Silence Fallen

Silence Fallen by Patricia Briggs

4.5 stars!

“I only get weirder the longer you know me.”

Silence Fallen begins with Mercy being abducted by vampires and brought to Europe. She escapes her captors and ends up in the gothic city of Prague, where she has no clue if the people and supernatural creatures she comes across are friend or foe. As time goes by Mercy discovers there is more than one creature that has her in their sits, it’s just a matter of whether or not she can find a safe place to go.

“I looked like a victim. I was done, really done with being a victim.”

I love this series, it never ever fails to deliver a thrilling story and a smile to my face. Patricia Briggs writes hands down one of the best urban fantasy series ever. I love getting lost in the Tricities realm, the characters feel like friends and family as you read along. This is book ten and the series is still going strong, connecting the previous happenings of the books before while creating a new and unique story.

I was majorly geeking out when reading this book. Why? I studied abroad for a year in the city of Prague, and the majority of this book was based there! And it was all accurate! I felt as if I was walking the streets of that city again and it made me miss it. Briggs very obviously either knows the city well herself, or did some awesome research. Plus the addition of the Prague Golem to the plot? Genius! And amazingly well done.

Anyways, I gave it 4.5 instead of 5 because honestly, Adams bits were kinda boring to me with all the political stuff. But otherwise I LOVED this book. And that twist at the end? I never saw it coming, even though thinking back there were some clues. I just missed them.

This is a series you need to be reading, and if you already are, read this book immediately!

“Where is the glory if there is no one left to tell the story?”

ARC provided by publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

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Fire Touched

Fire Touched by Patricia Briggs

4.5 stars!

The Mercy Thompson series is one I’ve been reading for years. I love it so much and think we are lucky as fans that the series has not ended yet. It’s also one of the best urban fantasy series out there, in my opinion. So every Spring when a new book in the series is published I get so delighted because I really want to see what happens next in the series.

In this ninth installment, Mercy and her Alpha werewolf husband Adam, find themselves faced with issues surrounding the Fae. The past few books have been building up to this, with mentions of the fae disappearing and much more interesting activity afoot. Here Mercy finds herself battling a troll on a bridge with some members of the pack, and unintentionally speaking for the Pack on the stance they take toward the Fae, and claiming the Tri-Cities as their own territory.

What follows is a series of events of Mercy and the Pack defending themselves and entering into intricate bargains with the Fae and other supernatural species.

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This book took a little bit for me to get into, normally when I read a Mercy book it’s finished in less than 12 hours. Fire Touched took me a while longer mostly because I had a bit of trouble finding the reading rhythm (and binge watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer didn’t help matters). I loved the bits where we saw the Pack resolving issues that needed to be solved like, 2 books ago. I was sick of the way some members had been treating Mercy and I like that some of that was covered. The introduction of a new and mysterious character named Aiden, the human buy stuck in a Fae world for centuries, turning him into a sort of hybrid. I cannot wait to learn more about him.

Being a romance junkie I would have liked more on Mercy and Adam but I understand that wasn’t a priority. Briggs dropped a relationship bomb in this book and seemed to brush it off very quickly, but we saw that Briggs!!! And it better be talked about in the next book you sly author you! I also cannot help but think there is something going on between Jesse and Ben, or that maybe there will be in the future when she’s not in high school. Nothing obvious is written but I kind of feel that happening.

Anyways, I love this author and this series, so hopefully you take a chance on it and read the first book, Moon Called. You won’t regret it. (And now the year long wait for the next book begins. Grr.)

Magic Bleeds

Magic Bleeds (Kate Daniels #4) by Ilona Andrews

4.5 stars!

“I can’t give you the white picket fence, and if I did, you’d set it on fire.”

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I’m a giant fan of urban fantasy. I read all kinds of genres of books, but when I read urban fantasy I get a feeling of being at home. The Ilona Andrews writing team created a universe where when I’m having a bad day or want to have a good time, I can open a paperback, and escape there effortlessly and happily. And that’s exactly what I did with this book. I recently had some crap come up in my personal life, and when I had the chance I transported myself into this world of mercenaries and werebeasts and didn’t want to come back out. So massive kudos to the authors, you did your job right.

In magic flare zone Atlanta, Kate Daniels is stood up. That’s right, she cooked the Beast Lord Curran dinner, and he never showed. Flash forward about a month or so and the two are at each others’ throats. On top of this, there’s a strange shaman who keeps showing up in bars and casinos and trying to magic blast the place with plague and disease. It’s not long before Kate gets called onto the case, and when she does she finds she might be more connected to it than she expected.

This was the best book of this series for me so far. The plot was thrilling, the banter was witty and humorous, and I couldn’t put the darn book down even when my eyelids were slowly closing due to a need for sleep.

My favorite part of the book? The pranks Kate and Curran were playing on each other. When she covered his bed in catnip and he glued her ass to her office chair? Priceless. The addition of the attack poodle to Kate’s daily life only made the story more entertaining.

“….I think a dog is a great idea. I just never pictured you with a mutant poodle.”
“He isn’t a poodle. He’s a Doberman mix.”
“Aha. Keep telling yourself that.”

Also, another reason why this book was awesome? It’s the hook up book! Yes, the Kate and Curran relationship finally comes to a explosive collision in this book and it was all it was cracked up to be.

“I miss you. I worry about you. I worry something stupid will happen and I won’t be there and you’ll be gone. I worry we won’t ever get a chance and it’s driving me out of my skull.”

This was also the book where I finally stopped skimming when it came to the plot. By this I mean the underlying issue or mystery. As much as I love the other books and their stories, there were points when I skimmed. That didn’t really happen in this book. All of Kate’s investigations had me utterly enthralled, and the parts with Kate and Erra was like watching an interrogation between a smart ass and a sociopath (it would make great television, just saying).

And that ending? When they finally got to flip it and Kate took care of Curran when he was injured? Heartwarming. It gave the viewer a small glimpse of what Curran goes through when Kate was injured or sick.

“You don’t pick the family you’re born into. You pick the one you make. I already chose my mate and glued her ass to the chair to make sure she knew it.”

Magic Bites

Magic Bites (Kate Daniels #1) by Ilona Andrews

4.5 stars

“What kind of woman greets the Beast Lord with ‘here, kitty, kitty’?”

The best kind of woman! To say I enjoyed this book was a serious understatement. But I get ahead of myself.

Kate Daniels is a mercenary who cleans up paranormal messes. When she gets news that her mentor, and last connection to any family she has, is murdered, Kate takes on the case. She is thrown into the world of Shapeshifters, Vampires and the People, and must make ruthless decisions in order to find the killer.

I didn’t know what to expect going into this book. I’ve been a long time fan of urban fantasy/paranormal romance and have been searching for a series to fill in the gap of series I have finished by authors such as Kim Harrison, Patricia Briggs and Kelley Armstrong. It wasn’t until recently that I had even heard of Ilona Andrews, and that was through reviews I’d seen here on Goodreads from reviewers like Jessica (Rabid Reads), Lola, and Sharon is an Emotional Book Junkie (so thank you ladies!)

“I gave him my best cryptic smile. He did not fall down to his feet, kiss my shoes, and promise me the world. I must be getting rusty.”

I absolutely love the character of Kate. She’s not your typical heroine, she’s a smart ass, a fighter, a mercenary and yet so emotionally vulnerable at the same time. The 260 pages or so of this first book was not enough time with her, and I look forward to reading her development in the other installments.

“You know anything about investigative work?”
“Sure. Annoy the people involved until the guilt party tries to make you go away.”

The world building style reminded me a bit of Harrison’s Rachel Morgan series, in that Andrews threw you into this new world with little to no explanations as to how it came to be, and as a reader you were on your own. I personally like that because to me, the reader is as smart as you make them . Many authors assume their reader needs to be lead on a leash through their worlds and that’s not always the case. Ilona Andrews gave the reader the chance to use their intelligence and I greatly appreciated it.

Curran. That Beast Lord. I already am Team Curran but it’s just book 1, so I shall see. There wasn’t exactly a romance between Kate and Curran, but there is a tangible sexual tension that made me giggle and smile whenever they had scenes together in the book. Plus, he’s an alpha male, and I love the alpha males.

Another character I loved was Nick, the Crusader, but more because he reminded me a lot of Captain America’s Winter Soldier. I think he’ll have a great character arc.

Enough rambling on my part. This was a fantastic book and you should read it.

Hunting Ground

Hunting Ground (Alpha & Omega #2) by Patricia Briggs
3 Omega stars “She was his and he hers.”

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“Women are the bloodthirsty sex. We get the reputation, but it is only because the women stand behind us, and say, ‘Kill it. Squish it.”

One month after they are mated and married, werewolves Anna and Charles must travel to Seattle to oversee a conference where the wolves discuss the issue of becoming open to the public. While they are there, hired vampire assassins begin attacking the Omega’s, human and wolf.

This one took me a while to get through. I’m normally a huge Patricia Briggs fan, but for some reason this series isn’t hitting it for me like the Mercy Thompson series did.

What I loved:

-Anna and Charles: I think the development of the relationship between these two characters is the only reason I will continue to read this series. Together and separately, Anna and Charles are some of the more interesting and unique characters I’ve read in a long time. But Briggs has a way of doing that.

“I would slay dragons for you. I suspect that finding an unoccupied bedroom will be easier.”

-The world-building: I am constantly wowed at the incredible job this author has done in creating this unique urban fantasy setting. Very few authors have done this for me. I want to go and visit! (Hopefully without becoming prey).

-The setting: It was Washington State, enough said. That place is awesome!

What didn’t work:

-The pacing: OMG the pacing was so off with this book! It would go really slow, and then really fast, but then mostly slow and I had a hard time getting through this book.

-The constant reminders of pack hierarchy: We get it already, when dominant werewolves are around each other shit is about to go down. Stop using 50 pages to reiterate something that happened, but you can’t tell at once because all of the wolves have to pull their dicks out and measure them. UGH.

So overall, I liked this book, but I didn’t love it.

“To make great art, you had to expose your soul, and some things should be left safely in the dark.”

Lastly (and Gilmore Girls fans will understand) when they introduced a foreign wolf called Michel Girard, I immediately saw this:
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The Witch with No Name

The Witch with No Name (The Hollows #13) by Kim Harrison

5 I can’t believe it’s over, stars!!

“I liked beginnings better than endings.”

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Well ladies and gents, this is the end of an era for me. I’ve always loved the urban fantasy genre and this is one of my all time favorite series, in the genre and out of it.

I initially read this series at the urging of a coworker of mine (the same dude who made me read The Maze Runner and other awesome books). After reading the first book Dead Witch Walking I wasn’t super impressed and I gave the book a 3/5 stars. I continued to read the series when my coworker promised they would get better. And HOLY SH** did they get better. It’s really true, this is one of those rare series of books where with every book I became more enthralled with the world it’s placed in.

In this final installment, Cormel places an ultimatum with Rachel. She must find a way to help vampires keep their souls when they die the first death, or else. This evolves into a power battle between the vampires, demons and elves which have dire consequences, and Rachel and her trusty group of friends and allies are stuck in the middle of it.

“Because for all the changes, some things were immutable truths: friendship transcends all barriers, understanding trumps fear, and great power can always be surmounted by determination.”

It took me a while to read this book because a huge part of me didn’t want it to be over. Over the past couple of years of reading these books Rachel, Ivy and Jenks feel like friends to me and I didn’t want to say goodbye.

And Trent, oh Trent. I want a cookie maker of my own! This man (elf) was absolutely perfect, and he and Rachel complement each other beautifully. Surprisingly, the scenes with Rachel and Trent were very emotional, but I felt it worked as they were fighting side by side in dire circumstances and fighting to stay together despite the insurmountable odds stacked against them. Trent is a best book boyfriend in my world.

“Love died in the shadows, and it shouldn’t cost so much to keep it in the sun. But as Trent would say, anything gotten cheap wouldn’t last, so do what you need to do to be happy and deal with the consequences. That if love was easy, everyone would find it.”

I have very few issues with how the book ended, but one big one would be Nina. I’m sorry but I saw absolutely no redeeming qualities in Nina and found it hard to believe that Ivy could stand being around her, let alone being in love with her. There was no connection! **SPOILER** I’d rather Kim Harrison kill Nina off than tie her soul to Ivy forever, but whatever. Not every ending can be perfect, huh?

That was quite possibly one of the best epilogues ever. I’m sad this series is over :((((((((

“Give up? Leave? echoed in my thoughts as his lips met mine, holding both a promise and a desire. Never, I answered myself as we parted and, hands still connected, turned to those who meant most to us and were welcomed in between the pixy dust and the blue butterflies. THE BEGINNING.”

Sinner

Sinner (The Wolves of Mercy Falls #3.5) by Maggie Stiefvater

4.5 Sinner stars

“I came back for you, Isabel.”

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Sinner is the follow up to Maggie Stiefvater’s Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy, and in order to understand this book completely, you must read those three amazing books first.

After the events of Forever, Isabel has moved from Minnesota to Los Angeles with her mother, moved in with her cousin and is pursuing a career in medicine. Cole, the haunted musician turned werewolf, has followed her back to the city that played a part in his downfall. Both Isabel and Cole are trying to move on from their past and become better versions of themselves, but are they standing in their own way?

“Did it matter if you changed if no one believed it?”

This book was eloquently written and pretty much everything I wanted in a follow up book about my favorite characters. In this book Isabel is still trying to recover from the death of her brother and the destruction of her family. Isabel is constantly hiding behind her anger and harsh words, but she’s only doing this to hide the fact that she feels too much. Isabel also fears that she’ll fall in love with Cole again, and that when she did, he would break her.

“I had been taken apart and put back together again, and this version of me was unbreakable.”

Cole finds himself reverting back into the life of a rockstar, starring in a unique new reality show and recording a new album. In place of drugs, Cole has used transforming into the wolf as a way to stop feeling, heroine for werewolfism. Isabel is the only person who understands Cole for who he really is. Cole doesn’t need to hide behind his persona when he’s around her, he can be his true self. Their connection comes from the fact that they both see each other for who they really are, and not what other people see them as.

“Why did you come back?”
“I came back because I had to. Because there was nothing wrong in the world except that I was getting older in it.”

Cole swears to Isabel that he came to LA just for her, but Isabel is not a fan of seeing Cole fall back into his old life. For Cole, coming back to LA means facing his demons, and the city can either help him move on, or it could take away the last part of his soul.

“I knew just how it felt when your worst fear was that you would be yourself.”

Los Angeles is a huge theme in this book, signifying rebirth and redemption for both of the main characters. I had fun reading this, being a resident of the greater Los Angeles area, because I could tell that the author either did her research, or has spent a lot of time in Los Angeles and has a key appreciation of it. Los Angeles was not glorified, and it was not criticized, it just was in this book.

The romantic plot was actually the majority of this book. It’s been a while since I read the trilogy before it, but I didn’t remember that much of a focus on romance. Not that I minded, as I said Cole and Isabel are my favorite, so it was a nice change to see Cole just got for it and to try and get Isabel. His determination and devotion to her showed how much he had really changed from his past life.

“Tell me you’ll see me tomorrow.”
“I’ll see you tomorrow.”
“Tell me you’ll see me the next day. And the day after that. And the day after that.”

I felt that the werewolf plot was no longer a priority in this book, at least not as much as it was in the other books. For Sam and Grace, the werewolf issue was about not being able to escape their circumstances. For Cole, it’s his escape from his human self. For Isabel, the wolf is a reminder of everything she’s lost and everything she hasn’t been able to move past. In fiction, a werewolf is never just a wolf, it’s always a metaphor that reflects the character’s true selves.

Overall, I am so freaking glad that Maggie wrote this book and gave the readers an ending they could cherish. Sinner is a wonderful story of redemption and love, and how we need to move past what we once were to become who we really are.

My casting:

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