A few days back, Doug Meeks did up a review for the newly released e-book Vamps Gone Wild (print release date March 26th). Anyways, one of the four novellas featured was from the Diaries of an Urban Panther series from Amanda Arista. This got Doug looking into the rest of the series, and he liked what he found.
What Doug said…
Diaries of an Urban Panther Series
Violet Jordan Rule #1 of being a superhero: No tights.
Violet Jordan Rule #2 of being a superhero:
Find reliable sidekicks.
Violet Jordan‘s Rule #3 of being a superhero: Family first, fur second.
By now you know I’m hardly a normal girl. Last night I woke up naked in an alley after fighting off some werewolves. All in a day’s work, I guess. I thought I was dealing pretty well with the whole Werepanther thing: the training, the apocalyptic prophecies. And the hot guy following me around, protecting me at every turn is definitely a bonus. I’m even starting to become accustomed to the bloodshed and the violence—and that’s what scares me. What will tomorrow bring…
I thought life was going to get better. After four assassination attempts, I’m thinking not so much. The pack needs a new leader, and I’ve just about run out of reasons why I’m not right for the job.
Besides, having loyal followers would definitely help me fight off whoever’s out for my blood. Especially since my boyfriend is always busy playing White Hat to every wanderer except me. I’m glad he thinks I’m tough enough to handle my own business, but a little extra backup would be nice.
With new supernatural creatures popping up at every turn (Ghouls? Really?), the city divided, and my long-lost cousin blazing into town, I’ve got a lot on my mind. Oh, not to mention I’m supposed to be planning a wedding. Chaz has got to be the best, most patient (and probably clinically insane) boyfriend around.
But defeating my sworn enemy in a battle for the souls of Dallas is going to require more than just my full attention. It means learning to depend on everyone—especially Chaz—if any of us are going to make it out of this alive. Because if Plan A doesn’t work, I’m going to need them for Plan B. And Plan C…
Violet is hardly normal, she has went from being a script-writer for horror movies to being a shapeshifter but there is something special about Violet, something that an old prophesy says will help all of the shapshifters in Dallas have a better life …. If she lives that long and overcomes more problems than you could list with Excel.
This series was a bit of a surprise since I had the first 2 books buried in my “to-be-read” stack of books for over a year and that is where they would still be if I had not been given a copy of Vampires Gone Wild to review and in that anthology the best story was one called “First Dates Are Hell” which was very good and it came from the Urban Panther series (actually in the timeline it was after the trilogy of books).
So after enjoying that story I grabbed the books I had, bought #3 and started reading and was totally hooked into this story, I am not sure if the author was writing a trilogy when she wrote Diaries of an Urban Panther but these 3 books have to be read together to really get the full impact (who wants to read 1 book of the Lord of the Rings?) and while each book has an ending of sorts the real story that threads through all of them is the one that ends in the last book of this trilogy.
While I do not want to give away too much of the story, I can say it was one of the best reading experiences I have had in several months, but while I am extolling this series greatness I need to point out that if you are OCD about editing then book 2 may pose some problems since her editor must have jumped ship during the writing/publication of Claws and Effects (book #2) but I was still able to enjoy it and continue on but be forewarned.
The ending of the main story arc threading through all the books coming to an epic end in book 3 and one of the best endings I have seen in awhile to be honest. The characters were fleshed out very well, Violet was an awesome heroine and her humor was what made reading this series a much more pleasurable task.
Let me just say that as a full time reviewer as a hobby, I get dozens of free books every month and I went and BOUGHT all of these books after reading the story in Vampires Gone Wild and in spite of some bad editing and stumbles along the way, this story was so good I could care less. I give it 5 Stars not because it is an awesome piece of writing but because it was the best story I have read in a long time AND I liked the way it made me feel when it ended. You don’t get many of those type stories.
My hope is that she may come back to this series (although blogs have said it was over) since I loved it but the ending was good enough I can live with this being all these is, get these books and enjoy a great story and ignore any stumbles along the way to an awesome ending. The story in Vampires Gone Wild was just a bonus to close a loop on one of the characters and it was done exceptionally.
I have eyed this one for a while myself, but I have always put it on the “oneday” list. Sounds like I might have to move that up. As always, if you have a series you think deserves that little extra attention, just give me a shout and we can set up another Reader Recommendation post.