Can’t Wait Wednesday: Soul Taken by Patricia Briggs

So happy to see a new Mercy Thompson urban fantasy coming in March 2022!

Can’t Wait Wednesday is hosted by Tressa at Wishful Endings. This is a weekly meme to spotlight and discuss the books we’re excited about that we have yet to read. The books I choose aren’t released yet and usually won’t be published for at least two or three months. So I have a while to wait!

I love finding out about books set to publish in future months and I like to share my excitement about the books. I also like to find out about new books on other people’s blogs and hope they’ll sometimes find something to look forward to on my blog.

I’m excited to read . . .

Soul Taken

by Patricia Briggs

Series: Mercy Thompson #13

Published by Ace

Publishing date: March 8

Genre: Urban Fantasy

352 pages

Synopsis: The vampire Wulfe is missing. Since he’s deadly, possibly insane, and his current idea of “fun” is stalking Mercy, some may see it as no great loss. But when he disappears, the Tri-Cities pack is blamed. The mistress of the vampire seethe informs Mercy that the pack must produce Wulfe to prove their innocence, or the loose alliance between the local vampires and werewolves is over.

So Mercy goes out to find her stalker—and discovers more than just Wulfe have disappeared. Someone is taking people from locked rooms, from the aisles of stores, and even from crowded parties. And these are not just ordinary people but supernatural beings. Until Wulfe vanished, all of them were powerless loners, many of whom quietly moved to the Tri-Cities in the hope that the safety promised by Mercy and Adam’s pack would extend to them as well.

Who is taking them? As Mercy investigates, she learns of the legend of the Harvester, who travels by less-trodden paths and reaps the souls that are ripe with a great black scythe. . . .

………………………..

I’ve been reading Patricia Briggs fantasy since before she started writing the Mercy Thompson books. I’m always happy to have one of her books to look forward to. I love the covers of her books, too!

Review: The Cloud Roads by Martha Wells

the-cloud-roads

The Cloud Roads
by Martha Wells
Series: The Books of the Raksura, Book 1
Genre: Fantasy
Published by Night Shade Books, 2011
Ebook, Purchased
278 pages
Grade: A-
Synopsis: Moon has spent his life hiding what he is — a shape-shifter able to transform himself into a winged creature of flight. An orphan with only vague memories of his own kind, Moon tries to fit in among the tribes of his river valley, with mixed success. Just as Moon is once again cast out by his adopted tribe, he discovers a shape-shifter like himself… someone who seems to know exactly what he is, who promises that Moon will be welcomed into his community. What this stranger doesn’t tell Moon is that his presence will tip the balance of power… that his extraordinary lineage is crucial to the colony’s survival… and that his people face extinction at the hands of the dreaded Fell! Now Moon must overcome a lifetime of conditioning in order to save himself… and his newfound kin.

Moon had been almost killed too many times to develop an aversion to anything.

and

“…Look, you either trust me or you don’t–”

“I don’t, Moon said, frustrated.

“You’re such a cynical bastard. You’re going to fit right in at home.”

Cheers

  • I love this book. I’m not sure what chord it hit for me, but I devoured the book! It was a joy to read.
  • I love the cover!
  • Moon is a great character. He’s just trying to get by. His family was all killed when he was a child. He’s a shape-shifter and has never found another like himself so he’s not sure if he’s the only one left. He tries to fit into the Grounder communities he finds, but always ultimately gives himself away and has to leave.
  • Moon is a very solitary character. He’s an orphan and no one he meets really understands him–because he can’t show who he really is. Then he discovers he’s a Raksura and quite an important one, but this doesn’t bring the universal happiness he would think he’d find.
  • The other Raksura he meets are a mix of characters. The society is very stratified. Each group has their own tasks and they don’t mix too much between groups.
  • The Fell are such interesting and frightening enemies. I want to find out more about them in the next books.
  • I like the world building. The world is detailed. We don’t know how this world got the way it did, but everyone is just trying to survive–and stay away from the Fell. It’s peopled with a vast variety of sentient creatures.
  • The way the different societies we see in this world have developed is very interesting.

Jeers

  • I was a little put off by the Raksura using their claws to climb walls! I don’t like spiders or lizards that can climb my walls. But the Raksura are so awesome every other way I just put that behind me…LOL.

And a few thoughts . . .

  • I’ve had this book awhile and I’m so glad I finally read it. I’m looking forward to the next books and reading other books by Martha Wells.
  • The next two books in this series are already out–Yay! And Stories of the Raksura, Vol 1: The Falling World & The Story of Indigo and Cloud just came out this week.

Have you read this book? How did you like it?

 

Review: Bloodshifted by Cassie Alexander

bloodshifted

Bloodshifted
by Cassie Alexander
Series: Edie Spence #5
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Published by St. Martin Paperbacks, 2014
Ebook, Purchased
304 pages
Grade: B
Synopsis: Ambushed. Blindfolded. Kidnapped by vampires. Edie Spence must race against time to save herself and her baby—from the nightmare that flows through her veins…

As a nurse in the hospital’s secret Y4 ward, Edie has seen her share of daytimers. Once-ordinary humans who’ve tasted vampire blood, daytimers are doomed to serve their nighttime masters. Forever. And now Edie has to face something even more horrifying: she’s become one too…

Abducted by the vampire, Raven, Edie is taken to the catacombs beneath the Catacombs, an ironically-named L.A. night club that supplies fresh blood and other favors for its vampire Masters. Edie has no intention of swapping her nurse’s uniform for a cocktail dress—not when her newborn infant needs her. But if she and Asher—her shapeshifter fiancé—can’t figure out a way to bleed Raven’s power, they may never get out of this plasma-soaked pleasure palace…undead or alive.

Maybe being a daytimer meant getting to eat all the hamburgers you wanted, hooray.

Cheers

  • This book begins where the last book ended and everything which happened in that book is the reason for this book.
  • The world building is quite original in this series and I enjoy each new book.
  • Edie needs to figure out why Raven agreed to take her on as daytimer. She also discovers lots is happening among this group of vampires and daytimers. She needs to figure out about that, too.
  • Edie found out she was pregnant near the end of the last book. That ups the stakes for her since she needs to protect her baby from the vampires and daytimers.
  • Edie is able to find some empathy for some of the daytimers she interacts with–even though she doesn’t trust any of them.

Jeers

  • We don’t get a series ending which I’m unhappy about. The book has a satisfying ending, but is written with at least one more book in mind so it leaves lots of questions not answered.

And a few thoughts . . .

  • I’m so sad this seems to be the last Edie Spence book. I really like the series. I guess it doesn’t have a big enough fan base. 😦
  • From checking Ms. Alexander’s blog, she is writing other fiction. She has two erotica books available now and is working on a YA series.

Have you read this book? How did you like it?

Review: Deadshifted by Cassie Alexander

Deadshifted
Deadshifted

 

 

 

Deadshifted
by Cassie Alexander
Series: Edie Spence, Book 4
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Published by St. Martin’s Paperbacks, 2013
E-book, Purchased
304 pages
Grade: B+
Synopsis: Edie Spence just wanted a vacation. A nice, relaxing, stress free, non-adventure away from the craziness that’s dominated her life since becoming a nurse for paranormal creatures. But from the start, her trip on the Maraschino, a cruise ship bound for Hawaii, has been anything but stress free, especially when Edie’s boyfriend Asher recognizes someone he used to know. Someone from his not-so-nice past. With their lives in the balance, will Edie and Asher be able to save their growing family or will this adventure be their end?

I’d always wanted to think that love could heal anything. But I realized lying there, eyes closed, listening to Asher breathe, that really love is what happens when you find out that it can’t.

Likes

  • This series continues to surprise me. I’m not quite sure where it’s going from one book to the next.
  • I like the characters we meet in this book. Some are quite mysterious.
  • I like Asher and Edie as a couple, but I don’t know if they will stay a couple. It’s good Edie has no illusions about Asher and what he was, because I’m not sure how much he can really change his life.
  • This book cements my plan not to go on a cruise…LOL.
  • Asher and Edie have had seven happy months together before this book begins. I guess that’s all they can expect! They should know their life won’t be apple pie and roses forever.
  • Perhaps since she and Edie are both nurses the books revolve around medical issues Edie must solve–even on a cruise! Ms. Alexander doesn’t shy away from gory scenes.
  • The end of book is a surprise.

Dislikes

  • This story ends, but isn’t complete…there’s a cliffhanger…and I want that next book now! The fifth book comes out in July 2014 so I guess I don’t have too long to wait, but I really want it now. I’m glad I didn’t read this book as soon as it came out last December.

Thoughts

  • This series is a favorite of mine and this book certainly doesn’t change that. A very good part of the series. I can’t wait for July!

Have you read this book? How did you like it?

  • I’m putting this book in a square of the Book Bingo Challenge.

Review: The Silvered by Tanya Huff

I’ve had this book for several months so I’m counting it as a TBR book in the TBR Pile Reading Challenge and fantasy square in the Book Bingo Challenge.

the-silvered

 

The Silvered
by Tanya Huff
Series: None as of yet
Genre: Fantasy
Published by Daw, 2012
E-book, Purchased
454 pages
Grade: B
Synopsis: The Empire has declared war on the small, were-ruled kingdom of Aydori, capturing five women of the Mage-Pack, including the wife of the were Pack-leader. With the Pack off defending the border, it falls to Mirian Maylin and Tomas Hagen—she a low-level mage, he younger brother to the Pack-leader—to save them. Together the two set out on the kidnappers’ trail, racing into the heart of enemy territory. With every step the odds against them surviving and succeeding soar….

 

He wouldn’t have been able to stop himself from pressing his lips against the top of her head had her hair not been so disgusting.

What worked for me:

  • Lots of action
  • The kingdom of Aydori is interesting with the were ruling and a very definite rule of manners similar to Regency England.
  • I liked the characters–especially Mirian. Mirian is dertermined to do the right thing against all odds.
  • Reiter was a good character–trying be a stoic military officer “just following orders.”
  • By telling this story from both sides of the war I could empathize with soldiers on both side…which made for lots of suspense.

What didn’t work for me:

  • Almost too much suspense.
  • It was hard to have so many characters I’d barely begun to know and like die.
  • The ending didn’t work for me.
  • I would like Tanya Huff to write some more books set in this world!

My thoughts:

So far Tanya Huff is saying she has no plans for a series or even a sequel. Even though the suspense was almost too much at times and the ending didn’t quite work for me I would love to read more about this world and the characters.

I like Tanya Huff’s books a lot and though I didn’t love this book I really liked many of the characters and the world. I hope she writes some more in this world. Have you read any of Tanya Huff’s books?

Review: Magic Rises by Ilona Andrews

Magic-Rises_mdMagic Rises
by Ilona Andrews
Series: Kate Daniels series, #6
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Published by Ace, 2013
e-book, purchased
355 pages
Grade: A
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…

» » » » » » » » »

Outside the windows the day was bright: golden sunshine, blue sky, pleasant wind … I wanted to punch the happy day in the face, grab it by the hair, and beat it until it told me what the hell it was so happy about.

What I like about this book:

  • Kate begins to doubt herself and all she believes, but she stays true to the things she believes in and this is ultimately her greatest strength.
  • Kate realizes in this book how alone she is among all the shapeshifters and then that she’s not alone at all…she’s Pack.
  • Each book moves the overall arc along, but is also completely satisfying and complete.

What I don’t like:

  • I can’t think of anything!

» » » » » » » » »

My thoughts: 

This is such a good series. All the books are interesting and exciting.

» » » » » » » » »

Have you read this book? What did you think of it?

Review: Gunmetal Magic by Ilona Andrews

gunmetal-magicGunmetal Magic
by Ilona Andrews
Series: Kate Daniels series, #5.5; Kate Daniels World, #1
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Published by Ace, 2012
e-book, purchased
326 pages
Grade: A-
Synopsis: Some people have everything figured out—Andrea Nash is not one of those people. After being kicked out of the Order of the Knights of Merciful Aid, Andrea’s whole existence is in shambles. All she can do is try to put herself back together, something made easier by working for Cutting Edge, a small investigative firm owned by her best friend, Kate Daniels.

When several shapeshifters working for Raphael Medrano—the male alpha of the Clan Bouda, as well as Andrea’s former lover—die unexpectedly at a dig site, Andrea is assigned to investigate…and must work with Raphael. As her search for the killer leads her into the secret underbelly of supernatural Atlanta, Andrea knows that dealing with her feelings for Raphael might have to take a back seat to saving the world…

» » » » » » » » »

How is it that I could run into a gunfight against overwhelming odds and put myself between bullets and civilians, but I couldn’t scrape together enough courage to speak to the one person who mattered the most to me?

What I like about this book:

  • It was good to see this world (and Kate) from a different point of view.
  • Andrea is a great character. Learning more about her backstory shows why she makes decisions about her life. And how she changes during the course of the book–how she has to learn to live with the fact she’s beastkin.
  • Raphael and Andrea are a good couple. Some of their behavior made me laugh and lightened up the book. The romance between the two of them is wonderful!
  • The reasons for spoiling Clan Bouda children–few of them grow to adulthood.
  • The characteristics of Clan Bouda–especially the excited or nervous laughter.
  • Aunt B is a great character as the alpha of Clan Bouda. Andrea’s interactions with Aunt B are pretty funny and give insight into both of their characters and the job of the alpha.

What I don’t like:

  • I guess I would say I don’t like that it took me so long to start this book since I thought I didn’t want to read about Andrea!

» » » » » » » » »

My thoughts: 

I didn’t want to read about Andrea. I wanted more about Kate and Curran! I ended up really liking this book and liking the different viewpoint in the Kate Daniels world.

» » » » » » » » »

  • Gunmetal Magic also has Magic Gifts, a Kate Daniels series (#5.4) novella at the end of the magic-giftsbook. The novella is about 100 pages and I liked having a bit of Kate and Curran to read.
  • I  gave it a B+, because while the story is great I wished I had read it before Gunmetal Magic since the action in the novella happens before or at the beginning of Gunmetal Magic.
    • From some of the events in the novella it seemed more time should have passed before Gunmetal Magic takes place.
    • However, it was evident to me that the events in Gunmetal Magic–Andrea investigating the deaths of several of Clan Bouda’s shapeshifters–occur because of the investigation by Kate and Curran in Magic Gifts.
  • I do like the story though and was happy it was included with Gunmetal Magic. Oh, and I really like the cover which is shown at Goodreads! This is how I picture Kate!

» » » » » » » » »

Review: Magic Slays by Ilona Andrews

magic-slaysMagic Slays
by Ilona Andrews
Series: Kate Daniels series, #5
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Published by Ace, 2011
e-book, purchased
308 pages
Grade: A-
Synopsis: 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 . . .

» » » » » » » » »

“Yes I can,” Curran snarled. “Listen: this is me telling you what you will not do.”
I raised the cookbook and tapped him on the nose. Bad cat.”

What I like about this book:

  • The relationship between Kate and Curran. They’re learning to be a couple and that living together isn’t always easy for two solitary and stubborn people. But it’s worthwhile because they both love and like each other. It helps they both have a sense of humor.
  • I like the mystery and investigation.
  • Each book moves the story arc a little further along as we learn more about Kate and Curran and others in the books.
  • The characters are all individuals and interesting. They change and grow as the series goes forward.
    • Kate is no longer with the Order of Merciful Aid and has started her own business–and it’s not instantly a success.
    • Andrea–Kate’s friend–is and has been going through her own crises.
    • Julie–Kate’s ward–is growing up and doesn’t want to be kept safe at school.

What I don’t like:

  • I don’t have any quibbles really–except maybe that the titles all starting with “Magic” become confusing!

» » » » » » » » »

My thoughts: 

This spring when I was seeing when and what the new Kate Daniels new book would be I realized I hadn’t read this book. I read it last spring and recently realized I hadn’t reviewed it either! And it’s not because it’s a forgettable book–I really liked it!

» » » » » » » » »

Have you read this book? What did you think of it?

Written in Red: A Novel of the Others by Anne Bishop

Written in Red
by Anne Bishop
Series: A Novel of the Others, book 1
Genre: Fantasy
Published by: Roc Hardcover, 2013
E-book, purchased
448 pages
Grade: A-
Synopsis: As a cassandra sangue, or blood prophet, Meg Corbyn can see the future when her skin is cut—a gift that feels more like a curse. Meg’s Controller keeps her enslaved so he can have full access to her visions. But when she escapes, the only safe place Meg can hide is at the Lakeside Courtyard—a business district operated by the Others.

Shape-shifter Simon Wolfgard is reluctant to hire the stranger who inquires about the Human Liaison job. First, he senses she’s keeping a secret, and second, she doesn’t smell like human prey. Yet a stronger instinct propels him to give Meg the job. And when he learns the truth about Meg and that she’s wanted by the government, he’ll have to decide if she’s worth the fight between humans and the Others that will surely follow.

……………………………..

I read the Black Jewel books by Anne Bishop ten years or so ago. I thought they were very good, but her books have kind of fallen off my radar since then.  When I saw she was beginning a new series I was interested and I finally bought the book last week and read it quickly. For me this is fantasy at its best–fast paced, heroic characters, evil doers, good world building.

The world Ms. Bishop has built is very imaginative…the culture of the Others, the human government, the world of the cassandra sangue. We find out quite a bit about the Others and the human government. The world of the cassandra sangue is still somewhat mysterious.

“A Brief History of the World” at the beginning of the book sets the tone as it talks of humans:

They learned to build fires and shelters. They learned to farm and build cities….They bred and spread throughout their pieces of the world until they pushed into the wild places. That’s when they discovered that Namid’s other offspring already claimed the rest of the world.

The Others looked at humans and did not see conquerors. They saw a new kind of meat.

….

There is still sharp-toothed tolerance on one side and fear of what walks in the dark on the other. But if they are careful, the humans survive.

Most of the time, they survive.

In some of the cities built by humans the Others have Courtyards–fenced parks where they live in the cities and observe humans. Even though humans have populated settlements and cities it’s the Others who control everything and only allow humans to live because they like some of the things humans create. The Others have a moral code they expect the humans to follow. If the humans step out of line they find swift justice.

When this book opens Meg Corbyn is on the run during a fierce snowstorm. The reader gradually learns about Meg’s life before her escape. She’s a cassandra sangue or blood prophet. Her life has always been very cloistered. She lived with other blood prophets and had no freedom. They watched training images so they could identify images in their prophecies and their prophecies make lots of money for their owners.

They weren’t allowed to actually experience life and they were told it was for their own safety, but Meg managed to escape. She knows she has to find shelter from the storm and escape from her pursuers. She finds herself outside one of the Courtyards, realizes human law doesn’t apply inside the Courtyard and that they’re advertising for a human liaison. She gets the job and is at least temporarily safe from the humans.

Meg has never been free in her life and now she relishes her new life in the Courtyard even though there are so many things she doesn’t know how to do. She’s great at observing others though and learns that way. There is a naive innocence about her that the Others respond to. However, Simon Wolfgard who’s in charge of the Lakeside Courtyard realized Meg was hiding something when he hired her and he’s even more puzzled by her since she doesn’t smell like prey as other humans do. He isn’t sure she should be allowed to stay, but she does a great job as a liaison between the humans delivering mail to the Courtyard and the Others receiving their mail.

She meets many different types of Others and discovers some of their secrets, but she’s just glad to have some freedom and some friends. I thought a good touch was that the Others have taken on some of the characteristics of the animals they mimic. For instance, the Ravens like sparkly things!

Even though Meg is now safe inside the Courtyard the people looking for her to return her to her owners haven’t given up. She’s property and worth a great deal of money. A number of attempts are made to retrieve her. From the very beginning of the book Asia Crane shows she has an agenda of her own. She wanted the human liaison job and isn’t pleased when Meg is hired. Asia was hired by a mysterious person she calls Bigwig to find out the Others’ secrets and she tries to seduce Simon, but he instinctively doesn’t like or trust her. However, the Others don’t really understand human motivations very well and don’t take her very seriously.

Even though Meg is naive she has good instincts and her innocence and good will are noted by the Others. One of the outcomes of Meg’s introduction into the Courtyard is that the Others begin to see at least some humans as individuals.

This is a great beginning to a new series. Unfortunately,  the publishing date for the next book isn’t until next March 😦