Fantasy Book Review: Under the Gun

Under the Gun by Hannah Jayne

Quick thinking and loyalty have taken human Sophie Lawson a long way in the UDA – along with a healthy dose of magic immunity. But when her old boss Pete Sampson asks for help after a mysterious two year disappearance, she’s determined to find out what high placed demon has put two ruthless werewolf killers on his tail. Of course, sucking up to her icy vampire department head and negotiating a treacherous interoffice demon battle are the kind of workplace politics that could easily get a “breather” way worse than reprimanded. And sexy fallen angel Alex is doing whatever it takes to heat up Sophie’s professional cool and raise feelings she’s done her best to bury. Too bad their investigation is about to uncover the Agency’s darkest secrets…and powerful entities happy to sign one inquisitive human’s pink slip in blood.

Sophie is in over her head again when her old boss shows up asking for help. He’s werewolf with hunters after him. But right when he arrives in town, viscous murders begin popping up – apparently by a werewolf. Meanwhile, her guardian Will takes off for England, leaving her with Alex, their relationship even more mixed up than before. Unfortunately, Sophie has deeper feelings for Alex that seem more like infatuation than anything. I’m team Will, mostly because I’ve never been on board with Alex’s motives and checkered (not-so-distant past).

Otherwise, I thoroughly enjoyed the latest installment in this urban fantasy series. Fast-paced and full of mystery, adventure, humor, and romance – Under the Gun is a quick but riveting read. A dark, fascinating world of vampires, werewolves, demons and other creatures and quirky, unforgettable characters make this a fun series that’s easy to love.

Carrie Vaughn Exclusive Interview and Giveaway

Author Carrie Vaughn talks about her wildly popular Kitty Norville urban fantasy series and most recent installment, Kitty Steals the Show with And keep reading for a chance to win a copy of the book!

Can you tell us a bit about KITTY STEALS THE SHOW in your own words?

Kitty goes to London for a conference on paranormal studies. Shenanigans ensue, of course! Kitty gets to meet vampires and werewolves in another country and see how they interact, and reunites with some old friends along the way. London’s a great city to write about, and I hope read about!

How has Kitty’s character evolved over the years?

She’s gotten stronger, she’s learned to take care of herself, and then she’s learned to take care of the people around her, her family and friends, her pack, and so on. Now, she’s learning to be a leader. The way I’ve looked at it — as the series has progressed, her sphere of influence and power have expanded, and she’s grown to meet the challenge.

How many books do you have planned for Kitty Norville?

I can’t say exactly. I have an end point in mind, but if I keep getting ideas in the meantime, I’ll keep writing. I’m under contract for four more at the moment.

KITTY STEALS THE SHOW is your tenth installment in the series. How do you keep your ideas as well as characters fresh and exciting?

The first trick is starting with a character who has a lot of potential for growth and adventure, then stay true to that character. There are a lot of corners of Kitty’s world to explore, a lot of different folklores, locations, and stories to tell. I’m always trying to find a new story rather than rehash an old one, and I try to let the characters grow and develop naturally. That makes for the most satisfying stories, I think.

Urban fantasy/paranormal novels are popular and widespread right now. What different about the Kitty Norville series that sets it apart from the others?

Read moreCarrie Vaughn Exclusive Interview and Giveaway

Fantasy Book Review: The Abused Werewolf Rescue Group

The Abused Werewolf Rescue Group by Catherine Jinks

Found in a dingo pen at the wildlife park, Toby wakes up in a hospital with no memory of what happened. Nothing seems to be physically wrong with Toby, and the doctors have no explanation for the episode or than possible epilepsy. When a strange note left on Toby’s hospital bed says that a priest claims to know about Toby’s affliction, his mother thinks the priest is crazy. But when a young man named Reuben claims to have the same condition, Toby’s denial slowly turns around when meeting a group of Reuben’s odd friends. And when Toby is kidnapped by violent men, he realizes the truth too late – that he’s a werewolf.

Toby and his friends are rebellious teens with a penchant for home-made explosives and mischief. But when Toby is kidnapped and thrown in a cell, he gets serious and uses his cleverness to try to escape. Suddenly his life is changed, and with it, his priorities. My only complaint is that we never experience any werewolf actually transforming. There is no “wolfing out” in this story. It’s only referred to. But after Toby is kidnapped, there is no lack of excitement and suspense. This is a sequel to The Reformed Vampire Support Group, but this is a separate story, and I didn’t find it confusing at all. Those that have read the first will just know several of the minor characters a bit better. With plenty of humor, mystery, and heart-pounding suspense – The Abused Werewolf Rescue Group is an entertaining read for fans of werewolf and vampire novels.

Fantasy – Fiction Book Review: Hemlock

Hemlock by Kathleen Peacock

Mackenzie’s best friend Amy was murdered, just one in a string of serial killings. But this serial killer is apparently a white werewolf. Lupine syndrome is a virus spreading across the country by just a scratch or bite from a transformed werewolf. But when a dangerous posse called the Trackers come to town, no one is safe from the self-appointed werewolf hunters. So, trying to protect those she loves from the Trackers, Mac decides to investigate Amy’s murder on her own. But as she investigates, she discovers all of her friends have been keeping secrets.

Mac is a brave girl who puts her friends’ needs in front of her own. Having come from a rough early life, she tries desperately to keep her closest friends Jason and Kyle from harm. Often in spite of their bad choices.

Peacock’s urban fantasy world is set in the present day where werewolves are real and multiplying every day. Werewolves are treated with prejudice and, if reported, are sequestered to internment camps to protect the general public. This YA fantasy is incredibly captivating and full of suspense. With plenty of drama, mystery, and romance – this fast-paced adventure is a highly enjoyable read for older adults as well as young. First in a new trilogy, this impressive debut was pleasantly surprising.

Sci-Fi – Fiction Book Review: Bestial


Bestial: Werewolf Apocalypse by William D. Carl

During a bank robbery in Cincinnati, a thief and a bank teller are the only survivors of a sudden, riot that has changed everyone else into huge, werewolf-like creatures. The beasts that used to be human are obscenely violent creatures that live only to kill and appease their carnal impulses. Then, when daylight comes, the creatures all revert back to their human selves and are overwhelmed with grief for their actions the night before, driving most to insanity. The thief and bank teller find two other survivors, a teen runaway and his mother, who must all band together to escape Cincinnati and stop the werewolf virus before it spreads even further.

Carl’s apocalyptic tale is intense and incredibly suspenseful. The characters are flawed, but completely engaging. Fast-paced and exhilarating, this science fiction thriller is impossible to put down. Not for the faint of heart, the violence and subject matter are like any horror novel, but the survivors’ stories makes gives Bestial heart. As a nice change from zombie invasions, this killer debut is for the werewolf lovers.

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