Sunday, November 9, 2008

A New Find

There is nothing I like more, than finding a new author who knocks my socks off and keeps me reading until the very last page. Stacia Kane, with her book Personal Demons, does just that. I could not put this book down until I had read to the very end. I started reading and couldn't stop, even though I had work the next day, and it was two in the morning.

Megan is a psychologist with her own radio show, which promises listeners that she'll "slay their personal demons." What started out as a slogan to draw listeners, is soon taken serious by real demons. It doesn't help that Megan herself has no personal demon and is psychic. Megan soon becomes the target of these personal demons and a demon that is much more sinister named the Accuser. She finds an ally in the seductive and mysterious demon Dante, who wants to, by turns, protect her and tantalize her. With a reporter digging up her past and a witch teaching her to control her psychic powers, Megan's life goes from dull and lonely to a touch too lively.

Kane's concept for this story is very unique. Her demons rather than being outright evil exist in shades of grey, ranging from simply mischievous to downright evil. Megan's reaction to having her world view forcefully widened is not only believable but entertaining as well.

The interactions between the characters is perfect. The tensions between Megan and Dante are skillfully handled and leave the reader sighing and wishing a man, or rather demon, like Dante would swoop down and protect them.

I would highly recommend those that like authors such as Kelly Armstrong, Karen Chance or Kim Harrison to give Personal Demon by Stacia Kane a chance. You won't be sorry.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Cast in Fury

One of my favorite genres is fantasy, but I feel that it is also the genre that is the hardest to find good authors in. Many times with this genre, the reader finds themselves reading about a world that is heavily rooted in a fake science complete with weird terms that make it hard to relate to the characters and events taking place. One author that I feel does a great job creating characters while still creating a world that is rich and enchanting is Michelle Sagara.

The latest book in her Elantra series, Cast in Fury, further follows the adventures of Kaylin, a private in the Hawks whose job it is to uphold the law. In the latest installment Kaylin is tasked with the duty of babysitting a playwright. After the events of the last book, the humans of the city have come to fear and blame the Thalani, a race of telepaths, for a potentially devastating tidal wave that almost hit the city. It is the playwright's job to compose a play that will cast the Thalani in a human light and ease racial tensions. As one of the few who understand the Thalani and as one who previously hated them, Kaylin is in the unique position of counseling the playwright Rennick on Thalani culture.

Of course Kaylin's job takes an unexpected turn when her sergeant Marcus is arrested for murder. Now Kaylin must find the real killers and protect the life of a child in the process. Her job is made difficult when a new sergeant is appointed, one that hates her and is looking for a reason to fire her. 

Sagara creates memorable characters that drive the plot of the story. Kaylin for all her flaws comes across as a compassionate person willing to sacrifice it all for her friends. Severin makes a good partner and contrasts well with Kaylin's reckless personality. I did hope that Nightshade would have more screen time in the book and that their bond would be explored further.

One complaint I have with the book is that at times Kaylin became a little preachy to Rennick about understanding the Thalani. Many of her arguments on the Thalani's behalf became redundant after the 3rd time she used them.

The action in the book is non stop and the mysteries keep the reader going. Sagara blends Kaylin's two cases beautifully so that the reader is not left with a feeling of confusion or dissatisfaction. Once again it is hinted that the time where Kaylin must meet the emperor is drawing near and leaves the reader with a sense of anticipation for the next book.

This book was a very enjoyable read. It makes one wait eagerly for the next installment in the series.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

A great surprise

About a year back, I came across an author, Ilona Andrews. I was between books at the time and eagerly awaiting the newest book by Charlaine Harris. I'd been waiting months, so I was very bored and on the hunt for fresh talent. Her book, Magic Bites, caught my eye and I figured I'd give it a try. It was an okay read, but I could tell it was one of her first books. Once I had finished I thought that the book had done exactly as it was supposed to and killed a couple of hours of my time. End of story.

Earlier this year I came across her newest book, Magic Burns. I wasn't expecting much, but once again I was between books, so I tried it out. Boy, was I surprised when it hooked me in and kept me in the story until the very last page. 

The story is set in a universe very unlike ours. They have magic and tech waves. When the magic waves hit, only magic can be used and the same for the tech waves. It was an interesting concept that I hadn't really seen before in literature. Like many urban fantasy novels she had Were animals and her take on vampires. The main protagonist of the book is Kate Daniels, a kick ass mercenary who has a very big secret that is hinted at but never revealed. Kate is a friend of the pack and antagonist of local Were King Curran, so when the Weres have their maps stolen their first call is to Kate to recover them. This assignment leads Kate into a pack of trouble that involves a vanishing archer, a belligerent teen, and an army of undead mermaids bent on resurrecting their god. 

Although Andrews writing isn't quite on par with the greats in the genre such as Kelley Armstrong or Charlaine Harris, her characters are engaging and the action never stops. With her heroine, Kate, who has more guts than brains, Andrews leads the reader on an adventurous romp that is sure to entertain and leave the reader wanting more. 

I can't wait for the next book, and I look forward to seeing how this writer develops in the future. I'm confident that her books will keep getting better and better.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

To Begin...

This is a casual blog about my favorite subject in the world... Books! I may write about anything from reviews to the latest trends in publishing. One thing you can be sure of is that I'm going to have fun doing this, and I hope anyone who reads this finds a couple of books that they'd never have read otherwise. 

I wish to impart some of the love I feel for the written word to others, and create a community that can discuss books. So if you have any topics you want to discuss or books you want to recommend feel free to post and I'll be more than happy to listen, or read as is the case here.

Let the fun begin...