Tag Archives: urban fantasy

Born in Blood (Sentinels #1) by Alexandra Ivy

borninbloodBorn in Blood (Sentinels #1) by Alexandra Ivy

Publised by Zebra, December 31, 2013

Review Copy was purchased.

GoodReads Synopsis:  Sergeant Duncan O’Conner has seen it all before. A beautiful erotic dancer is found murdered in her home—no suspect, no motive. But there’s one clue: she’s missing her heart. It’s enough to make the hard-bitten Kansas City cop enlist the help of a necro—one of the dead-channeling freaks who live in the domed city of nearby Valhalla. It’s a long shot, but desperate crimes call for desperate measures.

Unlike the other “high-bloods” in Valhalla, Callie Brown considers her abilities a gift, not a curse. But when she reads the dancer’s final thoughts, she senses a powerful presence blocking her vision. This is no ordinary homicide. This is the work of a legendary necromancer who controls souls. A ravenous force that will put Callie’s skills to the test, O’Conner’s career at risk, and both their hearts on the line…literally.

My Thoughts:  This was the first Alexandra Ivy book I’ve read. I have amassed all the books in her “Guardians of Eternity” series…alas they sit gathering dust on my TBR shelf.  Having read Born in Blood, they will probably be moving up the list.

I really like Ivy’s writing style. The story had a lot going on but it was easy to follow. Another thing she did, that I found unusual from most authors I’ve read, was that she would cut to the chase.  For example there was a point where a character was found, after having been missing for a time,  and she was injured…the chapter ended and when we picked back up she was in the hospital…explaining to me how other characters called for transportation and delivery to the hospital wouldn’t have advanced the story so it was left out…Ivy stuck to the “meat and potatoes” of the story.  If she wrote it, you needed to know it for the story.  Can I say that I LOVE this philosophy!!!!

Now for characters…there were many and they were varied. Our hero and heroine were, much like the overall story, deep enough to get us through. Meaning I didn’t need to know the name of Duncan’s kindergarten teacher.  We learned what was relevant, but yet I know there is still plenty out there to learn about Duncan and Callie.

Ivy built a world where there are people with some exceptional abilities and they are segregated in their own little domed area called Valhalla. “Norms” are scared of the “Freaks”, but not so scared they won’t use them for police work and other areas where the Freaks might be useful, however most norms are extremely prejudiced. Callie and Duncan met long before our story begins because Callie is a necromancer and aids at murder scenes while Duncan is a local homicide detective.  Valhalla is home to necromancers, psychics, healers, soul gazers, and sentinels/guardians to name a few.

I’m wondering if Ivy will be focusing each book in the series on different people like her “Guardians of Eternity” series or maybe we will stay with Duncan and Callie…I would prefer the later since I believe they still have some much more territory to explore, plus I really liked them…LOL


Heart of Stone (Gargoyles #1) by Christine Warren

stoneHeart of Stone (Gargoyles #1) by Christine Warren
Publisher: St. Martin Paperbacks – Dec 31, 2013
Review Copy: NetGalley

GoodReads Synopsis: Ella Harrow is trying to carve out a normal life for herself. Well, as normal as an art geek with psychic abilities can hope for. As museum docent and gift-shop manager, Ella is able to keep her distance from people—and her powers in check—while surrounding herself with the artifacts she loves. But how on earth is she supposed to act normal when a thousand-year-old statue on the museum’s terrace suddenly comes to life?

Not your ordinary gargoyle, Kees has been asleep for eons, waiting for a portent of evil to wake him from his slumber. Kees isn’t a vision; he’s a bat-winged guardian created to protect the world from the seven demons of the Dark. Somehow, Ella triggered his reawakening. Maybe the demons have been unleashed? Maybe his heart is finally ready to be chiseled open? The fate of the world isn’t carved in stone…yet.

My Thoughts: Gargoyles! Who could turn down Gargoyles? One of the last remaining mythical creatures that are largely untapped by the Urban Fantasy market. And Christine Warren has come up with an interesting mythology for them…they are defenders of the Earth and it’s inhabitants, against the great evil that lurks behind locked doors always looking for a way out to create havoc.

I liked Ella. She carries the weight of the world and the death of her parents on her shoulders…and everything she does is to prove that her survival wasn’t a waste. She’s a good kid (early 20s). Kees is arrogant and condescending and has an infuriating way of referring to Ella as “little human” no matter how many times she reminds him her name is Ella. I gotta say the “little human” thing pissed me off no end. I wanted to bitch-slap him every time he said it.

Since this is the first book in a new series, we didn’t get a whole lot of the gargoyle back story, but what I got was satisfying for me. I am anxious to see more mythology revealed in future books. This installment had lots of mystery and adventure in addition to battling evil and some HOT sex scenes.

Overall, I’d rate this BAD-ASS BOOTS.

House Rules by Chloe Neill

House Rules CoverReleased February 6, 2013
Published by NAL Penguin Publishing
Purchased Copy

Chloe Neill is a genius. I have no words for all the ways this book was amazing. I knew big things were coming after the way it ended in Biting Cold, and House Rules did not disappoint. I continue to be amazed that after seven books I’m not tired of this series or these characters. Ms. Neill finds new ways to keep things exciting and the action is always moving. With so many plot lines intricately woven, at times I found myself wondering how she would resolve them all in time.

I have to make a shout out to one of my favorite characters in the series, Jeff Christopher. If you’ve read the previous books, you know Jeff’s a shifter that works with Merit’s grandfather. There are so many great Jeff scenes in this book. If you love him like I do, you are going to love him something fierce by the time House Rules is done. I think even Merit may have been a little surprised.

Of course that’s not to say that Ethan isn’t his usual amazing self, not to mention his trademark infuriating self. (Or is that just me?) I really enjoy Ethan & Merit’s relationship – never have two people encountered so many obstacles while fighting to be together. I should really know better than to think things are going to be smooth sailing for them ever, and this book is no exception. (Lacey. UGH.)

Watching Merit grow as a character through it all has to be one of the most satisfying parts of reading this series. She is definitely one of my favorites. Her confession to Ethan at the end of this one could potentially be a game changer (of sorts) and definitely ties into some things from earlier in the series. I’ll just have to wait and see. :)

So, what are you waiting for? Go read this book! If you’re not familiar with the Chicagoland Vampires series, check them out here.