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Distinguished Bibliophile
dalnewt
Posts: 2,725
Registered: ‎06-16-2009

Re: New and Recommended

[ Edited ]

 

 

Blood Cross (Jane Yellowrock Series #2) 

 

I just finished this sequel to Skinwalker (Jane Yellowrock Series #1). This latest installment was both enjoyable and frustrating. I gave it 3 stars. (Perhaps a 3.50 rating would be more accurate.) Anyway, here's my review:

 

Like its predessor 'Skinwalker', this book engages the reader with sultry descriptions of New Orleans and a fascinating portrait of predatory but civilized vampire society. Unfortunately, the plot-line, (which involves identifying and killing a master vamp who's creating uncontrolled rouge vamps), is periodically abandoned in favor of 'softer scenes' which have nothing to do with the hunt. In addition, Jane's character is dumbed-down and weakened. No self-respecting bounty-hunter would pursue her Cherokee roots and/or entertain house-guests, (including very young children), in the middle of a hunt for a dangerous vamp maker. Nor would anyone with a modicum of intelligence keep house guests around after they were marked for death by the most powerful vampire in New Orleans and/or after they became aware of an imminent vamp war. In addition to being brainless, Jane is just too ineffectual and sentimental. I wasn't interested in her tear-filled emotions and was downright disappoint by her inability to fight back. She's supposed to be a vamp killer not a vamp victim who needs rescuing. I was also disappointed by this novel's failure to predominantly feature Big Cat. I truly enjoyed the alternating perspective between Jane and her inner mountain lion in first book. I also loved the skin-walking hunts. In this novel, Big Cat is reduced to a secondary character with very little dialogue and there's only one or two skin-walking hunts. In sum, this story is interesting with a dark detective-like plot, several action sequences and a complex/fascinating vamp world. However, the story's flow is periodically slowed by unnecessary/irritating distractions, and the main characters, (Jane and her inner mountain lion), are diluted. 

Contributor
KindleVixen
Posts: 23
Registered: ‎02-06-2010

Re: New and Recommended

Hi everyone! I am new to the board but wanted to share some of my recent fave reads!

 

1st and foremost - the Southern Arcana series by Moira Rogers. Its a great mix of Urban Fantasy and PNR. Crux is out now and Crossroads comes out on Tuesday.

 

Next - Mark Henry's Amanda Feral series... its disgusting but laugh out loud funny.

 

Next, Karen Marie Moning's Fever series.The cliffhangers are killer tho.

 

And obviously, Keith Melton's Blood Vice. How can one not love mobsters and vampires? 

 

Lots of great suggestions in this post, thanks for adding to my TBR pile! :smileywink:

Distinguished Bibliophile
TiggerBear
Posts: 9,489
Registered: ‎02-12-2008
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Re: New and Recommended

 


dalnewt wrote:

 

 

Blood Cross (Jane Yellowrock Series #2) 

 

I just finished this sequel to Skinwalker (Jane Yellowrock Series #1). This latest installment was both enjoyable and frustrating. I gave it 3 stars. (Perhaps a 3.50 rating would be more accurate.) Anyway, here's my review:

 

Like its predessor 'Skinwalker', this book engages the reader with sultry descriptions of New Orleans and a fascinating portrait of predatory but civilized vampire society. Unfortunately, the plot-line, (which involves identifying and killing a master vamp who's creating uncontrolled rouge vamps), is periodically abandoned in favor of 'softer scenes' which have nothing to do with the hunt. In addition, Jane's character is dumbed-down and weakened. No self-respecting bounty-hunter would pursue her Cherokee roots and/or entertain house-guests, (including very young children), in the middle of a hunt for a dangerous vamp maker. Nor would anyone with a modicum of intelligence keep house guests around after they were marked for death by the most powerful vampire in New Orleans and/or after they became aware of an imminent vamp war. In addition to being brainless, Jane is just too ineffectual and sentimental. I wasn't interested in her tear-filled emotions and was downright disappoint by her inability to fight back. She's supposed to be a vamp killer not a vamp victim who needs rescuing. I was also disappointed by this novel's failure to predominantly feature Big Cat. I truly enjoyed the alternating perspective between Jane and her inner mountain lion in first book. I also loved the skin-walking hunts. In this novel, Big Cat is reduced to a secondary character with very little dialogue and there's only one or two skin-walking hunts. In sum, this story is interesting with a dark detective-like plot, several action sequences and a complex/fascinating vamp world. However, the story's flow is periodically slowed by unnecessary/irritating distractions, and the main characters, (Jane and her inner mountain lion), are diluted. 


 

 

Well now that is disappointing to hear. But I guess it explains the cleavage change on the cover.

 

Wordsmith
PhyllisJ
Posts: 1,459
Registered: ‎11-19-2007

Re: New and Recommended

Dainewt wrote--

 

 

 

Blood Cross (Jane Yellowrock Series #2) 

 

I just finished this sequel to Skinwalker (Jane Yellowrock Series #1). This latest installment was both enjoyable and frustrating. I gave it 3 stars. (Perhaps a 3.50 rating would be more accurate.) Anyway, here's my review:

 

Like its predessor 'Skinwalker', this book engages the reader with sultry descriptions of New Orleans and a fascinating portrait of predatory but civilized vampire society. Unfortunately, the plot-line, (which involves identifying and killing a master vamp who's creating uncontrolled rouge vamps), is periodically abandoned in favor of 'softer scenes' which have nothing to do with the hunt. In addition, Jane's character is dumbed-down and weakened. No self-respecting bounty-hunter would pursue her Cherokee roots and/or entertain house-guests, (including very young children), in the middle of a hunt for a dangerous vamp maker. Nor would anyone with a modicum of intelligence keep house guests around after they were marked for death by the most powerful vampire in New Orleans and/or after they became aware of an imminent vamp war. In addition to being brainless, Jane is just too ineffectual and sentimental. I wasn't interested in her tear-filled emotions and was downright disappoint by her inability to fight back. She's supposed to be a vamp killer not a vamp victim who needs rescuing. I was also disappointed by this novel's failure to predominantly feature Big Cat. I truly enjoyed the alternating perspective between Jane and her inner mountain lion in first book. I also loved the skin-walking hunts. In this novel, Big Cat is reduced to a secondary character with very little dialogue and there's only one or two skin-walking hunts. In sum, this story is interesting with a dark detective-like plot, several action sequences and a complex/fascinating vamp world. However, the story's flow is periodically slowed by unnecessary/irritating distractions, and the main characters, (Jane and her inner mountain lion), are diluted. 


Tig wrote--

 

Well now that is disappointing to hear. But I guess it explains the cleavage change on the cover.

 


I liked Skinwalker well enough, I didn't find myself loving it though, but I liked it enough that I wanted to read Blood Cross.  Blood Cross took off for me in the first chapter and I was hooked through out the entire book.  I felt  that we got to see deeper into the mythlogogy of the vampires and into Jane's Native American background as a skinwalker.  Granted it wasn't a good time for Molly and her children to be visiting Jane, but since Witches and Witch children played a role in the book, I understood why they were written into the storyline of Blood Cross.  I did feel that Jane came close to dying several times at the hands of several vamps, but while I was surprised at this, I felt that at that time it added to the book, and that Jane would come out stronger at the end.

 

Phyllis
Distinguished Bibliophile
dalnewt
Posts: 2,725
Registered: ‎06-16-2009
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Re: New and Recommended

[ Edited ]

PhylisJ

 

My problem with Blood Cross is that I just don't think that Jane's character (and her intelligence), should have been sacrificed for the plot. If a person of ordinary intelligence wouldn't have kept kids around, then neither should Jane. Granted, emotional investment in the kids safety made the story more loaded, but Jane's decision to house a mother with young children is ridiculous under the circumstances. IMO, the plot doesn't excuse the inclusion of kids who would have never been invited to N,O, by anyone with a functioning brain cell (especially given Jane's knowledge that the master vamp of New Orleans wants her dead as well as her awareness of the dangerous nature of her bounty hunt). Further, the fact that she doesn't send her house guests packing, (after her house is attacked by the New Orleans Master and his master vamp scions and/or after she becomes aware of a looming vamp war), is simply ludicrous. In short, the presence of the house guests does not make logical sense and is not retroactively justified simply because of kids' efficacy in later plot developments. 

 

As for the expansion Jane's Cherokee/skin-walking history, intellectually I enjoy it. However, I don't appreciate anything that distracts Jane from the bounty-hunt she agreed to undertake. Everything has a time and place, and exploration of one's roots should not occur when you're agreed to shut down a malicious master vamp who's creating deadly, uncontrolled rouge vamps. IMO, it's a matter of my definition of a bounty-hunter which amounts to a person solely dedicated to bagging their target. This is especially true when the target is creating young vamps who kill any human they come across. Under these circumstances, a bounty hunt is akin to a man-hunt, where nothing else matters but bringing down the target.  

 

The book's expansion of the vamp culture and history, however, was integral to finding the rouge maker and I enjoyed Jane's detective-like investigation. That's why my assessment states that the "book engages the reader with a fascinating portrait of predatory but civilized vampire society." Perhaps I should have been more clear, but, for the record, let me say that I found everything about the New Orleans vamps interesting and entertaining.  

Distinguished Bibliophile
dalnewt
Posts: 2,725
Registered: ‎06-16-2009
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Re: New and Recommended

 

 

I recently finished  Archangel's Kiss and found it to be an enjoyable romance but not as exciting as Angels' Blood (Guild Hunter Series).  I gave it four stars and have included my review below:

 

This sequel to "Angels' Blood" features a steamy romance, vibrant descriptions and a beautiful but dangerous angelic world. Elena is an engaging angel-in-training and Raphael evolves into a more sympathetic character while retaining his lethal edge. However, the story lacks the pervasive tension, urgency and action which characterized the first book. The sexual tension between Elena and Raphael is not as exciting as when they first met, but the emotional tension within their relationship is interesting and, at times, engrossing. Although integral to the plot and interesting, the psychologic tension which Elena experiences while suffering from post-traumatic flashbacks of a decades old vampire attack is a bit overdone. (Further, the trigger for Elena's flashbacks is not adequately explained: and, the flashbacks are a bit monotonous and eventually become somewhat irritating.) Overall the pace is moderate and only speeds up during the sporadic action sequences. For fans of romantic fantasy, this book provides an absorbing and immensely enjoyable read with an intriguing pairing between an independent female hunter turned newborn angel and a millieums old angelic male of immense power. However, for action/adventure fans, this plot lacks the urgent pacing, intensity and action of the first book. 

Wordsmith
PhyllisJ
Posts: 1,459
Registered: ‎11-19-2007
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Re: New and Recommended

dainewt,  I do agree with you on several of the points that you make regarding Blood Cross, Jane points out all of these flaws herself in the beginning of the novel, why Molly and her children are there visiting her in Now Orleans, despite Leo wanting to kill Jane.  It appears that Molly and her children only managed to get there because Molly's husband Evan is away somewhere, otherwise, he would never have let them wander on down to New Orleans and as we saw toward the end of Blood Cross, Evan won't be forgiving Jane anytime soon.  I got the sense in Blood Cross that Jane thought that Molly was a much more Powerful Witch than she really is, and perhaps as we found out in this book, when Jane is on a Job, she needs to keep her head up at all times when she is hunting Vamps, because as we saw, she came very close to getting her neck chewed up several times through out this book,  But she did learn more about herself, and I think we will see more of a Vamp Butt Kicking Jane in the future. :smileywink:

Phyllis
Distinguished Bibliophile
dalnewt
Posts: 2,725
Registered: ‎06-16-2009
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Re: New and Recommended

PhylisJ

 

I hope Jane's intelligence, judgement, focus and strength improves in the future. Right now she's not much of a heroine in my book. I also hope that her alternate ego/soul Big Cat has a greater role to play in the next novel. 

 

As regards Jane pointing out how stupid she was as regards her house guests, IMO that's just an empty, pointless and self-serving exercise. There's simply no excuse for an adult who jeopardizes kids and/or fails to recognize known dangers. 

Inspired Correspondent
drthmik
Posts: 80
Registered: ‎12-31-2007
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Re: New and Recommended

[ Edited ]

I disagree

The kids were kept behind a supposedly invulnerable barrier

Vampires are forbidden by vamp law from harming children.

At one point Jane thought of sending the kids away but the kid with the precognitive dreams nixed that idea.

As far as Jane knew The kids were safe where they were. Inside what amounts to a fortress.

 

Plus it's really easy to say what she should have done from your objective position but I think that the fact that she can make mistakes makes her more real. The fact that she worked hard to FIX her mistakes is what makes her a hero.

Then there's the problem that had Jane followed your advice the kids would have been kidnapped anyway AND their mother would be dead.

Also you say that Jane recognizing what she did wrong is pointless and self serving? Would you rather she didn't recognize these facts and simply blundered on learning nothing?

 

In short You seem to be expecting Jane to be a perfect person that never makes mistakes and always does the right thing in every situation.

 

Such a person is completely unrealistic and would be boring to read about.

I just looked at my book collection and realized that I'm a Bibliophile like in Read or Die!
Piles-of-books-EVERYWHERE!
Distinguished Bibliophile
dalnewt
Posts: 2,725
Registered: ‎06-16-2009
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Re: New and Recommended

[ Edited ]

drthmik

 

Without giving away too much of the book's content let me just say that the witch wards protecting the house were vulnerable under certain circumstances, and Jane knew of some of these circumstances. Further, the house wasn't a fortress as Jane's friend and her kids left it during the day. As such they would have been subject to an attack by vamp servants and/or paid vamp associates at that time. As regards your assertion that vamp law would have protected the kids, Jane is hunting a master vampire who is flaunting the most basic tenet of vamp law regarding the creation and care of newborn vamps. As such, she should have been well aware that such a vamp would have no qualm about breaking the law against harming kids. Finally, as regards the older kids precognition, it involved only going to stay with her two youngest aunts. The older aunts remained available. (Note, the mother never told Jane about the other precog event.) In any case the house guests shouldn't have been there in the first place.  

 

Jane agreed to bring down a dangerous master vamp. That should have consumed all her waking time from the outset of the story. That's what it means to be a bounty hunter. There's no time to host friends or guests during a hunt. And, you certainly don't bring kids into the picture as targets. The book should have been a relentless and uninterrupted pursuit of the master vamp creating the rouges with only minutes spared for food and perhaps a few hours for sleep. (That means there should have been no time for cuddles, naps, family dinners and/or oatmeal.)  Inclusion of the house guests during Jane's bounty-hunt is wrong on many levels which include: undercutting the main bounty-hunting plot during the first half of the novel; consistently slowing the pace during the novel's first half and periodically slowing it during emotional scenes in the second half; and, seriously compromising the Jane's character in terms of her intelligence, judgement, and focus (including her dedication to her bounty-hunting job). Plus, the addition of the house guests was, IMO, a patently artificial attempt to emotionally load the plot. (When I say patently artificial, I mean that it doesn't make any logical sense for Jane to be hosting a mother with two young children during a dangerous bounty hunt and/or or to continue to keep them with her when the situation deteriorates even more.)

 

I'm tired of discussing this book. I have no doubt that some disagree with my assessments, so I guess we'll just agree to disagree.

Inspired Correspondent
drthmik
Posts: 80
Registered: ‎12-31-2007
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Re: New and Recommended

[ Edited ]

 

Seriously

YOU spend every waking moment doing work without breaks or even proper time for meals

Harry Dresden takes time out to go to the bar, go on dates, invent/work on magical tools or meet with friends while he is on cases

Anita Blake also takes time out for romance, dating and other activities including her animating job while solving serial murders

even medical interns have more free time than what you are suggesting

 

and

 

Your beef over the kids is NOT with Jane but rather the kids mother

 

No person in reality or character in fiction is realistically capable of what you want

I just looked at my book collection and realized that I'm a Bibliophile like in Read or Die!
Piles-of-books-EVERYWHERE!
Distinguished Bibliophile
dalnewt
Posts: 2,725
Registered: ‎06-16-2009

Re: New and Recommended

I just finished 

 

Deadtown and gave it five stars. Here's my review below. (Note, it's kinda long but I really liked the book.)

 

This debut fantasy entertains with a combination of vivid characters, witty dialogue, amusing situations, a realistic paranormal world and lots of supernatural action. The narrative is told in the first-person perspective of a feisty, magic wielding shapeshifter, named Victory Vaughn, who exterminates demons, (primarily with guns and sanctified blades), for a fee. The supporting characters include a sorta-boyfriend werewolf attorney who's dedicated to securing full legal rights for all paranormals; a centuries-old vampiric roommate, (named Juliet), who loves to discuss the real story behind 'Romeo and Juliet' and lives to look good while securing nightly 'blood-bag' dates; a 'norm' police detective who loves to flirt; a surly, gangster-talking client who's constantly trying to fire Victory; a sister who wants to erase her shapeshifting heritage while embracing her stay-at-home motherhood; and, an amusing, tag-along teenage zombie who mucks-up just about everything she touches. Most of the action occurs in a present-day, alternative Boston which experienced a downtown plague resulting in thousands of zombified Bostonians who humorously struggle to lead ordinary lives despite board-like stiffness, superhuman strength, deteriorating flesh, red eyes, voracious appetites and occasional blood lust. The zombies, along with the other parnormals, (e.g., werewolves, vamps, zombies and Victory, as Boston's sole 'active' shapeshifter), are required to reside within that plague touched downtown area, which has been cordoned off and become known as "Deadtown." PAs must have a permit to leave Deadtown and some (especially the vamps) regularly visit the 'Combat Zone,' a sleazy, rundown border area where the 'norms' mingle with the monsters. The story-line involves Victory's efforts to confront and kill the 'hellion' demon (called the Destroyer) who murdered her father and threatens to destroy Boston. (The hellion appears to be have been conjured by a sorcerer who breached the witch charmed shield protecting the city.) The plot is fast-paced, twisting, and fun. The only flaws are the predictability of the sorcerer's identity and the lack of a 'shot-em-up' showdown between Victory and the Destroyer. Nonetheless, the climax is inventive, supernatural and surprising. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a humorous, fun-filled supernatural fantasy.   

Contributor
scjs4r
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎06-23-2009

Re: New and Recommended

I recommend The Midnight Guardian by Sarah Jane Stratford

It was an excellent debut novel. Well written. It took place in Nazi Germany just before WWII. I am always looking for new and different takes on the genre.

Moderator
paulgoatallen
Posts: 7,327
Registered: ‎08-16-2007
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Re: New and Recommended

 


scjs4r wrote:

I recommend The Midnight Guardian by Sarah Jane Stratford

It was an excellent debut novel. Well written. It took place in Nazi Germany just before WWII. I am always looking for new and different takes on the genre.


 

 

I love the cover art....

 

Paul

 

Cover Image

"There never can be a man so lost as one who is lost in the vast and intricate corridors of his own lonely mind, where none may reach and none may save..." – Isaac Asimov, Pebble in the Sky
New User
deborah_urban
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎02-18-2010

Re: New and Recommended

Hi I am new to the whole blogging and book club online thing. This is my favorite category though so I thought I would check this out. I am always looking for new books to read and peoples recommendations so.

Contributor
ghostthegreat
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎02-18-2010

Re: New and Recommended

I would recommend Ruby of the Realms, here's the back cover synopsis:

 

On the northwest side of Chicago, Ruby has a perfect life.  Her family feeds her everyday, they are home with her all the time, and they allow her to patrol the backyard.  What more could a dog ask for?  But when Ruby meets Ortis the blue bunny, all of this changes.

In order to help Ortis return to his home in the Six Realms, Ruby must jump into the family’s pool with the rabbit.  Ruby never expected anything to happen.  But when the water started swirling and pulled her under, there was nothing the little dog could do.

Now Ruby is in Rocia, one of the Six Realms underneath the earth.  This new land is fraught with dangers at every corner, from hideous Crites to the ball-like Ozzixites.  But something else has been silently pulling strings from inside the Diamond Dust Desert.  An evil, older than the world itself, has begun its plans.  The fate of the Six Realms and Ruby’s home in the world above is at stake.  Now, Ruby must brave these strange new lands to save everything she holds dear.

Ruby of the Realms

  

 

Moderator
paulgoatallen
Posts: 7,327
Registered: ‎08-16-2007
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Re: New and Recommended

 


deborah_urban wrote:

Hi I am new to the whole blogging and book club online thing. This is my favorite category though so I thought I would check this out. I am always looking for new books to read and peoples recommendations so.


 

 

Welcome, Deborah – and if you're looking for recommendations, you definitely found the right place!

 

Paul

"There never can be a man so lost as one who is lost in the vast and intricate corridors of his own lonely mind, where none may reach and none may save..." – Isaac Asimov, Pebble in the Sky
Contributor
ScarletRibbons
Posts: 13
Registered: ‎01-19-2010

Re: New and Recommended

I highly reccomend, Cara Mia, Book One of the Immortyl Revolution, first in a new series by author Denise Verrico.

This is one of the best and most original vampire novels I've read in a long time.  The book has a sci fi component and the author isn't afraid of a little horror.  There are romantic plot lines, but in the context of exploring the character's place in her society.  The author has a lot to say, and the book raises philosphical questions.  Although it is set in the 20th-21st century, it hearkens back a bit to Anne Rice's Interview with a Vampire, but this time from the POV of a female.  The author creates an ancient world within the modern, where slavery is a fact of life, and to suggest vampires are some kind of mutated human is considered heresy.  The characters are mature and their conflicts run deep.  Cara Mia - Book One Of The Immortyl Revolution  It does come in e-book also, but I couldn't find it here.  It is on B&N's Fictionwise site.

 

Distinguished Bibliophile
dalnewt
Posts: 2,725
Registered: ‎06-16-2009

Re: New and Recommended

[ Edited ]

 

 

Roadkill  

 

Being a fan of the Cal Leandros series I wouldn't have missed this book. I enjoyed it with certain reservations. Here's my review:

 

This fifth installment in the Cal Leandros series is suspenseful and interesting but not as exciting or humorous as other contributions. Phycological tension mounts as Cal becomes dependent on the serotonin high he gets from creating Auphe 'gates' while his brother, Niko, impotently watches from the sidelines. The framework of the story revolves around a cross-country road trip from hell which the brothers undertake to catch and destroy a psychotic/malicious gypsy anti-healer named Suyolak (a/k/a 'the Plague of the World' and progenitor of the the black death). Enclosed within a slowly leaking iron coffin. the living mummy that is Suyolak has been stolen from the gypsy queen, Abelia-Roo, and her Sarzo clan. The brothers are joined by Robin, Salome (Robin's mummy cat), Rafferty (healer and werewolf), Catcher, (Rafferty's cousin and a were stuck in wolf form) and Delilah, (Cal's werewolf sex-buddy whose sexual liaison with half-auphe Cal has been exposed to her disapproving 'Kin' pack). The perspective alternates between Cal and Catcher, both of whom approach major life changes. Catcher is very sympathetic as he worries over Rafferty's single-minded dedication to finding a cure for him while recognizing the futility of that quest. Cal is oblivious and/or in denial about his increasing dependence on 'gating'. There's too many internal monologues from Catcher (who can't engage in ordinary dialogue because of his wolf-form) and Cal (who worries over Niko's reactions a bit too much). Consequently, there's not enough humorous repartee; however, Robin's witty quips and the antics of his amusing cat Salome provide periodic comedic breaks. Abelia-Roo also serves up some sarcastic humor. The pace is moderate and only increases when the characters face the (disease and/or genetically twisted) time-bombs left behind by Suyolak and the reconstituted monster himself. The climax is interesting and hair-raising but not a heart-thumping showdown between the brothers and Suyolak. By the end of the book all the surviving characters (excluding the cat and Cal's sex buddy) reach new levels of acceptance/awareness. I recommend this book to long-time fans of the Cal Leandros series but advise any new readers to start with the first book, "Nightlife".

Moderator
paulgoatallen
Posts: 7,327
Registered: ‎08-16-2007
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Re: New and Recommended


dalnewt wrote:

 

 

Roadkill  

 

Being a fan of the Cal Leandros series I wouldn't have missed this book. I enjoyed it with certain reservations. Here's my review:

 

This fifth installment in the Cal Leandros series is suspenseful and interesting but not as exciting or humorous as other contributions. Phycological tension mounts as Cal becomes dependent on the serotonin high he gets from creating Auphe 'gates' while his brother, Niko, impotently watches from the sidelines. The framework of the story revolves around a cross-country road trip from hell which the brothers undertake to catch and destroy a psychotic/malicious gypsy anti-healer named Suyolak (a/k/a 'the Plague of the World' and progenitor of the the black death). Enclosed within a slowly leaking iron coffin. the living mummy that is Suyolak has been stolen from the gypsy queen, Abelia-Roo, and her Sarzo clan. The brothers are joined by Robin, Salome (Robin's mummy cat), Rafferty (healer and werewolf), Catcher, (Rafferty's cousin and a were stuck in wolf form) and Delilah, (Cal's werewolf sex-buddy whose sexual liaison with half-auphe Cal has been exposed to her disapproving 'Kin' pack). The perspective alternates between Cal and Catcher, both of whom approach major life changes. Catcher is very sympathetic as he worries over Rafferty's single-minded dedication to finding a cure for him while recognizing the futility of that quest. Cal is oblivious and/or in denial about his increasing dependence on 'gating'. There's too many internal monologues from Catcher (who can't engage in ordinary dialogue because of his wolf-form) and Cal (who worries over Niko's reactions a bit too much). Consequently, there's not enough humorous repartee; however, Robin's witty quips and the antics of his amusing cat Salome provide periodic comedic breaks. Abelia-Roo also serves up some sarcastic humor. The pace is moderate and only increases when the characters face the (disease and/or genetically twisted) time-bombs left behind by Suyolak and the reconstituted monster himself. The climax is interesting and hair-raising but not a heart-thumping showdown between the brothers and Suyolak. By the end of the book all the surviving characters (excluding the cat and Cal's sex buddy) reach new levels of acceptance/awareness. I recommend this book to long-time fans of the Cal Leandros series but advise any new readers to start with the first book, "Nightlife".


Excellent review, dalnewt!
Paul
"There never can be a man so lost as one who is lost in the vast and intricate corridors of his own lonely mind, where none may reach and none may save..." – Isaac Asimov, Pebble in the Sky