Oh, what a wonderful world!

Written in red

 

In this world where humans are prey, Meg Corbyn’s odds of survival are slim at best. As a blood prophet, owned and kept by her human Controller, she’s had little exposure to the outside world. Now, she has escaped and finds herself at the mercy of a world she doesn’t understand.

Pursued by her Controller, Meg finds refuge in the unlikeliest of places – the Lakeside courtyard, a business district operated by “The Others”, the supernatural predators who control the world. Here, she begins to learn about the world of the humans and “The Others”. She makes some unlikely allies and friends, and her unusual kindness and innocence soon have “The Others” re-evaluating the relationships between their kind and the humans who work for them in the business district.

But Meg’s Controller wants her back, and he will stop at nothing to require his property, even if it means destroying the tenuous peace between the humans and “The Others.

Oh, what a world! The detailed intricacies and characters are like a carefully drawn map and each corner reveals yet another delight. What a magical, beautiful and brutal place this is, full of every kind of creature you could imagine. Each has its place within this political and familial society of “The Others”.

It is a delight to meet each character and to unravel their strength’s, weaknesses and quirks. Each character has its own journey and they come together in a beautiful tale of friendship told by a very talented author!

4 of 5 stars to “Highland Shift” by Laura Harner

highland-shift

Hot Scot, romance and magic…

Elena MacFarland is on her way to Scotland, to take possession of a small farm due to her in a legal settlement with her ex-fiance, when she meets Faolan MacGailtry on the airplane. He’s attractive, dangerous and exceedingly arrogant, and Elena, thinking they will go their separate ways when they land, makes pleasant small talk on the flight.

Upon arrival in Scotland however, Elena finds herself at the receiving end of more than one murder and kidnapping attempt. Faolan, conveniently, happens to be present and manages to foil these attempts. He appoints himself protector and moves into Elena’s small farm house.

Soon, Elena finds herself drawn into Faolan’s dark world of ancient, magical secrets. How long can she stay alive and withstand his dangerous, magnetic attraction.

I quite enjoyed this novel. It has many draw-cards: a handsome, brawny Scot, an independent heroine, danger, romance, paranormal, ancient magic and plenty of hot attraction. The writer in me felt that it should possibly have been two separate books since there are two distinct segments to the novel. There’s the first part when Elena and Faolan meet. This part was wrought with hot tension and intrigue and was well-paced. Then there is the second part, after the two fall in love. This part felt very rushed, almost as though the author wanted to shove too many things into the last few chapters. The result was an ending that skipped over some important story-lines, but still had a darkly-magical feel to it.

The plot and characters were still interesting and there were some amazingly steamy sex scenes. Overall, it was a fun story.

5 of 5 stars to ‘Captured’ by Erica Stevens

Captured

Emotive writing

Aria sacrificed herself to save a child. Now, she has been taken as blood slave to none other than the Prince of darkness himself. Raised on tales of the cruelty of the vampires, Aria has first hand knowledge as daughter of the leader of the resistance. But The Prince is nothing like she expected…

As far as plot go, this one is relatively simple in structure. It’s a paranormal Beauty and the Beast story – and yet so much more. There is something so raw and poignant in this author’s writing. Not many authors have this kind of ability to rip into a reader’s emotions and turn a simple plot into a deep, passionate love story.

I loved the vulnerability of Aria’s character. She is strong without being perfect. She challenges the traditional mold of heroine because her beauty is much more of the soul than of the body. The world is which the characters live is a dark and well constructed one, without overly complicated details to leash the imagination.

Beautiful start to the series, can’t wait to read the next book!

Possibly one of the best books ever written

The raven King

Best books ever

Gansey and his court of friends are nearing the end of the search for the fabled Raven King. They are excited and yet fearful for the end of the search may mean death, and along the way, new friendships will be forged, secrets unravelled and dreams unmade.

There is something darkly magical about this series that marks it as one of my all time favorites. Reading a Maggie Stiefvater novel is an experience unlike any other. There is nothing straight forward about Stiefvater’s writing. She doesn’t tell. She doesn’t even show. She feels and makes you feel along with her. So much of this story is not woven into the plot or even into the characters, but rather, Stiefvater delves deeper into the very heart of the reader. She teases and tempts with her descriptions but never quite fully explains, preferring rather to stretch the imagination of the reader to impossible heights. She thrills, excites and terrorizes with her magical, lyrical prose and leaves you wanting more of something more…

Amazing, fantastic, frightening, dreamy…one of the best books ever written.

5 of 5 stars to ‘Mark of the demon’ by Diana Rowland

Mark of the demon

CSI meets fantasy

There’s a serial killer on the loose and detective Kara Gillian knows there’s more to the case than meets the eye. She can see the otherworldly energy on the bodies that nobody else can. She knows that the killer is planning something big, something that could have devastating results for many. Can she solve the case in time and can she do it without the help of the demon lord Rhyzkahl? Or will she have to risk bringing him into this realm in order to save it?

Rowland has taken two very unusual genres and paired them in a surprisingly harmonious way. There’s a definite CSI feel to this novel. The crime scene intricacies were fascinating and realistic. I loved the clinical detail of the investigation. Then there were the fantasy aspects. Rowland’s demon realm is not your typical romantic fantasy world. It’s dark, dangerous, beautiful and uniquely spun around its own set of rules and regulations.

Kara’s character is strong, independent and not afraid to take risks. The demon lord Rhyzkahl is as mysterious at the end of the novel as he was in the beginning. The reader is constantly reminded that he operates according to a code of honor that doesn’t exist in this world. I kept thinking this was going to turn into a paranormal romance at some stage but there’s very little romance in this story, only the slightest suggestion. This paves the way for a thrilling, focussed, investigative plot-line that resolves itself neatly, but still leaves room for more adventures. Overall, a fascinating read.

Action-packed ending to amazing series

Rogue

Best fantasy series!

Nikolas is determined to hide Sara away in an impenetrable fort following the attack on Westhorne. He will keep his mate to be safe, even if it means taking away her freedom. Sara has other ideas. She’s tired of being underestimated and coddled. She’s not going to sit back while the Master vampire ravages the country in his search for her.
With the help of her werewolf friends and one Mohiri trainee warrior, she runs away from the Mohiri compound and the man she loves, in search of her estranged mother to get some answers. But no matter how fast and far she runs, trouble will always find her – and keeping two steps ahead of her Mohiri warrior mate may prove to be even harder than staying our of the hands of the enemy.

What an action-packed ending to one of the most brilliant fantasy series I’ve ever read! Lynch keeps the reader on the edge of your seat. Just when you think you’ll hit a lull in the story, she thrusts Nikolas and Sara into escalating danger.
The fantasy element is even more magical than ‘Refuge’ with the introduction of many more species of demons and fae. Lynch explores the powers of the various species and slowly unravels Sara’s own abilities in a perfectly paced plot. New characters fall in seamlessly with the old and each has their own quirks and powers to make a gripping mix.
The relationship between Nikolas and Sara smolders throughout the story, bringing the romantic element of the series to a fiery pinnacle. The ending is an amazing amalgamation of the many threads woven throughout this wonderful series, leaving the reader sated but eager to climb into another Lynch fantasy world! Wow!

Earning a spot on my best series ever list…

Refuge

Best series list material

With a Master Vampire searching for her, Sara knows she’s a danger to everyone she loves. In a bid to keep her family and friends safe, she gives up her entire life and goes with the warrior Nikolas to live in a Mohiri compound. There, she will train with others like her, form friendships, make new enemies, and discover the truth about the man who saved her.

It’s been a long time since I got so immersed in a series, but this is one of those rare books that make you forget the real world exists. Nikolas’ absence from the first part of the story was not what I expected. I was a little disappointed at first because I wanted to see how their relationship would progress, but it ended up being just perfect for this story. His absence paved the way for a focussed journey of self discovery for Sara. I absolutely love the fantasy aspects of this series, and Sara’s training and her honing of skills broadens the fantasy elements. Lynch introduces even more unbelievable magical creatures and once again, she manages effortlessly to make them believable!

The relationship between Nikolas and Sara is taken to a whole new level, and yet their interaction does not detract from Sara’s own journey or her character’s independence. I love the intensity between them. This is pure, innocent and yet passionate romance, artfully inserted to compliment the main storyline.

So the real world can just wait because I’ve already started ‘Rogue’ and I won’t put it down until I know what happens to Nikolas and Sara!