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Tag Archives: Contemporary Fantasy

Iced by Karen Marie Moning

This entry is part 6 of 6 in the series Fever Series
Book Review

Book Review

Book Review of Iced: 2 Treasure Boxes A Fever novel, the sixth book A Dani O’Malley Novel, the first book Publisher: Brilliance Audio, Audible Audio Edition, Listening Length: 14 hours and 51 minutes, ASIN: B00A0M7ABA

The walls between earth and the realm of the Fae have fallen and the world is in chaos. Dani “Mega” O’Malley is a fourteen year old Sidhe-seer, she has super speed, super hearing, super sight and she is super strong. There are only two objects that can kill the immortal Fae, and Dani possesses one of them, the Sword of Light. With her abilities and her sword, she is doing everything in her power to protect mankind from the madness that has descended. However, there is a new problem in Dublin, something is indiscriminately freezing both humans and Fae. Dani needs to find out what, and stop it before all of Dublin turns to ice.

Iced is the sixth book in the Fever Series, but this time the story is told from the point of view of Dani and it is the first Dani O’Malley book.  The next book in the series is Burned, and it is expected to be released April 2014.  The third book in the Dani O’Malley series will be Flayed, but its release date is currently unknown. Iced is a contemporary fantasy book, also known as Urban Fantasy. The majority of the story is told in a first person narrative from Dani O’Malley’s point of view, but sometimes other character’s point of view are told instead.

This story continues almost immediately after the events in book five of the Fever series. The first five books revolved around Mac and Barrons, but in Iced they are only mentioned briefly. Instead the focus is on Dani, and the story comes across more as a young adult novel than the erotic urban fantasy that we have come to expect from these books. Although there are a few love interests, Dani is still too immature to really comprehend what is occurring. She tells her story using plenty of slang and with a teenage attitude that took some getting used to, but once I did I enjoyed her voice. Her character became more developed and we learned more about her past.

Iced,  like most of the books in the series, ends on a cliff-hanger. The major story line concerning the freezing of Dublin was resolved, but to keep us hooked, Ms. Moning threw in an unresolved and intriguing event. Now we have to wait a year to read the next book, and to find out where this story is going. I recommend this book as a good read, but you need to read the first five books to really understand what is happening.

 

 

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Cassie Scot: ParaNormal Detective by Christine Amsden

This entry is part 1 of 1 in the series Cassie Scot Series
Book Review

Book Review

Book Review of Cassie Scot: ParaNormal Detective: 3 Treasure Boxes
Book 1 of the Cassie Scot Series
Publisher: Twilight Times Books; First edition (April 4, 2013,) Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc., File Size: 484 KB, ASIN: B00C7VR69I

Cassie Scot, a “normal” young woman, is a misfit both within her family and within the community. She is the sole ungifted person among a family of powerful sorcerers. She has become a private investigator and although she advertises that she will only work on normal cases, she gets pulled into solving a paranormal mystery. While she is struggling to find her way, and her independence, she becomes entangled with a handsome, but mysterious sorcerer.

Christine Amsden has written both science fiction and fantasy. Recently she released a science fiction book, The Immortality VirusCassie Scot: ParaNormal Detective is the first book of four expected books in The Cassie Scot Series and is a contemporary fantasy. The story is told in a first person narrative from the main protagonist, Cassie Scot. Books two to four, have been written and are expected to be released over the next few months. The expected titles are: Secrets and Lies, Mind Games, and Dreamer.

Cassie Scot: ParaNormal Detective is a twist on the contemporary fantasy genre. The main protagonist, Cassie, has no magical abilities, but she fully understands how the paranormal world operates. She is doing her best to find acceptance in the magical world and within her own family, while at the same time, protecting herself against magical attacks.  Cassie is a likeable person and her character is well developed. One of the themes in this book is family relationships. The story was interesting and I found it hard to put down.

This is not a standalone story, but is an intriguing beginning. I recommend Cassie Scot: ParaNormal Detective as a very good read and it is a great start to what proffers to be an interesting series. The book captured my attention from the first page and the story included several surprising twists and turns. I am looking forward to the next book, Secrets and Lies, because I am curious to see how Cassie is going to deal with the situation she now finds herself.

To Purchase: “Cassie Scot: ParaNormal Detective” from Amazon, click here or on picture above

 

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Cold Days by Jim Butcher

This entry is part 14 of 13 in the series The Dresden Files
Book Review

Book Review

Book Review of Cold Days: 3 Treasure Boxes
Book Fourteen of The Dresden
Publisher: Roc; First Edition edition (November 27, 2012), Hardcover: 528 pages, ISBN-10: 0451464400, ISBN-13: 978-0451464408

Harry is no longer dead, no longer a warden of the White counsel and no longer a professional wizard for hire. Instead, he has a new job and a new identity; he is now the Winter Knight for Mab, the Queen of Air and Darkness. The Winter Knight is a tool of death that the Queen dispatches with a whisper and his first assignment is the assignation of an immortal. Not only does Harry need to discover how to kill an invincible being, he also has to investigate the threat of a devastating magical explosion.

Cold Days is the fourteenth book in The Dresden Files. Jim Butcher is currently working on book fifteen, Skin Game. He has also written six books in the Codex Alera Series, which is closer to high fantasy than The Dresden Files. See my review of these books at http://books-treasureortrash.com/series/codex-alera-series/ The Dresden Files are considered contemporary fantasy and are sometimes referred to as urban fantasy. They also fall into the detective genre since Harry is a detective, who is also a wizard, and in each book he solves a case involving the supernatural. These stories are told in the first person narrative from Harry Dresden’s point of view.

When Harry first returns from the dead, he needs to recover from his ordeal, which he does in Arctis Tor, the capital of the Winter Court of Faeries in the Nevernever. He spends his first three months preparing for his new job by recovering his strength, doing physiotherapy, and fending off frequent, deadly surprise attacks from his new boss. A few new characters are introduced: Sarissa, a woman indebted to Mab the Winter Queen who helps Harry during his initial recovery; Cat Sith, a vicious faerie who is available at a moment’s notice to help Harry; Lacuna, a fairy of the little folk, who Harry has taken as a prisoner; and He Who Walks Before, who is related to He Who Walks Behind and is an outsider.

This book really moves the plot along and provides a lot of information about the outsiders, who they are, where they come from and what they are trying to do. Additionally, more information is released about the Adversary. However, I did feel that a few of the solutions to some of Harry’s predicaments were a little too pat. Harry has his own personal struggle dealing with the mantle of the Winter Knight including the predatory feelings that this magical position inspires, but Harry is still the smart-mouthed character that I have grown to love. There was plenty of action throughout this novel, it started in the beginning at Harry birthday party and continued pretty much up until the end. The suspense kept on building and building and the ending was shocking. I never saw it coming and was really surprised by the final outcome.

Cold Days is a standalone story, yet it is also part of a larger tale. I found the book hard to put down, and I recommend it as a very good read. All the books in this series are well written with great characters within a fascinating and unique universe. I am anxious to see what is going to happen next, and am waiting for the release of the next book in the series, Skin Game.

 

 

To Purchase: “Cold Days” click here or on picture above

 

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Ghost Story by Jim Butcher

This entry is part 12 of 13 in the series The Dresden Files
Book Review

Book Review

Book Review of Ghost Story: 3 Treasure Boxes
Book thirteenth of The Dresden Files
Publisher: Penguin Audiobooks, Audible Audio Edition, Listening Length: 17 hours and 56 minutes (624 pages,) ASIN: B005EJFVAQ

Harry has a new case, one where he needs to find his own murderer. The only problem is, he is in ghost form and unable to access solid matter. In Changes, Harry was able to save his little girl and in the process he wiped out the entire race of the Red Court Vampires which also ended the war, but caused someone to want him dead. What he didn’t anticipate is the havoc  in the supernatural world that would be created by the absence of the Red Court Vampires.

Ghost Story is the thirteenth book in The Dresden Files. Jim Butcher has written 14 books in this series, and he is currently working on book 15. He has also written 6 books in the Codex Alera Series, which is closer to high fantasy than The Dresden Files. See my review of these books at http://books-treasureortrash.com/series/codex-alera-series/ The Dresden Files are considered contemporary fantasy and are sometimes referred to as urban fantasy. They also fall into the detective genre since Harry is a detective, who is also a wizard, and in each book he solves a case involving the supernatural. These stories are told in the first person narrative from Harry Dresden’s point of view.

Ghost Story took an interesting twist in the Dresden Files universe which included new layers in the story’s supernatural world. We learn more about Harry’s past through a well told flashback, and even as a ghost, Harry was still the same smart mouthed goof ball. His friends couldn’t see him, but they knew it was him based on some of the comments that came out of his mouth. Several of the characters, including Harry, showed growth and development in their characters; perhaps death has helped Harry to mature.

Harry gets to take a ride within Bob’s skull, which it turns out is a really awesome place. Evil Bob makes an appearance, and at first I was confused about why Evil Bob and Good Bob both appeared simultaneously in the book. However, it was later explained that Evil Bob was accidently created in Dead Beat when Bob eradicated all his Kemmler knowledge. Molly’s new title is the Ragged Lady, and her powers have grown exponentially. She has replaced Harry as the protector of Chicago, while hiding from the White Council. Mortimer Lindquist plays a big role in this book, which is not really surprising because he is an ectomancer, a person who can see and communicate with ghosts, and Harry is now a ghost. The story included lots of action and several surprise turns, including an awesome ending.

I recommend Ghost Story as a very good read. I found the book hard to put down and it included a satisfying resolution to the cliff hanger at the end of Changes. I recommend all the books in this series, which are well written with great characters. I am anxious to see what is going to happen next, so I am planning on reading the next book in the series, Cold Days.

To Purchase: “Ghost Story” from Amazon, click here or on picture above


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Changes by Jim Butcher

This entry is part 11 of 13 in the series The Dresden Files
Book Review

Book Review

Book Review of Changes: 3 Treasure Boxes
Book twelve of The Dresden Files
Publisher: Penguin Audiobooks, Audible Audio Edition, Listening Length: 15 hours and 28 minutes (560 pages,) ASIN: B003FOOGG2

Harry will do almost anything to save a helpless female, but when that girl is his 8 year old daughter, he becomes unstoppable. He goes up against all the odds and will do whatever it takes to save this innocent little soul.

Changes is the twelfth book in The Dresden Files. Jim Butcher has written 14 books in this series, and he is currently working on book 15. He has also written 6 books in the Codex Alera Series, which is closer to high fantasy than The Dresden Files. See my review of these books at http://books-treasureortrash.com/series/codex-alera-series/ The Dresden Files are considered contemporary fantasy and are sometimes referred to as urban fantasy. They also fall into the detective genre since Harry is a detective, who is also a wizard, and in each book he solves a case involving the supernatural. These stories are told in the first person narrative from Harry Dresden’s point of view.

This book was heart wrenching, endearing, extremely sad, and jam packed full of action. There was a lot of tension throughout which kept building and building up to a shocking conclusion, as well as revealing some surprising facts about Harry’s family. While reading Changes, I gasped when Harry was faced with a devastating choice between the lesser of evils, and as the story unfolded I could see how well the title fit. There were several disastrous events that occur throughout this book, including a jaw dropping cliff-hanger at the end.

I recommend Changes as a very good read, plus I found it hard to put down and I also highly recommend all the books in this series, which are all very well written. The characters are all well developed and the story line is great. Although, with the ending as it was, I did not feel this book fell into the standalone category that the other books occupied. I am very anxious to see what is going to happen next, so I have started the next book in the series, Ghost Story.
To Purchase: “Changes” from Amazon, click here or on picture above


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Turn Coat by Jim Butcher

This entry is part 10 of 13 in the series The Dresden Files
Book Review

Book Review

Book Review of Turn Coat: 3 Treasure Boxes
Book Eleven in The Dresden Files
Publisher: Penguin Audiobooks, Audible Audio Edition, Listening Length: 14 hours and 40 minutes (464 pages,) ASIN: B0026HQAMC

Morgan, a fellow warder, appears at Harry’s door looking for help, but this is the last person Harry would expect because Morgan despises him. He has stalked and tried to kill Harry many times, but is now looking for help. For all intents and purposes, Morgan appears to have turned traitor against the White Court.

Turn Coat is the eleventh book in The Dresden Files. Jim Butcher has currently written 14 books in this series. He has also written 6 books in the Codex Alera Series, which is closer to high fantasy than the Dresden Files. See my review of these books at http://books-treasureortrash.com/series/codex-alera-series/ The Dresden Files are considered contemporary fantasy and are sometimes referred to as urban fantasy. They can also fall into the detective genre since Harry is a detective, who is also a wizard, and in each book he solves a case involving the supernatural. These stories are told in the first person narrative from Harry Dresden’s point of view.

Turn Coat was full of action, including lots of excitement with many surprising turns. There were several duels against an incredibly strong skin-changer, resulting in some sad repercussions. There was a mystery to solve surrounding Morgan and the death of a leading member of the White Council. Throw into the mix Molly’s misguided decisions, add in a bad situation for Thomas and you have a great story.

I liked the writing; Harry Dresden is a wise cracking guy and his witty comments are always fun to read. I recommend Turn Coat as a very good read. This book follows the usual Harry Dresden style, and you just got to love that guy. The story is stand alone, yet it is also clearly part of a bigger picture. I recommend you read all the books in order to get the most enjoyment out of the series. I have already started reading the next book, Changes, and it grabbed my interest from the first page.

To Purchase: “Turn Coat” from Amazon, click here or on picture above

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White Night by Jim Butcher

This entry is part 9 of 13 in the series The Dresden Files
Book Review

Book Review

Book Review: 3 Treasure Boxes
Book Nine in The Dresden Files
Publisher: Roc (February 5, 2008), Mass Market Paperback: 528 pages, ISBN-10: 045146155X, ISBN-13: 978-0451461551


A serial killer whose sole focus is magical practitioners is creating fear and chaos in Chicago, but Harry with the help of his old flame Elaine will stop this maniac. Evidence points to Harry’s gorgeous and dangerous brother, Thomas, a vampire of the white court.

White Night is the ninth book in The Dresden Files. Jim Butcher has currently written 14 books in this series. He has also written 6 books in the Codex Alera Series, which is closer to high fantasy than the Dresden Files. See my review of these books at http://books-treasureortrash.com/series/codex-alera-series/ The Dresden Files are considered contemporary fantasy and are sometimes referred to as urban fantasy. They can also fall into the detective genre since Harry solves a case in each book. These stories are told in the first person narrative from Harry Dresden’s point of view as he solves each case.

This is a great story, and I loved the direction and consummation of Harry’s relationship with the fallen angel. Molly is a great addition to the cast, and more insight is released concerning Harry’s past as well as his relationship with Elaine.  A bit more information is revealed about the Outsiders and Harry’s potential to wield power over them. While Harry is solving the mystery of the serial killing, several important plot points are revealed, and the story keeps on building with plenty of excitement up to a thrilling and terrifying ending.

White Night is an intense story that is filled with mystery and plenty of suspense. As usual there is lots going on and the story includes some hints to future events. I recommend this book as a very good read, and even though it can stand on its own I suggest that first all the previous books are read to receive the greatest satisfaction. I am anxiously looking forward to reading the next book in the series, Small Favor.

To Purchase: “White Night” from Amazon, click here or on picture above

 

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Dead Beat by Jim Butcher

This entry is part 7 of 13 in the series The Dresden Files

Book Review

Book Review of Dead Bead: 2 Treasure Boxes
Book seven of the Dresden Files
Publisher: Roc (May 2, 2006), Paperback: 528 pages, ISBN-10: 045146091X, ISBN-13: 978-0451460912

The word of Kemmler provides the hidden information which allows a necromancer to turn into a demi-god. Harry Dresden must discover how the word will provide such power and stop anyone from using it. Meanwhile, he needs to fight against the competing forces of evil that are all searching it out, and the deadline is Halloween, which is fast approaching. In between, Harry and his friends are facing numerous obstacles from many different directions.

Dead Beat is the seventh book in The Dresden Files. Jim Butcher has currently written 13 books in this series with book 14 due November 2012. He has also written 6 books in the Codex Alera Series, which is closer to High Fantasy than the Dresden Files. See my review of these books at http://books-treasureortrash.com/series/codex-alera-series/  The Dresden Files are considered Contemporary Fantasy and sometimes are referred to as Urban Fantasy. They can also fall into the Detective genre since Harry solves a case in each book. Each book is told in the first person narrative from Harry Dresden’s point on view as we follow him through his life while he solves his current case.

Dead Beat is the story about a modern day wizard (Harry) who is fighting against evil in the supernatural community. The story was well told and kept the suspense going right up to the end. There were a few interesting scenes concerning the fallen angel whose coin Harry holds, and there was plenty of action. We learn more about Harry, more about the war against the Red Vampires, more about BOB, and more about the supernatural world that Harry lives. A couple of my favourite characters are BOB, the air spirit and Mouse, Harry’s Tibetan Temple dog.

The story is stand alone, but should be read in sequence with the rest of the books in the series since each story builds on the one preceding it and the world it takes place in has its own unique rules which are released over time. I recommend this book as a good read. I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series.  If you enjoy reading a good detective story encasing paranormal activities with a strong, honorable hero then give this series a try.  However, you should read the books in order as the overall story does build even if each book is stand alone.

 

To Purchase: “Dead Beat” from Amazon, click here or on picture above

 

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Dead Reckoning by Charlaine Harris

This entry is part 11 of 11 in the series The Southern Vampire Mysteries Series

Book Review

Book Review: 2 Treasure Boxes
A Sookie Stackhouse Novel (The Southern Vampire Mysteries), Book 11
Publisher: Recorded Books, Listening Length: 10 hours and 23 minutes (368 pages), ASIN: B004YZ4SQY

Sookie has trouble following her around, some from her own making and some from outside of her control. Sookie, Eric and Pam need to deal with the new representative, Victor, that King Felipe de Castro has sent to Area Five. Victor is a nasty piece of work and he has it out for Eric. The book starts out with Sookie and her fairie family cleaning out the old Stackhouse attic.  What they find in the attic is interesting and it provides more information about Sookie’s background.

Dead Reckoning is the eleventh book in The Southern Vampire Mysteries series (also known as A Sookie Stackhouse Novel), and currently there are a total of twelve books. The thirteenth and final book is going to be released May 2013. All the books are contemporary fantasy but are also known as urban fantasy. They also fall into the romance genre. The story is told in the first person narrative with Sookie’s voice and thoughts as we follow her around.

I thought this book was much better than the previous book, Dead in the Family, but not as good as some of the earlier books. Sookie seemed more like herself, and she seems to have recovered from her ordeal in Dead and Gone. She was enjoying some sun tanning, helping her friends, and dealing with some threats.  I like that Sookie seems to really enjoy the day and the sun, even if she is married to a vampire.  She was also considering her future with Eric and wondering what will happen when she ages. Despite this, I can never see her wanting to become a vampire, she loves the sun too much, she loves being human too much.

The story had lots going on with some unexpected results, but some things also seemed recycled. There was lots of action, especially towards the end of the book. I felt the book was worth reading and I am planning to read the next book in series, Deadlocked. If you are a fan of the Sookie Stackhouse novels then this is a must read and I recommend it as a good book.

 

Questions to consider:

Do you think Sookie would ever want to be turned into a vampire?

Do you think that Charlaine Harris is being influenced by the True Blood TV series and this influence is being reflected in her writing?

I invite you to share your thoughts on the above questions... (just click below on the comments link)

To Purchase: “Dead Reckoning” from Amazon, click here or on picture above


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Covet by J. R. Ward

This entry is part 1 of 1 in the series Fallen Angels

Book Review: 3 Treasure Boxes
A Novel of the Fallen Angels, Book 1
Publisher: Brilliance Audio, Listening Length: 14 hours and 42 minutes (496 pages), ASIN: B0031KN6X4

Earth is the playing field and the game is a never ending struggle of good versus evil between the demons and the angels; using human souls to determine the score. The weight of each person’s soul is measured by the moral value of his deeds. But now the two teams have decided to put all their money on one player; one person who’s responsible to save seven souls balanced on a knife edge between good and evil. If he can help them all move up onto the side of good, then humanity wins and the demons will be banished forever. Covet is the first battle and it all rests on the shoulders of Jim Heron.

J.R. Ward is the pen name of Jessica Bird and she uses it for the paranormal romance novels that she has written. These include the Black Dagger Brotherhood and the Fallen Angel series. There are currently four books in the Fallen Angel series and book five is expected to be released in September 2012. These books are told in a third person narrative alternating the point of view between several of the characters, but primarily from the point of view of the main protagonist Jim Heron.

The Fallen Angel series is an interesting concept with a unique twist on good against evil. Ms. Ward gave us a good insight into who the three main characters are, and she did good job a showing us why they would be motivated to act and respond the way that they did.  I liked the world that she creates, although I myself do not buy into the idea that it is up to one man to influence the balance between good and evil in the world.  I also do not buy that there is such a fine line between good and evil, but leaving that aside, the concept was well thought out and presented.

This is a standalone story, and it leads really nicely into the next book in the series. I recommend this book as a good read, and I am interested to see where the story is going so I am probably going to read the next book in the series, Crave.

 

To Purchase: “Covet” from Amazon, click here or on picture above


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