Tag Archives: Katie MacAlister

Up in Smoke

MacAlister, Katie. Up In Smoke (2008). 328 Pages. Signet. $7.99

The Silver Dragons: Book Two || Dragons Universe Book Six

This book did not have me laughing as much as others have in the past. In fact, a lot of the scenes which I think were meant to be funny were really just… painful. I’ve never really liked Jim- he annoyed me more often than he made me laugh. Magoth is just… too annoying to really be a scary villain.

May has been bound to Magoth since she was created, and it has caused her nothing but pain and frustration and trouble. Until she met Gabriel, however, she had managed to put up with it. But when Magoth tried to give her an order which would hurt Gabriel and the dragons, May refused it. The most creative punishment Magoth could come up with is giving May the role of Demon Lord’s Consort. (Perhaps because she loathes him so much that it’s actually punishment to spend time around him).

Gabriel surprises May when he tells her to go through with it, and actually become Magoth’s Consort. It would allow Magoth access to the human world, but it would also mean that May could be with Gabriel, fulfilling her duties as a Wyvern’s Mate.

That’s just the first few chapters. It moves quickly, and is full of drama. It was strange, because MacAlister’s books are usually funny, but I didn’t laugh more than a few times. The story is intense, and leaves you wanting more, but concludes at least reasonably well.

The Quick Version:

This book is awesome, but it’s not as funny as others. Certain characters remain annoying, a few new characters are annoying. The drama and suspense in this one are pretty impressive, and really make it a page turner. It only gets a 3.5 out of 5, because there’s a bit too much identity crisis.

If you want to read it, get it through Amazon or Swaptree.

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Playing with Fire

Macalister, Katie. Playing with Fire (2008). 331 Pages. Signet. $6.99

The Silver Dragons: Book One || Dragons Universe Book Five

I was more than a little worried when I picked up this book that I would find a repeat of the preceding series (girl finds out about being Wyvern’s Mate, girl resists, girl runs, dragon chases, happily ever after-ish). Instead, we get a new story, a new heroine, and a continuation of the unresolved plots from the Aisling Grey: Guardian series. The Silver Dragons series does not stand alone, and it is important that you take the time to read the Aisling Grey series first. Things are explained, but will make a lot more sense if you’ve read the first half. Anyway, all the familiar faces are back in this new series- which is really only “new” insofar as our heroine is new. Aisling and Drake are both present, and important to the series. Jim is there- and slightly less annoying now that he’s not in every scene, and of course Gabriel, Wyvern of the Silver Dragons, is there, as is Kostya.

May Northcott is a naiad’s doppelganger- made from shadow and common sense. She is also a top-notch thief, but because she is bound to a Demon Lord, she must steal whatever he wants. Her most recent mission has gotten May into far more trouble than it was really worth, and has gotten Thief Takers — magical bounty hunters — on her tail. Unfortunately, in her effort to return an incredibly valuable item which she took by accident, May got caught in the back garden of a Green Dragon house (and of course there is a huge misunderstanding; we all know that Drake is incredibly overprotective).

It is there that May meets Gabriel, and there that they find out that she drinks Dragons Blood (again, you remember this from the first series) and they learn that she is a Wyvern’s Mate. In fact, because doppelgangers are made, not born, she is effectively a loophole in the curse against the Silver Dragons. Unlike Aisling, May does not continue fighting and trying to get away from Gabriel; she realizes early on just how attracted to him she is, and becomes his Mate very quickly. Very early on she is officially Gabriel’s Mate. However, being bound to the Demon Lord Magoth complicates things, and she finds herself facing a hugely important decision, one that will affect the rest of her immortal life.

The Quick Version:

This may have a different series-title, but it is definitely a continuation of the first set. It does not stand alone, and if you really are interested, I would advise going back and reading the Aisling Grey: Guardian set. However, May is another strong heroine, one who you find yourself rooting for, and one who does not do the wishy-washy indecision that so many romance heroines are tainted by. We get a bit more of Aisling and Drake, and a lot more of Kostya, as well as a few (vague and confused) references to where the hell Chuan Ren and Fiat have gone. As a continuation to the original story, this book gets a 4/5 (if it was a standalone, it would get a 2, because a lot is not explained again).

If you’ve already read the other books, you can pick this one up on Amazon or through Swaptree.

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Holy Smokes

MacAlister, Katie. Holy Smokes (2007). 341 Pages. Signet. $7.99

Aisling Grey, Guardian: Book Four || Dragons Universe Book Four

Please be aware that there may be are spoilers present, as this is the fourth (and final?) book in a series!

Seemingly, Holy Smokes is the last book which we will read about Aisling Grey, but it is certainly not the last we’ll hear of the Dragons. The rest of this review has been placed behind a tag because it is very full of spoilers (for the first three books, rather than the fourth). Click at your own risk.

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Filed under Adult Fiction, Book Review, Chick-Lit, Contemporary Romance, Humor, Paranormal Romance, Romance, Urban Fantasy

Light My Fire

MacAlister, Katie. Light My Fire (2006). 329 Pages. Signet. $7.99

Aisling Grey, Guardian: Book Three || Dragons Universe Book Three

Please be aware that there may be spoilers present as this is the third book in a series!

Having seemingly given up on being a courier (perhaps because uncle Damian has come to his senses), Aisling Grey once again stumbles through more danger than she even knows. What this girl needs is a whole series of How-to books; How to be a Demon Lord, How to be a Wyvern’s Mate, How to be a Guardian, and most of all How to Stop People from Trying to Kill You.

Despite having walked out on Drake again, Aisling finds herself face to face with her mate when he informs her that her presence is required at a gathering of the Green Dragons. She obliges, and quickly learns that she cannot keep her hands off him. The feeling is mutual. Once again, there are several steamy scenes that will have you blushing.

Unfortunately for Aisling, being reunited with Drake is perhaps the only good thing that happens. Drake is challenged, the Red Dragons are trying to eliminate Aisling, Fiat is up to something and Gabriel is seemingly complicit, and that’s just the dragons. Jim has eaten an Imp monarch and the Imps want Aisling’s blood, a Demon Prince wants Aisling’s vote, the Otherworld of Paris want Aisling to step up and be Venediger, Drake’s mother is scary, and she may or may not be pregnant.

Certain truths are revealed about characters, truths which explain occurrences from the last few books, and make things fall into place. More is set up for the future, and the fourth book promises to be quite a culmination. Many more laughs are to be had, and as a whole, the book is very enjoyable. The real trouble comes in the way that nothing is truly wrapped-up at the end, and it is very nearly a cliffhanger. It’s a good thing I thought to pick up the 4th book already, or I might be in bad shape.

The Quick Version:

Aside from the storylines which have been left open at the end, this book is as solid and funny as its predecessors. The thing which caused this to score lower is in fact the lack of wrap-up. I believe one storyline is concluded in the entirety of the book, and the rest are left hanging for what I suspect is the grand finale. It is still a good book, as long as you do not expect a standalone. It gets a 3.5 out of 5.

Want to check it out? Get it on Amazon or Swaptree.

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Fire Me Up

MacAlister, Katie. Fire Me Up (2005). 352 Pages. Penguin. $7.99

Aisling Grey, Guardian: Book Two || Dragons Universe Book Two

Please be aware that there may be spoilers present, as this is the second book in a series!

“Dammit, Jim, I’m a Guardian, not a doctor!” (276). I giggled, I laughed, I snorted, I sighed, I blushed, and then looked around to be sure nobody was reading over my shoulder (or paying any attention to my craziness). I enjoyed the story, and couldn’t put it down. I kept reading and reading and couldn’t wait to get to the next page.

Aisling Grey, Guardian, Wyvern’s Mate, Demon Lord, packs up and goes to a convention. Not just any convention, but GODTAM, a convention for the denizens of the Otherworld. Her goal: to find a mentor who can show her the ropes, and teach her to be a good Guardian. Unfortunately, Aisling is in for more than she bargained for.

Rene is conveniently in Budapest, to help Aisling out. Drake is, as well, and he’s after Aisling with a vengeance. He will claim her, and she will be his forever. Meanwhile, there is GODTAM going on, tons of Incubi, an amulet which Aisling is meant to deliver, and a Dragon summit. All in Budapest, and much of it related directly to Aisling.

Suddenly, Guardians Aisling meets with begin turning up dead, and all eyes point to her. The only way to avoid execution or expulsion from the Otherworld is to find the real murderer and bring them to justice, but is Aisling up to it? (Of course she is)

The Quick Version:

Katie MacAlister may not do drama well, but she sure does humor and paranormal romance. I was laughing at nearly every page, wondering what would happen next, and enjoying every moment. The biggest drawback is Aisling herself; she doesn’t listen to herself, and doesn’t seem to learn from past experiences. This book gets a 4 out of 5.

You want to laugh, too? Buy it on Amazon, or trade for it on Swaptree.

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You Slay Me

MacAlister, Katie. You Slay Me (2004). 342 Pages. Onyx. $7.99

Aisling Grey, Guardian: Book One || Dragons Universe Book One

Aisling Grey’s adventures start off with a bang. Her courier delivery to Paris is interrupted by murder and theft. Determined that her first job should not go so horribly wrong, Aisling stalks Drake Viero- the gorgeous man she knows is a thief and suspects of murder. And that’s just the first chapter.

Aisling has made a hobby of studying medieval texts about magic and demons, and it’s good that she has, because the magical otherworld has come knocking with a vengeance. Aisling is a Guardian; that is, she is supposed to guard the gates to the underworld. She is also a Wyvern’s Mate, which is explained well enough by the name alone that I feel no need to elaborate. France is ruled by a tyrannical mage who owns a nightclub in Paris, dragons are disguised as sexy men, and demons are very, very real.

Without any mentor-ship, and not knowing who she can trust besides Jim, Aisling stumbles around Paris, trying to recover the aquamanille she was supposed to deliver, and find out who is framing her for the murders. She must dodge the police, Drake, and the otherworld by turns, attempting to stay one step ahead of those chasing her. Things just keep going from bad to worse for this girl.

Of course, this being Katie MacAlister, you’re wondering where the romance fits in. It’s Drake Viero, the wyvern of the Green Dragons, of course. He’s sexy, he’s powerful, and Aisling is crazy for him from the moment she spots him. If they can stop trying to kill each other, this might shape up to be an excellent partnership, but it’s certainly not happening in this book.

The Quick Version:

Katie MacAlister is a solid author who always manages to write something fun. This book is no exception; you go from the edge of your seat to giggling in the blink of the eye. Dotted with steamy, sexually-charged moments, the story does not disappoint in the romance department. Occasionally things felt a bit too extended, like there was a page count to be met and things had to get expanded. As a whole, this book is a solid 4 out of 5.

To read it, you can buy it on Amazon or trade for it on Swaptree.

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The Corset Diaries

MacAlister, Katie. The Corset Diaries (2004). 336 Pages. Penguin. $6.99

Cover: The Corset Diaries

Tessa is 39 years old, widowed, and “skinny challenged,” so when she is asked to take part in the A Month in the Life of a Victorian Duke reality show*, she thinks “with this body?” But she agrees, both for the $10,000 and the chance to get out and do something; her life has gone stagnant since her husband died. She rapidly finds herself transported to London, stripped of all modern accoutrements,  and strapped into a Victorian corset.

On the set she meets Max, a handsome man who is the epitome of the Victorian Duke. At first, she is not so thrilled by his daughter Melody, his sister Barbara, or his brother-in-law Henry, but she gets to know the family over the course of the month. Besides the “family,” there are the servants, who are constantly muttering about staging a coup, and the production crew, who are largely outside of the plot.

The gorgeous Max is almost immediately (and predictably) drawn in by Tessa- size 18 and 5 years older than him or not- and the two get caught up in a romance. Romance is hardly exclusive to our main characters though, as many of the “servants” are involved in an affair (or two, or three, or more). Amidst all of the romance on set, someone is trying to sabotage the show (and Max & Tessa’s romance). Things go wrong, filming is ambushed, and finally fish fill the ballroom.

There are things which make this a good book- it is funny, has a fun romance, and a great premise. However, the writing is mediocre, parts of the story seem forced, some parts too long, some too short, and there is a distinct lack of depth. However, if you are reading a romance novel for the “depth,” you are likely insane.

The Quick Version:

Perhaps this is not the most well written book I’ve ever read, and it’s certainly not the most intellectual, but it was incredibly funny (I actually laughed aloud), and downright enjoyable. It scores a 3.5 of 5, because it is entertaining, but it will not be getting any literary awards.

Want to read it? Trade for it on Swaptree or Buy it on Amazon

* A Month in the Life of a Victorian Duke is reminiscent of The 1900 House or any of the sequels it inspired.

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