Sunday, September 05, 2010

What I've Read Recently - Drive-by Reviews

I'm going to try and write some quickie reviews every week. I'm also going to try and keep them to 140 characters or less just like a tweet. This was suggested by inkgypsy!

The Native Star by M.K. Hobson

In the tradition of Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, this brilliant first novel fuses history, fantasy, and romance. Prepare to be enchanted by M. K. Hobson’s captivating take on the Wild, Wild West.

The year is 1876. In the small Sierra Nevada settlement of Lost Pine, the town witch, Emily Edwards, is being run out of business by an influx of mail-order patent magics. Attempting to solve her problem with a love spell, Emily only makes things worse. But before she can undo the damage, an enchanted artifact falls into her possession—and suddenly Emily must flee for her life, pursued by evil warlocks who want the object for themselves.

Dreadnought Stanton, a warlock from New York City whose personality is as pompous and abrasive as his name, has been exiled to Lost Pine for mysterious reasons. Now he finds himself involuntarily allied with Emily in a race against time—and across the United States by horse, train, and biomechanical flying machine—in quest of the great Professor Mirabilis, who alone can unlock the secret of the coveted artifact. But along the way, Emily and Stanton will be forced to contend with the most powerful and unpredictable magic of all—the magic of the human heart.
REVIEW:  Debut novel. Bustlepunk. 1876. US alternate history. World well drawn. Magic explained. Great mystery. Evil villains! Loved main characters.

I give The Native Star 5 Qwills.

Born to Bite by Lynsay Sands

Legend has it that Armand Argeneau is a killer in the bedroom . . .

But with all three of his late wives meeting unfortunate and untimely ends, is this sexy immortal a lover or a murderer? That's what Eshe d'Aureus intends to find out. As an enforcer, it's her job to bring rogue vampires to justice, even if the rogue in question makes her blood race red hot.

Armand knew she was trouble the moment Eshe roared into town on her motorcycle, clad in tight black leather. She claims she's hiding from dangerous fiends, though he suspects something more. But after three wives who've all had trouble remaining, well, undead, Armand is reluctant to open his heart again. Then strange accidents start to happen, each deadlier than the last, and Armand realizes he may not have much time to prove he's a lover, not a slayer.

REVIEW: Enjoyable Argeneau yarn. A mystery. A love story. An HEA. Some repetitious text. Likable main characters. Won't disappoint Argeneau fans.

I give Born to Bite 4 Qwills.

Chosen by Jeanne Stein

It's been almost a year since bounty hunter Anna Strong became a vampire, but as she's just about to discover, her greatest powers have yet to be unleashed...

Though Anna has become accustomed to the fact that she's now vampire, she still enjoys the illusion of being human. So when she suddenly notices that her primitive urges are getting harder to control, she's worried. Then she's attacked, narrowly escaping with her life. The only person with enough motive to want her dead is her old foe -- Warren Williams. But another, more dangerous enemy lies in wait.

What Anna doesn't know is that she's far too valuable to kill. For she's been chosen to shape the destiny of the vampire race -- and of all mankind...

REVIEW: Bad things happen. New enemies. Anna makes hard decisions. She's maturing as a vampire/person. She makes fewer stupid mistakes. A good read.

I give Chosen 4 Qwills.

Demon From The Dark by Kresley Cole

From New York Times bestselling author Kresley Cole comes this scorching tale of a demon outcast poisoned with vampire blood and the vulnerable young witch he vows to protect—even from himself.


Malkom Slaine: tormented by his sordid past and racked by vampiric hungers, he’s pushed to the brink by the green-eyed beauty under his guard.


Carrow Graie: hiding her own sorrows, she lives only for the next party or prank. Until she meets a tortured warrior worth saving.


In order for Malkom and Carrow to survive, he must unleash both the demon and vampire inside him. When Malkom becomes the nightmare his own people feared, will he lose the woman he craves body and soul?

REVIEW: Compelling hero. Some nasty villians & violence. Obstacles to HEA abound. Darker than usual. Some LOL moments. Another strong IAD novel.

I give Demon From The Dark 4 Qwills.


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