taketimetoshine: (Sam)
Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett - Good Omens
The blurb:According to The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch (the world's only completely accurate book of prophecies, written in 1655, before she exploded), the world will end on a Saturday. Next Saturday, in fact. Just before dinner.

So the armies of Good and Evil are amassing, Atlantis is rising, frogs are falling, tempers are flaring. Everything appears to be going according to Divine Plan. Except a somewhat fussy angel and a fast-living demon—both of whom have lived amongst Earth's mortals since The Beginning and have grown rather fond of the lifestyle—are not actually looking forward to the coming Rapture.

And someone seems to have misplaced the Antichrist . . .
My rating: 4/5
Tagged: humor, urban fantasy, religion, supernatural
Date I started this book: 17/05/16
Date I finished this book: 20/05/16

What did I think? An angel and a devil who are good friends (after all they've been meeting for 6000 years since the world began in 4004 BC) and who like things the way they are, work to avert a plot to bring on Armageddon, with the help of a number of other unusual characters. I suppose I should have indicated a spoiler alert there, but after all, you know already that Armageddon didn't happen.

A fun read, thoroughly recommended. Mentally summing it up as "Just William meets Dennis Wheatley" (does anybody still read Dennis Wheatley?) I was then amused to discover that the book had had the early working title of "William the Antichrist". I docked a star because some of Terry Pratchett's later books are so good, and I must keep something for even better books that in many ways are similar. In a less clunky system I would give it 4.8 stars.

Wonderfully inventive on every page. The only reason that I wasn't completely bowled over was that I came late to this clever work. I've long admired the surreal comedy of Douglas Adams, which had shown the way earlier, and that plus the influence of this book during the quarter-century since the Gaiman/Pratchett co-operation has made its originality a fraction less startling.
taketimetoshine: (Default)
Rachel Vincent - Alpha
The blurb: The unscrupulous new Council chair has charged Jace, Marc and me with trespassing, kidnapping, murder and treason. Yeah, we've been busy. But now it's time to take justice into our own hands. We must avenge my brother's death and carve out the rot at the heart of the Council.It's not going to be easy, and loss seems unavoidable, but I have promised to protect my Pride, no matter what. With a target on my back and Marc at my side, I'm heading for a final showdown that can--that will--change everything forever. A showdown I'm not sure I'm ready for.But life never waits until you're ready

My rating: 4.5/5
Tagged: urban fantasy, paranormal, shapeshifters, romance
Date I started this book: 31/01/2016
Date I finished this book: 06/02/2016

What did I think? The book is very much all about Faythe, her struggle to grow up and the whole choosing between Marc and Jace. I would have preferred slightly more about the secondary characters - mention of secondary characters felt rushed just to wrap things up. There were parts where I was getting a little sick of Faythe, it was just a little bit too much me me me.

The pace of the book was fast and action packed, it starts with a bang and ends with one, with some really emotional scenes in between.

The book obviously ends with Faythe's choice, who she chooses is pretty obvious to me in the last few chapters which is why I was dreading the end, hoping desperately that somehow she would choose the other guy instead of whats-his-face - which is probably why I didnt like this as much! I am a big Team [x] fan (like I'm gonna give away the ending!)

On the plus side, whilst everything has been wrapped up (the big bad slain, boyfriend chosen...) there seems to be a lot more to tell and I've heard that Rachel Vincent is writing more stories in the 'verse
taketimetoshine: (Believe In Love)
Rachel Vincent - Shift
The blurb: Being the first female werecat enforcer isn't easy. Scars accumulate, but I'm stronger in so many ways.

As for my personal life? It's complicated. Choices worth making always are. Ever since my brother's death and my father's impeachment, it's all I can do to prevent more blood from spilling. Now our Pride is under attack by a flight of vicious thunderbirds. And making peace with our new enemies may be the only way to get the best of our old foe.

With the body count rising and treachery everywhere, my instincts tell me to look before I leap. But sometimes a leap of faith is the only real option...

My rating: 4.5/5
Tagged: urban fantasy, paranormal, shapeshifters, romance
Date I started this book: 27/01/2016
Date I finished this book: 30/01/2016

What did I think? This book continues the story just a couple of weeks after the ending of Prey - Faythe and the rest of her Pride are still devestated by the loss of an important Pride member and are preparing to go to war to get their revenge and stop Calvin Malone's attempt to take over the Pride Council. But attack comes in an unexpected form when they are set upon by the Thunderbirds - a Flight of bird shifters who are determined to destroy the Pride. The Pride have no idea why they are under attack and they are at a major disadvantage when their enemy can fly - they can't afford to lose more members if they are going to have a chance in the upcoming war. When the Thunderbirds manage to kidnap Kaci it falls to Faythe to discover what they want and to figure out a way to rescue her.

I have been a massive fan of the Shifters series ever since I read Stray but with each book I've been amazed that it has managed to be better than the last. Shift didn't disappoint and I was drawn into Faythe's world from the very first page. I love the way Faythe's character has grown throughout the series - she still has flaws and makes mistakes but she is truely starting to show her full potential.

Shift is action packed from the word go and kept me on the edge of my seat until the last page. I really didn't know how the book was going to end and there were some great twists that I wasn't expecting. I have no idea how the relationship issues between Faythe, Marc & Jace will be resolved after the events of the last book. I feel for each of the characters and just can't see a way to give all three of them a happy ending.

The style of Rachel Vincent's writing has created an absorbing world that hooks you from the moment you pick up the book. I don't think I've ever felt so emotionally invested in the outcome of a series before and for that reason I am both longing for and dreading the final book Alpha. I'm sure Rachel will manage to surpass my expectations but I really don't want my journey with Faythe, Marc & the Pride to come to an end
taketimetoshine: (Have The Answer)
Rachel Vincent - Prey
The blurb: Sometimes playing cat and mouse is no game...Play? "Right." My Pride is under fire from all sides, my father's authority is in question and my lover is in exile. Which means I haven't laid eyes on Marc's gorgeous face in months. And with a new mother "and" an I-know-everything teenager under my protection, I don't exactly have time to fantasize about ever seeing him again.

Then our long-awaited reunion is ruined by a vicious ambush by strays. Now our group is under attack, Marc is missing and I will need every bit of skill and smarts to keep my family from being torn apart. Forever.

My rating: 4/5
Tagged: urban fantasy, paranormal, shapeshifters, romance
Date I started this book: 23/01/2016
Date I finished this book: 26/01/2016

What did I think? So far, this was my very favorite book in the series! Faythe is faced with the prospect of losing Marc forever - death is even worse than exile. Also, Kaci is refusing to shift and her health is paying the price. If Faythe can't talk her into shifting soon, she won't live another week! On top of everything, the dynamic between Faythe and Jace is rapidly evolving. In the wake of Ethan's premature death, Jace has become stronger and is amping up his plea for a chance with Faythe. He knows that they can make each other happy. But where does that leaver her and Marc??? Although Marc doesn't die, Faythe hasn't told him that her and Jace have slept together in the midst of their overwhelming grief over Ethan.

Oh, did I forget to mention that Ethan's first long-time girlfriend, Angela, is pregnant? Ryan is back - did his mother let him out of the cage - for Ethan's funeral and a war between the North American Prides is about to begin.

I'm willing to bet that Greg Sanders will be able to call upon some of the Strays that he has helped (after finding out about the plot to track them with GPS microchips) when the war hits full swing!!
taketimetoshine: (Make Love Not War)
Rachel Vincent - Pride
The blurb: I'm on trial for my life. Falsely accused of infecting my human ex-boyfriend--and killing him to cover up the crime. Infecting a human is one of three capital offenses recognized by the Pride--along with murder and disclosure of our existence to a human.I'm two for three. A goner.

Now we've discovered a rogue stray terrorizing the mountainside, hunting a wild teenage tabbycat. It's up to us to find and stop him before a human discovers us. With my lover Marc's help, I "think" I can protect the vulnerable girl from both the ambitious rogue and the scheming of the territorial council.

"If" I survive my own trial...

My rating: 4/5
Tagged: urban fantasy, paranormal, shapeshifters, romance
Date I started this book: 19/01/2016
Date I finished this book: 22/01/2016

What did I think? I really enjoyed this book. It had a plot that kept you on the edge of your seat and there are some great new characters - some of them you'll love and some you will loathe.

Faythe..has a big mouth. I found this irritating in the first book but in this one I could understand why she let rip on occasion especially when she is up against such prejudice and sexism. You will want to scream at the injustice set against her with the trial. It's just not fair but it creates an insight into the farce that is Werecat politics. This might all sound a tad negative but it's very entertaining drama. I think that by the end of this book she did grow up because she lost something...and gains something else.

Some great scenes with Marc and I glad that this book demonstrated how the Strays have it bad. If they were only guided or educated by the elitist Pride then perhaps the situation wouldn't be so bad. They would have more control but they are too ignorant to see it. However, Faythe is starting to catch on...seriously, Faythe maybe a hot head but it is apparent to me that the females in this series would make far better Alphas than the men.

Great book, full of twists, turns and emotional outbreaks...can't wait to read the next one!
taketimetoshine: (Make Love Not War)
Rachel Vincent - Rogue
The blurb: Okay, so cats don't always land on their feet.

I know that better than most. Since rejoining the Pride, I've made big decisions and even bigger mistakes: the kind paid for with innocent lives. As the first and only female enforcer, I have plenty to prove to my father, the Pride, and myself. And with murdered toms turning up in our territory, I'm working harder than ever, though I always find the energy for a little after-hours recreation with Marc, my partner both on- and off-duty.

But not all of my mistakes are behind me. We're beginning to suspect that the dead are connected to a rash of missing human women and that they can all be laid at my feet--two or four, take your pick. And one horrible indiscretion may yet cost me more than I can bear...

My rating: 4/5
Tagged: urban fantasy, paranormal, shapeshifters, romance
Date I started this book: 15/01/2016
Date I finished this book: 18/01/2016

What did I think? Rogue is the follow up to Stray and picks things up a few months after the events in the previous book. Faythe and Marc are together as enforcers and as a couple, and life is going on as normal in the pack. When a number of toms are found murdered in Pride territory, their necks broken, these deaths are found to be linked to the disappearance of a number of strippers. Faythe and the rest of the werecats are plunged into a race to find the killers.

This book is well plotted and the comparisons to Kelley Armstrong's Bitten and Stolen are far less evident. The action moves at a fast pace and many of the characters are interesting and well drawn. The character sketches of the minor characters are great and I love the character of Marc but I'm continually left wondering why he loves such a selfish, immature character as Faythe. Yes she does grow up a little bit in this book and she is finally taking a greater involvement in the Pride, but she's doing it under duress and with no real intention of wanting to continue long-term. For a girl of twenty-three she's about as mature as someone five years her junior and her actions continue to hurt the people around her. My one real gripe with this series is Faythe, the angsty and angry, childish heroine that I wish I could shake some sense into. I know that Faythe is probably drawn the way she is as it gives the author lots of scope for future character development, but it makes it hard to love a book when you don't like the heroine. I like this series, but I don't think I'll love it until Faythe grows up a bit more. Here's hoping the cliffhanger ending of this book will lead to this happening in the next.
taketimetoshine: (Stitched Heart)
Rachel Vincent - Stray
The blurb: There are only eight breeding female werecats left...

And I'm one of them.

I look like an all-American grad student. But I am a werecat, a shape-shifter, and I live in two worlds.

Despite reservations from my family and my Pride, I escaped the pressure to continue my species and carved out a normal life for myself. Until the night a Stray attacked.

I'd been warned about Strays — werecats without a Pride, constantly on the lookout for someone like me: attractive, female, and fertile. I fought him off, but then learned two of my fellow tabbies had disappeared.

This brush with danger was all my Pride needed to summon me back... for my own protection. Yeah, right. But I'm no meek kitty. I'll take on whatever — and whoever — I have to in order to find my friends. Watch out, Strays — 'cause I got claws, and I'm not afraid to use them...

My rating: 4/5
Tagged: urban fantasy, paranormal, shapeshifters, romance
Date I started this book: 09/01/2016
Date I finished this book: 14/01/2016

What did I think? Faythe is the daughter of an Alpha who is also the lead Alpha for all the US werecat territories. She is also one of only 8 unmated tabbies or females in the US. Of course, she is very valuable as there are probably hundreds of unmated males to their one. Faythe has 2 potential love interests, Jace and Marc--I am torn between the 2 they are both so likable. Based on the Alpha's opinion, I am pretty sure I know which one she will end up with in the end. Then again, she isn't really one to follow...

She is very independent--in fact, she has been away from the pride for 5 years attending college like any normal 20 something. Single tabbies are being kidnapped and her father forces her to come home for her safety. Being the feisty little wildcat that is her nature, she is determined to make her own decisions and run away. Wouldn't you know it! There is a little hitch in her plan and as the story unfolds, it is almost impossible to put it down.

I am looking forward to the next in the series. I thought this book had a great mix of action and pretty good amount of romance. As with most strong female protags, she can be a major pain in the arse because she is so intent on being "independent" (as her father pays her tuition, living expenses and phantom-like bodyguards 24-7) . It is like it is Faythe against the world even when she know in her mind it is not the best thing for her well being
taketimetoshine: (Have The Answer)
Melissa F. Olson - Boundary Lines
The blurb: Fitting into the Old World isn’t going very well for Boulder boundary witch Allison “Lex” Luther: she may have earned a place in a vampire’s service, but now it seems as if every supernatural creature in town has found a reason to hate her. And when Lex and her partner are assigned to investigate the suspicious disappearance of two vampires during the night of the full moon, they find themselves with more questions than answers.

Was it murder…or mutiny?

The crusade for answers will lead Lex all over the Colorado Old World, from a prison cell for a broken werewolf to a haunted Denver brothel. And when Lex determines the responsible party, the hunt is just beginning: something has been awakened in Boulder, something as old and powerful as it is terrifying. Only the woman with death in her blood can stop what’s coming.

My rating: 4/5
Tagged: urban fantasy, vampires, paranormal, magic
Date I started this book: 05/01/2016
Date I finished this book: 08/01/2016

What did I think? I pretty much said what I had to say about the state of the genre in my review of “Boundary Crossed” so I’ll try not to repeat it here. My short review would be: If you liked “Crossed” you will enjoy “Lines”. And if you haven’t read “Crossed”, you could read and enjoy this as a standalone but I would recommend reading the series in order.

This well-written series is populated by interesting, likable characters with a nice dose of mystery. But I think what I like best about it is the main character, Lex. While definitely a “powerful” witch, she is an intelligent, ethical, army vet and it is these human characteristics that carry the story and, ultimately, save the day. Sure there are the usual “magical” situations but it is Lex’s humanity that is the backbone of the story.

There is a little more sex in “Lines” than the original, but thankfully Olson doesn’t write a porn scene- although she had me concerned for a minute :) Also “supernatural” violence and some cursing but nothing beyond what you would expect in this type of fantasy.
taketimetoshine: (Red Lips)
Melissa F. Olson – Boundary Crossed
The blurb: After her twin sister’s brutal murder, former US Army Sergeant Allison “Lex” Luther vowed to protect her niece, Charlie. So when two vampires try to kidnap the baby, it quickly turns into a fight to the death—Lex’s death, that is.

She wakes up to two shocking discoveries: she has miraculously survived the fight, and baby Charlie is a “null,” gifted with the ability to weaken supernatural forces...and a target for creatures who want to control that power. Determined to guarantee her niece’s safety, Lex makes a deal with the local vampires. She sets out with the mysterious—and undead—“fixer” Quinn to track down whoever’s responsible for the kidnapping, sharpening her newfound magic skills along the way. But the closer she gets to the truth, the more dangerous her powers become.

Boundary Crossed is a dark, thrilling journey into a world where the line between living and dead isn’t nearly as solid as it appears...

My rating: 4/5
Tagged: urban fantasy, paranormal, vampires, magic
Date I started this book: 01/01/2016
Date I finished this book: 04/01/2016

What did I think? his book reminds me a LOT of early Charlain Harris/ Laurel K Hamilton- before they went down the all-powerful-heroine-porn path. If you enjoyed their early books, I think you will enjoy this. (Witches and vampires and magic, oh my!)

Likeable characters, fast pace, not excessively graphic. At about the 32% mark I thought it was telegraphing too much about plot twists but I turned out to be completely wrong so that was another plus. A very little foul language and no sex (but a whiff of romance of course) for those who care.

On the down side, well, it's not great literature, but if you were looking for that you probably didn't read past the first paragraph :) It has a bit of the too-powerful-heroine thing going on and is definitely formulaic, but it is unabashedly light escapist reading.

June 2016

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