Book Review: Tainted

Tainted

Tainted, by Julie Kenner, is the first in the Blood Lily Chronicles.

Lily Carlyle died when she tried to avenge her sister’s attacker. But she is given a second chance at redemption when she’s brought back to life in another woman’s body. Lily must start life over as a demon hunter and stop evil forces from opening a door to hell on earth.

Kenner is the author of one of my favorite series – the Demon-Hunting Soccer Mom. So, I had high expectations for her new fantasy series. This is a decidedly different feel from Kenner’s other light-hearted books. Lily is a tortured soul, still wanting to look out for her little sister, despite having to leave her old life behind. And even though she had a shady past, Lily is determined to do the right thing this time around. And that means helping the forces of good fighting evil. Lily is a kick-butt heroine in true urban fantasy fashion.

This series debut has one of the most twisted plots I’ve ever read. The story kept me on the edge of my seat with suspense. When demons seek redemption from their past, it’s hard to determine who the truly bad guy is. But one thing is for sure, readers are in for a big surprise. Tainted is fast-paced, dark, and action-packed. Urban fantasy fans won’t want to miss this new series.

Tainted releases from Ace on October 27, 2009.

Book Review: The Mermaid’s Madness

The Mermaid’s Madness

The Mermaid’s Madness, by Jim C. Hines, is the sequel to The Stepsister Scheme.

When the princesses travel by ship to the kingdom of the mermen and mermaids, the Queen is attacked by a mermaid princess. The Queen’s body is badly wounded, but her soul has left. As Danielle, Snow, and Talia rush to save their beloved Queen, they must hunt down the mermaid and recover her magical knife that has somehow captured the soul of the Queen. But the little mermaid has a story of her own, and it’s quite different than what the storybooks say.

In the The Stepsister Scheme, we are introduced to Danielle Whiteshore (Cinderella), Talia (Sleeping Beauty) and Snow (White). The three princesses have a much darker history than the stories say. They aren’t princesses that need rescuing. Each has their own gifts and abilities to save themselves, and those they love. When their mother-figure, the Queen, is in mortal peril, the princesses once again show sterner stuff.

I thoroughly enjoyed this novel, even more than the first. With a huge twist on the Little Mermaid story, the princesses stand up against the dangers of the sea as well as odd magic from a legendary sea witch. Steeped in adventure and danger, this dark fairytale is like no other. And a huge twist in the story had me at the edge of my seat until the very end. Fantasy and fairytale fans beware; you’ll be hooked on this mermaid’s tale.

Received in September

Here are the books/tv I received in September for review and/or giveaways:

TV/Movies:
Sanctuary Season 1
Primeval Volume 2
Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles Season 2 on Blu-Ray
The Guild Season 1 & 2

Ace:
On the Edge by Ilona Andrews
Xombies: Apocalypse Blues by Walter Greatshell
Doubleblind by Ann Aguirre
Torn (The Blood Lily Chronicles) by Julie Kenner
Quatrain by Sharon Shinn
Tainted by Julie Kenner
Turned by Julie Kenner

Roc:
Confessions of a Demon by S.L. Wright
Hunting Memories by Barb Hendee

Daw:
Zombie Raccoons & Killer Bunnies edited by Martin H. Greenberg
Gwenhwyfar: The White Spirit by Mercedes Lackey

Orbit:
Transition by Iain M. Banks
Red Claw by Philip Palmer

Pocket Books:
Spider’s Bite by Jennifer Estep
Star Trek: Voyager: Unworthy by Kirsten Beyer
Blood Bargain by Maria Lima

Plume (Penguin):
Ice Land by Betsy Tobin

Philomel:
The Hunting, Book One: Z. Rex by Steve Cole

Wizards of the Coast:
The Ghost King: Transitions, Book III by R.A. Salvatore

DK:
The Vampire Book by DK Publishing

Mirrorstone:
Silver Dragon Codex by R.D. Henham
The Shadowmask: Stone of Tymora, Book II by R.A. Salvatore

Harlequin Teen:
Intertwined by Gena Showalter

Tor:
Flashforward by Robert J. Sawyer

Book Review: Bitten to Death

Bitten to Death

Bitten to Death, by Jennifer Rardin, is the 4th in the Jaz Parks series.

The latest mission for Jaz and Vayl have them infiltrating the vampire Trust. But someone has overthrown the regime. In a mysterious rise in power and abilities, the new leader of the Trust shares a dark past with Vayl. And she has her eyes set on Vayl as her new partner. Meanwhile, Jaz still needs to deal with the voices in her head and hunt down the evil vampire Samos.

Rardin does a great job with character development throughout the series. Jaz and her boss have gone through a lot and their relationship is certainly changing. It’s been a long time since I read the earlier books, and I was still able to jump into the story and not feel lost. But one of my favorite things about this series is the character interactions. Jaz is a fantastic character with plenty of humor to diffuse the scenes of violence and danger. The physical attraction and tension between Jaz and Vayl is steamy and frustrating.

This latest installment doesn’t fall short on the plot and suspense either. The Trust seems to be full of killers and traitors that will do anything to gain power. For action-packed intrigue with loads of blood-suckers, shapeshifters, and other things that go bump in the night, don’t miss this spy novel with bite.


* PS: For those of you with sharp eyes, you’ll notice that the cover blurb is from yours truly, talking about the first book in the series!

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