Tracey’s Week in Books – Week 9, 2013

 Edge of Dawn by Lara Adrian was the first book I read this week and what a great book it is, a worthy addition to the Midnight Breed series (see my 5 star review). I then dove straight into One Good earl Deserves a Lover by Sarah MacLean (full review) which I also really enjoyed, suffice to say 2 for 2 great books so far this week.

I next picked up a historical romance by an author I have never tried before – The Marriage Bed by Laura Guhrke. I’m giving this book a solid 3 stars. I enjoyed it, but it did take me a while to warm up to the hero, and the heroine was also a bit irritating at times.  Despite that, by the middle of the book I was rooting for them both, and ultimately the hero’s declaration at the end was just divine.

I initially followed that with Outcast by Rachel Caine, but quickly realised I really needed to complete the Weather Warden series first.  Although Outcast is part of a new series it does seem to contain spoilers about what was going on at the end of the Weather Warden books. Since I have about 3 books to go in the Weather Warden series I shelved this one after about 30 pages and will return to it at a later date.

I’m currently reading Serpents Kiss by Thea Harrison which is the third book in the Elder Races series, and I’m about halfway through, it is excellent so far – a review will follow in next weeks “Week in Books” I promise!


Tracey’s Week in Books is a regular blog post from Tracey, catching up on everything she’s read recently.

 

Recommendations: Sherrilyn Kenyon

Sherrilyn Kenyon is one of the pioneers of supernatural romance.  I’ve loved her work right from the first book I read and she remains one of my absolute favourite authors.  Her characterisations and stories are amazing and I have no idea how she keeps the plotline running through 19+ books but she does and and the results are outstanding.

So what do you do when you have devoured everything she has written?  Here are some recommendations for other authors in the same genre or with a similar style who I also love, and hopefully you might too!

J. R. Ward

Another author with a long running series, who has an amazing ability to bring her characters to life and into your hearts.  Features vampires, hot men and sassy women, who could ask for more?

The following authors also write supernatural romance/urban fantasy but they are not quite as epic in scope as Sherrilyn Kenyon or J. R. Ward.

Keri Arthur

Keri Arthur’s ‘Riley Jensen’ Series are a great addition to the genre, with a gutsy, sexy heroine who is half-werewolf, half-vampire.  The ‘Nikki and Michael’ vampire series has action as well as romance and the ‘Damask Circle Trilogy’ are definitely recommended reading too.

Patricia Briggs

For some werewolf love, Patricia Briggs brings the ‘Mercy Thompson’ Series to life and  is an excellent, engaging, action packed read.  Recently she has started on the ‘Alpha and Omega’ series from the same world, with two great characters who started out in a short story and are proving just as engaging.  Lighter on the romance side than Kenyon but the story makes up for it.

Karen Chance

The ‘Cassie Palmer’ clairvoyant series has a bit of mystery going on, even with the numerous supernatural elements and makes for an exciting, sometimes heated mix. In addition to the main series, Karen Chance has recently begun a spin off series featuring the daughter of one of the main cast, which is shaping up to be a good read.

Kelley Armstrong

The ‘Otherworld’ series is going from strength to strength and Kelley Armstrong has a great way of telling stories through different character’s viewpoints.  It starts with werewolves in Bitten and goes through several great characters who are witches, demons, sorcerors and necromancers.  I love how she crosses their paths with other characters and often sets up the scene for following books as minor plots in the current one.

Rachel Caine

Two excellent series so far – ‘The Weather Wardens’ and their abilities to control the elements along with the enigmatic Djinn and her Young Adult series ‘The Morganville Vampires’.  Both are excellent reads and highly recommended.

Kim Harrison

Witches, vampires, pixies oh my!  The ‘Rachel Morgan’ series is a  good solid read, inspired titles, humerous at times yet has its extremely poignant moments.  Fast paced, full of action and definitely one to read.

Karen MacInerney

‘Tales of an Urban Werewolf’ are an easy, interesting and fun series to read.  Doesn’t take itself too seriously but packs a punch when it needs to.

Carrie Vaughn

The brilliant ‘Kitty’ series (a misnomer since it’s about werewolves) just keeps getting better and Carrie Vaughn brings kick ass Kitty to life with style and panache.


If you have any other authors or books you feel would be enjoyed by people who loved Sherrilyn Kenyon, feel free to comment on this article with your recommendations.

Rachel Caine

About Rachel Caine

Rachel Caine (aka Roxanne Conrad) is a bestselling author of Urban Fantasy with 2 series for adults and one for young adults.  With an award winning paranormal romance also to her credit, she is enjoyed by readers, young and old.  She lives with her husband and 2 beloved pet iguanas in Fort Worth and still manages to hold down a day job!

http://www.rachelcaine.com/

My Comments

I picked up the first Weather Wardens book on the recommendation of a friend, and I was intrigued by the world of the Djinn that Rachel Caine had created.  It was unique and fresh and I loved that the magic in the world came in the form of talented people who had an affinity for different elements and could affect them accordingly.  It was a nice change from the paranormal romances I had been guzzling up until that point.  I’ve not had a chance to read the first book in the Outcast series yet, a Weather Warden side series, but am looking forward to it.

The Morganville Vampire series, even though written for young adults, were still a good read and again provided a fresh look at the vampire mythos and a whole town controlled by them, allowing humans to live there by sufferance and following a set of rules.  She creates characters who you can empathise with, even though they may not be all human and her writing style is fluid and easy to read.  The plots may not be overly complex but she isn’t afraid to throw her major characters into a tailspin and I have to admire her for that.  Definitely recommended if you want a good read!

Bibliography

Weather Wardens

Outcast Season

Morganville Vampires

Red Letter Days

Heat Stroke

The late Joanne Baldwin, ex-weather warden and now Djinn tries adjusting to her new life.  After a decision by Jonathan, the head of the free Djinn, she and her lover David are separated.  She must now figure out how to survive and control her powers alone and above all, stay unclaimed and free.  Things seldom go according to plan for Joanne however – being claimed by the worst person possible as a trap for David, a rift in the aetheric plane and mysterious blue sparkles leaking through in increasing numbers.  When the Djinn start dying and nature starts building cataclysmic events that even the most powerful weather wardens aren’t able to keep up with and humanity won’t survive, what can a newly created Djinn do, even in the most kick ass shoes?

Heat Stroke is the second book in the weather warden series and is as good and compelling as the first.  The major characters of Jo and David are really well written and you get a good mental picture of how they look and can’t help but empathise with them strongly from the start.  You don’t learn much more about them in this book and to be honest it isn’t necessary, it’s all about who they are now and how they cope with the events around them.  I loved the addition of Jonathan, the head of the free Djinn.  He seems cold and heartless but maybe there is more there than meets the eye?

The plot is really good, starts slow and builds up to a crescendo, the allegory of a storm building and breaking isn’t lost on me because of the weather warden Jo was.  The event near the end surprised me and while it could have been a deus ex machina, the foundation for it was laid very early on and fit perfectly within the ‘world’ Rachel Caine created.  The ending was left in such a way that I have to reach for the next book and dive straight back in and see what happens.  I love books that do that to me!

Rating: ★★★★☆ 


Book Information
  • Author: Rachel Caine
  • Buy from Amazon (UK)

Coming Soon!

With my back issues slowing me down, I’ve gotten behind in reviews, so here are a few things to look forward to now I am back in action (no pun intended unless you found it funny in which case it was completely intentional!).

Reviews in process :

Red-Headed Stepchild – Jaye Wells
Midnight Alley (Morganville Vampires book 3) – Rachel Caine

Waiting to be read and reviewed :

A Princess of Landover – Terry Brooks
Heat Stroke (Weather Warden book 2) – Rachel Caine
Feast of Fools (Morganville Vampires book 4) – Rachel Caine
Dark Curse (Carpathian) – Christine Feehan
Blood Noir (Anita Blake 15) – Laurell K. Hamilton
Born of Night (The League book 1) – Sherrilyn Kenyon
206 Bones – Kathy Reichs
Covet – J.R. Ward

And now to lose myself in fantastical worlds, more soon 🙂

The Dead Girls’ Dance

Claire Danvers had started to settle into the Glass House with her slightly odd house mates.  Michael who is nowhere to be found from dawn to dusk, Eve the Goth and Shane, her new boyfriend.  Only Shane’s dad has come to town and has sworn revenge on all the vampires that caused his family so much grief in the past.  He, with his biker gang friends, is willing to run roughshod over everyone to get what they want including his own son.  With the troubles at school continuing and trying to keep her head down in a town owned by vampires, can Claire save Shane and her friends, even if it means asking for help from the very vampires Shane’s dad has sworn to bring down.

Book two of the Morganville Vampires follows directly on from the shocking conclusion of first book.  It dives straight into the action as the remaining house mates try deal with their grief and the situation they are now in.   I thought the actions and reactions of the teenagers were about right and not too overboard, dealing with events as they can and ultimately just trying to survive.

The writing is very straightforward but still manages to convey a lot of emotion and depth without being confusing.  I still feel these books are targeted at a younger audience but I was still able to empathise with the characters and care about them as they evolve throughout this novel.

The pace was pretty good and there are a few twists, some of which you see coming but I completely missed any clues to the one with Michael and I was also quite surprised at Claire’s actions at the end.

All in all I enjoyed it and am looking forwards to reading the next in the series.

Rating: ★★★½☆ 

Book Information
  • Author: Rachel Caine
  • Buy from Amazon (UK)

Glass Houses

At 16, Claire Danvers has graduated High School and gotten early admission at Morganville University.  Being so young and so clever doesn’t go down too well with her dorm mates and the ‘in’ girls make their feelings very clear.  After a bad incident, she finds refuge at an old house outside of campus where her new house mates are more than a little odd but welcoming. Then she starts finding out that Morganville is not your average college town and going out after dark can have very sinister consequences.

I think the Morganville Vampires series is aimed at a slightly younger audience than myself but I still enjoyed Glass Houses.  The character of Claire was interesting, a 16 year old shy and gentle girl being thrust into a world she has no idea about.  She weathers it well and stands on her own two feet when she can and has maturity beyond her years, often more so than those older than her.  I think it would have been very easy to make her a sassy, know it all kid but that would have made her unbearable as a character.  Instead she is very engaging and likeable.  The rest of the cast work well although the boys can be a little irritating at times but that doesn’t detract too much.  The ‘bad guys’ are well written and several of them you just can’t wait for them to get their comeuppance.  The story flows well and the history of Morganville is intriguing and adds much to the story.  By the end, I was looking forwards to reading the second book in this series.

Rating: ★★★½☆ 

Book Information
  • Author: Rachel Caine
  • Buy from Amazon (UK)

Ill Wind

Joanne Baldwin has the ability to control the weather.  She is part of the Wardens Association, a large group of individuals who have talents to manipulate and control the elements, protecting mankind from the ravages of Mother Nature.  Unfortunately she is also running from the accusation of murder and there are some storms she just can’t control.  Can she get to the one man she believes can save her and will the infamous Djinn help or just get in her way?

Ill Wind is the first book in the Weather Warden series.  I’ve actually had this book for quite a while, having picked it up on one of my charity shop rampages.  I’ve only just gotten around to reading it and I wish I had done so sooner!

Rachel Caine has a very clear way of writing and it’s very easy to read.  The major characters are compelling and you are into the action as soon as you start chapter one.  I like the way it is laid out, you are in on the action as it happens then have brief flashback periods that fill you in on the history of the main character, Joanne.

I finished the book wanting to immediately read the rest of the series which is a good sign but unfortunately this was the only one I had.  The rest will have to wait!  Booooo.

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Book Information
  • Author: Rachel Caine
  • Buy from Amazon (UK)