Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Book Review: This Side of the Grave

This Side of the Grave (Night Huntress, Book 5)Product Description
The highly anticipated continuation of Jeaniene Frost's New York Times and USA Today bestselling Night Huntress series, in which Cat and Bones face an enemy unlike any they've met before.
Danger waits on both sides of the grave.
Half-vampire Cat Crawfield and her vampire husband Bones have fought for their lives, as well as for their relationship. But just when they've triumphed over the latest battle, Cat's new and unexpected abilities threaten to upset a long-standing balance...
With the mysterious disappearance of vampires, rumors abound that a species war is brewing.  A zealot is inciting tensions between the vampires and ghouls, and if these two powerful groups clash, innocent mortals could become collateral damage. Now Cat and Bones are forced to seek help from a dangerous "ally"--the ghoul queen of New Orleans herself. But the price of her assistance may prove more treacherous than even the threat of a supernatural war. ...to say nothing of the repercussions Cat never imagined.

Jeaniene Frost begins book 5 in her Night Huntress series with Cat and Bones investigating the deaths of some masterless vampires. 
The bad guy this time around is Apollyon, a ghoul who strives to start a war between ghouls and vampires.   He tried to start the same war several hundred years ago when another half-vampire is born.
The most interesting twist comes when Cat requests aid from Marie Laveau.  No spoilers, but it’s fantastic!
Most of the characters we have been introduced to reappear to help the Red Reaper fight evil and prejudice and prevent a devastating war.  This is not a series you can easily pick up in the middle.  It’s best to read starting with book 1: Halfway to the Grave (Night Huntress, Book 1)
Cat and Bones continue to grow together as a formidable team and an excellent couple.  In this installment, there is plenty of action and a bit of steamy sex.  There’s one explicit scene, although it’s not QUITE as steamy as Chapter 32 in book 2 (you know what I’m talking about if you have read this series!).
Sensuality: an explicit scene,  although that chapter is easily skipped if you prefer to not read sex scenes.  I plan on waiting a few more years before I let my teenage daughters read this series.
Rating:   4 stars

Monday, May 16, 2011

Book Review: River Marked

River Marked (Mercy Thompson, Book 6)Product Description
Car mechanic Mercy Thompson has always known there was something different about her, and not just the way she can make a VW engine sit up and beg. Mercy is a shapeshifter, a talent she inherited from her long-gone father. She's never known any others of her kind. Until now.

An evil is stirring in the depths of the Columbia River-one that her father's people may know something about. And to have any hope of surviving, Mercy and her mate, the Alpha werewolf Adam, will need their help...


River Marked begins with Mercy planning the wedding we have been eagerly awaiting for several installments. We see several characters from previous books who have really nice character development as well as meet some new characters I look forward to seeing in future Mercy books.

After the wedding, Adam whisks Mercy away on a surprise destination honeymoon. Needless to say, strange happenings begin immediately and Mercy and Adam encounter a deadly, mysterious supernatural adversary.

River Marked begins slowly but about halfway through, the action picks up and doesn't stop until the very last page. Patricia Briggs spins an engrossing tale that leaves you wishing the next book was in your hands already. 
While this book could stand alone, I would recommend reading it after reading the previous installments in order starting with Moon Called (Mercy Thompson, Book 1)   as it would be a more rich reading experience to know the backstory.  
Sensuality: a few fade-to black sex scenes and kissing.  I would let my teenage daughters read this. 
Rating: 4 stars