This and That

There isn’t a ton going on, but I do have a couple of tidbits to share about some upcoming books…

  • There is only a few days left until Gena Showalter‘s latest Lords of the Underworld book, The Darkest Promise, is released. But if you would like a sneak peek, there is an excerpt available on Hypable (HERE). I find myself saying this more and more, but honestly I can’t remember much of the Lazarus/Cameo set up from the previous books. Like, I remember something about Cameo being sucked into the Pairing Rod, then…nada. Sigh, getting old.
  • I just saw that Darynda Jones will be wrapping up her Charley Davidson series with the release of the as-yet untitled 13th book, which is due out next January 4th. Honestly, I am…ok with it. As much as I have enjoyed the series, the recent God angle didn’t quite work for me, and I found myself skipping over those parts. I have even been much more interested in the supporting gang – Osh, Beep, Quentin and Amber, Garrett – than in Reyes and Charley. And according to the interview Darynda Jones did over on Heroes and Heartbreakers (HERE) she is interested in exploring a spin-off series focused on Beep, which could be all kinds of interesting (like Chloe Neill is doing with her new Elisa Sullivan series).
  • Welp, from what I can tell, it looks like Kresley Cole‘s Dacian books will be absorbed into the larger Immortals After Dark series (kind of like what Gena Showalter is doing with her Angels of the Dark books merging with the LotU). Or, as the official write up states, Shadow’s Kiss will “bridge the world” between the Dacians and the IAD. It is also making the jump to hardcover. It looks like the heroine will be Mina, and I had thought that maybe just because of the age similarity she might’ve been paired with Thad, but it doesn’t sound like it is shaping up that way…

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Kresley Cole comes this highly anticipated romantic adventure that bridges the world of the Dacians to her “fresh and enthralling” (RT Book Reviews) Immortals After Dark series.

Overprotected vampire princess Kosmina “Mina” Daciano—part merciless swordswoman/part bashful, awkward damsel—has never been allowed to venture from her antiquated and isolated home realm of Dacia. But Lothaire, the half-mad king, overrules Mina’s older brother and uncles and dispatches her out into the mortal world, reasoning that she’ll either “broaden her horizons or die. As nature intended.”

If the shy Mina can survive life outside of a sun-protected vampire kingdom, where blood is always on tap, will she be able to navigate a modern-day relationship with a ruthless warrior hero?

There you have it. Any thoughts? I am not sure how much I am into the whole trend of merging spin-offs back into the main series thing. Even though I am now a proud e-book reader, I still collect many series in hardcover and it annoys me. You have a hardcover main series, and a mass market spin off – great. But after a book or two, the paperback series goes hardcover, too, and it is a pain. You end up with a gap in your collection. Like with J.R. Ward‘s Black Dagger Legacy, you have one random paperback to deal with, Kresley Cole’s Dacians is one a mass market and one trade paperback novella, and Gena Showalter’s Angels of the Dark is three paperbacks. If they were re-released in hardcover, it would be fine, but that doesn’t seem to be happening. Ugh.

This and That

Meh, there hasn’t been a ton going on lately, and it has been a while since I have done one of these little update posts. Still, there are a couple of things to mention.

  • Ilona Andrews recently did a blog post where they answered some frequently asked questions. It looks like there is a Roman-based trilogy in the works, which might be headed our way next year. Oh, and Hugh’s book will be called Iron and Magic. But I totally have to confess that I broke down and emailed Ilona and asked about Hidden Legacy having more books. They were kind enough to answer back and say that if sales are good, the series would probably continue on with Avon, but if that doesn’t work out they will probably self-pub. The happy dance I did was not pretty, but I don’t even care.
  • Kelley Armstrong‘s third Rockton/Casey Duncan book has a title and release date. This Fallen Prey will be out on February 6th, 2018.
  • Dark in Death will be the title of the 46th In Death book from J.D. Robb, and it will be released next February.
  • Anyone like me who waited forever for Gena Showalter to write Dallas’s story was probably pretty happy with the Blood Red Kiss anthology. Dark Swan will be re-released as a stand-alone e-book this October 2nd.
  • The third book from Gena Showalter‘s young adult trilogy, Everlife, will also be called Everlife, and it has a release date of February 27th.
  • Christine Feehan‘s first Torpedo Ink story will be called Judgment Road, and it will out at the end of next January.
  • Christine Warren is starting up a new series called Alphaville, and the first book is called Baby I’m Howling For You. Look for it on January 30th.
  • Larissa Ione is one of several authors doing a sort of mash-up of their series with Lexi Blake‘s Masters and Mercenaries series, and her contribution will be called Her Guardian Angel. It has a release date of April 10th. I am going to dig around a bit more and see what I can find on these stories, since I think the concept is pretty interesting.
  • Chloe Neill‘s Chicagoland Vampires spin-off series featuring Elisa and Connor will get its start next March. The first book will be called Wild Hunger.
  • Next March will also see the third book of Kerrelyn Sparks‘s The Embraced series released, and this one is called Eight Simple Rules For Dating a Dragon.
  • Oh, and C.L. Wilson‘s delayed second book of the Weathermages of Mystral series, The Sea King, has been rescheduled for this October 31st.

Well, that was more than I thought, but it has been a while. Anything you are looking forward to?

Pick of the Week

Posts have been kind of scare for the last little while, but honestly there just hasn’t been that much to talk about. There have been a few young adult cover releases, but not enough for a full post. There hasn’t been much in the way of new release info, or any word on the countless upcoming spin-offs of soon-to-end series, either. Hopefully business will pick up soon.

Anyways, there were a couple of solid books released this week, including the final Merit-and-Ethan Chicagoland Vampires book from Chloe Neill. I figured it would be my pick of the week, but for some strange reason my interest in the newest Immortals After Dark book has grown over the last few days. I have been on a bit of a downwards slide with Kresley Cole‘s last few books, and honestly the thought of a beauty and the beast redo didn’t get me all that excited, either. But then I started to get a bit optimistic, and I found myself looking forward to Wicked Abyss. I am a couple of hours in, and so far I am enjoying it. Is my IAD rah-rah back yet? Not really. But it is a start.

wicked abyssSynopsis…

The terrifying king of hell…

As a boy, Abyssian “Sian” Infernas had his heart shattered by a treacherous fey beauty who died before he could exact vengeance. Millennia later, a curse has transformed him into a demonic monster—just as she’s been reincarnated. Sian captures the delicate but bold female, forcing her back to hell.

Meets his match.

Princess Calliope “Lila” Barbot’s people have hated and feared Abyssian and his alliance of monsters for aeons. When the beastly demon imprisons her in his mystical castle, vowing revenge for betrayals she can’t remember, Lila makes her own vow: to bring down the wicked beast for good.

Can two adversaries share one happily-ever-after?

As Calliope turns hell inside out, the all-powerful Sian finds himself defenseless against his feelings for her. In turn, Lila reluctantly responds to the beast’s cleverness and gruff vulnerability. But when truths from a far distant past are revealed, can their tenuous bond withstand ages of deceit, a curse, and a looming supernatural war?

I would so love to go back to being IAD-obsessed rather than just mildly interested, and hopefully Wicked Abyss can help pull that off. What is the biggest-name series you have ever found yourself drifting away from, and did you ever manage to come back to your former level of enjoyment of it?

Reading Wrap Up

Hey everyone…time to check in and see what we all have been reading this past week (or so). Time is flying, ain’t it? Might be mild spoilers below, so proceed with caution.

blade boundI did get to Blade Bound from Chloe Neill, which I reviewed below. Not bad, but not as epic as I was hoping for. I did manage a solid liking for it, but then that was pretty much my feelings on the whole series right from the start. Good, but not one of my top picks. I am interested in checking out the upcoming spin-off, though, since I thought it looked like there were hints of who it would be about in the epilogue. Maybe. Does anyone else see a time jump with Connor and Elisa, or is it just me? I could be reaching, but finding out about the next series was what had me so interested to pick this one up. And I really like the idea of more about the shifters.

ward_comp.inddI also finished The Chosen from J.R. Ward. I went into it with a major case of the gags about Layla – she annoyed me to no end every single time she showed up in previous books. I went into her story prepared to loath every scene she was in…but I didn’t. I ended up liking her, honestly, which I never would’ve thought possible. But Qhuinn? Yeah, he was a tool who was in need of a really good beat-down, and Tohr rubbed me wrong with all of his woe-is-me crap for most of the book. And reading about V was like watching a train wreck. As much as I felt for him, he is straying into territory that you just don’t come back from. Ever. I am assuming his book is up next, and that could get ugly fast. I ended up really liking this one, even though the ending was a little heavy on the happy in happily ever after, but that was nice for a change. At least no one got a horrible wasting disease and died (cough*Selena*cough).

And for something a little lighter, I am just starting the newest Dragons of Eternity story from Alexandra Ivy, Charred by Darkness. I like these Guardians of Eternity spin-offs – they are fast reads, you don’t have to do a crash-course on past books to try and keep things straight, and you always get to see characters from previous books again. Of course, being a self-pubbed e-book, I had no clue it had even come out on March 28th. But no, I am not going to rant about trying to keep track of books for the new release pages that all of a sudden just appear. Nope. Not one word. Just read and enjoy.

What have you been up to this week? Anything new catch your eye, or are you working your way through any old favorites?

Blade Bound Review

I am still trying to get a handle on the whole reviewing thing, and this time around it is for the final Chicagoland Vampires book from Chloe Neill, Blade Bound. I was kindly provided a review copy from NetGalley.

blade boundMy spoiler free review of Blade Bound…

After 13 books, the Chicagoland Vampires series is wrapping up – or more precisely, Merit and Ethan’s story is. In book time, it has only been a year since Merit was turned vampire against her will, and she and Ethan have packed a lot of living into those 12 short months. Not only have they waged pretty much non-stop battle against several supernatural baddies, and saved Chicago on more than one occasion, they have also had to fight the prejudices of the very people they try so hard to protect.

There is a lot going on in Blade Bound, both supernaturally and personally, for Merit and Ethan. But the weird thing is, for 90% of the story, it didn’t feel like a finale to me. There is tons of action, lots of drama, some humor and snark, and a long-awaited celebration, but most of it felt to me more like a step towards the end of the series more than the end itself, if that makes any sense. I only got a sense of “The End” in the prologue, which sort of left things feeling rushed. Granted, I really liked the prologue – it was my favorite part of the whole book – but it just didn’t give me the epic finale I was hoping for.

To be fair, I have a weird relationship with Chicagoland Vampires. I want to love it. I have tried to make myself love it. It has everything I like in an urban fantasy, it checks all of the boxes, but I could never get above a solid liking for it. I liked Merit and Ethan, but I enjoyed the supporting cast more. I can’t even blame a hotly debated even in one of the earlier books that turned a lot of people off – I was like that from the start. And it was no different for Blade Bound. I wanted to love it, I wanted to get really involved in Ethan and Merit’s last story, but I couldn’t get above a solid liking. I read most of the book hoping for a clue about who the spin-off will be about, and it might’ve been teased in the final few pages, but I can’t be sure yet. Kind of a let down, but if I am right it could be all kinds of fun.

So, to sum up, Blade Bound had lots going on, but it lacked a bit of the “big book” feel I was expecting. There are some epic events, but squeezing that much in made things feel a little rushed. I got what I was hoping for in the finale, but it was only in the last few pages. If I was doing the star review thingy, I would say a solid 3.

Where do you stand on the Chicagoland Vampires? Where does it rank on your “must read” series scale?

April’s Book of the Month

Honestly, I figured April’s book of the month was a toss up between Kresley Cole‘s Wicked Abyss, Chloe Neill‘s final Chicagoland Vampires book Blade Bound, and the ultimate winner, The Chosen from J.R. Ward. I would be way more excited about The Chosen if I could somehow rip Layla out of the book and choke her, but since I don’t see that happening I guess I will be grumbling a lot while reading it. And if you had told me even a few years ago that I would ever, ever be meh about the IAD series, I would’ve point blank laughed at you. But here I am. So, big books this month, but I still can’t get excited.

I think if there is one series I have that I badly need to re-read, the Black Dagger Brotherhood is it. About the only thing I remember about Wrath and Beth’s book is…Wrath and Beth are in it. Seriously. Nothing else at all. I am pretty much a blank on everything up to Phury’s story, honestly, and hazy after that. Are there any series that you think are desperately in need of a re-read on? I don’t know if I am getting old or just getting stupid, but I doing a re-watch of True Blood for the same reason – I know I liked it, I just don’t remember why. Oy.

Cover Lover and Other Stuff

Recently, Chloe Neill uploaded the cover for her upcoming third Devil’s Isle book, The Hunt, and that made me realize that I haven’t read the first one yet. What did you think of this newest Neill series? I honestly haven’t heard much about it, but maybe it got lost in the shuffle of wrapping up the Chicagoland Vampires series or something. I still have time to check out the first couple of books, though, before this one is released on September 26th.

the-huntWhen bounty hunter Liam Quinn discovered that Claire Connolly was a Sensitive and infected with magic, he should have turned her in to be locked up in the prison district known as Devil’s Isle. Instead, he helped her learn to control her power and introduced her to an underground group of Paranormals and humans who know the truth about the war and those who fought it.

Now the weight of Liam’s own secrets has forced him into hiding. When a government agent is killed and Claire discovers that Liam is the prime suspect, she races to find him before the government can. But she’ll discover proving his innocence is no simple matter. Their enemies are drawing closer, and time is running out.

On a couple of completely random and unrelated side notes, it looks like the Shadow’s Seduction novella from Kresley Cole has been pushed back again, but only by a couple of weeks. It was first supposed to be released in January I believe, then early February, then on Valentine’s Day. It looks like the newest date is now February 28th. The sad thing is, I have pretty much no interest in picking it up, but I need it to keep the Character Guide updated. Meh.

And it looks like the next Alpha and Omega book from Patricia Briggs now officially has a title. Burn Bright will be released in March 2018, which is a long wait. But we all know it will be so worth it.

Reading Wrap Up

I am hoping to have a Weekly Wrap Up feature every Sunday, looking back at what we all read over the past week. At least, that is the plan. Maybe we can even have it as an open discussion thread for the books that were released in the past week, that sort of thing. At least, that is the goal.

eleventh grave in moonlightIt took a while, but I finally got around to Eleventh Grave in Moonlight from Darynda Jones. I find myself torn over this one, honestly, and it probably isn’t going to be the popular opinion. The first half or so didn’t really work for me. I didn’t feel the usual connection between Reyes and Charley – they came of more as adversaries than a couple, at least to me. Once they get back on the same page, I got more into the story, but it took a while.

I have found myself struggling a little bit with the Charley Davidson series the last few books, and I couldn’t figure out why. Then it finally clicked when I was reading this one – I am not a huge fan of the God angle. I like Charley the reaper and Reyes the son of Satan, whose daughter is destined to save the world. I don’t even mind Charley with her “extra” powers. But God Charley and God Reyes and the Gods of Uzan and the bad God Eidolon and Gods in the God Glass and Reyes’ big brother the God Jehovah doesn’t quite do it for me. I find myself skimming all of those sections just to get back to the day-to-day of Charley and Reyes and the great supporting cast. Hopefully I can get more on board with it, since it doesn’t look like that storyline is going anywhere soon.

power gameNext up was Christine Feehan‘s Power Game, the thirteenth GhostWalker book (and the first to be released in hardcover. The last two books were ok, but different. Like way heavy on the Alphahole and the Doormat scale of things. They didn’t feel like they belonged to the series at all, but Power Game seems to bring things back in line again. I liked this one quite a bit, and I have to say it was a relief to back to the “old style” GhostWalker books. In fact, Wyatt and Trap don’t even make an appearance, so it was like their two stories never happened.

I wasn’t completely thrilled when I knew this book was going to be a return to the swamp, but Power Game got me interested in team four again. I still miss the first teams, and I would like to see a return to some of the original girls like Cami, but I am ok with more of team four, too. All in all, I like this one. A few missteps and changes in tone gave my love of the series a few hits over the last couple of years, but things seem to be back on the right track.

betrayal-in-deathThere really isn’t much to say about Betrayal in Death from J.D. Robb. It is the twelfth book of the In Death series and I show no signs of slowing down on the series. I am still excited when it is time to pick up a new book, and I find myself compulsively devouring them.

The supporting cast is great in this one, and I so enjoy getting glimpses of Roarke’s past life. The bad guy in this one was a particular scum-bag, and his takedown made me very happy. I don’t always like Eve, honestly, and sometimes I think that Roarke gets the short end of the stick when it comes to where he falls in her life, but she is getting better at putting him first. I save these in the UK paperback version, and they look awesome on the shelf. Onto the next one!

how to tame a beast in seven daysI wasn’t too lucky with How to Tame a Beast in Seven Days, though. It was my first Kerrelyn Sparks book, and since this is a new series I thought it would be a good chance to check one of the authors on my “must try” list off. Unfortunately, though, I wasn’t a big fan of the book. I won’t go into details since it was a NetGalley copy and I will be upping my full, rambling review probably next week, but it fell pretty flat for me. It wasn’t a bad story, and I liked the potential, but there wasn’t any tension, any drama, any sense of excitement. It was almost a DNF – not because I hated it, but just because I found it too easy. It is hard for me to get involved in the story when it seems like the characters themselves aren’t. I am probably going to be in the minority for this one, but I guess it just didn’t work for me. If you are looking for a light, breezy read with a decent love story, it might work out better for you.

I picked up A Game of Thrones and A Clash of Kings from George R.R. Martin, and I picked up e-book copies of The Sweetest Dark and The Darkest Night from Shana Abe, to go along with The Fiercest Joy. I already have them in hardcover, but I think the third book (which is supposed to be out this week) will be e-format so now they match. And I got Blade Bound, the final Chicagoland Vampires book from Chloe Neill, as a review copy. Looks like I won’t be bored this week, either.

How about you? What did you manage to read this week? What did you think of any of the “big” releases from the last couple of weeks?

Weekly Wrap Up

booksHey everyone, how is the new year shaping up for you so far? Have you been sticking to your resolutions, or do you even bother making them? I am proud to say that I have finally – finally – started to watch Game of Thrones. So far I am very much enjoying it, but the trying to figure out who is who in the secondary characters has prompted me to order the first couple of books, too. I haven’t really read too much straight fantasy before, so that will be a good place to try something a little different.

I have to say, this was a pretty great week for reading, too. Things got to a great start with Feversong, the final book of the main Fever series from Karen Marie Moning. As I said before, though, I pulled an all-nighter (literally all night – I think I finished around 8 in the morning), and my enjoyment of it suffered a bit because at that point I just wanted to find out how it ended. I found myself skimming all of the Mac sections just to get to Christian, Dani, Ryodan, Lor and Dancer, and I was completely disinterested in the Queen and King. So while I didn’t take in the whole book, I did get completely wrapped up in the rest.

While Mac and Barrons’ story is now wrapped up, it didn’t really feel like an “end”. There are still two more books to be set in this world – Dani and Ryodan could (and must) get their own book, and ditto for Christian. We still need to know what happened to Dageus (which could be handled in a Christian book), and more about the Nine (which would work in a Ryodan-centric story). Mac has been, for me, the weakest part of the last few books, so I am very excited to see where things go from here.

I also picked up Phantom Kiss. It is the next-to-last story in Chloe Neill‘s Chicagoland Vampires series, and it was a quick little ghost-story with some lead-up to the Merit and Ethan wedding. It wasn’t bad at all, but if you skip it you aren’t missing anything pertinent, either. I do like this series, but it never did become one of my “must reads”. I am interested in seeing where the spin-off goes, though.

And I am just finishing up a re-read of the whole Dragon Kin series from G.A. Aiken. This has been fun, and as a bonus I can actually keep most of the characters straight now. I had completely forgotten so many of the early stories and characters it was like discovering a whole new series. This one is always good for a laugh, and makes a nice change of pace.

But the absolute highlight of my week, month, and most anticipated of the year was White Hot from Ilona Andrews. I whined, begged, and spammed until I got a review copy, and it was everything I hoped and a whole lot more. Burn For Me is one of my favorite books, and I loved this one even more. It has all of the great characters and storylines of the first book, but we dive even further into the magical side of things, the house structure – and the abilities of Nevada’s family. I can’t quite explain to you how badly I wanted to get my hands on this one – and I worried that maybe I had set my expectations too high. I am so glad to say that I hadn’t set them high enough, because this was one hell of a follow up book. There are currently only three books contracted, but I could honestly see the Hidden Legacy series going on indefinitely. I hope.

So, that long-winded post wraps up my week. How was yours? Did you have any great reads this week? What did you think of the final Fever book – and did you find yourself over Mac’s POV like I did? Where do you see it going from here?

This and That

Things have been quiet for the last little while, but you know that just means that everything will start happening all at once. I was cruising around and found a couple of tidbits to share…

  • Cassandra Clare‘s adult Magnus Bane trilogy will be called The Eldest Curses. The first book is called The Lost Book of the White, and it will be out next November.
  • The third book of Chloe Neill‘s Devil’s Isle series will be called The Hunt, and it will be out on September 26th.
  • Kelley Armstrong‘s last Cainsville book, Rituals, will be out late next year. I did manage to track down the official blurb, though…
Olivia Jones must make a choice.
Caught between two rival supernatural forces, Liv has been given a brief period in which to make her decision. Now that time has run out.
Whichever side she chooses, someone she loves will pay. Her lover, Ricky. Gabriel Walsh – the man she knows she cannot, must not love. Her parents – already trapped in prison.
And now there is a new, terrifying power rising – one that doesn’t distinguish between good and evil intentions. It feeds on chaos and destroys without mercy. Unless Liv acts fast, no one will survive.
In this gripping thriller, international bestselling author Kelley Armstrong brings the Cainsville series to a powerful, richly rewarding climax.
  • And it looks like there will be a full release from Kresley Cole‘s Dacians series after the upcoming Shadow’s Seduction novella. Shadow’s Kiss will out next November, but there isn’t any word yet on who it will be focused on. This one doesn’t seem to be a self-pubbed story, either.

So, that wraps things up for today. I hope to have the Dragon Kin character guide finished by the end of the year, and then get caught up on the ones I am behind on. Wht have you been up to?