Sunday, December 22, 2013

Happy Holidays!

Hey kids! 

I hope you're all enjoying whatever holiday you celebrate. As the holiday's are typically chaotic, so too are my reviews. I'm still reading though, have no fear, but don't expect to see anything new for for a while. 

I will see you all in 2014!!   

Strindberg's Star, Jan Wallentin

This is a Swedish book translated into English. It takes place in Europe as the main characters travel around in search of the truth.


Ok, so our main character, Don, is arrested for the murder of a diver who found a body while diving in a mine. The body is perfectly preserved by some trick of the mine, so it's super old, and appears to be the victim of either an accident or a suicide. So, there's no crime there. The diver, however, took a few things from the cave where he found the body, got caught up in the notoriety, and never told anyone about them. He invites Don up to take a look, since Don is a symbology expert.

Don obviously finds him dead, hence he's arrested.

Oh, Don is also a prescription drug addict.

Eva, is his lawyer. This is where I think maybe some plot points are lost in translation. Don is in interrogation and Eva just shows up and volunteers to be his lawyer. She says she was in the station for another reason and heard about him. I admit I thought it was weird to begin with, but what do I know from Swedish police procedures?

Don gets out of the local station, but only as a transfer by the Swedish federal (?) police. They take him to the home of a German. A home that's part of the embassy, so technically part of Germany. The German tells him a fantastical story about the real reason for the 1897 Andree Expedition to the North Pole. He claims they were actually searching for the location indicated when an ankh found by the diver is combined with the still missing Egyptian star. A mystical location.

When it becomes clear the German's aren't going to take "I don't know" for an answer, Don and Eva escape. This starts the adventure to find the star and clear Don's name. Or does it....

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Lost Years, Mary Higgins Clark

OMG. So. Bad!

This is the first Clark I've ready, but I've heard her name more than once. She's supposed to be a great mystery writer, so I thought I'd  try her out.

What could go wrong?

I could not dislike this more.

Ok, in all fairness, there are elements of this I did like. It kept me guessing, for one thing. One big thing. Gotta like that.

It's just not enough.

Ok, so Mariah's father is killed over a parchment he believes, and is, a letter written by Jesus. We're not talking about Jesus' words written by his disciples. We're talking in his own hand.

Mariah's mother has alzheimers and the police think she killed her husband because he was having an affair. He was, but she definitely didn't kill him.

He'd gone to his friends for authentication of the letter and one of them wanted it for themselves.

And there's always the horrible mistress, she could have done it. And she is horrible.

I had a strange sense of deja vu with this one. Again.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Altar of Eden, James Rollins


I'm a fan of Rollins, particularly his Sigma series, but I've gotten a little...bored with Sigma. I still like it and I'll keep reading it, but the past few books have just been a bit...melodramatic? Unbelievable? No, I don't like unbelievable. All the stories are fairly fantastical. I can't really put my finger on it. Melodramatic is probably the closest.

Anyway, the point is, this was like old school Rollins. The characters are interesting but they don't take over. There's a good balance between the story and the actors in it.

Though, I could totally see Sigma wanting to snap these two up. Maybe if they did, we'd see them again. We could take some focus of Gray and the books would start moving again....

Anyway, so, here we have Jack and Lorna. Jack is a border patrol agent, and Lorna is a veterinarian.

Sounds kind of mundane, huh?

Well, Jack finds a ship full of strange animals and calls in Lorna. They grew up together, she and his younger brother were high school sweethearts. Over the course of the book, we find out that the brother died and Lorna was blamed, but Jack was party to the car accident that killed his brother too. See, Lorna was being attacked while the brother was passed out, Jack busted in and saved her. Without understanding the whole situation, he told her to drive. She crashed and the brother died.

They've kept the secret of what really happened all these years. Stupidly.

While the interactions between Jack and Lorna are great, what I like best is the actual progression of the adventure.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Dark Series in Reivew

So I tweaked it a little, but the chart shows all our combos with the books they're in. It's pretty much the same chart that's in the books.

OK, so where shall we start?

Despite the terrible covers and the mostly terrible titles, I mostly liked the Dark series. Is it a favorite? Nope. Not even a favorite romance. However, it's close. There were just a few things, small by themselves, that bring it down.

If I was comparing it to another series, it'd have to be the Troubleshooters series, mostly based on the structure - that kind of ever expanding circle of friends and family. Unfortunately, it's just not as good. Granted Troubleshooters isn't paranormal, but you'd think that'd give the Dark series more to work with. Instead it's the basics are the same every time.

This is my first complaint: at times, it was really repetitive. Maybe I wouldn't have noticed if I hadn't binge read, but I did. We're talking language and overall themes. "Sinful mouth" came up a lot. And just the descriptions of sex. And then there's the basic premise of male Carpathian meets human woman. Something horrible happens, then they fall in love. It's not like I don't like the formula, but it does seem to be a formula. It definitely gets better in later books, though.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Dark Storm, Christine Feehan

I didn't know what was next, but this was certainly not even in the running.

We meet another ancient. Dax ran off the fight a vampire named Mirto. They were pretty evenly matched, so they were sealed in a volcano by Arabejila, Dax's friend.

The kicker? She's also Mitro's lifemate.

So, remember those questions and theories I had in my Dark Predator? Well, this just makes it all more confusing.

OK, Mitro is a psycho. Legit. Entitled. Always thinking he's better than everyone else, just no one can see his genius.

Dax is a hunter who has a talent for seeing someones darkness and predicting who will turn vamp. He and Arabejila's family were friends.

Arabejila had very strong earth powers. Mitro hated her because he believed lifemates made the men weak. He ends up killing her family before running off. He tries to kill her, but can't quite kill his lifemate. Instead, he does something worse: he binds her.

So, as we know, being physically separated from ones lifemate is very difficult. Meanwhile, the lifemate can typically feel/experience the things the lifemate is going through. So, all the horrible things Mitro does, Arabejila knows. He makes sure of it.

Riley and her mother, Arabejila's descendants, are traveling the Amazon to ensure the volcano with Dax and Mitro inside stays sealed. They don't know about Dax and Mitro, but they make the trip every year.

This year, it is not going well.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Dark Predator, Christine Feehan

This one was weird.

We finally get Zacarias' story, but it raised a few questions.

So, at the end of Dark Peril, the vampire coalition was going to test their attack plan for the Prince, against the De la Cruz family. After that, Zacarias was going to end his life feeling his brothers were ok without him.

We start here at the end of the battle, the good guy having won, of course. Zacarias decides to leave to go die, not even bothering to heal his wounds. His brothers try to stop him, but he's determined. He leaves to go "home," suddenly determining that home is the estate in Brazil. If you'll remember Dark Peril took place in Brazil. That's where the vamp attacked and injured the woman Zacarias saved.

So of course that's who saves him. Against his will.

So, he gets there, and he sees Margaurita, the woman he saved, riding her horse. He doesn't immediately know who she is. Watching her makes him happy, gives him peace, so he decides to sit out in the sun watching her and waiting for death. She sees him as he's starting to smoke, literally, and drags him inside to his lair.

He. Is. Pissed.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Dark Peril, Christine Feehan

Well, that's a fail. I predicted Zacarias and Solange, but nope. Dominic and Solange.

During Dark Curse, Dominic ingested vampire blood loaded with the parasites used to identify members of the conspiracy to overthrow Mikhal (Dark Prince). The plan was to infiltrate the group, find out what's up, pass the information, then take as many vamps with him as possible. The Dragonseeker family has never had a member turn vampire, so Dominic figures he has the best chance to take the blood without turning vamp quickly, as well as killing himself before turning.

Now we find him in Brazil, on his way to a big vampire meeting. Once he gets the info, he'll follow the plan: take as many with him as possible.

Solange is still fighting the good fight against the jaguar males, but she's worn out. Jasmine is safe and pregnant, Juliette has Riordan (Dark Hunger), all she has is her fight. And she's finally found her ultimate target: her father. So, we've heard that the jaguars are dying out because the men won't stay with the women; it's not in their "nature." This has caused more and more of the women to find love with humans. Some men have decided the way to save their species is to forcibly mate (read: rape) with the "pure blood" jaguar women. The idea isn't just to save their race, it's to purify it.

And we all knows that idea always ends badly.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Dark Slayer, Christine Feehan

Sigh, I was really disappointed in this one.

Possibly because I've been waiting for it for so long. See, even though this is book 20 of the Dark series, it's the first one I bought. I found it in the bargain bin and mistook it for the first in the series. So, maybe that's why I just didn't find this one that great - I'd been anticipating for too long.

I liked it generally, but not when I looked closer.

Let me fill you in what going on...

Meet Ivory Malinov. We first learned about her in Dark Possession. She's the only sister of the Malinov's, and the only Malinov not a vampire. She's been thought dead all this time, but she's been in hiding.

This is my first complaint. I'm just not really clear on why she's in hiding. I mean, I get it a little. OK, so we know she went to Xavier's school and was betrayed by the Prince's oldest son. Now we find out she was turned over to vampires who literally chopped her to pieces. Alive. They kept her alive so she'd feel the most pain possible. Keeping her alive also gave her a chance to heal, though. And she does. It just takes 300 or so years. By the time she can leave the ground, he brothers have decided to become vampires.

So, I kind of get why she might not be welcoming to other Carpathians. She feels betrayed by the Prince and by her family. But the Prince dies. And the De la Cruz family was basically her family. It just seems odd that she'd rather just hide out. I guess there was just too much trauma. I donno. I just didn't think the decision made much sense. And when she meets Mikhal and see he's a good person she still doesn't want to go back. When she finds out the De la Cruz family is ok and misses her - mourns her - she still has no interest. Even seems to resent them. I just don't get it.

Then there's Razvan.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Dark Curse, Christine Feehan

Nicolas De la Cruz it is!

So, we meet Lara here. Well, we met/learned about her in Dark Demon when Natalya saw the history of the knife. She was the little girl in the vision where Razvan, her father, was using her for blood. We also saw her escape with the help of two dragons who, we learn here, are her great aunts in dragon form.

Lara is now back in the Carpathian Mountains, an adult trying to find out if her beloved aunts are real, and to save them if they are (They are, she does). She remembers what happened to her, all the horrors and trauma, but it's also fantastical and she's become unsure if she just made parts up to make sense of her horrific life. Specifically, made up the aunts.

So, she's back and searching the mountains for the ice cave where she was held prisoner. Her first attempt is pretty fail. She and her friends get attacked and wounded. They rush back to the Inn for help. After arriving at the Inn, Mikhal (Dark Prince) takes over to help heal her friends. Before she can go into the Inn, she runs across Nicolas, looking for a meal.

Nicholas is in the Mountains to tell Mikhal about the plan the Malinov and De la Cruz brothers concocted centuries ago. He's on his way to the Inn to do just that when he sees Lara. His plan is to tell the Prince the plan, then die before he becomes a vampire. Seeing Lara, he figures it's his last meal. He figures out pretty quick that she's his lifemate.

Now, if you were used from birth as food for your father and psycho great-great grandfather, having someone take your blood is not going to be something you appreciate.

She stabs him.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Dark Possession, Christine Feehan

So, at the end of Dark Celebration, Manolito is mortally wounded saving Shea and her baby. We know he survived but that's about it.

We also know that he found his lifemate, MaryAnn, took her blood, but didn't tell anyone.

We start this one with him waking up before he's supposed to. See, we know Carpathians use the earth to heal and rejuvenate them. When one is so badly injured, the healer will command you to sleep, which the patient shouldn't be able to disobey.

So, he wakes up in the rainforest with no idea how he got there or what's going on. Even worse, because his wound was mortal, they had to pull his soul back from the afterlife (stick with me, it's fantasy). So, that means when he wakes up early, part of him is still in the afterlife. Because of that, he's existing both worlds. Think: really freaky hallucinations that can make you feel pain.

So, the question is, what made him wake up early? An evil vampire plot?

Nope. Distressed lifemate.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Dark Celebration, Christine Feehan

This book was intended as an enjoyable book for fans to revisit the characters they love.

According to Feehan, it got away from her a bit.

All the Carpathians are invited to a Christmas celebration. Most, but not all attend.

Mostly, it's an update book. Mikhal goes around visiting all the people who've come for the celebration.

There are some attacks against the women and children, particularly against Shea and her baby, as well as Skyler, but that's a fairly minor part of the story.

So, let me give you the highlights.

Raven wants Mikhal (Dark Prince) to play Santa for the kids. He's not a fan of the idea so decides to make Gregori, his son-in-law and 2nd in command, do it instead. Gregori. The Dark One. The boogie man of all Carpathian children.

Seems legit.

And hilarious.

So, as he goes around to visit, he tells them all his plan. All the men want to see it happen. All the women think it's mean. And funny.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Dark Demon, Christine Feehan

Well, as predicted, Vikirnoff catches up to Natalya.

And. She. Is. Fan-tastic!

She mentions in Dark Secret that she doesn't know how to keep a vampire dead for good.

Let me put it another way: she's been hunting for centuries and has had to learn everything herself. A more experienced hunter has never been around to teach her. Yet she's managed to survive for centuries.

She's seen a lot of movies.

But as she tells Colby in Dark Secret, there's only so much you can learn from Dracula movies.

She also calls Vikirnoff "Vik," which is hilarious.

Like I said, fantastic.

She's made her way into Romania, being drawn the the Carpathian Mountains. One mountain in particular. She's on her way there when she comes across some vampires. A fight ensues.

Meanwhile, Vikirnoff is lamenting his situation. Planning on killing himself as soon as he can. Wondering if it's already too late for him.

His psychic whining draws Natalya's attention and she tells him to shut up so she can concentrate on her battle. No, really, that's exactly what she tells him. He of course immediately realizes she's his lifemate and rushes to help in the fight. She's not entirely enthusiastic about his "interference," but they end up working together pretty well.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Dark Secret, Christine Feehan

This is the 2nd story in Darkest at Dawn, which has Dark Hunger (14) and Dark Secret (15).

We meet another of the De la Cruz brothers, actually we meet 2, but Nicolas is only around for a few pages. The main brother is Rafael, and he is the first Carpathian I really don't like. All Carpathian men are arrogant and domineering to an extent, but Rafael? He's just an ass. Riordan mentions in Dark Hunger that the brothers have always been more Carpathian than other Carpathians. Stronger, smarter, more arrogant and domineering.

He is really all about having everything his own way.

His lifemate is Colby. She's a cowgirl. No shit. A cowgirl. She also has the same last name as Gary from Dark Magic. We don't learn anything about that really, but I feel like it can't be a mistake/coincidence.

They meet because Rafael and Nicolas go to Colby's ranch to convince her to come to Brazil with her brother and sister, Paul and Ginny. See, the De la Cruz family has a human family they're close with. The Chavez family knows they're Carpathian and have been working with the brothers for centuries.

The stories a little complicated...

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Dark Hunger, Christine Feehan

This is another novella, so I read it as a part of Darkest at Dawn, which has Dark Hunger (14) and Dark Secret (15).

We meet the first of the De la Cruz brothers in this one. The 5 brothers are ancients that were sent out to fight the vampires by Mikhal's father. Most of the hunters were sent out as individuals, but the brothers stayed together and resettled in Brazil. They've made a home there.

We've heard about the jaguar people before, and we meet some here.

Juliette and her sister, jaguars, attack a research facility in the middle of the rainforest they think is experimenting on animals. While in there rescuing the animals, Juliette runs across Riordan, a Carpathian who is being kept prisoner. See it's not really a animal research facility, that's just the front, really it's a way to trap and experiment on vampires, which for them means anyone they feel like. Drained of blood, in constant pain from shackles and chains coated in vampire blood, he doesn't immediately see Juliette as his savior, but as another captor. Before her, the human society of vampire hunters only came in during the day when he couldn't do anything, so he sees her presence as their first mistake.

Of course when she speaks, he realizes who she is to him, plus she's clearly rescuing him. Once she takes off the chains, he feeds. He doesn't really warn her, so she's obviously not pleased. He does it because it's the only way they both get out, but still, a bit of warning would be nice. He figures he can't take the chance she'll refuse.

Juliette is what I was really thinking when I asked for a vivacious woman (Dark Prince). Now I said something like this in reference to Jaxon in Dark Guardian, but this is much more on point. Jaxon was a cop, so she had that angle, but Juliette is a match for vivacious.

She's very sexual, and very comfortable with that. She really embraces it. Being jaguar, she goes into heat on occasion, so being sexual has never been an issue. She's also highly independent and comfortable with her own abilities. She's lived with her sister, Jasmine, and her cousin, Solange, for most of her life, battling and hiding from the jaguar men. She knows who and what she is, and she's happy with it.

The jaguar men have been kidnapping jaguar women to get them pregnant. Which means gang rape until their victims are pregnant. We discover the reason for that is, at least in part, because of a vampire's influence. Jasmine is kidnapped by one group so Juliette and Solange go after them while Riordan has to sleep. They find her, but unfortunately it's too late to save her completely. She's still alive though. They wait as long as they can so Riordan can join them as soon as possible, but they have to engage before he can.

They rescue Jasmine, but Solange and Jasmine want nothing to do with Riordan or his brothers, despite being offered safety at the family's ranch. Riordan has to take Juliette to convert her because her wounds are so bad.

I liked this one for it's simplicity. That doesn't mean it had no interest, none of that depth I've been going on about. Just that it was...light, maybe? No, that's not right, because there was the whole gang rape thing. That's close though, it was mostly a pleasant and light read. I guess it's that there wasn't a lot of mistrust and back-and-forth between Juliette and Riordan like in the other books.

Dark Hunger, Christine Feehan

Friday, November 15, 2013

Dark Destiny, Christine Feehan

Another really good one!

We have Nicolae and Destiny. What makes this one good is Destiny's story.

She was kidnapped, converted, and abused by a vampire. When she's a child she connects with Nicolae, but he can't find her to save her. So, eventually he trains her as a hunter so she can kill the vampire that took her and escape.

But still he can't find her.

This kills my theory that the reason the women before Raven (Dark Prince) were deranged when they turned was at least in part because of the vampire blood. Destiny is in physical agony due to the blood, but she's not deranged. And of course there's the psychological trauma - no conversion is going to change that.

So, there's of course a lot of trust issues. Destiny can't see the difference between vampires and Carpathians. Plus, Nicolae has always been her salvation, so she's afraid that by letting him close she'll lose him. As with many victims, there's a lot of guilt and self loathing.

Nicolae tries to heal her, but it's beyond his abilities. He calls in Gregori, who's still in the area after helping with Corinne in Dark Melody.

Destiny struggles here too. The vampire they're fighting even preys on her self loathing by telling her the Carpathians will never accept her, will insist she's killed. She already half believes that, so the vamp scores a hit with that one.

Nicolae calls in Gregori, despite Destiny's concerns, and takes her blood - the tainted blood - so that her fate is his fate - to show solidarity with her. Gregori is of course completely accepting and heals them both completely.

Meanwhile, there's a guy using hypnosis to ruin peoples lives. Not a vampire though. Destiny and Nicolae take care of him.

There was one really important scene that didn't really have much to do with the plot, but adds more understanding of the world Feehan is creating. There are two old ladies in the neighborhood Destiny has claimed as her own. They're pretty outrageous in all ways - syntax, They're pretty hilarious. Not to mention psyhcic. So, the vampire tries to draw Destiny and Nicolae out by attacking the neighborhood. The vamp is about to kill Destiny, when one of the old ladies puts herself in front of him with a stake. She tells him that she waited for him, asks why he never came. The vamp kinda stares at her, a look of sorrow briefly on his face, before he attacks again. The old lady kills him, with Destiny's help, and immediately falls apart. She was obviously his intended lifemate. Only he chose evil first.

This scene answers a couple questions for me and raises others. The idea of redeeming a vampire has been repeatedly shot down. The vamps choose evil, it's not an accident or something they were coerced into, it was a choice. They knew it was wrong and they did it anyway. However, I wondered about what happened when/if a vampire met his lifemate after the fact. Now we know. Now, I've thought that perhaps reincarnation might be something the Carpathians would believe in. Perhaps the vampires and lifemates return to the world to try to find each other again, to try to make better choices.

For a while I even wondered if maybe there weren't always lifemates for vampires. I mean, so, look. Most of the characters we've seen have been very close to turning. I've been wondering if the vamps are a Darwin thing. The Carpathians have a lot of power and only those with a strong will to use it responsibly can reproduce. If you don't have the will to resist evil, then you're not strong enough for the species. It seems, especially with this scene, everyone has a lifemate, it's just a matter of finding him/her. And can you hold out till you do? And do you get only one shot at your lifemate? If your lifemate is human, which most seem to be for the moment, then he/she may die before you find her. Does the human's soul get reincarnated as long as the Carpathian holds out, giving him/her more than one chance at finding their lifemate? Fate seems to put them together, but this scene with the old lady shows that they don't always find each other in time.

Maybe we'll find out more in other books...

Anyway, it's not an overly complicated, but I really did enjoy this. We learn a bit more about how the race works and Destiny is a really good character.

I do think I know what's next though. Nicholae has a brother, Vikirnoff. A vampire is looking for a woman who can touch objects and see their history. Now, that sounds a lot like Sara, from Dark Dream, but the way Vikirnoff reacts, I don't think it's supposed to be her. So, that's my prediction...

Dark Destiny, Christine Feehan

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Dark Melody, Christine Feehan

So we're back with the band and I really liked this one.

For many reasons.

So, if you remember, everyone in the band (Dark Challenge, Dark Fire) has a lifemate except for Dayan. At the end of Dark Fire, he went on the run with the human, Cullen Tucker, evading the human society of vampire hunters.

He meets Corinne, a songwriter. The complication? Corinne has a heart condition, she doesn't have much time to live. On top of that, she's pregnant with her husband's child. You read that right, husband.

But don't worry, no adultery here, she's a widow. Her husband was murdered by the society.

So, all that creates a few of the dynamics I've been hoping for.

In Dark Symphony, I talked about the idea that the conversion process would eliminate any illnesses or handicaps. Here, however, we have to consider the idea that while conversion does do that, the body has to be strong enough to survive the process. In addition, can a baby be converted? Can it be converted in the womb? If conversion shifts and reshapes the organs, could a baby survive?

The answer is no. A baby could not, and the body can be too weak to survive.

Then there's the husband thing.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Dark Descent, Christine Feehan

So, this is Dark 11, the other story in the Dark Nights book, along with Dark Dream (#7).

This was probably one of my least favorite. While I really liked the story, it just felt really incomplete. Like there should have been 5 more chapters or something. The only thing I can think is that Feehan is going to come back to these characters in another way that gives more closure to this story.

Don't get me wrong, it's not a cliffhanger, it just feels like there should be...more.

In this story, we meet Joie, a body guard. She's mentioned in Dark Symphony as a way to protect the Scarletti family during the day hours when Byron was asleep. But we never meet her, and really know nothing about her.

She's shot and astral-projects while being worked on in the hospital. During her little jaunt, she finds Traian in a cave in the Carpathian Mountains. They talk before she's pulled back to her body. Once she's recovered she takes a vacation with her siblings, Jubal and Gabrielle, to the mountains looking for the cave. And Traian.

They find him alright - pinned to a wall by some vampires. Joie manages to put one down for a while, enough time to get Traian free. Then the 4 of them are on the run, trying to find a way out. Traian is too weak to fight, so they can only escape.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Dark Symphony, Christine Feehan

Ok, so The Scarletti Curse was absolutely unnecessary. Let's just get that out of the way.

So, back in Dark Desire, Jacques' best friend, Byron, acted a little nuts-o. He tried to convince Mikhal that Shea couldn't be Jacques' lifemate and that Jacques had turned. Jacques, being mostly nuts and not even remembering Byron, does not take it well.

Byron feels terrible for his actions and punishes himself with a self imposed exile as a hunter. He's an artisan, not a hunter, so that's quite the punishment.

His wanderings eventually take him to Italy, where he hears a woman play the piano. Antonietta Scarletti is that woman.

This one was a little different for a couple reasons. One, we enter the story after Byron and Antonietta have met. They're actually friends. The other thing I liked was that Antonietta is blind. That added some of that depth I like to see. I've kind of thought generally that the conversion would remove any illness or handicaps someone had, but this proved it.

This was probably the story most like a mystery so far. I guess that could be said for the Scarlatti Curse too, but lets just forget that book happened.

Someone is trying to kill Antonietta and her grandfather, the Don. The book is mostly about figuring out who's involved. Antonietta doesn't want to think it could be someone in her family, but Byron can't see how it couldn't.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Scarletti Curse, Christine Feehan

"What?! What's this?!" you ask?

Keep your pants on.

So, this is technically out of the Dark series  And has nothing to do with Carpathians of Vampires. There are psychics though.

I read this one because it is kind of the...prequel to Dark Symphony.

I'm not going to spend much time on this one, it's not really my thing.

It's what I guess is referred to as historical romance. Seems like old world Italy. Back when a woman's only real options were to marry well and 16 was eligible age for marriage.

The Scarlatti's are the ruling family in the area. The Dons. They've been under a "curse" for many generations: all the women who work for them seem to die. They also have some special abilities, which, in an era of witch hunts, they keep under wraps.

Nicoletta is a healer in a nearby village. She also has special talents. She meets Don Giovanni when she's called to the Palazzo because a child is sick. The Don is also sick, unfortunately. And it looks like poison.

In the end, Nicoletta and Giovanna fall in love and discover it's his brother raping and killing the women, as well as trying to kill Giovanni.

It's not a bad book, but it's just not the kind of thing I'm interested in. We'll see if it's relevant to the Dark series.

Scarletti Curse, Christine Feehan

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Dark Guardian, Christine Feehan

I get my cop!!!

Remember way back in Dark Prince I gave some things I wanted to see? I think I listed 4 separate things, but they were kind of a conglomerate. I wanted a Carpathian woman, and I've gotten that in Francesca - though I had more intended a woman converting a male.

Another thing I wanted was a cop. I had imagined it as part of this really vivacious woman, and Jaxon is definitely all that. She's spunky and driven, and mother fucking cop!!

Not at all the wait at home kinda gal that puts Carpathian men at ease.

Which is why she's pretty awesome for Lucian.

So, we know a bit about Lucian from Dark Legend when we meet his twin, Gabriel. We learn a bit more about him here, but the main character is really Jaxon.

In Legend, when they're trying to save Lucian, Francesca tells him he has to live for his lifemate, that she's out there and that she needs him. That he might be the only one who can help her.

That's true and it's not.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Dark Legend, Christine Feehan

Just when I'm feeling like we need some more complex plots, we get one.

We finally find out what happened with Gabriel and Lucian here.

Previously, we found out the twins had made a pact to take the other out if one turns vampire. The story goes, Lucian turned, the brother's fought, and then disappeared.

Well, as we know, legends usually have a kernel of truth. They fought, usually to a stalemate, until Gabriel locks them both in a Paris cemetery. Hundreds of years later, the cemetery is being excavated, and awakens the brothers.

Francesca is a healer (not a doctor) in Paris and comes across Gabriel thinking he's a homeless man.

My favorite thing about this one? I finally get my fully knowledgeable Carpathian woman! I know I had Deseri (Dark Challenge) and Savannah (Dark Magic), but Deseri wasn't raised that way, she didn't really know about lifemates, and Savannah was just so young by Carpathian standards.

But Francesca! Francesca is an ancient female Carpathian with her own powers and training, raised in the Carpathian way. And she knows exactly what being lifemates means.

See, she knew the brothers before everything went to shit. When Mikhal's father was still alive, she saw Gabriel and knew he was her lifemate. So she's tried to understand when he chose to keep fighting instead of claiming her.She left her family and friends because having an unclaimed woman around was too difficult on the males. She felt like Gabriel had sacrificed their life together for the sake of their people, so she sacrificed her community for the sake of their people.

That doesn't mean she doesn't resent him a bit. And trust might be a small issue.

Of course, Gabriel never knew. It was a misunderstanding, she saw him, he never saw her.

But what about Lucian?

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Dark Dream, Christine Feehan

Well, I was kinda right, we are meeting a legend, just not Gabriel and Lucian.

OK, some housekeeping first. This is a novella. You can get it in ebook, but if you're like me, you prefer a actual book you can hold. Which leads to a slight problem. You can't just by Dark 7 by itself. There are a couple of ways you can buy it, but my suggestion is as part of Dark Nights. It has 7 and 11, so you get 2 for 1!

I really like this one, possibly because it's short and therefore, flys by. Not that I was a rush for it to finish, but it didn't have the back and forth the others in the series have had.

So, we discover that back in the day, Mikhal's (from Dark Prince) father sent several ancient hunters out into the world to help protect it from the vampires. At the time, they didn't know some humans could be lifemates, so he was basically sentencing them to death. Provided they killed themselves before turning vamp.

Falcon is one of those hunters.

When he was sent out into the world, he was compelled to write a journal, dedicated the lifemate the thought he'd never meet. He decides its time he ends his life, but wants to see his home, the Carpathian Mountains, one last time.

Sara, a woman with the ability to see the history of objects, finds Falcon's journal when she's 15 at an archaeological dig her parents are involved with. Unfortunately, she also comes across a vampire at the dig. The vamp kills her family and 15 years later she's still running from him. She finds herself in Romania, near the Carpathian Mountains, fighting to establish a home for children with special gifts, like her.

After seeing Falcon feeding - almost turning, if we're honest - she thinks he's a vamp, but she doesn't get a good look at his face. Of course, he sees her for what she is, his lifemate and takes off after her.

Only, she knows him. She has the journal, remember? And she dreams about him. She even had a bust of him made!

Which is why it moves fast, she doesn't fight it much. She thinks he's a vamp briefly, but she understands fairly quickly the differences.

My favorite thing about this one, besides the fact that Sara recognizes her feelings for him and embraces them instead of fighting tooth and nail, but Falcon calls in help when needed. Before he can convert Sara, Falcon has to go to ground for the day. She drives up to where Mikhal lives with the plan of meeting him that night. Only, she seems a vampire's puppet with all her kids. She takes off after them and ends up in a major wreck. So, Falcon calls on other Carpathians for help - Jacques and Shea respond.

I love the character interaction! That's been one of the things missing for me so far: once they find their lifemates, they kinda just...go. I like that we're getting some more interplay. It's not that we haven't had any just not as much as I would have liked.

Definitely a good little read.

Dark Dream, Christine Feehan

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Dark Fire, Christine Feehan

Right again! :)

Darius and Tempest, the mechanic.

She's human, but can talk to animals. So, we're more back to human/Carpathian storyline. However, I do finally get something I want: a woman who chooses to convert! She's not even dying! Well, the situation is still life and death, but....Beggars and Choosers, people!

I'm getting ahead of myself again.

Ok, so Tempest is hired on as the mechanic and of course as soon as Darius sees her, he knows. He comes on strong, too. :) It seems Carpathian males don't know any other way.

He drinks her blood and erases her memory, only because her brain is a bit different, it doesn't work. So, of course she freaks, thinking him a vampire and runs. Unfortunately, she gets in a car with a bad man who tries to rape her. Darius saves her before he gets to far, but we find out this wasn't her first incident. It happened once before when she was barely an adult.

This allows her and Syndil to talk about their experiences, which is a really nice moment. Darius learns a bit, too. Syndil seems to be healing, though she and Barack are still not together in the beginning. It seems having someone who understands is helpful.

Something I really found entertaining about this story was Tempest's ability to get into trouble. Every time she's alone, something happens. And it doesn't seem like a new development in her life. It made me smile.

And my favorite part is her conversion.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Dark Challenge, Christine Feehan

Yup! I was right, Julian and the singer, Desari.

And this definitely switched things up for me. It was even a bit feminist!

Let's get down to it!

So, as we know from Dark Magic, Julian, Aidan's twin, is pretty close to changing. In an effort to keep him going a bit longer, Gregori gives him the task of protecting a human woman the society thinks is a vampire.

Of course she's his lifemate.

But here's the good part: She's Carpathian!

OK, so back in the day, the Carpathian Mountains were invaded by the Ottoman Turks way back in the day. It was pretty brutal, as many wars/invasion were then. When I've said many Carpathian women and children were killed, this is what I've been referring to (though, that hasn't been clear until now). They slaughtered the people, herding women and children into a straw shack to burn them.

A small group of Carpathian children escaped. They managed to flee to the coast of Africa and survive. They've been traveling as troubadours for centuries, moving from country to country when they're presence and lack of aging becomes suspicious. They've always thought they were the last of their kind.

Until Julian walked into their concert.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Dark Magic, Christine Feehan

Gregori is safe!

And I finally get a woman who knows what's up!

Her reaction is kinda the same, but still, she has more info to go on.

And. It. Shows. She stops fighting it way earlier.

So, Savannah is the daughter of Mikhal and Raven. Raven has raised her daughter to be strong and independent. She's travels, performing a magic show. That's where she's been for 5 years.

Beyond that she's got more info than the past women - being a full Carpathian woman (Finally!!) - their story isn't as good as I had hoped.

Gregori is as wonderful and tragic as I had imagined, so there's that. And the evolution of his relationship with Savannah is really sweet. How she comes to understand what the 5 years without her cost Gregory, and his opinion of himself, is really sweet.

As was his comprehension of what she needs. I can admit there were quite a few tears through this one.

It's wasn't as memorable as I'd hoped, I guess.

There's some vampire hunting, here of course. They move to New Orleans (can't have a vamp series without at least mentioning NO!) and find the (human) vampire hunters active in the area.

They take care of them, of course, but in the process, they meet Gary, the most interesting part of the story.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Dark Gold, Christine Feehan

Book 3 of the Dark series and still interesting for the most part.

Though, I'm starting to worry it might get more repetitive as time goes on. More on that later.

The timeline is getting wonky again, too. Ok, so Mikhal bragged to Raven he had a computer that took up his whole desk in Dark Prince. So....what, 1960s? Then book 2 is 20/25 years later, so late 1980s-ish? Only now, Raven's daughter is all grown up, so it's like another 20 years later! So now we could be getting into the future, especially if we keep jumping forward. I hope we don't. If we stop, we should be ok.

Anyway, we meet Aidan and Alexandra here. Aidan lives in San Francisco and acts as the vampire hunter for the West coast on Mikhal's behalf. (I should clarify here, when I've talked about the hunters in the past, like the ones who hurt Jacques in Dark Desire, I'm talking about psycho humans).

He finds a vampire and kills him. Unfortunately, the vampire has turned a woman and now she's a deranged vampiress (yup, they use the feminine of the word) and she has a kid captive.

But wait!! She hasn't turned yet. The vampire only exchanged blood twice. And the kid? Her brother. The vamp was using him as leverage to make her comply.

Aidan only realizes this when he's about to kill her. He also realizes she's his lifemate. Of course, he's already taken too much of her blood, so he has to change her, hoping she doesn't have too much of the vamp in her.

And this is where I worry about repetition.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Dark Desire, Christine Feehan

OK, so another terrible cover, and the title is pretty horrendous, too.

According to the author's note, it wasn't Feehan's first choice. She wanted Dark Madness, which, while still cheesy, is way better. And more descriptive.

So, we meet Jacques, Mikhal's brother, in this one. Well, technically, we met him in Dark Prince, but we get to know him here.

We also meet Shea, a doctor researching her strange blood disease. She also has some psychic powers and a sun allergy.

Sounds familiar, right?

She travels to the Carpathian Mountains to research her father's people based on her mother's journal. Also because she's running from people who want to research on her. Funnily enough, they think she's a vampire.

The timeline here is a little funny, but the best I can make out, book 2 of the Dark series takes place about 20/25 years after book 1. At the end of Dark Prince, the Carpathians are planning to hide out for a bit. Raven and Mikhal have been attacked. The vampire hunters are dead, but they want to avoid stirring up a vampire hysteria like in the old days. Doesn't seem like it worked based on this book.

Anyway, about 8 years before this book, Jacques leaves hiding and returns home. The hunters find him about 6 years later and torture him. They then stake him and bury him alive. Luckily they didn't hit his heart so he doesn't die. Sadly, they didn't hit his heart so he doesn't die.

2 years in the ground, people!

Are you seeing why Dark Madness might have been a better title?

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Dark Prince, Christine Feehan

OK, try not to let the cover get you down. It's a pretty decent book 1.

Book 1's have a hard time right? A lot they need to get done. You've got to set up the characters, the general plot of the series. The feel/tenor of the series.

It's a lot of work.

This paranormal romance does a fairly decent job.

It's not exceptional. I can't lie. It's good. (There's lots of sex, FYI.) But it's got a really interesting take on the vampire legend.

See, there's a race called the Carpathians. They're an immortal race. They exist on blood, but they never kill their food. They actually think the idea of killing something and eating it's meat like we do is repulsive and barbaric. They are sensitive to light, but the whole garlic thing seems to be just a random myth. And they are definitely not dead, though they do appear that way when they're asleep. And their connected to the earth, so sleeping covered in dirt (aka buried), heals them.

So, is it just misunderstanding that created the vampires we know?

Nope. Not exactly.

Friday, October 25, 2013

DD Warren in Review

So, we've finished out the DD Warren series thus far.

I think it's clear I have some mixed feeling about this. The first 3 books were...kinda sucky. But it did improve after that.


The basic plot points are the same. X has a traumatic past that is back to get her. Despite logic and evidence to the contrary, DD suspects her, 'cause of course trauma equals violent crazy. Something happens to convince DD otherwise, and just before she breaks in to get the baddie, X kills him/her. Maybe there have even been some deaths before that which X gets away with too.

That's pretty much every book. And, look, I'm not a spoiler kind of person. Even knowing the end, even knowing how things turn out, HOW they get there is interesting. And Gardner makes the journey interesting - if occasionally annoying.

I really kind of this of DD as the poor man's Eve Dallas. Eve definitely had the worse childhood, but I mean more their personalities. They both live the job. They're both stubborn and like a good throw down. They're both terrified of love and family and commitment, but once they get it, they both realize it makes them better. Better people, better cops.

This isn't a series I'd enthusiastically recommend to anyone, but if someone asked if they should check it out, I'd tell them to start with The Neighbor - and you all know I hate reading out of order.

DD Warren series

Catch Me, Lisa Gardner

So, what's new mom, DD Warren up to now?

Well, she's back on the job and hunting a serial killer.

Well, two actually. Well, one confirmed, one suspected.

See, someone is killing sex offenders. Two died while DD was on maternity leave, and her first case now that she's back is another.

Three makes a pattern.

Then DD finds Charlie hanging out outside the crime scene. DD is suspicious and hauls her in. Charlie tells DD about the murders of her 2 childhood friends exactly one year apart. Now, as the anniversary approaches, Charlie is sure it's her turn.

Not a pattern, but on the way.

She doesn't want DD to stop it, she just wants DD to solve it.

Kinda sad, huh?

What makes it sadder is that Charlie is another tragic past character.

Sigh. Lisa needs to update her playbook.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Love You More, Lisa Gardner

So much for happy endings.

At the end of Live to Tell, DD and Alex were getting together. As had Danielle and her man. The baddies had gotten what they deserved. And for once, it didn't seem like anyone got away with murder. Sounds like a happy ending for me.

And now it's all ruined.


We start with a State Trooper accused of killing her husband - an abuser. Only then they realize the kid is gone.

Troopers responded to the death at the house, but fucked up the crime scene before they realized there was a missing kid.

So, Ms. DD gets called in.

And everything is wonky from the get-go.

The Trooper, Tessa, is weird. The timeline is weird. The story itself is weird. Everything adds up at face value, but not when you scrape the surface. It's like.....2+2=4, right? But then if you look at decimals, you find out, actually, it's 5.

See what I'm saying. And Tessa is definitely a 5.

So DD starts investigating. Now, the case is this weird mob conspiracy. Basically here's what you need to know.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Live to Tell, Lisa Gardner

We finally have a winner!

Things are definitely looking better on the DD Warren front.

OK, so we start with a family annihilation - that's when one family member takes out the others before killing themselves.

Then there's another one.

Coincidence, right?

Of course not.

First they find out someone tasered the dad, and thought to be annihilator, at the 2nd home. Then they find out the kids in both families have a connection to a pediatric psych ward.

And that's where we meet Danielle. She's a nurse. And a victim of a family annihilation.

So, what does DD think? Can't survive an annihilation without becoming violent. Wanting to annihilate other families.

Makes perfect sense, right?

Ok, so that's obviously wrong.

It's a little convoluted, but Danielle is the target, not the perpetrator. I'm not really going to go into the whole story, it's convoluted, like I said. But basically, her family wasn't annihilated like she's always thought. Now, someone who was involved is trying to recreate it. Revenge is part of it, but pure crazy-ass-ness is more.

Here's what got be on board with this book.

Friday, October 18, 2013

The Neighbor, Lisa Gardner

Ok, we're improving.

For one, this was the first one that really felt like a happy ending. Sure, Bobby and Annabelle got together at the end of Hide - to my disappointment, the beginning of this one talks about their wedding - but it still didn't give that...satisfied feeling happy endings usually produce.

Maybe because I was still hoping for DD and Bobby...

Anyway, this one did.

Of course, we have another woman getting away with murder, though. Two actually.

I can't get everything I want, I guess.

Also, DD is finally the main character. Though, I'm still not a huge fan of her.

So, we start with a missing wife/mother. Only, DD is instantly suspicious of the household. It's not too messy, not to clean, not too anything. Staged. And the husband is...withdrawn. Back in my hospital days we would say he had a flat affect. Which, could be shock, or, to DD's mind, a guilty conscience. Of course, I kinda think if he was guilty he would play up the grieving husband. Then again, maybe it's both, shock and guilt that he did it. But that goes back to DD trying to fit information into her theory regardless.

Of course, we're in his head, so we know he didn't do it.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Hide, Lisa Gardner


Ok, so this was a weird one for me. Mainly because it was just so damn familiar! And I honestly do not know why. As you can see from the cover photo, it was a TNT movie. So...maybe I saw that?

No idea, really.

I will say this was ever so slightly better than Alone.

At least I think it was. Maybe it was just because it was familiar.

I don't know. The deja vu really threw me off.

Again, DD takes a back seat to Bobby. So, that weirded me out again. And a lot of the same issues I had with Alone are back.


So, anyway, Bobby gets a call in the middle of the night before his first day as a detective - after the questions about the shooting in Alone, he needed a change. He gets this call from DD to come to a crime scene.

A crime scene that bears a remarkable similarity to where Catherine was kept when she was kidnapped as a child.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Alone, Lisa Gardner

So, this is actually a book I gave my mom as a gift a while back. I had found it on a list of for "the best" mystery and crime books. I was trying to find some new authors. *shrug*

When I asked my mom, she said it had been good, but frankly, I really didn't like this book.

It was wired.

First, this is the first book of the DD Warren series...except that DD is barely in it. It's all about this guy, Bobby.

Who does that?

Second, the other main character is Catherine, and I do not like her. I don't think we're supposed to, but still...

Third, I don't really like DD!! How can I not like the title character?


OK, lets get into this...

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Grant County and Will Trent In Review

 (<--- awesome picture of Karin, right?)

So, Grant County and Will Trent have come to a close for now. Well, Grant County is over for good I think. They'll all be Will Trent crossovers under the Will Trent name. 

That's what it looks like, at least.

I love them for the most part. 

I think my feelings about Lena are clear, so I'm not going to go belabor that. 

But lets not get too far ahead of ourselves. 

So, a lot happens over the course of these series. I think Slaughter's choices make for a really...surprising and interesting series. 

That doesn't mean I'm happy with all her choices. 

Friday, October 11, 2013

Unseen, Karin Slaughter

Fucking Lena.


So, last we saw Lena, she was leaving Grant County with Jared, Jeffery's son, in Broken.

Now Jared's in the hospital after being shot. In the home he shares with Lena. Just days after a raid she's leading goes bad. Really bad.

You can see where I'm going with this right? Lena's sloppiness at least, negligence at most, have caused someone else to pay with their lives. Again.

You would be mostly right. Jared makes it. And while their marriage is going through some issues, they come out at the end intact and looking up. Talking about kids. (Cause Lena as a mother isn't a bit terrifying.) Also, Lena's actions aren't directly responsible for his attack, though they didn't exactly help.

Her case is related to his attack and she could have done more, but mostly after the fact. So, maybe she couldn't have stopped it, but...

She also got Will involved.

You can imagine Sara's opinion on that.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Busted, Karin Slaughter

Another short story. This one is between Criminal and Unseen.

Will is on his way to an undercover gig. He stops for a frozen coke and it all goes to hell.

The convenience store is robbed and a cop shot. Will does some heroics and takes out the baddies.

Well some of them. Amanda and Faith show up, mostly to make sure Will's cover stays intact, and of course to round up all the baddies.

Not as good as Snatched, and really just acted as a set up for Unseen. (yup, read this one out of order, too.)

Busted, Karin Slaughter

Snatched, Karin Slaughter

So, this is a review for a short story (quickie) in the Will Trent series, taking place between Fallen and Criminal.

Snatched is a....well, I want to say a sweet story and it is at the end, but it feels wrong to say a story about a child abduction is sweet.

So, in Criminal, we learn that Will has been placed on "airport duty" as punishment for having his hair too long (yeah, I read these a bit out of order, sorry). Sara likes his hair longer, so Will's not willing to cut it.

We also learn in Criminal that's not really the reason. Turns out, Amanda, in typical Amanda fashion, is doing it so Faith can have some time with her mom after her mom's kidnapping ordeal. His hair is just an excuse. Or a torture device...

I Love Amanda. :)

So, Snatched is a story about Will's time in the airport. Airport duty is when he sits in a bathroom stall waiting for some guy to proposition him.

While in the bathroom, Will sees little girl feet in the stall next to him. He gets a hinky feeling about her and the guy she's with.

Sadly, he's right to be concerned.

He saves her, returns her to her mom, gets the baddies, and once again, all is right with the world.

Until all breaks loose in Criminal.

Snatched, Karin Slaughter

Criminal, Karin Slaughter

O. M. G!!

This was fantastic!

We finally get to learn more about Will's past.

So, Will and Sara are still going strong. Unfortunately, he spirals into despair when he finds out his father was released from prison.

We know is father killed his mother, but not much else.

Actually, there's another reason this is an awesome book: not only do we learn more about Will's past, we learn more about Amanda's.

Now, in Fallen, Faith's mom tells Will that Amanda is more like his mom that he thinks. As soon as she said that, I figured Amanda had found him when he was a baby. Still, now we get to see the whole story play out.

So, as much as I love that we learn about Will's origins, I love that we get to see young an naive Amanda.

Yes, Amanda was naive. Sheltered even.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Fallen, Karin Slaughter

I love this one! This series just gets better and better.

So, we learn a lot about Faith, her mom, and her mom's past. Remember I mentioned Will investigated Faith's mom? Well, now we get some answers.

So, Faith had her baby. I don't think I mentioned she was preggers, but she was. Like her first child, this was an oops baby. The father doesn't even know about the baby until this book. Kinda a shocker for him since they'd broken up before Faith even knew she was pregnant. She also found out she had diabetes at the same time.

So, Faith's life has been pretty all over lately.

Now, she's just had her baby and is returning home from mandated work training when she realizes something is wrong: her mom isn't answering any of her phone calls.

She finally makes it home in time to find one dead, one hostage, one with a gun, but no mom. Her mom managed to get the baby into the locked shed where her weapons are kept, but other than that, there's no sign of her mother.

Faith calls 911, but storms the house herself and kills the remaining two baddies. And despite one being a hostage, they are both baddies.

So, we start with some harcore Rambo shit from Faith.

After that it gets a bit more complicated.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Broken, Karin Slaughter

Ok, so now we've got a real crossover.

Unfortunately, that means Lena's back.



Ok, lets get to it.

It's Thanksgiving in Grant County.  Sara is home for the first time since Jeffery died. And what happens? That's right, Lena fucks up.

So, Sara calls Amanda and she sends Will.

As far as the Sara/Will story, this was a good book. They get to know each other better, and Will meets the fam. Tessa, Sara's sister, is back and pregnant, and as hilarious as ever. As is Cathy, Sara'a mom.

So, Sara and Will are bonding, but Will is still married to Angie. *sigh*

What's Lena done this time, you ask? Well, nothing so disgusting as what she did during Beyond Reach, but definitely sloppy and negligent.

This time she gets the apartment number wrong and mistakes the resident for an intruder. This causes a chain of events including the stabbing of Lena's partner, and the suicide of the (wrong) suspect in Lena's custody.

It's a complete cluster.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Undone, Karin Slaughter

So, this is the first crossover with Grant County. It's 3 years since the events in Beyond Reach.

A woman is hit by a car. She's been raped and tortured. Blinded. She walks out into the road, and...

...ends up in the ER with Sara.

That's where we begin.

Will and Faith are working well together, though there's still some...kinks to work out.

Where in Triptych, I felt that Will and Angie were just 2 damaged people who loved each other, but didn't know how to have a relationship, in this one...

I feel like Angie stopped being a victim and started being an abuser.

Stay with me, here.

We weren't in her head, like we were in Triptych, I admit that could be part of the switch, but I think it's more than that. In this book, Angie was cruel. She hurt Will on purpose. She wanted him to know that he wasn't worthy of anyone but her. He tries to stand up for himself. He tries to make a break, and she makes it clear that he's stuck with her. That he's not good enough to be with anyone else.

She calls him stupid.

She's...alluded to that before. Mocked him for his disability, thought subtly, but this was something different. This was "I can control you, and don't you forget it."

Like I said, she switched roles for me in this one.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Fractured, Karin Slaughter

Will Trent is back - and Angie is living with him.

She left the force after getting hurt in Triptych, and they're engaged.

Gave me false hope, damn it. They're still a disaster. An engaged disaster, but a disaster never-the-less.

We also meet Faith.

I'm a fan of Faith.

Faith is not a fan of Will.

See, Will's last assignment was to root out corruption and he came across Faith's mother in the process, who was then forced to resign.

So, yeah. Faith + Will = Tension!

And they're working a missing persons case. She's the partner of Leo, the guy who was the partner of the cop from Triptych. When Will realizes they're not at a murder scene, but a kidnapping scene, Leo gets kicked off the case and in trouble for missing the clues, and Faith gets partnered with Will.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Triptych, Karin Slaughter

If I only had one word to describe this book it would be "lonely."

Everyone is just so damn lonely.

This is the first book of the Will Trent series. Now, I mentioned in my review for Beyond Reach we were leaving the Grant County series for a bit. This is why. See, Slaughter merged Grant County into Will Trent, but not until the 3rd book of the Trent series. So, I have a bit of catching up to do before we get more news about the Grant County folk. I'm not sure if there will be any more Grant County only books, to be honest. But we'll cross that bridge when we get to it.

So, a triptych is one of those art pieces that's in 3 panels. Likewise, this book is written in three parts, from 3 points of view. We don't get into Will's head until the 3rd part actually.

The first part is that of a cop who seems perilously close to burnout. He doesn't seem to care much about the job - and a police work is not the kind of thing people do for the money. And his home life is pretty much a shambles. He and his wife can't stand each other and their son is stressing them and their bank accounts out due to his special needs.

Then there's John - he gets part 2. Man, his loneliness seriously kills you. He was arrested and convicted of rape and murder when he was 15. Sentenced as an adult. At 16 he was thrown into a prison where he was fresh meat. He's out on parole now and his life is pretty shitty. He got his college degree in prison, but the best job he can get is a car wash. His sister can't stand the sight of him. And he lives in constant fear of being sent back. That's not even taking into account what a bastard his father is.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Beyond Reach, Karin Slaughter

Ok, kids, we're doing this one a little differently.

I give a general spoiler warning in the blog intro/description, but I still try to be conscientious of what I give away. I only usually call them out in my reviews if they're pretty obvious and I'm being facetious.

However, as I also say in my review, these aren't meant to be a synopsis of the book, but I do have to give some sort of run down in order to make the parts I want to talk about make sense.

But, in order to discuss this amazeballs book honestly, I need to reveal a huge spoiler.

Which brings me to the different part. Normally, I put the page break in mostly for space and try to place it where it makes you want to read the rest of the review. Because of this major spoiler, I'm placing the break after this intro.

This really was a great book (with and without spoilers), and I absolutely would tell you to read this and the whole Grant County series (in order). But, if you're not like me and a major spoiler ruins it for you, makes you want to not read something, do yourself a favor: Read this book, then come back and read my review.

If not....keep reading....if you dare...

Friday, September 20, 2013

Faithless, Karin Slaughter

Well, the Lena break was short lived.

And the Sara/Jeffery peace was short lived, too.

They've decided to move in together, so that's a step forward. But just as all seems right in the world, something else comes down on them. What was it I said in the Indelible review? They keep getting things thrown at them, testing them, but they keep making it work. Well, this time it's hepatitis. (Read the review for Indelible, and others, 
on my blog.)

Yeah, you read that right, hepatitis, as in the STD. Remember that little...*ahem* indiscretion, that ended his marriage with Sara the first time around? Yeah, the other woman called to tell him she had Hepatitis and he needs to get tested. Jeffery waits almost a week before telling Sara, making any excuse he can to stay away from her, and out of her bed. Her assumption, of course is that he's having another affair.

While chasing after a pissed off Sara, they stumble, literally, over a pipe jutting out of the ground. A pipe that leads to a coffin with the body of a young girl in it.

And the games begin.

They trace the body back to a farm and church out in the boonies. It gives off the cult vibe like no body's business. A big family, where the women folk do women things, and the men folk are in control. They take in at risk people: addicts, homeless, runways. The kind of people cults love.

Now, one of the family is found in a box.

Can you say "suspicious"?

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Indelible, Karin Slaughter

This. Was. Awesome.

It was When Sara Met Jeffery up in here.

I needed a breather from Lena, and Grant County #4 gave it to me. OK, she was in it, but not to the extent she has been. Basically, what you need to know is she's back on the force and she's still seeing that asswipe, Ethan Green. I still think she's gonna end up dead. *sigh* At least we know she didn't kill Chuck now. She's covering for Ethan, but she's not a murderer. Small comfort.

We start out with a bang, literally. Two men walk into the police station and start shooting. Sara is there trying to talk to Jeffery. They're on the outs. Jeffery has asked Sara to marry him several times, and she keeps brushing him off, but she also wants to keep seeing him.

There's really 2 stories here, the one in the present, the hostage situation, and the one in the past, the When Sara Met Jeffery Situation. We keep bouncing between the two.

And of course they tie together.

When Sara and Jeffery first start dating, they took a trip. It had been planned as a trip to the beach in FL, but Jeffery really took Sara to his home. We've briefly seen his hometown in Book 2, Kisscut, but this is a real in depth look at where Jeffery comes from, and who he is because of it.

We find out when he was a teen, he was suspected of the rape of one of his classmates. She recanted, and nothing ever came of it, but then she went missing. Actually, Jeffery wasn't the only one accused. His friend, Robert, was actually accused first. Then , when Jeffery says Robert was with him, so couldn't have raped her, she says they both raped her. The whole story kind of hinges on Robert, actually.

Friday, September 13, 2013

A Faint Cold Fear, Karin Slaughter

Lena, Lena, Lena. Jesus. *sigh*

Ok, so in book 3 of Grant County, Lena has left the police force. She would say she was pushed out. She never met Jeffery's requirement for staying on: seeing a professional. Well, she did, but in typical Lena fashion, it was after she left and she didn't want to tell Jeffery because she thought he'd judge her. *eye roll* Which makes no sense because he was pushing her to do it. In actuality, he gave her an ultimatum, and she gave him her badge and gun. It was her choice to go.

*Sigh again*

So, we see her in this book at the site of what looks like  a suicide working for campus security. And of course she's miserable. Chuck, the head of the security, is pretty much a dick, so that doesn't help matters. The whole situation is pretty awkward.

So the case revolves around a number of suicides. The first, seems odd, but there's nothing specific to point to to call it suspicious, let alone murder. It just escalates from there, the killer getting more and more careless.

Honestly, the case isn't that important. I mean, it structures the book, but it's not the primary point. This is what I think of as a set up book. The character development is the point, not the case. The killer was a slight surprise, as his presence in the previous books didn't indicate him being a psycho.

The real story here is Lena's continued downward spiral. While working on campus, she meets Ethan Green, a grad student, and starts a relationship with him. And OH! what a clusterfuck it is!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Kisscut, Karin Slaughter

Grant County continues...And everyone needs freakin' therapy.

This one was so sad. It starts with the death of a young girl, at Jeffery's hands. She's pointing a gun at a boy a bit older than her and threatening to shoot him. Jeffery has no other choice. Still it tears him up and he constantly second guesses himself for the rest of the book.

As you meet the kids who knew the girl, Jenny, you start to realize there is something seriously wrong. Especially after meeting her intended victim, Mark.

There's this one part that is so reminiscent of the recent Steubenville horrors, that is gives you chills. Heartbreaking. And this predates Steubenville by a lot.

Sara is still dancing around Jeffery. They're actually planning on having dinner when Jenny threatens Mark. Well, actually, Jeffery leaves Sara to answer a page and she goes into the bathroom where she finds a murdered infant - someone gave birth and immediately killed the baby. Sara had seen Jenny come out of the bathroom and, after seeing if it's possible to save the baby, goes after her. She finds the standoff and sees Jeffery give in to his only choice.

 Jeffery needs to see someone to deal with his actions, and they need couples therapy if they're going to make this second chance work. Sara can't let go of Jeffery's affair/one night stand. She can't let it go and he can't keep apologizing.

Lena is obviously still struggling with her rape and kidnapping. She's back on the job with the caveat that she see a therapist, which she conveniently "hasn't done yet." I really hope she does. These kinds of stories always talk about therapy and how the characters need it, but never actually have their characters do it. Then the character manages to just pull themselves out. It's really annoying. That's not how it works for 98% of the population. People need help! Therapy doesn't make you weak or crazy.