Kelley Armstrong’s exciting new series, introduced Olivia Taylor-Jones, daughter of notorious serial killers, and Gabriel Walsh, the self-serving, morally ambiguous lawyer who became her unlikely ally. Together, they chased down a devious killer and partially cleared her parents of their horrifying crimes.

Their success, however, is short-lived. While Olivia takes refuge in the old, secluded town of Cainsville, Gabriel’s past mistakes have come to light, creating a rift between the pair just when she needs his help the most.

Olivia finds a dead woman in her car, dressed to look like her, but the body vanishes before anyone else sees it. Olivia’s convinced it’s another omen, a sign of impending danger. But then she learns that a troubled young woman went missing just days ago—the same woman Olivia found dead in her car. Someone has gone to great lengths to kill and leave this young woman as a warning. But why? And what role has her new home played in this disturbing murder?

Olivia’s effort to uncover the truth places her in the crosshairs of old and powerful forces, forces that have their own agenda, and closely guarded secrets they don’t want revealed.

Purchase at Amazon.com

What is your pick of the week? Did you like the first book of the Cainsville series, Omens? My only complaint is that the Canadian covers aren’t the same as the American ones, which I thought were great.

Wonky Blog…

Not sure what exactly is going on with the blog, but either WordPress or Wicked Scribes is acting pretty wonky. Things aren’t opening for me to update or post on the main computer, so I am just managing to post on the tablet for some reason.

*Yay, me. Fixed. I think.

Behold…The Beauty of the ARC

Nalini Singh is one of my two absolutely favorite authors, so when I get a surprise package in the mail from her, I get more than a little excited. Once again, I wasn’t expecting it, but today I got the wonderful surprise of an ARC of Archangel’s Shadows. Behold the beauty…

imageThe saddest thing is that I have only read the first 50 pages, but I am already more involved in the story than I have been after 250 pages of Dark Skye.

Cover Lover – Rock Addiction

Word recently broke that Nalini Singh is releasing a New Adult contemporary book called Rock Addiction, which was to be the first book of what was called The Schoolboy Choir series. Well, now it seems the series name has changed to Rock Kiss, and the cover is just now heading our way…

Rock Addiction coverYes? No? No and you are excited anyways? What is your take on Rock Addiction, will you be following Nalini into her new venture? Look for this one in both print and e-format on September 9th.

Still Alive…

question markThis week has been a total crap-fest in terms of finding anything interesting to post. Not much news, no really interesting covers. No new series started up to highlight, and I didn’t even have a pick of the week since new releases were pretty thin. So, I thought I would see would be interesting to see what everyone found to read this week, and what you thought of it.

I am still reading Kresley Cole‘s Dark Skye. I started just straight reading it, but then I thought I might as well go back and start over and make notes to update the Immortals After Dark character guide. I am liking it so far, but I also have had no problems putting the book down and walking away for a couple of days, which for me is unheard of for an IAD book. Not sure why, since I have wanted Thronos and Lanthe’s story ever since they were introduced, but I had a hard time mustering my normal excitement before it was released, and it has carried over to reading it. It is usually a “count the days” series. Hell, I have even made the four hour round trip drive to buy them on release day before, but this time? Not so much.

What are you reading, and what did you think of it? Any surprises, good or bad?

Adding to the Author Pages…

question markBecause I like to try and keep things interesting, I was wondering who you would like to see added to the author pages? Lorraine mentioned Lynsay Sands, but are there any others you find tricky to keep track of and would like to see organized into their own section?

Also, I have pretty much limited the info on the authors I have already done to cover only their paranormal/urban fantasy series, but would you like it to expand to cover the other genres? For example, Cynthia Eden has added romantic suspense to her works, Kresley Cole has gone to some more erotic types, and Nalini Singh has a New Adult series in the works. Let me know if expanding is something you would find useful, and I will see what comes up.

Black Dagger Brotherhood Character Guide…

Let me start this off by saying that I had absolutely nothing to do with this – all of the time and effort was put in by PhoenixFyre. All I did was copy and paste all of her work, and I owe her a big thanks. Guides are fun to do, but they are very time consuming – especially when you are doing a series as big and as detailed as J.R. Ward‘s Black Dagger Brotherhood. Not to mention, she also lost all of her notes at one point and had to start over again at the beginning.

Alright everybody, behold the monstrous Black Dagger Brotherhood Character Guide. Enjoy!