Hello! I am back! Did you miss me? I hope so. I have been on holiday and my eldest sister was over so I wasn't able to keep you up to date on what I had been reading. Hopefully, this post will remedy that for you. Enough said, what did I read?
I am going to start with the book that was my favourite - White Hot by Ilona Andrews, which is the second instalment of the Hidden Legacy series. The story starts a few months after the dramatic events of book 1, Burn for Me. Nevada hasn't heard a peep from the hunky Prime Mad Rogan since the big smooch that followed Rogan's declaration that Nevada was going to be 'his'. Nevada is thrown, quite literally, back into Rogan's life when she takes a case to solve the who murdered the animal mage, Cornelius's wife. It's not surprising that this continues the plot arc of the mysterious and extremely dangerous organisation that wants to bring down the magical hierarchy and all Primes with it. A number of secondary characters we met in book 1 are back to help Nevada, including her family. It's not long before Nevada and Rogan are the target and it's a race to discover who is behind the killings before they become the assassin's next victims.
I really, really enjoyed White Hot. I read it a few times in close succession. It stops just short of being excellent and I will tell you why a bit later. I like both Nevada and Rogan as characters. I also think the world building is well executed and the plot arc has me guessing. Andrews has got a lot to tell along with relationships and romances to build in only a few books as this is trilogy. Unlike the Kate Daniel's series and many others like it, Andrews doesn't have several books to have a slow burn romance between the main characters so no time is wasted bringing the love interests together. I find this quite refreshing and it must be challenging for the writers to make it believable and engaging. I think they have succeeded. I am also very intrigued to find out who the evil force is. I have no clue and that is a major achievement as I usually always guess 'who dunnit'. I don't have too long to wait as book 3, Wildfire, is out in July. I can HARDLY WAIT! So I mentioned that I felt White Hot fell a bit short of being excellent and that is down to the cover. I know I am a cover snob and I also know that the author is quite defensive of the covers as they are controlled by the publisher however, I can't see that this cover is a selling point. If I wasn't already invested in this author or the series I would have passed on this series purely based on the cover. I think the publisher has missed a trick by not having a more dramatic cover or a model that doesn't look like his six pack was drawn on with crayon. Just a minor downside of a great book and series.
I am going to tell you about the next two books together as they are the first and second books of a new series by Dannika Dark called The Crossbreed novels. These books, I believe, are set in the same work as Dark's Mageri series. I have to say, I believe, as I haven't read that series. The story introduces the lead character Raven Black who is a crossbreed - part vampire and part mage. She has been living rough as a one woman vigilante, killing the baddies, that seem to be everywhere. So far she has been living on her wits and her crossbreed talents until she receives a proposition to join the covert organisation - Keystone - to take down baddies as part of a group of supernatural misfits. In book 1, Keystone, joining Keystone doesn't go quite to plan and that is mostly down to her partner, the vamp Christian but without giving too much away Raven overcomes her issues with being part of a team by book 2 - Ravenheart. In this instalment Raven and Christian are set to find a series killer who is targeting Breed women. The hunter becomes the hunter in this second instalment.
I have to be honest and say that Dark isn't one of my favourite authors but so far I like this series. It it isn't taking itself too seriously and so far, no one has jumped into bed together yet which isn't typical of this genre. If you enjoy a supernatural murder mysteries with a female lead character that is quite sarcastic then why not give this series a go? These are books well suited to the beach or a long commute. I am looking forward to seeing what Dark has in store for Raven Black.
The last book I am going to tell you about is the novella - The Furthest Station by Ben Aaronovitch. This is a story from the Peter Grant / Rivers of London series. PC Grant is on the case when ghosts are spotted on London Underground (aka the Tube). When the ghosts start to get more aggressive Peter enlists the help of his colleague from the British Transport Police, Jaget Kumar, and his trusty non-police dog Toby to track down why the spirits are haunting the Metropolitan line. When Peter discovers an actual human's life is at stake he realises that time is running out to solve this mystery. Lucky he has help in the form of his young teenage wizard cousin and an adolescent river god.
This is a great novella. I thought it was witty and gripping in equal measure. I am not always fond of novellas and short stories but this isn't one to miss.
That is it for me this week. I could tell you more but some of the books I read won't be published for a while yet so I need to keep my trap shut :-). I hope you have read some good books over the last few weeks. It would be great to hear what you read. I will be back next week so until then Happy Reading.
A Hidden Legacy Novel 2
Avon, May 30, 2017
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 416 pages
The Hidden Legacy series by #1 New York Times bestselling author Ilona Andrews continues as Nevada and Rogan navigate a world where magic is the norm…and their relationship burns hot
Nevada Baylor has a unique and secret skill—she knows when people are lying—and she's used that magic (along with plain, hard work) to keep her colorful and close-knit family's detective agency afloat. But her new case pits her against the shadowy forces that almost destroyed the city of Houston once before, bringing Nevada back into contact with Connor "Mad" Rogan.
Rogan is a billionaire Prime—the highest rank of magic user—and as unreadable as ever, despite Nevada’s “talent.” But there’s no hiding the sparks between them. Now that the stakes are even higher, both professionally and personally, and their foes are unimaginably powerful, Rogan and Nevada will find that nothing burns like ice …
A Crossbreed Novel 1
Dannika Dark, January 2017
Trade Paperback and eBook, 310 pages
With over 1.5 million books sold, USA Today Bestseller Dannika Dark introduces her next addictive series...
Raven Black hunts evildoers for fun, but her vigilante justice isn't the only reason she's hiding from the law. Half Vampire, half Mage,she's spent years living as a rogue to stay alive. When a Russian Shifter offers her a job in his covert organization hunting outlaws,dignity and a respectable career are finally within her grasp. The catch? Her new partner is Christian Poe - a smug, handsome Vampire whom she'd rather stake than go on a stakeout with.
They're hot on the trail of a human killer who will stop at nothing to get what he wants. One misstep during her probationary period could jeopardize Raven's chance at redemption, and her partner would love nothing more than to see her fail. Will Raven find the courage to succeed, or will she give in to her dark nature?
Dark secrets, unexpected twists, and a blurred line between good and evil will keep you on the edge of your seat.
Crossbreed is a powerful new urban fantasy series that will captivate your imagination. Follow Raven on her journey through a perilous world of secrets and lies.
A Crossbreed Novel 2
Dannika Dark, May 2017
Trade Paperback and eBook, 329 pages
“WE ALL HAVE SECRETS, RAVEN. DARK ONES. EACH AND EVERY ONE OF US.”
Two weeks after joining Keystone, Raven Black is ready to take on the world as a criminal hunter for hire. If only her partner wasn’t a bloodsucking Vampire with a penchant for getting under her skin. Despite her lavish surroundings, Raven misses the freedom of life without rules. And Keystone’s next assignment is about to test her self-control in more ways than one.
Dead bodies are popping up in the human district, and all signs point to a Breed serial killer. In order to catch him, Raven and Christian embark on a mission that takes their partnership into uncharted waters. Lives are at stake. Can Raven trust her instincts, or will she fall into a web spun from lies and deceit?
Time is running out in this pulse-pounding tale of dark secrets, murder, and forbidden desires.
The Furthest Station
A Rivers of London Novella
Subterranean Press, June 28, 2017
Hardcover, 144 pages
There have been ghosts on the London Underground, sad, harmless spectres whose presence does little more than give a frisson to travelling and boost tourism. But now there’s a rash of sightings on the Metropolitan Line and these ghosts are frightening, aggressive and seem to be looking for something.
Enter PC Peter Grant junior member of the Metropolitan Police’s Special Assessment unit a.k.a. The Folly a.k.a. the only police officers whose official duties include ghost hunting. Together with Jaget Kumar, his counterpart at the British Transport Police, he must brave the terrifying the crush of London’s rush hour to find the source of the ghosts.
Joined by Peter’s wannabe wizard cousin, a preschool river god and Toby the ghost hunting dog their investigation takes a darker tone as they realise that a real person’s life might just be on the line.
And time is running out to save them.
With this new novella, bestselling author Ben Aaronovitch has crafted yet another wickedly funny and surprisingly affecting chapter in his beloved Rivers of London series.