Tag Archives: Book 2

Blood Bound

Briggs, Patricia. Blood Bound (2007). 292 Pages. Ace Fantasy. $7.99

Mercy Thompson: Book Two

Please be aware that it is extremely likely that there are spoilers for the first book. You have been warned. Proceed with caution.

I was so excited when I figured out there was another book in this series. I hadn’t yet figured out that most authors write whole collections of books these days, as stand-alone novels just don’t sell as well. Well, that might not be the case, but it would hardly be surprising. Anyway, this is one character I was glad to see again.

Stefan is collecting his favor, and boy is it a doozy. There’s a sorcerer-turned-vampire who’s infected with a demon, and it’s bringing unwanted attention to the supernatural world. Sure, people know about some of the fae– the cuter, weaker, and less-threatening fae, anyway– and people have learned about the werewolves, but the vampires remain a closely-guarded secret. It’s not exactly easy to both suck blood and be a good guy*.

We learn a lot more about Mercy’s past, and her powers. More of Mercy’s character gets to shine through here, and she manages to kick some ass without being the most powerful being ever. She’s got some unique talents– compliments of her Walker heritage– which enable her to help her friends when they are unable to help themselves. Native American walkers used to hunt vampires, until the vampires hunted the walkers into near extinction. (One doesn’t expect vampires to worry about committing genocide.) Mercy learns more about herself and her abilities from this vampiric entanglement than she learned growing up with werewolves.

Of course, Mercy’s love-life gets more complicated– both Samuel and Adam are vying for her affection. She’s got quite the past with Samuel, and doesn’t quite buy that he loves her for the right reasons. Adam is a pack Alpha, and comes with a lot of werewolf complications. There’s a lot more coming Mercy’s way, and despite the fact that this is largely a paranormal romance, Mercy’s love-life takes a back seat to the adventure in this novel.

The Quick Version:

Mercy remains a kick-ass heroine who has a strong voice. Her story grows more complicated as the story goes on. She kicks some ass. And characters actually seem to grow. This gets a 4/5, because I don’t generally give a damn about vampires, and this plot is not my favorite. (Though it remains pretty well written, and solid.)

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* And universes with “good vampires” are made of suck. (Pun not intended) (I’m looking at YOU, Twilight.)

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

My Big Fat Supernatural Honeymoon (Anthology)

Elrod, P.N. My Big Fat Supernatural Honeymoon (2008). 358 Pages. St Martin’s Griffin. $13.95

I like trade paperbacks, they’re big, and they feel solid when you hold them. However, they’re tough on my style (what little there is) because while most of my purses are chosen for their ability to carry a book, mass market paperbacks are more common, and fit into more of my purses more easily. I checked this book out well over a month ago, and have been slowly reading it, trying to get through it, and wondering why it was so very difficult to read. I’ve decided that it is because of its format, and the fact that it is so very hard to fit it into my purse, so I haven’t been taking it to work for lunch-time reading.

Anyway, this is a very solid volume with a lot of stories that I really enjoyed. I sort of wish I’d read My Big Fat Supernatural Wedding first, but this was an impulse grab from a bookshelf, so I didn’t realize there was another volume in this set. (Though it’s hardly a prequel/sequel pair, as most of the stories are unique from the first volume, though I hesitate to call them stand-alones.) Continue reading

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

The Darcy Cousins

Fairview, Monica. The Darcy Cousins (2010). 432 Pages. Sourcebooks Inc. $14.99

As the sequel to a Pride & Prejudice sequel, I have to admit that I was not expecting much. Sure, I enjoyed The Other Mr. Darcy immensely, and I thought that Ms Fairview did an excellent job and had beautiful prose, but I was also expecting that she would be a one-hit-wonder, so imagine my surprise when I found that I loved this book just as much as (if not more than) its prequel, which makes me glad I own it*.

Seventeen year-old Georgiana Darcy** is a proper young lady who– thanks to her incredibly overprotective older brother– has lead a very sheltered life. When Miss Clarissa Darcy– younger sister to Robert– arrives leaving a trail of impropriety in her wake, Georgiana hardly knows what to do. Her lively American cousin drags Georgiana along as she rushes headlong into her first London Season.

Young men flock to Clarissa– she is outgoing and charming, and far less reserved than most British ladies. Georgiana is awed by her cousin, and seeks to take pages from her book, learning to be a strong young woman while still being proper is a fine line to tread, but Georgiana attempts it nonetheless. There are several very handsome, very available young men vying for the attention of both Georgiana and Clarissa, which is just fine until both ladies find themselves to be interested in the very same young man.

The plot is not quite so simple as cousins fighting over one young man,  however. Clarissa has her reasons for her appearance in England, Anne deBourgh discovers her backbone, and Georgiana grows up from innocent child to strong woman. This story is mostly (but not exclusively) about Georgiana; the other female cousins are present, but are not really the focus of the story.

The Quick Version:

Again, the prose is strong, and manages to be Austenesque without imitating Austen outright. Georgiana is a fascinating main character who really grows from an innocent, naive child into a strong young woman through the book. Clarissa, too, grows, as does Anne, though neither of them are truly the center of the plot. It will be interesting to see if either of these characters end up with their own P&P Sequel-Sequel-Sequel. The book gets a 5/5, because as the story retreats further from the original book, it becomes stronger and more original.

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*I searched all of the libraries which I have a card to, as well as Link+, only to find out that not a single library owned a copy. When I went to Borders, I learned that they supposedly had one copy, but nobody could find it. I was nearly ready to give up, when I found out that you can have store employees locate and reserve books for you at Borders. This discovery will likely save me a ton of time and money in the future, as I won’t have to browse the store to find what I want, I can come in, pick it up, and flee before my tab reaches the hundreds as it usually does.

** I find the way that the eldest is “Miss ___” while the others are “Miss ___ ____” as in, Miss Darcy and Miss Clarissa Darcy or “Mr ___” and “Mr ___ ____”, like Mr Darcy and Mr Robert Darcy very interesting. It gets a bit confusing at times because of this, but mostly it’s easy to resolve if you pay attention to the presence or absence of first names.

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In the Hand of the Goddess

Pierce, Tamora. In the Hand of the Goddess (2005 ed). 288 Pages. Simon Pulse. $6.99

Song of the Lioness: Book Two

Alanna of Trebond returns, this time as the squire of Prince Jonathan of Tortall- one of the few people who know her true gender. She’s well on her way to becoming a knight, and she’s just found out that the Great Mother Goddess has plans for her. She meets Faithful for the first time (though depending on which order you’ve read the Tortall books in you might know him by another name).

Sure, she’s kicking a lot of butt, but sometimes a girl just wants to be a girl. Alanna is slowly learning that being a knight doesn’t mean she has to neglect being a woman, and being strong doesn’t mean rejecting love. She’s also learning that her magic is not such a bad thing, and that she has quite the healing gift. First George, then Jonathan express interest in Alanna as more than just a comrade, and she doesn’t really know what to make of it. Eventually, she and Jonathan become more than just friends– which is really the start of Alanna as a woman who has sex (gasp!).

Of course, growing up isn’t hard enough for our lady-knight-in-training; she’s got political intrigue to deal with. As Tortall marches for war with Tusaine, Duke Gareth the older is injured, and Duke Roger ends up in charge of the troops. Alanna is unhappy about it, but doesn’t have any proof that Roger has done anything. Then she and Jon get caught up in a plot which puts them both in danger (and gets Alanna kidnapped). Then, abruptly, the war with Tusaine reaches a tenuous treaty, and everyone heads back to Corus.

This particular book climaxes with Alanna’s Ordeal of Knighthood and the circumstances which lead to her revealing her gender to the court. In the end, Alanna is a Lady Knight, and she is ready for adventure.

The Quick Version:

The story in this volume is very fast paced; Tusaine and Tortall go to war and resolve their differences rapidly. Alanna and Jon get romantically entangled, Duke Roger is Evil, and Alanna becomes a Knight. It’s setting the stage for the next two books rather than attempting to be a complete story on its own. It gets a 4/5, because Alanna is slower on the uptake than the reader as far as Duke Roger’s plot goes.

Pick it up from Amazon or Swaptree.

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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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Searching for Dragons

Wrede, Patricia C. Searching for Dragons (1992). 242 Pages. Scholastic. $4.99

The Enchanted Forest Chronicles: Book Two

Because this is the second book in a series, there are very likely spoilers to the first book. Proceed with caution.

Mendanbar is an unconventional King, which is good, because the Enchanted Forest is an unconventional kingdom. He tries to be active, and take part in his kingdom, instead of getting caught up by formal events like his father, the previous king. One day, while he is out on one of his unconventional walks, he finds a vast dead region in the forest, and dragon scales scattered around the scene. Some confusion and consternation leads him to Morwen, who sends him on to talk to King Kazul.

When Mendanbar gets to King Kazul’s caves in the Mountains of Morning, he finds Cimorene, who admits that Kazul is missing. This is where the title comes into play, as they go on a search for Kazul which leads them on quite an adventure. They meet giants (one of whom Mendanbar advises to leave his current rampaging business and go into consulting), ride a dysfunctional carpet, meet Rumplestiltskin’s grandson (Herman the dwarf), and finally come across Telemain the Magician.

With some help from Telemain and Morwen, Cimorene and Mendanbar manage to get to the root of their problem and locate the missing King Kazul. I’ll give a hint about the end; there are wizards involved. Everything wraps up reasonably well, leaving some room for the adventure which is sure to come in the third book.

The Quick Version:

With nearly as many laughs as Dealing with Dragons, you will find Searching for Dragons to be an enjoyable book. It is targeted toward children, but as with the first book (and the rest of the series) it remains enjoyable as long as you are willing to have a sense of humor about your reading. The ending is predictable (which is fine by me, really), but this book feels like it is missing something which the first book has. I like Mendanbar a lot, but he just seems too clueless about magic at times. The book scores a 4.5 out of 5.

Pick it up from Amazon or Swaptree.

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Filed under Book Review, Children's Fiction, High Fantasy, Humor, Young Adult Fiction

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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