[714]: Etched in Bone by Anne Bishop

An action-packed ending featuring an unpredictable enemy.

Etched in Bone
by Anne Bishop

 After each painful wait for consecutive installments, we sadly come to the end of this perennial favorite. We’ve come to know everything about this world; the valuable and vulnerable blood prophets, The Others who reign all that is natural and supernatural; the humans who hate them, and the humans who are smart to enough to know what it will cost to make enemies of them.

Anne Bishop has always been a household name in the annals of the Fantasy genre. But it’s only through The Others that she broke through mainstream Urban Fantasy. I, for one, would’ve never known about her books had I not read Written in Red years ago, and that’s all thanks to the prodding of my reader friends. It’s always tough to say goodbye to a well-loved series. Especially if it had become an annual event religiously marked on your calendar.


So after five books of waiting for the Meg/Simon thing to happen, I’m a little disappointed with what we’ve gotten. I don’t know much about how Ms. Bishop handles romances in her books, but I’m not a fan of the spic and span cleanliness of the bedroom antics (or lack thereof) here. To some extent, I understood. I get that Meg is virtually a child when it comes to matters of the heart. I also understand that Simon wouldn’t know the first thing about having a relationship with a human. However, I wish we saw more of their struggle to figure shit out. But, I digress. Perhaps I’m focusing on the wrong thing here. Perhaps this is paranormal first among everything else. Even before romance. I can at least agree that Anne Bishop gave me something even better than everything I’ve come to expect from this genre. Something worthwhile. The world itself is a gift. And the characters, equally amazing.

But besides the fact that the romance left me unsatisfied, I also felt like the antagonist in this final book was anti-climactic. Don’t get me wrong, the bad guy featured here was thoroughly convincing. He was one without scruples, conscience, and basic human decency. However, I firmly believed that it would’ve served the series better if the HFL were defeated here instead of in the fourth book. In all honesty, I felt like this was nothing but an addendum or a means to unnecessarily extend a series. Because the bad guy here seemed to have come from nowhere. Throughout the series, I thought he was only a hazard to his family and would not pose a grave danger to Meg, least of all The Others. So to see him play a major role in the series-ender was on the wrong side of unexpected surprise. After all, how could the ever powerful Others be defeated by a selfish, insipid idiot who took advantage of his family’s terror-induced generosity? The HFL at least had a movement and had the support of the minority of the human population.

Despite those two misgivings, The Others will remain one of my favorite Paranormal/Urban Fantasy series. Each installment provided mystery and suspense; dark humor and fantastical elements; action and heart-warming moments. There was never a dull moment all thanks to the even pacing, interesting cast of characters, and plot lines that never fail to incite curiosity and anticipation.

 If you were to ask me a question in which fictional world I’d choose to live, I’d readily pick this one.  Where the supernatural beings have the power to rid Earth of evil humans in one fell swoop. Where the balance of power greatly rests on the beings that know more about what’s good for the environment than the big corporations. Because now more than ever, we could use some lessons about greed, power-hungry politicians, gluttony, and excess.

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[673]: Menagerie by Rachel Vincent

18350798 Menagerie by Rachel Vincent
Series: Menagerie, #1
MIRA | September 29th, 2015
Source: Bought
Adult Fiction
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

When Delilah Marlow visits a famous traveling carnival, Metzger’s Menagerie, she is an ordinary woman in a not-quite-ordinary world. But under the macabre circus black-top, she discovers a fierce, sharp-clawed creature lurking just beneath her human veneer. Captured and put on exhibition, Delilah in her black swan burlesque costume is stripped of her worldly possessions, including her own name, as she’s forced to “perform” in town after town.

But there is breathtaking beauty behind the seamy and grotesque reality of the carnival. Gallagher, her handler, is as kind as he is cryptic and strong. The other “attractions”—mermaids, minotaurs, gryphons and kelpies—are strange, yes, but they share a bond forged by the brutal realities of captivity. And as Delilah struggles for her freedom, and for her fellow menagerie, she’ll discover a strength and a purpose she never knew existed.

Renowned author Rachel Vincent weaves an intoxicating blend of carnival magic and startling humanity in this intricately woven and powerful tale.

Freaks of A Different Breed

I was, for the most part, obstinately set against reading this book when it first came out. Circus freaks never did hold any appeal. But if anyone has told me these freaks aren’t your run-of-the-mill freaks, then things would’ve turned out differently. I’ve been trying to come up with the proper word to describe the kind of circus Rachel Vincent came up with here but I’m failing miserably. There’s no bearded lady or a two-headed, conjoined twins. What you’ve got is every single monster that ever walked the pages of an Urban Fantasy novel. Don’t let Rachel Vincent hear that, though because she’d vehemently deny it. Let’s do a quick run down: minotaur, empaths, sirens, fae, werewolves, trolls, shape-shifters, and a being whose killing abilities are powered by revenge. I’m sure there’s more I’ve missed but you get the picture.

Delilah Marlow did not expect to find herself inside a cage after she witnessed a werewolf pup being tortured for the crowd’s benefit. Her rage was so complete that all she could think about was inflicting the same pain to the pup’s torturer. To everyone’s shock, her appearance quickly changed into a monstrous being with claws; black veins, and hair with a life of its own. When she woke up from her trance, the handler was reduced to a bloody, mindless mess. Unable to explain what she was (other than she’s not human) to the police, she was sold to the Menagerie.

Supernatural Beings Are Not Welcomed Here

In this world inhabited by humans and supernatural beings alike, the former are superior of the two. They suppressed the Cryptids’ freedom and treated them like the subspecies that they think they are. Reading about their oppression was difficult to take at times. Kids were separated from their parents; they were hunted, drugged on a daily basis, then caged like animals. They went through unthinkable abuse and all because of an incident that happened in the 80s. It’s called The Reaping. When human children were swapped with cryptids. Ever since then, they’ve been stripped of any rights.

So you can just imagine Delilah’s life after they determined that she’s not human after all. In Menagerie, she’ll have a first-hand account to the extent of maltreatment her kind goes through in the hands of the handlers: malnutrition, sexual and physical abuse in the general sense.  But the mental and emotional toll on the cryptids scar deeper above all the other abuse. Imagine a father feeling helpless for his teen daughter. She’s made to dress skimpily day in and day out. And if she doesn’t perform, she’s tortured with a cattle prod. He sees it happen every day but he can’t help her because, he, himself is caged. He hears every whimper and sees every burn marks on her body. But there’s very little he could do but to encourage her not to give up hope – and this from a distance. Theirs is just one example of the struggle I went through while reading this book.


But all hope is not lost. You can say that the appearance of Delilah was determined by fate. She is the one that will help this caravan of freaks to gain their freedom – at least, you would hope. But of course,  freedom has a price. And Delilah must first gain their trust. With Gallagher’s help, she hopes to offer them a chance at a life free from oppression.

Menagerie was so different from anything I’ve ever read before. It is as lovely as it is grotesque; tender as it is painful. This book tested my angst threshold and at times, I pushed myself to the limit. But oh, it’s a beautiful discovery and I loved every minute of it – even the painful ones. Delilah is a character who fought tooth and nails not to lose herself despite the cost. For the most part, I admired her. But man, there were times when I wanted her to submit just so she can save herself from the torture.

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[663]: The Beast by J.R. Ward

25293695 The Beast by J.R. Ward
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood, #14
April 5th, 2016 | NAL
Urban Fantasy | Paranormal Romance
Rating: 4 out 5 Stars

Nothing is as it used to be for the Black Dagger Brotherhood. After avoiding war with the Shadows, alliances have shifted and lines have been drawn. The slayers of the Lessening Society are stronger than ever, preying on human weakness to acquire more money, more weapons, more power. But as the Brotherhood readies for an all-out attack on them, one of their own fights a battle within himself…

For Rhage, the Brother with the biggest appetites, but also the biggest heart, life was supposed to be perfect—or at the very least, perfectly enjoyable. Mary, his beloved shellan, is by his side and his King and his brothers are thriving. But Rhage can’t understand—or control—the panic and insecurity that plague him…

And that terrifies him—as well as distances him from his mate. After suffering mortal injury in battle, Rhage must reassess his priorities—and the answer, when it comes to him, rocks his world…and Mary’s. But Mary is on a journey of her own, one that will either bring them closer together or cause a split that neither will recover from…

Life has been relatively quiet for the Brothers of the Black Dagger. With everyone settled in their marital bliss, and threats from the Band of Bastards have been temporarily neutralized, it seemed we’re all heading into a state of freedom from chaos and disturbance…or so it seems. And so the novel opens with the Brothers at an all-out, no- holds-barred fight with the Lessening Society. For a time it looks like it was a fight that will end all fights – with the Brothers at the losing end of the stick. But the lessers didn’t account for Rhage’s beast.

Rhage, however, was distracted. Life is supposed to be perfect now that he’s got his shellan by his side. But he finds himself in a state of panic and anxiety for reasons he couldn’t pinpoint. It’s not that his feelings had changed for Mary; it’s the opposite, actually. He’s still madly in love with her and couldn’t see himself without her. So why, then can’t he shake off the feeling that something was missing?

I’ve been trying to capture the same excitement I’ve had for this series but it seems to have momentarily disappeared. There’d been so many books, it seems, but I’ll always remember why I looked forward to each instalment. It’s great to see the characters we’ve come to love but it’s hard to get excited about them nowadays. It’s not that I’ve grown tired of them, it’s just I found myself complacent and the plots have gone stagnant. Sometimes, I think this series will be best served with an introduction of new characters. But on the other hand, my loyalties lie with the original crew and so I don’t know if that would help. As it stands, I could’ve gone without the Shadow brothers. I didn’t think it added any value to the series. Right now, I can’t name a series plot point that has me interested enough to keep going.

At the same time, I don’t see myself stopping anytime soon. Because the truth is, it gives me pleasure knowing that I’m up to date with a series that presently consists of 14 books. It’s my badge of honour. But I keep fervent hope that things will get exciting again.

I do like that we’re finally moving forward with Xcor and Layla. Unfortunately, we’ll have to wait for the next book to see it all play out. Rhage’s feeling of ennui worried me a little bit. I was worried that he was going to be a whiny little b*tch the entire time. Bemoaning about how his life sucks and what not. In the end, I like what happened to him and Mary. I still didn’t get the relevance of his beast, though. Perhaps it’s a…metaphor?

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[643]: The Curse of Tenth Grave by Darynda Jones

24154660-1 The Curse of Tenth Grave by Darynda Jones
Series: Charley Davidson, #10
St. Martin’s Griffin | June 24th, 2016
Source: ARC via Net Galley
Adult Fiction | Paranormal | Urban Fantasy
Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

As a Part-time PI and full-time grim reaper, Charley Davidson has asked a lot of questions throughout her life: Why can I see dead people? Who is the hot supernatural entity following me? How do I get gum out of my sister’s hair before she wakes up? But, “How do I trap not one malevolent god, but three?” was never among them. Until now. And since those gods are on earth to kill her daughter, she has little choice but to track them down, trap them, and cast them from this dimension.

There’s just one problem. One of the three stole her heart a very long time ago. Can the Razer, a god of absolute death and destruction, change his omniscient spots, or will his allegiances lie with his brothers?

Those are just a few of the questions Charley must answer, and quick. Add to that a homeless girl running for her life, an innocent man who’s been charged with murder, and a pendant made from god glass that has the entire supernatural world in an uproar, and Charley has her hands full. If she can manage to take care of the whole world-destroying-gods thing, we’re saved. If not, well…

Ah…Charley. My love for you and your husband is so complete that there is no possible way Ms. Jones could ever do anything to make me hate you. Save for maybe a sudden introduction of the most annoying plot device in the history of writing (love triangle),  I just don’t see myself ever rating your books less than 5 stars (knock on the wood). I can’t tell you how happy I was when I learned that there were to be two releases in one year for this series. I don’t know why Ms. Jones did that, but I’m not going to complain. If anything, I want to go Kathy Bates on her ass and chain her to her writing desk until her fingers bleed. Sadly, I hear that kind of thing is frowned upon and would apparently land me in jail, so I guess I have no choice but to wait with the rest of the peasants.

back to reality

This is a month after Charley’s memory came back. Back to regular programming. The human race’s  survival rests upon a month-old baby in hiding. And Charley came back with a few secrets – which strains her relationship with Reyes – who, by the way, seems to be avoiding her like the plague. That in itself is a little tough to do considering they’re married. But what was once a very sexually active relationship has cooled down considerably. Charley has no idea why, but at the same time, she’s terrified to ask. Because that would  entail Reyes consequently asking questions of his own.

little bo beep

In the meantime, Beep is still hidden and guarded by a whole army of …well, guardians. Charley and Reyes are attempting to deny their longing for their child, but they both know that they would only be leading their enemies directly to Beep. I’m excited for what this little person could do! At least, from what the story has been leading up to. The possibility of her being more powerful than her parents and her fated romance with Osh. It reminds me of Jacob imprinting on Reneesme, to be honest [insert uncomfortable giggling here], but I don’t really care one bit. I do wonder if there’s going to be a spinoff featuring Beep when she’s a little bit older. Oh, the possibilities!

in retrospect

This is one of those series that I wouldn’t mind reading forever. It could go on and on until I have an entire Charley Davidson-Farrow library. It’s hilarious, sexy, and so much fun. You’re always guaranteed a good time with every installment. Ms. Jones, as usual, has a cachè of fresh sarcasm and wit. It’s never the same so you’re always treated to her comedic brilliance. Keep them coming is what I say!

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[634]: Marked in Flesh by Anne Bishop


Marked in Flesh

by Anne Bishop

There’s a myriad of reasons why I love this series. As a reader whose tastes tend to lean towards stories that are more in touch with reality, The Others is one of the few paranormal series that slipped through that filter. Typically, I’m drawn to the romance that a book promises. This series, however, doesn’t offer much in that respect. And that is why it’s astounding (especially to me) that I’ve consistently rated them high with every installment. So what is it about them that keep me coming back?

For one, Ms. Bishop has created a world that to me, is fascinating. Now if you’re a regular reader of paranormal fantasy, you would probably consider hers as one of many. But since I have no basis for which to compare it to, I remain amazed. After all, I can only name at least one other series that I follow in this genre: The Black Dagger Brotherhood. And that’s about the extent of my experience.

Second, Meg and Simon themselves know how to tease me enough with their budding romance. Confounding, really. Because if it were another book, the slow as molasses progression would have me running out the door faster than you can say DNF.  That is not the case here.  I love how seemingly innocent they are. Simon has no experience whatsoever in handling a relationship with a human. Meg does not have any experience with any healthy relationships period. Together, they are sweet, funny, and more often, silly – which makes them so irresistible.

Third, the anticipation of reading the demise of the Human First Last Movement. Truth be told, I thought it was unrealistic how far The Others have let them. It took too long to snuff them out considering how easily they can destroy their enemies. It’s just silly, I thought. So with every installment, I waited upon bated breath.

There is an underlying social relevance to these books that I’m just now realizing. Nowadays, talks of climate change and its deniers persist in social media platforms. Some political groups insist that humans are in no way responsible for the increasing greenhouse gases that contribute to Earth’s rising temperatures. But scientists insist that we are destroying the only place we call home. We have the same scenario in this series, albeit the humans were only too happy to accept responsibility. Sometimes, I wish that we have the same creatures governing the world’s natural resources.  Because if you think about it, we would probably live more harmoniously in a world where war can easily be eradicated by much more superior supernatural  beings. The conflict in the Middle East would not exist because the land would not be owned by Israel or Palestine. Countries cannot invade other countries. There will be no Axis of Evil. World peace is not just a wish uttered by beauty pageant contestants. It could be a reality if The Others actually existed.

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Friday Finds [#5]: Charley Davidson Series by Darynda Jones


I guess you can say I’ve been mad – MAD, I tell you,  about this series. For weeks now, these are all I’ve been reading. I just finished numero quatro, and it’s to die for! Pun intended.  If you’re an Urban Fantasy/Paranormal reader and you haven’t read these yet, then take a couple of seconds and investigate for yourself. Though if you’re a reader of these genres, chances are, you’re yawning at my seemingly lame attempt at enticing you to come to the dark side.

Charley was born The Grim Reaper. She doesn’t come dressed in black with a cape and a scythe, however.  And she certainly is not your harbinger of death. Charley is more like the gateway to the after life. Those who’ve died and who hasn’t quite realized they’re supposed to leave finds Charley so they can cross. I supposed you can say, she’s the human equivalent of River Styx. Because of her nature, demons are after her. Why? Well, she’s the gateway to Earth. Through her, they’ll be able to come here NOT bringing peace and salutations.

There is also a minor complication. Just a tiny, eensie one. The leader of the demons – let’s call him, Satan – has a son. This son decided to go against his father’s will by protecting Charley. When Charley was born, Son of Satan became Charley’s self-appointed guardian demon angel. Years go by, and Charley has become increasingly aware of this presence. Son of Satan also starts to fall in love with the grim reaper. Fun, huh?

Charley is your banner character for kick-ass, smart-mouthed, hilariously sarcastic heroine. I swear, I’ve laughed out loud so many times while reading these books. One of these days, I’d like to name my boobs as well. And do you know where you can find the nectar of the gods? Go south. Yep. I don’t know how Ms. Jones does it. She keeps her fresh and fun with every instalment. You’ll never read the same joke twice. I can also guarantee you that you’ll never be bored with these books.

It started with an Audible email. And now, I can’t get enough. I searched hi and lo to find these hardbacks, and with every book I read, it’s becoming apparent how serendipitous that email had been. So thank you, marketing strategists of Audible.com!

I am obsessed. Completely. Utterly. Hopelessly.

Have you read these books yet?



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[501]: On the Edge by Ilona Andrews

ACE | Kindle, 340 pp.
Published: Sep 29th, 2009
Series: The Edge, #1
Adult Fiction | Paranormal | Urban Fantasy
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

Having recently devoured Burn for Me by Ilona Andrews, I was looking to see if this writing duo is as great as everyone proclaims them to be. I considered my previous experience with Kate Daniels and decided then that I wasn’t ready to go back to that world yet. When I read the synopsis for this one, I have to admit that I wasn’t at all taken with it first. Well, lo and behold! It only took a couple of chapters before I was sucked in.

You have to understand that fantasy is not my idea of fun reading. And while this one is admittedly not in the league with Ken Follet or say, Sanderson. I say this one is the kind of fantasy that I could easily grow fond of. I love this world. I love how there are three dimensions that readers could explore: the Broken, which reminds me of the world normal humans inhabit; the Weird which is a fantastical world that combines the mythical, magical, and the human world; and The Edge, which is where the gifted, the magically-inclined, and the fantastical creatures live.

Rose is yet another wonderful heroine that I’m beginning to see as this writing duo’s signature M.O. She’d  become the single parent to her siblings at such a young age. Frankly, she hasn’t had an easy go at it. Employment is hard to come by on the Edge, so she has to go the Broken to find work. But because she’s an Edger, she’s considered as an undocumented alien. Those who knew of her kind takes advantage of this fact. She scrimps and save just to make her income last to feed her little family. Add to the fact that she’s developed a reputation through no fault of her own, she’s got enemies left and right. Mostly, former suitors who would sell her to the highest bidder.

She is the last known ‘flasher’ on The Edge. Because of this, blue bloods would pay big money for her DNA. Fortunately, she’s got strong magic, which basically makes her untouchable. So when Declan Camarine stumbles upon their little adobe, Rose assumes he only wants to impregnate her. And she would be right. However, Rose will fight him tooth and nail before he could drag her to his world. Their relationship is the kind borne from mistrust first. But Declan soon worms his way into Rose’s family.

That’s the least of Rose’s problem though. Lately, there’s been a rash of dangerous creatures drawn to The Edge’s magic. But the most pressing of all is the monster perpetuating all the deaths and the possible destruction of Rose’s world. She would need Declan to help protect The Edge.

Honestly guys, this book is beautiful in all its strange glory. Don’t take my word for it, download it. I know it’s an old publication, and I normally would skip reviewing it, but I just had to talk about it. Fantastic world and unforgettable characters. I can’t believe I almost missed out on this series. Tragic. Tragic.


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[498]: Burn for Me by Ilona Andrews

Avon | Kindle, 400 pp.
October 28th, 2015
Series: Hidden Legacy, #1
Urban Fantasy
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

I’m sure many of you have read this book already and might have even shared the same opinions about it. I, on the other hand, as per usual, am late in the game – not just with this series, but with these authors in general. Nowadays, I follow so many readers of Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance. I knew it was only a matter of time before I’m convinced to try their cookies. 🙂

Before this book, I’ve only ever read one of Andrews’ books. It’s the first Kate Daniels series. I liked it well enough, but at the time, I wasn’t all that interested to continue. After an overwhelming fantastic feedbacks for this book, however, I just had to see what the big whoop was about. Well, this book was everything that everyone claimed it to be plus a bag of chips.

In a way, the world reminds me of Brandon Sanderson’s Reckoners series. The characters has abilities like that of superheroes. But while the powers in Reckoners were extraterrestrial by origin, the powers in this book come from a combination of magic and genetics.  Societal hierarchy is also dictated by a caste system dependent on your power.

Mad Rogan reminds me of Victor Vale. He is the type of hero who straddles the fine line between good and evil. I feel like he can go either way. Not to be outdone, Nevada Baylor gives credence to strong female characters usually found in this writing tandem’s books. She uses what she has to go toe to toe with the lot of them. She is witty and funny and fear is not in her vocabulary. I adore her! This is my new favourite couple. Though the romance in this book was not really the forefront of the plot, I’m looking forward to seeing how Mad Rogan will convince Nevada of his er, intentions. Whatever that may be. Either way, I’m chomping at the bits.

This introduction to a brand new series left me a little out of breath. A well-imagined world, immortalized through this duo’s writing prowess, topped off with a couple of unforgettable characters. For someone who’s not a reader of this genre, Burn for Me was the perfect bait and hook to get me visiting the UF/PNR aisle more at my bookstore!

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Swoonuary: A Month for Romance

Swoonuary (1) Now, we all know I read and review just about anything on the blog. But I’ve also been notoriously guilty whenever I read books that are purely mind candy: tasty reads but you don’t get much “nutritional value”.

This month, I decided to join in the fun with the ladies of The Bookish Groupies as they celebrate this month of romance. How, you might ask? Well, since I’m only good for one thing, and one thing only, I decided to read a few romance books this month. This is funny to me, because before drafting this post, Carmel of Rabid Reads asked her readers if they’re “seasonal readers”. I said I wasn’t. And sure enough, here I am.

Anyway, who can resist reading sugary sweet romance books? Heck, you bet your Edible arrangement I will take advantage of any excuse to read them free of guilt! While I have been slowly easing away any former hang ups I might’ve had with reading romance books in the past, I haven’t fully embraced it! So this month, I thought it’s as good a time as any.

I’m going to attempt to read the following books:


Once Upon a Rose [La Vie En Rose, #1] by Laura Florand

Right. So I’ve been mildly obsessed with Amour et Chocolat  by this author. In fact, I’m pretty sure I’ve read most of the books and novellas in this series. Rachel of The Readers’ Den recently read and loved this book, so of course I had to download a copy! Seriously, Rachel and Jasprit are going to be the death of me. Any who, looking forward to reading this one!

20799724 Burn for Me [Hidden Legacy, #1] by Ilona Andrews

I’m cheating a little bit. This one is not really pure romance, but much of the ‘flailing’ reviews on Goodreads and the blogosphere touched on how fantastic the romance is in this book. I’m also killing two birds in one store here since it’s an Urban Fantasy; a genre that I decided to explore more this year. I’m dying to read this book!

20910177 Keep Me Safe [Slow Burn, #1] by Maya Banks.

I just know this book is going to be a sizzler! I’ve read a few of Ms. Banks books, and if those are any indication of what I’m in for, there’s no doubt that I’ll guiltily happily enjoy this one!


So I hope you’ll check out all the books that will be reviewed during this month. The ladies involved in this event are sweet bloggers who reached out to me to see if I’d be interested. Check out their blogs, will you?

Happy reading!

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[492]: Owl and the Japanese Circus by Kristi Charish


GOODREADS SUMMARY | Simon & Schuster | ARC Paperback, 418 pp. | January 13th, 2015 | Adult Fiction | Urban Fantasy | Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

Your eyes do not deceive you. I know seeing an Urban Fantasy book reviewed on this blog is a rarity, but it’s all a part of a grand scheme to expand my reading territory. Also, because this book was sent to me for review. Ha. Kidding aside, this book was a fantastic re-introduction to the genre, as it were. I loved every single nuances about Owl – even her impulsive behaviour that so often lead her into a whole world of trouble.

No digs for you!

Once upon a time, Owl had a promising career in archaeology. But an ethical decision to blow the whistle on her superiors left her blacklisted among her peers and colleagues. In an ironic twist of fate, the current state of her career is suspect, to say the least. She’s a hired thief, with supernatural beings for employers on a quest to find artifacts that bear importance to their kinds.

Fire-breathers, Blood-suckers, Venom-spitters.

Her recent assignment brings her face-to-face with the most dangerous creatures known to the supernatural world: dragons, vampires, and nagas. She needs to find a scroll bearing a magic spell that if translated and read properly, has the potential catastrophic destruction of an atomic bomb. Time is of the essence as a powerful vampire with a personal grudge against Owl is also on a quest for the same dangerous artifact. One obstacle after another, Owl, along with her friends will travel to Bali, and Vegas, and  California in search of this scroll. That is, if those after her life doesn’t get to her first.

Indiana Jane.

Owl tackled every legends and myths accompanying every artifact in learned expertise. I didn’t think it would be my thing, but her voice as a smart-ass, fearless treasure hunter helped. Think, Indiana Jones with very little sense of self-preservation. This girl didn’t know the meaning of ‘surrender’, and one who persistently ignore the social etiquettes when in the company of supernatural beings. She’s as stubborn as they come; one who induces a great need to wring someone’s neck…preferably hers.

Got Your Cheetos and Slurpee ready?

If you’re a RPG aficionado, you will find a kindred spirit with our girl. She plays a game throughout the book that, if you’re not careful, has a tendency to be confusing. I know I had my moments. In some instances, I found myself reading with glazed eyes.  I could’ve gone without it, to be honest. But I understand that it’s all a part of her characterization.

Low and Slow.

If you like romance, this one has a burgeoning one between Rynn, a mysterious bar tender who was a former mercenary, and Owl. A romance that will probably not reach fruition until…whenever the heck the author deems it timely. I have no problem with this. I was told that Urban Fantasy books tend to drag it out until the bitter end, so I’m expecting this.

Nice to Meet You!

So this is a fantastic beginning. Owl’s complete lack of respect for authority is what makes her commendable and frustrating in equal measure. But this is what makes this series all that much fun to read. She’ll take you to places you could only dare to dream of going and teach you a thing or two about myths and legends you won’t normally find in books.

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