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Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Reviews on Fangs for the Fantasy!

True Blood: Nobody Leaves

Let's do something a little different this week.  Let's discuss last night episode by character/plot.  Last night's episode began with Alcide carrying Sookie away from the battle.  Sookie is taken from him by Bill.  Bill tries to give her his blood, while Alcide asks, "does she even have a pulse?"  Can we just say right now that there was no suspense to this. Of course the minute that Sookie wakes up she barely thanks Alcide and proceeds to make plans with Bill to get Eric. In the first sensible thing that Alcide has done in a long time he tells her that he is done and walks out of the house.  

Unfortunately for Alcide, Debbie is awake when he gets home.  She pretends to sleep but you can see the tension all over her.  (BTW, thank you Alan Ball for the naked shot of my fav werewolf)  As Alcide snuggles up to Debbie, her eyes go yellow.  It's clear to me that Alcide needs to just take his fine behind away from both Sookie and Debbie.  Could any man really be that slow to catch on?

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Succubus Dreams by Richelle Meade

I unabashedly love this series, yes, yes, I do.  Succubus Dreams actually read more like a paranormal romance than a straight up urban fantasy book, but not even that could diminish my desire to find out what happened to the protagonist Georgina Kincaid.

Kincaid walks into a bar to find Carter, three angels and human sitting together.  Joel, one of the angels clearly does not like or trust her. At every opportunity he is downright hostile towards her.  Carter and his crew of angels are clearly up to something but realizing that it is pointless to question them, Kincaid stays to have a few drinks.  At the end of the night Carter asks her to let Vincent the human stay with her while they are on their secret angel mission.  Kincaid reluctantly agrees.  

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Teen Wolf – the season finale

It's the season finale of Teen Wolf! We have to say this series was far better than we anticipated. We expected lots of teen angst, lots of pointless moping and the other staples of the genre – and yes there's been some – but much less than we thought. The characters have been fun, Stiles as been awesome, the bare chests have been yummy – all in all a good find. Definitely way exceeded our expectations (even if those expectations were low)

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Spider's Bite by Jennifer Estep. Book 1 of the Elemental Assassin's series
Gin, the Spider, is an assassin. She kills people for money and she's very very good at it, even in a world with vampires, elementals, dwarfs and giants – she hardly even needs to use her Stone and Ice magic, her knives and training are more than enough.

Until a job goes wrong. Her employer has double crossed her and is now out to kill her and her loved ones to continue to frame her for a death she didn't cause. Working with her remaining family and a reluctant police officer who complicates things by being both extremely hot and enraged by her previous job killing his partner, she must find out who is after her, why – and avenge the dead.

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Raphael by D.B Reynolds
This is yet another book of the month selection from one of our reading groups on Goodreads.  This is yet another book that I would not have chosen to read because it is paranormal romance.  Unlike Love Bites by Lynsay Sands, there really is nothing to redeem this book. 

Cynthia is a former police officer turned private investigator. Normally, she does things like background checks and following cheating spouses, and so when Raphael and his vampires enter her office wanting to hire her to track down a kidnapped vampire, she jumps on the opportunity to do something new and interesting. The existence of vampires is sort of an open secret socially, but even with all the secrecy, Raphael's place in vampire hierarchy is well known.

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Dead Beat by Jim Butcher, Book 7 of the Harry Dresden Files
There are some new big bads in town – necromancers, some of the darkest wizards out there, have arrived and they're all looking for the World of Kemmler. Kemmler, the greatest and most horrendous necromancer that ever lived, left his remaining knowledge in this book – a book that could bring untold power to the most evil of people.

And in addition to the Necromancers, Marva of the Black Court also wants the book – and if Harry doesn't get it for her, she's going to ruin Murphy's life. To further complicate things, Bob the skull has a disturbing past and even more disturbing secrets with Kemmler.

The war between the vampires and the wizards continues with the Wizards suffering a major defeat, the remains of the Warders must turn to people they'd shunned to try and prop up their numbers and can't offer Harry even a tenth of the support he normally could expect.

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Dead Iron by Devon Monk
Dead Iron falls into the category of paranormal steampunk.  I really looked forward to this book when I saw that it was chosen as the book of the month by one of my Goodreads reading groups; however, that excitement quickly turned to dust, and I found myself looking for anything to do other than reading this book.  How do you know when a book is bad?  When you find yourself thinking after reading a few pages, hnmmmm  I suddenly have a desire to clean the kitchen, or a do a load of laundry.  Yes, housework is more amusing than this book.

One of the major faults with Monk's work is how convoluted the story is.  First we have a werewolf named Cedar Hunt, who is considered an outsider in the small Oregon town of Hallelujah.  He has moved to Hallelujah in an attempt to forget his past. Hunt believes that he  killed his brother, one night when the wolf's blood lust blocked out his ability to reason.  His wife and child are also dead.  Out of the blue, Rose Small, the General Store owner's adopted daughter tells him about a missing child named Elbert Gregor, and he decides to hunt him down.  Because Rose has told him that she believes that the boogeyman took the child, he decides to pay a visit to the Madder brothers, who seem to have a special skill working with stone.  Even though he has no connection with this child, he is willing to owe the Madders a favor in order to secure their help.

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Zoo City by Lauren Beukes
Zinzi December is a animalled – aposymbiotic. She has done something bad in the past – she has killed someone – and since the mid 90s that has caused people to manifest their own animals. The animalled all gain a special power upon having their animal, but it doesn't compare to the widespread prejudice and hatred society shows them – nor to the constant threat of the Undertow. A darkness that chases and hunts down animalled when their companions are killed and stalks them until then.

Zinzi has the power to find things people have lost, following the connections of them to their objects. She has had a hard life, an ex-journalist who fell into drug use, the spiral of which eventually ended up with her brother dead and her carrying around Sloth, she now ekes out a living in the slum Zoo City, a derelict, crime ridden and poverty stricken area of Johannesburg with a large animalled population. Trying to get by in the face of prejudice, her severe drug debt she is pulled into a swamp of the music industry trying to find a missing pop starlette who is tipped to be the next big thing – but has gone missing.

Then suddenly there are deaths, homeless people being murdered and going missing and a shadowy underworld to the music industry and her employers she never imagined.

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