|The first book in the highly anticipated Elemental World series from Elizabeth Hunter, author of the best-selling Elemental Mysteries.
In a world teetering on the edge of change, two beings struggle to find their purpose. Will their paths lead them closer together or tear their worlds apart?
For a thousand years, powerful earth vampire Carwyn ap Bryn has served others. God. His family. His friends. But tragedy and loss disrupt his peaceful existence, causing him to question everything he has committed his eternity to.
Brigid Connor has known about vampires since they rescued her from a painful childhood. But not even their vast elemental power can save her from the demons that torment her.
As loyalties are tested and new paths are forged, a lurking danger slowly grows in the Elemental World. Carwyn and Brigid learn that even secrets revealed can come back to haunt you when you least expect it.
I am sure that Jane Austen fans have imagined their own version of Mr Fitzwilliam Darcy, mine didn´t look like the actors Colin Firth or Matthew MacFadyen but he most certainly was tall, dark and handsome, broad chest and defined strong arms…. you get the picture.
Then comes along Professor John Sutherland from University College London and Professor Amanda Vickery from Queen Mary University of London and for a whole month they take on a study to gain a historically accurate idea of what Darcy would have looked like.
I wish they hadn’t.
The study revealed that the revered Darcy would have had powdered white hair, a pointy chin, a pale complexion, a long nose and sloping shoulders. Not quite the brooding, chiselled chap portrayed on-screen by modern-day actors.
His hair, according to the research, would have been mid-length and powdered white, reflective of the norms of the Austen era. His face would have been long and oval-shaped with a small mouth — common features among gentlemen of the era. His skin would have been pink and white; a sign of wealth and privilege.
His build would have been slender, with a “modest chest”, but with “large quads, thighs and calves”. According to the research, strong legs were an attractive and important feature to females of the time, with “well-modelled thighs a sign of virility, a good fencer and horseman”.
Unlike Colin Firth and Matthew MacFadyen — who are both over 6ft tall — the real Darcy would have only been 5ft 11 inches.
Either way, here is what he would have looked like, the powdered hair is enough to cringe and sloping shoulders? Nope. I will stick to my imagined version of Mr. Darcy this is fiction after all and isn´t that the purpose of reading? That we lose ourselves in somebody´s else´s world with a touch of our own?
Enjoying a book I hated, I don´t get it either. My excuse is not enough coffee.
I am reviewing all three books together as I feel this should have been one book.
There are so many things wrong with this series but something about the story made me want to read all three. This was painfully awful and at the same time it wasn’t, there is so much potential in this series to make it great but as it stands it is unexceptional.
So let me start with everything I did not like about the books.
This book desperately needs some serious TLC in the editing department, and I’m not just speaking about the typos and grammar issues. Content wise the author would have greatly benefited from a good editor to give insight on the flow of the story and character development. The author claims that this was a new edited version, fire your editor and find somebody competent.
Syssi, the main character is a coward. Annoyingly so. She supposedly has premonitions, very accurate ones at that. Yet, throughout the book she gets two bad feelings. This was the only thing that made her interesting, the first three pages of the book were what got me interested and this was an important aspect. It was so disappointing that this “minor detail” only gets mentioned as her supernatural ability and not actually explored in the plot or to enrich her character. Seriously author?
Her inner self lamenting monologue is excessive and infuriating; she is insecure in the beginning of the book and remains so until the very end. AGH!!! Please give the girl a pair of balls! Work on character development and for pity’s sake make her something better than she was when we first met her.
Then there is her obsession with saving money, I’m all for smart spending and avoiding unnecessary expenditures but the character was beyond obsessed, every time money was mentioned I wanted to scream in sheer anger at how absurdly ridiculous she came across (there must be a more appropriate adjective to insult her but it’s not coming to mind right now). I skipped any conversation that included money. Author your character requires serious therapy.
Kian is a two thousand year old immortal, with the mentality of a teenage boy from an ultra conservative family that has never seen beyond the walls of the village somewhere in the dark ages. He never does anything that marks him as alpha of his clan, fighting is done by others, with the exception of scaring the crap out of a kid and biting the insecure money obsessed female. This guy can morph into any shape he desires, but does the author exploit this? Not once, there is not one scene that shows the beast and how bad ass he is. So sad.
The author pays too much attention to secondary characters in these three books. Should they be excluded? Absolutely not, they should however have been integrated in a different manner without focussing on them.
These three books should have been one book, Kian and Syssi’s story, introduction to the secondary characters, their presence but focus on the two main characters’ story.
I reached the end of book 3, the last of Kian’s and Syssi’s story and guess what? There is no ending! No ENDING!
How do you tell a story about two people for three books and come the end of book three and there is no end?
FRUSTRATING as HELL!
I will not be reading the remaining books; I sincerely hope the author reconsiders these first three books. Rewrite them, make one book, focus on your two main characters, give the story a beginning a middle and an end. Reconsider character development, surely Syssi does not need to be such an insecure creature throughout the book, does she?
Think about including her gifts of premonition, use Kian’s badass gifts and make him more the alpha and the immortal you kind of expect a two thousand year old creature to be.
So why did I read it and am giving these books a reasonably decent rating with 3 stars despite all of the above?
Because for some screwed up reason beyond mortal comprehension I actually enjoyed them. Overall the concept of the story is good, the secondary characters are interesting enough to warrant further development and with a good editor these books could truly be compared to the Black Dagger Brotherhood. As they stand, I am sorry to say but they are so far behind that the BDB are not even within their sights.
Looking for something special for the X-mas tree? Look no further, on the 20th of December is the release date of the third book in the Innkeeper Chronicles. If you don´t know them go on over to Ilona Andrews website for more information on these great books Ilona Andrews Innkeeper Chronicles
Dina DeMille may run the nicest Bed and Breakfast in Red Deer, Texas, but she caters to very particular kind of guest… the kind that no one on Earth is supposed to know about. Guests like a former intergalactic tyrant with an impressive bounty on her head, the Lord Marshal of a powerful vampire clan, and a displaced-and-superhot werewolf; so don’t stand too close, or you may be collateral damage.
But what passes for Dina’s normal life is about to be thrown into chaos. First, she must rescue her long-distant older sister, Maud, who’s been exiled with her family to a planet that functions as the most lawless penal colony since Botany Bay. Then she agrees to help a guest whose last chance at saving his civilization could bring death and disaster to all Dina holds dear. Now Gertrude Hunt is under siege by a clan of assassins. To keep her guests safe and to find her missing parents, Dina will risk everything, even if she has and may have to pay the ultimate price. Though Sean may have something to say about that.
Picking up a new genre is never easy and when you pick up one that usually includes vampires, shape-shifters, fae and other such interesting creatures, you really need to open that first page with an open mind. If there is a rule where to start, not only do I not know about it and to be honest neither do I care. Instead I will give you a list of my favorites over the years. So if you want to have a go here is some options for you to look at but there are so many good collections out there that I will continue the list at a later stage.
A Hidden Fire
One of my favorites is Elizabeth Hunter, I am absolutely addicted to her books and have no qualms with this recommendation.
A phone call from an old friend sets Dr. Giovanni Vecchio back on the path of a mysterious manuscript he’s hunted for over five hundred years. He never expected a young student librarian could be the key to unlock its secrets, nor could he have predicted the danger she would attract.
Now he and Beatrice De Novo follow a twisted maze that leads from the archives of a university library, though the fires of Renaissance Florence, and toward a confrontation hundreds of years in the making.
History and the paranormal collide in A Hidden Fire, the first book in the bestselling Elemental Mysteries series and semifinalist in the Kindle Book Review’s Best Indie Books of 2012.
Another absolute favourite is the Ilona Andrews duo and their books are as good as it gets as far as reading UF goes.
When the magic is up, rogue mages cast their spells and monsters appear, while guns refuse to fire and cars fail to start. But then technology returns, and the magic recedes as unpredictably as it arose, leaving all kinds of paranormal problems in its wake.
Kate Daniels is a down-on-her-luck mercenary who makes her living cleaning up these magical problems. But when Kate’s guardian is murdered, her quest for justice draws her into a power struggle between two strong factions within Atlanta’s magic circles.
The Masters of the Dead, necromancers who can control vampires, and the Pack, a paramilitary clan of shapechangers, blame each other for a series of bizarre killings—and the death of Kate’s guardian may be part of the same mystery. Pressured by both sides to find the killer, Kate realizes she’s way out of her league—but she wouldn’t have it any other way…
There is something about Mercy Thompson that once you start reading you won´t want to put it down.
Mercy Thompson’s life is not exactly normal. Her next-door neighbor is a werewolf. Her former boss is a gremlin. And she’s fixing a VW bus for a vampire. But then, Mercy isn’t exactly normal herself.
Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea
J.L. Murray is an incredibly talented writer but unlike the above authors she has a little darkness in her pen. The story doesn’t go the way you expect and the results are startling to say the least. One of the most fun reads ever in UF.
Niki Slobodian sees things – things that aren’t supposed to be there. Labeled an Abnormal by New Government, her name is tacked onto the Registry, which seems to be getting longer these days. Now she can’t work or she’ll end up the same place as her father: in prison. But with no money coming in, Niki’s getting desperate.
Kindling the Moon
There is a special story about this book, when it first came out Amazon did not deliver to Mozambique and I didn´t have a kindle at the time. I emailed the author and asked if it was possible to buy directly from her, I was after all desperate to read this book. Jenn Bennett did better than that, she sent me a PDF to my email. I have since then purchased all the books but the PDF is still in my email, it is a special momento which I am not quite willing to let go.
Meet Arcadia Bell: bartender, renegade magician, fugitive from the law. . . .
Being the spawn of two infamous occultists (and alleged murderers) isn’t easy, but freewheeling magician Arcadia “Cady” Bell knows how to make the best of a crummy situation. After hiding out for seven years, she’s carved an incognito niche for herself slinging drinks at the demon-friendly Tambuku Tiki Lounge.
But she receives an ultimatum when unexpected surveillance footage of her notorious parents surfaces: either prove their innocence or surrender herself. Unfortunately, the only witness to the crimes was an elusive Æthyric demon, and Cady has no idea how to find it. She teams up with Lon Butler, an enigmatic demonologist with a special talent for sexual spells and an arcane library of priceless stolen grimoires. Their research soon escalates into a storm of conflict involving missing police evidence, the decadent Hellfire Club, a ruthless bounty hunter, and a powerful occult society that operates way outside the law. If Cady can’t clear her family name soon, she’ll be forced to sacrifice her own life . . . and no amount of running will save her this time.
Jim Butcher is a must if you read UF. Personally, I don´t think a UF list is quite complete without his name on it.
Meet Harry Dresden, Chicago’s first (and only) Wizard P.I. Turns out the ‘everyday’ world is full of strange and magical things – and most of them don’t play well with humans. That’s where Harry comes in.
Harry is the best at what he does – and not just because he’s the only one who does it. So when the Chicago P.D. has a case that transcends mortal capabilities, they look to him for answers. There’s just one problem. Business, to put it mildly, stinks.
So when the police bring him in to consult on a grisly double murder committed with black magic, Harry’s seeing dollar signs. But where there’s black magic, there’s a black mage behind it. And now that mage knows Harry’s name. And that’s when things start to get . . . interesting.
Magic – it can get a guy killed.
Hope that you find something that you like here, these, are in my humble opinion, worth your time and money.
Have you ever felt like some famous writers are a little overrated? Well, you’re in good company—other famous writers felt the same way (and were neither polite nor cautious about expressing it). Enjoy our favorite author-on-author insults below!
Not a fan: Vladimir Nabokov
“As to Hemingway, I read him for the first time in the early ‘forties, something about bells, balls and bulls, and loathed it.”
by Mark Twain
Not a fan: William Faulkner
“A hack writer who would not have been considered fourth rate in Europe, who tricked out a few of the old proven sure fire literary skeletons with sufficient local color to intrigue the superficial and the lazy.”
Not a fan: D.H. Lawrence
“Nobody can be more clownish, more clumsy and sententiously in bad taste, than Herman Melville, even in a great book like Moby-Dick…. One wearies of the grand serieux. And that’s Melville. Oh dear, when the solemn ass brays! brays! brays!”
by James Joyce
by Ezra Pound
Not a fan: Gertrude Stein
“A village explainer. Excellent if you were a village, but if you were not, not.”
Not a fan: William Faulkner
“He has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary.”
Not a fan: Ernest Hemingway
“Poor Faulkner. Does he really think big emotions come from big words?”