Sunday, 30 January 2011

Archangels Consort: The Review

By Nalini Singh

Vampire hunter Elena Deveraux and her lover, the lethally beautiful archangel Raphael, have returned home to New York only to face an uncompromising new evil…

A vampire has attacked a girls’ school—the assault one of sheer, vicious madness—and it is only the first act. Rampant bloodlust takes vampire after vampire, threatening to make the streets run with blood. Then Raphael himself begins to show signs of an uncontrolled rage, as inexplicable storms darken the city skyline and the earth itself shudders. The omens are suddenly terrifyingly clear.

An ancient and malevolent immortal is rising. The violent winds whisper her name: Caliane. She has returned to reclaim her son, Raphael. Only one thing stands in her way: Elena, the consort who must be destroyed…

I did enjoy this book, I am not saying it is perfect, but it is thoroughly enjoyable! It picks up not long after Archangels Kiss has finished, and if you are new to the series I would recommend you read the first 2 books in the series before attempting this book; as the synopsis says Elena is back in New York, subject to mortal and immortal speculation. Many people wonder about her, her wings, her archangel and some seek revenge for past wrongs.

The beginning is action packed and fluid, the story builds quickly taking us into the world of the guild hunters and the angels. We revisit some of Elena's friends and get to know them better, we are also introduced to her sisters and stepmother, this meeting uncovers a family secret and it doesn't stop there.

Throughout Elena battles her own inner demons and tries to stay connected to Raphael as his past reaches out to him. Raphael is mean, moody, dominant and sexy. He loves his consort and one of the nicest things for me was the interplay between them, how she stood up to him, all of which hinted at a real relationship and made the characters and their situations seem more real. We meet Raphael's seven again, Bluebell and Dimitri in particular (my faves.... be still my beating heart) and as usual they, along with the rough and ready members of the guild, give the story some spice.

It is a fast paced and intricate story and I do recommend it, however for me the end seemed a little rushed, not disappointing and it left you with questions which is not necessarily a bad thing, just rushed. For me, a little further explanation of a couple of key events would have helped. But it didn't spoil my overall enjoyment. There is more I could say, about events, Raphael's mother, Elena's parents... but I don't want to spoil the story for anyone who hasn't read it.

A good read, thoroughly enjoyable and I can't wait for the next one. I give Archangel's Consort 4 frilly knickers out of 5.

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Shadowfever: The Review

By Karen Marie Moning

MacKayla Lane was just a child when she and her sister, Alina, were given up for adoption and banished from Ireland forever. Twenty years later, Alina is dead and Mac has returned to the country that expelled them to hunt her sister’s murderer. But after discovering that she descends from a bloodline both gifted and cursed, Mac is plunged into a secret history: an ancient conflict between humans and immortals who have lived concealed among us for thousands of years. What follows is a shocking chain of events with devastating consequences, and now Mac struggles to cope with grief while continuing her mission to acquire and control the Sinsar Dubh — a book of dark, forbidden magic scribed by the mythical Unseelie King, containing the power to create and destroy worlds. In an epic battle between humans and Fae, the hunter becomes the hunted when the Sinsar Dubh turns on Mac and begins mowing a deadly path through those she loves. Who can she turn to? Who can she trust? Who is the woman haunting her dreams? More important, who is Mac and what is the destiny she glimpses in the black and crimson designs of an ancient tarot card? From the luxury of the Lord Master’s penthouse to the sordid depths of an Unseelie nightclub, from the erotic bed of her lover to the terrifying bed of the Unseelie King, Mac’s journey will force her to face the truth of her exile, and to make a choice that will either save the world... or destroy it.

Before I begin I want to say there are NO SPOILERS in this review, (I hope) so, how did this begin and I got the book early? I have no idea, well ok I know the mechanics (and that people wanted to kill me for it *hides*) luckily I ordered mine from Book Depository months ago, I received an email from them saying that they had been granted permission to ship pre orders, presumably because some were going abroad, mine wasn't, and the postman tried to deliver it Friday but I was a work, so Saturday morning off I sped to the postal depo, picked it up and.... tada! I literally was a lucky Minx. I have no special powers, although on Friday when I said that I couldn't control the sun with the click of my fingers and clicked my fingers and the sun went behind a cloud and the kids looked shocked and could read the board.... that was simply luck.... no special powers, honest!

I know, you are wondering when I will stop rambling and get to the book.... NOW! The book is fabulous, not simply a fantastically creative read but also to look at. I know you can see a picture, I know we all know it is THE BOOK, but until you see it in your hand do you see just what it is and what a beautiful book it is, and it is not until you finish the book that you realise the dramatic irony of it. The dust cover of the book is on acetate, clear,and shiny and whilst it is beautiful and a handy waterproof cover for reading in the bath (yes I am a bath reader- don't judge *wink*) I did find the dust jacket an irritation when reading it in general so I took it off.

I think you might have got the message that I loved this book, I did, I really did. I know I ramble, but I don't normally gush over a book like do have this one, the question is why? Because it is good, it really is that simple, I know that all of this is subjective and that some may not like it, but I did. It made me cry, laugh, hold my breath, fear for the characters, thing OMG, think OMFG, think awwww, melt as old friends popped in, become shocked, wonder, think I knew the answer, realise I didn't, think wow, sit with my jaw open, twist and turn, hold my breath, phone for take out as I didn't have time to cook, get dehydrated coz I forgot to drink, become one with the characters and above all it made me hope. That is one of the biggest messages from the book, hope gives you strength.

This is a book I am going to have to read again, it is complicated, an awful lot happens and I think it is a book which would benefit from a re-read, I think I will probably pick up some of the subtleties I missed first time round. The story unsettles you, how? Very simply it takes your hand and starts by leading you down a path you don't want to go down (anyone who read the two chapters online will know exactly what I mean) it then pats your hand and hugs you, allows you into a secret, then rips the rug from under you, twists in another direction and... well you get the idea, but at no point did I find it difficult to follow, I ran full tilt into the book and soared. The book is as fickle and complex as the fae themselves, and I love it for that.

But I will say something about the end, literally the end. if you want to look away now, but I don't think this would spoil it for anyone as it has nothing to do with the plot. As I said earlier the book teaches us the importance of hope, the book ends with this "The End" but on the next page it say "for now..."

I know! HOPE!!!

I give Shadowfever 5 gold plated and diamond encrusted frilly panties out of 5. A brilliant read.

my copy, mug, you know I love my tea, and my next read!
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