General · reading

L is for Lycanthrope

If I Google lycanthrope, it tells me this:

ly·can·thrope

/ˈlīkənˌTHrōp/

noun

noun: lycanthrope; plural noun: lycanthropes

  1. a werewolf.

Origin

early 17th century: from modern Latin lycanthropus, from Greek lukanthrōpos ‘wolf man’ (see lycanthropy).

So wolf man turned into werewolf. These days, in urban fantasy, it means werelions, werepanthers, wererats, pretty much any type of animal that the author decides a person can turn into.

I also know there are so many werewolf stories that many, many people are tired of them. They abound in romance and in urban fantasy. They used to be a staple of

Jason: on my favorite werewolves from the Anita Blake series.

horror (I think they were still a horror trope) but I am not familiar enough with horror to know how often they occur now.

The thing this, I am not tired of them. I am more careful than I used to be, yes, but I would really to find more good werewolf stories to read.

I am not quite so welcoming of the werewolf story close cousin: the vampire story. I continue to read series I started years ago, but I don’t look for new ones and I think I am pretty close to burning out entirely on vampires.

I am not sure why I should be so much closer to burning out entirely on vampires, but there it is. Maybe the concept of a person who can turn into an animal(s) is just a lot more interesting.

How about you?

General

Reading Kiss the Dead by Laurell K. Hamilton

So I am reading the latest Anita Blake book: Kiss the Dead. (Also, I am really disgusted by the mental picture I get of Anita smooching a corpse.)

I started Kiss the Dead only yesterday, but it looks promising. A baby vampire gets the better of her in the first few pages. Amusing, since she usually kicks master vampire ass. Sometimes seduces them, too.

Anyway, there is one thing she repeats over and over: I am small and tough.

As if I had not read the same thing a few paragraphs up, a few pages back and in every single book that came before this one. Over and over and over. I am small and tough, small and tough, small and tough, small and tough . . . .

But anyway. My irritation isn’t enough to keep me from reading this new Anita Blake book, too. In fact, it looks more promising than previous books. I. E. she fights the baby vampire to the ground instead of seducing him into submission.

Not that this cover image exactly pushes the idea of the kick-ass vampire hunter. It’s looks more damsel in distress to me, but maybe that’s not Anita? I am not sure.

This line made me laugh:

Jesus, some people don’t enough balls to be undead.

As if balls are a prerequisite for being undead.

No sign of Olaf yet, but I am hopeful. Full review next week, when I am done.

Book Review · fantasy · reading

Book Review: Fair Game by Patricia Briggs

From Amazon:

They say opposites attract. And in the case of werewolves Anna Latham and Charles Cornick, they mate. The son-and enforcer-of the leader of the North American werewolves, Charles is a dominant alpha. While Anna, an omega, has the rare ability to calm others of her kind.

Now that the werewolves have revealed themselves to humans, they can’t afford any bad publicity. Infractions that could have been overlooked in the past must now be punished, and the strain of doing his father’s dirty work is taking a toll on Charles.

Nevertheless, Charles and Anna are sent to Boston, when the FBI requests the pack’s help on a local serial killer case. They quickly realize that not only the last two victims were werewolves-all of them were. Someone is targeting their kind. And now Anna and Charles have put themselves right in the killer’s sights…

I loved loved loved Fair Game.

There is a murder investigation; Charles has serious issues with guilt over being his father’s henchman. Anna is worried about him and somehow ends up speaking with the humans about the murders, with Charles as her bodyguard.

The story is fast and tense and leaves you wanting to know what happens next.

What I liked best: the ending. It was spectacular. The legal court provides a silly (and predictable lol) ruling regarding the fae. A fae lord retaliates. His actions strike me as quite just. I think the schism is going to be permanent and provides for very interesting times ahead.

There are lots of other goods parts. Watching Anna confront the Marok? Fantastic. I mean, no one confronts him.

Charles has a lot of issues in this book. It’s been building and I suppose it’s only natural. One of the werewolves he killed kind of had it coming, but someone else made it sound like he didn’t. Charles fell for it, until yet another werewolf pointed that the punishment would have been the same even before the werewolves came out to the public. It was hard for Charles to see that.

What I don’t understand: Throughout the book, Anna kept telling everyone all the weakness of werewolves. Why? There was no need for her to reveal half as much as she did and I still don’t get why she did it. She told the agents how to behave around Charles and made him sound out of control, which he isn’t. Close to edge, yeah, but still in control.

General · reading · Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesday: Death Magic

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

* Grab your current read

* Open to a random page

* Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page

* BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

* Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My Teasers:

“Fear and bigotry don’t need explaining. They simply are, like traffic jams and taxes.”

– Death Magic by Eileen Wilks

Book Review · General · reading

Book Review: Unbound Darkness by Keri Arthur

From Keri Arthur’s website:

Risa Jones is as extraordinary as her heritage. Born from a lab-enhanced clone mother and an Aedh father, she can not only talk to the souls of the dying and the dead, but she can see the reapers and walk the gray fields that divide this world from the next.

They are skill she rarely uses, however, preferring to concentrate on the business she shares with her two best friends. But when her mother asks her to help the parents of a little girl locked in a coma, she reluctantly agrees. What she discovers scares the hell out of her. Because the little girl’s soul no longer resides in her body, and it wasn’t death and the reapers that took her.

Someone had ripped her soul from her flesh.

As it turns out, a creature consuming the souls of the innocent–and not so innocent–is the least of her problems.

Because someone wants to rip open the gates that divided hell from earth, and Risa is a key component in their plans.

And the only person standing between her and disaster is a reaper who isn’t exactly on her side.

I loved Unbound Darkness! It’s clear and fast-moving.

The plot is complex, but the author presents everything so clearly, you over look that. But truthfully, only 2 of maybe 4 or 5 plot points get resolved by the end – the whole ripping soul the summary above talks about.

The summary also talks about ripping open the gates of hell. I expect the series plot arc will come from this. Unbound Darkness introduces the idea – and that’s all this book does. It’s complex and involves a lot of players. Half of them have been hinted at, but not introduced yet. I don’t even know who the villain is yet, if you can believe that. I suspect the author left out so much because it would be too much for a single book. I foresee quite a lot of books in this series. 😀

I expect (I hope!) it will be related to the smaller single-book-size plot of someone stealing souls. Maybe. I want it to, but this minor villain might not related to the bigger series plot.

I remember Risa as a little girl from the Riley Jenson stories. But in this book there is no doubt Risa is all grown up.  Even though she can’t change into a wolf, she’s still a half-wolf and perfectly comfortable in the wolf clubs. That’s not surprising. But I think I expected her to go grow up and be a psychic for a living, just like her mother. Instead she owns a restaurant. Go figure.

But the most surprising – the most astonishing part! – is that Risa makes a deal with the devil herself: Madeline Hunter, leader of the vampire council.

I don’t think she had to make that deal. Personally, I hope Madeline Hunter ends up dead by the end of this series.

Book Review · fantasy

Book Review: License to Ensorcell by Katharine Kerr

So after a really long departure from this blog, I am back. (Life got in the way, work, sickness, death in the family, that sort of thing. At least it’s not snowing.) I am starting again with a book review.

Blurb from Amazon: Psychic Agent Nola O’Grady isn’t sure returning to San Francisco, and living near her unusual family, is a good idea. Her job, with a psychic agency so obscure even the CIA doesn’t know it exists, can be perilous, and she’s afraid of the relatives getting involved.

Then the Agency saddles her with Israeli secret agent Ari Nathan, and she has a bigger problem on her hands, because tact and compromise are not Ari’s strong points. Their mission is to track down a serial killer obsessed with werewolves. He sees them everywhere and shoots whenever he thinks he has one in his sights. Ari assumes the man’s psychotic, but in truth he’s murdering actual werewolves. Nola should know. Her younger brother Pat, a lycanthrope, was the first victim.

Can Nola’s psychic talents and Ari’s skill with guns keep them alive long enough to unravel the greater mystery behind the killings? Can they save the werewolves and the world while stopping Nola’s family from running headlong into danger?

I’ve read quite a few of other Katharine Kerr books and when I saw she was coming out with an urban fantasy, I was ecstatic. The title is interesting. It sounds almost like license to kill, which reminds of James Bond movies. The concept is interesting, too, what with secret government agencies, psychics, werewolves and serial killers. Unfortunately License to Ensorcell is not up to her usual standards. I am not sure what went wrong; her other books are pretty damn good.

One of the things I really, really disliked was all the “Search Mode: General”, “Search Mode: Chaos” and “Search Mode: Danger”. WTH? I can’t remember the last time a published writer did that. It reads like something out of an RPG game (games I don’t play!). It takes me out of the story and I realize most of the prose is pretty damn awkward. Or the story feels very forced, as though the writer doesn’t actually want to write this. About the only thing that doesn’t feel awkward is when the two main characters interact. That do that lots of times. I found myself skimming past all the awkwardness, and, sadly, that’s a good chunk of the book.

The other thing I found really unbelievable is the male character. When he’s introduced, he’s all psychics aren’t real. Werewolves aren’t real. Main character is a nutter. He starts believing in all that, does a 180 so fast, I am left staring at the page. He has proof of nothing, yet he believes on the say so of someone he called a nutter.

Anyway, the book’s concept is interesting. Everything else? Picture me shrugging. I won’t read the next book in this series, but I will still read her other books.

reading

Wondering if I Should Finish Reading Bullet

I’ve had Bullet by Laurell K. Hamilton for months now. I just haven’t read it because the last book, Flirt, was so disturbing. But the next book comes out soon, so I figured I should give Bullet a try.

The picture is promising; no where as suggestive as some of the covers. So is the beginning. They are at a kid’s function and not even Anita Blake would risk sex when a bunch of little kids could burst in on her.

Than she gets home and it becomes all about sex. Asher starts posturing (he’s not feeling the love!) and JC almost, almost does him as a way to make him feel better. I am surprised he’s not already doing him. But not that surprised, because who knows what AB will do? She does react oddly sometimes.

Lo and behold, Richard walks in. He’s being all nice and accommodating and not at all like himself.  I am just, WTH? Than, then, all of them start doing it. Richard goes further with Asher than I imagined possible for him.

I stopped there and started skimming through the book. I found nothing but sexual touches, scenes, stuff like that. As I haven’t actually read any more, I can’t say if there is any actual sex.

But I am not sure I want to continue reading. I’m afraid of what I’ll find. The last book involved a minor and I am almost off this series. I really am. If I finish reading Bullet, it won’t be for a while. If I never finish (a distinct possibility!) I will not be getting the next book. I will be done. I discovered Anita Blake in high school, but I’m nearing the end.