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Review of Working for the Devil

Working for the Devil (Dante Valentine, #1)Working for the Devil by Lilith Saintcrow

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Loved this book, with a capital L. In fact, I wish I had more stars today. I found this gem via the Dark Urban Fantasy Blog: http://www.darkurbanfantasy.com/

So much good here, I barely know where to begin. Dante Valentine is a great heroine, maybe one of my favorites of all time. She’s foul-mouthed, sassy, and doesn’t take crap from anyone. That occasionally makes her a little hard-nosed, but the way her character is built up makes that fitting. Her relationships are frequently hostile and always amusing. Japhrimel is another great character. His growth throughout the book made me smile.

Dante is “persuaded” to take on a job by none other than Lucifer himself–find a demon and return an item he stole to hell. Danny is reluctant until Lucifer explains that the demon is a serial killer she’s been after for some time.

Plenty of action and some cool bits of magic make this an exciting and interesting read. Probably not the best choice for die-hard paranormal romance fans, but a must read for lovers of urban fantasy.

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Review for Ill Wind

Ill Wind (Weather Warden, #1)Ill Wind by Rachel Caine

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ill Wind is the kind of book I love to read: sassy main character, interesting fantasy aspects, a sprinkling of romance. Unsurprisingly, I inhaled the book, and really enjoyed it.

In general I thought Caine’s characterizations were brilliant. Jo is fun and independent, just enough girl power but not over the line into ridiculous. I adored David. There are a bunch of great side characters, Lewis, Star, Paul, and Bad Bob.

The world building was just right for me. Enough detail to make things clear, but not so much that I feel like I’m wading through info-dumps through the first half of the book. There’s a lot I really like about this world and I can’t wait to read more.

I was a little irritated about why all the Djinn were so circumspect when they didn’t have to be. The cop out answer, of course, was that’s just how they are, but I didn’t really buy that. Why not just tell her what she needs to know? Arg!

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Review for Slave to Sensation

Slave to Sensation (Psy-Changeling, #1)Slave to Sensation by Nalini Singh

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The setting of Slave to Sensation a not too distant future, with a slightly altered history. Human evolution has branched out into two distinct species, the Changeling and the Psy. This might sound like the set up to a Sci-Fi story, but really it’s much more firmly placed in the Fantasy realm than anything remotely scientific. Overall, I quite liked the book. I enjoy Singh’s writing style. She has quick pace with not an undue amount of description. There were a few places where the navel-gazing got a bit much, but that’s not unusual in this genre.

The formatting of the Kindle version is quite a mess, but not unreadable for me. There are multiple carriage returns between paragraphs and the indentation is inconsistent. If you’re a format stickler, it might make you a little crazy.

There are abrupt PoV shifts within scenes, as is pretty prevalent in the paranormal romance genre. I found the head-hopping in this book much less annoying than most, but I don’t know if that’s because it was better handled or I’m just getting used to it.

I wasn’t sold on Sascha at the start, but I found her more compelling as the book went on. She wasn’t the usual plucky heroine, but she brought something interesting to the story as she learned how to deal with her emotions. In a way this was almost a coming of age story. Lucas is an alpha male with a haunted past. His character is pretty stereotypical, but since that’s one of my favorite kinds, I liked him.

In summary, if you’re a Paranormal Romance fan I think you’ll like this one. I also think it’s a nice introductory book to PNR because the sex isn’t quite as overblown as some others in the genre.

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Review for River Marked

River Marked (Mercy Thompson, #6)River Marked by Patricia Briggs

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

River Marked was different from the other Mercy books, and I’m undecided on which version I prefer.

I liked that we got a lot of Mercy’s background that we’d been missing. I also enjoyed the reduced angst because the relationship issues between her and Adam finally got resolved.

What I liked less was that beginning seemed slow, I think that’s because a lot of the Native American backstory had to be fit in and that made for less action early on. We do get a good amount Mercy butt-kicking goodness, but it’s left until relatively late. I also thought that Mercy and Adam as a couple deserved more screen time.

One big plus I will give in counterpoint is that I love how Adam is willing to let Mercy be herself. There’s always the temptation with dominant characters to run over everyone in the course of getting their way, but it’s nicely handled in this book. Though it’s all in Mercy’s PoV, we get to know a lot of what goes on in Adam’s head.

Overall, I felt like this deviated too much from the previous books for me to be entirely thrilled with it, but at the same time I understand that Mercy has to evolve or else there’s little point to continuing on with her story. Still, I love me some coyote-girl and that goes a long way.

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Review of Come Unto These Yellow Sands

Come Unto These Yellow SandsCome Unto These Yellow Sands by Josh Lanyon

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book is the reason I don’t give out five stars often. Wonderful and amazing are the first two words that come to mind, but that just sounds like empty praise, so let me dial that back and tell you what this book is without all the hyperbole.

It’s a contemporary murder mystery, but also so much more than that. The themes of love, loyalty and addiction that occur throughout are powerful. Swift is a beautiful character that will win your heart. He’s so lovely and complicated that once I started reading I really couldn’t stop.

The Choose Your Own Adventure introductions to every chapter were clever and compelling–loved that little touch. The poetry references were perfect and not overboard as can sometimes happen with stories about poets.

Overall, just a stunning and remarkable book that I heartily recommend. I wish I could remember where I heard about this one, because I’d run back there right now and see what other gems I could find. As it is, I know I’ll be reading more Josh Lanyon very soon.

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