In Review: Black Magic Sanction by Kim Harrison

Released: 2/23/10
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 978-0061138034

The eighth in the Hollows series. After Rachel's recent shunning, following a stint of demon relating incidents culminating with her kindling demon magic, and the knowledge that her babies will be demons, the coven gives her a horrendous choice: sterilization or permanent imprisonment in Alcatraz.

And they aren't the only ones that want control of her, it seems that everyone wants a piece of Rachel. Trent wants her under his thumb worse than before because now he's her familiar, and if she owns him in the ever after, he'll own her in reality. Al wants her, for the prestige, the power having a child bearing female will give him, because other than crazy Newt there are no female demons. And even Pierce wants her, but his reason is closer to the heart, believing they could have a love that lasts forever.

Rachel is growing in little steps, its still apparent that she isn't over Kisten with all her trust issues, but she's working it out, and that's heartbreaking in a million ways on its own. Nick, her ex rat/boyfriend, stirs up trouble, and as much as I hate him, I do love the twists he always adds. And Al. The more I see of him the more I want. He's still a bit of a mystery on what his role really is. He's not the villain, he's not the love interest, he's on the cusp of it all.

There was a hugely heartbreaking moment, that didn't fully get justice. As readers, we all knew it was coming, but that didn't make the blow any less, and the grieving just wasn't enough.

All in all, it was a really great read. The plotting was pretty tight, and up to par with what is usually expected by Kim Harrison. We finally gained a little more insight to the connection between gargoyles and witches, and to see that development more fleshed out was really nice. The series is winding down, with many plot lines being tied up, but its not losing any of its steam.


In Review: The Lunatic Café by Laurell K. Hamilton

Released: 1996                 
Publisher: Ace Books
Format: Paperback

For those who have ever wanted a reset button, Anita kind of has one as the fourth book starts. She no longer bears a single mark to Jean Claude or any vampire for that matter, but that does not mean that she is free.
As she explores her relationship with Richard outside forces keep threatening to tear them apart. Richard being a werewolf is a little off putting as he watches people like prey, there’s also pack turmoil threatening to kill him, Jean Claude will not take no for an answer, and there is also vampire obsessed with jean Claude who wants to kill her.
And if her love life wasn’t messy enough, there’s also Dolph who needs help identifying what did the slaying of a victim. And after some trouble at the crime scene she comes back to find Irving, in need of protection. He’s torn between his alpha Marcus, and Richard, so Anita agrees to protect him.
At the Lunatic Café, the Were’s world of dominance and submission come into play, and the more Anita learns, the less she wants to know. We are introduced to a bevy of characters, including Swan king Kaspar, and new wolf Jason, the rat King Raphael makes an appearance as well.
Edward is back with a snuff film, he’s been hired to kill all those involved, and Anita is happy to help, though that forces her to dive even deeper than she ever expected in the were culture. Some scars will never heal.
The story keeps a wonderfully quick pace, and the twists are fantastic. Imagery is very real, and horrifying. A wonderful read, keeping with the momentum, and quality expected in the series.


In Review: Every Which Way But Dead by Kim Harrison

Released: 6/28/05           501 pages                           
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 978-0060572990

The latest addition to the Hollows series raises the bar yet again. Rachel continues to poke at the demon who seeks to capture her, even as she’s becoming his familiar to secure his testimony, or stealing his familiar. Nick continues to pull away since Rachel accidently made him her familiar. And sexy Kisten steps up to the plate and shows he’s a real contender for her heart.

Keasley gets a bigger role, without delving too deeply into his history, which is surely coming.  Ceri, the familiar, brings in a bright mix history and lore, expanding Rachel’s world more. And there is also David, a werewolf insurance adjustor, which may be my favorite twist, an entire nontraditional industry with werewolves behind it.

The lines between good and bad continue to blur as Rachel is pushed and challenged, making the story more fun. Not to mention Kisten getting more page time, seducing Rachel, and wanting Rachel for Rachel is refreshing. He’s damaged and dangerous, but seeing the softer side of Kist, makes every scene he’s in so much better.

And Rachel finds out that she isn’t the only one who’s special, and just what she’ll do to survive.
Kim Harrison always manages to infuse clever wit and sarcasm into a well written plotline. Jenks is the perfect person to deliver many of the greatest lines.


In Review: The Good, the Bad, and the Undead by Kim Harrison

Released: January 1, 2005                           
Publisher: Harper Torch
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9780060572976

The second book in Kim Harrison’s Hollows series delivers just as much fun and action as the first. The story follows Rachel Morgan, now free of the IS, but still in plenty of trouble. She still wears a demon mark, which wasn’t her fault, but where ever Rachel is trouble follows.
The cast of delightful characters from the first novel are back, the seductive damaged vampire Ivy, the loveable potty mouth pixy Jenks, dubious and cunning politician Trent Kalmanack. As well as introducing new ones, the ancient powerful vampire Piscary, the human with a taste for danger Nick and the sexy bad boy vampire Kisten.
This time, Rachel is brought in on a case to find a serial killer that is making his way through the city’s best ley line witches in short order. When all the clues lead point Trent, Rachel goes deep undercover in the guise of a minx and finds herself in even deeper water than she could have imagined.  
The hollows series isn’t as fast paced as some of the other novels on the market, it actually uses clever interactions, and intrigue to build the story before it climatic finish. The plot is filled with twists that keeps the reader interested, and the world constantly builds and expands upon itself making for excellent story telling.


Supernatural Recap: My Bloody Valentine

Death in the name of love, only on Supernatural is it so deliciously demonic.
In a small town, a couple go on their first date. Their first kiss immediately becomes intense, until the girl bites the guy. She panics, but he assures her,  and then they begin biting each other, but not in a kinky way, more in a I’m gonna eat you way.
 Sam and Dean are on the case, they talk to the roommate and she tells them about the girl, Alice. She was a nice girl, a virgin with a promise ring, who didn’t date much. Back at the motel Sam confirms that there were no signs of ghosts or possessions. Dean goes over what he learned at the coroner’s, both had full stomachs. Sam tells Dean to go celebrate Valentine’s day, since its his favorite holiday, but he’s not feeling it, and would rather go back to work.
At an office, Jim gets a call from his girlfriend Janice, his friend Brad tells him to focus on their project. Janice come in, distraught at the prospect of Jim choosing work over her, and shoot Brad after he makes a snide remark. Jim and Janice then realize that something will always get in the way of being together so they shoot themselves.
Sam and Dean go to see the bodies, they pass a tall bald man, and Sam sense something is off. They meet the coroner, Dr. Corman, who leaves them. They check over the bodies, spotting a Enochian brand, similar to the one on their ribs. Dean makes a call to Cas. Cas confirms that the marks are angelic, they were destined. The marks were placed by a Cherub, which is a lower class angel. Cas figures its gone rogue, so the three conspire to catch it.
The three go to a bar for food. Castiel explains that Cupid will be drawn there because of human urges, the whole time he stares at Dean’s food. When Dean says he isn’t hungry, Cas asks if he can have it. A couple begins kissing and they know Cupid is in the building. After making Cas makes the Cupid appear, the Cupid hugs each of the trio, a cherub’s handshake of course, and they get down to business. Castiel, all gruff and grim explains that they’re there to stop him from killing, but man in diaper breaks down crying. He just makes them fall in love, he doesn’t know what happens after that. His orders come from heaven, and some relationships have high priorities, like John and Mary Winchester did. Dean punches him, the Cupid flashes out, and Dean is not ready to talk about it.
Back at the morgue, Corman calls Sam about another odd death. Lester Finch died of a Twinkie binge gone horribly awry. He ate so many he began shoving them down with a toilet brush, but the bad news is that he doesn’t bear an Enochian brand. Dean checks the police blotter, there have been eight suicides, and nineteen ODs in the last few days, so its more than just love, it’s a greater mess.
Sam sees bald suit man leaving the hospital again, he follows him, they tussle in an alley, Sam cuts him with a knife. The demon manages to get away, dropping his briefcase in his haste, and Sam stares longingly at the bloody knife for a moment, before wiping it clean. Sam brings the briefcase back to the motel where they carefully open it. A bright light bursts out, and Castiel comes bearing news and White Castle hamburgers. It was a soul, and there’s a bigger problem than just Castiel throwing back burgers. The entire town is staving for love, drug, food, everything; Famine on his black steed is the culprit.
Demons escort Famine, an elderly man in a wheelchair, into a restaurant. As he enters everyone begins gorging themselves on their desires for food, money, drugs, sex.
Castiel explains the Famine needs to eat the souls of his victims, like the one in the briefcase. Lucifer has sent his demons to care for famine until he’s ready for his infamous ride.
Flies are gathering on the corpses of Famine’s restaurant victims. Bald suit demon comes and tells Famine that Sam is at the hospital and that he managed to get his motel key. When Famine realizes that he lost the soul, he consumes the demon’s instead.
At the motel the boys try to figure out how to stop Famine. They took War’s ring to stop him,  and when Cas says that Famine too has a ring, they decide that is the best course. But Sam is too out of control with his desire for demon blood, and Cas cannot distance him from his craving, it’s too late to run from the infection. Sam locks himself in the bathroom, and leaves Dean and Cas to go after the ring.
At the hospital Dean and Cas learn that Corman is dead, he drank himself to death, but Castiel knows the soul is still there, and they use it as bait. On watch duty, Castiel continues to happily eat, and wonders why Dean hasn’t fallen prey to Famine. Dean claims to have everything he wants when he wants it, and before Cas can analyze that further they spot a demon leaving the hospital with a briefcase.
Back to Sam, he’s still in the bathroom, unable to break free. Two demons come in looking for a little trouble, when they free him Sam attacks them, stabbing one and drinking her blood. Now all hopped up on demon blood, he uses his demon mind power to shove the other away.
Dean and Castiel follow the demon to the restaurant. The plan is simple Cas flashes in cuts off famine’s ring and flashes back out. Cas teleports away, but is gone way to long, so Dean goes looking for his man. Cas is inside shoving raw meat into his pie hole. Dean is grabbed by the demons and taken to Famine, but Cas is too busy to help him. Famine is overjoyed to be in the land of more, faster, now, but Dean points out that he is unaffected. Famine stares down the pretty Winchester noting that there’s a deep, dark nothing inside of him, he’s broken, defeated and not hungry because he’s already dead.
The calvary arrives, in the form of the huge Sam. Famine is delighted. He wanted to give Sam a present, so that he’d never die from drinking too much blood. He invites him to kill all the demons, to drink their blood. Sam destroys all the demons, but refuses to drink a drop. Disappointed Famine consumes their essence. Sam tries to use his powers against Famine, but he just laughs it off. His powers don’t work on Horsemen. But Sammy is smarter than the average bear, and he uses his powers to rip the demons out of Famine’s body. Castiel snaps out of the spell and Dean is left shocked.
Dean and Castiel lock Sam up in Bobby’s basement for some detox. Castiel tries to paint a pretty picture, that Sam will be fine once its all out of his system, but Dean isn’t so sure. With a bottle in hand he looks to Heaven and admits he needs help.


In Review: Flirt by Laurell K. Hamilton

Released: 2/2/10 192 pages
Publisher: Berkley Hardcover
Format: Hardcover

Anita meets with prospective client Tony Bennington to resurrect his recently deceased wife, but she politely turns him down. She knows what its like to lose a love one, to want them back. He wants his wife back, but even as good as Anita is, it will never be his wife, not for long.

This is the same story that has been told before rehashed, to introduce yet another character into Anita's bed. It opens up with some of her current lovers teaching her the art of flirting, not the in your face, cleavage bared kind, but the subtle art that truly seduces.

The plotting is fairly light on this "novel," it should have been marketed as a novella, and the pacing is excellent. It was nice to see Anita really get back into the necromancy, or would have been without all the show boating, and prostrating. We learn little other than a lycanthrope death fuels a resurrection better than a plain old human one.

The established relationships aren't further, few known characters are seen for more than a few pages. And other than for the introduction of some new characters that will definitely come up in future books, this one is skipable.


Supernatural Recap: The Song Remains The Same

Dean dreams of strippers, when Anna appears. She can’t find him because of the branding that Castiel placed on his ribs, but she’s escaped the pokey and she needs his help. She gives him the address.
At the address of a warehouse, Anna appears, but it isn’t Dean that comes to her, it’s Cas.And Anna is angry. She’s mad that he turned her over, but she has a plan, she’s gonna kill Sam, and scatter his cells across the cosmos so Lucifer can’t use him a vessel. But Cas has other ideas, he’s gonna save Sam, even if he has to kill Anna. She disappears.
Cas prepares to find Anna, and warns the boys that they have to stop her permanently, but Sam wonders if maybe she’s right and his death is the only way to avert the Apocalypse. With the ritual complete, they learn that Anna has gone back to 1978, before Sam was born to kill his parents. Dean insists on going back with Castiel, even if he can’t protect him. And Castiel reluctantly agrees, bringing the boys back in time with him.
Castiel is weakened by the time travel and passes out, the boys check him into a honeymoon suite, and are off on a half cocked plan. They go directly to the source, Mary Winchester. Dean’s met the younger version of his mother before, on another time trek, but Sam hasn’t. Mary insists that she’s leading a normal life, but still introduces them to John as her cousins. Sam can’t stop staring at Mary, the mother he never had a chance to know, and Dean explains that she looks like Sam’s mother. John gets a call from his boss, saying that he’s fired and he sets off to plead for his job, not knowing it’s a trap set by Anna.
Alone with Mary they explain to her that the Angels plan to kill her and John. Mary agrees to go with them. At the garage John finds his boss, right before his eyes are burned by the sight of an angel. Anna slams John around, and Dean tries to stop her, but he’s no match. Mary manages to cut her, and drive a crowbar through her chest, but Anna throws her into a car.  Angels are hard to kill. Which is fine, cause Sam has used the chaos to complete a ward and send her away.
The fight has opened up a can of worms, and John realizes that they all fight monsters. Mary confesses that she’s been doing it all her life. John’s hurt and angry as they go to a safe house. The boys show Mary how to fortify against angels with sigils and holy oil. John insists on helping draw the sigils with his own blood, and Dean laughs noting that John reminds him of his dad.
Sam apologizes to John for laying all this at his feet. John asks how long he’s been hunting, and is disgusted when he learns that Sam’s father raised him to be a hunter. But Sam admits that while he use to hate his father for it, he understands that he was doing the best he could, keeping them together in an impossible situation. His father died to protect him, and he understands and forgives him.
Outside Anna summons Uriel of this time. She convinces him to help her kill the Winchesters once he finds out that they kill him in the future.
Mary corners Dean demanding answers. She’s not buying his stories anymore, and when she won’t relent he finally tells Mommy everything, that they’re her children from 2010. He tells her how she dies at the hand s of the Yellow-Eyed Demon, and how their father became a hunter for revenge. Sam tells her that the demon will find her no matter what, that she should leave John so that she’ll be safe and they’ll never be born. But its too late for that, Mary is already pregnant.
John comes in, all the sigils and oils are gone. Uriel enters and Anna wrecks havoc, tossing John into the back yard, and impaling Sam as Dean watches in horror. Golden light bathes John as Anna tells Mary she’s sorry. John calls Anna out, and she realizes that he’s Michael.  The archangel touches her, burning her into ash, and sends away Uriel.
Michael touches Mary, putting her to sleep so that he and Dean may talk privately. He explains that John let him in to save Mary, that the bloodline stretches far back. But Dean refuses to help him fulfill his personal grudge. Michael insists that he doesn’t want to kill Lucifer, that he loves him, but that he has to kill him. Dean says that God is wrong and that Michael is a fool for going along with the plan. Isn’t this the common trend, give God what he needs not what he wants? Michael insists that all of the millions of random choices are all apart of God’s plan, and that Dean will say yes. Obviously he doesn’t know our boy.
Michael assures him that he’ll be fine after his possession, that John and Mary’s memories will be wiped. Dean balks, because Mary will still die, but Michael points out that he knew that would happen. He heals Sam, and sends them back to their own time.
Cas manages his way back to the present, and the boys have a drink. Sam wonders if he’ll give in, and what Dean would have said if Michael offered to save Mary.
And we are left with Mary and John placing an angel in their nursery, telling her unborn child that angels are watching over them, and she couldn’t be more right.


In Review: Dead Witch Walking by Kim Harrison

Released: April 27, 2004                              
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 978-0060572969

Dead Witch Walking is the first novel by Kim Harrison in her Hollows series. In heroine, Rachel Morgan’s world, we didn’t go to the moon, and we were nearly wiped out by genetically mutated tomatoes. Paranormal races live side by side with normal humans after the collapse of humanity.
Rachel Morgan is a white witch and an I.S. runner, similar to an FBI agent but they deal with supernatural aspect of the world. Her career is going nowhere, because her boss hates her, and she’s looking for a way out since quitting is not an option. When a way out comes her way Rachel jumps at the chance, and further complicates her life.
Dead Witch Walking  has a rich, vibrant, diverse cast of characters. Rachel the witch is fun and quirky, quick thinking even if she does get herself into more trouble than any one person should. Her roommate Ivy is a living vampire, she sleek and sexy and very damaged. She’s strong, and yet vulnerable. Jenks is a pixie with horde of children. He’s snarky and protective, and even though he’s tiny he’s not one to be underestimated. And the one to keep an eye one, Trent the dirty businessman and drug lord who may or may not be human.
The story is captivating from beginning to end. The plot tight, and a whole lot of fun. There are plenty of twists and turns to keep the reader guessing, from here there are plenty of opportunities for further stories.


Copyright © 2013 Something to Muse About and Blogger Templates - Anime OST.