Reading Wrap Up

mercy bladeOk everyone, it is time once again to check in and see what everyone is reading (and hopefully enjoying) recently. I have been continuing my Jane Yellowrock adventure, and I have just finished the third book, Mercy Blade (and all of the novellas up to that point, too). I do believe this is the point where I threw in the towel last time, or rather where I just drifted away with plans to return, but this time around I am quite into things. My love of Faith Hunter‘s spin-off Soulwood series is serving me well.

For the character guide updating, I have finished a re-read of Feversong from Karen Marie Moning. I did get way more out of it the second time around, since in my haste/greed in the first reading, I ended up blasting through it and retaining little. As much as I liked these books, I am ready for the series to change direction. There is so much still left to be explored in this world, and I will be glad to see Mac and Jericho step aside for whatever is to come.

power gameOh, and I am also re-reading Christine Feehan‘s Power Game. Yeah, not minding this one, either, except for one little thing. I know everyone who reads the series seems to adore Nonny, and while I liked the little bits of her we saw at first, now she is getting on my nerves. Not really sure why – maybe it is the incessant cooking lessons everyone has to have – but I could do with less of her. And if I am being honest, I would love to go back to one of the other teams for a change. Seriously, teams 1 through 3 seem like a distant memory at this point. Hell, I would even be happy with a couple of cameo appearances. And don’t get me started on the original orphans who were with Lily…not sure where they are at all. It is hard when a series just keeps adding more and more characters because so many that interested you in the first place seem to get left behind.

On to you. Anything really good this week (or even really bad)? What have you been re-reading lately?

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Reading Wrap Up

skinwalkerMy reading has been all over the place since my last wrap up post, and the vast majority of it has been a success. After I finished up J.R. Ward‘s Fallen Angels series, I decided to tackle another one of my “should read” series. Or in the case of the Jane Yellowrock books, it was a matter of giving it another try. I read a few books a couple of years back, but honestly I had a hard time getting into it. But my real enjoyment of Faith Hunter‘s spin off Soulwood books featuring Nell Ingram made me really want to give Jane another shot. And so far, so good. I have checked out a lot of the early novellas, and gone back and read the first book, Skinwalker, and for some reason it seems to be clicking for me this time around.

I also picked up the latest Dragon Kin book from G.A. Aiken, Bring the Heat. It was another solid installment of the series, and it was so good to see some long-standing issues get resolved so well. I have always enjoyed both Branwen and Aidan, but for me their romance took a backseat to everything else going on. And there was a LOT going on, that’s for sure.

feversongI did a couple of re-reads for the character guides, tackling Thea Harrison’s Spellbinder and Karen Marie Moning‘s Feversong, supposedly the end of the Mac and Barrons part of the Fever series. I ended up enjoying Spellbinder much more the second time around, and I have gone from being a bit “meh” on the UK Elder Races spin off to quite liking it. I would be happy to see it continue past the currently-planned trilogy. And Feversong? I read it so fast the first time around that I didn’t do it or myself any favors, and I am getting much more out of it with the re-read. As much as I do like the Fever books, though, I am so very ready to be done with Mac’s POV. She has had her time, and then some, and now it is time for the rest of the characters to get their turn. After Dani (and Ryodan), there is supposed to be a couple of books focusing on The Nine (I think), and I can’t wait.

And for something a little different, I stepped outside my comfort zone and tried a few different things. I picked up the British mystery/thriller Now You See Me from Sharon Bolton after seeing some really good reviews around, and I did quite like it. I quite liked it, more than I thought I would, but I didn’t feel the need to immediately go and pick up the rest of the books in the series. At least not yet, anyways. I also finally broke down and bought The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson. Yeah, that didn’t work out nearly so well. I tried maybe 5 or 6 times to get into it, but it just didn’t happen. I haven’t seen the movie yet, so maybe that will spur me on, but as of right now it is a DNF after about 6 chapters. Sigh.

paper princessHave you ever decided to randomly just try a book, knowing going in that it is completely not what you usually like, and you end up loving it? That happened to me with Paper Princess by Erin Watt. I don’t do contemporary romance, and I don’t do young adult, so a contemporary young adult romance is an automatic miss, right? Nope. I Loved it. I bought it completely on a lark, and I think I even rolled my eyes when I decided to “just give the first chapter a quick look”. Well, that first chapter browse turned into me finishing the book in one sitting, immediately ordering the rest, and getting almost a third of the way through the second one before I finally made myself go to bed at 7:00 this morning. I can’t even tell you why I like it so much, I just do. What a pleasant surprise.

Over to you. Any great reads (or re-reads) lately? Any popular series you couldn’t get into, or any surprise favorites? Ever given a series a second chance and ended up liking it more the next time around?

Cover Lover – High Voltage

I have a few covers stockpiled to upload, but honestly? I am way too lazy for all of that tonight. Sad but true. But I did have to make an exception when I saw the cover for the next Fever book from Karen Marie Moning, High Voltage, was out. It is…not what I expected. Not a monster fan of the title, either, but now I am just being picky. So can’t wait for Dani’s story, and I sincerely hope Mac is way back in the background for this one. She has already had her turn, and then some. This one has a release date of March 6th.

high voltage

So, yay or nay on the design of this one? It is a new direction from the previous books, but that might not be a bad thing. There were some awesome covers early on in the Fever series, but then it went sort of young adult looking and lost me a bit. Are you excited to finally get an adult Dani story, or are you more on the Mac and Barrons side of things?

Feversong – What Did You Think?

feversongIt has been a couple of weeks now since Karen Marie Moning‘s Feversong, the ninth book of the Fever series, was released. It was set to be the final book of the main series focused on MacKayla Lane and Jericho Barrons, but it left several loose ends that will hopefully be addressed in subsequent stories.

For me, I was so anticipating this one that I couldn’t wait to dive in. I pulled an all-nighter reading it, and by the end I was so tired I found myself skimming a lot just to get to Jada, Ryodan, Christian and Dancer sections. I honestly can’t even tell you how things wrapped up for Mac and Barrons or the King and Queen. Nada.I definitely didn’t do the book or myself any favors by trying to rush through such a complex finale in one long sitting. I did very much enjoy what I did absorb, I just didn’t take in enough. I will soon be doing a slower, much more thorough re-read, and I am looking forward to it.

I did just see that the next book set in the fever world will be called High Voltage, and it will be a Dani/Jada centric story (but it does not pick up where Feversong ended). I wasn’t thrilled when the series changed direction mid-stream and veered away from the proposed Dani trilogy, since I liked Dani much more than Mac. And for me, Mac’s story was wrapped up in the first five books. But maybe things worked out for the best, because now we can get a full Dani/Jada story with her as an adult – and hopefully a resolution to her and Ryodan’s story. After that, I can totally see a Christian book, which would also resolve the whole Dageus situation, as well. I hope.

Ok, what did you think of Feversong? Was it a fitting “end”, or did it leave you wanting more? Were you like me and found Mac’s POV getting old, or did you like the second arc of her story? What did you like best (and least) about this Fever finale?

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?

Pick of the Week – and Best Day Ever!

2017 looks like it is going to be the year where a lot of series I faithfully follow are either wrapping up, spinning off, or changing direction. The Fever series from Karen Marie Moning is one of the latter. This week’s Feversong is the end of the second arc that focused on MacKayla Lane and Jerricho Barrons – or at least that is my understanding of it. Either way, Feversong is my pick of the week, and my pick of the month, and it was probably one of my picks of the year.

feversongSynopsis…

As Mac, Barrons, Ryodan, and Jada struggle to restore control, enemies become allies, right and wrong cease to exist, and the lines between life and death, lust and love, disappear completely. Black holes loom menacingly over Dublin, threatening to destroy the earth, yet the greatest danger is the one MacKayla Lane has unleashed from within: The Sinsar Dubh—a sentient book of unthinkable evil—has possessed her body and will stop at nothing in its insatiable quest for power.

The fate of Man and Fae rests on destroying the book and recovering the long-lost Song of Making, the sole magic that can repair the fragile fabric of the earth. But to achieve these aims, sidhe-seers, the Nine, Seelie, and Unseelie must form unlikely alliances and make heart-wrenching choices. For Barrons and Jada, this means finding the Seelie queen, who alone can wield the mysterious song, negotiating with a lethal Unseelie prince hell-bent on ruling the Fae courts, and figuring out how to destroy the Sinsar Dubh while keeping Mac alive.

This time, there’s no gain without sacrifice, no pursuit without risk, no victory without irrevocable loss. In the battle for Mac’s soul, every decision exacts a tremendous price.

I have the hardcover copy coming, and I was desperate enough to order the Kindle copy, too. And I waited up until 4:00am until it was delivered to my i-pad, just so I could “read the first few chapters”. Yeah, I finished it around 8:00am, but I have to admit that by the end of it I was just skimming things to find out what happened to Jada/Dani and Ryodan, Dancer and Christian. This one has a lot to wrap up, and it will need a much slower, more thorough read for me to get a handle on what I thought about it. My greed didn’t do me, or the book, any favors, and I won’t pull that again. I hope.

And on to the best news ever. I have been spamming Edelweiss with requests for a review copy of White Hot from Ilona Andrews. I mean at least three or four times a week I hit that “submit request” button. Today, I finally got a yes (and it didn’t come with a restraining order, so double win!). While Feversong is one of my most anticipated books of the year, I would go so far as to say that White Hot is tied for third as the book I am most excited for, along with Rituals from Kelley Armstrong and Silver Silence from Nalini Singh. Any guesses as to what I will be doing tonight?

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?

So, What’s Going On?

Just like the title of the post says, what’s going on? Things have been on the quiet side, there hasn’t been much to write about, so I thought I would see if you have seen anything exciting to share. For me, I found a few tidbits, but nothing earth-shaking…

  • J.D. Robb‘s 45th In Death book will be called Secrets in Death, and it will be out on August 8th of next year.
  • Christine Feehan‘s next Dark book will be called Dark Legacy, with a release date of September 5th. And the next Leopard series will be called Leopard’s Blood, with a due date of September 26th. And the second book of her new Shadows series, Shadow Reaper, is due out on May 30th.
  • Still on Christine Feehan, we all know that her Sisters of the Heart series is wrapping up next year. It looks like the spin-off series that will focus on the Russian agents that grew up with Viktor Prakenskii will be called Torpedo Ink. Uh, what? Please, please don’t tell me that it will be a literal translation and all 27 of those dudes will be tattoo artists. Biker/psychic/super-agent/assassin/tattoo artists.Please? I would seriously LOL.
  • I am not sure what is up with Rob Thurman‘s scheduled next release, Everwar. It was listed as a December 6th release, but there isn’t a cover out as yet. The American Amazon site doesn’t list it, but the UK one does. Goodreads says December 6th, but Indigo lists it as 2035. In my hunting for info on it, I stumbled across a bunch of stuff on Twitter which didn’t set quite right with me, even though it was a year old. Basically, she said that she believed she would be dropped by her publisher, which is very sad. But then she blamed her fans for her publishing and financial situation (!), which made me more than a little uncomfortable. You can see what I mean HERE, HERE, and HERE. HERE is a Facebook post where she goes into a bit more detail. Yeah. So, not sure what is going on with upcoming books, but I have to admit I probably won’t spend too much time looking, either.
  • Finally! There is an official blurb for Karen Marie Moning‘s last(ish) Fever book, Feversong…
quotation marks#1 New York Times bestselling author Karen Marie Moning returns with the epic conclusion to her pulse-pounding Fever series, where a world thrown into chaos grows more treacherous at every turn. As Mac, Barrons, Ryodan, and Jada struggle to restore control, enemies become allies, right and wrong cease to exist, and the lines between life and death, lust and love, disappear completely.
Black holes loom menacingly over Dublin, threatening to destroy the Earth. Yet the greatest danger is the one MacKayla Lane has unleashed from within: the Sinsar Dubh—a sentient book of unthinkable evil—has possessed her body and will stop at nothing in its insatiable quest for power.
The fate of Man and Fae rests on destroying the book and recovering the long-lost Song of Making, the sole magic that can repair the fragile fabric of the Earth. But to achieve these aims, sidhe-seers, the Nine, Seelie, and Unseelie must form unlikely alliances and make heart-wrenching choices. For Barrons and Jada, this means finding the Seelie Queen who alone can wield the mysterious song, negotiating with a lethal Unseelie prince hell-bent on ruling the Fae courts, and figuring out how to destroy the Sinsar Dubh while keeping Mac alive.
This time, there’s no gain without sacrifice, no pursuit without risk, no victory without irrevocable loss. In the battle for Mac’s soul, every decision exacts a tremendous price.

There is a great post on Karen’s Facebook page which talks about what you can expect from Feversong…and beyond. You can find it HERE.

  • Oh, Sherrilyn Kenyon keeps on rocking the upcoming new releases, too. June 27th is the date for yet another League book, Born of Trouble.

Sigh…well, I didn’t think I had enough to make a decent-sized post, but once again my long winded rambling won out. Are any of these developments something you are looking forward to? What news have you heard? How do you feel about the Rob Thurman situation?

Cover Lover – Feversong

Even though I was a bit let down by the previous Fever book from Karen Marie Moning, I am still a huge fan of the series. It seemed like a filler book to me, and a set up for the next one, Feversong, which is due out January 17th. And lo and behold, today the cover came out…

feversong

Back to Mac on the cover. Mac was my least favorite part of the last book, and with the way things ended off she will probably get even more page time in this one. Either way, I do think this one will be a pretty addition to the series. There is a brief excerpt out, too, which can be found on the Entertainment Weekly website, found HERE.

Reading Wrap Up…

February is a bit of a meh month for new books for me, so that means I have been dutifully reading off of my TBR and doing the re-reads I need for character guides. That is a good thing, because March is going to be a beast what with the second to last Chicagoland Vampires book, a new Carpathians book (even though I am not exactly excited for a book about Grandma Trixie and what seems to be a whiny Gabrielle. Maybe the fellas can save it for me?), a new Shelly Laurenston story, plus the hat trick of Lady Midnight, Fire Touched, and Marked in Flesh. All on the same day. Yeah.

So, back to the reading portion of things. I continue to tackle the In Death books, and I just finished up the third one, Immortal in Death. I have to say, I am surprised by how much I am really enjoying these J.D. Robb books so far, especially since my experiences with her Nora Roberts books didn’t stand out for me. I am liking Eve a lot, and Roarke continues to be a stand-out. Let’s just say I liked it enough to pay almost $34 dollars for the fifth book – a paperback. Yep. I am getting the UK paperbacks, and the only place I could get this version of Ceremony in Death

ceremony in death

…was from Amazon.uk. I have looked ahead, and I think it is the only one that wasn’t carried by The Book Depository, so hopefully it will be the last one I have to hunt down. It is pretty though, right?

I also started the Baba Yaga series by Deborah Blake. Wickedly Dangerous was a good book, but I am liking the second book, Wickedly Wonderful, quite a bit more. This series is another one that I picked up because buzz for it was so good, and I am happy that I did.

Oh, and I picked up something totally different for me. City of the Lost is a straight up mystery/thriller with a bit of romance about a small town in the middle of nowhere where people go when they need to disappear. The only reason I picked it up is because Kelly Armstrong is a favorite, but I ended up reading the book in one sitting. Definitely looking forward to the next one.

And I finally dove into Rock Redemption. I picked this up when it first came out, but for some reason I didn’t really have any big desire to read it. I liked the rest of the Rock Kiss series, loved Charlie and T-Rex’s book, but Noah and Kit’s story didn’t tempt me. I decided to read the first chapter last night, because I needed to start it for the character guide – and I ended up finishing the book at 6 o’clock this morning. Another awesome book. I can’t believe I doubted that a Nalini Singh book wouldn’t be “my thing”  – but it won’t happen again.

Finally, I did a re-read of Feverborn from Karen Marie Moning, which I did a rant on a couple of weeks ago. I had hoped that some time and a re-read would make me see things in a different way, but no such luck. I can’t say it was a bad book – it was just a nothing book. Nothing happened. Nothing progressed. Nothing was resolved. I really noticed it when I looked at the notes I had taken. Usually, when I take my notes for a character guide, I have between 12 and 15 pages of notes, and when I edit down everything I am down to 10 or 11 pages and a couple of nights to add the info. For Feverborn? I had 4 pages of notes, which edited down to 2, and it took me an hour to add the info. Because nothing happened of note, there wasn’t anything to add to the guide. And that hurt.

So, what have you been reading and loving (or been totally let down by) for the last couple of weeks? What is the most you have paid for a must-have book?