Tatiana has to adjust to a major change in her family life while still maintaining her power base. If you plan to start reading this series, you should definitely begin with book 1 so that you can keep up with the history from book to book. Chizine Publications, Available: paperback and multiformat ebook. Sharp, dark, and with a drug-induced dystopian flare, Katja From the Punk Band is the story of chemical dealers, druggies and dreamers, all on a quest to escape their island prison.
An unconventional collection of anti-heroes and antagonists, it's remarkably similar to the gritty tales of Sonja Blue by Nancy A. It's a toss-up whether the sheer violence wins out over the theme of the struggle to find a better life. But it's all good, dark and fast-paced, like being stuck in a trunk during a drunken joyride. Recommended for horror collections looking for something outside of the same old authors and styles.
Contains: violence, language, drug use. Reviewed by: Michele Lee. Dead Iron by Devon Monk. Roc, ISBN: X. Available: new and used trade paperback; e-book. This is the first book in The Age of Steam series, which begins in the isolated town of Halleluljah, Oregon in the late s. Hallelujah has pinned its hopes for prosperity on the new railroad that is inching its way toward them.
In this steampunk world, daily life is much as you would expect it to be in the Old West, except that gadgetry is everywhere, with gizmos called matics, or tickers, doing much of the busywork. The matics are made of brass and other metals, and run by gears, usually powered by steam. The people who create the matics—almost always men—are called devisers. The primary source of evil in this world is the Strange, which is made up of evil spirits who cause trouble in a multitude of ways. The villain is the seemingly human Shard LeFel, a wealthy railroad tycoon who was banished from his Strange homeland and is desperate to get back before the next waning moon.
LeFel has set up his headquarters in three specially built railway cars.
Shunt, a Strange who is ensconced in a matics body that appears to be human. In order to go through a portal and back into the Strange, LeFel needs the blood of a dreaming child, a wolf, and a witch. The plot follows his efforts to attain all three while the good guys try to stop him.
The story is filled with action, with murderous matics, bullying drunks and a witch-hating mob. After the climactic ending, the surviving characters head East for their next adventures. The mythology is fresh and inventive, and the characters are complex and well drawn. By the end, I found myself eager to know what will come next for each one. Contains: high levels of graphic, bloody violence.
Blood Bound by Rachel Vincent. Mira, Available: mass market paperback: e-book: audio CD. This is the first book in the Unbound Trilogy , an urban fantasy series. In this world, there are no shifters or vampires or demons. Instead, there are the Skilled—people who are born with special magical Skills, including Tracking locating a person or object through blood or full name , Seeing forecasting future events , and Binding binding people to magical contracts that, if broken, result in pain or death.
The general public is aware of these Skills and use them behind the scenes, which has led to the growth of a black market in which mob leaders attempt to recruit and control as many of the Skilled as they can. The two major mob leaders are Jake Tower and Ruben Cavazos. Liv is bound to the cruel and vicious Cavazos, a powerful Binder. She has been unsuccessfully searching for 18 months, and she has just six more months before her contract ends.
The scenes between Liv and Cavazos are disturbing, with physical violence on both sides, but with Liv always getting the worst of it. The chemistry between Liv and Cam is sizzling, with just the right amount of sexual tension running through all of their scenes. She also forces Liv to partner with Cam for the investigation. Liv and Cam must try to get around the various oaths that bind them so that they can rescue the girl.
Blood Bound is told in the first person, switching back and forth in point of view from Liv to Cam.
This is confusing the first time it happens, but then you get used to it. Vincent handles the difficulties of first person narrative with the ease of a veteran.
Each character has a back story that creates empathy on the part of the reader, and no one is all good or all bad. Even Cavazos and his crazed wife, who are awful human beings, have some good in them. The plot is intricate, and it plays out in a compelling manner.
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Contains: graphic violence and sexuality. Shadow Blade by Seressia Glass. Pocket, Available: Mass market paperback and multiformat digital. Kira's life is scarred by magic. Unable to touch others because of her power, she is educated both in history and in the skills necessary to becoming a slayer of the creatures of the Shadow.
Now, as an adult, she's a powerful Shadowchaser, a fighter for a secret organization dedicated to preserving the balance between Chaos and Light. As a follower of Ma'at, balance is very important to Kira. A friend brings a powerful—and evil—ancient blade to her for protection, and then ends up dead in an alley. His death exposes connections to Kira she didn't even know they had, and she feels the loss even more keenly. Then a mysterious and sexy Nubian warrior claiming to be the blade's owner appears, and when Kira discovers he can touch her without suffering the death that most people do, it changes everything for her.
Shadow Blade is a fantastic Egyptian-themed urban fantasy with a lead character who's the strong, calm type.
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Shadow Blade a fun, enjoyably complex read. Definitely recommended for urban fantasy fans and public collections. Contains: sexual situations, violence, language. The Hunter by Theresa Meyers. Zebra Available: new and used mass market paperback; e-book.
This is the first book in the Legend Chronicles steampunk series, which the author describes as a mash up of the TV show Supernatural and the movie Wild Wild West. In this alternate Old West world, the three Jackson brothers Winchester, Remington, and Colt are trying to track down the ancient Book of Legend, which has been broken into three parts and hidden away. The brothers must find all three parts so that they can close the Gates of Nyx, which are currently open, allowing demonic creatures of the Darkin to enter the mortal world.
In Darkin legend, the Jackson brothers are the Chosen ones, who will to bring down the Darkin and save the mortal world. Since the brothers were raised to hunt down and kill all supernaturals, the fact that their sweethearts are all supernatural leads to countless angst-filled interior monologues, both for the brothers and their soul mates.
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As the series begins, Colt, the youngest brother, is the only one who knows the importance of the Book. When Colt explains the Darkin problem to Winn and Remy, they agree to help him. This world is filled with the usual steampunk gadgetry, goggles, and guns. Unfortunately, the steampunk elements serve primarily as props rather than being an integral part of life.
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We just see the brothers using various gear-driven widgets or steam-powered thingamajigs to get themselves out of tight spots. He successfully summons a demon to open the door, but that demon is not exactly what Colt imagined. Instead of a red-skinned, horned monster, he gets a red-headed, curvaceous succubus named Lilly Arliss. The story follows Colt and Lilly as they search for the door and fall in love along the way, battling a variety of demonic monsters, from stone men to a giant spider, as well as an avalanche, a flood, moving rock walls, trip wires, and lethal traps.
Shades of Raiders of the Lost Ark! With its gadgetry and Old-West setting, one would think that this story would feel new and inventive, but there are too many predictable events and stereotypical dangers. The whole plot can be boiled down into one sentence: Two people from different worlds search for a magical artifact, encounter a variety of dangers, meditate endlessly on their doomed love affair, and make great sacrifices for one another.
No recommendation. Contains some graphic violence and sexuality. Reviewed by Patricia Mathews. The Shadow Reader by Sandy Williams. Ace, This is the first book in the Shadow Reader urban fantasy series, a series with intricate world building and a well-devised story arc. The primary supernaturals are the fae, who move between their Realm and mortal earth, but are unknown to most mortals, except for vigilantes, who try to kill all fae and their human assistants.