Monday, March 23, 2009

Books 31 & 32

Book 31 was the third Black Dagger Brotherhood Book by JR Ward, Lover Awakened. This is definitely my favorite of the series; the tale of the former blood slave Zsadist and the aristocratic Bella. This story really begins in the second book of the series when the character of Bella is introduced and is immediately smitten with Zsadist, though she rebuffs her because he thinks she is only attracted to him because he's so mean and twisted. Book 2 ends with Bella kidnapped by the evil lessers, though Zsadist vows to keep looking for her until they know what happened.

At the beginning of Lover Awakened, Zsadist rescues Bella from the lessers and the plot unfolds as she clings to him following her captivity, while both Zsadist and his twin Phury fall in love with her. One of the most important plot points of the book is Zsadist's sexual abuse at the hands of the woman who enslaved him. It causes alot of pain for he and Bella as Zsadist tries to shed his fear of intimacy and sex. I find it interesting that such a thing is included because of how taboo sexual abuse still is for people to talk about and I'm glad Ward is willing to tackle such a thing.

Book 32 was A Quick Bite by Lynsay Sands, the first book in her Argeneau Vampire series. I found it to be pretty generic and hard to get into for the first half, but I bought the first four in the series, so here's hoping the others are better. I found the secondary characters more interesting than the leads, so hopefully the other books are about them.

Books 28-30: The Morganville Vampires

Books 28-30 were the first three books in Rachel Caine's Morganville Vampire series. The basic plot is that 16 year old Claire moves to Morganville, Texas to attend college. When she is terrorized in the dorm, she rents a room with some locals, and then discovers that the town is run by vampires. The first three books were very engrossing, as Claire gets into one bad situation after another with the town's vampires and falls in love with roommate Shane. Eventually, Claire becomes something of a pet to the town's founding vampire, and is working to discover a cure to whatever illness is slowly killing the vampire population.

I was so engrossed that I had to make myself stop and read other things so that I could get some distance. I went a head and started the fourth book, which was pretty much necessary. Caine ends all of these books on a cliffhanger, so its near impossible to not pick up the next book and see what happens. I'll probably whine a lot when I finish the 5th and have to wait for the 6th to be released.

Books 26 & 27

Book 25 was Dead as a Doornail by Charlaine Harris, the fifth book in the Southern Vampire series. I liked the plot of this one in which a sniper is stalking the shapeshifters around Bon Temps and Sookie is being hunted as well. However, I swear Sookie had six men panting after her and the whole romance part was just too much. It just takes it too far that this many men are obsessed with this one small town waitress. I hope the next few books stick to a love triangle or at least a quadrangle.

Book 26 was Hunted by PC and Kristin Cast, the fifth book in the Marked series. Like Dead as a Doornail, the plot of this book was really good. Zoey and her crew have escaped the House of Night following the rise of Kalona, and they're now in the tunnels under Tulsa deciding what to do about him and his children, the Raven Mockers. Again, like Doornail, the romance aspect was a bit too much for me to believe. Zoey has three guys, four if you count Kalona, pursuing her. I know its a series and they have to draw out the drama to leave the reader guessing, but the same guys constantly fighting over the same girl with the same arguments is getting old. Still, that was the only downside to this book, other than its lack of an ending. It really seems to be the setup for the next few books, where I presume there will be a showdown with Kalona and Neferet.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Books 24 & 25

Book 24 was Dead to the World by Charlaine Harris, the fourth book in her Southern Vampire series. I started this book last year, but put it down when I couldn't really get into it. I picked it back up last week and started over since I couldn't remember anything that had happened. It was like pulling teeth to get me to pick it up and read the first half of the book. Unlike a lot of fans of the series, I'm not a fan of the character of Eric. After book 3, I'm not a huge fan of Bill either, but I still like him better than Eric and Bill was only in this book for 2 scenes.

The second half of the book was much better, once all the action started and Alcide came into the plot, which is basically that some evil witches have come to town, stolen Eric's memory and are trying to take over the area. The action at the end was good, and I really got caught up in the story then. I'm excited to start book 5, since the cover art looks like Bill and Sookie, which gives me hope that Bill is in this one a lot more.

Book 25 was Lover Eternal, the second Black Dagger Brotherhood book by JR Ward. Again, Ward is an interesting author, hitting the reader over the head with how badass and cool her characters are, but Rhage and Mary's story is really sweet and it remains probably my second favorite book in the series behind the third book, Lover Awakened.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Books 20 - 23

I'm re-reading JR Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood series in preparation for the newest in the series, Love Avenged, to come out at the end of April, so Book 20 was the first BDB book, Dark Lover. This is one of my favorites in the series, and I enjoyed re-reading it, although I've read it enough times to skim over the boring parts with the bad guys. I'm hoping Ward cuts out some of the time she spends in each book focusing on the bad guys. I kind of like to be surprised by what the baddies are planning, and Ward lets the reader in on their plans a little too much to suit me.

Books 21 - 23 were the 3 stories in LJ Smith's Night World 2 anthology: Dark Angel, The Chosen, and Soulmate. Dark Angel was fairly boring, and I never really felt connected to the heroine, Gillian, or her soulmate David. I wish the back of the book hadn't given away that Gillian's so-called "guardian angel" wasn't what he seemed and let the reader figure that out on their own.

The Chosen was better, since I was excited to see human-hating Quinn again after his appearance in a couple earlier Night World books. He's another one of Smith's ambiguous heroes, who's done bad things but in the end decides on a new path of good. Smith does this with lots of her guys (Damon, Ash, etc), and it might get old after a while, but I still liked Quinn a lot.

My fave in this anthology was Soulmate, the story of the oldest "made" vampire and his soulmate Hannah. I believe this story begins the setup for the apocolypse that seemed to be going on in the short story on Smith's website that carries on the plot of Ash Redfern and his mate, Mary-Lynette from Night World 1. I'm guessing all hell breaks loose in Night World 3! Nobody writes crazyness like LJ Smith.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Books 17 - 19

My latest reads for the 52 Book Challenge were quick, but fun books.

Book 17 was Dream Warrior by Sherrilyn Kenyon. Its technically one of her Dream Hunter novels, but its events are part of the ongoing plot of her Dream Hunter series. This book was probably the best of Kenyon's Dream Hunter books, mainly because the characters were in the real world through most of the book and not in the dream realm. It was fast-paced and mythology heavy, acting as a set up book, along with the last Dark Hunter book, One Silent Night, for the next story arc of Kenyon's Dark Hunter series. I liked the two main characters alot, the Titan Cratus and the Dream Hunter Delphine, but it was also nice to see some old favorites like Acheron, Tori, and Zarek. Overall, a fun book that left me excited to see what Kenyon has in store next.

Book 18 was Untamed, the fourth book in PC and Kristin Cast's House of Night series. I enjoyed this one much better than the last book, Chosen, mostly because I didn't spend most of the book pissed at the main character. Zoey got into lots of scrapes in the last book because of her own bad choices, and I was happy to see that she seems to have learned a few lessons because of it in this book. She is able to reunite with her friends, and though all hell breaks loose otherwise, I feel much better about the ending of this book as opposed to the last one. The newest book Hunted, comes out on March 10th, and I'm uber excited to see what happens.

Book 19 was Shakespeare's Landlord by Charlaine Harris. I picked this book out a pile of books that my friend V was giving away at Christmas, mainly because the book (the first in a series) takes place in a fictional little town in Arkansas. It's a straightforward mystery, which hasn't really interested me in the past, but I found it entertaining nonetheless. The heroine, Lily Bard, is a woman just trying to get by, cleaning houses in small town, when she witnesses someone dumping a body. The plot unfolds as Lily tries to figure out who the culprit is. This one piqued my interest enough for me to probably pick up the next in the series to see what happens in Shakespeare next.