Posts tagged “Paranormal

2012 Year in Review!! My top books and series of the year!

If you have any favorite reads for this year please share! 2012 has been quite a year for me. I’ve read some incredible books, some great books, some not so great books, some terrible books.  But overall it contributed to read count of over 131 stories this year. It’s kind of funny because I feel like a slacker compared to some other Goodreads friends who I’ve seen read over 400+ books; one even read over 900. But good or bad, I’ll take it as a victory. Communiting to and from my job takes a good 2 hours of my day, which allows me to and dedicate most of that to reading. A broken iPod has helped quite a bit too, but Christmas kind of rectified that so I’ll have to see how my read count in 2013 compares. But in the meantime, I want to narrow things down and present my favorite urban fantasy/paranormal books of 2012.

1

Ever After ARC (The Hollows #11) by Kim HarrisonEver After

I debated listing this one because it technically doesn’t come out until 2013, but it rocked my personal socks this year, and I’m sure it will rock yours in January, so I’m going to list it.

2

All Dorina Basarab novels, including Fury’s Kiss by Karen Chance

Fury's Kiss, Karen Chance, dorina basarab

Though I was fairly familiar with its original sister series, Cassandra “Cassie” Palmer, I was really surprised to find that I love this series infinitely more. It’s got all of the pluses, none of the annoyances. Dory is a riot, but she kicks ass too. It just pains me that it take 2 years between books.

3

Wicked as They Come (Blud #1) by Delilah S. Dawson

Early on in the year this was my favorite book.  The world was new, interesting and exciting. And Criminy was awesome! I definitely can’t wait for the next book featuring him and Tish, but much like Karen Chance, this author alternates from book to book.

4

A Perfect Blood (The Hollows #10) by Kim Harrison

A Perfect Blood, Rachel Morgan, Kim Harrison

Yes, the Hollows takes two spots on my list.  In addition to the Ever After ARC, with all of the different publications this year from Into the Woods to Blood Crime to Trouble on Reserve to Trent’s POV from the paperback of A Perfect Blood, two spots can’t be surprising. However, while good, this book wasn’t quite in the same class as Ever After, but I did love it.  And like most Trenchers out there, Trent’s POV left me speechless! Oh and it’s also pretty awesome anytime I can meet Kim Harrison!

5

Kingmakers (Vampire Empire #3) by Susan and Clay Griffith

kingmakers, susan and clay griffith, vampire empire #3

This was another fantastic finish to a wonderful trilogy.  I was fortunate enough to read the ARC for this series and I loved it! If only there was more!

6

Dead Morning Sky (Experiment in Terror #3) by Karina Halle

experiment in terror, dead morning sky, karina halle

I wanted scary and I got scary! Just a little more than I bargained for with the weird crap that was happening OFF the pages while reading it.  And funny enough, there was no repeat of that peculiar activity after I was done. I have since stopped here, but there are definitely more books with Dex and Perry’s adventures. I plan to get to them after catching up with the Night Huntress series that I’m currently reading.

7

Ashes of Honor (October Daye #6) by Seanan McGuire

ashes of honor, seanan mcguire, october daye, toby daye

I read this book at a pretty difficult time. I started reading it and then I got my hands on the Ever After ARC.  I was riding too much of a high for anything else to compare, including this.  But in hindsight, this book rocks and I bet the next book will be my favorite of the series!

8

Tale of the Vampire Bride by Rhiannon Frater

Tale of the Vampire Bride, Rhiannon Frater

I was gripped from beginning to end on this one. It’s not an easy read, and do not mistake this for a romance. It’s more like one of those train-wrecks that you can’t look away from.  Unfortunately the sequel was nowhere near as good, but I hope this series continues eventually. I would love to read a third book if it could get back to the level of book 1.

9

Angelfall (Penryn & the End of Days #1) by Susan Ee

ANGELFALL, Susan Ee, Penryn & The End of Days

I have a bit of an aversion when it comes to the Young Adult genre, but this is an exception. I LOVED this book and I often find myself wondering how long it’d be until the second book is released. That’s definitely a sign of a book worthy of this list. Even better, it’s probably the best $0.99 I’ve spent on a book!

10

Love is Fear (Valerie Dearborn #2) by Caroline Hanson

Love is Fear, caroline hanson, valerie dearborn 2

Though this trilogy arc is complete, this book is probably my favorite of the three. I finished wanting more, more, MORE!

Honorable Mentions

Iced (Dani O’Malley #1) by Karen Marie Moning – I definitely didn’t inhale this one as fast as the original Fever novels, but it did leave an impression. Honestly though, I just want more Mac and Barrons!

At Grave’s End (Night Huntress #3) by Jeaniene Frost – The review is pending right now because I wanted to post this year in review first, but I did enjoy it the most of the three novels thusfar. This series isn’t really among my favorites, but it seems to be positioning itself in the tier of series that are right below my favorites.  Not a bad place to be. There’s Bones to thank for that.

Fire Baptized (Habitat #1) by Kenya Wright – I inhaled this book as well.  This fresh take on the urban fantasy genre was just what I needed at the time and unlike some series where the sequels don’t measure up, its sequel certainly did and I look forward to book 3!

Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion – I enjoyed this book quite a bit, as well as the movie. It presented a different take on the genre that I found refreshing.

A Blood Seduction (Vamp City #1) by Pamela Palmer – an alternate Washington, DC gets some bonus points!  This book introduced a pretty intriguing world. I read it in a day and enjoyed it, so that’s why it gets a mention.  Just beware that this isn’t true romance.  If you go in with those expectations you’ll likely be disappointed.

The Fire Lord’s Lover (The Elven Lords #1) by Kathryne Kennedy – I read this particular book in one day and I loved the world building and build up to the eventual romance. Unfortunately the sequels never really struck the same chord.

So all in all it’s been a good year! This blog has been good to me. YOU guys have been good to me. And I hope 2013 is even better!! The great thing about books is that there’s something for everybody.  I wish you all a very Happy New Year!


By a Thread (Elemental Assassin #6) – Ain’t no rest for the wicked

By a thread, jennifer estep, Elemental Assassin, Gin Blanco, SpiderIt seems as if Gin Blanco can’t catch a break no matter how hard she tries. As Jennifer Estep’s prior novel, Spider’s Revenge, and short story, Thread of Death, wrapped up the first major arc of this series, this book was more of a cool down with Gin taking a vacation with her sister, Bria, in an attempt to bond and heal after all they’ve been through.

The location of choice for this vacation is Bria’s old hometown, a swanky beach town where all looks fun on the surface.  But we soon learn this isn’t the case with a big bad vampire running the show and flexing some muscle; he threatens and terrorizes one of Bria’s childhood friends and that doesn’t sit well with Gin.  The moral of this story is that you can take the Spider out of Ashland, but you can’t take the Spider out of Gin. She works to help Bria’s friend by any means necessary, much to Bria and…Donovan Caine’s chagrin.  The only question is if the Spider can win on someone else’s turf.

As I’ve mentioned in previous reviews, as I started progressing with this series, the amount of summarizing and rehashing grew fairly tiresome for me and distracted me from enjoying the novel as a whole at times.  Don’t get me wrong, I still managed to do it, but it affected the overall quality for me.  This time around I think Estep got the memo because it was kept to a minimum.  I was actually surprised that we didn’t get a summary of the Thread of Death short, but I’m not complaining.

While the rehashing is down, I still found a new set of problems with this book.  Number one: Donovan Caine.  It’s been several books and for the life of me I still don’t understand why he’s worth any kind of page space anymore.  A huge “thread” of the plot was about Gin finally getting over her two romps in the hay with him that oh-so-emotionally tormented her because he was everything she wanted and she couldn’t be what he needed and blah blah blah.  Good riddance then and good riddance now to that storyline.

Another area that irked me was that the whole reason for her to be on vacation was to take her out of her element. I was really hoping to see her adapt more. ***slight spoiler***I was not a fan of the whole crew eventually finding their way to the beach town, pretty much bringing Ashland to Gin.***end spoiler*** Either send her back home or switch up her options; how it turned out didn’t really work for me.

The romance aspect of this series has never done anything for me, and at this point I doubt it will. Bria and Finn annoy me.  Their interactions feel so totally high school-like and instead of giving me the warm fuzzies, it makes me roll my eyes.  I’m not the craziest about beach sex scenes either. It’s totally unrealistic and this may be TMI, but I am not sure how hott or romantic it is to have sand up in your junk, but maybe that’s just me.

I also kind of wished Gin would stop talking about how unlucky she was while during every fight a lot of things happen out of sheer luck to give her the upper hand.  The action is really THE main reason I crack open these books and find them to be easy reads.

Overall the action was still up to the usual standards, but it’s sort of feeling like the same old same old since Gin didn’t evolve much.  The villains are usually very well done and this one was no exception. I felt like he was developed well and he was really the best part of the book for me.  He was definitely one you loved to hate.

This read was mainly about dealing with Gin’s personal life emotionally, settling issues with Donovan Caine and Bria. This is amped up in the last 10% which felt really drawn out to me after a while.  It’s sort of hard to wonder what’s next for Gin and if it will be as interesting or engaging as her arc with Mab.  The preview for the next book looks like it will begin to focus a more on a new character that we met in the Thread of Death short story, but this is only my guess based on a couple of subtleties.  Book 7, Widow’s Web, is due out later this year.  It will determine if this series has jumped the shark for me and if I should hang it up for good.


Thread of Death – Short and sweet Elemental Assassin Story

Thread of Death - Jennifer Estep, Elemental Assassin 5.5This short story takes us through the aftermath and arc conclusion of Jennifer Estep’s 5th book, Spider’s Revenge.  On the outside, Gin looks as healthy as ever, but she’s still healing internally from her huge showdown with Mab.  Gin wants to drop by the old girl’s funeral to say her goodbyes (as weird as that may seem), but with her secret out she’s got an even bigger target on her back with all of Ashland’s underworld wanting a piece.

The this short was pretty good and fairly lengthy.  It’s definitely not worth reading if you didn’t read the 4th book, even though Estep is the queen of summarizing and rehashing.  Even the short story was no exception, but at least there was plenty of good stuff.  It gets to the meat of why I like the read these books which is for the action.  It’s not imperative that you read this installment if you’re just looking to catch up with everything, but it doesn’t disappoint.


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