urban fantasy

Jordan L. Hawk “Necropolis” | Whyborne & Griffin 4

3Author: Jordan L. Hawk
Title: Necropolis
Series: Whyborne & Griffin 4
Genre: Historical, Paranormal
Pages: 200
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

Alright, time to continue a bit with Whyborne & Griffin before I forgot all about everything. Especially since these books didn’t fit into my October TBR, and since they are nice, and easy to read. Nothing too big, but not too little either.

About: After a mostly unsuccessful Christmas diner at Whyborne’s family, the couple’s Holiday is cut short by Christine’s hurried telegram explaining nothing at all, but requesting Whyborne to get to Egypt ASAP. Being a great introvert, Whyborne didn’t want to go, and had to be persuaded by Griffin, and a ghoul that attacked him at work. For in Egypt, under the dead scorched sands, something darkness is waking. Something evil, hungry, and very angry. And Christine, unknowingly, is stepping right in the middle of it.

Mine: People getting mad at Whyborne, because they thought he and Christine had a fling worked very well here. Best was Christine’s response when confronted about it: “ew“. These little incidents worked well with otherwise pretty stressful plot with too obvious villains, and too obvious masked heroes. I mean, I understand it’s not the goal of these books to serve you a detective, but… Ah, it don’t matter. The books are well written. The adventure was built in a perfectly smooth pace, with pauses for discussion, regrouping, a little bit of romance, and a little bit of comic relief, that this time came in a shape of a camel who stole Whyborne’s hats. Yes, multiple.

These are very light reads, and so far are fun too. Not utterly captivating, but I can still give it a solid 4 out of 5, and continue in November. Because really, why not? They might not put you on the edge of the chair, but they definitely won’t have you bored!

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Categories: 4-5, Books of Occult, Books of Supernaturals, Books: Everything, Books: LGBT, Historical Books, LGBTQ+ Books, M/M Literature, urban fantasy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Chloe Neill “Midnight Marked” | Chicagoland Vampires 12

1Author: Chloe Neill
Title: Midnight Marked
Series: Chicagoland Vampires 12
Genre: Paranormal, Vampires
Pages: 361
Rate: 2/5 | Goodreads

One of those books I’ve read twice, back to back, because I just felt like I missed something. Turns out, it’s just that thin of a broth here. Ah well, only one more in the series left to go.

About: Someone’s casting an alchemical net over the Chicago, and it’s huge. And, judging by the supernatural corpses, it means no good either. Merit and her happy little bunch gather up, invade the library, and begin their attempts to translate what pieces they found, just to find out – they’re in a dead end. In the meantime the biggest mobster in Chicago, who held many a supernatural in his pocket, has made a move again, and this time, it seems, he wants to take Sullivan down. Sullivan, being an or becoming an idiot, is easily baited, whether he knows he’s biting bait or not. And I, the reader, sit here wondering who and where got all of these war axes from.

Mine: I have issues with witchcraft and alchemy being put into one and the same pot. Especially when author clearly mentioned FMA as one of her loved sources of inspiration or knowledge, so she knows it, she’s seen it, but she still had a witch cast an alchemy spell, and a programmer make an algorithm that correctly translates it. I’m yet to find a translator that correctly translates into English, so that’s some hardcore fantasy right there. To add to that, their obsession with food got to me. It was funny for a while, but now it’s like reading Joey Tribbiani’s from Friend’s biography: sex, food, food, sex, girls on bread! And if you think that wasn’t enough for me to get the score so low, let me add my favorite stuff: bad guys magically escape cells, the biggest and baddest kick the bucket unwillingly, Merit’s the bigger man who won’t have someone’s blood on her hands in this one particular instance, and now we’re definitely on the magical baby track. At least she confronted Sullivan about fake proposals NOT being funny.

I feel like this was the scraping of the bottom of the barrel. I guess there really needed to be thirteen books. I do hope it ends with a bang, because this one gets 2 out of 5 from me, no more.

Categories: 2-5, Books of Supernaturals, Books: Everything, urban fantasy, vampires | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Joely Sue Burkhart “Queen takes King” | Their Vampire Queen 2

2Author: Joely Sue Burkhart
Title: Queen Takes King
Series: Their Vampire Queen 2
Genre: Paranormal, Erotica, Vampires
Pages: 350
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

Remember I said “Their Vampire Queen” are short books, so I’ll read them between “Chicagoland Vampires“? Well, I spoke too soon. But it worked well here, and made perfect sense, since the book felt very much like the final preparatory step towards court politics and intrigues.

About: Somewhere out there in the dark beneath the mountain rages a dying leviathan. Dark, scaly, and dreadful he haunts Shara’s dreams. Her Bloods sense that, and urge her to take action, call more Bloods to her side. Especially now that the young, wild, and powerful new Queen has been noticed by others, and attacks already began. But more Bloods mean more troubles too, mostly in their own hierarchy among themselves. Thus Shara, convinced by visions of Goddess Isis, is on the search for something more powerful than that. What she needs is not in numbers, but in political weight. What she needs is a King that would be in her power. Someone mighty, someone dreadful.

Mine: You know, if you took out all the sex, these books would make awesome YA vampire books. But for better or worse, it is not that. And I know it’s not right to complain about erotica in a book that is in erotica genre, but it feels like people there really got no other hobbies beyond limb origami. Which sometimes really works well with the story, but other times, guys, don’t you got something more important? Like nest making?? Prioritize! But I digress. I do enjoy Shara’s character quite a bit. She’s not dumb, she’s true to her heart, and while unwilling to cause harm, she enforces laws she believes in with iron fist on a table. My favorite being: nobody will be made to do anything against their will. Which shone bright once the King entered their domain, and her alpha, her dominant Blood was threatened.

Listen, I am biased here too. There’s too many little things that play to me here, like really well made vampires, a sense of political dread, the bee-hive-mentality. So I don’t know if I can recommend this off the bat. But I can absolutely give it a 5 out of 5.

Categories: 5-5, Books of Supernaturals, Books: Everything, Gothic Books, LGBTQ+ Books, urban fantasy, vampires | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Chloe Neill “Dark Debt” | Chicagoland Vampires 11

3Author: Chloe Neill
Title: Dark Debt
Series: Chicagoland Vampires 11
Genre: Vampires, Paranormal
Pages: 368
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads 

I admit right away, my rate to this book is full-on biased, because of the implication of vampire mobsters. It wasn’t as great as it sounds, but hey, it made my reading time better, so why not take it and run with it?

About: The more hints there were, that Sullivan’s master Balthazar was alive, the more he denied such a possibility. And then the man just waltzed into their house like he owned it. Merit’s resistances got shattered, and a whole new horror of magic suddenly showed itself.
In the meantime, house Navarre is in a lot of trouble. Their previous master, apparently, loved luxury and perfection, and thus ended up indebted to the mob. Mob with enough balls to make quite a few supernatural houses and clans dance. And now they want their payback.
So, of course, Merit’s in the middle of it all.

Mine: Author has a great sense of humor. If nothing else, I can really give her props for that, she made me laugh in every single book so far, no matter whether I loved the story or hated it. There’s also a lot of references to other things, movies, books, video games, and I do appreciate that too. And then the mobsters. Listen, I can’t help myself. I love vampires, and I love crime books. And I love when these two very different genres on very different Children of the Night try to work together. Usually it fails so hard it’s funny. And usually, like right now, I don’t even mind anyway.

I kinda really hope that these anne-rice-ish pale-faced gangsters will appear in the next book too, they seemed to have the gall and backing for it. But, hope is just that, hope. 4 out of 5 for this one, and on to the next.

Categories: 4-5, Books of Supernaturals, Books: Everything, Crime Books, urban fantasy, vampires | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Joely Sue Burkhart “Queen Takes Knights” | Their Vampire Queen 1

1Author: Joely Sue Burkhart
Title: Queen Takes Knights
Series: Their Vampire Queen 1
Genre: Vampire, Romance, Erotica
Pages: 190
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

I found this doom, gloom, darkness, and blood cover, and of course it lured me in to give it a shot. The fact that it’s so short also helped. I figured I can read it between Chicagoland Vampires for a break. Though, mind you, pay attention to the genre and make sure you’re okay with the combo, for a lot of action is bed-based, and there’s blood as due to vampires.

About: Shara was hunted by monsters as long as she can remember. Creatures that come as the night falls, thirsty for blood, her blood. They killed her parents too, and she thought this night was her last, for she has been caught outside, with no shelter in sight, nor weapons at hand. But as the end seemed inevitable, two mighty fellas dropped in, and crushed the thralls like ants, promptly falling to their knees before Shara right after. For she is their Vampire Queen. She gives purpose to their life, as long as she’ll have them, and allow them to serve her. But this newly found Queen has so many questions, that the whole serving part might get delayed due to little detective line unfurling.

Mine: Vampires here seem to operate a lot like bee hives. There’s a Queen, who attracts a court of Bloods around her, and they serve her for it is in their nature to follow her will. Queens can be found in the wild, so, living among humans and such, or other courts, of which there’s only a brief mention before the end of the book, so there’s likely plenty of these little (and big) hives they call nests all over. Now, as for the erotica part, blood and sex go hand in hand here, so keep that in mind. And even beside this whole ordeal, I did really enjoy the darker take on vampires. It’s refreshing after all the humans with fangs who drink blood and happen to be immortal.

I liked this, I think I’ll continue with it. Seeing how short they are, I do think they’ll be good break-books. But I’d avoid audiobooks, the female voice… I would’ve preferred someone more mature sounding for the Queen. For now I give it a 4 out of 5.

Categories: 4-5, Books of Supernaturals, Books: Everything, Gothic Books, LGBTQ+ Books, urban fantasy, vampires | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Chloe Neill “Blood Games” | Chicagoland Vampires 10

1.jpgAuthor: Chloe Neill
Title: Blood Games
Series: Chicagoland Vampires 10
Genre: Paranormal, Vampire
Pages: 350
Rate: 2/5 | Goodreads

Right. I am up to power through this. Only two more books to go. But, easier said than done, knowing the baby prophecy is bound to come true in any page now. And seeing how Merit is becoming this obedient, ever forgiving, supportive bundle of “it’s fine if you mock me by pretending you’re proposing 20 times a day” little vampire lady… It might come both too soon, and not soon enough. I am really done here.

About: GP is shaken at the foundation as their rule is challenged by no other than rogue Sullivan, who had the gall to quit GP a couple books ago. And not only that, there’s apparently more candidates to the throne too. Vampire Hunger Games begin: there’ll be tests, there’ll be challenges, and it will be scary. Like, you’ll have a vision, knowing you’re going to see a vision, get glamoured or something, of your dying boyfriend or a girlfriend, and you’ll still fail somehow… But hey, only the best of the best can lead the GP. And since Sullivan is already being blackmailed, I think we all see who the biggest baddest cutthroat is. In the meantime, someone’s ritualistically killing people, and putting blame on everyone: witches, vampires, you name it.

Mine: Forget all the compliments I ever paid to Sullivan. No. He’s just one of those bad boys with past so dark, that if he told you what he did: you’d go gray then and there. SPOILER And then it turns out that someone somewhat related to him killed someone to teach him a lesson. SPOILER ENDS And that’s the big fat secret that makes him so bad, so dark, such a monster, wow. But what about those fancy sounding ritualistic murders, you ask me? Well, if you’re following these reviews on Chicagoland Vampires, you probably already guessed it anyway: it’s the substance lacking side-plot to fill in the gaps between the pages, with a lot of bark to it, and not a damn bite. The best part about this book was that one plot twist that I’ve not even hinted here to. Suffer with me!

But really, while the series are mediocre, this book here was definitely bad. It’s the first I can truly call bad in the series, so don’t stake me just yet. 2 out of 5, and I continue. I continue ASAP in fact.

Categories: 2-5, Books: Everything, urban fantasy, vampires | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Chloe Neill “Wild Things” | Chicagoland Vampires 9

11Author: Chloe Neill
Title: Wild Things
Series: Chicagoland Vampires 9
Genre: Paranormal, Vampires
Pages: 350
Rate: 3/5 | Goodreads

I forgot how weak the bad guy plot line always is in Chicagoland Vampires books. But we’re almost done, bear with me! Wild things is 9th book out of, yes, you guessed it, 13!

About: Things made of magic are attacking groups and gatherings of supernaturals. Things that don’t exist. People disappear right after those attacks with no traces, no bodies, no witnesses. And while this happened during shifter gathering, in the house of one prominent pack master, who accepted to shelter Sullivan until his case with GP is solved, Merit has no choice but to try and solve this.¬† Otherwise, vampires and witches will be the first suspects in line.

Mine: “Oh, but the bad guy who is now dead had a daughter no one knew about” is a nasty little trope that I really don’t like. Almost as much as I don’t like the magical impossible birth tropes. Or supernaturals becoming humans trope. Sullivan was my happy place here, his drive for political power reminded me of mr Northman from Sookie’s books. As for the story itself, it was mediocre. Readable, but meh.

These are good for a quick and very light read, and while not good, still better than a lot of other vampire series I’ve read in the past. I can only give it a 3 out of 5 again.

Categories: 3-5, Books: Everything, Crime Books, urban fantasy, vampires | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Joseph Fink “Welcome to Night Veil”

9.jpgAuthor: Joseph Fink
Title: Welcome to Night Veil
Series: Welcome to Night Veil 1
Genre: Fiction, Fantasy
Pages: 401
Rate: 3/5 | Goodreads

I knew about this phenomena of a podcast, but I am not into podcasts, so I never listened. Instead, I figured, I’ll read a book. Yes. I jumped the damn wagon with “Welcome to Night Veil“, and I think it was a mistake. It’s not my cup of tea. Listening to the podcast a little would’ve most likely told me that. And those who enjoyed the said podcast probably enjoyed the book too…

About: Town of Night Veil is where all the odd, magical, cursed, and weird things are. Time works strange there. And so do memories. But people are strange too, so I guess it really works. One of those people is a boy named Josh. he can be anything. And he goes missing after a few failed attempts to question his mother of who his father was. It’s a hard task to find a boy who can be whatever he wants to be. But, luckily, his mother has a lead, and a strong feeling about it: there’s a strange man in a tan jacket that keeps appearing in Night Veil. He gives people a slip of paper that says “King City”, and goes missing. People tend to forget all about him, but the paper stays, and you can’t get rid of it. This King City is her biggest clue, and she’d like to start her investigation there, right after she’ll brave the most dangerous place in Night Veil: The Library, full of deadly Librarians. For no map in Night Veil show any road that leads to King City…

Mine: King meets Gaiman. This is not my cup of tea in the worst way. There’s really lots and lots of interesting things in this book, and the characters are very well built. And there were some really brilliant thoughts expressed and put to words that I loved. But it kept driving me mad. I hate that kind of story telling, where it takes very long for the narrator to tell you why this is as it is, and thus there is no need to explain, because hey, it is as it is, always have been.

It’s mostly a good book, it just wasn’t for me. The fantasy was very Gaiman + King, with nothing explained, but lots of words are strung together explaining that “it just is”. 3 out of 5 from me. I should’ve really tried the podcast first, and seen my way from there… But I don’t regret reading it!

Categories: 3-5, Books: Everything, Fantasy Books, urban fantasy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Chloe Neill “Biting Bad” | Chicagoland Vampires 8

8Title: Biting Bad
Author: Chloe Neill
Series: Chicagoland Vampires 8
Genre: Vampires, Paranormal
Pages: 350p
Rate: 3/5 | Goodreads

Are you at all surprised that I am back on vampires? I’m pretty sure this could be called binging. As always, easy to read and preferably with vampires is what I wanted. Even if I keep dreading the ever ominous miracle baby prophecy.

About: Anti-vampire riots, attacks on houses and individuals. They don’t gain much traction, but cause a lot of damage. Thus making it all seem mighty suspicious of riots being merely a cover up for something else, something more sinister. And Merit feels like she found a lead once vampires starving to death start popping up. They’re vampires alright, but… Somehow humanized. Out there someone is experimenting on vampires, trying to reverse the process of turning. And if seems a little horrible, well, not to those who dream of sunshine and children, so there’s no shortage of volunteers who do their best to cover up who is doing this.

Mine: Riots and their incentive, as often with main plot of action that serves no real purpose than give a boost and cover up for a detective plotline – had no substance in them. It felt like a red balloon with too little air – ya, you might try to give me an idea of Pennywise being around, but seeing that sorry floppy thing is not getting the effect through. On top of it, Merit’s sudden obsession with having a baby is icky. I don’t like children, I can’t help it. And if Sullivan turns human, I quit these books.

It was a meh. Not a good book, but hey, not a bad one either. I knew what I was getting into, and I know I read more of convenience than of actual love for the story. Also, I have learned that I am very capable of ignoring all romance. This is a romance book, and other than who is banging who in the main character shelf – I couldn’t tell you who is in love with who. You know what’s helping though? Their food obsession. 3 out of 5 this time.

Categories: 3-5, Books: Everything, Nosferatu Books, urban fantasy, vampires | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Chloe Neill “House Rules” | Chicagoland Vampires 7

4Title: House Rules
Author: Chloe Neill
Series: Chicagoland Vampires 7
Genre: Paranormal, Vampire
Pages: 352p.
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

Yeah, vampire books are definitely a comfort read for me, even the or maybe especially the short and simple series with many books I can get through easily. Thus, on to the “House Rules” by Chloe Neill, 7th book in the Chicagoland Vampires.

About: House Cadogan chose freedom under strain over safety under GP’s unjust rule. They cut bonds with disloyal fae, and are now trying to do what they do best: mingle, make connections, play politics. The only real difference is that these folk here are now all rogues. Free vampires or outright enemies of the GP. But things are never so easy, are they? Vampires are getting murdered, often in pairs, their heads sliced off with something sharp. They disappear in moments, and reappear in different circumstances. And if vampire serial killer is not bad enough, it seems that this murderer has access to clan houses too. No one is safe anymore.

Mine: The plot was pretty weakly built up, lacking tension even with something as severe as murders of vampires happening under the very noses of Clan Heads. And if I hear more of that damn prophecy of “green eyed baby”, I will start chewing at the pages. I will, don’t test me. But there’s good things here too. Like, character dynamics, they worked very well, jokes were on point and on time. So, mediocre story, okay-ish characters, interesting vampires.

I actually enjoyed this book up until the very end, where all the good things, the badass Sullivan, the kick-ass Merit, the plot twist of killer walking through walls got murdered off. Killer made no sense, kills made no sense, and the damn prophecy trope is always a thumbs down for me. Especially when it comes to impossible births. But for the sake of it, I’ll give this book a 4 out of 5 for once.

Categories: 4-5, Books: Everything, urban fantasy, vampires | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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