Review: A Matter of Propriety and Parasites by Claire Robyns

a-matter-of-propriety-and-parasitesA Matter of Propriety and Parasites
by Claire Robyns
Series: Dark Matters, book 2
Genre: Steampunk
Published by: Claire Robyns
E-book
294 pages
Grade: B+
Synopsis: Lady Lily has embraced her destiny and shredded her reputation. She’s done with straddling two worlds and losing in both. With so much at stake, her standing in society is the least of her problems. Or so she thought.

Demons walk among us…
 
Demons are infiltrating the London Court and cozying up to the Queen. Too late, Lily learns the price of throwing propriety to the wind when she must return to the influential circles of London and the stiff cuff of society.
 
But with the pious Queen Victoria on the throne, that won’t be possible until she salvages her reputation with a marriage of convenience. Or, as Lily prefers to think of it, a temporary rearrangement of her personal situation.

………………………………………..

I liked this book quite a bit more than the first book. I got to know the characters better and the series settled into what it is…a steampunk demon hunting setting. The books have some romantic elements, but at least at this point this isn’t a romance. And I’m fine with that. I like the focus of the book on hunting the demons and trying to figure out what they are doing in our world.

This book begins shortly after the first book ended. Lily and Kelen are still in Scotland. Grey left at the end of the first book, but he returns and the three of them work together to try to defeat the demons. McAllister’s family have worked for generations to defeat the demons and send them back to their own world once and for all. Lily has learned more about her abilities…her visions are actually an ability to see the demons. She has learned to focus her abilities somewhat. In one of her visions she sees a demon conversing with Queen Victoria and is immediately worried about her friends and her aunt who are in London where this demon apparently is.

Lily immediately wants to go to London to make sure her loved ones are safe. So far she has managed to keep her aunt from being too suspicions about her whereabouts, but speculation is now rampant in London. Grey and Kelen decide she needs to get married and the question is which of them will she marry. By the end of the book she is married to one of them…but in name only!

I like the characters in this book now that I know them and understand their motivations better. Lily’s mother died when Lily was just a teenager and this scarred Lily and made her afraid to take chances. Now that she knows why her mother died she has come to terms with it and has also discovered her own strength and bravery. She is determined to protect those she loves.

Grey was also scarred as a child. His mother died giving birth to him and his father hated him all his life. Grey loved his brother, but feels he was the reason his brother died, since his brother was traveling to see him when his boat capsized. He feels he puts the people he loves in danger.

Kelen was trained from an early age to fight demons. That’s what McAllisters do. He’s unswerving in his purpose and doesn’t really have time for other people. His goal is to save people from demons, but not necessarily each individual.

I would like to learn more about the demons…is their only motivation to kill humans? It seems to be more. There are hints they are working together. Why do they feel the need to leave their own world/dimension? Are they totally evil or is it more nuanced than that? They seem to have no problem killing humans and on a mass scale at times. But they also seem intelligent and able to scheme.

I have questions that I hope are answered in the next book. How will Lily, Grey and Kelen McAllister work together and deal with each other? Another character is introduced late in the book…Mrs. Georgina Bonnington. What is her role going to be? It seems likely the demons have some sort of scheme, but what is it? A Matter of Desire and Dirigibles is the third book in the Dark Matters series, but there is no publication date yet.

Sunday Post–July 21

The Sunday Post is a meme hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer.

A look back at my last week and forward to the next week:

 

Last Week

While on vacation

We’ve spent this week in Seattle and the weather has been beautiful…in the 80’s during the day and 50’s at night. We’ve wandered around the city, sampling food, shops, theaters and other delights. Our daughter went rock climbing with her cousin and aunt. They had a great time. We strolled through the Japanese Gardens while they did that!

Lots of theater while we were in Seattle…two Gilbert and Sullivan operettas and an outdoor performance of The Tempest!

Blog

Sunday Post–July 14

Quote-Tastic…from Fair Game by Patricia Briggs

Review: Fair Game and Frost Burned by Patricia Briggs

Book read

Death Masks by Jim Butcher

What I’m reading

The Proposal by Mary Balogh

E-books bought

None! Wow…I didn’t buy any books this week!

Downloaded from Sync

Grave Mercy

Hamlet

Around the web

The Sync free downloads for this week (July 18 – July 24)

July 18 – July 24, 2013
Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers, read by Erin Moon (Recorded Books)
Hamlet by William Shakespeare, read by a Full Cast (L.A. Theatre Works)

Next Week

On vacation

I don’t have any posts set up for next week. Maybe I will get one or two done. We are heading down the Washington coast toward Oregon and will spend the next week in Oregon…mostly at the beach. A  day in the Cascade mountains.

Posts on the blog

Review: A Matter of Propriety and Parasites by Claire Robyns

Review: Fair Game and Frost Burned by Patricia Briggs

I read both of these books in March and they are by the same author so I’m going to review them together.

Fair Game
by Patricia Briggs
Series: Alpha & Omega, Book 3
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Published by: Ace, 2012
E-book, purchased
304 pages
Grade: A
Synopsis: It is said that opposites attract. And in the case of werewolves Anna Latham and Charles Cornick, they mate. The son—and enforcer—of the leader of the North American werewolves, Charles is a dominant Alpha. While Anna, an Omega, has the rare ability to calm others of her kind.

When the FBI requests the pack’s help on a local serial-killer case, Charles and Anna are sent to Boston to join the investigation. It soon becomes clear that someone is targeting the preternatural. And now Anna and Charles have put themselves right in the killer’s sights…

…………

frost_burned_bigFrost Burned
by Patricia Briggs
Series: Mercy Thompson, Book 7
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Published by: Ace, 2013
E-book, purchased
352 pages
Grade: A
Synopsis: Mercy Thompson’s life has undergone a seismic change. Becoming the mate of Adam Hauptman—the charismatic Alpha of the local werewolf pack—has made her a stepmother to his daughter Jesse, a relationship that brings moments of blissful normalcy to Mercy’s life. But on the edges of humanity, what passes for a minor mishap on an ordinary day can turn into so much more…

After an accident in bumper-to-bumper traffic, Mercy and Jesse can’t reach Adam—or anyone else in the pack for that matter. They’ve all been abducted.

Through their mating bond, all Mercy knows is that Adam is angry and in pain. With the werewolves fighting a political battle to gain acceptance from the public, Mercy fears Adam’s disappearance may be related—and that he and the pack are in serious danger. Outclassed and on her own, Mercy may be forced to seek assistance from any ally she can get, no matter how unlikely.

…………

These books both take place in the same world, but with different main characters. With both these books we are well into this world and these series and these characters. I’m not going to talk too much about the stories because if you haven’t read these series you need to begin at the beginning…mainly because you’re in for a real treat and have lots of great stories to read. But also these stories have an overall story arc as well as a complete story in each book.

Fair Game: The Alpha & Omega series is the newer series and features the werewolves Anna and Charles who are mates. This is the third book in the series and my favorite in this series so far. Anna and Charles travel to Boston to assist the FBI in finding a serial killer. The story is a good one and the relationship between Anna and Charles feels so real. Anna keeps Charles grounded, but he has shut her out emotionally because he’s his father’s enforcer. Every time he has to enforce the werewolf laws (sometimes having to kill a werewolf) he shuts down a little more.

This book is about finding the serial killer, interactions between the federal agents and the supernatural world, and Anna and Charles finding their way in their relationship. Helping the FBI in Boston seems like it will be a break from Charles’s usual work. However, this serial killer is targeting the preternatural. This isn’t exactly a vacation for Anna and Charles! This book also moves the story arc in the series in some surprising ways.

Frost Burned: These two stories are connected. This book (book 7 in the Mercy Thompson series) takes place several months after Fair Game ends and there have been a number of ramifications from the events which occurred in Fair Game.

While she’s shopping with her stepdaughter Jesse, Mercy realizes through their mating bond that Adam is angry and in pain. Mercy has to figure out what has happened to Adam and the pack. Again, the relationship between the main characters Mercy and Adam is very special. They love each other, Jesse and the werewolf pack. They are friends and they compliment each other. They help each other and their friends. Each are hurt in different ways, but they save each other. Mercy is a tough, competent woman and though she’s been through a lot both in this book and previous books she endures and comes back stronger. But she doesn’t do it alone. She has friends and loved ones who care about her just as she cares about them. That’s one of the things I enjoy about both these series–the relationships between the characters.

It’s hard for me to pick a favorite author or series, but Patricia Briggs is certainly in my top 5!

Quote-Tastic…from Fair Game by Patricia Briggs

This is a meme hosted by the herding cats & burning soup blog.

Just pick a quote and the book it came from. Then add your link at the above blog.

The quote this week is from Fair Game by Patricia Briggs. I am reviewing this book and Frost Burned both by Patricia Briggs later in the week. The main characters in this series are Anna and Charles who are both werewolves and are mated. Charles has been hiding his emotions from Anna, because he fears she will turn against him if she finds out what he truly is.

Then why are you hiding your ghosts from her? Brother Wolf said.

Because I am afraid, Charles answered his brother, as he would have answered no one else. He had lived a very long time, and only since he gained Anna had he learned to fear. He’d discovered that he had never been brave before–just indifferent. She had taught him that to be brave, you have to fear losing something. I am afraid I will lose her. That they will take her from me–or that I will drive her away when she sees what I really am.

….Charles couldn’t remember the fae’s exact words, but he felt them. People as old and powerful as he should never be given someone to love.

For Anna he would destroy the world.

Check back on Thursday for my review of Fair Game and Frost Burned. Charles and Anna are great characters!

Sunday Post–July 14

The Sunday Post is a meme hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer.

A look back at my last week and forward to the next week:

 

Last Week

Around the House

We’ve had a week at home which has been great, but I have a list a mile long to get done before we leave on our West Coast trip. I think I have to decide what really needs to get done…

Blog

Sunday Post–July 7

Quote-Tastic…from Summer Knight by Jim Butcher

Review: Summer Knight by Jim Butcher

Book read

A Matter of Propriety and Parasites (Dark Matters, book 2) by Claire Robyns

What I’m reading

Death Masks by Jim Butcher

 

 

E-books bought

Bronze Gods (An Apparatus Infernum Novel) by A. A. Aguirre

Royal Street (Sentinels of New Orleans) by Suzanne Johnson

The Newcomer (Thunder Point) by Robyn Carr

In the Thrill of the Night (The Merry Widows) by Candice Hern

The Story Guy by Mary Ann Rivers (novella)

Death Masks: Dresden Files, Book 5 by Jim Butcher (from library)

The Proposal by Mary Balogh (from library)

The Underland Chronicles #1: Gregor the Overlander by Suzanne Collins

Around the web

The Sync free downloads for this week (July 4 – July 10)

July 11 – July 17, 2013
The Peculiar by Stefan Bachmann, read by Peter Altschuler (HarperAudio)
Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens, read by Simon Vance (Tantor Audio)

Next Week

Around the house

I won’t be too active for the next couple of weeks since my family and I will be traveling and some of those places won’t have internet. Plus my family probably want me to spend time with them!

However, I plan to have a few posts set up to publish during the next couple of weeks.

Posts on the blog

  • Quote-Tastic
  • Review: Fair Game and Frost Burned by Patricia Briggs
  • Sunday Post

Review: Summer Knight by Jim Butcher

This is the first book I’ve read by Shelley Adina–sorry…this book is by Jim Butcher(!) and it’s listed with the Literary Escapism blog for the 2013 New Author Challenge.

SummerKnightSummer Knight
by Jim Butcher
Series: Dresden Files, book 4
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Published by: Roc
E-book, from library
388 pages
Grade: B+
Synopsis: Ever since his girlfriend left town to deal with her newly acquired taste for blood, Harry Dresden has been down and out in Chicago. He can’t pay his rent. He’s alienating his friends. He can’t even recall the last time he took a shower.

The only professional wizard in the phone book has become a desperate man.

And just when it seems things can’t get any worse, in saunters the Winter Queen of Faerie. She has an offer Harry can’t refuse if he wants to free himself of the supernatural hold his faerie godmother has over him — and hopefully end his run of bad luck. All he has to do is find out who murdered the Summer Queen’s right-hand man, the Summer Knight, and clear the Winter Queen’s name.

It seems simple enough, but Harry knows better than to get caught in the middle of faerie politics. Until he finds out that the fate of the entire world rests on his solving this case.

………………………………………..

I watched the Dresden Files when it was on the SciFi channel several years ago. I was sad when it was cancelled after the first season. I’ve been wanting to read this series for several years, but just hadn’t quite found the right time. When I saw some of the books were available as e-books from my library I knew it was a sign! Even though this is the fourth book in the series I’ve read it first because it was available first!

Even though this was the fourth book I didn’t have a problem picking up the threads of the book…perhaps because I had watched the TV show which has some of the same characters and aspects of the book. Things that happened earlier to Harry Dresden and other characters are referred to and I hope to go back and read the earlier books.

This book opens with a rain of toads which Harry and his friend Billy the werewolf are checking out. Harry needs to find out if the toads are magical or real. If they are real it’s more of a problem…showing that things are out of whack with the world. He does figure out the toads are real and also manages to survive an assassination attempt. All that in the first few pages!

Harry has to deal with the White Council (the wizards’ council) and the Faeries. He doesn’t want to deal with either, but quickly finds he has little choice. He also realizes he’s going to have a hard time coming out of this alive…both the Council and the Faeries threaten to kill him if he doesn’t succeed in finding the Summer Knight’s killer and clear the Winter Queen.

My Thoughts: I like urban fantasy with a strong main character, engaging supporting characters and a good mystery. Summer Knight has all these. I like Harry even when he’s depressed and sad at his inability to help his girlfriend (former girlfriend?) who was hurt in an earlier book. Harry has a strong set of ethics and tries to follow what he thinks is the right way even when it’s not the easy way. Not everyone likes him and a number of people think he’s dangerous and out-of-control. He doesn’t let that stop him from doing what he thinks he has to. However, he doesn’t take himself too seriously and has a great sense of the absurd. He’s very human.

I slammed the doors open a little harder than I needed to, stalked out to the Blue Beetle, and drove away with all the raging power the ancient four-cylinder engine could muster. Behold the angry wizard puttputt-putting away.

….I growled at myself. “Stop whining, Harry,” I said in a firm, loud voice. “So what if you’re tired? So what if you’re hurt? So what if you smell like you’re already dead? You’re a wizard. You’ve got a job to do….”

He’s also smart enough to be afraid, but also knows he has to step in and try to save the people he cares about or who’ve volunteered to help him. He has no allusions about the danger Faeries represent.

I leaned against my door with my eyes closed, trying to think. I was scared. Not in that half-pleasant adrenaline-charged way, but quietly scared. Wait-on-the-results-of-the-medical-tests scared. It’s a rational sort of fear that puts a lawn chair down in the front of your thoughts and brings a cooler of drinks along with it.

I was working for the queen of wicked faeries–well, Queen of Winter, of the Unseelie faeries, at any rate. The Unseelie weren’t universally vicious and evil, any more than the Seelie, the Summer fae, were all kind and wise. They were much like the season for which they had been named–cold, beautiful, pitiless, and entirely without remorse. Only a fool would willingly associate with them.

He got tangled up with the Faeries in the past and hasn’t been able to completely untangle himself. That’s how the Queen of Winter has trapped him…that and other past actions on Harry’s part have brought him to his present predicament–working for the Queen. During his investigation he meets people from his past as well as changelings and faeries. He faces many dangers and doesn’t always know who to trust. The mystery of who killed the Summer Knight and why he was killed is a good one. The book is well-written, the characters are interesting and complex and the world building is excellent.

I plan to read more books in this series and am so happy there are lots available to read! The 14th book–Cold Days–was published last November and the next book Skin Game doesn’t have a publishing date yet.

Quote-Tastic–from Summer Knight by Jim Butcher

This is a meme hosted by the herding cats & burning soup blog.

Just pick a quote and the book it came from. Then add your link at the above blog.

SummerKnightThe quotes today are from the book I just finished…Summer Knight by Jim Butcher. This is the fourth book in this series, but the first one I’ve read from the series (It was what I could find at the library as an e-book!) I really liked this book and am definitely going to read more in the series.

There are many great quotes in this book. Harry Dresden is a private detective and a wizard. He has a very self-deprecating sense of humor.

For the first quote Harry and his friend Billy the werewolf are in a park checking out a rain of toads.

I started up the Beetle. It wheezed a little, but I coaxed it to life.

Just then something hit my hood with a hard, heavy thump. Then again. Another heavy blow, on the roof.

A feeling of dizziness swept over me, a nausea than came so suddenly and violently that I clutched the steering wheel in a simple effort not to collapse. Distantly, I could hear Billy asking me if I was all right. I wasn’t. Power moved and stirred in the air outside–hectic disruption, the forces of magic, usually moving in smooth and quiet patterns, suddenly cast into tumult, disruptive, maddening chaos.

Toads were raining down. Not occasionally plopping, but raining down so thick and hard that they darkened the sky.

I flipped on the windshield wipers. Amphibian blood left scarlet streaks on the cracked glass.

“Good Lord,” Billy breathed.

“Yeah.” I said. “It never rains, it pours.”

and after he meets with a client:

Maybe I’d been shut away in my lab too long, but Spenser never mentions that the Faerie Queen has a great ass.

So I notice these things. So sue me.

Sunday Post–July 7

The Sunday Post is a meme hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer.

A look back at my last week and forward to next week:

 

Last Week

Around the House

My older daughter and I drove to Chicago where we picked up my husband who flew to Chicago! We all drove to Iowa to visit my FIL and my younger daughter who is now living in Des Moines. We spent the weekend in Clinton, Iowa which is along the Mississippi. We’ve been having a great time…a minor league baseball game Friday evening, The Sound of Music (live theater) on Saturday night, a movie (Monsters University). My husband did yard work for his dad. The girls and I visited!

Blog

Sunday Post–June 30

Quote-Tastic–from Frost Burned by Patricia Briggs

July 2013 Books on My Radar

Review: A Matter of Circumstance and Celludrones by Claire Robyns

Book read

Summer Knight by Jim Butcher

E-books bought

The Trouble With Fate: A Mystwalker Novel by Leigh Evans

Rising Tides: The Chesapeake Bay Saga #2 by Nora Roberts

Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones

Stormdancer (The Lotus War) by Jay Kristoff

A Spear of Summer Grass by Deanna Raybourn

Around the web

The Sync free downloads for this week (July 4 – July 10)

July 4 – July 10, 2013
Carter Finally Gets It by Brent Crawford, read by Nick Podehl (Brilliance Audio)
She Stoops to Conquer by Oliver Goldsmith, read by a Full Cast (L.A. Theatre Works)

Next Week

Around the house

My husband and I fly home on Monday. Then we begin getting ready for our next trip…two weeks in Washington and Oregon! Our older daughter is going to be going to graduate school just south of Chicago so she has meetings at the school next week. Then she will drive back to Maryland in time to fly to the West Coast with us. Our other two kids are meeting us in Oregon a week later.

Posts on the blog

  • Quote-Tastic
  • Review: 
  • Sunday Post

Review: A Matter of Circumstance and Celludrones by Claire Robyns

This is the first book I’ve read by Shelley Adina and it’s listed with the Literary Escapism blog for the 2013 New Author Challenge.

A Matter of Circumstance and Celludrones
by Claire Robyns
Series: Dark Matters, book 1
Genre: Victorian Steampunk Paranormal
Published by: Claire Robyns, 2012
E-book, purchased
274 pages
Grade: B-
Synopsis: Lady Lily d’Bulier is prim, proper, and prefers to think of herself as pragmatic rather than timid. And avoiding life-threatening situations at all costs is just plain practical. But everything changes when Lord Adair tracks her down in London; searching for answers he seems to think she has.

Greyston Adair is a blackguard and a smuggler, although British Customs will have to catch him red-handed to prove the latter. Fortunately, the dirigibles they float around in have never been able to get near his air dust.

Hell is rising, One Demon at a Time…

With Lady Ostrich hunting them, and the mystery of how their lives tie back to Cragloden Castle and the powerful McAllister clan, Lily has no option but to throw propriety to the wind and run off with Greyston to Scotland, away from the immediate danger and toward possible answers.

………………………………………..

This book starts out conventionally. Maybe it’s a historical romance since it starts with a ball and a viscount, two earls and a marquis are present. Lady Lily is present, but doesn’t count herself as one of the debutantes since she’s already 21. Lily and two of her friends discuss the men present. One of her friends–Evelyn–is married (and a duchess) and since Evelyn’s marriage seems successful Lily decides she’d like to be married, too. She’s looking the men over with that in mind. Her aunt has decided she and Lily will leave for Bath and Lily doesn’t want to go. She wants more freedom than she gets from her aunt:

“…in this day and age, one would think a lady who’d reached the respectable age of twenty-one should be permitted to reside in her own home, with or without the presence of a chaperone.”

“There are–”

“If nothing else, Aunt’s latest whimsical has made up my mind. I’ll never be allowed an ounce of freedom until I acquire a husband.”

“But surely–”

“And that’s another thing.” Lily glared her friend down for the interruptions. “What does Aunt Beatrice mean by removing me from London when the season has only just begun? I was holding out for love, not for spinsterhood.”

“I rather think your aunt is achieving exactly what she meant to.”

While Lily is looking around the room for a likely husband she notices someone across the ballroom floor. She has seen him earlier outside her house. He was watching her house, then met up with a woman wearing ostrich feathers for her bonnet (Lady Ostrich) and after he and the woman talked for a few minutes he fainted. Lily doesn’t want to meet him since he seemed so strange.

He is introduced to Lily and her friend Evelyn by Lily’s aunt as Lord Greyston (Grey) Adair. He seems quite taken with Evelyn, Lily’s married friend, and asks her to dance. Lily is left alone with her aunt and suddenly has some sort of vision…the woman with the ostrich plumes is in the vision. We learn this isn’t the first vision Lily has had. She and her aunt had hoped the visions were gone. Thus the book begins the supernatural aspects.

After this the supernatural events begin to occur frequently as Lily, Evelyn and Lord Adair team up, have dangerous encounters with Lady Ostrich, many adventures and travel to Scotland to find answers. Lily discovers pretty much everything about herself she was told by her mother is a lie, but her mother is dead and can’t answer any questions. However, I don’t understand where Lily’s Aunt Beatrice fits into the book. She’s only in the beginning of the book, but I would have thought she knew more about Lily’s past. I don’t think that was addressed in this book.

Her mother died in an explosion in Scotland and it turns out Grey was at the same house party her mother was at. He knows things about her background, but has many secrets of his own. Lily, Evelyn and Grey travel to this estate in Scotland looking for answers. Evelyn goes along as a chaperone for Lily, but also because she is on the outs with her husband (much to her distress). The trip to Scotland doesn’t make that any better. The three of them face personal challenges as well as a great many dangerous situations.

I liked the steampunk elements in the book. The celludrones (like androids or robots) are mostly stupid machines, but somehow Lily and Grey both have very smart celludrones who are their personal servants. They’re important characters and have both unique personalities and useful characteristics. We learn more about their origins later in the book. Evelyn engages in “risque sports” riding things like a Peddapol or air paddler. Her husband objects to this since it’s dangerous and though Lily supports her friend she has to agree this sport seems pretty dangerous.

“Evie, that thing is flying. In the sky.”

Evelyn laughed softly. “What did you think air paddling was?”

“You can paddle air just as well a few inches above the ground while the wheels stay firmly on the the ground,” she retorted through a clenched jaw.

“What would be the point of that?”

“Oh, I don’t know,” Lily glared at her. “Not getting yourself killed?”

“It’s no more dangerous than hot air ballooning. You really mustn’t worry so, Lily, I promise you it’s safe. Ah, there’s William with the Pedallosopede.”

The above quote illustrates the differences between Lily (cautious) and Evelyn (bold). The reasons for Lily’s caution is discovered later in the book.

This is a self-published book and I think the author did a good job with the self-published aspects. I also thought it was a pretty good book plot-wise though I did feel a lot of the book was a set-up for the rest of the series. Not a lot is resolved in this book and there are lots of questions at the end of the book. I did buy the next book in the series and plan to read it, but haven’t started it yet.

July 2013 Books On My Radar

I have a few books I’m very excited about this month and then a few more I’m more on the fence about or that I will wait for a little longer!

July 9

I haven’t read the first book in this series, but it sounds great and I’ve heard good things about it so I hope to read both books sometime soon!

Raven_flightRaven Flight

by Juliet Marillier

Series: Shadowfell series, book 2

Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers

Genre: YA Fantasy

418 pages

Synopsis: Neryn has finally found the rebel group at Shadowfell, and now her task is to seek out the elusive Guardians, vital to her training as a Caller. These four powerful beings have been increasingly at odds with human kind, and Neryn must prove her worth to them. She desperately needs their help to use her gift without compromising herself or the cause of overthrowing the evil King Keldec.

Neryn must journey with the tough and steadfast Tali, who looks on Neryn’s love for the double agent Flint as a needless vulnerability. And perhaps it is. What Flint learns from the king will change the battlefield entirely—but in whose favor, no one knows.

……..

July 16

This is the first urban fantasy Susan Krinard has written. It sounds like it might be good. I will probably wait until I read some reviews before I decide to buy it.

Mist

by Susan Krinard

Series:

Published by Tor Books

Genre: Urban Fantasy

384 pages

Synopsis: Mist lives a normal life. She has a normal job, a normal boyfriend, and a normal apartment in San Francisco. She never thinks about her past if she can help it.

She survived. That’s the end of it.

But then a snowy winter descends upon San Francisco. In June. And in quick succession, Mist is attacked by a frost giant in a public park and runs into an elf disguised as a homeless person on the streets…and then the man Mist believed was her mortal boyfriend reveals himself to be the trickster god, Loki, alive and well after all these years.

Mist’s normal world is falling apart. But thankfully, Mist isn’t quite so normal herself. She’s a Valkyrie, and she’s going to need all her skill to thwart Loki’s schemes and save modern Earth from the ravages of a battle of the gods.

……

July 23

This anthology has some of my favorite authors so I’m definitely looking at this book.

carniepunkCarniepunk

by Rachel Caine, Jennifer Estep, Kevin Hearne, Seanan McGuire, Rob Thurman, Allison Pang, Kelly Gay, Delilah S. Dawson, Kelly Meding

Series: Anthology

Published by Gallery Books

Genre: Urban Fantasy

448 pages

Synopsis: Come one, come all! The Carniepunk Midway promises you every thrill and chill a traveling carnival can provide. But fear not! Urban fantasy’s biggest stars are here to guide you through this strange and dangerous world. . . .

……

July 30

This is one of my very favorite series and authors. I’ve preordered the book and can hardly wait!

Magic-Rises_mdMagic Rises

by Ilona Andrews

Series: Magic series, book 6

Published by Ace

Genre: Urban Fantasy

368 pages

Synopsis: Mercenary Kate Daniels and her mate, Curran, the Beast Lord, are struggling to solve a heartbreaking crisis. Unable to control their beasts, many of the Pack’s shapeshifting children fail to survive to adulthood. While there is a medicine that can help, the secret to its making is closely guarded by the European packs, and there’s little available in Atlanta.

Kate can’t bear to watch innocents suffer, but the solution she and Curran have found threatens to be even more painful. The European shapeshifters who once outmaneuvered the Beast Lord have asked him to arbitrate a dispute—and they’ll pay him in medicine. With the young people’s survival and the Pack’s future at stake, Kate and Curran know they must accept the offer—but they have little doubt that they’re heading straight into a trap…

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I’ve read the first book in this series and it was one of my favorites so far this year. I’ve already preordered this book.

a-time-of-dyingA Time of Dying

by Hailey Edwards

Series: Aranae Nation, book 3

Published by Samhain Publishing

Genre: Fantasy Romance

249 pages

Synopsis: Once the future Segestriidae maven, Kaidi lived a privileged life. Now she spends her nights haunting cities ravaged by the plague. Spade in hand, she stalks rows of freshly dug graves for corpses…and then she takes their heads.

Her new life is caked in blood and spattered with gore, but it’s hers. At least until—to her fury—she’s caught napping.

A plague survivor by the skin of his teeth, Murdoch risks his neck to solve the mysteries left in its wake. Bodies have gone missing. Guards have left their posts and never returned home.

When he rouses a female dozing among the dead, he’s unprepared for the violence of her response. Or his. Beneath the grime, she’s lovely. Too bad the blood under her fingernails belongs to his clansmen.

He has no choice but to follow this alluring creature deeper into her world of winged beasts and flesh-eating monsters. She holds the knowledge he craves, but the price is high—and they may both pay for it with their lives.

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This is the second book in this series. I just bought the first book–The Trouble With Fate–in the series so I don’t know how I’ll the series, but it sounds pretty good.

the-thing-about-weresThe Thing About Weres

by Leigh Evans

Series: Mystwalker #2

Published by St. Martin’s Press

Genre: Urban Fantasy

432 pages

Synopsis: In the never-ending saga that is my love-hate relationship with Robson Trowbridge, I, half-Were Hedi Peacock, have had a change of heart. Ever since I shoved Trowbridge through the Gates of Merenwyn, I’ve been the leader of the pack—hard to believe, right? The thing is: I’m half-Fae. So even though my Were side is ready to heed the call of the wild, the other part of me is desperate to take flight. And much as it pains me to admit it, life without Trowbridge is really starting to were me down…

To make matters worse, the wolves of Creemore want my blood—and the North American Council of Weres wants me dead. So I’m just counting the days until Trowbridge returns from the other realm…and comes to my brave rescue…and becomes my alpha mate. Wishful thinking? Of course it is. But given all the mess I’ve been through already, what’s the harm in doing a little bit of daisy-plucking? Besides, Trowbridge owes me bigtime. A girl can dream.

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I haven’t read anything by Dawn Metcalf, but the synopsis makes the book sound great.

Indelible

by Dawn Metcalf

Series: The Twixt

Published by Harlequin Teen

Genre: YA Fantasy

384 pages

Synopsis: Joy Malone learns this the night she sees a stranger with all-black eyes across a crowded room-right before the mystery boy tries to cut out her eye. Instead, the wound accidentally marks her as property of Indelible Ink, and this dangerous mistake thrusts Joy into an incomprehensible world-a world of monsters at the window, glowing girls on the doorstep and a life that will never be the same. Now Joy must pretend to be Ink’s chosen one-his helper, his love, his something for the foreseeable future…and failure to be convincing means a painful death for them both. Swept into a world of monsters, illusion, immortal honor and revenge, Joy discovers that sometimes, there are no mistakes.

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What books are you looking forward to this month? What books have I missed?