Book Review: Industrial Magic by Kelley Armstrong

Title: Industrial Magic
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Series: Women of the Otherworld, Book 4
Publisher: Spectra Books
Paperback: 528 pages
Source: Chicago OverDrive
Summary: (taken from Goodreads)

Buy from The Book Depository

Paige Winterbourne, a headstrong young woman haunted by a dark legacy, is now put to the ultimate test as she fights to save innocents from the most insidious evil of all…

In the aftermath of her mother’s murder, Paige broke with the elite, ultraconservative American Coven of Witches. Now her goal is to start a new Coven for a new generation. But while Paige pitches her vision to uptight thirty-something witches in business suits, a more urgent matter commands her attention.

Someone is murdering the teenage offspring of the underworld’s most influential Cabals—a circle of families that makes the mob look like amateurs. And none is more powerful than the Cortez Cabal, a faction Paige is intimately acquainted with. Lucas Cortez, the rebel son and unwilling heir, is none other than her boyfriend. But love isn’t blind, and Paige has her eyes wide open as she is drawn into a hunt for an unnatural-born killer. Pitted against shamans, demons, and goons, it’s a battle chilling enough to make a wild young woman grow up in a hurry. If she gets the chance.

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5

While I am usually very strict about only reading series in order, for some reason, I’ve skipped around in this one a lot. Maybe because different books are from different perspectives? Anyway, I picked this up after being away from this series for a while, so it took me a bit to figure out exactly where I was in each character’s storylines. Having already read sequels, I must say it was way too much fun meeting Jaime the necromancer for the first time. Her first impression is as ridiculous and wonderful as I wanted it.

This book is a fun mystery/thriller with supernatural aspects involved, and of course, it includes all of our favorite characters from the Otherworld series; I love that the werewolves make an appearance in this novel. (Since the series started with Elena, I have a feeling that she and Clay will always be my ultimate favorites.) But I really would recommend this book for thriller lovers, I kept referring to it as the “supernatural serial killer” novel I was reading, and it fits so perfectly. Basically, Paige and Lucas agree to help the Cabals (supernatural mafia-like groups) to help find the person who’s been killing teenagers of Cabal employees. It follows the typical thriller-style of stories where they think they have the whole thing solved, but it turns out that they were missing a couple pieces of the puzzle, which makes for an interesting, surprising read.

Read more

Book Review: Kitty and the Midnight Hour by Carrie Vaughn

Kitty and the Midnight Hour by Carrie VaughnTitle: Kitty and the Midnight Hour
Author: Carrie Vaughn
Series: Kitty Norville, Book 1
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Paperback: 259 pages
Source: Chicago Public Library
Summary: (taken from Goodreads)

Kitty Norville is a midnight-shift DJ for a Denver radio station – and a werewolf in the closet. Her new late-night advice show for the supernaturally disadvantaged is a raging success, but it’s Kitty who can use some help. With one sexy werewolf-hunter and a few homicidal undead on her tail, Kitty may have bitten off more than she can chew?

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5

This has been on my to-read list for a WHILE, but there’s only so much paranormal romance I can read at once, so between Jeaniene Frost, Charlaine Harris, Patricia Briggs, and Kelley Armstrong, I’ve been pretty booked — so to speak. But, I’ve finally found the time to read this, and I am glad I did.

My favorite part is that the supernatural world is actually portrayed by Kitty as being weird. She doesn’t blindly accept werewolf rules and completely buy into the alpha/pack thing — it freaks her out and she’s constantly trying to reconcile what she knows as a human and how she feels as a wolf, which was interesting and unique, at least in terms of comparing to other paranormal books I’ve read. I also like that she starts off as the bottom of the pack and has that conflict between her human life and wolf life. Basically, Vaughn does a great job in contrasting Kitty’s wolf and human life and putting them in constant conflict. It makes for an engaging read.

I do think the “romance” between Kitty and the hunter was handled a little clumsily. I get that they need to have somewhat of an attraction for each other in order to move the story forward, but I think it was rather awkwardly fast, even with all of the drama going on. As a rule, I don’t particularly like how a lot of romance is done in books anyway, so I’m getting used to getting disappointed by strangely unrealistic portrayals of relationships.

Overall, this book surprised me quite a bit and I enjoyed the picture it painted of the supernatural world and how it interacts with the human world. In the future books, I’m hoping to see more consequences from Kitty openly admitting to being supernatural, and hopefully I get to see more of this world at work and how other packs/supernaturals interact with each other. We’ll see how quickly it’ll take me to get to book 2. :p

Book Review: Storm Front by Jim Butcher

Title: Storm Front
Author: Jim Butcher
Series: The Dresden Files, Book 1
Publisher: ROC
Paperback: 322 pages
Summary: (taken from Goodreads)

The novels of the Dresden Files have become synonymous with action-packed urban fantasy and non-stop fun. Storm Front is Jim Butcher’s first novel and introduces his most famous and popular character-Harry Dresden, wizard for hire.

For his first case, Harry is called in to consult on a grisly double murder committed with the blackest of magic. At first, the less-than-solvent Harry’s eyes light up with dollar signs. But where there’s black magic, there’s a black mage. Now, that black mage knows Harry’s name. And things are about to get very…interesting.

Overall Rating: 3.5 out of 5

I’ve been hearing about this series for awhile now — my undergrad college roommate raved about how awesome it was, so I was hoping for good things when I picked up Storm Front. For the most part, that’s what I got. This is a solid urban fantasy mystery with fun characters and a story that moves right along.

The main pull of Storm Front is that it’s simple, good fun. Grisly murders, a mysterious femme fatale, gangsters — this book has a lot going on in just 300 pages. And trust me, they fly by. I devoured it in just a couple of days because I had such a good time. It’s not just all the action either, though that’s a big part of it, but Jim Butcher is funny. I chuckled my way through this book, loving the way Harry was able to make fun of the crazy situations he fell into.

Read more

Book Review: Magic Slays by Ilona Andrews

*WARNING: Spoilers for those who haven’t read books 1-4*
Author: Ilona Andrews
Publisher: Ace
Series: Kate Daniels, Book 5
Pages: 308
Summary: (taken from Goodreads)
For Challenge: 100 Books in a Year

Plagued by a war between magic and technology, Atlanta has never been so deadly. Good thing Kate Daniels is on the job.

Kate Daniels may have quit the Order of Merciful Aid, but she’s still knee-deep in paranormal problems. Or she would be if she could get someone to hire her. Starting her own business has been more challenging than she thought it would be—now that the Order is disparaging her good name, and many potential clients are afraid of getting on the bad side of the Beast Lord, who just happens to be Kate’s mate.

So when Atlanta’s premier Master of the Dead calls to ask for help with a vampire on the loose, Kate leaps at the chance of some paying work. Turns out this is not an isolated incident, and Kate needs to get to the bottom of it—fast, or the city and everyone dear to her might pay the ultimate price . .

Overall rating: 5/5

I always worry when a series goes longer than four books. In my experience, very few can go past that point and still keep the magic that made the first books so incredible. Characters lose their edge, relationships lose their spark, and the plot runs around in circles.

This series definitely doesn’t have any of those problems and can handle at least two more books, if not many, many more. Kate is as hilarious and kick-ass as ever. Curran is as possessive, adorable, and of course kick-ass as ever, and their relationship is certainly not losing any sparks. The plot is progressing nicely and I am SO excited for Book 6.

Read more