Tag Archives: Ilona Andrews

A review of One Fell Sweep (Innkeeper Chronicles Book 3) by Ilona Andrews

I received an ARC of this book for an honest review. However, that said, this book is the final and refined product of a weekly serial that is posted free online by the Ilona Andrews duo on their website Innkeeper Chronicles – Free Fiction from Ilona Andrews

Fiction, especially urban fantasy in the first person is not my favorite form of reading it, mainly, because it is so difficult to do it properly. There are a few exceptions however, and Ilona Andrews nails it every time in every book. The writing is fluid and in constant motion, in this case from Dina DeMille´s point of view.

Dina does not tell you story, she shows you, you can see and feel the story. Descriptions are detailed but manage to avoid being lengthly and tedious. The characters are complete with flaws and strengths making them authentic even though they are supernatural or alien. No two characters are the same or even similar in their personalities.

This book was surprisingly emotional, there were parts that made me laugh, who would have thought that Arland had a sense of humor? “Are you going to war Lord Marshal?” “No, I was attending a formal dinner. They make us wear armor to these things so we don´t stab ourselves out of sheer boredom.”

We get to meet Dina´s sister Maud and her niece Helen. I´m a mother and if Helen was my kid I would be a warrior too. Their relationship is interesting and it develops throughout the story. Maud´s relationship with Arland is feisty and fun to watch the battle of wills.

New worlds, new species and once again Dina and Gertrude Hunt find themselves in a sensitive situation once more. There is plenty of action and some serious “kick ass” fighting, love the swords. And Wing, must confess that I have a soft spot for Wing. Cute creature.

Speaking of Gertrude Hunt, that is one of the most amazing characters, yes the inn is a character, it feels, yawns (which I found amusing) and has a life of its own. Ah, now comes the “Grab your Tissues” moment, the seed. Let me say that this is pathetic, but never have I ever felt so much sorrow and sadness for a seed. As much as it costs me to say this, I did spill a tear or two for that seed.

Moving on, Sean, well yes, Sean loses control once or twice. Okay fine, a few times but he is after all a wolf and the development of his relationship with Dina is smooth and natural as it should be, nothing is forced or rushed. Everything about them happens when it should.

My question is about the cat, “Who the hell is Sebastien North?”

Book will be available on December 20th

Amazon BN  Kobo  iTunes

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New release – One Fell Sweep

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

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One Fell Sweep (Innkeeper Chronicles Book 3) Kindle Edition (Amazon)

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.

Urban Fantasy, where to start?

Part 1

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

A Hidden Fire by Elizabeth Hunter

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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.

Magic Bites

Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews

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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…

Moon Called

Moon Called by Patricia Briggs

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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

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by J.L. Murray

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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

Kindling the Moon by Jenn Bennett

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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 Bellbartender, 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.

Storm Front

Storm Front by Jim Butcher

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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.

 

 

 

The spark is back with The Veil, The Devil´s Isle Book 1 by Chloe Neill

Sadly for quite a while I haven´t felt truly excited with a new book, don´t get me wrong, I like plenty of authors and am happy to buy their books but there are a two exceptions: Ilona Andrews that has yet to publish something that I didn´t like and even after years of following Kate Daniels and Curran I have yet to become bored with this series. When they published the first book in the Hidden Legacy, Burn for Me, I was excited. The same can be said for Elizabeth Hunter, Elemental Mysteries was a delicious series to read so when she announced the new series, The Irin Chronicles I was excited to read it, and was not disappointed.

Then there are authors that I like but am not overly excited to read their new books simply because at some point I became bored with the series or the characters. Not the authors fault, I simply lost interest so maybe a year after the book has been published I will buy it, maybe. One of these really awsome authors is Chloe Neill, I followed Merit and Ethan Sullivan for a while and was entertained by them but about three books ago I lost interest, I have purchased all the books but the last one in the series is still sitting in my kindle waiting to be read. But as I said I like the author so like the other authors that I like I subscribed to her newsletter years ago and always take the time to read it. Earlier this week Chloe Neill posted the first three chapters of a new book in a new series, The Veil, The Devil´s Isle Book 1, I went over to her website to read the first three chapters and I am really excited and looking forward to this book.

If the first three chapters are anything to go by this is going to be one amazing book to read, Chloe Neill has outdone herself with this book if she keeps the same pace and the same vibe that you get in the first three chapters. So yes, I have preordered the book that will only be available on the 4th of August and I am very excited to read it, so thank you Chloe Neill for bringing back that little spark that ignites the love of a book as soon as you read the first page, on August 4th I will be unavailable as I will be reading The Veil.

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Elizabeth Hunter: http://elizabethhunterwrites.com

Chloe Neill: http://www.chloeneill.com/?page_id=769#devil8217s-isle-nal

Ilona Andrews: http://www.ilona-andrews.com/books/

Rereading books… Why do we do that?

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How many people reread certain books? I don´t mean once more like five years down the line, I am talking about rereading them regularly.

I hadn´t given it much thought until last night when I started rereading a series of books that I must have read at least ten times already. I have approximately 30 new books on my kindle so reading one of the new books would seem the logical thing to do, instead I revert back to those that I know.
Don´t get me wrong, I do read the new ones, I had just finished reading one of the said new books by Anne Bishop, Written in Red (which I haven´t reviewed because I have no idea how to review that book), but instead of starting something new I opened up the Kate Daniels series…. again.

A few chapters in and I was wondering why I was reading this again, anyway, I realised that certain books comfort me, the stories, the characters, the writing. I know that I will be happy after I read it, that there is a contentment to be found that will make me smile and say, “This is a great book!”. Rereading something that I love is safe and I know that I won´t feel uncomfortable or disturbed with what I have read. I also realised that I tend to reread my favourite books after reading something that has left me confused in any way. Having said that Anne Bishop´s Written in Red was not what I expected, I´m just not sure how I feel about the story or the characters so I went back to what I know and enjoy for another read.

So to Ilona Andrews, Meljean Brook, Elizabeth Hunter, J.L. Murray and so many more, thank you for being my safety net in the literary world.

Burn for Me by Ilona Andrews

A few weeks ago I did a quick read of Burn for Me (Hidden Legacy # 1) and I gave it a five star rating and a decent review, I thought that perhaps after reading it a second time I would possibly change my review (not my rating though, once given it stays). So I did read again… four more times and instead of finding any fault in the book I liked it even more.

So on their website (http://www.ilona-andrews.com) you can find amongst others this information: “Ilona Andrews” is actually two people, Gordon and Ilona Andrews. We write urban fantasy, an odd hybrid of a genre that includes elements of mystery, fantasy, and horror in a modern setting. We don’t take ourselves too seriously. 

Well I must say that this duo is brilliant, in all their books it´s not only the main characters that captivate me but their secondary characters as well. Did I mention that I want to adopt Grandma Frida? Well I do. That is the coolest old woman ever. The cousins, sisters and even the bike shop owner who appears in one paragraph is so well written that you don´t need any further information and should he appear in another book in two or three books from now I will still remember who he is and what his role was in book one. Nevada is such an awesome character, great personality, smart and funny. Mad Rogan is everything you don´t want in a man and at the same time you wish you had your very own Mad Rogan because he just has so much “oomph” (I know it´s not a real word but just for the sake of argument pretend that it is).

Who ever claims that magic does not exist is because they haven´t sat down with a cup of coffee and a book written by Ilona Andrews, trust me at the end of the first chapter you will believe in magic.

The only decent piece of advice I can give you is to read this book, actually read all of their books it is the one of the best things you will ever do.

Readers and their “prude-metres”

A few days ago on Goodreads I came across comments on the latest Ilona Andrews book Burn for Me. One of their fans was concerned about the cover and that the contents would contain either a sex scene or the f#*& word in it. When I saw this I closed my eyes counted to ten and hoped that the comment disappeared by the time I opened them again, but it was still there. It surprised me to see it because if you are an Ilona Andrews fan you know that they don´t write porn and the very few sex scenes that appear are relevant to the moment and tastefully written. I think it is unfair to these authors (actually any author) that someone would raise such a petty and stupid question, if you know the author and enjoy the books give the content a chance before you start judging the book by its cover. As for the F word you would think that these people are five years old.

But that´s not even the point, the point is that if you are reading urban fantasy or paranormal, paranormal romance, sic fi, or whatever, you are bound to come across a few of the more colourful vocabulary in our language and as for the sex… well hun I hate to tell you that that is how we all made our way into this world.

If people have a “prude-metre” when it comes to books there are plenty that offer the colourful vocabulary and sex free literature. Why read a genre that you know for sure you are bound to come across what you dislike and then actually comment or review based on that? Personally I don´t like YA or poetry or biographies or any religious literature, therefore I don´t read it and I  most certainly don´t review it and not because it is not well written or a good story but I don´t like it and would probably have a lot of bad things to say that the author did´t deserve.

This raises the question, why do you read what you read?

I read what gives me pleasure and that I enjoy, so I buy authors like Ilona Andrews, Meljean Brook, J.L. Murray, Karen Marie Moning and so many more. I know that there will be less kosher language, some violence and sometimes some sex but I already knew that and to buy and read these books is my choice.

Please read books that fit within the parameters of your “prude-metre” and stop asking ridiculous questions. Stick to what you truly like and gives you pleasure instead of going with the flow of what your friends are reading. Books are art and like all art it is personal, what your BFF loves is not necessarily what you will love so please stay away from what may offend you and spare the rest of us absurd questions.