Review: Serpentine by Laurell K. Hamilton

Serpentine by Laurell K. Hamilton (UK edition)

MY NAME IS ANITA BLAKE AND I’VE ALWAYS OVERCOME ANYTHING I’VE FACED. BUT THIS TIME, THERE’S A MONSTER THAT EVEN I DON’T KNOW HOW TO FIGHT . . .

A remote Florida island is the perfect destination for my fellow U.S. marshal and best friend Edward’s wedding. And for me, it’s a welcome break as it’s the first trip I’ve ever taken with just wereleopards Micah and Nathaniel for company. But it’s not all fun, games and bachelor parties . . .

In this tropical paradise, Micah has discovered a horrific new form of lycanthropy, one that has afflicted a single family for generations. Believed to be an ancient Greek curse, it turns human bodies into a mass of snakes.

The last thing I need is more drama, but when women start disappearing from the hotel – and worse – my own friends and lovers become the prime suspects. A strange power is afoot, a force that’s rendering those around me helpless in its thrall. I can’t face this alone and am willing to accept help from even the deadliest places – help that I will most certainly regret. If I survive at all . . .

Series: Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter 26
Genre: Erotica, Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
Publisher: HEADLINE PUBLISHING GROUP (7th August 2018)
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4 stars)

The twenty-sixth novel in Laurell K. Hamilton’s brilliant Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter series, Serpentine follows Anita, Micha and Nathaniel to Florida for Edward’s wedding. Life has been busy for Anita and her beaus, so romance and even sex have been on something of a back burner. The wedding is their chance for a break in tropical paradise; only like most things in Anita’s life it’s just not that easy. Micah has discovered a horrific form of what appears to be lycanthropy. And then women start disappearing from the hotel they’re staying at.

I was really looking forward to getting my hands on this book. I know a lot of people are disappointed with the later books in the series, and whilst I can understand why I’m just really invested in the characters and actually really enjoy the reading experience. So I’ll just straight out say it – if you are looking for a more plot based story, like the early Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter books, then you are going to be disappointed. Hamilton has again gone back to focusing more on Anita’s relationships than on the plot. Having said that, there is a plot that whilst small is interesting and I wish it could have been explored more.

A lot of the drama of this novel comes from interpersonal relationships. Things are not all sunshine and roses for Anita and her family, or for her friends. Getting caught up in a case when she’s supposed to be on vacation certainly doesn’t help matters, but Anita wouldn’t be Anita if she didn’t. The case is actually rather interesting. Hamilton drops little hints about what’s going on, but although I had some guesses it wasn’t until the big reveal that I actually knew what was going on. It would have been nice if the book had been a little more case focused, but I think it does work well the way it is and it does fit in with the style of Crimson Death .

Although Serpentine is not in St. Louis we do get to meet a lot of familiar faces – there’s even a namedrop of a character from near the beginning of the series – and we are introduced to some new faces. As you can tell from the blurb, the main focus of this book is Anita, Micah and Nathaniel’s relationship. I enjoyed catching up with them. I also really liked seeing Edward and his family again – and it was nice to see how different he is in this book from when we first meet him. I wasn’t that impressed with the new faces that are working for Anita and Jean Claude. Most of them felt like you’d blink and you’d miss them, and the ones that got the longer page time just seemed a little flat to me – though to be fair this might have been because Anita is the narrator and she’s dealing with the aftermath of the events in Crimson Death. Fans of Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter will not be disappointed with Serpentine as long as they have enjoyed the more recent additions to the series.

Review: The Turn by Kim Harrison

The Turn by Kim Harrison (UK edition)

Title: The Turn (The Hollows 0.1)
Author: Kim Harrison
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Piatkus (7th February 2017)
Blurb:

Kim Harrison returns to her beloved Hollows series with the official prequel.

Can science save us when all else fails?

Trisk and her hated rival, Kalamack, have the same goal: save their species from extinction.

Death comes in the guise of hope when a genetically modified tomato created to feed the world combines with the government’s new tactical virus, giving it an unexpected host and a mode of transport. Plague takes the world, giving the paranormal species an uncomfortbale choice: stay hidden and allow humanity to die, or show themselves in a bid to save them.

Trisk and Kal flee across a plague-torn United States to convince leaders of the major paranormal species to save their supposedly weaker kin, but not everyone thinks humanity should be saved.

Kal surreptitiously works against her as Trisk fights the prejudices of two societies to prove not only does humanity have something to offer, but that long-accepted beliefs against women, dark magic and humanity itself might be mistaken; and that love can hold the world together as a new balance is found.

An unmissable story – discover Rachel Morgan’s world as you’ve never seen it before . . .

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️ (3 stars)
Review:

THE TURN is the prequel to Kim Harrison’s The Hollows series, which follows the adventures of Rachel Morgan. THE TURN is set several decades before this series, with Inderlanders (that is witches, weres, vampires, elves, and pixies to name a few) still hidden and unknown by humans. THE TURN follows the story of Trisk a geneticist and dark haired elf, who has been sent out to work with humans because she is dark haired and female. Whilst in the lab she creates a genetically modified tomato, and her hated rival Kalamack is sent to check her work. A plague sweeps the world, and Trisk and her tomato seem to be the cause. With humanity dying, Inderlanders have to make a choice.

Continue reading

Review: Etched in Bone by Anne Bishop

Etched in Bone by Anne Bishop

Title: Etched in Bone (A Novel of The Others 5)
Author: Anne Bishop
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
Publisher: ROC (9th March2017)
Blurb:

New York Times bestselling author Anne Bishop returns to the world of the Others, as humans struggle to survive in the shadow of shape-shifters and vampires far more powerful than they are . . .

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 noew know to fear both the no-man’s-land beyond their borders and the darkness . . .

As some communities struggle to rebuild, Lakeside Courtyard has emerged relativelt unscathed, though Simon Wolfguard, it’s 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 end: with her standing beside a grave . . .

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4 stars)
Review:

ETCHED IN BONE is the fifth book in Anne Bishop’s brilliant The Others series. This book continues the story of Meg Corbyn and the inhabitants of the Lakeside Courtyard after the events of the previous four books. With the others having taken action against the humans who threatened them, the humans who survived their anger are still struggling to find the balance that may guarantee their survival. The Lakeside Courtyard may have escaped this turbulence relatively unscathed, but all the residents are aware of how fragile the peace is. When Lieutenant Montgomery’s brother turns up, the Courtyard is thrown into chaos.

Continue reading

Review: Silence Fallen by Patricia Briggs

Silence Fallen by Patricia Briggs (UK edition)

Title: Silence Fallen (Mercy Thompson 10)
Author: Patricia Briggs
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Orbit (9th March 2017)
Blurb:

MECHANIC. SHAPESHIFTER. FIGHTER.

Mercy Thompson has found her voice in the werewolf pack. But when her bond with the pack – and her mate – is broken, she’ll learn what it truly means to be alone.

Attacked and abducted in her home territory, Mercy finds herself in the clutches of the most powerful vampire in the world, taken as a weapon to use against Alpha werewolf Adam and the ruler of the Tri-Cities vampires. In coyote form, Mercy escapes – only to discover that she is alone in the heart of Europe without money or clothes.

Unable to contact her pack, Mercy has allies to find and enemies to fight, but first she needs to figure out which is which . . .

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4 stars)
Review:

SILENCE FALLEN is the tenth book in Patricia Briggs’s brilliant Mercy Thompson series. Although not a werewolf, Mercy has settled into her place in her pack. After some pack bonding, Mercy finds herself attacked and abducted by the most powerful vampire in the world. This vampire plans to use her against her husband and the vampires of the Tri-Cities. Never one to sit and wait for rescue and unable to contact her pack, Mercy escapes from the vampire in her coyote form only to discover she is no longer in the US – instead, she finds herself without money, passport, or clothes in Europe.

Continue reading

Review: Crimson Death by Laurell K. Hamilton

Crimson Death by Laurell K. Hamilton (UK edition)

Crimson Death by Laurell K. Hamilton (UK edition)

Title: Crimson Death (An Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, Novel, #25)
Author: Laurell K. Hamilton
Genre: Erotica, Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Headlines (11th October 2016)
Blurb:

MY NAME IS ANITA BLAKE.
I’M A VAMPIRE HUNTER AND NECROMANCER, AND I’M ABOUT TO LEARN THAT EVIL IS IN THE EYE OF THE BEHOLDER . . .

I’ve never seen Damian, my vampire servant, in such a state. The rising sun doesn’t usher in the peaceful death that he desperately needs. Instead, he’s being bombarded with violent nightmares and blood sweats.

Damian is at his most vulnerable, but now is the time I need him most. The vampire who created him, who subjected him to centuries of torture, might be loosing control, allowing rogue vampires to run wild and break one of their kind’s few strict taboos.

Some say love is a great motivator, but hatred gets the job done, too. I’m joining forces with my friend Edward to stop the carnage, and Damian will be at our side, even if it means travelling back to the land where all his nightmares spring from . . . a place that couldn’t be less welcoming to a vampire, an assassin and  a necromancer.

Ireland.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️(4 stars)
Review:

CRIMSON DEATH by Laurell K. Hamilton is the twenty-fifth novel in her excellent Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter series. This book sees Anita travel to Ireland at the request of her friend Edward, to deal with vampires running rogue – they may even been breaking one of the strictest taboos within their culture. However, traveling to Ireland means going to the one place Damian does not want to return to – the home of the vampire that made him – but Anita desperately needs his help. It doesn’t help that Damian is being bombarded with violent nightmares and blood sweats, as the rising dawn no longer appears to grant him peaceful death.

Continue reading

Review: Marked in Flesh by Anne Bishop

Marked in Flesh by Anne Bishop

Title: Marked in Flesh (A Novel of The Others, 4)
Author: Anne Bishop
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
Publisher: ROC (10th March 2016)
Blurb:

For centuries, the Others and humans have lived side by side in uneasy peace. But when humankind oversteps its bounds, the Others will have to decide how much humanity they’re willing to tolerate – both within themselves and within their community . . .

Since the Others allied themselves with the cassandra sangue, the fragile yet powerful human blood prophets who were being exploited by their own kind, the delicate dynamic between humans and Others has changed. Some, such as Simon Wolfgard, wolf shifter and leader of the Lakeside Courtyard, and blood prophet Meg Corbyn see the new, closer companionship as beneficial – both personally and practically.

But not everyone is convinced. A group of radical humans is seeking to usurp land through a series of violent attacks on the Others. What they don’t realize is that there are older and more dangerous forces than shifters and vampires protecting the land that belongs to the Others – and those forces are willing to do whatever is necessary to protect what is theirs . . .

Rating: ***** (5 stars)
Review:

MARKED IN FLESH by Anne Bishop is the fourth book in The Others series. This book continues the story of Meg Corbyn and the residents of the Lakeside Courtyard. Unrest caused by a radical group of humans who seek to control land belonging to the Others attracts dangerous attention that could cause trouble for everyone.

Continue reading

Review: Fire Touched by Patricia Briggs

Fire Touched by Patricia Briggs

Title: Fire Touched (Mercy Thompson, 9)
Author: Patricia Briggs
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Orbit (8th March 2016)
Blurb:

MECHANIC. SHAPESHIFTER. FIGHTER.

Mercy Thompson is back, and she’ll soon discover that when the fae stalk the human world, it’s the children who suffer . . .

Tensions between the fae and humans are coming to a head. And when coyote shapeshifter Mercy and her Alpha werewolf mate, Adam, are called upon to stop a rampaging troll, they find themselves with something that could help avert out-and-out war: a human child stolen long ago by the fae.

Defying the most powerful werewolf in the country, the humans and the fae, Mercy, Adam and their pack choose to protect the boy no matter what the cost. But who will protect them from a boy who is fire touched?

Rating: ***** (5 stars)
Review:

FIRE TOUCHED is the ninth book in the fantastic Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs. Tension between the fae and humans risk coming to a head in this book when the pack are called upon to stop a rampaging troll from wreaking havoc in the Tri-Cities. Mercy and her husband Adam, the pack’s Alpha, find themselves caught in the middle of something that could cause in a war.

Continue reading

Review: Dead Ice by Laurell K. Hamilton

Dead Ice by Laurell K. Hamilton (UK edition)

Title: Dead Ice (An Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, Novel, #24)
Author: Laurell K. Hamilton
Genre: Erotica, Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Headlines (4th June 2015)
Blurb:

MY NAME IS ANITA BLAKE AND I HAVE THE HIGHEST KILL COUNT OF ANY VAMPIRE EXECUTIONER IN THE COUNTRY.

I’m a U.S. Marshal who can raise zombies with the best of them. But ever since master vampire Jean-Claude and I went public with out engagement, all I am to anyone and everyone is Jean-Claude’s fiancée.

It’s wreaking havoc with my reputation as a hard ass – to some extent. Luckily, in professional circles, I’m still the go-to expert for zombie issues. And right now, the FBI is having one hell of a zombie issue.

Someone is producing zombie porn. I’ve seen my share of freaky undead fetishes, so this shouldn’t bother me. But the women being victimised aren’t just mindless, rotting corpses. Their souls are trapped behind their eyes, signalling voodoo of the blackest kind.

It’s the sort of case that can leave a mark on a person. And my own soul may not survive unscathed . . .

Rating: **** (4 stars)
Review:

DEAD ICE is the twenty-fourth instalment of Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter novels. Anita is dealing with the chauvinistic attitudes of those around her, since her engagement to Jean-Claude. This book also has Anita trying to track down someone who is raising zombies for porn, as well as the return of characters we haven’t seen on the page in a while.

Continue reading

Review: Vision in Silver by Anne Bishop

Vision in Silver by Anne Bishop

Title: Vision in Silver (A Novel of The Others, 3)
Author: Anne Bishop
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
Publisher: ROC (3rd March 2015)
Blurb:

New York Times bestselling author Anne Bishop transports readers to a “mesmerizing”* world of magic and political unrest – where the only chance at peace requires a deadly price . . .

The Others freed the cassandra sangue to protect the blood prophets from exploitation, not realizing their actions would have dire consequences. Now the fragile seers are in a greater danger than ever before – both from their own weaknesses and from those who seek to control their divinations for wicked purposes. In desperate need of answers, Simon Wolfgard, a shape-shifter leader among the Others, has no choice but to enlist blood prophet Meg Corbyn’s help, regardless of the risks she faces by aiding him.

Meg is still deep in the throes of her addiction to the euphoria she feels when she cuts and speaks prophecy. She knows each slice of her blade temps death. But Others and humans alike need answers, and her visions may be Simon’s only hope of ending the conflict.

For the shadows of war are deepening across the Atlantik, and the prejudice of a fanatic faction is threatening to bring the battle right to Meg and Simon’s doorstep . . .

*RT Book Reviews

Rating: ***** (5 stars)
Review:

VISION IN SILVER is the third book in Anne Bishop’s brilliant The Others series. In this series Bishop has moved from high fantasy to urban fantasy/paranormal romance; and she does it well. There are repercussions for the events in MURDER OF CROWS (review) which are far reaching. Meg is the only one who can help with one situation, but it means putting herself in danger something her friends oppose as it means she must put her own life at risk.

Continue reading

Review: The Black Swan Inheritance by Marigold Deidre Dicer

The Black Swan Inheritance by Marigold Deidre Dicer

Title: The Black Swan Inheritance (The Black Swan Series, 1)
Author: Marigold Deidre Dicer
Genre: New Adult, Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Smashwords Edition (November 2014)
Source: The author/Smashwords
Blurb:

Anita had the kind of reputation in high school that no one wants to carry into adulthood, especially since she wants to be a doctor like her dad. Now at university, she is determined to be good, but one little end-of-semester celebration can’t hurt, right? Well, it can if she ends up having a one-night stand with a werewolf that triggers a dark awakening. Turns out Anita’s over-active libido has become more than something hormonal – it’s magical.
The Black Swan is a powerful legacy that brings both temptation and danger. Having now inherited the title and all that comes with it, Anita finds herself beset upon by ancient abominations that won’t take no for an answer. No wonder the Black Swan had been driven to seclusion and banishment in the past. But Anita is determined not to run away – she is here to help, whether the medieval dragon-wolf or the undead cultists want it or not.
She will be no one’s pawn. She will rise to the challenge.
If she can just manage to deal with her own flaws first. Anxiety, panic-attacks, and bouts of bitchiness does not a successful diplomat make.
Rating: ** (2 stars)
Review:
THE BLACK SWAN INHERITANCE is the first book in Marigold Deidre Dicer’s BLACK SWAN series. The story is set in Australia and follows the story of Anita as she settles into life at university, trying to be a different girl than the one she was in high school. Anita is determined to reach her goal of becoming a doctor like her father. Life, however, decides that her path won’t be quite as easy as she’d like.

Continue reading