Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A Touch of Dead by Charlaine Harris

Now, for the first time, here is every Sookie Stackhouse short story ever written—together in one volume.

Stories include “Fairy Dust,” “One Word Answer,” “Dracula Night,” “Lucky,” and “Giftwrap.”

Where to Buy

Interesting anthology. Most of the stories are mainly fluff - lighthearted "asides" from Sookie's main story in the books - but are enjoyable nonetheless. "One Word Answer", the third story, which tells the story of how Sookie finds out that her Cousin Hadley has died and left her estate to her, does actually provide some useful background for the book that follows it chronologically that tells about Sookie's trip to New Orleans to clean out Hadley's apartment. Overall, I'd recommend this to anyone who enjoys reading about Sookie Stackhouse and her supernatural friends.

From Dead to Worse by Charlaine Harris

After the natural disaster of Hurricane Katrina and the manmade explosion at the vampire summit, everyone—human and otherwise—is stressed, including Louisiana cocktail waitress Sookie Stackhouse, who is trying to cope with the fact that her boyfriend, Quinn, has gone missing.

It’s clear that things are changing—whether the weres and vamps of her corner of Louisiana like it or not. And Sookie—Friend to the Pack and blood-bonded to Eric Northman, leader of the local vampire community—is caught up in the changes.

In the ensuing battles, Sookie faces danger, death, and once more, betrayal by someone she loves. And when the fur has finished flying and the cold blood finished flowing, her world will be forever altered.

Where to Buy

I really enjoyed this book, and in many ways I'd consider it the best one so far in the series. It definitely was much more of a page turner than the others have been for the most part. In some ways it reverses the order of things from previous books, in that it starts off tense and dramatic and kind of tapers off to a slow relaxed mood for the last part instead of starting slow and building to a crescendo as the others have done. Also, instead of one major, traumatic event for Sookie, she instead has to endure a series of smaller tempests that each are more limited in scope, and reach a swifter conclusion, but are perhaps more intensely traumatic in some ways because of their quick intensity. And as the blurb says, each leaves its mark on the world Sookie knows, and that world has changed in some significant ways by the end of the book. Whether this will ultimately be for the good or the bad remains to be seen.

Monday, September 26, 2011

All Together Dead by Charlaine Harris

Betrayed by her longtime vampire love, Louisiana cocktail waitress Sookie Stackhouse must now not only deal with a possible new man in her life—the oh-so-handsome shapeshifter Quinn—but also contend with a long-planned vampire summit. With her power base weakened by hurricane damage to New Orleans, the local vampire queen is vulnerable to those hungry for a takeover. Soon, Sookie must decide what side she'll stand with. And her choice may mean the difference between survival and all-out catastrophe.

Where to Buy
Barnes & Noble
All Romance eBooks

A good entry in the series, and I'd give it 4.5 stars. For me, though, it's lacking just that little extra bit of something that would make it a 5 for me. That said, it's interesting to see how Sookie's character has evolved since the series began. She started off a relatively simple barmaid who wasn't often given to deep thought about many things, and she's grown into someone who is extremely insightful and who can manage to puzzle out even the deep games that the upper echelon of the vampire hierarchy plays, as well as figure out other mysteries with only a few scant clues to go on. But the wiser she becomes, and the deeper she gets drawn into the affairs of the supernatural beings around her, the trickier the path she's trying to walk becomes. She has shown more than enough resourcefulness to make it seem likely that she will manage to navigate the treacherous waters ok and come out on the other side in whatever situation she decides she wants to be in.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Dark Predator by Christine Feehan

Christine Feehan delivers the most startling novel yet in her “must-read” series (Night Owl Reviews) as an immortal male comes to the end of a long and violent journey—to reach a far more dangerous and inescapable threat…

As brutal as the undead he hunted, executioner Zacarias De La Cruz’s savage journey is over. After a thousand years in a gray world, he has accomplished everything he set out to do. His brothers are safeguarded, and each has a woman who completes him. But with his centuries as a killing machine now left to the past, and without a hunt to define him, Zacarias wonders, for the first time in his life, who he really is.

The answer awaits him in the vengeance of an old enemy, in the consequences of a bloody family legacy and in Marguarita, a woman he once saved—his lifemate, his deliverance, and the greatest risk yet to both their lives.

Where to Buy

Though Zacarias has been spoken of, and even heard from briefly, in previous books, we've never had a chance to really see him or learn who he is and what he's like. And while Gregori may hold the title The Dark One, if anyone deserves it, it's most likely Zacarias, for he is truly the darkest of all the Carpathians, the one who walks a hairsbreadth or less away from the line between Carpathian and Undead, yet still manages to never once cross the line. It is little wonder then that when such a dark and shadowed man who had finally decided to lay down his burdens and meet the sun is confronted with his lifemate that he wouldn't know how to deal with her, or even recognize her for what she is to him at first. Perhaps it is because she is physically unable to speak, and literally has no voice - the thing that has seemed to be the trigger for turning on emotions and colors for all of the other Carpathians that have found their lifemate - that recognition is slow to come. Just as likely though is Zacarias's unique nature, and the fact that he is so heavily shadowed that even his lifemate can only temporarily bring him those things with her presence.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Lord of the Vampires by Gena Showalter

Once upon a time…the Blood Sorcerer vanquished the kingdom of Elden. To save their children, the queen scattered them to safety and the king filled them with a need for vengeance. Only a magical timepiece connects the four royal heirs…and time is running out.

Nicolai the Vampire is renowned for his virility, but in a cruel twist of fate “The Dark Seducer” has become a sex slave in the kingdom of Delfina—stripped of his precious timepiece and his memory. All that remains is a primal need for freedom, revenge—and the only woman who can help him.

When the wanton vampire summons Jane Parker, she is helpless to obey. She's drawn to his dark sexuality and into his magical realm. But for this human, all is not a fairy tale. For saving Nicolai could mean losing the only man she's ever craved...

Where to Buy

Good story, though I would have liked to have seen some things explored more in depth instead of the superficial treatment most of the story received. A little too much of a "fairy tale" feel to it at times, but serious enough at others. Plenty of heat between the main characters, though the sex doesn't take over the rest of the story. Would probably give this 3.5 stars.