Category: Urban Fantasy

Blood Vow, by J.R. Ward

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Ward is at the top of her game with this, the second in the Black Dagger Legacy series, and there wasn’t a single one of her many storylines that I wanted to skip over. So in this novel we have in play Axe, a tough but wounded guy, and one of the trainees in the Brotherhood’s training classes for new soldiers. We also have Rhage and Mary, adjusting to new life adorably with their adopted teen, Bitty. And finally we have Elise, and member of the aristocracy, who is struggling to get out of her father’s restrictive traditionalism by earning her PhD.

I enjoyed spending time with all these folks, and we still had fights and romance galore. Excellent installment in the series from Ward. For 18 and up.

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Stiletto, by Daniel O’Malley

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Another fantastic book about the British secret agency, The Checquy. Author O’Malley delights with his insight into government bureaucracy, his unexpected monsters, and the wonderful female friendship that is at the heart of the book. The Checquy is attempting to merge with its arch-enemies, and when one of its female soldiers is assigned to bodyguard one of the visiting Grafters, their mutual hostility is at war with their innate politeness to amusing results. You don’t have to have read book 1 to follow Stiletto, but it helps. I love this series with a fiery passion. For 18 and up, due to violence and disturbing supernatural manifestations.

Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare

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Cassandra Clare begins a new Shadowhunters series, and she is in top form. Without the burden of exposition that slowed her first series, and back in the present-day, unlike her second series, she introduces us to new characters and the plot takes off from there. Fighter Emma Carstairs nearly storms off the page, and her best friend and fellow fighter Julian is well-drawn also, as a young man who has shouldered too much responsibility for too long.

Y’all know I am not a fan of fictional teenagers meeting and falling for someone they will love forever, but Clare’s tales are compelling enough that I roll with it. Recommended for 16 and up for (non-graphic) teen sex and some rock-n-roll violence.

 

 

Covet, by J. R. Ward

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A celestial competition has been set up to determine the future of the world. Seven souls – if they go the way of good, we all survive and thrive, if they turn to evil, the world ends. From this opening (in the prologue!) we meet several people in various stages of conflict in their lives, and as their lives converge, Ward sketches out the combatants in the first heavenly show-down.

A fun read, done in Ward’s signature gritty, sexy style. Nice touch that it’s set in the same fictional New York town as her Black Dagger Brotherhood series, and there are a few overlapping characters for those in the know. I’m looking forward to the series. For 18 and up.

 

Magic Binds, by Ilona Andrews

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Wow! The best one in this series for quite a while, though I have enjoyed them all. Atlanta mercenary Kate Daniels just wants to live her life: marry her boyfriend, get her PI agency going, fight the occasional monster. But she is the daughter of the greatest evil the planet has ever seen, and she will have to face him sooner rather than later. This novel just explodes across the pages, and it incorporates all the characters we’ve come to care about. A wonderful celebration of all that is great and good in the Kate Daniels novels: adventure, romance, negotiation, and assorted badassery. A fantastic read – 18 and up.

Daylighters, by Rachel Caine

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The “for now” conclusion to the Morganville Vampires ties up many loose ends, but first it begins with Claire and friends returning to Morganville and arriving at a changed city. Things are painted and refurbished, and the Daylight Foundation is bringing joy and sunshine to the town, but only to the human parts of town. The vampires are basically in an internment camp, and that doesn’t sit right with Claire or her human friends. But isn’t it a good thing not to have the humans fearing for their lives and serving as second-class citizens. Claire asks all these questions and more on her way to resolving her greatest challenge yet. For 16 and up, though this one has more sex and violence than the rest of the series.

 

Fall of Night, by Rachel Caine

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Our heroine, Claire, is officially 18, and the books have taken a darker turn, and they are more open about the physical relationship between Claire and her boyfriend. But more has changed – Claire has left Morganville for the first time in two years, headed for MIT and everything is different. Or is it just Claire that is so different from everyone else, scarred by two years of looking over her shoulder? An interesting read for fans of the series, 16 and up.