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review 2015-01-02 21:23
Magic Strikes by Ilona Andrews
Magic Strikes - Ilona Andrews

5 stars



I would go out into the street right now and scream at the top of my lungs that this book is awesome. I would. But writing it calmly on GR has much more chances of causing some kind of positive effect. Besides, I might have already done it on NYE. My memory fails me.


If I decided to organise the Kate Daniels books I've read so far (only three), based on their level of perfection, this book would probably be number one. Granted, I barely remember "Magic Bites" except for the cannibalism and Curran breaking a chair or whatever over the torture of his current mate. "Magic Burns" was awesomesauce. The action and mythology blew my mind. Tornado-style. But "Magic Strikes"! "Magic Strikes", people! It destroyed my panties AND my brain. It wrecked my poor feels. It was utterly devastating (in the best way possible).


Do you want a plot description?! I don't think so. Read da blurb! Right now I'm gonna rant.


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The Midnight Games gave me the best fight scenes ever. I haven't been this involved in an action scene in God knows how long.


I was introduced to incredibly creative characters of unimaginable beauty, while others where hideously repulsive. Ilona Andrews couples her imagination with an extensive mythological research, and manages to keep introducing us to brand new creatures, weapons and fighting techniques. I am overwhelmed with fascination every single time.


Kate and Curran made tremendous progress! He is so goddamn delicious. Every description of him makes my mouth water. Andrews can make Curran eating a hamburger like a pig seem like a sexy thing. But oh... the hot tub scene!


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Undoubtedly the funniest, sexiest and most gripping installment so far!


Whatever problems you may have with urban fantasy, Ilona Andrews' writing is fresh, compelling, amusing (I laughed like a maniac) and emotionally charged. Trust me, you'll want to meet this woman who doesn't hesitate in sacrificing herself to protect those she loves, who hides her emotional self behind her badassery, who arrives home every day battered and bruised, but having saved multiple lives. Kate Daniels is my favourite heroine. And I don't believe she can be beat.

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review 2014-12-14 20:07
Ten Tiny Breaths by K.A. Tucker
Ten Tiny Breaths - K.A. Tucker

4,5 stars


I'm losing my shit. Another soul-crushing book? Why do I hate myself?



I think I might have gone through one of the largest twists of my life. I was utterly shocked. I even had to pause my reading for a couple of minutes. You know, just to take it all in.


This is a heartbreaking tale of a girl fixed on her hate... Kacey hates the perpetrators of the drunk-driving accident that killed her parents, boyfriend and best friend. Every day, she faces the nightmares, the panic attacks, the inability to touch other people's hands, to engage in any kind of intimacy. Yet she manages to fight against the tide threatening to drown her completely, all for her younger sister, Livie.


And the handsome, mysterious neighbour she falls in love with. Trent barges into her life, awakening a need and a sweetness that she thought was long buried. Old Kacey is beginning to surface once more, and it is a beautiful journey to witness.


That would be a fitting adjective for this book. Beautiful.


Pain and misery. Love and longing. They are strung together to form a realistic picture of our everyday struggles, of the dire consequences of PTSD and how sometimes people can hide all of their hurt beneath an apparently impenetrable shell. Until the right person shows up and the fissures begin to appear. 


For Kacey, Trent was that person. He brought her back to life, after four years of numbness. Beautiful.

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review 2014-11-27 16:16
Twice Bitten by Chloe Neill
Twice Bitten - Chloe Neill

4,5 stars



I like this series. A lot. "Twice Bitten" is proof number three of how much I enjoy it.


This is a unique kind of urban fantasy. It is unlike "Kate Daniels"'s intricate and action-packed plots and reduced amount of romantic interactions. "Chicagoland Vampires" isn't about having a complex plot of deceit, but about the social interactions. Chloe Neill turns the most uneventful parts of vampire lives into something fascinating. I actually wanted to know which bar Merit went to and which outfit she was going to wear, to hear the gossip her friends spilled, to be made aware of both the human and inhuman aspects of her life.


The romance in this series is also written in an unconventional manner. Neill doesn't burden you with three chapters' worth of sex scenes. Instead, she provides the reader with a breathtaking build-up, an assortment of actions you normally have no reaction to. But when it comes to Ethan and Merit, even the smallest gesture carries an enormous amount of significance. And when their time finally came, the aura of magic that was described felt palpable, real. Ethan and Merit do not shag. They make love. Which is anything but a cheesy description. In this case, the expression is completely called for.


The world-building is yet another otherworldly feature of this series. The amount of surprising paranormal traditions in these books that I had never encountered in my experience in the genre never ceases to amaze me. I particularly loved, in "Twice Bitten", to come in contact with the shifter community and learn all about their hierarchy and rituals.


I haven't yet decided whether I'll proceed to the fourth book right away. I'll need some emotional stamina to face what's coming, so I must gather up my strengths before immersing myself in Sentinel-Master interactions.

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review 2014-11-24 15:24
Friday Night Bites by Chloe Neill
Friday Night Bites - Chloe Neill

4 stars


I read this book like a maniac. I neglected my studies (oops), held my breath, and just read. But I can't really pinpoint any particularly amazing moments, besides the ending. Holy moly, those last 10% were explosive!



As far as relationships are concerned, Merit's got a lot on her plate.


She's got a horny, magic-ridden best friend occupying her flat with her beau. None other than Catcher Bell, Merit's ruthless physical coach. Can you see how that particular intersection could be troublesome?


Besides, her gloriously attractive boss is progressively toning down on the frost. Translation: they're getting more handsy and trusting of one another. Which is good.


However, Ethan basically ordered Merit, as his loyal subject, to engage in a relationship with Navarre's new Master, Morgan, who happens to have the hots for her. Not only that, he's actually nice to her. Not like her very annoying Liege. Their relationship has potential. And I don't mean the make-Ethan-jealous kind of potential, I'm saying they would be good for each other. The banter comes easily, and so does the chemistry.


Humans crave what they can't have. Apparently, vampires subscribe to this too. Because Merit wants Ethan. Badly. Even though he systematically resorts to a distant treatment towards her, that he doesn't hesitate to show her he doesn't trust her fully, Merit is drawn in. Every inch of himself that he reveals enthralls her, makes her expect more, prevents her from giving up on the possibility of a "we". And I can see he wants to let her in as well. Sullivan: Please do.



Plot-wise, this second installment wasn't very strong. In fact, the first book wasn't very elaborate in that aspect either, but it made up for it through the world-building. Maybe the lack of a more complex mystery relates to the fact that this is merely the beginning of the series. I hope it does.


I have high hopes for this third book, what with the alluring cliffhanger-ish ending and promise of further Ethan-Merit developments. We'll see.

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review 2014-11-23 12:28
Some Girls Bite by Chloe Neill
Some Girls Bite - Chloe Neill

4,5 stars


Did I love this book?



Well, damn.


Merit blew my fucking world out of its hinges.


Having been robbed of her humanity after a vicious vampire attack, Merit, grad student and daughter of a mediatic figure in the Chicago scene, is rescued by Ethan Sullivan, who makes her a vampire. And so she is suddenly required to join the ranks of House Cadogan, one of the North American vampire affiliations, and obey a quite rigid feudal-like system.


Needless to say, in a matter of three days, Merit finds herself immersed in a reality she doesn't understand. Apparently, when she pledges her allegiance to Cadogan, she'll be committing herself to an eternity of faithful obedience towards her Master, which does not bode well with her stubborn nature. That is most likely why she ends up challenging the Liege mere days into her immortal life.


This Liege. Ethan. Sullivan. Hot, blonde, green-eyed vamp. Extremely irritating and domineering.



He's got the hots for Merit. She's got the hots for him. Problem is, they also hate each other. Yes, you heard me. Love-hate relationship! When these two finally give in, prepare for total combustion.


I won't spoil you with any more details. The charm of this book is in being able to follow Merit's steps as she makes her incursion into the vampire world. To be as ignorant as she is, as surprised as she is, to see everything through her refreshing, cynical perspective.


I found myself a new kickass heroine with supernatural skills. I couldn't be any happier!


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