Reading Wrap Up

I swear, I have been trying to make the reading wrap up a regular Sunday feature, but it just seems that I keep missing the mark. On the bright side, though, I did get both Silence Fallen from Patricia Briggs and Etched in Bone by Anne Bishop done. With varying degrees of success.

silence_fallen_layout.inddSilence Fallen was up first, and I really liked it. I enjoyed seeing Mercy on her own, fighting her own battles (and winning), but I liked seeing Adam without Mercy even more. I don’t remember any other books in the series where Adam played such a large role – or was seen more as pack Alpha than Mercy’s mate. I liked seeing that side of him, and I liked how much faith he had in Mercy to get herself out of whatever situations were thrown at her. And Bran? So didn’t see that coming. It was definitely a winner for me.

I know that there is a Tom and Moira book in the works, and next March is the fifth Alpha and Omega release, but I would be so happy to see stories for Bran, Ben, Honey. I know it might be too much of a good thing, but I always find myself wanting more of them.

etched in boneAnd I am just finishing up Etched in Bone. Unfortunately, though, I can’t quite tell how I feel about it. Is it good? Yep. Is it end of the story arc, resolve everything good? I don’t think so. There was a pretty good sized chunk of story in the middle of the book where I was just waiting for…it. Something. The set up for the big finale. The progression of Simon and Meg. Hell, someone to get killed. And it didn’t happen. It was still a good book, and the ending kicked the drama up, but I guess I expected more of a finale for this arc. More of a “last book” feeling.

Ok, that wraps things up for me. What have you been up to? I am sure most of you already picked up both of these – what did you think?

Book of the Month – Etched in Bone

Even though March continues to be a pretty epic release month, I’m sure that there aren’t many of us who are surprised that the new Others book from Anne Bishop was quite definitively chosen as the book of the month. Etched in Bone is the final book in this first arc featuring blood prophet Meg and the Lakeside Courtyard, but there are thankfully more stories set in this world to come. Some series are hard to let go of, and this would be one.

etched in boneSynopsis…

After a human uprising was brutally put down by the Elders—a primitive and lethal form of the Others—the few cities left under human control are far-flung. And the people within them now know to fear the no-man’s-land beyond their borders—and the darkness…

As some communities struggle to rebuild, Lakeside Courtyard has emerged relatively unscathed, though Simon Wolfgard, its wolf shifter leader, and blood prophet Meg Corbyn must work with the human pack to maintain the fragile peace. But all their efforts are threatened when Lieutenant Montgomery’s shady brother arrives, looking for a free ride and easy pickings.

With the humans on guard against one of their own, tensions rise, drawing the attention of the Elders, who are curious about the effect such an insignificant predator can have on a pack. But Meg knows the dangers, for she has seen in the cards how it will all end—with her standing beside a grave.

Happy Endings and New Beginnings

I must be getting old, because I could swear I did a post like this not long ago. A search of the site showed me it was way back in July 2014. Huh.

Whenever I see that I series I love is wrapping up, it always gives me a feeling of loss. No one likes to say goodbye to favorite characters and worlds, and it seemed for a while that 2017 was shaping up to be a big year for finales. Turns out that “finale” might be too strong a word, though.

Come this January, we will be getting the final book from Karen Marie Moning‘s Fever series. Sort of. From what I have been seeing around, Feversong will be the end of Mac and Barrons arc, but there will be more stories to come. Karen has signed on for at least two more books set in this same world. She hasn’t shared much in the way of detail, or who will be getting their story told, but it does mean that this “final” story isn’t really a finale after all.

In February, Jeaniene Frost will release the final book of her Night Prince series. I enjoyed this one, but I would’ve been just as happy to see this one wrap up at a trilogy, as originally planned. The first three had great momentum, but I seem to have lost some of it for Into the Fire. But even though we are winding down Vlad and Leila’s story, it has recently been confirmed that Jeaniene is going back into the Night Huntress World once more. Next up? Ian’s story. I have hoped for this one since the beginning, so I am very happy this is another world that will continue in some way.

There are actually two series in March that will be taking a new direction. Anne Bishop‘s very popular The Others series is set to wrap up at book five, Etched in Bone. But while it may be the end of the stories focused on Meg Corbyn and the Lakeside Courtyard, it has recently been announced that a new book will be released in 2018 that will be set in Thaisia and feature a new character named Vicki DeVine. And it looks like the story after that will be about the folks in Bennett and Prairie Gold.

Also in March comes the final book from Christine Feehan‘s Sisters of the Heart series, Bound Together. But once again, it seems like this is just the end of this part of the story. Starting in 2018, the psychically gifted spy/assassins of Viktor Prakenskii’s brutal Russian school will be getting their own spin-off series, Torpedo Ink.

April will see the end of the Chicagoland Vampires series from Chloe Neill. Well, sort of. This past August, a deal was made for the first two books in a new series set in this same world. The first book follows what happens when a brutal murder threatens the peace between humans and supernatural creatures, and it will focus on an all-new heroine. I will be keeping my eyes open for more details, but I do hope that the shifters will play a decent sized role.

Those are the ones that we know will be going on in some form. These next ones? Maybe not so much. Or at least word hasn’t tricked down to us readers yet.

I didn’t know that Faith Hunter‘s recent Soulwood series is supposed to be a trilogy. Really, I thought it was a new series. If that is the case, things will be wrapping up next year with the release of Flame in the Dark. Of course, she could always move on to other characters stories, people maybe like Rick since things seem to be changing for him, but I am not sure I am ready to let go of Nell. I will be hunting for more info on this one, too.

These next three fall into the I-refuse-to-let-go category. As of right now, Ilona Andrews is rumored to have not one, but two, series calling it quits in 2017. Kate Daniels is set to wrap up with book number 10, but honestly I find that hard to grasp. I could so see this series going on for several more books without slowing down at all. How do you say goodbye to Kate and Curran? Hopefully, there will be other stories set in this world (Roman. Derek. Julie. Hugh. Barabas. Christopher…you get my point) to tide us over, but that is going to be a dark day.

And even though only the first book of their Hidden Legacy series has been released at this point, I am a huge fan.  Burn for Me from Ilona Andrews was one of my favorite reads of 2014, and to think that it is only contracted for three books is a major bummer. I am still holding out hope that this one gets picked up for more, though. Seriously, how can it not? Ilona Andrews can’t have their two big series end that close together. Right? Right?

Sadly, I do believe Cainsville might be a done deal, though. Kelley Armstrong is usually pretty firm when she announces something is done, and while she might revisit a world with a short story here and there, she seems to tell the story she wanted to tell and move on to something completely new. Part of me enjoys that, but part always hopes for more.

Can you add any to the ending-or-changing direction series for 2017? I don’t remember a year like this in…ever, actually. I have seen things end, or spin-offs start, but not in the numbers we will be looking at next year. Do you have any predictions for where things will go for these “new chapters”, or are you as in the dark as I am?

Spotlight Wednesday – Annie Bellet

On one of my random internet searches, I came across and article over on the Barnes and Noble Sci-fi & Fantasy Blog called ” 12 Highly Bingeable Urban Fantasy Series”. Any list that has Ilona Andrews, Patricia Briggs, Anne Bishop and Faith Hunter on it catches my attention. While there were several series mentioned that I knew, it was a completely unknown one that caught my eye and made me think of doing an author spotlight post.

Author Annie Bellet has an ongoing, seven book series (with the eighth due in December) called The Twenty-Sided Sorceress, which gets its start with the first long-novella length story, Justice Calling.

justice-callingSynopsis…

Gamer. Nerd. Sorceress.

Jade Crow lives a quiet life running her comic book and game store in Wylde, Idaho. After twenty-five years fleeing from a powerful sorcerer who wants to eat her heart and take her powers, quiet suits her just fine. Surrounded by friends who are even less human than she is, Jade figures she’s finally safe.

As long as she doesn’t use her magic.

When dark powers threaten her friends’ lives, a sexy shape-shifter enforcer shows up. He’s the shifter world’s judge, jury, and executioner rolled into one, and he thinks Jade is to blame. To clear her name, save her friends, and stop the villain, she’ll have to use her wits… and her sorceress powers.

Except Jade knows that as soon as she does, a far deadlier nemesis awaits.

If you are interested in checking this one out, it can be found on Amazon.com for free by clicking HERE.

There is a print bind-up of the first four books called Level Grind, and one for the next three called Boss Fight.

Other books in the series:

spotlight-template

annie-belletAbout the author: Annie Bellet is a full-time speculative fiction writer. She holds a BA in English and a BA in Medieval Studies and thus can speak a smattering of useful languages such as Anglo-Saxon and Medieval Welsh. Her books include Avarice (Pyrrh Considerable Crimes Division: Book 1), The Gryphonpike Chronicles series, and the Twenty-Sided Sorceress series. Her interests besides writing include rock climbing, reading, horse-back riding, video games, comic books, table-top RPGs, and many other nerdy pursuits.

News From The Others

heartPretty much everyone who comments here on Wicked Scribes is a fan of Anne Bishop‘s The Others. In fact, I can’t remember if anyone has ever said anything even remotely negative about it, and that is pretty rare (the only other authors universally praised here I can think of are Elizabeth Hunter and Ilona Andrews). And if you are like me, you haven’t been exactly thrilled with the thought of The Others wrapping up in five short months with the release of Etched in Bone. There have been a few rumors of it not really being the end, but they have been just that – rumors. Until now.

Over on Happy Ever After, the announcement has been made that the series will continue on. Not only that, but there are even a few details to get us excited. I personally had figured that if the series was extended, the focus would shift to someone we had already met in the Courtyard, maybe Vlad, for example. Turns out I was way off base. The publisher shared this about the 2018 release:

quotation marksSet in the country of Thaisia, a present-day alternate North America, the strange and beautiful world of The Others is one where humans live alongside shapeshifters, vampires and a host of beings even more deadly known as the terra indigene. The first five books of The Others have focused on the inhabitants of the Lakeside Courtyard — a private terra indigene community whose residents are tasked with keeping watch over the humans in the city.
Bishop’s new novel takes readers to a human village nestled in the terra indigene-controlled Finger Lakes region of Northeast Thaisia. It stars divorcee Victoria “Vicki” DeVine, owner of The Jumble — a small, self-sufficient community located on the shore of Lake Silence. Vicki and the town’s residents soon find themselves caught up in a chilling mystery, after a series of vicious murders rock the small community.

You can read a few small excerpts, and get a feel for some of the characters, by checking out the official announcement HERE.

While I am a bit sad to find out it won’t be focused on the Lakeside Courtyard, I am still intrigued by this new direction and new set of characters. Are you intrigued by the thought of delving into a whole new area of this world, or were you hoping for more from the characters we already know?

The One Where I Change My Mind

A while back, I had a very pleasant, rational, adult, behind-the-scenes exchange with a reader here at Wicked Scribes. Since I don’t want to broadcast someone else’s personal opinions, I will leave the name out, but what we discussed was Cassandra Clare and her Shadowhunter world. What we debated was how much is too much, and when should she start wrapping up her series and start something else. “The Reader” thought that enough was enough, and that hopefully The Dark Artifices would finish things up. My take was, since I am a fan, you can never have too much. More = better, right?

Well, this is the one where I change my mind.

I hate to say it, but I have swung over to the other side. As I was looking at her upcoming schedule, I became completely overwhelmed by the sheer length of time it would take to actually get everything done. Between the second and third books of The Dark Artifices, the three books of The Last Hours trilogy, the rumored secret fifth Shadowhunter trilogy, and the upcoming adult Magnus Bane trilogy – at roughly one book a year – that take us to 2027. 20 freakin’ 27. The Shadowhunter world just keeps getting added to, extended, and expanded beyond belief.

For me, now, The Dark Artifices would be the perfect place to wrap things up. I am not a huge fan of this new series, nowhere near my love of The Mortal Instruments and especially The Infernal Devices, but it isn’t bad. But I think it is enough. A Magnus series (again, for me) would be pointless now, since we know he gets his happily ever after with Alec, and we already got a full set of novellas devoted to his past. I don’t really have any interest in Will and Tessa’s children in The Last Hours, either. And that mystery fifth trilogy isn’t even on my radar.

Part of what has changed for me is that I have been reading authors who say from the start how many books a series will have, like Kelley Armstrong‘s five book Cainsville series, or Anne Bishop‘s five book The Others series. I don’t like to see a great series wrap up, but I also don’t like to see a great series get dragged down by not knowing when to end. And as much as I love a good spin-off series, you can only spin-off so many times before things just get repetitive. What side do you fall on…carry on or wrap up? How much is too much for you? What other series (cough*Carpathians*cough) do you think should be looking towards a finale?

Cover Lover – Etched in Bone

From the sounds of it, tomorrow is the cover reveal for Nalini Singh‘s Archangel’s Heart. But to tide us all over, we can behold the recently released cover art for Etched in Bone by Anne Bishop. And let me gush now…same cover model! Same cover design! My OCD thanks them! Now we all can officially begin the countdown to the March release…

etched in bone

Check back tomorrow for Nalini’s cover, too. This is a good week to be a reader-geek.

Etched in Bone Blurb

A few days ago, the blurb for Silence Fallen was released, and it sounds great…of course. Today I found the back cover copy for another hugely anticipated release, this time Etched in Bone from Anne Bishop. I like it better when the blurb and cover are released together, but I will take what I can get.

New York Times bestselling author Anne Bishop returns to her world of the Others, as humans struggle to survive in the shadow of shapeshifters and vampires far more powerful than themselves…
 
After a human uprising was brutally put down by the Elders—a primitive and lethal form of the Others—the few cities left under human control are far-flung. And the people within them now know to fear the no-man’s-land beyond their borders—and the darkness…

As some communities struggle to rebuild, Lakeside Courtyard has emerged relatively unscathed, though Simon Wolfgard, its wolf shifter leader, and blood prophet Meg Corbyn must work with the human pack to maintain the fragile peace. But all their efforts are threatened when Lieutenant Montgomery’s shady brother arrives, looking for a free ride and easy pickings.

With the humans on guard against one of their own, tensions rise, drawing the attention of the Elders, who are curious about the effect such an insignificant predator can have on a pack. But Meg knows the dangers, for she has seen in the cards how it will all end—with her standing beside a grave…

Now, we just have to wait until March 7th for it..ugh. And once again, it looks like next March will be a monster month for great new books. Start saving now.

Reading Wrap Up / The Beast Discussion

booksI was going to do a reading wrap up post, but then I thought I should probably do a post where we could all discuss The Beast by J.R. Ward. Then in a bold move, I figured I would just combine the two. Problem solved.

So, I finished up a re-read of Anne Bishop‘s Marked in Flesh. I really liked it, but I can honestly say that there were a few parts where I started to get mixed up a bit (mostly with locational things, like who was in which town). Other than that, it was a great story with a lot going on. It did seem like the end of a story-arc, but it would be so, so easy to see the series continue on indefinitely. And I am still the first in line for a Vlad-centric book.

And then it was on to Private Eye from Alyssa Day, which is the second book in her Tiger’s Eye Mystery series. I loved me some Jack in the Warriors of Poseidon series, and I was more than a little disappointed when his book (Shifter in Atlantis) was scrapped. I figured he got a bit of a raw deal, actually. But even though I liked Jack and wanted him to have his own story, I almost didn’t bother with this little e-format series. So glad I did, though. Both of the books so far have been a lot of fun – love the quirky small town setting, the mystery, and while I knew I liked Jack I also enjoy the other star of the show, Tess. Great series so far, with the third book supposedly heading our way this summer. I would definitely recommend giving this quick, fun series a try.

Now, on to The Beast. I am going to go spoiler free here, but feel free to post spoilers in the comments section, should you so choose. Anyhow. I have enjoyed all of the Black Dagger Brotherhood books, I have to admit upfront, but at some point the way I read them changed. I had to almost steel myself to read one, and sometimes it would take me months to finally pick one up off of my TBR pile since I had to be in the right mood. It wasn’t that I didn’t like them, it was just that they became so…dense, maybe? There were so many plotlines and storyarcs and side characters that it just got overwhelming. I like some depth to a book, don’t get me wrong, but when you have to start writing down what is going on so you don’t lose track, then things are complicated. And most of the time, the central couple in the book played such a small role you didn’t really know whose story was being told. Not ideal, either.

Even with the complicated and involved stories, though, I stayed a big fan of the world. That never changed, no matter how much work I had to put in to get through the book. But I wasn’t a huge fan when it was announced that most of the Brothers would get a second book – not at all. I figure they got their turn, and it was time for others to get their stories told. And a second book usually means drama, and I am a firm believer in a happily ever after for my couples, not an angsty problem that threatens to tear a them apart. But so far, the sequels have been a great idea. The King was good…but The Beast was really, really good.

For me, anyways, The Beast felt more old-school BDB. There is still a lot going on, but this time around I never lost focus that it was a Rhage and Mary book. Rhage has always been a favorite of mine, and in The Beast I was reminded of why. He comes off as almost dorky, which is great, and his babbling made me laugh more than once. He is a total scene-stealer. Assail plays a good sized role, and I liked all of his page time, too. I can see a redo for V in the near future, since he is having a bit of a hard time on a few different fronts. That will be interesting, to say the least.

My only gripe is Layla. I. Don’t. Like. Her. AT ALL. I can’t even quite tell you why she irritates me, but every time she is on the page I find myself gritting my teeth. Xcor? I’m in. Xcor and Layla? Crap, not at all. Unfortunately for me, she is pretty much irredeemable at this point since my loathing runs deep, so it will be interesting to see how I handle reading her story, which is up next. So, all in all, I really liked The Beast – I just wish the Beast would’ve taken Layla out. Permanently. That isn’t too much to ask, right?

What was your take on The Beast? Are you liking the “second book” idea, or do you wish that J.R. was moving on to new characters (like Assail. And Murdher)? What else did you check out this week?

From the Author Pages

Updating time again, and there are a couple of things to mention from the author pages…

  • The fifth (and I believe final) book in Anne Bishop‘s The Others series now has a name. Etched in Bone will be released next March.
  • And next March will also see the last Chicagoland Vampires book from Chloe Neill, which will be called Blade Bound.
  • Jeaniene Frost‘s third Broken Destiny book will be called The Brightest Flame, and it will be out next July.
  • There will be an Elemental Assassin novella from Jennifer Estep released this December, and it will be called Nice Guys Bite.
  • Nihcki sent over word that the second Black Dagger Legacy book from J.R. Ward, Blood Vow, will feature Axe and Elise. It has a release date of December 6th.
  • Probably coming as a shock to no one at all, Lora Leigh‘s next Breeds book has gotten a quite hefty push-back. Originally due for release on October 6th, it looks like Wake a Sleeping Tiger won’t hit the shelves until next March.
  • Ooooh, the official blurb for Nalini Singh‘s next Guild Hunters book, Archangel’s Heart, is now out. And wow…

One of the most vicious archangels in the world has disappeared. No one knows if Lijuan is dead or has chosen to Sleep the long sleep of an immortal. But with her lands falling into chaos under a rising tide of vampiric bloodlust, a mysterious and ancient order of angels known as the Luminata calls the entire Cadre together to discuss the fate of her territory.

Accompanying her archangelic lover Raphael to the Luminata compound, guild hunter-turned-angel Elena senses that all is not as it seems. Secrets echo from within the stone walls of the compound, and the deeper Elena goes, the uglier the darkness. But neither Raphael nor Elena is ready for the brutal truths hidden within—truths that will change everything Elena thinks she knows about who she is…

Nothing will ever be the same again.

  • And finally, the title for the next Mercy Thompson book from Patricia Briggs has been announced, and it looks like the 10th book will be called Silence Fallen.

So, that wraps things up for today’s post. Are you looking forward to any of these (duh)? Have you got any new info to share?