The night Theia Alderson watches a burning man fall from the sky, her sheltered life is changed for good. Now she spends her days trying to understand the new boy in town, Haden, who adopts a much more capricious and wickedly seductive attitude when he also shows up in her dreams. Alternately attracted and repelled, Theia falls for him, even after discovering his true nature and intentions towards her. She’s the target of an otherworldly plot, with life and soul at stake. Can she win free, even with the help of her friends, or will she be altered irrevocably? Dark and compelling, this tale of forbidden love maintains its individuality thanks to engaging supporting characters and a memorable concept.
Archive for category Divine/Infernal Beings
Alex has spent most of his seventeen years hunting angels, extra-dimensional energy vampires who feed from humans and leave illness in their wake. As the angels flood into our world, their influence rapidly grows, inspiring a new religion, with only a very few realizing the awful truth and fighting back. Willow is a psychic teen whose unique heritage holds the key to stopping the angels, so they target her for death. In a last-ditch effort to survive and save humanity, Alex and Willow desperately team up, fleeing cross-country in search of allies. As they race against the clock, the peril intensifies, leading to one electrifying confrontation after another, and an explosive climax. High octane action meets newfound love in this adrenaline-fueled thriller.
When Ellie meets Michael, they discover an immediate connection, and a mutual attraction. To their surprise, they both possess superhuman powers, including flight, persuasion, and an affinity for blood. They’re not vampires, but something much older, and their parents have hidden the truth all their lives. Now, as the manipulative Ezekiel comes to exploit them for his own shadowy agenda, they‘re determined to uncover the truth on their own.. But will what they learn strengthen their love, or tear them apart? While we’ve seen a number of forbidden love/fallen angel-themed books of late, this one’s pretty strong, taking some unexpected twists along the way. It’ll be interesting to see what happens next.
Good girl Frannie Cavanaugh has just become the latest target in the eternal struggle between Heaven and Hell, with demon Luc Cain and angel Gabriel both going undercover in her high school in order to jockey for her favor and subtly tempt her to one side or the other. Drawn to both guys equally, but for very different reasons, Frannie slowly learns just what’s going on, and why Heaven and Hell will do anything to claim her. Can she decide the fate of the world based on what’s in her heart? The underlying concepts are more interesting than Frannie’s indecisive ways and the Ping-Ponging romantic plot that drives most of the book. Nevertheless, it’s got some good moments.
Continuing the epic love story between fallen angel Daniel and perpetually reincarnated Luce, this installment sees Luce relocated to the mysterious Shoreline School, secretly home to all sorts of angelic crossbreeds, a place where she can safely come into her powers while Daniel and his allies fight those who would hurt or use her. But the more she learns of her past, the less certain she is of her future with Daniel. Despite the heroine’s frequent moments of near-suicidal stupidity, there’s a lot to enjoy in this brooding, dark tale of forbidden love stretching across the centuries.
Bad boy brothers Nick and Alan are back for more demon-killing, mage-hunting excitement when their friends Mae and Jamie call for help against the threat of the Obsidian Circle, a homicidal group of mages set on recruiting Jamie against his will. But now that Nick’s embraced his true nature as a demon himself, he may be an even greater threat. When it comes to dealing with supernatural threats, everyone has a plan and betrayals lurk around every corner, along with sparks of attraction and uneasy alliances. With its dark imagery, seductively dangerous characters, and unpredictable plotting, this sequel to The Demon’s Lexicon is bound to appeal to readers looking for an edgy thrill.
Ever since she broke up with her mortal boyfriend Seth, succubus Georgina Kincaid has been in a royal funk, and it’s been getting worse ever since she reluctantly agreed to help plan Seth’s wedding to one of her best friends. Acting noble and self-sacrificing when all you really want to do is steal the groom-to-be away is hard at the best of times, downright impossible when you’re a creature of Hell whose job is to corrupt the good and steal their life energy. Georgina’s always been a woman of drastic contrasts, though.
The more down she gets, however, the more it seems like some strange outside force is trying to lure her away, stalking her at her most vulnerable. So she throws herself into work, tries not to obsess about Seth, and attempts to discern why another succubus is in town “on vacation.” When she learns just what’s after her and why, she realizes all hope may be lost. Because caught under their power, she’ll relive the worst and most defining moments of her centuries-long life, and be driven to the breaking point of despair. Can the love and obligation of her friends save her, and if so, at what cost?
Now onto its fifth book, this series about the succubus with the moral streak just keeps getting weirder and more engaging. All along, Mead’s been dropping hints that Georgina isn’t like other succubi, and that there may be irregularities with her contract with Hell. Here, the plot thickens and progresses a little; there may not be concrete answers, but we get more insight into her checkered past, seeing who she was long ago and where she started to rebel against her Hell-given directives. We also see more of the strangely compelling interaction between the forces of Heaven and Hell, and it’s becoming ever clearer that it’s not a struggle of absolutes. We’re already familiar of the odd friendship between Jerome, Georgina’s supervisor, and Carter, his angelic counterpart for the Seattle area, and now it seems there really is something else going on behind the scenes. Naturally, the rest of Georgina’s friends are present, and the subplot involving the vampire Peter, who has the hots for a cute little Gothlet who rejects him for not being vampiric enough for her tastes, is sure to raise a few laughs.
Internal mythology aside, this series continues to straddle the line between urban fantasy and paranormal romance, with the continuing thread of Georgina’s on-again off-again relationship with Seth, who was her favorite author until he became the love of her life. Clearly, the feelings still exist on both sides, even when they’re apart, and it’s entirely possible that their bond exists on a deeper level than either expected. Unfortunately, explanations will have to wait for another book, though there’s some interesting progress made here.
What else? Well, as to be expected when one’s reading a story about a succubus, there is sex, and the sex varies between tawdry and sleazy (when Georgina’s seducing some mortal scumbag to jack up her internal energy lvels) and blisteringly hot (when it’s someone she cares about). Mead’s good at finding that line between erotic and explicit, so it doesn’t impact the overall flow of the story, like it might in some books.
Fans of the series will undoubtedly enjoy this latest installment of Georgina Kincaid’s adventures, and appreciate the development of the slow-burning overarching storyline that’s been present in each book. It’ll definitely be interesting to see what Mead has planned for future books.
Vancouver’s Occult Special Investigations unit always, by virtue of its very nature, gets the weird cases. This time, a prominent academic and necromancer has been murdered, while inexplicably wearing an antique suit of armor in the safety of his own home. Now Tess Corday and her team have to figure out who killed Luiz Ordeno and why. To do that, Tess will have to wrestle answers out of the notoriously tightlipped necromantic community, brave the local vampire dens, track down enigmatic demon information brokers, and risk her own life against those who don’t want her to succeed. Along the way, she’ll also have to reevaluate her clandestine relationship with her necromancer lover, keep not one but two supernaturally-imbued teenagers out of trouble, and make time for a long-overdue heart-to-heart with her mother. Just another week at the office.
Where do I start? I love this series with a passion, and Inhuman Resources is definitely my favorite thus far. On the surface, it’s the urban fantasy answer to CSI, with a full team of quirky, talented specialists working behind the scenes and in the office to help Tess and her partners in the field get the results. The camaraderie, snappy patter and easy back-and-forth dialogue helps maintain a steady flow as the information and technobabble comes and goes, and it’s obvious Battis has a real ear for this sort of thing.
I love that when characters talk to one another, it’s open, direct, and productive. There are too many series out there where a misunderstanding or moment of miscommunication could fuel entire books of angst and hurt feelings. Here, for instance, Tess and her boyfriend Lucien actually find time to have an adult discussion that means something, full of honest emotion and forward movement. Sure, they might argue, but they get over it in a manner which rings true and feels real. There’s a subtle maturity to the emotional component of this book that helps it stand out, whether it’s Tess and Lucien, or Tess’ partner/housemate Derrick and his boyfriend Miles, or part-demon teenager Mia (just hitting those moody teen years!) or any of the other fascinating characters who contribute to the plot. It’s an intangible quality; some books have it, some don’t, and this one has lots of it.
I love the juxtaposition of modern science (verging on the futuristic sometimes) and weird magic. Sure, it’s a staple of urban fantasy to blend the real and unreal, but Battis has injected his world with enough cutting-edge technology and forensic techniques as to give this series a slight science fiction edge as well. But then he turns around and introduces us to Trinovantum, the bizarre hidden city of the necromancers, which could exist in a fantasy setting completely separate of the so-called real world. And instead of clashing, these disparate elements work well together.
The main crux of the plot may be your standard murder whodunit, but its packaging is anything but standard; this is top-notch urban fantasy in every regard, and I’m looking forward to the further adventures of Tess Corday and her friends and family.
The renegade djinn Pearl has been kidnapping and brainwashing children with the power to control the elements, in her mad crusade to destroy the rest of her kind and thus gain vengeance for a millennia-old grievance. Standing against her is the former djinn Cassiel, who’s been presented with a choice: remove Pearl’s power source by destroying humanity, or risk the utter annihilation of the entire Earth by letting Pearl succeed. Unfortunately, the now-human Cassiel refuses to let either of these scenarios play out, instead seeking a third alternative. With her partner Luis Rocha, she works to rescue the missing children, one of whom is Luis’ own niece. But Pearl has many pawns and resources to throw at Cassiel, and nearly unlimited power, so Cassiel and Luis will be faced with a constant struggle for survival along the way. Can one badass ex-djinn win against an army of corrupted children, a pack of renegade bikers, and a near-omnipotent enemy, with the fate of the world resting on her choices? You better hope so.
Picking up where Undone left off, itself a spin-off from the popular Weather Wardens series, Unknown is a fast-paced, hard-hitting, intense adventure. Cassiel’s a uniquely-fascinating protagonist, an outsider forced to adapt and adjust to the human world at breakneck pace, with often-surprising results. (Side note: I have a cat who was raised feral for the first few weeks of her life, and even after many years living indoors, she’s still a temperamental, paranoid, vindictive wretch who turns into a frenzy of many-pointed death when picked up against her will; I have the scars to prove it. Cassiel is much like that cat, direct and stubborn, prickly when poked, bowing to human customs only out of necessity, and deadly when provoked.) Her growth as a person with feelings, needs, and human ties is compelling and believable, and this story is very much about this evolution she experiences along the way.
It’s also about weather-manipulating magical battles, the constant threat of betrayal from within, the necessity of impossible choices, and a world on the cusp of change. Following events in the Weather Wardens series, the general public has become aware of the secret powers living among them, and this elemental struggle which affects everyone, humans, Wardens, and djinn. Thus, we get to see more of the complex consequences as people cope with the new status quo.
It’s certainly possible to read this series (Outcast Season) on its own, but you really need to read the Weather Warden series as well to get the full picture. Of course, what you’ll see then is an intricate, epic, exciting storyline that’s steadily building towards one heck of a climax. Unknown may be a small part of a larger story, but it’s still a wild ride in its own right. Cassiel’s fast become one of my favorite badass urban fantasy woman for her attitude, competence, and confused-yet-intrigued response to the human emotions growing within her. I hope her story has a happy ending, but I’m not willing to put money down on it quite yet, since Rachel Caine has a habit of surprising the reader. Still, this is a fun book, and I really enjoyed it.
When Jackie Brighton wakes up in a Dumpster after a particularly vigorous night of drinking and ill-advised cheap, meaningless sex, she doesn’t realize that it’s the end of life as she knew it. Gone is the plain, boring, dissatisfied-with-her-looks museum docent. Hello, succubus. Now sporting a body that drives men mad, an insatiable sexual appetite, and assorted powers she’s still figuring out, she’s inducted into a strange new world where angels walk in the daytime, vampires stalk at night, and people like her are caught securely in the middle. Remy Summore, succubus and porn star, takes poor Jackie under her wing and shows her the ropes, while bad boy vamp Zane and the irresistible angel Noah flit in and out of the picture with the passage of the sun. In between sex fixes, Jackie gets caught up in the Byzantine schemes of Heaven and Hell, and sent on a quest for an artifact which could tip the balance once and for all. What’s a girl to do?
With her debut, Jill Myles starts a new series which dwells somewhere in the Venn diagram created by paranormal romance, erotic fantasy, and comedy. How else can you explain a story where the main character can describe two people having sex as going at it like “rabid wombats during mating season”? How else do you account for the spicy, enthusiastic, sometimes explicit sex the main character must indulge in every few days? It’s certainly an interesting combination of elements, especially given that the protagonist is more than happy to blow off a life of porn and sleaze for a job as a museum tour guide – a profession roughly on the same level as librarian, schoolteacher, and secretary as far as repressed sexuality goes.
As one might guess, this was not one of my first choices for reading material. My wife stole the book I’d just started, and left me this in its place, like a literary pack rat, and I was desperate. Hey, I don’t mind romances, even the paranormal semi-erotic kind, but the bare-chested Fabio-type on the cover wasn’t a good sign…. To my surprise, what I found was a rather enjoyable, if occasionally silly, read. While it doesn’t quite stack up to Jackie Kessler’s Hell on Earth series, or Richelle Mead’s Georgia Kincaid series, both of which also star succubi doing what they do best, this initial entry in the Succubus Diaries is a lot better than one might expect. The main character has a lot going for her (besides her new bra size) and there’s a genuine spark between her and both of the men who’ve come into her life. Toss in Remy, who acts both as voice of reason and comic relief, and you’ve a good, solid cast to wrap the story around. The sense of humor laced throughout the narrative certainly helps, and there’s every possibility I’ll sneak a peek at the next book. (I’m buying it for my wife, you see….)