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Review Date: 11/19/2008
Helpful Score: 8
This is a very silly book. While some of the silliness is intentional - the villains, known as "C**ts, are all lean, blond and slutty while the heroes, known as the Klatch, are brunette, voluptuous and "free minded." - much of it is just, well, kind of dumb.
The heroine has spent her life living in the shadow of her beautiful family who constantly tear her down for being fat and ugly. Shortly before her 24th birthday she discovers she is the long lost princess from another world who was stolen away by the C**ts when she was a baby. Unlike earth, in her home world the heroine is the epitome of beauty as well as being the most powerful one of her kind. I found her to be a big old bore. The hero is your standard romance cover beefcake type who's defining personality trait is his desire to sex it up with the heroine.
The plot is not terrible but the writing is amateurish at best and the characters are flat and one dimensional. There are many graphic sex scenes - M/F and F/F but they come off as gratuitous and not very sexy, IMO. I found myself skimming through them.
Bad writing, shallow characters, and unexciting sex scenes kept me from being engaged by this book.
Review Date: 2/5/2011
The third book in a terrific new series. Each book has just gotten better and better. The complex world building, the morally ambiguous characters, and a plot that really moves add up to a book that kept me riveted. Set in a world where there are no longer any governments or religion - there is only the Church of Real Truth, the only protection against ghosts bent on the murder and destruction of the living.
The heroine, Chess, is a church witch who investigates reported hauntings and either debunks them (there is a significant financial settlement if a person is found to have ghosts in their home) or banishes the ghosts if it turns out to be a true haunting. Chess is also a hardcore drug addict and the choices she makes are often cringe inducing but the character is so well written that her behavior is always believable. There are reasons why Chess is as screwed up as she is but the author is smart enough to use those reasons to explain without ever trying to excuse the heroine's behavior. The supporting characters are also well drawn, not stock characters but unique three dimensional people.
The author has taken a lot of risks with this series, it is not the typical UF, and I think it really pays off. This is a gripping, thrilling, vivid story that pulls no punches.
A hard to put down read.
Review Date: 3/22/2007
Review Date: 2/9/2011
I wanted to enjoy this book much more than I did. It's a complex story set in a complex world with complex characters but the end result was convoluted.
The setting is one of those "days of yore" worlds commonly found in fantasy, sorta medieval but with some minor steam punk elements like dirigibles and guns thrown in which does give it a unique spin. There is a lot of detail here and the reader is introduced to some strong, flawed characters... and yet, I never felt that the characters developed any further as the story went along.
The story moves quickly, perhaps too quickly for my tastes. We are often told details instead of shown, without the author ever laying down any real groundwork to explain the twists and turns within the character's relationships. I never felt that the characters came alive beyond their initial introduction, (as good as that may have been.) For example, trust is an issue between the three main characters. When this begins to change, I didn't buy it. Not because the characters were not worthy of each others trust but because the change in the relationships felt superficial. I accepted it because the author told us but I didn't believe it because it was not shown. I found it difficult to be emotional engaged by this story despite the fact that intellectually it is an interesting one.
This is one of the few times when I felt like a book should have been longer so that the author's writing could match the depth of the world she portrayed.
Review Date: 12/8/2007
Helpful Score: 12
An urban fantasy about a half human/half vampire heroine who teams up with a vampire bounty hunter to hunt down evil vampires. First book in the series with lots of fast paced action and fight scenes and a steamy romance.
However the main character comes across as juvenile and the rest of the characters are more caricatures than three dimesional people, defined by their ethnicity. So the English characters use words like bloody and bollocks and bleedin' with an absurd frequency; the African-American female can't have a conversation without using the word "child" to puntuate what she is saying; the Latina vampire uses, "nina" and "si" instead of yes. These characters don't talk like real people. They talk like ethnic stereotypes. Which is a shame because the story itself is entertaining and suspenseful.
Review Date: 12/20/2007
Helpful Score: 2
Three erotic stories involving MMF threesomes.
Angela Knight's story is short on character development but still sexy and fun. Set in a world where superheroes exist, it is more about titillation than storytelling. That said, it is still a sexy little read.
Sheri Gilmore's tale has more depth to it. A contemporary tale about three former school mates who realize their heart's desire lies with each other. Some nice characterization leads to a solid story about three friends who become lovers.
The last story, written by Morgan Hawke, is terrific. A scifi tale with strong world building, good characters, and sex scenes that are integral to the plot. This story alone makes the book worth reading.
Review Date: 8/5/2011
I'd rate this closer to two and a half stars. It's not a bad book but I find myself growing tired of this series. Lee hasn't really grown as character. She's still naive and not particularly insightful - a problem since she is the narrator. She tends to only see what is on the surface. I also wish there was more depth in her relationship with Taro. I'm not asking for lovey-dovey stuff but these two seem more like long term co-workers than two people in a loving committed relationship.
Review Date: 7/9/2009
Helpful Score: 1
I am a big Emma Holly fan but this book left me feeling underwhelmed. The heroine, Estelle, is under developed and the little the reader does know about her is because we are told - not shown. It was hard for me to invest in the romance between her and the hero, Edmund Fitz Clare because there seemed so little at stake. I found myself much more interested in the secondary (slightly creepy) romance and, for the first time ever in a Holly book, I found myself skimming through the sex scenes so I could get back to the secondary couple's storyline. I did enjoy the setting of this novel - it takes place in 1930s London and was a nice change of pace from the more common historical settings one comes across. A word of warning about this book - it ends on a huge cliffhanger. Nothing is resolved and for me, it felt a bit abrupt and ultimately dissatisfying. If you are new to Emma Holly, I would not recommend starting with this book.
Review Date: 11/7/2008
Helpful Score: 7
I just read Devon Monk's first book and really enjoyed it.
The main character is what is known as a Hound - someone who can trace a spell back to the person who cast it. The book is set in Portland, OR and I think the author does a nice job with her world building. Magic has been commonly used ever since it had been discovered thirty years ago. But there is a physical cost to be paid. Allie, the heroine, suffers from physical injuries and gaps in her memory due to the use of her magic.
One of the ways magic users can avoid paying the price is to offload it onto someone else. Allie's troubles begin when she is hired to find out who offloaded magic onto a friend's child. The trail leads back to her father which is when things get really complicated.
A strong heroine,a mysterious love interest, and a new take on the urban fantasy add up to a solid first novel.
If you enjoy Kim Harrison, Lilith Saintcrow, and Meljean Brooks, I'd recommend this book.
Review Date: 2/13/2011
Helpful Score: 1
This book has a fantastic setting but the dialogue is sometimes laughably bad and also contains a lot of info dumping. Many of the characters come across as cartoon-y, especially the villains and not in a good way. Funny moments in the story are really not that funny. It's too bad because, as I said, the setting really is fascinating. Too bad the execution is lacking.
Review Date: 12/8/2007
One dimensional characters and bestiality add up to true love in this book.
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