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Review: Only Lovers Left Alive

220px-Only_Lovers_Left_Alive_posterOnly Lovers Left Alive is the vampire movie you’ve always wanted. You didn’t even know you wanted it, but you did. Tom Hiddleston and Tilda Swinton are ancient, gorgeous, and shockingly human.

Let’s get this out of the way: this isn’t a Hollywood vampire movie. There is no violence, very little blood, and all of the sex is off-screen. The vampires aren’t showy. They don’t run around doing vampire things like flying and jumping off buildings. It’s all about the characters and how they interact. In the way of many independent films, there’s no driving plot and the movie is very much about the aesthetics as it meanders through their unlives. Personally, I love that, and I love this movie.

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Review of Chef

Chef_2014

Chef didn’t get a lot of hype, and I can’t figure out why. It’s the kind of movie that leaves you feeling good afterward, as if sometimes everything works out just how it should. Let me be clear: the plot is eminently predictable, and there are no explosions or twist ending. Chef is very simply a heart-warming movie about a man trying to figure out what to do with his life after a mistake threatens his chosen career. There are some spoilers ahead, but as I hinted to earlier, it isn’t anything you would haven’t figured out way before it happens.
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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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